California

Swan Lake-Spring 2014

241 posts in this topic

Thank ypu Coleen for your review of Swsn Lake with Semianova/Stearns. I completely agree about Polina. And I am very glad to hear these good reports about Cory's dramatic involvement. We need him to get better in that department because we need him to partner these spectacular large women like Semianova and Part.

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Attended Saturday night’s performance with Seo and Bolle. All in all, a lovely evening.

Seo’s Odette was absolutely gorgeous. This is a wonderful role for her particular gifts as a ballerina, and she made glorious use of her fluid, expressive back and arms. Exquisite penchees and balances. Though her dramatic interpretation of the role was not as individual or nuanced as that of other ABT O/O’s I’ve loved (Nina A, Veronika Part, Diana Vishneva), I think that will come in time. Nothing out-of-the-box or especially unique in her portrayal as yet: Odette is tremulous at first, then achingly tender and loving. But those aspects of Odette were articulated very vividly and with great artistry.

Seo’s Odile was weak. She traveled like crazy during the fouettes, but for me that’s forgivable if other aspects of the performance are strong. Not so here. Though her dancing was beautiful, there was not enough distinction between how she performed Odile and how she performed Odette. Her Odile wasn’t seductive, or wicked, or incestuously cozy with Von Rothbart, or anything in particular, really. Disappointing, but she was immediately back to peak form as soon as she appeared on stage in Act IV. She was so exquisite it seemed especially cruel that this act is so short!

Though I’ve written at length about Seo, I have no doubt that Bolle deserves some of the credit for her strong performance. He was an exceptional partner and a wonderful Siegfried in all respects. I really like his partnership with Seo. They played off of each other very well, and seemed to bring out the best in each other. And such lifts!

The corps deserves some laurels, too: I thought they looked really strong Saturday night. Some impressive work from the soloists as well, with Misty and Isabella giving particularly stand-out performances in the ppdd.

Thanks to fellow posters for their remarks; I wasn’t planning on attending a Swan Lake this season, but the favorable comments on Seo’s impromptu Monday night performance convinced me to grab a ticket for Saturday night. Very glad I did!

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Thank ypu Coleen for your review of Swsn Lake with Semianova/Stearns. I completely agree about Polina. And I am very glad to hear these good reports about Cory's dramatic involvement. We need him to get better in that department because we need him to partner these spectacular large women like Semianova and Part.

Yes! I remember when Cory was first promoted, very few of us felt he was ready. But over the past few seasons he's improved his partnering and solidified his technical performances. Considering he's coming back an injury this season it doesn't surprise me that he had a somewhat tough start. But it does seem that Cory is indeed growing as an artist and each performance is a little better than the next. If he continues this dramatic growth, I'd like to see him partnering Veronika in more ballets in evening performances.

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Thank you for your review to the performance of Sat evening in detail, terrynyc. I'm very interested in what you pointed out to the two dancer's defferenct interpretations of Siegfried. I saw Marcelo's Siegfried several times, so let me add more information to his acting.

Marcelo's Siegfried showed dramatic growth through all the Acts. At the beginning of Act1, he was still somewhat juvenile. He was absorbed in his Birthday-present, crossbow like a today's young man, who got a new model gizmo. He was very satisfied with his small circumstances --- his friends and arms.

However, since his mother recommended him marriage, all began to change. Siegfried's world turned out to be pale and imperfect. He got to know all his friends having their sweetharts, only Siegfried was alone. He became very sadly, and worried about his big crisis of his identiy. His dancing became heartwreching, ex. beautiful and sadly arabesques.

For Marcelo's Siegfried, IMO, this story is the journey of his identity recovery and the initiation of becoming a mature man. He struggled against his fate, and at last won.

Last diving was his triumph to the fate, accomplishment of his initiation, So such a delightfull diving. I think he did not to want to show off his technique.

Off course, his interpretation of Siegfried is defferent from the traditional melancholic and passive prince. I know that not all people like it. But I think it is very unique and convincing.

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re: Nijinsky's costume 'controversy,' about which facts remain somewhat murky, the costume in question was Benois's for Albrecht, not Bakst's for FAUNE.

That is how it was related to me when I was quite young - perhaps the real controversy over Nijinsky's Faun choreography migrated to the

Albrecht costume story. It made a better story for me at least...and made me pay attention to the dancer... the power of anecdote and apocrypha.

Such

From what I read Nijinsky was in effect terminally dismissed from the Mariinsky when he wore Albrecht's costume without requisite "modesty trunks"

over tights, which by then (1911) was not raising eyebrows in Paris. Interesting speculation on the role of Diaghilev who gained thereby.

It would be nice to see some Diaghilev revivals with Bakst backdrops and costumes.

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Late to the board, but I went to the Boylston/Simkin Swan Lake on Thursday. It was generally well-done. I thought Simkin has matured A LOT in terms of his lyricism and he knows how to finish a movement now. His partnering has also gotten better, although still needs work; there were a couple of precarious lifts, including the overhead diagonal lift during the White pdd where Isabella went over his head and almost slid down his back. He also bobbled a supported turn in the Black pdd. I can see why ABT has been trying to pair the two, though. Isabella is so strong that she practically partners herself and can probably work with a weaker partner. She did well; definitely strongest in the technical parts, but had some nice, soft port-de-bras for the adagios. I think her acting can be projected a little more. Very high swan dives at the end from both of them.

The PdT was Kajiya/Gorak/Lane. Very, very lovely. Joseph Gorak really showed that he is soloist (principal!) material--long lines, gorgeous lyricism, perfect technique, and terrific musicality. Both Kajiya and Lane gave clean, bright solos.

James Whiteside was purple Rothbart; it was a good part for him.

Corps got a little sloppy in the second act, which was surprising, considering that most of the ladies could probably dance SL in their sleep.

It wasn't a terribly moving performance for me overall, but mostly well-executed. It was my first time seeing any of these dancers in their roles (except Kajiya/Lane), so it was a interesting evening for me. (I may have focused too much on the steps because of it and spent too much time comparing/contrasting, hence the emotional disconnect.)

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OT: just to fill out a little regarding Nijinsky & costumes (mentioned above)--Afternoon of a Faun was not without its costume-related "scandal," though, as I understand, it involved what he did with a fragment of a Nymph's costume (her scarf) at the end of the ballet. I guess it's more proper to say the choreography rather than the costume was the problem (at least for some viewers)..

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Late to the board, but I went to the Boylston/Simkin Swan Lake on Thursday. It was generally well-done. I thought Simkin has matured A LOT in terms of his lyricism and he knows how to finish a movement now. His partnering has also gotten better, although still needs work; there were a couple of precarious lifts, including the overhead diagonal lift during the White pdd where Isabella went over his head and almost slid down his back. He also bobbled a supported turn in the Black pdd. I can see why ABT has been trying to pair the two, though. Isabella is so strong that she practically partners herself and can probably work with a weaker partner. She did well; definitely strongest in the technical parts, but had some nice, soft port-de-bras for the adagios. I think her acting can be projected a little more. Very high swan dives at the end from both of them.

The PdT was Kajiya/Gorak/Lane. Very, very lovely. Joseph Gorak really showed that he is soloist (principal!) material--long lines, gorgeous lyricism, perfect technique, and terrific musicality. Both Kajiya and Lane gave clean, bright solos.

James Whiteside was purple Rothbart; it was a good part for him.

Corps got a little sloppy in the second act, which was surprising, considering that most of the ladies could probably dance SL in their sleep.

It wasn't a terribly moving performance for me overall, but mostly well-executed. It was my first time seeing any of these dancers in their roles (except Kajiya/Lane), so it was a interesting evening for me. (I may have focused too much on the steps because of it and spent too much time comparing/contrasting, hence the emotional disconnect.)

thanks for the report on the Boylston and Simkin performance. I'm going to keep my fingers crossed for this partnership to work out, I feel like they can grow and develop together to really complement each other. With Isabella's promotion today, it will be interesting to see if they give her time to develop the roles she's already performed OR have her learn and dance more next year...

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Thanks for your post C-Green. I agree with your observations. It is so interesting that there can be two (well even more really, but we are talking about Gomes Bolle right now) very different interpretations within the same production with the same director. I would not give either one the "best" award. We are talking about two very accomplished and seasoned artists wbo bring all their years of technical achievement and artistic and even life experience to their dancing. I went to get tickets to ghe Bolshoi today and was unable to get even a single seat to any performance I wanted. I thought Geez, nothing like taking the Home Team for granted. ABT sbould be better sold out than it is. Why doesn't all of America know who Marcello Gomes is? Bolle is famous in Europe.because of many broadcast performances, but also they seem to be more aware of fine arts there. Also he has done modeling and commercials. But here only Ballet Geeks know who he is. Where is Ed Sullivan when you need him? Thanks to him Americans were sort of aware of all the stuff going on artistically from ballet to opera and comics, jugglers and the Beatles.

By the way I also did a comparison of Albrecht in Giselle with Gomes and Bolle which is also fascinating because in that case I felt Bolle was the "sunnier" intrepretation and Gomes the "darker" and again both were terrific.

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Why doesn't all of America know who Marcello Gomes is? Bolle is famous in Europe.because of many broadcast performances, but also they seem to be more aware of fine arts there. Also he has done modeling and commercials. But here only Ballet Geeks know who he is. Where is Ed Sullivan when you need him? Thanks to him Americans were sort of aware of all the stuff going on artistically from ballet to opera and comics, jugglers and the Beatles.

Agreed! I would add that the availability of DVDs is also relevant. Thanks to La Scala's release of performances videotaped live, I have DVDs of Bolle in Bayadere, Giselle, and Swan Lake (partnering Zakharova in all three). What's available commercially for Gomes? Purple Rothbart in the ABT Swan Lake, from 2005 (with Corella and Murphy in the leads). Serious fans can find snippets on YouTube and the NYPL/Dance Collection has archival tape of several ballets with him you can watch there, but none of that has been released for commercial distribution. This is a raw nerve on this site, for sure.

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. I went to get tickets to ghe Bolshoi today and was unable to get even a single seat to any performance I wanted. I thought Geez, nothing like taking the Home Team for granted.

The Bolshoi has not visited New York in a number of years, and given the caliber of the company I'm not surprised that the engagement is mostly sold out. You may see tickets open up closer to the date of the show if you check back regularly on the website. Also, there are usually people trying to sell in front of the theater, but make sure these are legit tickets. Have not checked Stub Hub, but I bet there are pricey tickets there. Good luck!

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Why doesn't all of America know who Marcello Gomes is? Bolle is famous in Europe.because of many broadcast performances, but also they seem to be more aware of fine arts there. Also he has done modeling and commercials. But here only Ballet Geeks know who he is. Where is Ed Sullivan when you need him? Thanks to him Americans were sort of aware of all the stuff going on artistically from ballet to opera and comics, jugglers and the Beatles.

Agreed! I would add that the availability of DVDs is also relevant. Thanks to La Scala's release of performances videotaped live, I have DVDs of Bolle in Bayadere, Giselle, and Swan Lake (partnering Zakharova in all three). What's available commercially for Gomes? Purple Rothbart in the ABT Swan Lake, from 2005 (with Corella and Murphy in the leads). Serious fans can find snippets on YouTube and the NYPL/Dance Collection has archival tape of several ballets with him you can watch there, but none of that has been released for commercial distribution. This is a raw nerve on this site, for sure.

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Yes, blu rays or dvd's are great and I would love to have a Gomes/Vishneva Giselle on blu ray. ABT is way behind other companies in that regard - on the other hand other comoanies get mu h more gov't support. Still dvd's are cor the already addicted. What was so great (and I admit it pbly wouldn't work today) about Ed Sullivan is that you got a small taste of what was going on: a scene from MY FAIR LADY witb Juoie A drews and Rex Harrison, Maria Ccallas and George Lk don doing a scene from TOSCA, Jose Himanez doing a omey routine and a grea pdd with Nureyev and Fonteyn. Everybody knew at least a little a out what was going kn and tbe small dose was nust enough to maybe interest tbem in seeing a little more. Ob, well....

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For much of the country (indeed, much of the planet), the only way to see serious ballet is on DVD. I've been impressed to see the extensive collections in public libraries that people who can't afford the DVDs can check out. And some of them make their way (unauthorized, of course) onto YouTube. I had understood that the renovation of the State/Koch Theatre included high-tech installations so performances could be broadcast, live-streamed, etc., but that NYCB can't afford to do that. I vaguely remember that ABT has made the same excuse. It's true that European governments provide much more generous subsidies for this kind of thing, but wouldn't this be a nice project for some US Foundation?

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I totally agree with you, terrynyc!!

And the theme you and California are talking about, ABT's DVD-problem, is just that I'm always worried about.

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