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Kirov Jewels


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#1 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 18 July 2002 - 11:02 PM

A good performance. To me, the most interesting thing was how American Vishneva looked in Rubies. It was as if she had no "accent" - it doesn't make her better or worse, it's just surprising, almost like discovering a changeling. She looks like she could be put into NYCB with almost no adaptation if she had a mind to do it. This has been mentioned before - I wonder if that is what makes her controversial?

Having seen Zakharova three times I haven't really warmed to her. I find her dancing very external; concerned more with the shapes it makes than any impulse. And if she distorted her hip any further in her developpe to the side in Diamonds, we would have seen her tuches (pardon my Yiddish.) Korsuntsev partnered her, and it was not his best moment. He is an excellent partner, but the role seemed beyond him; maneges went wild and his ankles just gave out in jumps, leaving his feet flapping behind him.

In all the ballets, the corps was in good shape. I'm sure this is my own fevered imagination, but at one point in the Emeralds pas de trois, Yana Selina went off for an exit and it seems she came back on with almost twice the rhinestones as when she left. I entertained myself for quite a while imagining her feverishly sewing and pasting them on her thirty seconds offstage. Sometimes a girl needs a little extra sparkle in a role. More seriously, both she and Xenia Ostreikovskaya did a very nice job in it. I do prefer the 1976 ending Balanchine appended, not performed in the Kirov version.

More comments? I know other BalletAlertniks were there!

#2 bobbi

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Posted 19 July 2002 - 03:38 AM

Okay, I'll weigh in on this one.

Emeralds:

This has always been my favorite section, but I don't think the Kirov "got" that it was all about the music. Maybe it's better they don't do the full Emeralds until they absorb the style more.

On the positive side, I was happy with (the new ABT solosit) Veronica Part in the second ballerina role. She has the technique to be able to play with musical phrases and choose when to fall off point. She used her ability to the hilt. From the Dress Circle view, I thought she may have faltered for a nao-second in the "walking on point" sequence (my very favorite section) but that is quibbling. She turned in an A+ performance.

I was not happy with the lead ballerina (Ayupova) though; there was no pliancy or fluidity -- which is what Emeralds is all about. And two nit-picks though: (1) what's with the dirty toe shoes? The bottom of Part's tow shoes were actually black!! (But on the other hand, the sound of their toes shoes was more muffled than in other performances in the Kirov run); and (2) why all this radiant smiling in what should be a mysterious, romantic atmosphere? Ladies, look at tapes of Violette Verdy in this role: all mystery.

Rubies:

Vishneva turned in a very satisfying performance. They were many moments when I saw flashes of Patty McBride in my mind. She has absorbed what the ballet is about. Very nice. The dancing of her partner, however, Samodurov, reminded me that this is a very new style for the Kirov. The second ballerina role was attempted by Sofia Gumerov. The two signatures steps of this part (the grand jetes and the exaggerated arabesque penchees) were not executed well at all. A disappointment.

Diamonds:

First of all, Kudos for the corps here. Wow! the first section with all those zillion balancees was beautifully done. (I always called it was the "waiting for Suzanne" section.) Sakharova and Korsuntsev were the leads. Sakharova certainly has the grand ballerina manner and turned in a very satisfying adagio section. Again, I had flashes of Suzanne before me. Very, very nice. However, when it came to the allegro sections, she seemed to have run out of steam and there were some flubs, but let's chalk them up to first night jitters.

The coda -- with the corps -- was just a wonderful ballet experience. It gave one "chills." One major nit-pick though: What's with the beige color for the tutus? The tutus for this should be dazzling white. Does anyone know whether Karinski had originally envisioned this beige (and is this why the Kirov in its camaign for authencity didn't use white)? I didn't like the tutus at all; in fact, they were distracting in their un-grandness.

Note to NYCB: bring back this ballet!!! I was very happy to see how magificently it filled the huge Met stage (and with the relatively "original" scenery). I'm looking forward to seeing the closing night Kirov Jewels. But it just makes me realize how much I want to see NYCB do it!!!

#3 Manhattnik

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Posted 19 July 2002 - 03:46 AM

I think Yana Selina has to be the hardest-working woman in ballet. She was a demi in both Emeralds and Diamonds last night, and doubtless in the corps of Rubies, too.

I liked Emeralds very much -- it was lovely to see it performed with the Kirov's beautifully homogenous corps, which seemed to me to hit just the right delicate, undersea-grotto effect. Although it was my first, long-awaited look at Ayupova, it was Part who really impressed in, I think, the Mimi Paul role. I seem to have misplaced my program, so I'm not sure who the lead man was in Emeralds, who was adequate, but not spectacular. Korsakov, leading the pas de trois (which was particularly well-performed by the well-rhinestoned Selina) seemed to dance his solo as if he were more concerned with elevation instead of pointing his feet.

I enjoyed Vishneva tremendously in Rubies, although I wish she hadn't been quite so restrained (just kidding). Seriously, she was a trip and a half. And that smile! Samodurov was game, and was trying very hard to look insousciant, which just doesn't work. The corps was also game, but seemed as clueless in the jazzier bits as the recent NYCB cast of Interplay. I could almost picture them thinking "Now we stick butt up in air and shuffle offstage? Alright, but we make it preety."

The corps was magnificent in Diamonds, and I liked the four soloist very much, including the hard-working Selina. Diamonds are supposed to be cold and glittery, and in this respect I thought Zakharova was indeed well-suited, although the extreme extensions certainly distorted the shape of Balanchine's choreography. But I didn't get much sense of grandeur from Zakharova in this grandest of all Balanchine adagios. As for lumpish Korsuntev, the less said the better.

Considering that the Kirov's Serenade and Symphony in C were huge disappointments three years ago, their performance here was a very welcome change.

#4 Juliet

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Posted 19 July 2002 - 05:55 AM

Sigh.
Sorry to have missed this. I think the Kirov corps in Diamonds would be Really Something. Congratulations to them all.....

I enjoyed reading the reviews....not surprised by the impressions ventured, but wish I could have seen it, nonetheless--thanks to all who post.

I agree with Bobbi that it has been too long since NYCB did this--I'd like to see it once every year during the winter season!

Tutus look may appear white, but are generally not built with white fabric, as it looks dead on stage, I think. Depending on the lighting and fabric, your eye may have read "beige." This is usually fixable, but who knows what sort of lighting rehearsals they may have had.....

hope to hear more impressions....

#5 Calliope

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Posted 19 July 2002 - 06:21 AM

I liked it. For me a welcome change from the ultra long Bayadere.

Emeralds. I, contrary to some, liked Ayupova, I thought she musically just fantastic. Her port de bras is spectacular. And Part was also just stunning, looking forward to seeing her more at ABT. I remember NYCB's last casts (Rutherford, K. Tracey, Lorenzo, Kowroski and Lopez) and just thinking that none of them had the arms to carry it off. I never saw Verdy do it (and I'm a bit reluctant to watch it on tape) but I'd second the nomination of seeing Korbes do the role.
I liked the Kirov's attempt at being "French" though.
Rubies, was my favorite. They really did seem to enjoy themselves. A perfect vehicle for Vishneva to show off. And she did. Made me forget who even dances it at NYCB.
And Diamonds. Perfection from the corps, nicely danced by the prinicipals.

Seeing a "foreign" company do Jewels made me appreciate just how very "international" the piece is. If only we could have an international performance of it, with POB doing Emeralds, NYCB doing Rubies and the Kirov doing Diamonds!

#6 dancermom2

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Posted 19 July 2002 - 07:04 AM

I have a very good idea where the dirty pointe shoes come from...the rehearsal rooms and stage floors are dirty (do they ever mop over there???) and cause black marks on the bottoms of the shoes. I would guess that given the financial constraints the Kirov is probably operating under they can't buy new pointe shoes each performance and are using shoes that have been used in a prior rehearsal and or performance.

#7 glebb

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Posted 19 July 2002 - 07:59 AM

Calliope, did you ever see Stephanie Saland in the Verdy role?
She was mesmerizing! :)


It's interesting to read about how well the Russians are doing 'Jewels".

I did not like the Russian dancers in 'Mozartiana' a few years ago at the Balanchine Celebration. Their technique was excellent, but they didn't look right. They lacked the American chic I had grown so accustomed to in that ballet.

You New Yorkers are so lucky to be able to see these fantastic performances.

#8 Calliope

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Posted 19 July 2002 - 08:11 AM

only a vague recollection of Saland, I think actually I may have only seen photos.

#9 glebb

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Posted 19 July 2002 - 08:55 AM

For me there is nothing vague about Saland. :)

The memory of her in Emeralds, those arms and the presentation of the foot, the gorgeous neck and face are seared in my brain.

:)

#10 felursus

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Posted 19 July 2002 - 12:29 PM

I was rather disappointed in the Kirov "Jewels". First of all, the tempi were far too slow - but then they never could move at NYCB speeds. I liked Ayupova in "Emeralds" - especially her arms, and I thought Part also did a good job. I think "Rubies" came off best: possibly because the style is so alien to the Kirov's natural state that they really had to work at it. "Diamonds" bothered me the most. First of all the brown in the costumes was irritating (and yes, it was a distinct brown-gold color). Then, I think because "Diamonds" was created by Balanchine as a nod to Imperial Russia the Kirov had a problem in trying to dance it as it should be - American style. They probably felt more "at home" in it and didn't think they had to adapt. Zakharova looked gorgeous, but had some problems, and those excessive extensions really spoil the line and therefor the "look" of the ballet.

I'm going to have a second look tomorrow night: the closing. I shall also go to the matinee "Swan Lake" to see how Part does.

#11 Ari

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Posted 19 July 2002 - 05:19 PM

I'm puzzled by the references to the "beige" or "brown-gold" color of the costumes in Diamonds. When the Kirov danced in Washington in February, the costumes looked just as white as those at City Ballet. Perhaps Juliet is right about its being the lighting.

Maybe they'll adjust it for the second performance.

#12 liebs

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Posted 19 July 2002 - 05:37 PM

No, I was sitting very close and their was a layer of beige or gold tulle under the white. It bothered me also.

#13 Juliet

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Posted 19 July 2002 - 06:11 PM

One wonders, sometimes, about "artistic license".....
The ballerina costume in Diamonds is indeed built of a darker, more beige fabric than the corps and the top layer of tulle on her tutu is gold.
One wonders about such things....copying costume design is one thing, changing it and then attributing it to Karinska is quite another ....it is not as if the Karinska costumes are not available for reference.

Those interested should see:
/www.nycballet.com/costumeshop/diamondsphotos.html

The Costume Shop section of City Ballet's site is quite wonderful and has been available for some time.
Sorry to veer slightly off topic!

#14 Manhattnik

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Posted 20 July 2002 - 08:34 AM

I guess nobody else went last night?

Cast was much the same as Thursday, except Rubies was led by Golub and Fadeyev. Golub seemed clean, dutiful and a bit young and unformed. Anyone would seem wan following Vishneva's high-voltage performance Thursday night. I liked Fadeyev very much -- he was also clean, light on his feet and less effortful than Samodurov.

Diamonds was led by Pavlenko and Kolb. This was the Pavlenko's only lead this season, as her Swan Lake was given, instead, to Zakharova. What a shame! Pavlenko was senational, I thought, dancing with a fierce passion and joy which was totally lacking in Zakharova's magisterial performance Thursday night. It also helped that Pavlenko didn't scratch behind her ears with her instep at ever developpe.

#15 balletstar18

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Posted 20 July 2002 - 08:42 PM

I saw all four kirov productions in the past two weeks and jewels was my favorite! I saw jewel's thursday night and thought it was amazing. I was very interested to see the Balanchine style on them, after seeing the three classical, russain ballets, and was amazed by how versatile the dancers were. You could have convinced me that they were new york city ballet.
Rubies was my favorite section, and loved the soloists extensions and firey personality. It was amazing. I too noticed the biege tutus for diamonds, and thought they looked dirty. I also noticed that the men didn't adapt as easily to the new style, they are also much less expressive then the woman. During some of their bows (diamonds especially) i thought the men looked annoyed at the applause. Overall I loved the performance and enjoyed the rare opportunity to see the kirov so close to home.


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