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Marc Haegeman

Kirov-Mariinsky Ballet in London

54 posts in this topic

Thank you for sharing your impressions about the Mariinsky season, Alymer.

La Bayadère was indeed given complete, with the exception of (as said above) the number with the yellow, Balineselike girls, opening the dances in the 2nd Act. For some reason they hardly ever perform this on tours. The girls did take part in the procession, though, but didn’t dance.

As for the coda of the Shades Act, they seem to perform it both ways now (even Pavlenko sometimes does the old, standard version).

As a general impression I think that in spite of the often good dancing that was on display during this tour, very little came across as of any dramatic consequence within the ballets. Best example is probably Corsaire where all generally danced well, but in fact as you mention without much effect.

Quite agree about the sightlines in this theatre. As far as anybody complains, you need to look hard for finding a seat from where you have a comfortable view (having to pay £ 45-50 to see less than half of the stage makes it even harder to accept). That definitely was a huge mistake.

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Alymer, I enjoyed your 'Kirov season in a nutshell' thoroughly :) The more your impressions and vision is spot-on ! I too, am enjoying 'La Bayadère' more and more.

Marc, I'm surprised to read that the openingdance of the 2nd.Act is only performed in their homecountry !? It would be interesting to know what's the reason.

Speaking about the ROH sightlines : this is indeed a big let-down. Every time I'm there I'm annoyed by it. It's obvious one has chosen -along with a conservative restoration- for the highest possible number of seats without taking into concern the confort these are bringing to the spectator. This is a point of view that's no longer favorised in todays approach of architectural conservation. I can't imagine this idea found his source in the architects-masterplan for the site.

For the "Contrasts"-programme, I had a 45£ seat at the Balcony...and I had to stand the whole time to see the dancers :wink: I'm pretty convinced to travel more to Paris next season !

I also have serious doubts about the safety precautions they used : it takes too much time to evacuate the theatre when you're sitting on the right-side.

In Italy there was an uproar when one heard that only a part of the original auditorium of Milan's 'La Scala' will be conserved. I'm looking forward to see the result !

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Viviane, it's quite common for the Mariinsky to drop dances or sections from their productions while on tour. We had this all the time with the old Soviet versions of La Bayadère and Sleeping Beauty (and even with the new-old Beauty). It can be for obvious manpower (or lack thereof) reasons, but have no idea why they don't perform the little dance of the Balineselike girls, as there is really nothing to it (Although as far as I remember the girls who paraded in London weren't even Mariinsky).

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I'm coming very late to this thread, but wanted to thank Alymer for taking the time to write -- I love your "rather like driving a new car." What a perfect image for many a good company taking on a new ballet.

I'm surprised to read about the sight lines at Covent Garden. I would think there would be an uproar since so many seats have poor views!

Thanks to everyone who wrote about the Kirov, from those of us who couldn't be there. In DC, unfortunately, we're getting their new Nutcracker and Swan Lake, and ABT's La Bayadere.

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