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May 27, 2016


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I was also there last night, the only Fille I could see this season. What a charming, delightful confection for a hot summer night, but what a tragedy that 35% of the Dress Circle was unsold and empty.

Arron Scott was amazing. He's a star in the making. He's also the only Mercutio I've ever seen who excercized restraint in his death scene and didn't go OTT. I hope to see more of him in the future.

Gomes: what can one say? I thought he was perfect.

I thought Whiteside was better last night than I've seen him before. Maybe Stella brings out the best in him.

Thanks for your great review.


I was there too a lot of empty seats (why? It's a perfect ballet to take kids to!)
Abrera and Whiteside partner up well. Gomes was perfect. Aaron Scott did nearly steal the show. Overall it was a great performance.

Over at NYCB, they are running Midsummer Night's Dream this week and packing them into the theater. What is ABT's excuse?

Haglund, you have outdone yourself in this review with the video of the elephant playing with the ribbon! Where do you come up with this stuff? Brilliant, totally brilliant.

I was at the Met last night also, and for me your review captures the performance in pitch perfect style. I enjoyed the ballet much more last night than I did at the Wednesday matinee. Maybe because it was exciting to see Stella dance so exquisitely in her first leading role as a principal dancer. Maybe it was that in addition to Whiteside's partnering giving Stella complete security in her dancing, his acting gave her someone to "play off," so to speak. They were really engaged in a mutual endeavor, which was wonderful to see. In addition, Stella's port de bras are incomparable. I first discovered her 10 years ago dancing Lilac Fairy, and it was her port de bras that captured me then and held me these long and fraught 10 years. Finally she is getting her due.

Arron is an extraordinary dancer--everything he does is brilliant--and I do hope he will rise further in the company, which already has several shorter male principals.

Thank you for this wonderful review of last night's performance.

Thanks much for the comment, Angelica. After seeing how well last night went, I'm going to catch the last performance on Monday night. I'm sure that everyone will be even better, and that Marcelo's final Widow Simone might be one of those performances not to miss.

I plan to see this cast on Monday as well. I am pleasantly surprised with the positive comments about Whiteside's acting. IMO, that has been a real weakness of his in the past.

I saw last night's performance as well and I thought it was wonderful. Stella Abrera danced beautifully and I thought Whiteside did very well. I did like Scott the most. The only questionable element to the production was that Corps (dancing very well) with some exceptions were all shorter than Abrera. That led to Abrera having to life up the ribbons while trying to hold her attitude balance. It seems all the tall girls were assigned to Boyleston's performance.

It also saddened me to see that many seats were empty. And I fear McKenzie and Board will disingenuously point to this as them needing guest artists. Not addressing the fact that they don't concentrate PR efforts at lauding their own dancers who aren't named Copeland or Boyleston. If they treat their own company as shoddy goods so will customers. Its a self perpetuating cycle.

Hi Haglund -- thanks for the great review. We were there last night as well, and enjoyed Stella's lovely dancing. Also distressed that the house was not more filled. She barely got a curtain call. Can't help but feel she's been/is being "underserved" by mgmt and their marketing decisions. She deserves better, but whatever. Aaron Scott was outstanding. And while I'm not a huge fan of James, he did a masterful job with her (that bit in Act II, when he leans through the farmhouse door and lifts her up so easily....wow. I was reminded of a comment you made elsewhere about the men of ABT doing pushups....). And it was a hoot seeing Marcelo goof around -- hilarious.

This pastoral ballet was perfect for last night’s warm spring evening. I think everyone left the Met feeling just a little lighter than when they arrived. I loved seeing Stella Abrera in a role that brings out all the warmth and beauty of her dancing. I’m trying to see as many of her performances as I can from now on. I was less enamored of Whiteside’s performance than you were, Haglund; however, he is a fine technical dancer and his ability to bring off those lifts was quite an achievement. There were so many empty seats in the orchestra center last night that people on the sides had absolutely no trouble changing seats at the interval. I kept thinking how all of these wonderful dancers deserved better than that.

I remember seeing this production back in 2002 and 2003 and not caring for it all that much. I really wasn't expecting much this time around, but I wanted to see Stella so I went on Thursday evening... and I was surprised at how much I liked it! This is a very family friendly ballet. It's silly, yes, but not simply for children. People of all ages would enjoy this. I thought Stella was perfect in the role of Lise, and surprisingly, I was also quite impressed by James Whiteside. And Marcelo Gomes, always my favorite, nearly steals the show. I agree that the marketing department isn't doing their job. I also agree with Haglund that if you don't have other plans this weekend, get a ticket for Monday evening. This would be a perfect way to end the Memorial Day weekend—with some culture AND lightheartedness.

One of those empty seats in the orchestra was mine. I've been sick with a hideous bug I caught in Italy early this month and have missed three weeks of performances, but am finally better now. Looking forward to the rest of the season. Thanks for the lovely review, Haglund.

You're welcome, Laurel. Glad to hear that you'll be back in the Met saddle again soon.

Fabulous review of ABT, and love the elephant video too! Thanks Haglund for the experience of seeing this performance through your words. Love the comments as well.

Note to ABT: TOUR PLEASE! Back in the day you frequented Chicago with a long run, and perhaps several ballet programs. Fond memories, but few opportunities to see you now. Saw you in Kansas City in 2001, and 2005, but you haven't appeared there since then. These are cities that appreciate the arts! Last request: More Stella, please!

Thanks, Georgiann.

True ABT has cut its national touring compared to what it did when I was a youngster. Chicago is an interesting case. There was a time when Chicago was known as a city that wouldn't support a classical ballet company. But the Joffrey has been winning over the city in recent years, particularly with its acquisition of more major full length story ballets.

Georgiann, maybe you should think about a trip to Chicago to see the Joffrey's new Nutcracker this year. While I have no specific knowledge of this, it seems that it might include a Ferris wheel since Christopher Wheeldon is basing his new production on old Chicago.

Thanks for your response, Haglund. I will plan on seeing the Joffrey's Nutcracker. I have always liked the Joffrey, and I plan my visits to Chicago around their ballets. Perhaps the Ferris wheel is a nod to Chicago's Columbian Exposition in 1892.

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