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Tour De Force


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#1 Giannina

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 10:51 PM

There was a one-performance-only presentation of "Tour De Force" at Orange County Performing Arts Center tonight (May 21). It had its ups and downs. The audience was in a screaming frenzy almost throughout the performance and it was, as always, veeery distracting. Jeez!

It was an evening of exerpts. Quite a bit of Eifman whose ballet company will dance for 3 nights this week. High points. Part one: 8 offerings. Anastasia Matvienko was lovely in the Grand Pas Classique solo. Natalia Osipova was brilliant in the 2nd Act pdd from Giselle; light as a feather and so in control that she actually appeared large. It's one of the finest, if not the finest, Act II's of Giselle I've ever seen. Got my first look at Leonid Sarafanov in Don Q pdd with Osipova. Such a cutie, and even tho he's a great dancer I think he'll eventually do even better. Part two: 6 offerings. This section was mostly modern or contemporary dance, which isn't my cup of tea. It started with Wheeldon's "For 4", and as it progressed I realized what a sweet dance it is. Having Sarafanov in it didn't hurt. Marie Alexandrova appeared in 3 ballets; she's a gorgeous woman with a sinewy body and excellent technique. Her 3rd appearance was in Eifman's "Russian Hamlet" and she acted up a storm; good for her. Anastasia and Denis Matvienko were in "Radio and Juliet. It' a quirky ballet but it was great fun watching them be quirky together, and Denis was a wonderful partner. Last but not least was Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev in "The Flames of Paris". Now I'm not much for big splashy male variations with the audience going bananas, but Vasiliev's first solo was something else again. I simply can't describe it but he was so good and so athletic (and balletic!) that he made me laugh in happiness; when he was done I was laughing out loud with joy, and I joined the audience in their thunderous cheers (well, I clapped loudly).

It was an OK evening; I'm glad I went. Osipova's Giselle alone made the evening worth while.

Saturday it's Eifman!

Giannina

#2 Mrs. Stahlbaum

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 11:27 PM

Thank you for the review.

I thought that OCPAC had a strict rule about seating latecomers, but I think about 100 people were seated in front of me in the orchestra section during the first number. :D Either hold the curtain or make them wait. It was very distracting and rude to both the performers and the audience.

I enjoyed the performances. Some more than others. I was surprised to find I had goose bumps while watching Flames of Paris.

There was no orchestra. We've all been hearing that many companies are foregoing live music in order to save money which is understandable in this time of economic hardship, but watching (listening to) the performances with recorded music made me hope that this trend will end when the economy improves. An orchestra is sooo nice....

#3 Rosa

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 05:19 AM

Thank you for the reports, Giannina and Mrs. Stahlbaum. :D

Who was Osipova's partner in Giselle?

#4 Giannina

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 05:29 AM

Vasiliev

#5 dirac

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 12:53 PM

I add my thanks for these reviews. Yes, it's hard to listen to taped music once you've seen Paree.....

#6 pj

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 03:09 PM

I went to the performance last night and I have my program in front of me, so here goes:

Who's Who - This was a very nice piece for the dancers and had a lighter and more fun feeling than much of Eifman's choreography -- I liked it a lot and Maria Alexandrova and Alexei Turko were very good in it.

Grand Pas Classique - EXCELLENT!!! I love to watch the Matvienko's dance and they did this pas de deux with much energy and wonderful classical technique. We always hear so much about Denis and less about his wife. I think she is an excellent dancer and looks so happy while dancing. Maybe we underestimate her...

Giselle - Osipova's port de bras was beautiful and it was especially what I noticed (as well as her very light and high little jumps). I've never had the opportunity until last night to see her in person, and this was my favorite of her dances last night. She is an amazingly artistic and technical dancer. I did not care for Vasiliev in this piece so much; his forte came later in the evening.

La Belle - a little strange. It was mildly interesting for a contemporary piece, and the woman's costume was actually quite interesting, although I heard a number of audience members that did not like it one little bit. The dancers appeared to enjoy themselves, so that is always a plus.

Swan Lake pas de deux (Bourmeister version) - This had to be my least favorite of the classical pieces presented, just because I felt the dancers were not emotionally invested in the piece. There also were glaring technique problems that made this uncomfortable to watch. Again, these dancers were much better in pieces later on in the evening.

Kazimir's Colours -- I love Diana Vishneva and have had the opportunity to see her many times and in many classical roles. This is the first time I have seen her in person in a contemporary piece and with Malakhov, who I had never seen in person before. He is an excellent partner, and this was a good piece for the two of them together.

Fallen Angel -- This was a world premier of this piece and it was very typical of Eifman in the theatrical sense. I very much appreciated the use of lighting, staging and for lack of a better word, "props," which was in this case, a long piece of black fabric that came into play near the conclusion of the piece. The choregraphy itself was a little dull and "angsty" for my taste, but I liked the overall impression of the piece.

Don Quixote pas de deux -- Osipova was as good as I expected her to be, but Sarafanov was above and beyond expectations. I always love to see him dance, and this was a very nice treat. He enjoyed himself immensely while dancing this and I believe the audience really did as well.

After the intermission, I had to change seats to a part of the theatre that had a less than full view of the stage, so from here on out, my review may miss some of those things I couldn't see.

For 4 -- My view of this was very impeded, which was unfortunate. The parts that I did see were VERY nice for these guys, and I feel they were each seen to their own advantage. After seeing Cote in Swan Lake, I was very pleasantly surprised by his performance level in this dance -- all of the dancers were superb and I wish I would have been able to see the stage better, especially for this piece.

Russian Hamlet -- Maria Alexandrova was her best in this piece, and I find Eifman's group choreography so innovative and interesting.

Lament -- Desmond Richardson is such an audience favorite and he did not disappoint in this piece. The choregraphy was ok, but a bit long -- the performer -- WOW!

Radio and Juliet -- I have seen this couple in this piece before and I enjoyed it every bit as much. Although Denis needs a bit of a hair-cut, I think :huh:

Le Parc -- I could not figure out the point of this. What a waste of dancers. I wish that we could have seen the originally scheduled solo piece for Malakhov rather than this.

The Flames of Paris Pas de deux -- Ivan Vasiliev was GREAT and EXCITING to watch in this piece, and he had so much fun with it. Osipova seemed a bit tired by the end of the show, but she still did very well, of course. I did not like her costume -- I prefer to see this dance in a tutu, instead. She added a jump to a few of her fouettes to make them more interesting, but a bit scarey (I would hate for dancers to injure themselves with something like this).


Overall, a very nice evening and I'm so glad I didn't miss out.


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