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ABT 2013 Swan Lake at the Met


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#76 pherank

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 08:19 PM

Maria Kochetkova contemplating a future in Swan Lake  ;)

 

https://twitter.com/...7643904/photo/1

"First stage rehearsal yesterday" with Herman Cornejo



#77 Buddy

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 05:27 AM

Maria Kochetkova contemplating a future in Swan Lake  ;)

 

https://twitter.com/...7643904/photo/1

"First stage rehearsal yesterday" with Herman Cornejo

 

And....
 
Greetings from Maria !  flowers.gif
 


#78 Colleen Boresta

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 07:40 AM

Here are my thoughts on Hee Seo's debut in 'Swan Lake'.
 
American Ballet Theatres production of Swan Lake is staged by artistic director Kevin McKenzie after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov.  This adaptation of Swan Lake has several major weaknesses.  There are two von Rothbarts, one handsome, the other monstrous.  The ballet begins with the two von Rothbarts turning Odette into a swan.  Seeing Odette as a young girl at the start of the ballet takes away much of the magic of the Swan Queens entrance in Act II.  Seeing the ugly von Rothbart cuddling a stuffed toy swan (after Odettes transformation) is embarrassing to watch.
 
Other problems with ABTs production of Swan Lake include the attractive von Rothbart getting his own solo in Act III.  This solo makes no dramatic sense and just makes me wish it would end so the Black Swan pas de deux can start.  The most serious defect in ABTs Swan Lake is that so much of Act IV has been eliminated.  Without a more complete final act, much of Odettes sorrow and Siegfrieds desolation at his betrayal of Odette are lost.
 
Due to the incredible performances of ABTs dancers, the July 19th matinee of Swan Lake is well worth seeing.  As I mentioned earlier, Hee Seo made her debut as Odette/Odile at this performance.  Hee Seo is a more natural Odette, with beautifully undulating swan arms and a splendidly flexible upper body.  Her Odile is a work in progress but Hee Seo has made a very good start on the character of von Rothbarts evil daughter.  Technically Hee Seos dancing is very secure except for her Black Swan pas de deux fouettes where she traveled quite a bit.  This is only a minor flaw, however, in an otherwise glorious performance.
 
For her first Swan Lake Hee Seo is fortunate to have Marcelo Gomes as her Prince Siegfried.  No ABT dancer inhabits a role quite as thoroughly as Gomes.  His dancing is also sensational, especially his soaring leaps with the softest of landings.  Most importantly he is a wonderfully attentive partner for Hee Seo.  Their chemistry is absolutely mesmerizing.
 
As the handsome von Rothbart, Sascha Radetsky is seductively evil.  Devon Teuscher and Christine Shevchenko seem off in the Act I pas de trois, but Blaine Hoven stands out for his great elevations and very good ballon.  The female corps dancers in the white acts (Acts II and IV) dance in splendid synchronization with the music and each other.  As the two big swans, Karen Uphoff and Nicola Currys lyrical phrasing is exquisite.
 
In spite of the weaknesses, it was a wonderful afternoon at the ballet.  I see a great future for Hee Seo as Odette/Odile.

#79 yudi

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 08:11 AM

Here are my thoughts on the two shows I've seen so far.

6/17 - Semionova & Hallberg
...
Personally, I did not care for Semionova's fouettes even though she pulled off a jaw-dropping series of triple pirouettes-they did not fit the music at all, and she traveled around the stage quite a bit.

 

I am sure ballet dancers need to listen to and follow the music. But, there are some conductors who don't like or cannot conduct for ballet. Once a conductor told me that conductors who don't like to watch the principle dancers feet cannot conduct for ballet. Is it true that the conductors and principle dancers need to cooperate in ballet performances?

 

helpsmilie.gif innocent.gif 



#80 Natalia

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 08:28 AM

 

Bingham, Lippert was the only one among recent Apprentices who danced at the JKO School year-end performance this past May; all other just-promoted apprentices danced in the April/May 2012 JKO School show. So Lippert is truly blessed to be the only one of the 'JKO Class of 2013' (not 2012) to be an apprentice with ABT. Hannah Marshall (daughter of Cheryl Yeager) and Catherine Hurlin I would have expected, along with Lippert, who was terrific in the ABT2 Jerusalem piece at the JKO last month.

 

 

Daughter of Carla Stallings!

 

 

Really? No wonder that Carolyn is so lovely & talented.



#81 angelica

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 10:57 AM

 

Here are my thoughts on the two shows I've seen so far.

6/17 - Semionova & Hallberg
...
Personally, I did not care for Semionova's fouettes even though she pulled off a jaw-dropping series of triple pirouettes-they did not fit the music at all, and she traveled around the stage quite a bit.

 

I am sure ballet dancers need to listen to and follow the music. But, there are some conductors who don't like or cannot conduct for ballet. Once a conductor told me that conductors who don't like to watch the principle dancers feet cannot conduct for ballet. Is it true that the conductors and principle dancers need to cooperate in ballet performances?

 

helpsmilie.gif innocent.gif

 

 

It was true in "The Red Shoes," when the new composer/conductor, Julian Craster, tells the principal dancer, Victoria Page (and I may be paraphrasing here), "Vicki, dance whatever tempo you like. I'll follow you."



#82 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 11:09 AM

 

Here are my thoughts on the two shows I've seen so far.

6/17 - Semionova & Hallberg
...
Personally, I did not care for Semionova's fouettes even though she pulled off a jaw-dropping series of triple pirouettes-they did not fit the music at all, and she traveled around the stage quite a bit.

 

 

 

helpsmilie.gif innocent.gif

 

I really miss the times when ballerinas would pull perfect single fouettes on the beat all the way to the iconic 32 and working leg looking in a perfect straight horizontal position a la seconde.   I just saw a video of Osipova, and realized that due to her efforts on super speed and multiple pirouettes, her working leg ended up pointing completely toward the floor, with her knee totally bent.

 

Examples.

 

"Old school" at 03;19...

 

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=611ewQH_2HA

 

vs.

"New fouettes" at  08:13

 

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=vXh3Wl08mW4

 

Plus...I really like when the ballerinas finish their fouettes in full pointe-(as Charin does it in the above Black Swan, and Valdes still does)-, rather than braking harshly on flat foot due to the previous high speed of the multiple pirouettes...



#83 nanushka

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 02:21 PM

I really miss the times when ballerinas would pull perfect single fouettes on the beat all the way to the iconic 32 and working leg looking in a perfect straight horizontal position a la seconde.

 

I agree -- those fouettes in the first video you posted are gorgeous.  One really realizes what we're missing out on when one sees that.



#84 ABT Fan

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 03:24 PM

That first video is impressive. Not to mention the hops on point in arabesque and penche. Wow!!

#85 angelica

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 04:38 PM

 

I really miss the times when ballerinas would pull perfect single fouettes on the beat all the way to the iconic 32 and working leg looking in a perfect straight horizontal position a la seconde.

 

I agree -- those fouettes in the first video you posted are gorgeous.  One really realizes what we're missing out on when one sees that.

 

 

This is a very good point made clear in the videos. I think that what's happened is now that ballerinas are doing multiple turns, audiences have come to focus on the spinning itself, the number of revolutions, with the fan, without the fan (in Don Q, not SL), rather than on the extension of the leg a la seconde, which is now hardly noticed. I wish I had thought to pay attention to that in the two Swan Lakes I saw earlier in the week, with Semionova and Part. Well, there's always next year.



#86 Buddy

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 08:12 PM

Maria Kochetkova
 
 ***** A Gem *****


#87 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 11:02 PM

This is a very good point made clear in the videos. I think that what's happened is now that ballerinas are doing multiple turns, audiences have come to focus on the spinning itself, the number of revolutions, with the fan, without the fan (in Don Q, not SL), rather than on the extension of the leg a la seconde, which is now hardly noticed. I wish I had thought to pay attention to that in the two Swan Lakes I saw earlier in the week, with Semionova and Part. Well, there's always next year.
 

 
 
Definitely.  The three things I really care when watching fouettes are 1: placement of the working leg. 2: Absence of traveling and 3: Syncopation with the 32 counts.   
 
Sadly, all three points are highly diminished nowadays...

#88 PeggyR

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 03:36 AM

 

I really miss the times when ballerinas would pull perfect single fouettes on the beat all the way to the iconic 32 and working leg looking in a perfect straight horizontal position a la seconde.

 

I agree -- those fouettes in the first video you posted are gorgeous.  One really realizes what we're missing out on when one sees that.

 

The fouette discussion brings up my similar feelings about men's jetes.  I miss the big, old fashioned jete that describes a clear, traveling arc.  The trick jumps are fun, but rarely beautiful and as with multiple fouttes, frequently not musical.  (Sorry for going off topic of the already off topic discussion.)

 

 

Maria Kochetkova
 
 ***** A Gem *****

 

Buddy:  I hope you'll expand your comment about Kochetkova when you have time.  Her fans here in San Francisco are anxious to hear about her performance.



#89 Buddy

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 04:54 AM

Peggy, I was so Enchanted by her performance and it was such a nice evening that I went to the stage door to congratulate her, something I seldom do. After about a half hour she came out. She was as polite and lovely as could be possible. Although you could see that she wanted to leave after about ten minutes she stayed on until absolutely everyone who wanted their picture taken with her or an autograph was totally satisfied. I was once again so Enchanted that I still haven't been able to really focus on her performance which was one of the finest that I've ever seen. I have to catch a plane, but I'll try to comment at another time. I will say that she has a manner totally her own and it is spellbinding in its refinement and expression.



#90 abatt

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 05:23 AM

I attended last night. First let me say that Herman was BRILLIANT.  His technical level is so high - the highest of any male principal in the company.  He was flying in the highest jumps and most perfect turns I've seen since Angel Corella's performances in his prime.  He pulled out all the stops for us.  Acting was good too.  There were one or two minor partnering issues, but nothing horrible.  He has waited a long time get this part at ABT, and he made the most of every moment.  Thrilling.

 

I wasn't quite as enthusiastic as Buddy about Kochetkova. I have an admitted bias for long limbed dancers as Odette, so Kochetkova does not fit that image.  (Obviously they needed a tiny woman for Herman.)  She performed well, but  somehow I wasn't terribly moved by her Act II.  She seemed to relax later on in the ballet, so her Act IV was much more dramatic and moving than her Act II.  She definitely has strong technique, but I felt that a little more attention to using her back and arms would have added a lot to the performance. I thought as Odile she did a fine job with the technical dimensions, but I never felt that she was a temptress - more like a high school girl at the prom.  (Her Odile costume was ill fitting.  Too large.  I bet she is the smallest dancer to ever wear these costumes at ABT.) Jared Mathews did a much better job as Purple Rothbart than I expected, compared to prior years.  Again, Joe Gorak was wonderful as Benno.  The audience was packed to the rafters.




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