Moscow Festival Ballet visits SFBay areaanybody know anything about htem?
Posted 18 February 2004 - 06:17 PM
Anybody seen them? WHat did you think?
Posted 18 February 2004 - 07:25 PM
Was there a schism? I found this in a web search on the company's page: "In January 1998 Moscow Festival Ballet» company was renamed Russian National Ballet». " It lists that company's artistic director as MR> (Sergei) Radchenko -- he was a terrific character dancer -- a star -- with the Bolshoi in the 60s.
I don't know anything about the Cinderella, though. Sorry! Go and report!!
Posted 19 February 2004 - 07:30 PM
Posted 20 February 2004 - 02:21 PM
I have to admit I was looking forward to much better than I saw. The whole first half of the program seemed mostly devoid of personality, with much trouble on stage with slips, falls, and poorly executed double pirouettes. (Both boys and girls!) In "Paquita", the whole corps had problems with holding arabesques (both times). I felt as if I was watching a student performance in which the dancers were worrying so much about technique that they forgot everything else.
The second half which consisted of "Carmen Suite", got better. I liked the choreography and the dancers seemed to come more alive. I disliked the costuming simply because it looked like most of the dancers were wearing very modern type styles but the toreador was in a very classical looking costume. I also felt the dancer portraying "fate" and the "bull" was miscast. This should have been a powerful performance, but the dancer was just too thin, waiflike and uncommited to make a believable "bull".
It really shocked me when at the end of the performances, (as on another thread: to Stand or Not to Stand) that at this particular performance there were so many audience members standing and shouting "Bravo!" when it was -to me- somewhat mediocre. Of course, as I overheard one audience member say, "They are Russian, so they MUST be very good!"
Posted 21 February 2004 - 08:23 PM
Posted 23 February 2004 - 06:15 AM
Posted 11 March 2004 - 09:11 PM
The Giselle was a traditional production -- though with some unfamiliar touches, at least to my eyes -- and danced to taped music. I liked it, especially Act II. In Act I I missed Giselle being crowned Queen of the Vintage, and wasn't sure how I felt about the strong contrast drawn between the 'character' peasants wearing heeled shoes and bright purply/reddish costumes and the 'classical' peasants/friends of Giselle in white dresses and on pointe. (I didn't miss the peasant pas de deux which this company does not include.) Throughout, I thought the ensemble looked stylistically coherent and reasonably polished; no-one I saw was a great actor, but they were all clear and committed in the mime passages. As Alexandra said, the company knows what it's doing. Act II made the stronger impression, but that's true of better companies than this one.
Even when dancers were weak or uneven, they would surprise one with something particularly well done. The Albrecht, Vasily Amerianov, was the least distinguished of the leads, but he clearly knew what the big moments were and he had a nice dramatic moment at the end when it's dawn and he looks at his raised hand as if suddenly realizing that he's actually alive. The Giselle, Olga Grigorieva, was overall very good if not particularly touching in most of Act I, but then gave a quite effective mad scene in which her whole body was involved. Her Act II wasn't quite ghostly enough for my taste, her torso at times a hint too square for the romantic silhouette, but her arms were lovely throughout and, well, she knew what she was doing...For me, the real delight of the evening was the Queen of the Wilis, Olga Sizikh -- who, according to the program just turned 20 years old. She really commanded the stage, had a big airy jump, wonderfully ripply pas de bourree and was the least noisy of an admitedly rather noisy bunch of dancers. She also had a wonderful quality of movement through her upper body; at times, perhaps, she was somewhat over emphatic with it -- you could see her gearing up -- but then the movement would just ripple through her entire body from the tips of her fingers to the tips of her toes and I would think 'oh...a ballerina' or, less hyperbolically, 'that's beautiful.' I also liked the very snobby Bathilde of Tatiana Smirnova.
Anyway, in my opinion, it's not a must see, but -- depending on your options -- I would call their Giselle, at least, well-worth seeing...Radchenko's Cinderella may be an entirely different matter, but having seen the Giselle, I would probably go.
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