American Ballet Theater. May 30th at the Met Opera House.
Tonight’s La Bayadère featured a stunning cast: Gorgeous dancing by Skylar Brandt as Gamzatti, Sarah Lane as Nikiya, and wonderful air time by Herman Cornejo.
The American Ballet Theatre fall season opened tonight with the Fall Gala performance.
My favorite goes to Christopher Wheeldon’s Thirteen Diversions. Love the pairing of Skylar Brandt (full of energy, happiness, and power) and Sarah Lane (gentle and graceful). Other memorable moments include Stella Abrera and Thomas Forster‘s duet (beautiful with a dramatic opening when they, dressed in white, stood against a sea of dancers in black) and Misty Copeland and Gray Davis’ second duet.
The world premiere of “The Gift” is stunning too. Happy. Dynamic. Uplifting. Choreographed by Jessica Lang and performed by 40+ dancers dressed in all white from the ABT Apprentices, ABT Studio Company, and the Upper 2 and 1 students at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School. I love Jessica’s use of (so many) dancers on stage. There’s both structure and spontaneity. Everything just flows, with beautiful transitions, dramatic build-ups, and the gorgeous lines. Love the wonderful energy and the passion from these young dancers. Bravos to a lovely performance!
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!!
Young love, broken hearts, and forgiveness tonight with Giselle at American Ballet Theatre.
Sarah Lane is gorgeous as Giselle, and perfectly captures the sorrow, the sadness, and the anguish in Giselle before her death. Likewise, Herman Cornejo is amazing with his turns, leaps, and extensions (how does he kick so high?) cultivating in his dramatic death in front of the wilis.
Two random thoughts: Puppies on stage tonight!!! Why is that our best so often comes out only at the final moments, of death or farewell?