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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 9:11 am 
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The NY Times profiles ABT's newest principal:

Quote:
More Than Just Your Standard Classical Hero

By ROSLYN SULCAS
Published: May 21, 2006

FOR a few years David Hallberg seemed ever-so-slightly too perfect. He is 6-foot-1, with a body that is ideally proportioned for a dancer — broad shoulders, narrow waist, long-muscled tapering legs — and his natural abilities as a dancer are no less evident. Mr. Hallberg, a newly anointed principal dancer with American Ballet Theater, has almost improbably arched feet, a perfect turn-out (the rotation of the hips that is the primary principle of ballet technique), a springy, floating jump and a natural ability to turn. His elegance in motion is reminiscent of noble, refined dancers of another era, like Eric Bruhn or Anthony Dowell, and his delicate features and blond hair are perfectly suited to the ballet princes he was destined to dance.


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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 9:31 am 
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John Rockwell on the current dancer situation at ABT:

Quote:
Kevin McKenzie Keeps American Ballet Theater in a State of Permanent Renewal

By JOHN ROCKWELL
Published: May 21, 2006

LIKE the manager of any big organization, Kevin McKenzie must always fret about the future. Or if not fret about, then at least contemplate. His particular organization is American Ballet Theater, and actuarially speaking, its personnel turnover is more rapid than most. The current situation is even a little more acute than usual.


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I would definately agree that ABT has a wonderful range of talented principals. I've very much missed seeing dancers like Gomes & Corella since I've moved across the Atlantic.

Hoever, I think that Mr. Rockwell is stretching the point by including Acosta and Vishneva in the list with the non-guest principal dancers. They are guests who come, often for just a single season, and dance a very limited number of performances. Both are listed for just five performances during the 2006 Met Season - Acosta in the first half of the season, Vishneva in the second. (Compared to say Angel Corella who is scheduled for approximately 18 performances).

To be fair, ABT does not make the distinction, and I think it's unfair to its own full time principal dancers and to the audience. There's a huge difference between a dancer who flies in for a few weeks to perform a couple of roles and dancer who is with the company full time. Why not achknowledge the magnitude of their contributions like the Royal Ballet does, and designate them as permanent guest artists or the like.

Kate


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 Post subject: Pina Bausch and Jérôme Bel?
PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 10:04 am 
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Have just read Halberg's remarks about Jérôme Bel

Now that's a scream !

The lad is doubtless not au fait of what little Jérôme has been getting up to in Dublin 18 months ago... or his delicate "The Show must Go On" at Montreal shortly after the September 11th events ... or his remarks to the effect that his "dream" is to "place dead bodies on stage"....

Perhaps some Americans still nurture fond ideas about us European er, "sophisticates".... better said, "sophists", since with little Jérôme, we're in a Peggy Phelan area.


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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 3:56 am 
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Quote:
American Ballet Theatre, Metropolitan Opera House, New York
by HILARY OSTLERE for the Financial Times

Following in the Royal Ballet’s footsteps, a revival of MacMillan’s Manon joins Sylvia, debuted here last summer. In an extract, Diana Vishneva made an alluring if somewhat passive Manon as she was borne around from gentleman to gentleman in dolphin dives over their heads.

published: May 23, 2006
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 2:26 pm 
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THIRD AND FOURTH WEEKS CASTING FOR AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE’S
SPRING SEASON AT METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE ANNOUNCED

Guest Artist Guillaume Côté to Debut with American Ballet Theatre
in James Kudelka’s Cinderella, Tuesday, June 6



Casting for the third and fourth weeks of American Ballet Theatre’s 2006 Spring Season at the Metropolitan Opera House was announced today by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie.

Eight performances of James Kudelka’s Cinderella will be performed Monday evening, June 5 through Saturday evening, June 10. Guillaume Côté, a principal dancer with National Ballet of Canada, will perform the role of Her Prince Charming on Tuesday, June 6, Thursday, June 8 and Saturday evening, June 10. Côté will dance the role opposite Xiomara Reyes who makes her debut in the title role. Côté originated the role of Her Prince Charming in Kudelka’s Cinderella at the ballet’s premiere in Canada in 2004.

Giselle will be given eight performances by ABT beginning Monday evening, June 12 with Xiomara Reyes in the title role dancing opposite Julio Bocca as Albrecht. Giselle is set to music by Adolphe Adam, orchestrated by John Lanchbery. This production was staged by Kevin McKenzie, with choreography after Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot and Marius Petipa.

Countrywide Financial Corporation is the National Sponsor of American Ballet Theatre. Northern Trust is a season sponsor of ABT at the Metropolitan Opera House. ABT’s 2006 Spring Season is also made possible with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. American Airlines is the Official Airline of ABT.

Complete casting follows:

THIRD WEEK

Mon. Eve., June 5, 8 P.M. CINDERELLA – Murphy, Hallbrg

Tues. Eve., June 6, 8 P.M. CINDERELLA – Reyes*, Côté**

Wed. Mat., June 7, 2 P.M. CINDERELLA – Murphy, Hallberg

Wed. Eve., June 7, 8 P.M. CINDERELLA – Kent, Gomes

Thurs. Eve., June 8, 8 P.M. CINDERELLA – Reyes, Côté

Fri. Eve., June 9, 8 P.M. CINDERELLA – Murphy, Hallberg

Sat. Mat., June 10, 2 P.M. CINDERELLA – Kent, Gomes

Sat. Eve., June 10, 8 P.M. CINDERELLA – Reyes, Côté


FOURTH WEEK

Mon. Eve., June 12, 8 P.M. GISELLE – Reyes, Bocca, Murphy, Saveliev

Tues. Eve., June 13, 8 P.M. GISELLE – Herrera, Gomes, Abrera, Radetsky

Wed. Mat., June 14, 2 P.M. GISELLE – Dvorovenko, Beloserkovsky, Part, Pastor

Wed. Eve., June 14, 8 P.M. GISELLE – Vishneva, Malakhov, Wiles, Stappas

Thurs. Eve., June 15, 8 P.M. GISELLE – Kent, Carreño, Part, Pastor

Fri. Eve., June 16, 8 P.M. GISELLE – Reyes, Bocca, Murphy, Saveliev

Sat. Mat., June 17, 2 P.M. GISELLE – Herrera, Gomes, C. Corella, Radetsky

Sat. Eve., June 17, 8 P.M. GISELLE – Vishneva, Corella, Wiles, Stappas


*Please note: First time in a role:
Tues. Eve., June 6 – Reyes in Cinderella

**Please note: First time in a role with ABT:
Tues. Eve., June 6 – Côté in Cinderella

-30


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 3:24 pm 
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A review of the opening gala from the NY Times:

Quote:
A Gala Is a Kickoff to American Ballet Theater's Season

By JOHN ROCKWELL
Published: May 24, 2006

Monday's opening-night gala for American Ballet Theater's season at the Metropolitan Opera House fulfilled most of its innocent gala expectations. There was some serious stuff, a nice preview of season highlights and some superior dancing. There were also a cancellation and some disappointments, along with two missing principals who are scheduled to crop up in the season proper, Alessandra Ferri and Vladimir Malakhov. But on the whole the event moved swiftly and surely through to its overt goal, which was dinner


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 Post subject: single orchestra ticket June 12
PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2006 1:21 pm 
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June 12
8 pm
Giselle
Seat K118 available for cost $88
Am unable to attend.

_________________
Edward H. Willis


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2006 1:05 pm 
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It's "Le Corsaire" time at ABT!:

Quote:
Le Corsaire' at American Ballet Theater

By JENNIFER DUNNING
Published: May 27, 2006

The Metropolitan Opera House was overrun with dashing pirates and abducted ladies when American Ballet Theater's production of "Le Corsaire" was danced by three new casts at performances on Wednesday and Thursday. The marathon got off to a good start with a role debut at the Wednesday matinee by Erica Cornejo as Gulnare, the spirited friend of the ballet's heroine, Medora, danced by Irina Dvorovenko. Ms. Cornejo seems almost as miraculous a dancer as her brother, Herman, who had the matinee audience gasping at his daring pyrotechnics as the slave trader Lankendem.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2006 1:53 am 
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Two articles from the NY Times:

Quote:
A Night for Stravinsky at American Ballet Theater

By JOHN ROCKWELL
Published: May 29, 2006

The Metropolitan Opera House was not full on Friday night for the first of American Ballet Theater's "All-Star Stravinsky" programs. That may mean audiences are resisting Stravinsky or Ballet Theater mixed bills at the Met, or simply that much of the company's regular public had decamped for the Memorial Day weekend.

Or that the repertory wasn't fresh enough. Ballet Theater had performed "Apollo" just last fall at City Center, with the same cast but for Polyhymnia. "Petrouchka" was seen last summer at the Met as part of the company's "Fokine Celebration." The only novelty was John Cranko's version of "Jeu de Cartes," and that was pretty slight.


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Quote:
American Ballet Theater Performs James Kudelka's 'Cinderella' at the Met

By TOBI TOBIAS
Published: May 28, 2006

I SEE Cinderella not only as a fairy-tale character but also as a real person, feeling, experiencing and moving among us," Sergei Prokofiev has been quoted as writing of his score for the ballet "Cinderella." Composed in 1945, it has inspired numerous choreographers with very different takes on the theme, among them, recently, James Kudelka. His "Cinderella," created in 2004 for his home company, the National Ballet of Canada, will be given its New York premiere by American Ballet Theater on Friday at the Metropolitan Opera House.


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 Post subject: Cinderella
PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 9:39 am 
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In response to a steadily diminishing number of requests. I'm back. Briefly. There'll be more to follow, when I get a little time (that's a joke!), but I wanted to let all who care know that Kudelka's Cinderella, though uneven, is (to me) unexpectedly wonderful. I went to last night's opening, and although you can take an opening night audience's reaction with a grain of salt, the audience response was extremely positive as well.
Althogh I had some difficulty getting used to the style, and had problems with the some of the concept in Act I (but much of it was also thrillingly inventive), the ballet won me (and the audience) over with Act II (the 'ball' scene), which was absolutely riviting and wonderful in all respects. Overall, it was the best "new" concept of a tried and true that I've seen in I-can't-remember-when. It won't make me forget Ashton, or certain Ashton Cinderellas, but it's a delightful new point of view.
Julie Kent looked and danced fabulously, as did Marcello Gomez. But Carmen Corella and Erica Cornejo, as the step-sisters, stole the ballet. Erica in particular should win the ballet equivalent of a Tony, if there was one. She was so good in bringing (again, as she did in Rodeo) so much humanity to what could have been just a slapstick portrayal that it was a privilege just to watch her do her thing. What a performance!
As I said, more later. But I think ABT has a hit on its hands.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 1:15 pm 
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The NY Times on 'Cinderella'

Quote:
American Ballet Theater's 'Cinderella': That Rags to Riches Story, With a Bit More of the Rags

By JENNIFER DUNNING
Published: June 8, 2006

Xiomara Reyes brought the much-needed ingredient of charm to James Kudelka's "Cinderella" in American Ballet Theater's performance on Tuesday night at the Metropolitan Opera House. Gillian Murphy and David Hallberg, new in the ballet's lead roles on Saturday afternoon, suggested that polished virtuosity alone was not enough, though the production has few opportunities for that kind of dancing.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 1:17 pm 
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And more

Quote:
This Cinderella Finds Jazz, New Toeshoes and Happiness

By JOHN ROCKWELL
Published: June 5, 2006

A perplexing choreographer, James Kudelka. Last year the Brooklyn Academy of Music brought in his 2002 production for the National Ballet of Canada of "The Contract (The Pied Piper)," which was subverted by a muddled narrative. On Friday night the American Ballet Theater presented his 2004 National Ballet of Canada production of "Cinderella" at the Metropolitan Opera House. It was a choreographically enticing, visually stunning success. Maybe Mr. Kudelka is better working off an existing story — and score — than inventing or commissioning his own.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 4:47 am 
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Quote:
Cinderella, Metropolitan Opera House, New York
by HILARY OSTLERE for the Financial Times

It is not quite Cinderella meets Beauty and the Beast but this latest addition to American Ballet Theatre’s roster of three-act ballets, choreographed by James Kudelka in 2004 for The National Ballet of Canada, is sheer Disneyesque-Broadway. Even Cinderella’s glitzy pumpkin slides on stage like a spacecraft. Anyone familiar with Frederick Ashton’s piquant and lovely Cinderella to the Prokoviev score, long a staple of many ballet companies, is in for a shock.

published: June 8, 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 1:26 pm 
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NY Times on "Giselle"

Quote:
'Giselle': American Ballet Theater's Poignant Heroine

By JOHN ROCKWELL
Published: June 14, 2006

"Giselle" may be a war horse, but it's an elegant, soulful war horse. Every year, it seems, it moseys back to the Metropolitan Opera House with American Ballet Theater, and sometimes also with visiting companies, and every year it reasserts its classic lines.

Such eternal freshness might seem particularly odd with Ballet Theater, where the ballet began a week's run on Monday night. This is a venerable production, dating back 20 years, and doggedly traditional, yet still handsome on those terms. Casts rotate with Ballet Theater's usual frequency. And yet there it remains, moving and beautiful, seemingly no matter what the production or who is dancing.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2006 2:07 am 
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Quote:
Fairy-Tale Skirmish
Extra! Prince abandons court life to cultivate garden!
by DEBORAH JOWITT for the Village Voice

Kudelka often fails to organize his ruckus to clarify the drama. It's clear that he wants to blend dancing and humanizing details, but sometimes the latter obscure the former. I love how, when the sisters have spilled Cinderella's water bucket and swamped her mop, Kent (a fine actress) gamely uses the skirt of her ragged dress to swab the floor. But why does Kudelka so often rivet our eyes on Cornejo's business with her spectacles (delightful as it is) to the detriment of the good-looking ensemble dancing he has devised?

published: June 13, 2006
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