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Neumeier's Anna Karenina

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[Admin hat on]

I don't know why I have to keep repeating this, but do not talk about each other or characterize each other through your own lens. Talk about the topic.

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Posted (edited)

Interesting to see that Belyakov is cast as both Vronsky and Levin, the roles danced by Rodkin and Savin in the first cast. 

In A Hero of Our Time, he danced both Pechorin in 'Taman' and, again, Savin's role Grushnitsky. 

I remember volcanohunter mentioning on another thread that he was a better Pechorin that either Lantratov or Ovcharenko. And for me, at least in the video footage I've seen, he made parts of the choreography for Grushnitsky clearer and more expressive than Savin did in the cinema relay.

So I'm curious to see how he fares as Vronsky and Levin (I do agree with Gnossie that Savin seems a perfect fit), especially as I don't think he's danced with 
Ekaterina Fateeva (Kitty) before. 

Edited by rhys

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Posted (edited)

After seeing the first cast, I must admit that I now understand what Volancohunter was saying. Neumeier surely knows best, but I cannot understand his casting. Stashkevich's Dolly was so diminutive, it was hard to tell her apart from her kids. Khokhlova is very self confident and bubbly, I was not convinced by her becoming clinically insane over her broken love for Vronsky. Savin has too much of a dark side to be a convincing Levin. Only Mikhail Loubukhin was right in his element as Stiva Oblolnsky, definitely fits his character, as most roles often do.

I was disappointed with Svetlana Zakharova. There is SO MUCH material given to her by Neumeier to work with, and she did so little with it. She was completely empty. Rodkin just had to be himself to come across as a convincing Vronsky, but not as impactful as I hoped for, I felt he was not responding to his Anna, not that there was much to respond to.

I was ready to conclude that it is only Neumeier's own Hamburg artists who are able to transmit his ideas fully, until I saw the second cast tonight. Was so glad I did, after the grave disappointment  of the first cast. The second cast is a true marvel to behold, not only in terms of the excellence of established artists such as Smirnova, Ovcharenko, Shipulina, Belyakov or Merkruiev, but also Neumeier digging out such gems from among the recent Moscow ballet school graduates as Fateeva as Kitty, or Kallistratov as Seryozha.

Edited by Fleurdelis

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On 3/18/2018 at 8:39 AM, Fleurdelis said:

 I am more curious about Zakharova; there are several naturalistic moments in the work: will she be able or willing to suspend her customary gorgeousness during these moments for the sake of creating the character?

Spartacus, among others.  (Although I prefer her Swan to her Carmen).

 

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20 hours ago, Fleurdelis said:

 I was not convinced by her becoming clinically insane over her broken love for Vronsky.

 

I don't think Giselle is "clinically insane", even if she is hurt and shocked and betrayed and depressed.  Ditto all the other women sent to the "asylum" for "hysteria" or  heartbreak, loss, and grief.  (Was that T.S. Elliot who abandoned a woman to the lock up with the shrinks for bloody sheets?)

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On 3/22/2018 at 5:12 PM, volcanohunter said:

No, actually. Unlike most Americans, I like Neumeier's work quite a bit. 

Me too. But isn't some of it repetitive (internally and across ballets) and unnecessarily long?

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1 hour ago, Vs1 said:

 (Was that T.S. Elliot who abandoned a woman to the lock up with the shrinks for bloody sheets?)

:offtopic:Many may catch the allusion, but for anyone who doesn't:  Carol Seymour Jones, a biographer of Eliot's first wife (Vivienne Haight-Wood Eliot) -- and very sympathetic to Vivienne Eliot -- on her research: 

https://www.timeshighereducation.com/features/not-crazy-after-all-these-years/165448.article

And an article skeptical of some of Seymour-Jones' views--and giving more of the story of Eliot's relations with various women:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2002/09/30/the-women-come-and-go

Edited by Drew

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Just now, Drew said:

 

And an article skeptical of some of Seymour-Jones' views--and giving more of the story of Eliot's relations with various women:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2002/09/30/the-women-come-and-go

Well, do you believe Nijinsky? Or was it Romola, Nijinska, Diaghialev, the money, convenience, good drama?  Beastiality, give me a break.

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2 hours ago, Vs1 said:

Well, do you believe Nijinsky? Or was it Romola, Nijinska, Diaghialev, the money, convenience, good drama?  Beastiality, give me a break.

I'm afraid the reference to "beastiality" goes right by me, but honestly I'm a little puzzled by this question anyway or what it is you think that I think -- or intended by posting the links to those articles. I presented two articles about T.S. and Vivienne Eliot and didn't express an opinion one way or another about either of them because I only have rather superficial knowledge about their lives.  Like many people I suspect it was absurd and unjust for Vivienne Eliot to have been locked up for life, but I've hardly made a study of the matter or to what degree it was her husband's doing and to what degree her brother's etc. I just thought your original question/remark about Eliot might have been a little obscure to some people--perhaps not many--so I offered some easy links to indicate the kind of discussion that the issue had generated. Since both of these articles seemed to me inadequate in different ways, I thought why not post both? (Of course a great deal more ink than this has been spilled on the matter, but two articles seemed plenty in this context.)

As a general matter, if you are under the impression I think women have gotten a fair shake from the mental health industry, then you are mistaken.

Edited by Drew

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10 hours ago, Drew said:

 

As a general matter, if you are under the impression I think women have gotten a fair shake from the mental health industry, then you are mistaken.

 I don't know how many elderly women you know who wore girdles to "hold them in" after their hysterectomies. Youtube has some scary documentaries about government experiments in institutions regarding ECT, lobotomies, and drugs.   The Canadian books disputing Freud are also interesting.  I don't know what a "fair shake" is.

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44 minutes ago, Vs1 said:

  I don't know what a "fair shake" is.

A "fair shake" means fair treatment.

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On 3/27/2018 at 2:05 AM, Vs1 said:

I don't think Giselle is "clinically insane", even if she is hurt and shocked and betrayed and depressed. 

Kitty wears a chair on her head. Giselle first counts imaginary flower petals then tries to stab herself with a sword. Perfectly normal everyday adolescent behavior, sure.

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On 3/26/2018 at 10:22 PM, Gnossie said:

 

 

 

I clicked on the links and the videos are not available.  Hope this does not mean that someone's account has been terminated, but probably it's a copyright issue.  I did already see them on YT and honestly, although I agree Savin is a fabulous actor, it does not make me like this ballet any more.  Just my personal taste.  

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Agree from what I saw on video -  Neumeier AK is horrible.    

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8 hours ago, Fleurdelis said:

Giselle first counts imaginary flower petals then tries to stab herself with a sword. Perfectly normal everyday adolescent behavior, sure.

Suicidal isn't, by definition, "clinically insane." 

There is much that isn't normal everyday adolescent behavior, but normal everyday adolescent behavior generally doesn't make good theater.  Or good archetype.

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Just now, Fleurdelis said:

Kitty wears a chair on her head. Giselle first counts imaginary flower petals then tries to stab herself with a sword. Perfectly normal everyday adolescent behavior, sure.

Despair, betrayal, anger, the end of an engagement = schizophrenia?

Remembering good times and promises, and trying to figure out if they were a lie = schizophrenia?

Emotional pain = insanity?

Is any adolescent behavior "normal"?

Anyway, I think stage people do unconventional things as metaphor or for shock value or to make a point. Maybe she is saying something about other chairs, such as the electric chair (does she deserve that punishment for what she did? Especially when Albrecht is a tragic hero according to experts, for suffering his conventional restraints). Is it a reference to Revelations, Carmen, Bolero, the Judge?

Would you find life worth living, or think you could endure, at the point of the shock, in her era, after a public "deflowering" (is that what it suggests, besides the internal rewind and review of the facts and what he told her?) and betrayal, and the end of an engagement (leaving you maybe unable to marry, as required, in that era), and exposure of your naivete, and inadequacy (vis a vis the noble woman), where all your neighbors are in your business?  Does that make you insane or reasoning?

Is every person Romantically defrauded or the victim of a ponzi scheme "insane"?

 

 

 

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Giselle stops recognizing her mother, flings herself about uncontrollably, looks at an imaginary wedding ring, picks up imaginary flowers and then tries to stab herself with a sword. Kitty stands up and tumbles to the ground, shakes in violent convulsions and then puts a chair on her head. Reasoning? Not insane? I give up.

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9 minutes ago, Fleurdelis said:

Giselle stops recognizing her mother, flings herself about uncontrollably, looks at an imaginary wedding ring, picks up imaginary flowers and then tries to stab herself with a sword. Kitty stands up and tumbles to the ground, shakes in violent convulsions and then puts a chair on her head. Reasoning? Not insane? I give up.

I think much of what the end of Giselle Act 1 portrays is explainable as being a result of shock and not madness.  Giselle is so overwrought or disturbed by Albrecht's betrayal  or absorbed in her own thoughts, turned inwards, that she is not paying attention to external events.  She just doesn't "see" her mother because her mind is elsewhere.   She is remembering thinking of marrying Albrecht, remembering picking the daisy etc.  The part with the sword is more problematic though - she is so distraught she would LIKE to kills herself?  Re the Neumeieur AnnaK, honestly I thought the Mariinsky AnnaK was bad enough, but now I think it is work of genius compared with the Neumeier version.  Just my opinion, of course!  

Edited by MadameP

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Just now, Fleurdelis said:

Giselle stops recognizing her mother, flings herself about uncontrollably, looks at an imaginary wedding ring, picks up imaginary flowers and then tries to stab herself with a sword. Kitty stands up and tumbles to the ground, shakes in violent convulsions and then puts a chair on her head. Reasoning? Not insane? I give up.

The artist is expressing nonverbally her inner thoughts. That is a typical stage device. We are supposed to ignore everyone else.

She doesn't want her mother's comfort in that moment because the intensity of her feelings, too.   And is embarrassed and wants her to go away, pretending or angrily dismissing her or saying she cannot rectify the horror. And taking out her anger on poor mom, like all teens. And I can give you a million other explanations, but I am boring myself, likely you, and most importantly, the Moderator.

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Discussing the topic at hand is not boring or tedious.  And no one is obliged to reply, post, or discuss anything or more than they want to on BA!

 

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Just now, Fleurdelis said:

Giselle stops recognizing her mother, flings herself about uncontrollably, looks at an imaginary wedding ring, picks up imaginary flowers and then tries to stab herself with a sword. Kitty stands up and tumbles to the ground, shakes in violent convulsions and then puts a chair on her head. Reasoning? Not insane? I give up.

Mrs. Capulet fell to the floor, cried with convulsions, and beat herself in anger, grief, desperation, and futility after her cousin's murder.

People routinely write on the floor in pain, emotional or physical.  Sometimes they do it monthly and might end up like Mrs. Eliot. Or try a slipped disc or a little intestinal illness (there are many varieties, including fatal ones).  Look in at a ballet studio after a "pop". 

Sometimes they lie around trying to figure out whether "he was lying when he said he loved me."

Sometimes they hit the wall in anger or frustration when society denies them things irrationally. (Poor Albrecht; slutty, punishment-deserving Anna (She must be worse than the Shakespeare Mrs.s who murder or advocate it).

This is also a typical stage device to express being hurt.  The chair, as I said, is also a typical stage device. 

Also, bad, excessively dramatic actors exist.

 

Edited by Vs1

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Dmitri Tcherniakov used them extensively in his indoor production of "Eugene Onegin," and, quite famously, Galina Vishnevskaya protested.  From her obituary in "Opera News":

Quote

In 2006, she was so angered by the Bolshoi's untraditional new staging of Eugene Onegin, directed by Dmitri Tcherniakov, that she termed the production "vandalism" and vowed never to set foot in the Bolshoi again. She canceled her planned eightieth-birthday celebrations at the theater that had been her artistic home and marked the occasion instead at Moscow's Tchaikovsky's Concert Hall.

Who would have thought that chairs could be so controversial?

Edited to combine:

 

6 minutes ago, Vs1 said:

People routinely write on the floor in pain, emotional or physical.

In Seattle last November we saw just that in Crystal Pite's "Plot Point," in which the Wife has a "mad scene" that represented her internal feelings about being betrayed by her husband.  She was hardly mad in the psychiatric sense.

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1 hour ago, MadameP said:

honestly I thought the Mariinsky AnnaK was bad enough, but now I think it is work of genius compared with the Neumeier version.

You mean the Ratmansky AK on tour in London last summer, for which I flew over so that I could see Diana ??  Neumeier's AK worse than that one ??  Mamma mia !! :wacko::wacko:

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