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Osipova & Others in Orange CountyJan 20-23, 2011

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#16 Andre Yew

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 08:49 PM

I just saw the Sunday show. Wow, that was awful, and to echo an earlier sentiment, it was an almost total waste of the dancing talent.

The show starts with Nacho Duato's Remansos, except with a little prologue added so that there would be women in the piece. The steps were typical Duato, and didn't really add anything to the piece. At least we got to hear more of the lovely Granados music. The main section is the same as before, and the big surprise was seeing Vyacheslav Lopatin dance the Parrish Maynard role with such poetic elegance. I wish we could have seen more of him. The other two men, Vasiliev (in Malakhov's role) and Savin (Keith Roberts's role), were OK, if a bit clunky. The ending where they lift Vasiliev upside down so he can hang on the wall by his legs was so rough, they almost knocked the wall over.

Act 2 was pretty terrible with only 1 highlight: Elo's piece for Maria Kochetkova. Unlike the others, and this would repeat itself again in the 3rd act, she looks comfortable executing modern movements, and seems to have an understanding of it: hers were the only gestures that weren't small scale. And the Elo piece, a deconstruction of ballet, with half a tutu (the right half) was actually funny and entertaining. The rest of the act was just awful, but especially bad was Karole Armitage's pas de deux. It looked like a cheap, bad copy of the famous pas from Forsythe's In the middle, somewhat elevated: the lighting went on and off, the music made Thom Willems sound like Debussy, and the upstage curtain raised up just in time to reveal the bare wall before the curtain fell. It was like the piece was furiously checking off some invisible checklist. Zanella's piece for Semionova made her look like a dancing bottle of Cristal --- is it an ironic reference to the Czars or some kind of pandering to the nouveau riche oligarchs? Who knows, and with that banal choreography, who cares? It looked like Zanella looked at Semionova's famous music video on Youtube, and then just rearranged it. It was classroom exercises done in gold silky PJs. The other pieces were inscrutably pointless, but mercifully short.

The Balanchine was welcome reprieve, if not for its genius, then at least for providing relief at watching someone competent fill the stage without fussy tricks or affectations. Just plain straightforward dancing that knew how to hold the stage and the audience's attention.

Act 3 sustained the low level of choreographic achievement with Bigonzetti's entirely wrong-headed, misapprehended Eurotrash-tastic Cinque. You had the enigmatic opening with the 5 ballerinas sitting around on Starck Ghost chairs, looking like the Desperate Housewives of Italy. You had the Vivaldi warhorses played on mandolin, strung together with little musical sensitivity. You had dim lighting with projected light rectangles. You had the dancers undressing and putting on their vestigial classical tutus and bodices on stage (with dressers coming out to help them). Even the freakin' tutus were hanging on lines which lowered them. Add to that mostly inscrutable, small-scale gestures that no one except Kochetkova made work, and you have Eurotrash choreography.

What an amazing waste of time, talent, and money.


#17 ksk04


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Posted 28 January 2011 - 12:58 PM

For those wishing to relive some of the choreographic horror (or see it for the first time):

Is it sick I want Fractus to show up? Yuck yuck yuck.


To add in Cinque

#18 Buddy


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Posted 28 January 2011 - 07:50 PM

I was also there for Saturday and Sunday's performances, and I have to say that I enjoyed them very much.

#19 duffster


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Posted 28 January 2011 - 08:08 PM

I could not believe what I was watching. Absolutely hilarious- I'm surprised that the dancers (all beautiful artists) could keep a straight face while performing these pieces. Even Osipova- in the last piece, towards the very end, seems to lose track of the silly arm movements. Thanks for showing these as it lightened my mood- we've been snowed in for about three weeks!

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