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June 05, 2019


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I would have bestowed the award (a gold-toed pointe shoe) on Christine Shevchenko for her extraordinary performance as the ballerina in "Deuce Coupe." It was sheer perfection.

She was excellent!

Any plans to subject yourself to Jane Eyre, Haglund?

Nope. The cast coupling was a turn-off from the beginning.

Terrible casting for Jane Eyre. The “ballet” itself does not look palatable and hasn’t exactly gotten glowing reviews. I would have rather seen Ashton or DeMille — where have they been!?

And speaking of Celebrina, she was not in one Ratmansky work this season so far (including The Seasons)and is not cast for any upcoming. I can only assume his choreography is too difficult for her now and either she took herself out voluntarily or Ratmansky requested she be pulled. Seems like a big deal, no? Ratmansky IS American Ballet Theatre at this point. I wonder if age/diminishing technique and strength are pointing her swiftly toward retirement. I imagine she has eyes on Hollywood post-ABT.

The NYT reports that Jane Eyre substituted for another full length ballet that had to be pulled. Any info?

I won't get up to NY to see Jane Eyre but I am interested. Boston Ballet is doing it next season as well.

Here's what the NYT writer wrote which, given the source, may or may not be accurate: "Then a crisis loomed. A full-evening program planned for this year’s Met season fell through." A full-evening program could have been a program of Balanchine works or possibly a full length ballet. In either case, it would be interesting to know WHY it fell through AFTER it was apparently planned. Was it someone's objection to McKenzie's casting? It would be quite understandable if someone from the Balanchine Trust objected to the inevitable insertion of Copeland and Boylston into leads, given what they've done in the past. Just HOW does a planned full-length evening program fall through for ABT?

I haven't been to as many performances of ABT this year because the casting is mainly horrible. ABT is sadly deluded into thinking that their star trio is Copeland, Boylston and Seo.

Sadly, Cornejo is injured and he has pulled out of some of his performances. I had a Saturday ticket to Le Corsaire. Now I'll have to grit my teeth and watch Whiteside.

He hasn't cancelled Manon yet, so I'm hoping he can recover.

The exciting thing about Jane Eyre is not its choreography but how it showcases some of the dancers' tremendous dramatic dancing, most notably Teuscher and Forster (different performances) as well as Trenary and Stephanie Williams. The Ratkmansky and Tharp programs plus this piece have allowed many non-principal dancers to demonstrate wonderful qualities not always seen in the traditional classical full-lengths. I would recommend seeing either the Teuscher or Boylston casts this week.

I don't plan to see it because of the cast pairs. That said, even if the pairs were different, I'd have to say that I've seen enough Angst & Yank of contemporary ballet to last me three lifetimes. Cathy Marston is not Kenneth MacMillan any more than William Forsythe is Balanchine or Justin Peck is Jerome Robbins.

I'm so looking forward to Sarah Lane's debut as Manon opposite Herman - I do hope he recovers.

The only performance I plan to see at ABT this year is Aran Bell in Swan Lake. He seems like a sweet, humble dancer so I decided to buy a ticket solely to see him dance. I wish Gisele Bethea had stayed at ABT, she would have been a great partner with Aran. But I am happy for her that she escaped from McKenzie's horribleness.

I’m so unenthusiastic about this ABT season. I’m gonna see a couple of performances of Manon, and a couple of performances of Sleeping beauty. That’s about it. I couldn’t make it to any of the Tharp or Ratmansky programs, either. Oh well.

Praying Herman will be able to dance Des Grieux.

This week, I received a survey from ABT via email after seeing Jane Eyre. I've been seeing ABT for years and don't ever remember having received one before. Questions included what questions would you ask the dancers and/or creator and how would you describe ABT to someone who's never heard of it. I'm so interested to know what prompted it.

Be careful how you answer that survey, because you might find yourself quoted in a marketing piece. It sounds like ABT is trying to find positive quotes to use which offset the negative opinions of the public and press.

I wouldn’t be surprised if we read about Copeland’s departure before years end. Maybe after the fall season at the Koch? To be out of all Ratmansky ballets this season...and he is the main artistic decision-maker at ABT. Not a positive sign.

I must say I'm shocked to see Copeland didn't get a single Princess Florine. Not that I'm disappointed. Also, I'm happy two of the new soloists, plus Brandt, are getting a chance at that role. I'm hoping to see some promising debuts as fairies this year.

And, as ever, Sun Woo Hong debuting as "Romeo" opposite Cate Hurlin's Florine ;). I wish Beauty wasn't been done over July 4th week/end.

LOL! We can't blame that one on the Met:


ABT needs to get their act together. Although I bought tickets to at least eight different performances last year, they never even bothered to send me a brochure for this season. Contrast that to the Met and Carnegie Hall, who sent me lavish brochures several times about the upcoming season.

Tharp & ballet--I wish PBS would film her 2012 family ballet “The Princess and the Goblin” which was co-commissioned by Atlanta and Royal Winnepeg. Music: F. Schubert; Book: George MacDonald
Looks charming from G-images. This is a good way to build ballet audiences for the future as well as now. (Plus touring companies.)

Suspect it won’t be covered here, for good reason, but the Brandt (Medora), Lane (Gulanre), and Simkin (Ali) Corsaire was a dream. Mack was a good partner to Brandt, but not impressive in his solo work. I am constantly amazed at the controlled combination of technique and acrobatics in Simkin’s dancing..... I may need to pay a visit to Germany to watch him in other roles. Sarah and Skylar..... my word. I demand to see Skylar’s Juliet ASAP, and I’d watch Sarah . Hoven and Scott rounded out a great cast.

Rachel, Haglund was there tonight and will publish a review in the next day or so. Lots to like tonight. So, let's hold off depositing any more comments about Le Corsaire until the review appears.

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