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Two Mariinsky 'Rites' live from Paris May 29

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I watched this live today on Arte Live Web.

Although I respect that Sacre du Printemps is an important work of the 20th century that was earth-shattering for its time (and not just as a ballet but as a piece of classical music), it will never be my favorite ballet, and I think the Mariinsky dancers' unique style is wasted in this work. The reconstruction does not allow them to show any of their port de bras which they are famous for.

So I thought maybe I would enjoy Sasha Waltz's "new" Sacre because it would have more actual dancing. The interviews on the Mariinsky site and on the short documentary that played online between the two versions of the ballet today showed a very nice person who felt awed that she was creating a new version. I like her as a person from what she said (luckily I speak German and can comprehend SOME french so the documentary which was mostly in French wasn't totally lost on me). And at the beginning I had hope for this new version, but it just did not seem groundbreaking like the original and then near the end some of the moves seem almost laughable like a parody (she does quote the Chosen One's dance a little, by the way). Maybe this was on purpose, but I got the impression it was supposed to be serious. Basically, I was not moved. I hate to say, but I think this is a flop myself.

But I think both versions are really a flop.

I'm sure some will disagree, and I would love to hear others' comments about it. Maybe you will open my eyes to either version.

I'm sure the dancers loved doing something new. So it probably wasn't a flop to the dancers or to people who enjoy modern dance.

I wish the Mariinsky had entrusted this project to Yuri Smekalov. Not only is he a Mariinsky dancer, but he has been choreographing things for them and other companies. He is a Vaganova trained dancer and seems to incorporate that into his ballets. So far I think his Bolero Factory and his Presentiment of Spring are two short ballets that show great promise. I think he would have been a better choice for a new version of Sacre du Printemps for this particular company.

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