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Everything posted by Buddy

  1. chiapuris and vrsfanatic thank you very much for your further clarification. vrsfanatic thank you for your extremely interesting detailed description of the Vaganova method. Beck_hen you have steered things a bit more in the direction of my next question. When one says that a dancer performed with 'Good Technique' does that refer principally to performing 'Correctly' what has been 'Taught' or 'Systemetized'? Is there a 'Broader Interpretation' of the word 'Technique'? Beck-hen has suggested that personal(?) "Artistry" might be a factor as well. Can a dancer not perform 'Correctly', if this is the right word, and still be 'Technically Good'? I only search for precise definitions because 'Good Technique' is such a widely used term in describing ballet performances. I guess I should add, "What do you think most reviewers have in mind when they refer to "Good Technique"?
  2. bart, I have not had a chance to really look at your post carefully. I will do so as soon as possible. As I read and reread the postings at this topic, I think that there is a 'Wealth Of Interesting Ideas' that has been expressed so far. For the moment I would like to call attention to felursus' comments . These comments discuss proper training, proper use of the pointed foot, taking as good care of the feet as possible. etc. Any comments here especially from dancers and instructors?
  3. As someone who is relatively new to ballet (about three years) I would like to resurrect this topic. Getting past the somewhat formidable title of this topic and perhaps scrolling down a little to Katharine Kanter's very interesting comments about 'Not Needing So Much Pointe Work' are there any new thoughts about this. I am very glad to read that there are those who are comfortable doing pointe work. What about new shoe technology in our High Tech Space Age. Can alot more be done here?
  4. In the New Yorker Joan Acocella discusses Diana Vishneva's "Giselle". Ms. Acocella has some rather different ideas about the nature the character than I do, but I definitely share her sentiments about Diana Vishneva's abilities. Two quotes below. "Diana Vishneva, a principal dancer at the Kirov Ballet and at American Ballet Theatre, once told Francis Mason, of Ballet Review, that in any ballet she always tried to find “a particular thing that allows me to know what I am doing with the role, not just to do it beautifully.” She needed, she said, to find her own “secret.” "Her versatility is huge. So is her scale. She has the hundred-and-eighty-degree extension that ballerinas, worldwide, now cultivate, but she uses it for dance purposes—to carve the air, broaden the arc—rather than for the merely visual purpose, so strange and fundamentally vulgar, of raising the foot to the ear. Also, she has the celebrated Kirov back. When she turns around, you can see all the movement emanating from the lumbar spine. But you don’t have to see it. Always, you can feel that generator working, and this gives the movement force and unity, which read as spiritual qualities—the body as soul." http://www.newyorker.com/printables/critic...710crda_dancing
  5. Thank you very much, vrsfanatic. I use the term with my own 'variable' idea of what is means, but I was never sure what it means to others.
  6. Could someone please tell me what the term "technique" means. If this has already been discussed could you please refer me to the topic. Thank you.
  7. I thought I would put this here. It seems like a very good summary of these two exceptional performers. The New York Sun Where No Two Swans Are Alike Dance By JOEL LOBENTHAL June 30, 2006 Veronika Part and Diana Vishneva each trained at the Vaganova Academy in St. Petersburg, joined the Kirov Ballet in the mid-1990s, and immediately became leading dancers in the company. Each now dances with American Ballet Theatre, and each danced an exciting Odette/Odille in ABT's "Swan Lake"on Wednesday.And there the similarity between the two ends. Ms. Part's natural realm is the adagio, while Ms. Vishneva is the most exceptional allegro technician the Kirov had produced in a long time.Ms.Part is lush; Ms. Vishneva is chiseled and wiry. Ms. Part retains a visible connection to the classic Kirov aesthetic tradition, whereas Ms.Vishneva's aptitude for neo-classical and modern ballet idioms represents a real break from the past. http://www.nysun.com/article/35345
  8. drb, forgetting for a moment that I am a respectable sixty-three year-old grandfather, I would like to Shout Out (moderately speaking)... !!!!!!!!!! Long Live The Daughters Of St. Petersburg !!!!!!!!!! ...and your very fine tributes to them.
  9. I have a further thought about what I felt was Daria Pavlenko's wonderful Grand Pas de Deux. I was so overwhelmed with 'how well' she was performing, that I really didn't try to analyze 'what' or 'who' she was performing. My impression for the moment is that she was performing the Dance, 'the intense drama of the Dance itself' and not primarily a character. I will restate that I thought her performance was 'Magnificent'. Whatever she was doing, it worked wonderfully for me. Waelsung, do you have any particular thoughts about this? Anyone else? chiapuris, I know that you didn't see this performance, but you do have some very interesting ideas about what ballet is actually about. Would you care to comment or even start a new topic?
  10. I am almost postive that it was Ekaterina Kondaurova who danced the last Myrtha. There was no printed information and no announcement. I am sure that I recognized her (red hair), from the last and only Forsythe program that I was able to attend, doing "In The Middle...". Also a usually well-informed internet poster had written that she would be doing Myrtha. Ekaterina Kondaurova danced very well and was a real surprise and pleasant change with her long, linear, graceful appearance and her more relaxed characterization. nysusan, thanks for this lovely description. I also thought that Viktoria Tereshkina did beautifully. I felt that she danced very securely with an imposing presence throughout. One thing that I liked very much was when she ws doing a backward series of jumps, first landing in attitude(?) (back leg bent) and then landing again with the same leg straighter , doing a beautifully defined up and down motion. With each performance she became more relaxed and lyrical. "I hope someone else can describe it in more detail – that’s all I can manage." [nysusan quote] In reference to your fine review, I don't think that anyone could ask for much more than the detailed posting that you have given us. The end of Act I was done well by everyone. Daria Pavlenko's second performance seemed slightly more nuanced (which I liked) than the first. If taking children (even adults) to see Giselle, I like the idea of clueing them in ahead of time about this scene and telling them that Giselle's love does triumph in the end. The Peasant Pas de Deux was performed all four times by Ekaterina Osmolkina and Vladimir Shklyarov. Like many of the dancers that I observed, they became better each time. They were a pleasant and 'airy' change as well. Ekaterina Osmolkina's dancing was light, delicate, clean and lovely. In her fine jetes she did a very nice, clearly defined double flick of the lead foot. Vladimir Shklyarov's dancing was fine and graceful with very good 5th position landings. This seemed like a technically fine performance with an abundance of charm. I hope to see these excellent and 'heart-warming' performers again in November in nearby Chicago. It's been a wonderful 'voyage' and I've loved it. I wish Alina Cojocaru a great continued success in DC and look forward to reading more about it here. I also look forward to reading chiapuris' Bolshoi reports from London as well as all the other fine reviews and comments that make this forum such a pleasure.
  11. Buddy

    Veronika Part

    As Myrtha it definitely was her stage presence (for me). Her jumps were excellent.
  12. Anyone who doesn't know who performed the second Myrtha at the last performance only, would you like to take a guess?
  13. A very brief look at a parallel world. Giselle NYC June 14, 2006 Diana Vishneva. Vladimir Malakhov. Veronika Part. Diana Vishneva. Her performance was Wonderful! Check the ABT discussion at this forum for overwhelming confirmation. She Was Beautifully Everywhere Doing Everything ! Vladimir Malakhov. For me this is the best 'dramatic' portrayal of Albrecht (live or video) that I have seen---- Michelangelesque. His dancing was very good. In his Act II solo he did a series of jumps with a very impressive back bend after each jump. Reminiscent of a Nikolai Tsiskaridze Giselle video clip that I once saw. Veronika Part. I have wanted to see her for several years. Formerly of the Kirov-Mariinsky, she did very good dancing as Myrtha at the matinee with another cast. Great jumps! Beautiful Wonderful Stage Presence ! I was literally glued to her while she was standing perfectly still, using my theater glasses, and simultaneously watching the Act II pdds out of the naked corner of my left eye. It worked pretty well actually. 'Suggestedly' Required Reading. James Wolcott's very entertaining article--"Finally, A Reason To Go On Living--Veronika Part". http://jameswolcott.com/archives/2005/07/finally_a_reaso.php Back to Washington. Irina Golub and Adrian Fadeyev did another fine Giselle and Albrecht. Irina Golub had a long, flowing, willowy presentation. I like the effort that she tries to put into her characterizations. I noticed this particularly in Washington last year when she performed Cinderella. She really tried for maximum dramatic effect at certain moments and it was very touching. On a more personal note, she seemed to have a lovely little child's look on her face at times in Act II and when Fadeyev picked her up at the very end of Act II she looked totally at peace in his arms. Adrian Fedeyev is a very likeable performer. He had very good graceful jumps. On one off-center tour en l'air he almost fell, because it was so powerful. It was a magnificent effort. He also had very fine tight 5th position landings. I will try to finish up next time. This will include Wili 'Queens'. Yes, there were two. Also a look at the delightful Peasant Pas de Deux.
  14. Ami and chiapuris, thank you. It seems that Natalia and I both had the need to express what an "extraordinary" performance Daria Pavlenko actually gave. I had seen her several times before and I was hoping to be enchanted by an etherial presence and a wonderful display of talent, but I never expected to see the "Remarkable Depth" to which she is capable of carrying a performance. Also very impressive to me was her and Olesya Novikova's complete change of persona on stage. I have seen both these women off stage and I have to say that they are both exceptionally and 'smilingly', (joyfully) beautiful! When it came to their being on stage, as beautiful as their Giselles appeared, not for one moment did they resemble their actual selves. So maybe let's take a look at the Olesya Novikova-Leonid Sarafanov performance after all too briefly commenting on Igor Kolb. As I implied before he seems like a rock solid, secure partner. His portrayal was fine. He is known for his gracefulness and I noticed it more this time than I have in the past. Olesya Novikova and Leonid Sarafanov seem to go very well together. I have read someone's comment that Sarafanov's technical prowess tends to bring out a more committed performance from Novikova. I felt that also. They blended together. Early on they had moments of Fonteyn-Nureyev-Les Sylphides harmony. (This is what I use as a standard, based on the "An Evening With The Royal Ballet" video.) She danced beautifully with very clean moves. Her Vishnevian technical abilities were noteworthy from the beginning. Her's was a lovely portrayal. In regard to Leonid Sarafanov let me 'break' almost reverent 'character' for a moment and be a bit lighthearted. I have seen Leonid Sarafanov before and I was postured properly, but when he walked on stage I had to smile. It was like, "What is this cute little boy doing here?" I gather that this is not an uncommon reaction. I really couldn't stop smiling (to myself anyway) as he moved around the stage with Novikova. Then of course it happens. He did a Jump. The reaction is something like... "Uhm. Aha! Yes!! Uhm!" Then they do a jump together and she (who seems like a fine jumper) is somewhere down here with us and he is somewhere 'up there', floating, almost not quite willing to acknowledge the laws of gravity. I somewhat feel that all Leonid Sarafanov has to do is to take a jump now and then to secure his place in dance history. How he will develope his characterization I'm not sure, but maybe everyone doesn't have to be able to do Shakespeare on the ballet stage. He was sort of a pleasant breeze in the midst of so much seriousness, as was the Peasant Pas d Deux, which I hope to take a quick look at later. In any case it would seem that his aerial-dancing has to be acknowledged as being something quite special. I will try and relate some more in a future posting.
  15. Daria Pavlenko----A Dream Giselle June 16-18, 2006 Washington DC For me this was Daria Pavlenko's event. The rest of the Cast? I couldn't begin to list all the wonderful performers that I saw. I will try to discuss some of them at another time. It seemed like March again (Mariinsky Festival and Bolshoi Swan Lake in England). My reaction was much the same. This time it was Giselle performed by the Kirov-Mariinsky in Washington DC and by Diana Vishneva, Vladimir Malakov and Veronika Part with the ABT in New York City. Wonderful! Amazing! Wonderful! Are we possibly in a new Golden Age of Ballet? Uliana Lopatkina, Diana Vishneva and Alina Cojocaru for example are incredible and getting better. For me another Star arose last week. Daria Pavlenko. In my very limited viewing experience of three years, I have had the wonderful fortune to see many excellent perfomances. I may have set a world record for the number of Giselles ever seen in this amount of time. I loved every one of them. Two ballet performances have left me 'Speechless'! (I wasn't totally speechless because I was still able to say, "I'm Speechless!") The first of these was Uliana Lopatkina's Swan Lake at the Mariinsky Festival last March. The second was Daria Pavlenko's Giselle this past week. What did she do that was so great? For one thing--She danced the Grand Pas de Deux. I can't visualize anyone 'ever' doing it any better! The only way that I can suggest to describe it is to imagine taking one of the greatest dramatic actresses 'ever' and making her a prima ballerina for an evening. This performance was infused with the highest level of dramatic excellence from the look on her face to the dancing at the tips of her feet. Her lines were drama. Her dancing flowed wonderfully with drama. It was... Beautiful! Amazing! Mesmerizing! I saw her perform twice. I would say that she did equally well both times. The first night she 'Performed' with compelling drama. In the second performance she 'Lived' the part in some scenes. Details I just wasn't noticing. For me it was... The Totality Of Moves And Expression--The Images Created--The Flow--The Over-All Enchantment. A few fleeting details. These were instances, nuances, differences. Instances. One time she snapped herself into a 'swooning fall' so fast that I was amazed that Igor Kolb was able to catch her in time. (I sense that Igor Kolb is an extremely reliable partner to have for risk taking. I felt this way twice before when I saw him dance with Diana Vishneva.) Another time I was very impressed by how far out she leaned in her 'supported arabesques' (?) in the Grand Pas de Deux. Nuances. She a second time caressed Bathilde's gown as they were entering the house. Differences. I think that she may have added some more complex footwork to the first Act II duet. After her incredible second performance at the end of Act I and the curtain had come down, the applause was intense and 'wow' equivalents filtered through the audience. Applause for both of the Giselles in which she and Igor Kolb appeared was intense. (All four Giselles performances were enthusiastically applauded.) Their second performance received four curtain calls. (The norm was two or three.) I don't know what Universe Daria Pavlenko inhabited, but she might have found Uliana Lopatkina out there as well. I do know that Daria Pavlenko is human. I know this because I talked to her for a few moments in Saint Petersburg last March and she was unassumingly lovely.
  16. Noah, I am posting this here because your personal message port at Ballet Talk is not responding and I hope that this will reach you. This is a brief comment that I posted April 5 at Ballet Talk after seeing the premiere of "Overcoat". "The apparent inclusion, according to chiapuris, of Noah Gelber's newly premiered " 'Overcoat' After Gogol " in future Kirov performances I believe will give the Kirov a huge presence in the world of significant modern dance. This is an excellent presentation of a piece packed with dramatically powerful and meaningful modern choreography ( New York City meets St. Petersburg, Russia). May this collaboration long continue and hopefully bear marvelous results." I was at the party at the Astoria after the Gala and I wanted to come over and congratulate you and wish you future success, but you were very busy talking so I let it pass. I (6'0", grey bearded male) was there with chiapuris and his wife. Thank you so much for taking the time to post with us. Best wishes, Buddy
  17. chiapuris, thank you very much. carbro, thanks for the kind words. I feel very fortunate to be able to attend such fine performances. I only wish here to share the experience and give whatever credit possible to the wonderful talent of these remarkable artists. The Bolshoi Ballet Swan Lake The men as unsung heros. I first express my admiration to these men who purposely remain "invisible" and yet whose physical and psychological (loving) support make it possible for the ballerina to take center stage and shine. I try from time to time to focus on the man during the lifts or the ballerina's characterizations, but I generally do what I'm supposed to do and stay glued to the ballerina. When I did take a quick glance during these performances I was very impressed.When thse men did "appear" it was very rewarding. Princes Dmitri Gudanov. I liked him very much. His jumps were very impressive. When they were rotated they had a slow motion "suspended-in-air" quality. They also had a certain softness, especially in the landing. A very nice quality that contrasts with the big "airy" jumps of Leonid Sarafanov or Igor Zelensky (Kirov) or the sensually bravura jumping of Nikolai Tsiskaridze. Sergei Filin. Fine and consistently reliable partner. Vladimir Neporozhny. A somewhat boyish and very expressive face. Alexander Volchkov. A solid, elegant presence, impressive jumps and often very clean looking footwork. All the men's dramatization was extremely noteworthy from the time that they discovered Odile's 'deceit' until the thunderous expression of remorse at the demise of Odette that terminated the ballet. Another example of fine Bolshoi "acting". In my mind all thses men did about equally well and were just fine. The Jesters also seemed equally good. Still the performance about week earlier by the Kirov Jester Andrei Ivanov remained outstanding in my mind. For myself I tend to cushion the sad ending, the demise of Odette, with the background knowledge that this is in part intended to be a psychological drama. Von Rothbart can be viewed as an alter-ego to the Prince and Odette could be somewhat a creation of the Prince's own mind. In fact a 'regenerated' Prince might be able to set everything right again. In any case it seems that the wondrous uplifting dancing of many ballets transcends the plot. For me ballet at it's best is an expression of "The Triumph of Love and Beauty". Now to an area of real delight for me--a look at the corps de ballet and some destinctions between the Bolshoi and the Kirov-Mariinsky . Some generalizations. If the Russian ballet is known for it's "Heart and Soul" I would suggest that the Bolshoi is perhaps the "Heart" and the Kirov-Mariinsky is the "Soul". The Bolshoi in my very limited viewing experience has "outward expression". It "charms" and it can make you feel "moved" or better yet "happy". The Kirov -Mariinssky has "inner expression". It "enchants" and it can make you feel "elevated". Of course these are large and not always consistant generalizations as I will try to illustrate right now by looking at the performance of the Bolshoi corps de ballet Swans. Bolshoi "Heart" (to be expected) Enter--twenty-four Bolshoi White Swans. They are almost joyously bouncing across the stage. Twenty-four entrapped princesses joyfully bouncing across the stage??? Yes! To me this is Bolshoi genius! First of all it is the Bolshoi female response to the Bolshoi male bravura and it is a delight! But twenty-four entrapped princesses--joyous??? Mr. Rogers of children's program fame once returned from Moscow. He commented on the beautiful vibrant colored decoration on the old cathedral exteriors. From his wonderful child's eye view he commented, that in contrast to the historical harshness of life that he still felt in Moscow, the old Russia had a remarkable sense of "Whimsy". Joy arising from a world of adversity. In the case of our White Swans perhaps--Bolshoi "Heart"--Russian "Heart". What about "Soul"? Well that's over at the Kirov-Mariinsky--right? The ballet is almost over. In come twelve Bolshoi White Swans to perform about five minutes of the most lovely "enchanting" dancing that I could imagine. It recalled immediately the Kirov-Mariinsky entrance of the Shades, the most lyrical interpretation of the Willis, the violin solo entre acte of Sleeping Beauty. So distinctions are sometimes hard to make, but the rapture of beauty is still overwhelming. "Da skorai stretchi." "Until Next Time." To everyone involved, " *Bolshoe* spassiba! " "Thank you very much!"
  18. May I quickly call attention to a very nice interview with Svetlana Lunkina in Ballet.co Magazine. She says among other things, "The most important thing for me is my family, children and the joy of life. And life in general." http://www.ballet.co.uk/magazines/yr_06/ma...unkina_0306.htm
  19. The Bolshoi Ballet Swan Lake Birmingham, England, March 30-April 1, 2006 Although it was a week ago, this could still be a guide to their future performances in England this year. The casts for the performances that I saw. Odette/Odile-Prince Sigfried Maria Alexandrova-Sergei Filin Anna Antonicheva-Dmitri Gudanov Maria Allash-Vladimir Neporozhany Svetlana Lunkina-Alexander Volchko "A Loveable Odile!" Maria Alexandrova. She seemed exactly that. She was to me a ravishing women saying to herself, "I really hope that I can make *Him* fall in love with me." Her characterization ranged from Cleopatra to Giselle and it was brilliant. Each expression was flawless! I couldn't imagine a better example of the so-called Bolshoi ability to act. I consider Maria Alexandrova to be one of ballet's "Sunshine" personalities. Nikolai Tsiskaridse could be another. They both seem to have a positive, radiant presence both on stage and off. Her Odette characterization was deeply emotional. Her dancing was fine. Some of her highlight moves--wonderful! She has one relaxed pose standing straight with her hands together in front that that always suggests--"Great things to come". She never fails to surprise me at each performance with some new aspect of excellence. But she isn't the only one. Each ballerina had a different interpretation of Odile and each was very well danced and very well acted. It was an outward expression for Odile and an intensely inward expression for Odette. Svetlana Lunkina. She has a beautiful fineness to her dancing. Very much like Svetlana Zakharova in her wonderful adagios. In the Odette adagio, which I think of as the "Mozart of Ballet" piece, she is enchanting. She has a riveting presence in her Odette/Odile. I give her a "Video Quality" rating. This means that when the videos of the all-time greats are playing through my head during a live performance, I can see her peformance as being of the same quality as theirs. She moves as beautifully as they do. Also she displayed another endearing characteristic. She would occasionally go for the big vituouso effects, as if to say, "I am a Bolshoi dancer and I can wow too!". I give her an A-plus for trying. A triple fouette was one example. Anna Antonicheva. I read once, "Watch her wrists." They did indeed move beautifully, but I found that her entire dance assimilated all her special elements into one unified and very satisfying presentation. Maria Allash. She danced delicately and beautifully and seemed to be putting everything she had into her performance. It was lovely. Natalia Osipova. I would really like to discuss her for a moment. She danced a solo as one of the Five Princesses, Act II. She was the Spanish Princess. She seems to be a small woman, but her abilility to jump is breathtaking. She exploded on stage with a double jump and then returned with one more jump. These were huge buoyant jumps that she did equally well each night. I was amazed. One night I mentioned to a man sitting next to me, "Watch her entrance." The man 'gasped' after he saw what she had done. What I found extremely interesting is that after these enormous spacial moves, she settled into her size. Her limbs aren't long and in the rest of her dancing her expansion or reaching out was quite restrained--but the expression in her moves was absolutely beautiful! I watched her dance alongside Ekaterina Shipulina (Polish Princess-- very good) who has longer limbs and reaches out more. It was a beautiful contrast. I hope to see a lot more of Natalia Osipova. The other three Princesses were very good as well--Nelly Kobakhidze, Olga Suvorova and Anastasia Yatsenko. The two "Prince's Friends" in Act I were very fine--Anastasia Yatsenko (again) and Ekaterina Krysanova. Audience response was very enthusiastic throughout as were the news reviews that I've read. Birmingham by the way has a very nice modernized downtown center with a pedestrian only mainstreet and lots of large departments stores. The Hippodrome (home to the Birmingham Ballet?) where the Bolshoi performed has a lovely restored 150 year-old classical interior. Birmingham is about 1 1/2 hours from London on the fast train. If I can I would like to mention the men and the corps de ballet in a future posting. All were very good . Wonderful, wonderful performances!
  20. A Few Memories I have to begin by saying that there probably wasn't a performer that I couldn't find deserving of a heart-felt compliment as all these performances were beautiful in one way or another. The stars could never shine as brightly if it weren't for the support and talent of all the others. Uliana Lopatkina leaves me speechless. She is in her own universe. One of the things most noticeable to me this time is her great physical control. Her poetic presence and amazing abilities are generally described in superlatives and deservedly so. Diana Vishneva's name I tend to hyphenate with Uliana Lopatkina's because of her contrasting exceptional abilities, perhaps the Taglioni-Essler comparison. Natalia has refered to her as "the queen of plasticity". I would try to put is more poetically and glowingly, but it does express the idea. Alina Cojocaru I sat next to on the plane from London to St. Petersburg. She is an extremely modest and lovely person whose transformation to a performing goddess is almost unfathomable. I would actually describe her as being 'fairylike' on stage in the most positive sense. Yet it is her real-life modesty that seems to produce her wonderfully loveable stage presence that combined with almost bravura capabilities, makes her one of today's most popular ballerinas. Daria Pavlenko I also find loveable. Her facial presence as the Lilac Fairy was captivating. In "Diamonds" I watched her wonderful face almost exclusively through theater glasses, checking the rest of her dancing occasionally to be reassured by her poetically beautiful moves. I watched her and chatted with her most briefly at the Mariinsky party that chiapuris mentioned. (I bought a ticket to get in.) She was radiantly beautiful, unassuming and very nice. All the dancers there seemed quite nice. My main concern there was to keep my mouth from hanging wide open in awe. Leonid Sarafanov is simply an aerial wonder! Amazing in his ability and captivating in his airy gracefulness. A slight and perhaps startling digression here. One of the most impressive male performers to me was Vladimir Ponomarev, the character acter. I am generally impressed by his acting, but his Don Quixote portrayal is something that I feel could hold it's own on any of the world's great dramatic stages. He never stopped the entire evening and I wish I could have just watched him. He is definitley deserving of some sort of Gala evening of his very own. While we're on the subject, Faruk Ruzimatov's deeply moving characterization at the end of "The Moors Pavane" was intensely powerful, showing a perhaps strong newly developing ability from this physically maturing dancer. Hopefully there will be a place for this display of talent well into the future. The apparent inclusion, according to chiapuris, of Noah Gelber's newly premiered " 'Overcoat' After Gogol" in future Kirov performances I believe will give the Kirov a huge presence in the world of significant modern dance. This is an excellent presentation of a piece packed with dramatically powerful and meaningful modern choreography ( New York City meets St. Petersburg, Russia). May this collaboration long continue and hopefully bear marvelous results. Another digression regarding drama.The 'acting capabilities' of the Bolshoi lead dancers in their Swan Lake, Birmingham, performances are a wonder to behold. Maria Alexandrova's Odile comes to mind immediately. With Svetlana Zakharova already at the Bolshoi, Diana Vishneva newly announcing her presence there and Svetlana Lunkina's beautiful Kirovian resemblances the comparisons of these two companies becomes more fascinating and interwoven. I hope to be able to make a few comments about the Bolshoi Swan Lake in a Bolshoi topic, but interest in this company should not be overlooked by even the staunchest of Kirov purists these days and visa-versa. The Kirov's Jester Andrei Ivanov with his rock solid speed-of-light spinning among other things would illuminate a traditional Bolshoi stage. For all the wonderful performers that I leave unmentioned, it is simply a matter of not having the time and space, my limited expertise and the inability to begin to take in all the amazing and multitudinous activity of any one of these magnificent presentations.
  21. I have just returned from Europe and have had a chance to read some of the postings. I add my thanks to chiapuris for his fine and detailed reports and for his dedication. I also thank Natalia for her continued excellent and informative comments. I too attended the Mariinsky Festival as well as performances of the Bolshoi Ballet's "Swan Lake" in Birmingham, England. My only real feeling about these two sets of performances is WWW! Wonderful! Wonderful! Wonderful!
  22. Canbelto, I related your posting to Diana Vishneva at her website and she posted a very nice reply. I suggested to her that she might enjoy the discussion here, "Diana Vishneva in the USA". She responded by saying that she did take a look at this page and would like to look again in the future. Keep up the good work!
  23. Diana Will Not Be In USA in February! Diana's February appearances in the USA are no longer listed on her website. If you watch her "Performance" page eventially (it may take about a minute) a message will appear at the top of the screen that says, "Diana can not act in America in February 2006." http://www.vishneva.ru/eng/perform.php Andre, I don't have time to double check this right now, but I believe Diana is planning to perform in NYC this summer at the same time that the Kirov-Mariinsky will be in DC. http://www.kennedy-center.org/calendar/ind...ent&event=BGBSC
  24. I'm loving this discussion. Thank you all. I would like to go back again to Diana's two performances of Ratmansky's Cinderella (DC, January 2005) because these were among the highlights of my life-long viewing experience. First of all I will mention again that she did equally well both nights making it more than a one-time phenomenon. In more down-to-earth terms ,what she did was to take Ratmansky's more modern 'stop-and go'-somewhat gymnastic choreography and perform it with the total grace of a prima ballerina. She combined modern and classical with an excellence that I had never imagined before. This is perhaps the reason I gave her an all-time great designation. She went into completely new territory for me with a mastery approaching perfection! This for me gives her historical significance. I saw other dancers perform the ballet wonderfully, but it wasn't the same. I must say that Natalia Sologub in the final moments of her last night performed beautifully in another genre, a totally classical one. Also I would like to say that Igor Kolb as a very reliable partner, especially in the lifts, seemed to give Diana the security she needed to go the limit--to maybe take chances. I am always glad to know that he is performing with her. Besides being fine himself he allows Diana to shine at her best. I also saw Diana in L.A. as Aurora. There she did something that I read Nina Ananiashvili had once done. She took matters into her own hands. Her partner that night was very good, but his lifts didn't seem to be the most confident. She simply ingnored this and extended herself in the most beautiful unprotected poses. She could have landed flat on her face. Instead she soared. Drew, I almost completely agree with your quote that she is "thrillingly wild looking, yet ultimately (I would say "totally") controlled". I think this is a cornerstone in describing her and can't be emphasized enough. In DC the same confidence occurred. She simply took over the stage. Even sitting in the corner during someone else's performance she stayed the focus. This was stage presence with the technical ability to back it up. All good performers have this. When she was there everyone seemed to perform better. Now let me try another angle. This involves ascending to a higher level of excellence and staying there. Torvill and Dean in figure skating may be a related example. These two performances by Diana Vishneva for me is another. Maria Alexandrova was once asked whether she believed in a mystical sort of spirituality during a performance. She replied that she had never experienced this, but when she starts to perform she does become a sort of different person--perhaps transcending a bit. I think that many of us have experienced this or have observed this in performances. When you aren't as self conscious you may do better. Diana it seems interestingly to me can take her ego with her and stll reach remarkable heights. It is a funny idea because I am somewhat referring to a 'Diva' in the 'twilight zone'. A very unusual concept. I read someone once who said that when you reach the level of excellence of Diana Vishneva criticism really doesn't have much meaning. How do you discuss a person out in the 'twilight zone'? You can of coarse, but how much meaning does it have? As an amusing (perhaps) aside, I live part of the year in Switzerland and try to see the Lausanne dance competition whenever I can. Last year there was one tiny dancer that I loved. I called her "Tara Lapinsky in the Twilight Zone"! She was on her own little cloud, technically fine, I thought, and totally charming.--She didn't even make it into the third round! So much for the 'twilight zone'! I was heartbroken, but I will always remember her and hope that someone will find a place for her. I have to look through my notes to find her name. She is from Russia. Back to Diana. Yes, nysusan, I also consider her "close to gymnastic" with in my opinion a bit of an 'ego' showing, but what does this mean if you are in the 'cosmos', somewhere in the land of the gods and goddesses. (I am not by the way a religious person and am not really interested in mysticism. I guess that I am just trying to be a bit light-hearted about it all.) In the case of Diana's two DC performances, I feel that she really was 'out there' in her level of excellence. In my live viewing experience I have seen elements of this in Uliana Lopatkina, who I love, but not a complete package. I dream of that! OK, you've achieved 'cosmic' excellence. What do you do with it? Once again... "We can't take any credit for our talents. It's how we use them that counts." Madeleine L'Engle Drew, by the way, thanks for clearing up my own thinking for me on 'special moments of greatness'. I don't think it could have been said better. Just a bit more. I went to the L.A. Sleeping Beauty not sure of what to expect. I had considered Diana somewhat of a 'gymnast' a 'cosmic gymnast--beyond mortal discussion', but still perhaps a sort of gymnast. I wasn't sure how she would handle a real classic. I was very pleasantly surprised. She did pretty well. Again 'pretty well' as gauged on some sort of 'heavenly' scale. This is purely classical stuff and not the Forsythian variety of which I consider her to be an undisputed Mistress. If with maturity (not necessarily age and not necessarily adulthood), with some kind of lessening of the ego factor (albeit 'cosmic ego--beyond mortal discussion') and with her apparent dedication to her art--she could be even more of a performing wonder to behold!
  25. Cygnet, richard it was good to read your comments. I also tend to stay away from absolutes. Something could always happpen tomorrow that could greatly change things. I have to recall my qualifier "in my mind" to begin with. Someone else especially with more viewing experience and/or more technical knowledge and a different opinion would have to be respected. Also I have to re-emphasize that my opinion is based on only two performances. I have read other postings describing one-time spectacular performances. This brings me back to my philosophy of "special moments" of greatness. Does a special moment qualify one for an all-time great designation? I tend to stand by my perhaps 'sweeping statement' because of the overwhelming impression that she made on me and my video viewings of the generally accepted world's greats. I should again say "in my mind" and based on my viewing experience. In any case I think for anyone's future appreciation, Diana Vishneva is a very significant talent capable of producing much future greatness.
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