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Neumeier ballets at Kirov


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#16 Kevin Ng

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Posted 04 May 2001 - 05:23 AM

A.M., thanks for your very interesting updates on this Neumeier programme. Do you think the Kirov will tour in future with this programme?

#17 Guest_amalinovski_*

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Posted 04 May 2001 - 05:59 AM

Kevin, as far as I know Kirov never toured abroad with modern choreography. They staged "Goya" (by J.Antonio), "Young Man and the Death" (by R.Petit), "In the Night" (by J.Robbins), but did you see any of those in the West? (If someone did, please let me know!). So I guess it would be the same with Neumeier's.

#18 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 04 May 2001 - 06:23 AM

A.M. They used to tour with Eifman, Petit, Vinogradov, and things like that in the eighties, but that's definitely from another era.

#19 Guest_amalinovski_*

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Posted 07 May 2001 - 02:28 AM

Another article from St.Petersburg Forum:
"Sounds of Empty Pages" is the best Neumeier's result with the Kirov. The composer Alfred Schnitke was a very good friend of Neumeier, and the choreographer used his music for "Peer Gynt" staged with Hamburg Ballet. "Sounds..." - what is it all about? "About a human being the center of everything," - says Neumeier. It cannot be explained by words, just like Leonardo's "Joconda" cannot be. It's a pure choreography. The protagonists have no names. The young man (Andrian Fadeev) is surrounded by mystic strangers. Who is that girl in black (Uliana Lopatkina) - Destiny? Line of Life? Music? And another one, in cherry (Diana Vishneva) - Muse? Love? There's no answer; spectators are free to interprete it.

Neumeier praised all Kirov dancers collaborating for his ballets. A very rare case with the Kirov: all dancers (including corps-de-ballet) were listed by name in playbill. Diana Vishneva participated in all three ballets, and became a real Neumeier's ballerine.

#20 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 07 May 2001 - 04:12 AM

"Sounds..." - what is it all about? "About a human being the center of everything," - says Neumeier. It cannot be explained by words, just like Leonardo's "Joconda" cannot be. It's a pure choreography. The protagonists have no names. The young man (Andrian Fadeev) is surrounded by mystic strangers. Who is that girl in black (Uliana Lopatkina) - Destiny? Line of Life? Music? And another one, in cherry (Diana Vishneva) - Muse? Love? There's no answer; spectators are free to interpret it.


Gotta hand it to Neumeier, he sure knows how to do PR that sounds like it came straight from Delphos. Is it just me, or does anyone else resent the "it means whatever you want it to mean" line? I think that's a given. When someone asks me what my work means, I've stopped giving that answer. It feels like a cop-out, or like I don't have a clue how to make something that says what I have to say, or worst of all, that I don't even know what I have to say.

#21 Drew

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Posted 07 May 2001 - 04:46 AM

After the actual quote from Neumeier "about a human being the center of everything," I couldn't quite tell from A.M.'s original entry whether or not the rest was also a a paraphrase of Neumeier, or, rather a quotation or paraphrase of the author of the newspaper article (or even perhaps A.M.'s own thoughts about the ballet) so it seems a little hard to judge, especially since we're dealing with multiple translations (Neumeier into Russian? Russian into English?)

[

[ 05-07-2001: Message edited by: Drew ]

#22 Guest_amalinovski_*

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Posted 07 May 2001 - 05:32 AM

To Drew: in fact, the rest (after "human being the center..." phrase) does not belong to Neumeier, but to the author of the original Russian article. Please be sure that I am merely translating those, and I cannot give my own opinion because, based in Paris, I didn't see these Neumeier ballets.
I'd agree with Leigh Witchel: it seems to be a bit of "I-won't-tell-you-what-is-it-all-about, clue-yourself" approach. I personally do prefer a "plot" ballets, where dancers have to tell a STORY by dancing CHARACTERS and give DRAMATIC impressions. I think Neumeier is opposing to that by giving AESTETIC impression that spectator can "fill in" with his (spectator's) own story.

#23 Andrei

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Posted 07 May 2001 - 10:18 PM

A.M. wrote :
I think Neumeier is opposing to that by giving
AESTETIC impression that spectator can "fill in" with his (spectator's) own story.

I didn't see this particular work either, but in my list of choreographers, Neumeier is a direct descendent of Petipa. He'd like full lentgh ballets, he used the same structure, some times the old stories, some times he's inventing his own, but doing this he emphasis not on illustration of actions, but on inner motivation of heroes.

Leigh, as I know, Nuemeier is a great spokeperson, he'd like to talk and he leads an educational program in Hamburg, so, it's no way for him to say "think what do you want to think" or something like that. I heard that press-conference with him in St.Petersburg became the lecture of ballet's history - so full were his answers.

#24 Alexandra

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Posted 07 May 2001 - 11:06 PM

I thought it interesting, Andrei, that you count Neumeier as a descendant of Petipa. Syvil Shearer, the American modern dancer with whom he studied before going to Europe and who is a great supporter of Neumeier (and a very interesting woman) has written that she thinks he's in the Noverre-Fokine line -- the story is more important than the steps. (My objections to Neumeier, aside from, as is often written, "He talks a good ballet" -- meaning that the program notes are often more interesting than what's going on on stage -- is that much of the choreography I've seen is so awkward -- in places where, it seems, he's trying to be beautiful.)

#25 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 08 May 2001 - 06:42 AM

certainly the kirov brought a balanchine program on their last tour, doing 'symphony in c', 'tchaikovsky pas de deux' and i don't remember what else, and in 1992, i seem to remember 'leaves are fading' on another program not composed of the classics.

#26 Patricia

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Posted 08 May 2001 - 10:53 AM

Greetings and Hello! This is my first posting...

In response to A.M.'s question, I did see the Kirov perform IN THE NIGHT and THE LEAVES ARE FADING when they performed at the Met in the summer of 1992. Also on the same program was the original APOLLO with Prologue, Epilogue and staircase.

#27 Alexandra

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Posted 08 May 2001 - 12:44 PM

Welcome to Ballet Alert, Patricia. I hope you'll post about what you're seeing today, as well.

I would have loved to see the Kirov in "In the Night" and "Leaves." They did an all-Balanchine evening in D.C. (which I thought was very fine) and a "Lilac Garden" which was peculiar -- but wonderful in its own way.

#28 Guest_amalinovski_*

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Posted 09 May 2001 - 03:19 AM

Thanks for everyone who let me know about Kirov "modern" tours abroad. I only follow Kirov recently, and am not aware very well about its tours before 1996.
To Andrei: Neumeier was indeed praised as a great spokeperson in St.Petersburg. Unfortunately, I have no data about his speeches. But I do heard he was mysterious about his actual work, not revealing any details about it, and instead concentrated on ballet "general" history - just as you said.

#29 Kevin Ng

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Posted 10 May 2001 - 07:13 PM

I just found this article in the archives of St. Petersburg Times on Neumeier.
[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]

#30 Guest_amalinovski_*

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Posted 14 May 2001 - 03:03 AM

A big new article from St.Petersburg's "Chas pik" ("Rush hour") newspaper is posted in Russian forum. It is difficult to translate, but I'll try to do that ASAP.


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