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January 12, 2022


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A prelude to the announcement of her(and Sascha) being the next AD ? Just wondering.

Haglund, I watched the video tribute to Stella yesterday and I totally agree with you about the A.D. It seemed to be about what he did for her rather than about Stella. I would have liked to see longer clips of her lovely dancing, especially her performance of Giselle you refer to when she danced with Lantratov, replacing Semionova.The whole clip was too fragmented for me. I have a longer attention span than that!

Jose, perhaps next time. The presumed pool of potential candidates is rich with experience: Bocca, Corella, Beloserkovsky, Dvorovenko, Ratmansky. Others less qualified but who would be pushed by McKenzie include Amanda McKerrow, Robert Hill, Kent, Herrera. It would sadden me, but not surprise me, if the winning candidate comes from the pool of secondary qualifications because they would be more likely to bend to the socio-political whims of the board. I don't see this board opting for a commitment to excellence.

Yes, he’s trying to make up for all the things he omitted for her. Wasn’t it Vladimir S who was her partner?

Georgiann, although Lantratov would have been a wonderful partner for Stella, it was actually Shkylarov who ended up being the dream of all dreams for her.

I'm 99.9% sure that Stella's entire Giselle debut was videoed since most everything that happens on the Met stage is videoed. It would be nice if it were released.

Rooting for Rojo to turn things around in SF. The YT pieces SF put out during the pandemic certainly have not been not world-class, at least not in a world that includes the old world.

Julian MacKay, for example, seems to have regressed considerably both in shape and technique since leaving Russia.

In any event, what a lineup for the Bolshoi's Jewels!

For me, I would prefer Julio or Angel with Irina/max as assistant AD/ Ballet masters/coaches.

Haglund, thanks for the correction stating Shkylarov was Stella's partner for her Giselle debut, and not Lantratov. It would be fabulous if they were to release that performance!

They should also release Stella's performances of Kudelka's Cinderella opposite Guillaume Cote and Ashton's Cinderella opposite Joseph Gorak.

I am a little nervous about Rojo. Just yesterday I read an article from the British press where she talked about how she doesn't think women should wear tutus any more and we need to be more "flexible" with gender roles in ballet. It was part of a larger piece about tutus.

As for Julian McKay, I think we can all agree he just wants to be famous. He has taken a page of the Boylston/Whiteside playbook and is more focused on his Instagram presence than his career. His Instagram is nauseatingly curated and exists to celebrate how good looking he is - rather than his talent. I suspect he won't dance professionally much longer and will move into other things. He seems bored by ballet every time I look at his account.

Cringeworthy horsecrap from McKenzie. Really just disgusting and upsetting how his ego caused Stella’s career so much harm. The flashing fragments make me feel like I’m about to have a seizure, and what’s the point- there’s not enough time to take in a still shot or segment, and the result is a hodgepodge too fast “dance” - just use the real thing and save us the aggravation. Every second of Stella is beautiful though, what a special, beautiful, gifted artist.

Sam, it will be interesting to see what Rojo's first plans are and all the more interesting to see if SFB can keep the Helgi-loving donors doling out the big bucks. Rojo hasn't worked under an arrangement where she has to prove herself to donors. No big government handouts here.

Re: Julian MacKay -- let's hope he gets back on track sooner than later.

Meg, to me it seemed thrown together quickly and edited to highlight McKenzie more than Stella. I will bet that it is the first of several more to come -- part of McKenzie's long goodbye during which he tries to manage how people will remember him. He definitely tried to rewrite the reality of Stella's career, though. The saddest part wasn't the two years lost to injury. It was the 10 years lost to guest artists.

McKenzie should be drawn and quartered for what he did to Stella's career. And of course now he will take all the credit for appointing her the head of Kaatsbaan, which is, I think, a great opportunity for her (and it gets Martine off the hook.) Is there any way that McKenzie could be called out publicly for putting out this bag of lies? I would like to see him slink away in shame, rather than take glory in fabricated accomplishments.

I've been concerned about the ballerina ranks at NYCB for a while now and it seems like I'm not the only one. I believe when Lauren Lovette left and prior to the most recent promotions, none of the principal women were under the age of 30.

With Maria's retirement, it seems like a golden opportunity to push some young dancers into her role's and Farrell's, but where is the push?

Akiko, true what you say.

Presently in the NYCB corps there is an unusually large amount of talent that easily gives the principals and soloists a run for their money and should be unleashed to do so. There's no reason why when a dancer is first cast in Swan Lake, Diamonds, Rubies or whatever that the audience should then be sentenced to having to watch her slam-bang out the steps for 10 years while fresher, more interesting, and more physically capable dancers hang out in the corps.

NYCB's repertory is not the type that encourages dancers' interpretations of roles to evolve and deepen over time. More often than not (acknowledging exceptions such as Nichols & Kowroski), we get their very best performances very early on in their careers; then there is a plateau and then a long, long, long decline.

Having cornered Maria for an hour a few galas ago, she told me that the secret to her longevity was constant reinvention, citing the change from Askegard to Tyler Angle and her switch to more comedic roles like Slaughter, the girl in green and the concert. So many principals made their name on the technical side of things and can't seem to move on ten years later and they no longer have the jump...

If anyone's interested, the link to the article with the worrisome Rojo quotes that Sam mentioned is here:


(you need to register but it's free)

And don't forget that Rojo gave a transgender "ballerina" a shot at ENB.

Akiko, how wonderful that you were able to have that conversation with Maria. I respect that she never made a big hullabaloo when she retired roles in the years prior to fully retiring. We didn't know that we were watching her final Diamonds or final Symphony in C although we may have felt it in our hearts. She simply quietly danced her best and stepped aside. There was no "Wendy & Her Sugarplum Fairy role" melodrama.

Everyone has made excellent points and observations regarding Stella's "tribute" video which is simply a "Kevin McKenzie Tribute". It almost felt patronizing and condescending toward her legacy. Short snippets should have been full variations shown. Less Kevin and much more Stella.
On another note - I'm very excited for the newly promoted Elizaveta Kokoreva of Bolshoi leading Rubies. She has shown nothing but strong technical dancing and a delightful artistry to match. I'm hoping she'll progress all the way through the ranks.

Oh, Elizabeth, I'm so looking forward to Jewels. I don't think I've yet seen Kokoreva. It will be exciting to see her fresh interpretation.

Some excitement for our Friday!

Today (Friday, Jan 14) at 1:30PM eastern US time:

FREE livestream from Vienna including rarely-performed LIEBESLIEDER WALZER (Balanchine/Brahms), staged by Calegari & Cook. Link and details on all works here:


In the past, the Vienna streams remain up for only 24 hours. Catch it while you can.

Thanks, Jeannette!!

Here is a sneak preview of the delightfulness of Kokoreva:


Wow…just watched the Vienna livestream. Fabulous Liebeslieder, very well danced and filmed! I enjoyed the “appetizers” by Robbins and Childs, too. The program will be up through the weekend for 72 hours, as per the U.K. Forum. The link is three posts above (7:40am).

Just finished watching. What a handsome company. Lovely Liebeslieder.

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