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Birdsall

Orlando Ballet's Swan Lake 2017

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Last time I saw Orlando Ballet's SL there was canned music, the lead fell flat on her face, the canned music messed up, etc. I was shocked by the lack of Scene 1.....the pas de trois was placed in the Black Swan act......there were two jesters rolling on the floor......LOL

 

Then, I saw Orlando Ballet's Don Quixote after that which was MUCH better. Adiarys Almeida was an excellent Kitri.......the DQ performance showed me that Orlando Ballet could do a serious performance!

 

So when I saw that Adiarys Almeida was dancing Odette/Odile this time I had hopes that the Cuban ballerina would raise Orlando Ballet's Swan Lake to a much better level than last time. Taras Domitro (former San Francisco dancer) was Siegfried. So I had hopes that they could help me like this version.

 

Overall, she did bring the quality up, but I think she is a natural Kitri whereas she has to work a little harder at Odette. She was good, but she didn't erase all the Russian ballerinas I have seen in the role, and even she could not save this production. Domitro was also good as her partner and danced his solos well. I think they did a very admirable and good job. I had no complaints about either of them. In fact, this whole thing should have been replaced with a gala in which she and Domitro danced the love duet and Black Swan duet while company dancers did variations from other ballets. I think that would have been much nicer and actually easier for the company to stage. Basically,  the actual production is a big mess still even with these great guests' contributions. I imagine it is very hard to stage Scene 1 for a small, regional company, but I missed the music, especially since this time they had the Orlando Philharmonic performing the score.....seems a shame to cut the first scene and miss the lovely music even if it is light waltzing. It seems like something could have been done. A small group of Siegfried's friends celebrating his birthday or something could be staged with fewer people dancing.  I also like seeing the juxtaposition between the society scenes and the more intimate lakeside scenes. To me Swan Lake's story is lopsided when Act 1 Scene 1 is missing. There is a balance between public and private in the normal versions.  I think Scene 1 needs to be put back in and the pas de trois should be moved back to its original place rather than in the Black Swan scene. Swan Lake is NOT a long ballet, so I don't buy Robert Hill's explanation in a previous video that people don't want to sit for a long ballet. I suspect the real reason is that a small company has a harder time filling the first scene's stage, but, I would understand having a very small group dancing to what a large corps would normally dance to.....I understand it is a small company. I have seen Nutcrackers with just 6 flowers and 12 snowflakes! I am fine with a small company having a smaller corps.

 

I am actually one of the few people on BA who actually likes the Jester in the Mariinsky's version of Swan Lake (there is a whole storyline if you pay attention.....he's wooing one of the friends of the prince). But two jesters, to me, is overkill especially if they are jumping over each other as the other one rolls on the floor. I don't know. It gives it sort of a spoof-like feeling to the production. I feel like Orlando Ballet's Swan Lake is not serious enough. To me it is one of the most beautiful ballets in the repertoire and I could watch the love duet between Odette and Siegfried every night of my life....it touches me profoundly, so it is disappointing to see a production that is more like a spoof. I can handle that if it is Les Trockaderos but otherwise.....no.....I really wish Orlando Ballet would rethink its approach to the ballet.

 

On a really high point I discovered a wonderful Turkish restaurant Bosphorous where I had turkish grape leaves, lamb shanks, and a turkish wine flight (4 different tastings)......I tried to get into Chatham's Place at the last minute without a reservation, but they were all booked up, so I went searching for another restaurant in the plaza across the street and found Bosphorous which I highly recommend! Orlando has much better restaurants than when I was a child and my grandparents used to live there!!!

 

 

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