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Kirov La Bayadere in LA

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This past week our family spent the week in LA while our daughter participated in the Kirov's performances of La Bayadere. It was an incredible opportunity for all of us. Rather than tell you separately about each performance, I'll just comment generally on the performances we did see. Our daughter got to see opening night, as she was a "cover" for the evening; since she had a ticket she got to see it from the house. Diana Vishneva was Nikiya; and of course our daughter was just amazed by her performance. Igor Zelensky was Solor and again, our daughter was just amazed by his wonderful turns and jumps. Earlier in the day, my husband and I got to watch dress rehearsal for Act II. Watching a dress rehearsal is so interesting because you see how the dancers and directors, etc. are when they are not so much "on stage." There were some problems with the tempo on one of Vishneva's variations, and she was so patient and calm with the partner and with the Orchestra Conductor. It is very nice to see a "diva" who is kind and works hard just to get the job done so it is good for everyone. Later in the week, Saturday afternoon, I believe, my husband and I watched Sophia Gumerova dance the role of Nikiya. She did very well. The dancer who danced Gamzatti had some trouble with her fouettes and did not even come out for her curtain call :) The best performance of all was Sunday night (closing night, sort of) when my daughter and I got to see Vishneva dance again. I'm not sure who Solor was (shame on me), but this performance was all about Vishneva -- her artistry and sense of drama combined so well with her technical dancing. It is difficult to even describe this performance other than to say that I got the feeling that Vishneva couldn't do anything but dance the way that she did -- all of the steps just flowed along with the music and the drama. Then on the real closing night, which was Monday due to a power failure that caused Sunday matinee performance to be postponed, my husband and I got to watch Sophia Gumerova as Nikiya once again. Other memorable performers were Sunday night's bronze idol, Vladamir Ponomarev as the High Bramin, and of course, the entire corps de ballet as the shades. My favorite performance was danced by my daughter, (Yes, I am biased) :pinch: as one of the "little" girls with Manu, Elena Yushkovskaya (the soloist). My daughter just happens to be just as tall as the soloist, with the same hair color and a very similar dancing style, so some adjustments in the little girls' arm movements had to be made. I actually was amazed at how different they appeared on stage (mostly because of the costumes and the arm movement change, I guess), and very relieved that what could have been considered a problem was not a problem at all. One night that my daughter did not dance, she actually got congratulated on her great performance as Manu (at the time, she was standing with the other set of "little" girls, who are very small), so she could understand the confusion, but she was very proud to be mistaken for the real soloist. The whole experience of watching the dancers back stage and of having the directors and dancers watching the "little girls" rehearse, was just so exciting and inspiring for our daughter. Now, the Kirov is her favorite company. Tomorrow night in fact, we are going to see them perform in Costa Mesa in the Fokine program. So, I'll report on that in a couple of days.

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