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June 24, 2016

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[Haglund has re-posted a number of comments about last night's performance which originally appeared beneath the post about the 6/21 performance.]

Anyone who attends the Ferri performance tonight, please let us know how it goes. It's incredible that she's still dancing at this level but a 53-year-old Juliet? That does require a huge suspension of disbelief.

Posted by: Grace | June 23, 2016 at 03:41 PM
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No suspension of disbelief is required tonight. Ferri is dancing this role with more youth, facility and abandon than any I have ever seen. Those who strain to critique are likely to find themselves with hemorrhoids on their very expensive fillers.

Posted by: JW | June 23, 2016 at 09:42 PM
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Tonight's performance was easily the best I've ever seen. Not only was Ferri as magnificent as ever, her chemistry with Cornejo was unbelievable. They were truly teenagers in love. I saw tears in the audience.
The entire cast elevated their game. Salstein struck just the perfect balance of emotions and Zhurbin made a truly menacing Thibault. Stella Abrera brought all the right nuances to her role as Lady Capulet (her scene upon Thibault's death is so full of expression). Paris, Hamrick and Chevchenko were very good as harlots. And the audience was so amazingly quiet.
It was special. Truly special.

Posted by: anna | June 24, 2016 at 01:26 AM
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Could not agree more. Truly an A-list cast. Can't remember a Met audience that demonstrated more excitement. I noticed a number of dancers in attendance including Tyler Peck and Robert Fairchild

Posted by: Jennifer | June 24, 2016 at 08:34 AM
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Last night I was transported back to more than 25 years ago, watching Bocca and Ferri in R&J for the first time. Though Cornejo is not Bocca in the role, the overall performance was more than I have seen all season. Lackluster casts and choreography have abounded. Watching Ferri last night restored my faith (a bit) in ABT. Maybe they realize that Ratmansky and Copeland are not ballet for New York ballet fans. Ferri;s artistry was wonderful to see!!!

Posted by: SherryD | June 24, 2016 at 09:33 AM
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Oh wonderful to hear! I'm jealous at all those who were in attendance. Alessandra remains by all-time favorite Giselle.

Posted by: Grace | June 24, 2016 at 09:49 AM
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Well, I am clearly in the minority, but I found last night a so-so evening. Cornejo had stamina issues; he was visibly huffing and puffing early in the second act while his Benvolio and Mercutio weren't even breaking a sweat. Ferri was far too mature for the role of Juliet; I thought I was watching a boy dance with his mother. Apologies to all the fans, but I was very disappointed.

Posted by: Ellen | June 24, 2016 at 09:59 AM
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Ellen, I agree. I applaud Ferri for doing this -- can't even imagine how nervous she must've been -- and she retains much of her glorious technique. But the first act was super-tentative (especially compared to Diana's on Tuesday). I felt the music dragged, especially in the balcony scene. That sense of ecstatic freedom just wasn't there. Right before it, my friend whispered to me, "I'm nervous" -- as was I. Felt she was more on her game in Act 3, and her dramatic skills are undiminished. But overall, I wasn't as blown away as I had hoped, especially with Cornejo. To me, the chemistry was just "meh.' Oh well -- she did something amazing, so good for her. Now she can go eat a big cheeseburger.

Posted by: cindy grogan | June 24, 2016 at 10:52 AM
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I've gotta disagree with the last two comments-- I thought Cornejo was on FIRE. His turns were so crisp, and the view from one of the boxes (instead of the orchestra where I usually sit) brought into wonderful relief just how pristine and musical his technique still is in comparison to Salstein and Gorak-- there was a beautiful dimensonality to his steps; he was clear as a bell, and it was clear he was dancing for her. They had dazzling chemistry imbued with all these wonderful details, like when he pawed at the hem of her dress while sitting on the floor while she danced around him in the balcony scene-- together they were truly teenagers in love.

Posted by: K | June 24, 2016 at 11:38 AM
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I must agree with the K's comment. I've been watching Cornejo for years. And I have seen the amazing Ferri and Bocca partnership when she was still a principal at the company. I have never seen him take flight like this. There were even sporadic applauses during his solo in the balcony scene because his love, joy, lust, his desperate yearning were palpable in every movement. He really was dancing for her and her alone, like no one else existed.
And Ferri's transformation throughout the night, her liquid exuberance in the balcony scene and her sheer misery in her bedroom pas de deux with Paris, when one could tell that she was recoiling from him with every cell of her being. It didn't feel like she was dancing or performing. It felt like this was all happening to her, and she was just living through every emotion while the rest of us watched.
I really hope Haglund was there and will post a review.

Posted by: Anna | June 24, 2016 at 01:01 PM
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I saw both the Ferri/Cornejo and Bolle/Seo performances and I have to say I preferred Seo/Bolle. While Cornejo soared in his solo dancing, he was not an effective partner. I felt the balcony scene lacked a reckless abandon partly because Cornejo could not effortlessly catch and lift Juliet. Ferri, while heart-wrenching with her emotions, could not pull off the youthful exuberance needed for the role.
Bolle was just amazing. He inhibats the role and does not try to be a naive Romeo in the throws of first love. He compensates for his age by playing Romeo more as an experienced player, who passionately falls for Juliet. The real revelation was Seo. Seeing the two shows back to back really magnified what Ferri was lacking. Seo bounded onto the stage with the youth and energy needed to carry off Juliet. I expected to see a blank slate, but Seo danced with great passion last night. Perhaps she felt she could really let go because she had the utmost confidence that her partner would just envelope her in his arms and carry her away.

Thanks, Pat.

I'm sure that we would have seen a different, less restrained Ferri had she danced with Bolle. If her recent comment about Manon being easier to dance than Juliet leads to her return in that role, I certainly hope that she will dance with Bolle rather than Cornejo. A Ferri/Bolle rematch in Manon would definitely be worth my money.

I saw both Ferri/Cornejo and Seo/Bolle performances this week. I agree that a better match would be Ferri/Bolle. After seeing Ferri, I found that the Seo cast did not spark the same intensity of emotion. Oh and those mandolin players!!!

Despite her diminished physical abilities, I found the overall quality of Ferri’s dancing to be far superior to most of ABT’s current dancers, especially some of the principals. Ferri remains my all time favorite dancer, and though they are very different artists in many ways, I think my affinity for Stella Abrera and Sarah Lane comes from similar qualities they share, including a devotion to characterization defined by complex, beautiful movement. Ferri remains a riveting performer. I wept all through her wonderful performance with Cornejo. Whether she performs again with him or with Bolle, I hope to see her again on stage in the near future.

LLF, I could not agree more. Technical is all well and good, but passion elevates the performance. I remember Julio saying that Ferri has been so involved in the performance that she went off stage on the wrong side.

Thanks SherryD for the anecdote. I dug out the NYT article in which it appears. Jennifer Dunning – her wisdom and even-handed reviews are much missed – delves into classic partnerships: http://www.nytimes.com/1995/04/16/arts/dance-the-great-ballet-partnerships-are-all-but-gone.html?pagewanted=all

I do hope we see Ferri again in some of her former roles. Onegin would be great. It would certainly be preferable to our continuing to be saddled with Kochetkova and Semionova who have no place monopolizing spots on the roster of this company when there are such astounding ballerinas waiting their turns to dance important roles.

I don't think that I would want to see a marketing ploy of Ratmansky making a little dance for Ferri – which certainly McKenzie is dreaming about for the box office fuel. Nothing that he's made so far shows an understanding of her particular gifts. And I would hate to see her stoop to his repeated gimmicks of slides along the floor and wrap-around-the-head port de bras.

Want to add that Kent Becker got some outstanding shots of the bows at the Ferri/Cornejo performance as well as at the Vishneva/Gomes performance: http://www.notmydayjobphotography.com/AmericanBalletTheatreCurtainCa/2016-Met-Season/i-wcGZhgC

The performance was superb! I was swept away and felt Ferri's complete commitment to the role. I agree with LLF's comments, especially about the overall quality of Ferri's dancing. The chemistry between Ferri and Cornejo was electric. Anna's prior comments summed up how I felt witnessing such a truly special performance.

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