So there I was, all bitter already after almost having given up to the West Palm's trip. Getting out of Miami Beach was a nightmare...the traffic didn't move, so I told my mom that if I couldn't make it to I-95 by 6:30 pm, I would then turn around and give up-(the performance was to be at 8:00 pm, and I didn't even had tickets). So finally I'm on the highway, and by 7:50 I was already in my seat-(don't ask me at which speeding did I get there...).bart...you know about the traffic situation down here, so I'm sure you can "feel" me..
The Kravis-(love that building...way more than the Brodward Center and even more than that absurdity/monstruosity called Arsht Center)-was packed, and soon enough, the performance started.
So I'm listening to the overture-(or course, canned music...by now a too common feature in ballet performances, so nothing that I wasn't expecting)-and when the curtain rises, I'm already dreaming-(c'mon...this is Swan Lake after all!)-,but too soon, I'm afraid to report.
Act I revealed a troupe that wasn't too engaging in the dancing and an uninteresting choreography that almost put me to sleep. Of course, there was the expected jester-(is he part of the Konstantin Sergueev' legacy?)-, but to be honest, he was one the highlights of this production. Benno was there also, as the male lead on the bland Pas de Trois. There's not a lot that I can think of to make this review more interesting, for which there was NOTHING more interesting presented. Perhaps-(actually I’m positive)- this have to do with the fact of having seen probably hundreds of Swan Lakes in the course of my life span in the island, via a choreography that still retains many great chunks of the one choreographed and premiered in its four acts in Havana in as early as 1954 by Mary Skeaping-(also responsible for the even earlier Nutcracker premiere). Since then, Swan lake has been a staple of the Cuban repertoire, and along with Giselle, one that I got to see all year around, all the time, every year. The choreography of the first act's waltz is one of those chunks, in the form of a great pas de six for six couples, whith very daring lifts and a an spectacular triple fish dive-induced grand finale. So then, when I saw the Russians’ version with all those little, obscure, busy steps, I was almost in the verge of yawning. Another miss-(not the last one, and not an uncommon one in some productions I've seen)-was the unchanging light pattern for the end of Act I, where it should be suggested by darker tones that the sunset is happening, so the night-where the next act takes places-is approaching.
The lake scene backdrop was way too bright, with shades of blue for the water, nothing in the romantic line. Then Von Rothbart appeared, one sorcerer that was too small and short winged-(and with almost no makeup)-to be properly scary. Here I must say that I would definitely take The Swamp Thing at any time over this poor little bird. And THEN one of the major absurdities happened. Some swan-maidens got out! Right there, along with Rothbart's presentation, some corps girls made an impromptu appearance, which according to the choreographed moves was apparently supposed to give the audience clues as what had happenned to them in terms of being under the spell and captivity of this evil entity. The sad result was that the much anticipated and beautifully choreographed entrance of the corps of swan-maidens-(one of the few pieces of Ivanonv' choreography that seems to be respected in almost every Swan Lake on earth)-was completely diminished…its magic totally broken.
To be continued. I’m tired, but I really want to write some more, if you guys still want to read it...
Thank you for a very entertaining story and review. Sorry about the disappointment. It has happened to me before also, and also with Swan Lake. I hope you find a great performance soon. Thank you for all the great videos you post.