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Flames of Paris at The Mikhailovsky - 10/4/2013

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This was my first time in St Petersburg and my first Flames of Paris.

The first thing that struck me is just how little of it there is. Act I is 30 minutes, followed by a 30 minute intermission! Act II is 20 minutes!!! and then a 25 minute intermission. Act III, including an extended curtain call, about 25 minutes. It all felt like an extended intermission that happened to include some dancing.

Not much happens in Act I. Act II has nice music and lots of running around. And someone kept taking flash photos. The Basque Dance was good.

But Act III was great, particularly the Fraternity Dance and the Pas de Deux. There was a last minute cast change so instead of Ivan Zaytsev, it turned out to be Denis Matvienko, which was a great thrill. Looking forward to seeing him back at ABT in the spring.

Everyone left on a high note, but I can't help but feel cheated. I can't help but feel their real goal is to sell overpriced drinks and cakes, albeit good cakes, at their cafe.

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Sorry you felt cheated. I saw it in July with Ivan Vasiliev, Oksana Bondareva, Victor Lebedev, and Ekaterina Borchenko, and it knocked my socks off! I thought it was exciting and much better than the Bolshoi version. However, I do think it is a ballet that could wilt if the dancers are not having an "on" day. The short acts did not bother me due to the excitement I saw on stage each act. Hope the other shows you saw were better!

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