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Everything posted by Ceeszi

  1. As much as I loved Diana last night - I have to agree. Check the reveiws for "La Bayadere". Someone posted that expectations for Diana are so high that when she is not perfect, there is a sense of letdown. But she WAS absolutely perfect in Act I last night - I start crying every time I think of her Rose Adagio. Not as perfect in Act II, but better in Act III. I am so blessed that I have seen Diana as Giselle, Odette/Odile, Juliet, Nikiya, and now Aurora!
  2. I attended tonight's performance with Vishneva/Hallberg/Abrera. I also attended Monday night with Part/Gomes/Abrera. First of all - I may sound that I am gushing, but I love Diana Vishneva! It was worth going back to see this production of "Sleeping Beauty" just to see Diana's magnificent Rose Adagio. My heart was pounding - tears were pouring down my eyes - and I don't think I moved at all. When it was over, I was spent! And Diana raised the level of this production. When I left on Monday night, I said "OK - that was nice". But having Diana as Princess Aurora made this a much better production than it actually is. Diana was glorious throughout the whole evening and I kept waiting for her to come back onstage. I have seen three Auroras in my lifetime - Veronika Part on Monday night, Alina Cojocaru last summer at the Kennedy Center, and now tonight - Diana. Diana was the best. There is no contest between her and Veronika - Veronika was just too tentative and unsure of herself. It's a little closer between Diana and Alina. While I also loved Alina Cojocaru's Aurora, Diana truly brought something magical to the stage tonight. David Hallberg was very good and I thought that he partnered Diana beautifully. Herman Cornejo and Xiomara Reyes were just as great as they were on Monday. Martine Van Hamel played Carabosse. Stella Abrera was good, but again, like Monday, she left me feeling cold. Honestly, I was hoping for a different Lilac Fairy. What a Fairy cast! - Hee Seo, Yuriko Kajiya, Melissa Thomas, Misty Copeland, and Zhong-Jing Fang.
  3. I went last night (6/4/07) and saw the Part/Gomes/Abrera cast. Before I begin, I have to say how exciting it was to see the great Gelsey Kirkland live on stage. I have read both of her books several times and I have watched her "Nutcracker" with Baryshnikov over and over again, I almost feel like I know her. She took command of the stage from the moment she walked on and contrary to other posters, I found her Carabosse frightening. I love the pairing of Veronika Part and Marcelo Gomes! I have seen them in "Swan Lake", "La Bayadere", and now, "Beauty". I attended the Opening Night Gala, so I was so happy and relieved to see Veronika's beautiful Rose Adagio last night. I thought I saw some hesitation at the very beginning, but she kept getting stronger and stronger and I thought she was radiant throughout. I loved her Nikiya two weeks ago. In my post for La Bayadere, I wrote that I could tell when she was thinking and I could tell when she just letting the music take over and dance. Last night, I believe she just simply danced to the music. She was beautiful and (contrary to the NY Times) I never found her boring. Marcelo Gomes IS a prince - on and off the stage - so this role fit him perfectly. Their Act III Pas de deux made me cry. Bravo Gelsey, Veronika, and Marcelo! Overall, I felt that the production was missing something. I saw "Sleeping Beauty" last summer at the Kennedy Center in DC with the Royal Ballet. I felt that the Royal gave a much more complete version of the ballet. Last night, it seemed that Aurora's kingdom was underpopulated. I also missed the other dances in Act III. One disappointment is that I would have loved to have seen Hee Seo dance more than what she did as The Cat. However, the magnificent performances of Herman Cornejo and Xiomara Reyes almost made up for that! Stella Abrera was good as the Lilac Fairy. Last summer, I had the pleasure of seeing Marianela Nunez and her dazzling smile. Compared to her, Stella left me very cold. She was regal and majestic, but I feel that the Lilac Fairy should be a warmer figure who should set the tone of "Hey - don't worry - everything is going to be alright!" Sarah Lane as the Fairy of Joy was great! I am also going to see the Wednesday evening performance with Diana!
  4. I could not agree with you more. In fact, I meant to post this as well. I was thinking about this in the car on the way back home last night. For Veronika to have done Nikiya so beautifully and then to be the Third Shade? I don't get it. And while she danced it beautifully, I was really hoping to see Hee Seo again.
  5. I attended tonight with Nina, Jose, and Irina. I also saw the Wednesday matinee with Veronika, Marcelo, and Michele and I went Saturday night with Diana, Ethan, and Stella. I loved all three performances, but I am going to say that tonight was the best of all! Nina - she may not have the sky-high extensions of Diana and Veronika, but I felt that her Nikya was the most complete of the three ballerinas that I had the pleasure of seeing this week. She brought emotion to every minute she was on stage and I could not take my eyes off of her the whole night. The Met was packed and even after the pas de deux in Act I Scene I, people around me started going "Ni-na, Ni-na, Ni-na". I had the feeling that I was witnessing something extraordinary in her performance. I was in tears during the Kingdom of the Shades. And the curtain calls? This is the only "Bayadere" that I attended that had multiple curtain calls. Jose Manuel Carreno was excellent as well. Again, I thought his Solor was the best of the three men. He also took the greatest risks in his solos and he was the perfect partner to Nina. Again, Irina Dvorovenko was the best Gamzatti. Before tonight, I called it a draw between Michele and Stella. Michele danced the part better, but Stella acted the part better. Irina blew them both away. And this is the first "Bayadere" where I thought Nikiya and Gamzatti were equally matched. Irina was fantastic in her Act I dances and her Act III solo dance. Carlos Lopez did the Bronze Idol tonight. I also saw him on Wednesday. Veronika Part did the third Shade. She was beautiful, but I prefered Hee Seo. Except for a noticeable wobble by Shade #1 at the very beginning, the corps was really on tonight. Well - that's it for "La Bayadere". I loved all three of my Nikiyas. Bravo to Veronika, Diana, and especially Nina!!
  6. I felt that way about Diana's Odette/Odile last summer with Jose Manuel Carreno. I expected a lot and I was disappointed. However, I thought she was superb on Saturday night!
  7. I attended tonight's performance. This is my second Bayadere - I also attended the Wednesday matinee with Part and Gomes. I loved Wednesday, but tonight was even better! Tonight was just absolutely mesmerizing. And that is mostly due to the wonderful Diana Vishneva! I loved Veronika, but Diana brought something more to the role of Nikiya. First, she was so much more sure of herself than Veronika. Veronika looked a little tentative in spots - Diana was in total control. Second, every move was taken to the fullest - every gesture had complete amplitude. Third, she has such command of the stage. And fourth, she was given a wonderful Solor. This is the first time that I saw her dance with Ethan Stiefel - what a wonderful partnership they have together. The Kingdom of the Shades pas de deux was breathtaking! Between Michele Wiles and Stella Abrera - I am split. I feel that Michele is the better dancer, but Stella was the better actress. She was Gamzatti - proud and cruel. I loved her dance in Act III - that was the highlight of her performance tonight, in my opinion. The corps was good, but not as on as they were at the Wednesday matinee. Misty Copeland and Hee Seo were even better tonight than they were on Wednesday afternoon and they were joined by Yuriko Kajiya, who I thought was better than Adrienne Schulte. And what a treat that we had Herman Cornejo as the Bronze Idol. Was that Gillian Murphy in the audience?
  8. ]At the Wednesday matinee, it was Carlos Lopez.
  9. I attended the Wednesday matinee today. This is the first time that I have seen "La Bayadere" live. However, I am very familiar with the ballet, after multiple viewings of the Komleva/Abdev/Terekhova Kirov VHS, the Asylmuratova/Mukhamedov/Bussell Royal DVD and the Guerin/Hilaire/Platel POB DVD. I even own the Zakharova/Bolle La Scala DVD, but haven't watched it yet. I have tickets for Saturday night with Diana and Monday night with Nina, but I really could not wait to see this live and I was hoping and praying for a good performance for Veronika. First, I have to say that I loved every minute and there were a few times that I cried during the performance this afternoon. I know - I'm a mush, but I think that is the key to a great performance - does it make me cry? The overall production is just first-rate - costumes, scenery, the leads, and the corps. The Act II Shades entrance was so much better this afternoon than it was at Monday night's Gala. There were no noticeable bobbles from the corps this time. Michele Wiles - wow! - the role of Princess Gamzatti suits her perfectly. I have seen her dance before, but she has never impressed me. I saw her dance one of the lead Wilis (the other lead Wili was Veronika Part!) in "Giselle", I saw her dance Myrtha in "Giselle", and I saw her in Monday night's Lilac Fairy solo. None of these really made her stand out in any way, in my opinion. Today, I became a fan. I thought she was wonderful, especially during the Act I dance. Here is something she did that I did not see other Gamzattis do before. When Nikiya walks in, she deliberately looks away and barely acknowledges her presence until she turns to examine her face the first time. That was pretty good - it set the tone for the struggle between the imperial power of Gamzatti versus the humble Nikiya. Marcelo Gomes was perfect. What can I say? He is so regal and princely to begin with. His solo dances were great and he partnered Veronika so beautifully. Their dances together had that "meltingly" lovely quality. He also conveyed deep anguish during the Act II Kingsom of the Shades and the Act III wedding scene. His solo in the Act I engagement dance - I have seen it done with more difficulty, but Marcelo opted for safe and clean. I saw Marcelo and Veronika once before in "Swan Lake", so I knew that they had a good partnership. This afternoon, I thought their partnering was superb. Veronika Part - I am so happy for her, especially after Monday night's Rose Adagio. I thought she was absolutely beautiful. She got a well-deserved standing ovation at the end. She made me cry several times during the course of the ballet. The only negative thing that I have to say about her performance is that during the Act II Kingdom of the Shades she looked like she was thinking too much. She is a dancer who needs to just let go and dance. I could tell the difference between the times when she was letting go and letting the music take over and I could tell when she was thinking her way through. She completely let go during the temple scene (her solo and her pas de deux with Marcelo) and her solo at the engagement party. She was a little tentative at the beginning of the Kingdom of the Shades, but then at the end, she started to relax. She was excellent in the Act III wedding. But I agree with a previous poster - she really felt the music and danced with her heart many times. Does anyone know why they left out the dance she does when she receives the basket of flowers? They even left out the music - I missed that part! I was also impressed with Misty Copeland and Hee Seo. The whole Kindom of Shades Act was outstanding!!
  10. This is the first time that I have been to the Opening Gala and I am trying to process it all. There was so much beauty on the stage tonight! The opening entrance of the Shades from "La Bayadere" is always extraordinary to watch. I did see a few struggles with balance, but all in all I thought it was mesmerizing. I am really looking forward to the full ballet. I have tickets for Saturday night with Diana and Monday night with Nina. However, after tonight, I want to see all of the casts! I don't know if I can, but I will try my best! Michele Wiles was good, but I felt that her solo was over too quickly to fully appreciate her dancing. Same with Diana Vishneva. I thought that Diana was very good, but my friend who accompanied me tonight thought she was a little off. This is probably why she did not come out for a curtian call at the end. I felt bad for Veronika Part. I agree with the previous posts that she absolutley looked the part of Aurora. I was looking forward to something spectacular, but that one bobble at the start left her very shaky. A previous poster mentioned her partners not doing a good job. One of them looked like he was spinning her way too fast when she was on pointe. To her credit, she held it together and finished strongly. But I wonder if these little glitches are what keeps her from being promoted to a principal. The only other time I saw her in a leading role was when she and Marcelo Gomes did "Swan Lake" in the summer of 2005. Again, she was radiant, but had a few glitches, especially in the Act III pas de deux. Tonight, Veronika was lovley, but she did not make me cry. Alina Cojocaru made me cry when she did the Rose Adagio last summer in Washington DC. But as previously posted, hopefully this is just dress rehearsal jitters. On the other hand, I thought Maxim and Irina were silky smooth in the Act III pas de deux. I thought "Lady's Choice" was okay. The dancing by Stella Abrera and Sascha Radetsky was lovely. In his encore, Lang Lang played like a man possessed. Act II was much better than Act I. The balcony scene from "Romeo and Juliet" was beautiful and dramatic. It was nice to see Herman Cornejo in the lead role and not just the acrobatic sidekick. He and Xiomara Reyes did a beautiful job. Herman danced the part with great intensity, especially in his solo number. Xiomara was very girlish and innocent. I noticed that they drew the curtain just as they reached for each other. The audience kind of let out a collective sigh when this dance was over. I have posted this before - Marcelo Gomes looks like such a great guy in real life, but he really excels in these menacing bad guy roles. "Othello" was a real surprise for me - I did not know what to expect. This was an incredibly intense dance. And who better to dance with Marcelo than Alessandra Ferri? She gets into these incredible positions when she dances. Her dancing is a combination of wild abandon with total control. And how did they do that strangulation scene? The highlight of the night for me was the Act III pas de deux from "Swan Lake" with Nina Ananiashvili and Angel Corella. This is the first time that I ever saw Nina dance live. She was incredible - no one does that rippling of the swan arms like her. She and Angel both excelled tonight! There was a complete confidence in their dancing - you just knew that they were going to be on tonight. The Bedroom pas de deux from "Manon" was also beautiful with Julie Kent and Jose Manuel Carreno. I miss Julie Kent - I haven't seen her dance since the summer of 2005 (that's my own fault!) They did a beautiful job of conveying the playfulness and love of this dance. I particularly loved Julie's positions and the lovely arch in her back. I was really hoping that Paloma Herrera would do well. The last time I saw her was at the YAGP Gala two weeks ago when she took a spill in "Rubies". How lovely she was in the Temple pas de deux with David Hallberg. Now, after tonight, I want to see her Nikiya also. What lovley positions she hit during this dance. I especially liked the beginning where she was dancing with the water jug in her hand, looking for Solor. Gillian Murphy and Ethan Stiefel were solid in the Engagement Party dances. I had a feeling that Gillian would be picked for Gamzatti. She looked like she was in total control the whole time. And Ethan was great in his solo. Well - tonight really has really made me want to see a lot during this season. I will be out of town for three weeks in June, unfortunately, so I am limited as to what I can see. But my friend and I remarked on the way out - "We are so lucky to be here tonight!"
  11. Great present - I'll be there too! I've never seen Nina dance live, so I can't wait!!
  12. Oh - Marianlea was such a beautiful Lilac Fairy last summer in Washington DC. While her dancing was so beautiful - it was her smile and warmth that seemd to set the tone for the Lilac Fairy - "Hey! Don't worry - everything is going to work out all right!" She was so radiant last night in Le Corsaire -
  13. Yes - I noticed that this young man, who danced to Diana and Acteon, did a similar move to the "karate kick wheelbarrow" move (I still don't know what to call this!) that Denis Matvienko did at the Stars of the 21st Century Gala back in February. Matvienko also danced to Diana and Acteon
  14. I just got home a little while ago. What a night! I arrived at City Center at about 6:00 to find signs that the Gala was sold out. I picked up my tickets and sat in Au Bon Pain until curtain time. Now, this was the first time that I had been to City Center in years, and I could not remember what the place looked like inside. My seat was in Rear Mezzanine - very disappointing with the curtain closed, but a little better once the curtain opened. It seeemd that I was so far away from the stage when I first sat down. The audience was very rowdy (a lot of screaming) and there was a lot of rudeness going on. A lot of talking during the performances - a lot of WALKING AROUND during the performances - and someone to my right kept taking flash pictures during the performances, despite numerous warnings - even from Desmond Richardson. Speaking of Desmond Richardson - he was a very charming host for the evening. BUT - could someone have gone over the pronunciation of names with him before the gala? Sorry if I'm being over critical here, but the behavior of the audience put me in a very grumpy mood. The first Act was very enjoyable. I was captivated right from the beginning - the young man from Japan and the young lady from Mexico were brilliant! The three young ladies from Japan with the chairs were very interesting and I especially liked the couple who did the pas de deux from "The Pharaoh's Daughter." The ensemble number with all 250 competitors brought the first act to a rowsing finale. I don't think I have ever seen so many dancers on stage at the same time! I guess there was no way to list all of the performers in Act I, but it would be nice to know for the future, in case any of the dancers that we saw makes the big time! On to Act II. The audience was still coming in when the lights were dimming and it seemed that a big party was going on in Center Mezzanine - they would not sit down. Aurelie and Manuel started to dance. One woman walked in and just stared into space for about a minute and a half. Someone sitting behind her screamed out - SIT DOWN! Later on, to my right I heard - PLEASE STOP TALKING! PLEASE STOP TALING ON YOUR PHONE! See what I mean about a rude audience - and they all seemd to be with me in Mezzanine. Act II began with "La Petite Mort" with Aurelie Dupont and Manuel Legris. I have to admit that this was the whole reason I was attracted to this gala - I wanted to see Aurelie Dupont! This dance, with music by Mozart and choreography by Kylian was very intense and dramatic. What Aurelie and Manuel did was show their years of experience of danicing together by seeming to melt into each other's bodies. They were all over the place - Aurelie gave herself completely to every move and position - but they kept the dramatic intensity going during this number. They were the only couple to do an encore. They came out next to last and did "La Dame aux Camelias" with choreography by John Neumeier and music by Chopin. This was another intense number - more romantic in nature - and the audience gasped when Manuel took Aurelie's black dress off of her. Here's something to think about - I was waiting after the show by the stage door when out comes Manuel - jacket and dress pants - and Aurelie - the glamorous etoile - in jeans, a sweat shirt and black high-top pro keds. You know what? She still looked gorgeous!!! Cecilia Kerche and Vitor Luiz of Ballet Teatro Municipal de Rio de Janeiro did the pas de deux from "La Esmeralda" with music by Pugni and choreography by Perrot. This was very charming and joyful. I was not too familiar with this - I remember watching a pas de six from this ballet on a Kirov tape that I had. The tambourine was brought out as a prop and then quickly abandoned. Next up was Sascha Radetsky and Stella Abrera doing Jabula - I don't think they performed tonight. I am looking at the program and I am racking my brain trying to remember this and nothing is coming to mind! Maybe another poster can confirm this - I hope I didn't skip a groove or something! Xiomara Reyes and Gennadi Saveliev danced to "Spring Water". I saw this on a DVD I have of Great Pas de Deux. Big complaint - the recording of the music was terrible! The dance itself was beautiful. I remember that this number ends with a lift and I'm not sure if they did it or they made a a mistake and the lights were dimmed very qucikly. MOMIX - I didn't like it! Four women (with fezzes on their heads??) dancing and bouncing with exercise balls. Contemporary Complexions Ballet - world premiere of Choke - didn't like this either! Forgive me!! - Modern dance is not my thing! Paloma Herrera and Nikolaj Hubbe danced "Rubies" from Jewels. I saw this a couple of years ago with Diana Vishneva and Andrian Fadeyev at a Stars of the 21st Century Gala. As soon as the dance started I saw that they looked a little shaky and then Paloma fell. To her credit, she got right back up, didn't let it faze her, and finished strong. Isabelle Boylston and David Hallberg danced to "Quiet Music". This was another World Premiere. I liked this better than Choke, but there was nothing very memorable about this dance for me. Ashley Bouder and Joseph Phillips danced to "Stars and Stripes Forever". I was very excited to see Ashley again after seeing her this year at the Stars of the 21st Century Gala. This was a super difficult dance! There was that great part when Ashley is dancing offstage when Joseph runs over grabs her and glides off with her. Both dancers excelled together and in their solos. Mono Lisa introduced us to the very-flexible Alicia Amatrian and her partner Jason Reilly. The music sounded like a typewriter. Like "La Petite Mort", this needed a lot of dramatic intensity to keep it going and it seemed that the two dancers kind of fell off at the very end. But of all the premieres (this was the New York Premiere), this was the most enjoyable. Last up was Marianela Nunez and Thiago Soares in Le Corsaire. I saw Marianela dance the Lilac Fairy last summer at the Kennedy Center and I saw Thiago dance a beautiful Thais with Leanne Benjamin at the Ashton Centennial a few summers ago. Thiago looks a little like Marcelo Gomes. The Le Corsaire pas de deux is always a showstopper and what a great way to end the night. Marianela did either a quadruple or quintuple pirouette during her solo number - I am not sure. But this was a spectacular ending for the night.
  15. Oh - I can't wait to see Aurelie Dupont. If she cancels, I will
  16. First of all, I love this Message Board. I have learned so much since joining a year and a half ago. I was wondering if anyone has any good recommendations for an Opera Message Board. Any help would be much appreciated!
  17. I have found a slight resemblance between Altynai Asylmuratova and Audrey Hepburn - they both have those marvelous high cheekbones. And they are both so beautiful in an unusual way. I just watched the POB "Don Quichotte" and sometimes Aurelie Dupont reminded me of Catherine Zeta-Jones and sometimes she reminded me of Liv Tyler. I also have noticed the Guillem/Adjani resemblance.
  18. Ceeszi

    Suzanne Farrell

    Last year, I read her autobiography and I just finished watching "Elusive Muse" for the second time. I know that her place in ballet history is secure, especially as she was one of Balanchine's greatest muses. Some of the ballets that she originated have now become regarded as classics. However, we never got to see her in the classical roles - Odette/Odile, Aurora, Giselle, Kitri, Nikiya, etc. These are my questions: 1) Did she ever dance any of these roles? Maybe not at NYCB, but when she was in Bejart's company or maybe if she was a guest artists somewhere? 2) How would she have been in these roles? Maybe not all of those roles would have suited her style of dancing. 3) Do you think she ever regrets not getting a chance to do these roles? Since she was such a devoted disciple of Balanchine, she may have followed his dislike for classical ballet. **I am so grateful that my sister took me to the NYCB in the spring of 1979. I saw her and Peter Martins dance the Tchaikovsky Pas de deux. As an 11 year old, I remember being frightened by all the people screaming "BRAVO!!!!!" after they were done. Years later, I saw Suzanne receive an honorary degree from Fordham University - I think it was in 1987 - I was still an undergraduate student at the time.
  19. I just watched this again. This is the Nureyev choreography with Aurelie Dupont and Manuel Legris. I have two questions: 1) Basil and Kitri do a dance together before they are surrounded by the Gypsies at the beginning of Act II. Am I correct in thinking that this music comes from the Act I dance between Nikiya and Solor in Act I of La Bayadere? Was this just for the Nureyev version or is this standard for all versions of Don Quixote? I can't remember if this music was used in the Bolshoi version when they came to NYC last summer. 2) Is there any reason why Sancho Panza is dressed as a friar?
  20. I loved last night's performance and I loved the pairing of Vishneva/Corella! While the dancing was marvelous, the drama and intensity were even more powerful. What I found very effective was the way both dancers were able to transform themselves during the night. In the first scene of Act I, Corella played Romeo as a carefree playboy - dancing and fighting in the streets of Verona with his friends until he comes face to face with true love. In Act II, after the ball, he was a changed man - then, realizing that maybe he might have imagined it all, he briefly goes back to his playboy ways until he sees the marriage procession and receives Juliet's letter. In the second scene of Act I, Vishneva played Juliet as an innocent young girl - still fond of playing with dolls and sitting in her nurse's lap. Then, when Paris is presented to her, there is a brief flicker of womanhood. When she meets true love face to face, she becomes a woman. Vishenva displayed every emotion - love, despair, boredom, passion, even ecstasy. We were given a wonderful first-rate cast last night! Herman Cornejo was his usual fantastic self as Mercutio - Sascha Radetsky as the third member of the Romeo/Mercutio/Benvolio trio - David Hallberg as Paris - Gennadi Saveliev as Tybalt - and Veronika Part and Victor Barbee as Lord and Lady Capulet. But I was mesmerized by the Angel and Diana pairing. I saw them back in June in Giselle, so I was really anticipating something special and they delivered! Both of them were wonderful in their solos and both pas de deux - at the end of Act I and the beginning of Act III - were beautiful expressions of love. And what I found really heartbreaking was when Romeo tries to do a pas de deux with the (supposedly) dead Juliet and her body is limp the whole time - very powerful! This is a partnership that is going to develop beautifully!
  21. I also enjoyed Sylvia. I have seen Gillian Murphy dance before. Her dancing has always been very good, but I never felt that she was right for some of the roles that she played in the past. However, this is a role that fit her like a glove. She was able to combine everything together wonderfully last night. She is such a powerful dancer, but last night there was also a gentleness and sweetness to her dancing. One thing I can't get over is how short the ballet was. The first act ended at 8:45 and the ballet was over at 10:00 on the dot. The corps was a little sloppy in the beginning, but got better as the night went along. I sat in Dress Circle and one of the things that bothered me was - should the corps be making THAT much noise when they dance? In some parts, it sounded like they had heels on the bottom of their toe shoes. Ashton's choreography is always wonderful to see. I had the pleasure of attending a night of the Ashton Centennial back in the summer of 2004. Many of the group dances in Sylvia reminded me of the shapes and patterns that the dancers made in another of his ballets, Scenes de Ballet. Maxim Beloserkovsky and Marcelo Gomes were both wonderful. The role of Aminta is not a flashy role, but Beloserkovsky brought his powerful partnering and solo dancing to it. Marcelo Gomes looks like such a great guy in person, but he is so right for bad guy roles. I'm thinking not only about last night's Orion, but also his von Rothbart from Swan Lake. He oozes charm and sex appeal in his attractive bad guy roles. Bravo to Carlos Lopez as Eros for being able to stay in that immobile position for so long as the statue. His dancing was a little shaky in Act III and unfortunately, at the end of Act II, some people around me started to giggle when he assumed that Statue of Liberty pose at the front of the ship. I felt bad for one of the corps ladies in Act III. Her prop fell apart and when she bent down quickly to pick it up, her hand missed, and when she stopped to try again, the girl behind her danced right into her. I liked the Goats! They were played by Anne Milewski and Craig Salstein. How I wish Veronika Part had more to do as Terpsichore! I couldn't take my eyes off of her when she was on stage. Same for Zhong-Jing Fang who came in Act III as one of Sylvia's attendants. No one in the corps carries themselves the way she does. Next year, I would love to see more Part and more Fang!! But the night belonged to Gillian Murphy!
  22. I also, sadly, agree with what many people have posted on the board about last night. Last year, I saw Veronika Part and Marcelo Gomes. This year, I wanted to see Diana Vishneva, especially after watching her magnificent Giselle with Angel Corella on June 17th. Last year, I saw Jose Manuel Carreno bring the house down when he danced the Act III Pas de Deux with Paloma Herrera in the All-Star Tchaikovsky Night. So, I was really looking forward to last night's performance and the combination of Vishenva/Carreno. Things started out great, especially with the Act I Pas de Trois. Last week, I saw Herman Cornejo give a very subdued performance as Manon's brother. Last night, he was back to his usual virtuoso self. The audience oohed and aahed over every one of his leaps and Xiomara Reyes and Erica Cornejo radiated joy. Last year, in the Part/Gomes performance, I saw a weak Pas de Trois and the audience was really not "into it" until Part came onstage. Last night, the audience was there (packed!!) and was ready for something spectacular. It just didn't happen. I thought Diana Vishneva made a beautiful Odette. But, she did not really display much emotion. I wanted to see the torment, the despair, the suffering, and the feeling that she was a trapped woman. And I know she is capable of great acting, as she showed in Giselle. Vishneva was good last night, but I wanted her to be spectacular, and she wasn't. However, her Act II with Carreno was lovely - that got one tear to come out of my eye. Overall, there was a coldness in Vishneva's Odette, which I did not expect. Carreno is also a good dancer, but again the acting and emotion were just not there. There was not much chemistry between the two dancers, certainly not the chemistry which Diana had with Corella in Giselle. I feel that Carreno got better as the night went along. He was really on in his Act III solos. Vishneva was good in Act III, but she wasn't perfect as she usually is. In her solo before the 32 fouettes, she wobbled when she stopped and she looked visibly shaken. She did her fouettes, but as someone else commented, she ended with her back to the audience. Maybe she was just having an off night. The corps de ballet was beautiful. I liked Sascha Radetsky as von Rothbart much better than Jesus Pastor, who I saw last year. The overall production - costumes and scenery - is first rate!
  23. Koshka - I can't thank you enough! I will never forget Thursday night!
  24. It is now 9:15 and I just woke up. I'm the one who drove 10 hours (NYC to DC and back) and took two days off from work just to see Alina dance. Was it worth it? Absolutely! First of all, the drive went well. I left NY at 11:30 and arrived in DC at 4:15. The problem I had was getting to the Kennedy Center Parking Lot. Three times I followed signs that said "Kennedy Center" only to get on a road that lead to a highway that took me out of DC into Virginia. I passed the steps that the priest fell down in "The Exorcist" (TWICE!!), because I accidently got on the Key Bridge which goes by Georgetown and I had to make one illegal u-turn. But, I finally found it, parked the car, picked up my ticket, and sat in the coffee shop across the street in the Watergate until curtain time. One more story. On Monday night, I went to see "Manon" and I was way, way up in Family Circle. Where was my seat last night? RIGHT BEHIND THE CONDUCTOR. For anyone who was there last night - that was me - front row - center seat. I thought there was some kind of mistake! I bought my ticket on the Internet on Tuesday afternoon. How this happened - God only knows! Never had I been this close to the stage since I was 13 years old and went to see "Annie" on Broadway. OK - enough stories. Now, this is the first performance I have ever seen of the full-length "Sleeping Beauty". The Royal Ballet presented a beautiful and dynamic production, visually stunning, with spectacular dancing. And thanks to the casting of last night's performance, we got to see three of the ballerinas who are playing Aurora. Marianela Nunez played the Lilac Fairy - she is playing Aurora on Saturday night. She was so radiant throughout the entire evening (what a smile!) and danced the part beautifully. Just one little glitch, but it wasn't her fault. In Act II, her chariot bumped into the scenery and she had a noticeable wobble, which elicited gasps from some members of the audience. Sarah Lamb danced the Blue Bird Pas de Deux with Yohei Sasaki. She is playing Aurora on Saturday afternoon. I got really excited when I saw her name in the program, especially after reading on the board about her upcoming Aurora. And she is a lovely ballerina - there is a gentle quality to her dancing and she is probably going to be beautiful on Saturday. But last night, we saw the best Aurora of all, but I will leave her for last. I sat there in awe the whole evening. In the Prologue, the dance of the Fairies set the whole tone for the night. I also recognized Thiago Soares, who was the Cavalier to the second Fairy. I saw him dance a wonderful "Thais" with Leanne Benjamin at the Ashton Centennial in 2004. Carabosse was actually played by a woman - Genesia Rosatto. When she entered with her rat-drawn chariot, I had flashbacks to seeing the Disney cartoon and the appearance of Maleficent (which used to give me nightmares). Then, Nunez, with her dancing and acting sets the mood of "Hey- don't worry- eveything is going to be OK!" The Act I dance with the flowers was beautiful. Again, the Disney cartoon popped up in my head - "I know you - I walked with you once upon a dream ..." Then, my heart was in my mouth waiting for Alina's entrance. What can I say? I have been blessed to see some of the greatest ballerinas in the short time that I have been attending the ballet - Zakharova, Bussell, Vishneva, Ferri, Guillem, Lacarra. I can truly say that Alina Cojocaru is probably the loveliest ballerina that I have ever seen in my life. I actually cried while she was dancing the "Rose Adagio". She has everything - beauty, presence, technique, artistry, gracefulness, and command of the stage. I could not take my eyes off of her the whole entire night. And when Johann Kobborg came on stage to join her - they make such a beautiful pair. And all of their dances together had that "meltingly lovely" quality. They had a beautiful Act II dance in the forest and their Act III Pas de Deux was spectacular, (especially the part where Johann dips her and she lets go and has her legs wrapped around him backwards). Here is my only negative. I thought Johann Kobborg was great. (He is much better looking on stage than his mugshot of a picture in the Royal Ballet Souvenir Book). But, I was unimpressed with the rest of the male dancers. For example, Martin Harvey, who danced Florestan, and Yohei Sasaki, who danced the Bluebird are both adequate dancers. But, in NY, we are spoiled by Cornejo, Bocca (no more!) , Corella, Carreno, and Gomes. Kobborg has a lot of the qualities of our New York friends, but the rest of the male dancers were just OK. Other than that, it was a beautiful evening. I came to see Alina and she was incredible. She was worth the drive. But please - can we ever get her back to NY?
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