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July 18, 2023


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Hi Haglund,
It's great to see you back! Your reviews were missed a lot. I saw the Brandt/Cornejo SL and was quite impressed. I had never seen Brandt in a leading role. She was thrilling. I was happily surprised to see Cornejo performing very well, even at times wonderfully, despite the flubs in Act I. ERica Lall stood out as did Andrii Ishchuk, two dancers who I think should rise to soloist soon. I would like to have seen Shevchenko too and Aran Bell. Have to wait!

Unfortunately, I didn't see either of these performances and thank you for your review. That is really interesting about the private coaches. I knew Skylar worked with Irina, but didn't know about Devon.

I recall reading an interview with Skylar some years back, after she had been promoted from the corps to soloist, and she was asked what the best thing about the promotion was. I believe she answered something along the lines of "more coaching," I assume referring to more individual time with ABT people, though it looks like at some point she may have decided she needed more and sought out Irina/Maxim. When I read that interview it made me wonder how many people there might be in the corps who would benefit from some personal coaching and would be more likely to advance it they had it. I also recall reading an interview with Calvin Royal way back when I think he was still in the corps and had just rreceived an award that had a cash component, and he said he was going to use the money for private coaching.

I wonder if anyone at NYCB sees outside coaches or if NYCB would even permit it. I remember when Megan Fairchild interviewed Skylar on her TouTube show she asked about the Irina private coaching and am not sure she got an answer that was particularly enlightening.

Hi, Haglund,
I”m glad to hear you are improving; I love reading your insights. Devin was lovely and strong with her technique and with her acting. I can’t believe people were not aware of the change from Stearns to Bell. I guess they can’t tell the difference between a piece of wood and a stick of dynamite 😳

Am I mistaken in remembering that someone wanted Etudes to perhaps come back to ABT? Ask and ye shall receive.



I don't believe that ABT supplies the outside coaching, so I think often there is an issue of "means" in terms of being able to pay for the outside coaching.

The proof is in the pudding, nonetheless, and you can definitely see the evidence of those ABT dancers that choose to explore that.

I really enjoy videos that dancers like Skylar post on Instagram of her being coached by Irina and Max - it's wonderful to watch any professional, even at the height of their profession, learn and grow into roles.

I believe you are correct, Rachel. The well-worn excuse that McKenzie used for years was "that's the way it's always been", i.e. dancers find a way to get outside coaching. This, of course, is a pathetic excuse for not hiring permanent world class coaches for the company.

Private coaching is probably quite expensive, especially on a ballet dancer's salary. I remember Sarah Lane mentioning something about not being able to afford a lot of it and at one time, she was also being coached by Irina and Maxim. But I'm guessing she couldn't afford them long-term.

The success of Isabelle Guerin’s coaching of Devin and Other Dances staging and coaching further confirms my hope that ABT would get her as a regular coach for the other ballerinas. It is Just not possible for Irina K To coach everyone at ABT. Just a thought.

ITA, Jose. Imagine what she could do for La Bayadere.

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