ABT Swan Lake June 17


Gillian Murphy and Cory Stearns. Click for more photos.

Friday’s ABT Swan Lake with Gillian Murphy and Cory Stearns was a solid, but unspectacular performance. Rather than the go for broke quality on Monday with Gillian and Marcelo Gomes, this night had workmanlike qualities throughout. The partnering sections were fine, but Gillian looked more secure with Marcelo. Her balance in the Act III pas de deux was very brief Friday in contrast to Monday; rather than 8-9 supported turns, she generally did 5-6 Friday.

Gillian’s solos were nice, with flowing arms and supple back as she mimicked a frightened swan in the Act II lakeside scene. As usual, her turns were great, particularly her triple pirouette into a double attitude turn in the pas de deux solo and her grand fouett├ęs, which alternated single and double/triple pirouettes, some with an innovative V-shape of her arms overhead.

Dramatically, Cory’s Prince Siegfried was a bit understated. Technically, Cory displayed nice double tours to a deep plie in his solo; his turns in second position were done well with alternating single and double turns, turning into a quad pirouette at the end.

I feel sorry for any ABT dancer doing von Rothbart, as Marcelo owns the role and comparisons are unavoidable (see my review of his performance in the previous post). Former Principal Dancer Ethan Stiefel was impressive along with James Whiteside who currently does the role. Alexandre Hammoudi was dramatically flat Friday, with little arrogance that the role demands. Technically, he was fine, but with a few rough edges on his turns.

The dancing of Christine Shevchenko, Devon Teuscher, and Calvin Royal III was high quality in the Pas de Trois. I hope that Artistic Director has Calvin, Blaine Hoven, and Gabe Stone Shayer (all Corps members) on his promotion list, which should be out shortly. Both are highly deserving.

Another tragic love story is slated for next week. Romeo and Juliet has several great casts, including the return of Alessandra Ferri Thursday with Herman Cornejo. The Friday cast of Hee Seo and Roberto Bolle should be great along with Tuesday and Saturday evening’s pairing of Diana Vishneva and Marcelo Gomes.