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Moscow Festival Ballet

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#16 lil lindsay

lil lindsay

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Posted 02 April 2001 - 09:16 PM

I saw Moscow Festival Ballet perform Giselle a few weeks ago. I'm sorry if this doesn't sound like a professional review, but it is just my opinion of the show. I really enjoyed it, and the scenery was amazing. The costumes were very pretty, and the corps de ballet did an excellent job. I haven't heard much about this company, but I would recommend that anyone see them perform if they happen to come to an area near you!

#17 Amy Reusch

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Posted 11 April 2001 - 12:38 AM

I did finally see Moscow Festival Ballet perform Don Quixote last Thursday, and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the company. No, indeed it did not look like a pick-up company... I was impressed at how well matched the corps and demi-soloists were. They had beautiful pointe work, and clean lines. However, I think this ballet involves a lot of flirtatious dancing and unfortunately I saw a lot of "studio face", if you will... with the notable exception of Olga Radchenko (is she related to the director?) as Mercedes in Act II (this role was split-cast). All those deep backbends made me think about Fanny Essler. I've never seen it in the various flamenco companies I've shot... is it a throwback to the 1830s? Also, they used metal chalices instead of daggers for the Act I Mercedes variation... took us some time to figure out what they were (my husband never did), and I spent most of the variation trying to figure it out until the corps picked them up "drank" out of them. I really think they should use "glass"ware to reintroduce some daring into the variation... My other complaint was that I hear this music as big "sail through the air" music, and these dancers tended to slice the air in their jumps instead of delivering the bouyancy the music calls for. They did however give us the casting in the program!!!! Marina Rzhannikova had such lovely pointework that I was truly disappointed when she didn't do the pas de cheval variation in the grande pas but rather something that was mostly about passes... Her performance was quite clean but rather restrained when it came to magic between Kitri and Basilio: Mikhail Bessmertnov. Mikhail was fine, but there was something stunted about the way he landed his jumps... perhaps it was the floor of the theater... not a good theater (they could only use one of their 8 drops... made the lighting for the dream scene look oddly bright)... Speaking of the dream scene, I would be delighted if someone would just remove it from the ballet! Timofey Lavrenuk turned it a very strong Espada. Oddly enough, I felt myself wanting to watch this company perform Concerto Barocco instead of Don Quixote. I missed that exagerated Russian acting and the great vaulting leaps. This generation of Russians (at least at the level of this company) seem restrained. In the grand pas, there are those .. oh what are they called?... tour a la seconds that end fouetted into arabesque as Basilio catches Kitri.... Whenever I've watched less accomplished dancers try them, there's that moment where you hold your breath wondering if he'll catch her before she falls... these were so matter-of-fact as to have lost all their excitement. I watched Baryshnikov's version (early 1980s?), and so enjoyed the part where he tosses and catches Kitri in grand jete rather than simply supporting her... was secretly hoping to see it happen with Moscow Festival Ballet, but it didn't.

[ 04-11-2001: Message edited by: Amy Reusch ]

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