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Kirov In Amsterdam, Swan Lake

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Just a short note about the final performances of the Kirov Ballet in Amsterdam. Inspiration had already left the building before the band was gone, because the two "Swan Lakes" I attended were among the most lacklustre performances I have seen by this company.

Veronika Part may be a beautiful dancer, her Odette-Odile is also tedious and utterly uninteresting. As Odette she struck just a few nice positions but forgot to create a character; as Odile she lacked brilliance and oomph. Evgeny Ivanchenko as Siegfried matched her pretty well in his apathy and danced rather weakly.

That somebody like Alexander Kurkov is still cast as Rothbart is incomprehensible, but we already knew that the company was overstretched. It was however quite painful to watch.

The pas de trois was excellent, some ravishing moments of the female corps (although the little swans were sloppy) and some fine national dances, but I'm afraid that wasn't enough to save the evening.

I much preferred Tatiana Amosova on the second occasion. Not the most touching or warmest Odette I have seen, but at least a performance that came alive. Her Black Swan was exciting and had a riveting finale. Sadly Ivanchenko was again a dead loss on stage.

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I totally agree with Marc, althoug the casts of Swan Lake I saw on the very last day of Kirov in Amsterdam were Sofia Gumerova as Odette/Odille and Daniil Korsuntsev as Siegfried.

Apparently, the stage of Royal Carre Theatre was not big enough for Kirov production of Swan Lake (hopefully big enough for coming performance of "The Car Man" by AMP in June). But it cannot be a good excuse to have a rather poor performance. I have to point out that Korsuntsev was trying to give the ballet emotional reality in his pas de deux with Odette/Odille, however, his princess was not so eager to develope the story between her and her prince. I was not convinced that she fell in love with Siegfried.

It was a great fun to see pas de trois danced by Dumchenko and Zelonkin, but the company itself obviously lacked appropriate dancers for Kirov legend.

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NO7, some of the soloists had already left Amsterdam before the final weekend, leaving us with two Siegfrieds for four "Swan Lakes" in three days. I wonder what would have happened if one of the remaining soloists got hit by a bike or something.

It's sad to realize that this Kirov legend mentioned by enterachilles seems to shine a whole lot less when they are not performing in London, New York or Japan.

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I've heard that the enthusiasm of the Dutch fans indeed faded out towards the final week. Tickets were not sold out. While some stars concentrate on guesting elsewhere rather than touring with the company, I'm afraid we can't afford to complain about the lack of fine dancers (although it's a true sad story).

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NO7, that's not really true. They sold out for all the performances of "Swan Lake". The Fokine programs didn't, but with "Swan Lake" the theatre was packed.

We should also realize that the largest part of the audiences in Amsterdam consisted of theatre visitors, not exactly ballet fans, but just people who wanted to see a performance of the world famous Kirov Ballet, and "Swan Lake" is always a safe bet.

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I think Marc is right. Tickets were sold out for Swan Lake. Still the name of Kirov seems to be a big name even for those who do not know much about ballet. I came here last summer and do not know what it is like to be a theatre goer in the Netherlands, but as far as I noticed from performances of Dutch National Ballet (they are having a new production of La Sylphide now in the Muziektheatre in Amsterdam), Dutch people appriciate modern/contemporary ballet/dance, rather than classical ones. I went to see this La Sylphide of Dutch National Ballet last night, but the theatre was far from full while the price of tickets was half of that of Kirov.

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Enterachilles, although I don't necessarily think that audiences in Amsterdam prefer modern dance to classical ballet, it is surely the combination "Kirov" and "Swan Lake" that made the difference. Let the Kirov bring "Sylphide" to Amsterdam and the theatre may be far from sold out as well.

According to the Dutch organizers the "Swan Lakes" sold out well in advance, while "Giselle" and especially the Fokine program needed extra publicity.

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