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Mariinsky: NYCCApril 1-20, 2008


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#16 FauxPas

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 12:01 PM

The quality that ATM711 loved in Danilova's "Raymonda" piano variation I suspect was "slavic soulfulness" rather than melancholy. A kind of remoteness with a hint of melancholy, very lost in one's own world. Lyudmila Semenyaka nails this in the Bolshoi video (much better looking on Kultur DVD now) from the early eighties. Oddly, Irina Kolpakova is very cheerful and smiling in this section on the newly released Kirov performance. I think ATM711 would have approved of Lopatkina who had a kind of serene, regal hauteur here - a little remote but not cold or totally sad. She had a light, happy touch elsewhere - remember its her wedding day!

I also must mention Vishneva's mesmerizing arms in the "harp variation" in "Paquita" - she was weaving dreams out of the air.

#17 Cygnet

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 01:26 PM

Thanks everyone for the reports!

#18 YID

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 01:47 PM

I could not resist
http://news.ntv.ru/129488/
sorry, it's in Russian, but
WITH wonderful glimpses into the performance ;-))
Adorable Lopatkina, greatest chores dancers, those spinning jumps by male chorus
.... and no SOMOVA - thank god.....
ENJOY !!!!!!!!

PS: should probably quote where I found the link
http://forum.balletf...h...sc&start=15
Thank you Natalia from that forum toooooooo

#19 canbelto

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 02:28 PM

One thing that annoys me is the idea that Somova would be good in Balanchine. Balanchine wanted crispness, attack, MOVEMENT above all else. The biggest problem with Somova is that except for the ear-whacking, she can't move. She was the only dancer for whom the City Center stage didn't seem too small. The rest of them seemed to float so effortlessly that the narrow, shallow stage seemed unnecessarily confining. But she has trouble jumping, she has trouble with bourrees, pique turns, etc. etc. Mr. B would be horrified that she's dancing in his ballets.

#20 4mrdncr

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 06:03 PM

:thanks: as well from me to all who posted. I am so very sorry to have to miss these performances, and so far, have been subsisting on BT posts, and those Russian YouTube clips from the Mariinsky Festival last month. (Where the unfortunate Somova is visible exhibiting every fault you have all described--such as hyper-extended knees, to go with her extended chin, and horrible fouettes.) But Tereshkina I love, and Vishneva, and wish I could see more. Thanks again to all.

#21 papeetepatrick

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 06:23 PM

I just watched a couple of the YouTubes, one of Odette/Odile, then Rose Adagio. It's strange movement, almost as if 'double-jointed', but the rest of the dancing (as in rather easier steps as Odette in this 'White Nights 2006' clip) is also like the air-splits with the legs looking like asparagus. Quite a spectacle. There's something lethargic about it, a weird sort of (naturally) being slightly out of control; the legs scissoring up look a little like a form of seizure.

#22 canbelto

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 06:34 PM

Also, I really went in trying to think positive about Somova. I kind of thought, "she can't be that bad." But she wasn't that bad. She was worse. :thanks:

#23 papeetepatrick

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 08:25 PM

she would look better doing contemporary ballet or something like "Don Quixote" - at the Bolshoi.


Don't you need musicality for those? She is the most unmusical star dancer I have ever seen just from YouTubes alone. Having just watched Aurelie Dupont, an extraordinarily musical dancer, in 'Don Quixote', I don't see why Somova would be good in that. That POB production let me know what 'Don Quixote' could really be--a lot more than just hokey.

b) kick her out to dance in the provinces.


Yes, it might even work in a low way with squawky orchestras which lag in rhythm and can't stay together, because she's one dancer they could keep up with 'in the hard parts.'

She does lack taste and musicality


I can't even get to the 'taste' part. Musically, she should dance without music, so that whatever she does, it could be like a musical improv in dance. Because, in one of the Odette pieces, she not only is not a musical dancer, she just barely keeps with what poorly-played music there is.

#24 Ilya

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 03:23 AM

I saw the April 1 performance and subscribe to everything that has been said here. For me, the highlight of the evening was Sarafanov's performance: incredible elevation, stage-devouring jetes, dizzying turns, solid partnering. After Lopatkina and Vishneva, I thought the third act could only be downhill (and it was in certain aspects amply described above) but I was very pleasantly surprised by Sarafanov.

#25 richard53dog

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 05:10 AM

Also, I really went in trying to think positive about Somova. I kind of thought, "she can't be that bad." But she wasn't that bad. She was worse. :smilie_mondieu:


I was at City Center tuesday night too and haven't posted because most of the earlier posts already reflected my own thoughts.

But Somova? She was worse than I thought too and one of the ideas I came away with is how much she stuck out like a sore thumb.

She stood apart from the rest of the company which had a uniform level of standards (schooling, technique, polish, musicality) and just didn't belong.

I also thought it is a pretty bad reflection of the current management of the company (soon to change???) that she has been placed in such a position of prominence...i.e closing number on opening night. Something like "what ARE they thinking?"

#26 nysusan

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 06:06 AM

These are some of the things that stood out to me last night (Wed)

Novikova is a lovely and very talented dancer but for me she simply didn’t have the authority or attitude for Raymonda. Her dancing was pristine but the character infused arm movements just didn’t seem natural or have any meaning attached to them (no hauteur, there was no hint of the young noblewoman ascending to her lofty position at her wedding celebration). She could have been dancing the Rose Adagio, and I wished she had been...

Paquita was fabulous again, Tereshkina is such a strong, beautiful dancer I cannot wait for her Raymonda tonight. I’m afraid I have to report that the audience again went wild for Somova’s solo - unfortunately there does seem to be a demand for her type of dancing.

My revelation last night - Danila Korsuntsev. I’ve seen him 4-5 times before and was never impressed with him as a soloist. He is a tall, handsome man, a great partner with a perfectly proportioned body - but his dancing always seemed perfunctory to me. Last night he partnered Lopatkina in Bayadere and I saw a passion in him I’ve never seen before. He was engaged with his ballerina, searching for his Nikiya with desperation, passion and regret and suddenly I noticed what amplitude his leaps had, how perfectly positioned & stretched his line was, the pointed feet and pliant back. Could the hiring of Ivan Kozlov have lit a fire in him, or was it just that at City Center I was sitting much closer to the stage than I usually do for the Kirov?

Lopatkina was, of course gorgeous in Bayadere, though I noticed that in the scarf duet she does all the turns in the same direction. That was irrelevant to me, what mattered was the beauty of her legato flow, the perfection of her line and technique and her warm, passionate Nikiya. Some ballerinas dance this with a coolness suggesting that (even in Solar’s hallucinogenic dream) she hasn’t forgiven him. Lopatkina’s Nikiya was warm and passionate, there was still a strong bond of love between them.

I was sitting much closer to the stage last night than I had been on opening night, and from this vantage point it was far more apparent how cramped it is. You could sense that the dancers were mentally calculating how much room they had to work with, in fact Kondaurova finished one of her variations at the very front edge by the wings, just about one step from going over into the pit. This is in no way meant to be a criticism of the dancers, they are doing a fabulous job, but they would be even more fabulous if they had enough room to dance full out without having to re-calibrate every move to fit this stage.

#27 YID

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 06:32 AM

+1 to nysusan
totally agree. Been to both, Tuesday & Wednesday. Loved the chemistry between Lopatkina & Korzuntsev (much better than with Kozlov in DC), and their tenderness, you could sense it, when they tilted their heads, almost touching each other, almost caressing without a touch.
Tereshkina, I loved her, her fluidity, her perfection, her classicism ;-))
.... and whoof, I refused to clap to Ms. Acrobat - can someone talk to the company about her ;-(((((
.... going tonight as well ;-))

#28 FauxPas

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 07:03 AM

Alastair Macauley weighs in via the NY Times:

http://www.nytimes.c...l.html?ref=arts

He also has critical words for Somova but is also giving backhanded compliments to Lopatkina and throwing cold water on Vishneva's success. Sounds all very jaded and been there done that. I mean, this is a mixed program of Petipa showpieces - not an evening of Balanchine or Antony Tudor. These are three classical showpieces engineered to show off virtuoso dancers and dazzle the crowd - the "Bayadere" shades working on a higher level as well (though maybe not with Tuesday night's cast). A certain amount of virtuosity for virtuosity's sake is a given considering the repertoire and the gala opening night occasion.

#29 nysusan

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 08:58 AM

Alastair Macauley weighs in via the NY Times:

http://www.nytimes.c...l.html?ref=arts

He also has critical words for Somova but is also giving backhanded compliments to Lopatkina and throwing cold water on Vishneva's success. Sounds all very jaded and been there done that. I mean, this is a mixed program of Petipa showpieces - not an evening of Balanchine or Antony Tudor. These are three classical showpieces engineered to show off virtuoso dancers and dazzle the crowd - the "Bayadere" shades working on a higher level as well (though maybe not with Tuesday night's cast). A certain amount of virtuosity for virtuosity's sake is a given considering the repertoire and the gala opening night occasion.


I agree, Macauley’s review was predictably jaded. His editors must be very pleased to see that he keeps coming up with new and ever so erudite ways to be bitchy.

Apollionaire Scherr’s brief take on her blog was almost as disappointing.

http://www.artsjournal.com/foot/

I disagree strongly with her opinion that everything on opening night before Novikova’s shades variation was “so studied”, but it’s her opinion and she’s entitled to it. However some of her other comments just seem inexplicable. And I’m not talking about the fact that she thinks Novikova was the “top shade” or that Somova is “doll like” (well, her movement is mechanical).

I realize that this is a brief comment on a blog, not a Newsday review but she’s still a “professional” critic. You’d think she’d feel compelled to give her comments some context for her readers. I’m not entirely at odds with her opinion, I too would have preferred a full length Raymonda to a single act but it’s clear from the constricted appearance of these “tidbits” on the City Center stage that deciding not to stage the Kirov’s productions of full length classics here was a wise choice. I feel very luck to live in a city that is home to 2 world class opera companies, 2 world class ballet companies and stages for dozens, if not hundreds of smaller contemporary dance troupes. But it’s still a shame that New York, once the world capital of Ballet only has one stage large enough to accommodate these grand productions. It’s also unfortunate that the Met has so little availability but it is what it is. I certainly prefer seeing one act from each of these grand ballets (carefully staged to fit as well as possible on the small stage) than waiting till 2020, or whenever the Met has a window of opportunity to make available to the great classical ballet companies of the world. Would that the Paris Opera Ballet, Bolshoi etc. were so determined to perform in NY.

Take a look at Joel Lobenthal’s NY Sun review for the most thoughtful and balanced opinion in the mainstream press so far:

http://www2.nysun.com/article/74102

Susan

#30 papeetepatrick

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 09:22 AM

It’s also unfortunate that the Met has so little availability but it is what it is. I certainly prefer seeing one act from each of these grand ballets (carefully staged to fit as well as possible on the small stage) than waiting till 2020, or whenever the Met has a window of opportunity to make available to the great classical ballet companies of the world.


I think it's a shame that there is no 'second house' besides City Center. I'll be there next week at one of these performances (fortunately, my Somova experience won't have to be in public, or she's not scheduled for that day), but I hate it every time I go there. This is one 'historical treasure' that ought to have been razed, or either build a new auditorium with decent raking already. That the choice is either the Met or City Center is what I find strange for this city--the Met is hardly at fault, being only one house and it's for opera mainly and should be.

It's probably common knowledge, but I don't understand why the State Theater in the summer--July and August at least--is not used for other ballet companies besides the Reverend Moon's company (or it used to be, I don't think I noticed this past summer). Aren't there fairly long periods when NYCO and NYCB aren't using the place? I just called the theater and, due to renovations, NYCO is not having its fall season, but the person said that July and August usually have only occasionally Lincoln Center Festivals. There must be a simple reason why big ballet companies don't use the theater, but I don't know what it is. Would be so much better than NYCC.

Please inform.


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