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Helene

Spring 2015: La Bayadere

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Tonight was my first viewing of Kimin Kim. He is a thrilling dancer. Great technician. Breathtaking "hang time" in his jumps, which were very high. Elongated, beautiful lines. Good partnering skills. More of him, please. yahoo.gif

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Tonight was my first viewing of Kimin Kim. He is a thrilling dancer. Great technician. Breathtaking "hang time" in his jumps, which were very high. Elongated, beautiful lines. Good partnering skills. More of him, please. :yahoo:

I fell in love with him last August when the Mariinsky was in London. Like an unbelievable fan. He did the Demi roles in Concerto DSCH with Filip Stepin (who I love) and made him look unexciting. Glad everyone finally understands my obsession with him;))

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Well Hee Seo was pretty dismal, dull and bland as dishwater and not strong technically. In The opening scene when Nikiya enters she should be sensual, and beautiful. We should know why this noble warrior loves this temple dancer. Tonight I had no idea. There was literally no expression on Hee's face. Her arms are long but she does nothing with them. They could be beautiful and expressive but they're flat. And her balance is so shaky. She can't stand on pointe in a closed 5th position without wobbling. Tragic. I am always waiting for some big error or flaw and tonight it came in scene 3, when she dropped the basket of flowers (it literally flew out of her hands) when she was dancing. And I was remembering last year when Viktoria Tereshkina did the backwards développes while staying on pointe the whole time (jaw dropping). This year Hee immediately went to a flat foot to keep her balance.

And the partnering. Poor Kim looked like he was lifting a sack of potatoes every time he swung her around. And he's not a small guy. He's at least 6 feet though quite slim. Anyway he had no such partnering problems with Gillian, except for some supported pirouettes, where he was trying to turn her too much.

As for Gillian, at first I thought she was having an off night. In Scene 3 her jumps looked underpowered and I thought her Italian fouettes looked strained. I sitting pretty close (row I orchestra) and I could see her neck muscles tensed up.I've also seen her be much more menacing in scene 2 where she confronts Nikiya. I was thinking longingly of Osipova in the role. But Gillian was beautiful in the wedding scene. Her variation was flawless; she even did a quadruple pirouette.

Well that's all for tonight. More details tomorrow.

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And I was remembering last year when Viktoria Tereshkina did the backwards développes while staying on pointe the whole time (jaw dropping). This year Hee immediately went to a flat foot to keep her balance.

That was a highlight of my ballet going experiences. I still remember it, and I doubt I will ever see anyone do that again.

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Osipova just posted several images on her Instagram account, showing her at the Polunin Gala last night in London. Nothing of her dancing, just an evening gown. If she had been doing the Bayaderes originally scheduled, she could not have attended, so they couldn't have planned on this. What are the odds she'll be flying back for her R&J June 17? https://instagram.com/nataliaosipova86/

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Osipova just posted several images on her Instagram account, showing her at the Polunin Gala last night in London. Nothing of her dancing, just an evening gown. If she had been doing the Bayaderes originally scheduled, she could not have attended, so they couldn't have planned on this. What are the odds she'll be flying back for her R&J June 17? https://instagram.com/nataliaosipova86/

She doesn't need to fly back as she will be in the US on tour with RB. She is scheduled to dance Don Quixote on June 13 in Washington and June 21 in Chicago.

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I don't have much to say except that I was underwhelmed tonight. The female corps was the star of the show! Good job, ladies.

Yes, I join you in being underwhelmed. I cannot understand KM's obsession with Hee Seo----and there was Stella Abrera in one of the shades variations when her Nikiya would

have been welcomed. I am sure she knows the role and would have been a great replacement for Semionova. Well at least there was the Corps, Murphy and Kim to save the

night. Fortunately I will be seeing a real ballerina as Nikiya on Thursday---Veronika Part.

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Osipova just posted several images on her Instagram account, showing her at the Polunin Gala last night in London. Nothing of her dancing, just an evening gown. If she had been doing the Bayaderes originally scheduled, she could not have attended, so they couldn't have planned on this. What are the odds she'll be flying back for her R&J June 17? https://instagram.com/nataliaosipova86/

Dancers fly in and out for performances all the time, so I suppose it is possible that this was planned in advance. We don’t know when rehearsals took place. She still had time to make her Wednesday performance. Or maybe she just decided to go to the gala after she was injured. We’ll probably never know.

I hope she is still able to dance in R&J. I was at her Giselle last week, and witnessed her perseverance in finishing the ballet. If she is up for her Washington and Chicago performances, then I expect we'll be seeing her in R&J.

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Tonight was my first viewing of Kimin Kim. He is a thrilling dancer. Great technician. Breathtaking "hang time" in his jumps, which were very high. Elongated, beautiful lines. Good partnering skills. More of him, please. :yahoo:

Yes, such a thrilling dancer. The height of his jumps and the breadth of his grand jetes. He just ate up space and actually made the Met stage look small. And those whizzing, fast chainees. The elongated, elegant line which is very stretched out. It was breathtaking. His acting was also superlative, the gestures very clear. And Kim obviously refused to accommodate his dancing to others in ABT so it made them look like slouches. I think Kim really has that "it" factor the way Vasiliev did a few years ago. Kind of like he was the one professional in a company of students. As a result, though, I didn't think he looked good with Hee or Gillian (except in the wedding scene) because he overpowered them. Last night I wished the ballet was just about Solor.

In other roles, Aaron Scott was also a great jumper as the head fakir and Zhong-Jing Fang was appropriately dutiful as Aya, Gamzatti's servant. Sarah Lane also displayed a gorgeously classical line and did perfect pirouettes as one of the Pas d'Action dancers.

Can't wait for Saturday afternoon when I get to have another look at Kim:))

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The audience seemd to love Kim and showered him with very generous and loud applause. I was surprised there was not a bigger turnout. The house did not seem to be well sold. But it was a miserable weather day, so maybe that kept people away.

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Well I saw Kochetkova tonight (in place of Osipova) and Sarafanov and Boylston. Actually, it wasn't bad at all. Once you get past the fact that Maria looks like a 12 year old pre-teen (and it's tough to overlook) she was a lovely Nikiya. Like 1,000, no 10,000 times better than Hee Seo. She was very sensual and riveting in Act 1, scene 1. She has fluidity because of her tremendous flexibility and is a good actor (I was in Row K of the orchestra). This was the best I've ever seen her dance. She was really quite moving. I really was so moved in the Shades scene. It was wonderful. If she's poached by ABT, that's ok with me.

Sarafanov is just not (or maybe its no longer) the bravura, technical whiz kid that Kim is. But he was still very good. His jumps while not that high, are still high enough. His grand jetes, though low, are very fast and cover a lot of space. His chainees are not as speedy as Kim's but they're cleaner, always keeping a tight fifth. He still is quite flexible, and his cambres were gorgeous and moving. And his acting was quite good, a surprise after his Giselle with the Mik this fall. And he still has the gorgeous epaulement, carriage and refinement of a Mariinsky dancer. It's just, it's the Mariinsky of a decade ago. Most important, though, Sarafanov didn't overwhelm his partners. He danced with them and blended into the company nicely. I thought he was a good partner to both Maria and Isabella. Judging from his smile at the curtain call (though you really can't tell anything from that) he was happy with his performance.

As for Bella, I liked her. She was not as steely as Gillian. When she found out about Nikiya she put her head in her hands and wept. She seemed a lot less mean and malicious in her characterizations. Her technique was quite good-better than Gillian's on Monday. She has a great jump, her Italian fouettes were good and her regular ones also quite good though they still travel a lot. In the wedding scene she looked quite lyrical and she's also an excellent turner. So nothing to complain about. I think both her technique and artistry have grown since she made principal one year ago.

More on the secondary characters later today.

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" And he still has the gorgeous epaulement, carriage and refinement of a Mariinsky dancer. It's just, it's the Mariinsky of a decade ago." Amour, I am really curious about the second sentence in this statement. Can you please explain it to this "bear of very little brain"?

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Amour, I agree with you about Kochetkova's first act - that was the first time I really enjoyed her dancing in a classical ballet. And I'm thinking thats because Nikiya's dancing in the first act is not pure classicism, it has a lot of character built into it and allows for many different approaches in terms of plastique and phrasing. Her technique is always strong - I never have any complaints about that- and I thought her phrasing was very dynamic, she used her back well and projected very well. But then we got to the shades scene and I saw everything I don't like about her all over again. The supple back & shading were gone - she was ramrod straight with a sharp movement quality, and she has an ugly arabesque. There is simply no line to it.

Sarafanov was wonderful. No, he's not the Mariinsky wunderkind we first saw 10, 12 years ago but he is still an absolutely gorgeous dancer and I'd welcome seeing lots more of him (AND Kimin Kim, the current Mariinsky wunderkind). Also really enjoyed Boylsyon in this. I didn't stay for the last act, how was Aaron Scott's Bronze Idol?

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...she has an ugly arabesque. There is simply no line to it.

Hi nysusan -- as someone without dance training, I'm interested in this concept of "line" and how it gets talked about and what exactly it refers to. Could you describe what, precisely, you're seeing when you say that MK has "an ugly arabesque" with "no line to it." I'd love to learn more about this topic. Thanks!

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I went in with low expectations for Kochetkova and high expectations for Sarafanov. Maria's performance exceeded my expectations. She was much better as Nikiya than in either the Swan Lake or SB I saw her in at ABT during her ABT debut season (two years ago?) She does have very strong technique, and seemed to be well coached in every aspect of the role, including the acting and the port de bras. I thought she came off pointe during the scarf dance, but other than that she gave a good performance. She is certainly not one of my favorites in the role and lacked the spirituality and grand style for the Shades scene, but she did an admirable job. Sarafanov fell short of my expectations. There was a lethargy last night that I had not ever seen before from him. Low jumps, slow spins. As Amour said, the bravura that I recall from him during years gone by was frequently missing. Also, Sarafanov and Kochetkova were a mismatch. He litterally had to bend in order to spin Maria and reach her waist. That's how significant the height difference was. There's one scene where Solor goes down on his knees and Nikiya stands next to him. Maria standing upright was as tall as Sarafanov on his knees. It looked silly. No complaints about Bella, although she was not nearly as powerful and Gillian.

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Thanks for the reports. I'm looking forward to seeing this now! I have to admit, I'm not too fond of dancers that appear childlike in their proportions, but it's encouraging to know that Kochetkova made a better impression in Bayadere than in SL or SB.

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I was at Wednesday night’s La Bayadere. I am so glad that I kept my tickets to this performance! Maria danced exquisitely and with passion. I had only seen her dance once before, and I was very impressed with her last night. She is a fine technician and actress. Boylston continues to be a very strong dancer, and she danced the role of Gamzatti beautifully, and with confidence. I’ve seen her dance Gamzatti before, and she continues to grow in the role. Sarafanov was a dazzling Solor. I thought he danced brilliantly, as did Arron Scott who was splendid as the Bronze Idol.

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Well, based off of the good reviews on Kochetkova, I think I'm going to add tickets to Saturday night's performance and make it a double Bayadere day!

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Haven't had time to report, but I went to Bayadere Monday night.

I was disappointed with Hee Seo's performance. I felt she lacked in both her technique and her characterization. Gillian acted well and threw in some astounding pirouettes, but her grand jetes seemed so labored.

It was my first time seeing Kimin Kim, and he did dazzle technically, especially with those running assemble tours (once again, I lack the proper terminology -- sorry). Each time he spins through the air and lands softly in a perfect fifth position.

I can't comment as to why the partnering looked so labored at times, but it certainly did, especially the overhead lift in the Shades scene. He really had to build momentum before he got her up there, rocking her back and forth. Then he looked like he might fall over as he set her down. I'm interested as to how he would have done partnering Seminova. She seems bigger than Seo, although I can't say for sure.

Misty Copeland, Sarah Lane, and Luciana Paris stood out as crisp, musical, and lovely in the Pas d'Action. I thought Christine Shevchenko and Devon Teuscher looked weak and wobbly at moments in their shades variations. Stella was perfect. She seems so comfortable in the technique; she is able to give another layer of expression and flourish. (Whereas others at times look like they're thinking about the steps) Does anyone know if she has learned Nikiya?

The corps was as good as I've every seen them, but overall I thought it was a bit of a blah performance, even with Kim's jumps.

I'm afraid Hee Seo, despite her beauty and lovely lines, is going to be a dancer I avoid in most leading roles. Just watched this video of her at Marinsky, and you can see the problems:

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