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December 22, 2018

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I totally agree with you: Julian’s absence from the finale was bizarre. No one had mentioned him like he never existed. So clumsy... But Skylar was a real star of the evening and the entire 3rd season. What a grace, poise and class! No wonder that judges were smitten by her and kept praising her gifts. She made us proud.

You said it best. She made us proud.

Nice interview with Shevtsova here:

https://www.lapersonne.com/en/post/ksenia-shevtsova

Thanks for the link, Shawn.

Not only did Skylar bring her talent and graciousness to the program, I believe she brought a new audience of American viewers to it as well (albeit via the internet). This viewer in particular is extremely happy she did!

So true, LLF.

Skylar is the undeniable “break out” star of the Big Ballet program. She showed the toughest audience in the world what American ballet has to offer and just wowed them. Blew them away. I told her on social media recently that she was one of the loveliest dancers I’d ever seen and that abt was LUCKY to have her. She thanked me. But unfortunately I fear that abt will just stall this lovely dancer’s career. Skylar has proven with this program of what she capable of and abt will just let it all go to waste. As much as I want to keep conveniently seeing her in nyc, I wish for her sake she’d leave for a company that will appreciate her. Jeffrey Cirio was a principal still doing the sw pas de trois. With Sarah and Skylar. He wanted more and left. Skylar should too.

Side note, I also find Julian’s absense strange. It doesn’t seem like he was injured or sick or had some kind of emergency. But I did notice that he stopped following Skylar on Instagram. And in recent posts from the two of them about the competition, neither one mentions the other. They thank their coach, the judges but not each other. It’s weird, especially given their complimentary posts about each other back in July after their rehearsals in Paris. Both had lovely things to say about each other. Now...nothing. Julian didn’t thank Skylar for stepping in last minute and saving his ass. Skylar didn’t thank Julian for including her. This silence form them both is weird. But no matter. The Russian audience got to experience Skylar and that’s what matters.

Re Julian. I have no idea whatsoever what happened with him on the show. I think the judges were particularly tough on him. During the final competitive episode, they not only trashed his dancing while praising the noncompeting Skylar, but they were viciously critical of the Balmain costumes and Sebastien Bertaud's choreography. The ballet was not any kind of a smash hit in Paris when POB premiered it and was discussed then more for the illumination sewn into the sparkly costumes than for the actual dancing. It was intended to be a Renaissance in terms of re-awakening classical dance for today's audience, but well, you know, (eye roll).

Julian seemed quite able to weather the criticisms leveled at him week in and week out, but it's possible that the insults to Balmain and Bertraud could have caused him to decide "enough is enough" and withdraw from the show. He may have a desire to dance at POB one day or collaborate again with Bertraud or Balmain. Perhaps Julian needed to take a stand to defend them. Afterall, it was he who was competing and being judged, but the panel seemed to go after Bertraud and Balmain, too.

Of course, if I'm on target with my theory (again, I know nothing of the details), then it would seem that there could have been alternative ways to deal with the situation rather than simply walking out. Julian is young, very young, and that may have contributed to a rash decision. But he'll be fine, the Big Ballet program will be fine, and Skylar will be fine.

Yes, I agree. They’ll all be fine. Skylar is certainly the better for having gotten to participate. I did enjoy them together as partnership.

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