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October 26, 2023


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It would be great if I don't have to fly to UK or Sarasota to see more Ashton.
Regarding Etude, we probably have another yr until the license expires. I selfishly wish Elisabeth Beyer as the female lead but doubt the management will take such a risk. Messeldine sounds like a more reasonable 2nd cast along with Teuscher. It's good to see Seo being casted in the roles that she can shine in. Many people have noted her & Foster's performance as the highlight of the evening.

Tulle, I'm waiting anxiously for Elisabeth Beyer to get something meaningful -- and I'm not talking about Flower Girl or Moyna. We'll have to wait and see if Jaffe is willing to spring any women forward in the way that she pushed Jake Roxander. Beyer and Roxander are basically in the same cohort, and I would say she has the goods as much as he does, if not more so.

I look forward to seeing Beyer more, now that you point her out. As a Brandt admirer and now fan of Roxander's talent, and with Herman in the twilight of his remarkable career, I hope that Brandt and Roxander are paired up more (PC 1 was really good). They match in height. She will help him develop as a partner (he needs work with that) and Skylar Brandt is for me the most technically proficient and athletic ballerina, with the quickest feet, of all the ABT principals. The contrast between Skylar and the other principals in Ballet Imperial last Wed. (when I attended) was night and day. Pairings like Camargo with Christine Shev., Skylar with Herman or Roxander, Hurlin with Bell... these are really solid for the future... do you agree Haglund? I really liked the Dream, with Cassandra, Camargo and Roxander. Perhaps since Cassie matched ok with Carmargo, do you think Camargo can be partnered with with Skylar and Cassie more regularly, though being different heights.. what do you think about height differences in ABT generally in casting?

Jon Michael, I think the match-ups that ABT has produced this season have been fine in terms of height. I really enjoyed seeing the Teuscher/Forster pairing. Camargo is versatile enough that he could probably be paired with any ballerina and make it work for both of them.

In total agreement concerning E Beyer. I think she’s the most talented of the upcoming ladies of the corps. Just hoping she won’t get stuck in the corps and gets fed up and leave.

Jose, I have the same fear. I've been watching her at YAGP since she was 9 years old; she's been dancing at a principal level since she was 14. Why she was stuck in the Studio Company until she was past 20 is a complete mystery. She should be on the same trajectory as Aran Bell was.

This is a revelation to me! I assumed that Elizabeth Beyer was still a teenager. I'm like, this girl is 18, tops.

I always learn from Haglund and the people who comment here. Beyer’s name was new to me so I spent some time watching her on YouTube. I stopped counting the number of times I exclaimed, “Mama mia!” Then I started to wonder why casting at ABT is so often confounding…

Eulalia: what was confounding about casting this fall? I thought overall casting this fall was excellent. A number of exciting young non-principal dancers were given key roles that otherwise would have gone to principal dancers. Are you saying that some of these dancers (including principals) should not have been cast in key roles so Ms. Beyer could have gotten a spot? With only four performances of each program, there was only room for two casts for each ballet; even so, some ballets had three partial casts. Which performances had casting that confounded you?

IMO, it was a mistake to cast Murphy and Cornejo in Etudes. And while Murphy's Titania wasn't all that bad, it was not at the level of prior years. Even the time before last when she danced the role, there was a noticeable decline. If the artists can add something new to a role to replace declining technique, that's fine for a while; but that was not the case this fall.

Elisabeth Beyer, IMO, has been held back because ABT doesn't think it needs to use her at the moment, whether she could out-perform other principals and soloists or not. In other words, the company is not putting its best feet forward all the time.

Hi, Solar. I wasn’t necessarily referring to the casting of the fall season just ended though I agree with Haglund that not every star was at his or her best despite maintaining wonderful attributes. I was thinking more of Stella Abrera who I wish had been given more prima ballerina opportunities sooner than they were offered her, as I found her to be a very special, radiant presence. It also seems that Jonathan Klein is underused but I suppose with such short seasons nowadays underuse is the name of the game. In this regard, Sarah Lane also comes to mind. With the Metropolitan Opera struggling to fill houses, I wonder why an arrangement similar to Covent Garden’s can’t be used in that both the opera and ballet alternate performances throughout the year. With more opportunities to dance, more dancers would get a crack at showing us what they’re about and developing from the ordeal of performance.

Solor, the casting has been a mess for years now.

The Metropolitan Opera controls the house and has no interest in giving away anything to ABT; in fact, despite ABT's long committed history to renting the venue in the late spring (45+ years), the Met chose to alter its own schedule, swapping some low-attended February weeks for better weeks in late spring, which obviously disadvantaged ABT by forcing it to cut its number of weeks. ABT has no claim on the venue, unfortunately. And the Met will not spend one cent to help ABT unless it helps the opera. Regarding casting: I won't get into subjective opinions about specific dancers who may not have gotten sufficient stage time over the years - everyone is free to disagree about their talents, including those who make the artistic decisions. However, it would be unrealistic to expect ABT to deny Murphy and Cornejo, their senior principals, opportunities to dance. I don't disagree that their performances reflect their ... seniority, but it's a grey area. There is a line between their stage performance and the company's obligation to them, and it's not a solid line. Audiences still want to see them. If that's the worst of this fall's casting decisions, I can live with that.

I don't see any problem whatsoever in not casting a principal dancer in a role when there are other lower ranked dancers who would be better able to perform it. If the season doesn't have any roles in which the principal would excel, they shouldn't be included on the roster for that season. Some dancers through luck, hard work, and careful rep choices can extend brilliant careers. Both Murphy and Cornejo have been cherished for their technical abilities, not their theatrical abilities. Once those technical abilities start to go, there's very little to fall back on.

Solor, thank you for the sobering information about the Met’s relationship (or lack of) with ABT. I see that my idea of the Met and ABT sharing the house during the year is a pipe dream for a pipe I must refrain from smoking! I am old and remember the days when the Met and the New York City Opera (RIP) had their own ballet troupes and foreign companies regularly visited New York. I suppose I am nostalgic for a cultural landscape whose time is past.

I do wonder about the future of ABT. If it will even exist in a few years time.



I indulged in World Ballet Day and was disappointed in the image ABT must portray to other companies who are down to business during company class. Some ABT dancers started class with long hair down or in a ponytail. There was talking going on during the class by a number of people. The European companies I watched looked great in their dancing and both men and women were neatly prepared for class. So was the San Francisco Ballet. Loved the Bavarian Ballet, Queensland Ballet, Royal Ballet, Australian Ballet. Will watch more as I can. But many ABT dancers could have presented a better image of discipline and respect---and many did.

Thanks for the link, Emily. Elisabeth Beyer was extraordinary, and I heard Susan Jaffe acknowledge her several times in the World Ballet Day class! She definitely deserves a promotion soon before another major ballet company recruits her.

ITA with your observations of ABT's class, Georgiann. There are a few who believe that morning class is simply a warm up social activity rather than a place to sharpen the skills needed for the day. I was disappointed that many of the women didn't put their pointe shoes on during center. It made it look like a 4:30pm class at Steps.

I didnt watch the whole thing but ABT company class with Susan Jaffe seemed like a relatively joyless affair. As a big fan of many of the dancers from a social media perspective, I was surprised and almost disappointed to see so few smiles.

I agree, Bee. My sense was that perhaps Jaffe doesn't teach ABT's company class at any regular interval. It was a fairly simple class that some had surprising difficulties even when not wearing pointe shoes. I noted how the class thinned out after barre and even more so when the jumping started. During center, there seemed to be a lot of individual general corrections made off to the side that all the other dancers couldn't hear and take advantage of.

I don't know how long this will be available for, but Great Performances on PBS presented NYCB in Madrid. Serenade, Square Dance + a Justin Peck sneaker ballet.

Thank you so much, yukionna. Here's a current link to the program which is likely temporary.


ABT 2024 Summer Met Season with casting out today. Bringing Onegin back :)

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