Jump to content


Festival Ballet Theatre's Don QuixoteFeaturing Marcelo Gomes and Gillian Murphy


  • Please log in to reply
14 replies to this topic

#1 kitcat

kitcat

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 48 posts

Posted 21 March 2010 - 07:11 PM

Well, I just wrote a glowing review of this weekend's performances of Don Q and somehow I lost it when trying to edit it. Darn it all. I don't have it in me to try to write it again. I'll just say it was a stunning performance by the amazing duo of Gomes and Murphy. Real fireworks and footwork. An amazingly attractive partnering. I think their performance blows away the performance I saw of the Bolshoi when it was here. Murphy is stunning and her tutus were gorgeous, her fouettes and fanwork and other turns were explosive and amazing to watch. Gomes was handsome and exceptionally steady and strong in lifting Murphy. Really a stunning and magnificent couple. I hope they end up pairing up on stage at ABT as I'd love to go watch them some more.

The rest of the company did an exceptional job, and while I listed out wonderful individual performances in the post I lost, I'll just say kudos to the company, especially when so many of the younger ones are competing in YAGP this weekend. An exceptionally entertaining weekend! :)

#2 California

California

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,436 posts

Posted 21 March 2010 - 08:33 PM

. . . I think their performance blows away the performance I saw of the Bolshoi when it was here. Murphy is stunning and her tutus were gorgeous, her fouettes and fanwork and other turns were explosive and amazing to watch. Gomes was handsome and exceptionally steady and strong in lifting Murphy. Really a stunning and magnificent couple. I hope they end up pairing up on stage at ABT as I'd love to go watch them some more. . . .


I saw the Sunday matinee. The overall production was very impressive, with many strong soloists. Murphy and Gomes were quite wonderful, but I wouldn't put them in a league with Osipova and Vasiliev with the Bolshoi last month. (Sorry!) Murphy had exceptional balances throughout, her fouettes were sprinkled with triples (!), and the partnering was very impressive. They did seem cramped by the stage at the UCI Barclay Theatre (not their fault, of course). But with a great seat in the front row of the balcony for only $20, I can't complain.

It looks like Murphy will be dancing Don Q with Stiefel in New York May 29 and June 2. He will be in the Alonso birthday Gala with Herrera June 3. But they don't seem paired in Don Q.

#3 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,320 posts

Posted 22 March 2010 - 05:48 AM

Thank you both for those reports, kitcat and California.

kitcat, I'm losing stuff all the time. In my case, it's random and over-hasty clicking that tends to be the culprit. :blush: I hope that you won't let that discourage you and will give us additional details.

Some of our members may not be familiar with the Festival Ballet (there are several organizations using this name in the U.S.), here's a Link to their attractive website:

http://www.festivalballet.org/

#4 abatt

abatt

    Sapphire Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,564 posts

Posted 22 March 2010 - 06:34 AM

Thanks for the reports. I'm not sure if Gomes has ever danced the lead role in Don Q with ABT. My recollection is that, to date, he has always done the secondary role of Espada (in which he is brilliant).

#5 kitcat

kitcat

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 48 posts

Posted 22 March 2010 - 09:55 AM

Murphy and Gomes were quite wonderful, but I wouldn't put them in a league with Osipova and Vasiliev with the Bolshoi last month. (Sorry!) Murphy had exceptional balances throughout, her fouettes were sprinkled with triples (!), and the partnering was very impressive. They did seem cramped by the stage at the UCI Barclay Theatre (not their fault, of course). But with a great seat in the front row of the balcony for only $20, I can't complain.


Hi California, I'm glad you were able to make it to a performance.

I've heard lots of great things about Osipova's and Vasiliev's performance last month from friends, unfortunately, because I was going out of town I was only able to see the Bolshoi's second night which had an unscheduled stand-in. I made a caveat in my first post, which I lost, that I had not watched Osipova's performance. I definitely enjoyed Murphy's and Gomes' performance much more than the one I saw from the Bolshoi. It just amazes me that Gillian just seems to get better and better with time. Her fanwork in the fouettes was so impressive, that I didn't even realize she was doing triples. I knew something spectacular was going on, but wasn't sure what it was. It's hard when I don't have my daughter sitting next to me to interpret! :blush:

It is nice that at The Barclay every seat is a good seat.

#6 kitcat

kitcat

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 48 posts

Posted 22 March 2010 - 10:22 AM

Thank you both for those reports, kitcat and California.

kitcat, I'm losing stuff all the time. In my case, it's random and over-hasty clicking that tends to be the culprit. :blush: I hope that you won't let that discourage you and will give us additional details.

Some of our members may not be familiar with the Festival Ballet (there are several organizations using this name in the U.S.), here's a Link to their attractive website:

http://www.festivalballet.org/


Hi Bart,

Yes, somehow I managed to hit a wrong key as I was quickly trying to hit the final button to post and the whole review just disappeared in front of my eyes! :)

I was just very impressed with the character dancing, including the Toreadors with their cape twirling and Don Quixote played by Charles Johnston was cast perfectly. Alex Kalinin played Sancho Panza and Sergei Domrachev was cast as Gamache. They really fit their parts and the last three were very humorous.

Although I thought all the performances by the company were great, I thought Hannah Schiller's role as Queen of the Dryads was really a standout for a sixteen/seventeen year old. Hannah won the silver medal at last year's Moscow IBC while performing on a raked stage for the first time. She is quite talented.

I just think Salwa Rizkalla does an amazing job with casting everyone in roles that fit them so well. I never fail to have a great time going to watch these performances. I just hope she doesn't keep losing all her upper-level talent to the major ballet company schools (even though it's great for the girls)!

#7 iczerman

iczerman

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 40 posts

Posted 22 March 2010 - 03:18 PM

I went to the sunday matinee. Even though there was no live music...I liked how close the audience was to the dancers. I had pretty good seats for $35.00!

I really liked Marcello Gomez...he had a sense of humor plus some innocent nautiness. (You had to be there to know what I mean :blush: )

I liked the dancers in the bright orange dresses..they were quite good and one of the dryads caught my attention. The dancer who played Cupid I liked also.

I also liked Sergei Domrachev as Gamache, he did more dancing than others who played that part that I've seen on Youtube.

This is the second time I've seen Gillian, the first time was as Myrtha at the OCCPA. The question I have is...who teaches her the part of Kitri? The reason I ask is that I've seen others do the Grand PPD on Youtube and several things were different...some more technically demanding. I don't doubt Giliian's technique.. but I guess I was expecting different choreography.
Maybe someone could enlighten a newbie?

Gillian's leaps were nice and effortless and she is the fastest and cleanest turner I've seen. I would have liked a little more Sass is her acting however...like an annoyed swat at the right time...when Marcello was naughty :)

I would like to see her Odette/Odile and her Myrtha while sitting closer...

#8 California

California

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,436 posts

Posted 22 March 2010 - 03:25 PM

. . .I've heard lots of great things about Osipova's and Vasiliev's performance last month from friends, unfortunately, because I was going out of town I was only able to see the Bolshoi's second night which had an unscheduled stand-in. I made a caveat in my first post, which I lost, that I had not watched Osipova's performance. I definitely enjoyed Murphy's and Gomes' performance much more than the one I saw from the Bolshoi. . . .


If you saw Ryzhkina and Lobukhin, I can see why you prefer Murphy and Gomes -- so would I. I saw R&L at the Saturday evening Bolshoi after the Osipova/Vasiliev matinee. Very disappointing. They seemed miscast and uncomfortable in the challenging technique.

Something special about Murphy is the incredibly long length of her poses in various positions -- quite amazing. The one-arm lifts in the first scene were also exceptional - they just went on and on and on. And she really threw herself across the stage on the flying fishdives. She seemed to trust him as a partner.

I agree that the character dances were wonderful -- nothing at all amateurish. Indeed, Gamache added more flare and technique to his bits than I can remember seeing elsewhere. And the use of children (young teens?) in the village scene and the dream sequence was well-done. They filled out the stage nicely and weren't asked to do anything beyond their abilities.

#9 kitcat

kitcat

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 48 posts

Posted 23 March 2010 - 08:10 AM

I really liked Marcello Gomez...he had a sense of humor plus some innocent nautiness. (You had to be there to know what I mean :wink: )
/
I liked the dancers in the bright orange dresses..they were quite good and one of the dryads caught my attention. The dancer who played Cupid I liked also.
/
This is the second time I've seen Gillian, the first time was as Myrtha at the OCCPA. The question I have is...who teaches her the part of Kitri? The reason I ask is that I've seen others do the Grand PPD on Youtube and several things were different...some more technically demanding. I don't doubt Giliian's technique.. but I guess I was expecting different choreography.
Maybe someone could enlighten a newbie?


Hi iczerman, glad you enjoyed the performance.

I really enjoyed Marcelo Gomes also. I don't think I've ever seen him before and I think he's a new ABT favorite for me. Very cute and charming, and so strong in his lifts. His one armed lifts of Gillian were absolutely amazing.

The dancers in the bright orange dresses are Kitri's Friends and are both beautiful dancers, Roma Daravi and Natalie Matsuura. They are both L.A. Music Center's Spotlight Award Semifinalists so if you can get tickets, you could go see them perform at the finals!

Cupid is a former dancer with Festival Ballet Theatre who was called in at the last minute to fill that spot due to injury. I'm sorry I don't know her name but she is very beautiful and I know she has performed that role before. I enjoyed her performance also.

Regarding your question as to who teachers the part of Kitri to Gillian...although I don't know firsthand in this specific situation, the ballet stars who perform in these regional companies usually fly in a little before the show and rehearse on the stage with the Artistic Director. Obviously, these stars already know the main part and I believe they decide while they are performing whether they are "on" that night as to how many turns and fireworks they do during that performance. Salwa Rizkalla as artistic director would have shown them the nuances and differences in her staging versus any other staging during the rehearsals. Since they are professionals they obviously pick these things up very quickly! Gillian was definitely "on" during Saturday's matinee. I think we're very fortunate to have seen it.

#10 kitcat

kitcat

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 48 posts

Posted 23 March 2010 - 08:37 AM

If you saw Ryzhkina and Lobukhin, I can see why you prefer Murphy and Gomes -- so would I. I saw R&L at the Saturday evening Bolshoi after the Osipova/Vasiliev matinee. Very disappointing. They seemed miscast and uncomfortable in the challenging technique.

Something special about Murphy is the incredibly long length of her poses in various positions -- quite amazing. The one-arm lifts in the first scene were also exceptional - they just went on and on and on. And she really threw herself across the stage on the flying fishdives. She seemed to trust him as a partner.

I agree that the character dances were wonderful -- nothing at all amateurish. Indeed, Gamache added more flare and technique to his bits than I can remember seeing elsewhere. And the use of children (young teens?) in the village scene and the dream sequence was well-done. They filled out the stage nicely and weren't asked to do anything beyond their abilities.


Yes, that is the couple I saw, it's too bad the originally scheduled dancers didn't show. Although I still enjoyed the performance, their partnering was definitely shaky and left a lot to be desired.

I agree, California, Murphy's balances and the partnering between Gomes and Murphy were absolutely amazing. They are a great couple together, I hope I see more of them in the future.

The character dancers I listed actually are all professional dancers, so I'm glad their dancing didn't look amateurish! :wink:

#11 abatt

abatt

    Sapphire Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,564 posts

Posted 23 March 2010 - 08:40 AM

FYI, Gillian is the current reigning queen of multiple turns at ABT. The last time I saw her do Don Q with ABT in New York she also performed the "trick" of lifting her arms overhead and waving her fan while doing a triple or quadruple turn. She does similar "tricks" in the Black Swan pdd in SL. In my opinion, she is the most technically accomplished female dancer at ABT right now.

#12 kitcat

kitcat

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 48 posts

Posted 23 March 2010 - 08:49 AM

FYI, Gillian is the current reigning queen of multiple turns at ABT. The last time I saw her do Don Q with ABT in New York she also performed the "trick" of lifting her arms overhead and waving her fan while doing a triple or quadruple turn. She does similar "tricks" in the Black Swan pdd in SL. In my opinion, she is the most technically accomplished female dancer at ABT right now.


I remember thinking Gillian was a wonderful turner years ago, but I can't believe she just gets better and better. It is amazing to behold. I'm glad I'll have the opportunity to see that again. I was so astounded with her fanwork, and the turns were so fast, it was hard for me to take in what was happening. Really a fun performance to watch. Yes, I'll admit, I like her tricks. :wink:

#13 California

California

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,436 posts

Posted 05 April 2010 - 11:33 AM

Dance Channel TV just posted a nice segment on the FBT's Don Quixote. It includes interviews and brief performance clips by Gomes and Murphy:

http://www.dancechan...v=QgtHpwxMhy96u

#14 onxmyxtoes

onxmyxtoes

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 115 posts

Posted 05 April 2010 - 01:47 PM

Thanks for the reports. I'm not sure if Gomes has ever danced the lead role in Don Q with ABT. My recollection is that, to date, he has always done the secondary role of Espada (in which he is brilliant).


Gomes has danced the lead with ABT. The first time I ever watched ABT perform was in July 2003 at the Orange County Performing Arts Center. Gillian and Marcelo were recently promoted to principals and performed the leads in Don Quixote. They were so new at that time, and it has been a pleasure watching them grow into the powerhouse artists that they are now. I got to watch them in the Festival Ballet Don Q a few weeks ago and it brought be back to my first ABT performance.

#15 kitcat

kitcat

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 48 posts

Posted 05 April 2010 - 08:13 PM

What a wonderful piece on FBT's Don Q! Thanks for posting the link California.

Marcelo Gomes is just as charming in his interview as he is on stage....I can see why he's so in demand as a dancer these days. And Gillian looks absolutely gorgeous.

Way to go Salwa on a wonderful production and giving your students so many wonderful opportunities!

I'm very interested in this Dance Channel TV... apparently it is by a former Bolshoi Academy student named Arsen Serobian here in Southern California. I really enjoy the clips he has put together with an "insider's view". He obviously has an artistic eye as I think his pieces are quite beautiful. I really must keep an eye on that website as he seems to be really producing a lot of material, it will be interesting to see what he is able to do with it and where he takes it. I would love to see him do a long film on some company, I think it could be very good.


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):