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Natalia

Feb 25-28, 2016 @ BAM: Lopatkina & Mariinsky Stars

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I saw Program B tonight, and it was absolutely ravishing, especially the second half.

I was very pleasantly surprised by Osmolkina's performance, but the night clearly belonged to Lopatkina who is just as divine as ever.

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It was Osmolkina debut in Sheherezade and Sergeev's in Blue bird

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I agree that the dancing was exquisite but I was not happy with the suitcase-ballet way the programs seem to have been put together. I can't believe they staged Spectre without adding the iconic window -- that's like doing Apollo without the lute. Also why waste Lopatkina's talents on something like "Pavlova and Cecchetti"? The second half of the ballet picked up considerably. I thought Lopatkina's Firebird was so amazing I'm surprised she never made this a regular in her repertoire.

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I actually liked Pavlova and Cecchetti but I agree that she could've performed something else... such as the white adagio in Swan Lake!!

I also agree about the missing window. When I realized that it's not there I wondered how Shklyarov will exit from the stage... (He just jeted to the side to make his exit... which isnt as dramatic as the original)

Sergeyev was great as Torero in Carmen Suite today! It's very disrespectful that BAM didn't print his name on the brochure.

I'm also wondering why he wasn't scheduled to dance anything else in other programs. He isn't included in the DC tour so why don't let him perform more? Since they won't be performing DonQ pas de deux maybe Sergeyev can fill in and perform Espada variation instead. It's just my wishful thinking!

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I agree completely that the second half was much more impressive. And yes, Firebird took me by surprise, too.

Can't wait for tomorrow.

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Why wouldn't you voice these concerns to the acting director Mr.Fateev? Suit-case deco and casting choices?

The original programs' sequences with their logical narative progression of numbers, with enhancing colorful projected decorations& supporting historical puctures of dancers who originated or famed the pieces, was developed & designed by Uliana and her coach Irina Chistiakova.

What and how it's shown at Bam is "what's left over"

The artists and the original creators of programs (B&D) did their best under curcumstances

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"Pavlova & Cecchetti" (from Neumeier's NUTCRACKER) has long been one of Lopatkina's signature numbers, since she performed it ca 1992 in StP, either as a student or a recent grad. It's a very special poetic number. My crazy dream is that, some day, it may be restaged/tweaked with an older female pedagogue performing in place of Cecchetti and re-titled "Lopatkina & Dudinskaya" as a piece d'occasion. Maybe Mr. Neumeier would agree?

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These performances are all billed on the BAM website and in the program as tributes to Plisetskaya. Yet most of Friday’s program didn’t look remotely related to Plisetskaya.

An insert into the program announced that due to an injury to Alexei Popov, the Carnival pdd would not be performed, making an already short program even shorter. How can a company this big have no contingency plan for injuries?

The projected pictures of Pavlova, Nijinsky, Cecchetti, etc looked like a tacky marketing trick. The performers should be able to stand on their own, without constantly reminding us of the various greats of the times past (some of whom, by the way, departed the company acrimoniously).

The dancing was decidedly mixed. There was a partnering issue in Chopiniana, botched turns in Le Spectre, and a disastrous landing after the double assemblé in Giselle. However unusual such an abundance of technical errors would have been for the Mariinsky of 20-30 years ago, I could forgive the slip-ups. It’s harder to forgive the lack of taste and conviction in many of the performances.

The tempo of the Blue Bird pdd was so glacial as to make this piece completely devoid of character. Martynyuk and Sergeyev did not convey any sense of engagement with the music or any care about the phrasing. There were many “I-am-finished-with-this-trick-and-now-I’ll-stand-and-prepare-for-the-next-one” moments. Martynyuk caught a miraculously long balance at the end of the adagio, while doing a 150-degree développé, and was awarded with a generous applause. That’s great, but I’d rather watch the Blue Bird pdd.

I’m not sure if any dancers currently alive can rescue the choreography of Scheherazade, but certainly Osmolkina and Zyuzin did not. It looked like a boring Las Vegas act. Facepalm.

Le Spectre lives and dies by the ability of the male dancer to sell it to the audience, and I’m afraid this time it died. For long stretches, the action on stage looked disconnected from the music.

Lopatkina is a great dancer, and is a joy to watch in anything. Still, I much prefer watching her dance good choreography, rather than pieces like “Pavlova and Cecchetti”.

Apart from the pieces danced by Lopatkina, the highlight of the evening by far was the pdd from the second act of Giselle beautifully performed by Shirinkina and Shklyarov.

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I wish BAM included into printed programs what UL requested written on BAM (full) website

As Plisetskaya being one of "Stars of Russian Ballet" -program shown at Yale. The extended Yale program was split into 2 nights at request of BAM to show 2 slightly different programs. She and hervciach prepared two non-iverlapping programs (dying swan being a gift). UL had no control over printed program. Her representative provided ALL detailed infor to BAM and tour management (so you saw credits to dancers at least) bur was only shown a printed program a couple of hours before it went to print

Dedecation to Plusetskaya was not UL idea. She did and does the best inder circumstances

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Here's what Alastair MacCaulay had to say about the first performance and he doesn't give a kind review. There's a couple of things that he draws attention to, with one being that Maya Plisetskaya was not a Mariinsky ballerina and another being that The Dying Swan was not created for her. I agree with him when he points out that this was not a very strong programme for a tribute to Mme. Plisetskaya:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/27/arts/dance/review-mariinsky-celebrates-a-prima-ballerina.html?_r=0

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You don't have to defend for Uliana because everyone knows it was BAM's mismanagement or Mariinsky's negligence to not include all the credit info.

As Ilya mentioned I'm disappointed that Mariinsky didn't have any backup plan in case of someone's injury. They are too big of a company to not be prepared of this kind of circumstamce.

Let's see how tonight's performance goes because the program does look more promising.

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By the way, does anybody know where the Stage Exit at the BAM is? My wife would love to meet Lopatkina and is bringing her a present, but where do we find her after the performance ends?

Thanks in advance!

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Well, I'm in Brooklyn enjoying my Junior's Cheesecake before walking on down to BAM.

There's construction on the 2 & 3 subways between Manhattan and Brooklyn so allow extra time if you're taking the subway from Manhattan...the #1 train becomes the #s 2 & 3, etc. Just follow the signs or ask the attendants.

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116 saint felix street-BAM stafe door

I was told (despite of UL request) there is no meet and greet after the show. However, if her representative manages, they will try to organize some compromise (informally) by the stsge door

Thank you so much!!!!

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Le Spectre lives and dies by the ability of the male dancer to sell it to the audience, and I’m afraid this time it died. For long stretches, the action on stage looked disconnected from the music.

What was Le Spectre even doing in this programme? Was it supposed to be a tribute to Pavlova?

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Nijinsky's photo was projected on the screen prior to Le Spectre. So perhaps it was meant to be a tribute to him. Sadly not a great tribute though.

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Woohoo!!! There's happiness even in the weather...bright & sunny, almost 60F! Lopatkina & Co. ordered this for her fans.

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Nijinsky's photo was projected on the screen prior to Le Spectre. So perhaps it was meant to be a tribute to him. Sadly not a great tribute though.

Ah right, thank you because I was left really confused there because Pavlova never danced in Le Spectre - that was Tamara Karsavina. Though mind you, from everything I've read, the whole thing sounded like an absolute disaster, starting with the programme itself. It's quite obvious that not a lot of thought went into the selection of dance pieces, for one thing, they have the Giselle pas de deux in a programme that's billed as "A Tribute to Maya Plisetskaya", even though she never even danced Giselle... they really should've given the whole programme a better title and put more thought into it.

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Here's a really good idea for a piece they should've included in the programme as a tribute to Pavlova - either an excerpt or a full-length performance of The Awakening of Flora because this was one of Mme. Pavlova's favourite ballets and the role of Flora was her very first lead role as a professional ballerina. Surely with a good cast, the scenery and costumes and good conducting of the orchestra, this beautiful ballet would've added a lot of delight to one or two of the evenings...

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Plisetskaya was like a national figure and her death touched the entire ballet world in Russia. Gergiev was friends with her and champions her husband's music, and that is why the Mariinsky has had tributes to her both at home and now in NY. It doesn't matter she wasn't a Mariinsky ballerina.

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Plisetskaya was like a national figure and her death touched the entire ballet world in Russia. Gergiev was friends with her and champions her husband's music, and that is why the Mariinsky has had tributes to her both at home and now in NY. It doesn't matter she wasn't a Mariinsky ballerina.

Tell that to the critics...

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Plisetskaya was like a national figure and her death touched the entire ballet world in Russia. Gergiev was friends with her and champions her husband's music, and that is why the Mariinsky has had tributes to her both at home and now in NY. It doesn't matter she wasn't a Mariinsky ballerina.

A somewhat less generous view would be that Plisetskaya's name on the promotional materials was perhaps meant to help ticket sales for a poorly conceived program. One can't help but wonder---if the gesture were genuine, surely more thought and organizational muscle should have been put into it.

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