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Le CorsaireSpring 2013 Met season


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#1 California

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 06:45 AM

I'm surprised no one has started a thread on this, so I will...

I saw the Tuesday night season premiere with Osipova, Vasiliev, Simkin, Cornejo, et al. The house appeared almost full, even the top balcony. I put this ballet in the category of "guilty pleasures" -- plenty of virtuoso dancing, bizarre story. That cast was their usual over-the-top selves and the audience loved it all.

I do find the ending of this ballet peculiar. Green puffy scenery (scrims?) are apparently waves engulfing the boat. They go on a long time - too long, actually - with the briefest appearance at the last moment of Medora and Conrad. We need a few more minutes to take them in and they could be doing something - anything.

I couldn't help thinking of the bizarre twist in Game of Thrones in Act III --

At the Friends dress rehearsal Tuesday afternoon, Gillian was rehearsing with Marcelo, so she seems to be well enough to perform again. I gather Marcelo was doing to do the slave Wednesday, but now he's back as Conrad. I do love to see the two of them together and his partnering is such a joy to see, but it would have been fun to see him in the other role.

#2 rg

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 01:27 PM

here's the casting slip for today's matinee (where Matvienko was indisposed):

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#3 abatt

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 01:42 PM

I enjoyed the performance last night very much. Simkin ain't my idea of what Ali should look like (Oh, those memories of sexy bare chested Carreno running around in those turquoise pants), but Simkin managed some pretty impressive tricks as the dancing slave. Not to worry - his partnering of Osipova was fine. Vasipova were exciting, and certainly gave the audience what they came for - super fast spins from Osipova and those crazy, gravity defying jumps from Vasiliev. Boylston nearly stole the show. She was a perfect Gulnare. She seemed a bit too tall for Herman, but it all worked out. I thought Herman was more supercharged as Lankadem last season, but he did give a very good performance last night. I don't think the new scenery or costumes are an improvement over the ones they had in the old production. Since I have seen the Bolshoi version of this ballet, I always find ABT's version of the Animated Garden scene a disappointment.

It was a definite conflict for this balletomane to attend this performance, as there was a one night only concert given by Paulo Szot, Marrin Mazzie and Megan Hilty at the NY Philharmonic last night. But ballet won out, again. All Ballet All The Time (ABATT)

#4 Barbara

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 02:13 PM

Thanks for the review of this cast - I'll be seeing them Sat matinee. Abatt, not to rub it in but Alec Baldwin tweeted that P. Szot brought the audience to tears. Sigh...

#5 Balanchinomane

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 07:47 PM

Nice moniker , ABATT. I made the same choice Tuesday night and really enjoyed the new Corsaire.
If you still want to see Szot - he'll be at the Irish Rep Gala Monday the 10th.

Irish Repertory Theatre - 2013 Benefit Gala

Rodgers and Hammerstein or Gomes and Vishneva. Forgive me this time, ABT.
The deal breaker is Shirley Jones. I'm very excited to see this.

#6 Roberto Dini

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 08:47 PM

I saw the performance on Tuesday and was a little disappointed in the new costumes and set designs although the 2nd act costumes are a definite improvement (at least Medora's are). I think it was in the jardin animé that the chandeliers reminded me of jellyfish. I can't imagine how much it all must have cost, but I don't think it's that much of an improvement. I enjoyed seeing Herman dance but wish he had danced Ali.

#7 California

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 04:50 AM

I saw both performances on Wednesday. Gillian and Marcelo were their usual elegant thrilling selves. Whiteside was a competent slave, but in contrast with Simkin on Tuesday night and Vasiliev on Wednesday night, he seemed a little boring. I was struck that Cornejo, Simkin, and Vasiliev were all cast both Tuesday and Wednesday nights, although in different roles, and all with plenty of fireworks, no matter the role. I wonder if Vasiliev is showing that he is a "team player" after being passed over by Royal Ballet.

Audiences were a little surprising. It seemed almost sold out at the opening Tuesday night. The Wednesday matinee was pretty healthy, perhaps 80-85%. But Wednesday night was the least attended, maybe 70-75%. No crush to get in. Short lines at the ladies' rooms. The missing ingredient Wednesday night was Osipova, of course. (Reyes was Medora.) So if management was looking for confirmation that she's the one who sells tickets (not Vasiliev, Simkin, or Cornejo), they got it.

Both Simkin and Vasiliev do that turn where one leg flips over the other in the air. Is there a name for that? Is that the new "thing" that others now feel obliged to try? Simkin actually did four in a row for one entry Tuesday night. Vasiliev did two in a row Wednesday night. It seems for the women that simply doing 32 fouettes is no longer good enough. They have to throw in doubles and triples with arm over the head for some. The super-athletic bar keeps moving for all of them, for better or worse!

#8 abatt

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 04:58 AM

.
If you still want to see Szot - he'll be at the Irish Rep Gala Monday the 10th.

Irish Repertory Theatre - 2013 Benefit Gala

Rodgers and Hammerstein or Gomes and Vishneva. Forgive me this time, ABT.
The deal breaker is Shirley Jones. I'm very excited to see this.


Thanks for the info on Szot. I'm going for the Gomes/Vishneva performance so I'll have to wait to see Szot till August, when he plays at 54 Below in Manhattan.

I saw 2/3 of Wed. night's performance. My section was less than 50% sold, Very poor attendance on Wed night. The men were thrilling. I loved Herman as Conrad, even more than as Lankadem. He is so elegant. Reyes can still spin like a top, but there is a definite loss of plasticity and extension that I noticed in Act I. I thought Sara made a mistake during her Act I variation (did she come off pointe?), but otherwise shw was good. The Odalisques definitely looked like third cast, especially Melanie Hamrick. Vasiliev did his "look ma - one leg" trick when he lifted Reyes.

#9 Natalia

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 05:01 AM

California, the men's flip that you describe is a 'revoltade' or 'rivoltade' - a similar Spanish word ('revuelto') means 'scrambled'...as in 'scrambled eggs' - huevos revueltos. (That's how I remember it!) Simkin totally stole the thunder of Osipova & Vasiliev in the coda of the pas de trois when he performed this - 4 in a row.

I'm not surprised that most folks are somewhat disappointed with the new Econo-cave designs. :)

#10 cinnamonswirl

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 06:44 AM

Rivoltare means "to turn over" in Italian. An apt description!

#11 Mikhail

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 07:33 AM

Osiliev, Vasipova... I do not know any dancers that go by these names. I do know Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev.

Ekaterina Maximova and Vladimir Vasiliev were a fantastic couple in the past, but nobody ever dared to call them Maxiliev or Vasimova. I think Natalia and Ivan deserve no lesser respect. Should we use silly nicknames invented by journalists? Sorry to tell this.

#12 California

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 07:53 AM

Osiliev, Vasipova... I do not know any dancers that go by these names. I do know Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev.

Ekaterina Maximova and Vladimir Vasiliev were a fantastic couple in the past, but nobody ever dared to call them Maxiliev or Vasimova. I think Natalia and Ivan deserve no lesser respect. Should we use silly nicknames invented by journalists? Sorry to tell this.


Mikhail - I haven't noticed that much on this site (although perhaps it has slipped in now and then). I think the press is influenced by the "Brangelina" thing. We have another habit that some find annoying: referring to much-loved dancers by their first names only: Marcelo, Gillian, Gelsey, Misha...it suggests a cliquish "in-group" discussion that non-balletomanes don't grasp. Another practice annoying to many: referring to grown men and women (especially in the corps) as "boys" and "girls."

#13 Helene

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 09:53 AM

Just from Links, Judith Mackrell described the pair in "The Guardian" as "Vasipova" on April 1:
http://www.guardian....-quixote-review

That's in the mainstream press, and it was the first quoted reference on this site, followed by "Osiliev" in another article from Links two days later. (The terms may have appeared in far more and earlier Links articles and earlier where they weren't part of the short except quoted.)

"Bennifer" and "Brangelina" are latecomers to the party: The "Supercouple" was the calling card for the soap opera "Days of Our Lives" in the '80's, and portmanteau couple names like "Shelle" and "Bope" were used regularly. Silly as the term "Vasiova" might seem -- that and "Osiliev" -- at least they're descriptive of a phenomenon and the fact that native English speakers now are willing to recognize and spell anything beyond first names. There are languages that use symbols and regularly use and create compound words in which this type of wordplay is far more common.

It's one thing when "Margot," "Rudi," and "Misha" became worldwide phenomena and were well known outside of the ballet world by a single name, but outside the ABT ballet world, "Marcelo," for example, has no meaning, and smacks of cliquishness and intimacy. We've often asked Ballet Alerters to stop using first names only, or, at minimum to use full names at least one in the post, so that people outside the sanctum can follow the script without a scorecard or Google, but to no avail.

#14 Colleen Boresta

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 10:12 AM

I attended the Wednesday matinee of Le Corsaire and will also be seeing the Saturday matinee. I will post about them together, probably early next week. I also read Macauley's review of the Tuesday night performance. The one thing I'm in total agreement with him about is the fact that the "new" production just means new scenery and costumes. I'm glad about that because I loved the old production. It may be a guilty pleasure, but if danced right ABT's Le Corsaire is just so much fun!!!!! Some of the costume changes seem to be changes made just for the sake of changing (if that makes sense). For example, instead of wearing blue pants, Ali wears purple pants. Besides that, the pants are exactly the same. (I just watched my copy of the ballet taped live in 1999, so these things are pretty clear in my head.) Birbanto now wears a black bandana instead of a red bandana. The red bandana made more sense in the scene where Medora stabs Birbano when he tries to put the moves on her. The black bandana blends in with the black mask or whatever the facial covering the pirates are wearing is. He has to take off the whole covering so that she'll be able to identify him as her attacker later. In the old version, his face was covered but his red bandana was showing. And since Birbanto was the only pirate wearing a red bandana, it was easily for Medora to identify him later. I certainly agree with whoever talked about the joy of seeing Carreno as Ali. I remember once attending a performance at City Center where Carreno danced both the pas de deux from Diana and Aceton (is this the word) and Robbins' Afternon of a Faun. (Both are shirtless roles.) Both myself and all the ladies around me thought we had died and gone to heaven.

#15 Colleen Boresta

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 10:23 AM

I'm sorry Abatt for not giving you credit for the Carreno remark in my earlier post. I also wanted to bring up another point. When Misty Copeland (at Wednesday's matinee) does her solo in Act I, isn't she supposed to do fouettes on a diaganol? She just did regular turns. I'm going to check my copy of the 1999 ABT Le Corsaire on tape and see what Herrera does. l also want to see what Isabella does at Saturday's matinee. Besides the lack of fouettes, Misty was very good as Gulnare. Marcelo was perfection as Conrad, Gillian was sensational as Medora, Whiteside was good as Ali but not up to the level of Vasiliev or Corella. I was really impressed with Steven McRae as Lankadem. I've never seen him before. He was a very exciting dancer and a wonderful actor. I would love to see him again.


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