Jump to content
cubanmiamiboy

Program III. "La Baiser de la Fee"

Recommended Posts

I know...i know the title is not in french in this production, but it has such a balletic historical connotation that I couldn't resist the translation.

Anyhow. Ratmansky's premiere opens up tonight. Will be there to report back.

???

Share this post


Link to post

On the Guggenheim's Works and Process facebook page they have the video of Ratmansky talking and some of the dancers dancing excerpts from A Fairy's Kiss if anyone who can't make it to Miami is interested.

 

I also can't wait to hear feedback from those who attend!

Edited by Kaysta

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, cubanmiamiboy said:

 


Allez-vous être là ce soir?

 

I'm in California, Cristian, but we're all counting on you to make us feel as if we were there.  :)

 

Hope that you have a very good time !

Share this post


Link to post
8 hours ago, Kaysta said:

On the Guggenheim's Works and Process facebook page they have the video of Ratmansky talking and some of the dancers dancing excerpts from A Fairy's Kiss if anyone who can't make it to Miami is interested.

 

I also can't wait to hear feedback from those who attend!

 

While we anxiously await Cristian's return, thanks so much, Kaysta, for finding this video. I've been looking for it for several days.

 

I've been glued to the first few minutes of performance starting at 10:30. First of all it has a very rare video glimpse of Simone Messmer (in black), who as you might know fascinates me. As usual, I feel that the best manner to treat her is to let her have her own way as much as possible. She has a remarkable ability to make a character her own. She can brilliantly integrate this with her physical imagery. Her personality can give great individuality and meaning to her motion.

 

Interestingly, another dancer in the chorus that accompanies her, reminds me of her. She's the woman in the dark olive dress (with doll, last to leave stage in opening scene) She has very fine body language. Cristian, Kaysta or someone else, do you know who she might be. She is featured rather prominently. From the opening moment, when she is somewhat kneeling, her sculpture is gripping. Also her motion has a very natural and expressive flow. Callie Manning ?

 

Added:

 

I would guess that the second dancer's very impressive posturing, etc. is of Alexei Ratmansky's invention. But it's also the way that she does it, that makes her performance so embracing. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Buddy

Share this post


Link to post

More to come, but...if I come back tomorrow, it will be to repeat the ONLY highlight of the night...the beautiful "Walpurgisnacht", which I had never seen before. What a delicious piece!!

Oh...and to see my friend Natasha again, which I always have so much fun with.???.

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks, Cristian. To be continued tomorrow.

 

Somewhat more limited in scope, I'm still glued to the first four minutes, the group dancing, of the video starting at 10:30. I do very much like the dancers and the choreography, which has a great deal of interest and charm. Alexei Ratmansky is very creatively agile.

 

Towards the end of the video  you can see him coaching Simone Messmer. He conveys certain exact details, which do have a lot of personal direction as well as outstanding beauty.

 

It would also be interesting to see Simone Messmer working with someone like Christopher Wheeldon. He's perhaps more known for encouraging his dancers to contribute their own interpretations.

Share this post


Link to post

Disappointing evening for sure, with the big exception of the opener, WALPURGISNACHT by Balanchine, featuring a spot-on corps and delightful brisk "2nd girl" solo by Nathalia Arja. Leads Lauren Fideley and Jovani Furlan also impressed. 

 

Then dullness began to set over the Arsht Center-Miami with the interminable POLYPHONIA, brightened with the quick male pdd, magnificently essayed by Kleber Rebello and, again, Jovani Furlan.

 

But we all came for Ratmansky's FAIRY's KISS, right? The premiere came & went. Not sure that it lives up to the hype. The best steps echo iconic passages of great ballets, mostly in the finale in which the fairy leads the hero to a balletic paradise. The large, precise corps of women & men unwind sequences of GISELLE Wilis, BAYADERE "Shades entrance (for couples!), SYLPHIDES, LES NOCES, APOLLO, SERENADE, etc. A socko finale cataloguing the best of 19th & 20th-C ballet. Bravo! 

 

Alas, the rest of FAIRY's KISS is a boring mess, silly & trivial, Ratmansky retained much of his '90s Mariinsky version, incl 32 fouettés for the fairy, here barely eeked out by a shaky & dull Simone Messmer. Worst of all is the paltry decor, which leads me to...

 

EL CHEAPO STRIKES AGAIN! Exhibit A: those 3 giant dirty milk cartons representing two huts and a church in the village. Even the dirty, dark cubistic projected backdrops and pounded-tin wings are exceedingly ugly. Costumes? Barely memorable. 

 

Most dancers saved the day. Best of all, no doubt: Renan  Cerdeiro as the Hero/Village lad, whose playground is space. What a charismatic, high-flying star he is! Close 2nd: effervescent Jeannette Delgado as a perky fiancée in character shoes at start, then soft slippers in the boudoir. (Only the fairies wear pointe shoes.) The corps was beautiful, especially winding in & out of patterns of great ballets in the final 3-4 minutes. 

 

So this is a (mostly) very dull ballet performed by (mostly) excellent dancers. "Boring!" whispered a guy next to me, during an interminable & clunky  pdd between the smallish Cerdeiro & tall/bulky Messmer. But that didn't keep a few patrons down in Orchestra from drinking the Kool-Aid and standing-cheering at the end, for a couple of minutes, when the creative team came on stage for a bow. It was all very fast...applause to all onstage, then sudden silence when curtain came down and people rushed for the door...absolutely NO curtain calls. Same cast repeats tonight, then a 2nd team (incl. Arja as the Fairy) on Sunday afternoon.

Share this post


Link to post

p.s. After last night, I have a sudden urging to see Balanchine's DIVERTIMENTO from BDLF to restore some order and beauty to my mind vis a vis (parts of) the exquisite Stravinsky score is concerned. Heck, even the Kasatkina-Vasiliov 1980s filmed version of the full ballet, starring Malakhov, would be welcomed relief right now. So is this beautiful beach outside my window. This trip was not in vain! :)

Share this post


Link to post

A completely forgettable experience for me. Interesting that the most valuable sequences toward the end of the ballet are not even Ratmansky's originals, but rather iconic flashes of some great ballets of the past-(including Nijinska's famous pyramid of faces for her Les Noces). Natasha told me that there is an explanation by Ratmansky on this, but really...without having such explanation, the ballet comes out as a dull bore with untinteresting choreography played against an even more uninteresting backdrops. And then you go..."Oh...but that diagonal line is Giselle's...and that pyramid is just like Les Noces...and wait...that pose is...SERENADE!!" (Oh yes..I guess one ought to know what Ratmansky has to SAY about his choreo in order to "get it". Otherwise is very awkward). Well...I didn't see the Works and Progress thing...so on first impact it was not good. Simone Messmer was totally underwhelming.

Walpurgisnacht was the only enjoyable section of the night. What a quick, brilliant ballet! Toward the end the stampede of loose multicolored haired women is a great thing to watch, and Arja's fast footwork in her petite allegro was up to the challenge of the choreography.

 

That Pholyphonia thing was soporiferous.

 

Share this post


Link to post

The aqua-blue fabric of the fairies ensemble outfits at the beginning of the work was pretty. The shades-of-beige outfits at the very end - the trip to artistic paradise, setting off the brief quotations from famous ballets - were effective only because the lighting was cranked up. The brightest part of the ballet was the hero's death!  Overall, the lighting & projection designs are right "down there" with ABT's FIREBIRD. Dark. Same creepy trees.  Very little to delight.  

 

I really came wanting to love this. I really did. I don't spend my hard-earned cash wanting to write a bad review. I wish that all of my trips would be as felicitous as Zurich 2016, for Ratmansky's SWAN LAKE.

Share this post


Link to post

And then...when you see this video...you wish you could had witnessed instead Balanchine's version, which the all seem to love in the conversation. According to their accounts it was lavish. Oh...and the interpolation of "None but the lonely heart"...❤❤❤

 

Edited by cubanmiamiboy

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks. The "None but the Lonely Heart" is part of the full Stravinsky score and we heard it last night but not as poetically rendered ever before & again, from what I've seen, as in the Balanchine '74 version of the DIVERTIMENTO.  I honestly can't describe what went on last night to that music, except that it occurred during the pas de 3 mime between the protagonists in the tug-of-war for the lad's heart & soul. I remember playing in my head what Balanchine did with that music in '74...his couple running to each other from opposite ends, hugging, then running together towards the audience. What happened to that music, last night, was throw-away mime. The casting-away of a treasure to triviality.

Share this post


Link to post

Thank you, Natalia and Cristian. I'm glad that you were able to share your experience and your thoughts.

 

I still have my four minute video clip, which I adore.

 

For me, it illustrates some of the best of what Alexei Ratmansky is capable of. I'm not sure what he takes from where, but his way of putting it all together can be outstanding. In the case of my four minutes, composition (the flux of motion, the loveliness and inventiveness of positioning, flow, etc.) along with his ability to adjust moods, situations, dimensions, etc. is exceptional. 

 

Being a great fan of Simone Messmer, based on what I've seen her do, I hope for the best. With the right material and direction that plays to her strength, which is her expressive beauty and brilliance, I think that she's remarkable.

Share this post


Link to post

I totally agree, Buddy. I've appreciated Simone Messmer in expressive roles that show off her "plastique" more so than in pointe roles. Paul Taylor works such as Black Tuesday come to mind. The irony here is that she is cast  in the main pointe-shoe  role, yet a top classicist, Jeannette Delgado, dancer "character"!

Share this post


Link to post
44 minutes ago, Natalia said:

I totally agree, Buddy. I've appreciated Simone Messmer in expressive roles that show off her "plastique" more so than in pointe roles. Paul Taylor works such as Black Tuesday come to mind. The irony here is that she is cast  in the main pointe-shoe  role, yet a top classicist, Jeannette Delgado, dancer "character"!

 

One of the things that I appreciate, Natalia, is the way that she commits herself to something, even if it's not to her technical strength.

 

I don't mean to minimise what you and Cristian experienced. I do have to say, though, that I've greatly enjoyed certain works that others haven't. I'm continuing to make my way through the Guggenheim talk and demonstration, which Kaysta found for us. There is enough there of exceptional beauty and interest that I would like to see this work.

 

One thought that comes to mind from what you've written and the video has mentions, is how talented and adaptable the Miami City dancers are. Lourdes Lopez mentions it and I'm so glad. It means that she will probably encourage this. I've seen it myself and am greatly impressed.

 

Another thing that I'm adjusting to on the video is the way that Jeannette Delgado (I'm also a big fan of her sister, Patricia) and Renan Cerdeiro are featured. Jeannette's portrayal (as Cristian once wrote, 'She always smiles like that') may take a little getting used to, but can become embracing and totally appropriate because it's really her and it's loveabe. Simone, on the other hand, can create worlds of differentiation.

 

Edited by Buddy
spelling corrections

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Natalia said:

 The irony here is that she is cast  in the main pointe-shoe  role, yet a top classicist, Jeannette Delgado, dancer "character"!

 

I really don't get it. I was once seated next to both sisters, who were watching their peers onstage, and I briefly approached them and congratulated them for the years of wonderful dancing they have given us. And to my question of " When will we be seeing you guys onstage again..? We miss you!..perhaps "Giselle"..?" , Jeanette answered.."Oh...maybe". It turned out...none of them were nowhere to be seen during the running of either Giselle, Swan Lake, Midsummer and now "Baiser"-(Messmer got the opening nights for all of them, and Jeanette just landed the character bride of "Baiser")-and for that matters...in any major role, all the way up to this season's Serenade-(Jeanette/Russian girl).

I remember the same situation happening toward the end of Mary Carmen Catoya's tenure with the company...until her contract wasn't renewed and she vanished into thin air...no farewell performance...no confetti...nothing. And she WAS one of the top classicist of the troupe. Jack Reed might agree with me.

Share this post


Link to post

My only response, Cristian, is that ballet is both technique and aura. Which weighting each of us prefers is perhaps a matter of personal focus and sensitivity.

Edited by Buddy

Share this post


Link to post

If Ratmansky borrows from other souces as Natalia points out, so does Stravinsky at several points in the score. Anyway I enjoyed looking at the Works and Progress version, especially parts of the two solos, and would have loved to have seen the whole ballet in Miami.

 

Here's Balanchine's 1972 (or 1974) version in a bad print. Balanchine combined parts of the ballet score and the shorter Divertimento to recontour the ballet. The male solo, according to Stephanie Jordan in "Divertimento from Le Baiser de la Fée: Ghost Stories" contains artifacts of both parts of the original pas de deux – as the man turns to see the gypsy fortune teller in pursuit.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raQ06-0OEjQ

 

The Balanchine Foundation interview on the male solo -

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6BQGGcfZGk

Edited by Quiggin

Share this post


Link to post

I just finished the Works and Progress video, Quiggin, and am also very impressed with all the performing and choreography. Also very impressive is the amount of thought and feeling that Alexei Ratmansky puts into everything. His attention to detail while coaching the dancers is extraordinary and heart touching. One dancer (Jeanette Delgado?) in a news article said that 'he has twelve ideas for each step.' The result is absolutely lovely.  

Edited by Buddy
Apologies: Jeanette (Delgado) only has one "n" as corrected here

Share this post


Link to post

Welcome back Natasha, I've missed your passionate reviews.  

 

FWIW, most  the Kaplan sets seem to these big white "pieces", only the shapes vary.  R&J, Cendrillon, Taming of the Shrew, and now Fairy's Kiss.  He has done beautiful work too: PNB's Giselle sets were inspired by the Parisian origial set drawings.  

 

But it's eyebrow-raising that he keeps going back to these fabric boxes over and over.  I do not mind a stark / modern set if it works for the ballet (Prodigal Son, Apollo, etc).  But why hasn't Kaplan been called out on this, by professional reviewers?   He is not Van Gogh painting his Repetitions. 

Edited by Jayne

Share this post


Link to post

"Twelve ideas": yes, Buddy. Ratmansky was a difficult "flavor" for  me to appreciate at first, especially through "Russian Seasons". Less big archecture than Balanchine. Here he seems to be making ballet at a delicate 3/4 scale and thereby fitting in all the references to Apollo, etc. I like Messmer's solo, the shooing had gestures, the turns making up new virtual volume materials ...

 

The Balanchine 1972 "Baisee" has a brilliant car-showroom hardness about it – but I do see some things in it that lead to the great Stravinsky Violin concerto (though it could be just the way it was rearranged and filmed for TV).

Edited by Quiggin

Share this post


Link to post
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×