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January 17, 2013


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As always I agree with you about Stella. I'm presuming her absence from Symphony in C is because she's cast in a Month in the Country? But it doesn't make it better.

At least Yuriko got cast. Which these days seems to be a minor miracle.

(I meant in the 2nd Ratmansky). I was also surprised that Stella stayed in the second cast for Symphony #9. I was hoping that they'd pull her for a first cast of one of the two newer pieces, since that role Simone originated wasn't as showy for Stella. Would've liked to see her switched out for someone sassy like Skylar and Stella given more to do in one of the other pieces. Sigh.

How shocking that two of the dancers who are attempting to rectify their situations at ABT are locked out of Symphony in C! (Not.) I actually am surprised surprised about Gillian. She has been first cast in most Balanchine ballets in the last few years. Glad to see some of our favorite soloists get an opportunity though.

Interesting casting of Calvin Royal in the import heavy weight division of Ratmansky's new ballet.

Further confusing is Seo's casting in A Month...Irina would be excellent in it, or Veronika, of course (though I am assume it's either/or on the triple to spread the wealth). It needs a much more mature dancer, imo.

Rachel, I'm glad that Yuriko got something, too. It is awful that she didn't get Don Q. She and Simkin look age-appropriate in that role and are a good physical match. Having him dance with someone who is neither delicate nor fine-boned makes him look all the more so.

LOL, K. You had me going on your first sentence. I was thinking to myself: What is she saying?!

True about the casting in A Month... Wow, what a performance we would get from Irina. Wow wow wow. Yes, it needs a mature dancer, but someone who still has fast feet. Julie hasn't ever really had great articulation of the feet at high speed. I'm probably one of the few people left who saw her do the lead in Theme & Variations - oy! We'll probably see a watered down version of A Month... for both dancers.


Amen! Your perspective is crystal, your focus razor sharp. I am so happy that someone in the world is actually saying what so many seem determined to ignore or at most, whisper in the shadows. No wonder so many other media giants reference and cite your writing. Thank you for your continued coverage.

-Juan Michael Porter II

Thanks Juan. In fairness, though, I should have added to my last comment that "there are still roles that Julie does exceptionally well, e.g., Tatiana in Onegin, Lady of the Camellias, and Act II of Giselle."

I wish you were around in my ABT days ('81-'92). I guess you were around, it just that the Internet wasn't around!

Diito what JMP II says above. I love your writing. Thank you!!

Thanks much, FrmrDancer!

Not sure of Stella, but Gillian is probably not cast in Symphony in C because the company is rehearsing that now with performances in DC in the next few weeks. That piece needs to be ready now and the company will not revisit it in a major way before the Met. I don't think Gillian is with ABT through their Asia tour. (She obviously can do SiC; she danced last time SiC was around, and Kevin does like to cast people who will need minimal coaching.)

Thanks, Silk. True, Gillian is busy preparing down in NZ and it wouldn't seem likely that she'd go to Hong Kong to dance one movement of Symphony in C. But, who knows? If the trip meant that she could also dance it in Wash. DC, she might do it. That would be great.

Interesting that McKenzie thinks changing the wording of importing guest stars will make it seem different. Just a word about the Royal Ballet guest, Steven McRae. Before I moved to London and started watching the company regularly, I was of your opinion. But he's a true artist- the best and most vulnerable Des Grieux I've seen since Marcelo Gomes. Too bad the New York audiences will only see him in Le Corsaire. And, having finally seen A Month in the Country last year, I would make a trip back to New York to see Stella and Veronika dance Natalia Petrovna.

Thanks Rachel. If I were in London like you, I would definitely seek out his performances. But here in New York, we need to see our own dancers, not guest artists. The casual ticket buying public now thinks that ABT is only as good as its guest artists -- which is terribly, terribly sad and unfair to the artists of the company.

There's a way to balance guest artists alongside nourishing the talented artists within the company. Kevin McKenize, for whatever reason, has opted to not go that route. ABT desperately needs new artistic leadership New York audiences (and I still consider myself a New Yorker despite the London move) deserve to see the best- from within the company and around the world.

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