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Everything posted by MRR

  1. MRR

    ABT 2018 Giselle

    Just saw Osipova minutes ago outside the ROH (!), unless my jetlagged eyes were really fooling me.
  2. MRR

    Watching the Olympics

    You are referring to the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics, where Orser lost to Hamilton. Orser won the 1987 Cincinnati Worlds, beating Brian Boitano.
  3. MRR

    Mariinsky in London 2017

    I would promote both Olesya Novikova and Ekaterina Osmolkina to principal.
  4. MRR

    Mariinsky in London 2017

    Being programmed "often enough" doesn't make Swan Lake one of his most successful works. It's not been that frequently performed, even at NYCB (at least recently), and I can't think of any major companies besides NYCB and MCB who have done it. I'd be hard-pressed to find people who call it one of Balanchine's most iconic ballets, though perhaps many have not seen it. The ballet was basically choreographed as a moneymaker for the Company and for City Center, and while that in of itself doesn't mean it lacks merit, the ballet is so abridged that the narrative fades. I didn't see the work as distilling the essence of the ballet, if the essence of the ballet is indeed the White Swan pas.
  5. MRR

    Mariinsky in London 2017

    And a one-act "Swan Lake" was not one of Mr. B's most successful works.
  6. MRR

    Sara Murawski

    Has anyone here seen Sara Michelle dance, with PA Ballet or elsewhere? I have been curious about her after seeing several pictures and clips of her on Instagram. She is extremely tall and looks technically strong with endless pirouettes, but her contortionist flexibility borders on rhythmic gymnastics. That is just my impression based on short clips and photos, so I don't necessarily know how this would translate to live performance. It is very unfortunate how she was let go from PA Ballet, but I'm not surprised Angel Corella did not see a future for her in his company.
  7. Marchenkova was the raunchiest Tall Girl I have ever seen. Subtlety? Nyet! I'm not really sure what I thought about it, except that it wasn't boring. Her legs were like pistols, and she looked the audience straight in the eye: never letting them out of her grasp. She did make an effort at the style and certainly should be credited with dancing extremely big. Not even a particularly tall dancer, she certainly did everything to look like one. Krysanova/Lopatin looked like they had walked onstage in the wrong ballet. There were no technical disasters, and Krysanova in particular is very strong, but there was no sense of dare, verve, jazz....everything was very turned out, prim and proper. There wasn't the integrity of the off-balance partnering nor the turned in emphasis on many of the steps. The speed was better maintained than I was expecting though. Lopatin was perhaps an improvement over Ovcharenko in that he wasn't a prince (this is my guess, I didn't see Friday), but he was visibly pushing just to get through the ballet. The saut de basque in the men's dance were under rotated and effortful, and the consecutive traveling jumps from stage left to right had no force. Krysanova was slightly better, but overall didn't look sure of herself and phrased everything in a kind of metronomic manner. Diamonds is fascinating because for whatever reason it is the most consistently staged of the three gems. Now this is not to say that each company's rendition isn't unique. The NYCB and Bolshoi approaches to Diamonds could not be more different: if Diamonds is considered "After Petipa," NYCB emphasizes the "After" and Bolshoi the "Petipa." There is nothing in-between, but the steps are basically the same. In Emeralds there are often different port de bras, and the original (gorgeous) promenade section in the first pas created on Verdy/Ludlow has since been cut in most (all?) subsequent stagings. There are also two movements today which weren't in the premiere, and the Mariinsky doesn't even dance the Death movement. The Sandra Jennings/Patricia Neary staging for Bolshoi Rubies was so altered from NYCB's it looked like a different ballet. I assume Neary's would be closest to the original, while NYCB dances the most recent version of Balanchine's before he died? However, Diamonds is very consistent from company to company, and presumably to the original. The principal solos in the Scherzo do tend to have variations, but they are mostly the same steps. I will write more about Mearns/Angle and NYCB later.
  8. Smirnova/Chudin's take on Diamonds is quite a lot more impactful in the theater. Video doesn't do it justice at all.
  9. Agree with Nanushka and fondoffouettes 1000% on POB Emeralds. Will update more later. Fairchild was better today but Reichlen slightly diminished from Thursday. De Luz fantastic as usual.
  10. Reichlen says she is usually jealous when watching other dancers in Rubies, so perhaps that was her reaction: http://www.pointemagazine.com/nycbs-teresa-reichlen-on-the-challenges-of-dancing-rubies-2463097530.html I look forward to seeing the alternate POB cast (especially Gilbert) tonight as well as NYCB Diamonds tomorrow. At least Bolshoi Rubies will have two different dancers in the leads on Sunday: Vyacheslav Lopatin in the Villella role and Olga Marchenkova as the Tall Girl. The grass isn't always greener with a different cast, but Marchenkova did stand out to me as one of the demis in Diamonds. Krysanova I can at least picture, but Ovcharenko is so wrong for Rubies. He is a beautiful dancer who doesn't seem to project much of anything: an issue not isolated to his miscasting in Rubies. I wish all three companies got a chance to perform each gem throughout the Festival. It's a shame especially that Emeralds only has one company performing, and I would be interested in seeing POB Diamonds. Of course logistically it would be much more complicated, but the contrasts would be fascinating across multiple shows. Also can't speak enough about the genius of Balanchine. No one work of "Jewels" is my favorite, but the evening becomes something greater than the sum of its parts.
  11. Does anyone remember who replaced Alena Kovaleva last night in Diamonds? They announced it at the top of show but there was no slip of the program (same with Marc Moreau replacing Francois Alu in Emeralds). I assume they are resting her for her NY debut as the principal ballerina on Saturday matinee. The quartet of women in Diamonds (especially Ana Turazashvili) were impeccable, as were the corps, except I wanted more sweep in the waltz. I could hear Balanchine telling the ballerinas to bend more. However, the corps and demi men were comparatively disappointing. The demi men in the sequence of tour jetes had little elevation, and the finale with the synchronous pirouettes went haywire, though that is hardly ever well done. I'm glad everyone cleared up the lack of staccato changes in the arabesque during the Emeralds "walking" pas de deux. I thought I had dosed off and missed it.
  12. Moreau actually replaced Alu in yesterday evening's performance. Is Revillion doing pas de trois second cast?
  13. Paris Opera's Emeralds was more satisfying than Royal's in the cinemacast or NYCB when I saw them three years ago, where Ashley Bouder almost turned the ballet into Swan Lake. I do disagree with Balanchinette on Pujol. While, yes, she was a bit mannered for my taste, she had luscious port de bras--her hands particularly gorgeous--and she and Ganio were wonderfully responsive to one another. She integrated her upper body into the iconic hand movements of the Violette solo to an extent that I had not seen before, and overall I found her performance more rich and detailed here than in the DVD version. Ould-Braham was in stark contrast to Pujol, very stately and reserved. The solo which can sometimes go on for ages was masterfully controlled in her hands, with Braham almost letting the music push her. She had a slight problem during the running bourrees toward the end but otherwise gorgeous. Ganio is the epitome of a cavalier with fantastic presence and line; my only quibble is that he should've traveled the diagonal lifts more. Pas de trois was fine, not sensational. Marc Moreau replaced Francois Alu and was a bit underwhelming though certainly far from the worst I have seen. The diagonal of jumps was played at such a brisk tempo that he struggled to keep up, finishing the double tour with his weight back. Of the pas de trois, I appreciated Sae Eun Park most for her serene presence, though Hannah O'Neill was lovely. Rubies was the same cast I saw of NYCB in 2014. I have seen Reichlen's stage devouring Tall Girl about five times and I am constantly reminded that she has no equal in the role. Especially after watching Melissa Hamilton in the ROH cinemacast who danced like a corps girl that just happened to be center stage, Reichlen's dancing actually overshadows the principal couple whenever she is onstage. This is perhaps a rare cast where the Tall Girl is far more interesting and memorable than the principal ballerina, but with Reichlen's presence (and legs!) it would be almost impossible for anyone to match her. It's not that Fairchild's Rubies is substandard, but I did see a stronger effort from her in 2014 and overall she is not that interesting a dancer. Very competent and musical, but not unique. Joaquin De Luz at 41(!) is still pretty hard to beat in the Villella role. His Rubies is decidedly unballetic with audible stomping, turned in plie, a sort of Devil-may-care attitude, but in doing so brings out the very intention of the work with the technical chomps to match. Those traveling jumps going from stage left the right practically accelerated into a tornado. One of the corps girls slipped and nearly fell with both hands on the ground during the two lines of diagonals when Tall Girl is with the men. Irina Dvorovenko and Maxim Beloserkovsky were front row center shouting and waving during the curtain calls when Fairchild and De Luz came out. Diamonds: Olga was majestic and I think it will take a second time of seeing her (I go again Saturday) to fully comprehend and articulate her presence. For 10 minutes during the pas de deux I could have sworn I was not in the Koch, but rather the Palace of the Czars, feasting in the decadence of The Ballerina. It should be said that she was not perfect: she got very luxuriant in the bourrees at the end, so the pirouette ended late and Semyon had to scramble to kiss her hand in time. Her solo in the scherzo was majestic, but she suffered a hiccup in the first of the supported pirouettes at the very end of the finale. She does struggle to maintain her turnout in particular during developpe a la seconde. But such quibbles were inconsequential in what was a masterful performance. She began as a ballerina of Imperial Russia before slowly melting into a woman who was both vulnerable and regal. She perfectly modulated the transition between her mysterious, cool aura in the pas de deux and the growing, triumphant jubilation she achieved by the finale, creating an arc even within a plotless ballet. Make no mistake that this was not Diamonds, but rather a Russian Diamonds, where Smirnova transported you through every step. Semyon Chudin was very fine technically and should be commended for performing so well after a recent injury. As always, he has wonderful elevation and extension in the manege as well as a squeaky clean set of a la seconde turns pulling for a quadruple. I sensed he was a touch cautious in the solos and will gain more confidence on Saturday. He partnered Olga well, but more importantly the two created a relationship onstage that was more complex than just Danseur escorting Ballerina. The Russian Soul from both was certainly evident. Dancers from all three gems (including the corps) came out for bows after Diamonds. This was followed by the three directors--Dupont, Martins, and Vaziev--coming out for a bow and turning to applaud the dancers. Kevin McKenzie, Skylar Brandt, Paul Boos, Katrina Killian, Vanessa Zahorian, Davit Karapetyan, along with Irina and Max were among numerous luminaries in attendance for what was a sold out house. Certainly this was one of the most satisfying performances I've seen in some time, and I look forward to seeing casts of all three gems in the upcoming shows (I attend Saturday where NYCB Rubies/Bolshoi Diamonds will repeat, and Sunday matinee where this cast of Paris Opera repeats).
  14. MRR

    ABT 2017 Swan Lake

    Thank you for linking to Yoko's fouettes. I had not previously been familiar with her, but her turns are fantastic. I love how she emphasizes the a la seconde while on pointe.
  15. MRR

    ABT 2017 Swan Lake

    We both saw the same performance: Saturday, August 10th (evening). She does the exact sequence you mention in the 2010 clip with Dmitri Gudanov, but my (perhaps faulty) memory recalls her doing at least the first set in three counts, thereby starting the next sequence early. Either way, they were certainly some of the fastest fouettes I've ever seen, if not the most aesthetically pleasing. Kristina Kretova in the matinee alternated singles and doubles, all very well done with minimal traveling.
  16. Tell that to Kevin O'Hare. Ironic that Neary has had to cast "medium" height girls in her part ever since Yanowsky retired the role.
  17. MRR

    Veronika Part leaving ABT

    So basically around the same time, as Beauty was a month later.
  18. MRR

    Veronika Part leaving ABT

    There's talk in this thread about Part's injuries. I don't see many performances of ABT per year, but it seems at least in the MET seasons she has normally fulfilled her assigned performances. I do recall a Kennedy Center run of Sleeping Beauty in January 2016 which she withdrew from, but can anyone give more insight here? Regardless, there was clearly a bigger reason than chronic injuries as to why she was let go. Especially as said injuries did not appear to diminish her technique, or cause her to withdraw from a substantial (or even sizable) number of performances in recent years.
  19. MRR

    Veronika Part leaving ABT

    Her Diamonds in January 2008 was one of the greatest I've ever seen. At that point her classical technique was still extremely strong.
  20. MRR


    This. Sarah is not a Gamzatti at all.
  21. MRR

    Veronika Part leaving ABT

    Sara Michelle Murawski, a principal at PA Ballet, was told she would not be renewed before she went onstage for Arabian in Nutcracker. She had a good six months left to dance for the company. http://www.philly.com/philly/entertainment/Pennsylvania-Ballet-fires-the-Sugar-Plum-Fairy.html
  22. I also recall Maria Riccetto, during a seminar at the 2010 ABT summer intensive, saying that she had been told the day before the company was notified that she had been promoted to soloist. Kevin McKenzie told her she shouldn't miss class because he would announce her promotion after. So, I guess it's a case-by-case basis. Abrera clearly had not been told when she was made principal given her emotional reaction.
  23. MRR

    Veronika Part

    Yes, she only performed Lilac Fairy in Ratmansky's Beauty.
  24. There was no announcement regarding Wiles's farewell.