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November 18, 2014


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I just put my life on hold for nine minutes and 10 seconds to watch the Kirkland-Baryshnikov Nutcracker excerpt linked to in this post, and I urge you all to do the same. Thank goodness this performance has been captured on video, and thank you, Haglund, for sharing it with us.

You're welcome. To think that this performance is from nearly 40 years ago - really, who has even come close to Gelsey in "putting it all together" since the 1970s?


Beautiful as Stella is, Gelsey was truly in a category all her own.

I agree, Haglund. Being in a category of one's own is what distinguishes greatness. I only wish Stella had been given more of a chance. It's just that when you asked the question "Who has even come close....?" I wished it could have been Stella.

I agree. So much talent has been squandered. Stella, Sarah, Yuriko, Simone - and that only accounts for the most recent decade.

Whatever happened to Simone? Can she come back to ABT?

Hi, Jose.

Many, many, many people have been asking about former ABT soloist Simone Messmer who left San Francisco Ballet at the end of last season.

Her dancing has always been so far above and beyond others who seemed to be handed her opportunities (Boylston, Seo, Copeland). We really were cheated out of seeing her fine performances. She was always far more classical, far more technically assured, far more educated, and infinitely more interesting than those other three combined. I hope we have the opportunity to see her on a main stage again. I really do.

Imagine what a great company ABT would be right now if it had Simone, Yuriko, Jared, Maria Riccetto, Stella, and Sarah helping to lead the way as its principals. We could be proud instead of embarrassed by half the principals who don't deserve to be there.

I've been watching that Kirkland/Baryshnikov Nutcracker since I was a child in rural Ohio. That set a nearly impossible standard for all of my future ballet-going.

"Impossible standard" says it exactly. Thanks for stopping by H.H., Missy.

I got that Mastercard presale alert. Any word of the quality of the production through the grapevine? I'll be interested to see what they do to the story. It's not my favorite movie as the story is quite odd and I feel like the ballet portions go on for far too long with little to no relevance to the plot. Gene Kelly's dream ballet sequences can feel a bit indulgent to me and AAIP is at the more indulgent end of the spectrum.

Hi, cat. No word yet, but since it opened on Saturday night, we should have some reviews pretty soon. I'm looking forward to it mostly because it's been apparent for some time now that Wheeldon's choreographic concepts were moving in the direction of musical theater. It's also been apparent for some time that Robert Fairchild is a natural for the musical theater stage. I'm cautiously optimistic.

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