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November 05, 2018


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I thought ABT's Symphonie Concertante was a much more effective closer on Sunday than NYCB's somewhat disappointing Symphony in C was as an opener on Wednesday.

It was a delight to see Sunday's closing show. The orchestra was wonderful too. The history of each of the pieces was interesting to read.

I'm thrilled to hear Forster did well. I had no doubt of Devon and Christine - both have the technical chops for that ballet, but in my experience the single man can make or break the success of the piece. Having seen some real duds fill that role in past ABT seasons I had high hopes for Forster. He really first caught my eye as a standout when he danced a stepsister in Cinderella and I can't for the life of me figure out why he's not getting leads. Maybe the few he will get at MET will catch enough donors' attention to force McKenzie's hand....

Both Tom and Blaine Hoven have proven themselves to be principal-worthy/ready far more than Whiteside or Alex Hammoudi. The company should have been depending on them for the past four or five years instead of wasting time on Whiteside and giving too many plum opportunities to Hammoudi. When Alex is good, he's very good; but he is way too inconsistent to be continually entrusted with big principal roles.

I also want, like Rachel, to thank you for the vote of confidence for Tom Forster, who should have been given principal roles years ago.

Blaine Hoven looks as if he's been to ballet finishing school; his technique has become so refined that he's a pleasure to watch, despite not having perfect ballet proportions. I wonder who has been coaching him. I bring this up in particular because although I adore Calvin Royal III, and although he has perfect classical proportions, I feel he needs to bring his classical technique up to the level of his stage presence. I realize he's moved up very quickly, but he needs special attention to classical refinement, unless he's going to get by on his gorgeous face and body, his stage charm, and by focusing on the less classical ballets in the repertoire. I remember when he didn't point his feet, and now he does. He needs to find out who coached Blaine. I'd love to see him (Royal) in a classical principal role, but only when he's ready.

Also, I'm delighted to hear about Tom Forster. He deserves to be given the challenging principal roles now, before it's too late.

Thanks for this review Haglund, and for your rejection of New-York essentialism as just one more bias standing in the way of objectivity. As a neophyte--but nonetheless rabid--ballet fan, your work has greatly increased my enjoyment of the art.

Thanks much, Shawn.

I, too, am grateful for your summary review of the Balanchine orgy. And especially for correcting the vicious comments published elsewhere about Xander Parish's Apollo.

THANK YOU for pointing out the pompous dilettantes who refuse to see the beauty in non NYCB dancers. According to my experience many of those "experts" do not mind NYCB butchering Petipa. Have you seen their "Swan Lake"?(eyeroll) When NYCB does Petipa differently they say it's a "different version" but when a European company dances Balanchine suddenly it's an abomination? Double standard so much?

ABT really surprised me this time. Why can't they perform this beautifully(also very synchronized!) during their Spring season? Maybe it's time for them to find a new home theater where they can have more rehearsal time.

A new theater for ABT (and short of building one, where would you find one?) really has little to do with rehearsal time. That's a function on the number of weeks the company works, regardless of where in NYC they dance.

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