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Everything posted by Batsuchan

  1. Here's one! I attended the Saturday evening performance with Kent and Bolle. The Kent-Bolle pairing was no match for the fireworks of Vishneva & Gomes, BUT, in my opinion, Bolle is a PERFECT Romeo. It's true that he struggled a little bit with some of the turns--sometimes he could land his pirouettes nicely, even extending a leg at the end, but other times he had to hop a bit on the landing. But he just IS Romeo. Although he's much closer to 40 than 20, he still has this boyish grin and almost angelic charm and is much, much more believable as a dreamy, innocent teenager than Marcelo, in my opinion. And he totally looks the part. Whenever he was onstage, the crowd scenes seemed less dreary, though he was helped by a very strong Mercutio (played by a very technically-on Jared Matthews). And Act III may have actually felt sadder than on Friday night--Bolle looked so sad when he found Juliet, that you couldn't help but feel so sorry for this broken-hearted young boy! I think he and Julie Kent have forged a nice partnership over the past few years, but I kind of wish that he had had a more powerful Juliet to play off of. (I remember his 2009 performance with Dvorovenko as being spectacular!) Julie Kent is still a beautiful, touching artist, but her waning technique was obvious to me, especially in comparison to Vishneva the night before. She still has impressive core strength and balance, so she can pull off some very nice balances and turns, and she does very well when partnered by the uber-strong Bolle. However, she has lost some the flexibility in her front and side extensions and no longer does a 180-degree split in the grand jetes. Everything she does remains graceful and elegant, but compared to Vishneva's full-throttled, throwing-caution-to-the-wind dancing, she came off looking a little restrained and limited to me. In general, Vishneva's Juliet was wildly passionate and rather unhinged, especially in Act III--for better or for worse--but there was one scene where she did less than Kent: when Juliet is sitting on her bed in Act III, thinking about what to do. Kent slowly sort of rolled her head from side to side, as if showing us the wheels in her head turning--but I did not see the epiphany moment in her face. In contrast, Vishneva kept her face completely blank, and almost motionless. She had her face tilted slightly downward, and slowly, slowly, almost imperceptibly, she raised her face up and fully into the light (very subtle but effective, I thought). And then--I don't know how she does it--but it's like her eyes are not really seeing and then suddenly FOCUS. I was looking through binoculars and I could definitely SEE the epiphany moment in those huge eyes of hers. But in the end, like I mentioned above, I keenly felt the tragedy thanks to Roberto's heartbreaking Romeo. During the bows, Julie Kent looked like she was on the verge of crying, she was so deeply moved. Two nights, two great performances!
  2. Classic_Ballet, you took the words right out of my mouth!! I agree wholeheartedly! I too could go on forever about the details Diana brought to her performance--my friends and I marveled at the way her leg whips out and up to her ear in her variation at the ball, with seemingly no effort at all. I also love the way she plays the moment when her Nurse reveals that Romeo is a Montague--she goes almost limp with despair, as if she's previewing what will come in Act III. Like you, I too hope that we will get to see her in "Swan Lake" again...the White swan p.d.d she did with Marcelo in their 2009 performance remains the best I've ever seen (though I admit that I'm relatively new to ballet-watching...). @ abatt - I do hope they do "Manon" again, though not necessarily at the expense of R&J. I've never seen "Manon" performed live, so that would be thrilling for me! Will be back at the Met for Kent & Bolle tonight!
  3. I'm still in ballet heaven after that amazing, astounding, heart-crushing, wonderful performance of "Romeo & Juliet" with Vishneva and Gomes!!! In "Onegin," their characters never got to be happily in love together, so I felt like they took all that unrequited passion and unleashed it in R&J tonight. I've seen their 2009 and 2010 performances of R&J, as well as the balcony pas de deux at this year's opening night gala, but I felt like tonight was their best performance ever. I feel like they have taken their partnership to new heights this season. They can just stand and look at each other and you FEEL the connection. And they are so comfortable with each other that they can take risks--Diana really threw herself at Marcelo--and be incredibly passionate. One friend of mine said it took her all of the intermission after Act I to recover from their balcony pas de deux! I'm sure some might find Diana and Marcelo's acting a bit over-the-top, but for me, it may be very dramatic, but it feels completely genuine. As another friend said, Diana's "scream" upon finding Romeo's body in the crypt was almost painfully real. The house looked packed tonight as far as I could tell (with people in standing room), and the ovation at the end of the ballet was enormous--at least as big, if not bigger than after last week's "Onegin." And entirely well-deserved, in my opinion. BRAVO! As usual, Diana and Marcelo's curtain calls were almost worth the price of admission--even after the show, they were so affectionate towards each other!
  4. Hmm, I have only had a chance to scan through the rest of the thread, but I had a totally different reaction to "Firebird." Maybe it WAS made for Misty, because she totally SHINED tonight! Muscular, powerful, intense, commanding--I LOVED her Firebird! Cornejo also seemed to have the same problem with the squeaky floors/boots, but nonetheless he danced beautifully. Whenever they give Maria Riccetto a comedic role, I feel like she hits it out of the ballpark, and I was totally entertained by her Maiden tonight. I particularly admired her quick, precise footwork in the beginning of her pas de deux with Ivan. Roman Zhurbin was absolutely fantastic as Kaschei--I felt like he was born to play this role. So deliciously evil! There were a few sections of the ballet that felt a little long to me--for example, the pas de quatre (if you can call it that) with the four leads--but I enjoyed Ratmansky's way more than the original Fokine version (no silly swamp monsters!) and NYCB's version. My main complaint (other than the squeaky floors) is that the apples onstage really bothered me, as they do in the Mariinsky's version. I keep worrying that the dancers will trip and fall on them! Otherwise, I found the choreography fun and inventive, but I am a fan of Ratmansky's light-hearted ballets in general--I love "The Bright Stream" and I loved "The Little Humpbacked Horse." And the dancers seemed to be really enjoying themselves. And it may have been cheesy, but I did like the effect of those grotesque trees opening up to reveal the princes and a beautiful, sparkling, floral scene. I'm seeing the Osipova/Gomes/Messmer/Hallberg cast tomorrow--it will be interesting to see how it compares for me. ** As for the rest of the show: Unfortunately, I was sitting way on the side, so I could not see half of Marcelo's "Triptych" since the violinist/cellist were blocking my view. Also unfortunately, the Handel-Halvorsen Passacaglia is one of my most favorite pieces, and the violinist was not up to the challenge (or at least compared to the recording I listen to), so his playing distracted me the same way the out-of-tune violin solo in "Swan Lake" drives me nuts. I did not feel, however, that I was really missing much by not being able to see. Thankfully the "Cruel World" pdd was beautiful. Unlike others, I am a huge fan of Kudelka's "Cinderella," and I suspect there just must be something about his choreography that appeals to me. There is a lot of involved partnering in his p.d.d.'s, but the shapes always seem to be clean, open, pretty. And he throws in a few jaw-dropping throw-lifts--I couldn't help but gasp twice. During the bows, Julie Kent gave Marcelo Gomes her bouquet, and I thought that was really sweet. I enjoyed "Thirteen Diversions," but again, sitting way off on the side meant that the dancers occasionally disappeared out of my field of view. I thought Hee Seo put her lyricism and beautiful lines to excellent use in the slow pas de deux. After the "Firebird," Kevin McKenzie came out onstage and took a few bows while confetti rained from the rafters and the whole company applauded. All in all, a very fun night for me! I enjoyed the videos very much--Natalia Makarova always cracks me up!
  5. According to this page, it's a duet scene from Tchaikovsky's "Romeo & Juliet": http://www.theballet...0/09/17/onegin/ Apparently it is rarely performed and was completed by Taneyev after Tchaikovsky's death: http://www.musicweb-...gin_acd6048.htm
  6. YAY!!! So happy for Katya!!!! (Though I'll admit that part of me was hoping that she'd come to ABT if the Mariinsky failed to promote her.... )
  7. Completely agree abatt! Vishneva & Gomes were astounding, and you could tell they knew it during the bows--still so caught up in the emotion! While EVERY performance of theirs is a must-see event, in my opinion, they really do take it into the stratosphere when they get to do the same ballet twice in one week. I think anything they were unsatisfied with gets resolved in the second performance. Especially since Monday was their first time performing the ballet together, I felt like they figured out how they could do more this time. In particular, I felt like Diana was particularly audacious (the lady behind me called her crazy) in the Act I p.d.d. There is a part where Onegin is partnering her with one hand--he uses her left hand to support her as she whips from facing forward to back all while arching backwards--and Diana really threw herself into it as if 100% sure Marcelo would be able to support her, even with one hand! My friend who went with me said it was all so exhilarating and would gladly have paid double! So did the rest of the house, it seems. It was packed, with a few people in standing room, and the house positively erupted after Act III! Bravo! ETA And I almost forgot to mention that the bows and curtain calls were great, as usual. Diana and Marcelo are always so affectionate toward each other--you can really tell that they love dancing together!
  8. Ferri did perform it at one point with ABT. I remember seeing her perform it with Guillaume Graffin at the Met one season. From what i recall, it was not an ideal pairing, and I agree that it's a shame that Ferri/Bocca never performed it together. It must have been several years ago, though. The other cast that I saw that season was Julie Kent/Robert Hill. I did not see any of these performances, but I know that Marcelo danced with Alessandra Ferri in "Onegin" at some point--he was a last-minute replacement.
  9. I'm right there with you abatt! Super excited about tomorrow night's show!! In fact, it seems that you and I were both so thrilled by Vishneva & Gomes that we both started threads! Perhaps one of the moderators/administrators could combine the threads...? Tonight's performance for Kent & Bolle was not nearly as satisfying for me. In my opinion, the big pas de deux did not have the same power or chemistry as they did on Monday. However, I did enjoy seeing Maria Riccetto's Olga. Blaine Hoven was replaced by Jared Matthews as Lensky, and I felt like he and Maria had much more rapport than Jared and Osipova. Osipova's Olga was a little too "look at me!!" for my taste. Although her big smile and flashy ways did feel appropriate for Olga's character, it then became obvious when she fell out of character--when the supported turns got tricky and she had to think about it. Maria was still vivacious but not so histrionic, which I appreciated. I liked Jared's Lensky in Act II, but his Act I solo still seems slightly rough--or perhaps it's just the choreography that's awkward. I don't quite feel like he knows what emotions he's supposed to be bringing to the steps. Bolle's Onegin was more restrained than Marcelo's--he displayed something like an aristocrat's cold disdain for the lower classes, rather then Marcelo's palpable disgust with conventional society. Bolle did a fine job of partnering Julie, and the Act I p.d.d. seemed to be much smoother than when they performed it at the gala. In the Act III p.d.d., there is a move where Tatiana is lying on the floor on her back, and Onegin pulls her up into a big split leap. Diana and Marcelo did this twice, but Julie and Roberto only did it once--the second time she jumped from a standing position. Julie and Roberto also kissed in the middle--which I don't think Marcelo and Diana did, but I'm not sure. Julie's Tatiana kind of gave into Onegin, and then thought better of it, and sent Onegin away, while Diana's Tatiana seemed to be caught in this epic battle between her heart--which ardently desired Onegin--and her mind--which told her to resist. I felt like she was desperately fighting not to give into Onegin's advances--especially near the end where he lowers her slowly to the floor and she arched back as far as she could in order to avoid his embrace. She tries to send him away before her last remaining shred of willpower gives out. In Act I, Julie's Tatiana felt a little bit like her Giselle--a little shy and introverted, perhaps, but not really melancholic like Diana's. She still smiles, she is still winsome. One scene that she played differently from Diana was after she writes the letter to Onegin and her nurse comes in to tell her to go to sleep. She keeps trying to sit up when her nurse isn't looking, and then lies down when her nurse turns around. Julie played it like hide-and-go-seek, like a cute exchange between a nanny and her still-childish charge, and it was endearing. In contrast, when Diana did it, it was clear that she kept sitting up to look because she was worried her nurse would find the all-important letter on her desk. I thought that was an interesting difference in interpretations. After tonight's performance, I think I agree with abatt's assessment that tomorrow's cast is the one to see! Get your ticket while you still can! ETA I forgot to mention that one unexpected thrill from tonight's performance was seeing Gillian Murphy, Stella Abrera, and Hee Seo sitting together in the audience, and Xiomara Reyes a few rows behind them!
  10. I forgot to mention that the sets and costumes are absolutely GORGEOUS!! Beautiful! The house was packed tonight, which was a nice contrast to all the empty seats at "The Bright Stream" last week...
  11. Kobborg did have some AMAZING pirouettes, I was very impressed. I did enjoy seeing him and Isabella Boylston quite a bit--they made a finely-balanced pair. I think Isabella may have toned down some of her moves, or maybe Julie did hers more full-out at the Saturday matinee, but they looked more evenly matched to me! Unlike Hallberg, Kobborg did not try to be ballerina-perfect at all. Still, as with the pirouettes, he pulled off some impressive on-pointe feats. (I really hope Alina Cojocaru saw him as a sylph, and I would love to know what she thought of it!) On the margin, I have to say I found David's portrayal to be more hilarious because he had this sharp contrast between really spot-on ballerina impressions--perfect arms, perfect sylph pose--and then obviously ungraceful, man-in-drag moves. And the whole time, he just looked HUGE and ridiculous in the voluminous sylph costume! I really enjoyed the ballet (and the dancers looked like they were having fun too), but I agree that this probably won't be back soon--it was totally, totally empty on Sat afternoon, which I thought was a terrible shame! * On a slightly unrelated note, here's a pic that Daniil Simkin posted of him and Osipova backstage! http://www.daniilsim...ostume-onstage/
  12. WOW! Vishneva and Gomes were unbelievable tonight! abatt said it before, and I'll say it again--they are an incredible partnership! I feel totally emotionally spent! Osipova was the perfect vivacious soubrette as Olga. With their pale, pale skin and dark hair, she and Vishneva truly looked like sisters--one perky, with a grin from ear to ear, and the other deeply beautiful but melancholic. Jared Matthews made a charming Lensky. I very much enjoyed the almost classical pas de deux between Tatiana and her husband (played by Gennadi Savaliev) in Act III. With the numerous supported promenades and the Tchaikovsky score (and the crown on her head!) it almost felt like something out of Sleeping Beauty! But OH, those pas de deux between Tatiana and Onegin!! Vishneva really threw herself into them with everything she had, and Gomes was always there to catch her and whip her around in an eruption of anguished passion. BRAVO, BRAVO, BRAVO!!! Will be interesting to see the other casts, but I'm not sure they can top this!!
  13. This is slightly off-topic, but I found this on Johan Kobborg's Twitter and was very amused: http://twitter.com/K...300712953151490 Oh, how I wish I could've been a fly on the wall (that understands Russian) for that conversation!
  14. I saw a whopping SIX performances of “La Bayadere” (all except the Wednesday matinee and Monday night) AND the dress rehearsal! Phew! I don’t even really love that ballet, but the casting was so tempting that I couldn’t resist, and I ended up enjoying myself quite a bit. First of all, let me give a hearty cheer to the corps, who raised Act II to a heavenly level. It’s true that there were a few mistakes and wobbles here and there, but on the whole, I thought they were magnificent. Unlike in other productions, they never switch sides during the famous arabesque sequence, and I can only imagine that they are exhausted by the end. I also give a hearty bravo to Gemma Bond, who led this sequence in ALL the performances (or at least all the ones I saw)! After seeing those six Bayaderes, I realized that having a well-balanced cast, and especially a strong Solor, is what really makes this ballet enjoyable for me. I fully acknowledge that “La Bayadere” doesn’t have a very strong story like, say, “Romeo & Juliet,” but I personally enjoy the ballet more when the Solor’s opium dream seems to flow naturally from the onstage drama, instead of being merely an excuse for a ballet blanc act. For these reasons, the performance that I enjoyed the most—believe it or not—was probably the Saturday matinee with Murphy, Matvienko and Messmer. All three dancers were technically solid—if not necessarily spectacular—and brought strong and clear personalities/motivations to their characters. Matvienko was my favorite of the five Solors I saw, because he made it abundantly clear that he was truly in love with Nikiya and deeply upset about his impending marriage to Gamzatti. In particular, when Nikiya danced her sad solo before her death, Matvienko actually stood up and walked away from Gamzatti, looking incredibly guilty and anguished. As a result, it made complete sense that he would be so distressed after Nikiya’s death that he would seek solace in an opium dream. And inn Act III, Matvienko’s Solor ran around the stage desperately seeking the ghost Nikiya—such that I felt a cathartic release when they were finally reunited. I also admired Matvienko’s fine partnering skills—he had great chemistry with Murphy—and I particularly liked how he shaped his arms to mirror hers perfectly. This added to my impression that Murphy’s Nikiya and Matvienko’s Solor belonged together. In addition, in Act II, after carrying Nikiya on his shoulder and kneeling to let her down, he actually turned around to acknowledge her—I thought that was a very nice touch, especially since all the other Solors were like, “Thank god that lift is over!” and didn’t look at Nikiya at all. Messmer was a gorgeous Gamzatti, very regal and powerful. Her Italian fouettes were particularly solid, and she managed to move to the front of the stage (while staying centered), putting her front and center for the fouettes that followed—a very effective use of the stage, I thought. On Thursday, Vasiliev also was a very strong Solor, who was very clearly in love with his Nikiya (Cojocaru). To my surprise, I thought they had great chemistry in a sort of “opposites attract” way—the hulking warrior tamed by the pure temple maiden. Aside from minor simplifications of the turns in the scarf dance, Cojocaru was totally in control technically, and she was definitely the Nikiya that moved me the most. From the beginning, I really liked how she forcibly rebuffed the High Brahmin’s advances—for me, this not only demonstrated her spiritual strength, but also helped establish that her true love was Solor. (In contrast, Veronika Part and Hee Seo’s Nikiyas were not as convincing.) Cojocaru’s Nikiya loved Solor deeply, and her anguish over his betrayal was heartwrenching. During her sad solo, she came up very close to Solor and looked utterly destroyed by his betrayal, and Vasiliev responded by looking believably contrite. As for the dancing, I much admired Cojocaru’s magnificent extension and the way she stretched her petite frame seemingly to its limit—when she stood over the sacred fire and thrust her arms out and upwards, I truly felt like she was summoning the power of all of the elements to her. As expected, Vasiliev delivered some jaw-dropping jumps in Act II, but his lines definitely left something to be desired, especially in comparison with the tall Muntagirov, who I had seen the night before. Still, I enjoyed Vasiliev’s Solor much more than I expected thanks to his commitment to the character and attentive partnering of Cojocaru—in Act II, when Solor lifts Nikiya and she beats her legs before opening in split, he really made Cojocaru fly and look weightless. On Saturday night, Semionova’s Nikiya was clearly the star of the show, and to me, she was SPECTACULAR!! In “Don Quixote” last year, I felt like she held back a little initially—it was her debut at ABT, after all—but was on fire by Act III. In “La Bayadere,” however, she was on fire from the beginning! Utter confidence in her balances, whip-like turns, and those long, gorgeous lines and those feet!! From a dancing perspective, she was by far the most impressive Nikiya for me, and her characterization was just barely second to Cojocaru’s. Wow! Unfortunately, the rest of the cast was not as strong, in my opinion. She and Hallberg looked absolutely gorgeous together—I could watch them do grand jetes across the stage together all day long—but without Semionova onstage, Hallberg seemed a little bland. In addition, he seemed to be having a bit of an off night, nearly falling out of a pirouette in his p.d.d. with Gamzatti. He was not helped by Hee Seo, who was beautiful, but equally bland as Gamzatti. Not so on Friday night, when Osipova’s Gamzatti clearly stole the show! Watching her Gamzatti, I felt like she was auditioning for Carabosse—she was so assured of her place as queen of the universe and so gleefully evil when watching Nikiya die (no remorse whatsoever)! In Act III, my friend and I couldn’t help but giggle at the way she puffed out her chest like a preening bird while doing her solo—but it also felt completely appropriate for her comic-book villainess characterization. As amusing as it was, Osipova’s Gamzatti totally upset the balance between the cast for me. Veronika Part’s Nikiya didn’t stand a chance against this wicked princess! Even Marcelo seemed more excited and alive when dancing with Gamzatti than with Nikiya—which then made the whole opium dream and reunion at the end ring hollow for me. Who cares about the wishy-washy temple girl when you’ve got a firecracker like this? I know a lot of people really love Veronika Part, and I will agree that she is a beautiful woman, with long, beautiful lines and a marvelous grande jete, but I always feel uneasy while watching her dance. She doesn’t exude the 100% confidence like other dancers; she always seems to be holding back a little bit, and for me personally, this robs her performance of real impact. It didn’t help that Marcelo seemed to be struggling at times to partner her, and I didn’t feel like they had much chemistry. With Murphy as Gamzatti, the relative coolness of Part and Gomes’ characterizations were fine, but with Osipova, Part and Gomes felt totally underwhelming. I REALLY wish we had gotten to see Osipova’s Gamzatti opposite Vishneva or Cojocaru instead—I think those could have been really explosive performances! Finally, a word about Seo/Muntagirov/Boylston: I felt a bit like I was watching a recital with the top students from school. They could do all the steps, and often beautifully, but they don’t quite have that star power yet. But perhaps they will in the future. * Oh, and a final parting thought. One of the unexpected pleasures of watching the dress rehearsal was seeing an Act III with Vasiliev as Solor, Misty Copeland as Gamzatti, and Semionova as Nikiya! Vasiliev had no trouble lifting Semionova, but the contrast between their body types was truly hilarious—like Quasimodo partnering Esmeralda. This made me hope that one day we may see the two of them as Medora and Ali in “Le Corsaire”—I think it would be really amusing!!!
  15. I'm so glad to hear this -- I saw the film version recently and was very impressed. I'll look forward to seeing this ABT production on film the next time I'm at the library. I just hope we haven't ruined the recording! My friends and I were truly laughing extremely loudly, very close to the camera! Disappointing to hear about Osipova--I hope she recovers soon. I guess some kind of nasty virus is going around! Isabella Boylston is quite the trooper! First Bayadere on Monday, then two Bright Streams in a row (tonight and tomorrow)! If she keeps this up, she'll be like the Marcelo of the ladies.
  16. I said it last year, and I'll say it again--GO SEE THIS!!! Tonight's performance had the house howling with laughter, but unfortunately it was not very full! Such a shame! The cast was the same as last year's opening night cast, but I feel like everyone danced bigger, and with more gusto, than I remember. Truly a delight! Once again, David Hallberg's ballerina-sylph alone was worth the price of admission, and his pointe work seems to have improved from last year. Very impressive! Gillian Murphy and Paloma Herrera were both "on" and pulled off some impressive turns, leaps, and flashing footwork. And Marcelo Gomes was his usual marvelous self. Of course Zina forgives him for his little indiscretion! Who wouldn't be charmed by him? I also salute Craig Salstein for his utterly hilarious, no-holds-barred interpretation of the Accordion player, and Maria Riccetto for her gleeful Galya. ABT needs to give her more comedic roles, because she really shines in them! (I shall never forget her stepsister from last year's "Cinderella"--so funny even during the bows!) Martine Van Hamel and Victor Barbee as the dacha dwellers, and Misty Copeland and Jared Matthews as the milkmaid and the tractor driver rounded out this excellent cast. It appears that they taped tonight's show for the NYPL archives--I know because my original seats were right in front of the camera so we had to be reseated. Instead, we were a few rows ahead of the camera, which probably means that all you will hear on the tape is me and my friends laughing hysterically!
  17. I’m rather late to the party given “La Bayadere” week is almost over, but I just wanted to add a few more comments about the Cojocaru/Corella and Vishneva/Gomes performances I saw. As others have written, Cojocaru did make noticeable modifications to the choreography and looked a tad wobbly/tired in some sections. However, she is such a natural, guileless Giselle, that I couldn’t help but adore her. I thought that she and Corella looked very comfortable together, and they have the same kind of sweet, innocent star-power. In my opinion, these roles fit them more naturally than Manon and Des Grieux, and watching this performance only made me wish more that we could see the two of them paired in “Romeo & Juliet.” As for Vishneva & Gomes, let me echo the praise from other posters. I thought it was a glorious and gorgeous performance—at least as good as the transcendent performance they gave at the end of the run last year (which I considered much better than the first one). I completely agree with abatt that Vishneva & Gomes make a superb partnership. And it seems that Diana herself shares the sentiment. Check out her recent Facebook post (no login required to view): http://www.facebook....252826048061382 How cute! (It does make me more sad that they won’t be able to perform together tonight!) Just a few things that I wanted to highlight: -Watching Vishneva move in Act II made me think of jellyfish gliding through water—so fluid and weightless. She and Gomes filled every moment of the musical phrase in the adagios—the way she slowly developpe’d her leg, or the way Gomes rotated her oh-so-slowly in that deep penchee arabesque were simply marvelous. Near the end of Act II, when Albrecht lifts her and moves Giselle across the stage, setting her down as she extends into a stretched arabesques—none of the pairs I’ve seen has done it more perfectly and beautifully than Vishneva and Gomes, who really give the impression of a mere wisp of tulle gently lifted and blown by the wind. And the big overhead lifts were remarkable for the way Gomes lowered her unbelievably slowly, with Vishneva keeping her body horizontal and at the very last second, dropping one leg down. -In Act I, I was struck again by the small details Vishneva brings to her performance, and how she commands attention even when she is not supposed to be the center of attention. For example, when the village girls come in with baskets of grapes and Giselle introduces Albrecht to them and then dances, it was clear what was going on when Kent and Cojocaru did it. However, with Vishneva, I felt like I could almost “hear” the dialogue—with her gestures, she clearly seemed to say, “Look at this handsome man I’ve brought! Put your grapes down, let’s show him how we can dance!” The other moment that I clearly noticed was when Giselle disappears during the peasant pas de deux. With Kent and Cojocaru, I didn’t actually see them leave the stage, but at some point I realized, “Oh, I guess she disappeared!” With Vishneva, however, she made as if she suddenly remembered something, whispered in her mother’s ear, and then left—so she caught my attention, and I actually saw her exit. -Speaking of the peasant p.d.d., I thought Daniil and Sarah were great, with Sarah raising the level of her dancing to try to match Daniil’s big tricks. Often I feel like the peasant p.d.d. is a little wearisome—I’d rather watch Giselle and Albrecht—but in this performance it was a welcome diversion. They had some partnering problems on Tuesday, but I thought Saturday’s performance was much cleaner. -Finally, a few words about Polina Semionova’s Myrtha. I am a big fan of her, but she seemed to struggle a bit with the choreography—she didn’t look as comfortable with it as I would expect, and her movements were a little jerky/stiff—or at least in contrast to Diana’s seemingly boneless wili. There were two things about her portrayal that struck me, however. First, when Giselle spreads her arms around Albrecht to protect him, I could really feel Myrtha’s shock at finding herself powerless against them. Second, when Myrtha dances with the corps of wilis and they are all doing that side-to-side arabesques thing, she was perfectly in unison with the corps, and I found this impressive since Veronika Part was not—she was just slightly (but perceptively) ahead of them. And of course, Polina’s feet are gorgeous—I could watch her bouree-ing across the stage forever! All in all though, a fantastic performance! I was in a post-Giselle high for the past few days after that performance!
  18. Here are more pictures from the gala, including some of the dancers: http://bfanyc.com/home/event/3670?r=370
  19. Diana posted on her official Facebook page (no login reqired to view): http://www.facebook....252826048061382 I'm definitely crushed...CRUSHED!! But am looking forward to seeing you all there! And I hope Diana recovers soon--she did seem quite sick when I saw her on the stage door on Sat night...
  20. Wow! I'm not surprised, but I guess I didn't expect it to be announced so soon! I have to admit I'm kinda thrilled!
  21. I also attended last night's Kent/Gomes performance. (Always lovely to see you abatt!) Is it my imagination, or has Marcelo gotten even better? On Monday, I thought his big sequence of turns and jumps as Romeo were cleaner and bigger than before, and I felt the same last night. And his entrechat six were soo impeccably controlled that I wondered if it were not entrechat six, but even more beats...? As abatt said, Kent's technique has declined--she completely omitted the penchee arabesques from Giselle's Act I variation, and none of her grand jete leaps made it close to a full split. That being said, she performed with her usual grace and beauty. And although she is past 40, she convincingly played the teenage girl, and she and Marcelo were adorable together. Bravo to the corps! The wilis looked impeccably rehearsed (perhaps since they just performed "Giselle" recently?)--it was a real pleasure to see them in Act II. Sigh. I love "Giselle." The ending always gets me. Last night, it was the moment when Albrecht lays Giselle out across his arms and gently rocks her back and forth that nearly brought tears to my eyes. Can't wait to see it again!
  22. Fosca, you are right--the WSJ article on the gala has a quote from Daniil, who mentioned that he inherited the piece from his father. http://online.wsj.co...3723637952.html I, for one, enjoyed this piece very much! Although there are lots of big tricks and a lot of mugging, I found Daniil charming, and I always found even the biggest jumps and turns to be cleanly executed and nicely landed. Not so for Vasiliev. FauxPas, I agree with you 100% about Vasiliev (and almost everything else in your post!) I like that kind of go-for-broke gusto in my figure skaters, but not in my ballet dancers. A friend of mine thinks he missed his calling as a martial artist. I agree. Diana and Marcelo in "Romeo & Juliet" were definitely the highlight for me. SWOON! (And thankfully Vishneva did not almost slip on the stairs, like she did at the 2009 gala.) I agree with FauxPas about the Onegin p.d.d.--it definitely looked like they were trying to get through the movements instead of really feeling it, but perhaps a few more weeks of rehearsal will help. Like abatt, I'm going to really miss Angel! But to me, he and Alina looked somewhat miscast in the Manon p.d.d. Alina seemed very child-like and innocent, more playful than seductive--which is not how I picture Manon. I did wish that they were cast together in a full-length R&J though. I think they both have an innocent sweetness that would work well in that ballet! Hallberg and Semionova were gorgeous, and I actually really enjoyed Tom Forster & Veronika Part in the Blue pas de deux. It was nice to see Cornejo onstage again, and I was really impressed by Reyes' tricks with the fans while doing her fouettes. I thought Muntagirov was pretty good--I was much more impressed than I was with Sergei Polunin's performance of the same p.d.d. at the Makarova gala. But that reminds me--the solo violinist was absolutely dreadful, in almost everything. It completely distracted me in Max and Irina's white swan p.d.d. and annoyed me in other pieces as well. I wish the violinist would practice before Swan Lake week, but I'm not going to get my hopes up... Finally, totally agree with abatt. Irina looked smashing, while Diana--well, I think she just tries to look as outrageous as possible.
  23. Looks like we will get to see a sneak peek of the Vishneva/Osipova "Bayadere" this Saturday at the YAGP Natalia Makarova gala! The fight scene is the first performance of the night! http://www.yagp.org/...-%20Program.pdf
  24. They already did this (sans Vishneva)...it was called Reflections and it was AWFUL. And seeing as how it never went beyond SCFTA and then to the Bolshoi who co-produced it, it seems pretty much DOA, thank god. My point was more about attendance than artistic merit. I have no doubt that Osipova and Semionova et al could have participated in a show with equally dreadful modern choreography as Kings of the dance. However, others on this thread have used the low attendance at Vishneva's show to posit some kind of glass ceiling in ballet. I'm merely arguing that 1) attendance at Kings of the Dance was also low and 2) it is not really fair to compare the popularity of a show with 5 star dancers to that of a solo show. Would Reflections have sold as well as Kings of the Dance in NYC, where Semionova and Osipova are fairly well known and admired from their guest appearances at ABT? My guess is yes.
  25. To be fair, I would say the "Kings of Dance" performance that I attended (Sat night) was just as poorly attended as the Vishneva show, even with the discount offers--the orchestra section may have been full, but the mezzanine where I sat was about half empty; only the center was full. They did not cancel a performance like Vishneva did, however. I also think it is unfair to compare the attendance of "Kings of the Dance" (with five big ballet stars) with that of "Dialogues" (arguably a solo show). I would guess that if Ardani organized a similar "Queens of the Dance" with--say--Vishneva, Osipova and Semionova, it would be at least as well attended, if not more so.
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