Helene, on 21 February 2011 - 08:40 PM, said:
Everyone in every seat in a theater has the right to criticize any aspect of a dancer's performance. The great ones act with their bodies and their faces and manage to project to the back of the house as well as the first few rows, although it is a different experience.
I'm sure the Czars' guests in the center would have been surprised to know that they did not have the 2nd best seats in the house
However, even the Tsar did not have an adequate seat to evaluate Giselle's mad scene, but if the Tsar only watched a particular young ballerina, several years ago, he had no right to evaluate her in anything, when she has been improving greatly.
I will give a specific example from Washington. I saw opening night with Vishneva from close up and in act 1, her acting was not natural and she over emoted. In act 2, her acting was shockingly absent, as if only her body came out of the grave and her face with exp
ressions and emotions was left in the grave. From close up, there were only two brief moments where her face changed in act 2 and the rest of the time, she had a fixed exp
ression. This was a performance where the Washington Post critic raved about her acting, which was a big disappointment from close up. In contrast, I watched her closing performance from the back of the orchestra and her acting was much more convincing from far away, where I could not clearly see her exp
ressions or emotions.
Yes, when it comes to acting, nobody watching from far away, can accurately judge that aspect. Technique, style, stage presentation(other than acting), use of arms and upper body, use of feet and legs, partnering ability, and more, can be accurately evaluated from the worst seat in the house, but few seats in the house are sufficient to adequately evaluate acting.
In Vishneva's case, her fame led people to think she was doing a great job acting and not what their eyes could clearly see. Most of my friends with close seats were shockingly disappointed with Vishneva, but a few of my die hard Vishenva fans were not willing to criticize her, with comments like she is doing an exp
ressionless act 2, but I countered with her two instances of sudden exp
ression/emotion in act 2. Her two moments were when she left Fadeyev to start her solo adagio for the main pas de deux; and after his variation, when she came with the white camellias, she suddenly showed emotion after she saw him.