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February 08, 2012


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Ooooooolga, Ooooooonegin, Ooooooosipova. That's about how much thought goes into the casting.

LOL. You have to assume that the influx of Eastern European dancers is also the doing of Ratmansky. I don't know many who really want ABT to turn into an American version of the Bolshoi. I'm really sick of it all. His "Firebird" had better be damn good and worthy of closing a performance that has Ashton's "The Dream" as an opener.

That's very interesting. Do you think that Ratmansky is unhappy with American dancers and is specifically requesting the Russians?

No. I think Ratmansky likes the idea of bringing the dancers with whom he liked to work or would like to work with to ABT and he is terribly insensitive to the adverse effect it has on ABT's dancers, audience, and supporters.

Yes I agree with Haglund. I would hazard it's done mainly because Ratmansky sees himself as the discoverer of Osipova/Vasiliev (he is for whatever it's worth) and wants to share them with everyone he can. He seems fond of many of ABT's dancers and has plucked a lot of favorites out for his work, so that doesn't seem to be the problem.

It's interesting that his working relationship with Maria Alexandrova, who actually originated roles in many of the more famous Ratmansky ballets, hasn't enjoyed the same "benefits."

I suppose that if you're going to give the greatest living choreographer a 13-year (is that correct?) contract, you're going to have to let him choose his dancers. Isn't it similar to Balanchine having his favorites at different stages of his career? All the other dancers feel, and rightly so, as if they're invisible. Ballet is very cruel in that way.

Unnecessarily cruel.

Ratmansky's business arrangement with ABT should have stipulated that his efforts be dedicated to the ORGANIC growth of the dancers and institution of ABT - not trying to make it into his vision of the American Bolshoi.

If he wants to continue working with Osipova and Vasiliev, why doesn't he do some work at the Mikhailovsky? I'm sure that they would pay him very well. Why does he have to displace ABT's own dancers - our dancers - with his own imported preferences? He shouldn't have that luxury. The National Ballet of Canada, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Miami City Ballet - none of them are allowing Ratmansky to displace their dancers with imports to dance the works that he makes for them. That he can do that at ABT and also influence ABT to sideline its own dancers in favor of imports is a major artistic management failing.

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