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January 22, 2013


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Oh, *thanks*, Mr.McKenzie. (sarcasm)

I will miss Irina greatly; she's always been on of my favorites. She's such a great dramatic dancer and still an excellent technician. And gorgeous and glamorous! What else could you want?! At least she is getting to say goodbye in one of the great roles for a ballerina.

Really disappointing.

I'm disappointed, too, K. Besides her fabulous Giselle, her recent R&J performances with Bolle, and her Tatiana and Marguerite were deeply moving.

This is very sad news, but hardly surprising. I suspected as much when I saw that Irina was scheduled to dance only in Onegin this spring. After May 18th, Irina's name doesn't appear on the calendar again. Obviously, something was up.

Irina has long been my favorite ABT dancer, ever since I saw her and Max end the 2004 Met season as R&J. Irina’s Juliet just blew me away. This was the loveliest, most heartfelt interpretation of Juliet that I have ever seen (and I’ve seen many). Despite being a principal dancer, Irina has always been underrated, I think. What a shame! She's a beautiful, versatile and classically trained dancer--as well as a gorgeous, glamorous woman.

Max’s career essentially ended a few years back. But Irina could/should have continued on as an ABT principal for several more years. I wonder what the real story is??

Hi B -- and Irina pulled in a strong audience, too. She also sacrificed many performances to "break in" extremely green partners.

She was the only ABT ballerina that I would purposely buy tickets to see. I saw her dance a glorious Giselle and Juliet, as well as an utterly beautiful Odette-Odile, and a bewitching Kitri, here in Southern California. And, just technically, her Giselle was the only one of the four different Giselles I saw in a row that could step into arabesque or any position without immediately crumbling off pointe, and her mad scene was devastating. This is terrible news, but I wish her all the best.

Hi J.

I agree with everything you say. Irina is still one of the strongest, most compelling artists in the company.

I also thought her Giselle was absolutely amazing. She was also thoroughly delightful to work with--extremely gracious and thoughtful person.

Thanks, Koji. That's always nice to hear.

I should amend that post to include the wonderful Yuriko Kajiya as one of ABT's "complete" Giselles even though only a few of us have ever seen it. My omission.

I agree J, Irina is the only ABT ballerina that I would purposely buy tickets to see. When I watched Irina in Swan Lake, I got teared up, shaking my head in disbelief how someone can balance on pointe for as long as Irina did. I fell in love with all of her performances. She is always graceful with a lovely smile and technically solid. My dance technique improves every time I see her performs. When I see a ballet by dancers other than Irina, I always compare them to her and not that many in this world can be better than she is. I am very upset with this news and will not be going to ABT without her. It would break my heart going to ABT knowing they disrespectfully sweeps out Irina while the no-talents continue to be everywhere on the schedule.

Hi AP.

To hear you say that your own dancing improves every time you see her perform is an incredible compliment to Irina - one that she should hear directly from you.

There would be plenty of opportunities for Irina to dance if ABT would cease importing marginal dancers to take her place and the places of the other enormously talented dancers in the company.

Irina is certainly more fully capable at this point than Julie Kent who only gets by because she is constantly paired with Gomes or Bolle and rides their popularity, brut strength, and ticket sales. Make Julie dance with the array of other men with whom everyone else must dance, and you would see a true test of both her popularity and her technique.

Thank you Haglund.

I hope one day I get to meet Irina in person to tell her how much she has inspired me to be a better dancer. That would be a dream come true!

I also agree with you about other no-talents being paired with great male dancers and heavily promoted. I actually feel embarrassed watching them and upset because Irina is not treated fairly at ABT. Comparing to Irina, they look like amatures.


Irina and Max are dancing in December 2013 several performances at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo Sicily: the roles of"La Fata Confetto" and "Il principe Schiaccianoci "in "Schiaccianoci" - "The Nutcracker " !

Hi Fred. That's great to hear. I'm very unhappy with the way Irina has been sidelined these past few years while ABT keeps pushing out on stage a much older, less reliable ballerina whose box office relies on her partners.

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