I’m so upset. Last night in the mail I received my New York City Ballet brochure announcing the company’s Winter / Spring season and noticed right off that the photo of Carousel featured not the usual Seth Orza (my favorite NYCB dancer!!!) and Kathryn Morgan (together below, in photo by Paul Kolnick, taken from Explore, but instead Damian Woetzel and Tiler Peck. In fact there were no pictures anywhere of Seth! Unheard of! I frantically searched the roster and his name was nowhere to be found!@#&^%! Philip had told me earlier that word had it Seth was leaving NYCB for Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle, but I told Philip to shut up and stop spreading base lies! Ohhh, now it appears he was right… I don’t get it. Seth was just promoted to soloist. And he was a favorite of all the critics — New Yorker’s Joan Acocella and even Alastair Macaulay from the Times who likes hardly anyone. You don’t leave New York under those circumstances! You just don’t! And he and Kathryn look so adorable together. Just look at them in the two pics below. (bottom one is taken from New Yorker, accompanying Acocella article). Who’s Kathryn going to dance with now? And who’s going to be Swan Lake Samba Girl’s favorite now?! Come on man! I was just starting to really love NYCB because of him. It’s not fair! Release him, Peter Boal!

[above photo by Paul Kolnick, taken from NYCB website, for as long as it remains up 🙁 ].

In slightly less devastating news, Ms. Acocella writes in this week’s New Yorker that PBS will broadcast a bio-documentary on Rudolf Nureyev, to air in NY on August 29th. I should be excited, given that he’s my favorite dancer of all time. But it’s hard to work up sufficient enthusiasm when I’m just so sad sad sad I’ll never see my favorite NYCBer dance live again, at least on a regular basis.


  1. feel free to join us on the west coast, tonya 🙂

    seth’s brother sean orza is in sf ballet so glad to see the brothers can be closer. so who’s next to leave nycb for pnb??

  2. Be tough, Tonya! If I could survive the loss of Alexandra Ansanelli and Carla Korbes in recent seasons, you can deal with the loss of Seth Orza. All things considered, to have only two dancers depart (Orza and corps dancer Ashlee Knapp) after the Spring season – out of a company of almost 100 dancers – is not bad. And don’t worry about Kathryn Morgan – she is so good that she will click with almost any of the guys in the company (many of whom, I am sure, are fighting to become her new main partner). But don’t think I have no feeling for your pain – if Ashley Bouder or Maria Kowroski or the aforementioned Kathryn Morgan were to leave NYCB, I would have to go into immediate heavy therapy.

  3. Sad for us on the east coast, but in all truth, PNB is a better company for dancing Balanchine. Of course, it seems NYCB has been on the upswing over the past season, with all the praise Ashley Boulder has received.

  4. There does seem to be this pattern of dancers leaving NYCB for PNB right… I hope to see them perform Balanchine sometime, JLynn. I loved Ashley in Rubies.

  5. Is Ashlee Knapp leaving? She is still listed on the website and in the subscription brochure.

  6. Philip,

    Ashlee Knapp is not listed in my subscription brochure. Are there two different brochures floating around out there?

    And JLynn, we all love and admire Peter Boal and there is no doubt that he has the potential to become a great artistic director, but to suggest that he has already made PNB a better company for dancing Balanchine than NYCB is a bit of a stretch.

  7. I have left due to I devistating injury.. I had a Dr do a wrong surgery on my ankle and then was told to be on bed rest.. Every doctor told me they had fixed the problem and that I was making it up.. 9 months went by (still in bed) and even though every doc I met with told me I was crazy I asked to have exploritory surgery.. They basicly opened up my whole leg up to find that my tendon was completely shreaded in two places and there was no blood flow going through it there for it was decomposing in my body(age 18).. I struggled for 2 painful years (after the second surgery) and I was almost back.. So proud at all that I had accoplished and.. As fate would have it.. as Romeo and Juliet was getting started.. I took a devistating fall in class that has left me with very few ligaments in tact and I am not sure if I will ever be able to dance professionally again.. I was taken off the roster though Mr Martins told me if I make it back he will be honored to have me back in the company once again.. Please pray for me!!!

  8. Oh no, Ashlee, that sounds horrible. I will definitely keep you in my thoughts, as I’m sure will all NYCB fans. Get better and I hope to see you back in the company soon!

  9. Dear Ashlee,

    I am so sorry to read about your injuries, and I sincerely hope that you will recover and we will see you dancing again. I very well remember your first appearance at NYCB dancing bare-footed with James Fayette in HARMONIELEHRE. I realized you had been injured but I was not aware of the severity or the complications. It was so nice seeing you in NUTCRACKER last Winter and feeling that you were on a comeback. Dancing is such a hazardous profession: that has become so clear to me over the years. I don’t think people appreciate the risks involved. I will be thinking of you and sending mental energy your way…

    Philip aka Oberon

  10. I met Ashlee when she was 12. She (and her mom) sat next to my wife and me during an open NYCB rehearsal. Ashlee was *so* enthusiastic. She gasped with awe when she saw company solists enter the stage. We talked to her and she promosed that she *was going to be in the Company*. We followed her every year after that, and saw her a few years later (and spoke to her) when she was an SAB student. (One year she was an usher at the SAB graduation. The next year she was performing at the graduation.) Then she got tapped to enter the NYCB early!

    I often wondered why she performed so rarely in recent years. I didn’t know about her injury history until we read her Oct 31 post.

    I hope she will recover and be able to resume her dance career; if not, I do pray for her (as she asked) that she will find something else that gives her as much joy and fulfillment. And if she should read this, I wonder if she remembers us — the couple she spoke to at that rehearsal many years ago.

  11. I do indeed remeber you.. I have trying to heal my body and my mind from what has happened.. even though doctors didnt believe that i would be able to dance anymore.. This week I put on my pointe shoes on for the first time in 10 months.. I feel really proud of my determination and hope to return in the nycb in the near future!! I am also teaching alot in and around nyc.. It has been a wonderful and healing thing for me.. to bring joy to young students and to find happiness in something that gave me so much pain.. thank you for praying for me.. and i will keep everyone updated in my progress..

  12. freyja chicken

    i am happy to tell you all that ashley had her third surgery just last wednesday. I know because i am her studat. she teaches at bridge for dance. if ashley comments soon : hi ashley! hopeyou can make it to our concert. we all miss you so much! love from, ckicken, ms. couch, blaber mouth, and havana. aka freyja shoshi tessa and havana. hope u get better!

Comments are closed