What made me post this time was Alistair MacAuley’s
review in Monday’s New York Times. How did this guy ever get to be the chief ballet critic of the New York Times? When I read one of his reviews I always think (besides the fact he’s out to be as cutting as possible just for the fun of it) “Did he see the same performance I did?”
“Scheherazade” was very enjoyable, even though the intermission before this ballet was about 40 minutes and the overture was like 10 minutes. Lopatkina was again wonderful, and her Golden Slave, Yevgeny Ivanchenko, danced very well. But I didn’t see a lot of chemistry between the two leads – I didn’t see a lot of smoldering passion in this “Scheherazade”.
I totally agree with you. I came to New York on Thursday and saw 4 performances (one Petipa and 3 Fokine) and was totally overwhelmed by the virtuoso performances here and returned to Tokyo on Sunday. It was a very short trip but very enjoyable.
So I was very, very annoyed by Alistair MacAuley’s review. He should return to UK, I think.
I was feeling a little sad that there were very few posts regarding performances on Saturday so I am very glad that Colleen shared her report to us. As for my limited English ability I don't think I can write a good reveiw, but I would like to share my thoughts.
Danila Korsuntsev in “Chopaniana" was such a treat to watch. His Jean de Brienne was also very elegant. He is such a good partner, ideally proportioned with very long limbs and beautiful lines, and is romantic and handsome. His supporting is so soft yet accurate and the women seemed to float on air. I agree that he is not the virtuoso type, and he is very tall (more than 6' 4") so he might have heavy landings but his elegance was so delightful and one of the gifts I received in New York.
Of course the women in “Chopaniana" were just wonderful. Before I saw this by Kirov, I thought Les Sylphides was a very dull and boring piece. But “Chopaniana" was a beautiful moment filled with sheer joy. the corps had the musicality, and Yana Selina's musicality was the best. The music was played very slow, but her arabesque panche was stretched full to the music and created a wonderful atmosphere. The corps did not make any sound with their pointe shoes, and I was taken away to a deep forest.
Yana Selina in Le Spectre de la Rose was also very sweet and delicate, wonderful. Anton Korsakov’s performance was good. He was a very young and fresh rose, good leaps and a romantic atmosphere. His port de bras were excellent. This time I saw Roses by Igor Kolb and Leonid Sarafanov. Kolb often dances this piece in galas and this is nearly a trademark for him. His Rose is a kind of a dark sexual sprit although his flexible lines are so beautiful and his leaps are amazing. The girl's dream might be a nightmare! (I like Kolb's potrayal very much)
Compared to that, Sarafanov's rose was childish. He is not a short dancer, he is rather tall but very very slim, and although he is a virtuoso dancer with incredible technique, he is not a kind of sprit that appears in girl's sweet dreams.
Lopatkina's Dying Swan is so divine... I have seen several performances of her Swan and each time her expression is different. Her body is an incredible instrument with so much to tell from the subtle movements. A noble creature struggling to live but finally embraces death with so much dignity. Her arms are not eloquent but the slight whillowy movements moves and touches our soul. I cannot help crying each time I see her Swan. Lopatkina was born to dance a Swan, I belive.
And Scheherazade! I absolutly LOVE this piece and this is the reason why I came all the way from Tokyo to New York. The City Center Stage was cramped but the gorgeous sets, the wonderful music by the Mariinsky orchestra, and the amazing dancers!! I agree with Colleen opinion of didn’t see a lot of chemistry between the two leads on Saturday matinee and although Lopatkina was very sensual and great, and Ivanchenko is a good dancer with mauculine body and great technique, his expression was rather dull. Kolb's golden slave was very wild and sexy, his dancing was like a flame and many bravura moments, his amazing flexibility and passion was great but Vishneva's Zobeida was rather cool, good technique and very beautiful but the partnership didn't work this time.
What was so amazing was the chemistry between Lopatkina and Kozlov at the soiree. As many of the readers know, Kozlov is Lopatkina's favourite youngster. Although Kozlov is a exteremly handsome young man he was rather out of shape, very tall and large and his lines were not classical. He does not have the Vaganova trained lines, and his leaps were large but heavy.
But, what drama this couple brings to the stage! I could feel the fire like a serpant licking his tongues running all over the stage. Lopatkina was so wild and sensual. It was so difficult to belive that she was the one who performed the serene Dying Swan. She was a bored, beautiful but lonely woman who was set by a fire inside the moment she saw the Golden Slave.
Kozlov's slave was arrogant, strong and wild, a very bad boy, very sexy. And their passion bursted on the stage, no limits.
The drama on the stage was so hot, Lopatkina's expression was so versatile. She was a sweet, sad babe to the Shar Zehman until she saw the corpse of the Golden Slave and suddenly struck by agony and despair.
Lopatkina and Kozlov can make a drama so hot!