Oh my goodness. Oh oh oh. If you did not catch Sterling Hyltin in last night’s Rubies at New York City Ballet, you missed another one of NYCB’s raise-the-bar performances. Holy mosquito legs, Batman. Few things blow across the stage lighter and faster than Sterling Hyltin. And just when you thought the evening had hit its peak, out came Maria Kowroski and Tyler Angle to deliver their most lustrous and luminous Diamonds ever. What a grand night at the ballet it was.
Unfortunately, that seems to have been Maria’s and Tyler’s last Diamonds of the season, but you can catch Sterling in Rubies on Sunday, February 2nd.
Punxsutawney Phil had better get an early start on his day, because February 2nd is going to be busy. If he knows what’s good for him, Phil will predict a quick end to this crappy winter. He could end up as somebody’s stew if he makes the wrong call.
After Phil’s announcement, everyone has to run off to find a morning cinema presentation of the Bolshoi’s Lost Illusions. Phil will have to drive an hour to Altoona to see it, but at least he’ll have the opportunity. As of today, Emerging Pictures/Ballet in Cinema hasn’t let the ever-faithful Manhattan market know where the cinema presentation will be shown now that the Big Cinemas Theater on E. 59th Street has closed, as exclusively reported by Haglund on Friday. Why the blackout in NYC? Come on, folks, pull it together. 23rd St, BAM, 42nd St, 34th St. Make. It. Happen.
After Lost Illusions, we all have to hot-foot-it over to NYCB to catch Sterling Hyltin in Rubies at 3pm. By the way, it seems that only 4th ring is being sold at the moment.
Then there is Super Bowl pre-game. Then it’s a race back up to Lincoln Center to catch Gillian Murphy and the Royal New Zealand Ballet in its new movie, Giselle, at 8pm and finally a race back home to catch the end of the Super Bowl.
Haglund is taking Monday off which, by the way, is currently expected to include rain mixed with snow.
Speaking of RNZB, which visits L.A., Santa Barbara, Minneapolis, and New York over the next few weeks, there is a little flutter in the media over the fact that Ethan Stiefel has yet to ink a new contract as Artistic Director. His current contract ends this fall.
There aren't many retired dancers who can jingle all the options that he has in his pocket. He could step in as AD for either of New York's two major ballet companies or do the same in an European company or anywhere else. He's got the Flesh and Bone consultant/choreographer gig (with Radetsky starring) which is simply going to re-ignite all that Center Stage euphoria that has not been extinguished even after 14 years. (Reminisce with the cast list here.)
NZ writer Tom Cardy spoke with Stiefel about his future plans:
Stiefel's three-year contract ends in September this year. It poses the question, will he want to continue in the role?
Stiefel is diplomatic in his answer. He says that decision partly rests on the RNZB board and whether they would want him to continue. But he also still has to make the decision himself, and at this stage – just days before he flies back home – he is still in discussions with the board. "First of all, if the board wasn't satisfied with my work I wouldn't have a say in it. That takes care of it. But we are conducting mutual discussions and so on. There's a lot to wrap one's head around, also personally with my family and friends and so on being two days [by air] away.
"But you know, I'm just making the most out of the moment and the rest will be what will be."
Those board members and major donors who profess to care about ABT should not waste time with delays in signing him up and putting an end to our misery with Kevin McKenzie's Grigorovich-management of ABT. How close right now is the company to financial catastrophe from this regime's mismanagement? We don't know, because ABT's current tax reporting Form 990 hasn't been made public and is many months past due. They're making a habit of past due filings - why? - because it delays making the ever-dismal picture public. Haglund will have a nice comparison of the financial performance of ABT, NYCB and SFB for everyone as soon as the IRS can wrangle the filing out of America's national ballet company and make it public.
Speaking of McKenzie's wasted homegrown talent, last week in San Francisco Ballet's Gala, Simone Messmer performed The Man I Love from Balanchine's Who Cares? The San Francisco Chronicle pronounced her as one of two major additions to the roster "that hinted at marvelous evenings to come" - the other addition being Mathilde Froustey. From the SF Chronicle:
Earlier, Simone Messmer, formerly of American Ballet Theatre, joined with suave Rubén Martin Cintas for "The Man I Love," from Balanchine's "Who Cares?" This was a classy, even patrician coupling with Messmer exhibiting a long line and fluid extremities (both Froustey and Messmer will dance in "Giselle" Sunday afternoon and Wednesday evening).
Yes, indeed, Simone has three performances of Myrtha coming up. She seems to be so much more appreciated at the much bigger, more financially stable San Francisco Ballet than she was at ABT.