Mariinsky Swan Lake at Costa MesaSaturday Night, October 6, at Segerstrom Center
Posted 07 October 2012 - 09:05 AM
B) Abhor; and
my general remark is this: The members of the company--other than the impeccable, as ever, corps--seemed largely distracted and wrapped up in their own thoughts such that I wondered if something had happened backstage or back home to take their minds off of their performances, or, perhaps more accurately, off of integrating their own performances with those of the others onstage. They frequently gave the impression of being out of sync with each other and indeed with the music; and even the orchestra sounded harsh and unintegral, as if the members were each trying to be heard over the others. The difference between the tempi for Siegfried and those for Odette was unpleasantly prominent. Considering the reputation of the company, and my past experiences with it, this all was so odd that I thought I myself must be "off" or in the wrong mood; but then I noticed others around me giving quizzical looks and making remarks during the intermissions.
This is not to say for a moment that the dancing was in the least bad; and our Jester, Ilya Petrov, gave a focused, spirited, and freshly playfully humorous performance, interactive and aware, deepened by genuine-feeling moments of insight and poignant affection for his master. His is the performance which will remain for me the keepsake of the evening. Our Odette/Odile was intense and crisp, splendidly so in her Odile; her Odette came across to me as somewhat cold, bordering on something of a Myrtha . . . which made another feature of this performance more chilling than intended. Our Siegfried, Vladimir Schklyarov--and more about him later--has a very boyish appearance, which in fact sorts well with the character's part in the tale. Meantime, our Odette, whatever her chronological age, projected a maturity which, in this case, made me a little uncomfortable: There was an (unintended) air of an innocent being taken advantage of. Schklyarov should be paired with a Swan Queen who projects more naiveté and vulnerability. Schklyarov's dancing was strong, exact, and soaring, his terminations crisp; but his tempi were by far the slowest I've heard for the role, and the impression left was that he was being, while beautifully skilled, too cautious. That said, his acting, his emoting in the role, had an affecting depth and sincerity, perhaps the best I've seen in a Siegfried.
Our Rothbart, Alexander Romanchikov, was strong and faultlessly splendid. The national dances were delivered with brio which came close to dispelling the strange listless atmosphere which hung over the rest of the performance. As mentioned, the corps was impeccable, wonderfully so.
All in all, a performance which left me with uncomfortable and ambiguous feelings...
Posted 07 October 2012 - 09:27 AM
I'm going again Saturday.
Posted 07 October 2012 - 10:46 AM
I wonder why the Mariinsky makes Rothbart looks so monstrous in the Black Swan act. In the older Makhalina Swan Lake (commercially released) he is not made up like a monster in the face. In that video he looks like a normal man, so you understand why Prince Siegfried's mother has him sit next to her. He and his "daughter" are her guests. But if anyone walked into a palace looking like the monster the Mariinsky now makes of Rothbart I think Siegfried's mother would make them leave. At some point they decided to make him look very over the top monstrous, even though the sets and costumes look the same. Rothbart is simply more like a monster nowadays. Maybe due to ABT's version (competing with the monster in that version?)......
Posted 07 October 2012 - 01:43 PM
I read the review in the Los Angeles Times, was excited about what it seemed to forebode, and was disappointed in the outcome. I think my hopes began to disintegrate during the first act pas de trois; the "friends of the Prince," while proficient, seemed to me to be just going through the motions. The excellent speaker at the preview spoke of that moment before the curtain goes up when the people on both sides of the curtain are anticipating the give and take of meeting each other's needs during the performance. I largely did not feel that connect at this performance; for the most part, I felt the sterile feeling of watching a ballet on TV. I agree that Act IV, the first half of which always just feels like "filler" to me and so I usually get fidgety, was quite good in this production. And I agree about the wonderful lighting, very subtle and dramatic with Rothbart in particular. The very traditional sets were beautiful, and suitable through not being ostentatious and calling attention to themselves (and away from the dancers). I particularly liked the way in which the vision of Odette was handled; in other productions, it often doesn't work as well as it did here.
Romanchikov (Rothbart) had a most curious look on his face during the applause at the end, as if he were at a loss to explain why the audience was applauding. Orange County audiences tend to be clap-happy, which actually I find rather endearing. They're there to enjoy themselves, come what may, and I think feel that, if everyone claps hard enough, it makes a good time come true. But my own applause, usually enthusiastic, was pretty moderate this time, for the various reasons already mentioned. I'm glad if the show succeeded elsewhere in the audience; but in my "neighborhood," it didn't go over at all. The couple to my right was very chary with its applause, more so than I. The couple to my left was complaining (without prompting from me!) about the same air of disengaged listlessness I had observed. The couple in front of me left after Act III. At the end of the show, the look on Romanchikov's face echoed my own.
Posted 07 October 2012 - 06:59 PM
The audience didn't applaud the opening recorded announcement. That's about all they didn't applaud.
Posted 12 October 2012 - 03:10 PM
PS: I was glad to hear the Mariinsky Orchestra
Posted 14 October 2012 - 04:45 AM
Anything better than the Swamp Thing, BB...
Posted 15 October 2012 - 05:33 AM
Posted 15 October 2012 - 08:06 AM
Posted 19 October 2012 - 06:32 PM
Posted 19 October 2012 - 07:11 PM
Posted 21 October 2012 - 07:25 PM
Posted 25 October 2012 - 09:22 AM
I lived in StP for several years when working for a US agency. I'm from Puerto Rico (USA), married to a Russian, and now living in Peru. When not overseas, I live in Washington, DC. Cheers and, once again, welcome!
Posted 25 October 2012 - 09:32 AM
Posted 25 October 2012 - 11:26 AM
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