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June 01, 2014


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Just to report from across the plaza on Sara Mearns's debut in Sanguinic on Saturday. I thought her performance was adequate, but paled coming between her own Walpurgisnacht and Ashley Bouder's Choleric... The steps weren't as clean, but much more exciting than Abi Stafford's. Not on the level of Jennie Somogyi though (is she injured again? I don't believe she has danced since last spring).

Jared Angle substituted for Zachary Catazaro. Great partnering of course.

Hi Fan Z.

Yes, Jennie Somogyi has been injured. Her Sanguinic shoes are going to be tough to fill. Nobody else presently in the company dances the role with the weight and force so into the ground like a modern dancer. She is truly unique and much missed. Bouder could probably come close, but she's too fantastic a Choleric for us to give up. Sara will probably find her way through it eventually.

Thanks for the report. I wish I could have been in two places at once on Saturday afternoon.

I was there at the Saturday matinee performance (Sarah Lane/Daniil Simkin) and I too did not expect that I would enjoy Simkin. You astutely point out that he's so far been good at solo roles (his Ali was very good, his Lensky on the other hand..)

As a Lane fan, I must say her dancing was gorgeous and effortless and she looked extremely cute (for lack of better word) in this role. I must point out tho, she ended two of her variations about 1-2 counts before the music ended. kinda awkward.

I'm another Sarah Lane fan, and I can't help but think that with more opportunities to dance leading roles, for which she would hopefully be entitled to coaching by Kolpakova, she would learn quite quickly to finish with the music and more besides.

Someone somewhere else commented that they didn't think she commanded the stage. I didn't see her in Coppelia because I was out of the country, but her Aurora last season certainly commanded the stage and then some. She is hungry to command that stage. What she needs is more opportunities!

Thanks Leon and Angelica for the comments.

Sarah ended her full set of fouettes without the customary double or triple pirouette thereby causing her to finish early. I must have missed the second early finish that Leon referenced. I didn't consider the first to be a sign of weakness in technique or style or artistry, nor is it something that we see from Sarah as a habit or even now and then. It was an imperfection but also an aberration.

The tendency, Angelica, over at "somewhere else" i.e. BalletAlert is to suggest that if there were imperfections in a performance, then it was a bad performance and we should all be indignant and disappointed. "She fell off pointe" is a favorite exclamation even when it isn't accurate or true.

If anyone can point to a performance that was perfect in all respects with no losses of balance, no missteps, no missed cues, no imperfect arabesques, no tour landings that missed fifth position, etc., etc., then that person wasn't watching carefully. The point of going to the ballet for some of those people is to quickly find shortcomings that they can blurt out in four words or less to make themselves sound like experts. And then there are those who don't want to offer any kind of any opinion until they've read what everyone else has written to insure that they don't stand by themselves on any issue. This blog gets hundreds of visits from the Ballet Alert server every month. They use this blog as an uncredited source for their discussions all the time. The monitor who is affiliated with ESPN visits this blog frequently for updates. While there are some very articulate, sincere, and knowledgeable posters on BalletAlert (and other forums such as Critical Dance) for whom I have tremendous respect, it also has it share of idiots. It's no secret that both dancers and media infiltrate that forum in an effort to steer public opinion. So my point is, take it all with a grain of salt.

Hey, Haglund,

I should have suspected that most of the post at that other place are disingenuous. That explains a lot.

The best part of seeing frequent frequent performances and immersing one's self in the culture of the craft is that it becomes a process. Sometimes, seeing how a dancer gets out of trouble can be just as rewarding as a perfect performance. However, there are some dancers I can no longer endure, I don't care how what the package is.

I may have seen a perfect performance, however. A Part/Gomes Swan Lake at the Kennedy Center 3 or 4 years ago. It still is fresh to me. It was the fourth time I had seen them in the ballet and it was the best ever.

Hi, dc.

I'm incensed that we have not had one pairing of Part & Gomes this spring, and I've gone to a lot fewer performances because of it.

Like you, their Swan Lake is burned into my memory. Last year, I skipped all of Swan Lake week at the Met after seeing the YAGP documentary when they performed the Act II PdD. I didn't want to corrupt the memory with the marginal pairings that ABT was offering that year.

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