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November 29, 2012

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When I read this news I already started wondering what you might write about it. ;)
I just cannot imagine him in principal roles. And whenever I saw him doing a piece from a principal role, I had to draw from my own imagination to fill in all the things that were lacking in his presentation. Not that he doesn't know how to present himself in general - just not consistent and convincing for the roles.
Probably they just hope for the squealing audiences to flock into the Met no matter what. I guess there is no hope that things other than that aspect are also considered.

You are correct.

What also worries me is what kind of message it sends out to younger audiences, aspiring students. Speaking of responsibility. Already now I see many thinking to themselves 'In order to become a principal, I have to do the things Daniil is doing/be like Daniil!' and similar things. Not that Daniil is a complete anti-model in my eyes, but the focus is only on certain things he represents and sight is lost of things that exist beyond this.

I agree, Kallima. It's not that Daniil couldn't be world class at everything on the ballet stage -- but he's not going to learn it at ABT where there are nearly no coaches, repetiteurs, or pedagogues. The artistic management has apparently made few demands on him to adapt and improve. He still gears his performances to the competition and gala circuit audience, which after four years is so disappointing to see.

I just saw this news elsewhere and thought of your probable reaction. Oh, dear--and over veteran dancers like Radetsky, too. And Siimkin's reaction on twitter is just as artistically mature as he is--not. There's talking oneself up in the media, and there's poledancing.

Apparently all it takes to be a principal at ABT is a twitter account and a trampoline. I was too cranky to write more than the below post, but you get the gist. http://rachelmarch.blogspot.com/2012/11/apparently-all-it-takes-to-be-principal.html

Thanks Rachel. I moved your link up into a post.

If anyone should be morbidly tagged as one of McKenzie's so-called Flagship Forever Soloists, it's Simkin. He fits into none of the non-gala principal roles like an adult, and matches poorly with all partners. And I'm sick of seeing his smirking showmanship on stage.

Truthfully, McKenzie can take the Flagship Soloist pole and ram it.


Even though I read that some people found him very convincing in his Swan Lake, it wouldn't be the first time that some have a very different impression of a dancer than I have. Tastes vary I suppose.
Regarding the smirking showmanship, it sometimes made me wonder if despite the lack of coaches and so on, if there is even a serious will and maturity to change that on his side? Definitely a coach could do something, but usually there is an effort and something to build on. Some dancers just seem very convinced of their own style of doing things and because the publicity and ticket buyers are there, people just let them do. I hope it is just a matter of maturity and he will explore different approaches some time in the future. Better sooner than later though. I already found it shocking to find out that he's older than me, considering the style of his tweeting.

Kallima, you make a very strong point in saying "Some dancers just seem very convinced of their own style of doing things and because the publicity and ticket buyers are there, people just let them do." His massacre of Balanchine's choreography in Stars & Stripes is a case in point where he liberally substituted his own tricks for the historical and copyrighted choreography and didn't have a clue as to the proper presentation. Already at age 25 he thinks he's a force more important than Balanchine.

That's it. When he was first hired, I thought I'd give him year to learn artistry from the wonderful examples available from principle to corps level, male and female. Then 2 tears; Aaron Scott did the dame roles better.

No more money from me for awhile.

same role, not dame roles. Typing in the dark

True, dc. Aaron was better. Salstein was better. Radetsky was better as Lankendem. Matthews was better in Coppelia. Tamm was a much, much better Nutcracker Prince. That's the short list. Every head to head comparison shows Simkin coming up short.

Speaking of Arron Scott, can he get his promotion?!! His performances from last season (many of them debuts) were outstanding, and he has proven to be a consistant, yet exciting, performer with superior acting skills. I think it would be well-deserved!

Hi K. I think Arron, along with Tamm, Phillips and several others, may be McKenzie's "flagship" corpsmen. It doesn't seem that they will get their deserved chances.

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