Saturday, July 13, 2019

Notes on ABT's company, plus Sleeping Beauty

Aran Bell in Swan Lake. Photo: Gene Schiavone.
ABT’s two-month Met season has ended, coinciding with the traditional announcement of promotions. Here are some notes on the dancers and month two; a review of the first month of the season was published in the July/August Brooklyn Rail.

Dancer notes

There’s no surprise that Aran Bell moves from the corps to soloist; it wouldn’t have even been a surprise if he was made a principal, with all the heavy lifting he’s done in the last month. (Literally. As in Devon Teuscher, Hee Seo, and Isabella Boylston, not that they’re heavy, but…) Now 20, and 6’3”, he has matured very quickly in the last few years—so fast that his headshot on ABT’s website makes him look 10 years younger than he does today. He was tapped for Princes Siegfried (Swan Lake, with Devon Teuscher) and Désiré (Sleeping Beauty, with Hee Seo, and then subbing for a sick James Whiteside with Isabella Boylston). Bell now fits the physical profile of a prince, with remarkable poise and steady partnering that might not be expected for someone so young. His leaps are stunning, his line polished and attenuated. He will only mature as an artist, gain confidence, and receive more and more high-profile roles. Watching him rise through the ranks is like watching a film in fast forward.