Jump to content


This site uses cookies. By using this site, you agree to accept cookies, unless you've opted out. (US government web page with instructions to opt out: http://www.usa.gov/optout-instructions.shtml)

Crisis at the Kirov Ballet?


  • Please log in to reply
24 replies to this topic

#16 Paul Parish

Paul Parish

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,925 posts

Posted 15 December 2003 - 09:34 PM

thalictum, what ballets DID you see in Detroit?

#17 Thalictum

Thalictum

    Bronze Circle

  • Inactive Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 265 posts

Posted 15 December 2003 - 09:49 PM

Only La Bayadere; that's all they did there.

#18 Paul Parish

Paul Parish

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,925 posts

Posted 15 December 2003 - 10:00 PM

I wish WE'd gotten bayadere.....

What is your theater like? Is the stage big enough to hold the sets (when the Paris Opera Balletwas here, even the SF Opera House was too small, and thetemple had to be put flat on hte ground, with no staircase -- so when Nikiya made her entrance, she could not point her foot and announce herself... the Shades scene had t do without at least one layer of backdrop, so it looked quite peculiar.....

and if they'd come to Zellerbach, where the Kirov danced, there would have been even less room....

SO I was thinking maybe wwe didn't get Bayadee because it wouldn't fit into Zellerbach..

Though maybe that wasn't it at all - -and anyway, the maryinsky may not have as big a stage as the palais garnier.....

But what is YOUR theater like? DId hte production look good?

#19 Thalictum

Thalictum

    Bronze Circle

  • Inactive Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 265 posts

Posted 15 December 2003 - 10:15 PM

Bayadere looked wonderful. The 1920s Detroit Opera House, originally a movie palace, was restored in front of the proscenium and completely rebuilt behind it in the 1990s and now has an enormous stage, almost as big as the Met in NY.

#20 Jane Simpson

Jane Simpson

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 947 posts

Posted 16 December 2003 - 04:31 AM

  And even bringing a strongly performed Les Noces to London is risky.  The English have a very strong relationship with this ballet.  They were primed to pick it apart (not as good as the home team they sniffed, it is understandable considering the lineage of their own version0. ..... (although there might be as much of an arguement as to how they do Balanchine, the Etudes and Sacre as the Nijinska).

Obviously I can't speak for the whole of London, but I don't suppose I was the only one whose criticism was driven mainly by disappointment. We know from the Royal Ballet's best performances that Les Noces is one of the great masterpieces of the twentieth century, and the prospect of seeing it done by a great Russian company was very exciting: far from going along to pick it apart or to sniff, I was hoping to see it looking even greater. Then the curtain went up and we saw that they hadn't even finished learning the steps.

There was, also, a lot of disappointment with Sacre, and I wasn't very impressed myself with the way they did Etudes, though others like it.

#21 LMCtech

LMCtech

    Bronze Circle

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 310 posts

Posted 16 December 2003 - 11:52 AM

I agree that they made poor programming choices for London, though I have to say that I would never expect the Kirov to look better in a ballet created by the Nijinksys or Balanchine or Ashton or MacMillan. They have had a very different history in the 20th century than "Western" companies and I would not expect that to make their performances less than the best ever seen. Their hearts are different than those of western dancers and that nuances thier performances of "western" ballets in a negative (my opinion only) way. Not that they aren't beautiful, but they are somehow not as "creative".

#22 Cygnet

Cygnet

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 734 posts

Posted 17 December 2003 - 06:37 PM

Hi! I used to be KBfan. Thanks Alexandra for your help getting me back online!
The Kirov is concluding its Japanese tour tonight, and will be in Washington DC
next week through New Year's. The company has been on the road since June.
That's just too much. The company is exhausted. When they brought "Les Noces," "Etudes" and "Rite of Spring" to London, who could expect that they would turn in exemplary performances with minimal preparation and rehearsal? That's unrealistic. What is expected is competence and professionalism for the prices that the audience pays.

Vaziev is not a choreographer nor a good administrator, and this is the problem.
Y. Grigorovich in the 50s & 60s, and O. Vinogradov were at least choreographers. There are similarities between Grigorovich and Vinogradov: They were
both stage producers more than composers of steps, and they were autocrats. Their choreography illustrated rather than interpreted the music. A great choreographer interprets the music building on the old language, a new dialect of steps. Balanchine and Ashton did this. They created steps.

Also, when you divide the choice roles of the classical repertory between two ballerinas, as Vaziev has done, there's bound to be friction backstage. IMO I don't think Zakharova is a big loss to the Kirov stylistically or artistically. She's better
suited to the Bolshoi with her iconoclastic stage persona. She easily takes Volochkova's place & Vishneva would be perfect for NYCB. IMO, what Gergiev needs to do now is aggresively court Boris Eifman, not to leave his company, but to come and assist, as well as others such as Forsythe, Bourne and Eks, to come and create. Gergiev should open the doors of the Maryinsky with an open invitation to the best choreographers in Europe to come and work. Gergiev can showcase NEW works during the Maryinsky festival more agressively encouraging choreographic competions, etc. Ratmansky is a regretable loss, but Eifman is at least his equal.

#23 Marc Haegeman

Marc Haegeman

    Platinum Circle

  • Editorial Advisor
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,027 posts

Posted 22 December 2003 - 11:36 AM

Interesting points KBFan-turned-into-Cygnet. However, I don't quite follow your confidence in Valery Gergiev, while you condemn Makhar Vaziev. What the Kirov badly needs in my opinion is a ballet person who can run the company with sufficient autonomy to give it an artistic profile viable in the 21st century. With Gergiev in charge one cannot be further away from that and if Vazievs policy in the last 8 or 9 years has to be considered a failure, than Gergiev is for a large part to blame by denying Vaziev that autonomy.
I don't believe either that Eifman or an invasion of the European choreographers (controversial for anybody who still cares for classical ballet) you mention could in any way be a solution for the Mariinsky. Let's not forget that in the last years they had plenty of "new" choreography (Balanchine, Nijinska, MacMillan, Neumeier, Ratmansky, Simonov...), and as it seems far too much for their own good already. I would suggest to give them the time to digest what they acquired, let them really become "the home of Balanchine", and let them work on their own magnificent heritage (it's rich, but delicate enough so it needs attention), instead of producing yet another doubtful escapade in novelty.

Finally, it's beyond me why anybody with an "iconoclastic" stage persona would be more suited for the Bolshoi Ballet than for the Mariinsky, and I really don't get your comparison of Zakharova with Volochkova.

#24 Cygnet

Cygnet

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 734 posts

Posted 24 December 2003 - 02:10 PM

:FIREdevil: I see your points Marc. Perhaps Gergiev should loosen the reins for Vaziev
to do what needs to be done for the company. Vaziev needs more freedom, and
Gergiev needs to give this to him. Gergiev probably considers the ballet company a poor stepchild to the opera - his baby. I didn't consider that they should digest what they have already before taking on more stuff - of course, this is logical. Also, you're right, 'iconoclastic' is the wrong word. I'm comparing Zakharova with Volochkova artistically; IMO I think of them as non-conformists. Zakharova seems determined to distort line and style with her hyperextensions and introverted approach to the classics. Whereas, with Volochkova I base my verdict on the first hand opinions of someone who would know best her strengths and weaknesses - Ekaterina Maximova her (former?) coach. (Please see Bolshoi threads on 'Volochkova' et al.).

Happy Holidays to all!

#25 coda

coda

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 102 posts

Posted 24 December 2003 - 05:57 PM

Dear Cygnet,
While I was trying to find some time in my pre-Christmas bustle to reply to your first posting, Marc had already done it. Still I would like, Cygnet, to object to at least two of your points.
The first one is about Zakharova not being “a big loss to the Kirov stylistically or artistically”. In my opinion, a ballerina of Zakharova’s calibre would have been a great loss to any company. Although I don’t think she has matured as an actress yet ( she is still 24), however, she has a uniquely beautiful body, exquisite feet and arms and on the top of it her technique is outstanding. The beauty of her line and her gracefulness are exceptional. All this allows her to be called, as they do it in Mariinsky, an “Imperial ballerina”. Her departure to Moscow was one of the reasons why the Kirov’s Maestro became enraged with the ballet management.
Zakharova always keeps herself in excellent form and is a modest and quiet person, therefore I am completely taken aback by your suggestion that “she easily takes Volochkova's place”. Those who know these two ballerinas well would not even put their names on the same written line.
The second point. Your advice to Maestro to invite “the best choreographers in Europe” made me shudder at the mere thought of it. Isn’t your list too excessive? To invite all that lot to “create” in Mariinsky would be the best way to destroy the unique classical company as we know it. Crisis at the Kirov? They only have a problem with some aspects of management but Vaziev can be praised at least for creating a quite diverse repertoire for the company, and Mariinsky dancers proved that they can dance anything. However, “to open the doors” and flood their repertoire with supermodern choreography will be wrong. There are numerous companies in the world who dance 'creations' by avangardistic choreographers, some of them featuring on your list. Ask those companies to dance The Kingdom of Shades or Chopiniana – and what will you get?
Please let Mariinsky remain the guardian of that most specialised form of art which is called CLASSICAL BALLET.
Where the management problem is concerned I am sure it will be solved soon.


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):