Swan LakeA week of swans
Posted 15 September 2011 - 06:06 AM
I think Tess has impressed me last season because I saw her in roles like Four Temperments and Antique Epigraphs, where impassivity is an asset. I don't think she has the temperment for Swan Lake, though she has ample, beautiful technique. I hope Sara Mearns will return in Swan Lake next year, I'd sit through all the divertissements to see her.
So the true star of Swan Lake Wednesday night was the corps de ballet, especially the set pieces of swans on the floor in a circle, and the final scene where they close in on Odette, forming an impenetrable cordon around her. Tyler Angle falls to the floor in the effective pose of grief that reminded me of the close of Giselle.
The divertissements: Let me mention that in Hungarian, my favorite Georgina seemed overshadowed by her costume and all the swirling and jumping around her. I don't think this is a great role for her, it doesn't give her a chance to display her personality. In Russian, I was very impressed with Rebecca Krohn, who has a sinuous form to suit the music. Ana Sophia Scheller and Erica Pereira were superb in the Pas de Quatre. As for the Jester, I've said before last season that Daniel Ullbricht has the pizzazz and shamelessness you need in this role. It's not enough to do the steps. That's just the beginning. You have to live the role, be a buffoon, without holding back and without embarrassment. That's what I missed in Hendrickson. He did not project buffoonery.
As for the production, the first act with its color-coded costumes (each group has its color) did not offend me and seemed appropriate. Per Kirkby's backdrops are ugly, but I have gotten used to them. Alastair Macaulay blasted the production. True, the Elizabethan costumes in the last act were anachronistic and they must have cost a great deal.
Posted 15 September 2011 - 06:26 AM
No time to post my comments on Tess right now, but I thought she showed significant improvement over last year's debut.
I sure hope that Sara Mearns' part in Ocean Kingdom is substantial. It's almost criminal that she is not doing Swan Lake.
Posted 15 September 2011 - 05:46 PM
I know Bouder isn't an adagio dancer but her approach to Odette - in purely dance terms, and in terms of her musicality and interpretation - was completely unfathomable to me.
For starters she managed to make Ivanov's beautiful choreography look awkward and unmusical. Can you imagine watching someone "punch out" the entire first lakeside scene?
But equally disturbing is the fact that her Odette was not the least bit emotionally engaging. At least not to me. Macaulay likened her to a hornet. I think a wasp is more like it. There was not one iota of vulnerability or sorrow or pathos to be found. Nor was she a regal Odette. She seemed like a pissed off Odette. I can't imagine why the prince fell in love with her and I couldn't have cared less about her plight.
What about the rest of the cast and the production in general? I find the first act of Martin's Swan Lake so appalling that I'm used to gritting my teeth and waiting for Odette's entrance. This time it brought no relief. I enjoyed parts of the 3rd act - especially the pas de Quatre, Lowrey's Hungarian and the Somogyi/Askagard Russian Dance. And Ubricht's Jester is always a highlight - it's so over the top it suits this production perfectly.
Bouder's Odile was a killer but at that point - who cares? If all Swan Lake amounts to is an excuse for some flashy dancing in the ballroom scene it makes for a very boring evening.
That was a terrible way to start the season; I'm ready for some Balanchine now!
Posted 16 September 2011 - 10:39 AM
Every review I've read over the years has tended to analyse these NYCB versions of the "classics" by breaking them down into this or that element that the reviewer can't stand, or that element that he/she actually admires (more or less). No one seems to be able to experience them as wholly satisfying -- or, indeed, as uniformly ANYTHING.
Given the nature of Martin's Swan Lake, I wonder whether ANY dancer could turn this composition into something genuinely moving and transcendent.
Macaulay ends his detailed review with the following comment:
Posted 16 September 2011 - 11:14 AM
Posted 16 September 2011 - 11:27 AM
Yes, this flawed and hideous production can be transcendant with the right dancers. Sara Mearns accomplished this.
Posted 16 September 2011 - 11:28 AM
Posted 16 September 2011 - 12:50 PM
Posted 16 September 2011 - 08:56 PM
Posted 17 September 2011 - 06:12 AM
Posted 17 September 2011 - 08:07 AM
What does O/O stand for? Abatt, you've given good advice. A project needs to be planned, any project, so it is internally consistent.
Posted 17 September 2011 - 05:09 PM
Posted 17 September 2011 - 05:40 PM
Posted 17 September 2011 - 10:19 PM
0 user(s) are reading this topic
members, guests, anonymous users
Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases: