Sunday, June 01, 2008

Farewell to the off-topic diva

At this point most who care have likely long since seen this interview or simply heard the news: ballerina Veronika Part -- this blog's official off-topic diva -- is leaving ABT after this season.

Her time at ABT was surely frustrating -- if perhaps not nearly as sad and awful as that piece might have us think. Each of her lead roles here has shown her rare expressive and communicative art, but the company -- like her previous home, the Mariinsky -- seems never to have taken her seriously. Was it that she -- tall, not super-thin, more artist than technician -- is too idiosyncratic for these institutions' current shape? Was it poor luck, as the scapegoat for McKenzie's awful Burger King production of Sleeping Beauty (in which she got her one and only production premiere)? Dislike from the New York Times?

Whatever the case, Part has meanwhile earned at least a cult following in the city. And the time here's helped her, if perhaps not as much as it could or should have: Odile in yesterday's matinee Swan Lake showed a cruel and reckless glamour alien to the dancer who first arrived with the Mariinsky on their 2002 tour.

At any rate, I can't write about dance, so I'll only note that there are two more opportunities to see Part before she leaves the company.

Afterwards -- I hope, for myself, that these aren't her last New York performances. But I hope for her, as for every artist, that she finds a situation where she is able to give her best.

1 comment:

  1. Over on BalletTalk they're quoting an ABT spokesman as saying (recently) that Part WILL be dancing with the company next year. This could mean one or two guest performances, but at least she wouldn't be stuck in soloist roles for most of the season.

    In that smashing matinee Swan Lake I noticed she wore a big honking diamond ring on her left hand...


Absolutely no axe-grinding, please.