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Paris perfs. POB 12/29 (2) 12/30-- Bolshoi 1/5-1/6/08reviews


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#16 chiapuris

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 02:01 PM

i had hoped to post a review of the Linkina/Filin performance of the 6th
after returrning to the States yesterday. But a doctor's visit today
for an eye infection and a throat infection has postponed that plan.
Maybe tomorrow!

#17 Helene

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 02:24 PM

I hope you feel better soon, chiapuris.

#18 chiapuris

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 01:35 PM

#4 Bolshoi Corsaire 6-1-08, Garnier Opera

I forget who was first listed as the second-performance cast of the Bolshoi in Paris.
The second listing was of Natalia Osipova making her debut in the role.
The third was Alexandrova, who ended up with grippe.
The actual cast was Svetlana Lunkina with Sergei Filin.

Ms. Lunkina is the dancer of classic proportions in both mental and physical aspects.
Clarity of line, economy of purpose, purity of execution are qualities I see when I view her dances. All were evident in her performance of Medora in Corsaire on the 6th.

Mr Filin was her gallant and able partner; in physical appearance they make a contrastive pair.

One thing that made this performance different from last night's was the perspective: our seats were in the 3rd row of the orchestra while the first night seats were in a box (loge) which gave wonderful viewing of the floor patterns on stage. Third row gives you intimacy and clear facial views, no floor patterns.

The rest of the cast was the same, save for Birbanto, danced by Vitali Biktimirov with vitality and authority.

My favorite part, both for its dancers and the dance, was the opening pas de deux of Kaptsova and Vasiliev.

Their first pas, with Kaptsova's head covered with a sheer scarf, is a supported grand jete en avant, then she envelops the front leg, envelops the back leg, so that they form a diamond, she lands on the front leg while developing the back leg.
This step is reprised in a later act by Lunkina with Filin.

In Vasiliev's variation, he executes grand assembles ecarte en avant finishing in grand plie. Anyone know the provenance of this step? imperial? soviet? other?

In the second scene, I enjoyed thoroughly from the third row the Danse des Forbans with Anna Antropova and two couples.

The Pas des Odalisques was another favorite. While one dancer impressed me with her sensitive musicality and another with her elegant articulation of limbs and torso, I can only name the third, Natalia Osipova. Besides her breathtaking grand jetes en avant, she impressed with her double tours ending in petit retire, in a series of three, each preceded by a chasse. The dancers' co-ordination in the finale was phenomenal. A trio of stars.

In the Jardin Anime I watched Chinara Alizade, one of the six demi-soloists, whom I remembered competing (successfully) in the Moscow Competition of 2005. I believe it
was her first year in the corps de ballet that year. Of course, Lunkina and Shipulina appeared throughout the scene brilliantly.
Ratmansky's Pas des Eventails had the same cast as that listed for the 5th. I had mentioned in the review of the 5th that Shpilevsky's variation was not up to par.
On second viewing, I shouldn't have used the word variation. it was simply one double tour and a series of pirouettes from fourth. But still, not up to par.
Ratmansky's choreography flowed well.

A most enjoyable evening. The Bolshoi company is dazzling for the depth and width
of talent in its rank. Their joie de vivre turns everything they touch into gold.

Which brings the issue of this particular “reconstitution” of Le Corsaire forward.
Why would anyone want to revive a work with slave-traders as significant characters in it? Well, one could argue, Lord Byron's Corsair of 1814 dealt with a world in which buccaneers as well as slave-traders were a reality. This is a retelling of that world.
Excuse good enough? Not really. In our world, where Edward Said's Orientalism has been in print for decades, treating the Other as exotic has long been exposed as wrong.
And it's not good enough to make the slave-trader a doddering buffoon as if that takes the evil out of it.

What's the solution? A simple one.

Separate the choreography from the libretto, since the convolutions of the libretto have never driven the choreography anyway.
I like the choreography of the reconstitution and will go see it for the choreography and simply ignore the libretto.


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