while i did not attend the introduction to ABTs fall season at the guggenheim museum in person, i was happy to catch the live stream right here in my very own house! we were treated to excerpts from three ballets that will be performed in ABT’s fall season- stanton welch’s “clear”, fokine’s “les sylphides” and mark morris’ “gong”. the evening was moderated by john meehan.
first up was “clear” but i’m going to start with the second feature, “les sylphides”. okay, i was super extra hoping that joseph gorak was going to be dancing the poet because he’s so gorgeous and i think this is an ideal role for him, so when they announced that indeed- he would be, i was ever so thrilled! BUT THEN……. the stupid live stream froze after he danced about three wonderfully elegant steps and didn’t un-freeze until he finished his solo. boo. but happily we did get to see veronika part dance the prelude and she was breathtaking. wow- she performed some of the most beautiful, soft, floaty temps de fleche i have ever seen. following veronika came the return of joe gorak (hooray!) this time alongside isabella boylston, who was admittedly more ethereal and breathy than i expected her to be (i tend to find isabella better suited to feisty roles) and they were both quite beautiful.
a few quick excerpts from mark morris’ “gong” were showcased in the middle of the program and with the bright costumes and high-spirited movement it looks to be a lot of fun.
three selections from stanton welch’s ballet “clear” were shown and this thrilled me to no end as i looove this ballet! opening the evening was a trio danced by jared matthews, luis ribagorda and arron scott. most impressive was, given the intricacy of the choreography, how well the three men stayed synchronized! (jared’s turn/tour sequence and arron’s gargouillades were pretty kick-ass as well). the second selection was a beautiful duo for two men, thomas forster and daniel mantei, and closing the program was the final pas de deux from the ballet featuring paloma herrera and sascha radetsky. now, okay. i know i have gone on in the past about how the reason i love “clear” is because of the musicality and beauty of the choreography blahblahblah and not because it’s danced by a bunch of gorgeous shirtless men- and that’s all absolutely true- but maybe i’m going to back peddle just a tiny bit. i hate to be like this but really, if you ever get the chance to see sascha perform shirtless in anything i have to advise you to do so because…..damn. sorry, i’m only human here, cut me some slack. however, this is in no way meant to reduce sascha to a piece of incredibly well chiseled meat, as he is so very much more than that- he’s a brilliant artist and a wonderful dancer in every way, one of my favorites in the company and i’m happy to see him perform any role : ) needless to say, the pas de deux was lovely and i look forward to seeing the ballet in it’s entirety next month at lincoln center.
if you missed last night you’re still in luck as ABT is repeating the program live tonight at 7:30 and you can watch it here! enjoy!
*** a quick update*** i should not have neglected to mention how wonderful and instrumental to the evening was susan jones. susan spoke generously about her contribution to re-staging les sylphides and twyla tharp’s bach partita. she is very engaging, instantly lovable and certainly contributed greatly to the evenings success : )