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Kirov in Boston


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#1 bhammatt

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Posted 27 October 2003 - 02:22 PM

In conjunction with the Kirov visit at the Wang Center in Boston there will be a free and open to the public pannel discussion on Monday, November 10th at 7PM at the Schubert Theatre entitled "Dancing Through Time: The Kirov, St. Petersburg, and Ballet into the 21st Century. Panelists will be: Makhar Vaziev, Director of the Kirov Ballet, Mikko Nissinen, Artistic Director of the Boston Ballet and Julie Buckler, Professor of Slavic Languages and Literature at Harvard. The moderator will be Harlow Robinson, Professor of History and modern Languages at Northeastern.

According to the announcement topics for discussion are the world-wide influence of the Kirov tradition, the state of the arts in post-Soviet Russia (especially St. Petersburg) and the Kirov's current challenges and future plans. This sounds like a big agenda for a less than two hour discussion but one I will be sure to attend.

#2 Alexandra

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Posted 27 October 2003 - 02:23 PM

Thank you for that -- it sounds fascinating! Please let us know what they say.

#3 dido

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Posted 08 November 2003 - 06:29 AM

Hi, I have a question for all those who have seen the Kirov lately (I've read all the previous reports on the Fokine problem). I can tell that it will be well worth going to, and spending the money (no student rush tickets as far as I can tell :clapping: ) and so what I'm wondering is: How necessary is it to be reasonably close?

I think even the "cheap" tickets are going to strain my budget...

#4 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 08 November 2003 - 08:40 AM

Hi Dido, if you are talking about the seat distance in the theatre, then it all depends of the ballet. For instance re the Fokine program (which is surely worth the money :clapping: ), for Chopiniana it's better to be a bit further away from the stage as it will allow you to see the choreographic patterns better. I guess the same goes for The Firebird, where you have the color effect, which needs to be seen from a distance. As for Scheherazade, I would prefer to be closer to the stage, because it's interesting "to see the faces" in this ballet, but again, being at a distance won't kill the fun.
Finally, it's also a matter of personal taste; some people like to be close enough to see the spots on the ballerinas backs in no matter what ballet, others want to enjoy the ensemble.

Hope this helps :clapping:

#5 Paul Parish

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Posted 08 November 2003 - 12:58 PM

Dido, I agree with Marc about the Fokine.... I saw them in Berkeley just a month ago..

But if they[re also diong the balanchine program , it's REALLY good to see Jewels from a distance -- I saw it 3 times, and hte best view was from hte back of hte mezzanine -- hte finale of Diamonds is really thrilling from back there, and the pas de deux is magnificent from a distance, didn't lose a thing....

#6 dido

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Posted 09 November 2003 - 06:38 AM

Yes, I was actually thinking about the particular ballets in this Fokine program (I don't think they're doing a Balanchine here :unsure: ). I had guessed that Chopiniana would be fine from the upper balcony, but wasn't sure about Firebird and Sheherezade, and after looking at ticket prices, upper balcony is definitely where I'm going to be!

Thanks for the iinformation.

#7 Alexandra

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Posted 11 November 2003 - 10:00 PM

This seminar was yesterday, and I wondered if anyone had gone -- bhammatt, did you go? We'd love to hear about it!

#8 bhammatt

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Posted 12 November 2003 - 03:56 AM

The panel discussion with Makhar Vaziev, Mikko Nissinen and Julie Buckler provided a good review of the history of ballet in St Petersburg. Vaziev was the highlight of the evening with his animated enthusiasm for ballet and his city obvious. (He spoke in Russian and his interpreterís words appeared to fit his emotion very well.) While not straying beyond the Mariinsky line of Petapa, Fokine, and Balanchine all three were proclaimed geniuses by both Vaziev and Nissinen.
In answer to a question about future plans Vaziev suggested that the Kirov's ability to do new things was very much dependant upon the amount of government funding available. He mentioned no new initiatives at all. It was difficult to tell if this meant that there were none planned or none that he was willing to announce at this time. I had hoped to learn what might come out of the Kirov in the next year or two but his answer seemed to relate to a longer-range look at the future.
The program was a great warm up for the Kirovís program of Fokine work to start on Thursday.

#9 Alexandra

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Posted 12 November 2003 - 06:37 AM

Thanks bhammatt. (I'm sure there are plans, and that your guess that he wasn't ready to announce them is more likely.) Did they actually give background for the ballets on the Fokine program? (And, if you go, I hope you'll tell us what you think.)

#10 Juliet

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Posted 12 November 2003 - 06:59 AM

This is a beautiful program and in the Wang, it will be a jewel-box of an experience. That theatre is one of the loveliest in this country--
I don't think it will matter where you sit as the effect with those ballets will not be lesssened by distance. (Binocs. are available for rental in the lobby or you can always borrow some....)

Kirov has been doing this program for several years and it is defiinitely worth attending if possible, a really good combination of pieces. I'm sorry I can't attend this weekend, but one must earn a living....

Please let us know what you think--

#11 Blondie

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Posted 12 November 2003 - 10:52 AM

I went to the panel discussion on Monday night, and I am going to the Kirov on Saturday. I thought that Mr. Vasiev really dominated the conversation, and Mikko could barely get a word in crosswise. Since they have such differences in perspective, I would have wanted to hear more from Mikko. Or at least more point /counterpoint, particularly on the subject of ballet in the 21st Century.

Mr. Vasiev seems to be a guardian of the past, while Mikko is very interested in advancing the art form into the 21st century by commissioning new works and staging contemporary ballets. He touched on it briefly when he spoke about Fokine and how Isadora Duncan's tour of Russia in the early part of the last century had a profound effect on him. Once Fokine had seen the freedom of movement Duncan brought to dance, it struck such a chord in him that he couldn't forget it. His view of dancing was forever changed. Mikko demonstrated a little the difference in movement. He mentioned Picasso, and how once you've seen the Cubist paintings, you can't forget their difference to representational art. He said that dance must evolve organically from new influences. You don't so much reject the past as grow from it. Mr. Vasiev couldn't or wouldn't address the future, while Mikko seems to be bringing the future to us in Boston in the form of such works as The Grey Area.

#12 Alexandra

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Posted 12 November 2003 - 11:11 AM

Thank you for that, Blondie. (And I hope you'll tell us what you think of the Kirov, too.)

I'd like to put in a word for Fokine's view of the Duncan-Fokine matter. It's often said (and it's in many dance history texts) that Isadora influenced Fokine, but Fokine wrote that he had begun his experimentation before seeing Duncan's work, and, when she came to Russia, he was excited to meet her because he immediately recognized that they shared a similar view of art. The big difference, of course, was that Fokine wanted to reform ballet from within, and worked with ballet vocabulary (character as well as classical) and Isadora really was a free spirit, and wanted to do something totally outside the realm of ballet.

#13 Blondie

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Posted 12 November 2003 - 01:30 PM

This is slightly off topic, but I'm wondering if anyone saw the Stravinsky program at the Metropolitan Opera that featured Kirov Opera singers and dancers from the NYC Ballet. It was conducted by the Kirov's Valery Gergiev. I didn't see anything listed on our topics under NYC Ballet, so I'm raising it under the Kirov section. I read about it in the New Yorker recently and was fascinated that they are reviving the tradition of combining ballet and opera. They performed Le Sacre du Printemps, Le Rossignol and Oedipus Rex. Apparently Le Rossignol was the most successful of the three. Damian Woetzel danced the Fisherman, and the Nightingale was danced by Julie Kent. It was my favorite children's story growing up, and I am so curious about the ballet. It's Balanchine. Did anyone see the Kirov perform it?

#14 Alexandra

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Posted 12 November 2003 - 01:46 PM

I didnt see it -- there were probably links to reviews on the Links forum, and here's a link to the review on our sister site, DanceView Times

A few Ballet Alertniks did go -- there's a thread on Recent Performances:

http://balletalert.i...showtopic=13896


It is an interesting idea, to revive mixing opera and ballet on the same program. This program was danced by the Metropolitan Opera ballet, not the Kirov, I think (and Le Rossignol is by Ashton). Le Sacre de printemps was a new production, by the Met Opera's resident choreographer, a modern dance choreographer, Doug Varone.

I wish there were more mixing of this sort, because I think it would help build cross-over audiences. I wonder how many ballet people go to the opera, and how many opera people go to the ballet? Some, surely, but it would be nice if there were more.

#15 Helene

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Posted 12 November 2003 - 03:15 PM

I wish there were more mixing of this sort, because I think it would help build cross-over audiences.  I wonder how many ballet people go to the opera, and how many opera people go to the ballet?  Some, surely, but it would be nice if there were more.

The Metropolitan Opera did another triple bill soon after the Stravinsky. It was a French triple bill, including Satie's Parade, Ravel's opera L'Enfant et les Sortileges, and Poulenc's Les Mamelles de Tireseas, the latter with sets by David Hockney. Notably, both this triple bill and the Stravinsky one consist of modern works.

Maybe there's hope that if Stravinsky was good box office, this one will be revised as well -- with good choreography for Parade -- and that the Met may expand to other programs.


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