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August 04, 2017


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Wow -yes welcome back Luis! They're definitely going to need him with Craig gone and so few senior men left in the corps to lead the way.

I'll definitely withhold money from ABT (for ticket purchases) if Lane is forced back into soloist roles because of/in support of Kochetkova; e.g. still performing the Swan Lake pas de trois w/Gorak & Brandt while Kochetkova dances O&O ... will this ABT nightmare never end?

Rachel, ITA. Luis is a first rate Birbanto and the best Jester in Ashton's Cinderella that I've ever seen -- such a tremendous talent. I hope that Ratmansky utilizes him well in the new Harlequinade.

LLF, there's no chance of the nightmare ending while McKenzie is still AD. ABT has a lot of gall to expect the public to "celebrate" his 25th year this fall – with a gala, no less. We should call it The Galla.

I'm sad to see that Salstein has left the company. I enjoyed watching him in everything he was in this year. He had such good chemistry with all his partners.

You can't have Yuriko & Jared back!!! Love, Houston ;)

Haglund - thank you as always for so much information on the ballet world! Sad about Craig Salstein - I have always enjoyed his performances. I am curious as to why there were no corps women promoted to soloist this year. The soloist level is very male dominant and there is a wealth of talent from the female corps in which to promote.


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You're so right, Elizabeth, and there are even more corpsmen who should be moved up. Two corps women who have strong artistic and technical qualifications are Kaho Ogawa and Catherine Hurlin. There are others with less even qualifications who don't seem to be maturing regardless of their opportunities.

Wow! The numbers on the tax form tell the truth. I'm afraid that the Board will target the extremely nice Director of Membership for the decline in contributions rather than McKenzie himself, who is the one who makes the decisions regarding programming and casting.

True, Angelica. They'll target everyone but McKenzie and Moore. It's quite unbelievable how in a year of such losses, ABT's management got raises. McKenzie's total compensation increased by more than $3500; Ratmansky's increased by a whopping $95K. Moore was on track for a record-breaking salary increase, too, but she bailed out and ran West prior to the 4th quarter.

That fall season represents the worst taste of any so-called major ballet company. Every program is mostly unwatchable. How pathetic.

Interesting that you mention the fall season, Haglund. I was looking at the schedule trying to decide if there was any program at all that I wanted to attend, and I couldn't find a single one. Daphnis and Chloe has got to be the most boring ballet I've ever seen. I saw it a year ago with, of all people, Stella Abrera, one of my most favorite dancers, and even then it seemed interminable. I went to YouTube to try out some of the other ballets and for me, they were all zzzzzz.

Farewell, Craig. I was a real fan. I hope he moves on to more opportunities. I can't help but agree that that ABT is losing top talent in its prime due to its own actions. But welcome back to Luis!

Hi Haglund,

Thanks again for your top notch observations. In complete agreement re: kochetkova. The few times I've ever seen her dance where just to see Herman. It's so frustrating to see her (and the celebrina) dominate Herman and Daniil when Sarah, Cassandra and Skylar are available. At least we saw this past season how capable they are with Sarah's Swan Lake/Giselle and Skylar's Corsaire. Not that I except miserable McKenzie to take note.

They certainly wasted no time in eradicating Veronika from ABT existence. The cruel, shameful way ABT and McKenzie treated her has left a sour note that will not be forgotten. (And the fact that so few dancers acknowledged her departure on social media when they were all gushing over Diana was puzzling. Afraid of miserable McKenzie/ABT management?)

On a brighter note, I'm glad that Luis is coming back. The younger corp dancers could learn a thing or two from him.

I got some confirmation regarding Craig being the Dance Captain for Carousel, BUT he intends to return to ABT after this temporary Broadway stint. So, why on earth does ABT proceed to remove him from the roster?! Is there no end to McKenzie's disrespectful treatment of the artists? Why is Mr. Two Performances Per Year Bolle still listed as a principal dancer? Honest to god, it seems that McKenzie has a different set of rules for each dancer - which, of course, means that he has no rules at all.

Please note that over at NYCB, Robert Fairchild is still listed on the roster even though he's been on an extended leave for quite some time (and perhaps won't return given the occurrences over the summer - who knows...) Do you think Martins is going to remove Amar and Brittney from the roster because they are taking leaves to dance in Carousel? I doubt it.

I agree that the fall season provokes very little enthusiasm, BUT -- you simply cannot say "zzz" about Symphonic Variations, and dismiss it. True, ABT can't dance it as well as the Royal, but to lump a work of genius--and it's nothing less than Ashton's genius--in with a lot of second-rate repertoire is, well, let's just say miscalculated.

You're right about how ABT treats its dancers. They even left out Herman Cornejo from the Fall season brochure last year. If I remember correctly, both Fairchilds and Pazcoguin stayed on the NYCB roster during their Broadway stints.

I sure hope Robert Fairchild comes back.

Taking Salstein off the website even though he is only taking a sabbatical is odd and not a good sign. He is one of the most accomplished male soloists at ABT. He is also more than fully ready to be a principal. Heck, there are certainly enough small female dancers he could partner in main roles.

But dang, who would play Mercutio then? *shakes head*

I've given up on trying to understand the management of this company.

It is interesting that ABT seems to be able to continue to list Craig as one of the company teachers but can't seem to justify showing him on the roster.

Marcelo is taking a leave to be in The Red Shoes and is, according to ABT, not going to be part of the fall season. Have they dared to remove him from the roster?

Hi Haglund,

Thanks for your latest comments as always. I remember how shocking it was when Cornejo was omitted from the website last year. If dancers on maternity leave continue to be listed on a company site, then why aren't those on a "Broadway leave" listed? Maybe the people who manage the site are just a bunch of deadbeats. It seems like there's a total internet blackout of Veronika Part. All searches come up with old material. I am very sad that I won't see her dance again.

I have said it before and I am saying it again: " I don't want to see Kochetkova here in SFB" Tinny girlfriend has no artistry. Years after years I give her the benefit of the doubt, hoping one day she would mature into an artist. Guess what, some dancers have it and some just don't. I could not stand her to the point of leaving her full length performance during intermission: Eugene Onegin, Wheeldon's Cinderella... being a dancer myself, I respect dancers and always stay until the last minute of anybody's performance, but Kochetkova just bores me. All I see is Kochetkova being Kochetkova with her same old tricks, completely devoid of characteristic of any role she is portraying...

J.A.D., I tend to agree. I don't see anything other than a competition/gala dancer in Kochetkova. McKenzie is sending the wrong signals to the small dancers in the company by employing her.

Either ABT is not keeping their calendar up to date, or there are only two days (in Nebraska) that the company is performing from the 11 day State Theater season until the Met season. Can this be true?

They're not keeping the calendar up to date, SherryD. They have a Nutcracker planned in O.C., five days in Chicago, and I understand that there is some kind of China tour planned. Of course, the latter could be a question mark given that we are on the brink of war with North Korea because two dude presidents need to argue about whose dick is longer. Oh, excuse me, that wasn't very nice. Sometimes a missile is really just a missile...

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