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Mariinsky Live 3D Cine-cast of Swan Lake, June 6

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I was actually sitting in the box next to the one in which the interviews were conducted
~ Drew.
To answer your question and mine, the film was directed by Ross MacGibbon, who has oodles of experience shooting the Royal Ballet, and he had an English crew. http://londondance.c...3d-live-screen/
~VolcanoHunter

I still can't get my head around this... everything seemed a recipe for success... what could have happened? Were changes made the day before (where was John Hurt?), perhaps what was true at the time of the Ross MacGibbon interview was not still true the day of the shoot?

I wish I could see the black swan pas de deux clip again or the white swan mentioned by Username above, but both are blocked.

Was everything slightly different from normal, lighting, corps line up, enough to throw off the dancers? Were they distracted by the crane? Usually dancers' consciousness of video cameras drops almost immediately as they deal with what's at hand... but perhaps the crane was distracting?

Drew, did you notice the crane? Did the lighting seem brighter to you?

I find myself anxious that these ballet in cinema shoots go well, they seem a viable way for the audience in the hinterlands to have some experience of ballet, and for there to be another revenue stream to help subsidize an art form that always struggles financially unless it has secure government support (and these days, even dance institutions with historically secure government support have felt pinched).

What is the backstory here? What happened?

Now I really do regret not having been able to go to the live cinema-streaming.

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The crane or camera boom was very much in evidence at the performance. They cleared out about half of the orchestra seats to make room for it and it also moved at various points throughout the performance. One could even occasionally hear a camera person make a remark or whisper to someone. (When sitting downstairs in the Benois level box there was also a camera directly in front of me that didn't block my view of stage but was sort of a minor distraction: I could see what the camera image for broadcast was through a little screen atop the camera, though I only checked once and saw the usual struggle and usual failure to capture anything like the picture on stage.) As a viewer I got used to all this though it did periodically distract--and not just visually as the crane made a decided whirring noise whenever it was moved; it also occasionally blocked my view. Really I didn't have any choice other than to be philosophical, and I guess I should say that the tickets were cheaper for the performances with cameras than they had been for the Lopatkina Swan Lake without cameras a few nights earlier. (A performance which was, by the by, unspeakably beautiful.)

That's "performances" plural when it comes to cameras. The camera boom and other cameras were just as much in evidence at the Wed. matinee with the identical cast as the 3D broadcast evening and there were no glitches (that I could tell) in the partnering etc. at the matinee performance, certainly no obvious slip ups. In fact, I thought that even some of Kondaurova's solo dancing in Act II may have been a bit stronger at the Wed. matinee. I tend to suspect nerves played a large part in whatever went wrong in the Act II adagio on Thursday night--and whoever's fault it was. And in fact, most of the black swan pas de deux seemed to me a bit better on Thursday night, by which time any nerves may have settled down. But that's just a guess.

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Drew, the audience's response (that is, those who were seeing it live and in person at the Mariinsky) seemed subdued, tepid and not particularly enthusiastic. Was that your impression seeing it live?

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The camera boom and other cameras were just as much in evidence at the Wed. matinee with the identical cast as the 3D broadcast evening and there were no glitches (that I could tell) in the partnering etc. at the matinee performance, certainly no obvious slip ups. In fact, I thought that even some of Kondaurova's solo dancing in Act II may have been a bit stronger at the Wed. matinee. I tend to suspect nerves played a large part in whatever went wrong in the Act II adagio on Thursday night--and whoever's fault it was. And in fact, most of the black swan pas de deux seemed to me a bit better on Thursday night, by which time any nerves may have settled down. But that's just a guess.

Maybe they were just tired. Asking a ballerina to do Swan Lake two days in a row is asking a lot, even of Kondaurova. I realize that emptying out half the orchestra to make room for the crane was a major undertaking and inconvenience, and I also understand that the film crews were not cheap. But since the Mariinsky was going live (or at least same-day) into hundreds of cinemas internationally, you'd think the priority would be the quality of the performance, and to that end perhaps they should have given their leads a day off between filmings.

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Drew, the audience's response (that is, those who were seeing it live and in person at the Mariinsky) seemed subdued, tepid and not particularly enthusiastic. Was that your impression seeing it live?

At both Kondaurova performances reaction was subdued--actually the Wed matinee, which was at noon (not, I gather, as peculiar at the Mariinsky as it would be in the U.S.) had many children and was so subdued as to be almost embarassing. Though the theater appeared pretty full I don't think that it was sold out and half the orchestra seats were cleared for the camera boom so it was not as large an audience as usual. Still, I was startled and started applauding extra loudly when it seemed as if applause was stopping before dancers had a chance even to take their bows. Thursday night seemed marginally better to me, but only marginally. I felt badly for Kondaurova especially who certainly merited a warmer reception. However, the Thursday performance was very late in St. Petersburg and that I think was a bit peculiar--at least I don't notice other performances scheduled at that time: it began at 9:30 p.m. and ended shortly before 1 a.m. It's approaching real "white nights" time in St. Petersburg and the sky actually had a little light when we got out--a medium dark blue sky with hints of light off in the distance across the Neva--but still, it was well past midnight, and people must have been concerned about getting home.

By the by, although this is tourist season in St. Petersburg, in my opinion lack of applause was not due to "tourists" who don't applaud or about weeknight audiences either. First I don't know that there were that many tourists at the Wed matinee--I saw and heard all Russian on the Belle Etage--and second, at the Sunday night Lopatkina performance, the applause was much more vociferous and after the bulk of audience had departed, passionate fans way upstairs and...a few others scattered throughout the theater including myself...kept applauding like crazy so that the curtain came up for several extra calls even after the "front" curtain had been let down. And, too, some of the American tourists in our box actually stayed for most of those extra calls, though not for the very final one we squeezed out. (And, though entirely off topic, let me say Lopatkina deserved it all and more. I actually roared out the first unembarrassed "brava" of my highly self-conscious life. Plus each time the curtain rose the grace of her bows was itself like a profound gift in response.)

But despite reasonable explanations for the tepid response to Kondaurova-Askerov (matinee audience Wed, lateness of hour Thursday etc.) I was still surprised. People seemed excited to be at the theater--on Wed. I saw them taking pictures in front of the Tsar's box. At both performances lots of people had binoculars etc. It's not like it felt like a bored uncaring audience. But then, as I type those words, it occurs to me that maybe there were a lot of VIP tickets on Thursday night as well...even if I didn't particularly notice. And of course, I was there as an outsider so there's a lot (everything really) that I presumably would not have known how to read.

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Drew, despite the inconvenience of the cameras, I suspect that will be a fun memory of a lifetime because it probably made it feel like you were actually at an "event"....to tell you the truth, in the movie theater I was trying to see if I could see you (I suspected you were at that performance) whenever they showed the boxes.....LOL Who knows? Maybe you will be seen in a dvd release if they release this on dvd! That would be a fun souvenir of your trip!

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I wish I could see the black swan pas de deux clip again or the white swan mentioned by Username above, but both are blocked.

That's unfortunate. I thought it was only a matter of time before they were blocked. All I can find now is this rehearsal clip:

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I'm confused... There were two performances but only the first, an early Wednesday matinee, was live-streamed to cinemas? The second, very late evening performance, went better but was not streamed? Because? Becausr the seond will be the base for later broadcasts? What? I am so confused.... I understand having two runs, one functioning as a dress (and perhaps some footage would be used from this) and the second being the main shoot... But why send the first out to the world, switched live (between different angles) but not edited (to use preferable footage independently recorded but not chosen in th live switching)?

Have I misunderstood something? (many things)?

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I apologize if my posts have been confusing. The Thursday night performance was the live broadcast and, as I understand, it was really live. The Wednesday matinee was, as it were, the "practice run" for cameras and performers. But it was not broadcast nor, as I understand, used for broadcast. I assume but I do not know that they will use some of the footage from Wed to cover the 'slips' in the live performance if they decide to issue a DVD of it.

As luck would have it, the Wed matinee (not the live stream) did not have the obvious slip ups in Act II that the Thursday broadcast performance did. I personally would not say it was altogether better than Thursday's live broadcast. I actually thought most of the black swan pas de deux was better on Thursday. And some other aspects of performance (such as Parish's dancing in Pas de Trois), though very fine on Wed, were in some respects better on Thursday as well.

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Amy - good point about the Olympics. I can easily imagine that the Sochi organizers will use 3D (and the Hollywood crew's technical expertise) for the opening & closing ceremonies. The ppt was very pretty - I get to see why everyone is raving about Bataeova!

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Thanks... That makes sense... I must have misread. Maybe The VIPs accounted for the nerves? Maybe it was just a case of the "Good Dress, bad show..." cliché.

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I'm wondering if Askerov was Kondaurova's choice for that all-important cinemas performance (potentially a DVD in which to be immortalized)? Her usual Siegfried or Solor is Ivanchenko who, for all of his faults, at least is a solid partner.

In the OFFICIAL TRAILER of Swan Lake 3D - Live from the Mariinsky Theatre - 06 June 2013, Kondaurova's Siegfried IS Ivanchenko.

https://www.youtube....h?v=ricuPmpF544

Kondaurova and Ivanchenko are also the dancers on the photo to preview 3D screening of Swan Lake.

http://londondance.c....fitandcrop.jpg

Mariinsky or the movie maker probably replaced the Siegfried not very long before the Live Broadcasting. Well, that is all bout THE business.

tiphat.gif

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I'm wondering if Askerov was Kondaurova's choice for that all-important cinemas performance (potentially a DVD in which to be immortalized)? Her usual Siegfried or Solor is Ivanchenko who, for all of his faults, at least is a solid partner.

In the OFFICIAL TRAILER of Swan Lake 3D - Live from the Mariinsky Theatre - 06 June 2013, Kondaurova's Siegfried IS Ivanchenko.

https://www.youtube....h?v=ricuPmpF544

Kondaurova and Ivanchenko are also the dancers on the photo to preview 3D screening of Swan Lake.

http://londondance.c....fitandcrop.jpg

Mariinsky or the movie maker probably replaced the Siegfried not very long before the Live Broadcasting. Well, that is all bout THE business.

tiphat.gif

Yes, the website originally listed Ivanchenko in the cast. Askerov replaced him at some point on the cast listing of the web site, but they had already released the video promo. I actually think Ivanchenko partners better than Askerov, and I think he also has actual Vaganova style, so that tips the scale in his favor, in my own personal opinion, although I understand why people are not necessarily fans of Ivanchenko. He does seem very calm, like the anti-thesis of someone like Ivan Vasiliev (who goes for broke). In that respect Askerov might be a little more youthful and vigorous in some of the moves, but to me he seems like a dancer from another company guesting.

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Did the web site originally list Ivanchenko? We sort of assumed he would be in the film because of the trailer, but when the Mariinsky finally posted casting three weeks before broadcast it was with Askerov as Siegfried, and the decision to pair him with Kondaurova may have been made some time earlier than that. Even with adequate rehearsal time the fact remains that Askerov is a young dancer, five years out of school. My guess would be that when the producers considered what giant 3D close-ups would look like, they figured that Ivanchenko would look too mature for a prince officially coming of age and decided to go with Askerov, who is, after all, young, tall, good-looking and photogenic.

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I could have sworn they listed him or listed him on the Playbill (you know how they say "Featuring Uliana Lopatkina" or "Uliana Lopatkina in the ballet...." before they put the actual casting up). I could have sworn he was listed in some way (either in the cast list or above the ballet's title "featuring Kondaurova and Ivanchenko"). I think I remember checking the site when the video came out to see if he was indeed cast or just in a promo video.

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I looked up Mr Ivanchenko on the Mariinsky website today and he is still not scheduled for any June performances. So I assume he has an injury.

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Ivanchenko danced June 2nd in Swan Lake and June 4th in Carmen.

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