nysusan

Kirov in DC

77 posts in this topic

Thanks Natalia! How awful is the snow situation around the Kennedy Center. I know they re-opened yesterday, so I would guess that the area is passable.

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Just to confirm that, as of now, the performance will go on. I just got an email from the Kennedy Center confirming that.

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Looks like I'm the first!

I wasn't sure what to expect from Vishneva, because she seems to me a bit too athletic and modern in her approach to be an ideal Aurora. And indeed, in the Rose Adagio, she was much too sophisticated and sexy and too obviously acting the part of a 16-year old for my taste. But she got better/closer to my ideal - her first act solo was gorgeous -- beautiful controlled balances, soft creamy lines, beautiful port de bras. And when she pricked her finger, that seemed real, instead of Vishneva the ballerina acting. The Vision scene was also superb. I guess her forte is other-wordly characters. And of course, she is so musical. You really feel her listening and responding to the orchestra. And the end she gave them a nice bow (which I've never seen a ballerina do before). Of course 90% of the orchestra had already packed up and left, but it was a nice gesture. She does have some funny mannerisms I don't remember from before -- spotting the floor during the attitude balances, and widening her eyes right before pushing off into a pirouette.

Shklyarov was pretty clearly the audience favorite tonight. Everything was clean and easy, and perfect double tours. Truly first rate.

Kondaurova I found a little dry. Regal, grand, elegant and very secure technically, but she didn't have the overwhelming stage presence I remember from New York two (three?) years ago.

Anton Korsakov and Maria Shirinkina danced Florine/Bluebird. She was very sweet and dainty, but he really looked like he was just phoning in his performance. Especially compared to Shklyarov. She is cast again on Saturday night, when I'm going again; Bluebird is listed as Kirill Saffin who will hopefully be more exciting.

I have to give special mention to Yana Selina and Grigory Popov in the Puss in Boots variation. For me this is generally the weakest and silliest of the divertissements, but they really sold it.

Again the stage was too small for the company -- Vishneva and Shklyarov in particularly obviously ran out of space a couple of times. And this really is a regrettable production. The costumes look like the Pilgrims on the Mayflower as imagined by Walt Disney, to say nothing of the staging and mangled variations. (Why does Diamond have two variations?)

Some divertissements were cut so they the performance ended at 10:30 on the dot, to prevent the stagehands getting overtime I presume. Little Red Riding Hood was mentioned in the program insert, but then didn't dance and only appeared in the march at the end, which was a bit odd.

Also odd -- the fairy variation sometimes known as Bread Crumb Fairy was described as the "Carefree Fairy" in the synopsis, but as "bread crumbs" in the cast list :dry:

And finally, the program says there will be two intermissions, but there are in fact three. And they get progressively shorter ;) Got to get out by 10:30!

Overall I think it was a strong performance, but that was due almost entirely to the strong performances by the principals. This production as a whole doesn't do anyone any favors.

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Thanks, cinnamonswirl. I had to get a 'gift certificate' exchange on my ticket due to weather problems. It's very nice of the Kennedy Center to offer full-value certificates , good for future ticket at the theater for the next year.

Also, our group's flights to the Vancouver Olympics are being altered so I may be departing DC on Thursday morn to make it to the games on time (DC to Vancouver, via Toronto). So hopefully someone else will be able to report on the Tereshkina/Schklyarov performance that I will most likely miss.

p.s. - - I'm going to all figure skating events...look for a wavy-haired brunette waving Russian flag in front row, wildly cheering-on Pluschenko in the men's event. :dry:

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Thank you cinnamonswirl for your review (and thanks g-d that I managed to make it in and out of DC - writing from office now)

To prepare myself for the performance, I watched DVDs of Sleeping beauty (1-recorded in 1983 with Kolpakova, Kunakova & Berezhnoi; and 2-1989 Lezhina, Mahalina & Ruzimatov). And happened to watch Royal's SB with Cojocaru on TV. So, I was prepared.

I would agree with most (if not all) of cinnamonswirl's post. With tiny (IMHO) notes:

1) Should I dare correcting that it was Maksim Zuzin as a Bluebird (not Anton Korsakov), and different to a program insert, Diamond was danced by Tatyana Tkachenko.

2) I hated the cuts from the ballet, but overall, I like this version of SB (and prefer "this really is a regrettable production. The costumes look like the Pilgrims on the Mayflower" to what ABT is doing with their flashy (BUT TOO heavy for dancing, opera) costumes and (to-my-taste) not stellar dancing and staging. But to each his/her own. I don't want fluorescent colors in a classical ballet, there's MOMA for that (to my taste).

3) I was pleased with Kondaurova's dancing, I'd compare her to Kunakova.

But

I would FIRE the conductor!!! (I felt it, and then dancers I talked with confirmed it) most variations were TOO slow, much slower tempo than at the dress rehearsal (or DVDs). And since it was unexpected, one could feel and see that dancers were waiting for the music. And then one dancer told me that Mr. Repnikov is not a conductor by training and it's his first time - alas. I bet with the proper tempo it would have looked much better.

My other comments - Bravo to Yana Selina - the BEST white cat, I've seen so far. Bravo to Vladimir Shklyarov.

I had goose bumps from Diana's dancing in Act 1. However, later, I felt that she never woke up from her sleep, and remained "a frozen princess", showing no love to her Prince (she ws more passionate to her bride-grooms than to her Prince), and he tried SO HARD (technically she was superb, what balances). I also enjoyed watching Anna Lavrinenko (fairy in Act 3)

Well, with dislike of the conductor and some minor musical flaws (sorry I've listened to the ballet at least 4 times in last 3 weeks) and tempo being too slow at times that dancers had to scramble to adjust to it, and not appreciating Diana's no-love towards her prince (technically she was superb), I enjoyed this SB. I am glad they made it to DC. Will go again (Sat & Sund - it will be fun to compare). Best to all.

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Thanks, cinnamonswirl. I had to get a 'gift certificate' exchange on my ticket due to weather problems. It's very nice of the Kennedy Center to offer full-value certificates , good for future ticket at the theater for the next year.

Also, our group's flights to the Vancouver Olympics - going to all figure skating events...look for a tall brunette waving Russian flag in front row, wildly cheering-on Pluschenko in the men's event -- are being altered so I may be departing DC on Thursday morn to make it to the games on time (DC to Vancouver, via Toronto). So hopefully someone else will be able to report on the Tereshkina/Schklyarov performance that I will most likely miss.

Enjoy the Olympics, Natalia! I will miss your reviews, as I always look forward to them. Thanks to the other reviewers. I am getting pumped for Sunday! Hopefully the conductor will be "up to tempo" by then.

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Thanks YID and cinnamonswirl for braving the snow and white-outs for your reports :huh:! Natalia have fun in Vancouver!

YID wrote:

I was pleased with Kondaurova's dancing, I'd compare her to Kunakova.

I'm so glad to hear that Katya danced beautifully. YID, that is a great compliment. Katya has the same grace and control that Lubov Kunakova had as Lilac and in the second variation in "Paquita." For example, in the "Paquita" clip from New Years' Eve, Katya's approach, presence, phrasing - all were identical to Kunakova.

. . . I would FIRE the conductor!!! (I felt it, and then dancers I talked with confirmed it) most variations were TOO slow, much slower tempo than at the dress rehearsal (or DVDs). And since it was unexpected, one could feel and see that dancers were waiting for the music. And then one dancer told me that Mr. Repnikov is not a conductor by training and it's his first time - alas. I bet with the proper tempo it would have looked much better.

Slightly :dry:,

Alexei Repnikov's title at the MT is "Conductor of the Off-stage Band." That means he would do things like cue the bells at the beginning of "Boris Godunov." He also conducts the Grand Brass Ensemble that plays in the MT's dress circle. It's very strange that they would send him to conduct the Mt. Everest of All Ballet Scores. It sounds like this was his ballet conducting debut - on opening night in a major venue, when ballet conducting really isn't his forte. But then again, it's not that strange: The Maryinsky has done this before with certain dancers. IMO I think it would be better for Repnikov to pay dues in the pit at home first.

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Slightly :dry:,

Alexei Repnikov's title is "Conductor of the Off-stage Band" at the MT. That would be like cueing the bells at the beginning of "Boris Godunov." He conducts the Grand Brass Ensemble that plays in the MT's dress circle. It's very strange that they would send him to conduct the Mt. Everest of All Ballet Scores, and on opening night in a major venue, when ballet conducting isn't his forte. However, the Maryinsky has done this before with certain dancers. IMO it would be better for Repnikov to pay dues in the pit at home first.

I would say it's not off-topic. Music is part of the ballet. And when i watched DVDw, i was stunned how well the steps and moves were orchestrated to the music, every foot step, every hand wave were to a music note, and some moves of Carabosse in Prelude, as if the music was speaking (in russian ;-) (as if some particular lyrics was singing out of it).

So, it was frustrating to watch how dancers had to space out there steps to accept a SLOW tempo (comparing to DVDs). I initially blamed the Kennedy orchestra, but the dancers confirmed it's the unqualified conductor

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Thanks for the Bluebird correction, YID. That change wasn't announced, was it?

I didn't say anything about the orchestra because I feel like I complain about the orchestra every time I go to the Kennedy Center. But yes, the tempi would suddenly get very slow. And the orchestra was totally out of balance -- the brass was booming and drowned out the other sections. Repnikov clearly likes his brass.

I actually haven't seen ABT's Sleeping Beauty. It's always good to know there's something even worse to look forward to :dry:

The snow last night wasn't too bad -- it was actually raining when the ballet ended -- but given the blizzard conditions on at the moment, tonight's performance with Somova has been canceled. I wonder if they will re-jigger the remaining performances so she dances -- maybe with Tereshkina doing one performance instead of two? If they do, please, please, please let the Tereshkina/Shklyarov cast for Saturday stand!

Have fun at the Olympics, Natalia!

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.........The snow last night wasn't too bad -- it was actually raining when the ballet ended -- but given the blizzard conditions on at the moment, tonight's performance with Somova has been canceled. I wonder if they will re-jigger the remaining performances so she dances -- maybe with Tereshkina doing one performance instead of two? If they do, please, please, please let the Tereshkina/Shklyarov cast for Saturday stand!

oh mighty G-d, please keep Tereshkina/Shklyarov on Saturday, PLEASE

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Yes, please, corrections when what's printed in the program (or not identified at all) doesn't match what's onstage are always welcome!

I'm disappointed to hear it was Zuzin who phoned in Bluebird though. I liked him with the Mariinsky came to New York a few springs ago.

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.........The snow last night wasn't too bad -- it was actually raining when the ballet ended -- but given the blizzard conditions on at the moment, tonight's performance with Somova has been canceled.

It's confirmed: God is a registered voter.

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I'm disappointed to hear it was Zuzin who phoned in Bluebird though. I liked him with the Mariinsky came to New York a few springs ago.

I'd say compared to those 3 recordings i've seen last month - Zuzin was VERY good - to my taste. (and complain about Orchestra ;-))

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.........The snow last night wasn't too bad -- it was actually raining when the ballet ended -- but given the blizzard conditions on at the moment, tonight's performance with Somova has been canceled.

It's confirmed: God is a registered voter.

LOL! And I bet this means that the casts will be shuffled...so perhaps it's Somova, rather than Terioshkina, tomorrow (Thursday)? That was to have been my performance, had my Olympic travels not changed. Let's see.

Zuzin was weak last spring, during the Mariinsky Festival. Everybody has been noticing this for a while. He was wonderful 3-4 years ago.

Notice about the cancellation:

http://www.kennedy-center.org/visitor/buil...Findex%2Ecfm%3F

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Injury? Dance isn't like professional sport, where every medical condition is disclosed, analyized, discussed on talk radio, and the player is finally put on the disabled list. Often we don't ever know if a dancer is injured, they either dance through it, or just drop off the schedule for a while...

Zuzin was weak last spring, during the Mariinsky Festival. Everybody has been noticing this for a while. He was wonderful 3-4 years ago.

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ok, now I'm totally going off topic...

Natalia - Enjoy the Olympics, I'm so jealous, I could not get tickets to any figure skating events. I sincerely hope Domnina / Shabalin are at the top of their game, they looked wonderful last season in Spartacus, but after watching the Russian National Champs I wasn't really "feeling" their Requiem for a Dream free dance. Spartacus was perfect for them, and enterpreted the ballet so beautifully. Wish they had kept it for the Games. Wish more dancers would enterpret the ballets. Domnina looked beautiful as a brunette too!

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New Performance added & Casting changes - Matvienko only once, & more SOMOVA

Cancelled one - Wed., Feb. 10 at 7:30 p.m.

Aurora: Alina Somova

Prince Desire: Evgeny Ivanchenko

Lilac Fairy: Anastasia Kolegova

SAME -Thu., Feb. 11 & Sat., Feb. 13 at 7:30 p.m.

Aurora: Viktoria Tereshkina

Prince Desire: Vladimir Shklyarov

Lilac Fairy: Ekaterina Kondaurova

Somova instead of Matvienko -Fri., Feb. 12 at 7:30 p.m.

Aurora: Alina Somova

Prince Desire: Evgeny Ivanchenko

Lilac Fairy: Oksana Skoryk

SAME - Sat., Feb. 13 at 1:30 p.m.

Aurora: Anastasia Kolegova

Prince Desire: Anton Korsakov

Lilac Fairy: Alexandra Iosifidi

Same - Sun., Feb. 14 at 1:30 p.m.

Aurora: Anastasia Matvienko

Prince Desire: Maksim Zyuzin

Lilac Fairy: Oksana Skoryk

New One - Sun., Feb. 14 at 7:30 p.m.

Aurora: Alina Somova

Prince Desire: Evgeny Ivanchenko

Lilac Fairy: Oksana Skoryk

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Well, I have some good news: because of a change in my teaching schedule (studio closed because of snow) I will now be attending the Saturday afternoon performance with Kolegova. :)

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Well, I have some good news: because of a change in my teaching schedule (studio closed because of snow) I will now be attending the Saturday afternoon performance with Kolegova. :)

That is good news! I hope you can post a report.

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Thanks, Hans.

I was surprised and pleased to see Maya Dumchenko listed as Princess Florina, and it did indeed appear to be her. She looks quite thin and frail, but in her one pas de deux, she gave a performance worthy of a principal dancer ...

:thumbsup:

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Back from tonight's Tereshkina/Shklyarov/Kondaurova performance.

Tereshkina was wonderful -- warm, refined, elegant and technically secure. And so natural on stage - she didn't seem to be acting at all. Overall I liked her characterization more than Vishneva's, although I found Vishneva's Vision scene and pricking-of-the-finger part more effective. One thing I was disappointed by were the balances in the Rose Adagio. For the balances with promenade Tereshkina moved her hand from one suitor to the next without taking her arm back up to fifth, which really underemphasizes the balances. (I know the importance of the balances has been discussed exhaustively in other threads.) On the other hand, she took a very high attitude (well past 90), so I guess it sort of evens out.

I am so glad to have seen her Aurora. I have now seen her twice -- Sleeping Beauty and In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated!

More great dancing from Shklyarov. From the number of Youtube clips of them together, I gather Tereshkina is one of his regular partners (and Vishneva is not). He looked much more relaxed tonight, and he related to Tereshkina much more than he did to Vishneva. And a nice save in the fish dive in the grand pas de deux!

I thought Kondaurova was better tonight -- less cold and more relaxed. She really is gorgeous to watch. I think it would be fascinating to see her try Aurora, but I guess the Mariinsky rules of emploi won't allow that. Maybe she can guest with a company in the West.

There were substitutions for Florine and Bluebird. Unfortunately I have lost the slip of paper, and I can't remember who danced Bluebird but he had beautiful, beautiful arms. Oksana Skoryk was a pleasant if not particularly memorable Florine.

And I must mention Yana Salina and Grigory Popov again, because the cat variation really was very good.

The tempi were more even than the other night, but still practically slowed to a standstill at the ends of some of the variations. And the brass section was still booming.

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