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October 13, 2011


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I guess the only way we'll get to see Stella really dance is to dust off the passport or know someone who can revoke Russian/UK visas. Sad when that's my only hope. I guess I'll just have to get over the fact that Kobborg really creeped out by his performance of The Lesson this spring, right?

Maybe Osipova will lose her passport again. Or maybe Tony Mendez will steal her shoes again.

The "social promotion" of Hee Seo into principal role after principal role has got to have as deadly an effect on the other women dancers as the social promotion of Stearns has had on the men. She was a terribly miscast Gamzatti last year, but this year she not only gets Gamzatti on Saturday night, but also NIKIYA on Wednesday night while Abrera is relegated to one Wednesday matinee performance of Gamzatti. And Tatyana in Onegin - are you kidding me? It requires more theatrical ability than just wearing makeup well.

Riccetto just spent weeks acquiring Medora under the artistic direction of Julio Bocca but McKenzie installs Osipova instead?

Kobborg is 39 years old! What the hell is he doing even guest starring here while soloists are being denied growth opportunities? He's 39 years old, for god sakes.

Without Stella as Giselle and without Part as Myrtha I probably won't renew my subscription. Those were the highest on my "must see" list! Maybe they'll both defect to New Zealand and I'll have to spring for the air fare.

Maybe ABT's soloists should ALL join foreign companies, add an "ova" or "aya" to their names and then McKenzie can bring them back as "guest artists" and sell tickets to the NY misinformed throngs. I can see it now.... Stellana Abrerova as Giselle. Marya Riccetova as Medora. Sarya Lanaya as Odette/Odile. Box office gold.

And I suspect maybe Seo getting Tatyana also may have something to do with her time at the John Cranko Ballet Academy? Though it doesn't make me any less miserable about Stella not getting a shot at it.

LOL. And Mistina Copelanderova.

Did you notice there still is no Cornejo as Prince Siegfried? All this McKenzie crap about Cornejo being too small for a Prince Siegfried kind of looks ridiculous now that he has cast Simkin in the role. Why Boylston/Simkin instead of Lane/Cornejo? Not only would Sarah and Herman be more aesthetically pleasing, they would deliver an INSTANTLY SOLD OUT HOUSE. McKenzie's "vision" is terribly myopic.

If you look at that farewell Le Corsaire performance casting with Stiefel, Murphy, Abrera, Radetsky, and Salstein, I think we'll be saying farewell to more than just Ethan.

Let's all start saving for a trip to New Zealand....

ok, my first reaction was "haglund is going to spaz" and my second was "why on earth is daniil getting siegfried instead of herman"? i do not get that at all. absolutely had my hopes up for lane/cornejo. happy that herman got solor tho!

Well.... I think a little trip in 2012 is worth fantasizing about. Right now air fare is in the neighborhood of $1800 US. A week at an excellent hotel in Wellington looks like its $1000-1200NZ. The USD is worth about 79 cents there. Think of the New Zealand sand under your feet.

Robin, I imagine Daniil might be scratching his scalp over this one, too.

All of this is beyond absurd. Going beyond what you have all said:

Why is Kobborg debuting in the Bright Stream...where is Hoven?!?

How is Part dancing Nikya once, while Cojocaru is cast (against type again) twice??

Even Kent is getting screwed! That's when you know it's bad.

You're absolutely right. Why isn't Hoven getting Bright Stream again?! We're dying to see it here in NYC and we heard from the West Coast that he was phenomenal.

He should not only get Bright Stream, but he should be considered for Apollo along with Cornejo and Hammoudi. I don't care how pure Hallberg's classicism is and perfectly danced his Apollo is, I hate looking at his emaciated upper body and am not looking forward to his Apollo unless maybe the Bolshoi puts him into a weight training program over the winter. Sorry for the honesty, but that's the way I feel.

I used to look forward to this blog, but you've become the Lou Dobbs of ballet blogs. Rant rant rant. What you write about dancers on this blog is really awful. Your last potshot towards David Hallberg really says more about you than it does about him.

Hi Bryan. Thanks for your comment. There is a lot to rant about. The strategic directions of the city's two ballet companies is such that there will soon be no reason to have two companies. David Koch, who pretty much controls both companies via his gifts, has surely thought about what a single huge company dancing classics and repertory throughout the year would look like. It could look pretty good, and it would take a lot less money than supporting two separate companies who have lost their unique identities.

NYCB which is supposed to be repertory-driven is spending more and more on mediocre full length ballets which are out-selling its repertory programs. ABT which is supposed to be this country's national ballet company has joined the ugliest side of American business by outsourcing its important work while American trained dancers (which include many from other countries) are denied full careers at ABT.

We don't need two opera companies or two symphonies. What do we need two ballet companies for? We don't, unless they each can provide unique, world class, proprietary artistic products that they cannot produce together for less money.

Martins and McKenzie are blurring the identities of their companies and in doing so are opening the door to the argument that the companies could function as one. Similar repertory, similar dancers, same choreographers who create similar work for each, same audience, many of the same donors.

There's a lot to rant about. If more people don't open their mouths, we're going to see the deep pockets of big business restructuring ballet in this city like you'd never believe would happen.

And if you didn't care for my comment about Hallberg, why not argue that his upper body looks just fine and that his gross weakness in lifting most ballerinas is the ballerinas' fault?

There's a lot to rant about. Poor Lou Dobbs.

Well to each his own but David Hallberg's partnering looks fine to me, not "gross." Danil Simkin is the one at ABT with real partnering problems.

You say: "There's a lot to rant about. If more people don't open their mouths, we're going to see the deep pockets of big business restructuring ballet in this city like you'd never believe would happen."

Those comments should be written to the companies themselves if you feel that strongly. Or maybe to the papers. Making fun of the personal appearance of dancers and wishing harm upon the ones you don't like in post after post -- what does that accomplish?

No one has made fun of anyone's personal appearance and certainly no one has wished anyone harm. With regard to Simkin's partnering – while it's not without occasional problems, it can also be quite spectacular as has been seen in his Nutcracker with Maria Riccetto, his Bright Stream with Isabella Boylston, and his Don Q with Yuriko Kajyia. He flubbed the final lift in the Bluebird PdD this past year. Given all else he's done, it seems pretty insignificant.

I, too, used to look forward to this blog. When you keep your critical comments focused as you just did in the comment above, then I find myself applauding your intelligence.

When you become hysterical and downright nasty toward individual dancers, I feel quite disappointed. If Martins and McKenzie are the problem--and I can see your point though I'd suggest there are forces that also drive them into these difficult circumstances--then why take out your anger on the dancers themselves? It reads as hysterical and undermines your more insightful moments.

Sorry, BF, but without specifics, it's hard to reply; so I'll just guess that it's my comment about Hallberg. Gross weakness in upper body strength is a major detraction from Hallberg's appeal. He can't make the overhead lifts in Giselle, S.L. or Romeo & Juliet. He's nearly dropped Murphy in the final simple shoulder sit of Theme & Variations. Look at the picture which was published this week:


I don't want to see that on stage unless it's covered up with a costume.

haglund, i do agree with your assessment of hallberg's lifting ability. in the 2010 season i saw three performances of r&j. i thought that hallberg had the best performance in the part where he does this solo dance in the party to show off for juliet. but in the end when he was doing the pdd with osiposva thinking she is gone, he was visibly exhausted and was reduced to hoisting her up with almost no grace at all. gomes was awesome of course, he's like a human forklift. cornejo was good too.

and also to me, "I hate looking at his emaciated upper body and am not looking forward to his Apollo unless maybe the Bolshoi puts him into a weight training program over the winter. Sorry for the honesty, but that's the way I feel." just seems so much more constructive than "[xxx] as the Sugar Plum Fairy, looked as if she'd eaten one sugar plum too many; and [yyy], as the Cavalier, seems to have been sampling half the Sweet realm."

Hi Michael. Hopefully Hallberg will come back from the Bolshoi as a stronger partner.

haha if i were hallberg, when i develop more upper body strength and become a stronger partner from the bolshoi, i'll spend a few years in paris opera, then the royal ballet in la scala, the royal ballet in the UK, and then all that time appearing in ABT during the spring.

Why not? Life is short.

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