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Ivan Vasiliev

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Vasiliev now has his own YouTube channel and just posted what appears to be a complete recording of Le Jeune Homme et la Mort. Am I correct that he performed this at the Mariinsky?

The unavoidable comparison (at least for me) is the performance of part of this ballet by Baryshnikov in the opening scenes of White Nights. For those who are interested, I discovered an old video of Nureyev in this role with Zizi Jeanmaire:

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Yes, he is starring in various ballets at the Mariinsky (3 days in a row)....

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It's fascinating to watch these videos side by side (in short segments).

Vasiliev looks like someone who lifts weights seriously ; Nureyev's body is softer, sleeker, with less muscle definition. Vasiliev interpolate quick bravura moves in the first couple of minutes -- multiple pirouettes, grands jetes. Nureyev does less, and more gently. The business with the watch, the chairs, the way the cigarette is handled: each dancer is quite different. Vasiliev's bursts of muscular intensity play against the music; Nureyev's fluidity fits the music better. Vasiliev's death is curiously unmoving (climb-the-ladde, put-your-head-in-the-noose, go-limp), while Baryshnikov's death was shattering. It would have been interesting to see Nureyev's.

A similar contrast in style holds true during the entrance of the young woman -- Vasiliev's partner (in day-glow yellow dress) strides towards him on stiletto points. Jeanmaire (45 at the time of the filming) is more subtly dressed, and moves softly, fluidly, seductively in the old manner, at least when we first see her. Unfortunately, the clip ends before her transformation.

My preference is Nureyev/Jeanmaire, even without the conclusion.

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The difference was pretty striking. Nureyev and Jeanmarie were enthralling. The acting of N/J, their facial expressions- played a big part of why I found them more compelling. In fairness, I think the professional camera work on the Nureyev clip might have had something to do with why I preferred it over the shaky, unprofessional recording of Vasiliev. Wasn't that Osipova in the yellow dress? I didn't find her seductive at all, especially in comparison to Jeanmarie.

I think I've only seen this ballet live once, when Julio Bocca brought his own company to NY City Center during the late 1990s.

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In fairness, I think the professional camera work on the Nureyev clip might have had something to do with why I preferred it over the shaky, unprofessional recording of Vasiliev.

I agree. The 1969 film had the luxury of good lighting and allowed time fo closeups. I tried to compensate for that by focusing on body movement/language.

Is it possible that ideas of what qualities like anguish and seductiveness look like are quite different today, in the 2010s, from what they were in the 1960s?.

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. . . Vasiliev's death is curiously unmoving (climb-the-ladde, put-your-head-in-the-noose, go-limp), while Baryshnikov's death was shattering. It would have been interesting to see Nureyev's. . . .

Jeanmaire (45 at the time of the filming) is more subtly dressed, and moves softly, fluidly, seductively in the old manner, at least when we first see her. Unfortunately, the clip ends before her transformation.

Sorry I didn't notice this on-line before. Here's Part II of the Nureyev version:

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That's Tereshkina in the Vasiliev video clip.

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A DVD is available of Nureyev/Jeanmaire though it doesn't include the rooftops coda.

Sadly unrecorded, the performance of Yonah Acosta in this role for ENB was sensational, very personal but absolutely right. I'm reluctant to refer to benchmark performances, but Y. Acosta's was just that.

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I’m also very cautious and reluctant to comment from a private video but from what I watched there, it’s sadly not the same ballet that I’m used to with Paris Opera Ballet nowadays. (I don't like to trash but I had to, sorry)...

I think the Belingard, Bridard, Bullion, Le Riche are closer to Nureyev in any case… and I’m puzzled because I thought that Roland Petit before he died had coached himself Vassiliev crying.gif I’m not sure about the girl who is a disaster as well… There is a POB DVD with Nicolas Le Riche and Marie-Agnès Gillot and it's what I like to remember from this beautiful ballet.

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Is it possible that ideas of what qualities like anguish and seductiveness look like are quite different today, in the 2010s, from what they were in the 1960s?.

I think you've put a finger on something very central here -- when this work was new, it sat in its cultural context as much as its aesthetic context. At the time, it had a kind of contemporary resonance that has transformed into a more vintage quality today -- we have changed, but it has not.

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There is a POB DVD with Nicolas Le Riche and Marie-Agnès Gillot and it's what I like to remember from this beautiful ballet.

Yes, I was thinking of that as I watched Vasiliev's strange reinvention of the piece. Le Riche and Gillot are brilliant. Gillot wears the same yellow dress and black wig as the woman in Vasiliev's version. Le Riche actually outdoes Nureyev in his elevation and in conveying how he is drawn in spite of himself to the figure of death. His concentration and desperation make sense of some of the arbitrary-appearing movements in the choreography. The last few minutes -- the way the young man dies (body jerking), the return of death in a long white gown with long red gloves, the transfer of the death mask, and the exit -- turn what could be a piece of kitsch into something that moves you even when you should know better.

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I have seen both Vasiliev (only once I should add) and Le Riche dance this. I ended up seeing all three of Le Riche's performances with ENB in the role. He was, IMHO, totally mesmerising.

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Here is yet another Le Corsaire pas de deux available with Ivan Vasilev now partnered with Lana Selenko, who appears to be much more than a pretty very talented dancer and is currently a principal dancer with the Staatsballett Berlin.

You have to scroll down the page (which is celebrating Marius Petipa) to the second screen to watch the performance.

http://www.aif.ru/culture/theater/41337

Edited

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Iana could also be rendered as Yana or Jana (meaning Joan). There is no unanimity on how to transliterate the Cyrillic character Я. Her surname is Salenko.

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Thank you for the clarification.

Best Leonid17.

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Lovely news. Congratulations to them.

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Humph. Vasiliev announced the news while helpfully informing the world that he dumped all over Osipova. Well, IMO Natalia, you're well rid of Thunder Thighs.

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Humph. Vasiliev announced the news while helpfully informing the world that he dumped all over Osipova. Well, IMO Natalia, you're well rid of Thunder Thighs.

When I read this interview in February 2014, and Vasiliev refused to talk about the break-up, I (mistakenly) assumed she had dumped him. Perhaps others did, too, and now he's trying to correct the record:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-2551693/Ballets-new-boy-wonder.html

Particularly when I stumble across the news that Ivan and his main dancing partner and fiancée Natalia Osipova (now principal dancer with the Royal Ballet, currently wowing audiences in Giselle) are no longer an item, by making the innocent mistake of asking him if the couple have ‘named a day’ for their wedding.

‘No’, he says bluntly, rolling his eyes. Is it difficult, I persist, finding time together now that Natalia is based in London while he has remained as principal dancer with the American Theatre Ballet (a position that allows him to ‘guest’ with other companies, such as the Bolshoi, the world over)? ‘No,’ he repeats.

At least, I point out, they will be together when Ivan is in London performing as the youngest member of the critically acclaimed Kings of the Dance (more of which later) in March. Surely, I trill, it will be good to be dancing in the same city? ‘No! It’s not good question,’ he says.

It falls to Sergei to explain that the couple – who were first teamed when Ivan joined the Bolshoi aged just 17 and would go on to become international stars of the company before famously defecting to the smaller rival Mikhailovsky company in St Petersburg in 2011, and subsequently, a year later, joining the American Theatre Ballet – are no longer romantically involved.

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When I read this interview in February 2014, and Vasiliev refused to talk about the break-up, I (mistakenly) assumed she had dumped him. Perhaps others did, too, and now he's trying to correct the record:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-2551693/Ballets-new-boy-wonder.html

California, that's not quite the point, as I see it. It's absolutely no one's business who dumped whom, and there is no necessity to "correct the record" -- particularly by the gentleman involved, but ideally by both parties. I am perfectly willing to believe that there are two sides to a breakup, but I think it's the height of poor taste to announce an engagement and include such a "clarification." ("Hey, I dumped all over her, everybody!") Jeez. Most unfortunate that something motivated Vasiliev to abandon his original policy of discretion.

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Dirac - I don't think we disagree. I'm not saying he is doing the correct thing now by criticizing Osipova, only offering an explanation for his changed behavior.

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