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January 29, 2017


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Fantastic news! That is a great ballet with many juicy roles for dancers!!!

I am so excited about Mayerling & the rest of next season! Welch continues to surprise and delight. Wish he'd get around to promoting Tyler Donatelli, however. *grumblegrumble*

Hi, Diana!

You should be excited about getting Mayerling. ABT has dance/actors who would kill the roles in Mayerling, but ABT management told Lady Deborah MacMillan that the New York audience wouldn't understand the story -- this after rave reviews garnered by the Royal Ballet when they brought it to Lincoln Center years ago. One of our Haglund'eelers pointed out that it was more likely that ABT's reason had to do with the fact that the local dance critic doesn't like Kenneth MacMillan's choreography, which is an understatement, and has made a career out of dissing him in the name of supporting and promoting Ashton. Honestly, ABT would never understand how to and be able to execute a successful marketing plan for Mayerling. Houston Ballet seems to have a great marketing team that puts together fabulous videos; so, I'm expecting something that will make us crazy to see the production.

Any college student studying 19th century European history or literature should beat the door down to get into the theater to see Mayerling. The whole production - choreography, Liszt arrangement, sets, costumes, flashback technique - is brilliant.

Lady Deborah must be so happy that Houston Ballet is doing this work. They really hit it out of the ballpark with Manon in 2015. I wonder if Irek Mukhamedov will be involved in the staging -- oh lord -- or Viviana Durante. Haglund is working himself up into a tizzy already.

Not only Manon, but Gloria, too, which Houston Ballet performed last June. An exquisite, haunting performance with Yuriko as the ballerina and Charles Yoshiyama and Jared as the principal men. Barbara Bears, who performed the ballerina when HB premiered Gloria in 1989, helped restage it. I've always thought that Houston Ballet would be ideal for Mayerling given their success with Kenneth's ballets, but I never thought it would happen until now. Just ecstatic!

I traveled from Atlanta and saw the "third cast" in Manon in September of 2015. (I had hoped to see Yuriko and/or Jared but had to buy the ticket before casting was announced in order to get a decent airfare.) Karina Gonzalez and Charles-Louis Yoshiyama were exquisite in both their dancing and acting. The entire cast was wonderful. I could not imagine seeing a more satisfying Manon performance. And this was before Charles was promoted to principal, and I had just seen the Royal Ballet cinema screening.

I will definitely see Mayerling, and it doesn't even matter which dancers I see. (I would never buy an ABT ticket without knowing the cast up front.)

Thanks, Haglund - I've never regretted following your advice.

Patricia, thanks so much for the compliment and for continuing to read H.H. all these years.

If you haven't yet had an opportunity to watch the Mayerling video with Irek Mukhamedov and Viviana Durante, try to get it from Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Kenneths-MacMillans-Mayerling-Mukhamedov-Durante/dp/B00006G8HK . Their performances are absolutely, sleep-disturbing thrilling.

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