Ceeszi

Kirov's "La Bayadere" in Washington DC

56 posts in this topic

I'm keeping my fingers crossed! I would love to see Lopatkina as the title role.....could we coax Makhalina? (I never had the chance to see her live and would love to see her before she completely retires.) Tereshkina would also be impressive with those exotic looks and commanding presence. I'll never forget her Myrtha.

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I also vote for Raymonda as the next installment in the annual Kirov-Mariinsky visits to the Kennedy Center. However, let's not get our hopes up too high; the K-M has not toured this production in-full since the 1960s or so. The presents sets are incredibly frail, though the costumes have been refurbished. The miracle is that they'll be performing Act III at City Center this April.

I have a strong suspicion that we may be getting Don Quixote next year -- huge popular fave of the Kennedy Center, which was last performed by the Bolshoi in the 2006/07 season...and it usually makes an appearance every other year on this stage...and we have yet to see the Kirov version in DC, after all of these years of annual tours.

Also, the Kennedy Center is getting its first complete Raymonda in 20-odd years next month, when the New National Theater Ballet of Tokyo presents what is, in essence, the Kirov-Mariinsky/Petipa-K. Sergeyev version, with a few little changes. I doubt that the Kennedy Center would program two Raymondas , in same K. Sergeyev version, on consecutive years. But we can dream & hope. :flowers:

If not Raymonda, then how about Flora's Awakening as part of a triple bill (which would alternate with a full-evening ballet)? This would, in part, make-up for Flora having been promised, then yanked from, the upcoming New York/City Center tour.

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These reviews are making me wonder if I should give Somova another chance. Note I only say 'wonder'.... hmmm.

Hopefully no long fingernails as Nikiya....

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These reviews are making me wonder if I should give Somova another chance. Note I only say 'wonder'.... hmmm.

Hopefully no long fingernails as Nikiya....

I did not see the nails this time, ami. Well, don't get too excited about Somova just yet. When you think about it, the fact that we are still treading carefully and remarking on her progress, should say something. Yes, it is nice to see her progress...but that's the sort of thing that one does with a dancer 'from the provinces' and not someone being billed as star of a troupe like the Kirov-Mariinsky. She's already freakin' 22 years old! How long are going to continue to cut her some slack?

We should not even be having this discussion. There was a time when "maybe" and mediocrity were not accepted in this company.

But she has improved and is "less horrible" than before. For that we do cartwheels.

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These reviews are making me wonder if I should give Somova another chance. Note I only say 'wonder'.... hmmm.

Hopefully no long fingernails as Nikiya....

I also did not notice the long daggers. I'd like to see her in a few more roles before I make up my mind. And I agree with Natalia-she is 22 yrs old. Look at another 22/23 year old, Obraztsova. She is divine and supreme in her classical presentations. I never have to worry when I see her cast in a role like I do with Somova.

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I also vote for Raymonda as the next installment in the annual Kirov-Mariinsky visits to the Kennedy Center. However, let's not get our hopes up too high; the K-M has not toured this production in-full since the 1960s or so. The presents sets are incredibly frail, though the costumes have been refurbished. The miracle is that they'll be performing Act III at City Center this April.

I have a strong suspicion that we may be getting Don Quixote next year -- huge popular fave of the Kennedy Center, which was last performed by the Bolshoi in the 2006/07 season...and it usually makes an appearance every other year on this stage...and we have yet to see the Kirov version in DC, after all of these years of annual tours.

Also, the Kennedy Center is getting its first complete Raymonda in 20-odd years next month, when the New National Theater Ballet of Tokyo presents what is, in essence, the Kirov-Mariinsky/Petipa-K. Sergeyev version, with a few little changes. I doubt that the Kennedy Center would program two Raymondas , in same K. Sergeyev version, on consecutive years. But we can dream & hope. :flowers:

If not Raymonda, then how about Flora's Awakening as part of a triple bill (which would alternate with a full-evening ballet)? This would, in part, make-up for Flora having been promised, then yanked from, the upcoming New York/City Center tour.

I'd like to see Don Q. as I missed the Bolshoi last year. (Sniff-Osipenko). Please no Somova as Kitri...I'd like to see Obraztsova. She's so cute and adorable, I'm sure she'd be a lovely spanish coquette. Flora would also be a nice change from the norm.

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Thanks so much to our DC contingent plus visiting posters. I have so enjoyed these reports and can hardly wait for the company's visit to City Center.

I have a strong suspicion that we may be getting Don Quixote next year -- huge popular fave of the Kennedy Center, which was last performed by the Bolshoi in the 2006/07 season...and it usually makes an appearance every other year on this stage...and we have yet to see the Kirov version in DC, after all of these years of annual tours.
:flowers: How could the Kennedy Center bookers have allowed such a lapse? A year without a Don Q??? Disgraceful!!! :angry2:

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.... Please no Somova as Kitri...I'd like to see Obraztsova. She's so cute and adorable, I'm sure she'd be a lovely spanish coquette. ...

Obraztsova received enormous praise in her debut as Kitri at the Mariinsky a couple of weeks ago, with Vladimir Schklyarov as Basil. So let's all hope for Don Q at the Kennedy Center next year, as it would almost surely mean that Obraztsova/Schklyarov will be among the casts.

Other top Kitris at the Mariinsky at present include Vishneva (recently returned to the role), Novikova & Tereshkina. And, yes, Somova made her debut in the role last summer.

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Natalia, Alina Somova has actually made her debut as Kitri in 2007 (in the spring/summer, if I'm not mistaken). I think we had a thread referring to it at the time.

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Natalia, Alina Somova has actually made her debut as Kitri in 2007 (in the spring/summer, if I'm not mistaken). I think we had a thread referring to it at the time.

Azulyn, I just caught my own error but thanks for pointing it out nonetheless. How could I have forgotten? Maybe wishful thinking....

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I was just wondering....(and please move this thread around if it's clogging up space)...but those of you who have seen Somova live, knowing what you know about her capabilities and her style of dancing, if the Mariinsky toured with some more modern pieces, especially Forsythe, would Somova fit better into those? All I have seen is her Rose Adiago :smilie_mondieu: so I don't really know what she's suited for.

Also, is Makhalina retired? I've seen bits and pieces of her dancing, and I've just fallen in love with it. Beautiful extensions AND art!

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Somova is considered a supreme classicist, so is rarely cast in anything outside the Petipa repertoire. :smilie_mondieu: Company management does not cast her in the modern rep, such as Forsythes, where I think she'd fare much better. One of the few non-Petipa roles in her rep is one of the three "theme pdds" in Balanchine's Four Temperaments. She is fabulous in that!

Makhalina remains on the roster but rarely dances. I think that she did one Scheherazade last summer. She was listed in the playbill for the lead in Balanchine's La Valse but I never heard/read the results, so I wonder if she actually performed that night. More often than not, she appears in galas around St. Petersburg, such as last autumn's Ilya Kuznetsov Evening at the Conservatory (dancing Mata Hari ).

Nioradze and Ayupova, like Makhalina, remain on the roster but rarely dance in their home theater.

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I was just wondering....(and please move this thread around if it's clogging up space)...but those of you who have seen Somova live, knowing what you know about her capabilities and her style of dancing, if the Mariinsky toured with some more modern pieces, especially Forsythe, would Somova fit better into those? All I have seen is her Rose Adiago :smilie_mondieu: so I don't really know what she's suited for.

Also, is Makhalina retired? I've seen bits and pieces of her dancing, and I've just fallen in love with it. Beautiful extensions AND art!

Although I thought Somova did perform Nikiya well, I do think that she'd be absolutely wonderful in Forsythe or Balanchine. Maybe even some Roland Petit. She reminds me of a "Balanchine" dancer-super long, super thin, super flexible, with angularity.

She is considered a "classicist"? :speechless-smiley-003: I shall use my husband's ballet class favorite retort, "If she is classicist, I am tri-angle."

Makhalina is one of my all time favorites and so beautiful. I'd love to see her one last time on tour before she retires. Please, please, please!!

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Alistair Macauley reviews La Bayadere and starts off with these choice words:

“La Bayadère” is, above all, about transcendence, which is just as well, for there is much to transcend. No matter which production of this full-length ballet you see, at least 60 percent of it is trash.

Here is the review. Maybe he just shouldn't review full-length story ballets, considering his open disdain of, like, all of them. :smilie_mondieu:

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In the review, Macaulay writes of the history of the productions of "La Bayadere" and of the changes in the qualify of the corps, both at the Kirov and the Royal Ballet. He concludes

But not one person onstage displayed the kind of artistry that seizes the audience and says, “Believe in this.” The Kirov will come to New York City Center in April for three weeks, bringing a range of one-act repertory, ancient and modern, and including the Shades scene. I have loved and been awestruck by this company in the past and await its return with hope that is too strongly mixed with frustration.

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In the review, Macaulay writes of the history of the productions of "La Bayadere" and of the changes in the qualify of the corps, both at the Kirov and the Royal Ballet. He concludes
But not one person onstage displayed the kind of artistry that seizes the audience and says, “Believe in this.” The Kirov will come to New York City Center in April for three weeks, bringing a range of one-act repertory, ancient and modern, and including the Shades scene. I have loved and been awestruck by this company in the past and await its return with hope that is too strongly mixed with frustration.

Well since they will only be doing short works in NYC I predict he will like the NYC (on the whole) more than he did Bayadere :smilie_mondieu:

I assume placing bets on such a thing would be against board rules (j/k)

All kidding aside, I found the information on the history of the Bayadere productions and the information on the changing style of the corps dancers really interesting, but once again wished that he could almost have written an article about the ballet as a separate entity from the review. Not that this kind of information doesn't enrich reviews, it does. But when you have 3-4 casts to review and a very limited amount of space to do so in, I'd rather read more indepth discussion of the various dancers and *this* specific production. Comparing it to the previous Kirov Bayadere is all very well, but (I assume because of the limited space) I felt that if you hadn't seen the prior one, you wouldn't really understand the difference, and, that being the case, why bother to mention it at all.

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Maybe he just shouldn't review full-length story ballets, considering his open disdain of, like, all of them. :clapping:

Not so. Macauley is a great admirer of Kenneth MacMillan.

Go figure.

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Macaulay gets one thing glaringly wrong: Solor doesn't smoke opium in the Maryinsky's production. He falls asleep watching the snake charmer. Otherwise, I mostly agree with him (but not with his assessment of Tereshkina, one of the most irritatingly mannered ballerinas I've ever seen).

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Hans, I'm not sure about the week's other Solors but Sunday afternoon's Solor at the KC did take a puff or two off of the old pipe while watching the snake charmer.

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Fadeev definitely puffed from the the hookah on opening night.

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Ah, that's what I get for sitting in the cheap seats. I don't remember reading anything about opium in the program synopsis, though, but I could have missed that as well--I was mostly biding my time until the shades came on, and I can't check because I was so disappointed by the production and performances (Saturday night) that I threw away my program.

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Fadeev definitely puffed from the the hookah on opening night.

+1, and on Thursday too....

.... jsut finished reading his review, what an "UNHAPPY" person he is (to say the least and in the most politically correct term), and not a very good writer (at least in that review, don't wanna judge him after reading just that review)....

you can find out more about the history and staging of the ballet from Wikipedia - shame on him.

Thank you for pointing the link (at least I saved the picture).....

I truly enjoyed the 3 performances, Mnd, Tues, Wdn....

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I remember seeing some hookah-puffing on Saturday evening, too. This was my first Bayadere. As I said in an e-mail to a friend -- another casual but interested ballet fan:

"It was magical. The first two acts are a campy melodrama about an Indian temple dancer and unrequited love. The third act -- the Kingdom of the Shades -- is supposedly an opium dream but it seemed to me to be a proto-Balanchine piece - very abstract. Each act got stronger, which is so rare. This was first staged in 1877, and it must have blown away the audience way back then. The lead ballerina was much too thin but (admittedly) had a beautiful line. The male lead looked like Roger Federer and was very solid but not spectacular. Overall, awesome."

I can see how Macaulay could get jaded, having seen La Bayadere evolve over the years, and his review does seem to be a bit weary of it all. But I think that this production would be a great "starter" ballet for young audiences. The plot is simple enough so that the mime works with a minimum of confusion, and the last act reminds audiences of how glorious ballet can be.

I'll be interested in the reports from New York.

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Sarafanov was very indulgent in the opium on Sunday.....

When I danced in Bayadere, our Solor drank-I guess opium toking is a bit too taboo...

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Although I'm far from anyplace the Kirov will ever tour, it's been fascinating to read these comments. Thank you to all who have posted. And thanks for the link to the NY Times review.

I hope everyone gets a chance to read Hans's thoughtful review on his blog, Details. It offers a perspective somewhat different from some of the other posts on this thread.

The link to this is here: http://www.ballettalk.invisionzone.com/blog/details/

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