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Kirov Don Q

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#16 Juliet


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Posted 17 July 2002 - 04:46 PM

Sorry to disappoint you, but spurs and tutus do not mix.

I rather was wishiing for the spurs in Swan Lake's mazurka and czardas...I missed hearing them--I don't "think" they were on the men's boots.....:)

#17 BW


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Posted 17 July 2002 - 08:39 PM

You know, I almost don't want to say this but I really was not that "in love" with tonight's performance of Don Q. :) I was prepared to love it...and wonder if that added to my disappointment. It's not that it was "bad" - far from it, however, it just didn't knock my socks off. I think my feelings are more along the lines of cargill's.

Tonight's Kitri was Elvira Tarasova who was quite good but I would have preferred seeing Tatiana Tkachenko in this role - she was the spitfire! Not that Ms. Tarasova wasn't accomplished - it's more of an appearance thing for me. Basil was danced by Andrian Fadeyev... Now what I'm about to say is probably blasphemy but there was something about him that reminded me of Rudolph Nureyev. Now, that you've all either swooned or choked on your drinks, just let me say that I have only seen Nureyev on video tape! Maybe it was the fellow's face - and general appearance?

The costumes were great - the atmosphere was there. I, too, really got a kick out of the character dancing.... I wish I could say exactly what it was about the performance that just didn't astound me. :( I have to say that I have enjoyed ABT's performances this past spring much more.

Maybe it's that there was sooooo much extraneous activity - I don't know.:confused: :rolleyes:

#18 Michael


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Posted 18 July 2002 - 06:11 AM

Or maybe the expectations generated by reading the prior reactions were too high. One thing that helped me to respond so well was that, going to theater Monday night, I was expecting nothing or less than nothing. I have usually loathed this ballet. Also, so much of the reaction Monday had to do with the energy,the excitement in the house, and nothing is more subjective than that.

With the benefit of a couple of days to think about it, and 350 miles distance between myself and the theater, a couple of things have hit me regarding the wonderful stagecraft of the Kirov.

First, is how good Sancho Panza was -- I don't have my program and don't know the name of the dancer. But the blindfold dance, and the scene where he is tossed in the air -- neither of which do I remember in the ABT version -- were superb. And Sancho himself has a nice prominence in this production. In fact, both Sancho and Don Q have more to do in the Kirov Don Q, it is more about them and closer to the Cervantes in its plot, than in the ABT Don Q which is really just the tale of Basil and Kitri. Here, to be sure, Basil and Kitri still predominate -- But because of the scenes for Sancho in particular -- Don Q and his sidekick give them a run for their money and the ballet book is closer to the action in the novel. And didn't you love that superbly groomed horse?

The second is the lovely dramatic timing of the conductor at the very end. Again, I'm not sure of his name, but surely much of the praise for the orchestra this week is due to the conductors. Here what struck me was how the conductor slowed the production down at the conclusion of the Grand Pas, allowing lots of time for numerous bows for Visnneyva and Samodurov, milking it as usual (they over do this, and have you ever seen more time taken between acts?) but then, just as they were going into the same shtick in the Grand Pas coda, coming to the front of the stage for more curtain calls, while the natural applause was still swelling ... The Conductor suddenly and surely puts the production right into third gear as it were, and over and through the applause the drama moves swiftly to its conclusion, creating just the right emotionally satisfying climax to the resounding chords of the music. It was a beautiful example of dramatic timing and of how a conductor's timing can manage the emotional effect on the audience. A Bravo all week long to the great coordination between this orchestra, its conductors and the dancing. It's something I've never seen better done.

#19 glebb


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Posted 18 July 2002 - 06:54 AM

I remember feeling blissfully secure sitting in the Bolshoi Theatre. I had a sense that the music would be good, the curtain would go out on time, and of course the dancing would be impeccable. The theatre reeked of tradition, of people doing their job for years which was a different feeling than I had felt in the USA.

I know dancers are simply better today. That is what happens with time. Bodies change, technique improves. It's funny to look at the bodies of Hollywood's sex symbols of the 50s as compared to today's bodies.

Did any of you Ballet Alert posters see Kirkland and Baryshnikov in the Baryshnikov production of 'DonQ' for ABT back in the 80s?

Did you consider it dull? It seemed quite exciting at that time, to me.
Some of the reviews I have read of this recent Kirov production have been so ecstatic that it seems like the dancers came from Mars.

It's so hard to imagine this current production and crop of dancers. I've several times wanted to get on a plane and come back to NYC. :)

#20 Manhattnik


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Posted 18 July 2002 - 08:13 AM

Well, for leads, I think it would be very hard for anyone, of any generation, to top Kirkland and Baryshnikov. However, the Kirov's ensemble and character dancing, as well as the orchestra, simply blows away ABT's -- now or then.

#21 BW


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Posted 18 July 2002 - 09:20 AM

I didn't make myself clear - I didn't mean I like ABT's production of Don Q.! I've actually never seen it! What I meant is that last night's performance, for me was not as enjoyable as some of ABT's story ballets that I've seen.

I really didn't mean to compare the two - although I guess I did.:eek: It was more some out loud cyber thinking...trying to figure out why it didn't "Wow!" me as much as I expected. I think Michael has hit on it in his first line. :)

#22 Kevin Ng

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Posted 18 July 2002 - 11:02 AM

Both the Don Q performances yesterday were more polished than the opening performance on Monday. The character dances were superbly danced, as usual, by the Kirov. The younger cast yesterday afternoon - Golub and Korsakov (both in the same year in the Vaganova Academy before joining the Kirov) - was probably more satisfying than the evening cast of Elvira Tarasova and Andrian Fadeyev.

Irina Golub's Kitri was fresh, exhilarating and a sheer joy to watch. Golub danced with more spontaneity and ease than Vishneva on Monday. Her equlibre in the grand pas de deux was rock steady. Anton Korsakov managed the 2 one-handed lifts in Act 1 better than Samodurov on Monday, and his 'death' scene in was hilarious. He was impressive in the grand pas de deux. In the evening, Andrian Fadeyev, whose acting as Basilio was better and who had a more dazzling virtuosity, did a different version of the solo in the grand pas de deux - a series of double tours en l'air followed by single pirouette. Natalia Sologub's solo of the Queen of the Dryads was perfectly danced.

#23 balletstar18



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Posted 20 July 2002 - 08:53 PM

I saw kirov's don q wednesday evening and loved it. It was the first time that i had seen the ballet live ( i had seen the barishnikov/kirkland video mentioned before as well as another one in school, and countless excerpts and variations). The whole thing live on stage was amazing. All of the crowds of people on stage and the character scenes really made the ballet fascinating. Much more interesting than just seeing the variations. I am still amazed by how strong the corps is, they all seem to have gorgeous extensions, placement, and performance quality. It must be very hard to decide who gets promoted and who doesn't. I have now absolutly fallen in love with the kirov :)

#24 Dale


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Posted 21 July 2002 - 07:25 AM

Ok, I'm trying to catch up here...

I fall in with those who had a grand time Monday. Ever since Vishneva made a splash in London in 1997 in this ballet, I had wanted to see her dance Kitri. For some reason, I felt I was not seeing her or Viacheslav Samodurov at their best, but it was dazzling enough for me. At the beginning, I think Vishneva was maybe a bit tired from those La Bayaderes over the weekend and, thankfully, kept her leg kicks from hitting her in the nose, but then went back to the 12 o'clock mark in the last act. However, my enjoyment was not marred by three slips by Vishneva, who slid on a humid stage. And she did, indeed, bring the house down with her variations in Act III.

I like Samodurov -- he's likeable, nice looking and possess pretty decent technique -- but he would be better off not to force things. And, he can get a little lax in partnering -- he didn't hold the one-handed lifts very long.

Although all the character dancing was fine, one of the highlights for me was the vision scene with Vishneva, Natalia Sologub, and Elena Chmil. I was particularly impressed with Sologub, who has filled out nicely since we saw her as a fairy in Sleeping Beauty in 1999. She was lovely, calm and musically at ease during her solo -- using her now full, long legs to great effect.

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