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Kings of Dance in Russia?


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#1 4mrdncr

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 11:28 AM

Have any BT members seen the Kings of Dance performances in Russia yet?
(Bolshoi this week, Mariinsky this weekend, Perm next week.)
Just curious what Russian (or otherwise) knowledgeable audiences thought of the American and W.European training & aesthetics evidenced by their respective representatives? Anyone know if Ethan did the Christie or Fosse solo? Is Johan recovered well enough? Did a fifth dancer from the Bolshoi also appear? How was The Lesson, better than at OCPAC or City Center last year? Did everyone rotate through the Teacher's part as originally planned? Too many questions? Sorry.

#2 Ostrich

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 12:08 PM

I'd also like to know.
Halo-oo? Anybody out there?

#3 ami1436

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 02:56 AM

From what I understand, Kobborg did perform... but he's not performing his Romeo at ROH Saturday... I'm disliking this trend!

#4 Ostrich

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 09:13 AM

Apparently Gudanov stood in for Kobborg in "For Four", but Kobborg did perform his solo.

#5 drb

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 04:49 PM

Based on Moscow press reviews, The Kings program was a great success, with personal triumphs for Angel Corella and Johan Kobborg.

Alexandr Firer, writing in the Russian Gazette, reported that there were six, rather than four, Kings: Angel Corella, Ethan Stiefel, Johan Kobborg, Nikolai Tsiskaridze, and, "since an injury two weeks earlier, Kobborg had just dropped crutches", Dmitri Gudanov and Sergei Filin also danced.

Reporting that The Lesson will enter The Bolshoi's repertory, its opening night performance was led by Sergei Filin, a performance of "dark violence and cruelty." Later performances starred Tsiskaridze, Corella (much admired for the "Hitchcockian" intensity of his portrayal), and finally, Kobborg, "the most profound, an historic portrayal... Eternal. Universal Evil."

The dancing began with Wheeldon's ballet to Schubert's Death and the Maiden, titled For Four. Corella's "vortex rotation" was especially admired. Gudanov, Kobborg's opening night replacement, impressed with his lyricism.

Corella's solo to Ellington "lighted the room", Tsiskaridze's solo to Carmen was admired, and Stiefel's Fosse showed "elegant clarity." But it was Kobborg's Faun that won the heart. "Beyond the bounds of musical eloquence... the plasticity of hands and body... his dance hypnotised as if the dancing of Sirens."

All dancers received substantial ovations at the program's end, especially Angel Corella.
http://www.rg.ru/200...roli-tanca.html

Reviewing the program for Moscow Novosti (News), Alla Mihaleva's article had the headline "Royal Lesson: Bolshoi Theater Once Again Shown Class." She praised Ethan Stiefel for getting the idea for Kings, and "for organizing a magnificent gala." She enjoyed the film that opens the show, that let her see the dancers' "skill and sexiness, who is humorous, who serious." As in the above review, The Lesson was especially admired.

She considered the Wheeldon work to be a "beautiful plotless ballet that asserts the priority of male dance... dignity and harmonious synergy." She also admired the way solos channeled into duets, trios, quartets.

In Faun, she felt "rewarded by Kobborg's jewel-like dance technique," which brought to mind James in La Sylphide. Tsiskaridze's Carmen was "artistic, convincing, and witty." Stiefel, who "is the ideal Balanchine Apollo", was heart-stopping in Fosse. As for Angel Corella, he "flies on the Ellington music... crowning dance at a frenzied speed."

http://www.mn.ru/issue/2007-43-59

Reviews published in Russian fora were also usually lavish in their admiriation. In particular, Mikhail Alexandrov, who in the past has been so generous (recall the massive interactive "Internet Bridge" with Masha Alexandrova) and informative in BT's former Bolshoi subforum, was especially eloquent writing in a Moscow analog of BT for which he is Moderator. He wrote of hearing Ellington's On the A Train so long ago on Voice of America, and seeing remarkable videos of Baryshnikov and Chabukiani with grand pirouettes so fast that he thought this effect had been created by speeding up the tape. Then the revelation of seeing Angel Corella do it live to this beloved music. I hope he finds this current BT thread and graces us with his comments and analysis.

#6 4mrdncr

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 05:38 PM

Thank you SO much drb for posting. I was concerned about Johan's injury/recovery and wondering how our ABT contingent was faring. (I assumed Nicholai Tsiskaridze would not have any worries.) I am glad others were able to integrate the performance smoothly and all were well received.

(Just a thought: I sometimes wonder if Angel Corella gets tired of being known/admired just for his turns. I used to watch Baryshnikov turn as much (if maybe not quite so fast), but he was also known for so much more; hopefully, Corella will be too some day.)

#7 drb

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 03:51 PM

...Just a thought: I sometimes wonder if Angel Corella gets tired of being known/admired just for his turns. I used to watch Baryshnikov turn as much (if maybe not quite so fast), but he was also known for so much more; hopefully, Corella will be too some day.

Actually, Angel's acting in The Lesson received some exceptional praise, and one reviewer said his stage presence even matched that of Tsiskaridze! I doubt it is possible to give greater acclaim than that.
The Bolshoi's site is currently offering ten photos of the opening performance. If you click the red swirlygig under each photo you'll get a hi-res version. While many are of the piece that will be entering the Company's rep, there are others, including one of Johan Kobborg's Faun.
http://www.bolshoi.r...ice/foto/kings/

#8 4mrdncr

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 10:23 AM

The Bolshoi's site is currently offering ten photos of the opening performance. If you click the red swirlygig under each photo you'll get a hi-res version. While many are of the piece that will be entering the Company's rep, there are others, including one of Johan Kobborg's Faun.
http://www.bolshoi.r...ice/foto/kings/


Thanks again drb for posting the link. (I am not so technically adept.) Previously, I had visited the site, (English language version), but didn't see much beyond a generic announcement/dates of performance. It was great to see Mr. Yusupov's pictures; everyone looks healthy & happy. It is Filin and Tsiskaridz in "The Lesson" pics right? Having been in LA for the premiere performances of the KofD I was already familiar with the Lachman (for LA Times)and Paltera (OC Register) photos. It is interesting to note the change of costume for "For4" which I saw in another pic online, but wasn't sure if it was from the Bolshoi performances or a dress rehearsal/costume test prior. But anyways, THANKS again for the photo link, AND translations or relevant articles/comments.

#9 drb

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 02:37 PM

Thanks, 4mrdncr, for pointing out that the For Four photo #8 (that showed Kobborg, unlike #1 that included his replacement Gudanov) was not taken at the BT. Indeed, Nina Alovert (writing from St. Petersburg for the current issue of the Brooklyn weekly Russian Bazaar) says that Johan also did not dance the part in Petersburg.

She reports that, "as in Moscow," the Kings of Dance was a "phenomenal success in St. Petersburg." The program and Kings were as at the Bolshoi, with Gudanov guesting. Tsiskaridze played The Teacher in the performance she saw, making a powerful impression, as he also did with Carmen, where she found his multi-character shifting could be likened to legendary performances of Vestris! (Ms. Alovert did not mentioned who played Student to his Teacher, but it was a very defiant Masha Alexandrova in his BT performance.)

Ms. Alovert credits the producers for finding a way that contemporary art can move, while neither destroying nor contradicting the art created before. (My guess is that this is an oblique reference to Silenzio, a gala that recently rocked the MT.) She also found the Osipenko Jubilee and the Male premiere of their new Giselle to be quite significant events.

http://www.russian-b...ArticleID=11260

#10 drb

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 03:21 PM

They are back! According to Ardani's press announcement (in Russian) they will dance in Eastern Russia and the Ukraine, November 11-25, 2008. The Kings are ABT's Hallberg and Carreno, NYCB's De Luz, and Bolshoi's Tsiskaridze and Gudanov. As an aside, the release states that Sir Anthony Dowell is coaching David Hallberg in Ashton's Dance of the Blessed Spirits

There is a long segment of Hallberg, Carreno, De Luz and Tsiskaridze dancing Wheeldon's For Four on Russia's RuTube (NOT their YouTube):
http://rutube.ru/tra...441bec2aebcf9ea

I hope that it is OK to post the RuTube link itself, since I could not arrive at the video searching in English. I found both the release and the link on the Russian Forum associated with the Bolshoi Theater. It would be great if someone who sees this could post about it!

#11 4mrdncr

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 08:33 PM

Thank you drb for posting this link to what I call the "3rd Edition" of the "Kings of Dance". I saw it earlier on another website which linked to it. But anyways, it was nice to see this new version and a new film. The site also includes bios of each of the current 'kings', but it was in cyrillic so I couldn't read it. Glad the franchise is still going strong and giving opportunities for performers and audiences to learn and compare. I was struck by slight changes in Wheeldon's choreography to accomodate different strengths of these dancers as compared to their predecessors.
In addition, if you scroll down to nearly the bottom of the posting, you can also view the 2006 short-biographical film shown before the performances of the original kings: Corella, Kobborg, Stiefel, and Tsiskaridze.

There is also an excerpt of "For4" danced by the 2007- (or what I call the "2nd Edition") - Kings visible in clips from the VIII Mariinsky Festival video program posted on that other well-known clipfest site. Great to compare everyone if you're interested.

#12 bart

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 09:01 PM

Thanks, drb, for the link to that riveting footage of "Four 4." I loved the understatement and fluid elegance of it. This is the tender, introspective, graceful strength side of male dancing -- not the bravura that ticket-buyers might have expected.

Watching the 4 men performing -- sometimes dancing in parallel, sometimes a little out of sequence, sometimes alone -- was a fascinating opportunity to observe differences for style and presentation. Differences in the use of hands, arms, and epaulement struck me most. I'd love to have the chance to watch this while listening to a running commentary with any number of dancers and/or teachers who are Ballet Talk members.

I know that this has been done before by a previous cast of the Kings of Dance: Corella, Kobborg, Stiefel, Tsiskaridze. Can someone tell me who danced which part in that original presentation? In other words, who -- in the oriignal cast -- danced the parts now danced by

-- Halberg --
-- Careno --
-- de Luz --
-- Tsiskanridze -- ?

Is a video of the original cast available on YouTube or other source?

#13 4mrdncr

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 09:48 PM

Thanks, drb, for the link to that riveting footage of "Four 4." I loved the understatement and fluid elegance of it. This is the tender, introspective, graceful strength side of male dancing -- not the bravura that ticket-buyers might have expected.

Watching the 4 men performing -- sometimes dancing in parallel, sometimes a little out of sequence, sometimes alone -- was a fascinating opportunity to observe differences for style and presentation. Differences in the use of hands, arms, and epaulement struck me most. I'd love to have the chance to watch this while listening to a running commentary with any number of dancers and/or teachers who are Ballet Talk members.

I know that this has been done before by a previous cast of the Kings of Dance: Corella, Kobborg, Stiefel, Tsiskaridze. Can someone tell me who danced which part in that original presentation? In other words, who -- in the oriignal cast -- danced the parts now danced by

-- Halberg --
-- Careno --
-- de Luz --
-- Tsiskanridze --?

Is a video of the original cast available on YouTube or other source?


As I wrote above, the complete short film of the original cast --including rehearsals of For4 with Wheeldon--was posted at the bottom of the RuTube post from which drb linked this newer version film. Hope this link works: http://community.liv...ingsofthedance/

The excerpt of For4 by the "2nd Edition" of Kings which was performed in Russia in 2007 (with only Corella as an original returning member) is visible in the "VIII Mariinsky Festival, Part 4" clip on YouTube.

From viewing only the clip of the current edition, and my knowledge of the original cast's choreography (I did see it 2x at OCPAC, and 3x at City Center):
Hallberg = Stiefel, Carreno = Kobborg, de Luz = Corella , Tsiskaridze is one of the originals and does his original part.

#14 Mashinka

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 05:45 AM

I'd like to see them bring it to Europe - with any cast.

#15 drb

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Posted 26 November 2008 - 08:41 PM

The tour ended yesterday. From reviews I have read, the new Kings have been very well received. Special attention has been given to David Hallberg, especially by those who are followers of Natalia Osipova -- it seems Russians read ABT casting! And the reaction to that anticipated partnership has been most favorable. The thought of seeing those two grand jetes together..., well, I've already purchased tickets for both of their La Sylphides!

Mr. Hallberg has been chronicling the tour on his Winger blog, with lots of photos, and even some responses from people who've seen the tour. The tour began in Russia's third largest city, Novosibirsk, where the ballet is headed by Igor Zelensky, and there they danced on Russia's largest stage. You get great shots of it and, no surprise, of snow. Someone has posted a video of his performance of Ashton's solo, The Dance of the Blessed Spirits, on YouTube. "Hallberg Dance" will get you to it.

Mashinka, I hope you get your wish for a European tour. They've collected quite a pile of rave reviews that could be used for advertising!


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