Casting, News, Reviews for Balanchine Classics
Posted 06 June 2010 - 07:26 PM
Prodigal Son (Prokofiev)
Divertimento No. 15 (Mozart)
Four Temperaments (Hindemith)
I've been checking the cast page impatiently, although as of today, nada, but in an article about the program on azcentral.com, there are quotes from Ib Andersen about "Prodigal Son" and the casting news that Roman Zavarov will dance the lead.
Posted 14 June 2010 - 04:58 PM
On the minus side -- it looked as though the dancers as a whole could have used additional rehearsals, beyond the soloists. The Divertimento No. 15, in particular, is so devilishly difficult, with intense pointe work and nearly impossible changes of weight to be accomplished at warp speed, for instance -- they were fully capable, but needed a bit more time with it. The men's petite allegro and batterie suffered similarly.
Lacking Mr. MacCaulay's broad perspective, it was gratifying to see in print what we Ballet Arizona fans have suspected -- this is a wonderful company of terrific dancers, ranking with some of the best. It was particularly pleasing to see them described as "one of the most musically intelligent in the world."
Posted 21 June 2010 - 08:46 AM
The highlight of the night was Zavarov in Prodigal son. It started out with high jumps and energy. He turned like a top. Then the drama. The sirens Huang and Magnicaballi were brazen and naughty. Maneuvering that long heavy cape was a challenge I wished that had been a little smoother, especially for Huang. Actually, I wish there was no cape, it was a big distraction for me, but that was Balanchineís vision and I guess I canít argue with that. The pas de deux was scandalous in a good way. The drinking buddies were so funny moving like strange insects. And Zavarov crawling back home, he is so intense and doesnít look bad almost naked either . We are lucky to have Zavarov in AZ. When Perkovskii came out with open arms in the end that was when I started crying, it was so emotional. Also when he enveloped Zavarov with his robe that was a powerful moment. I also wanted to note that I loved the sets, scenery, and costumesĖeven though they were basic.
Four Tís was nice. I thought Zavarov in Melancholic was beautiful of course but Zejnatiís dancing looked tired. I canít agree with Macaulay about Johnson. Clarke has come back and made a great recovery and looks better than ever, but even though he uses his feet to their fullest potential he does not have natural flexibility and it is distracting. Olson made a comeback, I am very happy he has returned to the stage. And last but not least Draxton. She was fabulous. I was enthralled by her performance. She is not one of my usually favorites and we donít always get to see much of her except when it comes to Balanchine (probably due to her height), but she did not disappoint.
Posted 30 June 2010 - 05:15 PM
The way the Father is depicted in most productions has always disappointed me, going back to my first NYCB performances. Miami goes for a look copied from the Creation of Adam in the Sistine Chapel. It's rigid and cartoonishly iconic, and (for me) never moving. Arizona's small adjustment sounds like it would make a very big difference in the way the ballet concludes. Good for them.
Typically, when the Father enters at the end of the ballet, he is a distinctly Old Testament patriarch: that he is as all-knowing as he is blind is indicated by keeping the head stock still, conceding not an inch, and demanding contrition by his refusal to acknowledge or budge. Instead Sergei Perkovskii entered and moved his head and shoulders gently as if they had antennae to feel his son's presence. When he did feel it, he gave the Prodigal the time and space to come to approach him on his own, contrite terms, a decidedly New Testament father, and it was a true reconciliation.
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