Posted 01 August 2010 - 01:22 PM
Paquita/Russian Seasons/Petrushka -- Triple Bill, Bolshoi in London
30-07-10 Royal Opera House 7:30
Ballet-burlesque in four scenes
Music Igor Stravinsky
Ballet production Mikhail Fokine (1911)
Bolshoi premiere 6 February 1921
Revival version Sergei Vikharev (2010)
Libretto Igor Stravinsky and Alexandre Benois
Set design Alexandre Benois (1921)
Reproduced by Boris Kaminsky
Costumes Alexandre Benois (1921)
Reproduced by Elena Zaitseva
Lighting design Damir Ismagilov
Archive research Pavel Gershenzon
Petrushka Ivan Vasiliev
Ballerina Anastasia Stashkevich
Moor Igor Tsvirko
Charlatan Gennady Yanin
I no longer remember whether I've seen any earlier performances of this ballet,
or whether what I have seen, has been on tv and dvds.
This seems to me like a mime show, with the music and sets and costumes
the principal components.
My companion wondered why 'waste' Vasiliev in it,
But it was a very successful part for Nijinsky in his time. Times change.
Still, I think this revival is extremely useful for our times.
It helps us understand where we've already been in ballet explorations.
The early Stravinsky music is gorgeous; I heard sounds in the theatre I'd never heard on recordings.
The reconstruction is vivacious and entertaining. This work still stands,
in its story telling and ambiance, as a distant branch in the lineage of classical dance.
I liked it a lot.
Vasiliev created a poignant portrait of Petrushka, Anastasia Stashkevich was delightfully expressive
as the Ballerina and the Moor, of Igor Tsvirko, was very entertaining in the worship of his coconut.
The costumes looked pristine.
Thanks are due to Sergei Vikharev for this lovely revival.
The orchestra was led by Igor Dronov.
Music Leonid Desyatnikov
Choreography Alexei Ratmansky
Costume design Galina Solovyeva
Lighting design Mark Stanley
lighting design Sergei Shevchenko
Premiere NYCB 8 June 2006
Premiere Bolshoi 15 November 2008
Couple in orange and in white Ekaterina Krysanova, Andrei Merkuriev
Couple in red Anastasia Meskova, Denis Savin
Couple in green Yulia Gebenshikova, Alexaner Vodopetov
Couple in blue Anna Okuneva, Vladislav Lantratov
Couple in purple Anna Yatsenko, Igor Tsvirko
Couple in magenta Anna Nikulina, Viacheslav Lopatin
Violin Irina Blank
Soprano Yanna Ivanilova
This is a work that requires repeated viewings.
The costumes, empire style strap dresses for the women,
and loose shirts and pants with boots for the men, were flattering
and gave good lines for dancing as well as a feeling of (Russian) folk costumes.
Particularly the pillbox hats with chin-straps worn by the women in the
opening and closing scenes.
I was glad they took them off for the greater part of the work,
because they remained too metaphorically 'folksy'.
The music is a twelve-part composition for string orchestra, violin and mezzo-soprano.
Mark Stanley's lighting had the cyclorama lit in strong colors of a wide range,
but not the balanchinean sky-blue.
The dancing throughout this performance was admirable.
The leading couple, Krysanova and Merkuriev were simply stunning
in the clarity of their dancing, alone and together.
I couldn't take my eyes off Anastasia Meskova whenever she appeared.
An angular dancer with the rank of soloist,
she has a strong projection and a phenomenally propulsive sense of movement.
I wish I could recall the many contributions of the excellent dancers
in this performance. But jet lag is winning. (I'm writing this from home).
This is a very strong work. I particularly liked the sections with the songs.
I hope to see it again.
Igor Dronov conducted the fine orchestra of the Bolshoi.
Grand Pas from Paquita
Music Ludwig Minkus
Choreography Marius Petipa
Staging and new version Yuri Burlaka
Set design Alyona Pikalova
Costume design Elena Zaitseva
Lighting design Damir Ismagilov
Original premiere Bolshoi Theatre, St Petersburg, 8 January 1882
New version premiere Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow, 15 November 2008
Choregraphic notation and
original score Harvard University Theatre Collection
Score restoration Alexander Troitsky
Paquita Maria Alexandrova
Lucien Nikolai Tsiskaridze
Pas de Trois Anna Tikhomirova, Anastasia Stashkevich, Andrey Bolotin
Six soloists Maria Vinogradova, Anna Okuneva, Olga Stebletsova,
Victoria Osipova, Svetlana Pavlova, Yulia Lunkina
Eight coryphées Yanina Parienko, Victoria Litvinova, Sofia Lubimova,
Ilona Matsiy, Anastasia Shilova, Galina Potdykova,
Olga Barishka, Angelina Vlashinets
Variations: music of Ricardo Drigo save for Trilby: music of Yuli Gerber
1 (from the ballet King Candaules) Maria Allash
2 (from the ballet La Source) Ekaterina Krysanova
3 (from the ballet Camargo) Nina Kaptsova
4 (from the ballet Trilby) Natalia Osipova
5 (from the ballet La Sylphide) Maria Alexandrova
6 (from the ballet La Source) Nikolai Tsiskaridze
The program for this performance lists the timings for the ballets:
Petrushka: 40 mins. , Russian Seasons: 40 mins.,
Grand Pas from Paquita: 45 minutes.
Of all the ballets, Grand Pas was the one I didn't want to end.
When we think of all the original remnants of classical dance, the Grand
Pas is probably the most iconic example of Petipa's classicism.
As the Bolshoi program states: …..
"An extended classical dance ensemble, marvelously structured, which provides
an opportunity for nearly all the leading soloists to display their virtuosity -
and to riotously compete with each other."
And what a competition it was! The first gem to be presented was the pas de trois.
Bolotin (first soloist) was a great match and partner to Tikhomirova and Stashkevich.
All three shone; their synchronous held landings were splendid.
The groups of two or four, with the six soloists and the eight coryphées were a joy:
buoyant jumps, lovely beats, impeccable pirouettes, elegant finishes.
One gets a strong impression that this choreography
"is beloved by dancers and public alike", as the program notes state.
Alexandrova presented herself with consummate assurance, danced impressively,
and completed her series of elegant single fouettés with a serenely authoritative finish.
Tsiskaridze comported himself with his usual idiomatic expressiveness, this time
sporting sideburns and a moustache. His variations were well-danced, both of them
showing an adherence to aristocratic demeanor
(except for one jumped split movement that seemed to come out of nowhere).
Other gems of this work are the variations from defunct ballets
(some of these variations appear in other works), danced by principals
(Allash, Osipova) or leading soloists (Krysanova and Kaptsova).
These are treasures. To see Allash with her correct classical comportment,
followed by Krysanova's expansive movement and joy for dancing,
and then the elegant, understated passion of Kaptsova's mesmerizing style,
and this followed by the literally explosive aerial dancing of Osipova,
It doesn't get better than this.
The Bolshoi orchestra was in the capable hands of Pavel Klinichev.
This is the last London performance I'll see before returning home.