Kirov-Mariinsky Ballet in London
Posted 29 July 2003 - 01:20 PM
I was at Swan Lake on Saturday night and I agree with Marc's description! In particular Natalia Sologub was very interesting - quite lovely as the swan - they both took my breath away in act 1. I wasn't sure of her in act 2 in the same way. I went with my mother who is not a big ballet buff and she very much enjoyed it, never having seen a corps of 32 before - never mind such an impeccable one!
Anyway, I don't know very much about the dancers of the Kirov, so if anyone knows what to expect on Saturday night's La Bayadere, please let me know. I will give my haphazard review in return! (Even try and elaborate on this one!)
Posted 31 July 2003 - 01:52 AM
Chopiniana was something like 3 cherries and a lemon. While featherlight Irina Zhelonkina may be Fokine's dream of the sylph, Daria Sukhorukova definitely is his nightmare. A bigger contrast is hardly imaginable. Where Zhelonkina is all polished plastique, ideally catching the nocturnal atmosphere of the piece, Sukhorukova is earthbound, hard and angular.
Igor Kolb's romantically impetuous poet was an excellent match for Zhelonkina, while Janna Selina was a rewarding prelude girl.
Les Noces, the first of the 3 new ballets the Kirov is bringing to London, looked like an open rehearsal with a totally miscast Alexandra Josifidi as the Bride, resembling a swan in Russian peasant outfit. The ensemble couldn't disguise it is still learning the work, and there is clearly a lot of work to do here.
Scheherazade was another disappointment with a miscast Danila Korsuntsev as prince Siegfried in harem trousers. His jumps were impressive as such, but the duet with Tatiana Tkachenko had about as much passion and sensuality as a Victorian tea party. Tkachenko didn't have much to say in this role either.
Today, La Bayadere starts. Opening night performance will be danced by Daria Pavlenko and Andrian Fadeyev.
Posted 01 August 2003 - 06:42 AM
Elvira Tarassova is one of the most convincing Gamzatti's as well. Strongly danced (even up to the final bits of this long ballet), passionate and headstrong, giving the character a formidable appearance. The mime duel between the two rival lovers, ending with Nikiya's attack with the knife, had all the theatricality and white hot dramatic intensity one could hope for.
Andrian Fadeyev is an attractive Solor, reserved, yet honest and sincere. He conveyed the doubt and guilt with subtility, and I haven't seen the pantomime scene between Solor and Gamzatti preceding the Shades Act looking so convincing as here. His dancing was generally outstanding.
The ensemble proved quite on top of it (after Les Noces the previous evening that looked even clearer), magic was in the air during the appearance of the Shades, and there were outstanding contributions from Rakhmanova, Baimuradov and Scherbakov in the Indian dance, from Vasyukevich in the manu dance, and from Zhelonkina as the 2nd shade soloist, the only one of the three who danced her variation totally well.
The Covent Garden audience received the new-old production with enthousiasm, although as noticed everywhere some gave up after the 3rd Act, and the old-fashioned sides of the production produced quite a few giggles. There were no marked differences with previous viewings; the entrance of the Balineselike girls in the 2nd Act was kept although their dance was omitted.
Posted 01 August 2003 - 07:37 AM
Posted 01 August 2003 - 08:19 AM
I can't wait to see the same cast tomorrow !
Posted 01 August 2003 - 08:27 AM
Posted 02 August 2003 - 04:27 AM
Leonid Sarafanov, the next Kiev wunderkid in line, was in many senses marvelous to see. His boyishly frail appearance, his sweepingly romantic gestures mirrored the broadness and often impetuousness of his dancing, but even so, he hardly ever managed to get out of the shadow of his Nikiya, who was just too big for him. Yet, he is a talent to look out for.
I much admired Viktoria Tereshkina as Gamzatti, haughty, tough as nails and looking even more fomidable than Tarassova.
Posted 03 August 2003 - 02:07 AM
Elvira Tarassova as Gamzatti was on top form as well and demonstrated some great dancing in the final act.
Every second of the long ovations was fully deserved.
The company is now preparing the next program which starts on Monday, bearing the imponderable title "Contrasts": Serenade, Rite of Spring, and Etudes. After several cast changes it is now Yulia Makhalina, flewn in from St. Petersburg (and who danced the premiere), who will perform Rite.
Posted 03 August 2003 - 03:54 AM
I fell in love with Daria Pavlenko, and thought it a shame that Solor didn't get to do much dancing on his own, because he is obviously technically a genius. A fantastic jumper. He seemed a little bit unsure in some of the partnering. I would like to see Tarassova in another part - she had so much fire and energy!
I'm not going to see any more of the Kirov this time around but I look forward to further updates from anyone that goes. Have a good time!
One last thing, though. I know it was 'the director's cut' of La Bayadere, but I thought it was a real shame that they didn't have the Golden Idol dance in this version. The first time I saw the Kirov (in 1999 or something) that variation really took my breath away.
Posted 03 August 2003 - 04:55 AM
The "King with the dancing eyebrows" as you mentioned, is Petr Stasiunas the Raja, who has indeed the habit of miming a lot with his eyebrows.
The reason why they don't have the Golden Idol dancing in this 1900 revival is because it was added in the Soviet period, in the late 1940s by Zubkovsky. You can however see him being carried on the stage, as a real statue, in the 2nd Act.
Posted 03 August 2003 - 10:27 AM
One more thing. I heard a woman saying to her young daughter in the first interval, "If I take you to another ballet, don't expect it to be as good as this one was." It was that kind of night out!
Posted 04 August 2003 - 02:02 PM
...For my bank balance. I decided this morning that I have GOT to see Le Corsaire on Saturday afternoon so I bought a ticket.
PLEASE tell me I will love it! Then I can show my conscience that I have made a good decision!
Posted 04 August 2003 - 02:28 PM
I can't tell if you'll love it -- reviews of this have been mixed. But if you like even one of the dancers, you'll have a good time.
And if you really want to ease your conscience, all you have to do is remember to tell us about it
Posted 05 August 2003 - 02:18 AM
Watching the two remaining ballets was however painful, because even if it is obvious how hard the corps is trying to pull them off, they can't conceal they are underrehearsed and at this moment totally overstretched. Moreover, combining such two vastly different ballets in one evening isn't exactly a stroke of genius in programming either, and if one really needs to have them in one evening, why not rather end with Rite of Spring?
We had some thrilling orchestral playing for Rite, which I feel is not really matched by this colorful, but in fact rather dramatically tame staging of the ballet.
The soloists looked generally more at ease and I thought Yulia Makhalina was excellent in Rite, while light-footed Leonid Sarafanov looked a treat in Etudes. (I don't doubt Andrian Fadeyev, as the second male lead, can do a lot better if he wasn't that exhausted.) It must be a matter of coaching here, but even Svetlana Zakharova proved she can stick to the style of a ballet.
I am sure you'll have a good time with Le Corsaire, Kate. At least this is a ballet they are supposed to know .
Posted 05 August 2003 - 11:35 AM
Marc Haegeman, on Aug 5 2003, 10:18 AM, said:
Thanks Marc and Alexandra. I'm very excited already and I promise to report!
I can't believe that a year ago I was having trouble motivating myself to go to the theatre. This year I have been so much!
Did you read this today?
Sounds interesting, even if the programme is a 'test' on the ROH. I'd really like to see Rite of Spring now! I'll wait until they've practiced (and I have been paid )
One other thing... When is it 'correct' to applaud? Sometimes, with the Kirov especially, people clap whenever someone does a good trick. This distracts me a bit! I'm happy to applaud all the curtain calls (they are many and they are long) but the article says 20 minutes on Monday night! Is it OK to go at some point to catch the last train home? Do the dancers really like it? These might seem like funny questions, but I know I am in the right place to ask them without feeling too stupid.
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