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Everything posted by Ceeszi

  1. I was at the Gala on Monday evening and something has confused me. This is the fifth time that I have attended the Opening Night Gala. When I started going it was excerpts from what was being done during the Spring Season. I notice that the past two or three galas, it has been a free for all. Do you remember at last year's gala, Ospiova and Hallberg did the Act II Pas de Deux from Giselle, Well, there was no Giselle during last year's Spring season (although I was thrilled to see Osipova). This year, where was an excerpt from Don Quixote or Cinderella or Coppelia or one of the new ballets that is being done next week? I thought that this was the whole purpose of the Gala - to give us a preview of what is being done during the season. I agree that the Manon Pas de Deux with Diana and Marcelo was the highlight, but Manon is not being done this season!! I went yesterday afternoon to see Don Quixote and Simkin was thrilling. Yes, he is a dynamo, but I thought he proved what a good partner he could be. (Yes, I did notice the one botched lift during Act III, but everything else was great.) I found Kajiya enchanting and I tried very hard not to compare her with the last Kitri I saw (Ospipova). Kajiya was not a feisty spitfire, but she had many lovely moments, especially in the Enchanted Forest scene. There must be something in the air with all the recent comments that have just been posted. I decided to make a day of it and go and see an evening show as well. I did not want to see Wiles and Stearns in Don Quixote after their weak Act III Swan Lake Pas de Deux on Monday evening, so I also crossed the Mason-Dixon line and took in a Balnchine/Robbins evening at NYCB. I know that this is off-topic, but I must say this - the unison of the NYCB corps puts ABT to shame. There was very little corps unison in Don Quixote yesterday. I still prefer ABT over NYCB, but I will post a review of what I saw in the NYCB forum.
  2. This seems like a weak lineup compared to prior years. I guess money is in short supply to pay for more European guest artists to appear. I agree, but we still have two and a half weeks to go - I'm hoping that there will be some last minute additions!
  3. Vasiliev's name was dropped off the program, (it also looks like Kondaurova is gone too!), but Viengsay Valdes has been added, making her NYC debut. Oh - I do hope that she comes! I got this from the City Center website: Jose Manuel Carreno, Melanie Hamrick, Thomas Forster (American Ballet Theatre) Rubinald Pronk (Dutch National Ballet) Andrea Miller (Gallim Dance) Viengsay Valdes (National Ballet of Cuba) Tiler Peck, Tyler Angle, Daniel Ulbricht (New York City Ballet) Yuan Yuan Tan, Anthony Spaulding (San Francisco Ballet) Roderick George (Theater Basel)
  4. Sadly, I only saw Suzanne dance once. It was the Spring of 1979 and I was 10 years old. She and Peter Martins danced the Tchaikovsky Pas de deux. It was the first time that I ever saw an audience go crazy. It was the first time that I ever heard a member of an audience scream "Bravo!" I had only seen that done in Bugs Bunny cartoons. Even at a young age, I knew that I was seeing something special.
  5. This is such wonderful news! I have only seen Sylvie dance once and that was the summer of 2004, when she danced with Murru in Marguerite and Armand as part of the Ashton Centenial at Lincoln Center. How much I would love to see her dance again in something classical.
  6. I attended the Romeo and Juliet "Super Saturday". It seems like I am in a minority here, but I feel that the matinee was extraordinary, but the evening performance was even better. This 2010 Spring Season of ABT has been phenomenal, but the back to back Romeo and Juliets were like a fantastic dessert after a gourmet meal. To see Osipova and Vishneva in back to back performances on the same day? WOW!! - I feel so lucky to have seen that. Last night's Balcony Pas de deux with Vishneva and Gomes was probably one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in ballet. I was in tears when they were done! This is one of the reasons why I have to give the nod to the evening performance over the matinee. Why did I prefer Vishneva to Osipova? Osipova is a beautiful ballerina and one would never know that this was her first time dancing the role of Juliet. However, I noticed that when things got a little tricky in the dancing, Osipova dropped her emotions and put on a look of concentration. She did the same thing when she danced Aurora a few weeks ago. Sometimes, this makes everything look careful and rehearsed. I felt that as the ballet went on, Natalia let herself go more and more. Diana never dropped the emotions and everything looked spontaneous and in the moment. But again, I will treasure both of these performances for years to come. To put it simple, Osipova was excellent, but I feel that Vishneva was even better! I preferred the Hallberg/Matthews/Hoven trio over the Gomes/Salstein/Simkin. I assumed that Simkin would play Mercutio in the evening performance. (For me THE Mercutio will always be Cornejo.) Also the corps looked a little tighter in the matinee. Thank you ABT for a fantastic season. And thank you Natalia and David and Diana and Marcelo!
  7. I would love to see Raymonda. I don't think they have done it since 2005.
  8. Absolutely amazing Swan Lake last night with Vishneva and Hallberg. The night began with an excellent pas de trois with Hoven, Abrera, and Riccetto and then just seemed to build from there. This is the third time that I have seen Diana in Swan Lake and I did not think that she could possibly improve upon her performance last year with Marcelo Gomes. But last night she was so incredibly beautiful - heartbreakingly lovely in Act II and then so wild and passionate in Act III. Her fouettes were a little on the funky side and she ended with her back to the audience, but she definitely did not play it safe. I agree the fouettes (for me) do not make or break the Odette/Odile ballerina. I saw Diana and David dance together in 2007 in Sleeping Beauty and I was not that impressed with their partnership. Last night, they were wonderful. The Act II pas de deux was breathtaking and he was a wonderful partner. Plus, the Act IV finale was the most satisfying that I have experienced. As I was going home last night, my friend and I were talking about what an incredible season it has been. Bayadere and Lady of the Camellias with Vishneva and Gomes and Don Quixote and Sleeping Beauty with Osipova. And last night was just incredible.
  9. I am wondering if this is why Diana Vishneva did not dance Aurora during this season. This ABT production must really be a let down after the Mariinsky version which she did back in February in Washington DC.
  10. I was at last night's performance with Osipova/Hallberg/Wiles. I also attended Dvorovenko/Belotserkovsky/Riccetto. First of all, I think that this season's production is a tremendous improvement over the version that I saw in 2007. The scenery does not look as cheap as it did three years ago and (thankfully) they did away with the shower curtain. Plus, Aurora's kingdom looked like there was a boom in population (another thing that bothered me three years ago). And it is more clear that the Prince actually destroys Carabosse. However, my one complaint is that they took out the dances for Puss and Boots and Red Riding Hood and the Wolf. Could someone recall - didn't the version three years ago have two intermissions? I could be wrong. I am so glad to read the raves about Cojocaru. I had the pleasure of seeing her as Aurora when the Royal Ballet came to DC in the summer of 2006. She was exquisite! I was thrilled with Saturday night's performance and I loved Osipova. I saw her in Don Quixote at the beginning of June. I agree that she was better in the first ballet, but I felt that she was radiant last night. Her Rose Adagio made me cry (as did Cojocaru's four years ago and Vishneva's three years ago). I know that this was her first time ever as Aurora and according to the NY Times, she was struggling with a sore throat (and the effects of the mugging!!), but I felt that she was still extraordinary. When she came out (what a spectacular entrance for a ballerina) her first series of leaps were unreal! The Rose Adagio was sure and steady if maybe a little on the safe side, as has been commented in previous posts. When Osipova was on stage I could not take my eyes off of her. I hope that she is a regular fixture with the ABT. Hallberg was very good, but it seemed to me that he ran out of gas at the end. But he was the perfect partner and the Act III pas de deux was beautiful. Every fish dive was jaw dropping. I preferred Maria Riccetto over Michele Wiles as the Lilac Fairy. Wiles was way too stiff and brought very little personality to the part. The most beautiful Lilac Fairy that I ever saw was Marianela Nunez with the Royal and I would have Yekaterina Kondaurova (who I saw back in February when the Mariinsky was in DC) in second. The Lilac Fairy should set the tone of "Hey! - Don't worry! - Everything is going to be OK!" I did not get that from Wiles at all and when I watched her with my opera glasses (I was in Family Circle last night) she usually had a very pained expression on her face. But really - Tchaikovsky's music and the storyline - I loved it!
  11. I am physically and emotionally drained. It took a little while for me to warm up to this ballet, but it was a real emotional experience and yes - Diana and Marcelo were absolutely fantastic!
  12. I was completely in awe with Diana Vishneva last night. This is the third time that I have seen her as Nikiya and (I don't know how you can improve upon perfection) but she just seems to find little nuances and beats of the music to make her performances better and better as the years pass. She must be one of the best Nikiyas of our times. The whole Kingdom of the Shades Act made me cry. The corps was much better last night than at the Opening Night Gala. Marcelo Gomes was the perfect partner (as always). Gillian Murphy was an excellent Gamzatti. I saw her dance to the Act I party scene at the Opening Night Gala a few years ago, but this is the first time I have seen her in the role of Gamzatti. I was excited to see Daniil Simkin listed as the Idol and he more than delivered. And this is the most satisfying performance I have ever seen of the last act. I really felt the bewilderment of Solor and the guilt of Gamzatti as Nikiya kept interrupting the wedding. And a what a beautiful tribute to Natalia Makarova at the end. But brava Diana! What a beautiful Bayadere.
  13. I got my wish and the screamers were not in attendance as they were on Friday night. There were a handful of rude people in the house, but for the most part, the audience was still and calm. The man sitting in front of me had the urge to talk to the woman he was with between each performance, but the woman sitting next to me discouraged him from continuing to do this. I think she had anger management problems!! But – on to the Gala! I was late, because of Saturday night traffic and I arrived just as Carla Fracci was ending her talk. It was evident that she was very emotional during her speech. ACT I The Gala opened with Mazurka with Daria Khokhlova of the Bolshoi Ballet. This is the young dancer who would join Vasiliev for the closing number which has been commented on in previous posts. This was a very delightful number and Khokhlova was young, fresh, and charming. A nice opening for the Gala! Next came Narcissus with Ivan Putrov of the Royal Ballet. I have not seen Putrov dance since he was in New York with the Royal Ballet for the Ashton Centennial in the summer of 2004. While I did not care too much for this number, it was obvious that Putrov was the figure from Greek mythology who had fallen in love with his own reflection. The ballroom dance champions, Anna Melnikova and Slavik Kryklyvyy performed to Samba. Just like the Friday night gala, they were able to get the crowd going. She kind of overshadows him, but maybe it’s because he is such a good partner. Like Friday night, I thought that they were going to do an encore number, but they were just staying in character for their curtain calls. Olena Dolgikh and Dmytro Kondratiuk of the Kyiv Modern Ballet were outstanding. I usually don’t care for the contemporary numbers, but this one was excellent. I enjoyed the different shapes that the two dancers were making and I also enjoyed the way that they took turns balancing on top of each other. She scared me a little when she started laughing at the end of the number. I absolutely loved Yevgenia Obraztsova and Emmanuel Thibault in the Pas de Deux from La Sylphide. I enjoyed her on the Friday night gala in Parting, but she was absolutely captivating in this and the classical ballet really showed off her strength. I saw Thibault dance a few years ago at a Stars of the 21st Century Gala and he was outstanding in this as well. I was sad when this dance came to an end. Oleg Chernasov of the Moiseyev Dance Company played both roles in Two Boys in a Fight. This was unique and very original and I had a hard time telling which part of Chernasov was the front and the back. It took a lot of intensity to keep this going and Chernasov delivered. I guess Shirley Esseboom of the Nederlands Dans Theatre got “unstuck” in traffic, because she made it this time to dance with Rubinald Pronk of Morphoses. They danced together in Bella Figura – a hodgepodge of musical numbers. This is usually not my favorite kind of dance, but I enjoyed the energy that the two dancers brought to this. Both Esseboom and Pronk are super-flexible! David Hallberg of the American Ballet Theatre performed to the Dance of the Blessed Spirits with choreography by Frederick Ashton. In this dance it seemed like the stage was too small for Hallberg. One leap and it seemed that he was already on the other side of the stage. In both galas, the solo numbers for the men have been above average. But speaking of solos, Polina Semionova was fantastic in Alles Walzer. Her legs go on forever, she is drop-dead gorgeous and she has such command of the stage. After her Manon with Marcelo Gomes on Friday night, it was incredible to see her come out in something completely different (and be equally as spectacular!) Act I closed with Sarah Lamb and Sergei Polunin of the Royal Ballet in the Act III Pas de Deux from The Sleeping Beauty. On Friday night they gave us the more aggressive Diana and Acteon and now they give us the pure technique of Petipa. Again - another outstanding number. Both dancers excelled in their solo numbers. I think I may have caught maybe a hint of hesitancy in Polunin’s partnering skills, but nothing that could tarnish this number. ACT II Act II opened with a video of Vasiliev’s performances and then we had Obraztsova again in Sentimental Walse. I love this dancer. For me, Semionova was my discovery of these two galas, but I would have Obraztsova as a close second. She was so charming in this number. Sarah Lane and Luis Ribagorda of the ABT danced to the Pas de Deux from Anyuta. This was very well done and I was so impressed with the way that Ribagorda was able to balance Lane on his back and then kneel down and have her gently slide off his shoulders. Ashley Bouder of the NYCB showed a lot of energy in Tarantella, with choreography by Vasiliev (not Balanchine!!). It was amazing to watch her do this number while wearing such a long skirt. Giuseppe Picone of Balletto di Roma danced to Lacrimosa with music by Mozart. I enjoyed this number and he is incredibly flexible. One complaint – he wore see through pants over his dance belt and we got to see a little more of his backside than was necessary. Three members of the Moiseyev Dance Company danced to Gaucho, which was an Argentinian cowboy dance. All three were very good – my favorite was the last one who did the dance with his knife. We then had a repeat of Parting from Friday night’s gala with Obraztsova and Yuri Smekalov. I thought that this was okay on Friday night. I really was not that excited to see it again. I prefer to see Obraztsova in classical numbers than something like this. Veronica Part and Gary Davis of ABT danced to Macbeth with choreography by Vasiliev. This was a very dark and intense dance. Part looked so elegant and regal in this number. Daniil Simkin danced to Les Bourgeois with music by Jacques Brel. I saw him do this number two years ago at the Stars of the 21st Century Gala and tonight was just as exciting. His leaps and jumps are just incredible and he has such a stage presence. Polina Semionova and David Hallberg returned for the Romeo and Juliet Pas de Deux with choreography by Bejart and music by Berlioz. This was well done, even though I prefer the Prokofiev score. I have to confess that I only watched her. (Sorry David!!) Ana Sophia Scheller of the NYCB and Joseph Phillips of the ABT did a very weak Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux. I want to comment about NYCB ballerinas – they all look alike to me. I could be way out of line for saying this, but they do not seem to be able to project any individuality. And then came the Piece D’Occasion with Vasiliev and Khokhlova. I also interpreted this as his search for his lost youth. In my opinion, the chair was more of a distraction than a prop. The ovation for Vasiliev was very touching. And how wonderful to see all the dancers place their bouquets at the feet of Vasiliev. So much variety on the stage tonight and so many outstanding dancers!
  14. I just checked the Kennedy Center website and the Mariinsky is scheduled to bring their Giselle to DC in February of 2011. Can't wait!
  15. Oh - the YAGP Stars of Today Meet Stars of Tomorrow Gala! I love this gala, but I cannot take the screaming kids and the rude audience, of which I had both in abundance tonight. The screaming kids were all way up in the balcony and the rude audience was right behind me - four people who thought that they were watching this on television in their living room. Finally, someone politley told them to shut the **** up and they were behaved for the rest of the night, except for one of the men who greeted the end of every performance with WOO WOO BRAVO! right in my ear! A real test of patience! I'm not sure who the Master of Ceremonies was this year - I walked in during his opening monologue. I could not pay attention because someone was in my seat when the lights went down and the usher abandoned me and told me to settle this on my own (?!) My only complaint about the Master of Ceremonies was that he should have waited for the applause to die down before announcing the next dancer. This only happened in the First Act. (In Act II, I could hear him fine.) The first act was, as always, very charming - except for the screamers in the balcony. The young man dancing with the broom was very good ad I enjoyed the young woman who danced to Pisces - I am wondering if that was the same young woman from last year.. I am sure that a list will be posted somewhere with the names of all the dancers from Act I. I will focus my review on Act II. *The first couple was Mathilde Froustey and Mathias Heyman from the Paris Opera Ballet. They were the only couple to come out twice. Their first number was the Act II Pas de deux from Giselle and then they came out later in the act for Donizetti. I saw her dance at the Stars of the 21st Century Gala in 2006 (she also did Giselle in that gala with Emmanuel Thibault), but this was the first time that I saw him. I thought that they were wonderful. I have to say that I preferred them in the second number. If the announcememnt was not made that Donizetti was choreographed by Manuel Legris, I would have assumed that this came right from the 19th century repertoire. She is a lovely ballerina - I remember being impressed with her four years ago and he was samshing in his solo numbers. There were three dances tonight that were very similar in nature to each other: *The first was ABT principal Michele Wiles with Wang Yi from the Tulsa Ballet in, "In the Moment". *The second was Isabella Boylston and Blaine Hoven from ABT in Sognato *The third was Yevgenia Obraztsova and Yuri Smekalov from the Mariinsky in Parting These three dances were very similar in their mood and lighting. The theme of each of the dances seemed to be lovers flirting and then spurning each other. Wiles and Yi used a live singer, Aurora Barnes. They used a chair as did Obraztsova and Smekalov. Boylston and Hoven used the music of Schubert. This is the first time that I have seen Wiles dance in something contemporary. And I did not realize that Boylston was so flexible! Of the three dances, I preferred the last one, if only to see Obraztsova dance - she got a huge round of applause. Smekalov also did the choreography for this number. *Joaquin De Luz from NYCB danced twice. First he did "Five Variations on a Theme" by Bach and then he came out with Tiler Peck to dance Stars and Strpes. De Luz was great in his solo number and Stars and Stripes is always a crowd pleaser. He stumbled a little bit on his last set of turns in the second dance, but give the guy a break - that was a lot of dancing! *Ballroom dancers Anna Melnikova and Slavik Kryklyvyy danced to Jive. They were very entertaining and they really got the kids in the balcony screaming. At the end, I thought that they were going to do an encore, but they were just staying in character as they took their bows. *Joseph Gorak of ABT danced to Nocture, with music by Chopin. This was a very good solo number for Gorak. Usually, I don't care for the male solo numbers in these galas, but Gorak, De Luz and Pronk all delivered exciting dances. *Rubinald Pronk's from Morphoses danced to "L'effleure". He was supposed to dance this with Shirley Esseboom from the Nederlands Dans Theater, but we were told that she "got stuck in traffic". Pronk is super-flexible and moved to every beat of Vivaldi's music. I'm not sure why he danced with the red ball in his mouth (??). *Polina Semionova and Marcelo Gomes danced to the Manon Pas de deux bedroom scene. What a treat to be able to see Semionova dance live. She got a huge round of applause when her name was announced that the audience did not even hear that she was dancing with Marcelo the Great. This was the only dance of the night that made me cry. Every move that was made was a total act of love. Semionova reminded me a little of Vishneva. *The last number was Sarah Lamb and Sergei Polunin from the Royal Ballet in the Diana and Acteon Pas de deux. I saw Sarah Lamb dance Princess Florine in Sleeping Beuaty a few years ago when the Royal came to Washington DC. She is a lovely ballerina. This is the first time that I saw Polunin dance. Except for a little glitch at the end - Lamb was getting ready to turn and he seeemd to stop her too early - this dance was fantastic. And Polunin pulled off the prerequisite for this Pas de deux - the move which I call the "karate kick wheelbarrow". All in all - a great gala and I will be back tomorrow night for the Vasiliev gala. I hope the screamers are not there!
  16. I am trying to read up on some ballet history. I have read the absurd stories about gentlemen who challenged each other to a duel over their preference for a particular ballerina. I have read the story about eating Taglioni's toe shoes in a sauce. After yeasterday, I am saying - if I was living in the 19th century, could that have been me? I didn't challenge anyone to a duel or eat anyone's shoes, but I did drive five hours in a noreastern (Yonkers to DC) and then turn around and go back just to see Viengsay Valdes dance. The drive down wasn't too bad. But I had the Rosary out on the drive back (and I'm not joking!!) Was it worth it? - ABSOLUTELY!!! Can we kidnap this magical creature or get her to defect? I attended the Saturday night performance. This is the third full-length Don Quixote that I have seen. I saw the Bolshoi when they were in New York in Summer of 2005 and then I saw the ABT production in Spring of 2008. While the Washington Ballet may not have the reputation of the other two companies, I really enjoyed last night's performance. Some parts of the ballet I thought they did better than the other two companies. For example, I thought the comic parts were much funnier in this production than the other two. And the production was filled with beautiful costumes. I do question the use of the Eisenhower Theatre for a production like this. There was no live orchestra - it was all canned music. A few times it seemed to throw the dancers off, especially when they hit their ending poses. However, the one good thing about the Eisenhower was that everything was very up close and personal - even sitting way up in balcony. Well, the whole reason I came was to see Valdes and I was enchanted. First of all, she is the first Hispanic Kitri I have seen (previously I saw Zakharova with the Bolshoi and Ananiashvili with the ABT). She was full of energy, very funny, and had such a stage presence. She drew me in with her smile and with her incredible dancing. Then, she was so heartstoppingly gorgeous in the Act II dream ballet as Dulcinea (Like Don Quixote, I fell in love with her!) Then, the Act III Pas de deux was very exciting. She seemed to have a style of dancing all of her own. I felt that Jonathan Jordan got stronger as the night went on. He looked a little shaky in the beginning, but it seemed that Valdes was helping his confidence. He really lit up in the Act III pas de deux. He even executed one of those "karate kick wheelbarrow jumps". Other standouts were Brooklyn Mack as Espada, Sona Kharatian as Mercedes, Jared Nelson as the Gypsy King, Rui Huang as the Queen of the Dryads and Maki Onuki as Amour. I hope somehow that I will see Valdes dance again! This almost makes up for me missing Osipova with ABT last year.
  17. As I was going down to the city for tonight's Swan Lake, I had only one dilemma. There was no way that tonight's Swan Lake could come near Wednesday night's Swan Lake with Diana Vishneva and Marcelo Gomes. It had to be a letdown, even if it was Nina's last ABT performance - right? WRONG! I thought Wednesday night's Swan Lake was the most beautiful night of ballet I have ever seen. All that has changed after tonight. Overall - remember it is the ABT Swan Lake. The corps was a little better. There were still some rough moments in Act I, but better than Wednesday. The curtain only got stuck once - and that was at the curtain call. And there was not as much noise when the scenery was changed as on Wednesday during the beginning of Act IV. The Pas de trois tonight was Gennadi Saveliev (I was hoping for Simkin again), Renata Pavam and Simone Messmer. Saveliev was better in this than I have seen him in the past and Pavam and Messmer were both very lovely. Marcelo Gomes was outstanding as von Rothbart. His Act III solo was amazing! And I loved the part where he kind of chucked Misty Copeland off to the side to get to the other princess. At the end of the Act III pas de deux, he (not Angel) came out to help Nina do her last set of spins. Then he lifted Nina up, threw her over to Angel who caught her, and eased her quickly down into the dive (like in the Act III pas de deux in Sleeping Beauty). Extraordinary! And the three of them repeated the move when they came out for their curtain call. Angel Corella was wonderful as Siegfried. He partnered Nina beautifully and his spins were so fast. Nina - all I can say is Can you imagine the emotional level of this being her last ABT performance plus the pressure of probably wanting to make this a Swan Lake to remember? But Nina more than delievered. My friend that I went with said that she was flawless and I more than agree. Everything was delivered with beauty and came from her heart. The Act II adagio was "meltingly lovely (almost spoiled by some bozo who decided to disgustingly clear his throat during the beginning - not once - but twice) The Act III pas de deux was perfection and people were actually screaming throughout and this was topped off by that move where Marcelo threw Nina to Angel. That was when the audience exploded! And no one does the rippling swan arms like Nina! (She repeated that move during her curtain call twice). And the curtain calls! Every swan brought Nina a flower. Angel and Marcelo each gave her a bouquet. Even Swamp Thing brought her a bouquet. (She also kissed Swamp Thing!) Every principal of the ABT brought her a boquet. The conductor gave her his baton. Nina's husband and daughter came out. And they dropped the petals from the ceiling. The most magical evening of ballet I have ever seen. But now sadness sets in. Will I ever see her dance again? My friend and I kept saying the same thing - "We are so lucky to be here to see this!" NINA BALLERINA!!!!
  18. All I can say is that this is probably one of the most thrilling, beautiful, and emotional nights of ballet that I have ever seen! The pairing of Diana and Marcelo was magical. I agree about the Act II Pas de deux - I have never seen an audience so still and calm. Diana and Marcelo were each giving 110% in their performances. And this was the first time that Swan Lake has made me cry. Negatives - the corps (especially in Act I) was horrendous. The black see-through curtain got stuck twice. There was way too much noise when they were changing the scenery while the swans were dancing out front in Act IV. But all this is forgiven when I keep thinking of our two leads. This is a Swan Lake I will never forget!
  19. Natalia - thank you very much. Between the Bolshoi Le Corsaire at the Kennedy Center in DC on Thursday and the ABT La Sylphide at the Met on Friday, I just found your reply to my question.
  20. I attended Thursday night's performance with Alexandrova and Volchkov. I have mixed emotions. In the summer of 2005 I saw the Bolshoi at the Met when they did Don Quixote and I was blown away. Thursday night I kept telling myself - THIS IS THE BOLSHOI!!!, but I wasn't really that blown away by them. To be totally honest, I saw Le Corsaire a few weeks ago at ABT and I liked that just as much. This was not better by leaps and bounds. The one part of the ballet that I thought the Bolshoi did superbly was the Act II Garden ballet. Now - that was spectacular. Maria Alexandrova got better as the night went along. I felt that she was a little wobbly in Act I. She was radiant in Act II ad she was the only one who really danced in Act III. In the Pas de deux, she did the 32 fouettes, but then Aleksandr Volchkov had a bad wobble going into his turns and lost his momentum. Nina Kaptsova was delightful as Gulnare and (I'm sorry I don't have my program with me) the Slave pas de duex was well done.
  21. I attended last night's performance with Veronika Part and Cory Stearns (the one that was supposed to be See Heo - oops I'm sorry the one that was supposed to be Natalia Osipova - BUT I've gotten over all of that!) This is the first time that I have ever seen La Sylphide. The fact that it was paired with Airs gave me a hint that it was not going to be that long. I thought that it was beautiful. Veronika Part was so lovely throughout the ballet and I kept waiting for her to return. I also liked Cory Stearns very much - he showed a lot of leading man quality when he danced, so I'm sure that this was a big breakthrough for him. But never have I seen Part so beautiful. I have seen her as Nikiya, Odette/Odile and Aurora. A few weeks ago, I read that New York Times article about her and it confirmed something that I always suspected about her. She just needs to dance and not think too much. In the past, I could tell when she was thinking her way through a performance and when she was just letting the music take over. (For example, so many times she just let loose in her Nikiya, then she thought her way through the Kingdom of the Shades, especially the scarf dance and that is when the bobbles took over.) She confirmed that in the article. Last night, she just let go and what a beautiful vision she was! Airs was good - not what I usually come to see, but the cast was wonderful, especially Misty Copeland.
  22. I ordered this from Amazon about two years ago, but I just watched this yesterday for the first time. Why the delay? I no longer own a VCR. I am staying with my sister who still has a VCR, so I packed this with me. It was beautiful and I loved Altynai as the Princess Aurora. My question is this: The only ones identified are Asylmuratova and Konstantin Zaklinsky. Could anyone add a much more detailed cast list? Thanks!
  23. I saw last night's Giselle with Vishneva/Corella. Diana was absolutely beautiful! There were times that she just made me stop breathing. I remember reading somewhere that she practiced Giselle's entrance at leat 500 times before she felt that she got it right. She didn't just dance Giselle - she was Giselle. Every movement - even when she was just standing on stage was poetry. Angel was good. I saw Diana and Angel back in 2006 and I thought he danced the part better three years ago, but he was still a very good Albrecht. He looks really wild on his spins this season. I agree with everyone else - I did not like Michele Wiles either. This is the second or third time that I have seen her as Myrtha. I prefer Gillian Murphy (who I saw back in 2005) among the ABT Myrthas that I have seen. (I wish I could see Veronika Part as Myrtha.) Outside of ABT, I liked Sofiane Sylve, who I saw last November with the San Francisco Ballet at the Kennedy Center in DC. I always dread the Peasant Pas de Deux. Why? The first time I saw Giselle was back in 2005 with Julie Kent and Julio Bocca. The Peasant Pas de Deux was performed by Herman Cornejo and Xiomara Reyes. It was magnificent. Since then, every Peasant Pas de Deux has let me down. But last night - WOW! Daniil Simkin and Sarah Lane were fantastic. The Wili Corps was much, much improved from past years. But - I will say it again - I LOVE DIANA!!!!
  24. I am not having any luck with Osipova! I have only seen her dance once live - she danced a solo in Don Quixote when the Bolshoi was at the Met in the Summer of 2005. I waited too late to get tickets for the YAGP Gala in 2008, so I missed her "Flames of Paris" with Vassiliev. I bought tickets for this year's YAGP Gala. She and Vassiliev were lised as performing even though they did not. I bought tickets for her La Sylphide on the 19th of June (before the casting change). Then I covered my bases and bought a ticket for the Kennedy Center Le Corsaire on the 19th of June (I was going to drive to DC for that) and now I see she is not doing that either. I might as well just stay in New York for the 19th!
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