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Something Stale

Alina Cojocaru and Herman Cornejo in La Bayadère. Photo by Gene Schiavone.
Alina Cojocaru and Herman Cornejo in La Bayadère. Photo by Gene Schiavone.

 

After seeing two performances of Natalia Makarova’s La Bayadère at American Ballet Theatre I was left feeling that the ballet has gone a bit stale. You can read my review of the two casts, for DanceTabs, here.

To the Manner Born

Stella Abrera, by Jade Young.
Stella Abrera of ABT, by Jade Young.

Abrera had her début in ABT’s Giselle on Saturday, May 23. You can read my review for DanceTabs here.

Against Type

On Saturday night, Misty Copeland had her New York début as the Cowgirl in Agnes de Mille’s “Rodeo.” She was fantastic: funny, relaxed, charming, touching. A natural comedienne. It was a side of her dancing I’d never seen, a brilliant bit of casting against type. (Copeland is usually cast in either more contemporary work, or classical variations, or parts that highlight her natural glamour.) But last Saturday she threw herself into De Mille’s dopey character heart and soul, and brought the audience along for the ride.

Roman Zhurbin, Misty Copeland and Craig Salstein in Rodeo.  Photo: Marty Sohl.
Roman Zhurbin, Misty Copeland and Craig Salstein in Rodeo. Photo: Marty Sohl.

 

ABT Marks 75 years

Gillian Murphy and Marcelo Gomes in Pillar of Fire. Photo by Marty Sohl.
Gillian Murphy and Marcelo Gomes in Pillar of Fire. Photo by Marty Sohl.

In its first week, the company performs works from its first decade. See my review of two programs here.

Past Glories

As I was watching a screener of Ric Burns’s “American Ballet Theatre: A History,” which will broadcast on PBS on May 15, I was struck by the contrast between the exalted, almost religious feeling ballet lovers have toward the works of the past and the conflicted attitude of opera lovers toward the “canon” today.

A Final Nutcracker

Columbine and Harlequin in ABT's Nutcracker. Photo by MIRA.
Columbine and Harlequin in ABT’s Nutcracker. Photo by MIRA.

Alexei Ratmansky’s Nutcracker for American Ballet Theatre is having its last run at the Brooklyn Academy of Music before moving to the west coast next year. For the first time since its premiere in 2010, the theatre is full… Can’t help feeling a pang of loss. It’s a wonderfully imaginative rendition, a great antidote to Balanchine’s pitch-perfect version. Here’s my review of last night’s performance for DanceTabs, with Cory Stearns and Hee Seo in the lead roles.

Ethan Stiefel Moves Ahead

Ethan Stiefel as Albrecth in Giselle, 2001. Photo by Rosalie O'Connor.
Ethan Stiefel as Albrecth in Giselle, 2001. Photo by Rosalie O’Connor.

I sat down with Ethan Stiefel a few weeks after his return to New York from New Zealand where, for three years, he was the artistic director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet. We talked about his time there, his transition from dancer to director, his choreographic aspirations, and his plans (and non-plans) for the future. You can find the interview here, at DanceTabs.

First Impressions: The Mikhailovsky Ballet

Natalia Osipova and Leonid Sarafanov in the Mikhailovsky's production of Giselle. Photo by Paul Kolnik.
Natalia Osipova and Leonid Sarafanov in the Mikhailovsky’s production of Giselle. Photo by Paul Kolnik.

 

The Mikhailovsky Ballet had its New York début this week in Giselle. Opening night was led by a starry cast: Natalia Osipova and Leonid Sarafanov. Here’s my review of that performance, as well as the one at the following matinée, with Anastasia Soboleva and Victor Lebedev as Giselle and Albrecht. Soboleva is a find.

And some background on the company.

Take Two

Xiomara Reyes and Herman Cornejo in Alexei Ratmansky’s Seven Sonatas. © Rosalie O’Connor.
Xiomara Reyes and Herman Cornejo in Alexei Ratmansky’s Seven Sonatas. © Rosalie O’Connor.

Over the weekend, I saw a second cast in Liam Scarlett’s new “With a Chance of Rain,” plus Alexei Ratmansky’s beautiful “Seven Sonatas,” JIri Kylian’s “Sinfonietta,” and more. You can read my review here.