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ABT's Tchaikovsky Spectacular 6/12


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#16 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 15 June 2001 - 09:18 AM

Bobsey,

Please join in the discussion and tell us what and why you liked it so that there is another perspective to be had.

Manhattnik, actually Woetzel's double to double might not be harder for him than double to single, depending on the momentum of his tours, like the women who say throwing in a double foutte is actually easier than a single for them. Coming out of the double tour into a double pirouette may mean he can maintain a consistent force, rather than having to slow down.

[ 06-15-2001: Message edited by: Leigh Witchel ]

#17 Michael

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Posted 15 June 2001 - 09:39 AM

Bobsey - Don't listen to me! Trust your own opinion. I wouldn't want to rain on other people's parades and when I say it's rainy that's not a guarantee that anyone else will agree. Also, despite my ill humour, I very much enjoyed Wednesday's matinee. Figure that one out. Michael

#18 bobsey

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Posted 15 June 2001 - 11:17 AM

Leigh Witchel & Michael1: Thanks for your comments. I appreciate them.
To answer -- I like the music, the costumes, the ambience of being with an enthusiastic audience. I've seen Kent, Corella, Jaffe, Tuttle, Bocca several times and never can find fault. They always please me. I don't count their turns or the angles of their limbs, and if I did that would not I miss the overall effect of their performance? Ideally, I suppose, I ought to be able to do both. Well, I'll work on it - I'm going to Saratoga next month.

#19 Juliet

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Posted 15 June 2001 - 12:33 PM

Lots of us don't count turns. Don't worry about it.

The more you see, the more nuance you will recognize, the more you will learn what pleases you, what leaves you cold.

Art is nothing if it doesn't touch you. You aren't going to love everything you see, although the more you see, the better /wider your field of comparison, of course.

I am the only person in the world who absolutely LOVES the new Royal Ballet Sleeping Beauty production, amid the general boo-hiss on both sides of the Atlantic. Do I care a jot? I can tell you in exhaustive detail, scene by scene, why I love this production, discuss the literary and artistic allusion, etc. , etc. and so forth. (But I won't!)

Keep watching, keep an open mind, and see you in Saratoga next month.....

#20 mussel

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Posted 15 June 2001 - 09:50 PM

Juliet, you are not alone. I think I am the only one that loves Peter Martin's full length "Swan Lake." As a matter of fact, that swan turned me into a ballet addict.

We all see things others may otherwise overlook and vice versa.

I can't wait to see Tchaikovsky Spectacular next Friday.

#21 Dale

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Posted 15 June 2001 - 11:26 PM

Yes, Bobsey. Please keep going to the ballet and write what you think. :mad:

I didn't mean to be a downer, I just don't like the choreography changed. I've been reading about how Petipa ballets used to look and I don't want in 10-20 years for people to watch a Balanchine ballet and think, "Well, what was so special about that." So when I saw changes, a red light went off for me.

But I did enjoy things Wednesday afternoon. Jaffe and Malakhov were very musical. I agree with ATM about Malakhov not getting the credit he deserved for his sensitive dancing. And even out of context, the Sleeping Beauty portions were done well, and a pleasure to watch (even though I don't like the McMillian choreography). Just to show how nuts I am, I'm going to this program two more times. :)

Juliet -- I like the Royal's new SB too.

#22 Manhattnik

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Posted 16 June 2001 - 10:35 AM

Bobsey, study hard, apply yourself, and you too can end up hating everything as much as the most seasoned BA poster.

Seriously, the important thing is that you enjoy what you see. All of the dancers at ABT (well, most of them) perform at a very high level, and I think when posters here complain about something or other, they're talking about very, very fine points of style, technique or interpretation.

I do remember it was quite a shock, and an education for me, back in the mid-seventies, after seeing a performance which I thought was wonderful (Kirkland in something or other, I think), to her the standing-room line cronies (this was back when you HAD to get in line early for the ballet) at the Met go on and on about how awful it was -- she was weak, she was off the music, she was a crazy drug addict (oops, we didn't know that at the time!)....

Anyway, the experience did teach me to look at performances a bit more critically, and to think about whether, and to what degree, I should really buy what a dancer or choreographer is selling, and to what degree. It's certainly not the only way to look at a performance, and sometimes I wish I could go back to the times when it was all wonderful and new and just washed right over me.

Leigh, I see your point about carrying momentum in double pirouettes, but I think the key word in what you said is "for him." If it really were easier for your average Joe Principal Dancer to do that combination, don't you think they'd all do it?

Malakhov was indeed wonderful as the purple-boots Von Rothbart last night in Swan Lake. I don't understand why he's dancing so seldom, and then only in secondary roles. True, ABT has many fine men, but Malakhov is one of the very finest.

#23 Drew

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Posted 16 June 2001 - 04:13 PM

Triple ditto -- no, quadruple ditto -- to Manhattnik's last remark about Malakhov.

#24 Katja

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Posted 17 June 2001 - 02:38 AM

Dear Drew, Manhatnik,Alexandra and all the others! Please explain: After Malakhov has debuted at the Mariinsky during the FEstival this past February,where he was phenomenal, all the russian media proclaimed him the best dancer in the world. At the Festival also were Carrenho, Stiefel, Acosta but they were very poor compared to Malakhov as in russian media's opinion as in, especially, sesoned St.Petersburg balletomanes liking. malakhov became "the talk of the town" overnight. Though he was trained in Russia, nobody knew him - he left Russia ten years ago and has never returned till this February. So my question is: Why is he dancing secondary roles in New York( he must be a Principal) and is he as famous in the West as we believe it in Russia now?

#25 Dale

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Posted 17 June 2001 - 02:57 AM

Katja, maybe others have a more complete answer but I have noticed VM taking on more character sort of parts than cavalier roles recently. Maybe its a combination of things -- a desire to do different parts and declining physical powers. Although he is not old, he was considered quite a jumper several years ago but he does not seem to have that sort of power now. But then again, maybe he has decided to show off different aspects of his dancing -- musicality, footwork, etc...

On the other hand, it could just be a matter of casting and who looks good with who. Dvorevenko has been used a lot this season (with reason) and she's usually paired with her husband. Nina A dances with either Bocca or Carreno, who also partners Jaffe and sometimes Herrera. Gomes is a guy on the rise and is getting a lot of the lead roles that require splashy technique. Plus Stiefel and Corella get many of the first nights with Kent. Malakhov has been dancing a lot with McKerrow, but her career is winding down. I believe some have said she is retiring soon. And Ferri is on maternity leave, so several factors could be weighing on the roles VM is getting.

#26 Alexandra

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Posted 17 June 2001 - 12:16 PM

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 ]

#27 Drew

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Posted 17 June 2001 - 02:22 PM

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...

#28 Alexandra

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Posted 17 June 2001 - 06:26 PM

Originally posted by Drew:

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


Second.

#29 stan

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Posted 24 June 2001 - 08:05 AM

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?

#30 Manhattnik

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Posted 24 June 2001 - 02:50 PM

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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