|Generations of Swanilda: Danilova, McBride, Hyltin|
|Cast during curtain calls|
|Nellie Olsen: blond terror|
I thought after the second act that her third act would be anti-climactic but it was not so. Her third act wedding pas and variations got stronger and stronger with each variation and she completed those menages of pique turns and series of grande battements/pirouettes en dedans with so much speed and security that she received huge cheers from a hitherto somewhat sleepy matinee audience. Although I'm bummed I had to miss Tiler Peck and Joaquin de Luz's performances this weekend Hyltin was a treasurable Swanilda.
|Whole cast curtain call|
There are three more performances of Coppélia in the season. Don't miss it.
|Lane and Cornejo, Brandt, Gorak|
Nikya is not a bravura role. It's a role that's more about setting an aroma, if you will. And Russian-trained ballerinas with their flexible backs, liquidy arms, and a certain tendency to wallow in onstage suffering simply fit this role like a glove. With that being said, the current crop of ABT dancers are all very Not Russian, and they all put over a lovely performance of La Bayadere tonight.
|The "flame" pose by Ekaterina Kondaorova|
There's room for improvement. With experience I expect the pirouettes to arabesque in the Scarf Duet to be smoother -- tonight they were there but too obviously choreographed with those little breaks that make the gear shifting more obvious than is ideal. Then again I once saw Viktoria Tereshkina of all people come to grief in that treacherous pas. Lane's developpés in the Shades scene occasionally were rocky, and she seemed to lean on Cornejo's body to steady her.. For a debut, Lane had a triumph. And as I said, her greatest quality is not so much her technique but her sincerity. There's no artifice in her dancing.
Skylar Brandt as the spoiled, spiteful Gamzatti showed off her more straightforward, American technique. Brandt was also making a debut and she danced the steps well (including the Italian fouettes to regular fouettes that end the Betrothal pas de deux) but she could project more personality. The catfight between her and Nikya was not as exciting as it can be. And the partnering in the Grand Betrothal pas de deux between her and Cornejo had a few bumpy moments. But still, amazing technique, great future ahead of her.
|Lane and Cornejo share a tender moment at curtain calls|
|ABT Shades, photo @MIRA|