Naomi Mori of Backtrack reviews ABT’s All Star Gala program from Tokyo, where the company is performing until March 2 (see her review of ABT’s Nutcracker in the previous post). She liked female leads Gillian Murphy and Skylar Brandt and male leads Cory Stearns and particularly Gabe Stone Shayer in Piano Concerto No. 1. Ivan Vasiliev was scheduled to dance with Natalia Osipova in the Don Q pas de deux but cancelled his appearance, leaving Natalia to dance the Act II solo from Manon. Isabella Boylston and Daniil Simkin were the leads in Balanchine’s Theme and Variations. Daniil pulled off the treacherous double tour/pirouette section, unlike the fall New York season where I heard that he struggled substantially. However, Naomi thought his partnering was weak, a constant criticism of him.
Naomi liked Yuriko Kajiya (from Nagoya, Japan) and Herman Cornejo in the Giselle pas de deux along with Hee Seo and Alexandre Hammoudi in the Sleeping Beauty pas de deux. Also performing were Roberto Bolle, Misty Copeland, and Julie Kent.