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Everything posted by chiapuris

  1. I do'n't know Amy....... I was not conscious.or rather I was trying to say something else....perhaps. I love Petipa. And I like Ratmansky for his work. pace Petipa! Sorry! John
  2. I saw on April 3rd, with Isabella Boylston and Cory Stearns as the duo, and Stella Abrera with Lilac Fairy. They are a smashing hit, not only the soloists, every soloists were smashing hits. This is to say Ratmansky has outdone Petipa in the wonderful variations that he did. Bravo to Ratmansky's blue bird and Princess Florine. After all the Russian amendments we are back to a musical study that is Cecchetti's own rendition. Boylston got much better after the rose Adagio and in the vision scene and the pdd she was excellent. Praise to Ratmansky, Bravo!
  3. `Thank you for the comments Helene ,and for the inclusion for the YouTube Agwa! I enjoyed all over again. !
  4. Compagnie KÄFIG and Centre Choregraphique National de Creteil et du Val-de-Marne Power Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, February 14 2014, 8 pm Artistic Director Mourad Merzouki CORRERIA (2010) Choreography Mourad Merzouki and collaboration of dancers Performance all 11 dancers Musical Arrangements AS'N Co-Producer Espace Albert Camus de Bron AGWA (2008) Choreography Mourad Merzouki and collaboration of dancers Ass't to the choreographer Kader Belmoktar MusicaL Director AS'N Performance all 11 dancers **************************************************** Merzouki (born in 1973)-( I'm quoting the Power Center program) "…began practicing martial arts and circus arts as early as a seven-year- old. At the age of 15 he encountered hip-hop culture and through it he discovered dance…………[E]xperimenting with other styles….."with Maryse Delente, Jean Francois Duroure and Josef Nadj". "in 1989….. ….he created his first company Accrorap." Thr trigger for composing the two works AGWA & CORRERIA "was an encounter between 11 young dancers from Rio de Janeiro at the Lyon Dance Biennial in 2006. The Brazilian dancers have their roots in the favelas and their individual stories struck a profound chord….with the choreographer…………All of them are driven by a passion for dance and a fervent determination to make something of their lives in reaching out to others. The dancers mix complex hip-hop, capoeira, samba, electronic music, and bossa nova to bring a dance with amazing acrobatics, high energy, and invention". Well, that's about it. All we had to do, was look at it. Enjoy it. And enjoy it we did. Forget about the MacGregors, and the Cerrudos [Hubbard Street] and the Prejlocajes and their 'apocalypses' ; this is the real thing: fresh dance. When the first work began, the dancers entered, hands clapped and set to the beating heart, the lights set up. Every contingency has been anticipated. Essentially everything has been prepared for the audience to enjoy a pleasing dance. Indeed it was. During intermission, the three of us exchanged impressions. It was entertaining and unpretentious. The dancers were energetic and clearly enjoyed themselves. We wondered about the second piece, Agua----- if there would be water splashed on the Marley, as was done with the Cerrudo and the Prejlocaj. No, no, no. Mr. Merzouki has exquisite taste. (Spoiler Alert): His reverential view of water is environmentally correct. Waste not. Kudos to Mourad Merzouki! His conceptual realm of a subject is profound. His choreography is first rate. His dancers are top notch. I hope we'll see more of Compagnie Käfig and hope to become acquainted with the collaborative style of the artists of Brazil. Tremendous ovations.
  5. Sandik, thank you for the PDF of the dissertation of Elizabeth Kattner-Ulrich. I will read it along with other recent Balanchine offerings.
  6. We just read in yesterday's paper, our cinema was showing Swan Lake Live at the Mariinsky, on June 6 6:30. The pair was the wondrous Ekaterina Kondaurova and Timur Askerov . the pddtrois was Xander Parish, N Batoeva, M Shirinkina. Tha cinematography was amateurish. Gergiev's kept telling us that the photography was 3D and told us we were getting to see the NEW stage. We didn't. What a disaster. The narrator who was introduced by the conductor as a gorgeous model, was a gorgeous model but had no preparation whatsoever to talk about Tschaikovsky or of ballet. (She forgot Kondaurova's name while the interviewee's husband , Islom, gave her the name.) Kondaurova, after some slips, brought forth her prodigious virtuosic tachnique to accomplish the Odette/Odile feats. Askerov seems wooden. Can't fault the dancers. Gergiev needs to get first rate technical personnel.
  7. Anyone remember Osipova's debut in the Bolshoi's Giselle?
  8. Mariinsky (Vainonen) Nutcracker in 3D Ann Arbor Quality Theatres Dec 3 2012 7:30 pm Alina Somova V Shklyarov 1 the first of its virtues is Masha who is an 11-12 (?) year-old Vaganova student, elegantly trained with beautiful 90 degree arabesques , excellent pointes. All the children in the party scene are charming [no cdb as 'children']. 2 Drosselmeyer does not look 'possessed' and the nutcracker does not look like it cracks nuts. The nutcracker looked like Karagyoze, the Greek & Turkish protagonist of shadow theatre. Where and why does the Balkan commedia del'arte icon locate himself in Russian folklore? 3 The snow flakes scene comes after Somova and Shklyarov 'is dreamed' by Masha and the famous Vainonen scene, with the whirlwinds of snow, headed by two coryphées take over. Charming, yes; a relic. Balanchine has superceded it. Forever. 4 By the way: the automata for the party are faux-naïve. The harlequin has thrilling jumps and the pink ballerina is quaint. 5 Of all the variations in the konfitenberg, I liked the best the three Vaganova students, with the pdt of the sheperdesses. The female students were dashing with their changements sur les pointes, and the elegant male was virtuosic with his entre chats-quatre. Ah, youth! The Arabian was likeable, soft-edged, devoid of exotica. I really enjoyed it. PS I can't really say I enjoyed the pdd with corps de ballet [or pas de six, as Natalia wrote] of Somova and Shklyarov….and Vainonen. They have no empathy for each other.
  9. Mariinsky (Vainonen) Nutcracker in 3D Ann Arbor Quality Theatres Dec 3 2012 7:30 pm Alina Somova V Shklyarov 1 the first of its virtues is Masha who is an 11-12 (?) year-old Vaganova student, elegantly trained with beautiful 90 degree arabesques , excellent pointes. All the children in the party scene are charming [no cdb as 'children']. 2 Drosselmeyer does not look 'possessed' and the nutcracker does not look like it cracks nuts. The nutcracker looked like Karagyoze, the Greek & Turkish protagonist of shadow theatre. Where and why does the Balkan commedia del'arte icon locate himself in Russian folklore? 3 The snow flakes scene comes after Somova and Shklyarov 'is dreamed' by Masha and the famous Vainonen scene, with the whirlwinds of snow, headed by two coryphées take over. Charming, yes; a relic. Balanchine has superceded it. Forever. 4 By the way: the automata for the party are faux-naïve. The harlequin has thrilling jumps and the pink ballerina is quaint. 5 Of all the variations in the konfitenberg, I liked the best the three Vaganova students, with the pdt of the sheperdesses. The female students were dashing with their changements sur les pointes, and the elegant male was virtuosic with his entre chats-quatre. Ah, youth! The Arabian was likeable, soft-edged, devoid of exotica. I really enjoyed it. PS I can't really say I enjoyed the pdd with corps de ballet [or pas de six, as Natalia wrote] of Somova and Shklyarov….and Vainonen. They have no empathy for each other.
  10. Mariinsky (Vainonen) Nutcracker in 3D Ann Arbor Quality Theatres Dec 3 2012 7:30 pm Alina Somova V Shklyarov Disaster compared to Shemyakin? Naah! More until later, when I calm my nerves and I can recall some virtues of it. The 3D was really 3-dimensional.
  11. 23-12 ---I liked Messerer's SL, which I saw in London some years ago. I missed the (Tschaikovsky) aural pantomime. E.Borchenko, last night, has become a purer classicist , simpler in expression, direct in boldness. V Lebedev was a caring partner and with thrilling variations in the third act. I particularly liked the 3rd act scenery, with its colorfree tone and elegance. The corps de ballet were synchronous and splendidly musical altogether. The tutus are gorgeous. The jester, in the final count, remained a nuisance. And the swans remained swans. Tragedy according to Tschaikovsky's score, remained a soviet dictum after its time. Way after. Is ballet a conservative art?
  12. New York City Ballet MOVES ArtisticAdministrator Jean-Pierre Frohlich Ballet Masters Rosemary Dunleavy, Kathleen Tracey, Lisa Jackson Dancers: Principals: Megan Fairchild, Robert Fairchild, Sterling Hyltin, Maria Kowroski, Tiler Peck, Andrew Veyette, Daniel Ulbricht Soloists: Chase Finlay, Anthony Huxley, Ask la Cour Artists: Ashly Isaacs, Lauren King, Lauren Lovette, Brittany Pollack, David Prottas, Taylor Stanley Musicians: violin: Lydia Hong, piano: Cameron Grant, Alan Moverman, Susan Walters Detroit Opera House, October 28, 2:30pm Polyphonia Wheeldon/Ligeti Duo Concertant Balanchine/Stravinsky Herman Schmerman [pdd] Forsythe/Willems Zakouski Martins/Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Tschaikovsky Hallelujah Junction Martins/Adams What a treat it was to arrive in Detroit's Opera House on a crisp, sunny afternoon to enjoy the New York City Ballet! In effect, it was a touring unit of the company, titled NYCB MOVES, consisting of 16 dancers, four musicians, and of course the dozens of technical staff that requires the best American dance company to be able to travel out of the Big Apple and bring us joy, as the Detroit program states, "for their linear purity, sharpness of attack and overall speed and musicality". MOVES came to us with a whole slew of spectacular dancers and tasty bits for the evening, samples of their peerless repertory. Polyphonia begins the evening with Wheeldon's abstract and formal work set in ten piano pieces of Ligeti. Four couples set the work; Kowroski and la Cour (leads), Peck and Veyette (second leads) as well as Hyltin and Stanley and Lovette and Prottas make a microcosm of solemnity and beauty. What a gorgeous ensemble they make, together or parting, alert and tender to the micropolyphony of Ligeti's mysterious music. I particularly liked la Cour's attentiveness to Korowski. They made a handsome couple. Tiler Peck's precision in the double work was awesome. Kudos to Veyette and Stanley and Prottas and la Cour. Bravas to all! Pianos: Cameron Grant and Alan Moverman Duo Concertant was made for the Stravinsky festival in 1972. Balanchine conceived as an intimate assembly for the stage: Suppose you have the musicians on stage the pianist (Cameron Grant) sitting at the key board, the violinist (Lydia Hong) beside him and a couple of dancers ( Megan Fairchild and Chase Finlay) standing by the piano listening to them. The musicians play the music (I. Cantilene, II. Eclogue I, III. Eclogue II, IV. Gigue, V. Dithyrambe). Eventually the dancers move and begin to dance: first the arms, then the legs then the torsos. They eventually listen also. They look at each other's solos. And they eventually attempt lifts. But nothing resolves. There is a mystery about them. And there is darkness. As Finlay recedes into the darkness, Fairchild becomes the unreachable muse, as her face and hand become luminous and insubstantial. He kisses her hand. He becomes the seeker of the unpossessed beauty. I remember going to NYC in June when the end of the season would bring Duo Concertant and inevitably the cast would always be Yvonne Boree. She was good. Fairchild and Finlay are better. Herman Schmerman (pas de deux) was created by William Forsythe for the NYCB in 1992. Presumably for the deconstruction of the classical canon. But no, (said Forsythe in an interview at the Bolshoi Theatre): the title he found in Steve Martin's 'Men Don't Wear Plaid'. The title didn't mean anything, but he liked it. And the dance does not mean anything. But it's fun, no? Well, yes. Korowski is great in it and so is Fairchild. But the decibels of Thom Willems have they…… meaning? Eventually Kowroski enters with the Versace yellow skirt. Then eventually, Fairchild, from the other side of the stage, enters with another Versace yellow skirt. The audience found the joke delightful. Anyway. I first saw it with Whelan and Evans in the sacred place itself. Zakouski has my admiration for the virtuosity and musical aplomb of Tiler Peck and Andrew Veyette. Kudos to both! I have not seen this work of Peter Martins so I can't visualize the sum of piano and violin works of four Russian composers as tasty bits! Is he kidding? Sturgeon with caviar and potatoes? Tenderloin with foie gras? Milk of Magnesia please. The costumes of Barbara Matera are luscious, red and purple and gray. The cavalier Veyette was noble, vaguely ethnic, and …..cavalier. The lady was blue-blood, stylish, and vaguely Slavic. A countess no less. Choreographically indigestible, but bring the dancers back for an encore. Their energy is joyful. Violin: Lydia Hong Piano: Susan Walters Hallelujah Junction is a dual piano piece by John Adams choreographed by Peter Martins and played by duo-pianists Cameron Grant and Susan Walters. Principals are Sterling Hyltin. Robert Fairchild and Daniel Ulbricht in black (black keys). Artists are Ashly Isaacs and Anthony Huxley, Lauren King and Taylor Stanley, Lauren Lovette and Chase Finlay, Brittany Pollack and David Prottas. The architecture traces high speed aerial sculptural effects and….. "a constant shift of pulse and meter, but the main rhythms are based on the rhythms of the word hal-le-LU-jah". A thrilling finale for a piece that propels the dancers to show passion within their work. Sterling Hyltin is outstanding.
  13. Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Saturday, 6 October 2012, 8pm Power Center Theatre, Ann Arbor, Michigan The University of Michigan Artistic Director, Tom Mossbrucker Executive Director, Jean-Phillipe Malaty Artists: Craig Black, Katherine Bolaños, Paul Busch, Samantha Klanac Campanile, Sam Chittenden, Katie Dehler, Seth DelGrasso, Nolan DeMarco Mc Gahan, Emily Proctor, Seia Rassenti, Joseph Watson Square None (2012) Choreography Norbert De La Cruz III Music Alva Noto & Ryutchi Sakamoto, Michelle Ross, G. F. Handel, Aphex Twin Costume Austin Scarlett Lighting Seah Johnson (7 dancers) Stamping Ground (1983) Choreography Jiri Kyian Music Carlos Chavez Set Jiri Kylian Costume Heidi de Raad Lighting Joop Caboort Staged by Patrick Delcroix (6 dancers) Over Glow (2011) Choreography Jorma Elo Music F. Mendelssohn & L. van Beethoven Costume Nete Johnson Lighting Jordan Tuinman Ass'tant to J. Elo Nancy Euverink (6 dancers) ****************************************** The dancers were splendid in the works they were tasked to perform. Gracile of limb and of personality, articulate, and technically virtuosic, all eleven dancers are top drawer. The Aspen Santa Fe Ballet gave an auspicious 'show' to this crisp autumn evening in Ann Arbor. Of the choreographies in performance I have nothing significant to say. All are of the genre that can be seen as 'contemporary ballet' (i.e, not 'archaic ballet'). The dancers were ebullient and the joy was ours. At the end of the Saturday performance the University of Michigan announced a Q & A session with the director Tom Mossbrucker with an interviewer from the university faculty. Tom explained that, since, neither he nor Jean-Philippe didn't choreograph, the progress of the company needed choreographers to function. The need for 'contemporary ballet', which he explained, is a must for a ballet company. A question was posed by a viewer, stating that the cast performed the 'contemporary' ballet choreography winningly, but in fact there was no pointe work in any of the three works presented that evening. Does that mean that 'contemporary' means the abolition of 'toe' dancing'? Mr Mossbrucker insisted that the company is a ballet company; all the company has been recruited from classical ballet schools. Every day, he states, the dancers participate in a ballet class--- the women practicing with pointe slippers during the class. After that he told of an anecdote. When Jorma Elo was first invited to create a work for ASFB, he asked him whether he would like to create a pointe work. He responded that first he wanted to create the work in soft shoe, and then he would add the pointe work. Once he added the pointe, he didn't like it. He took the pointe work out and titied the ballet "Pointe Off'. From my insignificant viewpoints, I did like Over Glow for the grandiloquence of its two musical choices. The program notes quote Mr Elo: "When one thinks of death, you think something stops. But nothing stops. The machinery keeps on going. Is it sad, or beautiful? I don't know". I don't know either, but the adages are beautiful.
  14. stars of russian ballet Power Center Theatre, Ann Arbor Michigan Sat. August 18, 2012 7pm The “Stars”: Carmen Olga Pavlova Andrey Ivanov La Bayadere Keenan Kampa Sergei Sidorsky Diving into the Lilacs [YurI Possokhov] Marie Kochetkova G Nedvigin Diana & Actaeon Patricia Jhou (Berlin B) Joseph Phillips (ABT) After the Rain Coutney Richardson Ernesto Boada (Royal B/Flanders) Pas d’Esclave Olga Pavlova Andrei Ivanov Sweet Spell of Oblivion Courtney Richardson Ernesto Boada Don Q pdd Alisa Sodaleva Sergei Sidorsky Contradiction [solo] Sergei Sidorsky Grand Pas Classique Alisa Sodaleva Anton Korsakov Tschaikovsky PDD MarIa Kochetkova Guennadi Nedvigin Scheherezade pdd Olga Pavlova Anton Korsakov Le Corsaire pdd Patricia Jhou Joseph Phillips Giselle act 2 pdd Keenan Kampa Xander Parish A week-end newspaper preview mentioned of the Stars of the Russian Ballet and its producers, Sergei and Jessica Rayevsky, (the Academy of Russian Classical Ballet),as planning “a series of special gala performances with a cast internationally recognized guest artists.....before transitioning into a full-time resident company”. ‘ Moreover, the school sponsored a ’Russian ballet Intensive’ from Aug 5-17; so two groups, of two dozen students each, danced a character dance of recital quality and another two dozen soft- shoed and ‘toe’ -shoed students essayed a section of Landers’ Etudes with a loud din of Czerny’s music amped for a rock concert. Anyway, by any criterion of acoustical ‘soundness’ , the sound volume of the entire concert is inexcusable. It could have been the work of the contracted sound engineers... i was looking forward to the appearances of Keenan Kampa and Patricia Zhou in the concert . I mean to say that, if Olga Smirnova were appearing in concert in the U.S., at this stage of the game.............wow! At any rate, I’ll mention the performers that singled themselves, in my view, in enthusiasm, artistry, and passion. First and foremost, Maria Kochetkova and Guennadi Nedvigin were convincingly paired in the psychological turmoil of Diving into the Lilacs (Yuri Possokhov/Shostakovich). Their technical acuity melded into oneness with their feeling beings. An astonishing performance! Their next appearance was the joyous Tschaikovsky’s Pas de Deux of Balanchine. Elegant and energetic, they traced with precision the musical journey as they dance it. In the variation, Ms Kochetkova danced thrillingly the gargouillade, and any treasures the cornucopia that Mr B. has spread out. Bravi to them. The second couple, which came from their own theatre , are Courtney Richardson and Ernesto Boada (Royal Ballet/Flanders). their first appearance, After the Rain(C. Wheeldon), they were magnetic, absorbed within the Part music and whole with it. I had never seen them and it was a real pleasure. Ms Richardson is an artist of first quality and Mr Boada is a peerless classicist. The second piece they appeared in , is David Dawson's contemporary choreography with pointe work, Sweet Spell of Oblivion ( J. Bach). David Dawson writes of his ballet on his website: '"There are moments when the past stands beside us and the present can be reflected in it for a short time. In such an instant the past transforms into a new existence, always carrying in itself the notion of a future the notion of ‘being a human’ - and at the same time it always celebrates the technical perfection and virtuosity of a dancer........ the human aspect will always be part of each artistic creation - .......For me oblivion is a place, which is free, a place of dreaming, an apparent place without name, a place outside of time. " The dancers are electrifying in the percussive preludes of Bach's Well Tempered Clavier. Clad in silvery-grey they seem alone , existential,, and alive with muscle and heartbeat but dependent on each other. The dancers are remarkable:Kudos. And so is the mysterious piece they helped to create. Keenan Kampa appears as Gamzatti in Bayadere and Sergei Sidorsky as Solor in the wedding pdd. Mr Sidorsky in the program is described: "He has performed with the legendary Russian ballerinas of Bolshoi and Mariinsky.Is that the reason he is a cavalier for Ms Kampa? He is a slender man that looked like a refined pubescent with the get-up of Solor's white satin pajamas and rhinestones. Keenan Kampa was elegant but with an overblown tutu as if it's reconstructed to the 1800's Gamzatti's variation is out of bounds without moorings. That's not Ms Kampa's fault. Kampa's second appearance as Giselle was more auspicious.Her Albrecht was Alexander Parish (the only appearance in the concert). I have not seen Parish since he joined the Mariinsky. Parish is a noble presence, courtly. Kampa gave a refined study suitable for her age, prescient for the launching. Parish and Kampa belong to Mariinsky's heritage. Patricia Zhou of Berlin and Joseph Phillips of ABT are the whiz kids who get to tackle Vaganova's Diana & Acteon--- the darling of competitions. Ms Zhou gave a careful reading of the text:defining intricate nuances, epaulement, and lastly, deportment of serene aplomb. She is a pleasant performer and perhaps dynamism will develop through time. In her Corsaire appearance, more dynamism would bring ballon where it is needed. Joseph Phillips is a whiz kid. One tiny complaint: On Gsovsky's Grand Pas Classique, in the first series Korsakov places after lifting Sodaleva on balance and immediately goes next to her and does a double tour to the knee, 4 times. This never happens. The next series has the female dancer diagonally developpe releve ala quatrierme twice and on pointe, the developpe releve a la seconde on pointe and pirouette This is repeated 4 times. Ms Sodaleva could not repeat without half pointe. The rest was mashed potatoes. I went home and found Utube and searched for Korsakov.and Grand Pas Classique. The video had been made in Japan and featured Viktoria Tereshkina.The Gsovsky choreography was perfect and Tereshkina and Korsakov were excellent.
  15. The sets and costumes are pleasing, but I enjoyed the Mariinsky's production more than the Mikhailovsky , shorn of mime as it is and clipped of its details. Bubelnikov kept the pace going. And going. The toreador, an excellent short-haired blond man, reminded me of Jude Law. Sancho Panza was great. Irina Kosheleva as the Dryad queen was elegant, as was Osipova in the ballet blanc. Vasiliev needs Pilates.
  16. Bon voyage, cubanmiamiboy (et famille) !!! Paris is a celebration of life. Enjoy every bit of it.
  17. I just saw yesterday First Position, having bought it from Comcast, for tv viewing. It was somewhat fascinating. Your commentary, Helene,was absorbing. I don't think i'd venture to a YAGP event, if i ever run into it. A circle of hell with Parents' Vanities. I' ve seen two competitions in my lifetime: the Jackson Miss. 2000, and the Moscow 2005. The YAGP very likely has countless virtues; juries of devoted classicists (like Elizabeth Platel and Sergei Filin), and commited coaches (like Kabanaiev and Denis Ganio). The documentary is infused with intelligence.
  18. Natalia, That was quite a treat. Thank you for spotlighting the singular performers, and the choreographers as well!
  19. My appreciation and many thanks Nanarina, for the vivid review of POB's Manon. You had my attention from the curtain, to the greeting of the artists after the performance. chiapuris
  20. Cornejo Video Graphic Design Alvaro Luna Conductor Yevg SWAN LAKE (2010) BARCELONA BALLET Director Angel Corella Choreography Marius Petipa and Liev Ivanov, revised by Angel Corella Music Piotr I. Tchaikovsky Set & Costume Design Benjamin Tyrrell Lighting Design Luis Perdiguero Costume Production eny Voronko (with the Michigan Opera Theatre Orchestra) Duration 2 hours, thirty minutes with intermission DETROIT OPERA HOUSE 27 April 2012 Odette, Odile Momoko Hirata Siegfried Alejandro Virelles Tutor Fernando Bufala Benno Kirill Radev Pas de Trois Anna Calderon, Maria Jose Sales Von Rothbart Jonatan Diaz Cygnets Ana Calderon, Cristina Casa, Leire Cabrera, Carla Lopez Corella’s Barcelona Ballet brought excitement, maybe anticipation, in Detroit especially with the three-run performances of Swan Lake for the week-end.A pair of principals are featured each night: Hirata/Virelles (27th), Yuko Iseda/Angel Corella (28th) and Carmen Corella/Dayron Vera (29th). MoreIover, the first anticipation has to be for the company unfolding its first run in the U.S.:I s the promise of the whiz-kid dancers worldwide going to be realized in the brand -new company? Swan Lake is a fair-enough testing ground; my favorite first act of Swan Lake is that of the Mariinsky Theatre. Corella’s revision is fairly accurate as described, save that, he leaves off the annoying jester. The set and costumes are elegant, the colors muted, the lightinq luminous. The ensembles of the Barcelona Ballet (titled Aristocrats and Peasants, like ABT ‘s) moved, to me, somewhat slow to my taste. Again, when the pas de trois began, Benno and the two women seemed to lack a simultaneous pulse. All three were short on interaction. And smiles. For me the pas de trois is a joyous thing! Never mind! Alejandro Virelles (first soloist) is a handsome royal and a technically impeccable dancer, as well glows with charisma as he interacts with others on stage. The prince with Benno and friends assemble for bird-hunting in the moonlight. Siegfried dismisses his retinue and tells them he’d rather hunt alone. Then Odette comes in. In a danced poetry of a weeping spirit, she enchants the prince; with the story of a mother ‘s tears that made the lake as well as the transformation of the women into swans,including herself, the narrative of the story becomes palpable. Ms Hirata is confidently, serenely, in the realm of the weeping spirit in the Ivanov choreography. What a wonder she is! Each step flows from the ribbon of music she hears and he hears, and, when the flock of swans come in, they hear in sympathy and amity. She is obviously their queen. And by the end of the second act, the prince and Odette are in love. Bravi for Ms Hirata and for Mr Virelles! Phenomenal performances. The third act brings the appearance of Odette’s double, the phantasm-sorceress Odile. Ms Momoko Hirata brought glamour, allure, as well as confidence to this illusory look-alike for Siegfried’s beloved. With a dynamic classical display, she smiled and flashed her eyes to the besotten lover and to Von Rothbart as they negotiated the grand adage. In the solo, her confidence and power was evident, as she etched the arcs and spins of her attitudes and pirouettes. By the time of the fouettes the spins became a passionate confession of love starting with singles and a triple, eventually ending with singles and a ccommanding full stop. The.sorcery of treachery is revealed. The fourth act deals with the remorse of Odette and the sorrow of Siegfried amid the swan maidens ”who tell ...... the tragic story of what happened during the ball......” and “.....because Siegfried swore his love to Odile, the curse cast over Odette can no longer be broken.....The lovers throw themselves into the lake....their sacrifice destroys von Rothbart and with his death the young swans are released from his spell..’ Bravo Corella who frees Tchaikovsky for his (original) tragic ending!! Brava Hirata, who graced the stage with her exceptional interpretations! I am curious whether Mr Corella had coaches to prepare the nascent company for performances. The program makes mention of revisions alone in the choreographic text. Otherwise...... that’s quite a feat!
  21. SNOW WHITE (2008) Ballet Preljocaj (Aix en Provence) April 19-20 21 Power Center, University Musical Society, The University of Michigan Ann Arbor Choreography Angelin Preljocaj Costumes Jean Paul Gaultier Music Gustav Mahler Additional Music 79 D Set Design Thierry Leproust Lighting Patrick Riou Snow White Nagisa Shirai The Prince Fabrizio Clemente The Queen Gael Chappaz The Mother Nuriya Nagimova The King Sergi Amoros Aparicio “Cat/Gargoyles” YurieTsugawa and Lorena O’Neill Young Snow White Vicky Wang* Ensemble of 16 dancers 1 hour and 50 minutes-- no intermission. ================ I saw 2 performances of Snow White on Fri the 20th and Sat the 21st. .Someone came up to me at the end of the Saturday performance and, elated,with enthusiasm,spurted “ this is a very good ballet!”. I couldn’ t agree with her more. “”It really is a good ballet!”, she added. Indeed. Angelin Preljocaj, in terms of dancers, choreography, concept, narrative, inspiration (the brothers Grimm), costumes (le dernier cri: JPG), glows of intelligence. In an interview with Agnes Freschel (March 2008) he says: .... “I wanted to do something completely different, write something very concrete, and offer something magical and enchanted. No doubt it was to avoid getting into a rut. And also because, like everyone else, I love stories.’”....... ........”Bettelheim describes Snow White as an Oedipus in reverse.The wicked stepmother is without doubt the central character in the tale. She is the one who I examine through her narcissistic determination not to give up on seduction and her role as a woman, even if it means sacrificing her stepdaughter......................The ballet is particularly important to me--- and I insist on the word “ballet”---as it brings together 25 dancers of the company. They will be dancing to Mahler’s symphonies, whose magnificent excesses are of romantic nature. Grimm’s tales are too, even though their refined style suggests a more contemporary form.....Mahler’s music has to be used with enormous care, but it’s risk I’m keen to take”. Well-said. But in a’ballet’, say the ‘narrative’ 3-acter, in the Petipa era, the viewer would have the program feeding the viewer its synopsis: scene 1 the christening, scene 2 the debut, scene, 3 the evil fairy, etc. Not so with Preljocaj; or if you will, with modern dance. Theater has its own telos. How do we know the deus ex machina, as the Greeks taught us? OK, so far no synopsis. no big deal. The opening scene depicts the first queen’s grim solitary birthing of her first daughter; immediately she dies. The king and retinue arrives, the king picks up the infant while the retinue disposes the cadaver. The next scene shows the king playing with his daughter, the little Snow White, and with the transformation of time the king plays with the nubile Snow White who he leads into the golden palace (remember Petipa’s Scene 2 the debut ?). Snow White and the king ascend high in their thrones while below them pay deference the men and women of the court. (Immediately, visually we have some cues to discern (or not) some hoodies on the street, some IBM suits back from lunch,some short skirts - ah youth- but no,, no this is haute couture by JPG, the king in black crown and black garb and Snow White in white and bare footed.while the swains in court are dashing with leather boots and romantic pirate shirts and the women, barefooted and bedecked as in Times Square ie. sleazy.) ´Eventually the scene ends when the stepmother and her spider-like ‘cats’ visit the court (re: remember scene 4?) What happens when a dominatrix with 5 - inch heels and a whip visits the household? A ruckus. The next scene has a bucolic setting with a about six young pairs gamboling,that is, skipping and frisking about. Snow White joined them. End of gamboling. Following was the adagio of Snow White and the prince.I really liked all the double work of Shirai and Clemente throughout the ballet. The clarity and musicality with the prodigious technical refinement of the dancers wedded passion and classicism. The question and answer period, after the Fri. performance, was hosted by a group of kind and linguistically affluent dancers. This scene was questioned by an audience member; Was the gamboling suggested to indicate their sexuality or something else? A dancer responded that Preljocaj felt that the ballet needed it. Another question the viewers had was the costume of the Prince who was in ‘Spanish’ torero orange and pink (ie.bizarre) After several ‘mirrors on the wall’ the stepmother gets a response that Snow White is the fairest of them all and sends three minions to kill SW and bring them her lungs and heart to eat (read Grimm). The killers capture her but feel sorry for her and instead kill a deer. Snow White ran and exhausted far from the palace, she falls asleep. This was my favorite part of the ballet where Snow White meets the seven dwarves-aka monks aka miners. They are not described in the program, they are only depicted as miners They’re dressed like miners and they live like monks- platonic spirits of unsexual beings, just like monks right? The set is like a quarry with cave-like openings. They mine all day and now they rappel to come home at night. The music is the Mahler where Klezmer tunes reside hauntingly. What a spark of theatricality! The vertical wall where dancers transcend their limits and rise and fall and ascend like a flock of birds in an inverted V to klezmer tunes imagined by Mahler! Sheer genius. The camaraderie of the platonic idealists of the mining seven with each other and with their acquaintance of Snow White, with whom they’ve made their pal, is something to behold. A circle of eight facing each other, they’re joy and handclaps and footstomps. They’re boy- scouts without any menacing, predatory adults. Preljocaj has created a beautiful scene, Bravo. The poisoned apple is the pivot of the story, The wicked stepmother confronts Snow White and shoves the apple down her mouth.Time endures cruelly.. ..then death. I don’t whether the next scene is Grimm’s fairy tale. I believe that it is Preljocaj’s imagination.There is an apotheosis, where the dead mother of Snow White appears (supernaturally )as a dea nutrix,the nourishing mother, (usuallytending the male infant). She lowers herself, embraces her daughter and leaves. Following the apotheosis the miners came back and prepared a resting place for Snow White’s body. Then the prince discovers the body.The double work that follows has my admiration, although some viewers thought it too much like the entombment of Romeo and Juliet, I have no reservations: the occasion suits it.The kiss demands it. Incredible adage. There is a final ballabile in the golden palace where Snow White waltzes with her orange- pink- torero Prince. Snow White wears a crinoline dress and shoes! The ladies of the court wear some sort of amazonian helmets. Their purpose escapes me.They looked good and full of joy. I forgot to mention some kind of catharsis, proper of greek theater. Oh go ahead! Read it in Grimm. Report card: Preljocaj.......A Leproust.......A Gaultier.........C- ================================================================== *VICKY WANG is a student of the Community School of Ballet, Ann Arbor She studies Grade 4 of Royal Academy of Dance. She is 9 years old. Prejlocaj Ballet audition was by photograph and by costume fitting.
  22. i read about it in Tom Kington's Guardian article "Italian ballerina sacked in anorexia row" (4 Feb 2012)
  23. There's a "special" title in the Bolshoi roster for Eugenia Obraztsova titled Guest Soloists. No other name. Hmm; no rank.
  24. Natalia, thank you for being there and thank you for your discerning reviews!
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