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May 17, 2018


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Bravo, Haglund, for your exactly observed appreciation of this deeply moving performance which has been replaying itself in my mind's eye since yesterday. As you wrote, there was no showboating: So far as Lane and Simkin are concerned, it was less a performance than it was a consecration that revealed why "Giselle" is a pinnacle work of Western art.

This performance was fantastic and I so wished Lane and Simkin had another night to really cement the work that they put into this ballet. Why, after all the raves they received for their debuts last year, were they not given an opening night or weekend evening performance? Meanwhile the one who shall not be named fell flat on her backside over simple pirouettes.

I was part of the group that stayed to cheer and clap. We were rewarded with a second curtain call by Lane and Simkin. They both looked so happy.

Melponeme_l - Me too. What a wonderful performance. It was totally worth taking the afternoon off from work to see this pairing.

Great review, and spot on, as always Haglund. You nailed it with the peasant pas - it WAS the height. They each danced well on their own, but the partnering pieces were a a bit of a mess. Noticed same issue with Myrta and the balancing leg for the arabesques.

I so desperately want to see this pairing again, and with Danil's imminent departure, I know it is unlikely.

I keep a little quote on my nightstand: "The only reason for mastering technique is to make sure the body does not prevent the soul from expressing itself."

That is exactly what those two ARTISTS did on Wednesday. Every technical feat was expression. You could comment on the speed, precision, height of jumps, number of turns, but what the audience took away was passion, desperation, love, understanding, heartbreak....It was so beautiful. I used to think that I loved going to the ballet to escape the outside world, but it seems to me that I go now to remember what is great in the world!
This couple should be doing a weeks' worth of Giselles together. With the right PR, ABT could have plastered their pictures and stories all over this city and sold so many tickets.
I am so excited to see Sarah Lane in La Bayadere. She is remarkable!!
(you know how she got dropped into Swan Lake at the last minute last year? Perhaps if we all wish hard, that will happen with Juliet....)

I don't know where you were sitting, Haglund, but I was able to snag a ticket in the orchestra for this performance through TDF. (I took the day off from work to see Sarah in this) At the end of the performance, the entire orchestra was on their feet, giving both of them a standing ovation. I don't know if I have ever seen that at ABT. It was a magical afternoon indeed.

Glad you were there Haglund! I had to live vicariously because a Wednesday matinee was just not a possibility for me. So incredibly annoyed at casting. I just can't even form the words... I hope to gracious God that Daniil returns next year to partner Sarah. Otherwise, I don't know what will happen with her Giselle given that Copeland monopolizes Cornejo most of the time and he is getting older.

I heard Misty's performance was it's usual subpar crapfest complete with fall on backside. But I also heard that Stella was not in strong form either. I think she languished on the vine too long.

I, too, was totally overcome by Sarah and Daniil's performance on Wednesday. I was at the Hallberg-Osipova Giselle last evening, and want to put words to the difference I experienced between the two performances. Sarah and Daniil were so completely transformed into Giselle and Albrecht that I believed in their dance reality 100%. Watching Hallberg and Osipova, I felt I was watching the story within the story, in other words, this was the story of Hallberg and Osipova, his long and painful recovery, how much he yearned to dance this ballet with her again, and to do it on the Met stage. Who were Giselle and Albrecht? They were simply the means to bring their personal stories to fruition.


Frankly, the special "partnership" that Hallberg and the media have been hard-selling has never come across the footlights, IMO. They may have a special partnership between them as professionals that makes the performance feel special to them, but that's not the partnership that I much care about. I want to see it come across the footlights. While I didn't see last night's performance, their previous ones just didn't seem like anything special -- other than being extremely hyped. They're a long way from Bocca and Ferri.

I refused to buy tickets to the Hallberg/Osipova performance. Simply because I didn't want to reward the company for continual bad casting, promotions and PR.

The cold hard truth is, this company has the talent. It has all the talent it needs. But it is purposefully burying this talent for false gold. But heck, at least the SPONSORS got their name in the playbill next to the dancers. Right? Thats what really matters to the leadership of this company.

Thank you for your thoughtful and detailed review. Lane and Simkin were spectacular, though there Act II was slightly less finessed than last year. You get the sense when Lane is onstage that she lives and breathes this role. Soulful is the best way I can think to describe it.

It’s a shame about Shevchenko’s bobbles in the arabesques because I think she could be a great Myrta, and I liked her steely take on the role.

I went back and forth a lot getting tickets to the Osipova/Hallberg Giselle, but ultimately I worried it would feel more like an “event” rather than a heartfelt performance. I consider myself a Hallberg fan, but the dancer he was when he left for Russia still hasn’t returned. I’m not going to seek out his performances (what few ones there are) any longer.

I've purchased tickets to every Sarah Lane performance this spring, but very consciously avoided Osipova & Hallberg. ABT steals enough from its audiences, both financially and aesthetically, by hiking ticket prices and keeping Lane away from leading roles, and I won't play along by supporting the Osipova hype. They deliberately jack up ticket prices for all their "superstar" performances (both foreign and domestic superstars, that is), as well as relegating Lane & Simkin to only one Giselle, a Wednesday matinee at that, where much of the audience seemed bored and disinterested, instead of the two she (and we) should have. And that's in addition to keeping us from seeing her again in Swan Lake, not to mention her long-awaited Juliet. Lane was so wonderful on Wednesday, she should be dancing the lead in every ballet, and I feel cheated. However, I'm anticipating much more fabulousness from her upcoming debuts, especially the performances with Cornejo.

My anticipation is that McKenzie will continue to avoid allowing audiences to see Sarah in a wide variety of major roles such as Swan Lake and Juliet until she is too old or too permanently injured to dance them.

What's the reason for Sarah Lane's being neglected by McKenzie? Payback for her having spilled the beans regarding Natalie Portman?

Thanks for your great review, Haglund. Very detailed and accurate, as always. I was there and enjoyed every second of Lane's and Simkin's performance. I thought I'd be late because of the rain, but I ended up arriving very early. I happened to catch a large group of teenage girls who were there on a tour to visit a certain celebrina fakerina. They were, well, loud and not one of them mentioned actual ballet or anything related to ballet. Luckily, they went on their little tour (they had a guide) rather quickly.
The performance was great so I quickly forgot all about the annoyance I witnessed an hour earlier. Oh and I was definitely one of the people refusing to leave until we got a second curtain call. So well deserved.

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