emilienne

Mikhailovsky Sleeping Beauty

20 posts in this topic

This seems to be the next live broadcast that the Mikhailovsky has planned, but there is no more information about it on the website.

http://www.mikhailovsky.ru/en/live/

EDIT: Update 20 December 2011 (from later down on the thread)

From ParaClassics's page on Facebook. ParaClassics seems to be the transmitter of these performances.

"Dear Friends, the recording of today's premiere of the wonderful Sleeping Beauty by Nacho Duato is available till 7PM Moscow Time (GMT+4) December 21st at the same address as the live webcast - enjoy and share this Christmas gift with your friends!"

Edited by emilienne

Share this post


Link to post

watching online now, and posting after each act. I can do this because I'm on PST and don't have to be at work until later in the afternoon. The costumes are beautiful, very light in movement, and sets are restrained, rather like reliefs on a Wedgwood vase, and the dancers are lovely. The backdrop scenery is blue sky and some bushes, rather bland. But the sets (lining the stage, etc) are nice, very Georgian (not the nation-state, but the 18th century style).

The various fairies have fun choreo, it's charming and different than you'd expect, more natural to the social scene of a royal court, if that makes sense.

Just finished the Rose Adagio, it's the same - but different. More intricate in some ways, many same steps but with some twists (and short lifts), but the final balance is the same. Still it comes across as lovely, but not the powerhouse fireworks display of technical brilliance that the original steps provided. Audience reaction was not as passionate when she was done, because she didn't do as many (obvious) firework balances.

Overall, I would describe the choreo (which is really charming) as traditional, with some surprising off balance steps. It's not Nacho Duato doing "modern" at all, but rather a thoughtful revision of SB.

I am surprised they chose Svetlana Zhakarova for the broadcast, since she just did this a month ago at the Bolshoi. I thought we'd get a Mikhailovsky prima, such as Perrin. More later...

Share this post


Link to post

Act 2 - hunting scene - all in jewel tones except the prince - who wears light blue (v. traditional). But the women's dresses are really silk breeches, with skirt overlays. Hard to describe this costume. I don't see a major style change that indicates 100 years have passed. The scenery is very clearly a forest, with a backdrop of a painted lake on a cloudy day (an improvement over Act 1). Peasant ppt looks very Russian, rather than French. Sarafanov has lovely arms, and jumps with natural spring as Desire.

Vision scene is similar to Rose Adagio - the steps are still there, but much has been altered too. The corps lacks the unity of Bolshoi, etc, but again this is brand new choreo - when they come to London, they may look better. Sveta is very effective in the Vision scene, more so than the first act.

And the Lilac Fairy's boat looks far more effective gliding along with the lake behind her! Trees cross the stage in front of the boat, making it look as if it is progressing down a river, with trees on either side. Carabosse appears, sorry didn't mention him in the 1st act (yes, a "him"), his costume looks like "Black Swan" with longer skirts. Ekatarina Borchenko is a very authoritative Lilac, with long sweeping arms. Bravo!

Aurora is revealed on a bed surrounded by giant hanging tendrils of roses framing her bed - enormously effective. You can see the set in the first photo at this webpage, which also shows the cast list.

She is alone in this scene, no sleeping family nearby. She looks away in fright at first, but then turns to Desire and realizes that he is not a danger but her savior. But the audience reaction when she is kissed and wakes up is tepid at best. now to the second shorter intermission, with scenes of the theater itself, which is very pretty.

A word about the orchestrations - the dancers do not always end "on the beat", and I cannot decide if this is Duato's choreo, the fact that it's new choreo, dancers not being "on the time", or the conductor not tailoring the band to match the dancer. But it's a little "off".

Share this post


Link to post

Act 3 - there are 3 fairies in addition to Lilac (instead of 11,000 in Bolshoi), and Mikh has some very good dancers, because they make the choreo look as easy as walking in the park. Then we have a man in brown, I couldn't figure out who he was supposed to be, sometimes he partnered the fairies.

Puss N Boots came out in very modern looking costumes, no tails, but caps with ears, and choreo that emphasized sensual cat movements. But it wasn't comical or hyper cute, as in other versions. Bluebird ppd was very traditional steps, and the costumes were conservative, a saturated blue, perhaps a darker blue than usual. Little Red Riding hood came out with a small red riding cap, white skirt, brown dirndl, and white bicycle shorts to her knees, bare legs below, and a grey basket. The wolf followed, with a very animalistic costume. They mostly chased each other around the stage, lots of traveling, with minimal dancing.

Wedding ppd is very traditional, the steps all looked old school to me, everyone in the court including bride and groom is wearing white with gold trim. but it works. Sveta doesn't relate to this Prince Desire much either. BTW, Sarafanov looks much younger than Zhakarova. No one wears wigs in this production (hardly any feathers for that matter), but Sarafanov's baby face really contrasts with Z. I kept thinking Ashton Kutcher / Demi Moore, but it makes sense since Aurora has been sleeping for 100 years, so she's about 116 years old. :)

Sarafanov's solo again is traditional, he gets lovely ballon and has good lines, although a final spin is a little off center. Sveta's solo gets big applause, traditional steps, sky high extensions (no surprise there), and technically she's brilliant.

The scene ends with a long wedding veil brought out by the court, arms raised so it skims over Aurora's head, and finally Lilac and the King afix the narrow part of the veil to her crown. She takes Desire's hand and walks up the steps (veil trailing), they stop at the top, framed by the gigantic oval picture frame set, and kiss. Curtain lowers. The End.

Crowd hoots and hollers its approval, and Duato steps out at last for a bow. Flowers all around.

IMHO, this is a charming production, the producers tried to chip off all the ossification to Sleeping Beauty, but keep the basics intact. In the process, I think they chipped away too much on realistic set design. But the costumes were lovely, the choreo was interesting, and the dancers were beautiful. I think the direction is away from Bolshoi's "ta-da" moments and milking applause, instead the path goes towards more organic choreo. My one big complaint is that they should have cast a Mikh prima for the broadcast.

Share this post


Link to post

I watched parts at work. I agree with almost everything Jayne said, except she did not give enough praise to the beautiful costumes. They were like eye candy. I thought the choreography was a bit too open and designed to lead to less elevation, except when Aurora is a gleeful teenager when surrounded by a circle in the horah-like dance; the dancers needed further rehearsal time, too. I think this version was more organic (that is not a criticism of the old version). For example, I liked Aurora's display of apprehension before having to dance with the four princes. However, the four suitors had less personality and individuality in this version, and the dancing was more flat. I enjoyed, in this version, the characterizations and dancing of the king and queen, the ballroom dancing of the corps, as well as the stronger expression of the Lilac Fairy. Contrary to Jayne, I felt the distinction between Aurora's and the Prince's times were apparent from the costumes: Aurora's age showed Spring flowers; the Prince's time period displayed the Fall harvest colors, with baskets; the return to the court occurred in the gilded age.

Share this post


Link to post

I wasn't able to watch all of it, but I really enjoyed it all. It was different from what I was expecting, more traditional stuff in there than I imagined but I enjoyed it very much. I loved Caraboose, and loved his costume. I really ejoyed the sets I thought the more minimal look worked well and I love the sets especially the bed and the oval frame at the end. I much prefer minimal sets and less flooding of the stage with dancers it gives me time to actually see whats going on rather than have my attention diverted to so many different areas at one. I didn't register too much change in era's but that partly may have been because I had to nip away during that moments so may have missed a bit.

I wish Perren had been in it instead because I much prefer her to Sveta, and because she's THE Mikh prima in my eyes From what I've seen on the Mikhailovsky Livejournal videos she was wonderful and all the rehearal and behind the scenes stuff was really good fun to watch to see it all taking shape.

Share this post


Link to post

Yes, Caraboose was excellent in this version.

I'm watching and I'm loving it. I don't care if carabosse is played by a male or female dancer. This is one of the most delightfully malevolent Carabosses around.

So far (She just fell asleep) my main quibble is the lack of roses in the rose adagio! I find that silly that this is what is slightly off-putting to me when much of the choreography is distinctly different. I wouldn't be happy if this was the only version around, but I really enjoyed the new choreography for the rose adagio (I just wanted roses) and for the fairy variations. In the case of the "canary fairy" I actually found it a vast improvement as it didn't look like the "seizure fairy" which is how I often think of her.

I'm sure some people on here wont like the very minimal sets. but I enjoy the airy simplicity. And the costumes are gorgeous.

Share this post


Link to post

I'm sure some people on here won't like the very minimal sets. but I enjoy the airy simplicity.

After several viewings of the Disney-fied ABT version and that very crowded stage, I liked the minimal sets in contrast. They seemed like they were designed with touring in mind.

Share this post


Link to post

The sets/costumes and the opening scenes remind me a bit of Preljocaj's Le Parc (which I love)--a lot of the Duato-ized movements do as well. I, too, loved Carabosse and how she wasn't played for camp. I have to admit, I've really enjoyed the parts I've seen (Prologue and Act I so far). There haven't been many moments so far where I've hated the changes. In fact, I quite loved the changed variation for the Canary fairy. I loved her running through the courtiers, disrupting them (I also highly enjoyed the way the courtiers reacted to the fairies across the whole of the prologue). Zakharova is infinitely more effective in this production--she was quite stunning in Act I and her acting was much better.

It seems like the company needs a bit more time for it to settle in their bones, which is understandable. It's hard to learn a variation one way your entire life and then switch. During Zakharova's Rose Adagio I was trying to think how hard it would have been to be intensely rehearsing the standard version for the Bolshoi, and then suddenly switch in a fairly short amount of time (especially with something as engrained as the Rose Adagio).

One of the best parts was that none of the Mik females dancers had their entire skeletal structure on display. They all had lovely bodies and developed muscles. The Lilac Fairy reminded me of Polina Semionova in look--she seemed nervous though, but had a really strong, beautiful arabesque.

Share this post


Link to post

Zakharova is infinitely more effective in this production--she was quite stunning in Act I and her acting was much better.

I'm not in general a Zakharova fan, but I much prefered her in this than in the Bolshoi production. She seemed to act it or maybe even live it a bit more than the Bolshoi performance.

One of the best parts was that none of the Mik females dancers had their entire skeletal structure on display. They all had lovely bodies and developed muscles. The Lilac Fairy reminded me of Polina Semionova in look--she seemed nervous though, but had a really strong, beautiful arabesque.

I noticed this as well. I saw Perren on I think its Bolero last week with her partner and had quite a lot of her body on show and she looks lovely with a nicely proportioned body and not bones trying to make a bid for freedom from her body. And in this production I noticed it seemed to be something a lot of them have going on there at the Mikhailovsky, I hope it long continues.

I admit to not having seem many Sleeping Beauties in my time as a ballet fan, its not something that has ever really drawn me in as something I'm willing to pay for, so is it common for a man to be Carabosse and for it to be played so uncampy? The main bulk of my knowledge of this kind of thing has always been the Dudinskaya version in the Sleeping Beauty with Soloviev/Sizova and the men playing the ugly sisters in Cinderella.

Share this post


Link to post

From ParaClassics's page on Facebook. ParaClassics seems to be the transmitter of these performances.

"Dear Friends, the recording of today's premiere of the wonderful Sleeping Beauty by Nacho Duato is available till 7PM Moscow Time (GMT+4) December 21st at the same address as the live webcast - enjoy and share this Christmas gift with your friends!"

Share this post


Link to post

. The Lilac Fairy reminded me of Polina Semionova in look--she seemed nervous though, but had a really strong, beautiful arabesque.

Exactly what I thought, although she gained composure after the first act.

Share this post


Link to post

The fairies were all partnered in this version, unlike other versions.

Share this post


Link to post
except she did not give enough praise to the beautiful costumes. They were like eye candy.

I concede your point, the long skirts, made of tulle and chiffon (apparently), are constructed to swing with the choreography, and they look light and fluffy and a pleasure to wear. And they make the dancers' waists look tiny. I think it's the Alexander McQueen effect.

Share this post


Link to post

Thank you so much for these reviews! (I was unable to watch it)

How generous of you all to put your thoughts to words and then post them here for us. :D

I do hope that there will be at least excerpts of this up on one of the public video portals sometime. :)

-d-

Share this post


Link to post

I only cut in and out so I don't have a clear memory and did not have a clear observation -- but did the fairies do pirouettes in both directions? Isn't that unusual? And aren't the fairies usually partnerless? I thought that was interesting.

I would love to know who the brown clad dancer was supposed to be in Act III. And was there a Cinderella tale?

Someone should unite the two threads on this topic.

Share this post


Link to post

I would love to know who the brown clad dancer was supposed to be in Act III. And was there a Cinderella tale?

Someone should unite the two threads on this topic.

By sheer luck, I viewed all of the SB acts because i was curious to see Nacho Duato as 'classical' choreographer.

I think all the observations of the viewers are accurate. Generally I concur with Natalia's comment that chopping Tchaikovsky's score is the cardinal sin of the production.

i liked the costumes and the sets (whose name escapes me). The reporter who cited 'eye candy' was right on the mark.

The Mikhailovsky dancers are first rate. Some I'd like to cite are the three gorgeous fairies in the third act as well as the 'brown clad' male dancer, spectacular and nameless.

Others of note are Florine and the Bluebird, brilliant in blue, brilliant in sensuous partnering.

Nacho Duato sincerely put a lot of work in. The vision scene probably needs some work (At least the panorama gets in). The variations seem musically adept.

But no mazurka?

BTW did the composer name the Rose Adagio?

On the principals: Sarafanov brought nothing for me to the vision scene. Zakharova, beautiful and glamorous, sought luster to her international career,and Borchenko, made me to wish her in Petipa choreography.

Share this post


Link to post

The Russian-language BalletFriends forum gave the detailed casting for non-principal roles:

Prologue Fairies:

Candide-Dmitrienko

Coulente-Yapparova

Miettes (Dewdrop) -Miltseva

Canari -Zapasnikova

Violente - Bondareva

Lilac - Borchenko

Fairy Pages:

Victor Lebedev (THE great male star of the Vaganova Class of 2010...I hope that it was worth it)

Korypaev

Yakhnyuk (also the Act III guy in brown...)

Zaitsev

Sivakov

Morozov

Modern Trio in Forest (Farandole music) - Miltseva, Arzyaev & Lapshanov

Jewel Fairies - Dmitirenko, Zapasnikova, Bondareva & (man in brown) Andrei Yakhnyuk*

Cats - Nikolaeva & Kuligin

Bluebird pdd (sans solos) - Yapparova & Korypaev

Red Hood & Wolf - Khomenko & Sergei Strelkov (the Vaganova Academy's top male in the latest class...although not as spectacular as Lebedev from the Class of '10, who was one of the 6 fairy pages here)

* Andrei Yakhnyuk began his career in 1999 as Principal with Tachkine's St. Petersburg Ballet Theater (famous as the troupe with Irina Kolesnikova), then transferred to the Mikhailovsky in 2007 as a First Soloist. He graduated from the Moscow Ballet Academy (the Bolshoi's school) in '99 but his entire career has been in StP.

Share this post


Link to post

I say that Nacho Duato shouldn't have ever touched it - at all.

Share this post


Link to post