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
I attended only the Sunday matinee. Quick notes:
Dancing from soloists: EXTRAORDINARY. I take back any negative feelings voiced earlier about Natalia Osipova jumping from company to company. She is, no doubt, a technical and interpretive genius at her prime...so she can be as capricious as she wants, just so we can still see her in the USA occasionally, please. Danil' Simkin - WOW. Just wow. Lane - absolutely held her own; stronger and more charismatic than EVER. Vasiliev - big strong legs, if not a 'king of line.' Cornejo as Lankedem - altered his variation (without the deep grand plies after jumps) but was nonetheless impressive, considering recent injury. I missed the brief pre-curtain announcement so cannot say for sure if that was Joseph Phillips as Birbanto but -- whoever it was - that Birbanto has a commanding stage presence, brilliant technique, perfect line. [Thanks to Kristen for later providing the name: Craig Salstein.] Three Odalisques (Brandt, Paris and Shevchenko): all very promising but every variation had a little mishap, most obviously the 3rd.
Specific Moves of Note: So many wonderful ones but I'll cite two of the most special, both from the Act II Pas de Trois' coda: (1) Simkin's "three-rivoltades-without-pauses" entrance, at start of coda; and (2) Osipova's 32 fouettes, doubles/triples...ending in a slow controlled quintuple (or sextuple?). Entire audience screaming and squealing at record-high pitch.
Dancing from corps: good character dancing; not-so-sharp from adult classical female corps in Jardin Anime but OK.
Dancing from children: Impressive and charming!
Staging: Same fantastic staging by Ms Holmes-after- K.Sergeyev, as in the '98 version seen on DVD. Similar to the great work that she did for Washington Ballet a couple of years ago. Quibble: Where is Medora's Petit Corsaire variation, from Ms Holmes' initial staging of the work, for Boston in the mid-90s? [Latest Bolshoi version does have Petit Corsaire.]
New Costumes: Very pretty, although I'm not sure why Medora's Act II tutu has a short floppy skirt (no stiffness), as if ordered from a discount recitals catalogue.
New Sets: In Act II, the pirates now stay at the ECONO-CAVE MOTEL. Minimalism is good for touring, I suppose.
New Lighting: Somber. Even the Act I bazaar is under-lit. Darkest atmosphere for a Jardin Anime/Act III....ever.
Overall, a very-very-very special performance.
Edited on April 17 to show the name of Craig Salstein as Birbanto, dancing in place of J. Phillips. The change was announced vocally, just before the curtain rose.