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EvilNinjaX

Kirov in LA

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Yes, it was her, according to my program. I'm afraid I can't always recognize all of the Kirov dancers, as we only get to see them about every two years. I mostly have to rely on the printed program (and I know that it is not always 100% accurate).

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I confess to being rather disappointed with Wednesday's opening night, and it was because it looked like most everyone on stage was walking through their roles. There was little passion in the mime, and important moments in the story were rushed through - going through the motions as they say. Not to say that the dancing wasn't beautiful (though the Prologue variations seemed a bit sloppy and clunky, with the exception of Tatiana Tkachenko's Vivacity Fairy). I just didn't get the sense that they were bothering to tell us any sort of story, or give us any reason why we should be interested that they were dancing this ballet on stage in front of us for 3 hours and 40 minutes.

Bright spots only came when either Diana Vishneva, Igor Zelensky or Uliana Lopatkina were on stage. From the moment Vishneva started walking down the steps for her Act I entrance, it was clear she was in a different mode from everyone else on stage. She had a radiant stage personality, a clear dramatic focus to both her dancing and her movement on stage, and she was simply more present than everyone around her. The stage seemed empty when she left again. Zelensky, too, made the most of the Prince's limited role in this production. He was dashing and noble; quite nice to watch on stage. It's not clear what the Lilac Fairy is supposed to be doing in this Sergeyev production of Sleeping Beauty except parade on, look authoritative, and do a lot of arabesque poses. But Lopatkina is gloriously regal; her presence and exquisitely Russian style of dancing made up for the fact that she really wasn't doing anything dramatically except waving her wand around.

I think I prefer the Royal Ballet's method with story ballets - they stage them as complete works of dance theatre, taking care to give reason and clarity to the mime, and making sure that everyone on stage is dramatically present during the ballet's various scenes. Even if the big story ballet's don't make the same sense as, say, a Shakespeare play, that doesn't mean you shouldn't make an effort to tell a story - and I didn't feel the Kirov even tried on Wednesday night.

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Susan,

It was nice to meet you, too.

I pretty much agree with you, and it's almost an embarassment of riches: Diana's huge stage presence and projection, and Uliana's imposing, iron-fist-in-a-velvet-glove Lilac Fairy, the wonderful corps (have they improved since we last saw them 2 years ago?), the well-rehearsed children (check out that stylish and idiomatic dancing in the Act 1 garland dance!), the wonderful mime, etc. If I had to pick a favorite, it would have to be Uliana's Lilac Fairy.

Diana and Igor's partnering was pushing the edges a lot of times, with a couple of misses, but it made for exciting theater when it worked most of the time.

The Bluebird pas didn't work for me either. Korsakov could have been cleaner, and Bolshakova was shaky in her dancing.

And what's up with mutant white rabbit/bat monsters? Carrabosse's entourage wasn't very scary or dark.

The actual show was 2:40 as there were 3 20-minute intermissions. I think a more sensible way to do it would have been to combine the prologue and Act 1.

--Andre

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I'm glad someone mentioned the garland dance. The children's parts in this ballet are the garland dance, the violin dance, and the "tom-boys" dance, as well as the mini-Aurora. I didn't want to say anything about the children's parts until someone else brought it up. The person who prepared the children for their parts is my daughter's teacher. Our school has about 12 dancers involved in various roles, and the rest of the child dancers are from a variety of local ballet schools.

There was some discrepancy in the communication between the Kirov and the Music Center staff which resulted in a very short preparation time for these dancers. My daughter's teacher will be pleased to hear you mention "stylish" and "idomatic" in connection to the garland dance, as not all of the children are from Russian training. Both the teacher and the children involved worked very hard to achieve a nice look to the dance, and in the amount of time they had, did a very commendable job.

The tom-boy dance wasn't even on the radar until the company pulled into town on Tuesday evening. It was prepared Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon. Last night, it didn't go quite as planned, but the Ogre covered up the mistakes and got a good laugh out of the audience for his creativity.

The child who plays the mini-Aurora was so pleased to take part (she had been very sad that she was too short for the garland dance, where a number of her friends are dancing).

The violin dancers had a bit of trouble adjusting to dancing so close to the company members, but are determined to fix everything by tonight. (My daughter wants everyone to know that she is in the first line of the violins.) :rolleyes:

I realize that my reviews of the children's parts are biased; so, that's just my 2 cents!

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We saw Somova in the dress rehearsal, and I'm going against popular opinion here, but we really liked her.  She has a bit to learn, but my goodness, give her a break; she is awfully young to be taking on such a large part.  I thought she did a very nice job, and I'm looking forward to seeing her again on Friday evening.

I'll be seeing Novikova on Sunday! I'm renting opera glasses for her. Susan and/or Anthony if you're coming to this performance, hopefully I'll get to meet you both!

Alina's main problem is follow through and delivery. Successful rehearsals and classes do not necessarily mean successful performances. That's where she falls down IMO. She seems to be unable to deliver when it counts. The best expert coaches in the company can't show her how to flesh out a fully realized and competent performance. Either you know how, or you don't. You get onstage and you know what you have to do; and you do it.

Alina must learn how to internalize every instruction her coach gives her and dance. It doesn't help her if they push her beyond her limit. Perhaps she's reached that threshold, but the coach and the management are in denial. Per Natalia's post, St. Pete's public and Clement Crisp et. al. believe she has reached that threshold. Hopefully Alina will turn a corner for the better at her Aurora debut. But know this: It's too much money to pay for a long night, and at 19, too much company reputation and responsibility to shoulder if the opposite is the result.

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Cygnet,

We'll be hanging around the Nureyev statue in the lobby during intermissions --- it's near where they rent out binoculars.

pj,

I totally forgot to mention the ogre dance. I'd never seen or heard that music before.

We may have some common friends. A friend introduced me to the children's teacher last night (she's ex-Kirov right?), but I had formed my opinion of the children before seeing her last night, so no bias here either. :)

--Andre

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I'll be seeing Novikova on Sunday!  I'm renting opera glasses for her.  Susan and/or Anthony if you're coming to this performance, hopefully I'll get to meet you both! 

Cygnet, unfortunately I won't be there for the Sunday performance- I'm heading home tomorrow morning. Since there seem to be plenty of tickets left at the box office I've been toying with the idea of changing my flight and sticking around to see if Somova's debut turns out to be a fiasco or a revelation. But, if I did that I'd have to stay Saturday to see Vishneva & Lopatkina again. And then how could I leave without catching Novikova? You see my problem, I should have been born rich! Too bad I can't afford to stay - I guess I'll have to stick to my plan and go home tomorrow.

Andre - I'm counting on you for a report on Somova's debut!

Susan

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Actually Andre, the woman you met (you did say "she" didn't you?) is formerly from the Kirov and she is collaborating with my daughter's teacher (at his request). He is formerly Bolshoi and Stanislavsky.

I might meet all of you at the intermission tomorrow night (Fri), if I can. Which intermission do you meet? :)

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Some quick comments on the last two nights:

Osmolkina and Sarafanov's night was all right. I thought she was a bit raw and not really controlling the role, and he had his usual partnering difficulties, but they really pulled it off for Act III, where he looked like he had remarkably good partnering, and they both looked very comfortable with each other. Individually, they're both fine dancers: she jumps very nicely, and Sarafonov has his nice, easy virtuosity. But, the highlight of that night was Vasily Scherbakov's Bluebird: very clean and very easy-looking, he really looked like he was flying at moments. His Florina, Irina Golub, was also very good --- they fit each other well.

Somova and Fadeev last night was probably the best couple so far in terms of balance and chemistry. I can't believe that was her debut. She's a coltish, long-limbed girl, not like what you usually see in Auroras. He gave her great support, and both brought out the dramatic aspects of their role the most. We were lucky enough to have Lopatkina's Lilac Fairy again last night. It was an excellent night.

--Andre

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Alina Somova's debut

10/7/05

Ekaterina Osmolkina

10/6/05

I was expecting the worst after all the chatter about Somova on this board (and after seeing her high-flying 180+ degree extensions as Medora in Le Corsaire over the summer).

But, I was extremely impressed by Somova's Aurora on Friday. What we got in Somova was a wide eyed, dramatically present Aurora that was very well acted and who actually reacted in real time to the other people on stage around her. When she received the bouquet of flowers from Carabosse-in-disguise at the end of Act 1, there was genuine wonder with the gift while she played with it. And there was real shock when she pricked her finger on the needle, and you see her arms and body recoil in fear. I've grown accustomed, at this point, to seeing ballerinas do the recoil in "ballet" mode, that is, everything is still slow and pretty - wavy arms, and the like - when really she should be quite scared. That sense of being scared was there in Somova (without it being unintentional).

She did start off a bit shaky on the technique side - understandable as she was probably quite nervous for her debut. It wasn't that she wasn't hitting the marks, they were just a bit rushed in the beginning and slightly clunky. In the Rose Adagio, during her first series of balances (when she trades off between four partners while standing in place), her supporting arm communicated more panic as she quickly and suddenly traded between her partners. But these glitches slowly disappeared as the performance went on. She was lovely as Aurora, and those extreme extensions that characterized (and detracted from) her Medora in DC were barely present. It looks like she conciously toned it down, knowing it would be inappropriate for Aurora.

While Somova lacked the sheer glowing stage presence of Vishneva (who does have it besides Vishneva?), I enjoyed Somova's performance immensely - and in some parts I wondered if I actually liked it more than Vishneva. It looked like Somova was awake and excited to be on stage - an infectious energy that jumped into the audience. She was even more convincing as a wide-eyed, bright young girl in some of the dramatic scenes - Vishneva is more of a gracious, commanding woman. And Somova pulled off the Act 1 prick-your-finger-and-fall-asleep scene beter than all three Auroras I saw. So certainly, all in all, a wonderful debut.

Which brings me back to Thursday night, with Ekaterina Osmolkina as Aurora. She was pretty, certainly, but nothing special compared to Vishneva or even Somova. She looked more like a porcelain doll up there, but porcelain dolls also tend to not show much emotion. Leonid Sarafanov partnered her reliably enough (there were very few perilous moments in the partnering), but he was much more interesting on his own than with her.

On Friday, Uliana Lopatkina replaced the announced Daria Pavlenko as the Lilac Fairy - she is always a joy to watch, with an easy, commanding presence. She barely has to flick her wrist to make a loud statement on stage, and of course her dancing is beautiful to watch. Vostrotina danced Lilac on Thursday, and while quite good in her own right, could not match Lopatkina.

Irina Golub danced a wonderful Princess Florina on Thursday night - very light and pretty, with strong technique. Bolshakova returned to dance it on Friday, and others have noted here that she was not the most exciting Florina. To me, her legs look spidery and freakishly long, so when she does an arabesque or a high extension it looks, well, unhuman and distracting.

The children were simply wonderful in all the performances I saw - it's remarkable that in only 2 or so weeks of rehearsal, they look so good and also, surprisingly, look very Russian-trained as well. Many of the girls in the waltz have wonderfully arched feet and excellent turn out in that Russian style, and to know that they were all local children made it all seem even more impressive.

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Last night we saw the show again, and Somova was really sparkly as Aurora -- even better than the dress rehearsal. She is very good in the acting side of the role and there were only a few parternering glitches that she and Fadeev will need to work on to make a polished techinical performance. Of course, she is not Diana Vishneva, but I am willing to give her some time. She seemed more secure in her performance with each act and seemed truely surprised at the amount of notice she was receiving from the audience.

Fadeev is a great actor; in Act II, Scene I, when he is on stage by himself before he sees the vision of Aurora, he doesn't really dance at all. And he had to keep the audience interested in what was going to happen next. And he pulled it off better than anyone I've seen. The chemistry between Fadeev and Somova makes the story very believable and they make a beautiful couple on stage.

Dmitry Semionov was a very fine Bluebird. I really enjoyed his performance and I also feel he was a better partner than Korsakov. He is also one of the Bridegrooms of the Princess in the Rose Adagio. My daughter thinks he's really nice and says that he gets lots of notice from his fellow dancers, as many of them applauded from backstage as he made his entrance for the coda of Bluebird.

The white cat and Puss in Boots pas de deux is just adorable, and is better each time that I see it.

Lopatkina was more "present" Friday night and even though she had a few technical issues, I felt her performance overall was a great deal superior to Weds. I am so happy that I had the chance to see her again.

I will have to watch the final two performances from a monitor elsewhere in the building, so I don't think I will be posting about those performances -- the TV monitor just doesn't have the same feel as the performance does when you are seeing it live.

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Wow, I knew I was going to regret not staying in L.A. longer! I’m glad to hear that Somova kept those extensions in check, and that she impressed in her debut. Hopefully the Kirov will bring their Sleeping Beauty to NY soon and then I will be able to see all the performances.

I’ve never seen the reconstruction, but after my second viewing of the Sergeyev staging on Thursday I’ve decided that I like it a lot. I was too close to the stage on Wed, and really missed a lot of the detail, not to mention the beautiful patterns of the corps. From up in the balcony it seemed like many of the scenes began with the court frozen in a tableau,a lovely touch. Also,in Act 2 when we see Aurora asleep in her bed she alone is in the spotlight and is surrounded first by the sleeping court, then by Carabosse’s minions. None of this was discernible from the orchestra, while all of it was apparent from the balcony. Also, those blond wigs that annoyed me on Wed were just perfect on Thursday.

I agree with Andre & Art about Osmolkina & Sarafanov. To me, she looks more like an old style Kirov Aurora than Vishneva does - she has perfect, classical proportions whereas Vishneva is a bit too long limbed. She did look like a porcelain doll, very delicate & girlish. Despite an unfortunate fall off point early in the Rose Adagio, her technique was strong, her jumps solid and I thought she looked really perfect in all the iconic poses. The problem was that hers was a small scale Aurora. She didn’t really project her personality, let alone present a complete portrait of a young princess. In Art’s words, Vishneva’s Aurora was radiant. She was completely immersed in the role and just exuded energy whenever she was on stage. You just couldn’t take your eyes off of her, couldn’t help but care about what happened to her. Osmolkina is a fine dancer, and may develop into a great Aurora someday but she’s not there yet.

And then there’s Sarafanov. I’m a big fan of his, but this was not a good role for him. He is a wonderful dancer, a good actor and there were no major partnering mishaps this time, but he just doesn’t look like a prince. When he made his entrance I heard giggles & snickers all around me. And this wasn’t an audience made up of balletomanes - that was a gut reaction from an uninitiated audience. It’s a shame that this talented dancer is hampered by his looks, but that’s just the way it is. It’s not just his stature - he really doesn’t look all that short but between his height, his slight build and his 12 year old face it’s really tough to believe in him as a hero. I think his acting was strong and his solos were beautiful but he just couldn’t overcome the impression he makes with his physical appearance. His jumps were beautiful, high and light but I wish he had been cast as the bluebird instead of the prince!

There was a lot that I liked about Vostrotina’s Lilac Fairy. She had some very strong moments, but ultimately did not have the spiritual quality or inevitable command that Lopatkina brought to the role. She has gorgeous, sky high extensions but I didn’t find them inappropriate as Lilac, and she phrased them beautifully. In that famous solo with the series of devlopees a la seconde her leg lingered up at the top of each one for a moment and then came down with a very musical swoosh. It was lovely, but as with Osmolkina - it was not quite a complete performance.

I loved Golub’s Florina, she is a big favorite of mine among the soloists. I liked Scherbakov’s Bluebird much better than Korsakov’s. His dancing was very clean & clear, but still wasn’t as exciting as some that I recall.

I also want to add my kudos to the children - they had a lot to do in this production and they really did a great job! I had no idea that it was the children in the violin dance, I’m really impressed with them!

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Ok, nysusan,

You have just officially made my daughter's day even better than it already was!!!

Thank you so much. :lightbulb:

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Diana Vishneva gave us a glorious Rose Adagio last night (Saturday, Oct. 8). Nearly perfect, Vishneva made it a super-glamourous event --- imagine if the whole stage were an extension of Vishneva's personality and stage presence. This is the Rose Adagio you want to see when the Kirov visits.

The corps was dancing with a renewed energy that, in the words of a friend, made it seem like you were seeing everything for the first time again. I almost take Lopatkina's subtle Lilac Fairy for granted now, seeing it for the third time this week. Sofia Gumerova and especially Maxim Cheschegorov danced very fine solos in Bluebird, which are among the best in the week so far, but were marred by slightly rough partnering. Irina Golub danced a bright, sparkling Diamond Fairy with nice articulated footwork.

I thought Zelensky looked a bit tired and shaky in his partnering, unfortunately. The orchestra also had some confusion issues. But overall, this was one of the best nights so far.

---Andre

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Diana Vishneva gave us a glorious Rose Adagio last night (Saturday, Oct. 8).  Nearly perfect, Vishneva made it a super-glamourous event --- imagine if the whole stage were an extension of Vishneva's personality and stage presence.  This is the Rose Adagio you want to see when the Kirov visits. 

The corps was dancing with a renewed energy that, in the words of a friend, made it seem like you were seeing everything for the first time again.  I almost take Lopatkina's subtle Lilac Fairy for granted now, seeing it for the third time this week.  Sofia Gumerova and especially Maxim Cheschegorov danced very fine solos in Bluebird, which are among the best in the week so far, but were marred by slightly rough partnering.  Irina Golub danced a bright, sparkling Diamond Fairy with nice articulated footwork.

I thought Zelensky looked a bit tired and shaky in his partnering, unfortunately.  The orchestra also had some confusion issues.  But overall, this was one of the best nights so far.

---Andre

I totally agree with you Andrew. I saw it Wed night and thought Diana Vishneva was magnificent. I was supposed to see her dance La Bayadere in July but to my dissappointment she did not dance. I was glad I got to see her in LA. Zelensky was as you said. The partnering was shakey and although there were some good moments the spark between was NOT there. The awakening kiss was quite a let down. Also the costuming and staging made the second act confusing as noted by Lewis Segal in the LA times. Lilac Fairy was magnificent and I am going again today to see another cast. I am so looking forward to it. I must say that it is one of the most inspiring ballet experiences I have had in several years.

:shake:

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Novikova was visually beautiful and she did a great job as Aurora this afternoon! Whoever coached her nailed it; she was WELL PREPARED. She was technically pure, and she was especially good in the Rose Adagio: Her balances did not flinch nor falter, and she ended the long promenades Royal Ballet style, no deep penchee. ALRIGHT!!!! Her second act was well done and her Act 3 ppd was very stately. BUT my main concern is that she smile more, and show more personality. She was a subdued and introverted Princess (at least this afternoon), almost as if she knew what the future held for her. For me, "Vishneva Jr." didn't radiate much happiness. HOWEVER, her's was a very old style Kirov interpretation of Aurora as far as technical purity is concerned. I'm very glad because I didn't want to cash in my chips for any type of 'draw outside the lines' interpretation. Acting issues aside, I highly recommend her!

Vostrotina's Lilac was excellent! She's very long limbed, but this was no drawback: She was titanium solid in all her pirouettes and arabesques etc. (a tall ballerina, she gave a very Lyubov Kunakova style performance). She was especially strong in her Act 3 solo. The audience roared their approval of her developpes; I'll co-sign on this interpretation :dry: ! As Carabosse, Igor Petrov was more of a prankster than 'evil' to me. He just didn't seem too malevolent. I

didn't feel his anger.

Anton Korsakov was simply outstanding! He was the more attentive

partner. He reacted to Olesia but she seemed to go through the

motions with him. The most telling moment was the awakening: She

seemed to say "Who are you? I was napping, leave me alone - I want to go back to sleep!" She warmed to him by the Act 3 pdd. Olesia and Anton are well matched and a beautiful couple, but she needs to put more oomph in her portrayal and marry her pristine technique with a more bubbly characterization.

Ksenia Ostreykovskaya and (I believe there was a cast change), Dmitri Semionov (?) were quite good as the Bluebirds, only he was a little too tall for her. He looks like excellent danseur noble material. He used his height to his advantage and his technique was crisp and clean. Osmolkina was a little slow on the draw as Diamond Fairy, but she caught up and finished well. Together, the four jewel fairies were light and airy and the fastest in captivity. Yana Selina was very feline as the White Cat, and (Obratzova - ?) did honors to Red. Among the prologue fairies, Tatiana Tkachenko was OUT OF SIGHT as Coulante, (Fairy Vivacity)! The corps was flawless as usual! :shake:

On the whole, the company danced well. But like someone posted earlier, they seemed to be phoning in the performance. Also, Marc

suggested that the three featured Auroras during this run, (except Diana), may not have the gravitas to lead the company in a full length ballet. I have to agree with him. I'd say that right now, Novikova is indeed excellent and a "sweet soloist," even though still a member of the corps. If the management truly focuses on nurturing her, not dropping her campaign for next month's flavor, and not obstructing her progress, they may have another great Aurora in the future . Just my .02.

Scenery & Logistics Faux Pas: If you don't have the Panorama, and can't bring the Panorama, don't bring the boat! Leave the main curtain down, play the Panorama music, then the Entracte. IMO that would have made more theatrical sense than to see the boat roll across the 'ground' to stage right :mellow:.

The Music Corner: The brass section made a few boo-boos but thank God they didn't make them at the crucial moments. In Act 2 the Entracte violin solo was sublime, as well as the cello in the pdd.

*(Anthony - I came down to the Nureyev statue after the Prologue and

Acts 1 & 2; I'm sorry I missed you! Maybe next time we can determine

which intermissions we could touch base).

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I saw the show this afternoon. Overall I would say it was a strong show. The corp could have looked a little more awake, although they did have nice smiles for the second act waltz.

As far as the leads go .......I thought Olesia Novikova did a okay job. Her technique was solid, but I agree with others that she did not get into the roll enough. She hardly smiled when she looked at her prince after the kiss. And I must strongly disagree with a previous post about Anton Korsakov. I found his technique stong but his partnering in the beginning was not too good. He did not make much eye contact with his partner and they had one mistake where Olesia had to put her foot down briefly and then go back to attitude. Not good. I was surprised that they pulled off the 3rd act pretty well. And he has very little stage presence. He seems very short and the audience hardly applauded when he made his first entrance. (They didn't know it was the prince) That is telling. I loved the lilac fairy. She was the best in the show. I just like taller dancers, they have a better line.

I would also like to make a comment on the afternoon crowd at the Music Center. I was stunned at how many people around us were talking during the show. (Of course there were lots of kids in the audience. And many people jumped up at the end of the show and made a bee line for the exits, right in front of those of us who were trying to applaud for the dancers. Very rude

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I'm going to try to be there for all 5 performances.  Anyone wanting to say "Hi!", our usual meeting spot during intermission is the Nureyev statue in the lobby of Chandler.

--Andre

OH darn I just read this. I was there for two I would love to have met up.

:shake:

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I would also like to make a comment on the afternoon crowd at the Music Center.  I was stunned at how many people around us were talking during the show. (Of course there were lots of kids in the audience.  And many people jumped up at the end of the show and made a bee line for the exits, right in front of those of us who were trying to applaud for the dancers.  Very rude

How could I forget that point, you're absolutely right Cadancelover! I was surrounded by chatting Russians during the whole performance! It got especially unruly during the quietest moments of Act 2. There was a sustained buzz and alot shushing going on. It was surreal. By contrast, there were two little girls in the row in front of me, and they were quiet and well behaved compared to the adults, go figure.

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I didn't enjoy the Sunday show as much as the other shows, but coming off the high of Saturday night, it was hard to maintain that level of performance. I thought Novikova, who is a compactly built dancer, did a fine job in Act 1, showing us the dramatic aspects of the role: her excitement at her coming out, her sense of discovery of her powers, and her horror of being poisoned. But I didn't think the also compactly built Anton Korsakov worked at all. He'd danced Bluebird on Wednesday night, and didn't look like a prince. Making this worse was his expressionless dancing and clumsy partnering, as well as a lack of chemistry with Novikova: she looked like she wanted nothing to do with him after she woke up, and there were moments where they looked like they didn't know what was supposed to happen next. Some friends who were seated in the front row saw her talking to him constantly, so there may have been some performance issues.

I thought their energy level also waned as the show went on, until the end when they looked like they were just going through the steps. In fact, I thought the corps, though still dancing very well, had kind of let go, knowing perhaps this was the last show in LA, and things weren't as tight as the previous nights.

I actually like this Carabosse (Igor Petrov) more because he's more musical (you can hear his laughter in the music) and he has a more intimidating walk, with a sort of otherworldly power which you is surprising to see from an old crone.

--Andre

edit: sorry I wasn't at the statue, and we were kept busy discussing the performance at each intermission.

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Cygnet -- Were you in the Founder's section, near the front? I was there, in the front row of Founder's and there were two little girls sitting next to my daughter that were quite young and very well-behaved (until the very end, when the littlest one was yelling "No more dancing!" during all of the clapping).

Andre -- My daughter thinks it may have been you talking with the Children's rehearsal asst. outside of the artist's entrance after the show. Were you also in Founder's section?

Actually, I splurged and bought seats at the last minute (and what great seats!!!)

for myself and my daughter. Another friend sat in my daughter's seat until she was finished with Act I. So I have a review as well.

Anton Korsakov was better as the prince than as the bluebird, but I agree with cadancelover, he isn't a prince, so it was a less than adequate performance in my opinion. In terms of style and size, I did think he and Novikova were well matched. Novikova had her moments of technical greatness; she is a good turner; but her artistry really suffered in the chemistry of the partnership. Both Korsakov and Novikova were looking quite worried by the end of the show, and probably with good cause.

I loved the bluebird -- and Cygnet, I agree with you -- he will be one to watch in terms of a danseur noble. Also, the lilac fairy was outstanding in all aspects.

Andre, I totally agree about Igor Petrov -- I liked his interpretation of the role of Carabosse better than the other dancer who took the role. He was much more evil and he successfully carried that interpretation to the highest balcony (where I was relegated for most of the performances I saw).

Our family is so sad that Kirov is gone for now -- I can't wait until the next time they come to S. CA. There is just not another company like them.

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Some friends who were seated in the front row saw her talking to him constantly, so there may have been some performance issues.

:shake: It seems Anton sent out an SOS (?!) I guess I'll have to re-think my initial assessment of his performance. I had zoom binoculars and didn't see this at all! (Well, I wasn't looking for anything like this). Was this some artistic dispute or worse, was Olesia coaching him during the performance? Talk about getting through it. No wonder she was Princess Stressora - she had to worry about him on top of everything else. Performance issues indeed. See folks, this is precisely why they shouldn't cast inexperienced and ill-prepped youngsters in the classics - especially this one. Oh well...

BTW: PJ, I was up in the center 4th balconey so that I could see Olesia's and the corps' patterns. I agree with you - next time I'LL bite the bullet and pay for orchestra seats. It sounded like happy hour at the top of the house - far too noisy.

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pj,

Your daughter probably saw me after the Sunday show when we were talking to one of the children's coaches and her (very tall) husband near Kendalls? I was wearing a dark blue suit, white shirt, no tie, and a pocket square. On Sunday, I was seated in the first row of the middle of the Founder's Circle. We'll definitely have to be more organized about meeting up at the next one of these things.

I'm happy our Kirov drought will last only until fall of next year when OCPAC has their Mariinsky festival. I can't wait to see this corps in Swan Lake.

Some of my friends disagree, but I thought the best seats were actually in the Founder's Circle. The sound has more bloom and is more enveloping, and you are far away enough that you can definitely see the choreographic patterns, but close enough that you can still see people's faces. The sound in the orchestra section is drier, but your mileage may vary.

Did you see Diana's performances from the upper balconies? How did she project up there? It seemed like she lit up the stage every time she appeared. Really unforgettable!

--Andre

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