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

Swan Lake


Recommended Posts

Just back from Part and Bolle. She really has the most beautiful lines in the whole world, and their lifts were glorious! Some technical fumbles though from both of them... The rest of the production was a wash. Will write more later.

Link to post

Veronika was stunning. This is absolutely her best role. I was so moved that I got a little teary and could barely function during intermission, I just sat there in contemplative silence as I reviewed the way she sliced through the air with such precision and fluency. I wish I had the knowledge and vocabulary to describe particular moments better, but it's etched in my memory. She conveys the deepest, richest inner life, and on top of that I was thrilled to see her looking so confident and solid, holding balances way longer than necessary, to the point of showing off. I can forgive that in her!

Link to post

Her balances in act ii were just amazing. That first one that went on forever... wow. She's so beautifully human in her acting too; there was a moment by the lake when Bolle reached out to grab her and she pulled her arms away as if to say "no, I can't." I wanted to cry!

I don't know why she went for the triple at the end of her 32 fouettes, that was a mess waiting to happen. Bolle messed up some of his early in the performance too. Veronika made another mistake on steps, I forget exactly where now; she stepped out of a turn during one of her last variations in act iii.

They danced so well together though. I really hope they perform this ballet again together next year. Their lifts were breathtaking; of course her unbelievable limbs went on forever and ever.

The production itself was disappointing. The corps were all over the place, the curtain got stuck again, I did not like Saveliev as von Rothbart and don't think he did the role much justice, plus the sound of changing sets before the last scene might as well have been a thunderstorm outside. Come on, ABT. You're better than this.

Link to post

I just got back from the performance as well and this was the first time I had seen Part and Bolle in their respective roles. They were both incredible and I could not take my eyes off Veronica's endless limbs, expression, and steady balances. I found the whole production pretty decent but there were some moments that were a bit dull. My friend, who I finally convinced to go watch a ballet performance, liked it overall (esp. act III) but was so disappointed by the corps. I'd been reading reports about the corps on this site and from other places but I honestly didn't think it would as bad as it was today. If the messy dancing could be improved even by 30%, the overall performance would be so much more enjoyable.

I always avoided Swan Lake because I was never a fan of it but after watching Part tonight, I wish I had gone the previous years when she danced! She was absolutely incredible. There may have been a few minor fumbles here and there but they didn't take away from the performance at all for me.

Side note, I was sitting in the front section of the orchestra and as sealings mentioned, the set changing made so much noise over the music. But I guess it needs be done some way or another.

Link to post

No words can describe Veronika's beauty, lines and musicality.

She puts so much love in her Odette.

The way she uses her magnificent port-de-bras, at the right time, with the right tempo, as a vehicle of expression, incredible.

...and tonight she added some astonishing balances, including one during Odette's variation which will stay in my mind for ever.

Thats as beautiful as an arabesque can get.

Veronika Part is classical ballet in its purest state.

What a tremendous performance.

The crowd went totally crazy for her.

She received plenty of flower bouquets and a huge standing ovation which lasted for a very, very long time.

I am still speechless.

I will write more later, after I recover.

Link to post

Thanks, sjk, and welcome to BalletTalk!

Ugh! The more I see this production, the more I abhor it!

Feels good to get that out of the way.

Yes, I agree that Part turned in yet another passionate Odette and dazzling Odile, using imaginative phrasing to create her characterizations. Of Bolle, I was not impressed, finding his performance mechanical and emotionally uninvolved, seemingly the only one in the theater immune to Part's gestures that pleaded, "Be with me." His dancing also lacked that wonderful quality that I am so accustomed to of extending beyond the ends of his extremities and off into space. Part must have been happy with his partnering, though, because during the curtain calls, in addition to the customary single flower, she gave him one of her many bouquets. Let me note, though, that his physical proportions complement hers perfectly.

I missed, in the Act II pas, the upside-down lift in attitude line. Instead, we got Odette held upright in stag position. Lovely, but not thrilling, as the other usually is.

Of the four princesses, Misty Copeland, with a charming Magyar pride, was hard to tear one's eyes from. Until Odile arrived, it would be hard to imagine a prince rejecting her. Good to see Abrera in the Pas de Trois, and especially Riccetto's new sense of freedom and spontaneity.

Nicola Curry and Simone Messmer were each, in her own way, lovely as Lead Swans, but they were so stylistically different that they were a bad match.

It is always a treat to watch Sir Freddie Franklin as the Tutor, who was the best part of Act I, eyeing the ladies and fearing that Siegfried might make a very bad mistake.

Maria Bystrova, new to me as Queen Mother, with her characteristically noble bearing, struck the right note between stern and loving.

[siegfried] also disappeared during the ballroom scene with the national dances. All the other Siegfrieds sit in the chair next to the queen mother and watch the dancers, if I'm not mistaken. Did Siegfried need to go backstage to check the baseball score?
Apparently Bolle is a Yankee fan, too. His prince also disappeared during the character dances of Act III, so why did the MC (Barbee) bother to escort each princess to sit beside the empty chair? Ridiculous!
Link to post

I have been watching Veronika Part for 10 years, since her NYC appearance with the Mariinsky in 1999. My admiration of her is no secret on this site. I have seen all of her ABT Swan Lakes--in '05 and '06 with Gomes and '08 with Hallberg; her '07 perforfmance was cancelled. If ABT had given her more than one SL a season, I would have seen those, too. What was missing last night was Gomes. While watching Bolle, images of Jeanette MacDonald playing opposite a wooden Nelson Eddy crept into my head. He did not come alive until his Act 3 variation. (I have seen other Princes leave the stage during this Act---I have always assumed they were going backstage for a quick warm-up before their variation. Many is the time I wished I could also leave my seat during the interminable national dances). I was delighted with the many long balances Part held last night--even having to scramble off one to stay on the music. (Take That :wink: --all you Rose Adagio critics).....more later, I think.

Link to post

carbro, two of the lines from your post are going directly into the little notebook where I jot down phrases I wish I'd trhought of.

Both have to do with Roberto Bolle's performance:

... seemingly the only one in the theater immune to Part's gestures that pleaded, "Be with me."
His dancing also lacked that wonderful quality that I am so accustomed to of extending beyond the ends of his extremities and off into space.
:wink:
Link to post

I totally agree with carbro about Bolle's performance. In stark contrast to Part's inner richness, he seemed empty and bland. And while he had some very fine moments of dancing, great height, clarity of footwork and form, overall I found him slow and lagging. On the other hand, he did do some pretty terrific partnering.

Also have to agree with the many comments here about the sorry state of the corps. I thought they were pretty ragged last week in La Sylphide, but I excused it on the basis that they don't dance Sylphide every year like they do Giselle. But what on earth was going on last night??? There's no excuse for this! It was a total mess, and not just the swans, but even the aristocrats and peasants in Act I.

I thought the pas de trois looked very good last night. I haven't seen Stella Abrera since she came back from her injury. She wasn't a favorite of mine, but last night I could see why so many of you like her so much. And I thought Riccetto was lovely. I've seen so many dancers do that variation, but I find only a few really make it sparkle with the crispness and freshness it needs, and Riccetto matched the fond memories I have of Sarah Lane and (especially) Xiomara Reyes in the role. Blaine Hoven looked very solid and like he was enjoying himself, and overall, the three of them danced in great harmony. Will we see Eric Tamm in this role next year? (... or has he done it already?? wish ABT would post these things!)

ABT fielded a great cast of princesses last night, and between Misty Copeland, Hee Seo, Renata Pavam, and Leann Underwood, I was totally torn about where to look!

Link to post

I would just like to add my voice to those who adored Veronika Part in the role of Odette-Odile. This is the first year I've seen her in principal roles (I know, I'm a little behind the pack). I fell in love with her in La Sylphide and only then decided to get a ticket for her Swan Lake--Box 1, seat 4 was the only available seat left anywhere near the stage. It was worth it just to be there, despite missing 1/4 of the stage. Part was extraordinary. Her long limbs and her perfect classical line were the foundation for the emotional depth she brought to the role. I couldn't believe anyone could sustain so much suppleness and fluidity, expressing the widest range of emotion with her arched back, long arms and long legs. Every movement extended amplitude to its limits. I couldn't take my eyes off her.

I also want to add that seeing Stella Abrera last night was reason enough to go. I've missed her terribly and she danced beautifully, with the very special softness and lightness that had me predicting her promotion to principal two years ago, before her injury caused her to miss her debut in Giselle two years in a row. Welcome back, Stella! I have high hopes for you.

angelica

Link to post
I was delighted with the many long balances Part held last night--even having to scramble off one to stay on the music. (Take That :excl: --all you Rose Adagio critics).....more later, I think.

I agree. Veronika's dancing was ravishing last night, as it has been this entire season. Her Myrthe was ruthless, which I loved, and her sylph impressed me very much. :P

I admit, openly and unabashedly, to being one of the "Rose Adagio critics." :tiphat: I felt the criticism was warranted at the time, but I'm thrilled to see her dancing so beautifully this season. :yahoo:

Link to post

As I was going down to the city for tonight's Swan Lake, I had only one dilemma. There was no way that tonight's Swan Lake could come near Wednesday night's Swan Lake with Diana Vishneva and Marcelo Gomes. It had to be a letdown, even if it was Nina's last ABT performance - right?

WRONG!

I thought Wednesday night's Swan Lake was the most beautiful night of ballet I have ever seen. All that has changed after tonight.

Overall - remember it is the ABT Swan Lake. The corps was a little better. There were still some rough moments in Act I, but better than Wednesday. The curtain only got stuck once - and that was at the curtain call. And there was not as much noise when the scenery was changed as on Wednesday during the beginning of Act IV.

The Pas de trois tonight was Gennadi Saveliev (I was hoping for Simkin again), Renata Pavam and Simone Messmer. Saveliev was better in this than I have seen him in the past and Pavam and Messmer were both very lovely.

Marcelo Gomes was outstanding as von Rothbart. His Act III solo was amazing! And I loved the part where he kind of chucked Misty Copeland off to the side to get to the other princess. At the end of the Act III pas de deux, he (not Angel) came out to help Nina do her last set of spins. Then he lifted Nina up, threw her over to Angel who caught her, and eased her quickly down into the dive (like in the Act III pas de deux in Sleeping Beauty). Extraordinary! And the three of them repeated the move when they came out for their curtain call.

Angel Corella was wonderful as Siegfried. He partnered Nina beautifully and his spins were so fast.

Nina - all I can say is :yahoo:

Can you imagine the emotional level of this being her last ABT performance plus the pressure of probably wanting to make this a Swan Lake to remember? But Nina more than delievered. My friend that I went with said that she was flawless and I more than agree. Everything was delivered with beauty and came from her heart. The Act II adagio was "meltingly lovely (almost spoiled by some bozo who decided to disgustingly clear his throat during the beginning - not once - but twice) The Act III pas de deux was perfection and people were actually screaming throughout and this was topped off by that move where Marcelo threw Nina to Angel. That was when the audience exploded! And no one does the rippling swan arms like Nina! (She repeated that move during her curtain call twice).

And the curtain calls! Every swan brought Nina a flower. Angel and Marcelo each gave her a bouquet. Even Swamp Thing brought her a bouquet. (She also kissed Swamp Thing!) Every principal of the ABT brought her a boquet. The conductor gave her his baton. Nina's husband and daughter came out. And they dropped the petals from the ceiling.

The most magical evening of ballet I have ever seen. But now sadness sets in. Will I ever see her dance again?

My friend and I kept saying the same thing - "We are so lucky to be here to see this!"

:tiphat: NINA BALLERINA!!!!

Link to post
The most magical evening of ballet I have ever seen. But now sadness sets in.
Thanks for your wonderful report, Ceeszi. This is a farewell I definitely wish I could have been able to see. To everyone who was there: PLEASE, more reports -- and as detailed as you can make them!

:tiphat:

Link to post

I agree with Ceeszi about last night's performance. What an amazing night from start to finish. I was a fool to not buy a ticket for this show (because I was in denial that Nina is leaving) and ended up with a last minute craigslist seat in one of the Grand Tier boxes. I stood for the entire performance!

I too attended the Vishneva/Gomes performance on Wednesday and thought that it would be tough to melt my heart like Diana and Marcelo did but I was wrong. I almost started to cry after the White Swan PDD las night. So here is what I thought of the rest. I still find the corps to be disorganized and not exactly together in Act I. I thought that Gennadi did an excellent job in the Peasant PDT, much better dancing than he did as Von Rothbart earlier in the week. Simone Messmer was lovely and her jumps strong and high. I wasn't impressed by Renata. I think that the corps overall had a much higher level of energy last night throughout. They seemed more together in Act II but still rough patches throughout. Melanie Hamrick is so long an beautiful and I enjoyed her as one of the two swans. The Act II PDD was absolutely perfect for me. Nina's phrasing was beautiful and what I love about her the most are her weightless arms. I noticed every detail of her arms and hands even without my binoculars. Angel partnered her wonderfully and it looked like they had an amazing time dancing together. Act III - Marcelo Gomes was the best Von Rothbart! I've seen him do this role before but there was something about last night that was exploding with energy. He really did steal the show for a minute after his solo. I think he owns this role! I read a few earlier posts that people found his interpretation to be slightly over the top but I disagree. There was nothing spectacular or particularly interesting about the character dances. I did notice a difference between Blaine Hoven and Grant de Long in the Neapolitan dance. One appears much more energetic and technically strong than the other. The Black Swan PDD was sensational! I loved it. Nina's energy was radiant. I was a little worried about the coda but it was fine. Nina definitely looked like she was concentrating on her fouette turns and turned at a normal speed (as compared to the light speed double turns of her earlier years) and was controlled throughout. I definitely think that Angel Corella did significantly better dancing than he did on Tuesday night (with Murphy). I was actually a little disappointed after his performance on Tuesday however he completely redeemed himself last night. He was full of energy in Act III and he looked like he was having so much fun. The fish dive at the end of the Black Swan PDD with Marcelo and Angel was entertaining and the audience loved it. I am not a fan of the Act IV of this version of Swan Lake so I will skip comments. The corps was a little more organized than earlier in the week but still disappointing. The curtain calls were amazing! Ceeszi described it all in her previous post. I particularly liked when Marcelo and David Hallberg bowed all the way down to the ground on their hands and knees when they gave her flowers. Nina is such a generous and genuine ballerina. She graciously appreciated all of the screaming applause and flowers. Her daughter is adorable by the way. The audience definitely did not want the performance to end. I am so happy that I got to see Nina's rippling swan arms two extra times. It's mesmerizing when she does it. All in all, the best performance of the season (Vishneva/Gomes Swan Lake in 2nd place). I think that Nina can keep on dancing for more years to come but at the same time, I will never forget this performance. She was able to deliver in every way and she really did finish her career at ABT with a bang, and then some. I am so happy that I was there and I will remember it forever.

Sorry for the rambling review but I am still excited, even the day after.

I can't wait to read what other people thought. I'm going to skip writing about the other two Swan Lakes I saw earlier this week.

Link to post

Just a quick diversion from the descriptions of Nina's farewell (I so wish I had been there!) to say that in the Sat matinee David Hallberg was absolute perfection! In addition to the glorious lines and footwork, his acting is first rate and the attention to detail is remarkable. This Siefgried did NOT leave the throne but welcomed each princess, interacted with them and had lovely moments "talking" to the Queen. This is a complete artist. And one more quick note - granted Cory Stearns is not yet the VonRothbart of Marcelo but I believe he has great potential in this role. I think he will become a worthy successor - certainly the best I've seen apart from Marcelo. That's all - back to Nina!

Link to post

ABT 8 pm 26 June 2009

VERONIKA PART

Swan Lake

There's no way I could write a coherent review of the June 26 Swan Lake performance of Veronika Part, without repeating more or less the superlative comments made by earlier commentators:

--"She really has the most beautiful lines in the whole world……" Post #51 sealings

--"The audience went wild for Veronika Part….." Post # 52 christine174

--Veronika Part…"was amazing tonight"…..she made the production….emotional, moving and memorable……" Post #53 Goldfish17

--"…….endless limbs, expression and steady balances……" Post # 57 sjk

--"…beauty, lines, and musicality….." Post # 58 Classic Ballet

--"…….passionate Odette and dazzling Odile……" Post # 59 carbro.

I concur with all of the above.

It was a splendid performance by Ms. Part, one that more than validates her promotion to principal dancer; it also confirms her unique status among the leading dancers of the contemporary era. One who follows her own path towards the achievement of kinetic beauty/truth.

After leaving the Met, in a discussion, over cheesecake on 7th Ave., about the performance among three of us (we all agreed that it was excellent and unique), the question was posed on how Part's performance compared to that of Dancer X- a performance all three of us had seen at the Mariinsky Festival in St Petersburg several years ago.

I tried very hard to emphasize the wholeness of Ms. Part's performance that made it unique.

My companion came up with a clearer explanation: if Dancer X were an actress, she might be considered a classical actress, that is, one who had received classical acting training; if Ms. Part were an actress, she might be considered a 'method' (Stanislavsky method) actress, that is, one who has traveled in a path beyond classical acting training.

There are, in truth, so many dimensions in the effects of Veronika Part's dancing.

She not only creates beautiful lines, she creates three-dimensional beautiful lines that incorporate within them the stage space, which she, but literally, makes you believe she inhabits. The resources she uses do not stop with the languages of Ivanov/Petipa, Tchaikovsky, but continue with resources within herself.

I somewhat dissent from the earlier comments about Roberto Bolle's dancing.

I found his interpretation of the prince perfectly adequate with the gifts he displayed, not needing any gifts, I, or others, may have wanted him to display.

Physically he is a match for the beauty of Ms. Part. Together they make indeed a handsome couple. His double-work and lifts were excellent. His acting skills are fairly elementary, but not wrong-headed. The dancing in his variations is clean, straightforward, without virtuosic flourishes and what's wrong with that?

The pas de trois of Riccetto, Abrera and Blaine Hoven (substituting for Jared Matthews) was elegant. The Neapolitan

dance of Joseph Phillips and Craig Salstein was spectacular. The four foreign princesses in the third act were altogether refined.

The corps work in the lakeside scenes lacked a texture of synchronicity either in arms or legs or just in the pulse and coordination of breath. They were, however, much improved by Friday over Monday's Swan Lake dress rehearsal (which featured Bolle in act I, Murphy/Corella in act II, and Part/Bolle in acts III and IV).

I think even the production looked better with Part/Bolle.

The audience's reception at the end of the performance let the performers know that they had seen something special. Many curtain calls and many flowers.

[Edited to add substituted dancer's name]

Link to post
I somewhat dissent from the earlier comments about Roberto Bolle's dancing.

I found his interpretation of the prince perfectly adequate with the gifts he displayed, not needing any gifts, I, or others, may have wanted him to display.

I also thought the Part Bolle performance was rhapsodic and extraordinary. I've seen most, if not all, of Veronika's Swan Lakes at ABT over the years, and this one was a personal triumph. I also dissent re Bolle's performance. I thought he did a wonderful job overall, and I hope that ABT invites him back.

Switching gears to Nina's farewell, I absolutely loved the modifications that were made in the Black Swan pdd, particularly when Nina hid behind Marcelo's cape for a second and emerged with the swan arms. It was theatrically brilliant. I also loved when Marcelo threw her into Angel's arms into a fish dive. I will miss Nina.

Link to post
Just a quick diversion from the descriptions of Nina's farewell (I so wish I had been there!) to say that in the Sat matinee David Hallberg was absolute perfection! In addition to the glorious lines and footwork, his acting is first rate and the attention to detail is remarkable. This Siefgried did NOT leave the throne but welcomed each princess, interacted with them and had lovely moments "talking" to the Queen. This is a complete artist. And one more quick note - granted Cory Stearns is not yet the VonRothbart of Marcelo but I believe he has great potential in this role. I think he will become a worthy successor - certainly the best I've seen apart from Marcelo. That's all - back to Nina!

Angel also stayed in his seat during the national dances, interacting with the princesses and the Queen.

Nina was just unforgetable and so gracious to everyone( to the corp, orchestra and to her audience). I wish i could have seen her in "a month In the country" and "Onegin"(Did she danced these roles in other companies?)

Link to post
There are, in truth, so many dimensions in the effects of Veronika Part's dancing.

She not only creates beautiful lines, she creates three-dimensional beautiful lines that incorporate within them the stage space, which she, but literally, makes you believe she inhabits. The resources she uses do not stop with the languages of Ivanov/Petipa, Tchaikovsky, but continue with resources within herself.

I was there also and I agree completely.

Link to post

I attended the Nina farewell on Saturday evening, and it was an evening I don't think I will ever forget. I have only attended ABT performances regularly for the last five years, and I've only ever seen Nina a handful of times. The most memorable was perhaps four or five years ago when I sat way towards the back of Family Circle (alas, no student tickets available!) when she danced Odette/Odile opposite Julio Bocca. Her beautiful flutterting arms made such an impact from so far away...I vividly remember the moment when she folded her upper body onto her legs before the Act II pas de deux. Her hands slowly rose and fell with every breath she took in a way that looked so much subtler and less calculated than other ballerinas. And I of course remember the showers of roses that poured down from the balconies during the curtain calls.

Swan Lake seems like such a daunting ballet for a ballerina to dance as her farewell, but Nina danced it on Saturday with a such a heightened degree of artistry, pathos, and technique. She only really needed to dance a 'passable' Swan Lake and everyone would have still loved it, but instead she decided to hold back nothing. Perhaps this was most dramatically demonstrated in the black swan pdd, in which there were several novel elements--an extra lift by Rothbort, the moment in which she emerged from behind Marcelo's cape doing swan arms in imitation of Odette, the extra pirouettes around the stage, the solid fouettes with unusual arm positions, and the shocking moment during the coda in which Marcelo threw her into Angel's arm in the 'fish' position. A significant portion of the orchestra section gave her a standing ovation at this moment. The sheer assuredness of her black swan was invigorating. Nina's white swan was of course heartbreaking--full of gorgrous positions, rippling swan arms, and tragic facial expressions that never seemed contrived. The partnering was flawless, and Angel managed to make every lift look effortless.

As Macaulay noted in today's review, the curtain calls were a show in and of themselves. The warmth and generosity Nina exuded was reflected back at her by her adoring fans. When she turned her back to the audience and bourreed across the flower petals on the stage, facing her ABT colleagues, performing flawless rippling arm motions, it was both touching and tongue-in-cheek. She rippled her arms at least one or two other times in addition to a repeat of the infamous throw from the coda of the Act III pdd. I could see she had a mischievous grin on her face and see mouthed to Marcelo, "let's do it again." Nina looked like she was having so much fun, and so was everyone in the audience!

Link to post
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...