Posted 24 April 2009 - 10:02 PM
I was at both performances, for obvious reasons.
Below are my impressions to add to the excellent reviews of the other BT attendees.
WED. APR.22 - Stars...meet...Stars...
All the YAGP winners who performed were impressive and interesting and did make me think we have much to look forward to in the future.
* The opening piece, "Little Red Riding Hood", began with a normal classical idiom, but then interjected moments of drama and real-life movements and reactions: at one point it looked like children tusseling on a playground. I was actually most fascinated by the music, which was a modernization (like Ellington's Nutcracker) of the original Tchaikovsky.
* The Jockey Dance was cute, but wasn't up to the RDB standard I was expecting.
* I did like the duet for Hiroko Asami and Raphael Coumes-Marquet, but the lighting and costuming were very similar to many other works I have seen. The choreography, though, was interesting without being particularly distinctive, or dirivative, and unlike others that followed, didn't go on too long.
* Mopey was one of those pieces I thought went on too long, so I started listening to the Bach instead.
* I didn't make it to Morphoses this year, so was interested to see the Prokofiev pdd. Wheeldon's choreography is always interesting, and usually musically sensitive, however I did think it went on rather too long. (Which is something I seem to feel with many of his works this past year.) If he shaved it, I think it would still stand up fine, instead of making me feel he was determined to wring out as much as he could from every last note of music.
* YAGP alum, and former ABT dancer, Matt Golding, is now a First Soloist with Corella Ballet. He partnered CB principal Natalia Tapia. I had never seen them do Flames of Paris before, either individually or together. They were fine, as I expected, and got the biggest applause of the evening up till then--(I think we were all getting a little tired of neoclassical pieces one after the other, that were each a little long, and were waiting for some classical fireworks.) FYI: Matt is tall, but not that tall. I think he's about Marcelo Gomes height. His technique and physique have both improved since last I saw him. (But don't get me wrong, he is always impressive, and is learning a lot at CB from his coaches--one of whom is the AD.) Yes, that was a quadruple or two from Natalia during the fouettes; she is a strong turner, with an elegant ethereal line, high extension, and beautiful articulated feet. I'm very glad the NY audience finally got to see her.
* I thought the ABT corps women who opened the PDQ were ok, but needed to work on their Romantic technique, which was all over the place. It looked very "classical" to me, except when they were studiously trying to remember their "Romantic" technique. Of the more experienced women who did the variations, I agree Dvorovenko and Kandourova stoood out. (Irina D.'s hair looked its normal color to me when I saw her after the show.)
* It's still amazing to me that Broadway dancers can pour it out, and still sing full-out, without losing breath. (They don't lip sync to playback do they?--even if its to themselves?) Mr. Kulish was good and deservedly got much applause.
* I haven't seen D.Tidwell in ages. (Sorry, have never seen the tv show he was on.) So I did notice a slight weight gain, but I've noticed that on many dancers who aren't doing classical full-time anymore (myself as the first example.) Everyone here knows the aesthetic, and the strenuous work classical dance is, and shouldn't expect dancers who branch out to other avenues to continue it at that level if they don't need to. He still danced ok to me.
* Marcelo easily assumed the underlying tension visible in all Fosse's work, but danced it with a more classical edge than Fosse's choreography warrants. (No problem applauding his performance though.)
* I was so glad to finally see Tereshkina live (being in Spain during the Kirov's CCtr tour in April, and not having either time or money enough to catch them elsewhere.) I don't have much to add to the above posts re: Corsaire except both ballerinas were fine--Sarah and Victoria, while the guys were ok, but yes, missing some of the sizzle. Having witnessed a few mishaps this past year, I was worried by the fall, but was glad he was able to dance it through, and was still walking upright later that night.
THURS. APR.23 PESTOV GALA:
The crowd was VERY Russian so THROUGHOUT the performances....lots of wrappers and paper noises, and constant commenting/discussions to seatmates & those across the aisles. Finally, one exasperated patron next to me threatened to call security if they didn't desist. (The Russians thought it funny, and giggled. But at intermission, I told my friend--who also complained--that I agreed it was rude, and put Russians in a negative light here because of it. Maybe my comment was overheard, because the latter part of the evening was quieter.)
* The opening by the graduating students of the J.Cranko School was fascinating to me to see as pedagogy by Pestov. To see how he worked each muscle and ligament through the exectution of technique was truly a learning experience. I hoped there were many in the audience to take note(s). But....OMG it went on for much too long because each exercize was repeated again and again...One tendus were done, couldn't we have moved onto the next sequence without having to see that each dancer knew how to do them!?
* I've seen In the Middle pdd. too many times now, so the shock value has gone, but this was definately the 'sharpest' version I've seen. They really 'punched' the beats--and not only with Amatrain's hyperextension--very kinetic, sharp phrasing, and lacking the stiffness I've seen in others. I started more cynical than I ended, and left impressed.
* I agree with everyone re Middle Duet. But was interested in how the choreography mirrored the escalating cacophony of the music.
* I agree with everyone about Raymonda. It was ok, but not great. ( And I kept seeing Sylvie in my head unfortunately.)
* Generally, good to see Sascha Radetsky again, but only one tango and music problems with Sinatra Suite surely added some tension. I've now seen this, and in '06 - 07: Cornejo, Carreno, Gomes, Corella, (and of course Baryshnikov many times previously) do the entire suite...And still not seen it. (Don't feel bad, Sascha you have good company) This time, "That's Life" (the only excerpt Radetsky and his partner Ms Plantadit did) was extremely fast, which gave it more punch--literally and figuratively--and I was very interested to see how a Broadway dancer interpreted it. But as I've noticed ever since Baryshnikov, it's still 'choppy' & 'broken into, v. distinct, separate, chunky phrases'. I never see the flow any more. Everyone gets it for an infinitisimle moment, and then forgets to follow through.
(Xiomara was also present after the show, so don't know why her performance was cut either.--Time?)
* I've seen Gopak a number of times too, but loved Saveliev. He made it exciting instead of just showy.
* No problems with the Manon pdd. Tereshkina was fine, Marcelo was fine. I saw some slight compensations in the partnering, and also noticed the (maybe) excessive emotionalism, but that's their interpretation and so made it interesting to see for that reason too. But I also agree with an earlier post that in some ways it was just acting, not a reality that made me truly involved, so I probably analysed technique more as compensation. (Anyways, I remember a Ferri matinee a few years ago, that made our jaws drop, so it's tough to compare.)
* Finally got to see Malakhov live and thought both neo-class/modern pieces too similar and rather dull, yet in part during the second piece: answering his romantic/emotional response to music/movement. But again to compensate for my lack of involvement, I watched the technique instead and ended by realising I really missed seeing him in a classical work.
* The Corsaire pdt of course was very interesting to me. The costuming clashed slightly, (Ali's blue pants again were not in tune) and Lankadem's red was very bright--though appropriate when his Act1 solo was done as an additional variation.) I'm glad Joseph Gatti impressed everyone. He should. And Adiarys' charisma onstage and strong technique can do that even when she is still--so here she had no problems. And after seeing a 'turning competition between herself and her AD, the multiples, control, and solid balances were not surprising. Herman of course made me smile throughout. I'm glad they all were appreciated. (CB Company Manager, and former Pestov student, Matt Bledsoe also had his moment onstage.)
* I've now seen Tsiskaridze do Carmen about 7 times, so my only reaction was: He danced it better three years ago for the Kings of Dance, and wasn't there a rose as a prop too? It is an effective piece though in its staging and excerpted choreographic ability to still convey the whole story.
* Two of my favorites this night were Amatrain and Kamiskin in both works they did. Great versatility, great technique, great timing. To include a comedic performance in the rep that night was a great idea--especially as everyone got all the jokes.
* I agree with everyone re Tereshkina and Shklyarov in DonQ. And hooray, she did the hops on pointe in the variation instead of the usual Kirov version retire/passe. And I saw someting VERY educational during that fishdive in the pdd which explained a lot regarding another I saw. The music for variation and coda was VERY fast; I was shocked, but Tereshkina kept up just fine. It was odd to see someone do the male's steps without really interepreting them. (An internal "verve" and understanding that wasn't present?) The piros were "pushed", as someone commented another does, and other tricks too without any mishaps, but I overall I thought "standard showy" not "hold-my-breath exciting". Together, though, it was a great end to an interesting evening.