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August 09, 2019


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If PC was originally intended to respect, ABT has lost it by not using its talent or offering the best quality ballets. (PC = patronizing behavior and the worse of tokenism.) While I'm excited that ABT will tour to Chicago with La Bayadere this spring, I will not by tickets until I get to the box office. Travel and tickets are just too expensive to take a chance on mediocre casting.

I am not sure that 100% off could lure me to the fall performances!

By the way, Pennsylvania Ballet id doing a REAL Sleeping Beauty October 12-22. Don't miss it!

UPDATE: This March ABT will do a mixed bill in Chicago and not its full-length La Bayadere.as previously announced. Still an excellent program: New Tharp piece for Heerman Cornejo; Kingdom of the Shades; and Garden aux Lilacs. I haven't seen the last two in quite a while and I'm up for the new Tharp piece. I will stay tuned for any further changes!

McKenzie is trying to lure Julian Mackay?

Don't know, but when you see that following his spectacular work with Skylar, he's been matched up with both Hee Seo and Boylston for gigs, it looks like he's trying out the ABT ballerinas. I doubt that Julian would ever want to put up with McKenzie, though. He just doesn't need it.

I thought "City of Women" was a beautiful, intelligent piece and I wish they'd perform it in the Fall. Certainly would have preferred that to the Dorrance stuff. Based on the footage out there of "New American Romance," I'm excited to see it, and think it will also be preferable.

I genuinely enjoy Whiteside's choreography, and I'm interested to see how he develops in the next few years. It seems to be "real" ballet, not faux-modern-no-shoes-roll-on-the-floor-post-modernism-masquerading-as-ballet.

Thoughts? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWs97R4JDkk

I think CoW is trite, pretentious, and disappointing. Whenever I now hear the sounds of a moaning violin, cello or piano for some New Age choreography, I just want to run away from it as fast as possible. All of the faux hand signals, the oh-so-dramatic looks and touching, the oh-this-feels-so-good-to-do crap, the lack of substantive movement, and the general pretentiousness turns my stomach.

I'll go to Cornejo's celebratory evening, of course, and one of the evenings when Theme and Variations is performed with the Tharp and the Ratmansky, but as for the rest? Just rename ABT's fall season ABG: American Ballet Graveyard.

Here's the link to ABT's website statement about the change:

This all feels like a “flavor of the month” deal to me, and with tight funds these days, I’m out! Luckily NY has so much to offer... the Joyce and of course City Ballet.

HF, you're probably right, but there might be one or two performances worth attending once the casting gets announced. However, the chances for a complete write-off are very high if we are forced to consider Boylston or Copeland as Muses to Herman's Apollo. I just couldn't take that dose of poison. Abrera, Shevchenko, Teuscher as one group and Lane, Brandt and Trenary as the other group could work. Luciana Paris, Catherine Hurlin, and I suppose Hee Seo would also work. There's no need to soil Balanchine this time with the usual suspects.

SherryD, did you mean that Pennsylvania Ballet is doing Don Q those dates?

SherryD & Michelle, Pennsylvania Ballet is performing its authentic Don Q Oct 10-20. They did Sleeping Beauty last spring. However,the National Ballet of Canada is performing Sleeping Beauty in Wash D.C. Jan 30-Feb 2.

Thanks but can’t afford the bait and switch last minute again and again these days. Poor business practice that I don’t see often with others. Time for new leadership!

Not to mention, in the Whiteside piece on YouTube, the odd woman out.

True, Angelica.

It is Misty as Tepsichore along with Skylar and Cassie with Herman for his 20th anniversary Apollo.

Unbelievably poor taste by ABT. The fakerina as Terpsichore just doesn't fall within reality. It's not a muscle-your-way, flop-your-tits around role. No thanks to this.

I suspect Herman got a say in casting, and while Kevin could have put his foot down, she's only dancing Terpsichore once, which further leads me to believe this was a Herman decision. Thoughts?

I like that they've cast Calvin in Apollo - I believe he debuted the role at Vail this year?

True, she's only dancing it once, but poor Herman is only getting one shot, too. I'm sorry, but neither Ahn nor Royal have earned the Apollo opportunity over Forster, Hoven, and Gorak. Royal has a LOT of work to do to bring his dancing up to a level where we he can do principal roles as well or better than those standing in line in front of him. Right now he's sliding by on racial preference, and it's disappointing to see him actively trying to leverage it. But I guess these are the times for that...

I am shocked that Sarah isn't cast for Herman's 20th anniversary. Gutted that she's not dancing Apollo with Skylar and Cassie. Would usually skip Copeland but will go just for Herman.

"Standing in line in front of him." Sorry to respectfully disagree, but art doesn't operate on seniority like government jobs. Why not just cast roles by computer so that those dancers with the most seniority get their shots first? You're making a subjective judgment about Forster, Hoven and Gorak - which you're entitled to do. But being in line "in front of Royal" is irrelevant. I didn't see you complain that Bell got principal roles ahead of Hoven. And I strongly disagree that Royal is being given opportunities because of his race - that's an insult to him. How many major roles has he gotten?

Sorry, but seniority does indeed factor into casting regularly.

To understand my point about Royal, you would have had to observe his performances over the past seasons. His first major principal role a while back was Von Rothbart, but he still hasn't nailed it down technically. He should be doing a few more S.L. PdT and so forth before anyone puts him out there as an Apollo. He's certainly not a better dancer than Hoven, Forster, or Gorak. He's not in their class yet; so why did he get cast over them? It's totally irrelevant that Damian Woetzel taught him Apollo at Vail this year. Do you think he'd be getting an Apollo with his current capabilities if he were dancing at NYCB? Doubtful - they have more respect for Balanchine there.

And yes, Solor, I did indeed make a big stink about Bell getting cast over Hoven and Forster.


Shocked here, too. However, Sarah's T&V with Gorak may well turn out to be the highlight of the season. If Gorak is actually dancing without injury when the fall season rolls around, he should be brilliant in it.

I have high hopes for Devon's T&V and have my fingers crossed that Stearns will muster up some energy and a decent series of pirouette/double tours. It's been a while since we've seen a tall ballerina dance this. I remember how incredible the statuesque Michelle Wiles was in the role. She tore through it like she was being consumed by it -- totally out-dancing her partner (Hallberg) and pressuring him to bring up his game, as she always did. The best I ever saw Hallberg dance was with (or competing against) Wiles in Balanchine's works.

Sarah Lane would not only dance amazingly well as Terpsichore with Cornejo. Too bad...

Regarding tall ABT ballerinas dancing T&V, a few years ago I saw Polina Semionova and Whiteside. Polina was beautiful but Whiteside seemed to be having an off night.

Feeling ill all day since learning of Copeland's casting in Apollo, rather than Lane. Cornejo's recent podcast interview from Vail was a flashing red light warning of this sad state of affairs. His endless kind words about Copeland ("We've danced every big role together," "She was very ill and couldn't dance the Black Swan act,"), rife with inaccuracies, have really made me think he's been seriously drinking the Copeland p.r. Kool-Aid, and enjoying it, too. Does he simply not care any more? You'd think at this point he'd be very weary of dragging Copeland's broken 37-yr old body around the stage every spring. I expect this kind of ludicrous hall-of-mirrors act from the AD, but not from Cornejo. Truly disheartening.

I don't doubt that they have a long friendship. I don't doubt that there would be hell to pay if he ever said anything honest about her capabilities. It's true that when you work for any company, you tow the company line whether you're a Koch employee polluting the environment, a Trump employee putting children in cages, or an ABT employee falsifying the Fakerina's record of achievements and victimization. According to the last Form 990, Herman and Gillian were the highest paid dancers in the company. With Gillian out this year, Herman likely is now #1 and probably wants to keep that position which he certainly would not do if he were publicly honest about the Fakerina's dancing.

But I've got to wonder what Vicky Simon was thinking in allowing the Fakerina to be Terpsichore. I'll have to ask her the next time I see her on the M11 bus.

Too bad we're not seeing Shevchenko as Terpsichore. What a highlight that would be.

I'd been hoping to see Shevchenko in T&V, but Lane and Gorak will make a nice pair.

Angelica, I think it will be a good cast, and both dancers have enough oomph and horsepower that they can dance it at a reasonably fast tempo. Shevchenko could, too. And just imagine what Skylar would do in T&V.

Casting is certainly disappointing. I hope Gorak can still handle T&V. He barely gets cast in principal roles.

True, Yukionna, Gorak has been on the backburner for a couple of years now.

Thank you for your knowledgeable insights Haglund. While still disappointed over Apollo, I will definitely go see Lane and Gorak in T&V.

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