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 Post subject: American Ballet Theater-Spring/Summer 2003
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2003 8:56 pm 
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New of promotions...
Xiomara Reyes was promoted to principal and Erica Cornejo was promoted to soloist.


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 Post subject: Re: American Ballet Theater-Spring/Summer 2003
PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2003 2:16 pm 
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Greetings!
Many changes at ABT...

Danny Tidwell and Bo Busby from the Studio Company have now gotten their corps contracts.
Tobin Eason, Jared Matthews and Jennifer Whalen who were apprentices, also got their corps contracts.
Other new corps members: Natalia Boesch (from PNB), Cathy Uphoff (from Colorado Ballet)

Caity Seither, Alexandre Hammoudi, Laura Hidalgo, Daniel Keene, Zhong-Jing Fang and Kelley Potter are appretices


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 Post subject: Re: American Ballet Theater-Spring/Summer 2003
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2003 3:02 pm 
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Guggenheim Museum Works in Progress Series
April 27-28

Combining the talents of ABT dancers and third year acting students from the Juilliard School, A Rose by Any Other Name..., was a stirring finale to the 2003 American Ballet Theatre-Guggenheim Museum’s Works in Progress series. An inspired idea, the integration of the play and ballet versions of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet provided a rare opportunity to see how both art forms bring Shakespeare’s words to life, one in the spoken word, the other in gesture and dance.
Aric Martin’s reading of the famous prologue set the mood for the evening, which continued with Kevin O’Connell, Michael Simpson and Ben Davis’s interpretation of Act One, Scene Four, in which Romeo tells Benvolio and Mercutio about his dream, a dream that hints at the tragic love to come. The acted scene was immediately followed by Macmillan's balletic interpretation, danced by David Hallberg, making his “debut” as Romeo, and Herman Cornejo. Despite the small stage, Hallberg and Cornejo were impressive, with Cornejo’s quick changes of direction and airy ballon and Hallberg’s full stretched grand jete into the wings. Julie Kent and Carlos Molina performed an excerpt as Juliet and Paris, followed by a passionate rendition of the the famous balcony scene by Kevin O’Connell and Julie Molly Stuart. The pace quickened with Ben Davis, Aric Martin and Kevin O’Connell in the fight scene from Act Three, which immediately segued into the choreographed duel between Benvolio and Tybalt, athletically danced by Cornejo and Molina. After a poignant version of the “morning after” scene (Act Three, Scene Five) between Romeo and Juliet, David Hallberg and Julie Kent performed the two death scenes from the ballet. Especially touching was the “pas deux” in which Romeo dances with Juliet’s “unconscious body”, as if he is trying to coax life back into her limp body.

Having the dance and acting side by side not only brought new facets and a fuller understanding to both interpretations, but also provided a fascinating opportunity to see and hear the interaction between the young dancers and actors. About the same age (in fact, the Romeos were both twenty), these young people represent the best of two professions, though the dancers have already succeeded professionally. All were clearly intrigued to see a different version of something so familiar to them, with both dancers and actors peeking out of the wings to watch their counterparts perform...perhaps to find something that they could bring into their interpretation of the role. In this sense, it appeared that the performers got as much out of the performance as the audience.

When queried by moderator and ABT principal dancer, Guillaume Graffin, dancers and actors alike professed admiration for their counterparts. All the dancers mentioned having read the book (in the case of Molina and Cornejo, in Spanish) as a part of preparing for their roles. Though all the performers talked about getting into their roles, and finding the right mindset, for the dancers it was often confusing in the beginning. Unlike the actors who learned the roles by delving into the meaning of the text, the dancers learned their roles as a series of steps in a studio, isolated from their context in the story. It’s not until the full scenes are rehearsed, that the steps come together to form a story, and the parts could be fully fleshed out. The actors seemed especially impressed by the ballet duel scene, and the dancers impressed by the actors’ ability to perform Shakespeare’s tricky, tongue-twisting text. Both Molina and Kent talked about their enjoyment of the acting required, and the chance to explore a character in dance.

Graffin and others touched upon the relevance of the major themes-division and the attempt to bridge them- of Romeo and Juliet to current events.
A truly timeless story, Romeo and Juliet will be performed by American Ballet Theatre at the Met, June 6-11. The students from the Juilliard School can be seen in their production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Juilliard Theatre, May 13-14 and 17-18.


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 Post subject: Re: American Ballet Theater-Spring/Summer 2003
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2003 11:14 am 
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Above It All
Rising ABT star leaves controversy behind

By Cheryl Kushner
Cheryl Kushner is a freelance writer.

May 5, 2003

Quote:
At age 13, Misty Copeland donned a pair of ballet slippers and took her first lesson. Now 20, she's on track to become the first African- American prima ballerina at American Ballet Theatre.

The years in between have been rich with drama, both onstage and off. While the young dancer won several national contests and received dance scholarships, she also was the subject of a nationally publicized battle of wills between her mother, Sylvia DelaCerna, and her ballet teacher, Cynthia Bradley.

In 1995 the teenager went to live with Bradley. For 2 1/2 years, she spent every free moment dancing and very little time with her family. Copeland now plays down the controversy that resulted in her filing an emancipation request at age 15 - one that would legally allow her to determine her own fate. She withdrew the petition in 1998.
click here for more


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 Post subject: Re: American Ballet Theater-Spring/Summer 2003
PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2003 7:33 am 
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Quick thoughts....

La Bayadere: Waltz & Pas D'Action
Stiefel & Dvorovenko...nice, and looked appropriate for the full Met Stage

The Leaves Are Fading PdD
McKerrow & Gardner-I love this pdd, but it was an odd excerpt and looked very out of place on that large stage. Lovely though...

Esmeralda PdD
Herrera missed the first tambourine tap with her toe, and was technically fine, but not the most exciting of performances. Gomes is a wonderful dancer, but this was not the best display of his talents. Still cheating the rotations in his tours.

Hereafter (preview from new piece by Stanton Welch). Very short, and I thought they would have been much better off using Corella in a traditional pdd. This was not long enough to get much sense of the piece.

Diana & Acteon pdd
Murphy and Carreno got the audience going. Huge high jumps from him and those incredible multiple pirouettes from her. As good as it gets!

Don Quixot-Act III Pas de Deux a Quatre

Hysterical pas de quatre with three ballerinas (Tuttle, Anaiashvili, Reyes) and Julio Bocca. The ballerinas keep appearing to the frustration and amusement of the guy. At one point he peeks out of the wings to make sure he actually has the stage to himself. When he finally starts the bravura solo, Ananiashvili appears and does part of his solo. Bocca was incredible-I think he did 6 or 7 (8?) consecutive double tour-pirouettes without stopping. In the end the "tortured" danseur runs off stage and returns to stab himself with the fan. Delightfully wicked comedy, with great dancing!

Swan Lake waltz...nice, but nothing special. Belotserkovky moves like velvet though-beautiful to watch with his long, stretched limbs.

The evening ended with a nice performance of the Harrison Tribute. I espeically like the finale with the various poses.

No Ferri or Malakhov. Graffin was in tghe audience, but did not dance. Hallberg was listed, but did not dance-no injury, just resting and it is anticipated that he will be dancing in other performances as scheduled.

Kate


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 Post subject: Re: American Ballet Theater-Spring/Summer 2003
PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2003 5:08 pm 
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American Ballet Theatre
Opening Night Gala
Metropolitan Opera House
May 5, 2003

On Monday night, American Ballet Theater kicked off the 2003 Met Season with a smorgasbord of ballet treats, ranging from a brief preview of Stanton Welch's new piece HereAfter to excerpts from the lyrical Tudor pas de deux, The Leaves Are Fading. The evening’s festivities, co-chaired by Blaine Trump and Caroline Kennedy, celebrated Kevin McKenzie’s 10th anniversary as the Artistic Director and provided a glimpse of the exciting dancing that will fill the Met stage during the next two months.

In the Waltz & Pas D’Action from Natalia Makarova’s staging of La Bayadere, it was Irina Dvorovenko who really shone, her extensions high and unforced. Ethan Stiefel was a gracious partner and soared in his solos. Carlos Molina stood out in the male demi solos, with the corps in good form.
John Gardner returned as a guest artist to dance the moving Leaves Are Fading pas de deux with his wife, principal dancer Amanda McKerrow. McKerrow and Gardner gave the piece an emotional performance, flowing to Dvorak’s “Cypresses”. Yet, the ballet seemed lost on the large, deep Met stage, and is better suited to the more intimate stage at City Center, where the company performs each fall.
The mood lightened with Paloma Herrera and Marcelo Gomes in Perrot’s Esmeralda Pas de Deux. Herrera had difficulty with the tambourine early on, but recovered nicely. The newest (and youngest) male principal, Gomes danced with his usual elegant, natural smoothness. His tendency to cheat off the floor in tours has lessened, but was still obvious in his otherwise notable pirouette/double tour sequence.

Angel Corella lit up the stage with his electric intensity and trademark whirlwind pirouettes in very short solo from Stanton Welch’s upcoming HereAfter. Dancing to music from Orff’s Carmina Burana, sung by baritone Thomas Meglioranza, Corella soared into the air, slid across the stage in near splits, and splayed his body on the stage. The solo was a mere four minutes, a somewhat disjointed preview, and it would have be nice to see Corella in something more substantial.

Gillian Murphy and Jose Manuel Carreno evoked awe with their sensational bravura skills in Vaganova’s Diana and Acteon pas de deux (Adagio and Coda). Carreno did a high-flying series of barrel turns en circle and Murphy liberally sprinkled multiples into her stunning series of fouettes.
The tricks were no less sensational Kevin McKenzie’s comic Don Quixote Act III Pas de Deux a Quatre, but things weren’t always what one would expect. Julio Bocca shared the stage with not one, but three highly talented ballerinas, Nina Ananiashvili, Ashley Tuttle and the newly promoted Xiomara Reyes. Appearing one by one to dance with him, they proceed to bewilder, confuse and finally frustrate Bocca. Peeking out from the wings, he seemed to think it was finally safe to dance, but half way through his impressive solo, Ananshiavili darted out to finish it for him! Comedy aside, the dancing was superb with Bocca doing a stunning series of at least six double tour-pirouette combinations and splicing in huge laid out leaps into his tour jetes en circle.
Though Maxim Belotserkovksy’s dancing had a velvety smoothness and elegantly finished quality, the Act I Waltz from McKenzie’s production of Swan Lake provided a rather bland end to the first act.

The evening concluded with With You Without You, ABT’s tribute to George Harrison, premiered last October at City Center. A collage of choreography by Welch, Natalie Weir, Anne Reinking and David Parsons set to George Harrison’s music, the tribute sometimes lacks cohesion, but makes wonderful use of the company’s talented dancers. Notable were the sinuous Sandra Brown and Jose Manuel Carreno in Reinking’s sensual pas deux to “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, and Corella, holding nothing back in Welch’s “Something”. The most fascinating and moving piece, however, is the finale by Parsons to “My Sweet Lord” in which the cast leaps, twists, tumbles, spins, jumps and soars against the deep red backdrop. The dancing appears almost freeform, the choreography highlighting the talents and emotions of each dancers-seventeen dancers moving in seventeen different ways to Harrison’s evocative music. It was, in itself, a brief demonstration of the company’s talent, and invitation to see these dancers use their varied talents in the ballets during the Met Season!

Note: Contrary to the casting in the program, David Hallberg did not perform and was replaced by Ricardo Torres in all three ballets. As of the writing of this review, Hallberg is expected to dance in all of his schedule performances during the Met Season.


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 Post subject: Re: American Ballet Theater-Spring/Summer 2003
PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2003 11:54 pm 
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Festive Spring Opening for ABT at the Met

By JOCELYN NOVECK
Associated Press Writer

Quote:
NEW YORK (AP)--American Ballet Theatre's spring gala was like a kid's fantasy trip to the candy store: little tastes of all the best moments of the next eight weeks, leaving you on a pleasant sugar high.

The evening was one of the social events of the season, and glittery pastel-colored spring evening gowns filled the Metropolitan Opera House Monday night--even if the weather was wet and dreary.
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 Post subject: Re: American Ballet Theater-Spring/Summer 2003
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2003 1:24 pm 
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It looks like Anna Kisselgoff had fun:

Quote:
A Sampler, With a Joke Riding on a War Horse

By ANNA KISSELGOFF, NY Times

A ballet gala that pokes some fun at itself is a breath of fresh air, however air-conditioned.
<a href=http://www.nytimes.com/2003/05/07/arts/dance/07MET.html target=_blank>More</a>


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 Post subject: Re: American Ballet Theater-Spring/Summer 2003
PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2003 12:20 am 
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AMERICAN BALLET SEASON OFF TO FLYING START

Wed May 7, 5:08 AM ET

by Clive Barnes

Quote:
ONE of the most beautiful sights in dance is American Ballet Theater in full flight.

And at Monday's gala opening of its annual eight-week season at the Metropolitan Opera House, American Ballet Theater just flew.

In the 10 years that Kevin McKenzie has been the troupe's artistic director, he's picked, nurtured and developed the finest collection of dancers in the ABT's 64-year history.

The opening gala was simply intended to show off the company, and offered, for one night only, almost every single one of ABT's stars and soloists all together on display. A gallant assembly, indeed. The program was part gorgeous bits, part glamorous pieces, including the first performance at the Met of last year's City Center premiere, "Within You Without You," to the music of George Harrison.
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 Post subject: Re: American Ballet Theater-Spring/Summer 2003
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2003 12:12 pm 
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ALINA COJOCARU WAS A REVELATION LAST NIGHT!!! I've seen no one in ABT with the classical qualities that she possesses.She's so natural, light, and above all, her musicality is INCREDIBLE. She is tiny, and I was seated in Family Circle, but it didn't seem problematic at all (in fact I find the dancers today too big and poorly coordinated) because you were just swept away by the quality and the sensibilities in her dancing.She matches perfectly with Angel -- I wish she could pair up with H.Cornejo -- that would be something!! She dances with so much passion.AMAAAAAZZZIIING DANCER and I can't believe she's 21!! She's definitely THE STAR of the 21st century.


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 Post subject: Re: American Ballet Theater-Spring/Summer 2003
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2003 1:37 pm 
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One note before the review...David Hallberg did not dance this past week, but it is anticipated that he will return to the stage next week. As of May 9, the most recent casting release, he is scheduled to dance in in HereAfter at the Saturday matinee.

American Ballet Theatre
Metropolitan Opera House
May 10, 2003 8pm
La Bayadère

On Saturday evening, American Ballet Theatre celebrated the ABT and New York debut of Royal Ballet principal dancer Alina Cojocaru, with a vibrant performance of Natalia Makarova’s La Bayadère. The twenty-one year old Cojocaru, who is dancing as a guest principal with ABT this season, was trained in Kiev, and at the Royal Ballet School on a Prix de Lausanne scholarship. She danced briefly with the Kiev Ballet before returning to the Royal Ballet, where she quickly progressed to the top ranks. Cojocaru was not the only dancer making a major debut- ABT soloist Stella Abrera debuted in the central role of Gamzatti.

The ballet is set in a mythical Indian kingdom, brought to life by Pierlugi Samaritani’s richly colored, intricately detailed sets - the fabulous chess sets and lavish back drops of particular note, and Theoni Aldredge’s glittering costumes. The dancers gave equally rich performances, beginning with Craig Salstein’s wild, creature-like, yet strangely endearing Head Fakir. With his high twisting jumps, dervish like spins and writhing mannerisms, Salstein was powerful as the slightly mysterious, ascetic mystic. Stella Abrera was cooly elegant and imperious as Gamzatti, one noticeable loss of balance the exception in an otherwise impressive debut. A technically precise and poised dancer, Abrera demonstrated her remarkable skills in the turns with the sweeping change of leg position, performed with solid assurance. In the small, but vital role of Ayah, new corps member Sarawanee Tanatanit was startlingly powerful and mysterious, using every inch of her lithe body and her intense eyes to convey her messages to Gamzatti. This was an Ayah with unearthly powers, bringing a spine chilling unease wherever she lurked.

Angel Corella was outstanding as Solor, the warrior deeply in love with the temple dancer Nikiya, but forced to marry the Rajah’s daughter, Gamzatti. Corella, always an electric and powerful dancer, combined his stunning dancing with dramatic emotion. It’s not only the height and speed of his dancing that so impresses, but the powerful snap of his movements, and the remarkable flow and combination of power and control in his dancing. Corella was especially moving in the brief opening solo of the second act, where Solor, in an opium-induced haze, mourns the death of Nikiya. With a crazed, haunted look in his eyes, and series of blazingly fast chaine turns across the stage, Corella stunningly brought to life Solor’s crazed, desperate anguish.
The petite Cojocaru was an ideal partner for Corella, well matched in size, appearance and sparkling technique. The soaring press lifts seemed effortless, and Cojocaru’s positions were gorgeous. Her turns were tight, and quick, her grand jetes fully extended with feet perfectly pointed and her dancing delicately powerful. At times though, she seemed too small for the enormous Metropolitan Opera House stage, her presence not enough to reach all the way out into the far reaches of the audience. Perhaps a bit more attention to enhancing her already expressive face with makeup, and increased comfort with the stage will help bring her power to more of the audience in her remaining performance.

The corps was solid throughout the performance, but was simply stunning in the Second Act dream dance of The Shades. Led by Renata Pavam, Erica Cornejo and Maria Riccetto, the shades were unerringly synchronized during their long, spell binding procession down the hidden ramp, with a pleasing attention to carriage of arms and head. The long pauses in arabasque were near flawless, with the Shades moving in an almost eery cohesion, truly multiple images of the same person. Bravo to all the corps ladies!
Joaquin DeLuz’s Bronze Idol solo was dramatically danced, with an appropriate mix of characterization and bravura skills. The final scene Candle Dance is always visually breathtaking, but on this night not danced with as much precision as it could have been, the clang of colliding lights slightly jarring.

With Victor Barbee completing the cast as the High Brahmin and Guillaume Graffin as the Rajah, it was a night of delightfully extravagant storytelling, excellent dancing and exciting debuts. If ABT can keep up this level of energetic and enjoyable dancing, it bodes well for a successful season.


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 Post subject: Re: American Ballet Theater-Spring/Summer 2003
PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2003 6:51 am 
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Well, ruteyo, I think Anna Kisselgoff agrees:

Quote:
Jealousy and Betrayal in an Oriental Temple

By ANNA KISSELGOFF, NY Times

"La Bayadère" is not the thinking man's introduction to ballet or a work that will persuade newcomers that ballet can be on the level of great literature, great music and great art. <a href=http://www.nytimes.com/2003/05/13/arts/dance/13CUJO.html target=_blank>more</a>


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 Post subject: Re: American Ballet Theater-Spring/Summer 2003
PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2003 1:41 pm 
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Hi!
One comment...I did not think that Corella was pushing to hard in his solos, as Kisselgoff commented. He overbalanced in one landing to the knee and had to put a hand down, but he actually landed just fine. It just seemed like the adreneline kept pumping and his body wouldn't stay still.

And frankly, between acts during the dress rehearsal, Corella let loose with some pirouettes that were FAR faster than anything in performance. So, if anything, he held back during the actual performance!

Congratulations to Ashley Tuttle for her Tony Award nomination in the category of Featured Actress in a Musical. Former ABT dancer John Selya was nominated for Actor in a Musical, and Keith Roberts as Featured Actor in a Musical.

Finally, Julio Bocca has announced that May 31 with be his final performance of "Romeo & Juliet". He will still dance with the company, but not perform Romeo & Juliet in the future.


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 Post subject: Re: American Ballet Theater-Spring/Summer 2003
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2003 9:03 am 
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Young Ballet Star Makes New York Debut
By JOCELYN NOVECK
Associated Press Writer

Quote:
NEW YORK (AP)--There was the unmistakable whiff of stardom in the air the other night at the Metropolitan Opera House.

On the bill was ``La Bayadere,'' a three-act story ballet set in royal India, the kind of lavishly costumed spectacle for which American Ballet Theatre is best known.

But it was a new dancer the crowd had come to see: Alina Cojocaru, 21 and all of 5 feet and 2 inches, a dancer so delicately shaped and light-footed that she can make other ballerinas look positively clunky.

The Romanian-born dancer has had a meteoric rise at London's Royal Ballet, where she is a principal. But she had never set foot in New York until she arrived last week for her two performances of ``La Bayadere,'' partnered by Angel Corella, one of ABT's best-loved and most exciting male dancers.
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 Post subject: Re: American Ballet Theater-Spring/Summer 2003
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2003 11:23 am 
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Quote:
Tenderness Undercuts the Disdain

By JENNIFER DUNNING, NY Times

It takes more than one viewing of Antony Tudor's "Offenbach in the Underworld" to get the point, but one viewing was enough with Stanton Welch's "Clear," in a program presented twice last week by American Ballet Theater at the Metropolitan Opera House. <a href=http://www.nytimes.com/2003/05/14/arts/dance/14OFFE.html target=_blank>more</a>


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