Firebird and Concerto 488
Posted 15 June 2003 - 05:12 AM
The Firebird was the choregraphy by the Canadian James Kudelka. It was well danced, with Arantxa Ochoa the Firebird, but the emphasis was on spectacle rather than dance or characterization. The costumes were over the top- the women's panniers were truly the ugliest thing I have ever seen in a ballet. The looked like Penugonda's costume in Candide as she sings "Glitter and Be Gay".
Next year will be Wheeldon's Swan Lake. Looking forward to that.
Posted 15 June 2003 - 10:28 AM
The Firebird: The costumes were very, um, interesting. I remember reading somewhere that the costumes were supposed to look Mayan, or some other ancient South American civilization. Kastchei's costume and the Priestess' costume certainly did look South American, but most of the costumes didn't. The Princesses must have been very hard to partner because of their panniers, not to mention dancing by themselves. On a good note, the Firebird's tutu was beautiful, and the set was gorgeous!
As in Concerto, the dancers danced James Kudelka's choreography very well. But we didn't figure out who was who until the very end, and even now I'm still not sure what the purpose of some of the characters were. Except for Aranxta Ochoa (the Firebird) making her bird-like movements and Prince Ivan (James Ihde) carrying a bow, there was little or no characterization. An Old Reptile, an Older Beast (Jeffery Gribler!), a Jaguar, a General, Warthogs, Knights, Guards, a Sanke, and Lizards were virtually the same except for costumes. At the very end of the ballet, when Ivan and Vaislia were presumably getting married (?), a Priestess and a bunch of people in gold (princesses?) came onstage and stood there for about five minutes.
Overall, the actual dancing was wonderful. But if the PA Ballet wants to have a better known reputation, they need to dance ballets that make sense.
Posted 20 June 2003 - 06:21 AM
I also thoroughly enjoyed Firebird . The scenery and the costumes were breathtaking. However, most breathtaking of all was the dancer who portrayed the Firebird. I was very delighted to see Riolama as the Firebird. She put a lot of emotion into the part and was very "birdlike". I was very impressed with her portrayal and most certainly her astonishing technique. This ballet made me feel as if I was looking in on a secret, enchanted garden. The dancers seemed to really reach out to the audience and grasp their attention. I was very lucky to see both performances and I had a GREAT time!
Posted 24 June 2003 - 07:08 PM
Firebird was an extravagant entertainment experience! I saw Arantxa as the Firebird both performances, and she always is a joy and pleasure to watch. The climax was something more out of a Vegas show than a ballet, and Hawley Rowe's costume as the priestess reminded me of Bob Macke Barbie! My brother-in-law doesn't enjoy "tutu and tiara" ballets and he really liked it. He said it was "G" rated until the Snake took the stage. But it was fun -- the audience seemed to love it, and they left the theater smiling. (My daughter thought they should take it on the road to Atlantic City.)
Posted 30 June 2003 - 04:46 PM
Concerto 488 was fine, but unremarkable. I thought it provided a nice contrast with Firebird, both in terms of the color palette as well as the vocabulary. I enjoyed seeing Heidi Cruz- don't think she's had too many featured roles lately, and she's fun to watch.
Also, though this may have already been reported, I read that soloists Valerie Amiss and Edward Cieslak had their baby a month or so ago- pretty sure it's a boy!
Posted 30 July 2003 - 07:30 AM
Valerie and Eddie did have a baby boy. All are doing well by my last report, and I've been told the baby is beautiful! (of course.)
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