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Melissa

ABT's Tchaikovsky Spectacular 6/12

34 posts in this topic

Katja, while I'd certainly agree with your assessment of Malakhov in comparison to others, I'm not sure he has become a Big Star here. He isn't tied to one company (he dances with several European companies as well), and is a guest artist at ABT rather than a regular principal; money may be part of the reason he has fewer roles with ABT (guest artists command very high fees for performances). For whatever reason -- and, IMO, not at all a reflection on his gifts -- Malakhov hasn't dominated ABT, even in the way Ananiashvili has. Unfortunately, the ballet in Vienna is simply not on Americans' radar screens.

I agree with Dale, though, that I don't think his dancing of secondary roles is meant to be a reflection on how the company views his talents, but more likely of his desire to try different things. Dowell did something similar, dancing Lescaut instead of Des Grieux, Mercutio instead of Romeo, etc., for a time.

[ 06-17-2001: Message edited by: alexandra ]

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Katja -- regarding Malakhov: in addition to what has been said above by Dale and Alexandra, I believe that this particular spring season, one of Malakhov's few scheduled performances in a "prince" role (Albrecht) was canceled. I heard that this was due to a minor injury -- though I cannot say for certain. ABT has a very large "spread" of principals, and often each cast only gets one performance of a full length ballet -- especially in New York when guest artists like Malakhov are added to the roster. So if one performance is cancelled...that's often it. Malakhov is also scheduled to dance Siegfried this coming Tuesday, and I certainly intend to be there.

P.S. I am delighted to hear about the response he received in Russia -- in my opinion very deserved. He did, perhaps, at one time jump a little more dazzlingly than he does now, but his leaps remain just beautiful. He's just a complete artist in a way very few male dancers today are...

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Originally posted by Drew:

He's just a complete artist in a way very few male dancers today are...

Second.

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Finally got to see the Spectacular last night and, in view of the comments, I was particularly interested in the Tchaikovsky PD. Though I haven't been a fan of Corella, I thought he and Kent did a fabulous job and deservedly brought down the house. As far as "deviations" are concerned, there is one thing he did that I've never seen before in this piece: during what I believe are the tours a la seconde just before the (incredible) pirouette, he does a sort of hop step, the effect of which is quite astonishing. The only other person I've seen do this is Damian in Four Seasons. Two questions: is there a name for what he does? And do the purists object to this sort of interpolation?

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Stan, Corella does the hops during the turns a la seconde for the same reason that Woetzel does them -- because Baryshnikov used to do them in those ballets. We first saw Baryshnikov do those hops in The Four Seasons, where he originated the lead in Fall with Patricia McBride. He then did them in Tchai Pas, at least in the Dance in America video you can run out and purchase.

Corella must've seen that video sometime on Saturday, because when he dance Tchai Pas Friday night with Herrera, he didn't do the hops.

And, Dale, I'm not sure what you meant by Corella adding extra leaps at the very end of the coda. I watched for this, and all he did was what the guy's supposed to do -- a really big assemble in which he doesn't seem to land until after the ballerina's launched herself into her headfirst dive into the fish position. It's supposed to look very melodramatic, like she's throwing herself off a cliff, almost, and then her partner is there to catch her at the last possible second.

I remember Martins always left out the assemble and just sort of sauntered along behind Farrell, which always killed the ending of the ballet for me.

I must add that Friday night's "Spectacular" was a very, very satisfying night at the ballet. I'll write in more detail soon, but I must admire the depth of a company that can field so many brilliant dancers and perform so many ballets so magnificently. Kent and Malakhov in Sleeping Beauty were to die for, and Cornejo's Bluebird reminded me of Soloviev!

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Incidentally the Cornejo/Reyes Bluebird was the other thing that brought down the house on Saturday.

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Manhattnik, the two performances weren't exactly alike. As atm711 pointed out, AC added a little something on Wednesday mat. and almost flubbed the catch. My main beef was some of the changes he did to his variations. I think it was his first one. To me, it just seemed like he inserted his favorite steps and the additions weren't done in a musical way.

On the other hand, I agree that the total evening was very satisfying. Reyes and Cornejo were spectacular in the Blue Bird pas de deux and Kent and Malakhov were lovely as was Wiles and Gomes in Theme and Variations. A debut for Wiles, yes?

And Barker must have read the Jack Anderson in the Times (the review which took the slow tempos to task) because Theme's tempos were much improved. It was fun to see the company really push itself to catch up.

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Right, Dale. This is a 'killer week' in the office but I'll write in more detail from home, in the next night or two. I was quite pleased with Wiles' T&V ballerina-role debut on Friday night. Very much her sort of role - the 'Imperial Russian Tsarina' mode. From the waist-down, spectacular. (Near the end of the pdd section, she struck a wonderful balance in arabesque then let down her arms, to her partner, V-E-R-Y slowly..."Maybe I need him - maybe I don't?") My quibbles are with her "rock-solid Vaganova torso" for this particular ballet. I'm used to a looser, more free-form manner, such as Paloma Herrera captured on Saturday afternoon (and BOY is Herrera looking 1,000-times better than she did in Washington this spring!). Nonetheless, Wiles made a promising debut. I have mixed feelings about Gomes, who replaced the injured Maxim Belotserkovsky; perhaps Gomes was tentative due to very little rehearsal time with Wiles? Gomes looked more secure the following day (Saturday mat.) in the same ballet, this time partnering Herrera.

I absolutely adored Cornejo's Bluebird. And what about McKerrow/Malakhov's joyous TCHAI PDD on Sat afternoon? And it was touching to see the elegant Giuseppe Piccone taking his final ABT bows (with hand-to-heart) on Friday night, after the Nutcracker pdd with Jaffe. On the other hand, I was a bit taken aback by Dvorovenko's brittleness in the Rose Adagio on Friday. She seemed VERY tired. Does anyone know if she is nursing an injury? Saturday's Rose Adagio, with Gillian Murphy's icy Aurora, did not fare much better...perhaps I was sitting too high up in the Balcony to feel Murphy's warmth?

The absolute-highlight of my weekend in NYC, though, was Sunday afternoon's NYCB mixed bill (Chaconne - In Memory of... - Harmonielehre). In Chaconne, a glorious Tracey & Boal...AND a well-synchronized corps...quite a surprise for an old Kirov-ABT die-hard admirer! :mad: And that final scene in 'Harmonielehre' with billowing clouds, followed by the vast cosmos, was breathtakingly beautiful. I am inspired to write about it in more detail, as time allows. It was a GREAT mixed bill with a common theme of the heavens & angels. More later.

[ 06-25-2001: Message edited by: Jeannie ]

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Glad to read that Wiles had a good debut in T&V. She's a lovely dancer to watch growing season after season. Beyond the long limbs and regal carriage, she seems to me to be a cerebral dancer, very intellectually engaged. I was sorry I missed her Myrta debut at Kennedy Center. Gomes is another solid dancer I think will change considerably as he grows a tad older and loses that boyish rubbery look.

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