When gamblers reach the bitter end, rather than pay debt they double up on bad bets.
That is what ABT seems to be doing now. Piling good money on bad, in this case, chaining their most accomplished or exciting new male dancers with raggy, sloppy, slow, lazy and weakest female dancers ever seen in the Principal ranks.
The knowledgeable dance audiences have spoken, they do not want to see Jurassic Park dinosaur arm Isabella Boylston, the beautiful but floppy limbed Hee Seo, or the whiny publicity hound Misty Copeland . We don't want to see them even if they are paired with the fabulousness of Herman Cornejo, Marcelo Gomes or Joseph Gorak.
I feel the most for Joseph Gorak. He is an exciting up and comer whereas the others are established dancers. His career is being purposely stymied by being forced to support crooked armed Boylston in the hopes that his classical line and polish will gild her sloppiness.
Gorak had a beautiful partnership growing with Sarah Lane. Both of them were matched in artistry and temperament. They were one of the most romantic looking dance couples in the company. They were both successful and drew ballet fans because they were good and good together. However ABT is convinced that since they drew an audience together they would continue to draw an audience with partners not their equals. So Gorak gets Boylston and Lane gets chain ganged to the bored Simkin.
I'm sorry, I won't sit through Boylston's crooked witch arms and jutting chin performances again just to see Gorak. I think Hee Seo is a very beautiful woman, she just isn't a classical dancer with limbs of steel to support taxing classical technique. Copeland clomps around the stage in unhammered toe shoes and distressing hyper extended legs.
To further the gambling analogy, ABT is now in the process of piling up all their eggs in Copeland's basket. They know dance fans won't support her. So they are hoping the dupes who don't know dance and only Copeland's publicity stunts will flock to her performances. Hence all Copeland's up coming Washington DC Sleeping Beauty performances are double the regular ticket price. And what will the suckers born every minute see? My guess is Copeland attempt yet again to hop on pointe as Princess Florine. No doubt she will fall off pointe as she does time and again. All due to her hyper extension which can be corrected. It must be corrected if she is to continue walking let alone dance.
The better dancers such as Stella Abrera or other up and coming soloists are not given a chance to dance Aurora. Its particularly insulting for Abrera who will debut in the role in the spring NY season. But as of now, is being given no chances to refine the role on the road. It is past the time soloists and lovely Corps (such as Courtney Lavine) should be given their chances at prime roles. When I think of the NYCB giving a flurry of Corps dancers a chance at dancing Sugar Plum Fairy this holiday season, I just sigh. Perhaps ABT should just concentrate on offering one or two classics with longer runs during the spring which will give more dancing opportunities to dancers such as Lane and other soloists plus Corps.
But we won't see it. We will see the glue nags who are being kept in the running instead of being put to pasture.
I think Gorak and Lane should plan a dance elopement and run away together. To a better company that will give them roles to dance together plus filled with talent they can be paired with in equality.
Watch them together dancing the Themes & Variations Pas De Deux at mark 42:32. I doubt we will ever see them dance it together again at ABT or dance together at all. The Guggenheim clip is a record of what was, what could have been and what will never be.