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Diana Vishneva


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#1 Natalia

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Posted 01 July 1999 - 08:02 AM

Many of you know that I have long-admired Diana Vishneva's beauty and artistry...ever since she was pointed out to me in class at the Vaganova Academy's main classroom in 1993 (with Ludmilla Kovaleva conducting class). The following year, she went to Prix de Lausanne & won a gold medal. The year after that (1995), I saw her graduation as Nikiya in Bayadere Shades...spectacular. I don't think there was a dry eye in the Mariinsky Theater that night...all of us knew that only greatness was in store for this gorgeous creature.

Diana's US debut--scheduled for the Met's 1995 season, as Cinderella--never happened. A shame, as I delighted in seeing her rehearse the role on the "mock-stage" rehearsal theater up on the 3rd floor of the Mariinsky's rehearsal wing. Alas, Vishneva suffered an injury soon after & had to sit out the 1995 Met & London seasons.

Finally, the US public got to see Diana Vishneva in fall 1996, on the "Faroukh Rusimatov Stars of the Kirov" tour. New Yorkers first saw her on that tour, at the NJ Performing Arts Center, then again, a couple of days later, at the Diaghilev Gala, where Vishneva & Samodurov brought down the house (NY State Theater) with Balanchine's TCHAIKOVSKY PAS DE DEUX.

My last look at Vishneva was in the 1997 London season, where she danced a spectacular Kitri in DON Q, with a stronger-than-ever Faroukh Ruzimatov as her partner.

And now BEAUTY...

Tonight, she makes her NYC debut as GISELLE, which I can't see (but would love to read reports from those of you who do go!).

I've opened this thread for discussions and comments--both good and bad, if you wish--on my favorite ballerina, my "Goddess Diana" who I have, quite literally, seen grow up from classroom to Prima Ballerina!

#2 Manhattnik

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Posted 01 July 1999 - 10:13 PM

I was somewhat disappointed with her Aurora, and the first act of her Giselle was very good, but not spectacular.

But, oh, her second act was stunning. Made me think of Makarova at her best. From the instant she came out with those dizzying outside turns in attitude, I knew she'd be astonishing. And she was.

More later.

#3 Natalia

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Posted 02 July 1999 - 06:47 AM

Ooohhh, Manhatnnik...thanks for the preview. Can't wait for the full report. Sorry that Vishneva is no longer scheduled to dance GISELLE at tomorrow's matinee (as announced in the initial season brochure); I'll be seeing Maya Dumchenko with Andrian Fadeev instead. Oh, well...I'll have plenty of opportunities to see Vishneva again next week in the two Balanchine programs. Maybe, maybe...if I'm lucky...Vishneva will substitute Irma Nioradze in the final, closing-night GISELLE (wouldn't count on it, though).

#4 Manhattnik

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Posted 02 July 1999 - 07:32 AM

This Giselle reminded me of what I'm coming to think of as this company's split personality. I wasn't thrilled by the spare and dry first act, and I thought Zhelonkina and Samodurov were kind of awful in the Peasant Pas. Everything from them and the corps seemed hard=edged and heavy and brittle. Not at all what I'd expected from the company that gave us Baryshnikov and Makarova. I remember being a little surprised and disappointed by this quality in some of the Fairy solos in Beauty, too. For instance, I'd have to say that Benjamin Millepied and Jenny Somogyi at City Ballet danced a much finer Bluebird this season than any of the Russians.

Yet, in the second act, there was all the softness and breath that was so lacking in the first. Amosova was a great Myrtha, and our two Lilacs, Part and Pavlenko were Moyna and Zulma. It was hard to tell which was who in thier Wili makeup, but Pavlenko, I think, did a magnificent job with the second solo. I've never seen such anger and fierceness in a subsidiary wili. I remember her arms like scythes in her arabesques, like she was just hoping to find a man to cut to ribbons.

I'm still glowing thinking about Vishneva. She truly appeared to be a ghost, but you could see the young girl she'd been, too, and every step imbued with her feelings of pain and regret. Her amazing extensions didn't seem jarring here, as in Beauty, but a way of showing just how greatly she'd been transformed. If only Fadeyev were less of a pretty-boy. He was fine, but there wasn't all that much going on between them, and it certainly wasn't her fault.

I looked at Vishneva's arms and thought of Makarova. Vishneva's are even longer, but they use them similarly: particularly the drooping-lily effect of their wrists.

God, Nioradze is getting closing night? That's disappointing.

#5 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 03 July 1999 - 12:34 AM

Diana Vishneva - "Prima Ballerina" ?
Come again ? Prima Ballerina of what - Jeannie ?

Shall we say that not everybody is that generous in his appreciation of Vishneva. In London for instance after two Kirov-tours, in which Vishneva featured prominently, some ballet fans consider her nothing but a music-hall performer, who should actually be working hardly in the corps de ballet for quite some years, watching and learning from accomplished artists.

But OK, opinions differ and let's be fair and continue the discussion in five or seven years time or so. If she is lucky, she might still be dancing.

#6 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 03 July 1999 - 01:59 AM

Marc,

Vishneva certainly did not make me forget any other ballerina ever existed, but her Giselle on Thursday showed extraordinary promise. Yes, I wish she didn't deploy her extensions indiscriminately, but she danced a second act of Giselle with loft, detail, discernment and commitment. She may not be a prima ballerina, but she is far more than a music hall performer.

And I promise to back these statements up with details as soon as I can :-) (I seem to be writing my promised essay in dribs and drabs)

#7 Natalia

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Posted 05 July 1999 - 06:08 AM

Marc - Prima Ballerina of the Kirov-Mariinsky Ballet of St. Petersburg, Russia, that's what. From the moment I first saw DV in the old (1952) K. Sergeyev production of BEAUTY, I instantly thought - "The beauty & radioance of Margot Fonteyne PLUS the physique and technique." DV's smile, face, and "sunny" quality make me want to jump out of my seat and make an arse of myself jete-ing up the aisle of the theater! Quite simply, the finest AND (to me) most physically ravishing ballerina I have EVER seen. Period. (Doesn't mean that I don't respect your opinions, Marc.)

#8 Natalia

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Posted 14 July 1999 - 08:31 AM

Just ran across Alexandra's "Dancer of the Week" page on this website - and it's none other than Diana Vishneva. Thanks ... great choice! Posted Image

#9 Dale

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Posted 18 July 1999 - 02:38 AM

I'm glad you liked it. I hope I did her justice in your eyes.

#10 Natalia

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Posted 20 July 1999 - 12:22 PM

You surely did so, Dale. Posted Image


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