Vishneva @ ABT
Posted 12 June 2003 - 04:50 AM
Vishneva was interviewed, through a translator, by Time Out New York's dance editor Gia Kourlas.
On guesting: "I've never danced this version. Psychologically, it is quite challenging to travel to another company -- not performing what you already know! Time is a problem...."
On too much travel: "I worry about my legs with all the travel -- this is living tissue! Nobody seems to care. You've got a headache, something hurts? Just go and dance."
On dancing Rubies: "That was the first time I had enountered Stravinsky's music. By the end of rehearsals, I felt that there were b ells chiming within me; I had the kind of visceral reaction that people have at rock concerts. I was so wound up that it must have come out in my performance. It's hard to explain, but often I feel that what comes through in a performance doesn't come from me, but through me -- from whatever is the cosmos or in the music."
Preferring psychological dramatic roles over Balanchine: "I discover more about myself. In life, I am like the characters. I am naive, I am open, and sometimes it's not so good to be that way. With Juliet, I learned that in the name of love you can stand up against outside forces and find strength."
Posted 12 June 2003 - 05:11 AM
I thought Vishneva was wonderful-she's an attractive dancer with a wonderfully flexible back and polished technique. However I thought her performance was not matched by Malakhov. He just never seemed to have much connection with Vishneva, and never moved me-the performance didn't seem whole hearted and he looked very tired by the end. I would have liked to have seen her perform with another partner...maybe Marcelo Gomes?
Romeo is a role that can't just be acted-it has to be emoted with the whole body for it to be believable. Malakhov was certainly not just going through the motions, but he didn't have the energy or youthful feeling that Vishneva did, nor did he didn't look completely comfortable with the partnering, especially in the final "pas de deux".
Posted 12 June 2003 - 05:31 AM
Posted 12 June 2003 - 06:17 AM
Posted 12 June 2003 - 06:19 AM
Joaquin De Luz was Mercutio- sparkling performance, though not with the same elevation as Herman Cornejo at the matinee. De Luz's acting is well though out-apparently he worked on the role with Gil Boggs (who I think was the original Mercutio in ABT's version). Also les scary than Tuesday night when he lost his balance taking off for a jump and ended up sliding/tumbling on the stage.
David Hallberg was fun as Benvolio. Hallberg has beautiful technique-he combines amazing height with very polished dancing and has the most gorgeous, flexible feet- though he's not a strong an actor as some of the other dancers in the role. However, he's only 20, so he's got plenty of time to develop his acting skills!
I was pleasantly surprised at how well Malakhov, DeLuz and Hallberg danced together and the pleasant, if not totally believable rapport between them. Still, it didn't have the natural feel that Corella, Lopez & Cornejo did in the matinee. During one of the crowd scenes in the second act, Mercutio, Benvolio and Romeo lean against eachother, and then Romeo, who is in the middle, backs off, letting the other two guys fall into eachother. At the matinee, Lopez and Corella changed the set up (and it wasn't clear whether Cornejo was in on the joke) and both moved, letting Cornejo nearly hit the floor before catching him. Whether pre-rehearsed or not, it looked totally natural and really funny.
Posted 12 June 2003 - 07:07 AM
Posted 12 June 2003 - 10:53 AM
Vishnever didn't seem to change much of her expressions and her smile was the same for Paris, Tybalt, and Romeo. I also thought she "danced through" most of the choreography. The choreography really calls for a more earthy, natural acting approach. And I thought both Malakhov and Vishneva were "dancing out" to the audience and hardly looking at each other. Vishneva seemed to get more into in the bedroom pas but her style just didn't seem right.
Again , Malakhov is one of my favorites, even if he's not my favorite Romeo.
Nothing has come close to the partnership Ferri and Bocca displayed at his last Romeo on 5/31. 7 curtain calls and I'm still trying to recover from it. They danced "as one" the entire evening and even their solos were to each other. It transcended the dance. They set the bar for this production, IMHO.
Corella and Reyes were simply lovely in the afternoon performance. This will develop into something through the years, I think. Corella was just fantastic and Reyes was so natural. The sword fight between Romeo and Tybalt was the most passionate I've seen. It was so real, even Gennadi Saveliev looked surprised.
I liked both Herman Cornejo and de Luz in those roles. De Luz was a bit more animated and "jester-like", kind of like how Boggs used to be. I found both dancers very enjoyable.
Posted 19 June 2003 - 10:33 AM
The more I see MacMillan’s ballet, the less dramatic sense it makes. The fights in Act I don't give one any sense of the underlying conflict and its roots; they're just street brawls punctuated with deaths for effect. The production needs better direction than it got in this staging, with an eye towards the larger picture rather than individual details. Each performer looks like they made choices that would be acceptable if they didn’t affect the other dancers. If Tybalt (Gennadi Saveliev) is going to act like stabbing of Mercutio is half an accident, then Romeo has to rethink how he kills Tybalt. If Lord Capulet is acted with a very interesting sympathy by Victor Barbee, that's legitimate, but it needs to be integrated into the production. I like his portrayal; rather than the usual brutality the father shows her in her bedchamber when she rejects Paris, his verges on a sort of compassionate horror. She’s doing something socially disastrous, and it seems more than anything else, he wants to know why. But one of the plot hinges is the fact that two adolescents are forced to make dangerous adult decisions with bad counsel. If it looks like Juliet could possibly turn to her father for assistance, it changes things. The corps de ballet looked as off in this as they looked together in La Bayadčre; both Juliet’s friends and the mandolin dancers were ragged. I liked Kirk Peterson as a little Henry VIII of an Escalus. Running the main ballet company in Berlin as well as maintaining his international career, Malakhov is now the servant of two masters. He can certainly dance or act, but his technique is no longer secure enough that he can dance and act at the same time. In his Act I variation at the ball, the diagonal series of turns are done for Juliet; he’s dancing for her. Turns have always been Malakhov’s bęte noire; he needed to concentrate on the steps to do them well. So instead of doing them for her, he did them correctly. I question the wisdom of casting Joaquin de Luz as Mercutio with David Hallberg as Benvolio. The three men’s heights make the Queen Mab trio in Act I a downward slope. De Luz danced well, but his Mercutio doesn’t have much under the brilliant skin of the steps. Combined with the unfocused drama of this setting and overdosing on harlots, by his death scene in Act II, I kept thinking of Oscar Wilde’s quote, “One must have a heart of stone to read of the death of Little Nell without laughing.”
Posted 20 June 2003 - 09:07 AM
Posted 20 June 2003 - 01:31 PM
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