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Swan Lake

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From Mary Cargill's review of Nina Anaiashvili's farewell performance for danceviewtimes:

In an ideal world, anyone producing a "Swan Lake" would sign an agreement stating: 1. "Swan Lake" is a German fairy tale set in the Middle Ages; 2. Petipa/Ivanov are better choreographers than anyone else; and 3. Siegfried does not spend the first act auditioning for "Spartacus".


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**sigh** I wish that this would have been filmed and released on DVD so I could see it! Nina was one of the first ballerinas I ever saw, when I was a little 6 year old from Nebraska.


I did notice that there were cameramen in the side parterre boxes, so I believe it was being filmed for archival purposes. Presumably it will end up at the Performing Arts Library at Lincoln Center at some point in the future. I recall that most non-commercial ABT recordings require one to obtain permission from the company before viewing them, but perhaps it would be worth it to jump through the hoops to see Nina's farewell.

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There are (so far) three postings on YouTube of Nina's farewell curtain calls--including the bouquets, confetti, hugs/kisses, the presenting and gleeful acceptance of Mr. Ormsby's baton, rippling swan arms & bourees across the stage, and the now famous "throw" (an interpolation into the black swan pdd, later repeated in front of the Met's gold curtain.)

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I attended the June 27th matinee of "Swan Lake" (unfortunately not the evening performance) with Michele Wiles and David Hallberg.

Due to the power of the ABT dancers, this “Swan Lake” still works its magic. Michele Wiles is a glorious Swan Queen with wonderful bird-like arms and a beautifully flexible back. As good as her Odette is, Wiles is a more natural Odile. She is gleefully seductive during the Black Swan pas de deux, whipping off double and tripe fouettes with aplomb. Wiles has remarkable chemistry with her Siegfried, David Hallberg, and their pas de deuxs during Act II and Act IV are spellbinding to watch as well as heartbreaking.

As Siegfried, Hallberg is the perfect prince, a phrase which has often been mentioned in connection with Hallberg’s dancing. He has an elegant, refined line and incredible footwork. Best of all are Hallberg’s soaring jumps where he seems to hang in the air.

Other ABT dancers stood out too. The Act I pas de trois was impressively performed by Misty Copeland, Yuriko Kajiya, and Carlos Lopez. Copeland radiates such joy and spontaneity in her dancing that it makes me smile just to watch her. Kajiya has light, lovely leaps, and wonderful use of her hands. Lopez is an excellent partner, and has nice elevation and ballon. It’s good to see Lopez back to his old form after seeing him dance a very disappointing peasant pas de deux in ABT’s “Giselle” at the June 13th matinee.

The all important female corps in the white acts (Act II and the sadly abbreviated Act IV) danced in glorious tandem with both each other and the music. Stella Abera and Hee Seo’s lyrical phrasing as the two big swans was lovely to watch.

Cory Stearns, as the handsome von Rothbart, is a disappointment. He’s gotten the character of the seductively evil wizard right, but his dancing in Act III lacks sharpness and precision. His elevation is not nearly as high as when I saw him as Conard in ABT’s “Le Corsaire” at the May 30th matinee.

I wish ABT would go back to performing David Blair’s “Swan Lake”, which they danced before 2000. “Swan Lake” is such a rich and powerful ballet, and it deserves the best production possible.

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I wish ABT would go back to performing David Blair's "Swan Lake",

If only!!!!!!!!!

Hear, hear!

Me four, although I have to admit that when K McK became AD and jetisoned the Baryshnikov version, he reverted to the Blair staging. Apparently he was none too fond of it, because it never, in the McKenzie years, had the vitality it had in the Chase years. It seemed that he thought it was boring and did everything he could to persuade the audience.

I have only a couple of notes to add to what's been written here about Nina's farewell. She chose the perfect moment to leave the stage. As has been noted by earlier posters, her technique is still formidable, she is still flexible and strong, and yet her dancing benefits from decades of experience in stagecraft and story telling. If there was any indication on Saturday that this was a ballerina at the end of her career, it was the slightly visible effort she expended in the sissonne lifts lifts (Act II pas) to get those legs to 180 degrees. Small, small giveaway. :)

They say a performer should always leave the audience wanting more. Nina did just that -- and turned around and gave us more in those terrific curtain calls. Talk about having it both ways! :wallbash:

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)
At least he didn't do it at the end. In fact, I think that overall, audience behavior could not have been much better. After all, we were all there in tribute to a remarkable ballerina. I did hear some coughs at the start of the adagio, but nothing like the coughing I've heard through the season, much of which has sounded like an infirmary. So I heard a few coughs at the opening of the pas, and lots of sniffles (which were probably not health related :crying: ) at its end.

A triumphant cap to an extraordinary career!

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