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Kirov Sleeping Beauty, 2/17 - FINAL perf (Wash, DC)

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I just returned from the 5th & final performance of the Kirov's 'Beauty' in DC. Did anyone else see this? It was Irma Nioradze/Danila Korsuntsev in the leads this time, with Part as Lilac Fairy....and a delightful surprise as Diamond Fairy. Well, let's wait for other comments...but I'll jump the gun by writing that - at long last! - the Kirov presented a Prince Desire of truly princely demeanor in Korsuntsev. Vive la difference!!!!!! Here's a TALL & ELEGANT guy who can wear that red coat with panache. No trouble spotting him at his entrance. Yeah, he dances, too. wink.gif

[ February 17, 2002: Message edited by: Jeannie ]

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Has the Lilac Fairy always become the Helmet Fairy (the Hard Hat Fairy?) in Act 2? And when did the sleeping Aurora start wearing a flashing pager? Anyhow, I'm easy to please in story ballets -- that was only my 2nd Beauty -- and I loved the corps and most everyone else. So that wasn't Golub as Diamond? We thought Diamond and Silver were especially lovely.

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Hi, Ken. If you'll look in your program, you'll notice that the magical Golub danced both Diamond AND Gold. (As noted elsewhere, the program is not reliable.)

I missed Aurora's "pager." There are photographs of the original Lilac Fairy wearing a helmet.

I'm glad you got to see this one.

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No one wants to take on Nioradze? To me, she wasn't particularly suited to the role, and danced it in a rather old-fashioned way, but my objections were to her mannerisms which seemed a Trocksworthy parody of a ballerina.

I hope we'll have more reviews -- Bard's Ballerina was there. Juliet, did you go back? (You should have seen Korsuntsev. The third act costume has a beautiful cumerband. I didn't see it on other men because their torsos were so short, the blouse billowed out and covered it.) Korsuntsev wasn't ideal as the Prince, in my view, but he did stand out in the second act, if not quite dominate it, and I thought he danced his solo very well.

Two of my friends rather liked Nioradze, another wouldn't go back if she were on stage. Both views, and anything in between, are very welcome here (or on any thread).

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Thanks, Alexandra. As you can imagine, the "pager" was just the light hitting a jewel on the bodice of Aurora's dress at regular intervals. Perhaps it was only visible from the 2nd balcony. And btw, I'd never sat up there before, and was very pleasantly surprised at how well we could see.

I had a hard time with Nioradze's fixed, over-emotive face in Act 1, but she softened it later. I liked her dancing, as I did 2 and a 1/2 years ago in Giselle at the Met. Could you give an example of "old-fashioned"? I've never seen the Trocks, but I gather that they get their laughs not just from the fact that they dance a lot of women's roles, but from the way they over-emphasize (inappropriately pose, almost) and over-emote.

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Ken, I was sitting fairly close and so perhaps saw more of the mannerisms and facial expressions. (Or just reacted to them differently. smile.gif ) The way she turned her head right on the music at the end of the fish dive and grinned (in a very studied way), the use of the hands, the pursed lips. By "old-fashioned" the best I can do is she reminded me of matinees at ABT or National Ballet of Canada during the 1970s. It's not the best description. More important, for me, there was no magic or poetry.

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OK, Alexandra, I get the hint. I'm here. I've only got a few minutes (new-ish job much more time-consuming than the old, but it does pay a good bit more), so I can only make a few comments.

Sleeping Beauty overall -- LOVED IT LOVED IT LOVED IT! Sets, costumes, everything (well, except Nioradze, but more below).

Danila Korsuntsev (Desire) -- Very pretty; elegant dancer. Actually looked comfortable in that silly hunting outfit and wig.

Irma Nioradze (Aurora) -- Her dancing didn't really bother me as mannered, but then again I couldn't get past her face. She's not unattractive, but she has a very sophisticated, worldly, Joan-Crawford-like face and from the fifth row I was having a VERY hard time buying her as an ingenue. She looked about 20 years older than her mother the Queen.

Favorite fairy-tale divertissement -- White Cat/Puss in Boots. Listed in the program as Yana Selina and Kiril Simonov. They were absolutely adorable. She looks a little like Reese Witherspoon.


I'll cheat and add on my comments on Thursday's performance of Jewels here:

Emeralds -- I almost slept through this. The dancing was technically clean, but where was the musicality??????

Rubies -- I was getting pretty disgruntled by this point, remembering Miami City Ballet's fabulous rendition of this section last year (twice).

Diamonds -- Woke up. Diamonds was worth sitting through the rest of the evening for. I thought Daria Pavlenko was beautiful.


This weekend, Washington Ballet. Promise to write a bit more about them.

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Irina Golub *finally* got to dance Diamond Fairy on Sunday afternoon. She was quite wonderful, I thought. Her smile on this occasion was more appropriate to this role than it was in 'Rubies' last Wednesday, when she blinded us with her pearly-whites.

I don't even feel like it is worth 'knocking' Irma Nioradze any more. Between the unforgettable comments from June 1999 (Met season) & this, we've given her a thorough going-over! smile.gif Really a shame, as I happen to admire her rock-solid technique. She was the only Aurora among the five (in Kennedy Center run) who, during the Rose Adagio's final promenade in attitude, held the balances so securely that she took the time to do the 5th-position port-de-bras (both arms above head forming an 'oval').

Korsuntsev won the "Top Prince" title by a mile. Jut right for this role, if not as electrifying, technically, as Korsakov or Fadeev. By the way, I truly love Igor Kolb's landings on his tours - always in a perfectly-closed 5th position. This was easy to admire from my 2nd-tier seat on Friday; I did not notice this from my orchestra seat in the Tuesday performance. Kolb has the most refined & well-placed positions of the feet.

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