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December 18, 2020


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It was lovely! Just what I have been needing. Looking forward to more ballet of this caliber.

I really enjoyed the program, but the thrill of seeing new performances was bittersweet. I am excited about the young talent and the possibilities of seeing them grow, but at the same time, I am sad about the dancers who are loosing the chance of giving some of their best live performances during their peak years due to Covid. It was heartbreaking and a bit eerie to watch the dancers smile and bow to a nonexistent live audience.

I wish McKenzie would have grabbed MacKay when he was on the market; would it be possible for him to steal him away from San Francisco? I like the idea of a Bolshoi trained American dancer at ABT.

Lovely program overall, especially that firecracker of a Don Q pdd. Whee! Thanks for bringing it to our attention, Haglund.

I also binge-watched the SAB documentary series, which documented the summer 2019 through March 2020 period. Very well done but, understandably, a bit over-focused on the kiddies and Nutcracker. There were fewer segments about the upper levels, as the usual June workshop never took place. It was good to get an early view of the newest NYCB apprentices (Zoe, Ruby, etc). Can’t wait to see them perform live next September, everything works out.

That DonQ pas was so Russian, including the bow after the fouettes lol I loved it! Lane would've been treated so much differently if she was born in the early 20th century. I've always felt that her dancing is so easy on the eyes- it's like she's just taking a walk in the park. Maybe this style doesn't jive well with the current trend in the dance world because she makes it look so easy. Ulbricht was impressive as always- wish he is used more often once everything goes back to normal. I know it's impossible but can Lane guest at NYCB occasionally as his partner... Height wise they are a good match and I know Lane excels in Robbins.

Thank you for posting about it - I would have missed it!

I really enjoyed this. Was very happy to donate to such a good cause. I noticed a lot of improvement in Bell's Romeo from when I saw him debut it back at the Met with Devon. I was also really impressed with Lane and Ulbricht in Flower Festival - a nice Bournonville showcase by two wonderful performers. Christine, Melanie and Joanna - more please and sooooooooon.

Wow! This is just the type of ballet the I have been craving. Thank you for sharing the link Haglund. ABT made a huge mistake with Sarah Lane. She sparkled in this pas de deux. She has similar qualities to Evgenia Obratszova and I mean that as a huge compliment. Lane is so light and delicate and makes everything look effortless. Ulbricht was a fantastic partner to her and danced very well. Schevchenko is fantastic. I especially loved her Don Q pas.

Schevchenko is the genuine article! And no surprise at MacKay performing with technique and bravado beyond his years.

It's encouraging, frankly, to see that there are in fact Americans who know how to dance.

Before watching innumerable hours of ballet during the pandemic, I would've thought we were maybe on par with Europe, albeit below Russia. Lately I've been wondering if we're even on the level of say Italy. (No disrespect to Italy, just suggesting that my prior assumptions were off.)

What a joy to see Sarah Lane dancing again, and with a great partner in Daniel Ulbricht. If nothing else, the program has provided her with a very public showcase, so that people who’ve never seen her dance before might understand why she has so many loyal fans. Many thanks to Christine Shevchenko and partners for producing this great showcase for (mostly) classical dance. Looking forward to tonight's just-announced coda with Kimin Kim and Maria Khoreva!

Just a lovely and satisfying hour, thoughtfully assembled and executed with a definite eye toward luring more viewers who are missing solid classical dance, and offering a nice side of contemporary choreography with the gentlemen's duet. Ms. Shevchenko is so impressive on all levels: technique, presence, lines. Her partners, Mr. Bell and Mr. Mackay, were also well chosen for what each brought to their respective pas de deux with her. Kudos to the romanticism of Mr. Bell and the firecracker delivery from Mr. Mackay. Well done. I loved getting to see Sarah's beautiful feet, feathery petite allegro, and her warm, engaging smile, perfectly matched by Mr. Ulbricht with his rapid fire beats and floating ballon. Both made Auguste Bournonville proud. (Shame on ABT for their shabby treatment of a wonderful, gifted ballerina.) Overall, I really hope that there will be more of these "virtual galas" as they are sorely needed to feed our artistic souls....

May I offer some dissenting opinions here? 100% agree that this was sorely needed and well done, but

1) Aran Bell is a snooze. In the first piece there was a moment when he was crossing the stage behind Serrano to get into his next position; he looked like he was taking a casual Sunday stroll in Central Park. Yes, it wasn't his moment, but if he's on stage he still needs to project to the audience, he still needs to be 'present', not fade into the background.

Belll also has posture issues that drive me crazy. He plants his feet awkwardly on stage and pikes over at the waist every time he has to assist his partner/any partner in a set of turns. I've seen him do this for several years and it never gets better. Sorry, but I'm just mot on the Bell Bandwagon.

2) With all due respect, I must disagree with Beth CP. I loved Lane and Ulbricht, but I saw no Bournonville style. I certainly didn't see any 'floating ballon'. I saw Bournonville as it might have been danced by NYCB without any style coaching.

Kudos to everyone though for a wonderful first effort. More. please.

Finally getting around to put in my two cents, hate to say but I would have to agree with Ellen re: Bell, I do believe his promotion (as many may disagree) was too rushed, I do feel he can grow in time and he is still quite young. This may be me reminiscing with Hallberg and Gomes in my mind, Bell is just not that caliber, and should have been given more time but I am guessing it had to happen with the lack of male principals.
Also agree with the miss chance of MacKay at ABT!! I am sad and mad about the loss of Lane at ABT :(

Then again we are dealing with McKenzie, so no surprise! The golden years are long gone!

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