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Everything posted by Ceeszi

  1. So excited to hear about last night - wish I was there! Every time I see Shklyarov I am amazed by how he grows as an artist. I think I saw him for the first time back in February of 2010 when the Mariinsky came to DC in The Sleeping Beauty. I remember thinking he was good - nothing outstanding. Then I saw him in July of 2011 when the Mariinsky came to the Met in Symphony in C. I noticed how much he matured and thought that he was excellent in that ballet. Last summer, I saw him in La Bayadere with Tereshkina and marveled not only at his superb dancing but his command of the stage as a leading man. Thanks for all the reviews and again - wish I had been there!
  2. Even though this was the 75th anniversary - one thing has not changed. Best dressed - Dvorovenko Worst dressed - Vishneva. Diana is my favorite dancer but her stylist - eek!!
  3. I can't wait for tonight! I have never seen Osipova in a full Giselle. I saw her in the Act II Pas de deux at one of the ABT Opening Night Galas a few years ago. Tonight should be a treat. Also, I can't think of the last time I saw Sarafanov dance!
  4. I attended last night's performance and I have some mixed feelings. First - I loved seeing Svetlana Zakharova. She is a world famous ballerina who rarely dances in New York. I have only seen her dance live twice - when the Bolshoi came to NYC in the summer of 2005 in Don Quixote and when she danced an awful pas de deux from Tristan and Isolde at the 2012 Stars of the 21st Century Gala. Last night, she was my favorite part of the ballet. I kept waiting for her to come on stage. Her Odette was lovely and vulnerable and her Odile was very spectacular. Her solo work was beautiful and Hallberg did a good (not great) job of partnering her. Unfortunately, there was not much chemistry between Zakahrova and Hallberg, but I truly believe that she outperformed him. (Thinking back, when I saw her as Kitri in the summer of 2005, she also outperformed her partner, Andrey Uvarov). I usually like David Hallberg very much, but last night, he was not the dancer I saw who wowed me at the Met 3-4 years ago. Hallberg looked very tired. He also seemed to have some trouble getting his jumps all the way around. And the stage of the Koch seemed to be too small for him. As was mentioned before, I also was shocked to see not one but two falls in the corps. The first took place when all the swans first came out and the second came during the Spanish dance. I hated the ending of this Swan Lake. I love the ABT ending, with Odette and Siegfried united together in the afterlife. The NYCB ending is sad, but it has Odette gently gliding off into the distance. This Grigorovich version of Swan Lake has the "Evil Genius" just kind of body slamming Odette onto the ground and seeming to say - "Look - she's dead - get over it!" Overall, I found that there was much more dancing than mime or acting in this production. The Evil Genius - Ivan Lantratov and the Fool - Igor Tsvirko were both excellent. The two women in the Act I PDT - Kristina Kretova and Maria Vinogradova were both wonderful. And the music during the PDT was very fast paced. I second the love for Anna Tikhomirova as the Spanish Bride. I was taken back to the summer of 2005 when an unknown Natalia Ospiova came flying out of the wings during the Act III Grand Pas of Don Quixote. Tikhomirova flew through the air during the Spanish dance. I am happy that I went. I loved Zakaharova and some of the dancers, but the overall production left me feeling a little cold.
  5. Wow - I was really looking forward to Cojocaru!
  6. I went last night and as usual - thank you Diana and Marcelo for giving 110 percent and spilling your guts onstage. What a performance! That last pas de deux in the Louisiana bayou was amazing!
  7. I attended the opening Coppelia. I also saw this three years ago with Osipova and Simkin. I want to second the opinion that this was a triumph for Misty Copeland. I thought that she was beautiful as Swanilda. She was very funny, showed great command of the stage and the audience, and danced very well with Herman Cornejo. The production of Coppelia itself is okay - I felt that it was a little boring in certain parts. I kept waiting for Misty to come back on stage. By the way, I tried to buy Misty Copeland's book at the Met Gift Shop, and I was told that they were completely sold out!
  8. I agree with the above - this is the first time that I have seen Shklyarov dance with Tereshkina where he actually looked older than her. I attended three of the performances. I attended Vishneva/Gomes/Murphy, Smirnova/Muntagirov/Seo, and Tereshkina/Shklyarov/Boylston. Of the three, my favorite was the first. Diana and Marcelo usually spill their guts on stage and they more than delivered at the opening Bayadere performance. When the veil was lifted off of Diana's face, I knew that Diana was not seeing the audience of the Met. She was looking at the Himalayas in the distance and she created a magical spell from her opening pose. The opening pas de deux between her and Marcelo was passionate and much more erotic than it has been in the past. Marcelo as always was the perfect partner - he is probably the best Solor I have ever seen. Gillian Murphy was technically superb in the engagement party and in her solo in the last act (were those triple or quadruple pirouettes she was doing?). And Diana was just Diana at her best - no one uses their back like her to create passion and excitement. And whether as a temple dancer, a woman betrayed, or a Shade - always in character. The Smirnova/Muntagirov/Seo performance left me with mixed emotions. Olga Smirnova was lovely as Nikiya. She has not fully developed the role, yet her dancing by itself was beautiful. There was not the passion between her and Vadim that there was between Diana and Marcelo. Vadim was very good in his solos - he was the surprise for me. Hee Seo is not the technical dancer that Gillian Murphy is, yet she acted the part of the proud and spoiled princess very well. I was happy that I went to this performance, yet of the three, this was my least favorite. The Tereshkina/Shklyarov/Boylston performance left me in awe. Tereshkina's Nikiya was a marvel - I also was in awe of her beautiful dancing, yet I was not moved the way that I was by Diana. Shklyarov was just smashing - every time that I see him dance, he seems to grow as a dancer and an artist. This time, I was amazed by the command of the stage that he has aquired. I am sorry to say that I was disappointed in Boylston's Gamzatti. She looked a little lost up there surrounded by the two Mariinsky superstars. I love this ballet. I splurged and saw the three performances. I hope that Smirnova, Muntagirov, Tereshkina, and Shklyarov will come back and dance at ABT again.
  9. I saw Tereshkina as Gamzatti back in 2008 when the Mariinsky came to DC. The coldness was perfect for the role of the Princess Gamzatti and her dancing was superb. Her coldness was a perfect contrast to Vishneva's Nikiya. The next time I saw her was as Aurora when the Mariinsky came to DC in 2010. There, the lack of warmth was a hindrance. Again, her dancing was gorgeous, but at that performance I ended up watching Kondaurova as the Lilac Fairy more than her. Shklyarov was Prince Desiree at that performance, but he was still a work in progress back then. The next time I saw Shklyarov was when the Mariinsky came to the Met in 2011. I saw him in Symphony in C and I marveled at his growth as a dancer and as an artist. I am really looking forward to tonight's performance and seeing Tereshkina and Shklyarov again. I also want to see how Isabella Boylston holds her ground as Gamzatti.
  10. I attended last night. I also attended Friday night with Vishneva/Gomes/Murphy. Friday night was total magic. Last night was not, but there were many beautiful moments. I thought Smirnova was lovely. Her Nikiya was still a work in progress, but I was thrilled that she came to the Met and I would love to see her again. I had only seen her dance once before - at the 2012 Stars of the 21st Century Gala. Muntagirov was the surprise for me last night. This is the first time I had seen him dance and I read the mixed reviews about him in the past, but he was really great last night. He was dynamic in his solos and he partnered Smirnova very well. There was not the Diana/Marcelo passion of Friday night. Hee Seo acted the part of the spoiled princess but her dancing was not up to the standards of Murphy or Osipova (who danced Gamzatti two years ago). I am going back tonight for Tereshkina/Shklyarov/Boylston.
  11. I agree with you, although I am looking forward to Tereshkina/Shklyarov. I saw Tereshkina dance Gamzatti (with Vishneva as Nikiya) when the Mariinsky was in DC in the winter of 2008.
  12. Craig Salstein was the Bronze Idol on Friday night. He was very good. The best Bronze Idol I ever saw was Cornejo, although Simkin was pretty good himself.
  13. It is after midnight - I will write more tomorrow, but just have to post that it was a magical Bayadere last night. All three leads were at their absolute best. One funny thing - when they moved Solor's divan/couch in Act II, something dropped on the floor that sent a couple of sparks flying. As the Shades were entering, a visible hand came out from behind the curtain to clean up whatever that was.
  14. I attended Thursday evening with Kochetkova and Cornejo. While there were moments of brilliance, there were also moments of terrible sloppiness. Twice (or maybe three times) Kochetkova fell off point while Cornejo was spinning her. It just seemed that the two leads were out of sync with each other. The ballet got stronger as the night went on. Act I seemed to be "off". Kochetkova's Kitri is still a work in progress. She is not quite the feisty girl that I have seen portrayed by Valdes or Osipova. She did have some lovely moments in the Act II dream ballet and most of her solo work was very good.
  15. Thank you so much for your reviews. For the third time in a row, I have had to miss the ABT Opening Night Gala..
  16. I agree - I have been watching the Olympics since 1976 and I would say this was probably the best Opening Ceremonies ever.
  17. You took the words right out of my mouth - I was also thinking about a Sara-Marcelo pairing.
  18. I just got home from the opening night Swan Lake with Sara Mearns and Jared Angle. This is the second time that I have seen the Peter Martins NYCB Swan Lake. The first time I saw it was two years ago with Teresa Reichlen and Tyler Angle (who I will be seeing again this Friday night!) When I saw this production the first time, I definitely did not like it - I think I was so used to the ABT production. Tonight, I liked this production so much more, mostly because of our leading ballerina, but I will save her for the end. The drabness of the sets bothered me the first time. Tonight - not so much. Same with the costumes - last time the fact that only Odette wore a tutu and the un-princely quality of Siegfried's costume bothered me. Tonight - I was okay with it. I was trying to describe the costumes of the court during Act III - Mary Queen of Scots meets the Mushroom People might be the best description. The overall production was very good. One of the things that still bothers me about this version is the lightning fast pace of the music. And the orchestra takes away probably one of the most satisfying parts for the audience - that beautiful last beat of the Act II adagio when Odette drops down into Siegfried's body. Instead, just as we are getting close to that part, the orchestra jumps in with one of those Yadda da yadda da - hope you liked our show! I felt robbed without "the usual" end to the adagio. Two errors I noticed - one poor swan collapsed to the floor on entrance - I felt so bad for her. The Dance for the 4 Small Swans got off to a rocky start, but finished fine. The Act III dances were all great. The Pas de Quatre was done beautifully by Megan Fairchild, Tiler Peck, Abi Stafford, and Joaquin De Luz. I actually preferred the national dances in this version compared to the ABT version. My favorite was the Russian Dance by Rebecca Krohn and Amar Ramasar (yeah! - from the Bronx!!). I found Jared Angle okay. He was a little on the bland side. And I am no expert in this area, but I wish he would have extended his leg a liitle more, especially when landing his jumps. He was a competent partner for Sara, but when she charged up the emotions, he did not repond on her level. I found Jared a little lackluster, yet in the same performance Da Luz, Ramasar, and Antonio Carmena (in the Neapolitan Dance) all really lit up the stage. I found Sara Mearns so radiant. I saw her for the first time two years ago on a mixed Balnchine/Robbins night. Then, I saw her in Emeralds in Jewels and she made me cry. Tonight, I was waiting for what effect her dancing would have on me. I have to say, she is probably one of the most fascinating Odettes/Odiles I have ever seen. She made some interesting choices in her acting and mime. The Act II pas de deux was beautiful, except for the jarring ending and I was left during intermission trying to analyze her performance. Then, in Act III, she was an incredible Odile. You could actually see the change in personality through the way that she danced. (Just on a side note, I was thinking about one of the reviews of the ABT Swan Lake. When Odile is revealed as not being Odette, von Rothbart runs through the front door, Odile runs to the side. One person posted - where does she go? Does she run through the kitchen? - well Sara also went through the kitchen.) Then, her Act IV pas de deux was so heartbreaking. When she left Siegfried and disappeared slowly going backwards, with all the swans coming in front of her - I felt a tear go down my cheek. Thank you Sara - brava!
  19. Back in 2008, I saw Kochetkova in Giselle when the San Francisco Ballet was at the Kennedy Center in DC. She was wonderful! I am disappointed that Cojocaru will not be dancing - I have never seen her in Swan Lake. Kochetkova will be a great replacement.
  20. Plus - it's a happy ballet with a happy ending!
  21. OK - I am going tonight. And I am excited for a number of different reasons. First of all, this is the first Stars Gala in New York City since 2008. Second, I have not seen Svetlana Zakharova dance since the summer of 2005 when the Bolshoi was at the Met. Third, the chance to see Olga Smirnova after all the wonderful things that have been said about her. Fourth, to see Shrinkina and Shklyarov. And I am sure that there will be a few surprises. Hopefully, I will post tomorrow with a report.
  22. First thing I noticed also. Is she okay?
  23. I am a little delayed in posting this, but I went to see the last three Giselles from the Paris Opera Ballet: 7/17 - Dupont/Ganio/Cozette; 7/18 - Gilbert/Hoffalt/Hecquet; and 7/19 - Osta/Le Riche/Daniel. First of all, I really liked the overall production. I am very familiar with the ABT production and sometimes it feels that Act I can drag a little bit. The POB version kept things moving along and I also feel that the mime was a little clearer and a little more understandable. For example, Giselle bows to the Prince and Bathilde even in the midst of her losing her mind. It is also much clearer that Albrecht is being danced to death by the Wilis. The peasant pas de deux is enhanced by the inclusion of the eight other women. The POB's Wili corps was outstanding, although I do agree that it makes no sense to have the Wilis scare the dice throwers - isn't Myrtha calling them to rise out of their graves? There is one part that the POB completely throws away and that is at the end of Act II when Albrecht is holding Giselle and she is supposed to kind of skim across the stage. All three pairs kind of threw that move away and had Giselle coming down hard on her foot. I stll have visions of Hee Seo and David Hallberg doing that move at last year's matinee. Yet that was made up for by a spectacular move where Giselle exits the stage running backwards on pointe - of the three Giselles, Gilbert did that move the best and the fastest. The 7/17 performance had a wonderful and glamorous Aurelie Dupont. I fell in love with Aurelie after watching the POB DVD of Don Quixote with Manuel Legris. Unfortunately, I have only had the chance to see her dance live once - at the 2007 YAGP Gala (again with Legris). I was thrilled to be seeing Dupont as Giselle. When the ballet began, I thought she looked a little stiff and uncomfortable in the mime section of Act I. But then when she took center stage and did Giselle's hops on pointe with one foot - WOW! It was breathtaking. Her mad scene was compelling, but not the best acted of the three Giselles. The woman who sat in front of me questioned why she did not loosen her hair like most Giselles. As good as she was in Act I, Dupont really shone in Act II. She was ghostly and ethereal and outstanding in the technical parts of the dance. I would agree that this Giselle left me in awe, but I was not moved the way I usually am by the story. Mathieu Ganio impressed me greatly - his "entrechant sixes" seemed like they would go on forever and he partnered Dupont beautifully, especially the lifts in the Act II pas de deux. Emilie Cozette was an imperial looking Myrtha, but of the three Myrthas that I saw, I would rank her third of the three. The POB gave us a much more sympathetic Hilarion than the ABT version. The Tuesday night performance gave us Christophe Duquenne, but a better Hilarion was waiting for the Wednesday and Thursday performances. And there was an outstanding peasant pas de deux from Charline Giezendanner and Fabien Revillion. The 7/18 performance gave us Dorothee Gilbert who brought a very childlike innocence to Giselle. Aurelie Dupont is much too glamorous to be 100% believable as an innocent peasant girl. Gilbert's mad scene (like Osta's) really moved me. And there was one part, where she jumped in the air and then did her fall and several members of the audience gasped. When she did the hops on pointe into the spins - I don't think I have ever seen a Giselle turn faster. And then, she was so on in Act II. She flew backwards on pointe when she exited the stage which got a huge round of applause from the audience. Two glitches marred Wednesday night's performance. First, the sword fell apart and there were a few times when my heart was in my mouth, because Gilbert got ever so close to dancing over one part of it. And the second was Gilbert bumping into the scenery during Giselle's final exit. It sounds like it was no big deal, but it jolted me and broke the spell. So again, I was left with a Giselle that amazed me, but did not move me. I enjoyed Josua Hoffalt as Albrecht. He jumped higher than Ganio. He did less sixes, but the ones that he did were incredibly high. I felt that Ganio was the better of the two overall. And what about our Hilarion - the incredibly good-looking Yann Saiz? This was the first time I felt that Giselle may have made the wrong decision. Wednesday's Myrtha was Laura Hecquet. Did anyone else feel that she looked like a very young Queen Elizabeth II? That look gave her a more regal and imperial look than Cozette the night before. The peasant pas de deux was danced by Heloise Bourdon and Axel Ibot. Ibot was a little more explosive than Revillion the night before, but Revillion was much cleaner in the end. 7/19 gave us probably my favorite of the three performances. Clairemarie Osta brought so much emotion to her Giselle. Finally, this was a Giselle that amazed me, yet also made me cry. Osta's dancing was not as explosive as Dupont or Gilbert, but I could not take my eyes off of her the whole night. Her mad scene was heart-wrenching. Yann Saiz was back as Hilarion, but it was so clear that Osta only had eyes for her Albrecht, Nicolas Le Riche. I had the feeling that Le Riche was going out of his way to make sure that this was a great Giselle for Osta's last performance. Again, Le Riche may not have been as explosive as Ganio or Hoffalt, but he brought so much passion to his Albrecht. The final scene truly left me in tears. Nolwenn Daniel was Myrtha and her performance seemed to be on par with Hecquet's - cold, imperial, and commanding. Giezendanner and Revillion were back for another outstanding peasant pas de deux. Merci POB - three beautiful Giselles! Please come back soon!
  24. Well - on Tuesday evening, I just had this feeling that Polina was not going to miss technically. She was so on. In all my years of going to ABT, my favorite Odette/Odile has been Diana Vishneva. The excitement for me is that her Odette is beautiful, but her Odile is wild - technically she may be on or she may not be on. But Diana gives her all emotionally - it is a shame that she has not done Swan Lake in New York since 2010. Polina was so secure technically, but emotionally and artistically, she is still developing
  25. I forgot to add - awesome dive from Daniil at the end!!!!
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