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.

Susan Jones, or, the Art of the Ballet Mistress

Susan Jones cooaching "Paquita."
Susan Jones cooaching “Paquita.”

Here’s my interview with Susan Jones, a ballet mistress at American Ballet Theatre in charge of the corps de ballet. Jones joined ABT in 1970 and stayed for nine years. In that time, she danced every corps role in the rep, plus Lizzie in Fall River Legend, Cowgirl in Rodeo, and a few other choice parts that suited her dramatic side. She quickly showed a skill for remembering steps, which became handy when working with Twyla Tharp on Push Comes to Shove. Baryshnikov made her a ballet mistress, and she never left. This fall, she is re-staging Tharp’s Bach Partita, which hasn’t been done for almost thirty years.