While Jen and I were obliviously enjoying and discussing the Fall for Dance show last night at the Orange County Center for the Performing Arts, little did we know that our little blog had been quoted in the NY Times. Not only that, but we got a response from Kevin McKenzie as well.
I completely understand that artists need to develop their skills artistically so that they don’t fizzle out too soon. I just had a feeling that Herman Cornejo was being held back not for these reasons however, but more for “other” reasonsÂ such asÂ his height, etc. that is thoroughly addressed in the article. And since this is something he cannot change, we would never see him in the limelight. Case in point:Â the meteoric rise of David Hallberg, a newer promoted principal, who skyrocketed into lead roles such as RomeoÂ in his first season as a principal dancer. In addition to being an extremely talented dancer with gorgeous lines, he also happens to be tall and blonde, while Herman Cornejo never got put in these roles for many years. Is McKenzie worried about fizzling David Hallberg out, as he is so concerned about Cornejo?
And yes, he is right, bloggers such as myself have our favorites. I would really like to think however, that most bloggers have our favorites forÂ good reasons and not for stupid single reasons that people may fixate on. Naturally everyone has different tastes, while one dancer might be one person’s cup of tea, he might not be for another.
On the other hand, in the corner of my mind, I do understand. Audiences appreciate princes who look like traditional princes. IÂ just wish in my heart of hearts that people would think more in terms of unconventional casting, because it really presents to the world a different viewÂ of what a prince COULD be. ThisÂ goes with my previous thoughts before on my frustrations with the ballet world and its lack in ability to think “outside the box”. I think audiences are savvier and more intelligent than you give us credit for, and we can appreciate artistry despite blonde Prince Charming good looks and tallÂ height. Â And give us something we’ve never seen before! That sort of unconventional casting really excites me and would make me buy a ticket.
Ultimately, I love the dance that McKenzie puts out on stage, and I think having an opinion and discussion supports the dance world and ultimately keeps people interested enough to buy more tickets.Â
I’m very relieved that Herman Cornejo is finally getting lead roles, and best of luck to Herman Cornejo asÂ he stretches his artistic muscles in the upcoming months. I really wished he had come to SF Ballet. At least he’d have me asÂ a fan in the Bay Area!
What is everyone else’s thoughts? Would you buy a ticket to see Herman Cornejo as Prince Desire or Romeo?
Jen’s entry that got quoted in the NY Times: here
Herman Cornejo, taken from the NY Times article, as Bluebird, a familiar role for him