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October 26, 2015


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I wondered why ABT attempted Balanchine at NYCB's home base. Especially when their dancers are not trained for the speed the choreography requires.

Their Valse was indeed slow, but even with the tempo change, Hee Seo could not keep up. She started out bright but became noticeably winded as dancing progressed. I could see her feet dragging a little when she ran behind the Corps.

At this point in time, I'm wondering if the Balanchine Trust is hurting his ballets more than they are helping them. No company will ever be able to perform the ballets like NYCB or even Suzanne Farrell Ballet. Heck, even Gelsey Kirkland could stage them better. The rest? Why not let them do what they do best? It won't be Balanchine but at least it wouldn't be a mess.

I also agree that it seems they are deliberately hiding Courtney Lavine. There was no reason at all for her to be banished to the back row in Brahms-Haydn Variations.

IMO, the best Balanchine that we have seen ABT dance in the past 20 years is Mozartiana, especially Nina Ananiashvili's interpretation which she learned directly from Suzanne Farrell.

Haglund, I do you hope you write at length on why Ms. Lavine is being held back. Whether it is Copeland or ABT Management that is the driving force, it needs to stop. I do find it curious that for all her "talk" of being a champion for diversity, she has failed to ever mention that there is another ballerina of color currently at ABT. I agree with melponeme on the point about the Balanchine Trust. If a company can't do it justice, they should just not perform Balanchine ballets.

Thanks, SM.

Insightful review. I was lucky enough to see the Friday evening performance and share your enthusiasm for Spectre. Roman Zhurbin was impressive as Death in Green Table. Even without Marcelo's height and star quality, Roman commanded the stage and the role, IMO.

I suspect that Courtney Lavine is not being propelled in her ABT career because her presence exposes the lies Copeland/her media agent used to create their superstar juggernaut myth.

One - Lavine was an SAB student and would have most likely been invited to join NYCB if ABT has not swooped in to invite her to ABT early. (https://worldofballerinas.wordpress.com/2015/03/13/courtney-lavine-abt-corps-de-ballet-cocolavine-on-ig/) Copeland, in her book, implied SAB (NYCB) of racism in not accepting her.

Two- One of the main arguments Copeland uses is that her body has to be accepted for diversity and to represent AMERICA. However this argument has the unspoken implication that black dancers can't achieve classical body standards. Lavine shows that this is not true.

For Lavine's sake I hope that she starts to get bigger dance roles. But considering ABT's track record, I hope she also has an exit strategy.

@SM. I have noticed on her Instagram page that she NEVER and I mean never posts pictures of herself with female ballerinas. Mainly her photos are self-promotion and marketing. Some are selfies. Very few with fellow male dancers. And absolutely zero with any other female dancers. I wonder how many people are in her ear regarding stuff like this? It seems she has some crazy manager or patron that is treating her like Carlotta from Phantom.

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