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Onegin - 2013 Met Season


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#31 canbelto

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 05:47 AM

I can only echo the plaudits for the Vishneva/Gomes/Matthews/Boylston quartet last night, especially Vishneva and Gomes. Their final duet was almost feral and had the crowd in a frenzy. Beautiful partnership, and Vishneva's use of her back in her lifts was masterful. I'm so glad I could witness this performance. i went last year and it was beautiful but last night they took it to another level of passion and excitement. Diana posted on her facebook that this was her "last" Onegin at the ABT -- I hope this is not true, because this is a portrayal for the ages.

#32 abatt

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 06:09 AM

Diana's calendar on her website indicates that she will be doing Onegin with the Bolshoi on July 19. Anyone know who her partner will be. They should hire Gomes for that one performance and broadcast it. Wishful thinking.

#33 Golden Idol

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 10:39 AM

Apropos absence of videos: Yes, it is really shocking in this day and age that ABT is not pursuing more video releases or HDs. I can't say whether it's because they've backed themselves so badly into a corner financially and can't afford it, or it's a lack of imagination. I suspect the latter, because the ads they've been running (I see them on NY1) this month are not very inspiring, though at least they utilize recent clips. (Last summer, the video clips looked years old to me.) The voice-over sounds tired, and the rapid clips (always showing mere seconds of one bravura moment or another) are cut together in such a way they make surprisingly little impact. Say what I will about Peter Gelb (and I won't indulge that here), I do wish ABT had someone who possessed as fierce and ruthless a marketing vision for the company. God knows they need it.

And while I'm on the subject, for those of us in New York, I'm amazed that ABT offers so few of its performances on TDF. There are enough evenings at the Met with a multitude of empty seats that I cannot imagine the downside to posting more offerings on TDF. True, some of the Onegin perfs were offered (and this rather surprised me), and I believe one of this week's Don Qs, too, Last summer, practically nothing. What could they possibly have to lose? The Family Circle may be a lost cause, but on nights when the Balcony is 2/3 full, those $45/$55 tickets could be offered for $29 and they'd sell. NYCB does this frequently and I try to take advantage when possible. Again, I suspect this is a failure of imagination.

#34 California

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 11:25 AM

Diana posted on her facebook that this was her "last" Onegin at the ABT -- I hope this is not true, because this is a portrayal for the ages.



Her Facebook statement sounds pretty final to me! Perhaps she has been told that it's being retired from the ABT rep for a few years. It sounds like ticket sales haven't been great, so that's plausible. It's also possible she doesn't plan to renew her contract with ABT.

Last night was very special, our last "Onegin" at the MET...
Wanted to thank my dearest partner, Marcelo Gomes.
For being right there with me: in every step, every breath, every gesture... It was unforgettable.
I also want to thank ABT.
For the opportunity to dance this masterpiece on MET stage.



https://www.facebook...8061382?fref=ts

#35 abatt

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 11:35 AM

I doubt Onegin will come back next season. The things that remain in the rep year after year are traditional classical ballets like Swan Lake, Don Q, and the like. Ballets like Onegin and Lady of Camellias seem to be done for two seasons and then retired for a few years. I'm a little surprised they have not done Manon in so many years. That's another one that generaly has weak ticket sales, but makes an appearance every couple of years. It's also a suitable ballet for Julie Kent.

Maybe Mussel can look into his crystal ball and give us an idea of what's in store for the 2014 season.

#36 California

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 11:42 AM

Maybe Mussel can look into his crystal ball and give us an idea of what's in store for the 2014 season.



Actually, I've been hoping for a few hints in the NY Times Arts Blog about the fall 2013 season at the State Theatre! They seem to get the first public information. I can't remember when the fall 2012 season was announced, and that was a few weeks earlier in the fall. I'm guessing it won't be released until July.

#37 angelica

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 06:11 PM

I totally agree that last night's performance of Onegin was memorable in every way and that Diana and Marcelo delivered a dramatic and heartrending performance.

However, I want to make a special comment for the performance of Jared Matthews as Lensky. His acting, the rise of his emotions from quizzical to dismay to desperation was seamless and completely believable. His dancing in the solo before the duel was sublime, and is emblazoned in my memory, I hope forever. His performance definitely showed him ready to be promoted to principal dancer. ABT might have thought of that before inviting a cadre of foreign male principals, but as is all too often the case, ABT fails to promote its own. Promote Jared and put him on stage--he is the better mousetrap, and the people will come.

#38 naomikage

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 10:14 PM

might be a little off-topic but ABT will be performing Manon in the 2014 Feb-March Japan Tour.

The cast is already online.

http://www.japanarts...14/english.html

#39 abatt

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 05:09 AM

Thanks Naomikage. Interesting info in that post. I wonder if Osipova will still show up for that engagement, given her recent announcement re joining the Royal Ballet. Also interesting that they seem to be reviving Theme & Variations and Clear.

#40 puppytreats

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 07:25 AM

might be a little off-topic but ABT will be performing Manon in the 2014 Feb-March Japan Tour.

The cast is already online.

http://www.japanarts...14/english.html


What are "Chamber Symphony" and "Clear"?

#41 puppytreats

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 07:28 AM

might be a little off-topic but ABT will be performing Manon in the 2014 Feb-March Japan Tour.

The cast is already online.

http://www.japanarts...14/english.html


I was considering going to Milan for "Manon" in the Fall. Now, maybe I'll consider Japan, or wait for NYC???

#42 California

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 07:46 AM

What are "Chamber Symphony" and "Clear"?

"Chamber Symphony" is the second of the new Ratmansky's that premiere next Friday. Interesting - no Hallberg on the tour. Calvin Royal of the Corps seems to be replacing him.

#43 Batsuchan

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 07:00 PM

Okay, so I finally got around to writing more detailed impressions of the four "Onegin" performances I saw.

1) Vishneva and Gomes

As amazing as the first performance was, the second one was even better. I feel like Vishneva/Gomes are still testing the waters in the first performance, so by the second performance they can take every move, every backward swoon, and every lift to the limit!

That being said, If I am going to be 100% honest, I will admit that I don't think that Vishneva and Gomes are ideally suited to be Tatiana and Onegin, at least not in their Act I incarnations.

First, despite Vishneva's petite frame, I find it somewhat difficult to see her as a shy and innocent girl-she always seems a bit bit experienced, or at least a bit knowing. I have an even harder time seeing her as a wallflower, since she always seems to (effortlessly) make herself the center of attention, and she has a tendency to overflow with emotion.

Since she doesn't naturally blend into the background, I feel like she compensates by making her Tatiana almost excessively morose. This effect is heightened by her appearance-with her jet-black hair, preternaturally-pale skin, and white outfits, she seemed to be almost like a Wednesday Addams compared to the other rosy-cheeked girls in their flowery dresses. No wonder Onegin isn't interested in such a gloomy girl!

However, I did appreciate the details she added to flesh out Tatiana's character. (How difficult it must be to project a vivid inner life when you don't do anything but mope around!) Instead of immediately sitting down on the chaise in the back while the other girls danced, Vishneva lingered by the birch trees, lost in thought. And then, when she was reading her book, every so often she would look up and think, ruminating on what she had just read.

Similarly, I think Gomes is naturally suited to playing more "hot-blooded" characters; indifference and boredom don't come easily to him, so I felt like his Onegin came off as more disdainful and-when ripping up Tatiana's letter-almost sadistic.

However, I am totally willing to overlook these slight character mismatches because of the amazing performances Vishneva and Gomes deliver when they ARE able to unleash their passion, as in the Act I mirror pas de deux. In the Friday performance, I felt like the mirror pas de deux revealed not only Tatiana's joy at being loved by Onegin, but also a sort of sexual awakening. On Monday, it felt like Tatiana's ecstasy was almost overwhelming, and she collapsed time and time again in Onegin's arms. Needless to say, Gomes' partnering looked effortless, and I marveled anew at how Vishneva seems to simply melt into Gomes, and how they are just the right heights so that they can dance cheek to cheek, lips to lips, together.

Whereas Vishneva Gomes seem slightly mis-cast in Act I, in Act III, they are perfect. Finally, Vishneva can be the elegant, mature, ravishing princess she naturally is, and Gomes can play the fervent and tortured suitor. I enjoyed the pas de deux between Prince Gremin and Tatiana quite a bit-I thought James Whiteside was a fine and dignified Gremin-but it's all about that final pas de deux!

With Vishneva and Gomes, that final p.d.d. felt like a passion play that just so happened to take the form of vaguely balletic steps, like they were making it up on the spot.

Vishneva's Tatiana had already worked herself up into a frenzy even before Onegin burst into her room, and when he did, it just felt that a tremendous torrent of emotion was about to be released. Each agonized step, each swoon, suggested that every nerve fiber in Tatiana's body was straining against Onegin's ardent advances. Several times, she looked like she would simply collapse from the psychological struggle. Finally, she sent him away, but it was a pyrrhic victory at best.

And when the curtain went up to reveal Vishneva and Gomes wrapped in each other's arms, you could just tell that they had lived every second of that emotional rollercoaster!

BRAVO BRAVO BRAVO! Like abatt, I would rush out to buy a DVD of this performance!

2) Semionova/Hallberg
They delivered a very fine performance on Saturday afternoon, but they do not have the same white-hot chemistry of Vishneva/Gomes. In addition, because Semionova is taller (and presumably heavier) than Vishneva, while Hallberg is not as strong as a partner as Gomes, they could not go through the steps/lifts with the same go-for-broke gusto like Vishneva/Gomes.

Unlike Gomes, I think Hallberg is naturally suited to Onegin, but he did not make a particularly strong impression on me (good or bad) as Onegin.

As for Semionova, I know some people find her too tall to be believable as a young girl, but to me she has a sweetness about her, which made her believable as the young Tatiana. Moreover, she has a sort of mellowness of character that made it believable that her Tatiana would be perfectly content curled up in a corner with a book.

However, for these same reasons, I found her Act III Tatiana less compelling, and the contrast between her younger and older Tatiana was not so great. When Semionova's Tatiana reads Onegin's letter, she seemed only mildly distressed, and more confused about what she should do, whereas to Vishneva's Tatiana it was crystal-clear that she needed to do EVERYTHING in her power to resist Onegin.

Still, overall, it was a beautifully danced performance, even if lacked some of the gut-wrenching power of Vishneva/Gomes.

3) Dvorovenko/Stearns
I don't have much to say here except that it felt like everyone was giving it their all since they knew it was Dvorovenko's farewell.

Of course, Dvorovenko was perfectly suited for the Act III Tatiana, but I was actually surprised how well she fit the Act I and Act II Tatiana as well.

I have to say that Stearns looked great in Onegin's costume, and he did an admirable job of partnering Dvorovenko.

Best of luck to Irina and Max in their future activities!

4) As for the Olga's/Lensky's
I really don't have much to say except that I LOVED LOVED LOVED Joey Gorak's Lensky. I thought his solo before the duel was by far the best. Not only beautifully danced, but so poignant! His partnering could be polished a little bit more, but this boy deserves a Siegfried and maybe a Romeo!!! Promote him ASAP!!

**

Finally - since "Onegin" won't be around next season, I am hoping and praying "Manon" will be back for the MET season. I am DYING to see Vishneva/Gomes in that!!

I'm hoping that the Tokyo tour is a preview of things to come!! Thanks to naomikage for the info!

#44 Batsuchan

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 07:40 PM

Diana's calendar on her website indicates that she will be doing Onegin with the Bolshoi on July 19. Anyone know who her partner will be. They should hire Gomes for that one performance and broadcast it. Wishful thinking.

 

Well, it seems that part of your wish has come true!  On Vishneva's official website she wrote that she will be dancing with Gomes in "Onegin" at the Bolshoi if all goes to plan (or so GoogleTranslate tells me).

http://www.vishneva.ru/ru/questions

 

Now if only they could record it for DVD!! :)



#45 naomikage

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 04:59 PM

Well it is unlikely that they will record Onegin, the Cranko Trust is very strict and they won't allow companies other than Stuttgart Ballet to release DVD on Onegin. Recently a huge number of Onegin videos on YouTube were eliminated and only company's official promotional clips are left. 

 

But we can still hope someone in the Russian audience to film it! 




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