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June 04, 2015


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I was also at the matinee and found the afternoon really dull. Stella was the only one with any sense of character (and of course was elegant as always). Hee Seo had some pretty moments but was about as compelling as a dishrag and her chemistry with Stearns was non-existent, which made the whole narrative fall flat.

Hi, Joyce.

"flat" perfectly describes it.

Seo should have never been promoted. Technically and artistically she was not ready. I don't like Boylston either. She's inelegant, but atleast she can technically get through a performance. Seo can't even do that nor act her way out of a paper bag. I wonder what the Mariinsky thought of her when she was invited to perform? Probably not much since she so far hasn't been invited back to perform. Judging from that video of her on their Youtube page, it looked like her usual bland performance. She is one of the many horrible ambassadors of the current ABT. Your "best" can't even do a double pirouette consistently...

Hi Tiffany. I believe that McKenzie knew that Seo wasn't ready yet but pulled the trigger early simply because the company was about to embark on a tour to South Korea. He figured that she'd bring herself up to speed quickly after the promotion. Ha.

Since Gelsey Kirkland is doing such a great job with her dancers, why not just replace KM with her? You know she would not promote dancers who are not ready and would also raise the level of artistry and technique.

SM, it's much more complicated than that. While Gelsey has done extremely well with her company and school, it's not a company of 85 dancers with a $35+ million budget. I admire Gelsey more than I can convey, but at this point in time, it is not a good fit.

No self-respecting, qualified potential director would take the job at ABT under the current circumstances in which the strategy advocates importing stars and using the company essentially as backup to them. The company would have to completely abandon that strategy and eliminate the Board and administrative hacks from being involved in artistic personnel decisions. You have David Koch running the company as a hobby for which he is the Sugar Daddy. He relishes the power that comes with being Sugar Daddy and will run ABT into the ground before he acknowledges his poor judgement. I recommend forgetting about ABT and focusing on one of the many companies that already surpasses ABT in artistic product.

KM has always cast Stella so oddly. She is a more natural Nikiya than Gamzatti, or Giselle than Myrtha, though she has distinguished herself in the latter roles. TEN years ago she was listed in Dance Magazine as "one to watch," based on her Gamzatti. I have always wanted to see her Odette.

Ironically my favorite Stearns performance happened when he had to step in for Cornejo at the last minute to partner Sarah Lane in T&V. Strangely they were a good match.

It's rather telling that veteran Luciana Paris was the best shade. And I wonder if the corps will completely fall apart when Gemma Bond is no longer at its helm. We can't blame the youngsters coming into this tattered situation, but I think things will get worse once some of the more experienced company dancers retire. Not that I really know the situation, but I can only imagine morale is low. A far cry from the days someone like Jennifer Alexander was such a leader rallying the troops.

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