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Mimi Smith

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About Mimi Smith

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    Ballet Alert!

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    ballet historian, balletgoer
  • City**
    Eugene, OR
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**
    USA
  1. Agreed. Anyway, it is a fabulous production; a revelation, not least because of the vitality of the character roles.
  2. Regarding the costumes: They are fabulous and wonderful. So many textures, so many kinds of fabric, so many colors and surprises. Like the antennae atop Violente's head (in homage to Nijinska's antennae in the same role). I was lucky enough to attend three performances last week in Costa Mesa (Boylston, Vishneva, Herrera), and you could actually hear the audience responding to the costumes. This sort of display is well in keeping with late 19th-century custom, and with what Diaghilev was trying to do with The Sleeping Princess. I love leotard ballets too but seeing these sumptuous costumes reminded me of the power of visual dazzlements. Ratmansky's production made me feel as though I had never seen Sleeping Beauty before. Incidentally, my favorite Aurora was Boylston. She (and Herrera too) were affectingly girlish. If you're going to see this in NY, save your pennies and see as many casts as you can. Ratmansky pays so much attention to what other directors might consider optional add-ons -- stage business, characteristic nuances, use of the eyes -- instead of focusing just on the classical choreography and reducing Sleeping Beauty to a series of famous numbers like the Rose Adagio and big third-act pas de deux tied together with some mime scenes. He also uses the music to great effect, taking full advantage of its riches. One regret: though I liked the pre-performance lecture, I was sorry the lecturer said that both Ratmansky and his wife Tatiana Ratmansky (who is simply marvelous in the role of the Queen) were "second-rate dancers." She said this in at least two of the lectures. Whaaa !?!?!?
  3. Re: crowded stage. Bear in mind that it was typical for 19th-century ballets in Paris (e.g., Giselle, Paquita) to have very large casts, including children.
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