. . . from the couch in trendy Hell's Kitchen awaiting the introductions for the Guggenheim's Works & Process which tonight will be presented by ABT.
✔ pencils sharpened
✔ erasers cut off
✔ Mac cache emptied
✔ cell phone silenced
✔ wine poured
7:35 It seems things are off to a tardy start.
7:38 John Meehan would make a very good director for ABT.
7:42 Why does ABT keep torturing us with this Morris nonsense? Yes, the dancers have nice feet and legs. It's as elementary and unsubstantive as it can be.
7:44 McKenzie managed to say plenty of nothing in that little interview.
7:51 Gray Davis and Stella Abrera are sublime in The Leaves Are Fading in one of the secondary PdDs. That McKenzie took away the leading PdD from this beautiful ballerina in the prime of her career is criminal. It was kind of cruel of John to suddenly bring up Giselle when everyone knows that is exactly the role Stella should be dancing but hasn't been allowed. Her grace and demeanor while being interviewed were exquisite as well.
8:10 The Swan Lake excerpt was not very encouraging. What is wrong with Hee Seo's back that she can't bend it more? No expression. Fine feet and legs. The only way to describe this is the "Stepford ballerina syndrome." One compliment for her: the mime about the tears looked similar to Nina's in that the tears went all the way down over the edge of the tutu.
8:15 It's very nice that the pre-professionals in the JKO are learning to dance completely without affectations. The problem is that they are turning out dancers without perfume, without lovely organic qualities in their dance-speech. It's like computer-speech. ABT should stop all this pretense and just teach Vaganova in the upper body and POB in the legs and feet.
8:27 If you look at videos of Veronika Part and others as students at the Vaganova school, you see immediately that they already had that special perfume. While they didn't have affectations, they did have something special. These young students are plain toast.
8:30 Joe Gorak is a little too lovely in that Bournonville. Maybe it's the small stage. Bujones. Bujones. Bujones. Bujones. That's what we need.
8:32 Isabella Boylston in the Kitri solo was like something from Amateur Hour. No spark. Horsey. Muddled. No expression or worse an unpleasant one. ABT shelved Yuriko's brilliant and charming Kitri for this?
8:33 Arron Scott's ball dance pretty darned good.
8:50 The Moor's Pavane registered well on this stage. Alex Hammoudi is not a natural choice for The Moor and his character was much less developed than Tom Forster's Iago. Stella, intensely dramatic. Hee Seo, a fish out of water: steps, yes; character, no.
8:58 Ratmansky's Carnival of the Animals is a nice piece for students, but it tends to get a little too precious.
More than ever, Haglund intends to pay to see only the dancers he wants to see at ABT and will not pay to see amateurish or half-baked interpretations. If it turns out that he only goes to a couple of performances at the Met this year, then maybe he'll be able to afford this little Chesterfield that he wants so badly.