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SWAN LAKEcast change for Mon. June 21


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#16 nysusan

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 06:36 PM

I'm sorry, but does anyone else remember the NYTimes deciding not to review opening night and reviewing instead the second night of a ballet?

I don't. I'm really shocked...

I adore Part, but is it really "opening night" when the ballet is performed year after year after year? Googling "vishneva swan lake ny times" I don't find a previous review.


It is typically the first night thats reviewed. Such has been the case with *every* previous ballet performed this season and, in my recollection, in previous years as well.

Both Part and Vishneva had previously been reviewed in the role in the times in joint reviews with other dancers, neither one as an opening night review to themselves. (the vishneva one is from 2005, Part had ones in 2004 and 2005 that I saw.

I am all for reviewing multiple performances, but I think it disingenuous to say that it isn't opening night and act as if there is nothing odd about omitting that review.

Agreed, no matter how many years a ballet has been around, each season's opening night is still opening night. That's one of the perks of getting the opening night performance: you are reviewed. In my experience this is really without precedent...

#17 Batsuchan

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 06:43 PM

Plus, the Act IV finale was the most satisfying that I have experienced.

I wholeheartedly agree! Act IV has felt a little too short or muddled for me in the past, but last night it hit all the right emotional notes for me. I felt the catharsis!

Even today I felt some post-performance euphoria, and I was quite tickled to find this on David Hallberg's twitter:
"I have been hit by a truck. The truck had a name on it. I believe the license plate said 'Swan Lake'."
http://twitter.com/davidhallberg

My thoughts exactly!

As I was going home last night, my friend and I were talking about what an incredible season it has been. Bayadere and Lady of the Camellias with Vishneva and Gomes and Don Quixote and Sleeping Beauty with Osipova. And last night was just incredible.

Indeed! Here's for hoping they can keep up the momentum through R&J!

As for NYTimes review--I also thought it was shocking that they chose not to review the Part/Stearns performance!

#18 abatt

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 07:10 PM

It's very, very unusual for the NY Times to give the lead review to the second night performance. Perhaps they felt that in fairness to Cory Stearns, who was thrown in at the last minute in a New York debut in a major role, they would refrain from reviewing the opening night. Under the circumstances, this seems reasonable, especially since Vishneva/Hallberg was so incredible.

#19 ksk04

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 09:26 PM

It's very, very unusual for the NY Times to give the lead review to the second night performance. Perhaps they felt that in fairness to Cory Stearns, who was thrown in at the last minute in a New York debut in a major role, they would refrain from reviewing the opening night. Under the circumstances, this seems reasonable, especially since Vishneva/Hallberg was so incredible.


It seems doubtful to me that they had enough time to arrange the deadline and print schedule with the amount of lead time the ABT gave about the dancer change. Opening night reviews are published on Tuesdays for ABT, moving this weeks to Wednesday throws it all off. They didn't even post the Gomes/Stearns swap on their website as an official release like they usually do. It just seems odd. I mean last week they had two full reviews of SB, one on Tuesday of opening night with Gillian Murphy and one on Sunday on Osipova/Cojocaru and at this point seeing Vishneva dance with ABT is not an "event" the same way it is for either woman guesting with SB.

#20 abatt

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 05:04 AM

The major dance review in Wednesday's copy of the paper went to tap dancer Saviion Glover, who is performing at the Joyce Theater. It was reviewed by Alastair Macauley.

#21 aurora

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 06:15 AM

It's very, very unusual for the NY Times to give the lead review to the second night performance. Perhaps they felt that in fairness to Cory Stearns, who was thrown in at the last minute in a New York debut in a major role, they would refrain from reviewing the opening night. Under the circumstances, this seems reasonable, especially since Vishneva/Hallberg was so incredible.


Had it been in the interest of fairness to Cory Stearns and Veronika Part, they could have mentioned that in the review. As it was, you would have thought opening night was tuesday, featuring Vishneva.

And while I'm certain it was unintentional, the combination of the nearly unprecidented ignoring of Part's opening night performance, while using the lead about how (paraphrasing) in all the excitement over Osipova you could forget there is another Russian star at ABT--Vishneva--seemed an extra slap at Part.

(yes I know Part was never the star in Russia Vishneva was, but as a lead in, it seemed really cruel given the circumstances...We have another great Russian ballerina here and its not you!)

#22 Ambonnay

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 06:25 AM

"yes I know Part was never the star in Russia Vishneva was, but as a lead in, it seemed really cruel given the circumstances...We have another great Russian ballerina here and its not you!)"

Can I infer from your quote that you believe Part was a star of any kind in Russia? Or anywhere, at any point in time, for that matter?

#23 aurora

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 06:35 AM

"yes I know Part was never the star in Russia Vishneva was, but as a lead in, it seemed really cruel given the circumstances...We have another great Russian ballerina here and its not you!)"

Can I infer from your quote that you believe Part was a star of any kind in Russia? Or anywhere, at any point in time, for that matter?


Sigh.
For the first, no. For a while I believe she was an up and comer, what could be called a "rising star," at the kirov, then her career there flatlined. I do not know enough about Kirov dynamics etc to speak further, and I am certain you do not either.

As for the latter, I do not see any reason to rehash this again.

I address your "question" (or is it an accusation?) against my better judgment, as it calls attention to the one significant way in which I did misspeak--
I meant to put my statement in the present tense. Vishneva IS a star (in Russia and here), not was :) Apologies to Vishneva for that!

#24 Cygnet

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 09:01 AM

Thanks everyone for your enthusiastic reports; they've been a joy to read! I wish I were there! I'm very glad to hear that both Diana and Veronika are excelling in this "Lake" production, which is so very different from the Mariinsky production.

I don't mean to be a budinsky (:)) but on point of clarification,
Aurora wrote re Part:

For a while I believe she was an up and comer, what could be called a "rising star," at the kirov, then her career there flatlined. I do not know enough about Kirov dynamics etc to speak further, and I am certain you do not either.

1000 pardons - slightly veering :): Veronika's career "flatlined" because of the death of her teacher and coach Inna Zubhovskaya, and the management's preferences. Zubhovskaya was her main lobbyist.

Back to topic: I'm extremely ecstatic that Part has come into her own with ABT :D.

#25 kfw

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 09:01 AM

I am all for reviewing multiple performances, but I think it disingenuous to say that it isn't opening night and act as if there is nothing odd about omitting that review.

Disingenuous means insincere or less than candid. My point was that however much we love Part -- and seeing her in anything, especially Swan Lake, is an occasion for me -- there was nothing notable about that programming that mandated a review. The Times' decision may have been unprecedented, but it was their prerogative, not ABT's.

#26 abatt

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 09:18 AM

Various ballet talkers have complained in the past that certain critics are unfair, or overly negative or hurtful in their reviews. We should be celebrating that the subject NY Times review of Vishneva- Hallberg was an absolute rave. Why complain about a wholly positive review that is great publicity for ABT and each of the dancers mentioned in the article? I'm guessing that McKenzie and the publicity office are jumping for joy right now.

#27 Roberto Dini

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 09:45 AM

I saw Monday night's performance and thoroughly enjoyed it. Part and Stearns' performance was engaging. Part was beautiful to behold. If she was thrown off by Stearns partnering, she didn't show it. I was surprised when she put her hand on Stearns' wrist during the lift because it did not look shaky before or after she did so. I thought her fouettés--that didn't travel at all(!)--were amazing.

Stearns did not appear nervous in the least, and I was impressed not only with his dancing, but also by his acting. His big smile in the first act seemed completely natural and unforced; his joy at receiving the crossbow was the most genuine I've seen.

The pas de trois was delightful, and Matthews, as a replacement, did not disappoint.

#28 Batsuchan

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 07:58 PM

I just got back from tonight's Kent/Gomes performance. Isn't Marcelo marvelous?! I'm glad to see that his injury wasn't too serious (or at least I hope so!), because he was in fine, flashing form tonight! Perhaps he doesn't have Hallberg's gorgeous lines, and I can never quite believe that his Prince Siegfried doesn't get any girls in Act I, but his Act III was showstopping! He brought one of his pirouettes sequences to a perfect standstill, and his series of pirouettes at the end of the Black Swan coda were fantastic!

But most of all, what a great and gracious partner he is! Julie Kent looked totally comfortable in his capable arms, and they executed one looong supported pirouette that made me gasp--I didn't think that was possible, but I did!

Yes, I think Marcelo gave Julie everything everything she needed to pull off a beautiful and moving performance! With her inborn dignity and her lovely long limbs, Kent seems to be a natural Odette. She and Marcelo delivered a beautiful White swan pas de deux (thank you Ormsby Wilkins for keeping it slow!). I would have enjoyed more, had it not been for some poor unfortunate soul who stood up in the middle and proceeded to collapse (?) in the aisle to my right! (I think the house doctor was called in...I hope the patron is fine now!)

In Act III, Kent was fun and flirty, but never for a second did I believe that she was an evil seductress. She just looks too sweet. ;) In the middle of the Black Swan pas de deux, when she is down on the floor and Siegfried pulls her up into arabesque and then lets go of her hands--she held her balance for what seemed like an eternity--I was seriously impressed! Later, she didn't get anywhere close to 32 fouettes and traveled halfway across the stage, but it didn't matter, Siegfried was smitten all the same.

At the end of the ballet, Kent and Gomes received a standing ovation and a very hearty cheers. The man sitting behind me was excitedly telling his companion that "I've seen many 'Swan Lakes,' but this is the best I've ever seen."

And I couldn't help but think to myself, "that's because you didn't see Vishneva and Hallberg on Tuesday!"

*

Overall, I enjoyed tonight's performance very much, but unlike on Tuesday, when Act IV hit an emotional high note for me, I didn't feel so satisfied tonight--despite Marcelo's spectacular leap to his death.

I'm still puzzling over why that is. I'll probably post again later when I figure it out--and give well-deserved credit to the other wonderful dancers I enjoyed (I love Stella!)!

#29 Helene

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 08:56 PM

Mary Cargill wrote a review of the Part/Stearns cast for danceviewtimes, and I was taken with this description of Stearns:

But his innocent happiness in Act III, when he thought he had found The One, which exploded into his dancing, was so moving, since we knew it couldn't last.


It made me wish I had seen it.

#30 Jayne

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 11:12 PM

I doubt any of us will ever understand the politics of Russian Ballet dancer promotions / assignments (or any ballet company for that matter), but I can only imagine that they resemble a mash-up of 3rd grade "pick me! pick me!" for recess teams, and the medieval cardinals poisoning the popes.


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