Jump to content
mussel

Mariinsky at BAM 2015

Recommended Posts

Thanks for the Baryshnikov mention, everyone - that was fun to hear about.

I'm curious: what has been the audience reaction to these ballets/performances? The New York audience is not necessarily "clap-happy" (as we sometimes see on the West Coast).

Share this post


Link to post

I was there for five of the performances. Audience reaction was very enthusiastic for all three Swan Lakes I attended, pretty enthusiastic for the Cinderella (not really surprising, since Vishneva is very familiar to NY audiences) and pretty muted for the Chopin.

Share this post


Link to post

I was there for five of the performances. Audience reaction was very enthusiastic for all three Swan Lakes I attended, pretty enthusiastic for the Cinderella (not really surprising, since Vishneva is very familiar to NY audiences) and pretty muted for the Chopin.

I was there for all the performances except the 20th and the 22nd. I thought the audiences were very enthusiastic throughout. Lopatkina's SL got the most enthusiastic reaction. The whole house immediately gave her a standing ovation. I thought the reaction to Cinderella was a bit more muted, although Diana definitely got the crowd cheering while Matvienko did not (I missed Batoeva). Yesterday, after In The Night there were lots of bravos and cheers and while some of the audience filed out, the rest in the orchestra (I was in row J of the orchestra) stood up for a standing ovation. The dancers looked genuinely happy.

Share this post


Link to post

I

Seen at intermission: Mikhail Baryshnikov in the lobby having an animated discussion. He was trying to go incognito with a black trenchcoat and sunglasses but he gave his dancer background away when he danced out a step and he pulled his arms up in a tight fifth position and the proud posture came back. So I can now say that I've seen Baryshnikov dance live. :flowers:

We saw Baryshikov,too. He left the orchestra just before us, going up to the mezzanine. Actually, I didn't see the trench coat and glasses; he was just in a turtleneck sweater. But my husband and I thought he looked bad. He had about 3 days beard growth and my husband thought he looked very haggard. My husband (who was standing near him) also said Baryshnikov was talking very softly, so good ears, cancelto. He seemed to be with a blond woman, who I did not recognize as Lisa Rinehart ( his partner). And yes, he comes to lots of performances but I've always wanted to respect his privacy and never spoke to him.

Share this post


Link to post

I

Seen at intermission: Mikhail Baryshnikov in the lobby having an animated discussion. He was trying to go incognito with a black trenchcoat and sunglasses but he gave his dancer background away when he danced out a step and he pulled his arms up in a tight fifth position and the proud posture came back. So I can now say that I've seen Baryshnikov dance live. flowers.gif

We saw Baryshikov,too. He left the orchestra just before us, going up to the mezzanine. Actually, I didn't see the trench coat and glasses; he was just in a turtleneck sweater. But my husband and I thought he looked bad. He had about 3 days beard growth and my husband thought he looked very haggard. My husband (who was standing near him) also said Baryshnikov was talking very softly, so good ears, cancelto. He seemed to be with a blond woman, who I did not recognize as Lisa Rinehart ( his partner). And yes, he comes to lots of performances but I've always wanted to respect his privacy and never spoke to him.

I've seen him at the ballet many times but I've always been warned that he is a very private man and to respect his privacy. However at the end of the intermission I saw two girls running up to him and asking for selfies and he seemed very gracious about taking one with them. So ...

Share this post


Link to post

Wow, fabulous participation by balletalert members. ;)

Yesterday, after In The Night there were lots of bravos and cheers and while some of the audience filed out, the rest in the orchestra (I was in row J of the orchestra) stood up for a standing ovation. The dancers looked genuinely happy.

It's a big deal for them to get a good reaction from the 'native' audience for Robbins/Balanchine ballets.

Share this post


Link to post

I

Seen at intermission: Mikhail Baryshnikov in the lobby having an animated discussion. He was trying to go incognito with a black trenchcoat and sunglasses but he gave his dancer background away when he danced out a step and he pulled his arms up in a tight fifth position and the proud posture came back. So I can now say that I've seen Baryshnikov dance live. :flowers:

We saw Baryshikov,too. He left the orchestra just before us, going up to the mezzanine. Actually, I didn't see the trench coat and glasses; he was just in a turtleneck sweater. But my husband and I thought he looked bad. He had about 3 days beard growth and my husband thought he looked very haggard. My husband (who was standing near him) also said Baryshnikov was talking very softly, so good ears, cancelto. He seemed to be with a blond woman, who I did not recognize as Lisa Rinehart ( his partner). And yes, he comes to lots of performances but I've always wanted to respect his privacy and never spoke to him.

I've seen him at the ballet many times but I've always been warned that he is a very private man and to respect his privacy. However at the end of the intermission I saw two girls running up to him and asking for selfies and he seemed very gracious about taking one with them. So ...

I've found dancers are usually very gracious. Lopatkina and Yermakov were very nice when I spoke to them at NYCB last week. I guess I just don't know what to say to Misha; I'm not really up on his latest projects. I saw him dance loads of times but that was years ago and seems like old news (25 years ago at least). I know Peter Quanz and he never wants to talk about anything other than what he's choreographing now. The rest is just old news to him and he's not at all interested (we have a video of a ballet he choreographed for the Mariinsky in about about 2007 that he still hasn't put up on YT. I have to ask him if I can put it up). I'm sure Baryshinkov would be gracious, I just have to figure out what I'd say to him.

Share this post


Link to post

I attended the Mariinsky's performance of Chopin: Dances for Piano at BAM on Sunday. This is three separate pieces, whose choreography is separated by more than a century, each to a single piano playing works by Chopin.

Venue, program, etc.

This was my first time seeing anything at BAM. I drove down and back from eastern Connecticut. There was a lot of traffic in Queens and Brooklyn, but nothing really bad. I was happy to see that there was lots of free parking in the side streets nearby.

The stage, and the house, at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House are smaller than the Lincoln Center stages, but even with Chopiniana (which was the only piece with a corps) I didn't think it was too crowded. And the smaller space meant that I had a better view in the balcony than I usually get in balconies.

That stage is loud, though. As in hearing every footfall. When the corps moved on point together it sounded like a heavy rain on the roof.

The program listed the pieces as Chopiniana, In the Night, and Without, in that order. The actual order (noted on an insert to the program) was Chopiniana, Without, and In the Night. It didn't make much difference, but I think I would have preferred the printed order, which would have been chronological (1908 to 1970 to 2011). The main problem with the program, however, is that it didn't list roles, just dancers. And not even all dancers; the corps didn't get any mention at all. I'm grateful for Amour on this forum for filling me in.

Chopiniana

Choreographed by Michel Fokine in 1908

This was a man and a couple dozen or so women in a classical style. (I don't know if that's the right term, but that's how I think of it.) The man was Timur Askerov and the leading woman was Oxana Skorik. There were also several women who were featured at one time or another.

This was a beautiful piece. It was a piece where being in the balcony was an advantage, as I could see the geometry of the corps's moves better. I thought Fokine did an excellent job of choreographing the corps in this piece, not only their featured moves, but even how when standing at the sides they would mimic the leads' attitudes.

I thought Skorik was great as well. I realize I don't have the eye for technical details as many on this forum, but she looked very, I don't know the right term, in command of the role. I can't say the same for Asherov, though. The word which came to mind while watching him was "adequate".

Without

Choreographed by Benjamin Millepied in 2011

This was a modern piece with five couples in color coded costumes, exploring the varieties of romantic encounters (as I interpreted it), some passionate, some joyful, some tentative, some humorous. Most of the dances were PDDs, but there were other combinations of dancers as well. I enjoyed this a lot as well; although there was nothing which really grabbed me, there was a lot of interesting dancing. One thing I noticed is that Millepied seemed to give the men a more active participation in the PDDs than other choreographers.

Margarita Frolova (the green woman) stood out for me here, although I'm not sure I can articulate why. She just seemed to be one of those dancers who makes everything look like natural obvious motion.

In the Night

Choreographed by Jerome Robbins in 1970

This consisted of three couples. Although they all danced together at the end, the bulk of the piece is three successive PDDs.

The first was by Anastasia Matvienko and Vladimir Shklyarov in a very romantic and sensual dance. This was my favorite part of the entire evening, one of those trancendent experiences which I always hope to find when I go to a ballet. I don't know how much was due to the choreography and how much to the dancers' skills, but I'm sure they were both necessary components.

The second PDD was a more elegant one, danced by Yekaterina Kondaurova and Yevgeny Ivanchenko. Kondaurova was impressive here. Amour in a previous post to this thread described her as "a very imposing presence", and I totally agree.

The third PDD was a more modern one with Ulyana Lopatkina and Andrey Yermakov. This did not work as well for me as the others, although there was nothing wrong with it as such.

Conclusion

I had a wonderful time. I enjoyed the choreography of all three pieces, even though they were so different. In fact, seeing three very different interpretations of similar works by a single composer made it especially interesting. And, while not everything was perfect, there was a lot of beautiful dancing, especially the first PDD of In the Night, which reminded me of why I've come to love ballet so much.

Share this post


Link to post

Macauley review for the Chopin program is up here:http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/27/arts/dance/mariinsky-ballet-concludes-brooklyn-run-with-chopin.html?ref=dance&_r=0. Clearly, seeing the Mariinsky is extreme punishment for him. Hope he doesn't go to DC.

There is a Travel Ban in effect because of the weather...no Amtrak, planes cancelled, etc. I suppose that he can take a Megabus? LOL!

I can vouch that the Mariinsky company made it here on Sunday and yesterday, ahead of the travel shut-down. Hopefully, out-of-town fans/audience made it in ahead of the shut-down too!

Share this post


Link to post

The travel ban is lifted earlier this morning and public transits are being restored to Sunday schedule. Judging from the weather map DC is totally spared. Hopefully Northeast fans can make it to DC by tonight curtain. The company stayed at Brooklyn Sheraton, part of the company left Brooklyn on Sunday and the remaining part left on Monday morning by tour bus, so the company escaped unscathed.

I hope I can make it to NYCB tonight, I assume it's still on.

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks for the link, Mussel.

Who can explain why Benjamin Millepied has been given so many choice opportunities to choreograph? And why he’s been given the Paris Opéra Ballet to run? In 2011, he created Without for the Mariinsky, and here it was—smaller than life, but an audience hit, with its nonstop artificial turbulence in the near-dark. Chopin piano music, five color-coded couples, lifts and more lifts—does it sound familiar? Yes, and it looked familiar. This is a shameless rip-off of Jerome Robbins’ masterpiece Dances at a Gathering. And don’t let anyone tell you it’s an homage. The closest it came to outright theft was in the “cute” episode, the only one not almost totally obscured in darkness—when the “orange” couple do all the Robbins adorable things, down to the girl’s final smirky shrug at the end.

Dances at a Gathering is about something—about community, love of dance, love of love. No Millepied ballet I’ve ever seen is about anything at all except putting together a workable piece. The dancers clearly loved dancing Without, though, and they give it their estimable all. Maybe they think it’s avant-garde? Dances wasn’t even avant-garde when it first saw the light of day, back in 1969.

Ouch! That's all I can think to say.

Share this post


Link to post

Gottlieb's a very tough critic but for me the ONLY must-read active critic. I don't agree with him often but I always appreciate the wit and bite of his reviews.

Share this post


Link to post

Gottlieb also stirs up some live coals when he says:

4) Can Les Sylphides (here in its original 1908 Chopiniana version) still thrill the way it did for most of the 20th century? Not this boy. The revolutionary Fokine today seems outdated, pallid, precious. The Trocks’ tongue-in-cheek take on it seems more robust and alive.

Which Danilova in her bio says was the case with her group of young dancers in the twenties.

And this about In the Night originally looking like outtakes from Dances (and crediting Ben Huys for the excellent staging).

6) How come the highlight of the Mariinsky’s all-Chopin piano music program was Robbins’ In the Night? At its premiere—in 1970, a year after Dances—it looked to me like outtakes from its predecessor (though with only three couples, not five). No longer, at least not in this sublime performance. The three ballerinas—the lovely young Anastasia Matvienko, also an Odette-Odile and a Cinderella; the magnificent Kondaurova; and the commanding star Ulyana Lopatkina—had all the high Romantic glamour this crowd-pleaser demands, and they were clearly helped by Ben Huys’ sensitive staging. But it’s Robbins who should get the credit here. In the Night is not his finest work, but it’s head and shoulders above what we saw of Millepied, Ratmansky, Fokine and Sergeyev these past weeks ...

Share this post


Link to post

The WSJ review of the Chopin program was very interesting. When I had seen In the Night at NYCB in the past, the third couple was always played for comic effect. I had assumed that Lopatkina just didn't get the comic elements, and played it in a more regal fashion because that is more in keeping with her style. However, the WSJ points out that the third couple is often "inadvertently comic or cliched" and praised Lopatkina's performance as "chilling". This makes me realize, for the first time, that the way NYCB does it (comic) is actually not necessarily the way that Robbins intended. Fascinating.

(For the NYCB performances, I'm thinking specifically of performances of Ringer and Fayette, and of Whelan w. Jared Angle)

Share this post


Link to post
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...