Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami's Swan Lake.Feb. 23, 2008 and phenomenal Hayna's Feb. 24 matinee performance
Posted 23 February 2008 - 11:15 PM
This company is doing an immense effort to "continue" the tradition of the Cuban style and school in America, but something is not working. So far what i've notice they do is using by memory Mme. Alonso's versions on choreographies and revamping them, mixing them with substitutions on what they think are theie weakest points , with a weird result. Watching this Swan Lake tonight gave me the same impression as if i had ran into a very old friend who's in a profound physical decay but which i still recognize (barely) in certain mannerisms and signs.
The old choreography that i remember as the palm of my hand was there...but changed, altered, due to an abvious lack of high technical demands that it requires. So let's review it.
First, i gasp in dissapoint when i see a program change. Ms. Lorena Feijoo, the cuban SFB principal who is a member of CCBM also, is injured and will be substitued by Ms. Adyaris Almeida, the former CNB-Cincinnatti Ballet principal and former teen dancing partner of Rolandito Sarabia when both graduated from the ballet school at the same time. Oh well, i'm already predisposed. Act I started, as expected, with a "Pas De Six"as the Waltz. Here they performed just as i remembered, copycat, with the last triple series of over shoulder lifts followed by the three couples fish dives at unison...this is usually very effective, but it looked dangerous here, although no accidents happened, thank God. Then we had the highlight of the Act, the "Pas de trois", . I have to mention , specially, the two girls, Jordan Elizabeth Long and Grace Anne Powers, (which i saw doing Myrtha last year in her debut, at 14 and has a beautiful romantic line and perfect supple). Very nice Ms. Powers. Siegfried, Mr. Domitro, did show up already and is seated watching, as usual...(Domitro looks veeeery young, almost like a teenager). Speeding things up, the Queen enters, very regal, older, much more in the character than that young girl from the ABT's SB.
Transition to Act II without intermission...Lakeside, Rothbart shows up looking-(thank God)-very much like the big winged green owl fromn NBC and not like the ET/Alien look of other productions I've seen...Odette gets in the scene. Is Adyaris Almeida, . Note: About her i will just write what i liked...will omit the rest for obvious reasons. Going quick to the Love Duet we saw that her strengts are her very fast entrechats and batteries , precise balances and a lot of drama...(oh yes, mucho drama) .She also delivered a totally Alonso's style swan transformation at the end of the act. People, (he,he) went wild...oh yes, they remember very well...About Domitro, they arranged a solo for Siegfried set to the Tempo di Valse music from the original Act I (- the "Merry Makers PDD"-) . He did some beautiful jetes-menages...Intermission
Act III. Zcharda and Mazurka are identical as those from Cuba. Rechoreographied are the Tarantella and the Spanish. I missed the two sets of entrechasixes from the italians...
Let's skip all the rest, princesses and all...not interesting. So, ta-dah...Black Swan!!...Oh God...this was just...something. Did i see Gorski, Alonso, Petipa or what...? Oh yes, it was everything all together, and then, what everyone is expecting...the Coda. So here she comes and boom!, she opens with a set of quadruple pirouettes and repits it a couple of more times more while doing very extravagant fouettes, leg at a perfect 90 a la second all the time. She turns really fast, but travels really fast too..I'm scared. Then, she stopped...on pointe. Good, people is screaming and i'm happy.(- i was really afraid she was gonna fall). Audience is still going wild. Finally The Odile/Rothbart transformation reveals...Almeida reveals her histrionic qualities running all over the place while laughing , malevolent . Audiee screams in delight. I'm smiling...She totally fooled me. I didn't get the sautees sur le pointe en arabesque penchee that fallows the fouetees in the cuban version. Grrr. But still, she knows how to put lots of drama...Oh, yes, no fainting Queen. Shoot, i like the fainting Queens...
Transition to Act IV. All new choreography. In Cuba Alonso resolves quick the whole thing, resuming the act as a much shorter transitional epilogue with the sovietized happy ending. Here they wanted the real thing...the whole act including its colective suicide...everbody goes into the mattress and i wonder if they're scoring their jumps back there. Hers was fabulous. Absurd final...one doesn't know when we see the couple on top of a rock that moves center stage what happened to them, if they're alive or dead...or if this is heaven or ...Well, who knows...Note: I missed the very effective Siegfried/Rothbart fighting and Rothbart's spasmodic death onstage...
Music: The orchestra was a disaster. The score couldn't get any slower. Why didn't just played a nice Fedotov recording instead...? (And this observations goes for ALL companies and productions, if i may say)
Costumes: Medieval inspiration. Well done.
Scenography: Let's not even go there...
P.S- I'll go to today's performance, but i must confess, i'll skip Acts I and II...Will get there just in time for the sautees of the Black Swan Coda. See, Hayna dances today, and (-this is from her own words-) she'll perform them. I sat behind her last night.
Posted 24 February 2008 - 05:01 AM
I loved hearing about the way the peformance both conformed to -- and did not -- your memories of so many SLs in Cuba.
Was anyone else there? Or does anyone else have impressions or memories of Cuban Classical Ballet performances?
Posted 27 February 2008 - 05:42 AM
Posted 17 March 2008 - 07:54 AM
Keeping in mind, of course, that a perfectly executed tendu, ronde-de-jambe, or arabesque can be as full of energy, commitment, energy, and command of space -- in other words, "life" -- as the biggest jump or multiple pirouette. Even in adagio.
Edited to add: I just came across the following, from an interview with Felicity Palmer in the April Opera News. She's talking about singers, but the same could apply to dancers.
Posted 08 January 2009 - 06:21 PM
Domitro looks beautiful too here-(for those in San Francisco, watch him...
Edited to add: Domitro's clip is from the previous day performance with Adiarys Almeida.
Posted 09 January 2009 - 12:11 AM
And she is astounding -- awesome and stupid. never seen that combination before, well not since the Nazis. It IS evil. The dancer may very well not be stupid at all -- it''s odile that's stupid -- and it's really scary. like rape.
Posted 09 January 2009 - 10:00 AM
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