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Solo For Two w. Osipova and Vasiliev


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#16 Buddy

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 06:27 PM

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.c...0726-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.



#17 ksk04

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 06:42 PM

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.c...0726-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.



#18 meunier fan

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 10:51 PM

 

. . . 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?



#19 California

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 04:52 PM

Ardani just sent out a tweet about the March 7-8, 2015 engagement at City Center. Is this the same program you just saw at Segerstrom?

http://www.nycitycen...38#.U9mQ_fF0zIV

#20 meunier fan

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 03:51 AM

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



#21 Amour

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 03:29 PM

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.

#22 Amour

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 03:36 PM

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.c...0726-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.

#23 GianninaM

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 05:07 PM

rofl.GIF    We told you so!!



#24 abatt

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 06:50 AM

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.



#25 meunier fan

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 07:13 AM

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.  



#26 mussel

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 04:42 PM

double post deleted.

#27 mussel

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 04:46 PM

I don't know if City Center postpones Sf2 to August, 2015. The website is sill listing it but no longer selling tickets: http://www.nycitycen...38#.U-gPzY1OWUl

When you click on the drop box for one of the two dates, it forwards the calendar to August and lists as "no availability."

#28 Helene

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 05:14 PM

This post extends thoughts from a conversation I had with a dance critic earlier in the week.

 

What do and what should people expect from a program like this?  The content, choreographers, and intent were listed in a press release (picked up by different newspapers) and in several preview articles before the show.  Three works were commissioned, and one was said up front to be an extension of two pieces Naharin already made, and there are YouTube videos with at least excerpts of both of these works, as well as a long video of other works by Naharin.  There are also excerpts of work by Pita and Cherkaoui.  I'm not sure if the latter choreographed for Guillem, but his work was presented on the same program at least once. 

 

While I don't think there's a requirement to spend a lot of time researching the choreographers -- even watching a bunch of Naharin gives me only a general sense of his Gaga technique, but none of specifics, let alone the subtleties; given a chance to see the program, it's possible I'd have been better off seeing it cold -- there was a lot of up-front information to set expectations that this wasn't going to be a program of classical works.

 

It makes sense to me that the choreographers would either leverage existing works or make work in a similar vein to their existing work, as that's presumably what Osipova and Vasiliev would have seen and to which they would have been attracted.  Naharin studied at SAB and Juilliard, and although took a different path, he has a firm understanding of classical technique.  (He's old enough to have studied with the Russian faculty at SAB.)  Cherkaoui has made work for companies ranging from Cedar to Royal Danish Ballet.  My expectation that both would know how ballet dancers work and which of their works might be most appropriate. 

 

Even if Osipova and Vasiliev spent ten days with Batsheva Dance Company to immerse themselves in Naharin's Gaga technique, they obviously wouldn't be up-to-speed in that period of time.  They are busy and aren't like Guillem or Baryshnikov -- and now Whelan -- who are/were trying to learn other movement styles after or at the end of their ballet careers.  Baryshnikov may have been the big draw for White Oak Project, but whether he was dancing with geniuses of movement like Mark Morris and Rob Besserer -- he did a trio with those two -- or the lesser-known dancers, they all were much more idiomatic and drew my eye more compellingly, unless I wanted to concentrate deliberately on a great artist try gamely to learn something new.  Guillem spends a lot of time collaborating with choreographers and trying to learn new styles and techniques in an in-depth collaborative way, and both she and Whelan are used to having many choreographers create works/sections of works on them and the various ways in which the process can work.  Vasiliev and Osipova don't have the time to do that and they don't have decades of experience in the studio that way.

 

I didn't see the show, but if I did and didn't like it, I'd have to distinguish whether this was because the dancers couldn't do it justice, or whether the work was musically, thematically, and/or structurally below par.  However, even if the experiment failed, these aren't vanity choreographers -- they are well-respected in their genres/microstyles -- and I really couldn't reasonably expect to see more than two extremely talented dancers give the new styles their best shot.  (Whether going there was advised is another story, but if I were anywhere near where they were performing, I'd have to vote on that with my wallet.)

 

I understand why critics -- and especially why critics from London, where (especially) Cherkaoui's work is widely known -- could be positive about the program -- but I'm not clear on why audiences in London and California disagree.



#29 abatt

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 06:04 PM

I'm having trouble posting the link, but the Aug 7, 2014 City Center press release re the coming  2014-15 season lists Solo for Two.  Not sure why they were taken off sale. Is Osipova scheduled to dance with the RB during Mar 7-8, 2015. 



#30 Drew

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 06:23 PM

I'm having trouble posting the link, but the Aug 7, 2014 City Center press release re the coming  2014-15 season lists Solo for Two.  Not sure why they were taken off sale. Is Osipova scheduled to dance with the RB during Mar 7-8, 2015. 

On the ROH website she is currently scheduled to dance Swan Lake Feb 21st, March 13th, and March 17th. Those performances have not yet gone on sale.




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