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May 31, 2018

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In the Act II PDD between Sarah and Herman, my husband leaned over to me and asked if these two were dancing Swan Lake - I had to reply, "sadly not". That PDD gave such a glimpse of what could be, and I think Sarah's Odette would break my heart.

I thought Cate Hurlin was a standout in the evening performance - I'd love to see her cast as Myrta.

Thanks as always Haglund for the great review! I've been refreshing the home page since yesterday afternoon.

I thought Lane was beautiful in this ballet. She should have been given a second performance to iron out the kinks. She does have great chemistry with Cornejo. It is too bad they keep them separated more often than not. All Lane needs now is a bit of showmanship that Cornejo shows in spades. That depends on stage opportunities and responsibilities. I think it reflects well on her that she does so wonderful when thrown into big roles with barely any guidance.

If ABT is determined to do new ballets, they should save it for the fall season. Spring Season should be saved for big classical productions. They could schedule more performances of the most popular ballets, including 2 performances for the principals, a few debuts and even a guest artist. They also have to take people out of ballets that they are not suited to dance or cannot dance.

Folks, the problems at ABT are not going to be cured without booting McKenzie and eradicating the dullness that he has infused within the dancers. He casts based on his political leanings rather than using the best dancers and has never seen the damage that his misjudgements have caused. He has former dancers who never came close to dancing a principal role because they were incapable of it "coaching" the current principals. He is desperately trying to create some kind of legacy for himself and doesn't realize that he is so disrespected and despised that every minute he stays causes someone else not to buy a ticket to a performance.

If the ABT board wants to see a big improvement in the dancing and the world's interest in the company, it needs to clean out the artistic management and install someone like Bocca, Corella, or Beloserkovsky & Dvorovenko. McKenzie will always blame somebody else for ABT's problems, but he is clearly responsible for creating them and needs to be booted out the door.

I also saw Lane/Cornejo/Brandt. I hope Lane gets more chances to work on this role. She has earned this role many seasons ago.

When Nikiya sees Solor and Gamzatti sitting together, the look of heartbreak on Lane’s face felt so real and still stays with me. What an actress. Her dancing was beautiful as always. Her chemistry with Cornejo is beautiful to watch.

I found a documentary on the Ballet Russes de Monte Carlo on YouTube. McKenzie seems determined to be take the same route as Serge Denham towards the end. He continues his failing crusade to sell unqualified dancers as major ballerinas, which just makes the rep feel stale. New ballets or old war horses, it’s hopeless with Copeland and Boylston getting so many performances.

This was a wonderful debut for Sarah and Skylar. I enjoy both of their partnerships with Herman. Sarah was particularly lovely. She and Herman have such amazing chemistry. They are definitely my favorite duo at ABT. Sarah said on Instagram that she never thought she'd actually get to dance Nikiya. It's absurd that it has taken this long and only a single performance at that. At stage door, Sarah said rather wistfully that she wished she could have had a second performance. As do we all...

Found your critique site by accident. Lovely to read intelligent, informed thoughts and opinions. Have a special interest in Miss Lane as the bulk of her classical schooling took place at the Draper Center 75 miles due east across the I-90 here in upstate WNY, along with another former ABT ensemble member/soloist who trained there also (namely Kristi Boone). Absolutely thrilled with Miss Lane's well received debuts in the touchstone classical roles, proving she may be tiny but she is mighty.

Greetings, Haglund. Right on target, as always. I was at the Wednesday matinee and felt that Teuscher at least will deepen as an interpreter and for the moment the quality of the dancing was enough to let the rest go. For me, the stunner was Shevchenko's Gamzatti, incarnated with the conviction and security and daring of a prima ballerina. I don't know why only once this season is such a turn permitted the New York audience. She's beyond the nova stage: She's a star.

Why on earth are Lane & Shevchenko getting designated to Shade duty? McKenzie is the worst.

Hi, Haglund. It was a great debut, and I just wish she had been given a second performance opportunity to settle into the role. I, too, had wondered if Lane was trying to set up those Tereshkina balances, so I'm glad to have it confirmed by your observations. I guess the good thing is that it's a feat that can be abandoned without it looking like a mistake. I WOULD love to see her do them, though.

Hi Haglund. I'm kind of new yo ballet, I don't understand certain things. I really like Sarah and Herman, they are my favorite partnership. I would like to ask why Sarah keeps being cast in corps de ballet roles? And also why Gillian Murphy isnt cast as Nikiya and always gets Gamzatti? Has she ever been cast as Nikiya at ABT? Thank you very much for your reviews.

Hi, Paula.

Sarah no longer gets cast in corps de ballet roles. Now that she is a principal, she may be cast in soloist roles such as a soloist Shade in La Bayadere as needed. A dancer who is a soloist may be cast in corps roles as needed. This type of casting flexibility is specified in the general AGMA contract. Sarah has, however, been pitching in to help with more soloist roles than any of the other principals. So it does seem that ABT's management may be exploiting her good nature while over-serving lesser dancers, such as Misty Copeland and Isabella Boylston, with more principal dancing opportunities.

Gillian has danced both Nikiya and Gamzatti over the years as has Hee Seo. Irina Dvorovenko excelled brilliantly in both roles when she danced with ABT.

Lane is definitely being exploited. They think since she’s been the company workhouse the last 10 years bumping her down to a Shade is no big deal. I still would love to see her leave ABT. One Giselle, Don Q, and Bayadere a year is not worth all the nonsense.

Hi Haglund, I caught the Saturday June 2 matinee with Devon Teuscher - Nikiya // Joo Won Ahn - Solor // Cassandra Trenary - Gamzatti. As far as I'm concerned, Devon can do no wrong. Her quality of movement is exquisite. This was my first time seeing Bayadere live, and I suspect Devon has ruined any other Nikiyas for me.

I have the good fortune of seeing the Teuscher/Shevchenko casting here in Los Angeles July 15th. Relegating them to a Sunday Matinee instead of the Friday or Saturday evening performances seems like more ABT upper-MIS-management and a dis-service to the art form.

Echoing Eulalia Johnson, above, I saw Shevchenko's Gamzatti in the dress rehearsal, and was blown away by her combination of strong technique and dramatic authenticity/intensity. Based on her performance as Myrta in Giselle, and her depiction of Gamzatti, I, too, believe she is destined for greatness. I so much wish she were paired with a comparable partner in SL and DQ. I'll probably skip those performances. How sad.

Hey Haglund - any word on Cassandra Trenary's performance? Her lines are just exquisite IMO . . . was her casting a last minute deal? Perhaps BryanP could comment . . . Thanks.

No, Trenary was not a last minute cast. She was cast from the very beginning. If anything, I was surprised to see her on Saturday considering I didn't see her on her shade assignment earlier that week, nor her Peasant Pas and Zulma assignments during Giselle week. From a technique standpoint, she was good. Solid Italian fouettes, not common at ABT. Her interpretation was more refined that Brandt's, but she's far from my favorite on this role. I tend to like a slightly, only slightly, bitchy Gamzatti. Then again, I seem to be in the minority in that I don't think that Ms. Trenary can do no wrong. For instance, I liked, but didn't love, her Aurora, but almost every comment I read online pretty much said that it was a home run. I didn't dare stay for the evening performance, although I am curious as to how Boylston looked as Nikiya.

Hi Collbran, I got my tickets about two months ago, and the casting was set at least that long ago. Cassandra was great! I agree with Allisa, her Italian fouettes were quite solid.

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