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Everything posted by drb

  1. Yes, Carbro, it was wonderful to be part of an audience that gave her a full measure of Love in gratitude for the Love her Giselle has given us all these years. The McKerrow thread in Dancers, after a slow start, contains some deeply felt expressions of gratitude for performances past: http://ballettalk.invisionzone.com/index.php?showtopic=20054 How strange that her retirement was hardly noted in the NYC press, yet warranted over 5 pages in the Washinton Post, as given in Wednesday's Links: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...5071201561.html Tonight's performance was all the more moving for having a cast composed of so many of her close friends. Thank you, Amanda.
  2. Gargill, I vote for "whiny" too. But I am grateful for experiences like the Tuesday gift from Vishneva/Part/Corella, which make me "unwhin'd", at least for a while. I agree that we are so fortunate to have a relatively uncontaminated Giselle. For one thing, it gives us some continuity: Sibley, Kirkland, Makarova, or wherever we started, give perspective to what we see now. Given the popularity of the two famous 'Eurotrash' versions of Giselle that treat her as a mental case, let's hope sanity reins here. Carbro, you say that Myrta is abridged. Please tell us what we're missing. Especially with Part, the more Myrta the better! I could watch a whole ballet "Myrta" if she were in it.
  3. Hans, I saw her two ABT Bayaderes (referred to by the young dancer), and they were beautifully, even magically, danced performances. The post-Kirov version of Zakharova certainly didn't show the same ugly jutting hip version of the 'beyond 180' that marked all her early Mariinsky performances we saw in NYC. Her dancing flowed like liquid. The only complaint [after seeing Cojocaru's Bayadere] was the one-emotion-per-variation 'acting.' Let's hope that Bayadere wasn't an illusion, and that we don't get the earlier Svetlana during the next two weeks. I suppose Don Q may invite excess...
  4. What a great idea, Fang and Tidwell! Post the casting and I'll buy! Also, I guess that is my problem with the Fall season, too: some interesting revivals, no doubt, but few classical tests for the young ones. Next week we can assess a different approach to young dancers. Zakharova danced her Florine at 17, then Giselle, too. At 18: Principal. Lunkina: First Bolshoi Giselle at 18, the same performance that included 19-year old Alexandrova's first Myrtha! And reaching back in time, Nina Ballerina's first O/O was at age 19. By these standards, if the likes of Fang and Lane turn out to be principal material, they'd already be Principals!
  5. Exactly! These two pdd's are true tests of young dancers, to see where they might make their next great leap forward. (Sadly, the Bluebird pas would require a production of Beauty.) At any rate, isn't it better to use such pieces to assess young talent than to just display dancers who are already established? Of course, there is the Cornejo exception! But why not speed the ascent to his natural role of Albrecht, by testing the likes of Fang and Lane, potentially suitable Giselles for him? Bystrova: Thank you Hans, I first decided to give her a look because of your posts. I have no way to guess what she's like in terms of the classical necessities. But she certainly has an uncommon presence. And she actually knows her partner is there! We don't need more bland technicians. By any means necessary, let's see what she can do, and get her to doing it!
  6. "Happy Birthday Julie! Last night, perhaps during a beautiful performance of Giselle, she turned 36. (July 11, 1969)" Thanks for the reminder, Giselle05. And tomorrow is Diana Vishneva's Birthday. July 13, 1976.
  7. Giselle. Vishneva/Part/Corella. Another level of greatness. Over a hundred Giselles, beginning with most of the Makarova/Baryshnikovs in NYC.... Tonight's performance simply did the impossible, reaching the glory of those two at their best. Vishneva/Part: has ABT ever had a pair who both attained such Vaganova perfection? Part, exemplary in the most direct line of all, the Heroic ballerina. Vishneva, so much in the great variation marked for us in America by Makarova. And Mr. Corella. How would this "first date" partnership go? Would they have enough rehearsal time to avoid a bobble? Well, yes. But more, so much more. A perfect fit and rapport. The great virtuoso has found his partner. Instantly, perfect chemistry. That is a tricky word here at BalletTalk. But I offer as proof what happened as Corella completed his second diagonal of brissees; always, especially as he performs them, meriting a Roar. Silence. The entire audience spellbound by what these two were creating. For Russian ballerinas, the Holy Ballet. Amen.
  8. Aren't most of these ballets considered 'important' (bad word, I know, but I can't think of anything better at the moment) - even if not masterpieces or even if not danced by the greatest of stars. It's actually a repertory based season and not a star-based season. <{POST_SNAPBACK}> Thank you GWTW. Having second thoughts as I begin to remember Green Table and Dark Elegies. Maybe not a decade ago, but now they will have a resonnance with our times that will restore their power. So, if Carbo's wish to make this a season a showcase for ABT's younger people is fulfilled, we may get a real season after all. If.
  9. No it is not too much to ask, and she could be partnered with Hallberg in the PPD so it might become a de facto audition for Giselle! Would be potentially glorius. But who could you ask who'd actually consider giving her the chance?
  10. Casting pricipal dancers in soloist roles: last week Michele was cast in the partnering role with Hallberg in Swan Lake's Act1/3 PDT. To my mind it is was a special treat as they seemed to give us a sneak peek into the happy part of Act 1 Giselle with their interplay! And of course it gave David a chance to dance with Michele, whom he partnered to the Eric Bruhn prize. Also, Xiomara and Herman are principals. But the junior Wilis pair is a wonderful source of teaching/exposure roles for younger dancers, and that may be more valuable both to the company's future and to dancer morale.
  11. A fine beginning to a week of Giselles, the corps seemed very ready for a change after 11 Lakes! Bravi! Yet Swans were everywhere, seven performances worth: with Kent plus an incredible Wilis trio: Queen Gillian with Michele and Veronika. Talk about intimidating Wili-power, but Julie over came them all to save Julio Bocca and the Wilis too. This is a partnership of very long standing, one I have seen just sporadically, but I'm sure there are many of you out there who can place this performance within the greater context of their work. I sense that Julie is now stronger than she was before the baby, an observation consistent with her impressive Swan Lake reviews. She and Julio work together as one, like people in one of those marriages that REALLY works... How interesting it will be to compare the next cast, Vishneva and Corella on their first date! A taste of Siegfried seems to have enriched the soul of Gennadi Saveliev, who turned in an Hilarion with real authority. Reyes and Cornejo rocked the house with a peasant pdd to remember.
  12. The Faun photo just posted at abt.org does not bode well for us who wish for such wonderfully adventurous casting....
  13. A potentially very disappointing season: same Old cast of Pricipals: where are those "new" company members Acosta and Vishneva? Where is Acosta when Apollo is given? Where is Vishneva when juice is needed? Some of the returning old ballets might make the "once see" list for those who haven't seen them. And a maybe re-look at Tharp. But unless non-principal names like Fang and Lane (and should-be principal name Part) post up in non-trivial roles, and soon enough in advance so that decent seats can be purchased, well, money better saved up for NYCB's winter season.
  14. drb

    Amanda McKerrow

    At the very time that Diana Vishneva has resurrected memories of the great Makarova Swan, it is fitting that we will have the last glimpse ever of Natasha's sublime way with Giselle, this Thursday. Has there ever been another ballerina who was simultaneously the world's number 1 in both O/O and Giselle? Early on I believe Natasha took Amanda under her Wing [she is after all Makarova] in preparing Giselle, and I have treasured McKerrow in this role ever since, as she continued the tradition that holds Giselle to be "The Holy Ballet." I believe her reading of Giselle reached a majestic peak in a pair of matinee [quiet ones dance matinees] performances with Vladimir Malakhov late in the Century. Amanda's performances have always been partner-specific, and thus, for me have been best seen with charismatic and/or intense men, specifically Bocca and Malakhov. Her willi spins that open her appearance in Act 2 have always been powerful, and, pain permitting, may still surprise us in her ABT finale. But it is her incredible focus on the spiritual depth of Giselle, that Redemptive Love, that is the reason to go. In recent years she has had her friend Ethan Stiefel as Albrecht, and he projects a deep tenderness toward her in Act 2. Let us hope his knee is sufficiently healed so that he may see her off in the style she so richly deserves.
  15. For anyone still undecided about which Don Q, a preview with 12 pix of Zakharova's Kitri (July 18, 21) may be seen at http://www.bolshoi.net/index.htm Go to the top picture on the right [Don Q photo], click on it, an a slide show of 12 quality photos will appear. She is very beautiful...
  16. Nine photos of the Mariinsky Swan Lake [and many other Mariinsky photos], including some of Lopatkina have been posted on the ballet.co gallery: http://www.ballet.co.uk/gallery/kirov_publicity_images
  17. "I saw Veronika Part on Thursday night and she was a truly passionate Odette but Gomes' Prince did not give her much emotional support in ActII. She danced with awesome abandon and I couldn't help thinking that this Odette needs a Youskevitch or an Ivan Nagy. Gomes was no match for her, I wished he had repeated his Rothbart role. (He was sorely missed; Jesus Pastor needs to be more dynamic) Part is surely on the way to b eing ABT's foremost Swan." Yes, not having his Von Rothbart is the very high price you have to pay to get the Gomes Siegfried. While I found the chemistry between Part and Gomes monumental, fortunately I'm not right or wrong, which is the great lesson of BalletTalk, and its advantage over the good old days when we only had The Times to tell us what we really saw! But you honor her with those two great partners of the past. Vladimir Vasiliev!? Big enough, and similarly Heroic. Not to be missed: Dirac's links post on Vanity Fair's James Walcott's viewing of Part/Gomes on the 4th: http://jameswolcott.com/archives/2005/07/finally_a_reaso.php
  18. "Part’s Odette was not what I expected it to be. Reading some of the posts I expected her to be “Makarova” like, and didn’t find her to be that way at all. How could she be, she’s a very different dancer with a very different physique." Sorry if I helped lead to false expectations when I said Part was my favorite O/O since Makarova: I tend to like things that aren't like what I liked before. Part's arms and arm/leg harmony were special tonight. I admit that I preferred Monday's version, where the terror was so profound it didn't seem to be conquered until the end of her second appearance, where she comes out to protect her flock. The magic moment was when she was backing toward the swans, eyes closed, daring to dream, as she was about to exit. Yet I'm happy that tonight's performance was so different. 'Though three is a small sample [yes, I am a mathematical statistician], Part seems to give us different joys each performance. I hope this partnership isn't one that continues to refine and perfect, but rather a living one that grows a brand new branch every time they are together.
  19. Thursday night's Swan Lake. First, Bravo! to Marcello Gomes. I hope someone can do justice in describing his turns after Odile's "32". All in all a terrific Black Swan PDD. V. Part's Odette was less (but still) terrified on first sight of Siegfried than she was on Monday. Quicker to respond to him, she seemed to find her inner self and human body, long 'dead' inside the hopeless swan. By the Adagio she had a profound glow of spiritual and physical ecstasy. It may be cheating, but we know how this will all turn out. The ecstasy of the Odette/Odile Adagio somehow will make their sorrowful end bearable. They'll always have Adagio. But, of course, there's the matter of lack of sorrow in this production's Act 4 (a topic in itself, quite literally on BalletTalk!). Once this pair took stage in Act 4, I felt they realised the profound sorrow that is often found wanting. After just one year of Part/Gomes Lakes, I think it can be safely said that this is the beginning of a beautiful partnership.
  20. Re: "Vishneva had never done a Swan at ABT (or at the Kirov either, I was told; can this be true?)" Yes, they always told her she was not suited for the part. Her friend Vladimir Malakhov gave her the chance at his Berlin Company. Perhaps this is why her performance is not "corrupted" by the Mariinsky's modern hyper extensions.
  21. Thank you nysusan, you said what I saw, so its rational enough for me! I can't stand Swamp Thing, but second your comment on Mr. Matthews making something significant out of it. But as for the production, the tragedy that Vishneva delivered so brilliantly in Act 3 needs all the more the real choreography of Act 4: it killed the momentum she'd created to go right to Frog Pond, with the corps plotsed on their lillipads, save when they hopped aimlessly elsewhere.
  22. The Swan is back in ABT's Lake! A great triumph tonight by Diana Vishneva. Not at all like the hyper modern Mariinsky/Kirov swans we saw in NYC during their last visit, much more a swan in the style that Makarova brought us 35 years ago. WOW! Can't wait to read more rational posts.
  23. Do you know of any DVDs of either Syvie Guillem or Sofianne Sylve for USA use? If you go to Mlle. Guillem's website, click the word videos in the white square and you will receive three dance videos plus three others which are of her at play. A very interesting, very different site. Quite appropriate for the female Nureyev. http://www.sylvieguillem.com/sylvie/22
  24. To NYSusan and Giselle05, Having seen Spartacus (Vasiliev days) and Lunkina at the Gala, it is hard to imagine that she won't be a melting Phrygia. This can be a great role with the right dancer. Clearly the Aspicia choreography in P. D. would suit her too (and with the exciting young Yatsenko as the other female lead,...). I'll opt for B. S., just because she's with Alexandrova, the choice of choices in the "ballerina" role. And also because one Spartacus is enough ($, and the Bolshoi has no Vasilievs now), and that has got to be Antonicheva's, the only chance to see that great ballerina. Hopefully someone who's seen them in these roles will help us all.
  25. I'm too biased to give a review of tonight's (4 July) Swan Lake, since Part is my favorite O/O since Makarova. But for starters: The explosion of Terror when Odette first sees Siegfried. Part's second Odette variation was a great improvement over last summer's. She seemed to exude confidence right from beginning as Odile. Tech errors, a few, still, but fewer. Special kudos to Bystrova/Krauchenka, new to me, in the Spanish. Would like to see them (single or together--they have a pleasing rapport and fit) in something substantial.
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