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ABT in DC-Kennedy Center, spring 2013Mixed Bill and Corsaire


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#46 YouOverThere

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 03:29 PM

Can somebody please explainthe ugly costumes, none of which matched? They're almost as bad as the 'gypsy corps' outfits in Ratmansky's Little Humpbacked Horse. Not merely bland - TRULY UGLY.


I thought that the costumes were attractive and feminine (by modern standards) I did not care at all for the costumes for Symphony in C.

Finally - Who was the 'brilliant mind' who came up with opening a triple bill with the most beautiful, large-scale and upbeat ballet (Symphony in C) and ending it with the Ratmansky? That, my friends, is horrible programming/bad balance in a triple bill. This must be the first time I've seen Symphony in C not end a program.


It is a very common programming concept to put the slowest piece in the middle and the fastest piece at the end. I don't know that I've ever seen the Colorado Ballet program triple bills in any other order.

#47 cinnamonswirl

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 07:17 PM

The Symphony in C costumes are Karinska designs, but whoever executed them did a terrible, terrible job. The bodices were cut incorrectly, which made them unflattering, and the tutus were cut pancake style, instead of soft, Karinska-style, so the proportions were all off. They did look very girlish. NYCB's (now replaced) were always flattering. Also ABT's are white, instead of cream, which is a lot harsher-looking on stage.

This is the first time I've seen Symph C as the opener and I hope it doesn't catch on. Everything else pales in comparison and putting it first just emphasizes that. Plus it's the most upbeat and grandest of the ballets. I would have programmed them Limon, Ratmansky, Balanchine.

Lane was brillant in Symph. It's a very difficult role technically and she made it look so easy. She absolutely held her own against the other leads, and I would go so far as to see the female leads got better with each successive movement. I was disappointed by Seo. I've liked her in the full-length rep so maybe I was expecting too much, but she seemed dwarfed by the music and choreography. She has the right aura though, ethereal, so maybe she'll grow into it. (I would have loved to see Part!!!) Whiteside and Simkin were also excellent. Overall I thought the execution was a little sloppy and the first movement in particular seemed under-rehearsed.

#48 Alexandra

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 10:20 AM

I've just posted a review of the opening program on danceviewtimes. The link is on today's Links thread. There will be a review of "Le Corsaire" on dvt by George Jackson, probably Sunday or Monday.

#49 Alexandra

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 02:58 PM

Anyone see Le Corsaire? It's a new production, and I'm curious about what are the differences from the last one. (I won't be able to go.)


#50 SimonA

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 06:40 PM

I saw Corsaire on Thursday. I'll leave my thoughts on the dancing for another post, but, in brief, the new production is not very different from the old one (at least, as I've seen it on the 1999 DVD with Stiefel, Kent, Malakhov, et al.). It's essentially the same in spirit, and quite similar in detail. The only narratively significant departure -- to the extent that narrative is significant at all in this silly ballet -- is that [SPOILER ALERT] instead of the ballet concluding with Conrad and Medora waking up on the rock together, Medora pulls Conrad up onto the rock from the water. I really didn't notice any other major staging differences, though I've only seen the DVD once.

The overall color palette for the men's costumes is darker and richer and less cartoonish. These pirates look more prosperous, and Lankendum no longer looks like he's wearing a pair of goofy pajamas. The scenery for Act I is a bit more minimalist, with hanging carpets standing in for the bazaar. The grotto looks very similar. The palace in Act 3 is now dominated by a bunch of large hanging light fixtures.

Sorry I can't be more specific, but the new production struck me as not all that different at all from the old one.

#51 YouOverThere

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 08:06 PM

I got to both Saturday performances of Le Corsaire, but since I've never seen the earlier ABT production I can't comment on changes. My general take on this ballet is that it really shows who the outstanding dancers are. The story line is so weak that unless the dancers are spectacular watching it gets tedious quickly. Which is why I had to fight to stay awake during the matinee (it didn't help that the KC didn't turn on the air conditioning until the first intermission) but found myself engrossed in the evening show, because the dancers in the major parts in the matinee were merely very good while the cast for the evening performance was great (especially Gillian Murphy as Medora and Ivan Vasilev as Ali - he did things that I didn't think were physically possible). I also think that the music is totally uninspiring.

Spoiler Alert I don't know who came up with the ending for the story, but I thought that it was kind of stupid. Everybody on the boat except for Medora and Conrad apparently drowns, including Medora's friend, but there is no sense of tragedy./Spoiler Alert

#52 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 12:13 AM

From what I understand it is still Anna-Marie Holmes' staging, though she may well have made some tweaks, I thought it was the costumes and sets that were new.

#53 Alexandra

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 05:08 AM

Thanks!

#54 mussel

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 09:13 AM

Off topic. The proper way to do spoiler alert is to write the spoiler in white like this: testing testing testing. . It's difficult to write in white without knowing what you just typed, so you write your spoiler in black and then highlight the spoiler and change it to white. If members decide to read the spoiler they can move the curse to highlight and read the spoiler.

#55 mussel

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 09:47 AM

Spoiler alert: I don't understand the tragic everybody-dies-except-Medora-&-Conrad ending, it's a comedy so it supposed to have a happy ending. The new production has the same ending as the old one. What's the ending in the libretto?

#56 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 09:54 AM

Alone at last??? Posted Image
[size=1]sorry........[/size]

#57 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 10:07 AM

ahem. however the Bolshoi's website says:

Storm and Shipwreck
At sea. A clear and peaceful night on deck. The corsairs are celebrating their liberation. Only the hapless Birbanto, in chains, does not take part in the merry-making. Taking pity on him, Medora asks Conrad to forgive Birbanto and the latter joins in her pleas. After some hesitation Conrad pardons Birbanto who requests permission to regale his fellow pirates with a barrel of wine.

There is a swift change in the weather and a storm gets up; taking advantage of the confusion, Birbanto again starts to stir up trouble with the pirates, but Conrad throws him overboard. The storm gets worse: there are peals of thunder, flashes of lightning and a very rough sea. A resounding crack is heard and the ship goes aground on a rock.

The wind slowly dies down and the sea becomes calm again. The moon comes out and two figures are lit up in its silvery light: these are Medora and Conrad who, miraculously, haven’t drowned. They reach the rock, clamber up onto it and thank God for their salvation.



#58 cantdance

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 05:54 PM

The KC program: This new production premiered at the Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires, Argentina Dec. 2011. It premiered at the KC Apr 11 2013 by ABT staging by Anna-Marie Holmes. Scenic design by Christian Prego, costume design Anbal Lapiz and lighting by Brad Fields.
"Act III Scene 3: The Pasha's Palace
The pasha is awakened by the arrival of Conrad, Birbanto, and the pirates disguised as pilgrims. He invites them to enter the palace. Medora recognizes Conrad, disguised as one of the pilgrims. suddenly, the pilgrims throw off their robes and reveal themselves as pirates. Chaos erupts within the palace. Conrad and his men chase away the pasha, his guard, and wives. They dance in victory. Suddenly, Birbanto runs in chasing Gulnare. They collide with Conrad and Medora. Medora exposes Birbanto as a traitor, and Conrad shoots him. Conrad's slave helps Medora, Gulnare, and Conrad escape. They flee to the ship."

#59 Alexandra

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 06:21 PM

Thanks for all the responses about the production. Did anyone see it! No one went this afternoon?? (or any day) I hope there will be some reports. We don't want the Kennedy Center to think no one went :)

#60 cantdance

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 06:48 PM

I was a super for Act 1. Natalia, Ivan, Daniil and Sarah got the loudest and longest applause of the week. I watched from the wings and the ABT dancers were even yelling and applauding. The height of their jumps is just bigger. I did like James Whiteside as Ali on Friday.


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