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New Swan Lake


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41 replies to this topic

#16 Alexandra

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Posted 26 May 2004 - 12:15 PM

That's it! cargill, you're brilliant! Why bother with those tired, old pique tours when you bail out of the fouettes? Just rip into a can can!!!

#17 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 26 May 2004 - 02:45 PM

personally i think there ought to be a scene showing a ballroom with glittering attractive couples and a jester in the snow outside selling pencils. :devil:

#18 cargill

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Posted 27 May 2004 - 05:11 AM

Have you seen the Kirov's version of Eugene Onegin--the opera, not the ballet? They set the ball scene in the snow, and believe me it wasn't pretty! A little hard to believe Titania and Onegin chatting in ball room clothes while standing in the middle of a Russian winter. But it saved money on the sets.

#19 purelyballet

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Posted 03 June 2004 - 08:22 AM

I was just checking out the PABallet website and noticed that they have some interesting "fun facts" on Swan Lake. What a clever idea, kudos to whoever come up with the idea. Also, they commented that due to the overwhelming response in ticket sales, they have added an additional performance. So if you were thinking about seeing this ballet and do not have tickets already, you may want to call today.

Lastly, I noticed that PABallet never posted the profiles on their apprentices that were hired for the 2003/2004 season. Does anyone have any idea why, or when they will be posted?

#20 socalgal

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Posted 03 June 2004 - 09:32 AM

Very excited about this new SL....especially Acts I and III which seem to be of new invention.
We will be seeing the last weekend's performances. Saturday evening of June 12 will be Dede Barfield's final performance with PABallet. She is retiring at the end of this season. We love her and wouldn't miss this special night. :)

As far as the PAB roster listings, I would think that they would not be updating this until next Fall. :shrug:

Anyone else going to see this new SL?

#21 Amy Reusch

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Posted 03 June 2004 - 07:53 PM

will be Dede Barfield's final performance

Sad to see her go... She sure could do one hell of a Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux...

#22 Dale

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Posted 04 June 2004 - 09:04 PM

I saw the premiere and I'm exhausted from the travel, but I had to write to say that the production is wonderful and fits the company perfectly. The ballet shows all Wheeldon's trademark construction, cleverness and humor, but the heart of the work belongs to Pennsylvania Ballet's dancers.

#23 socalgal

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Posted 04 June 2004 - 09:13 PM

Dale
I am so glad to hear this....from the inside, I know these dancers dedicated themselves body and soul to this ballet......they are a spirited group and work diligently as a whole.
Can't wait to hear more about it, especially your thoughts about the change of time and place and how Chris created the studio/real life into the story ballet and back again.....I also heard that the costumes were wonderful...

#24 fLexNpOinte

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Posted 06 June 2004 - 04:03 PM

I just returned from the Sunday matinee. Pennsylvania Ballet's Swan Lake was absolutely AMAZING! :clapping: Prior to attending, I had some doubts about whether or not I would like it. I had heard it was very different and truely unique. I had not anticipated how much I would fall in love with Christopher Wheeldon's staging of Swan Lake. It was easy to follow and not too "modern." The creativity involved in staging and choreographing such a phenomenal production was just astonishing. It was certainly Pennsylvania Ballet at its finest.
Christopher Wheeldon's production of Swan Lake was ingenius in that it was portrayed as if a company were rehearsing and preparing to debut Swan Lake. At the opening of the ballet, you see dancers preparing for Swan Lake rehearsal by tying their hair up and changing into rehearsal clothes. The whole ballet involves a company preparing the production of Swan Lake and how a dancer gets "lost" in his imagination and rehearsing of the ballet. (Sorry if that doesn't make a lot of sense :innocent: ) It was a very unique perspective that I thoroughly enjoyed.
I had the opportunity to see Riolama Lorenzo as Odette/Odile and Zachary Hench as the prince. Riolama Lorenzo is AMAZING! She is so beautiful and captivating to watch. She is a dancer that can simply walk across the stage and you cannot tear your eyes away. I really enjoyed her portrayal of Odile, especially in her variation. Her renverses were so beatifully suspended. In Odette's variation in the beginning of the ballet, Riolama Lorenzo executed beautiful pique attitude turns that were suspended and sustained. Her portrayal throughout the ballet was breathtaking. Zachary Hench was also very impressive. He had impeccable technique and was very convincing.
The corps de ballet choreography was very intricate and challenging, but the dancers executed it beautifully. The corps de ballet was very interesting to watch as were their formations. The dancers moved and breathed as one. It was a very spectacular thing to see.
I was also very impressed with the cygnets. It was very interesting and unique how the dancers increased in height slightly from left to right instead of the traditional cygnet dancers of all the same height. The cygnets were so together from start to finish of their challenging quartet. I felt as if I was watching one body move instead of four. Every movement and breath were executed in the exact same way by each cygnet. Their dance retained the traditional choreography.
In the third act of the ballet, there was a break from the traditional Swan Lake which I thoroughly enjoyed. The can-can dancers and the other additions were comical and a pleasure to watch. I found it to be more interesting than the traditional Swan Lake. The third act was portrayed as if it were a gala for a ballet company. The fourth act remained mostly traditional. At the end, the audience sees the dancers back in rehearsal for Swan Lake. Its very fascinating how it was choreographed and blended together.
Also very impressive about the production was the scenery, lighting, and costumes. It was very elaborate but certainly not over the top. The costumes were more contemporary, but they were beautiful on stage and under the light. The whole producting was just breathtaking and a must-see. It was so captivating and enthralling.
The show I attended was completely sold out (even family circle seating). A random sidenote :offtopic: -Angel Corella was sitting in the row behind me! It was so exciting I could barely sit still. Ballet fanatics from all over the country and abroad came to see this marvelous production.
At the end of the ballet, everyone in the audience who was able was standing and applauding. The dancers received a well-deserved standing ovation. Pennsylvania Ballet's Swan Lake should not be missed! :flowers: :grinning: :bouncing: :party: :thumbsup:
*Sorry for the length...I could go on forever about PB's Swan Lake...It was breathtaking to say the least...I hope all that attend have as amazing of a time as I had*

#25 Dale

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Posted 07 June 2004 - 07:56 PM

Well, with the reviews out, there's no need to go into the change of venue to Paris in the late 19th century. I think the switch is very ingenious, although with so little mime (we do get the queen's talk with Siegfried and Odette's Mother's tears etc.) to flesh out why the cavalier should empathize so much with Siegfried's plight that he should decend into the dream-world Swan Lake. However, if one suspends disbelief, it's very interesting. Another complaint of keeping the traditional White Swan act, but pulling apart the structure - Odette's solo comes before the pas de deux.

However, I think this is the perfect Swan Lake for this company. The designs and choreography perfectly suit the home stage and size of the company. If there any influences on Wheeldon's choreography, I see a little Ashton is the pas de trois and pas de quatre and a little Balanchine in the nightclub scene and Swan corps choreography. The nightclub section reminds of the creepy gathering in La Sonnambula with its strange, seedy divertisments. Everything is wonderfully inventive. If anything, the can-can girls could have done even more. The Russian dance was a stripper, whose Russian costume came peeling off in the hands of the male Patrons. The costumes throughout were gorgeous, especially the Black Swan tutu - black velvet with a silvery shine cut in a sort of upside down flower shape, very much like the Mariinsky's Sleeping Beauty and La Bayadere tutus.
The last act swan section reminded me a bit of the corps in La Valse or Cottillion. They hide Odette in the circle and then slowly peel away and run around here as they do at the end of those two Balanchine ballets. There are only 18 swans but Wheeldon puts them in such interesting configurations.

I found all the performances strong, especially Lorenzo, who was so beautiful. She was a proud, abstractly cool Odette and a womanly, seductive Odile.

#26 BW

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Posted 08 June 2004 - 03:51 PM

I am so mad at myself for missing this. Thanks to you all for your posts. :wink:

I wonder what it's future holds?

#27 lillianna

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Posted 08 June 2004 - 07:30 PM

You haven't "missed" it yet. The program has been selling so well that they have added additional shows. It is playing through Sunday the 12th.
I also saw opening night. I am still trying to get all of my thoughts together. The major comment that I have is that the company danced beautifully. I really enjoyed Zachary Hench's performance. Riolama really came alive as the black swan and was truly amazing in the final act. I must admit that I am pretty much a traditionalist so this version will take some getting used to . I much prefer the more traditional choreography but did enjoy the performance. I was very impressed by young Jermel Johnson, an apprentice performing in the Pas de Tris in the first act. I also don't think that I have ever seen a better performance of the 4 little swans. Very nice. I am looking forward to seeing more of this company.

#28 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 08 June 2004 - 09:57 PM

I haven't seen the production, but I'm curious about how people felt about Wheeldon turning Swan Lake into a ballet about ballet. The success is in the execution, of course, but the idea worries me. Ballet keeps getting more and more insular and self-referential; turning stories into backstage dramas just speeds up that trend. How did this aspect work for people?

#29 cargill

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Posted 09 June 2004 - 05:33 AM

It didn't work for me, as you can tell from my review! I thought the "It was all a dream" ending just eviserated all of the drama, and I loathed the idea of turning the character dances into sexy turns. But I thought it was well danced.

#30 BW

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Posted 09 June 2004 - 05:46 AM

I can't help but wonder if Wheeldon hadn't called it Swan Lake if that might have made a difference to some? Perhaps then it wouldn't be so upsetting/disturbing?

As I said, I didn't see it and can't make it down this Sunday, but I do hope to see it in September. From reading Kisselgoff's review I thought it sounded interesting and I think I'd enjoy it.


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