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October 19, 2023


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Thanks for your insights, as always. I was happy to have also attended this performance. Jake Roxander wowed me as Mercutio a few months back and he was just as impressive last night, particularly in Etudes. It is interesting how Jaffe is pairing a corps member with a principal in both casts of Piano Concerto No 1. (Curley/Hurlin tonight) It seems like she is testing out the new talent in her casting choices.The way the choreography took advantage of the red (front) and grey (back) unitards on the corps in Piano Concerto No 1 was lovely. When the dancers turned, it created a beautiful effect. I was in the third ring but there seemed to be a lot of empty seats throughout the house but you wouldn't know it from the enthusiastic applause.

Yes, those red & grey unitards were handsome. Curley and Hurlin did very well tonight as did Seo and Forster. Very happy to see that Curley has been cast as Sergiy in the final performance of On the Dnipro.

Attended Fri night, really good program. Wanted to mention Skylar and Jake Roxander as the are both technically gifted and confident. Honestly my jaw drops watching them. Roxander is of course still learning to be a good partner. Herman is in the twilight of his career but could teach Jake a thing or two about how to enhance his partner.Roxander is the right height for Brandt who eventually will need to find a new partner after Herman retires for story ballets especially. Roxander is special and is going to be a star. I see those two dancing together in SL, DQ, G etc. By the way, opening night's tempo in PC 1 was super fast, in fact, the technical skill it required to dance that made many of my friends in the audience gasp one saying they had never seen anything like it. The conductor might have taken a few extra cappuccinos. No time to be a show pony... too frenetic. These two are technical marvels and I hope that they pair up gradually hoping he may develop that rare quality that Herman has of elevating his partner with natural grace. Enjoyed the last 2/3 of Etudes, did not get the first 1/3 (I know others do) and Petit Mort was lovely, the music is so beautiful, the ballet is the cherry on top... and I liked its tone and unique choreography.... (I'm far from knowing what I am talking about...) please try to explain its meaning - I know you said we shouldn't try, but......

Roxander is a marvel. I query whether I've ever seen him in a role that requires substantial partnering. I cannot imagine a universe in which he isn't promoted after this fall season, but I wonder if he'll be as meteoric a rise as someone like Bell, who is also an excellent partner.

I thought Cate Hurlin was terrific in Etudes. I'm certainly a fan girl of hers, but she was like a little tasmanian devil with her chaine turns - the only other ballerina that immediately comes to mind that I think turns with that speed is Tiler Peck.

I was quite impressed at the beginning of the single foutees in one of the "movements" in Etudes - it devolved a bit by the end, but it was impressive.

Hi Jon. Here is what Kylian is reported to have said about Petite Mort:

"Petite Mort is a poetic, and strangely significant way of describing the ecstasy of a sexual intercourse. In French, and in some other languages, this sensation is described as «small death».
And it maybe so, that in the moment of pleasure (or in the moment of potentially creating a new life) we are reminded of the fact that our lives are of a relatively short duration, and that death is never too far from us.
In my work, I have based my choreography on two slow movements from the two most famous piano concertos by Mozart. I have cut them away from the fast movements, leaving them as mutilated torsos, lying helplessly in front of the listener and beholder.
They lie there, just like some ancient torso’s, without arms and legs, unable to walk or embrace.
There is no doubt, that it is perverse to do such a thing. But yet we do. And I am no exception. We live in a world in which nothing is sacred.
Since the time in which Mozart’s music was created, and today, many wars were fought and much blood had to flow under the «Bridge of Time». And, it was mostly men swaying swords in show of their potency and power.
And it is always a «Mort», which accompanies our lives, sometimes it is «Petite», sometimes it is «Grand», but it is the most faithful companion we have, from the dawn of our existence till the end.
Jirí Kylián - Den Haag September 23, 2007"

Hi Rachel. ABT is definitely overdue for making promotions, but it seems those could be stalled due to the difficult AGMA contract negotiations between dancers and management.

ITA that Roxander may have to be brought up to speed on partnering. So far, the company has spent most of its time preparing him to dance variations.

Yes, Hurlin was wonderful in Etudes; I wish she had been given a second performance. Sorry to say that Gillian Murphy was not so wonderful on Thursday night. It was a bit of a shock to see her in the ill-fitting long Romantic tutu. Both she and Cornejo were quite over-taxed in their roles -- clearly under-powered, shaky on basics, and no doubt realized that they shouldn't be trying to pull off Etudes at 44 and 42 years old. It was a little sad to see.

I was so looking forward to seeing Trenary and Bell in Dream this Sunday, but just noticed recently casting has been moved around and Murphy is doing it with Camargo instead.Might have tried to change tix so I could see Trenary/Bell later in week, but only Trenary is doing it later, with Camargo. I am guessing Bell is perhaps injured. So sorry about that. Will stick with Sunday's performance as scheduled but am so disappointed.

I'm disappointed as well with the change in tomorrow's casting. ABT simply has to stop this crap. People buy tickets according to casting. It's a sensitive issue and ABT seemingly doesn't give a rat's ass about selling one cast and then arbitrarily switching it to another. They should be required to notify every individual ticket buyer that a change has been made and offer to make arrangements for another performance with equal or better seating. As it stands now, one cannot see Roxander's Puck without sitting through Boylston & Whiteside in Ballet Imperial -- which I simply won't do.

I was at today’s (Saturday) matinee and while appreciating its many gifts to the soul there is one name I am shouting from the rooftops: TEUSCHER!

Yep, Eulalia. She was extraordinary again today.

Haglund: I was particularly disappointed in the switch in Sunday's casting because this is one of my favorite works in their repertoire. I have seen it many times, most recently last fall. At that time Cornejo was still doing Puck (for the first time I was disappointed in his performance) and Murphy still doing Titania (I recall a discussion somewhere, maybe here, about unflattering lighting showcasing wrinkles on her neck). Can't remember who did Oberon. So was exciting to see a new pair for this year, especially such a promising new pair. Not familiar with the new Puck (Magbitang) but certainly willing to see him. I should have known better than to buy a ticket for this way back in early September. Should have waited until now, especially since their autumn season sells so poorly you don't have to worry about getting a last minute ticket.

Regarding Skylar Brandt, I may be crazy, but I believe I went to the premiere of Piano Concerto No 1 ten years ago and recall seeing her then, maybe not in the lead, but in a featured role. That was around the time I first became aware of her and was quite impressed. Of course, Roxander wasn't around then, and I can't remember who she danced with.

Im seeing the 26th double bill in order to see the Schevekenco/Royal cast of Ballet Imperial, though I am sad this means missing Brandt in the second role there.

I thought Herman did a nice job at Sunday afternoon's Etudes, but having seen Rocander just the night before, you could really see the effort (effort that is absolutely understandable given his age). He does still have a wonderful stage presence. Devon, as always, was so lovely and precise.

I thought Whiteside was terrific in Petit Mort, particularly in the opening section - he created really nice shapes and lines with his body and the sword. Maybe it's a role for which he is particularly suited.

The Ratmansky piece really sung for me yesterday as well, though I thought there were some odd things going on the whole afternoon with the lighting. The stage felt very dark. I also observed that lighting can really highlight some flaws - at one point there was just one "ray" of light diagonally across the stage and the corp women downstage were slightly off the diagonal when seated on the stage and you could really tell.

I agree about the lighting. On Thursday night, the back lighting for the part of Etudes where the two women are upstage at the barre doing developpes came on way too early. We saw the stage crew carrying in the barres and noisily setting them up.

I found that I really liked Hee Seo in Ratmansky's Piano Concerto No. 1, and more importantly, I liked her match up with Thomas Forster. They were very elegant and harmonious.

Also want to add that the Etudes women's corps was simply superb on Saturday afternoon. The long line of rond de jambe en l'air at the barre was IMO worth the price of the ticket.

I was there this afternoon, Sunday, and thought the lighting was dark and weird too, esp in Dream, which I finally just left after about 20-25 minutes.

The highlight of the performance for me was Chloe Misseldine in the second role in Ballet Imperial. Otherwise, I thought that work, though okay, was sort of slow and leaden. I kept thinking of Tiler Peck.

Allie, although I recall that ABT's lighting of The Dream has been cause for complaints in prior seasons, the lighting in the Koch Theater has been a problem for a while now. NYCB was under-lit in many of its ballets. Someone commented that Balanchine had the lighting so bright that one could see the faces of the audience in the first two rows.

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