abatt

Solo For Two w. Osipova and Vasiliev

63 posts in this topic

This Ardani production is coming to NY City Center March 7-8, 2015. Tickets are on sale already.

Program is

1. Excertps from Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s Mea Culpa,

2. Passo by Ohad Naharin

3. Facda by Arthur Pita

Is this the same program they are bringing to California in July?

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This announcement in Broadway World was just posted by Google Alert. The Segerstrom program in July appears to be the same program just announced for City Center. What's puzzling is that there had been an announcement a month or two ago that the San Jose Ballet would be performing with them in Carmen. I haven't seen any reports about why that fell through, but this is quite a change!

http://www.broadwayworld.com/bwwdance/article/Natalia-Osipova-Ivan-Vasiliev-to-Return-to-Segerstrom-Center-725-27-20140529#.U4ehFPFOXIU

Edited by California

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Rather sad that SJB has been dropped. Does this mean that SJB will not be performing in London and Moscow with Osipova and Vasiliev?

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This was awful (just back from today's matinee). If you are determined to see it in NY or London just to see Osipova/Vasiliev, I wouldn't pay more than $15-20 for a ticket (and that is pushing it immensely). I didn't think Ardani productions could get worse than Reflections, but this really takes the cake.

Just for the record, there were about 45-50 minutes of dance in total. No piece was immune to the muted-colored underwear-as-costume trend. Having "agreed" to this as a subscriber when the program originally included the Kingdom of the Shades, I would really like some of my money back from Segerstrom.

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I'm with ksk04. Just got back from the Sat. night performance and I'm thunderstruck. We don't get a chance to see these dancers, also Veshneva when she came a while back, so we go to these performance looking forward to seeing their classical abilities and we get this instead.

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The umbrella of contemporary dance is really abused by Ardani in presenting these shows. I have seen modern dance and modern ballet, and contemporary dance and contemporary ballet, that I like. This is not that.

Just a bit more in brief:

"Mercy" joins the hundreds of revolutionary works to explore domestic violence through dance. The piece begins with Vasiliev beating Osipova in silence. The music then comes in (which featured live singers, a small blessing) and is operatic in nature and then shifts to Indian Classical music with a local male vocalist. There is a "pas de deux" of the beating, a "solo" for Vasiliev, and then another "pas de deux" with their relationship mended. My boyfriend commented that most of it looked like yoga. I agree.

"Passeo" begins with noise and a lot of posing and preening. Then English traditional music kicks in (Greensleeves, I kid you not). There is a lot of really silly choreography including a sequence where Vasiliev and Osipova crouch down, walk like ducks with their hands folded up their chests like birds (imagine it over the chorus to Greensleeves), and then right themselves and beat their chests. There was a lot of flummoxed laughter around me.

Both of these are a maximum of 10 minutes or so, I believe. Empty stages. Dark lighting.

"Facada" is the only coherent piece. It's explained as being a possible back story to Myrtha from Giselle. There is live music as well in the form of a Portuguese-flavored guitarist (who plays a viola or violin at one point and a drum) who also plays during the preceding intermission. There is also a set (wow!) in the loose form with some potted plants and watering components. Osipova and The Lady in Black (played by Gay Storm) prep for the wedding (Osipova has a little real dancing for about 40 seconds); as Osipova stands with Vasiliev to say the vows, he looks nervous and screams and literally runs out of the auditorium via a side door. Osipova, comforted by Storm, cries buckets of tears (for about 5 minutes, not overestimating this) which are then used to water the plants. All the buckets are hung off of her arms and she walks around the stage despondently in heels multiple times. End scene. Vasiliev enters and does a solo (actual dancing again) and removes his tux so that he is down to his underwear. He struggles with a bow tie and gets a knife to cut if off. Osipova walks on and tells us "Faca in Portuguese means knife." Then she comes back on and puts a new bow tie on him (I guess the Chippendale's look is in?). She has a dream sequence where they are on their honeymoon. She then burns her bridal dress and gets down to her underwear as well (what a surprise). She then squishes or squeezes him to death??? The mode of death is not clear. She and Storm then put a table over Vasiliev's body and Osipova does a dance on top of the table and then walks away. I mean the fact I can even actually write about a plot is a considerable step up from the rest of the show, I do agree. If this were on a different bill, it might be more palatable but it's still not ready for prime time or the ticket prices they are charging for this type of event.

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Thank you for these detailed reports. I thought of Jeff Koons while reading them: is Ardani having the last laugh at the fools who pay good money for this stuff?

Is this the program they have planned for City Center this fall? The managers at CC must be very worried at this point.

They could have done Le Jeune Homme et la Mort (which Vasiliev has been doing elsewhere), surely a role she could learn, if she doesn't already know it. The Carmen they previously announced with Ballet San Jose would have been interesting, too.

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I also saw this performance yesterday and posted this brief comment elsewhere.

In its favor, at times, this performance did show Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev to be extremely fine dramatic talents as well as highly adaptable and remarkably accomplished dance artists.

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They could have done Le Jeune Homme et la Mort (which Vasiliev has been doing elsewhere), surely a role she could learn, if she doesn't already know it. The Carmen they previously announced with Ballet San Jose would have been interesting, too.

This program is produced by Ardani. It's a money making venture for all involved. Hiring San Jose Ballet would have cut into the bottom line and watered down the profits for Danilian, Osipova and Vasiliev. I do hope they do Jeune Homme, since it doesn't require any additional performers.

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This program is produced by Ardani. It's a money making venture for all involved. Hiring San Jose Ballet would have cut into the bottom line and watered down the profits for Danilian, Osipova and Vasiliev. I do hope they do Jeune Homme, since it doesn't require any additional performers.

Ah, but they would have to pay for the rights to perform Le Jeune Homme! Have they announced the NYC program? Glad I'm not planning to attend that one!

Did they have a full orchestra for the pieces they did do? If not, that would also explain skipping Le Jeune Homme.

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Yes, to what Andre posted. See 2:09 for duck walk except Osipova and Vasiliev bounced more and held their hands at nipple height producing a much sillier effect.

Not a full orchestra, no. However, Ardani has never balked from large swaths of recorded music.

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. . . the upcoming Mariinsky NY season. . .

When and where is this?

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Thanks for the reports, I was on the fence, now I'll save my pennies for the upcoming Mariinsky NY season. However, the LA Times has a more generous review: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/culture/la-et-cm-osipova-vasiliev-in-solo-for-two-20140726-story.html

So the whole show finished in 75 minutes including intermission? How's the reaction from the audience?

I would say that the audience yesterday was a bit surprised at how quickly the first work ended and slightly less so about the second. The third work seemed reasonably long. Overall, the audience was enthusiastic and appreciative, I suspect mainly for being able to have a glimpse at the amazing capability of these two great artists.

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Thanks for the reports, I was on the fence, now I'll save my pennies for the upcoming Mariinsky NY season. However, the LA Times has a more generous review: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/culture/la-et-cm-osipova-vasiliev-in-solo-for-two-20140726-story.html

So the whole show finished in 75 minutes including intermission? How's the reaction from the audience?

No, there were two intermissions: one was 20 minutes and one was 25 minutes. So that prolonged the torture.

The audience at SCFTA will give a standing O to anything (including this and when Diana Vishneva cut up lemons onstage and passed them out to the first few rows a few months ago). Not the best arbiters of taste. One woman near me was heard loudly complaining about the second piece. People around me seemed grateful by the time the Pita rolled around that something somewhat tangible was occurring though. But yes, what Buddy said seemed to be the general reaction.

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. . . the upcoming Mariinsky NY season. . .

When and where is this?

Could 'California' have meant the Mikhailovsky as that too at various times is scheduled to feature the same two dancers?

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A Russian preview of segments of the SOLO FOR TWO choreography courtesy of a news item here.

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I just saw Solo for Two (or rather a part of it because I walked out early) in London. I don't think I've ever seen such excruciating pieces as the Cherkaoui & Naharin. The latter was simply unwatchable IMO & my husband and I walked out and missed the Pita piece. What tremendous hubris on the part of Osipova that she thinks she can put on any old crap and people will come. And our orchestra seats were pricey: 79 pounds or about $160. Ardani must be laughing all the way to the bank. What an unfortunate experience.

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Thanks for the reports, I was on the fence, now I'll save my pennies for the upcoming Mariinsky NY season. However, the LA Times has a more generous review: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/culture/la-et-cm-osipova-vasiliev-in-solo-for-two-20140726-story.htmlSo the whole show finished in 75 minutes including intermission? How's the reaction from the audience?

I'm in London now and took a break from the Mariinsky to watch this drek. I should have known better. Back to the Mariinsky Sat. and Tues. ( and any other days I can get seats for) to get the image of Solo for Two out of my head.

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The odd thing about this show is that a number of major critics gave it positive reviews. I haven't seen it yet. It's going to play NY in March 2015.

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I wrote a review of last night's SOLO FOR TWO performance in London for another web Forum that you might find of interest -- as it specifically makes reference to at least two of the referenced 'major critics'.you note, abatt .... At any rate, here she blows: ...

I remember MANY years ago sitting in a Broadway theatre with my mother. We were watching a (not particularly good) musical by Andre Previn about Gabrielle Channel entitled 'Coco'. As the curtain came down after a rather lengthy first act my mother whispered in my ear: 'It's a good thing she's Katherine Hepburn.' It was. While Hepburn's singing abilities were oftentimes doubtful there was no question but that she was every inch a star. (Cecil Beaton's costumes were ravishing too I recall. Indeed both of these entities remain vivid in my mind's eye even now.)

In some moments of SOLO FOR TWO - even occasionally in Ohad Naharin's PASSO which I must confess oft dumbfounded me (largely because I'm almost totally unaware of Gaga short of a certain lady and even then only remotely connected) I had a kind of 'far away' response. During such parts I fleetingly felt as if I was again that child visiting a then (to me) strange Manhattan from a country then popularly - and legally - referred to as 'Great Britain'. My ground shifted here as surely as it must have for Vasipova. Somehow at times we both seemed shrouded in a (not always unpleasant or frightening) mist. (And, no, I must confess I've never - even at children's parties - been made to walk like a duck much as Vasiliev had to in time to 'Greensleves'.*) Still, certain goalposts were swaying. That too can sometimes be revealing. At certain points in SOLO FOR TWO I found my mind's eye casting itself upwards as I made to whisper to my mother: 'It's a good thing that they're 'Vasipova'.. Tit for parental tat I suppose. I then imagined that I winked and thought I heard my mother snort - politely - in return.

The only thing is, my mother would not have had the good fortune/opportunity to be realistically initiated unto the reality of Vasipova's heady (balletic) charms previously. She would never have (as I fear many in this far from capacity audience had not) seen them together glorify Don Q, Giselle, Corsaire, Flames of Paris, Laurencia, etc. Indeed, the woman next to me had never seen either of them (together or apart) before .. EVER. In many ways I could understand when she turned to her friend after the second interval (both of which were considerably longer than the dance works they preceded) saying: 'I was so relieved when I heard the women in the loo saying they were confused and unhappy. Thank Christ it wasn't just me.'

Still I found myself blurting out in joy as Osipova strolled away in dismay at Vasiliev's pseudo 'he-man' display in the aforementioned piece much as I later did when she reattached her wayward groom's 'bunny bow' - this time with sparkles - from the depths of her own burnished (if painful) fantasy buried in Arthur Pita's bemusing FACADA. The ladies next to me remained 'stoney' faced throughout I fear. They didn't even seem to be moved by Osipova's outstanding tabletop dance of death over the final remains of her strangulated and literally strangled Portuguese pain below - for me the single most outstanding feature of the entire evening. Still, they applauded politely and even remained in place for the one front of curtain appearance by the mighty duo. If Sergei Danilian (the producer) had combined, say, two of the three pieces presented (say, Cherkaoui's MERCY and the Pita) with the vision sequence from 'LA BAYADERE (as had been originally promised in the Segerstrom Center's promotion) - or even placed those aside Petit's CARMEN with Ballet San Jose and the magnificent Jose Manuel Carreno in tow as Espada as had been itemised at one point in the production's press release - those ladies I thought - and many like them - might well have been offered a more balanced perspective via which to catch onto/alight (in terms of Vasipova's historic/histrionic strengths) during their journey into this seeming wonderland.

I had one additional point of concern this morning. Am I alone in being somewhat troubled by the fact that the two most prominent and positive reviews of this programme are written by reviewers - and in The Daily Telegraph's case the woman who is the overall Arts Editor - who have previously had dinners with and, in the Guardian's case, shared a preparatory class aside the two stars of this production? Years ago I remember chatting with Clive Barnes and his saying that he felt it was "mandatory" - in order to keep an objective critical stance on behalf of his readership - that he not do interviews, other features or in any way socialise with any of the personnel responsible for any of the productions (be they dance or theatre) he would be reviewing. "Other people can write those," he quipped. He even said that he turned down social invitations if he was aware that any such would be attending. I must confess I was myself concerned when Sarah Crompton (ref The Daily Telegraph) showed up to do the pre-class interview and commentary with the Mariinsky Acting Director during their live class relay feature. Other people (if I recall correctly) took those roles for the Telegraph last year when the paper featured similar video outings with the Bolshoi. (Perhaps she won't be reviewing any of the other items of the Mariinsky fare to be presented. That would, in my estimation, be prudent.) Indeed, neither of these women made ANY reference to their associations in their SOLO FOR TWO reviews - and both, I believe, have additionally written features. Perhaps this is just a sign of our times. They may well now be right (I don't know) and certainly must be (rightfully I think) fearful for their positions given the overwhelming and current industry trends. Within the next decade or so such posts may well be entirely non-vocational. The internet does offer such wonderful succour in terms of alternative resource. Just look at Bruce Marriott's gloriously rich DanceTabs!!! We are, I think, so lucky; so very blessed.

* I adore Vasiliev in part because he can often appear as if he wants to break out in glee. While doing that duck walk (repeated four times) this dancer who succeeded in making even SPARTACUS palatable for me (and that takes SOME doing) looked (to me) for all the world as if he wanted to tell a joke. I, myself, had wanted to hear it as I have this hunch it might well have been superior (i.e,, come as a relief) to his rather awkward haunch at that particular moment in time.

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