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Kirov in Amsterdam - Giselle


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#16 Sonja

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Posted 21 March 2001 - 11:51 AM

...an interesting example of how different views of one and the same performance can be...!

#17 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 21 March 2001 - 02:52 PM

Vishneva danced a second Giselle in Amsterdam, which fared even worse because of the presence of Farukh Ruzimatov, who looked embarrassingly out of shape this evening and never even touched the role. His variation was a poor man's version of "Le Corsaire". One might say they that Vishneva and Ruzimatov were well matched as they both excell in distorting their roles with questionable personal touches. It may all be very nice and spectacular on its own, but it's miles away from a Kirov's "Giselle".

Amsterdam got some idea what this can be with the final Giselle performance of Maya Dumchenko and Viktor Baranov. From the lovely romantic hair dress to the carefully poised arabesques and the subtly crafted mad scene - everything looked right and true. Dumchenko is a wonderful Giselle and one with a rich pedigree. Baranov proved the ideal partner. The way he made Dumchenko float in the 2nd Act was unforgettable. And at last we had somebody who successfully attempted the swallow lifts in the 2nd Act.

Interesting to note, finally, that Dumchenko and Vishneva have the same coach: Olga Chenchikova. An interesting example of how different performers can be even when guided by the same teacher Posted Image

#18 Naoko S

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Posted 21 March 2001 - 06:10 PM

Marc, you really were lucky to see Zhelonkina's Giselle. In the past years I too always felt frustrated that such a refined dancer as her - a true classicist - had not been given leading roles. (Felt the same for Dumchenko too!)

When they come back in town (London) in June, I'd more than welcome a cast change or two - again Zhelonkina is not casted for any of the leading roles! (Her Aurore must be a delight to watch!)

#19 Kevin Ng

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Posted 22 March 2001 - 12:35 AM

Naoko, actually Maya Dumchenko did get leading roles in London last August. I saw her Aurora and Juliet. Zhelonkina danced Florine though not Aurora.

On another note, Diana Vishneva and Faroukh Ruzimatov will dance in a gala in Moscow on 2 April.

[This message has been edited by Kevin Ng (edited March 22, 2001).]

#20 vrsfanatic

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Posted 22 March 2001 - 09:02 AM

Mr. Haegeman, perhaps the differences between Vishneva and Dumchenko have something to do with their schooling as students in school. They had different teachers, both being at the top of their respective classes upon graduation in 1995.
Vishneva did her final three years with L. Kovolova and Dumchenko with Zaknovskaya. Who coaches a dancer in a company is only part of the story.

#21 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 22 March 2001 - 12:29 PM

Naoko, Irina Zhelonkina is indeed a delightful Aurora. She is however only rarely cast in leading roles on tours. In the last five years or so she could occasionally be seen as Maria in ?The Fountain of Bakhchisarai?, Masha, Gamzatti, Chopiniana, ballerina in Petrushka, and now Giselle, but for most of the time her repertory is limited to pas de deux and variations.

Vrsfanatic, I agree, coaching isn?t everything of course (there is also schooling and mentality for instance), but in the case of a company like the Kirov Ballet working with strong personalities as ballet masters (Moiseyeva, Kurgapkina, the late Zubkovskaya, Selyutsky, Yevteyeva, Chenchikova?), who spend several years with the same dancers, I am always inclined to expect a certain stamp or mark of the coach on the pupil. Yet, in practice this proves completely wrong. No greater difference, for example, between Zakharova and Asylmuratova, who both prepare their roles with Moiseyeva.

Interesting to note that Nina Sakhnovskaya especially came over to see Maya Dumchenko?s performance in Amsterdam.

#22 Naoko S

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Posted 22 March 2001 - 06:58 PM

Kevin, I did notice Dumchenko danced leading roles in the two productions - but as far as I can remember at least for SB she was a replacement for someone - not originally casted for the role. In Nov-Dec last year when they were in Japan the only leading role she got was Masha in the Nutcracker. Even though there were usual cast changes, which would have given her fairly good chance, dissapointingly younger dancers were given roles to replace the absent 'stars' - to this some of balletgoers, including myself, responded in a puzzlement: 'Where's Dumchenko?' (She has been a frequent visitor to Japan - obviously not a glittering star as Asylmuratova or Vishneva, but certainly one of the favourite principals of Japanese balletgoers.) And again this summer to my eyes she was not given 'substantial' roles - which is a shame!

#23 Manhattnik

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Posted 22 March 2001 - 10:55 PM

Interesting to read others' takes on these dancers. When the Kirov was at the Met in 99, I thought that while Dumchenko was a very fine Giselle, Vishneva was very special, especially her second act. I'm happy to read that Zhelonkina is doing so well lately -- her Peasant Pas during that visit were rough around the edges, to put it mildly.

#24 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 23 March 2001 - 02:20 AM

Although Maya Dumchenko definitely belongs to the group of youngsters whose fast rise coincided with Makhar Vaziev taking over at the Kirov Ballet, she somehow fell out of favour (at least since 1998) and has been mainly consigned to second rank duty, the dancer who performs when most of the others are absent or injured, and missing some tours. As far as I was able to see, there is absolutely no ground for that.

Manhattnik, Zhelonkina has always been remarkable for the quality of her plastique and movement, even when she was only doing Flower Girl in "Don Quixote" or Bell dancer in "The Fountain".

Vishneva's "Giselle" is "special" indeed, as it is basically in open defiance of the balletís performance tradition, but actually tells us nothing new about the role. Depends of what you expect of your Giselle, no doubt. Posted Image

#25 vrsfanatic

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Posted 23 March 2001 - 08:27 AM

It is of great interest to me, this subject of character and training. All though ballet masters such as Kurgapkina, the late Zubkovskaya and Zelyutzky are definite personalities with tremendous knowledge and professionalism a teacher/coach is only able to guide a dancer so far. I heard many times from ballet masters, " you can only trick dancers into believing , so far. The rest is trust and talent."
Dumchenko and Vishneva are two very different people. Glad to hear Saknovskaya was in Amsterdam. Do you know where she is teaching now. Last I had heard she left Vaganova School after 1995.
It is also very interesting to read the opinions of others regarding the different performances of the Kirov internationally, since they have not been to Florida in a number of years. Wish I could see more.

#26 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 23 March 2001 - 12:00 PM

I saw the same Kirov performances as Manhattnik. I agree with his assessments, both of Vishneva, whose second act was very moving and of Zhelonkina, who did a coarse Peasant Pas. I can't place either dancer within the context of the Kirov (I don't see the company nearly enough) and I did not warm to her Aurora, but I did to her Giselle.

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#27 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 23 March 2001 - 04:41 PM

vrsfanatic, Nina Sakhnovskaya has been living in Augsburg, Germany.

[This message has been edited by Marc Haegeman (edited March 24, 2001).]


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