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Alexandra

Kirov Ballet in D.C. -- Swan Lake

36 posts in this topic

Thanks Mel -- I didn't know any of that. It's a very effective moment. (One can only guess how many other such moments have been lost even in the Russian/Soviet versions, though if someone could do more than guess, then I might vote in favor of a full scale 'revival' of the original -- Benno partnering Odette and all...)

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Referring to Alexandra's posting on 4 Jan.:

Natalia Sologub, in fact, is not a product of the Kirov school. She graduated from the Bashkirian Ballet School in Ufa (the Nureyev's hometown) in 1998 and joined the Mariinsky the same year.

I find her a very talented dancer - for modern ballets.

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Thanks, Thalictum, for identifying the pas de trois dancers at Sunday's performance. As I mentioned, the girls were the same as on Thursday, but the boy was different. If anyone knows who danced the pas de trois on Thursday, I'd like to know.

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Referring to Alexandra's posting on 4 Jan.:

Natalia Sologub, in fact, is not a product of the Kirov school. She graduated from the Bashkirian Ballet School in Ufa (the Nureyev's hometown) in 1998 and joined the Mariinsky the same year.

I find her a very talented dancer - for modern ballets.

Thank you, Coda -- yes, I know Sologub is not a graduate of the Academy. I mean "Kirov school" in the sense of the company's style/technique. (I write that because this often comes up as a misunderstanding; someone writes "American Ballet Theatre has no school" and someone else, quite understandably says, "Oh, yes they do, they've started a training program" and that's not what was meant.) Wherever a dancer is trained, if he or she is dancing a leading role at a company of the level of the Kirov, I expect the dancing to exhibit the company's school. In modern roles, the disparaties wouldn't show as much. Having seen Sologub's Nutcracker, I can imagine she would be quite interesting in modern roles. (I also liked her very much in "Serenade".

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Ari, regarding pas de trois casting (or "Prince's Friends" as the program unhelpfully put it, listing six dancers,a at least one of whom did not dance, and with no dates) there was no one official to ask after opening night. If the company sent a press representative, I did not see him/her. The Kennedy Center usually puts in program slips; it didn't this time. And they used to post cast changes, or casting that was not specified in the program, but that didn't happen eiither. The Kirov has been notoriously bad about casting announcements, at least here -- on one earlier visit, the Kennedy Center press person would go back stage and ask the person listed in the program if they really had danced and, even though that dancer might be in street clothes, eating a pizza, s/he'd say, "Yes," while the Mystery Dancer, seating and in costume, standing a foot away, would say s/he hadn't danced.

I don't think the casting would be retrievable from the Kennedy Center press office at this point, since the company has gone home. I've now heard/read three different nominations for one performance, so I'm not going to try to sort it out. You all are welcome to!

It's a shame for the dancers. Also, it undermines the point of having the Kirov be a regular visitor -- presumably to provide a standard for ballet, a measuring stick for developing a new audience for ballet, and educating that audience. If that audience isn't told who the dancers are, it won't get to know the company.

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Alexandra, re: your Swan Lake review, the Big Swans seemed to be:

Gonchar, Tkhachenko, Iosifidi and Kondaurova.

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Thanks -- I only use names in a review when I'm sure of them personally, or can checkwith a press person. I thought Kondaurova was one of them -- so I'm glad to know she was. She seemed more mature than last spring when she did Shades here (which I liked very much).

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I really loved this production of Swan Lake. This was the first live production I've seen that included a jester. On tape I found him distracting (specifically in the Plisetskaya tape - is this the Grigorovich version?). Here, I thought he was entertaining and he helped move the plot along. I suppose it helped that Ivanov’s dancing was so spectacular.

I also thought I would hate the happy ending, and I didn't. I agree that the music calls for a tragic ending, and dramatically it would make more sense. However, IMO, this "happy ending" was more dramatic and more tragic than most of the "double suicide, happy apotheosis" ending's I've seen in the past 10 or 15 years. I also prefer it to the Nureyev ending. Why? Because the choreography for the corps fit the music instead of fighting it, Odette had enough time & the proper choreography to express her sorrow and resignation, and then forgive Siegfried, only to be battered and pretty much defeated by Von Rothbart. It’s only at the very last moment that Siegfried saves the day. Even then, Odette looked stunned & drained as the curtain came down, almost as if she couldn’t really believe that the spell had been broken.

I thought Gumerova & Solugob each had their strengths & weaknesses. Solugob had a beautiful sculptural quality to her dancing and Gumerova was very dramatic in act 4. Both were better than most ballerinas I’ve seen recently in the role, but neither was totally satisfying. Pavlenko was a different story - I absolutely LOVED her interpretation, from beginning to end. So much depends on your taste, and she is exactly the type of Odette that I like - her dancing is very expressive, her physique is small & delicate with a well proportioned body, an unbelievably pliant back & soft arms. I saw her twice. I loved her on Friday night but I thought her performance at Sunday’s matinee was even better. Her dancing in the second act was seamless. Of course her footwork was wonderful but it was the way she used her torso, arms, shoulders,neck and head that really created the effect of one continuous flowing motion, a deep, long, desperate sigh. I have never seen a more fully realized expression of sorrow & despair in the second act adagio. I can't believe the Washington Times reviewer found her "cool & remote" - those are the last words I'd use to describe her! I thought her transformation as Odile was remarkable - her posture and facial expressions changed completely!

I also had a different take on Sarafanov from most of the other posters. I loved his "boy prince" portrayal and I thought he displayed a real commitment to the character. All three of the leading men were wonderful, but Sarafanov was the only one who I felt behaved like a Prince in terms of his deportment and interactions with his friends and courtiers.

All in all it was a great weekend for me, and I'm really glad I decided to make the trip!

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Tatiana Serova, a soloist who rarely tours, was in Washington, but WHAT DID SHE DANCE?

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Can't help, I'm afraid -- I've tossed my Nutcracker program. I didn't see her name in Swan Lake. But, as we've seen, the programs weren't very helpful.

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Nope, didn't Tatyana Serova in the Nutcracker program either.

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