More Tchaikovsky Spectacular

My second evening of Tchaikovsky Spectacular with American Ballet Theatre! Tonight’s program features eight principals and four soloists in excerpts from four ballets.

I was floored by Alexei Ratmansky’s “Souvenir d’un lieu cher” (Memory of a dear place). What a beautiful choreography. What an emotional story about the intertwined lives of two pairs of lovers. What a perfect cast to deliver the dance.

Stella Abrera is gorgeous in her turns and leaps, but was even more stunning playing her sentimental and slightly temperamental character whose past (Alban) crossed into her present (Marcelo). Likewise, Marcelo Gomes and Alban Lendorf are absolutely amazing technically, but delivered even more amazing theatre tonight. Sarah Lane was wonderful as the jovial and perhaps innocent girl opposite Stella.

The chemistry among the cast is incredible. My favorite moment is when Alban kissed Sarah. Stella reacted with a sense of shock, denial, sadness… before she dashed off stage. Marcelo stood by the wings of the theater… just watching Stella, loving her, but knowing there is nothing he could do. Wow!!! ❤️❤️❤️

My other favorite of the night is AfterEffect by ABT’s very own Marcelo Gomes. The piece starts with a rare ensemble of 13 male dancers. The scene is beautifully choreographed and generously showcases the men’s movements. I love the large formations, some numbering 24+ dancers. I also love how Marcelo uses the crowd to draw attention to the soloists. Highlights include Cassandra Trenary flying high from above to kiss Cory Stearns below amongst a sea of dancers. Congrats on the Met Opera House premier!!

Finally, love James Whiteside‘s explosiveness and Misty Copeland‘s musicality and playfulness in The Nutcracker’s Act II Pas de Deux.

Swan Lake: Isabella Boylston

Swan Lake at American Ballet Theatre tonight. What a wonderful show!!

I finally saw Isabella Boylston in a lead role for the first time, and got to meet her during the backstage tour! Though still nursing an injury, Isabella captured her roles perfectly: magnificent as Odette and playful if not mischievous as Odile. No fouette sequence tonight, but her lines and extensions are just gorgeous. Wishing you a speedy full recovery, Isabella.

Not to be outdone, Alban Lendorf was impeccable as Prince Siegfried. I love their duets but also Alban’s solos at the Great Hall: so powerful yet so musical. As if two-and-half hours of ballet wasn’t exhausting enough, Alban made a grand exit at the very end. Jetting across the stage and taking one of the highest and biggest leap, following Odette, to his death. Wow. Talk about partnering and chemistry. 😉

Bravos to Skylar Brandt for going all out in the pas de trois at the Birthday Party. Having heard wonderful things about her debut as Medora in Le Corsaire, I was excited to see her tonight. And what gorgeous leaps and turns! I will definitely be looking out for Skylar in the future.

p.s. Read more about Isabella and Alban’s partnering in New York Times this week.