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Giannina

Kirov in Orange County

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The Kirov has come to the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa, Calif. I think tonight was opening night. They presented Romeo and Juliet with Vishneva and Fadeev in the title roles. It was sorely lacking. I shall try to concentrate on the positive.

I had seen Vishneva only once, years ago, and she was not good. I went tonight hoping to like her and I do. This impression was helped immensely by the fact that there wasn't a single hyperextended leg position the entire evening. This ballet doesn't give her much to do, but what she did was quite good. Most of all it was secure; I was never nervous about whether she'd get through a passage without a mishap, a rare quality indeed. Her acting wasn't commendable in the 1st Act but she was very good in the final act, especially her confrontation with her father.

The choreography....

Well, there WAS one terrific piece of choreography: a solo for Mercutio in Act I. Mercutio was danced by Sarafanov, a very young looking man with technique and pizzaz to spare. His death scene was understated in comparison to most that I've seen and therefore more realistic. The final scene had Romeo lifting Juliet in the most death-defying lift I've seen: horizontal over his head, then shifting her vertically with her body draped over his hand and carrying her up the stairs of her bier. The problem was that her gown had fallen over his face and he really didn't have a good view of those stairs.

The costumes....

But I must mention that for most of the ballet Tybalt was clad in tights of every color imaginable, plus a head of red hair. He was a beacon!

The orchestra....

Vishneva was a mass of wounds. She had a large bruise on her left upper thigh that was visible under her diaphamous costumes. By the end of the ballet she was bleeding from her right knee.

The pointe shoes were blissfully quiet.

The ballet started early: 7:30p.m. It ended at 10:50!!

Giannina

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Had the pleasure of meeting Giannina at intermission :)

...and back to the performance, I agree with her general impressions. I had never seen this version of this Ballet, and I was left with the distinctive impression that this choreography does not give dancers much to sink their teeth into.

Sarafanov (as Mercutio) certainly stole the show in Acts I and II; and Kuznetsov was much to my liking as he played a caddish and mean Tybalt with incredible gusto (I've seen him a couple dozen times over the past handful of years, and except for one off night in St. Petersburg, he has always impressed me by his dramatic qualities).

I had never seen Vishneva and Fadeev as partners, and I have to say, there seemed to be very little chemistry between them until the third act... (I'll be interested to read the impressions other viewers have from the other pairings).

...also, I'd dare say that both principals seemed to dance their best when *not* dancing together... (I hope this changes for Sunday, when I get the same pairing for Swan Lake :dry: ). Vishneva really came into her own in the final act, displaying much of the dramatic talent that has given me a handful of unforgettable evenings of dance.

Like Giannina, I was astounded by the lifts of a dead Juliet in the final scene—walking up steps too! :)

As usual for the Mariinsky, the orchestra was in top form, rendering the 'cinematic' Prokofiev score with great flash and beautiful glow... and on the solo passages, the violin, cello and oboe soloists shone!

...more to come from me after Sunday.

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I wasn't too thrilled about last night's Romeo & Juliet - it was more like Romeo & Juliet: The Pageant... a long (three hours and twenty minutes) parade of lush costumes, elegant walking and folksy dancing, punctuated by very emotive moments every now and then from principals. The whole thing reminded me of seeing a Broadway musical that has been running for years and years - though the performers themselves are still highly skilled in their own right, the absence of the director has let the production fly away. The actors have all developed their own interpretations of the roles, and those interpretations don't ever quite meet - thus the dramatic unity is virtually gone.

Diana Vishneva was ravishing and threw herself into the role, but she was only on stage in snippets - and her characterization differed so much from everyone else's that it barely registered. There's a problem, I think, when the audience applauds more for Leonid Sarafanov's Mercutio in Act 1 than it does for Juliet. Islom Baymuradov, as Benvolio, was really into his role: he put forth so much melodramatic effort that he looked like a cartoon with his bright red hair and brightly colored costume, especially in comparison to more subdued acting from everyone else.

The Kirov has some of the world's best trained dancers, and you could certainly see some of that last night, but I think this production needs a director...

PS - Darn, I'm bummed that I missed you, Giannina and WindFlyer. I'll PM you to coordinate better on Friday!

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...though the performers themselves are still highly skilled in their own right, the absence of the director has let the production fly away. The actors have all developed their own interpretations of the roles, and those interpretations don't ever quite meet - thus the dramatic unity is virtually gone.

...The Kirov has some of the world's best trained dancers, and you could certainly see some of that last night, but I think this production needs a director...

Very good observation... I kept thinking why the whole thing wasn't gelling together and could not put my finger on any one thing in particular. I think you might have.
...Islom Baymuradov, as Benvolio, was really into his role: he put forth so much melodramatic effort that he looked like a cartoon with his bright red hair and brightly colored costume, especially in comparison to more subdued acting from everyone else.
Might you be thinking of Ilya Kuznetsov as Tybalt, or did I get my characters mixed up?
Darn, I'm bummed that I missed you, Giannina and WindFlyer.
Me too. Let's try again on Sunday :beg:

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...Islom Baymuradov, as Benvolio, was really into his role: he put forth so much melodramatic effort that he looked like a cartoon with his bright red hair and brightly colored costume, especially in comparison to more subdued acting from everyone else.

Might you be thinking of Ilya Kuznetsov as Tybalt, or did I get my characters mixed up?

Yes you're right - my mistake!! Kuznetsov's Tybalt is who I meant, missed it by one line on accident!!

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Yes you're right - my mistake!! Kuznetsov's Tybalt is who I meant, missed it by one line on accident!!
We've all done it :rolleyes:

...yes, Ilya has rarely disappointed me in a couple dozen outings or so... maybe I'll get to see him as Rothbarth again on Sunday.

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Thurs., Oct. 19: Romeo and Juliet redux. MUCH BETTER this time. Maybe it's because I knew what to expect and didn't overanticipate. The cast was exactly the same except for Juliet and Juliet's Companion. Obraztsova was Juliet and she was wonderful. She was not as technically solid nor as secure as Vishneva but I found her interpretatiion of the role better. While watching Vishneva Tuesday I kept thinking "She's too old for this role" but dismissed the blasphamous thought, knowing that some of the best Juliet's are older women. But I was right. In Act I Vishneva was not childish enough, and in Act III she was a mature woman going through a difficult time. Obraztsova was very young all the way through. She's a beautiful woman with a more juvenile face than Vishneva, and she maintained this youthfulness throughout the ballet. Fadeev's Romeo was enthralled by her and the chemistry was there. That spooky lift at Juliet's bier was less spooky; he held her horizontally and faced us in anguish. Great stuff. The dancing was lovely, what little of it there is in this production. Even the orchestra was better. I almost didn't go tonight because of Tuesday's presentation but I'm very glad I changed my mind.

Giannina

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Whose choreography is this?

It sounds like it must be Lavrovsky's, which has very little "dancing" in it and is mostly pantomime and lifts and stunning crowd scenes. The Kirov did this version on tour back in hte late 80s, and almost everybody complained about the lack of dancing --

Though I'd have to say, I loved it. In fact, I prefer it to all other Romeo and Juliets. Lavrovsky's version is like a silent movie, and I found it internally consistent to the highest degree and extremely expressive -- the lifts are just visionary -- indeed everything that happens in the overhead space shows you what's "really" going on, like when Capulet lifts his hand overhead during the ballroom scene and makes this crushing fist, it just showed THE image of power and tyranny and everything that Romeo and Juliet represent the opposite of....

Sarafanov would be a fantastic Mercutio -- he's got the speed, the aggressive legs, the sexy feet.

The Juliet I saw was Ayupova, who had the innocence to pull it off -- the first lift, she's up in the air like a close-up in an Eisenstein movie, and it's all about her radiant face -- "Can such joy be mine?" would be the caption, and you've just got to accept how direct and naive it is, this Romeo and Juliet is made that way -- i found myself thinking about Lillian Gish a lot afterwards (and of course, Ulanova, for whom it was created). Osipova could do it, I'm sure -- not sure about Vishneva, she's too sophisticated.

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I saw Obraztsova and Fadeev last night too, and surprised myself by really liking the production, probably because I was expecting some kind of typically bad Soviet choreography, eg. Spartacus. I thought there was plenty of dancing, and it was surprisingly classical in content and structure. It was great to see lots of mime, which is one of the Kirov's great strengths. The acting, though perhaps over-the-top by some standards, is kind of that classic Russian over-the-topness, which is always great to see because they're the only ones who can pull it off, and the whole company was doing it instead of an odd person standing out in a non-Russian company. My only complaint was that Act 3 was a bit too long, and spent too much time on unncessary plot points.

Obraztsova is a revelation! She can dance and act, and she's so fresh-faced that she's perfect for this role. Fadeev is a perfect match for her in his abilities and temperament as well. I also enjoyed Yana Selina as Juliet's friend, especially since I'd only seen her dance the White Pussycat in Sleeping Beauty --- she's got an amazing jump. It was also nice to see the unified, more expressive style of this company, something we don't get to see in American companies.

--Andre

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Thurs., Oct. 19: Romeo and Juliet redux. MUCH BETTER this time.
Glad to hear that.
...In Act I Vishneva was not childish enough, and in Act III she was a mature woman going through a difficult time. Obraztsova was very young all the way through. She's a beautiful woman with a more juvenile face than Vishneva, and she maintained this youthfulness throughout the ballet. Fadeev's Romeo was enthralled by her and the chemistry was there. That spooky lift at Juliet's bier was less spooky; he held her horizontally and faced us in anguish. Great stuff.
Good observations about Vishneva... She was childish enough for me in Act I, but certainly a 'mature woman' in Act III. Given what I know of her approach to a character, it would seem as though her 'angle' to Juliet was to play her as a girl that becomes a mature woman quickly... oddly, in my mind she was best in Act III, but her choice was probably to the detriment of the ballet... as art076 said, where's the director?

I would have loved to have seen the Obraztsova/Fadeev chemistry... and the lift :clapping:

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It sounds like it must be Lavrovsky's, which has very little "dancing" in it and is mostly pantomime and lifts and stunning crowd scenes. The Kirov did this version on tour back in hte late 80s, and almost everybody complained about the lack of dancing --
Indeed it is, and indeed it has very little 'dancing'.
Sarafanov would be a fantastic Mercutio -- he's got the speed, the aggressive legs, the sexy feet.
He is, indeed.

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Fri. night's Swan Lake, the black and white of it.

Lopatkina and Korsuntsev starred. Act I hummed along with the usual crowd dancing. The pas de trois was very good but I'm waiting. Waaaaiting. And finally, the white pas de deux. Lopatkina was beautiful. The word that came to mind was "fluid". Her movements were like flower petals opening, so smooth and graceful. Her supported pirouettes were the same speed, not a quick spurt and then a slowing down at the end of the pirouette. Her arabesques opened in a slow majestic movement. The music was very slow; reminded me of Makarova's tempi.

Act III and I could hardly wait for the black pas de deux. All the princesses danced. All the countries danced. Waaaaiting. And finally it was here. But this was a different Lopatkina and I missed the other one. She entered looking like she was going to kill Sigfried rather than vamp him. I felt she never did settle on the personality she wanted to portray and the power of the duet was lost. The tempo was now faster and tho she was still lovely I wasn't as overwhelmed.

I came home unsettled. I've seen Vishneva, Lopatkina, and I saw Zahkarova while I was in Moscow last month. And they all look the same; they even dance the same. They are reed thin, especially Lopatkina, and it's hard to be sexy in Act III of Swan Lake when you look like you need a meal.

Maybe I've seen too many Russian ballets. I have another Swan Lake tomorrow.

Odette and Odile's tutus were too big and floppy.

Giannina

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And finally, the white pas de deux. Lopatkina was beautiful. The word that came to mind was "fluid". Her movements were like flower petals opening, so smooth and graceful. Her supported pirouettes were the same speed...

Her arabesques opened in a slow majestic movement. The music was very slow; reminded me of Makarova's tempi.

This is a very lovely description, Giannina, The control of the flow of her moves is one of the many elements that for me makes her dancing so special. This is one of the elements to put on a long list to keep her alive in one's mind. Also it is the total perhaps undefinable poetry of what she does that is extra special.

In regard to her facial expression as Odile, I saw her Swan Lake performance last March and was quite captivated by her Odile. Chiapuris described it as being an "ephemeral" look at the time. I thought that was a very good definition. I wonder if it was the same expression that you saw? What I saw was definitely a look of her own invention. It seemed to reflect a personal space that she was creating with her amazing dancing itself and not necessarily a character in a story. This is an idea that I've mentioned before and for me it can work very well.

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I saw Uliana's O/O for the first time last night. Fonteyn said this

about first seeing Ulanova as Juliet when the Bolshoi first came

to London:

"I am so dazzled, so dazed. I cannot describe it. I cannot describe it.

I had no idea, no conception of her. I tell you, I cannot describe it.

What? No. I didn't watch her technique: One does not watch technique

when one watches Ulanova."

Insert 'Lopatkina' at the end of that sentence for me. That is how I

felt watching Uliana for the first time.

IMO: The Maryinsky Theatre has TWO great O/Os: Uliana Lopatkina and Daria Pavlenko. Both equally magnificent, both totally divergent in their approach to the role. IMHO in this company, in this generation, in this role, no one can touch them.

ULIANA'S PORT DE BRAS, HER ARMS, HER HANDS

So her, and so exemplary. She was herself - she was not phony or

mannered, she was real. To quote Sir Anton Dolin (on Chauvire's

Giselle) "What she did onstage (last night) was real: There was

no camouflage and there were no tricks."

ULIANA'S FEET

Quite simply, good old fashioned perfection. The bourrees were crisp,

like pearls and fluttering.

THE "AH" MOMENT

Her first entrance as Odette. As with Pavlenko, I was SPELLBOUND

from that very second. Her Odile - for her numero uno rendition. She's herself. Here she was muted seduction personified, from the Asylmuratova School of Odiles. No bombast here - thank you! NO - not a technical whiz-bang like Pavlenko here, but yes, Uliana does what she knows she can do and that is a wise ballerina. Uliana: Muted seductress and contrast, Daria: Earthy seductress and contrast. I LOVE THEM BOTH!!!

THE LAST ACT: Total belief, total commitment, total satisfaction!

I love it! The major difference between Uliana and Dasha at the very

end: Uliana looks down at Rothbart, like she's trying to digest that

he's really dead. Daria looks at her arms and hands and smiles

with the realization that she's human again.

STANDING OVATION LAST NIGHT 6+ MINUTES. A heavenly evening! :clapping::dry::flowers:

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Cygnet, thank you for that wonderful description of Lopatkina's O/O - I could almost see it! I just can't wait to see her in Chicago. I fell in love with Pavlenko's O/O last time and I'm so excited at the thought of seeing both of them in a couple of weeks.

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I just got back frm Swan Lake with Somova and Kolb. Now I know what the fuss is all about. I am glad I went to see this with my own eyes. I had many observations about the company in general as well. I also caught Golub and Kolb in R and J. After I see Vishneva and Fadeev in Swan Lake tomorrow, I will put in my 2 cents about this Kirov visit to OCPAC.

I must comment briefly on the orchestra for Romeo and Juliet.....it was worth the price of admission to just listen to this ballet music. The musicians moved me (more than the dancing....)

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I was home before socalgal because hubby and I left after Act III. When you're going to Swan Lake it's not wise to see Lopatkina's white pdd first; her beauty ruins it for everyone else. Somova's white swan was tentative; she's young and I feel she's still getting the feel of the ballet. Beautiful blonde woman, very talented. I actually preferred her black swan pdd to Lopatkina's. Lopatkina looked like she was out on a vendetta; Somove was there to lure Sigfried by having a good time. She was radiant! Smiling and inviting, she charmed Sigfried down to his toes. Her technique was better suited to this pdd, except for the fouettes.

I'm up to here in Russian ballet; lots of fun but I need a rest.

Giannina

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I'm too lazy to rewrite my thoughts from another forum, so I'll just repost it here:

A 3-for-1 tonight: quick summaries of the last three performances of Swan Lake with Lopatkina, Tereshkina, and Somova. Danila Korsuntsev partnered the first two, while Igor Kolb partnered Somova.

After hearing about her Odette/Odile, I had high hopes for Lopatkina. She didn't disappoint as Odette, with a deep performance and an attack that brought out the animalistic nature of her swan: it was like she could barely contain the energy of herself. With nice long lines, pretty feet, and continuous movement, she really brought this role to life. As Odile, it was a bit different: she stayed at one even level, and seemed generically evil. You knew she was bad news, but you weren't sure why. She had basically one expression: an evil grin. Her partner didn't help much as he was pretty flat and expressionless. He's a beautiful danseur noble, but he doesn't get out of himself much.

Tereshkina I found to be the opposite: an even-keeled, some (me) would say boring, Odette, and a memorable Odile. Dangerous, evil, too smart for everyone's good, and very sexy, she manipulated poor Siegfried to do what she wanted and enjoyed every moment of it. She was a classic villain.

Somova tonight was a mixed bag, unfortunately mostly negative. First the positives: she's young, and she's got really nice feet, good flexibility, and potentially nice legs. Unfortunately, she's a bit weak physically , and this came through in many ways. First of all, what I previously liked as her coltishness was really not appropriate for this role. Flying limbs left and right don't work for either Odette or Odile --- one is a queen not a young princess, and the other is a powerful evil person. Her attacks were inconsistent in quality and generally too manic, and I don't know whether that's due to her still developing physicality or her youth and seeming inexperience. I kept thinking I was watching a little girl doing the choreography.

If I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt for her white swan, I couldn't for her black swan. There was little characterization, and her physical weakness is just not appropriate for this role, which is supposed to be a very strong woman who knows what she wants and how to get it. She is miscast in this role. She appears to be a natural turner (and of the 3, she was the only one who threw in doubles in her 32 fouettes, which is all but necessary for anyone dancing Odile today), but her fouettes were ugly. U-G-L-Y. I couldn't believe my eyes, because she was committing the same mistake that girls at my local ballet school do: she flicked her gesturing leg in too quickly instead of showing the position in 2nd to the side. This led to a pretty manic-looking set of 32 fouettes bouncing up and down. I have to wonder why she's a soloist. In ensemble pieces, the corps around her as well as the other soloists looked stronger than she did, both in technique and physical strength.

Of the two men, I found Korsuntsev to be pretty flat both nights, but he could perhaps be playing the strong, silent danseur noble. Kolb tonight was far more expressive, and impressive in technique. I especially liked his big jumps, and his very expressive arabesques.

Jesters for both nights were really good. We had Andrei Ivanov and Grigory Popov. Both had good technique, and pulled off many tricks. Both also had good comic timing and expressiveness from the stage. Ivanov was a bit over-the-top and played to the crowd. His turns were just that bit better than Popov. Popov however had that bit more ballon in his jumps. Both were good --- these are nitpicks.

The pas de trois in the beginning has been consistently good, but my favorite set was tonight's: Ekaterina Osmolkina, Irina Golub, and Anton Korsakov. Nice sparkling technique, good ballon from all three, and just really joyous dancing, though I wish Korsakov would smile more than once.

The character dances were handled well, too. And finally the corps: wow. I don't know what more to say than that. They danced together and expressively. I can't get over how big the whole company dances, but somehow there's still a unity of movement and style that doesn't make them look like they're going every which way when people are all trying to dance big. And big doesn't mean just jumps, but every gesture is big and reads very well. The heads and shoulders are turned just a little bit more, their hands will make that extra motion, and they cover just that much more ground. I love how the company uses their eyes, too --- their lines just never stop and never stop moving.

I'm very happy so far, and I'm looking forward to tomorrow's performance with Diana Vishneva and Andrian Fadyeev.

--Andre

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After three Swan Lakes this weekend, I'm quite happy.

The Kirov production is my favorite version of the Swan Lake, even with its oddities. First off, the Kirov just knows how to put on a Swan Lake. It’s in their blood, handed down over the generations from the ‘standard’ 1895 production. The current production was created with significant revisions in 1950, under the watchful eye of Soviet censors. But still, what contemporary audiences know of Swan Lake – scads of white tutus, pure classical dancing – is all there in purest form with this production. It’s Swan Lake pretty straightforwardly, and the production’s quirks (the jester, a happy ending) don't get too much in the way of a glorious lakeside act and fabulous dancing. Most important of all, there are no psychological or Freudian overtones for Prince Siegfried.

(I posted large chunks my Odette/Odile descriptions on another board... but please forgive my reusing words!!)

Diana Vishneva's Odette/Odile, was the most satisfying. At today's Sunday matinee, she was spot on, dancing beautifully even through a loudly crying baby during Odette's variation. First of all, she's a beautiful dancer: wonderfully proportioned with legs that aren't too long (that seems to show up a lot in the Kirov company), beautiful feet, and great control of her body. She can create beautiful shapes with her body, and she looks fantastically regal in a tutu.

But what impressed me most was the dramatic spontaneity of her performance. When Siegfried intrudes upon her reverie at the beginning of Act 2, right after she's been turned back into human form, it doesn't look planned or choreographed. She really looked surprised to see him. Then, when Rothbart comes to separate the pair, she actually notices that Rothbart is there and acknowledges his presence by trying to push Siegfried away - the reason this looked so wonderful was because no other Kirov Odette acknowledged this during the weekend. Each of them just kept on dancing the choreography given to them, but Vishneva made a dramatic point out of the moment. Then, with the White Swan Pas de Deux, it wasn't merely a gorgeously executed classical duet, but a dramatic scene. Vishneva’s Odette started by being reluctant to respond to Siegfried, remaining physically distant and pulling away when he reached for her hand. But as the pas de deux progressed and Siegfried showed his sincerity to her, she began to trust him - finally allowing herself to be folded into his arms and cradled towards the end of the dance.

At Friday's performance, Uliana Lopatkina's Odette/Odile was beautiful, lyrical - and anything but spontaneous. Each detail was caretfully planned and there was nothing that could happen onstage that was going to put her off the charted course. This approach had charms of its own; her years of experience as Odette and Odile delivered a performance that took every advantage of the role's possibilities. It was a ballerina's very individual interpretation of the role, complete with her own Odette-brand mannerisms - a flick of the wrist here, a carefully planned bend of the leg into attitude at just the right point in the music there. But all that planning can sometimes leave the drama cold.

Lopatkina's Odile was dazzling – extreme glamour via razor-sharp precision. She seduced Siegfried, and the audience, by being an stunningly perfect Odile. No wobbles, perfect turns, classical flash. A thrilling classicism.

On Saturday afternoon, there was much to admire about Victoria Tereshkina's Odette/Odile. Her Odette was free of all the ballerina mannerisms that Lopatkina had, and was a fairly clean reading of Odette. And her Odile was mesmerizing. It was just as clean as her Odette technically, but her stage persona was on fire. She was smug but still sexy, and responded to Siegfried's confusion about the look-a-like Odette in black by turning on the seduction even more. It was a visceral thrill seeing her sail through the very difficult choreography, and her confident stage persona added to the overall effect.

Still, as beautiful as Loptakina and Tereshkina were, Vishneva's combination of great dancing and drama added another dimension to the ballet. Her Odette was moving, and very exciting.

The Siegfrieds took second seat to the Odette/Odiles this weekend - they were kind of just there. Danila Korsuntsev danced at the Friday and Saturday afternoon performances, and Igor Kolb danced at the Sunday matinee. Korsuntsev seemed to be sleep walking; I laughed when he ripped off Rothbart's arm in the final battle and started half-heartedly brushing Rothbart with it (meanwhile Rothbart was enthusiastically dying on the floor below). Kolb had more stage presence, and added a big (but still very elegant) leap to Siegfried's first entrance to establish his presence over the court. But still, Siegfried is a very thankless role in the Kirov production, very much a cavalier, so there wasn't a lot for him to show.

One cannot forget to mention the magnificent corps de ballet. It still gets me every single time that every one of those dancers is dancing full out, and yet they all instinctively move the same, remain perfectly in line, and move with the same unforced elegance - while still being interesting individuals. The lakeside scenes were a joy to watch - a stageful of perfectly placed arms and legs, wrapped in white.

These Swan Lakes were a lot of fun to watch - much more so than Romeo & Juliet. The Kirov seems born to dance Swan Lake, ingrained in their blood. A joy.

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Hello all,

I hope everyone is doing well today and had a great impression of Kirov Tour.

It is very exciting to read your experiences concerning Kirov performances.

Just FYI:

October 23 is Uliana Lopatkina Birthday.

Congratulations!!! :clapping:

Would you please advise me with Uliana schedule that day? I mean will she be on stage or not?

Have a great day!

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:clapping: Thank you to everyone who has posted their review so far - now, even more so, I'm anxiously awaiting the Kirov's upcoming performance in Ottawa this weekend. The dancers/dancing sound glorious.

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[Newbie posting; I'll confess.]

I saw the Sunday matinee performance of Swan Lake by the Kirov.

This was not the cast that was first reviewed.

But it is the cast that was reviewed BEST.

Lewis Segal in the LA Times kvelled over Diana Vishneva as Odette/Odile.

He gave her one of the best reviews I have ever read (and I've read a million.) He called her "triumphant, redemptive ... emphasized emotional values without sacrificing purity of style and technical refinement ... hearts raced as she suddenly flew across the stage ... we were watching some glorious, elemental improvisation ...."

See what I mean?

She was very, very good ... but not that good. The Odette was magnificent; the Odile less so.

Nonetheless, to paraphrase Mary Mc Carthy, "a fine dancer, a distinguished dancer ... all right then, a great dancer."

Miss her at YOUR loss.

Peter in SoCal

(a comparative desert for ballet -- BRING BACK THE NYCB NOW!!!!!!)

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Sounds like you were generally pleased but hoping for more from Vishneva. Yes? This just may not be her ballet. Reaction to her Swan Lake with ABT this past spring was generally lukewarm, too, as you can see starting here.

Glad you've joined BalletTalk, and thanks for your post. :) I hope you'll take a moment to tell us a bit about yourself on our Welcome Page. You can click "New Topic" to start a post. How did ballet catch your interest? You have favorite dancers, ballets?

Looking forward to reading more from you.

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I also thought Diana Vishneva and Igor Kolb gave us a very special white swan pas --- dramatic, filled with human emotion, and basically laying out their heart and soul for us to see. Those few minutes alone were worth the price of admission. Of the 4 performances this past weekend, that's the one I'd want to see again, despite flaws in the later acts. Speaking of which, unfortunately, it was very difficult to maintain that level of dancing, and they became merely very good for the rest of it. Her black swan was too hard-edged to be seductive --- perhaps she was trying too hard? She also had technical difficulties that impeded her black swan. Tereshkina's black swan is the pick of the weekend for me.

Alina Somova on Saturday night was kind of bad. Her coltishness and manic quality really doesn't work for this role, and she looked like she was going through the steps with little of the drama the other 3 ballerinas had. She also had technical difficulties, including 32 fouettes that looked very ugly, with the gesturing leg flicking in and out, and not showing the full second position to the side. It reminded me of local ballet school girls or dance competition people cranking out turns.

--Andre

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