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November 14, 2012


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I bet Cornejo will be paired with Osipova in Swan Lake. Sickening but it will be the most talked about Swan Lake in NYC in recent history. Like it or not Osipova has media and casual fans fawning over her. People think ballet is a sport now, we can thank poor marketing of ballet and emphasis on certain elements of technique for this preference.

When is McKenzie's contract up? I don't know if ABT can attract former ballerinas the caliber of Kolpakova to work there. I thought Kolpakova lives in Russia most of the time now? Always thought ABT should have tried to hire Tatiana Terekhova when she worked over at Boston Ballet.

Hi Genna. Thanks for that nightmarish thought of a Cornejo-Osipova pairing, but I doubt that McKenzie would ever give Herman two S.L. performances. This is just a guess, but some of the TBAs within the casting look like they could be held for 40 year old Acosta who is years past his prime although still rightly and dearly adored in the U.K. It would be another travesty of artistic justice to hand over any roles to him instead of using the fine talent that has been home grown at ABT.

There are lots of retired principal ballerinas around with great classical expertise in the iconic roles. Why aren't they working permanently at ABT?

I'm guessing that Gomes will get one of those SLs - with either Osipova or Murphy. He's partnered both in SL - Osipova in her debut in the role last year in St. Petersburg. He's not down for any SLs yet and he's in performances the weeks before and after, so presumably he'll be around. Ditto for Osipova. The mystery is who the second male will be in the TBAs.

It is truly a sign of the dismal state of affairs at ABT when the audience assumes that regardless how inappropriate Osipova is, she still will be handed the S.L. role on a silver platter. But that's the truth. ABT will throw any damned crap on stage so long as people buy tickets. If they thought they could do it, they'd stuff Beyonce in a tutu and sell her as the next great classical ballerina.

Is it bad to actually want to go to see in person Osipova's train wreck of a Trocks interpretation of Swan Lake? Because I am seriously tempted to do so mainly to see the awfulness in all its glory. But then doing so would just contribute to ticket sales to her performances. I am conflicted.

Genna, there is enough evidence of Osipova's swan artistry on YouTube to answer that question. Don't patronize and support what you don't want presented. I will skip Gomes rather than see him try to legitimize an Osipova Swan Lake or anything else she dances. With so many ABT ballerinas desperate for a chance to dance that role, it is almost unthinkable that he would stoop to being on a bill with her.

So sad about the fate of Georgina Parkinson's proteges. Didn't the same thing happen to Veronika Part in St. Petersburg? My understanding is that her coach died and no one else took her under her wing and that was the major reason she came to the US.

Hi Angelica. I think I heard that, too.

Will things have to get much, much worse before they get better? This state of affairs is highly discouraging. Is there light at the end of the tunnel, or must we all witness the decline of ABT?

I don't know. The ABT board just doesn't have a clue how badly the company needs a new director.

Perhaps it will need to hit ABT severely in the coffers before the board realizes the company needs new direction... and by then it might be too late.

When ABT gets hit in the coffers, what they do is hire a new director of membership, not a new artistic director, alas.
Who would be a likely successor, in any event? I think the people we would prefer (Bocca, Corella, Carreno, for example) are unlikely to be approached, and Ratmansky (who likes those Russians) would probably be tapped.

Bocca just re-signed for another 5 years in Uruguay. If, unfortunately, the situation in Spain continues to deteriorate, it would seem that Angel's company might not be able to sustain itself. If that were the case - knock on wood, it doesn't happen - Angel would be a good choice. Stiefel has another 1 1/2+ years to go on his NZ contract. Cynthia Gregory is 66 years old and probably wouldn't want to make a long term commitment, but she might sign on for two years if Stiefel would then come back. Whoever the new director ends up being, he has to arrive with a mandate to reverse course.

Do we know when ABT's current AD's contract expires? Is there really a possibility of a new AD?

No, we don't know, but it seems like the ABT board presumes he has tenure.

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