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Open invitation to new posters--tell us what you thought!


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#1 Alexandra

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Posted 04 January 2004 - 11:47 AM

This past week there have been about a dozen people who have registered saying they're ballet fans living in the DC area. I'm gonna take a wild guess and say that you've been watching the Kirov -- please tell us what you think. It doesn't matter whether this is your first ballet ever, or you've been waching since the cradle. And it doesn't matter whether you agree or disagree with anything that's already been written.

The fun of a message board is reading as many different opinions as possible -- so please! Delurk.

#2 Guest_Valentina_*

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Posted 04 January 2004 - 04:56 PM

I have been a ballet fan from a very early age after a trip to the Mariinsky (then the Kirov). I have been dancing myself and could appreciate the dancing in the Nutcracker and Swan Lake at the Kennedy Center. Both ballets were amazing, there were some minor flaws but both were very well performed. The Mariinsky was, and stays my favorite company.

I saw the Nutcracker on Saturday evening (27th) with Sarafanov and Vishneva, or was it Golub, since I am still not sure whether Vishneva came here from Athens. Both danced superbly, as did the other artists (especially the rats, the flowers, the Chinese dance and the snake). Sarafanov danced as if he was made for the role (even though Fadeyev danced it at the premiere with Sologub, and I thought they would dance it here together, but apparently he was unable to come). I was impressed with the Chemiakin decors and costumes, though I thought Masha’s green dress seemed somewhat out of place. I still prefer the old Vainonen production, which I grew up with, but this one is something new and interesting. It was definitely a real show, especially the dance of the snow flakes and the decors. On the dance level it was a rather disappointing production, especially the first act. “Konfiturenburg” is the only real “dance moment” in the entire ballet. I though Masha’s foittees in the second act seemed completely out of touch with the music. If Simonov really wanted foittees he could have put them in the pas-de-deux (though even there, they are out of place).

Swan Lake was beautifully danced when I saw it last night (3rd) with Sarafanov and Sologub. There were some mistakes, but overall, it was very enjoyable. I did not particularly like the end, though I am used to it since this was the version I grew up with. Another flaw is the fact that the prince barely dances in the first act. I also felt as if there were overall fewer lifts. Many people critique the presence of the jester. However, if you have been brought up in Russia you cannot imagine Swan Lake without the jester, and I have met many Russians (and am myself part of them) who think that the absence of a jester ruins the performance in some productions. He is part of court life (if you look in history books, each court had a jester) and he is, historically, part of the ballet. During the performance last night, Andrey Ivanov danced the jester and the entire audience loved him, he got almost as much applause as Odette and the prince. Of course, the first applause always goes to the corps de ballet, the ladies were all astonishing. Sarafanov danced the prince very well. His solo variations were startling with extremely light jumps. As for acting, I expected him to be much worse, of course he probably wasn’t as good as Zelensky (I didn’t get a chance to see him), but we have to remember that Sarafanov is only 21. Sologub did not seem to be in a good shape. I had seen her only on video before, so I cannot judge her day-to-day, live performances but she did make a couple of mistakes last night and was apparently not spotting very well in her diagonals. I was surprised to see red in her black-swan dress. I thought this to be a nice addition. All character dancers, as usual, were great.


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