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Ari

Kennedy Center Festival -- Week I

29 posts in this topic

Hans, I think it's the New, Improved Nutcracker :D

I agree that the RDB women were more impressive than the men. I think that may be because they're older (very early 30s) and came up through the school when it was still functioning. The two foreigners -- Cavallo and Still -- have both been with the company since 1990, too. Whereas the men were from all over the map, and of the Danish men, except for Lund, I didn't think much of them. I thought Bowman was really, really trying to do the style, and I salute him for that. There's something, though, that is missing if they haven't been trained in it from an early age. Part of it is technique -- like the plie landings and carriage of the arms, so that they don't look stiff. And part of it is something intangible -- the way of being oneself on stage without overdoing it. I hate it when they go into Grin Mode, which they'll do (and always have done, I think) if they think people aren't getting it.

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Hello,

This is my first posting and I'm not as good as many of you so please bear with me.

I attended the Saturday, March 8th afternoon performance at the Intl. Ballet Festival at Kennedy Center and except for the wonderful performance of the three sailors in ABT's "Fancy Free", found the afternoon rather generic but enjoyable. It was very refreshing to see "Napoli" again danced by Royal Danish dancers even in such a stripped down excerpt as this one. Although not totally great, I felt that the Danish danced with the musicality and brio so unique to the Bournonville style and remain true to their tradition.

I enjoyed the Bolshoi dancers much less. The real fiasco for me was Anastasia Volochkova in Don Q. This was bad taste at its peak, total vulgarity!!! Between the chain, the finger-long ring, the wide gold bracelet, the diamond hoop earrings and the excess of gold glitter on her hair there was no room for her dancing which was uneven and flat. It saddened me to see that the audience would appreciate such mediocrity with cheers and a partial standing ovation.

The true brilliant performance, both in dancing and characterization came from ABT in "Fancy Free". I have seen this charming and joyful piece many times with both ABT and NYCB and feel that this was the perhaps the best set of sailors I have seen in a very long time as all three sailors were perfectly in tune with their respective roles. Herman Cornejo was sweet and perky in a boyish way and Sacha Radetsky was a true romantic in his solo. But the highlight was Angel Corella as the "Rumba" sailor. I heard that he had been a bit too strong with his charactization - almost angry and bully-like when he danced it the first time on Thursday but undoubtedly he understood the role better by Saturday - he was sexy, playful, and totally enchanting. Charm and sex appeal exuded from all the nuances of his solo - here was a sailor that really showed those girls (and all of us in the audience) the good time they (we!!!) could have with him. He was definitely the leader but still in a "buddy, one of the guys" sort of way. It was an extraordinary performance by the three buddies, but most higly by Mr. Corella. Stella Abrera was terrific as the "red bag" girl but Gillian Murphy did not have sufficient allure as the girl in pink. ABT saved the day triumphantly.

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Thank you, Samsara! Welcome, and I hope we'll be reading you often.

I thought ABT saved the day on the nights I went, too. Partly becuase it was a full ballet, with a set, and not excerpts, but also very good performances.

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I attended the Thursday and Friday nights, and to my eye, the RDB and Bolshoi contingents both relaxed into better performances with time. That Don Q, though . . . definitely Vegas!

Most of my responses have already been noted one way or another, but I have to insert a special commendation for Thursday night's Fancy Free. The Sailors: Salstein, Hallberg, Gomes; the women: Herrera, Kent. During the pas de deux, I got the distinct feeling that Julie was developing real feelings for her sailor (Marcelo), and that anything could happen. I had never gotten that delicious sense of erotic possibility from that pas before. Also, her responses to the sailors' variations were absolutely delightful. She stopped just short of upstaging them. It was fun to see Paloma in a role where she didn't have to sell her technique. I enjoyed Salstein (but a little less would have been better), and Hallberg, though promising here, was still very much the classical prince -- not completely comfortable in the jazzier vernacular.

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