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Swan Lake, June 25-30, 2012


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#61 Natalia

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 05:16 AM

..... the you tube link (also many thanks for the mute key so I could tune out that annoying twit yellowing Bravo incessantly - we get it, Bravo, now give it a rest!)


LOL, I second that! I believe it's 'La Karsavina' herself, as we hear her voice on every one of the YouTube curtain-call films that she posts...such as the curtain calls for the SL matinee (Boylston, Simkin) which I posted a few posts back. "BRAAAAAAAHHHHHVOOOOOWWWWW!" Huge laughter seeing these clips, for unexpected reasons!

#62 Birdsall

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 11:20 AM

Am I to assume that Polina is the most technically competent ballerina at ABT right now...? Should I jump on a plane to go see her...?


Cristian,
When you return from Paris, if you have not seen the Zurich Ballet's Swan Lake with Semionova, you might want to check it out to get an idea of Semionova. Although it is choreographed by Heinz Spoerli (after Petipa), Semionova's Odette/Odile is basically traditional. Everything else is not, but it is worth watching for her. She is a lovely Odette/Odile with some nice balances and I think she characterizes the two roles well. This video has very sparse sets, modern dress, and lots of new choreography (for most characters other than Odette/Odile). It also has a storyline between Rothbart and Siegfried that I don't quite understand (not sure what is going on). With all that said even the new choreography is classical ballet style and overall it is more traditional than the Amazon reviews would lead you to believe. I think it is worth getting just to see Semionova's swan.
I wonder if anyone on here has seen this video and her recent Swan Lake with ABT. If so, please comment on whether she has improved, etc. I think the video, despite some non-traditional things, is a must have for Semionova fans. It gives you a great idea of her dancing.
Birdsall

#63 nanushka

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 12:06 PM


Am I to assume that Polina is the most technically competent ballerina at ABT right now...? Should I jump on a plane to go see her...?


Cristian,
When you return from Paris, if you have not seen the Zurich Ballet's Swan Lake with Semionova, you might want to check it out to get an idea of Semionova. Although it is choreographed by Heinz Spoerli (after Petipa), Semionova's Odette/Odile is basically traditional. Everything else is not, but it is worth watching for her. She is a lovely Odette/Odile with some nice balances and I think she characterizes the two roles well. This video has very sparse sets, modern dress, and lots of new choreography (for most characters other than Odette/Odile). It also has a storyline between Rothbart and Siegfried that I don't quite understand (not sure what is going on). With all that said even the new choreography is classical ballet style and overall it is more traditional than the Amazon reviews would lead you to believe. I think it is worth getting just to see Semionova's swan.
I wonder if anyone on here has seen this video and her recent Swan Lake with ABT. If so, please comment on whether she has improved, etc. I think the video, despite some non-traditional things, is a must have for Semionova fans. It gives you a great idea of her dancing.
Birdsall



The complete video is also available on YouTube.

#64 abatt

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 04:30 PM

I saw Vadim Muntagirov's performance on Sat afternoon w. Dvorovenko. I was very impressed with him. His jumps seems to float on air. Beautiful lines. He lands his jumps in perfect position. I thought he was excellent as far as his solo work went. He performed the lifts well, but sometimes when he had to spin Dvorovenko there some minor errors. Also, he did not seem to have much chemistry w. Dvorovenko, and he is not the most convincing actor. I'd be happy to see him again at ABT.

#65 angelica

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 04:41 PM

Abatt, I think you are being exceedingly kind to Muntagirov. I totally agree that he had little chemistry with Dvorovenko, but I felt that he projected no emotion whatsoever, beyond a rather bland half-grin, which he displayed throughout at least 3/4 of the ballet. Somehow Irina managed not to overcompensate for him, as Veronika (whom I adore) unfortunately did for Cory on Monday night. Muntagirov's jumps were high and his landings well done, but I honestly didn't think it was possible for someone to dance ballet so vacuously. Jared Matthews, simply standing in fifth position, was more interesting to watch than Muntagirov soaring over the stage.

If this statement is too harsh for this list, then please, moderators, delete it.

#66 MRR

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 04:51 PM

I also attended the Dvorovenko-Muntagirov Saturday matinee. I thought Muntagirov was extremely impressive technically--beautiful buoyant jumps, wonderful everlasting pirouettes, tapered lines. But I knew no more about his Siegfried at the end of the ballet than I did at the beginning. He had this boyish ear-to-ear grin throughout Acts I and III that just sort of hung there. He never stopped smiling, not even when the Queen Mother tells him he must marry or when Odile flashes him her palm during the middle of Black Swan pas. As Abatt mentioned, his chemistry with Dvorovenko was vaguely there, at best. I felt that Dvorovenko put in a creditable performance, but by no means an exceptional one. Semionova and Murphy were quite superior earlier in the week (I did not see Part), although I found Dvorovenko's interpretations of the two swans far more developed than Paloma's. Dvorovenko is a theatrical, desperate actress, and sometimes her acting "works" and sometimes it doesn't. Dvorovenko's provided very mature interpretations of Odette and Odile, and what I will say was interesting about the dynamic between Dvorovenko and Muntagirov is that Dvorovenko's swans were almost showing Siegfried the ways of the world. Dvorovenko was in good form technically, if a bit shaky at times (she came off of pointe awkardly during some of her pique attitudes/arabesques during Act II, and her pirouettes/fouettes in Act III were far from the best), but her extension has held up quite well.

#67 angelica

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 05:19 PM

The authentic drama of a full-length ballet is created by the chemistry between the partners, which brings spontaneity to their dancing, gives them courage to take risks, and allows them to develop the full range of their talents. When dancers like Part and Dvorovenko are ill-served by their vacant partners, they can either overcompensate and become overly-dramatic, as I felt Part did with Cory on Monday night, or they can dance their own personal interpretation without reference to a partner at all, as I felt Dvorovenko did at the Saturday matinee. If she was attempting to show her Siegfriend the ways of the world, she certainly didn't make any progress. He was the same Siegfriend at the end as he was at the beginning.

It's almost cruel to pair up these exquisite female dancers with partners who detract from their performances. There is a reason that Vishneva will dance only with Gomes (is that a fact or only hearsay?) Over the many decades that I've been attending ballet performances, I've seen some extraordinary partnerships, going back to Maximova-Vasiliev, Fonteyn-Nureyev, Fracci-Bruhn, Ferri-Bocca, and a handful of others. Perhaps great partnerships are formed in heaven, but we need more of them at ABT--for the dancers' sakes, for the audiences' sakes, and to preserve the heritage of these great ballets, not to mention the future of ABT.

#68 California

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 06:29 PM

There is a reason that Vishneva will dance only with Gomes (is that a fact or only hearsay?)


I just looked back at the ABT casting/schedule that I printed out last October. She was cast with Gomes for every performance except a Swan Lake on 6/26 with Hallberg. But at some point this spring, Semionova was substituted for Vishneva at that performance. Was there ever an explanation for that? Did she refuse to dance with Hallberg, or perhaps had another engagement that interfered?

I also noticed another interesting change from that old schedule: Stiefel had been scheduleld with Murphy for the Swan Lake the evening of 6/27, but she did that with Gomes instead. Perhaps Stiefel decided not to do Swan and Gomes was the only reasonable substitute for Murphy. If Vishneva had insisted on Gomes, that would have given him two consecutive nights.

#69 MRR

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 06:30 PM

If she was attempting to show her Siegfriend the ways of the world, she certainly didn't make any progress. He was the same Siegfriend at the end as he was at the beginning.


Correct, and I wasn't really intending to imply differently. Dvorovenko's O/O showcased maturity, and I felt that she tried to give this approach to the ballet because of a lack of built-in chemistry with Muntagirov. But, alas, his Siegfried never changed. Frankly, Muntagirov's best moment was the Act III solo, where he didn't have to interact with anyone and could just dance.

#70 angelica

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 06:50 PM


There is a reason that Vishneva will dance only with Gomes (is that a fact or only hearsay?)


I just looked back at the ABT casting/schedule that I printed out last October. She was cast with Gomes for every performance except a Swan Lake on 6/26 with Hallberg. But at some point this spring, Semionova was substituted for Vishneva at that performance. Was there ever an explanation for that? Did she refuse to dance with Hallberg, or perhaps had another engagement that interfered?

I also noticed another interesting change from that old schedule: Stiefel had been scheduleld with Murphy for the Swan Lake the evening of 6/27, but she did that with Gomes instead. Perhaps Stiefel decided not to do Swan and Gomes was the only reasonable substitute for Murphy. If Vishneva had insisted on Gomes, that would have given him two consecutive nights.

Which brings us right back to the oft-referenced male principal problem at ABT. And--you deserve a medal for your research.

#71 angelica

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 06:55 PM


If she was attempting to show her Siegfriend the ways of the world, she certainly didn't make any progress. He was the same Siegfriend at the end as he was at the beginning.


Correct, and I wasn't really intending to imply differently. Dvorovenko's O/O showcased maturity, and I felt that she tried to give this approach to the ballet because of a lack of built-in chemistry with Muntagirov. But, alas, his Siegfried never changed. Frankly, Muntagirov's best moment was the Act III solo, where he didn't have to interact with anyone and could just dance.


You're right, MMR, you didn't imply differently. Sorry if I gave that impression. I was sitting in Row A Center Orchestra and couldn't believe what I was (wasn't) seeing. He didn't even use his upper body in an expressive way. It seemed almost sunken in at times.

#72 mimsyb

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 07:08 PM

I'm wondering how familiar Muntagirov is (was) with this staging. Or how much rehearsal time he had. He seemed at times to be wandering on stage and was pulled back into the action by others on stage with him. Particularly Act I. His solos were nice, promising, if you will. I'd like to see more of him, perhaps with other dancers. He seemed more comfortable with Hee Seo earlier in "Bayadere". He did smile a lot though! I don't mean to be too critical, but his two front teeth protrude and make his cheeks look sort of chubby , giving him a cherubic air. Very boyish. And he seemed to play Siegfried boyishly. Still, I liked him and as I said, I'd like to see him again.

#73 abatt

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 05:24 AM

Muntagirov had already done the ABT Bayadere once in Washington in Feb 2012 w. Hee Seo, and so he was already familiar with the staging and his partner. Not so w. Swan Lake. This was his first time in the ABT production, and the first time dancing w. Irina. I'm willing to cut the guy some slack because of that, especially since he is such a beautiful dancer. I thought his Act I solo at the end of the act was a marvel. I have to agree that Paloma was the worst of the Swans I saw last week. There is nothing Swan-like about her. She is best in modern works, I believe.

#74 bingham

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 06:42 AM


..... the you tube link (also many thanks for the mute key so I could tune out that annoying twit yellowing Bravo incessantly - we get it, Bravo, now give it a rest!)


LOL, I second that! I believe it's 'La Karsavina' herself, as we hear her voice on every one of the YouTube curtain-call films that she posts...such as the curtain calls for the SL matinee (Boylston, Simkin) which I posted a few posts back. "BRAAAAAAAHHHHHVOOOOOWWWWW!" Huge laughter seeing these clips, for unexpected reasons!

As much as we wish that La Karsavina would tone down her Bravo, I would give her bouquets for posting those curtain calls clips. They are fun to watch.

#75 MRR

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 03:45 PM

I have to agree that Paloma was the worst of the Swans I saw last week. There is nothing Swan-like about her. She is best in modern works, I believe.


Word. She didn't clearly shape a character of either swan and her once storied technique has gone south. Her feet were exceptional as always, but the flexibility of her back is gone, her arabesque struggled to ever reach 90 degrees, and even her known turning ability failed her during the fouettes where she traveled all over the stage. Amongst the two swans, I was actually more disappointed with her Odile, oddly. I felt a tad bit vulnerability in her Odette and found it a (barely) passable interpretation. But her Odile had this sort of cheekish grin that went nowhere. There was no seduction or fire in her Odile; instead, she was almost sweet. Although, I suppose this is not fair of me to make this comment. As I don't think anyone would want to act "evil" toward Corella, even in performance mode, on his farewell show!


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