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Kirov ballet in Paris


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#1 Estelle

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Posted 14 October 2002 - 02:58 AM

A link about the upcoming Paris performances of the Kirov Ballet, at the Theatre du Chatelet:

http://fr.news.yahoo.../202/2sex5.html

There will be three series of performances: a Fokine mixed bill ("The Firebird", "Petrouchka", "Polovstian dances from Prince Igor", "Le Spectre de la Rose" and "Scheherazade"- not exactly a short program... And, silly me, I called too late when everything was sold out :) so if anybody knows a miracle solution to get tickets at a not too outrageous price, I'm interested :) ), "The Nutcracker" and "La Bayadère".

#2 katharine kanter

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Posted 18 October 2002 - 01:45 AM

every night, there are tickets up at 5 euros. They are advertised as no visibility, but witha bit of craning, you can see the stage fairly well. I bought one last night.

#3 Estelle

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Posted 18 October 2002 - 03:23 AM

Thanks for the information Katharine. I wonder why the people at their phone standard didn't mention it?

Actually, I could see the opening performance on Oct 16th- I waited near the Chatelet theatre (getting soaked by the rain) and finally a lady had an extra ticket to sell, so I could see it for 15 euros (in the amphitheater, very high but with a not too bad sight). I had noticed some empty seats up there, and wondered why they didn't sell it. It's a pity their phone standard doesn't give the right information (the person I talked to basically told me it wasn't worth going to the theater- fortunately I didn't listen to her advice!)

I'll post some comments about the opening program later, but it was a very enjoyable evening- very long, as it finished at 0:30 AM (having started at 7 PM- it was about 40 minutes late at the end, it's the first time I attend a performance getting so late), but with many beautiful things to see (and to hear- great music!)

#4 NO7

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Posted 29 October 2002 - 12:49 AM

I wonder when Estelle will kindly post her comments on Fokine programme;) While waiting, I find myself in Paris and was so happy to see the performance of La Bayadere last night at theatre du Chatelet. Vishneva stole the hearts of the audience. She's absolutely fantaaaastic, just as her Solor, Andrian Fadeyev.
I've got two more performances to see. Will write more.

#5 Kevin Ng

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Posted 29 October 2002 - 07:30 AM

NO7, I am glad to hear that you like this first cast of La Bayadere in Paris. In New York in July I also felt that Vishneva and Fadeyev were sublime in this glorious re-constructed production of La Bayadere.

#6 NO7

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Posted 30 October 2002 - 12:46 AM

One reason that I like to watch different cast is to see different interpretations. Vishneva in the first night was more convincing as Nikiya than Zakharova. Her dancing had both pride and remorse. Zakharova on the other hand created pitiful Nikiya that reminded me of Odette in Swan Lake. But the audience went nuts for her.

Fadeyev has gained some weights and this sometime affected his movement onstage. He made elegant Solor and showed more technical brilliance than Kolb who danced in the second night.
Kolb displayed extraordinary leaps and smooth rapport with Zakharova. The pair made me feel as if they were real lovers. This hardly happened in Vishneva and Fadeyev's duets. Different from Fadeyev's, Kolb's Solor was rather cool and heroic.

Paris has seen two wonderful Gamzatti from Kirov. Although the overall character of Tarassova was too sweet for the role, her acting was second to none. Ekatarina Osmolkina in the second night was ..woww..a wicked beauty with brilliant technique. Truly a new born star!

I felt strange with some set design. It's that Buddha image in act I. Religiously, the Buddha has nothing to do with Hindu temples where the celebration of fire takes place.. This will be like placing the Holy Jesus in the mosque, I think.

Each interval took ages. I even thought of walking back to my hotel and take a nap. Thanks heaven that in the second performance time was shortened from 3 hrs 55minutes to 3hrs 30min. But it's still long.

Not sure if adding act IV is worthwhile. The climax of the story (definitely not the collapsing of the palace's columns) has passed and act IV is only to lenghten the plot. But if we won't take it seriously, this new LaBayadere is a beautiful production. Three stars!

I also noticed that there were some Kirov fans from London. At least a gentleman whoworks at the Royal Opera House's boxoffice was there.

#7 Viviane

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Posted 30 October 2002 - 03:39 AM

NO7, I think we saw a different performance !
For some reason, castchanges makes me bump into Vishneva time and time again. So, it was for the Kirov's European première of their new Bayadère ! And...as it was with past performances (Manon, Don Q.)...I saw Vishneva dancing Nikiya...and there it ends : no -or to be more kind- an uneven portraying of the character of Nikya :) Vishneva was no submissive bayadère, she even more looked like a proud princess (not to mention the too elaborated headdress and clothes !) and I found no emotions towards her excellent partner Fadeyev.
Before you all jump onto your horses : I do admire her brilliant technique. This time I was flabbergasted when she turned on her 'turbo' in the dazzling quick bits in the last act. But -to my humble opinion- this makes her more suitable to "Jewels" and other show-off dancing !
Apart from some slow bits in the first acts, some odd costumes, struggles with attributes and silly 'walk-ons', I love this production. I wasn't bored for one minute and the fourth act seems a valuable addition to me : a real climax.
I must mention the orchestra too : five stars for a superb, stirring execution !
And to end : it was such a fine surprise to see the wonderful Vaganova-students, an extra present to a wonderful evening !

#8 Kevin Ng

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Posted 30 October 2002 - 06:32 PM

Originally posted by NO7
Each interval took ages. I even thought of walking back to my hotel and take a nap. Thanks heaven that in the second performance time was shortened from 3 hrs 55minutes to 3hrs 30min.

NO7, how clever of you to pick a hotel so near the Theatre du Chatelet! Last time I saw Sylvie Guillem's Giselle with the Finnish National Ballet there, and I remember several hotels very near the Chatelet.

The length of this Kirov Bayadere was about 3 hours 30 minutes at the New York performance which I saw. I hope that you'll still see the final performance tonight with Sofia Gumerova and Igor Kolb.

Viviane, for your info. the Vaganova students didn't dance in New York, unlike in Paris this time.

#9 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 31 October 2002 - 07:42 AM

Thank you for your impressions Viviane, which I can support wholeheartedly (I even think I saw the same performance as you did :))

I was lucky to catch Daria Pavlenko as Nikiya in the third night's Bayadère at the Chatelet. As some well-meaning French balletomane stated after the performance without a hint of irony: "We finally saw a classical ballerina. After always these Vishneva's and Zakharova's I didn't know the Kirov had any..."

Pavlenko's performance was indeed different from all what came before. Finally, here was a dancer whose dancing style was ideally mirroring her portrayal and who understands that by shading her dancing her character develops. A beautiful plastique, clear mime, fine dramatic details, no excesses whatsoever, in short a performance that made perfect sense in a 2002 reconstruction of a 1900 ballet.

Vyacheslav Samodurov made a lively, if not always polished Solor. Tarassova was excellent as Gamzatti. The new/old production has its strong moments (especially the 4th Act) and works better than The Sleeping Beauty in my view, even if I still need to find someone in the company besides Vikharev who seems to share that view :)

#10 NO7

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Posted 01 November 2002 - 12:59 AM

Yes, Viviane, the orchestra was powerful indeed. it's the only thing we agree upon!;)

I was there to see the third cast as well. Pavlenko made passionate Nikiya but lacked a magnetic personality as an actress. Speaking of her dancing, although displaying a pure classical style, I wish she could have had softer arm movements.

I was a bit disappointed with Samodurov, a sombre Solor. He lost his sense of orientation for a while during executing his big circle in Grand Pas act III. And he landed just an inch away from one of the Shade's tutu. But overall he displayed incredible techniques that neither Kolb nor Fadeyev did.

After seeing the three cast, I think all interpretations are just valid. But still one question arises. What should the true character of Nikiya be? To my understanding, Nikiya is sort of a girl 'stay away from my man, or die'. That's why I like Vishneva's interpretation in particular, despite admiring Zakharova much better. Vishneva's Nikiya wasn't just an innocent girl but dignified and calamitious.

Overall, I enjoyed three performances every minute except the 'danse des fleurs de lotus' in act IV. Would it be a bit out of context of La Bayadre? It's like I was haunted by the Sleeping Beauty and Le Corsaire endlessly.

#11 Roma

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Posted 01 November 2002 - 06:15 AM

"What should the true character of Nikiya be?"

One of the many reasons I loved Pavlenko's portrayal so much when she danced the role in New York was how well she was able to articulate that Nykia is really a Chosen one. There was something deeply spiritual and dignified about her... Because if Nykia is just another vamp (which is the way Vishneva did it, “modulating” a Kitriesque interpretation with a “sad face” now and again), then the “Shades” act, which can and should be danced on a fairly high spiritual plateau, doesn’t really work as well.

#12 Kevin Ng

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Posted 01 November 2002 - 06:23 AM

NO7, I do envy you seeing the three different casts, and I am so happy to read your vivid descriptions of the performances. I long to see Vishneva's Nikiya (which you praised in particular) again. I am glad to read that this production of La Bayadere will be shown again in the Mariinsky Festival next year, though only once.

Re the "Danse des fleurs de lotus", it must have been a treat for you and the Parisian audiences to see the Vaganova students in it.

#13 Naoko S

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Posted 03 November 2002 - 04:32 PM

Thanks every one for sharing the Paris experiences with us. Now I know who to look out for as Nikiya when they bring the production to U.K. next year - provided of course the would-have-been first cast for the role, Uliana Lopatkina, would still not be available by then.

Roma wrote:

>>One of the many reasons I loved Pavlenko's portrayal so much when she danced the role in New York was how well she was able to articulate that Nykia is really a Chosen one. There was something deeply spiritual and dignified about her... Because if Nykia is just another vamp (which is the way Vishneva did it, “modulating” a Kitriesque interpretation with a “sad face” now and again), then the “Shades” act, which can and should be danced on a fairly high spiritual plateau, doesn’t really work as well.

Cannot agree with you more about the qualities desired for the role of Nikiya! Yes, indeed if a ballerina were rather down-to-earth and failed to bring a deep spirituality to the role (ideally take us to the other world) this ballet would fail altogether. I can well imagine Pavlenko succeeded in this - but then among the current Kirov troop who could bring these qualities best - who could be just rightly described as "Chosen One"; "Spiritual and Dignified"? In my mind it's no doubt Lopatkina. (Perhaps I'm not the only one who was disappointedly put off by her absence for this run - no single London critic dared to cross the chunnel to see the production? I may have overlooked it but have not noticed any review at all here...)

So as far as Kirov's New/Old Bayadere is concerned can I declare (in a whisper) that Paris audience, for that matter New York or even St. P, yet to see the best of them?

#14 NO7

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Posted 03 November 2002 - 08:23 PM

Perhaps this is not good news for you, Naoko. I heard that Lopatkina has no plan to return to dance in near future. She still enjoys raising her baby girl and it's not likely that she will join the Kirov tour to UK next spring.

#15 Naoko S

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Posted 04 November 2002 - 01:39 PM

Thanks No.7 for info. - I've heard the similar rumours in the past months and only hope it will turn just rumours....

Perhaps I should start campaigning to ask for her early return! Honestly without her the future of classical ballet looks grimmer than ever...


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