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October 16, 2015

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That is very odd that the MET has the casting news but the main ABT website does not at the moment.

I'm only interested in seeing Abrera and Lane. I think it is really awful that they are not in the Golden Cockerel together.

It seems that Cornejo has drawn the Kochetkova short straw. Why bring in her into the company for him when they already had a ballerina with proven partner chemistry with him (Lane)? None of it makes sense. And I can't help but notice that their Sleeping Beauty is now knocked down to one performance.

Some of the casting does seem manipulative. How unfortunate.

Hi, Haglund -- I hope you won't be too disheartened with the casting. Veronika has a very busy season! Ratmansky is featuring her in everything, basically, and she gets TWO Corsaires (quite a surprise). I'm sad she won't be given a second shot at Sylvia. Even Macaulay raved about her dancing in the grotto scene. Cory showed marked improvement in his Siegfried last year, but he was still not up to Veronika's level of drama. I'm just curious to see her finally paired with a different Siegfried after all these years. I saw both of her Don Q's with Whiteside and they seemed to have such a nice rapport (and his partnering was quite secure in the second year). Also, I feel as if Whiteside has dramatically refined his dancing since being thrown into nearly every lead role, while also toning down his makeup and pompadour hairstyle. Of course I'd love to see her with Gomes or Bolle, but I hope you won't miss the opportunity to see the true Swan Queen take flight just because of Whiteside! Also, I feel like there's a good chance we may see another Gomes Rothbart for the Veronika SL, since he's not dancing the night before.

I think Stella will fit Ratmansky's Aurora perfectly. Can't wait.

I agree fully about Semionova. She seems to have everything it would take to be a wonderful dancer, but despite her prodigious technique and willowy physique, her performances just end up...bland. Haven't seen enough of Kochetkova to judge.

So is Hallberg gone from ABT for good?

I agree that poor Herman has gotten quite a poor deal with being saddled so much with Kochetkova and Copeland, two women who don't begin to approach his level of artistry and classicism and never will. It looks like I'll probably only see Herman twice this season -- with Ferri in R&J and Lane in SB -- along with possibly Seven Sonatas so long as there is an escape route around that Firebird. I cannot believe that ABT is foisting that on us again.

The TBAs for the male leads all seem to fit Hallberg; so, possibly we'll get a splashy (and very welcome) comeback announcement in the coming months. Seeing as McKenzie was at NYCB last night checking out all the new work, maybe he could consider borrowing one or two or three guys to help out after NYCB's season ends in May. Or maybe he'll just realize that he can't compete and thrown in the towel.

FoF, having seen Veronika with Gomes and Bolle in Swan Lake, I can say that they are the best that ABT can offer. That said, it's apparent that ABT will not ALLOW us the best that it can offer because it detracts so much from the other casts. So, if they break up the best that they have and spread the goods among the mediocre, they think they will sell more tickets. It's moronic. I'm not going to spend money on the likes of Semionova just to see Gomes or Bolle. As much as I adore Herman, I'm not going to spend money to see him if it means that I have to put up with Kochetkova or Copeland. It's quite simple.

It looks to me as if Cornejo pulled rank or a favor to get Lane by his side for the Spectre de la Rose premiere next week. I thought it was a good sign for Spring but now it was definitely not.

McKenzie definitely has the dancers to compete with NYCB. He just won't use them. He has let Donors and Dancer Sponsors dictate his casting decisions. THAT is why we had the mess we see now. For Heavens sake the man danced with Makarova, he can't be that blind, not unless someone else is covering his eyes.

"If you want to see the best Ratmansky work, go to NYCB not ABT." You're absolutely spot on there. And his work for ABT is the worst of his oeuvre.

Abrera and Hallberg were a tantalizing match a decade ago. Ethereal yet earthy together—she brought something out in him. I have always wanted to see them paired in full lengths. They were so mystical in the Lar Lubovitch ballet Meadow during the 2006 City Center season, and they remain my favorite interpreters of Afternoon of a Faun. I get chills remembering. And his performance in The Green Table was his best dramatic role for me.

Those fall seasons were so good! You could tell who the real company dancers were because they would always appear in the fall. Part and Cornejo were sublime in Mozartiana in 2004. I just hate feeling that precious time in our favorites' careers has been squandered by endemic poor casting. That they've been mismanaged and stunted for a decade. But that's ABT for you.

I agree with your assessment, Annie H. Time is running out for our own great artists whose best years have been squandered while McKenzie and his amateur marketing schemesters try to impose their moronic solutions on the company. The only reason the company needs so desperately to build new audiences is that the existing one is fleeing due to lack of quality and lack of artistic vision at the company. Nobody but Valentino Carlotti and Susan Fales-Hill are buying tickets to see Misty Copeland's ludicrous "triumphs" and they buy in bulk to make it look like there is demand. What a bruised eye she has become for ABT - a company that doesn't understand the difference between purchased celebrity and hard-earned artistry. Having her and Kochetkova cast in Swan Lake instead of Sarah Lane, Stella Abrera, Yuriko Kajiya before she left, and now extremely competent soloists like Devon Teuscher and Luciana Paris makes ABT the laughing stock of the ballet world. It's all simply a sick and very sad joke.

Sarah Lane and Herman Cornejo would have been perfect casting for La Fille Mal Gardee!

Yep, you're so right, Elizabeth. And Sarah would be able to do the steps....

Well, it seems as though the Met website has UNpublished ABT's spring casting. Ha!

So Osipova cancels her whole fall RB season because of injury but is still scheduled at La Scala and now has dates with her BF Polunin in Russia as well. How does that go over in London? And why are they so crazy about her there with all the gorgeous ballerinas they have? And in every interview it's always stated that she is the Royal's prima.
Just wondering if it seems to anyone else she might be leaving the Royal to go back to Russia to be with Polunin since he doesn't seem to want to dance anywhere other than Russia?
Still don't see why they are considered so great.

Hi Yamile. To address your last statement - As we have learned in the past few years, if a dancer cannot earn artistry honestly, she can simply purchase celebrity as an alternative. The media's dance critics don't know the difference and the media's other culture writers don't care about the difference. The more erratic and unprofessional Osipova becomes, the more intriguing she is for the media to write about and promote as something important. Companies like RB and ABT think that helps their cause when, in fact, it drives away the core audience.

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