By Rose O’Neill 2021
Click here for Rose’s first reflection on her work at ABT.
The upcoming Metropolitan Opera House Season of American Ballet Theatre has so much good programming to choose from! At the top of my list are Romeo and Juliet and La Bayadère–the first two ballets in which I performed as a supernumerary, an extra in the ballet. While I am drawn to watch these performances because of the fond memories I have of being a part of them, they are worth seeing in their own right. The crypt scene of Romeo and Juliet is heartachingly beautiful and La Bayadère offers impressive choreography, particularly Gomzatti’s fouettés and Solor’s variation. La Bayadère has only four showings and since every single cast announced for this ballet is phenomenal (and different), I am considering watching each one! Of the eleven performances of Romeo and Juliet, I am particularly excited to watch Sarah Lane and Joseph Gorak in the lead roles, as I absolutely loved them in Theme and Variations this past season.
To celebrate its 80th anniversary, ABT is offering ABT Then and ABT Now performances. I have already been lucky enough to watch the ABT Now offerings, and I am eagerly awaiting a chance to see the ABT Then programming, most of which I have not yet seen performed by ABT. The ballets on this agenda are Theme and Variations, Jardin aux Lilas and Fancy Free. I am intrigued by the Edwardian setting of Jardin aux Lilas. Fancy Free, the first ballet Jerome Robbins choreographed–and the inspiration for the musical On The Town–promises to be a fun watch.
Of Love and Rage, choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky, is having its New York premiere in the spring. Set in ancient Greece, the work has an extremely intense storyline, as evidenced by the title. I am expecting this ballet to encapsulate ABT’s dual objectives of preserving the classicism of ballet and fostering new innovations for ballet. Jane Eyre, which had its American Premiere last year, is back at ABT for the second time this summer. I am hoping to watch a performance starring Devon Teuscher and James Whiteside, as they were the ones who danced the roles of Jane Eyre and Rochester during the American Premiere.
At this point I’ve already touched on at least half of the ballets being performed in the spring, but there is one more that needs to be mentioned. Though Giselle is one of the most classical ballets, I have yet to see it. Luckily for me, ABT will be dancing it this season, with multiple must-see casts. I am especially excited to watch the performance in which Hee Seo, Cory Stearns, and Devon Teuscher take the lead roles. I am also hoping to attend principal Stella Abrera’s farewell performance in the title role of Giselle.
Here’s to hoping my interest in ballet is not of financial detriment to me! Fortunately, there are some student ticket discounts; two years ago I was able to buy tickets to Whipped Cream for only $14.50 apiece.