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carbro

Swan Lake: July 1-9

73 posts in this topic

First of all there were many changes on Tuesday night - Saveliev replacing Belotserkovsky as Siegfried, Cornejo replacing Saveliev as Benno, Kakija and Reyes replacing Riccetto and Liceica in the PdT, Parkinson replacing Meunier as the Queen Mother, Marian Butler replacing Misty Copeland as the Hungarian Princess and Arron Scott replacing Carlos Lopez in the Neapolitan duo.

Saveliev I respect for his professionalism and adaptability. He knew what the traditions were and was credible and supportive of his partner. He had a few shaky landings and some jerky phrasing in the first act solos (all new to him since it is McKenzie choreography) but did much better in the canonical and familiar Act II and Act III choreography. He wasn't as strong a presence as Vishneva and his acting was a touch wooden. Since he was thrown in at the last minute I give him great credit. The audience was warm to him at the end. I like Saveliev better in flashy character roles and prefer Malakhov, Belotserkovsky and Carreno as the danseur noble Princes but he kept to a good standard.

I was impressed by the flexible upper body phrasing that Vishneva brought to Odette as early as her appearance in the Prologue staged behind the scrim show curtain during the overture. Her arms were those of a big swan - broad soaring wings and she did wing movements with her arms and not rippling waves at her exit at the end of Act II. Her arabesques were deep and gorgeous and her face expressive of pain and desolation. This kind of creamy legato phrasing was not as natural to her as to someone like Part. But her characterization was impressively detailed as was her sharp and glittering footwork. I wasn't as moved as I have been by other Odettes in the past but this was a major artist at work with impressive results.

The Odile is a better fit for Vishneva's attack and physicality and she didn't disappoint but she seemed a little girlish to me - not enough hauteur or mystery. She has a tendency towards brittleness in these big parts that doesn't show up in "Rubies" or "Don Quixote". Her fouettes were very fast, high and tight with just a few doubles but ran out of steam a little at the end (no bobbles).

The fourth act kind of fizzled for me... maybe it is the choreography but I didn't feel any catharsis or release. I think that an established rapport between the Prince and Odette is crucial here and that is where this pairing (understandably) fell short. I miss the touch where the Swans are huddled in groups of four on the floor and the Prince lifts them up looking for Odette. But I do appreciate the one intermission, so I guess you have to lose something since that staging can't be done in front of the shifting forest scrim. A lot of people said that Monday with Part was more moving (I am going on Thursday). I enjoyed many aspects of the evening immensely but I didn't feel it jelled into a moving whole at the end.

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The fourth act kind of fizzled for me... maybe it is the choreography but I didn't feel any catharsis or release.  I think that an established rapport between the Prince and Odette is crucial here and that is where this pairing (understandably) fell short.  I miss the touch where the Swans are huddled in groups of four on the floor and the Prince lifts them up looking for Odette.  But I do appreciate the one intermission, so I guess you have to lose something since that staging can't be done in front of the shifting forest scrim.  A lot of people said that Monday with Part was more moving (I am going on Thursday).  I enjoyed many aspects of the evening immensely but I didn't feel it jelled into a moving whole at the end.

Thank you nysusan, you said what I saw, so its rational enough for me!  I can't stand Swamp Thing, but second your comment on Mr. Matthews making something significant out of it.  But as for the production, the tragedy that Vishneva delivered so brilliantly in Act 3 needs all the more the real choreography of  Act 4: it killed the momentum she'd created to go right to Frog Pond, with the corps plotsed on their lillipads, save when they hopped aimlessly elsewhere.

That's my biggest problem with this staging - there is no catharsis or release in act 4. I don't think that had anything to do with the dancers, I feel that way whenever I watch this staging. I could live with all the other flaws, but no matter how touching and tragic acts 2 & 3 are all the momentum is killed in this 4th act. I don't think any ballerina can really overcome that, but I never stop hoping that one will. We'll see what Part can do on Thursday.

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I don't know if this merits a separate thread but what "Swan Lake" 4th acts have you seen that really worked for you? I remember really liking the fourth act that Antony Dowell did for the Royal Ballet production that toured to NYC ten years ago. I think someone told me it was staged from the Sergeyev notations and was the original Ivanov choreography.

Someone told me that the best fourth act they ever saw was one that Nureyev did for the Berlin Ballet with Cynthia Gregory as Odette.

Of course then there is the whole question of tragic ending vs. happy ending, does Siegfried die and Odette live?, does Odette jump first or do they jump in the lake together? do Siegfried and Von Rothbart fight it out and the whole ripped off wing writhing on the floor bit or does Von Rothbart just observe? Does Siegfried kill Von Rothbart? Does Von Rothbart kill Siegfried? Do the swans kill Von Rothbart? does Wolfgang come back and kill Von Rothbart? Does Von Rothbart live on stripped of his powers? This act changes the most from production to production.

Back to ABT, Sascha Radetsky did some of the best dancing I have seen him do as the Handsome Von Rothbart but he reads very young and a little callow on stage. Marcelo has more maturity and weight onstage.

[Edited by Helene: I've opened up a new thread to discuss Swan Lake Act IV, which can be found here.]

Edited by Helene

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I absoutly agree with everyones comments about how absoutely beautiful Vishneva was is last nights Swan Lake. However, it is extremely sad that she blew the end of her "Black Swan" variation and the end of her fouettes, which I totally blame the concuctor's eratic tempos on. :wink:

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Thursday night's Swan Lake. First, Bravo! to Marcello Gomes. I hope someone can do justice in describing his turns after Odile's "32". All in all a terrific Black Swan PDD.

V. Part's Odette was less (but still) terrified on first sight of Siegfried than she was on Monday. Quicker to respond to him, she seemed to find her inner self and human body, long 'dead' inside the hopeless swan. By the Adagio she had a profound glow of spiritual and physical ecstasy. It may be cheating, but we know how this will all turn out. The ecstasy of the Odette/Odile Adagio somehow will make their sorrowful end bearable. They'll always have Adagio. But, of course, there's the matter of lack of sorrow in this production's Act 4 (a topic in itself, quite literally on BalletTalk!). Once this pair took stage in Act 4, I felt they realised the profound sorrow that is often found wanting. After just one year of Part/Gomes Lakes, I think it can be safely said that this is the beginning of a beautiful partnership.

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drb - I wish I could describe the way Gomes' finished his turns after Odile's fouettes, but all I can say is that they were phenomenal! Everybody was really on tonight, the orchestra sounded better than it had all week. Gomes made a fabulous Siegfried. This is usually such a thankless role, but he really made something of it in his own right, and in relation to Part. The connection between them was electric.

Part’s Odette was not what I expected it to be. Reading some of the posts I expected her to be “Makarova” like, and didn’t find her to be that way at all. How could she be, she’s a very different dancer with a very different physique. It will take some time for me to really sort out my thoughts about her O/O, but here are a few impressions. I expected her to have that super expressive “russian” back, which is something I always look for. Instead I was really struck by how beautiful her legs and arms were, and how beautifully she used them. She also used her head, shoulders and neck in a way that I haven’t seen since - well, maybe since Fonteyn. She didn’t use them for those quick birdlike motions like Murphy did, they were expressive, yearning and completely un-bird like. Her Odette was a woman, a beautiful, passionate woman trapped in a swan’s body. As far as I’m concerned, my enjoyment of Swan Lake really hinges on act 2. A ballerina can do 52 fouttees, alternating triples & quadruples on a dime but if Odette doesn’t doesn’t draw me in, break my heart in that 2nd act, it’s over and I spend the rest of the night analyzing the performance instead of feeling it. Tonight was different. Part’s performance was wonderful on many levels but despite it’s beauty, she didn’t have me 100% in act 2. I chalked it up to her not being the kind of fragile Odette in the Fonteyn/Makarova/Pavlenko/Vishneva mold that I really look for.

Then came Act 3, and she and Gomes blew me away. It was like they turned everything up a notch. She was a siren, a real seductress, and Siegfried was completely taken in. In a million years, I never would have expected Part to win me over with her Odile, but that's exactly what she did. Other ballerinas bring more firepower to the black swan but she dazzled me, and truly captivated Siegfried. Gomes brought a flourish to his 3rd act variation that was both technically stunning & dramatically appropriate. Then, when he realized what he had done, he was devastated.

I truly think Part must have changed some of the 4th act staging, because it moved me for the first time. Not completely, not the way it should, but much more than in the past. It seemed like she made small, subtle changes. For instance, when Odette makes her appearance out on the cliff she usually comes out & “poses” there for a minute. That always bothers me, it seems so incongruous. Part didn’t do it that way. She must have come out a few seconds later than usual because she ran out,hit the mark, saw Siegrfied, and came running down to embrace him. Her second act had been very restrained, but her fourth act was extremely emotional. I wish I’d been able to see both of her performances, this is an O/O that will fascinate me for a long time to come. I really hope they let this partnership between Part & Gomes develop, the chemistry between them was great, much better than between any of the other principles I’ve seen this season. This was truly an evening where both of the principals contributed equally to the success of the performance, technically, artistically and emotionally. Neither of them would have been quite as good without the other, and that’s one of the ingredients of a great partnership.

Saveliev, Reyes and Kajiya danced the pas de trois, and did very well. I really liked Saveliev’s Benno, his dancing was very clean and it was well acted. Arron Scott & Jared Matthews were both great in the Neopolitan dance, but they are quite a mismatch in height, I prefer when the two men are more similar in stature. It was also wonderful to see Erica Cornejo back in the Czardas!

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"Part’s Odette was not what I expected it to be. Reading some of the posts I expected her to be “Makarova” like, and didn’t find her to be that way at all. How could she be, she’s a very different dancer with a very different physique."

Sorry if I helped lead to false expectations when I said Part was my favorite O/O since Makarova: I tend to like things that aren't like what I liked before. Part's arms and arm/leg harmony were special tonight. I admit that I preferred Monday's version, where the terror was so profound it didn't seem to be conquered until the end of her second appearance, where she comes out to protect her flock. The magic moment was when she was backing toward the swans, eyes closed, daring to dream, as she was about to exit. Yet I'm happy that tonight's performance was so different. 'Though three is a small sample [yes, I am a mathematical statistician], Part seems to give us different joys each performance. I hope this partnership isn't one that continues to refine and perfect, but rather a living one that grows a brand new branch every time they are together.

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I had a "Swan Lake " day on Wednesday the 6th.It was a great way to beat that oppressive humidity.

I found both performances to be wonderful, but Julie Kent outdanced Michelle Wiles.

Now as we know Michelle is young and I assume this was her first Odette/Odille, and she will work herself into it I am sure. Julie hit I think even more than the 32 fouettes, while Michelle did not , but did a lot of doubles.

Bocca and Acosta were fine.

The swans were brilliant in both performances, and the final tableau is :crying: magnificent.

I love Paloma, and will see her in "Giselle." What faults do her negative critics find in her?

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I saw Veronika Part on Thursday night and she was a truly passionate Odette but Gomes' Prince did not give her much emotional support in ActII. She danced with awesome abandon and I couldn't help thinking that this Odette needs a Youskevitch or an Ivan Nagy. Gomes was no match for her, I wished he had repeated his Rothbart role. (He was sorely missed; Jesus Pastor needs to be more dynamic) Part is surely on the way to b eing ABT's foremost Swan.

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"I saw Veronika Part on Thursday night and she was a truly passionate Odette but Gomes' Prince did not give her much emotional support in ActII. She danced with awesome abandon and I couldn't help thinking that this Odette needs a Youskevitch or an Ivan Nagy. Gomes was no match for her, I wished he had repeated his Rothbart role. (He was sorely missed; Jesus Pastor needs to be more dynamic) Part is surely on the way to b eing ABT's foremost Swan."

Yes, not having his Von Rothbart is the very high price you have to pay to get the Gomes Siegfried. While I found the chemistry between Part and Gomes monumental, fortunately I'm not right or wrong, which is the great lesson of BalletTalk, and its advantage over the good old days when we only had The Times to tell us what we really saw! But you honor her with those two great partners of the past. Vladimir Vasiliev!? Big enough, and similarly Heroic.

Not to be missed: Dirac's links post on Vanity Fair's James Walcott's viewing of Part/Gomes on the 4th:

http://jameswolcott.com/archives/2005/07/finally_a_reaso.php

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First, Michele Wiles has been doing Odette/Odile for over a year - usually partnered by David Hallberg. She may have had an off night on Wednesday (I wasn't there) but I saw her do a spectacular Black Swan PDD in the "Tchaikovsky Spectacular" early in the season with an equally astounding Carlos Acosta. She danced up to his level. It is nice to hear that Julie Kent is finding her way back to top technical form - she was shaky throughout the "Sylvia" I saw her do in June. I look forward to Julie's Giselle on Monday with Julio.

I saw Veronika and Marcelo in "Swan Lake" last night and felt the evening as a whole was a greater emotional experience than Tuesday night with Vishneva/Saveliev. A lot of that had to do with not only the individual talents of Part and Marcelo Gomes but how they worked off of each other to create something more than their sum of their dancing parts. The fourth act which fizzled on Tuesday was a very emotional and satisfying climax last night - and the two leads had much to do with that. (They have the advantage of great familiarity with the production and each other over Saveliev and Vishneva).

Vishneva is a better allegro technician than Part and she is more in the "willowy Makarova" mold than the regal Part. To my observation, there are two schools of Odettes - the weeping willow fragile sort and the grand, regally sorrowful queenly swans. Part seems to me to be of the second queenly school. Her tall and lush physique determines this to a point but her temperment has lots of vulnerability in it. I loved her Odile as well - also regal and imposing - definitely not just a scheming minx. Her fouettes in the coda of the Black Swan PDD were to the knee and traveled a bit but she sustained them very well. She also had a few minor slips (not in crucial places and not marring the lovely whole) in Odile's PDD and solo. Usually just some loss of balance coming out of turns and missing a few transitional steps that come too quickly for her reflexes. Of course the tempos for both her White and Black Swan pas de deux were much slower than Vishneva's, but Part can really fill out that extra space and time with beautiful creamy phrasing and emotional expression. (I think it must be harder in some ways to dance slower than fast in a classical role - it requires greater stamina and control and leaves you more exposed. Of course faster movements require great control as well because you can land on your derriere in a moment with no time for a save!)

One of the many reasons why I think balletomanes are nuts over Part is that she is so strong in old-fashioned, outmoded ballerina qualities that have been trained out of modern ballerinas: Old-fashioned glamour, a love of slow tempos and filled out movements, a lusher more womanly body, upper body port de bras emphasized over footwork and also incredible musicality. She never seems like the girl next door - she has a regal quality but also a langourous dreaminess.

Marcelo Gomes is my hero - he just comes through for me every time and he is so versatile. He impresses often in two roles in the same ballet ("Raymonda" "Here/After" "Swan Lake" "Le Corsaire") and always has something very much of his own to offer. He is very giving onstage and his swan dive into the lake at the end of Act IV (and the way he beat his fists on the palace door at the end of Act III) definitely made him a memorable prince. His mime is very clear - the wonder as he waits for Odette to enter in Act II - you see how he witnesses the offstage transformation of a swan into a princess. Also, Part is not easy to partner and requires a lot of attention and care - Marcelo is very solicitious of her and seems thrilled to be working with her.

Also, the audience was very enthusiastic last night with long ovations at the end. I also felt that it was very well sold - the orchestra and upper levels (except for the Family Circle as usual) looked pretty full.

Faux Pas

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  But you honor her with those two great partners of the past.  Vladimir Vasiliev!?  Big enough, and similarly Heroic.

 

Ah, but those two great partners of the past were not in the Vasiliev heroic mode; there was a dignified simplicity about their stage presence.

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I like that fact that I agree with so many things already said about the Thursday show. Firtst of all, after having seen it on PBS and thinking the whole swamp thing Rothbart was a bad idea, I actually found myself enjoying it live on stage. During the overture they played out the whole scenario behind a scrim so you see the transformation of Rothbart and Odette and it really worked for me. Guess you have to see it live.

Act 1 went off well I thought. Gomes was the reason I came to the Thursday show after seeing his Rothbart on PBS. I'll just say it up front, he is very very good. He's not fussy with the choreography and has an effortless way about the stage and, oh my gosh, he's like a cat, he doesn't make a sound when he lands.

I liked Saveliev in the pas de trois. He doesn't have the ballon that Cornejo has but then again, who does? I honestly couldn't tell the girls apart in the pas de trois. It was Reyes and Kajiya. They danced well I thought but they both strike me as smaller and the dresses they had on came down to their calves at least. A small criticism but I had a hard time finding the line in the legs sometimes.

I have two directorial criticisms for the night and one of them is during the prince's adagio. The lights go almost dark and the country folk on stage become very dreamy and unaware of the prince as he dances. I would rather they had cleared the stage and left it to him. Not that you're watching them anyway but as he finished, the lights explode and everyone rejoins his reality. Then the sun starts to set and he runs off to the lake where we find.......

Acto secondo.....his swan queen!!!

I'll go ahead and say it about Part, this was the first time I've seen her dance and right from the overture, even behind the scrim, she has very striking long arms. I dare say she's rather height unchallenged.

My ideal Odette would be in the mold of a Markarova who can seem so incredibly delicate and fragile. Part just seems so strong and powerful and commanding and I thought she did a great job but fragile she is not nor could I ever see her being.

The white swan pas was good but the tempo was slow. My favorite moment was at the end when she tries to leave one last time and he, Gomes shook his head as if to say "you can't leave now that I've found you" very touching. And as it ended, she was called back on for two bows, he never took his eyes off of her. He never bowed or acknoledged the audience. He just gazed at her. Very nice.

As for the swans, I'm no expert on corp work but I thought they did fine. They seemed together and well organized. I wish I could rewind the little swans, I was watching their feet the whole dance and I completely forgot to even look at their faces.

Act III was the highlight only because of the Black Swan Pas. I had a bad taste after having watched the Hungarian Dance on television where they cut out some music but it was restored to it's full version and played very well.

My other directorial criticism is of the Spanish dance. I've seen more interesting choreography in beginner ballet classes. What a yawner for me. The Neopalitan was well danced as was the Mazurka.

I then have to agree with what was already said about Pastor's Rothbart. It needed some extra something because I felt like it started to drag along. And it's not a tempo thing. He just doesn't have the same fire as Gomes does for the part.

The Black swan pas was great but I regret that she fell off point on her first panche in the waltz. Seemed to set a cautionary tone for the pas rather than an all out go for broke attitude. My favorite moment from the pas was during her balance. She started to come a little forward and he put his hand calmly on her stomach as he walked around her. Very nice. By the way, does Rothbart really have to whisper to her in the middle of the pas like he's calling an audible in football. She already knows the plan as do we.

His variation was classy and well danced. Her's was a little more fussy with a few fudges here and there but I can forgive her. After all, she's wearing point shoes and he isn't. She did single fouettes and did travel a bit but the absolute highlight of the evening were his Grand Pirouttes. A series of singles then a perfect triple, then he built up speed and somehow warped the laws of physics and did 5 grand pirouttes a la seconde. Amazing. I don't know what he did after that because I was rubbing my eyes. Everything else was good.

Act 4 was good as well, I thought she came to life more at the end and really changed my attitude toward her from luke warm to lovely. The funny moment of the night had to have been their dieing. She gets up on the platform and takes two very tentative steps and sort of falls off. Gomes, on the other hand, gets a full run and launches himself with his feet toward the lights about 15 feet away before he dissapears from view. I'll end by saying I thought the final image was a little cheesy on TV but being there it really was pretty. They are in the sunrise and all of the swans dissapear under the fog on stage and all you see is Rothbart dead on the steps. I still get chills when I think about it.

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After reading all of your posts I am a bit upset I missed Vishneva and especially Part! I figured I'd still have time to see them... I saw Kent and Bocca- who will be celebrating their 20th anniversaries next year :( . I went to both of their performances, last Saturday night, and the Wednesday matinee.

I just want to say that while I missed out on the huge successes of both these dancers, those who didn't see Kent missed out on something extraordinary as well. I have to say, I never expected the performance I saw from Kent, who has been in and out, and not in top shape recently. I instead witnessed something above and beyond. As I walked out of the theater after both performances, all around I heard people gushing about what they had just witnessed. In fact, even during the pas de deuxs, and especially during Act Four, I heard several people breathlessly whisper "Now she is a swan". First of all, Kent is in tip-top shape. Her pirouettes/piquees en dedans and en dehors were all perfect- clean perfect doubles, not one stumble anywhere- all her transitions were so smooth. In Act Two- her very first entrance- she had so much control. She looked so strong and confident. 32 perfect fouettes, traveling forward just a bit- no doubles, nothing fancy, but who needs doubles when there is such striking beauty on stage? As Gia Kourlas put it, her beauty is indeed "like a ray of sunlight". I still cannot decide whether I liked her Odette or Odile better. Her Odette was this fragile, beautiful, mystical creature with whom any prince would be crazy not to fall madly in love. And those arms! Every nuance had a meaning, every flutter of the eyelash signaled something. Her steps were so soft, almost buttery. Together with Bocca, it was one of the most emotional things I have ever seen. Their second act adagio was so gentle- you could just feel both the pain and love they felt.

Kent's Odile was wicked only in the way that she was so electrifying and hard to resist. I loved how it was easy to see why Siegfried would think it was Odette. She would smile slyly at him, stop dead in front of his face, and ripple her arms, eyes flashing, daring him to dance with her, almost saying "I dare you not to believe its me. HA!" I absolutely loved the final pose of the pas de deux- Julie stared Julio down, and with a silent scream of glee/delight, she bent backwards at the last possible second (she may have even been a tad late), with a flick of her wrists. Bocca's Siegfried was drawn to her, it was almost like magnetic forces pulling him towards her. Her Odile was very feminine yet powerful and controlling. I am so happy that Kent and Bocca have been paired together so often. You can see they like dancing together. Their curtain calls are always lovely. Kent gave Bocca her entire bouquet both times- she seemed genuinely thankful. She stroked his face during the bows- it was very touching. They are such a wonderful match- his masculinity contrasts beautifully with her graceful femininity.

What a loving and committed prince Bocca was. While the Act Three pas de deux solos were not as exciting as they were, say, ten years ago (though I felt that in Le Corsaire he was at the top of his game and I am still utterly amazed by what I saw) he was one of the most tender princes I've ever seen. You could see his breathing change whenever Odette or Odile was around- and not only that- his breathing changed differently whenever Odette or Odile, respectively, was around. Unlike Corella in the PBS taping, he was not a grief-stricken prince from the beginning. He gradually became first disheartened, then confused, then sad, then angry, miserable, desperate.

Saturday night, Cornejo danced the Pas de Trois with Reyes and Kajiya. I'll say it again- he soars through the air- it's like hes flying up there, and then just about when the music signals for him to start a new step, he decides to just...come down. I have grown to really like Reyes a lot. She is so strong and really captures your attention on stage. Kajiya- I'm not too sure. Something about the stiffness of her arms and wrists and the way she carries herself just doesn't appeal to me.

I do think that Cornejo should not be cast in the secondary roles. Cornejo should be given the lead- he should be carrying the entire ballet.

The audience was extremely responsive, especially Saturday night- with standing ovations from the very beginning to the very end, and numerous curtain calls.

What was totally awful about Wednesday's performance was the distraction of crying toddlers during the quietest and most emotional parts (Act Two, Act Four, anyone?) Talk about ruining the atmosphere. Just at the climax of the famous adagio, it seemed like all the little kids (many of whom were sitting in Orchestra Prime! :o ) were either hungry, sleepy, emotionally distraught...I don't know, something. :blush: I know its not their fault...but still.

Acosta was the human Von Rothbart Saturday night and Hallberg on Wednesday. IMO, Hallberg was a bigger success. I wasn't sure about him after seeing Gomes' dark, seductive Rothbart, but something about Hallberg's blonde grandeur I loved even more!! :D

Kent and Bocca's Giselle should be beautiful.

Hopefully I will get to see more of Part and Visheva in the future :)

For now, I'm good. And I hope I have several more years to see these two.

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I'm so jealous of you New Yorkers. Sometimes I wonder whether living in beautiful, sunny, southern California is really worth it. You are so lucky to be able to see so much ballet. Thanks for sharing it with the rest of us. (And thanks to PBS or whoever for taping Swan Lake for us.)

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I saw Michelle Wiles Wednesday night. And what a joy it was.I thought that her technique was just perfect :beautiful balances, steady pirouettes .Her 3rd act variation was so clean, with all those turns it tends to be messy sometimes (in general it's not my favorite variation to watch),but she just opened my eyes ,it was like seeing it for the very first time.

I can't wait to see her next year.

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I am reporting on three Swan Lakes: Vishneva/Saveliev (Tuesday), Part/Gomes (Thursday), and Herrera/Acosta (Friday). Forgive me if I mainly cover the women.

Veronika Part is extremely beautiful. I thought I had never seen anything as beautiful, as expressive, as swan-like as she was. The 2nd act pdd was just perfect. It's as if she just becomes a swan, and her use of the upper body is extraordinary. I could never tire of watching her. Her problem is that technically, she's not on the level of, say, Paloma or Michele or Gillian. She had trouble in the Black Swan pdd, with the fouttees -- all singles, not on the music, and she seemed barely in control. As others have noted, at other times she seemed to fall off pointe, etc. Her upper body is perfect, but being so tall, it's as if her legs get away from her, and she's not in control of them. Gomes was wonderful, as a partner and in his solos -- very strong, solid, perfect.

Tonight, Herrera/Acosta. Herrera is just boring after Part. She has a wild fan club, the audience was screaming and raucous, and I was impressed, no doubt about it, at her panache, her fouttees, her everything! But she doesn't even begin to have depth, expressiveness, or beauty that Part has. Acosta -- very impressive, and also popular with the audience. I'll throw in a word for David Hallberg's Von Rothbart, which I found deliciously evil, something I woulnd't have expected from him, and wonderfully danced.

For me, the winner: Diana Vishneva. As drb and nysusan have already said, it's hard to be rational. She has a marvelous quality that I find hard to put into words, it's the way she moves, so fluid and so strong at the same time, the way her legs move at lightning speed, her vulnerability and expressivenes, gleeful collaboration with von Rothbart, but I'm just rambling here, and I'll leave you to read others' comments on her, with which I wholeheartedly agree. She seems to have joined the company -- since the program now says "Joined ABT as principal 2005"...??? If so, I'm very, very glad! She's the new Nina!

And one more word about Tuesday night -- Herman Cornejo as Benno. He is a total scene stealer. Let's put him with Xiomara, a really underused principal! Is there any reason we're not seeing a Cornejo/Reyes Swan Lake this season???

For tomorrow: Vishneva/Saveliev, again, and Murphy/? not sure who. Then Giselle!

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I'm so jealous of you New Yorkers.  Sometimes I wonder whether living in beautiful, sunny, southern California is really worth it. 

It's not. :rolleyes:

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I'm so jealous of you New Yorkers.  Sometimes I wonder whether living in beautiful, sunny, southern California is really worth it. 

It's not. :rolleyes:

I agree. Our friends live in sunny Manhattan Beach, CA,and desperately want us to move there.

NEVER.

First , to buy a decrepit shed with no running water on 1/16th of an acre, you need a million.

That is no place for a balletomane. I'll take Manhattan......

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First , to buy a decrepit shed with no running water on 1/16th of an acre, you need a million.

Jim, last time I checked, real estate in Manhattan wasn't that cheap either. :rofl:

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Thanks, Jllaney, for the comparisons of the live peformance with the tv presentation, especially for the effect of lighting differences. I wish I had been able to see the opening and conclusion as you describe them on stage.

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I For me, the winner: Diana Vishneva. As drb and nysusan have already said, it's hard to be rational. She has a marvelous quality that I find hard to put into words, it's the way she moves, so fluid and so strong at the same time, the way her legs move at lightning speed, her vulnerability and expressivenes, gleeful collaboration with von Rothbart, but I'm just rambling here, and I'll leave you to read others' comments on her, with which I wholeheartedly agree. She seems to have joined the company -- since the program now says "Joined ABT as principal 2005"...??? If so, I'm very, very glad! She's the new Nina!

!

I went to today's matinee and have to echo Christine on Vishneva. She just moves sooooo beautifully.

The pdd's with Saveliev were smooth but careful, I'm sure more rehearsal would have helped.

A few details: Vishneva did a different variation in the Black Swan pdd than the usual one done at ABT, maybe a concession ABT gave her for switching partners on her twice in Swan Lake and once (so far) for Giselle next week.

Fans of these dancers would have been happy to see Hallberg, Wiles, and Meunier in the first and third act pdt.

But each time I see Vishneva I like her more. I hope her's and Acosta's arrangements with ABT work out well.

Richard

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A brief report after an exhausting Swan Lake marathon (5 this week).

At today's matinee, Vishneva's lovely, liquid performance was difficult to truly enjoy, thanks to I don't know how many screaming babies in the upper balcony. It was truly maddening. Were you upstairs, Richard? I gather last week's matinee was just as bad. Does anyone know the Met's policy on letting babies in, and to whom do we complain? Perhaps we should organize and complain to management... getting back to the performance, I also found it difficult to enjoy David Hallberg in the pdt, because I can now only picture him as last night's totally evil von Rothbart! I'll never look at him the same way again.

Tonight, Gillian Murphy, Angel Corella, Marcelo Gomes. What can I say? Murphy is just so perfect and solid in everything she does, it's dazzling. Yet, like Herrera last night, she doesn't have that swan quality, the arms, the hands, and she doesn't seem to let swan-ness get into her, the way Part and Vishneva do so well. And you don't need me to tell you what you already know, that Corella and Gomes were outstanding.

Now, to whom do we address the screaming-baby complaints?

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Now, to whom do we address the screaming-baby complaints?

To the parents. Something's gotta give. Some people refuse to understand that if they have children, they either have to curtail their ballet going (as I do) or pay a ton of money for babysitting. I think it's got to do with society's obsession with self-fulfillment at any cost.

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Now, to whom do we address the screaming-baby complaints?

To the parents. Something's gotta give. Some people refuse to understand that if they have children, they either have to curtail their ballet going (as I do) or pay a ton of money for babysitting. I think it's got to do with society's obsession with self-fulfillment at any cost.

I saw ABT in Cleveland on a Saturday night, quite a few toddlers in the audience, but very well behaved. I was rather surprised as I would not have taken my 4 year old. He can barely sit through kid's movies during the day. It's not only at the ballet, but I see the same behavior at movie theaters. I couldn't believe the number of young children at an 8pm showing of the Aviator this past winter(very loud and much walking the kids around).

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