Blackpool update: Anna Melnikova and Stefano DiFillipo from Italy (above photo by Andrew Miller from Dance Beat World) won the highly coveted Amateur Latin, placing first in all five dances, then announced their breakup. “I hate it when couples split just when they’ve won something major,” says Eleanor. “It’s like Max and Yulia all over again!”
I can’t find anything on Dance Beat confirming this but another friend told me it’s now been announced that Slavik and Anna will compete together — which would be a good reason for her breaking up with Stefano (and would make me very happy … for Slavik I mean).
Dance Beat reports that Valentin Chmerkovskiy and Daria Chesnokova (US champs in Amateur Latin), disappointingly, didn’t even place in the semi-finals.
(photo from Dance Beat)
Also, Hanna Karttunen (now broken up with Slavik) has announced that she will return to competing with her former partner, Victor DaSilva (who was on that TV show Superstars of Dance) in the exhibition category. Yes! I was so hoping that would happen!
Latin pro comp is tonight!
(photo of Daniil Simkin by John Ross, from ballet.co)
In the ballet world (or my ballet world, rather), the incredible Daniil Simkin debuted last night in ABT’s Le Corsaire (his Met stage debut anyway), dancing the role of Lankendem, the harem owner. (Herman Cornejo was supposed to dance and Daniil’s debut was supposed to be tomorrow night, but Herman is out with an injury, which I’m told isn’t expected to last long, thankfully). I think Daniil did more continuous barrel turns than I’ve ever seen before, traveling around the stage about one and a half times, doing his signature thing by making the very last one high off the ground, super fast, and straight-legged. (I don’t know the ballet term). He also goes up really high on releve (balls of the feet) when lifting his ballerina, which gives her a great deal of height. He danced beautifully with Yuriko Kajiya last night. She looked really weightless in his arms. During curtain calls, he got almost as much applause as Angel Corella’s Ali the slave!
I’ll write more after seeing the next two Corsaire casts, but last night’s opening-night cast for that ballet was excellent: tall, blonde god David Hallberg was perfect as the hero Conrad, by turns romantically tormented over thwarted attempts to get — and keep — his love, then fearsome and commanding as head pirate (more fearsome and commanding than I think I’ve ever seen David!) Carlos Lopez as Birbanto, Conrad’s friend-turned traitor, and Paloma Herrera as Conrad’s love interest, Medora, were both excellent. I’ve sometimes seen Lopez have some trouble landing jumps solidly, but he seems to have overcome that. He was perfect last night.