"Stella Abrera" tag
Daniil Simkin and Alexei Agoudine in Ratmansky's Whipped Cream.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Whipped Cream – Costa Mesa

★★★✰✰   Be careful what you wish for. The Boy in Alexei Ratmansky’s Whipped Cream wishes for unlimited sweets; overfulfillment sends him to the hospital with sugar hallucinations.

Daniil Simkin and Blaine Hoven in Alexei Ratmansky's Serenade after Plato’s Symposium.© Marty Sohl. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Serenade after Plato’s Symposium, Symphonic Variations, Brahms-Haydn Variations + Fall Gala – New York

★★★★✰   A second look at Alexei Ratmansky’s Serenade after Plato’s Symposium confirms the impression formed last season. It is a fascinating work that represents a new direction for the choreographer.

Stella Abrera and Marcelo Gomes in The Sleeping Beauty.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – The Sleeping Beauty – New York

★★★★✰   This is a production that lives and breathes, and which rewards multiple viewings, changing subtly with each cast.

Alessandra Ferri in Romeo and Juliet.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Romeo and Juliet with Alessandra Ferri – New York

★★★★✰   One can only imagine the satisfaction of dancing such a role at the age of 53, to a full house, among friends. The ovations were rapturous and went on for a long time.

Misty Copeland and Herman Cornejo in La Fille mal gardée.© MIRA. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – La Fille Mal Gardée – New York

★★★★★   La Fille Mal Gardée is a ballet that glows from within, lighthearted, tender and bursting with happy ideas.

American Ballet Theatre in Ratmansky's Serenade after Plato’s Symposium.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Spring Gala – New York

★★★★✰   It isn’t often that a gala program proves satisfying, but this one was the exception.

Michaela DePrince in Balanchine's Tarantella.© VAM/ Siggul. (Click image for larger version)

Youth America Grand Prix – Gala 2016 – New York

★★✰✰✰   Like all galas, this was quite a mixed bag. Over 200 students trooped on and offstage in a veritable tornado of activity before the veteran YAGP dancers stepped out for the showstopping stuff…

Isabella Boylston in The Sleeping Beauty.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – The Sleeping Beauty – Washington

★★★★✰ “Ratmansky’s new staging is a Beauty like you have never seen before: it uncovers the original ballet’s genuine beauty, which faded over the years under the clutter of modern revisions.”

Gillian Murphy and Sterling Baca in After You by Mark Morris.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – After You, Monotones I & II, Brahms-Haydn Variations – New York

ABT galas are more laid-back than City Ballet’s; they’re less “produced,” with fewer speeches or slick video presentations. For the most part, the company just gets on with the show, with minimum fuss.

Emery LeCrone in the studio.© Rosalie O’Connor. (Click image for larger version)

Emery LeCrone – Joyce Theater Ballet Festival bill – New York

I want to see what LeCrone can do with more bodies and longer pieces.

Marianela Nuñez and James Whiteside in Cinderella.© MIRA. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Cinderella – New York

Two 2 casts reeviewed – led out by Stella Abrera and a guesting Marianela Nunez. But the star of Cinderella is the ballet itself – Ashton’s tribute to Petipa, to silliness, and to the power of childlike wonder…

American Ballet Theatre in Alexei Ratmansky’s The Sleeping Beauty.© Doug Gifford. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – The Sleeping Beauty – New York

Perhaps the most striking element in Alexei Ratmansky’s new Sleeping Beauty for American Ballet Theatre is its musicality, the way the steps, peppered with accents and breaths, unspool within the music.

American Ballet Theatre in Giselle.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Giselle (Abrera debut) – New York

The American Ballet Theatre season continues with Giselle where Marina Harss saw Stella Abrera’s company debut. The response to the performance was understandably enthusiastic.

Xiomara Reyes in Rodeo.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Theme and Variations, Pillar of Fire, Rodeo – Washington

Nothing can ignite a cowboy’s imagination better than the fluttery ruffles of a voluminous skirt…

American Ballet Theatre – Raymonda Divertissements and Sinfonietta triple bills – New York

Critics have compared the new Liam Scarlett to Jerome Robbins’ Dances at a Gathering; if so, it’s as if Dances had been set in an unhappy corner of the planet, for a group of lost souls…

American Ballet Theatre in Swan Lake.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Swan Lake, Bach Partita, Seven Sonatas, Fancy Free – Brisbane

No-one could fail to be impressed by the versatility of ABT’s dancers and by the diverse repertoire they brought. They did themselves, their company and their country proud.

Xiomara Reyes and Sascha Radetsky in Coppélia.© MIRA. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Coppélia – New York

The three dancers who took their leave this week – Sascha Radetsky, Yuriko Kajiya and Jared Matthews – are all soloists. Each led a different cast of the company’s 1997 production of Coppélia.

Gillian Murphy in The Dream.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – The Dream, The Tempest – New York

Who but Frederick Ashton could turn a marital spat into one of the most delightful, touching works in the ballet repertoire? His 1964 The Dream is precisely that…

Polina Semionova and David Hallberg in Giselle.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Giselle – New York

Few nineteenth-century story ballets are as satisfying as Giselle, with its simple and poetic plot, compact structure and starkly contrasting moods. This week I watched four Giselles, with four distinctly different casts…

Roman Zhurbin and Craig Salstein in Cinderella.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Cinderella – New York

To fully enjoy Ashton, one has to be willing to acquiesce to one’s own softer impulses, a sense of wonder and perhaps a little nostalgia, and to surrender the loveliness of small things.

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