Birdsall

Mikhailovsky's Flames of Paris reconstruction

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Tonight I will be seeing the Mikhailovsky's Flames of Paris which should be different than the Bolshoi's version that Ratmansky choreographed for the most part. This version is being reconstructed by Messerer. I will let everyone know how it goes. Ivan Vasiliev is dancing Phillipe.

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I feel like I saw something historic tonight! The reconstructed Flames of Paris is terrific!!!! It was a combination of it being new, a terrific production, the reconstruction, and a starry cast!

The first act is mostly acting but a nice pas for Antoine and Diana Mireille (characters). Borchenko and Lebedev were amazing! She does a parade and hops on pointe in her variation.

Act 2 was amazing! If it doesn't make people want to start a revolution I don't know what will. So much more exciting than the Bolshoi's version! Mariam Ugrekhelidze danced an ultra aggressive and committed Basque dance that made Osipova on the Bolshoi's DVD seem like a wallflower! I am not joking!

This entire show was 10 times more exciting than the Bolshoi's Ratmansky version!!!

Ironically outside in the lobby during the first intermission a woman was screaming her head off wanting a cheap ticket. Meanwhile we had expensive tickets and watched about equality and revolution. But I never saw someone scream like that and only found out from a stranger what she was screaming in Russian.

Act 3 amazing grand pas. Vasiliev let it rip like you never see in most dancers. Some say he has no classical line but he is like 100% beef a true force of nature that approaches it like an Olympic event!

Audience would NOT let them go. Vasiliev did a grand jete during one curtain call and a turn in the air during another. His female fans went crazy!

Bondareva held her own with magnificent turns throughout the night! She was like a spinning top!

It was a FUN evening!!!!!

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Sounds wonderful. Let's hope that they bring it to U.S. when they come (if they come) in 2014.

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I'd love to be able to see both versions someday.

It sounds like you are having a magnificent trip, Birdsall! Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

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I feel like I saw something historic tonight! The reconstructed Flames of Paris is terrific!!!! It was a combination of it being new, a terrific production, the reconstruction, and a starry cast!

...

This entire show was 10 times more exciting than the Bolshoi's Ratmansky version!!!

...

Act 3 amazing grand pas. Vasiliev let it rip like you never see in most dancers. Some say he has no classical line but he is like 100% beef a true force of nature that approaches it like an Olympic event!

Interesting -- this work comes from the part of their repertory that had to accommodate a post-revolution aesthetic as well as the changes in technique being developed at that time -- the photos from the original production always strike me as very specific to those challenges. Without comparing it to other versions of the work, your description sounds like this production is trying hard to honor the original.

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Yes, I believe this Mikhailovsky version is definitely trying to honor the original. For example, a friend shared a clip of how the Basque scene was danced in the 50s and how the main ballerina did not dance the Basque scene (the Bolshoi's DVD has Osipova as the lead dancer and also in the Basque dance). So from what I read and saw I think the Mikhailovsky has stayed closer to the original.

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By the way, the Mikhailovsky Theatre has a much more professional program and the crowd looks more dressed up on average compared to the Mariinsky. That is my impression from my first time there.

Of course, the Mariinsky Ballet is the more important one. I am just talking about the crowd. I think there is much more variety in dress at the Mariinsky (very casual to business dress).

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