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May 2006 Castings (exciting news!)


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#16 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 11:53 AM

Frankly, I don't see why Vishneva is still called a "diverse" ballerina - it's not because one tries a number of diverse styles and emplois that we can speak of a diverse artist.


It's because she has danced a great many ballets, all different styles, and has had successes in all of them. From Balanchine to Forsythe to Petit to most of the classical roles. Aurora, Giselle, Nikya, Romeo and Juliet, now Swan Lake. That's my definition of a diverse ballerina.


Sure, in my definition you also need to be convincing in all. You can dance the whole repertory but turn it in the same show all over - that's not what I call being diverse.

#17 canbelto

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 01:10 PM

Sure, in my definition you also need to be convincing in all. You can dance the whole repertory but turn it in the same show all over - that's not what I call being diverse.


Well I have seen Vishneva both live and on video in many different roles and she has been convincing in all of them. So in my book, she's diverse. I think we're really arguing about Vishneva as a dancer. Obviously you don't find her convincing so you don't find her diverse, while I've found her convincing in all her roles, so I think she's diverse. It's a matter of opinion. But I think Vishneva's invitations from ballet companies all over the world to dance a variety of roles, with both critical and popular success speaks for itself.

#18 richard53dog

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 02:17 PM

Well I have seen Vishneva both live and on video in many different roles and she has been convincing in all of them. So in my book, she's diverse. I think we're really arguing about Vishneva as a dancer. Obviously you don't find her convincing so you don't find her diverse, while I've found her convincing in all her roles, so I think she's diverse. It's a matter of opinion. But I think Vishneva's invitations from ballet companies all over the world to dance a variety of roles, with both critical and popular success speaks for itself.



Sure, me too. I saw Vishneva in quite a few roles last year in NYC and was impressed with her success in dealing with styles ranging from Petipa to Lavrovsky to Balanchine. But of course we all react to different performers in different ways, and have our favorites. Vishneva is one of mine. And sometimes repeated viewings increase our enthusiasm and other times the reverse happens. I could mention other dancers that the very first time I saw them represented my peak of enthusiam with diminishing rewards afterwards, but why? They are no doubt some one else's favorite and I respect that.

Richard

#19 canbelto

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 03:08 PM

I could mention other dancers that the very first time I saw them represented my peak of enthusiam with diminishing rewards afterwards, but why? They are no doubt some one else's favorite and I respect that.


Very true. There's a dancer that was a great favorite of a major company that I've never enjoyed watching, but I'd never insist that she was a ballerina who was unconvincing and unenjoyable in all her roles, because she obviously she convinced a lot of people and brought great joy to lots of people too. Just that she wasn't to my taste, for a variety of reasons.

#20 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 03:12 PM

Sure, in my definition you also need to be convincing in all. You can dance the whole repertory but turn it in the same show all over - that's not what I call being diverse.


Well I have seen Vishneva both live and on video in many different roles and she has been convincing in all of them. So in my book, she's diverse. I think we're really arguing about Vishneva as a dancer. Obviously you don't find her convincing so you don't find her diverse, while I've found her convincing in all her roles, so I think she's diverse. It's a matter of opinion. But I think Vishneva's invitations from ballet companies all over the world to dance a variety of roles, with both critical and popular success speaks for itself.


That's not my point. Why must the observation that one finds someone not diverse (in the sense of versatile) be interpreted as a negative judgement? It's not. I find Vishneva tremendously convincing in Forsythe and in some of the Balanchine, but a lot less so in many of the great classics she attacks with basically the same uniform treatment. It's more about what you expect to see in a dancer and the role he or she interprets, also in comparison what others do or have done before with these roles. In fact I find her anything but a diverse dancer, as her roles often look very much alike. But she is absolutely fantastic in a few. For the remainder (and no disrespect is meant by this) it seems that she is the representative of a style and manner which easily pleases the crowds of today, although I never believed either that being invited all around is necessarily synonymous for being a great artist. If that would be so then Lopatkina would be one of the worst and least respected dancers in the world, because she hardly ever guests abroad.

#21 canbelto

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 03:47 PM

I find Vishneva tremendously convincing in Forsythe and in some of the Balanchine, but a lot less so in many of the great classics she attacks with basically the same uniform treatment. It's more about what you expect to see in a dancer and the role he or she interprets, also in comparison what others do or have done before with these roles. In fact I find her anything but a diverse dancer, as her roles often look very much alike. But she is absolutely fantastic in a few.


Ok well I think she is fantastic in the classical roles too (that I've seen her in). She's been wonderful in all the roles I've seen her do, classical and modern. So therefore I think she's diverse (or versatile). It's just a difference of opinion. To each his own.
ETA: and my original post was not a knock on dancers who don *not* have a very versatile repertoire. Alessandra Ferri for instance nowadays has a rather limited repertoire but I still think she's a wonderful artist.

#22 Natalia

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Posted 24 April 2006 - 07:29 AM

I agree, canbelto. Vishneva is exquisite in the classics (Aurora, Nikiya, most definitely Kitri -- her signature role, IMO)! Her graduation performance as Nikiya in May 1995 is still the best Nikiya I've ever seen. Technical perfection, poetic delivery, physical beauty that no other Mariinsky ballerina can match, to state it bluntly. Warmth and charisma that radiates across the footlights to the upper reaches of the balcony. Even Lopatkina cannot claim that quality.

That Vishneva can dance the Forsythes and Balanchines and McMillans is icing on the cake. However, to me she remains, first and foremost, the quintessential Mariinsky classical ballerina of our era.

#23 Natalia

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Posted 24 April 2006 - 10:00 AM

CALENDAR CASTING CHANGES (again):

May 12 - Swan Lake - Sofia Gumerova replaces Daria Pavlenko. However, Pavlenko is still scheduled to danced Giselle on Wednesday, April 26, in two days' time. Kennedy Center ballet-goers now wonder if Pavlenko will indeed dance Giselle...which, of course, gives an indication on the certainly of her two scheduled DC Giselles. We will hold our breath & wait.

May 30 - This Shostakovich Evening is now just a concert (no ballets). Similarly, the originally-scheduled June 12 'Shostakovich on the Stage' triple-bill of ballets has now been replaced by a vocal concert. Hopefully this won't be the case in London this July.. :)

THE 'SCARY NEWS' DEPARTMENT:

June 28 premiere of 'The Golden Age' - no word yet on who will be the choreographer of this three-act ballet that is set to premiere about nine weeks from today. The search is under way after the original choreographer, Igor Markov, halted his work one week ago. Maybe the premiere will be delayed? Maybe it will happen in the London Coliseum in July & not at the Mariinsky?

#24 canbelto

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Posted 24 April 2006 - 06:34 PM

I agree, canbelto. Vishneva is exquisite in the classics (Aurora, Nikiya, most definitely Kitri -- her signature role, IMO)! Her graduation performance as Nikiya in May 1995 is still the best Nikiya I've ever seen. Technical perfection, poetic delivery, physical beauty that no other Mariinsky ballerina can match, to state it bluntly. Warmth and charisma that radiates across the footlights to the upper reaches of the balcony. Even Lopatkina cannot claim that quality.

That Vishneva can dance the Forsythes and Balanchines and McMillans is icing on the cake. However, to me she remains, first and foremost, the quintessential Mariinsky classical ballerina of our era.


Yes Vishneva IMO blends the best of both worlds. I have a video of her in Nureyev's Sleeping Beauty where she is just perfect: radiant, beautiful, technically flawless. And then she can go all angular and athletic and jazzy in Rubies. I think Vishneva is one of those ballerinas who is always "herself" in whatever she dances: she brings the same charisma, beauty, energy, and joy. It's fitting that Rubies is a trademark, because if I were to characterize Vishneva as a jewel, it'd definitely be a ruby: shiny, eye-catching, flamboyant, charismatic.

#25 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 24 April 2006 - 09:51 PM

I think Vishneva is one of those ballerinas who is always "herself" in whatever she dances: she brings the same charisma, beauty, energy, and joy.


Right on. I couldn't have expressed it better, canbelto. :grinning-smiley-001:

#26 canbelto

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 08:11 AM

Right on. I couldn't have expressed it better, canbelto.


As Aurora, she's literally a beacon of light. Joyous, playful, girlish, with a pure classical style. Then as Giselle, she's no delicate shrinking violet, but a strongwilled, passionate girl, so her breakdown is so much more effective. In Act 2, she's of course unbelievably beautiful and technically strong, but again, I love how she injects Giselle with so much strength. This is a Giselle determined to fight with Myrtha to the end to save the man she loves. As Carmen, she's sexy, sultry, playful, without being the least bit crude or distasteful.
I think it's great that the Kirov cultivates new talent. Of the new crop, Evgenia Obratsova and Yulia Bolshakova seem very promising. But Vishneva is a talent that the MT would be wise to keep.

#27 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 08:42 AM

As Aurora, she's literally a beacon of light. Joyous, playful, girlish, with a pure classical style. Then as Giselle, she's no delicate shrinking violet, but a strongwilled, passionate girl, so her breakdown is so much more effective. In Act 2, she's of course unbelievably beautiful and technically strong, but again, I love how she injects Giselle with so much strength. This is a Giselle determined to fight with Myrtha to the end to save the man she loves. As Carmen, she's sexy, sultry, playful, without being the least bit crude or distasteful.
I think it's great that the Kirov cultivates new talent. Of the new crop, Evgenia Obratsova and Yulia Bolshakova seem very promising. But Vishneva is a talent that the MT would be wise to keep.


So, is it safe to say that you are giving her two thumbs up?
Is this based on video-watching or live experience?

The use of the word "cultivate" is highly unfortunate within Mariinsky context, considering what happens with most of their talents, (take even Vishneva), after a few years.

#28 Helene

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 10:31 AM

I can understand what is appealing about Vishneva, but the one time I saw her perform live, as Aurora, I felt like I was watching a Personality, not a character. She almost appeared to be a Guest Star, while the rest of the Mariinsky performers, who ranged from great to just fine, seemed to have a unified dramatic focus that Vishneva did not share.

Because the difference was not from exaggerated positions -- Lopatkina did that in several places in the Lilac Fairy solo, which shocked me -- I think the contrast came over more live than it would be in a video, where the stage picture tends either to recede or to appear in miniature.

#29 Natalia

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 11:38 AM

During the past two years or so, I've noticed more of what Helene & Marc cite, i.e., the 'diva' taking over. She's not quite as bad as Ananiashvili ever was but I do detect a bit of 'Ananiashviliness' in my recent viewings of 'live Vishneva.' It's hard to escape -- now a superstar in the ballet world, one of a handful of dancers who can maintain a huge schedule of international engagements, a la Guillem.

That's why, you'll notice, I cited her 1995 Nikia as the best that I've seen. I also love her recent performances in the new-old version of 'Bayadere,' but those graduation Nikias were nothing short of miraculous. DV was quite unaffected back then but already super-strong, technically.

#30 chiapuris

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 11:55 AM

As Carmen, she's sexy, sultry, playful, without being the least bit crude or distasteful.


canbelto, I'm a great admirer of Ms Vishneva's talents. I think her Nikiya is a magical interpretation. But I don't think she is equally effective in everything she performs.
You seem to feel she offers everything there is to offer in Carmen.

My view is different, based on her 2003 Carmen pdd at the Mariinsky Festival. She offered all you described, but without a trace of the wit and wry humor, I for one, associate with the Carmens of earlier interpreters. Vishneva gave us a 'hot' number.

Petit's choreography, created in mid-20th c. seemed to be a commentary on femme fatale 'numbers', a refreshing innovation in ballet at the time.
For me, Ms Vishneva's Carmen was devolution of the choreography.


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