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9th MARIINSKY FESTIVAL: Performance ReportsMarch 14 - 22, 2009


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#1 Natalia

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 07:53 AM

Opening this up for the actual performance reports from myself and other BalletTalkers who care to do so. [I know of at least three others who will be there!] In the meantime, there's another thread for pre-festival chat, predictions, casting banter, etc.

Official Announced Schedule (source: Mariinsky website)

Ninth INTERNATIONAL MARIINSKY BALLET FESTIVAL
March 14 - 22, 2009


14 MARCH - LITTLE HUMPBACKED HORSE (premiere) , 1st cast

15 March - LITTLE HUMPBACKED HORSE repeat, 2nd cast

16 March - VISHNEVA: BEAUTY IN MOTION

17 March - DON QUIXOTE

18 March - SWAN LAKE

19 March - ULIANA LOPATKINA GALA

20 March - BAYADERE

21 March - GISELLE

22 March - ALL STARS BALLET GALA

#2 Natalia

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 05:48 AM

RATMANSKY HAS ANOTHER HUGE HIT! TERIOSHKINA SUBLIME! 'BIG RED' RULES THE SEAS!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Opening Night: LITTLE HUMPBACKED HORSE (premiere, new production & choreography)
Mariinsky Theater

ballet in 2 acts
Music: Rodion Shchedrin
Сhoreography: Alexei Ratmansky

Ivan the Fool - Mikhail Lobukhin
Tsar-Maiden - Viktoria Tereshkina
Little Humpbacked Horse - Ilya Petrov
Tsar - Andrei Ivanov
Stable Master - Yuri Smekalov
Mare/Tsarina of the Seas - Ekaterina Kondaurova
Two Horses/SeaHorses - Kamil Yanguradov and Sergei Popov
Brothers of Ivan, Danilo & Gavrilo - Ivan Sitnikov & Konstantin Zverev
Their Old Father-Roman Skripkin
Gypsy Pas de Huit- Elena Bazhenova, AlisaSokolova, Tin En Ryu, Yulia Smirnova, Polina Rassadina, Fedor Murashov, Karen Ioannisian, Anton Pimonov
Nurse-women - Elizaveta Cheprasova, Yana Selina (main 2); with Chugai, Nikitina, Ivannikova & Romashova
Firebirds - 8 male-female couples
Sea Creatures, Villagers & Boyars - corps

Choreography Staged - Alexei Ratmansky
Set and Costume Design- Maxim Isaev
Lighting design - Damir Ismagilov

Conductor - Valery Gergiev


It was a gala night in every sense - a star-studded audience, including the composer & his great wife, La Maya, in the Tsar's Box. Ratmansky's new Little Humpbacked Horse (or "LHH") is a delightful ballet, even if the mime is a bit tough to follow for those with no prior knowledge of the Russian fairy tale.

Designs

The very sparse set and plain, if not downright dowdy, solid-primary-color costumes were hard to swallow at first, yet they grew on me. [Think POB Sylvia - nothing realistic; Martha Graham minimal-modern.] The stage is completely black throughout the work, with one or two highly-colorful pieces of flat scenery to mark every scene, e.g., red rectangle for the scene in the hut, large red cube for a palace, a big yellow circle is the moon in an outdoor scene, etc.

The costumes lacked the gaiety and rich ornamentation necessary for a Russian fairy tale. Kids in my box were restless and dozing off due to the dowdiness on the designs; this is definitely a staging for adults. Another reason to keep the kids home is the somewhat sickening way that the Tsar drowns in an aquarium-like cauldron, his cadaver remaining on stage in the 'tank' for the rest of the act...yuk.

ONLY the Tsar Maiden and Queen of the Seas look truly glamorous with their crowns and somewhat-decorated dresses. I am particularly miffed by the dowdy burlap-sack 'babushka' jackets-and-skirts for the six Nurse-Maids, who, in the tale, are supposed to be glamorous beauties wearing bejeweled gowns and pearl-encrusted kokochnik headdresses. Another costume blooper: Why-oh-why the green-vertical-stripped outfits for the villagers, including silly top hats for the men? Perhaps in honor of St. Patrick's Day, two days from now?

Dancers

The dancing was energetic and appropriate, with special kudos to the two top ladies, Viktoria Terioshkina (Tsar-Maiden) and Ekaterina Kondaurova (Mare/Queen of the Seas), for their musicality and dash. It will be interesting to see how 2nd-cast Alina Somova will tackle the tricky petit allegro and general brisk dancing on the beat of the music that is required here. Ratmansky gives the Tsar Maiden some fiendish solos with double-attitude pirouettes (smooth as silk with Terioshkina) and energetic stabbing jumps on pointe.

If not quite an Ivanushka boyish type, the mature-mannered Mikhail Lobukhin willed himself into a role that I bet is much more suitable for tomorrow's Ivan, Sarafanov. Lobukhin warmed up for his exciting final solo in which he feigned not knowing how to dance, then forgetting steps...a delightful mime!

The character dancers were all superb with special kudos to recent-transplant from the Eifman Troupe, Yuri Smekalov, for his hilarious Stable Master, whose job was given to Ivan by the grateful Tsar early-on in the tale. Whether dragging the Tsar's throne around the stage or taking a yoga position to calm his nerves, Smekalov very often stole the stage with his presence. Bravo!

Andrei Ivanov was quite good as the Tsar. However, he looked way too young for this role - diminutive but young, with all-brown beard. A no-no according to the Ershov tale, which calls for a very old, white-bearded monarch.

Ilya Petrov, a star of the most recent Vaganova Academy graduation class in '08, tripped the light fantastic as the little horse. What ballon this young lad possesses!

Kamil Yanguradov and Sergei Popov were effective, if a tad silly, as the two tall horses masquerading as Disco Kings in bell-bottomed trousers. Huh?

The group dances were masterfully handled, especially the scenes with the swirling female AND male firebirds, in mostly-white tulle and enormous red flaming hats. There were the obligatory gypsies, here wearing brownish ponchos with big smiley-faced photos on the front and back.

Antecedents

Ratmansky salutes his new home of NYC in at least two ways: (a) a group of Boyars fall down in line, one after the other, like the Radio City Rockettes and (b) the Queen of the Sea is accompanied by male & female sea creatures in romantic tutus in a group-pose straight from Balanchine's Serenade (backstage-right, rows of dancers bend back, each row inclining at a different level). Later, the sea creatures are again in graduated rows but facing forward, akin to the skinhead-goons in Prodigal Son...and those men in tutus wear skintight caps, too. Coincidence?

There is even a tip-off to Ashton in the petit-allegro steps of female Firebirds who, as a cluster, perform the choppy-skipping steps of the fairy corps in The Dream.

Bronislava Nijinska's fanciful groupings for the wedding parties in Les Noces are recalled in Ratmansky's compositions for the eight Boyars sorrounding the Stable Master, who coyly poses like the Bride of the older ballet - a hilarious touch.

Also interesting are the numerous general echoings of standard Petipa mime, e.g., the Stable Master slowly lowers the palm of his hand in the famous "He will die" gesture performed by numerous classical villains.

Music

Ratmansky's choreography makes me love the Schedrin score which I simply could not appreciate in the old Bolshoi version by Radunsky, even though that ca-1961 version starred Plisetskaya & Vasiliev. Particularly gorgeous is the Act II music for the Tsar-Maiden's "Yawning Solo," to which Ratmansky choreographs a very beautiful and difficult dance that, to me, is the choreographic masterpiece within this work. That alone should win Ms Terioshkina the Golden Mask Award next year.

Bravi, Ratmansky and Kirov-Mariinsky Ballet!


Natalia Nabatova

#3 Sacto1654

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 09:22 AM

This performance better be good! Shchedrin probably one of the best-known Russian classical composers of the latter half of the 20th Century and Ratmansky has done a lot of great choreographic work, especially his recent stint at the Bolshoi Theatre.

#4 Natalia

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 12:35 PM

It was, sacto. Read above. :(

#5 Sacto1654

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 07:25 PM

It was, sacto. Read above. :)


Sounds like it was a great performance, though I'm not sure if Western audiences will appreciate the "minimalist" design of the new production, though. Use costumes and set designs more appropriate for a Petipa-choreographed ballet of the 1880's and 1890's would turn this into a major sensation, in my humble opinion! :(

Hopefully, we'll get pictures of the premiere on mariinka.org within the next few days. :)

#6 chiapuris

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 03:13 AM

14/3/09
The Little Humpbacked Horse
Ballet in two acts, eight scenes

Music Rodion Schedrin
Choreography Alexei Ratmansky
Libretto Maxim Issayev after Pyotr Yershov's tale
Set & Costumes Maxiim Issayev
Lighting Damir Ismagilov
Conductor Valery Gergiev

Ivan the Fool Mikhail Lobukhin
Tsar Maiden Viktoria Tereshkina
Humpbacked Horse Ilya Petrov
Tsar Andrei Ivanov
Bed Chamberlain Yuri Smekalov
Young Mare Yekaterina Kondaurova
Horses Kamil Yangurazov, Sergei Popov
Danilo Ivan SItnikov
Gavrilo Konstantin Zverev
Father Roman Skripkin
Princess of the Sea Yekaterina Kondaurova
Sea Horses Kamil Yangurazov, Sergei Popov
Gypsy Dance Elena Bazhenova, Alisa Sokolova, Ji Yeon Ryu, Yulia Smirnova, Polina Rassadina, Fyodor Murashov, Karen
Ioanissian, Anton Pimonov
Wet-nurses Elizaveta Cheprasova, Yana Selina, Maria Chugai,
Anastasia Nikitina, Yekaterina Ivannikova. Xenia Romashova
Firebirds, sea people, people, boyars.

What a great opening for the 9th Mariinsky Festival Alexei Ratmansky provided
with his restaging and rethinking of The Little Humpbacked Horse!

What a great evening of dancing! Unfettered of formalism and consonant with the
richly textured musical score of Schedrin, Ratmansky provides a vibrant vocabulary of demi-caractere dancing- a heritage within the canon of l'ecole de danse, oddly neglected by other choreographers looking to express their vision in the context of the 21st century.

I think Ratmansky has hit the mark on how to deal with a popular Russian fairy tale and make it choreographically interesting for our age and our crises.

He's made a ballet for our times, that speaks to us, mindful of the music of another century and respectful of its beauties and sonorities, and when necessary, kindly placing tongue in cheek.
The highest praise I can bestow on this ballet, is, that it remains throughout its development interesting in its choreographic voice, true and vibrant. I enjoyed every minute of it.

And what a cast to realize this true and vibrant choreographic voice!

For start, my personal choice is the character and impersonation of the little humpbacked horse in the dancing of Ilya Petrov. Well nigh perfect in his insouciance and laissez faire attitude- this is a creature who can do magic and it works!

Central to the core meaning of the Yershov poem is the character of Ivan the 'fool'. Lobukhin embodies it beautifully. What keeps growing throughout the ballet is his likeableness. Lobukhin was spot-on.

The tsar of Andrei Ivanov is a buffoon. One looks for signs of malign behavior. There are none. The evil is his total lack of awareness. Ivanov creates a searing portrait of trivial, self-absorbed human behavior. The 'boiling water pot' of Yershov's tale becomes a gruesome bit of Grand Guignol theatre in this ballet
(that could be made briefer by judicious editing). And the briefer the better.

For malign behavior look no further than the portrait of the Bed Chamberlain, created by Yuri Smekalov. This is my first view of his work, and I am duly impressed; a very talented dancer.

The Tsar Maiden of Viktoria Tereshkina is a dance portrait of someone living in our times. Ms. Tereshkina creates a modern heroine, armed with independent thinking, directness of manner, and with resoluteness of action without any allusion to forces imposed from the 'outside'. She is her 'own' person.

The expansiveness of her persona in her variation sets new standards for wit, inventiveness and musical acuity. It was truly path-breaking. For a world premiere, her reading of the role is astonishingly fully developed. Ms Tereshkina continues to surprise with the range of her versatility.

The plasticity of equine and underwater creatures takes on new meaning with the
dancing of Yekaterina Kondaurova and Kamil Yangurazov and Sergei Popov- as a young mare and two horses in the first act, and a sea princess and two sea horses in the second act.

Like bold calligraphic designs, the double work of the dancers engraves imageries of astonishing originality and interplay as undulating lines in the retina.

The work of the two horses in the first act is, in my opinion, somewhat diminished by the heavy,' jokey' commentary provided by their costumes. Since the librettist and costume designer are the same person, this was obviously intentional.

Another noteworthy contribution of Ratmansky's choreography is the mastery of his groups dances. Among them, the dance of the wet-nurses was outstanding in achievement of dignified demeanor, economy of expression, and lyrical concision.

The six dancers are beautifully costumed, in white and sparse colors, suggestions of traditional garb, with heads covered, longish skirts, loose fitting tops, making altogether a harmonious ensemble that shows itself to the world as being at peace.

The gypsy dance on the other hand was more a commentary on gypsy dances, as we've come to know them and love them. Commentary on the 'hotness ' of gypsy dancing, commentary on the surprise-ness of gypsy dance, commentary on the exoticism of gypsy dance.
The dancers are wittily dressed in tops that have pictures of gypsy faces with 'fake' smiles.

Another group dance, less to my liking, is the people of the sea dance, with both sexes in unitards and romantic tutus. Their unitards have an 'alien' face on the chest printed upside down. The guy in tutu joke is tired.

From the opening scene introducing the father and his three sons, whose moves include 'air guitar' to the closing tableau of people (in green=hope?) coming forward in various reverences this was vibrant dancing from a gifted creative team and a gifted company. Bravi to all.

The Mariinsky orchestra under the baton of Valery Gergiev sounded masterful.

Unfortunately, I will miss the second performance of TLHH and will see instead the Mikhailovsky theatre's performance of Ruzimatov's new Corsaire.

#7 Helene

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 06:06 AM

Thank you so much for this wonderful review, chiapuris, with its vivid depiction of both characterization and dance. It sounds like a delightful ballet.

#8 Sacto1654

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 09:23 AM

By the way, the pictures from the first performance of The Little Humpbacked Horse are now up on Mariinka.org's only English-language section. Natalia is right--the weird costumes and minimalist set design are quite unusual and not what I had quite expected, especially since I've seen the version filmed in 1962 with Maya Plisetskaya. I was hoping for a bit more "traditional" costume and set designs, which could have made this a wonderful ballet to watch.

#9 leonid17

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 12:15 PM

14/3/09
The Little Humpbacked Horse
Ballet in two acts, eight scenes


Great to have such a detailed report. By what you have told us, I know I would have loved to have seen this production.

#10 Natalia

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 12:20 PM

March 15, 2009

LITTLE HUMPBACKED HORSE, cast 2

ballet in 2 acts
Music: Rodion Shchedrin
Сhoreography: Alexei Ratmansky

Ivan the Fool - Leonid Sarafanov
Tsar-Maiden- Alina Somova
Little Humpbacked Horse - Grigori Popov
Tsar - Roman Skripkin
Stable Master - Islom Baimuradov
Mare/Tsarina of the Seas - Ekaterina Kondaurova
Two Horses/SeaHorses - Yuri Smekalov and Sergei Popov
Brothers of Ivan, Danilo & Gavrilo -Soslan Kulaev & Maxim Zuizin
Their Old Father- Andrei Yakovlev II
Gypsy Pas de Huit- Elena Bazhenova, AlisaSokolova, Tin En Ryu, Yevgenia Emelyanova, Polina Rassadina, Fedor Murashov, Karen Ioannisian, Anton Pimonov
Nurse-women - Elizaveta Cheprasova, Yana Selina (main 2); with Chugai, Nikitina, Ivannikova & Romashova
Firebirds - 8 male-female couples
Sea Creatures, Villagers & Boyars - corps


Conductor: Alexei Repnikov (a dead-ringer for ex-Gov. Blagojevic of Illinois, fluffy hair and all; the pre-announced Gergiev did not show)

Leonid Sarafanov proved that he was born to dance Ivanushka, far superior to Mikhail Lobukhin's very competent delivery yesterday. However, Sarafanov had the technical fireworks (four consecutive double-tours in each of his big solos, one per act), youthful looks and, most importantly, natural charm and fabulous comic timing. The audience went absolutely crazy for him. This was truly his night.

Beside Sarafanov, one other dancer in the house received a volley of 'bravos' and a standing-o: Maya Plisetskaya! The Bolshoi great -- and wife of the composer - sat at the front of the Tsar's Box on both nights...but only today received this unusual tribute at the start of the lone intermission when somebody in parterre shouted 'Brava, Maya!' prompting everyone else to commence cheering for quite a long time...and Maya thanked us back by standing and performing her 'swan wave arm movements' for several seconds.

Among the other on-stage dancers new to the ballet tonight, I must single out two: the sprightly Grigory Popov as the Humpbacked Horse - rivaling Sarafanov's ballon, as they leaped side by side -- and Islom Baimuratov as a truly snakelike villain, the Stable Master (the role that Yuri Smekalov essayed so magnificently yesterday).

Alas, I cannot report the same for tonight's Tsar Maiden, Alina Somova, for whom the choreographer seems to have supplied watered-down steps for both of her big Act 2 solos, e.g., gone are Terioshkina's double-pirouettes en attitude (tonight, tentative three-quarters....not even one full circle), as is the character's signature move of quick-stabbing hops on pointe (Somova did demi point hops). Similarly, series of back-traveling arabesques stopped at two. Furthermore, where was the series of eight (8) renverse-turns on one foot that Terioshkina did so grandly at the end of the 'Yawning Solo' (just before the Tsar-Maiden goes to sleep, at the start of Act 2)? Technique aside, Ms Somova totally lacked the charming acting ways of Terioshkina, e.g., mugging a big smile to the audience and hiking her chin constitutes her acting, it appears. As usual, she disregarded the music to make her extended points. [Somova can thank her lucky stars that the fast-paced Gergiev decided to take the night off.] Finally, where was Somova's turn-out? This is a basic fault that can't be missed in her huge feet.

One of these days, Sarafanov-Ivanushka will be paired with his worthy partner, Viktoria Terioshkina.

The Mariinsky should think twice about touring this ballet to places like DC or London, where people expect grand sets and costumes when they pay grand prices in large opera houses. Like last night, kids were bored...but even more telling, I overheard adults around me state the same, i.e., where are the true Russian folkloric costumes and enamel-box sets? It's a shame because the choreography is splendid. These cheesy - even vulgar, at times - costumes do not cut it.

Natalia Nabatova

#11 Cygnet

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 12:25 PM

Thank you Natalia for the wonderful report :( ! I am so happy that Ratmansky chose both Tereshkina and Kondaurova to take part in this premiere and open the 9th Festival. Also, it's wonderful that Plisetskaya and her husband Rodion were in attendance! What a rare
treat!

#12 Sacto1654

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 03:08 PM

Beside Sarafanov, one other dancer in the house received a volley of 'bravos' and a standing-o: Maya Plisetskaya! The Bolshoi great -- and wife of the composer - sat at the front of the Tsar's Box on both nights...but only today received this unusual tribute at the start of the lone intermission when somebody in parterre shouted 'Brava, Maya!' prompting everyone else to commence cheering for quite a long time...and Maya thanked us back by standing and performing her 'swan wave arm movements' for several seconds.

[text snipped]

The Mariinsky should think twice about touring this ballet to places like DC or London, where people expect grand sets and costumes when they pay grand prices in large opera houses. Like last night, kids were bored...but even more telling, I overheard adults around me state the same, i.e., where are the true Russian folkloric costumes and enamel-box sets? It's a shame because the choreography is splendid. These cheesy - even vulgar, at times - costumes do not cut it.


I'm REALLY surprised that the audience on the first night didn't realize that Maya Plisetskaya--the wife of composer Rodion Shchedrin and probably one of the two greatest Russian ballerinas of the 20th Century besides Galina Ulanova--was sitting in the Tsar's Box. Are they a little too chauvinistic about supporting the Mariinsky Theatre? :dry:

And it appears, Natalia, you agree with my opinion that the "minimalist" costume and set design might not be the liking of Westerners, either. (I was a bit shocked at the costume and set designs based on the pictures posted on Mariinka.org.) I really hope that if they do decide to tour this new production of The Little Humpbacked Horse in Europe and the USA, they go to more lavish costumes and a set design more appropriate for a Petipa-choreographed ballet as it was staged in the 1880's and 1890's, like I said earlier.

#13 Natalia

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 07:17 PM

......surprised that the audience on the first night didn't realize that Maya Plisetskaya.....was sitting in the Tsar's Box. .....


We did, Sacto1654. Everyone had their binoculars on her. The reason for the sudden erruption last night was that someone in parterre got the applause-ball rolling by shouting 'Brava, Maya!' as soon as the intermission lights went up. I suppose that 'the shouter' had not noticed her earlier, when she entered the box prior to the show.

During the opening night, a similar-but-smaller 'applause only' ovation had greeted Vishneva's entrance into one of the two boxes directly above the sides of the orchestra pit...and the night before, the same thing when Vishneva took her seat at the Mikahilovsky for the premiere of the new Corsaire.

It just takes one or two fans to begin these mini-ovations for VIPs in the audience.

Regarding the minimalist designs, I actually like the basic concept as 'total art.' I was thinking more a-la-Hochhausers who know that 'realistic luxe' is what the general opera-house-paying audience expects to see when shelling-out $100 a person for a night of 'Kirov-Mariinsky' or 'Bolshoi.' In today's economy, who needs a repetition of the July 2006 'Gergiev's Folly' of an all-Shostakovich season at the London Coliseum, when some performances sold only 30%...and the economy was rather good back then. This new Ratmansky ballet is delightful art for the seasoned ballet-goer but absolute box-office poison for international touring right now.

#14 Drew

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 12:42 AM

Natalia -- I hope no programmers or tour managers get any ideas from your last post :dry: ! I've read the wonderful descriptions of the ballet on this thread and watched a few youtube excerpts as well. And it would be fabulous to have the opportunity to see it. (Fabulous enough to buy plane tickets and fly to D.C. or New York to see it should work allow. I will even say that given my limited resources for that kind of extravagance, I would be more inclined to spend the money for this work than for the nineteenth-century classics, which I DO love and respect/)

I vaguely thought Ratmansky's Bright Stream was something of a hit in London at least. Certainly, he is pretty much the most talked about choreographer in ballet right now. Macaulay is a huge admirer and it might be possible to get a big feature in the Times and other papers. If one was lucky (very lucky) in D.C. maybe a first family appearance on opening night. So, perhaps a marketing campaign to sell this ballet to the general public is not impossible to imagine -- 'lost masterpiece of the Soviet era brought back to life by the most exciting choreographer in ballet!'

Of course if I knew how to produce a successful ballet tour, I would probably not be reduced to fantasizing about it on ballet message boards.

Anyway, for my part, I would be very glad to see this.

#15 Sacto1654

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 03:30 AM

We did, Sacto1654. Everyone had their binoculars on her. The reason for the sudden eruption last night was that someone in parterre got the applause-ball rolling by shouting 'Brava, Maya!' as soon as the intermission lights went up. I suppose that 'the shouter' had not noticed her earlier, when she entered the box prior to the show.

During the opening night, a similar-but-smaller 'applause only' ovation had greeted Vishneva's entrance into one of the two boxes directly above the sides of the orchestra pit...and the night before, the same thing when Vishneva took her seat at the Mikahilovsky for the premiere of the new Corsaire.

It just takes one or two fans to begin these mini-ovations for VIPs in the audience.

Regarding the minimalist designs, I actually like the basic concept as 'total art.' I was thinking more a-la-Hochhausers who know that 'realistic luxe' is what the general opera-house-paying audience expects to see when shelling-out $100 a person for a night of 'Kirov-Mariinsky' or 'Bolshoi.' In today's economy, who needs a repetition of the July 2006 'Gergiev's Folly' of an all-Shostakovich season at the London Coliseum, when some performances sold only 30%...and the economy was rather good back then. This new Ratmansky ballet is delightful art for the seasoned ballet-goer but absolute box-office poison for international touring right now.


A couple of comments:

1) Thanks for the clarification of why the audience finally gave Plisetskaya that ovation. I was actually a little surprised that the St. Petersburg audience gave an ovation to Vishneva, considering how Gergiev has said publicly in the recent past about Vishneva doing a bit too much work outside of the Mariinsky troupe.

2) What you just said reinforced my view that the new version of The Little Humpbacked Horse was written for what I call a "hardcore" ballet audience--the dancing was great but the costumes and set design are definitely NOT what more casual fans had in mind when they think about ballet. Given that (in my opinion!) ballet fans in the West have a perceived standard for Russian ballet with its more lavish costumes and set designs, if the new ballet goes on tour in the West, they either have to go to type of costumes and set designs more akin to what Marius Petipa did in his heyday or write a really long explanation in the program guide why Ratmansky went to this "minimalist" design.


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