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May 24, 2018

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Hello Haglund! After wandering around the new ABT website I realized that Luciana Paris is not scheduled to perform at all this season. Do you or any of your readers happen to know why?

Thank you!

Hi, Elizabeth.

Luciana is on maternity leave.

Thank you for the information! Congratulations to her!! Glad to hear that is isn't because ABT is being silly and not casting her.

Carousel is also on TDF. I saw it last night and was blown away by the performances. Amar Ramasar, Brittany Pollock, and Craig Salstein are in it. I have often thought that some of the classics of musical theater might translate well into full-length ballets. Carousel is one of them. Have any choreographers created any ballets based on Broadway shows?

Advice, please, if you would be so kind and if you have the time. Sorry to admit this, I know, but I basically only really care about Balanchine. I have not been attending NYCB as much as I did in years past (not because of anything NYCB is doing, or not doing, but simply because of my schedule & other priorities taking over). My point is: I don't know the dancers the way I used to really know the dancers (Kyra Nichols is my touchstone in all things balletic/artistic) ... So, the final program of the spring season includes three of my all-time favorite works by Balanchine: "Concerto Barocco," "Agon," and "The Four Temperaments." But the casting? To me, virtually a complete mystery. Any thoughts? Should I go? Or should I stay home? Thank you!

Hi, Kenneth.

The casting definitely should not keep you away from this strong program of Barocco, Agon, and 4Ts. But the afternoon will be a mix of goodbyes to some longtime, lesser known dancers coupled with hellos to the future-in-development.

Soloist Savannah Lowery departs as does corpsman Cameron Dieck. Lowery is headed toward medical school and Dieck is diving into major investment banking as an analyst. He'll be partnering his longtime girlfriend soloist Unity Phelan in 4Ts.

Things to get excited about include Emilie Gerrity as Sangunic. I saw her debut earlier this year and was blown away by her perfect reading of it. She'll be dancing with Zachary Catazaro, the newest principal, who has made steady progress over his career but this spring seemed to fire up some jets that we didn't know about. When his name appears on the cast, it is now a reason to buy a ticket.

Soloist Ashley Laracey debuts in the first violin role of Barocco. She just debuted in the second violin role this year. So, she will become that rare ballerina at NYCB who can dance both parts. She's one of my favorite ballerinas in the company - always dances with unforced, un-showy crystalline beauty.

Corps dancer Miriam Miller is developing at a good pace in Agon. She hasn't had many performances, but each one makes you want to see her next one. If you want to see perfect ingredients that are simmering in the slow-cooker, you'll want to see Miriam. The seasoning is being added a little at a time, which is fine from the audience's standpoint, because we know how worth-the-waiting this dish is going to be.

In 4Ts, you'll want to also focus on Mimi Staker and Sebastian Villarini-Velez, corps dancers with bright futures.

I'm not going to miss this performance. Although you won't find your touchstone Kyra Nichols on the stage (but if you look closely among the four backup women in Phlegmatic where Isabella LaFreniere often is featured, you may see similarities that excite you), I think you'll find it a very enjoyable and worthwhile performance.

What a lovely summary, Haglund. Thank you. City ballet has such depth. And how many soloist women does ABT have now? 2?

True Abtgirl. That doesn't mean that there isn't strong soloist material in ABT's corps that should be promoted. Kaho Ogawa and Betsy McBride have the biggest classical chops and artistry that are ready for major, meaty roles. Katherine Williams just had a fine debut as Myrta, and Catherine Hurlin has excelled in soloist work for Ratmansky and debuted a very respectable Peasant Pas this year. Those four would make for a very strong class of soloists.

Just got my tickets for tomorrow night's last performances of Classic NYCB! :) Looking forward to Pulcinella Variations and Justin Peck's work before that goes! I guess we all have our own favs for dancers when it comes to promotions too, IMHO, as much as Paulina Waski didn't get to debut her Myrta at ABT this year, I think due to injury as mentioned on other blogs, I do believe she would be a wonderful addition to your list of potential soloists. I have seen her dancing through the past few years and have enjoyed them all. And, she has YouTube videos showing her potential as Giselle working with my other all time favorite prima ballerina Xiomara Reyes.

Regarding Pat's question: Carousel is based on a play called Liliom by Ferenc Molnár. John Neumeier choreographed a version of Liliom, using that title for his full-length ballet for the Hamburg Ballet, the ballet company that he directs. In February of 2014, the Hamburg Ballet performed it in Orange County. I saw it twice with Carston Jung and Alina Cojocaru in the leads and and absolutely loved it. The music was composed by Michel Legrand, who took a bow on stage after the show. I ran into M. Legrand after the last show and thanked him for all his music composed over the years.

Just watched La Bayadere with Lane, Cornejo and Brandt, and it was sublime. Hurlin should be promoted. My eyes are (and have been for a couple of years) drawn to her whenever she is on stage. She has such expressive arms.

I was at the Dress Rehearsal Tuesday for La Bayadere. During the 2nd Act, both Isabella Boylston and Sara performed the Pas with the scarf (I don't know it's name). What a joy it was to see Sara execute with such lightness and control after seeing Isabella not quite able to control her standing leg. Sara is a joy to watch these days!

Thanks, Josephine! Legrand wrote the score for my favorite version of The Three Musketeers.

Thank you so much for your super-detailed and so very helpful reply concerning the casting of NYCB's matinee performance tomorrow. I'm going! Bought tickets last night. I have many of my favorites whom I've seen dance over the past 5 to 10 years ... Bouder, Tiler Peck, Reichlin, Mearns. Alas, few of the "newer" (newer to me) male dancers have done much for me over the course of the last decade or so. So, now I am very excited about seeing (paying closer attention to) dancers like Laracey, Miller, Catazaro, and some of the others you point out. Much appreciated! And good to know that there may well be future Kyra Nicholses gestating in the corps. Any Maria Calegaris? I have my fingers crossed.

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