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Diana Vishneva - Dialogues


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#16 Birdsall

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 04:45 AM

You have a similar problem in opera. Often the vast majority of opera lovers go to see the star soprano and how she interprets Violetta, Norma, Leonora, etc. but it seems to be the male singers who become the super stars in the mainstream world (Pavarotti, Domingo). The soprano is often the most important role, and many operas succeed or fail depending on the soprano (Bellini's Norma can succeed even with a lousy Pollione but you can not have a lousy Norma), yet the males become the super stars.

#17 Drew

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 05:49 PM

Nureyev and Baryshnikov were high-profile defectors during the cold war and got a lot of non-ballet press: I think that is a large part of the reason non-ballet-goers know their names. Still, I don't think Makarova ever acquired quite the same kind of fame and from a purely "ballet" point of view she was just as high profile. Of course great male ballet dancers were seen as rarer -- and rightly so. That may still be the case today, but much less so, in part because of Nureyev and Baryshnikov.

However Makarova did do a Broadway show of the kind we are discussing, albeit running for a month and with two at least partially different programs alternating. This was the height of the "dance boom."

The programs included Petipa: a setting of the Paquita finale with young dancers filling out the ensemble and solos. (I think some were advanced students from SAB or the ABT school--someone else might remember more exactly). There were also largely uninteresting new works. I can't remember if the program included any 'chestnuts'...

Makarova had to withdraw at least two nights, but instead of cancelling the performance -- I don't even know if that was an option permitted by the producers -- she chose young, entirely unknown dancers from the ensemble to replace her. They got nice press too. But having come in from out of town for one of the performances she cancelled, I was very disappointed and I have to say that I found the evening quite dull. I felt this way despite Pacquita, which the young dancers were not really up to, and despite Anthony Dowell (one of my all time favorites--one of the all time greats I should say) in one of the new works on the program. With Makarova I think the program would have been well worth my while, but still not one of the more memorable ballet-going evenings of my life.

(The audience was full of empty seats. I think they had let people trade tickets for other nights once Makarova cancelled. Since I was in from out of town I could not do so--to make matters worse I had convinced a non-ballet going friend and her ALREADY skeptical father to attend, thinking: "Makarova: they have to love it." No Makarova and they did not.)

Vishneva is a great ballerina: no evening spent watching her could be a complete waste of time. But, as I felt after seeing her dance Carmen in July, it is possible for such an evening to come very close to being one.

#18 Batsuchan

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 07:07 PM

To be fair, I would say the "Kings of Dance" performance that I attended (Sat night) was just as poorly attended as the Vishneva show, even with the discount offers--the orchestra section may have been full, but the mezzanine where I sat was about half empty; only the center was full. They did not cancel a performance like Vishneva did, however.

I also think it is unfair to compare the attendance of "Kings of the Dance" (with five big ballet stars) with that of "Dialogues" (arguably a solo show). I would guess that if Ardani organized a similar "Queens of the Dance" with--say--Vishneva, Osipova and Semionova, it would be at least as well attended, if not more so.

#19 ksk04

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 10:07 PM

I also think it is unfair to compare the attendance of "Kings of the Dance" (with five big ballet stars) with that of "Dialogues" (arguably a solo show). I would guess that if Ardani organized a similar "Queens of the Dance" with--say--Vishneva, Osipova and Semionova, it would be at least as well attended, if not more so.


They already did this (sans Vishneva)...it was called Reflections and it was AWFUL. And seeing as how it never went beyond SCFTA and then to the Bolshoi who co-produced it, it seems pretty much DOA, thank god.

#20 Batsuchan

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 05:30 AM


I also think it is unfair to compare the attendance of "Kings of the Dance" (with five big ballet stars) with that of "Dialogues" (arguably a solo show). I would guess that if Ardani organized a similar "Queens of the Dance" with--say--Vishneva, Osipova and Semionova, it would be at least as well attended, if not more so.


They already did this (sans Vishneva)...it was called Reflections and it was AWFUL. And seeing as how it never went beyond SCFTA and then to the Bolshoi who co-produced it, it seems pretty much DOA, thank god.


My point was more about attendance than artistic merit. I have no doubt that Osipova and Semionova et al could have participated in a show with equally dreadful modern choreography as Kings of the dance.

However, others on this thread have used the low attendance at Vishneva's show to posit some kind of glass ceiling in ballet. I'm merely arguing that 1) attendance at Kings of the Dance was also low and 2) it is not really fair to compare the popularity of a show with 5 star dancers to that of a solo show.

Would Reflections have sold as well as Kings of the Dance in NYC, where Semionova and Osipova are fairly well known and admired from their guest appearances at ABT? My guess is yes.

#21 Helene

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 09:10 AM

My point about "Kings of the Dance" was to compare the quality of the choreography.

Would Reflections have sold as well as Kings of the Dance in NYC, where Semionova and Osipova are fairly well known and admired from their guest appearances at ABT? My guess is yes.

My guess is, possibly once.

I also think a solo show with Carlos Acosta or Ivan Vasiliev, for example, doing similar choreography to what Vishneva attempted, would not have been seen as a vanity project and not have to be canceled.


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