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Rep Program


Amour

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I just came back from Tuesday night's rep program. What a difference a day or two of rest can make. Vasiliev was cast in the lead role as Peter and he was funny, charming and got through most of the difficult parts quite well. Is he still a little sloppy? Yes, his beats are weak and his tours not always upright. But his jumps are still great and he really pours himself into a role and tries to give the audience their money's worth. I found him exciting to watch and that counts for a lot.

Vorontsova played the lead role as Maria while Semyonova was the secondary lead as Teresa. I actually found Semyonova more interesting to watch, though a comparison is difficult because Vorontsova's role was far more difficult and on pointe (Semyonova was in character shoes). Vorontsova got through all the steps fine but, as would see in the next piece - Class Concert - a lot of lower ranked dancers probably could have done just as well. I just don't see why Vorontsova is a principal. To me she looks like a sturdy corps dancer who can handle some solos. I'm afraid the notoriety of her boyfriend and his allegations about Filin are what propelled her into her position.

As for the piece, it is very slight (hard to believe it's Petipa) but has some charming moments. Most of the dancing is character dancing and the dancer in green (I think it was Tsal) excelled. But really nothing I need to see again.

The next piece was Class Concert, which I love. They, of course, start with young kids who, btw, were almost all from NY (and NOT SAB) trained at Gelsey's school, the Ellison school,Brighton Ballet, Greenwich Ballet and a few from the Vaganova. (I found it very funny that Suki Schorer was at the performance) they were great and adorable.

Then come the adults and things start getting first just harder and then virtuosic. Most of the company seemed to dance as big grand jetes, tours, one handed lifting of girls and all manner of virtuosity become the choreography. Soboleva, Osipova, Vorontsova, Lebedev, Sarafanov and Vadiliev all danced. As might be expected the bravura dancers gave it everything they had. Vasiliev gave us incredible jumps, leaps and turns, sometimes a little messy (those chainees) but often not. Poor Sarafanov had the bad luck to jump right before Vasiliev and he could not at all match (in elevation or tour angles) Vasiliev's bravura. Still I find this piece a joy to watch.

It's getting late so I will leave my review of Duato's Prelude for later. Suffice it to say, putting Sarafanov in a baggy, beige unitard and having him dance the "modern dance" section of a piece that had plenty of ballet seems ill considered and a waste of Sarafanov's talents.

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I have to disagree with Amour underestimation of Sarafanov.

Granted Vasiliev was much more restrained yesterday (compared to last week, especially “circus-level” Sunday), but I thoroughly DID enjoy all of Sarafanov, Lebedev and some other male dancers (who are lean, slim with virtuoso technic; can jump real high, perfectly vertically, without sticking the “tush” out, landing in 5th, with clean Vaganova style elegance).

I actually found Ivan’s appearance in the class concert pretty disadvantageous for him. …. But the love is in the eye of the beholder as they say….. to each his/her own

And those chainees of Ivan were the final drop for me (his legs were almost a feet apart – that’s not chainees).

And I liked Sarafanov in the Duato’s prelude.

I liked a lot of female dancers (more praise to them later).. have to run

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Thanks. I am going tonight. Needed to know the running time because it is "fast track" week on my subway line. For those of you who don't live in NYC, that's when they take away your subway service after 10 PM because they are purportedly doing track improvement work..

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Just a brief description of Duato's Prelude from what I remember (it was not a memorable piece). A corps of female dancers come out in long fluffy white skirts and come forward and back on the stage. Then Sarafanov enters in a beige baggy unitard and proceeds to (deliberately turned in) flex and uncurl his back and do other "modern dance" type of movements that to me (trained as a modern dancer) looked pretty ridiculous and made no use of his talents. This scene shifts and we got an extended PDD from a couple, both dressed in black (she in just a leotard and tights). They were later joined by two other couples, dressed the same way who did PDDs. This section I found palatable and I can't understand why Sarafanov wasn't used in this section. Thankfully, this was an extended section of the piece and parts were quite lovely. Then we end with the same scene as the beginning but with Sarafanov rolling around on the floor, ending with him half hanging off the stage.

I found this piece much too long, incomprehensible and kind of dated. I think it's a great idea for the Mikhailovsky to go back to its roots and dance experimental or new choreography but good God get a choreographer with some talent. I'd love to see Ratmansky do a piece for the Mikhailovsky; I'm sure they can afford him.

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Thanks. I am going tonight. Needed to know the running time because it is "fast track" week on my subway line. For those of you who don't live in NYC, that's when they take away your subway service after 10 PM because they are purportedly doing track improvement work..

Don't worry about leaving without seeing Prelude. You aren't missing anything (at least anything good).

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From Leena Hassan on Twitter

https://twitter.com/leenahassan

She wrote:

A very exciting performance. I loved Vasiliev's aggression, Borchenko's musicality & Sarafanov's elegance. It appears that the stage at The Koch was too slippery tonight, with both Osipova & another dancer taking spills during Class concert. Borchenko found many shades in the speedy choreography, Osipova's lightness is stupefying, Sarafanov danced with crisp vivacity, Voronstova dazzled in a series of diagonal turns and Lebedev's sustained ronds de jambs en l’air took my breath away. V. Lebedev is a prime exemplar of Vaganova technique. His lyrical pd2 w/ Soboleva was a high point of a memorable performance. Wildly exciting 'Class Concert' had the audience on it's feet. It's a wonderful showcase for Mikhailovsky.

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I skipped Prelude. Couldn't believe Osipova's wipe out. She looked stunned after it happened. I liked the first two ballets on the program, although class concert goes on for way too long. Sarafanov's elegant style - perfect air positions and perfect landings - are a marvel. Very intrigued to see Lebedev's Don Q later this week. He is a paragon of refinement.

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