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Neumeier ballets at Kirov


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#1 Guest_amalinovski_*

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Posted 30 April 2001 - 06:16 AM

3 ballets by John Neumeier were premiered on april 28-29 at Kirov (Mariinsky) ballet (St.Petersburg).
I will translate some postings from Russian forums later. So far, most of dancers (Lopatkina, Vishneva, Fadeev, Zakharova, Sologub) were praised both by spectators and critics.

#2 Kevin Ng

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Posted 30 April 2001 - 06:32 AM

I heard that one of the Neumeier ballets is called "Now and Then". It was also danced by the Royal Danish Ballet several years ago.

[ 04-30-2001: Message edited by: Kevin Ng ]

#3 NO7

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Posted 30 April 2001 - 07:02 AM

As far as I know the premiere of Neumiere's ballets at Mariinsky Theatre included:
Spring and Fall (Dvorak)
Now and Then (Ravel)
Sounds of Empty Pages (Shnittke)
Each dancer appeared in more than one piece, but it seems the highest acclaim went to Lopatkina and Vishneva in Spring and Fall.

#4 Guest_amalinovski_*

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Posted 30 April 2001 - 07:33 AM

Cast on April 28th (premiere):
Spring and Fall (Dvorzhak) - Vishneva, Fadeev (29th - Hrebtov, Sologub)
Now and Then (Ravel) - Zakharova, Sologub, Fadeev
Sounds of empty pages (Schnitke) - Lopatkina, Vishneva, Fadeev

Spectators were pleased to see star cast both for premiere and 29th morning show.
Vishneva was ever said "too perfect", since the difference in class hurted a bit
Neumeier's choreography, oriented to well-leveled cast.
Sologub was preferred over Zakharova, the last being "too classical" for these
ballets. Sologub, instead, tried to follow the style. "Born to dance Neumeier", in
one opinion.
Fadeev expressed his artistic skills, by creating two very different roles. In Sounds
of empty pages (the world premiere), he was partnered by sublime Lopatkina (in black)
and Vishneva (in cherry). For Lopatkina, it was the first appearance on stage in new
millenium. Even if it's a bit too late, she could't have started it better.

#5 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 30 April 2001 - 01:15 PM

Interesting to read that Zakharova is already considered "too classical" now :)

#6 Dale

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Posted 01 May 2001 - 04:03 AM

An article from St. Petersburg Times on the Neumeier ballets:
[url="http://"http://www.sptimes.ru/archive/times/665/features/a_3158.htm"]http://www.sptimes.ru/archive/times/665/fe...ures/a_3158.htm[/url]

Personally, I saw ABT do Spring and Fall and found it boring. Lots of bare chested men running around and looking earnest while the woman keep the home fires burning.

#7 Alexandra

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Posted 01 May 2001 - 09:08 AM

Some of Neumeier's dramatic ballets are, well, dramatic, at least, but as a choreographer, his charms elude me. The choreography is so...awkward. Not deliberately ugly in the provocative avant-garde sense, which can often be very interesting, but just plain awkward when he seems to be trying to be lyrical. (His Romeo and Juliet pas de deux, for example. They run down the stairs from the balcony, stop, grin at the audience, and then he flips her over his shoulder.) I keep thinking about the "born to dance Neumeier" line. I suppose it was meant as a compliment.

#8 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 01 May 2001 - 10:04 AM

Originally posted by alexandra:
I keep thinking about the "born to dance Neumeier" line.  I suppose it was meant as a compliment.


Considering the context (the Kirov Ballet), I wouldn't think of it this way.

#9 Alexandra

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Posted 01 May 2001 - 10:37 AM

Marc, obviously *I* wouldn't use it as a compliment, but I thought in the context of the new, improved Kirov it might have been so intended. :)

#10 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 01 May 2001 - 12:49 PM

I see, Alexandra. Well, it's "new" alright, but I still have to find out about that "improved" part :).

#11 Guest_amalinovski_*

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Posted 02 May 2001 - 03:05 AM

Hi everyone!
"Born to dance Neumeier" was clearly stated as compliment in Russian text (opposing to "being too classical" which was clearly a criticizm). But I wouldn't conclude from this that Sologub is better than Zakharova. A dancer cannot suit perfectly all ballets.
Another interesting thing that could have been missed by not-Russian speakers: Vishneva's family name means "Cherry-ish" in Russian. I wonder if Neumeier made her dancing in cherry because of that...
BTW, there're no other news about these ballets on Russian forums since Sunday.

#12 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 02 May 2001 - 06:14 AM

Isn't this the world turned upside down? There is something I've missed here, but can somebody please explain me why "being too classical" is (in the contect of the Kirov Ballet) all of the sudden a shortcoming?

#13 Guest_amalinovski_*

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Posted 02 May 2001 - 07:05 AM

Well, Marc, I think "being too classical" in Kirov context means the following: "A dancer is suited for classical choreography ("Swan Lake", "Sleeping Beauty"), but not for Neumeier's modern choreography".

#14 Sonja

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Posted 02 May 2001 - 09:59 AM

Interesting discussion!
We have quite a lot of Neumeier ballets here in Munich (what surprise - with Ivan Liska as AD... ;)), but I haven't seen any of those performed by Kirov now.
Personally, I prefer Neumeier's older ballets (I ADORE his "Nutcracker"!) - I have found it a bit difficult to follow his recently sometimes quite mystique approaches to themes and music...(lots of running and walking, as you said, Alexandra)
I have been wondering if the "born to dance Neumeier" was meant as a compliment, as his style is so different now from pure classical ballet - but in general, I believe it is something that cannot be judged objectivly but is an expression of personal taste...? Just similar as calling someone "too classical"...

#15 Guest_amalinovski_*

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Posted 04 May 2001 - 02:41 AM

Another opinion, translated from Russian forum:
"Performance of April 28th. I liked "Sounds of empty pages" and "Spring and Fall". Neumeier used very skillfully Vishneva's soft grace and Lopatkina moved like a lionness. But I was deceived by "Now and Then". I felt pity for Zakharova. I don't know what she thinks about this role, but I think she was out of luck. I don't think Ravel ever intended this slow music to be danced. Powerful Kuznetsov was in harmony with "gym" ambiance, but nothing more. To resume, these ballets did leave me with mixed feelings".


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