Ahoy me hearties! ( the same as saying “Hello, my friends!”)
On June 5, 2017 me fellow Corsair (pirates in the Mediterranean Sea) harbored the Jacob’s ladder o’ the ship (the rope ladder one uses to climb aboard a sloop) to watch American Ballet Theatre’s presentation of the classic, ‘Le Corsaire’ at the Metropolitan Opera House.
Here are me thoughts: Avast ye! ( stop and check this out or pay attention )
The first thing that happened when the curtain arose was the vision of the ship. Blimey! (exhortation of surprise) Did I forget to properly tie me boat? Oh, no that’s a prop.
Then, up goes the scrim and landlubber (big, slow clumsy person who doesn’t know how to sail) Daniil Simkin as Lankendem, the bazaar owner, opens the dancing with ten pirouettes. All shows should start this way. This is me favorite role for Simkin because it showcases his sense of humor and unmatchable technical ability. Twice in the show he did eight pirouettes straight into a double tucked-tour without putting his foot down. To the floor. Absolutely dazzling. Heave ho, Mr. Simkin! (give it some muscle and push it)
Calvin Royal stands out as me favorite Buccaneer (a pirate) even in the corps of pirates. He has really long arms, and a powerful, musical presence. We will be watching out for his rise to Cap’n.
The three Odalisques had a casting change as Skylar Brandt danced Medora, replacing Maria Kochetkova who was sent to Davy Jones’ locker (fabled, mythical place at the bottom of the ocean where the evil spirit of Davy Jones brings sailor and pirates to die) allegedly!
Joining Cassandra Trenary were Katherine WIlliams and Catherine Hurlin. The short brunette in the first solo variation was quick, clean, and looked like she had something to prove. The tall blonde had extremely beautiful use of her feet and legs especially noticeable in tireless glissade but her shoulders were up, she looked uncertain if she wanted to do two or three pirouettes and kind-of over-turned the double, and her shoulders and hips weren’t square. Weigh anchor and hoist the mizzen! (pull up the anchor and the sail and let’s get going)
Roman Zhurbin was enjoyable as always, this time as the Seyd. Me thinks the requirements for this role be a love of Rum and being able to function Three sheets to the wind (someone who is very drunk. One sheet is mildly drunk and four sheets is passed out.) Where’s me contract?
Herman Cornejo as Conrad- Shipshape performance (cleaned up and under control) with particularly flashy, beautifully executed pirouettes in act 2 and fabulous partnering with Brandt in act 2. The opening trio with the couple plus Ali, the slave, included about 13 lightening fast partnered pirouettes.
Jeffrey Cirio as Ali was the perfect mix of poised perfection (the line!) and enraptured bravura finishing each jump and turn. Me was on the fence if he would make it to the roster of me favorite dancers and after this performance, me be swayed. Could be the rum though.
Sarah Lane as Gulnare, thar she blows! (whale sighting) gave an excellent, flirty performance. She looks so similar to Brandt it’s hard to tell them apart. Could be the rum though.
The corps of dancers including the JKO children in the garden scene- All hand hoay! (comparable to all hands on deck) Very filled stage picture, but epaulement use with the garlands was lovely.
Skylar Brandt as Medora stole the show. She was up to every technical challenge and the choreography for Medora poses many: the toe hops, the turning arabesque chugs into fouettes, the breathtaking en dedans into floating arabesque en diagonale.
What makes this artist stand out is how she is so good she doesn’t dance to the music, she dances, lives, within it. Where a really good dancer would do three beautiful chaines in a musical phrase (pique, pique, 1,2,3), she does four. Then five. Blow me down! ( expression of shock of disbelief akin to “Holy Crap!”) Her pointe work with the Act 2 variation that played between brisk passe and time-bending retire balance made even the simpler parts of the variation beyond the toe hops and fouettes equally entrancing. Battend down the hatches! (put everything away on the ship and tie everything down because a storm is brewing), this is a dancer walking the plank to stardom.
More Corsaire from Treausre-Chest Jess (That’s me pirate name)
- Men in Ballet: Take me away, adventure dude
- New York Sh*ty: Aw, before I lived in the city but the Langston Hughes obsession continues
- You can get ABT’s Corsaire on Amazon!? Thanks for telling me, miss ‘dancer-to-spectator’, Kimberly
Other Scallywags reviews:
- Ballet Alert Review (I think of the same performance as I saw!)
- Ballet Focus Review: Short and sweet
Savvy? (do you understand and do you agree?)
*Pirate lingo plundered via Pirate Phrases