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November 05, 2014


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Haglund forgot to mention that the Michigan Opera Theatre Orchestra sounded gorgeous. It was conducted by David Briskin from the National Ballet of Canada. By the way, he quit ABT, too.

Very articulate and expressive review. I appreciate the specificity of your comments. Worth the wait! ;) Thank you.

Haglund, who was Myrtha in this performance?

Hi Matthew.

Myrtha – Katharine Precourt
Two Wilis (Moyna & Zulma) – Jessica Collado & Nao Kusuzaki
Wilfred – Charles-Louis Yoshiyama
Bathilde – Jessica Collado
Berthe – Barbara Bears

All were very good. Myrtha was very commanding with strong jumps. No technical issues. The character was very straight forward and uncomplicated.

Jennifer, thank you for your comment. Sorry it took so long to get this posted. A very busy week has gotten in the way of blogging and much else. Thanks for reading H.H.

Haglund, thanks for that. Being from Houston I was wondering about the supporting cast. Precourt has done fine work in a lot of roles, namely Snow Queen, Sugar Plum, Lescaut's Mistress, Sicilienne in Emeralds amongst many others. I know she danced Odette/Odile earlier this year (I think for the first time), but I didn't get to see it.

Hi Matthew. Good to hear. I look forward to seeing much more of Houston Ballet.

So happy to hear that Houston Ballet represented us Houstonians proud! Whenever I have the time and extra cash I will defiantly see Yuriko and Jared. It's a shame that they had to travel across the country to not only dance do these roles, but dance them together since they couldn't at "America's National Ballet Company".

True, Tiffany. It is a shame that New York had to be gypped out of their Giselle year after year. We got to see Jared opposite Xiomara Reyes, but it definitely was not the same.

Translating subjective artistic experience from one medium to another is not a simple undertaking. Yet, Haglund, you have managed to paint a picture in words, and a picture in motion at that! What a wonderful review of two of my favorite dancers, and how happy it makes me to read of their success.

I had been following Jared's career for some time and watched him grow as both a dancer and an actor. Yuriko, on the other hand, burst onto the stage fully formed, with a consistently dependable technique and a distinctive ability to portray a character. Jared does look ravishing in that photo!

I was saddened to see them undervalued at ABT, and understood completely their need to stake a claim elsewhere. I only hope that Houston Ballet comes to dance in New York--maybe at the Joyce?? I hope I have a chance to see this wonderful Giselle that you describe.

Thank you, Haglund, as always. I've been eagerly awaiting your comments.

Does anyone know how far ahead the cast lists are released? I can only find the list for Nutcracker. I'd like to divert some of my ballet travel $$ from NYC to Houston to see Jared and Yuriko again. I'm looking at R&J, and I've wanted to see Cranko's Taming of the Shrew which they are doing in June.

Hi, Patricia.

I've never been able to find Houston Ballet's cast lists – except for the Nutcracker which you so kindly pointed out. I got the Giselle casting from a third party who was visiting Houston. I'd like to make a couple of trips to Houston, too, for Cranko's Shrew and the mixed rep program in March. That will be difficult to accomplish if casting isn't released in advance – advance enough to get a decent air fare.

How nice to see on the website that Yuriko Kajiya will be the Sugar Plum Fairy in the Opening Night performance of Nutcracker on Nov. 28th opposite Charles-Louis Yoshiyama. The following night, Nov. 29th, Jared will dance the Nutcracker Prince opposite Sara Webb.

Last year in Ratmansky's Nutcracker, Jared and Yuriko were exquisite. They are the ONLY two dancers in that production's HISTORY to have accomplished the Grigorovich Lift in the PdD.

When you go to Houston, please definitely report back.

I may just take a leap of faith because I always get tickets way in advance to get good air fare, etc. I spent a lot of time looking at their dancers today, and I'm willing to take a chance on the cast. That is something I'm not willing to do with ABT now - more dancers that I want to avoid than dancers that I want to see. I really want to see Shrew and I plan to be in NYC the week of June 20 to see Gillian/Marcelo in SL and then Veronika/Marcelo as Purple Rothbart, so that means I go to Houston earlier in June. I'm glad that ABT is now listing Rothbart since I've always wanted to see Marcelo in that part.

Thanks very much for exposing me to new ballet opportunities that I may not discover on my own! Air fare from Atlanta to Houston is cheaper than to LGA. Hobby looks like a nice airport in which to spend the night. Or I can go to 2 pm matinee and fly there and home on the same day.

Patricia, HB has lots of fabulous dancers. I recall Karina Gonzalez from when she was with Tulsa Ballet, and Aaron Robison from when he was with Corella Ballet. Incredible dancers. From what I saw last Sunday, there's a lot for us to discover in Houston.

And you know, Patricia, you might be able to use your H.H. Ballet Commuter Winged Pump Bump Award which we bestowed upon you last year to get through airport security a little faster or maybe it'll get you a discount on a drink.

Catching up to Angelica - five comments above this one:

Thanks much for the compliments.

Houston Ballet was, indeed, at the Joyce Theater in October 2013 with a contemporary program. Unfortunately it was at the same time that San Francisco Ballet was at Lincoln Center.

I've now purchased one ticket to Shrew, and I'm debating staying overnight to see another cast. I have high expectations after spending a lot of time looking at videos and reading about the company. (There is a great prepaid rate at the hotel next door also.) But, Haglund, my HH award from last year is too valuable to take out of its locked glass case for mere travel perks.

On another subject, I just sent you an email with news about Sarah Lane and Luis Ribagorda dancing as Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier in two Nutcracker performances at a small venue in Marietta, GA in December. I haven't seen any PR about this, and others in the Atlanta area may have interest. Most seats are still available.


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