Mixed Rep-Dec. 17


Guillaume Côté, ABT, A Month in the County, November 9, 2013

Guillaume Côté Injured

Bad news from Canada. National Ballet of Canada Principal Dancer and sometime ABT guest artist Guillaume Côté suffered a severe knee injury Saturday, tearing his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during a Nutcracker performance in Toronto, according to TheStar.com. According to the article, he could be sidelined for six months or more.

First soloist Keiichi Hirano, who on Saturday night had danced a featured role earlier in Act II, rapidly changed costumes, hauling on white tights and Côté’s crimson prince’s doublet, to partner principal dancer Greta Hodgkinson for the remainder of the show. Hirano has performed the role in past Nutcracker seasons and was already cast to perform Peter three times during the current run.

Ironically, Hirano is no stranger to in-performance injury. He had to hop single-legged from the stage after snapping his Achilles tendon during the National Ballet’s 2007 Erik Bruhn Competition.

Guillaume and his wife, Principal Dancer Heather Ogden are expecting their first child on Christmas Eve.

HT: meunier fan at BalletAlert

50th Anniversary of NYCB Nutcracker

Interesting article by Laura Jacobs in Vanity Fair on the 50th anniversary of Balanchine’s Nutcracker.

“What I remember most,” says Suki Schorer, an S.A.B. faculty member who danced the Marzipan Shepherdess on that December afternoon of 1964, “was how really excited Balanchine was to finally have a big tree. He talked about it, how as a young boy he would look up at this immense tree. He wanted Marie to have that same feeling of looking up.”

The boughs, garlands, and glitter of Balanchine’s Nutcracker poke, weave, and gleam through the history of both N.Y.C.B. and ballet in this country. Monetarily, what it brings in during its five weeks of sold-out performances is impressive: last year’s run of The Nutcracker generated just over $13 million, which accounted for roughly 18 percent of N.Y.C.B.’s total annual budget for the 2014 fiscal year. “I used to have conversations with Beverly Sills and her successors at City Opera,” recalls Martins. “They used to say to me all the time, ‘God, you’re so lucky. We haveLa Bohème, but we can’t do 40 performances of Bohème. You have The Nutcracker.’”

New Music Director at NYCB

Andrew Litton was named the new music director at NYCB. According to the Times:

It is unusual for a symphony conductor of Mr. Litton’s stature to decide to lead a ballet company ensemble: He is the music director of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra in Norway, and was formerly music director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and principal conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony in Britain. But this will be a homecoming: Like Alan Gilbert, the music director of the New York Philharmonic, he grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan — so two of Lincoln Center’s big orchestras will be led by native New Yorkers.