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Kirov in Orange County

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WOW! Was anyone at last night performance of the Kirov at OCPAC? It was the Fokine program with Chopinianna, Schererazade, and Firebird in that order. (It is too bad they did not end with Schererazade. ) "Saison Russe" ,as the program was titled, was a testiment to ballet history with the Russians reclaiming their own Fokine. I was not lookinng forward to this program but awaiting my tickets for "Jewels" on Friday evening. I was so wonderfully surprised and in awe of the blending of artistic elements in this production....the music, the sets, costumes and the style of dancing which seemed glorious in these particular reconnstructed ballets. The corps seemed very youthful with beauty abounding. I liked what I saw for the most part.

Chopinianna was danced with such romantic essence that I almost forgot the year in which we live. I think it was this that took my breath away. The technique was all there and the clarity of the entire corps movement was amazing to me.

Schererazade was a visual delight as well. Igor Zelensky and his partner sizzled in this exotic tale of the faithless wife with wondeful drama and technical flair. The exhuberance of the dancing slaves spilled off the stage while keeping their beautiful ballet technique in order.

Firebird was my least favorite of the night. However, It faired far better than newer versions I have recently seen. And it came to mind, "why fix what ain't broke?" I liked the ballerina role very much for its musicality and character. I actually grasped the relationship of bird to man more than in other productions.

I cannot say that this show was flawless but it certainly captured my imagination and took me another place in time. The style, the visuals, the excellent orchestra with dancing that renewed my faith in classical ballet............Bravo Kirov.


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Here is the casting according to my program:


Mazurka and Valse #2.....Daria Sukhorukova

Valse #1.....Irina Zhelonkina

Prelude...... Irina Golub

Young Man...Igor Kolb


The Golden Slave...Igor Zelensky

Zobeide........Tatiana Tkachenko (but she looked more like Lopatkina?)


Firebird....Irma Nioradze

Ivan Tsareich........Victor Baranov

Princess.......Yana Serebriakova

Kastchei........Vladimir Ponomarev

Hope this helps, Marc. I am not familiar with any of these dancers except Zelkensky so I would not know if someone was replace or not. I don't remember any announcements prior to the show. I wish someone would comment on the reconstruction of these ballets. L.A. Times reviewer Lewis Segal discussed the changes in Firebird an I am curious what others thought of this revival. Seeing Jewels tonight.....and hoping I get to see Diana Vishneva.....

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Lopotkina danced on Tuesday evening, not Wednesday. Lopotkina is very tall and the girl that danced on Wednesday was not that tall. I believe it actually was Tkachenko (she was wearing a dark wig). I agree that Scheherazade was the most beautiful ballet of the evening -- the sets and costumes and choreography were all just stunning as were the performances. I also loved Chopiniana, as we have never gotten a chance to see a live ballet of the romantic style. My daughter was very impressed by Igor Kolb's feet! We have seen NYCB do Firebird, but really loved the Kirov in this performance. Irma Nioradze was the Firebird on Wednesday evening and was amazing. But, before the wonderful evening got started, we had a very big shock -- I have now heard everything! Mr. Gary (I didn't catch his last name, but I believe he said he was a dance critic for a magazine) was very good at telling the story behind the Ballet Russe and Diagalev, but when it came to technical matters, I'm afraid he needs to brush up a bit. Aside from mispronouncing many of the Russian dancers names (along with Vaganova, when he was discussing the Russian training), he fielded a question about pointe shoes, and I'm afraid his answer was less than technically accurate. (Actually, at this point, I was shocked and appalled by the question having to do with "wooden blocks in the pointe shoes.") You must imagine my dismay (and my daughter's) when "Gary" indicated, that yes, there ARE wooden blocks in pointe shoes, and his friend, Evelyn Hart, used to get very sore feet when working in them, etc. As it was the end of the pre-performance talk, and as I am a bit shy, I didn't have it in me to correct him. But now, there are hundreds of people in Orange County, CA that believe that there actually are wooden blocks in pointe shoes :shrug: :( I don't know if I'll ever recover. :blink:

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:o PJ...... That is quite bizarre that this type of misinformation was given at an OCPAC pre-performnace talk with regards to the pointe shoe description. .....so this is how myths get their beginnings :(

Thanks for verifying the beautiful ballerina in "Scheherazade" The wearing of a wig may explain my confusion. :blink: It was a wonderfull ballet in total and I will have lasting impressions of Igor Zelensky bursting onto the stage for his entrance as well as the combined elements of the dance, music and visuals that seemed to all fit together with the right theatricality. It could have been so camp. But for some reason the entire scenario was wonderfully entertaining , atleast for this ballet goer........... :yes:

Marc........the program on Wed. eve was correct afterall.....it seems we did view the dancers identifyed in Wed. evening's program .....a relief :sweating:

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