Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×

REVIEWS: The Sleeping Beauty


Recommended Posts

I saw Part/Gomes on Monday and Vishneva/Hallberg last night - these performances could not be more different. Part got through the Rose Adagio, but barely. The Vision, on the other hand, was absolutely divine - gave me goose bumps. And the Grand pdd was incredible. Out of this world.

Vishneva was pure perfection in Act I - so much better than Part, it's even unfair to compare them. I was sure it was going to be one of the best ballet nights of my life and was already thinking about getting tickets for Saturday night. But the Vision turned out to be bland and the pdd - ordinary. I think Hallberg is largely responsible for this - he was absolutely atrocious. Looked like a lifeless corpse in desperate need to be awakened himself.

The production is a joke, but this has been discussed thoroughly already, and I don't have much to add. However, Vishneva's Adagio and Part's Vision redeemed everything for me. I feel incredibly lucky to have witnessed and experienced dancing on such a high level of artistry and virtuosity.

Link to post
Vishneva was pure perfection in Act I. But the Vision turned out to be bland and the pdd - ordinary. I think Hallberg is largely responsible for this - he was absolutely atrocious. Looked like a lifeless corpse in desperate need to be awakened himself.

The production is a joke, but this has been discussed thoroughly already, and I don't have much to add. However, Vishneva's Adagio and Part's Vision redeemed everything for me. I feel incredibly lucky to have witnessed and experienced dancing on such a high level of artistry and virtuosity.

Question - Help wanted.

I've never seen Vishneva dance. I saw Murphy (replacing Kent) the other night. I really disliked the production, but enjoyed much of the dancing. I can still get a ticket for Vishneva on Sat. althought it would be a stretch budget wise. Is it worth it??

Thanks in advance for your input

Link to post
And don't forget that this Sleeping Beauty is also going to the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.

Does anyone know when casting for SB in DC will be announced?

Link to post
And don't forget that this Sleeping Beauty is also going to the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.

Does anyone know when casting for SB in DC will be announced?

That's next February (2008). I wouldn't expect that until after the City Center season, if last year was anything to go by.

Link to post
Question - Help wanted.

I've never seen Vishneva dance. I saw Murphy (replacing Kent) the other night. I really disliked the production, but enjoyed much of the dancing. I can still get a ticket for Vishneva on Sat. althought it would be a stretch budget wise. Is it worth it??

You really should see her dance. So, yes to Aurora, but just if you can watch only her (maybe binocs would be necessary). However, if you can, even better to see her Juliet or Manon (her favorite of all roles, I'd pick her second perf, as her partner is new to her in this ballet. Her "method" requires experience and, especially, fresh rehearsals with her partner.).

Link to post
Question - Help wanted.

I've never seen Vishneva dance. I saw Murphy (replacing Kent) the other night. I really disliked the production, but enjoyed much of the dancing. I can still get a ticket for Vishneva on Sat. althought it would be a stretch budget wise. Is it worth it??

Thanks in advance for your input

First, I must admit that I'm impartial - I love Vishneva. Even though this season she's not quite her usual self, I think you will not regret going to see her. Even when she's not great, she's incredible, and God knows how much time she's got left. Maybe there will not be another chance to see her, especially in one of her signature roles.

If you do go, please post your impressions here.

Link to post
First, I must admit that I'm impartial - I love Vishneva. Even though this season she's not quite her usual self, I think you will not regret going to see her. Even when she's not great, she's incredible, and God knows how much time she's got left. Maybe there will not be another chance to see her, especially in one of her signature roles.

"How much time she has left"? She's only 30, in great shape & strong enough to dance another ten years minimum.

Is there something we should know?

Link to post

Hi Vipa - I saw Vishneva's Aurora when the Kirov was touring the Sergeyev version a couple of years ago. I recall her being really exquisite in all 3 acts, so I suspect a less than stellar performance in the last 2 may be due to unfamiliarity with the production and/or her new partner. If that's the case her second performance could be much better than her first.

On the other hand if you really hate this production she is scheduled for Swan Lake as well as Manon and R&J...that leaves plenty of other opportunities to see her this season! (and don't forget "Beauty in Motion" at City Center next year!)

Susan

Link to post
I heard the term "Elvador" mentioned at the Guggenheim's Works and Process lecture in April where Gelsey Kirkland, Michael Chernov & Wes Chapman discussed ABT's new SB... I got the impression it was just a term they came up with while discussing whether to call the males dancing with the fairies "elves" or "knights".

Still sound like shoes for short guys.

I agree... Should have know it was a preview of what was to come!!!... I've held my tongue on this one because everyone else has said it so well... Huge let down after so much anticipation.

Link to post
Gelsey danced last night, didn't she? I'm surprised there aren't any comments about her Carabosse...:

For me, one of the weakest Carabosses on record. Although it may not be fair to point to physical attributes -- in this case, Kirkland's diminutive size -- I feel that it is warranted, as it deeply affected the impact of the interpretation. Quite simply, no matter the acting, Kirkland could not overcome the fact that she is a teeny-tiny figure above whom even the Fairy Canari towers. I'm used to a man or a 'big powerful woman' (a-la Van Hamel or Ashley or Mason) interpreting Carabosse. I felt more pity than terror when seeing Kirkland's Carabosse; I don't think that's what Petipa or Ceccheti had in mind.

Link to post
First, I must admit that I'm impartial - I love Vishneva. Even though this season she's not quite her usual self, I think you will not regret going to see her. Even when she's not great, she's incredible, and God knows how much time she's got left. Maybe there will not be another chance to see her, especially in one of her signature roles.

"How much time she has left"? She's only 30, in great shape & strong enough to dance another ten years minimum.

Is there something we should know?

Seems to me there's no worry. In her recent Izvestia interview she's promised more dancing in Russia*, plus there's that Beauty in Motion Tour Across America in 2008, and on her site a mention of a probable tour with La Scala in 2008. And her statement that she's booked two years in advance! Plus the Mariinsky's visit to the NYC City Center in April, 2008 promises her in its advertising.

*[added for clarification]: the article reports that the promiss was made to Gergiev. This being Izvestia, she also added patriotically:

Izvestia: But you already infrequently perform at home. The Mariinsky easily tolerates your absence?

Vishneva: Management understands that my personal foreign tour is not only for me. I am a Russian ballerina, representing Russia, and its home theatre.

Link to post

I was there on Wednesday night as well with Vishneva and Hallberg and will just jot down a few impressions. Vishneva has a smaller frame and more flexible limbs than Part, so she could sparkle and scintillate more in the first act variations. Again a touch of Diana's characteristic feral wildness when she performs the whirling piques after she pricks her finger. The violin solo variation went much better for her than for Part. (Not to disparage Part who despite being miscast gave a real ballerina performance - the newspaper reviews have been largely uncharitable towards her role debut in a problematic production). Vishneva has more experience in the role and knew what she was doing at all times except for sections of the second act.

I did not have such major problems with Hallberg - few people have the chemistry that Malakhov and Vishneva have but he held up his end. He has elegant line and beautiful feet and seemed aristocratic - that is enough to make a good impression in this uncomplicated role. The new weird stuff didn't make him look like a complete fool. Just a note - in the second act the Prince's dream scene with the Fairy Knights (Elvadors) could be retained if it includes the Lilac Fairy and segways directly into the Vision Scene - the interruption of waking up and dismissing the hunting party makes it seem as if the same scene is being played twice. I am still bothered that Prince Desiré pretty much passively is drawn into Carabosse's web with little or no fighting or resistance. It makes him unheroic.

The production as a whole was lit better (the opening was like a rocky tech rehearsal), the set changes flowed better, it started on time and got out earlier. All pluses.

Stella Abrera had to push a bit in the Lilac Fairy's choreography but had real presence and allure in the role and projected some character - much more than Wiles. Herman and Xiomara I find delightful as the Bluebird and Florine - the audience is always wowed by Herman's brisés and sissonnés.

Link to post
Gelsey danced last night, didn't she? I'm surprised there aren't any comments about her Carabosse...:

For me, one of the weakest Carabosses on record. Although it may not be fair to point to physical attributes -- in this case, Kirkland's diminutive size -- I feel that it is warranted, as it deeply affected the impact of the interpretation. Quite simply, no matter the acting, Kirkland could not overcome the fact that she is a teeny-tiny figure above whom even the Fairy Canari towers. I'm used to a man or a 'big powerful woman' (a-la Van Hamel or Ashley or Mason) interpreting Carabosse. I felt more pity than terror when seeing Kirkland's Carabosse; I don't think that's what Petipa or Ceccheti had in mind.

I HATE seeing a man as Carabosse. The performances are almostly always OOT, hammy and comical. I can't find any menace at all this type of a performance. I think Carabosse needs a bit of remnant of glamour, she is one of the fairies after all, just gone to hell.

I should see Kirland tomorrow so I'll see what kind of an issue her tininess is for me, she IS very small. But again, I'd rather go in that direction that a 6'2'' with 5'clock shadow.

Link to post
I HATE seeing a man as Carabosse. The performances are almostly always OOT, hammy and comical. I can't find any menace at all this type of a performance. I think Carabosse needs a bit of remnant of glamour, she is one of the fairies after all, just gone to hell.

I should see Kirland tomorrow so I'll see what kind of an issue her tininess is for me, she IS very small. But again, I'd rather go in that direction that a 6'2'' with 5'clock shadow.

Exhibit A: Anthony Dowell on the video with Durante.

Link to post
"How much time she has left"? She's only 30, in great shape & strong enough to dance another ten years minimum.

Is there something we should know?

I never meant to imply that there was something wrong with Vishneva's health and apologize if my post was construed in such a way that it could be misinterpreted.

All I meant to say was that D.V. is clearly entering the second half of her stage career and her performances should not be missed without a very serious reason :FIREdevil:

Link to post

Very true. I think the case of Tanny LeClercq illustrates that more than anything. :(

But also as ballerinas age injuries often become more frequent, they perform less, and technique often slowly but surely degrades. So a chance to see Diana in her prime, doing one of her best roles? I wouldn't pass that up for the world.

Link to post
Vishneva will be doing other productions in the season, including Manon. If money is tight, maybe go and see her in something else?

Thanks for your suggestions. I'm going to see her Swan Lake. I'm really looking forward to it.

Link to post
Thanks for your suggestions. I'm going to see her Swan Lake. I'm really looking forward to it.
While Diana is a fantastic Giselle and Aurora (and rubies girl and many other things) she has yet to hit her stride as O/O. If you're going to see her for the first time perhaps you should choose another role. O/O is arguably her weakest role to date. She is remarkably intelligent and may surprise us but to this date her O/O has always been weak compared to her other roles.
Link to post

I'm in the minority here, vipa, in that I much preferred Vishneva's Odette to her Giselle, which I found muscular, losing the poetry with her athleticism. Her Odette, on the other hand, I found poetic and moving. She had clearly spent much time and thought and created something special, something her own. She did have a bit of a meltdown when it came time for Odile (and also at the very end of II) but my feeling was she had expended such enormous energy on the Odette that she'd run out of it by Act III.

She's a dancer who is constantly improving herself so it wouldn't surprise me if we got the whole package this year.

In other words, I'd go for the Swan rather than Yes Virginia Another MacMillen Ballet.

Link to post
...Her Odette, on the other hand, I found poetic and moving. She had clearly spent much time and thought and created something special, something her own. She did have a bit of a meltdown when it came time for Odile (and also at the very end of II) but my feeling was she had expended such enormous energy on the Odette that she'd run out of it by Act III.

She's a dancer who is constantly improving herself so it wouldn't surprise me if we got the whole package this year.

...

Actually, she hadn't run out of energy by Act III. Here's the story of how their performance was thrown off, roughly translated from an interview in Russian last July:

Before the Odile adagio I usually have a more balanced manner, but this time here I was smiling because a mishap had ocurred. [she and Jose Manuel Correno, before going on stage] we wished each other luck, it was hoped, I gave him an oversized kiss, but it made a big red mark on his cheek. The music started, must go on. I try to erase with dress. Laugh. He withdraws, laughing. And must go on. At any stage something can happen. In our profession, must be strong. It is not a magic fairy tale as many people think!
Link to post

I saw Sleeping Beauty last night with Dvorovenko, Beloserkovsky, Wiles, Kirkland.

I have to admit I didn't love it. My overiding impression is that somehow the beautiful music of this ballet got lost somewhere in translation. I don't remember musical moments from this ballet. The dancing and the music didn't draw each other out. Something felt muddled.

Act II was very strange to me. I completely lost the story, and found myself asking, "Why? why did they do this?" It was ironic to me, having read Kirkland's autobiographies in which she talks extensively about the importance of the dancing the story, how poorly told this story was. And, as I said, how ill-fitted to the music it seemed.

The highlight for me was seeing Gelsey Kirkland on stage, and I thought she did a magnificent job. For me her Carabosse was a real, true characterization that I could believe. She was a lonely, mad woman turned evil. That's what I saw. It was a characterization in a totally different league from what I've seen before, which is often generic and canned, especially, as someone else mentioned, when danced by a man. I didn't like the parts where she was hoisted on wires. I thought that weakened her performance.

I have never loved Dvorovenko and still don't. She doesn't move me. But the audience was very enthusiastic. Her balance was off (e.g., with the four princes), but it seemed to get better for the pax de deux. Beloserkovsky's dancing was strong, but even together, they don't move me.

My favorite dancing was from Stella Abrera in the Bluebird pas de deux. She was crystalline but with a beautiful, lush upper body.

Michele Wiles -- I can't get past the line of her head, neck, and shoulders, which just seems very un-balletic. But I did feel that she truly loved the baby Aurora and was a force of goodness, rather than just of beauty as sometimes happens.

Link to post
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...