ABT Harlequinade. Don’t waste the money.
Angel Corella has really pushed Baca to stardom. At ABT he was in the corps and he left ABT to become a principal at Pennsylvania Ballet. Most of the dancers who were there before Corella have either retired or been let go. Ian Hussey is I think the last PA Ballet vet and he's retiring at the end of the season ... at the ripe old age of 33. So if the dancers seem unformed it might be because all of them have been pushed very hard within a few short years to dancing everything.Yesterday I took the train down to Philadelphia to join some friends at the matinee of Pennsylvania Ballet's new production of Giselle. After it was over one friend pronounced it 'charmless' and I have to agree. I lay the blame squarely on Sterling Baca. To the best of my recollection this is the first time I've seen him in anything and I was shocked by what a cipher his Albrecht was. He wasn't the super-cad of a Nureyev or a Malakhov and he wasn't the young puppy genuinely in love (I'm thinking Frank Augustyn was like that IIRC). Baca was just meh. I've lost count of how many Giselles I've seen in the last 45 years and this was the first time I ever wondered what she saw in the guy. I enjoyed Dayesi Torriente's Giselle, but this was just not a super afternoon at the ballet. I'll give the company the benefit of the doubt and assume we just happened to hit an off afternoon which could happen to anyone. (It didn't help that Baca annoyed me by doing some rather unexciting entrechats in the second act when I prefer brises at that moment; I just think they fit the plot line better.). The whole thing was ABT lite in my humble opinion.
I'd recommend Balanchine's Midsummer Night's Dream at NYC Ballet in May - read the play first if you can, then you'll really appreciate the wit of the choreography. The entire plot is told in the first act, and then the second act is wedding festivities, crowned by one of the loveliest pas de deux ever. Alternatively, you can't live without seeing Swan Lake! ABT is doing it in June. Others here can tell you which casts to see and avoid. Enjoy!I live in NY and want to see a ballet for the first time. Does anyone have any recommendations?
Well here's my wrapup of the NYCB winter season.
Second the recommendations for Midsummer's Night Dream.
Thank you both! Very helpful. Really looking forward to going!I'd recommend Balanchine's Midsummer Night's Dream at NYC Ballet in May - read the play first if you can, then you'll really appreciate the wit of the choreography. The entire plot is told in the first act, and then the second act is wedding festivities, crowned by one of the loveliest pas de deux ever. Alternatively, you can't live without seeing Swan Lake! ABT is doing it in June. Others here can tell you which casts to see and avoid. Enjoy!
What do you mean by "non-PC"? And thank you very much for your recommendations!I would start with the classics first. If you are not bothered by the non-PC elements of 19th century ballet, I would check out Corsaire, especially as the amazing Brooklyn Mack will be performing as a guest artist. Swan Lake is Swan Lake.
I personally would also try to see anything Gabe Stone Shayer is in. He is just a delight.
There's a miserly, hooked-nosed guardian (of the heroine), Isaac Lanquedem, who sells her to Seyd-Pasha, and at one ha-ha point is shaken down and gold coins fall out of his hat. If there was any question, from the English-language synopsis on the Bolshoi Ballet's English-language website,What do you mean by "non-PC"? And thank you very much for your recommendations!
ABT's production may play down the anti-Semitism or eliminate it.Catching sight of Isaac, who leads in Medora, Seyd-Pasha is overjoyed. Medora begs Seyd-Pasha to grant her her freedom but, seeing that he is unrelenting, complains of cruel treatment by her guardian; Seyd-Pasha orders the eunuch to send the Jew packing