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Kiev Ballet in Melbourne


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#1 whetherwax

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 06:11 PM

This was only my second live performance and the other was 55 years ago!. I wasnt disappointed. The principals Natalia Domracheva and Viktor Ishchuk, were excellent, and the corps was precise and delicate. Natalia's black swan was wonderfully nasty and lively. There were a few things to set me thinking. The Palais theatre is old ( you know that smell of dust in old theatres ( I wouldnt want to have asthma) and the stage small but they managed to perform without obvious reigning in. The orchestra seemed a bit scratchy, the backdrops were in rather garish taste - almost disneyish. The costumes were lovely. The first act was pretty useless. The dancing was fine but there was no narrative established - the tutor waffled around to no point, the queen didnt seem to have any comment on the illicit get together, there was no joker - just a lot of pretty girls and boys dancing( all very delightfully). So someone with no knowlege of the story would be a little lost. The performers are all very young and the whole Australian tour must be a good learning experience as I heard that in rural outback places they dance to CD. They seem to be in a new place every night -some stages must be very small and unsuitable. So its a bit like a tour of the provinces for the youngsters. However they gave a great deal of pleasure to fans even though they were dancing under some difficulty.

#2 carbro

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 08:53 PM

Thanks for your report, whetherwax.

I have to admire those troupes who still play one-night stands in smaller cities and under unpredictable conditions.

New Yorkers are familiar with ABT's principal dancers Irina Dvorovenko and Maxim Beloserkovsky, both originally from Kiev Ballet and proof that it can produce fine dancers.

Swan Lake jesters are a Soviet-era interpolation. Their absence is not an omission from the original text. Personally, I tend to find them distracting and irrelevant -- probably because I was introduced to Swan Lake by ABT and the Royal Ballet, both of whom had no jesters. :-)

I'm curious. You've obviously spent a lot of time studying videos, and you're very observant. When you see live performances, does the three-dimensionality, the spatial orientation, surprise you?

#3 whetherwax

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 12:00 AM

I'm curious. You've obviously spent a lot of time studying videos, and you're very observant. When you see live performances, does the three-dimensionality, the spatial orientation, surprise you?

In some ways it was a surprise because with a DVD you are sort of directed by the camera to look at certain things - which I have grown to like. So I was surprised by the fact that the whole ensemble was clammering for my attention. Odette was just one of the people on stage usually , and that fragile, febrile, isolation which the camera provides, was lacking. I was in the balcony just 2 rows back but I still seemed a long way away. This meant of course that I could see the spatial relationships and the patterns of the corps very well. The lighting was a big thrill too - a kind of rosy glow shone from all the dancers. I would however, like to see a a big classical ballet on a big stage and I would try to get a closer seat in the stalls next time, but at the moment I am happy with the DVD. The close ups and the chance to see the technical stuff appeals on DVD because I'm very much in learning mode more than just enjoying at present.

#4 whetherwax

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 02:54 PM

I'll just add that for me as a newcomer the Joker is a good thing if well danced. In the Kirov version he seems to be a counterpoint to the tutor and sets up that contrast between the joy of life and the need for duty that is behind Siegfried.
Gives a bit of metaphorical depth to Siegfrieds psychology. Also visually for me he is a balance for the prettiness of the revels. In the La Scala version the Joker seems warm and affectionate again a balance against the formality of court life. So I spose I'm responding to the psychological aspects of the drama rather than understanding the aspects of technigue that others would value.

#5 carbro

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 03:26 PM

In the Kirov version he seems to be a counterpoint to the tutor and sets up that contrast between the joy of life and the need for duty that is behind Siegfried.

Intriguing take on that. I tend to see the Tutor as a reminder of Siegfried's naivete. Of course, a character can symbolize more than one thing, but next time I get a jester (most likely at an NYCB performance, alas), I will try to keep your interpretation in mind.


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