Thursday, June 9, 2011

Some thoughts on some of my favorite less heralded dancers...

So this week Pointe Magazine posted some Facebook polls:  "Which dancer do you think deserves to get promoted?" and "Corps shoutout! Who's your favorite corps de ballet dancer?", which got me thinking about some of my favorite performances over the past few years, other than by the oft-discussed Marcelo Gomes, Alessandra Ferri, Uliana Lopatkina, Julie Kent, Ethan Stiefel and Irina Dvorovenko, or the should-be-oft-discussed Stella Abrera, Jared Matthews and Yuriko Kajiya.  I can't possibly mention everyone all at once, but I'll start with the three after the jump, and continue in a later blog.  

Love to hear some of your thoughts on your favorites as well - tell me for whom I should be on the lookout in the comments box!

1.  Nicole Graniero (American Ballet Theatre)Nicole joined ABT's corps de ballet in 2007 and quickly stood out to me as a solid and graceful dancer with a ton of presence.  Although perhaps on the shorter side, she doesn't dance small and has some beautiful musicality that reminds me a little bit of Julie Kent and Stella Abrera.  I hear she was out with an injury last week and as I mentioned in my Camellia's review, I think the corps scenes suffered a little at her absence.  I really hope that someone in charge at ABT starts giving shorter dancers a real chance sometime soon.  Graniero, like Meaghan Hinkis (remind me to come back to her another day!) and Misty Copeland, all have something great to give us if McKenzie would stop fixating on tall dancers such as Wiles and Part!  Here's an article on Nicole from Dance Magazine back in 2009.

2.  Harumi Terayama (Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet): Speaking of TINY dancers, this one is a dynamo.  I've seen the company a few times now, in a pretty wide range of choreography and Ms. Tarayama always steals my attention - even despite Cedar Lake's other fantastic and powerful women and stunning stable of male dancers.  A perfect example of making the most of a different body type, she exemplifies precision and musicality, is beautifully expressive in both her face and movement, all the while combining power and a feminine softness.  This is a dancer more of the world should get to see!  Here's an interesting interview with her I found.

3.  Brittany DeGrofft (Apprentice, American Ballet Theatre): While it remains to be seen how Brittany will mature as a dancer in the main ABT corps, what I saw in her performance with ABT II at the Joyce last year left me hoping she'd be taken into the company, so I was thrilled when I saw her picture show up on the website in February.  In her performance of Pavlosk, her beauty and acting reminded me of a "mini-Irina Dvorovenko" and her legs and strong lines go on for days (the NY Post called her "stork-like").  Here's hoping she gets the nurturing she needs so we see her dance Juliet and much more down the road.

That's it for time I'll cover some of the men!  What dancers do you like out there?

1 comment:

  1. I'll comment and say Nicole Graniero. I've seen her in NYC and The Kennedy Center and she stands out from the crowd. I pretty much love everyone in ABT, but she is one of my favs!