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Everything posted by drb

  1. Sleeping Beauty Teresa Reichlen or Ekaterina Kondaurova?
  2. Thursday, April 10, 2008 The Soul of Somova What a nightmare, canbelto. While not nearly so bad, I did seem to have a single leftover clack man from opening night a few rows away. Much in agreement with your comments. Sarafanov's Slave was a miracle tonight. After Tereshkina's huge and perfect variation that ended with an eternal balance (the music only wanted a second, so that is all it lasted, but its glory stopped time), his following variation would remind of Baryshnikov, not because of just its difficulty level, but because it was so flawless. And his next, also miraculous! Mea Culpa. She chose to do the fouettes. Truly Grand, 1-1-2's, but so richly large yet perfect, in place, in control. Surely winner of this season's competition. Was that actually Ivanchenko? Looked young and seemed an inexperienced partner? I don't have much faith in their program's "update." Anyhow, the dynamic duo put together the most spectacular performance I've seen in the classical subset of this season, and with great taste and style. Agree re Vishneva and these showpiece roles. Of course she can glitter, and that beauty... Which was enhanced by the presence of that classical prince, Andrian Fadeyev. She did not repeat her over-striving fouettes ( Paquita ). Going for a couple 1-1-2's, but at a more civil pace. Less was much more. But her Bayadere, where her dramatic mind can bring depth, that is where you see the artist. I thought Osmolkina improved over yesterday, and by now want to see what else Lobukhin could do. Spartak?! Somova III. Alina's great technical leap forward Wednesday might have taken place in some other, distant life. For tonight she came out deeply at peace. Her face had the calm of a death mask, yet in no way frozen. She embodied the Spirit of Nikiya and you could feel the human behind the mask. Could this last? In the early supported leap in front of Solor, her legs stayed below the horizontal line! But really not "!" for that would break the peace and she did not break her character. The following diagonal of high jetes, formally spectacular, yet somehow the silent fleeing of a saint... Upon return, her face subtly hinted at a memory of this man before her, a yearning, a flicker of who she was before. She sustained Nikiya throughout. Great applause, of course. But this time for Nikiya: not for a trick, or a peek. Lost my program insert, but I think her partner was Korsuntsev, if not, he was good enough to be. Alina Somova's three performances seemed to trace a career, from a scared, talented but misguided student, to a developing ballerina, to an Artist with Soul. This was wonderful. Who is this Mystery?
  3. Well, perhaps it did matter: especially when those chaine turns were danced as if on a cloud, and there was no show-biz trickster break in the perfect flow of a dream. This is what I'd been hoping for all season, and now I feel I've seen Lopatkina. She was so inside the music/steps that she could play within them, delivering moments of almost Bouder-like rubato. And her warmth, ...enveloping. While it would be unfair to compare anyone (so far) to Viktoria's Diana, Mikhail Lobukhin's Acteon continues to amaze. This one's worth the price of a ticket all on its own! Meanwhile, Viktoria Tereshkina took on Kitri. It surely seems she has the range of a Principal! While there was a bit of wandering during her fouettes, single-single-double, compared to some of ABT's turning-specialists (on their home stage, in their younger days, and at their best), there was, too, strength and classical form in them as well... It is amazing how this ballerina dazzles without straying from the art's purity! Aside from Lobukhin (and Tsar Igor Zelensky), I continue to find the company's men just a bit under-whelming in the big virtuosic show pieces, obviously the strong point (albeit that age is now very much taking over) of ABT's men. But in Bayadere, Andrian Fadeyev gave a brilliantly complete and balanced performance opposite an unannounced cast change for Nikiya. Early on this mystery ballerina jumped in front of her partner, both front and back leg 15 degrees above the horizontal... yet flowing smoothly, for this was the opening night Nikiya in name only. Tonight Alina Somova put it all together. Calm and courage, and not just a little bit: determination and defiance. Of course this meant the triumphant Ms. Somova did not dance her scheduled third bayadere. Her replacement: Big Red! This night, things were very much right in the Mariinsky Kingdom.
  4. Tuesday, April 8, 2008 Tereshkina and Lobukhin The new classical program is a dream for corps watchers. First up, Le Corsaire. The selection of the PdT for Medora (Vishneva), Slave (Korsakov), and Conrade (Korsuntsev), plus Jardin anime was great for pure and virtuosic dancing, but hardly supplied circumstance for Diana's dramatic creativity. While of course she was beautiful, why must they stress triples in the fouette turns? Vishneva is a deep artist, why diminish her into a trickster? The Odalisks, Ivanova, Novikova, Gonchar, took turns being the best of the three. Diana and Acteon, not just the gala entertainment PdD, featured a stunning corps plus the amazing Tereshkina, who somehow combines classical perfection with massive amplitude and glamor. She is so alive, and why not, with the spectacular Mikhail Lobukhin as partner? He not only looks like he's from the glory days of Bolshoi male dancing, but he dances with that level of intense virtuosity. Excepting Zelensky, I've not seen another man in this company that comes close. Can't wait for Viktoria's Medora, Kitri, and Farrell (Serenade and Ballet Imperial, really TPC2). Next up, the Don Q PdD. Somova came out with much less chin and a much more relaxed visage. And as time went by, it just got better and better. She (no high extensions) and Sarafanov put on a show. He may push himself too hard trying to be extra virtuosic; a little less fancy, a bit more clean, would be even more impressive. Alina's fouettees were spectacular, with many triples. And no problems. Her way with the working leg may still take some getting used to, but was a level above last week's. One can certainly see sz's point about Ms. Somova (above). I wonder how she would be had she had another coach, and not have been pressed into big roles way too young... Lopatkina's Shades began without Vishneva's frozen stillness. But early on she had that mysterious something that forced my body into shivers. Certainly no story, certainly deep immersion into the music. Not just beauty. Ivanchenko, who had partnered Vishneva's Nikiya so well, again excelled. The spell was broken with difficulties staying balanced during the scarf scene. Very possibly to do with the confining stage. Then later she danced a variation with a pretty smile. Dramatically, I don't get it; perhaps something in the music brought her great pleasure? But toward the end, her arms began dancing tactilely with the music, as if she'd become Balanchine's fish swimming in the music, and one could feel its waves.
  5. Sergei Filin has been seen frequently in America in recent years. A noble exemplar of the classical style at the Bolshoi, Mr. Filin has been a strong partner for a number of dramic ballerinas here: Nina Ananiashvili with her Georgian Company; Masha Alexandrova with The Bolshoi; Svtlana Lunkina at least in some Gala performances; Maria Allash in that one generous live Bolshoi worldcast of Raymonda; and of course with Svetlana Zakharova, perhaps more frequently in many European venues. Many BTers have written favorably of his star quality. And of Ms. Zakharova's dancing with him. His formal restraint may have helped turn some extreme and jerky movements from her past into a modernism that is more within the classical canon. Now his performing career is to end this month, as reported in the English language Moscow Times: Could anyone describe the institution that he will direct? The quote appears at the end of a review of a double bill that was included on Friday's links: Osipova's Sylphide and Filin's The Lesson, the latter entered the Bolshoi rep from The Kings of Dance. http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2008/04/04/103.html
  6. As posted on BT October 30, Gergiev was just scheduled to conduct Scheherazade, and Zelensky to dance, for the White Nights Gala. So perhaps this was not for damage control, but to help sell $25,000 tables at the post-performance event.
  7. The White Nights Gala: Sunday, April 6, 2008 The Tsar attends. When Zobeide Vishneva called out her Golden Slave, suddenly an impressive performance of Sheherazade became one to be cherished forever. Igor Zelensky burst on the scene, and everything was there: elevation, multiple power turns and leaps, clarity of style, perfection of technique, stamina, and monumental charisma and expressive depth. I have not seen male dancing at this level at any previous time this week. Together, this couple burned. Many may remember this dancer as NYCB's young Prince, so many years ago. Retired??? The fountain of youth must be in Novosibirsk. So, Prince Igor? No way. Sometimes a prince grows into a Tsar. Still, mention must be made of Vladimir Ponomarev's profoundly drawn Shah, moving, commanding, and complex. Diana's death scene with him was truly noble. We don't grow this type here... . Before this closing dance? Well, I have never been able to see Fokine. I forgot.
  8. Serenade, but only if the return trip is included (Bouder is NOW). Alexandrova or Zakharova?
  9. Thursday, April 3, 2008 Tonight Viktoria Tereshkina played Raymonda. The corps, throughout the evening, seemed to have made peace, well, perhaps detante, with City Center's stage, and also have, perhaps, shed jet-lag. Danila Korsuntsev, likewise, and his solo work gained accordingly. What I gather was an atypical Big Smile with Lopatkina, was not the case with Tereshkina. Very focused on expressing her character's purity with a like fidelity to classicism, one could absolutely believe she was Raymonda. In the adagio she did one 180, but it looked perfectly natural, not showy. This time, according to the insert (which, being the same as before, otherwise lost its validity tonight), the solo was taken by Nadezhda Gonchar. The surprise of the evening was Alina Somova in Paquita. Unlike her opening night's deer-in-the-headlights look, she seemed more at ease. I wonder how much of her opening night was natural shock from Mr. Vaziev's choice not to travel. I would assume much of her most-favored status would have come from his support? While still showing a tense jaw, her dancing was less extreme, with more clarity. Tonight's audience had an obviously greater proportion of true ballet fans. Just as Tereshkina's entrance earlier was well-applauded, so was not Ms. Somova's. She had two 180s in the adagio, but somehow less disconnection. One sensed she was striving to limit her leg-height thereafter, most of the time, and never approached 180 throughout the rest of her performance. She stayed relatively calm, as gradually the audience began warming to her. But the huge story was with the five variations. The insert was clearly off. But in the second, blue, variation magic happened. One person who refused to compromise with the space (more on that in the third work) was Big Red, Ekaterina Kondaurova. The long variation seemed to grow and grow in grandeur and by its end the audience refused to stop applause and cheers till management (if there is any) had no choice but to send her back out to bask in it. Yet Viktoria Tereshkina's fifth surpassed even this! Even one more bonus call still! This was surely the most powerful audience response I've seen in the two days. And very much merited. The crowd was heated up and continued to up appreciation for Ms. Somova. The diagonal of jetes, exciting (but not in the way she sometimes excites), some height, was very well received. Partner Anton Korsakov also turned in a virtuoso solo. Her final fouettees, many more multiples than Vishneva on opening night was also thrilling, 'though the very large, wide, swinging motion of her working leg did seem very different. Yet, in its own way, this also added to the excitement. But wouldn't, as a steady diet. The audience rewarded her. While it would really be better if she were placed under the absolute dominion of, say, Irina Kolpakova (after all, ABT is losing its Russian...) for a solid year, at least this performance gave some hope that classical restraint could be possible and most surely rewarding. Well, I like underdogs (rooted for Davidson in college BB's Big Dance). Goddess Diana Vishneva's Shades was a dream, literally. I think I've seen all her ABT Bayaderes, and they are all different, as were each of her Shades. Without a whole performance to create a dramatic arc, she clearly built one for just this one act, and very much in cahoots with Solor Yevgeny Ivanchenko. She struck an absolutely frozen pose for her first momentary appearance, then danced with supreme unawareness, purely the object of his hallucination. When she returned for the scarf duet her visage softened, so subtle, so slightly, still not quite real, not quite there, not quite aware. Yet somehow she became Hope. Then a magnificent solo by Ivanchenko. So different from Sarafanov. Some virtuosity of course. But this was a Man. Specifically a real General, with a real general's absolute obedience to his King. Perhaps the very traits that had attracted Nikiya to this man could also give reason for forgiveness. Out came Diana. She could see him. She could feel him. She knew him. And she could love him. Redemption was granted. The trio of bayaderes were those of opening night. But at greater ease with the stage. Yet the third, Kondaurova, danced without compromise. I was farther up tonight and though I thought I could see all the stage: at the end of her jet-fueled last diagonal part of her disappeared from sight, at extreme stage right. But not in the pit! How Balanchine would love this ballerina!
  10. About 10:05 (starting on time at about 7:35).
  11. Tuesday, April 1, 2008 I won't dare try to post a detailed review of opening night, as there are so many people on BT who are experts on this company. So just a few remarks. Raymonda This is the first time I've seen Uliana Lopatkina, and in one way it was not what I expected. Not an "ice princess" at all. She immediately radiated an open generosity and warmth to the audience. Early on there was such a beautiful smile, and then in the great piano variation, as she took a tiny step back, it looked as if she inhaled, and that breath of air was returned, and the theater seemed filled with Spirit. Dancing that in the beginning seemed most easy to characterize in terms of the exceptional graceful movement of the ballerina, was transformed into Grace. Earlier Vladimir Ponomarev, Rene de Brienne, filled the small stage with such presence that one knew he would do likewise at the Met. Danila Korsuntsev was fine as Jean, and substitute Yana Selina brought an extra dimension of youthful happiness to the Variation. There was a backdrop and set, and the company seemed to have overcome many of the problems of the tiny stage. Paquita With local favorite Diana Vishneva glittering in her first two variations, this was clearly going to be fun. The ravishing corps formed a diagonal from stage right back to stage front left, for Andrian Fadeev to approach Diana: her face transformed. As Balanchine said, put a man and woman together and already there is a story. And Diana (as always) and Andrian delivered that. The five variations were wonderful. Sub Alina Somova had the first (of course) and it suited her "style". The audience began gasping for joy with the first 180 (not more for this classicist). And her turns were also very effective. A grand response. But next came Ekaterina Kondaurova, whom we saw triumph last year. This match for NYCB's Tess Reichlen, with comparable amplitude but with glorious red hair, won the hearts of the crowd as well. In three and four Valeria Martynyuk (tiny) and Ekaterina Osmolkina continued the joy. Then fifth, Viktoria Tereshkina, so pure and grand without exaggeration. Maybe in some lost blurred memory, this is what we long for as the classical style... I would say her ovation was longer than for Vishneva's sixth, and that too was a joy! The minute stage seemed to confine Mr. Fadeev, although the nobility was there in spades. Bayadere may have been a serious mistake. The program contained the company's apology for using just a corps of 32 instead of 48 ("tight touring budget"). But actually only 24, entering from a center stage curtain, NO RAMP. The effect, despite the corps' beauty, was destroyed. Then the casting. While Leonid Sarafanov danced with exciting virtuosity, the role seemed most ungenerous to Ms. Somova. There was nothing spiritual, no sense of any story. Sure, as a stand alone piece, one could live without the plot, but as one of the supreme classical Acts it should be classical and, as so widely pronounced by Ms. Lopatkina at the evening's beginning, have SOUL. It was just a show-off piece. Even the soloist trio of Olesia Novikova, Nadezhda Gonchar and Kondaurova could not save it. The Mariinsky orchestra played surpassingly well under the baton of Mikhail Sinkevich. In addition to the program's very complete casting for week one, an insert also updated these seven casts. No changes in leads in the classics.
  12. Osipova YAGP Gala or Bolshoi?
  13. In New York: WNET (13) will show the film at 10 PM, Friday April 11. The rerun is scheduled for 3 AM, Friday April 18. You may view the PBS preview here (click on the obvious place): http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/waterflowingtogether/ Somebody wished him to have this talent. Somebody up there. -- Peter Martins
  14. While the NY Times article of March 27, 2008 gives general information about the 50th Anniversary of The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, it omits the dates and places of a number of free performances and classes throughout New York City this August. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/27/arts/dan...+5Fw3nUqEDnP8wQ As listed on the AAADT site: The site also gives details of the year and a half of festivities here: http://www.alvinailey.org/page.php?p=50ann...ry&sec=home Activities range from International and American Tours, to a Video Art Installation titled "Goldenly" by David Michalek (Wendy Whalen's husband, who dazzled Lincoln Center crowds with one last year), Hallmark cards featuring company dancers, and even a Barbie Doll (but no Ken)!
  15. Russian You Tube's Festival collection is now up to 56 videos, including Lopatkina's Lake and much from the closing Gala: Lacarra/Pierre, Lopatkina/Koslov, Cojocaru/Kobborg (four vids of Coppelia), Medora Somova/Ali Corella (four vids), and five vids of Ballet Imperial with Tereshkina/Fadeev and Novikova. As Tereshkina comes through the parting corps to Fadeev one is captured by memories of this ballet three decades ago, that then Farrell showed us it was Holy. I am awestruck by Tereshkina in this. http://ru.youtube.com/profile_videos?user=petyarus&p=r
  16. Here are the programs: MIXED REP. Friday, July 11, evening: Prodigal Son Afternoon of a Faun River of Light Glass Pieces at 8 pm Saturday, July 12, matinee: ALL BALANCHINE Mozartiana Prodigal Son Symphony in C at 2 pm Saturday, July 12, evening: FOUNDING CHOREOGRAPHERS Le Tombeau de Couperin Four Bagatelles La Sonnambula I'm Old Fashioned at 8 pm So, by offering just the evenings, you are saved from the stodgy all-Balanchine program. I wonder why they did not offer Friday night, Saturday matinee as an alternative? It would have meant just one night's hotel cost... All the summer programming is available on the company website calendar. Oh, Farrell Fan, I wouldn't call it " the now familiar black & white NYCB 1950s look." I think of the new Logo and colors as representing the hip, or hep, new modern avante-garde shades-of-grey look of the Ballet-Master-in-Chief's choreography, so admired as of late in London.
  17. Just received the mailing from Dana Cavooris of the Guild. Coach bus transportation to/from/within Saratoga Springs including access and transportation to all scheduled activities. There are some options and variations to the above. A single occupancy room changes the cost to $700 per person. There is also an events-only package (no hotel or transportation; just, as for the other packages, the orchestra seats for Friday and Saturday nights, access to all scheduled activities, and selected meals) for $300 per person. Further info: 212-870-4077
  18. After a couple of decades, NYCB is bringing it back this June 27th: I have seen no news or other announcements, but if you go to their website, click "buy tickets", then "single tickets", then "June", you'll find it. Orchestra, First & Second Rings are all $45; further up, all $25. And the buying process seemed to work (of course they still remain the only major cultural institution that cannot tell you your seat numbers...).
  19. I would love to have read her thoughts in between those two sentences. Any chance you can supply them, Delibes? In any case, again, I did not read that first sentence as hubris; I simply read it as factual. All ballet dancers know what it is to work in the theatre. Perhaps she should have said, "I know as much as anyone" rather than "better than anyone" but hers was an oral interview (correct, delibes?), not a written one. We, most of us, don't phrase our thoughts perfectly every single time. I liked her comment about sensing the envy of colleagues -that envy is a natural part of ballet company life. She seemed to just accept it. Actually, there are four and a half sentences in place of the "..."s, saying more about why her experience is relevant to her position of deputy, and that there are also other (than the arts) duties specific to the region she represents, and how she is helped by other deputies whose experience she envies. Nothing about ballet, so I see why omitted by Delibes (and, yes, great thanks to you , Delibes!). Here's the full article, ready to be placed into the Google or Babelfish translator. The referred text is early in the interview: http://www.newizv.ru/news/2008-03-03/85634/
  20. Lisa Viola's Farewell Performance From this morning's company e-mail: (numerous quotes from reviews omitted, since I do not know if it is permitted to include the complete letter)
  21. I didn't see the opening night performance, but the Varese pieces were Integrales, Density 21.5, and Octandre. In 1986 Mr. Taylor rearranged the dance so that the original (1984) first section went to last, the second to first, and the third to middle. I wonder what the order is this season... You can still find the complete Anna Kisselgoff Times reviews for both versions by using Search at the NYTimes website, or, I'm sure, via Google.
  22. Just came upon four photo sets, a total of 34 pictures, of the Beauty in Motion program. http://www.geneschiavone.com/gallery/album02 Mr. Schiavone often reorganizes his collections, so if this doesn't get you to the four sets (click on one, get its photos; then click on them to see them large), you can probably find them by looking around his site.
  23. drb

    Veronika Part

    Perhaps someone could alert Mr. McKenzie of her availability and he could entice her to ABT with an offer to be Principal. After all, she is that company's best Odette/Odile, Nikiya, Raymonda, Lilac, Myrtha, "Mozartiana",... Another choice would be the Mariinsky. Perhaps their next A.D. might wish to return to the Mariinsky style: what more perfect choice?
  24. Sunday, March 2, 2008 Equinox, Fiends Angelical, Piazzolla Caldera Equinox, a lyric 1983 dance for four couples to the Brahms String Quintet #1, opened this afternoon's program on a wistful note, as if the group of still young people were trying to comfort themselves by remembering their carefree past together. Yet the present somehow never quite allows them joy, and toward the end Lisa Viola seems finally to yield to that mysterious now. It is a solo of haunting mystery, she is so alone, but then the music and her friends attempt to lift her spirits, especially a joyful Parisa Khobdeh. When back in the group, Ms. Viola, still the look of lost, gradually seems to fill will the group's authentic friendship. While not reaching Ms. Khobdeh's happiness, by the dance's end Ms. Viola seems to have the inner strength to get through the unstated menace. Ms. Viola is the company's senior dancer. While I have no official information*, if you love this dancer I strongly urge that you see her this season. The couples: Lisa Viola, Robert Kleinendorst; Parisa Khobdeh, Orion Duckstein; and, a pair of pairs, Amy Young, Sean Mahoney, Julie Tice, James Samson. The 2000 Fiends Angelical, to George Crumb's Black Angels, is new to me, so I read a number of press reviews from its debut season. They make no sense to me, as they refer to this as being about Africa. To me, India seems far more plausible. The foreward leaning backdrop has a mandala in its center: a circle with eight leaf-like spokes. Actually four pairs, alternating between a pair of "leaves" with tips coming together (suggesting hands in prayer), and a pair with tips flowing apart. The costumes and head dresses made it hard for me to i. d. the individual dancers, but my young dancer, who knows them--and her eyes are much sharper than mine, is sure that Annmaria Mazzini was the woman in the main pdd's and that Parisa Khobdeh played the priestess. During a particularly violent section, the outer ring of the mandala glowed in rich red light. The priestess, with a horned head dress, in particular seemed to make use of Eastern hand gestures, including the ominous Karana (I have also seen it called Tarjani) Mudra, in which the forefinger and the little finger are extended. The final pdd (after, according to old reviews, she and her partner have been returned to life by the priestess) brought to mind aspects of Bayadere, including Solor-like deep backbends. Michael Trusnovec (the partner?), Orion Duckstein, Amy Young, Julie Tice, Jeffrey Smith, Francisco Graciano and Laura Halzack completed the cast. The program ended with the 1997 Piazzolla Caldera. Always an audience favorite. Lisa Viola and Annmaria Mazzini (the angry one with the wild spins) were standouts, and it was gratifying to see Michelle Fleet dancing full-out after being limited by injury last year. In his Times review of Opening Night, Mr. Macaulay referred to all this season's music being recorded, while he remembered that 20 years ago the Company had a live orchestra. Does anyone recall when this change occurred? Today the last two pieces sounded fine, but the Brahms recording for the first really seemed lifeless. Sure an orchestra would be very costly, but I wonder if the company might not consider live music when all that is needed is, say, a quintet. As the Times critic argues, the subtle differences between live performances would be good for the dancers. And for the hearers too, even if just once in a while. *Added 11:30 PM: Ms. Viola's retirement this summer appears official: http://www.nysun.com/article/71805
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