I'm looking at ABT's calendar for their Fall season at what was once the New York State Theater and I'm underwhelmed. The only piece that I have any interest in seeing is Ashton's Monotones I & II. I remember falling in love with it when the Joffrey Ballet filmed it with their ballerina Elizabeth Parkinson back in the late 80s/early 90s
A kind soul has uploaded a grainy version of it. But it still stands as one of Joffrey Ballet's finest performances on film.
The casting of this piece is so important. Because it needs a ballerina on the small side. A small woman makes the intricate twists and turns the male partners initiate for the female dancer much easier. Sarah Lane would be so perfect for this piece. Unfortunately I can imagine the bland, totally unnecessary Kochetkova with her rag doll limbs being shoved into this ballet. Or even worse, Copeland with her knotty muscles and crooked legs which would only be highlighted by the white leotard the ballet requires. We can only hope that Stella Abrera will be cast or maybe new soloist Skylar Brandt will be in it.
Le Spectre de la Rose? I wonder why this is still performed. It was so obviously a vehicle for Nijinsky that anyone else in it is poor by comparison. This ballet requires a man who can project androgyny and be appealing to both sexes plus look a little dangerous. Nijinsky was able to be that plus he had star power that was off the charts. None of the current ABT men fit that model or have one requirement but lack the other. Nureyev attempted to fill out Nijinsky's shoes. See the video below. He had star power and was a bit androgynous. But something is missing.
Baryshnikov's attempt. He is dazzling for sure but looks more boy next door then bodice ripper fantasy man.
Valse Fantasie is a strange choice as well. To perform any kind of Balanchine ballets, in the home theater of NYCB, would cause audiences to compare. Unfortunately the comparison would be poor. Strange. Why schedule something that would make the whole company look poorly?
A new Mark Morris piece looks interesting. The rest...shrug.
I have a feeling I will sit it out and go to the opera instead come the fall. Plus NYCB has scheduled their Swan Lake before they go on break. I MUST see Sara Mearns.
Take a look at the performance she did as a guest star in Rome to an appreciative audience. Granted her form isn't truly classical. But they pumped up the music for her so she can show off her dazzling NYCB style footwork.