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July 10, 2017

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I've been watching short clips of Muntagirov on YT, he is a beautiful dancer.

I'm so jealous of Moscow audiences who will get to see this performance.

I think the Royal Ballet has been working on him quite a bit in his three years there. When he guested at ABT some years ago, he was a bore and quite homely to watch. It appears that the Royal Ballet has coached him admirably on the use of facial expressions, hairstyle, and possibly even dental work. His dancing is now elegant and refined although I wouldn't characterize it as emotionally giving.

I'm so happy that Sarah will get this international opportunity, and I'm sure that she will bring back much added artistry for us to enjoy next spring.

SUCH a boring fall season. Gosh I would have loved to see Ashton or some Tudor. How gorgeous would Sarah be in The Leaves are Fading? I love to see a Cinderella scheduled in the Fall. But for that tripe, including Millepied's cr*p, I will not travel to NYC.

Agree. So happy that Angel Corella's full length Sleeping Beauty at PA Ballet and the Mariinsky's La Bayadere at K.C. are both coming up in October.

Daphis and Chloe, even with the luminous Stella Abrera, has got to be the most boring ballet I've ever seen, and seemed to last forever, as supreme bores often do.
Is there anything worth seeing in the fall program, Haglund, because right now it seems as if I should skip the whole thing?

I just received an e-mail from ABT that began:

Dear ABT Friend,

ABT's Spring Season ended last week with four promotions, and the Tchaikovsky Spectacular.

I replied as follows:

Dear ABT,

ABT's Spring Season ended last week with four promotions, and one firing.

Sincerely...

Attaboy/girl, Golden Idol! With your permission, I might copy that reply myself.

Rachel Perez: Be my guest. Perhaps I should have written "ignominious, despicable firing," so feel free to embellish.

Golden Idol, excellent response on ABT's Instagram. I'm surprised that they haven't deleted all the complaints. People should really be saying that they are not going to donate or attend the dismal, worthless fall season, too. ABT only understands that which hits it in the wallet.

I wish Veronika would get a lawyer, or a lawyer would reach out to her. Come on all you NYC lawyers out there who read this blog, somebody contact Veronika!

Like Angelica, I too am wondering if there's anything worth seeing from ABT this fall. All of it looks so lackluster... but at least my pocketbook will be happy. ;)

Golden Idol: And ended with one classless, unceremonious firing of an 18 year principal of prodigious talent who deserved much better from ABT.

Angelica and AMJ, there is nothing on ABT's fall calendar that interests me.

I may go to the first performance to see the premieres but I'm not expecting anything worthwhile. I'm envisioning the new Ratmansky piece as being danced to a piano version of Bukovinian accordion folk tunes with a lot of nonsense racing around with Seven Sonatas seasoning sprinkled in. I pray that I'm wrong, but there's only one way to find out. It will be touch and go whether I attend. In addition to having to pay money to "honor" the most despicable, hated ballet director in the world (besides Millepied), ABT is asking people to pay full price when one-third of the program is its freaking student dancers, nearly all of whom will never be good enough to get into the company.

On the other hand, it may be worth it to go and boo McKenzie throughout his "honoring".

I agree the Fall season just seems like so much filler. I also agree that the company should have scheduled a small full length that would have fit in the NY State Theater, such as Cinderella (as everyone has mentioned). Do they still have the rights to La Fille? They could have cast all the new girls as Lise.

This company pulls so many 180 turns, I'll never understand it.

For what it's worth, despite the "official" in the username, the abtofficial Instagram account is run by the ABT dancers, and the posts are representative of their "own opinion and [are] not official statements of American Ballet Theatre." If it was an official company account, I too would be surprised at the lack of censorship.

I have to agree this is one of the most boring fall seasons I can remember. I can't believe Millepied is getting a commission after that ghastly Daphnis and Chloe. Actually, it was too boring to be considered ghastly...maybe anodyne is the right word. I know he's one of the world's most in-demand choreographers, but I've yet to see a piece by Wheeldon that I find very inventive. As for Ratmansky, I'm always curious to see what he's up to. His Souvenir d'un lieu cher was probably the most forgettable thing I've seen from him at ABT. But I'd still like the chance to see the Plato work again.

Other Dancers and Symphonic Variations are the only two big draws for me. (I remember Hallberg and Murphy being lovely in the former, in that weird Alice Tully Hall season.) And I'm hoping I get to see Calvin Royal in all his classical glory again in Symphonic Variations; hopefully the rest of the company will have better settled into that piece, too.

So, yeah, I think this will be the only time I've ever bought just one ticket to ABT's fall season.

ITA, FoF. The fairly worthless program coupled with McKenzie's unethical and unprofessional treatment of Veronika Part makes me tend to discourage people from spending any money on ABT's fall season. Certainly, people should find other more worthy causes to donate to.

The Mariinsky is going to be just down the road in October; PA Ballet has a brand new Sleeping Beauty to premiere in October; NYCB will present a few good programs with Balanchine in Sept-Oct; The Red Shoes will be at City Center with Mearns and Gomes during October; Brigadoon will be a City Center with Robert Fairchild in November. Anyone who wants truly innovative modern choreography can see Tero Saarinen's company at the Joyce Theater in October.

ABT doesn't seem to understand that it cannot afford NOT to put its best foot forward. It always seems to be trying to swing for the fences but has its eyes closed when the ball comes over the plate. It strikes out far more than it ever makes contact.

Fool us once with choreographic crap, shame on you. Fool us twice, shame on us. I'm not going to pay money to see it twice.

Don't forget Mayerling at Houston Ballet in late September. I bought my individual tickets on Monday. I purchased Mariinsky ticket yesterday and found cheap airfare to Houston and D.C. on Southwest Airlines sale. No money for McKenzie!

I'd like to purchase Red Shoes ticket for either City Center or Kennedy Center (or I could even drive to Charlotte from Atlanta), but it's not clear to me what dates Marcelo is in the role since the part is alternating between two actors. Anyone have clear info on this? Here is cut and paste from site:

"Nominated for his second National Dance Award last year, Dominic North will play Julian Craster, with American Ballet Theatre principal Marcelo Gomes also taking on the role at certain performances."

Broadway World said that Marcelo "will be making his debut as Julian at ALL venues during the USA tour."

I can't find anything that says Marcelo will play Julian at all performances in NYC or I'd opt for NYC location.

Forgot to say - I'm perfectly comfortable purchasing Mayerling tickets before the cast announcement. Unlike ABT, I know that every Houston Ballet cast will be outstanding and my money will be well spent on this trip. I'd never purchase ABT tickets without knowing the casts.

Mayerling!!!! After all these years, finally an American company has the guts and the brilliance to stage it. Cannot wait!!!!

Patricia, the Mayerling storm is going make landfall right in the middle of hurricane season. We're going to need some luck for this one...

Oh crap!! Don't even think that; my heart would be broken if a hurricane stopped the performances. Remember when I flew to Houston to see Cranko's Taming of the Shrew and the performance was cancelled two hours before curtain because of water on the stage from a roof leak? I spent a whole day in the Houston airport doing nothing. Houston Ballet refunded my ticket price and gave me a free ticket to any seat in the house to any future performance. But I was out the airfare and time and really wanted to see that ballet.

We have been Golden Circle Golden Patrons of ABT for several years, attend over half of the performances each year in prime orchestra seats, donate to many of the various funds the solicit for, attend the luncheons, etc...We cancelled our membership and cut off support after the brutal way Kevin treated Veronika. We also sent letters to the Trustees informing them of our decision.

Greg & Linda,

Thanks for your comment and for reading H.H.

Good for you for cutting off ABT and writing to the Trustees. Please let us know if anyone responds with something other than "have a nice day".

Cutting off support is the only way to deal with ABT. It is the only time they listen.

ABT will soon have one of their junior managers call you to beg and grovel for your donation and will make promises about how he will talk to McKenzie or the board members for you or even tell you that you can meet them on a studio visit to air your grievances. Don't believe any of it.

This is the most apathetic board in all of New York's major performing arts institutions, and possibly in the country. If these board members ran their own companies with the apathy, indifference, and unethical practices that they allow McKenzie and Co to use, they would be out of business.

I cut off support years ago because of the guest artist situation. Every time I start thinking about perhaps writing them a check again, they do something so stupid or atrocious that my checkbook slams itself shut.

McKenzie promotes himself as the savior of ABT for the past 25 years. Nothing could be further from the truth, and it is more than a decade past time to get rid of him. He just finished a season in which only one of the principal women was able to manage all of the technique required of Swan Lake -- and he fired her. Certainly some of the dancers such as Copeland and Boylston are relieved because they think it might make them look more classically competent if she's gone. In fact, you have to wonder whether Copeland's sponsor who is an executive on ABT's board supported Veronika's firing to make his property more appealing. It appears that his property was the only principal who was in town during Veronika's last performance who couldn't make it onto the stage to clap. So there ya go...

Fortunately we have anew crop of principals who CAN do the steps. I have no doubt if given the chance, Shevchenko would be a wonderful O/O. Sarah was perfect except for the fouettes and I give that a pass: it was a short notice debut with an off tempo conductor.

I do agree with starting some sort of protest against McKenzie. It's time something drastic was done with this Stalin.

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