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Everything posted by aurora

  1. Wednesday Night's performance... Well, I guess I'm not a Vishneva fan. I enjoyed but was not blown away by the performance she gave in Giselle last year that had the NYtimes etc gasping for breath, and tonight was nothing less than a disappointment. For background, I was absolutely blown away by Part last year (couldn't make this year's perforamance--sob!) and have happily gone to see Ananiashvili for years. On Monday as already posted, I saw Dvorovenko and Beloserkovsky. I liked it a lot, I wasn't overwhelmed, I thought her arms could have been more emphatic and the emotional content could have been greater, but I really enjoyed it. Tonight...well, I really thought it was not great. I thought Carreno was quite good--he has a nice line, and was very clean, he isn't terribly exciting I don't think, and I didnt feel there was much of a connection between him and Vishneva. He also seemed to have some difficulty in the lifts. She's not a large woman but she's a bit tall for him when on pointe, and he really seemed to be straining in some of the lifts. I guess one of my biggest quarrels with the ABT production is that its so easy for Siegfried to come off as a spineless twerp who will fall in love with anything in pointe shoes. The added longing and lonliness of act one only really serves (unless the dancer really works at it! I never had this problem with Bocca) to make him seem desperate. You feel a bit like he falls in love with Odette simply because she doesn't go off with someone else, nothing more! even his polite glances down the line of princesses in act III has the tendancy to make it look like he's thinking--"maaaaybe this one might do?" before telling his mother no. the pas de trois brought down the house (which was packed btw--I havent seen that many ppl in standing room in ages!). It was the cornejos and reyes. I was pleased to see Erica, as she was out monday. She was really lovely and has such a nice high soft jump. I have to say I never care terribly much for Reyes, she's so unrelentingly perky and cheerful, but in this role, she truly is lovely, and Herman Cornejo is unbelievable. Poor Sascha Radesky had the challenge of living up to the incredibly example of Rothbart set by Gomes on Monday. He couldn't. But he was quite good! especially once he got into the jumping section of his part. He just doesn't ooze (dare I say it on a ballet board?) SEX the way Gomes does in this part. Still, it was a strong performance. So on to Diana Vishneva-- I guess I must just not get the appeal. she was MUCH better as Odette as Odile. Her arms were nice and expressive though her back didn't share the expressivenss the way Ananiashvili, Part or Makarovas does (did). She began act II with some feeling, seeming genuinely startled by Siegfried's presence. But I felt it fell off from there. Act II was uniformly careful and thought out. While this isn't a complaint, I felt there was a total lack of spontinaity. She was dancing in a vacuum. Her dancing was (initially) technically quite on, but it was cold (I felt, I realize people are going to really disagree here). I also did miss Dvorovenko's superior balances (the way she ends series of turns in balances that seem they could last forever is really fabulous), but on the other hand, her arms were superior. So I felt mixed. Good, but not mindblowing. Then came act III-- It was sort of ghastly. For one, her idea of Odile seems to be she now smiles. There was no oomph to her portrayal. I realize ppl can go overboard with the *EVIL* but the part seems to call for a feeling of triumph over S, a sort of enjoyment of deceit. Her smile (if you didnt know the story) could have just made you think she really liked him! As well as not having a personality proper to the role, technically she had major difficulties. In her last series of turns in her variation (prior to the coda) she really messed up and upon finishing (tendu with left leg to the back) fidgeted the entire time ppl clapped on her right foot trying to regain her balance. She also grimaced horribly when her turns went awry, which was the first indication of her difficulty. I don't expect a balerina of her calibre to open mouth gape when she messes up--part of being of the top notch is covering up mistakes with aplomb! Her fouettes were..well...she got through them. First going forewards, then, as she progressively slowed down going sideways stage left. All singles with a very wobbly double to finish. The very short final act, so oft criticized here (and not without reason) was probably her best act. She finally expressed emotion. and all looked good except some of Carreno's lifts. She just sort of charged off the cliff however. Carreno's leap was rather lovely. I always wonder, when the monster-rothbart charges up there right after Odette has, and siegfried has, if he's planning to kill himself as well ;) Also--anyone else find it odd that a swan queen drowns? I always do!
  2. Drb, thanks so much for the review--it sounds so much like the stellar performance they gave last year--maybe it was even better. I just got back from the Vishneva/Carreno. I will post about it later, but I was quite disappointed. I really wish I'd been able to make the matinee...
  3. *sigh* I wish I could. But it is part of an intensive summer Italian translation course and I need it. Why can't they just give her more roles? At least I got to see her as Myrtha and as a big swan on Monday. I'm going to see Vishneva tomorrow night, hopefully that will be good...but I so wish I could be there in the afternoon. Enjoy! and report back!
  4. I hope Ananiashvili comes back and does it again before she retires--I saw her as Odette/Odile every year from the early 90s on...she was so wonderful. Have you seen Part in this role before? I was blown away last year (as I keep saying) and have class tomorrow so I can't go. I hope others enjoy her as much as I did...
  5. A review of Monday night is up on new york times--Linked on the main page of the website. For once, I think it's pretty much spot on. Amazing! Moderator's note: The Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/28/arts/dan...r=1&oref=slogin
  6. two things-- 1) that was Stappas not Gomes. 2) What did you think of her arms here? I wasn't sure whether I found the effect as pleasing as the usual arms. I really couldn't decide if it was as effectively swanlike or not. I did however like the pause setting up the wings moment. You really saw her will cease, and her being taken over with swaniness (to coin a phrase). That is actually one of the things that has most impressed me about her this season (I hadn't seen her for several years), the stillness she can achieve, and the poignancy she gives moments in which she is not moving. It was very striking in her Giselle Act II as well.
  7. was no one else there? I'll give this a shot. I don't really have time for a full review now, but here's a few notes. Was I caught in the spell? No, not really. I thought the criticism in the NYTimes review of Giselle that Dvorovenko danced wonderfully but didn't act, was somewhat true here, as opposed to Giselle, where I found her exceptionally moving and wonderful (I would have liked to see more comments on her Giselle on here--I was really blown away). That said, I found it to be an extremely well danced and exciting Swan Lake. They clearly pulled out all the stops in casting the first night-- Besides Dorovenko and Beloserkovsky, Gomes did von Rothbart in Act III (it was Stappas as the monster-rothbart), and as previously mentioned H. Cornejo and X. Reyes were two of the three dancers in the PdT. There were also soloists galore--Part and Abrera as the 2 swans, Maria Riccetto as one of the cygnets and as the Italian princess, Anna Liceica as the Spanish princess, Carmen Corella in the Spanish dance and Carlos Lopez in Neopolitan. All that and E. Cornejo had been scheduled for the PdT as well. I thought that while Dvorovenko was strong technically throughout, she was a better Odile than Odette. She really seemed to enjoy the game of Act III so much, that it made her more interesting to watch. Cornejo was amazing as always--I wish there were bigger parts for him to do. Watching Part as one of the two swans, I desperately wished I could go to her SL on weds matinee-- I saw her last year and it was one of the most moving, wonderful SL's I've ever seen--unbelievable. the contrast between the expressiveness of her port de bras and back, and Dvorovenko's which were lovely but didn't seem to be *saying* anything, was striking. I really did enjoy Dvorovenko--she just ddin't blow me away emotionally in this role. I'm sorry if this isn't terribly insightful, hopefully I'll be more eloquent after seeing Vishneva on wednesday. And hopefully more people will start posting on this thread--I'd really like to hear more opinions!
  8. aurora

    Veronika Part

    It was her artistry in SL, more than her physique (though on the whole, I'd probably agree with you), that I found so compelling about her. My feeling about body type is that, within reason, it's besides the point. I've loved dancers of many different body types--and I still remember uncomfortably the criticism Tina LeBlanc (of Joffrey in the 90s) got for having *gasp* breasts. Totally Off topic--but I see you are from Seattle--do you happen to know a tiny company based out of edmonds? Olympic Ballet Theater?
  9. aurora

    Veronika Part

    Do you mean she's fat by dancer standards? I hardly think so. I would say she's probably smaller that Gillian Murphy, but if not she's not considerably larger. She is tall and she moves large--when I saw her as Myrtha it was noticable the way she devoured the stage with her leaps. If this: http://www.abt.org/images/db_images/news/slpart1ro.jpg or http://www.for-ballet-lovers-only.com/Afb/Part4.jpg or http://www.ballet.co.uk/links/img/veronika_part.jpg Is your idea of too large, then clearly you value different things in your dancers than I do. Now if you said you were distracted by her 40s movie star beauty, well then you might have a point! ;)
  10. aurora

    Veronika Part

    I think she's fantastic and wish they used her more. I saw her for the first time last year in Swan Lake-- I don't think I've ever been moved to tears in the first white swan PdD before, but she was just incredible. There was less flash in her black swan than in Annaniashvili (who has been my favorite Odette/Odile for many years now), but she was just magnificent. I also saw the Vishneva Giselle which was categorized as one of those performances that blow you away. I have to say, it didn't for me, but Part's Swan Lake really did. She's doing one Swan Lake again, a matinee on weds. I'd recommend going and seeing for yourself
  11. aurora

    Port de Bras

    I think there is a continued emphasis on port de bras in Russian training that we just do not see in the states. Feet, legs, movement are emphasized, arms are largely ignored. In my view this is especially true in the Balanchine tradition, but that is based purely on personal experience and might not be true in the greater scheme of things. Arms that look like they are draped over yokes, or stretched on clothes hangers are just not attractive.
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