Just want to remind everyone that some real ballerinas will be in control of Les Sylphides at ABT's Wednesday matinee. Veronika Part, Stella Abrera, Sarah Lane along with Joseph Gorak will head the cast. These are the pros who McKenzie relegated to second cast so they wouldn't get reviewed on opening night.
It will be interesting to read how the NYT smooths over the opening night's performance given its writers' desire to accommodate ABT and push ahead Seo and Boylston and other klutzes with NYT endorsed "native advertising" that has seeped into its critics' writing and completely confused editorial and promotional content.
Haglund didn't waste money on a ticket because he already knew that Seo and Boylston were going to fall flat on their asses and screw up one of ballet's most important historical gems. These are the incompetent oxen that McKenzie is forcing down the audience's throat in Giselle instead of the company's current greatest classical ballerinas.
It seems that Wayne McGregor's new Woolf Works for the Royal Ballet staring Alessandra Ferri has the London critics divided:
From the Telegraph:
But the lion's share of McGregor's now overfamiliar, often hyper-extended steps make no sort of emotional impact whatsoever, and are already fizzling from the memory by the time you collect your coat.
From the Guardian:
Even without prior knowledge of the novel, this act stands alone as a ravishingly expressive work, with McGregor’s choreography ranging from a delicate, detailed intimacy, to the raw ragged duet in which Septimus and Clarissa dance towards the edge of madness.
Woolf Works is not a perfect ballet – it suffers from momentary lapses of focus, and odd awkwardness. But in the depth and the scope of its ambitions, and in its haunting meditations on memory, madness and time, it takes both McGregor – and the concept of the three-act ballet – to a brave and entirely exhilarating new place.
From the Independent:
Ferri suggests both Woolf and her heroine. Now aged 52, returning to the company that launched her as a ballerina, Ferri is a commanding presence. With dark eyes and a pliant body, she flows through McGregor’s steps, winding and folding into soft lines. Looking at Beatriz Stix-Brunell, who plays her past self, Ferri manages to show emotion both felt and remembered.
McGregor’s corps de ballet dances are too repetitive, failing to create rhythmic force, but the larger imagery is effective. It’s a fitting conclusion to a brave, thoughtful work.
Seeing as Haglund would pay to watch Ferri push a grocery cart up the supermarket aisle and also despises McGregor's work, he's sorry to have missed the opportunity to experience his own conflicted feelings by seeing this new dance.