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La Bayadere


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#61 Drew

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 03:53 AM

Smirnova was pegged as a future ballerina when she was still a student at the Vaganova school--Assylmuratova even cast her as the lead in the Bayadere Shades scene at a school performance.  As many people reading this probably know, her alternate in the role that year, ie the second cast (Shapran) is also on a fast track career albeit at the Stanislavsky which is a less high profile company than the Bolshoi.  In other words, she wasn't cast because she was lacking for competition or it was a 'weak' year.

 

When dancers at the Mariinsky penned a letter concerning working conditions at the theater, they even mentioned the loss of Smirnova to the Bolshoi as evidence of the company's problems. Vishneva, too, has been quoted praising her highly. Smirnova may or may not be being pushed too hard and too quickly by Filin--I have seen other major dancers pushed this way and been dubious, though sometimes their careers worked out pretty spectacularly--but she is not exactly his invention.

 

Personally, I think that it's not out of line for Mckenzie occasionally to bring in "rising" stars as guests if he has reason to think they are potentially major artists and especially if he hopes to build a longer term relationship with them. Like other ABT fans, I have my opinions about and occasional frustrations with ABT management decisions (and loss of dancers like Simone Messmer) but I don't think the invitation to Smirnova was unworthy of the company.

 

Finally, a big thank you to everyone for these reviews/responses to Bayadere. Looking forward to reading about this weekend's performances as well.



#62 abatt

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 05:10 AM

JUst a word about Tereshkina's performance last night.  In the final scene of the first act, Nikiya stands on point, and then lifts one leg into arabesque while the foot of the working leg rolls down off the pointe.  Tereshkina did something I have NEVER seen anyone do.  Her working leg remained on pointe the entire time as she lifted the free leg into arabesque and held the position.  She did this twice.  Never a bobble or a hesitation.  The foot on pointe remained rock solid,steady and fully in control.  It was amazing - superhuman.

 

I always enjoy seeing Stella, but it was disheartening to see her as the third shade. The other two shades were corps members



#63 kbarber

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 05:43 AM

JUst a word about Tereshkina's performance last night.  In the final scene of the first act, Nikiya stands on point, and then lifts one leg into arabesque while the foot of the working leg rolls down off the pointe.  Tereshkina did something I have NEVER seen anyone do.  Her working leg remained on pointe the entire time as she lifted the free leg into arabesque and held the position.  She did this twice.  Never a bobble or a hesitation.  The foot on pointe remained rock solid,steady and fully in control.  It was amazing - superhuman.


I was there and was gobsmacked by this as well. Furthermore, she starts into it from a soutenu, so she has to stop her rotational motion before she can do the balance.

#64 abatt

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 05:46 AM

Does Tereshkina do this regularly at the Mariinsky Bayadere's?  Do all the Mariinsky ballerinas do this?  Astounding.



#65 California

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 06:52 AM

I'm so sorry I didn't see this in the theater. I did find a clip of her "death scene" in a (mislabelled) YouTube clip. Is the move you're talking about the one that starts about 1:42? 

 



#66 Buddy

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 07:16 AM

I saw someone do something like this at the Mariinsky Festival in April and was very impressed. It might have been her in Sylvia. I looked through all my very sketchy notes, but can't find anything for the moment.

 

At the Festival's New Choreographers matinee she did a physical feat that was quite amazing. Her partner was sitting on a very small chair and she leaped up onto the edges of it.

 

Added:

 

Her partner may have been ready to artfully catch her if it didn't work, but he never touched her as she remained upright standing above him.



#67 canbelto

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 09:14 AM

I saw both the Wednesday and Thursday performances. I think Smirnova is a lovely dancer with silky smooth technique, but she has a ways to go in terms of characterization. She wasn't the proud temple dancer, just Beautiful Russian Ballerina. Her chemistry with Muntagirov was non-existent. Add to that the rather lady-like Gamzatti of Hee Seo and you had an aesthetically pleasing but low-impact performance.

 

Tereshkina/Shklyarov/Boylston performance was much more exciting. Tereshkina doesn't have Smirnova's beautiful tapered limbs or her china-doll delicacy, but she has such superhuman strength. As mentioned she did much of her betrothal variation on pointe. In the lifts she has such a strong core that she seems to lift herself -- I don't know how to explain it, but there was no sense that Shklyarov was using his weight to hold her up. She held such a strong pose that it was as if she was holding herself up in the air. Shklyarov has such ballon and in his double assembles in his variations he was able to make each successive one go higher in the air. Boylston was a bit sloppy in technique and posture but more exciting than Hee Seo. 

 

It really broke my heart to see Stella Abrera dancing the third shade variation. 



#68 California

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 09:24 AM

In case anybody missed this...LaKarsavina posted two YouTube clips of the bows for the 5/23/14 Vishneva-Gomes-Murphy Bayadere. In the first, Gomes gestures to acknowledge the corps and soloists (at 1:36), one of his more endearing qualities. 

 

 



#69 Mirseng1

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 09:33 AM

I have also thought that Tereshkina / Schklyarov pairing was more thrilling (of course, they dance together in Mariinsky which helps).  On Wednesday night I was struck by the lack of inner connection between Smirnova and Muntagirov.  Neither of them conveyed any drama.  It was a surprizingly complacent performance of two accomplished dancers.   

 

Boylston was engaging Gamzatti, although her tecnique leaves much to be desired.  Z. Zhang on Thursday was very good as a Bronze (Golden?) Idol.



#70 onxmyxtoes

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 09:48 AM

Those of you speaking about Stella Abrera only doing the 3rd shade.  Stella danced Gamzatti on Saturday (albeit the matinee).  In the performances that I saw, all the other soloist women (except for Kristi Boone who I believe is not dancing this season and whom we know is retiring) were also doing a lead shade: Sarah Lane, Misty Copeland, Yuriko Kajiya, and Isabella Boylston



#71 onxmyxtoes

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 09:50 AM

In case anybody missed this...LaKarsavina posted two YouTube clips of the bows for the 5/23/14 Vishneva-Gomes-Murphy Bayadere. In the first, Gomes gestures to acknowledge the corps and soloists (at 1:36), one of his more endearing qualities. 

 

 

Marcelo's gesture to the corps/soloists warmed my heart as did Diana's gesture to the entire orchestra.  I don't often see ballerinas acknowledge the pit.



#72 abatt

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 09:52 AM

Nina used to sometimes drop one of her roses into the orchestra pit as a sign of gratitude to the orchestra. Classy.

 

California, yes, we are talking about the choreography shown in the youtube clip you posted beginning at 1:42.   Last night she held the pointe while in arabesque for much longer than in the youtube clip.



#73 volcanohunter

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 11:51 AM

Thanks to FauxPas and abatt for already writing what I wanted say about Tuesday's performance. I agree that Murphy is not a natural Nikiya, and she may have been dancing at less than 100% capacity, but since I'm still stuck with a mental image of Murphy as human gyroscope, she was better than I expected, so admire her for expanding her artistic range.

 

Nedak is indeed commanding and expressive, with excellent mime and very fine port de bras. The range of motion in his upper body is terrific. His chaîné turns are slow, but the way he moves through space laterally is very impressive, so spill notwithstanding, I'm guessing he was enjoying dancing on the Met's wide stage. If anything I think he was too tall to partner Murphy and certainly Boylston, but I'm sure there are many tall ballerinas out there who would value such a big, strong, manly and attentive partner.

 

I suspect that Natalia Makarova recommended Denys Nedak to Kevin McKenzie after having taught him the role of Solor when she set her staging of "Bayadere" for the National Ballet of Ukraine. 

 

http://jetsetter.ua/...re-Ukrainy.html

 

Yes, I think it's likely. When a Ukrainian journalist asked Makarova whether any of the company's dancers particularly impressed her, she mentioned Nedak and two young ballerinas. http://gazeta.dt.ua/...i-na-sceni.html

 

The recommendation may also have come from his former boss Denis Matvienko, whom Nedak was replacing. It's also possible that someone from ABT saw the National Ballet of Ukraine production when it was performed in Montreal in February.



#74 Buddy

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 11:53 AM

I remember the Mariinsky appearing in Costa Mesa in 2008. I'm pretty sure that it was Don Quixote. Until then I'd considered Viktoria Tereshkina's finest quality as being a technician, most notable for being right on each note of the music. She started out the same and then the Dryad scene arrived with Alina Somova brilliantly flying across the stage as she did at the time. Then it looked like Viktoria Tereshkina was thinking, "Okay, watch this!" and she ripped into high 'virtuosa' gear and it's been no stopping since along with her other many lovely qualities.

 

In addition, sitting still with her legs together slightly folded, she is one the most beautiful sculptural entities on the Mariinsky stage, i.e. in the world. If anyone has seen a picture of the statue of Hans Christian Anderson's Little Mermaid on a rock in the harbor of Copenhagen, this is exactly what I mean. I can remember one evening of very intense dancing with Viktoria Tereshkina simply sitting at the top of a staircase through most of it. It's an image that I'll never forget.

 

https://www.google.c...photo;1656;1242

 

 

[I changed the image link because all sorts of other stuff was appearing as well]



#75 mimsyb

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 12:21 PM

What a difference a day and a performance makes!   I too was gobsmacked at Tereshkina's impressive technique, but was also moved by her singular portrayal of Nikiya.  The pairing of Tereshkina and Shklyarov was like fire crackers going off!  Not only did they convey the passion necessary for these roles, they lent an energy to the ballet that carried over into the entire company.  I've not seen such electricity from the company in a while.  Any time these two would care to defect to ABT I would be a happy camper!   I'm too overwhelmed to write further!




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