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November 09, 2011


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WOW, that bad?
Sascha and Stella should have been promoted LONG TIME AGO! It's good that Stelle got to dance the Sleeping Beauty in NZ. I'm really not impressed with all the (Russian) guest principles while the homegrown American dancers who are just as good don't get to be where they should be.

wow- that was harsh! i didn't see last night but saw them at bard & i really liked the volpi piece- only i felt the first 5 minutes or so were the best part & then it lost steam a bit.
anyway, watching sascha's upper room from front row center with no orchestra pit in between was an experience i'll never forget- he was absolutely riveting. i couldn't take my eyes off him- the other guys were great but he was SO much better, this wild, sensual, animal being--- i had to scrape my jaw off the floor. (and yeah, he's ripped. my god)

you should not be able to talk like that, and it shows that you really dont know anything about ballet. isabella Boylston was absolutely fabulous last night ! if her legs go higher up, it's certainly not her fault ! Basically, you are reproaching her to dance better than anyone else, and reproaching her that you could not help but notice. this is unbelievable

Not so, Ju. If Isabella's leg goes up higher than those with the others in her ensemble or if she holds a move longer, or employs different timing when unison is called for, it is indeed a fault. Having watched In the Upper Room for 25 years with many casts, I know what the bombers are supposed to look like and the importance of unison in their movement. Last night was a disappointment.

I have never enjoyed watching Isabella Boylston. Her lack of refinement was egregiously evident when she danced alongside Julie Kent in last spring's Bright Stream.

I have mixed feelings about Macauley's review of the opening night gala. On the one hand, it's nice to hear something positive about ABT from him. On the other hand, I tend to think that you, Haglund, have got it more right.

Hi Angelica. Macaulay is treading lightly and laying low, as we are approaching the anniversary of one of his worst transgressions. He doesn't want anyone to be reminded of it.

Hi Haglund, I actually think I know what you mean! Does it have to do with a certain dancer at NYCB? The reason I ask is that there have been, IMHO, so many transgressions, and I haven't kept a record. But this one comes immediately to mind.

You guessed it!

Also, Macaulay wants to encourage ABT to do more of this type of programing because it's easier for him to mask his lack of dance technique knowledge in his writing. There are literally millions of people in this country who know more about ballet technique than Macaulay which presents a problem for him in every ballet review. But when it comes to modern dance, he can fudge and pontificate and exasperate 'till the cows come home without incurring criticism because of the lack of standardization in modern dance. In short, he's more secure writing about modern dance because it's easier to fake it.

Read his review of Wed night's performance. He actually complimented Veronika Part and delivered a backhanded compliment to Stella Abrera (who by the way is one of ABT's absolute masters of modern choreography) - two world class dancers who he tends to trash or ignore. Of course, Stella's a stunning classical dancer as well. It would be thrilling to see her in Ratmansky's Nutcracker (as Clara) in the event an opening occurred because of someone's unfortunate injury. I noted that Hee Seo has again been replaced in all of her performances this week.

Hi Haglund, I don't know what I'd do without you. I might still be posting on that censoring web forum.

Why can't I find Macaulay's review of Wed night's performance? Is it only online? Have you got a link? I want to read him say something--anything-- complimenting Veronika Part, whom I absolutely adore. Should I be satisfied with a backhanded compliment to Stella Abrera?

I read somewhere that there's a 100% chance that a professional dancer will be sidelined by an injury at least once in his/her career. It's sad when injuries begin to plague a dancer and hold back a career. If I prayed, I'd pray for Stella every night.

Oh--and of course you're absolutely right about Macaulay's ignorance. Was he ever a dancer himself? If not, I don't think he should be the Times's dance critic--or any dance critic, for that matter!

Angelica, the review of Wed's performance is on line here:

And to answer your question, no, Macaulay has never stood at the barre.

Thank you, Haglund. I wonder whether this review will appear in my edition of the Times tomorrow. Today's edition printed the review of opening night. I read this second review twice, and admittedly it's late and I've had a long day, but I declare that I couldn't understand a word he said in terms of picturing what went on during the performance. This guy drives me insane. How did he ever get this job anyway? What are his so-called qualifications? End of rant.
Maybe you will replace him some day.

Yes, the review appeared in today's paper up here in the back woods of Westchester. Thinking it over, it strikes me that Macaulay's description of Veronika Part's "handsomely statuesque qualities" is also a backhanded compliment (or some such) because it says nothing about her dancing. However, as you point out, he clearly has no basis on which to form opinions about classical ballet or classical ballerinas. Okay, this will be my last post on this thread, I promise.

Hey, Haglund, just a quick question. You've been going on and on about Macaulay (comments which I totally agree with), and it's been mentioned that he has no qualifications to be a dance critic. So, what are your qualifications?

Yes, I do agree that Macaulay's review of ABT's opening night was unneccesarily harsh. And I don't think that the comment about Veronika Part was complimentary--"statuesque" could not only mean dignified, but also has an underlying tone of "big and solid." Well, at least that's how I see it.

40+ years at the barre and regional company performing. Also Julie, I'm not a paid critic in a publication that has a readership of a million. This is a blog. You couldn't pay to read it if you wanted to.

I took Macaulay's comment about VP as complimentary. I was at the performance. "Statuesque" is probably a better description than my first thought when she came out in her bright blue unitard and stood in front of Vitali who was in a bright red unitard, which was "OMG - she's a goddess."

Haglund, I hope you didn't read my question as rude--It's just you cloud yourself in mystery.

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