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New Ratmansky Swan Lake to premier at Zurich

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Ilya   

I should add to my previous post that the first one of the two swans in the 4th scene was quite marvelous (I believe it was Lou Spichtig).

A couple of corrections---Rothbart never gets to the lake but rather expires on the steps leading to the arch in the back of the stage.

The conductor for the premiere performance was Rossen Milanov.

Regarding the Siegfried variation---R.J. Wiley (page 253) seems to suggest that in fact the "tempo di valse" variation from the original Act I

music was used in the ballroom scene pdd in 1895. If so then it looks like Ratmansky exactly followed Drigo's 1895 revision of Tchaikovsky's

music as used in the 1895 production.

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sandik   

I'm headed for the Kunsthaus museum...celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of Dada right here in Zurich.

Oooh, all those Swans and Dada as well -- lucky girl.

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Natalia   

Second performance with Anna Khamsina's O/O and Denis Vieira's Siegfried is in the books! Upon 3rd viewing (counting dress reh), I love this production more and more. Khamsina was a little less wondrous than Kapitonova yesterday in the balances and fouettés BUT displayed clearer mime. On the other hand, young Brazilian graduate of the Bolshoi-Brazil school, Denis Vieira, truly wowed in his Black pdd solo...even the Swiss bankers in my box woke up and whispered "Das ist gutt!" My Hungarian Dance hero from last night,Cristian Alex Assis, was in the thankless role of Von Rothbart tonight...but his death flop at the top of the rock was more visible, as we could see his head at the top of the stairs (did not fall into lake).

The same terrific pas de trois performed on both nights but Benno had a tiny slip during his otherwise great solo with high jetes en tournant.

Lou Spichtig and Michelle Willems were superb as the two demisolo swans in A3.

The Village Waltz was not as crisp as yesterday, especially the getting on and off the stools when boys and girls quickly alternate.

Lastly....Fosca was right about the hideous color choices, especially those day-glow Cheapo fabrics on the national-dance costumes. Kaplan must have used cast-off samples from last year's PAQUITA in Munich. That polyester overskirt on the Mazurka dresses looked mighty familiar.

A great experience. Thank you, Zurich Ballett! Now back to DC for the Mariinsky RAYMONDAS..and to work, to pay for the next trip.

- Natalia Nabatova

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Thank you, Natasha for the reviews! Oh, I really LOVE the pictures...the loose hair for Odette and the swans...Rothbart's costume, and even Odile's tutu, which gives sort of a mix in between the original multicolored number and our pre conceived all black idea. LOVE the pointy crowns!!...and the look of the villagers valse. Yes...we have a winner here. Can we have it at ABT..? :happy:

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cargill   

Jane, thanks for the link to the pictures. I am so glad the black swans are back in the final scene. I just love the contrast. And I must say the Prince looks wonderful! Mary

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Thanks for the reviews, Natalia. This looks like the Swan Lake of my dreams.

The photos are beautiful. How long before it crosses the pond and which

company is likely to get it?

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Natalia   

Jane, thanks for the link to the pictures. I am so glad the black swans are back in the final scene. I just love the contrast. And I must say the Prince looks wonderful! Mary

Actually, black swans are in many current productions, such as Mariinsky and Royal Ballet. Of course, in the current Zurich production they are more involved in the mime. I'm sure that's what you meant. :)

Thanks to whoever posted the mention of Macauley's NYT review, which is mostly positive, as are the two reviews in local German papers today. ("Danke" to Hotel Opera's night receptionist for his kind reading-translation!) However, Macauley needs to correct a few historical inaccuracies, such as the fact that the ending pose in the"Black pdd adagio" (Odile in deep penche with her two hands on Siegfried's knees) has been recently performed in DC by Misty Copeland and Brooklyn Mack, among other casts. It is not a long-lost, never-seen-before, blah blah. :)

Also, I'm surprised that Macauley even refers to the Mariinsky's A1 village waltz...comparing that the MT fields more dancers in the waltz. Doesn't he realize that he saw a totally different composition here in Zurich? Like comparing apples to oranges.

To whoever asked about Benno's involvement in the White pdd: YES. A lot! For example, Benno alone catches Odette whenever she swoons, including the final swoon in the adage. Also, it's Benno who holds-up Odette as she strikes ending pose in the Swans Coda...Odette steps onto a thigh of kneeling Benno & strikes back attitude-arabesque pose, as Siegfried stands and watches in awe.

Off to airport! :)

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aurora   

Also, I'm surprised that Macauley even refers to the Mariinsky's A1 village waltz...comparing that the MT fields more dancers in the waltz. Doesn't he realize that he saw a totally different composition here in Zurich? Like comparing apples to oranges.

I think in your rush to the airport you mistook his meaning. I understood him to be comparing it, not to the current Mariinsky production, but to the 1895 one that was acting as Ratmansky's template.

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La Scala (the co-producer) is doing this in July 2016 in Milan: http://www.teatroallascala.org/en/season/2015-2016/ballett/swan-lake.html

Is it too much to hope that the Lincoln Center summer festival will bring the production to NYC in July 2017? Either company would be fine...Did anybody spot Nigel Redden (director of the LC festival) in the Zurich audience?

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Amy   

Thank you for the report, Natalia; it sounds fabulous!! I hope I get to see this reconstruction soon because I've wanted to see a Swan Lake reconstruction for years! Bravo Alexei Ratmansky and everyone at Ballett Zurich! :)

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Ilya   

Oh...and how about the fast original 1877 coda in the White PDD..? Did they included it-(just as Balanchine in his one act version)..?

Ratmansky was following Drigo's revision of the score used in the 1895 production. So no fast ending to the Scene II adagio.

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Ilya   

I think in your rush to the airport you mistook his meaning. I understood him to be comparing it, not to the current Mariinsky production, but to the 1895 one that was acting as Ratmansky's template.

In that case his comparison is even less accurate because it appears that the 1895 production---or at least whatever version of it that was notated---called for 20 couples (my source for this is R.J. Wiley's book). This is exactly what Ratmansky has.

Perhaps Macaulay means that at the 1895 premiere there were more than 20 couples. This may be so (it would be good to know his source for this), but the notation (probably made a good decade after the premiere) calls for 20. Obviously Ratmansky has no way of reconstructing what actually transpired in 1895, only what was notated.

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Natalia   

Macauley wrote that the Mariinsky uses even more dancers in the Village Waltz...duh! Ilya is 100% right in that AR followed the 1895 instructions, which is what we saw in Zurich. Forty dancers (20 couples...four of the couples being leads, so not involved in the stools action). It goes without saying that AR used the notes. Otherwise he'd need the services of Long Island Medium.

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aurora   

Macauley wrote that the Mariinsky uses even more dancers in the Village Waltz...duh! Ilya is 100% right in that AR followed the 1895 instructions, which is what we saw in Zurich. Forty dancers (20 couples...four of the couples being leads, so not involved in the stools action). It goes without saying that AR used the notes. Otherwise he'd need the services of Long Island Medium.

I'm fine with Macaulay being wrong. I don't love him and have no interest in defending him. Nor was my comment as an attack on you, I very much appreciated your review.

You seemed confused as to why he was comparing the waltz to that of the Mariinsky when they are different things, and it appeared to me the answer was that he had not--he was comparing it to the 1895 text.

This is not to say Ilya isn't correct in saying that makes his comment even sillier if he is wrong as to how many couples there were in 1895. But since the only other mentions of the Mariinsky are to the 1895 production I can't see why one wouldn't think that is what he is referring to when he says, using the past tense:

"Along the way, fresh light keeps changing the ballet. A special triumph is the stage-filling celebratory group waltz for the opening scene: Mr. Ratmansky brings Petipa’s formations pulsating to life (20 couples, though the Mariinsky, with its vast resources, had more)."

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Natalia   

You continue to be confused, Aurora. The ballet company that existed in StP before the Revolution was the Imperial Russian Ballet, not the Mariinsky. The Mariinsky is the name of the theatre. A "Mariinsky" ballet troupe did not exist until the 1990s, after the collapse of the Soviet Union. By referring to the "Mariinsky" version, Macauley appears to be writing about the current version of SL by Konstantine Sergeyev.

The company of Tsarist times was the Imperial Russian Ballet. It performed at the Mariinsky Theater...and another tranche of dancers of the same entity performed at the Bolshoi in Moscow.

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Natalia   

Meant to add to my review of Sunday night: Lovely petite blonde Lou Sprichtig shined brightly in the little "jig" solo in sc1, after her "dancing lesson" with the tipsy Wolfgang. Sprichtig has a palpable 1890s/Cecchetti perfume about her.

That's it for the Zurich SL trip. Now I prepare for my next trip, to St Petersburg for THE BRONZE HORSEMAN (Smekalov-after-Zakharov, to Gliere's score). The Mariinsky Ballet - former Imperial Russian Ballet, then GATOB, then Kirov Ballet - will perform. :)

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Natalia   

At the hotel, I picked up hard copies of the reviews in NZZ by Martina Wohlthat (the 2nd of Fosca's links) and in TAGES-ANZEIGER by Marianne Muehlemann. Both quite glowing, as per my personal angel-translator.

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