Jump to content
Buddy

La Bayadere -- Los Angeles 2018

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

I’m on my way tomorrow to see the La Bayaderes.

Ballerinawise.

I’ve seen Isabella Boylston perform one beautiful Swan Lake. I also saw her fall once as Gamzatti and recover as if she owned the place. Something that I really appreciated.

I’ve seen Hee Seo in Giselle and Sleeping Beauty. She had a remarkable combination of dance and character.

Gillian Murphy, I’ve seen many times in Swan Lake. Almost all of them were outstanding, comparing very well with the amazing Veronika Part ( now Principal with the New Zealand Ballet — Great ! ). I’ve seen former ABT ballerina, Simone Messmer ( now Principal with the Miami City Ballet — Great ! ) do the most remarkable Gamzatti that I’ve ever seen.  I’m sure that Gillian Murphy can also do a very special one. After one of her Swan Lakes, I wrote that “she could be the ambassador for womankind.”

Misty Copeland, I’ve never seen in a major role. I look forward to her Gamzatti.

Christine Shevchenko, I saw more than five years ago and thought that she would have a wonderful future. She also has that ‘Russian’ aura. I’m not sure where she’s from but a name like that is usually a very good sign. I’m really looking forward to seeing her.

Devon Teuscher, I know nothing about. I hope that she’s great.

In fact I’m hoping that they all are wonderful.

I grew up in the west LA area and haven’t been back in years. I’m going to try to revisit as many of my childhood memories as possible.

 

Friday, July 13 @ 7:30 p.m.                 Saturday, July 14 @ 7:30 p.m.                       Sunday, July 15 @ 2:00 p.m.

Isabella Boylston                                 Hee Seo                                                             Devon Teuscher

Jeffrey Cirio                                          Cory Stearns                                                     Joo Won Ahn

Misty Copeland                                   Gillian Murphy                                                 Christine Shevchenko

 

Added:    I probably won't have my computer with me so it might be a few days before I can post.

 

Edited by Buddy
spelling, typos and "Added"

Share this post


Link to post

All three performances are sold out. I am happy that ABT can still fill an auditorium of over 3,000 seats. 

Share this post


Link to post

We are starved for classical ballet in Los Angeles.  I'm glad to know that all three performances are sold out and not just the local-girl-makes-good performance.  

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Buddy said:

Gillian Murphy, I’ve seen many times in Swan Lake. Almost all of them were outstanding, comparing very well with the amazing Veronika Part ( now Principal with the New Zealand Ballet — Great ! ). I’ve seen former ABT ballerina, Simone Messmer ( now Principal with the Miami City Ballet — Great ! ) do the most remarkable Gamzatti that I’ve ever seen.  I’m sure that Gillian Murphy can also do a very special one. After one of her Swan Lakes, I wrote that “she could be the ambassador for womankind.”

Misty Copeland, I’ve never seen in a major role. I look forward to her Gamzatti.

Murphy is a fantastic Gamzatti, probably my favorite in terms of characterization. You are in a for a treat. 

Copeland being cast as Gamzatti has always been a head-scratcher for me. (And she's been dancing it for years, even before she became famous.) Her jump is barely there, and she struggles with both types of fouettes. 

I look forward to reports and am curious who will be dancing some of the soloist roles. Sarah Lane has indicated on Instagram that she's traveling to LA, so I wonder if she and Shevchenko will be dancing Lead Shades again. (I'm sure having a dancer on hand who can dance Nikiya, if need be, is also helpful.)

Edited by fondoffouettes

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, fondoffouettes said:

I look forward to reports and am curious who will be dancing some of the soloist roles. Sarah Lane has indicated on Instagram that she's traveling to LA, so I wonder if she and Shevchenko will be dancing Lead Shades again. (I'm sure having a dancer on hand who can dance Nikiya, if need be, is also helpful.)

One of Lane's Instagram stories showed her rehearsing one of the Shades solos. 

Share this post


Link to post

I am happy to report that the opening night performance of La Bayadere at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion was almost perfect. The descend of 24 shades from the Himalayas led by Rachel Richardson was flawless, no shaking legs, no wobbles.  Twenty four shades moving in unison with legs lifted to the same height created a mesmerizing image. Does Makarova’s  version has more arabesque steps? To me, the snaking of the lines of shades before the front group could assume their downstage position seemed longer than in the Mariinsky’s staging.  I did not want to count the steps as I was afraid it would ruin the magic. 

I wish this performance had a different Gamzatti instead of Misty Copeland. To say that she was underwhelming would be an understatement.  Her broken wrists and splayed fingers made a very unattractive look.  Nonexistent jumps and extremely low arabesques (did she recently have a back injury?) were adding to the negative impression.  On top of that she botched her Italian fouettés executing a sequence of four battlements to the side—sous sus turns. She did managed to do about 10 regular fouettés but they were unimpressive and travelled to the left as usual. The audience went wild nonetheless.  

It was Cirio’s last performances with ABT and Boylston handed him the bouquet of flowers she received. Both she and Misty kneeled in front of him. 

And lastly, can we please replace Lanchbery’s orchestration?  His peculiar arrangements make the score sometimes unrecognizable. 

Share this post


Link to post
On ‎7‎/‎13‎/‎2018 at 10:58 AM, Josette said:

We are starved for classical ballet in Los Angeles.  I'm glad to know that all three performances are sold out and not just the local-girl-makes-good performance.  

If you don't mind me asking, what are your impressions of Colleen Neary's Los Angeles Ballet?

Moderator: Please move this to another forum if need be.

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, miliosr said:

If you don't mind me asking, what are your impressions of Colleen Neary's Los Angeles Ballet?

This was ten years ago, but I went to a performance of the LA Ballet in Kammermusik No. 2. She came out on stage first and gave a fascinating, detailed explanation of how this had been choreographed, as she was in the original cast. First, Balanchine had the two women in unison. Then, once they had that nailed, Balanchine said: now, we're going to stagger your start times. The performance was in an auditorium at UCLA with recorded music, but I've appreciated that ballet ever since. I hope she is still providing that kind of insight, which is priceless and something you can't get elsewhere. I look at their schedules from time to time. LA is a tough market, in part because of the monstrous drive times for so many just to get to the theaters where they perform. She has managed to keep going despite all that, so plaudits for that alone. 

Edited by California
spelling correction

Share this post


Link to post

I was there last night at the Seo/Stearns/Murphy cast. To echo Dreamer, the corps looked good in the shades scene aside from the speed at which to raise their arabesques and some wobbles once the initial entrance is done. The three newly promoted soloists were the Shades--Fang, Williams, and Hurlin. Seo and Stearns are not well suited to this ballet--they lack any grandeur or bravado in their dancing. I found the Nikiya's death scene to be especially disappointing. Neither had major technical problems (though I was not able to stay for the final act), but they also did not inhabit the role and milk the choreography for what it is asking. Stearns is no warrior and Seo is no adagio dancer. She seemed to have an especially stiff back which is not a great quality for Nikiya. I've seen them together recently in Ratmansky's SB and Nut and those are better fits for them. Gillian Murphy was in good form and didn't appear to be having some of the smaller technical problems reported at parts of the Met season; she was excellent in her first Act solo and fouette sequence, as well as her movements in the confrontation with Nikiya and her possession over Solor while watching Nikiya dance. I was happy to see her in the role since it's unlikely I will get the opportunity again.

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

Christine Shevchenko — Wow !

And again -- Wow !  Absolutely Amazing !

Probably the best Ballerina-Actress that I’ve ever seen !

For one, I’ve never seen another, ever, translate drama into motion the way that she did.

There were many other outstanding performances.

Hee Seo, Gillian Murphy and Devon Teuscher.

Isabella Boylston did fine and Misty Copeland had some fine moments.

As did the men, fine.  Jeffrey Cirio, Cory Stearns and Joo Won Ahn did what the men are supposed to do — make the women look incredible and shine by themselves.

The Corps de Ballet was Lovely and Mesmerizing. The Entrance of the Shades every night was as fine as I’ve ever seen and they maintained this level throughout the entire evening — each evening equally.

Overall an Outstanding Weekend.

Edited by Buddy

Share this post


Link to post
7 hours ago, Buddy said:

Christine Shevchenko — Wow !

And again -- Wow !  Absolutely Amazing !

Probably the best Ballerina-Actress that I’ve ever seen !

For one, I’ve never seen another, ever, translate drama into motion the way that she did.

There were many other outstanding performances.

Hee Seo, Gillian Murphy and Devon Teuscher.

Isabella Boylston did fine and Misty Copeland had some fine moments.

As did the men, fine.  Jeffrey Cirio, Cory Stearns and Joo Won Ahn did what the men are supposed to do — make the women look incredible and shine by themselves.

The Corps de Ballet was Lovely and Mesmerizing. The Entrance of the Shades every night was as fine as I’ve ever seen and they maintained this level throughout the entire evening — each evening equally.

Overall an Outstanding Weekend.

I was in the third row at Sundays matinee and can absolutely agree with your take on Shevchenko. Her acting chops, technical precision and STUNNING beauty truly set her apart from the other "Principals" at ABT right now. I expect that time and dedication will hone her precision into virtuosity in the future and put her in league with the worlds truly great dancers. She had some shaky moments in her beginning act variations but her extensions were beautiful. Her 15 fouettes were tight and stable with little movement and she finished with a nice triple but even here i noticed a little hesitancy. I noticed the same from the lovely Devon Teuscher, who danced a superb Nikiya with dramatic flair. During the Death scene, the pained look on her face when Solor walked away from her was heart-breaking. She was a little shaky throughout, although she moved lusciously with high legs and deep bends. No Tereshkina balances in Act 2, but at 29, she has time to develop this key role.

Share this post


Link to post

One last bit I needed to say.... Joo Won Ahn was a fine Solor, but he bought NOTHING to the role that Tom Forester or Blaine Hoven would have missed. It's time for ABT to use the excellent resources at their disposal and stop with the needless imports.

Share this post


Link to post
9 minutes ago, Cyberindio said:

One last bit I needed to say.... Joo Won Ahn was a fine Solor, but he bought NOTHING to the role that Tom Forester or Blaine Hoven would have missed. It's time for ABT to use the excellent resources at their disposal and stop with the needless imports.

Isn't that what they were doing by casting Joo Won Ahn? He, like Forster and Hoven, is a company member. In fact, no imports were used at all in L.A.

(That said, I completely agree that the latter two should be given more opportunities.)

Share this post


Link to post
5 minutes ago, nanushka said:

Isn't that what they were doing by casting Joo Won Ahn? He, like Forster and Hoven, is a company member. In fact, no imports were used at all in L.A.

(That said, I completely agree that the latter two should be given more opportunities.)

You are EXACTLY right!! I hadn't noticed him in previous performances and jumped right to the conclusion that he was an import. 

My deepest apologies for the error...but why they'd cast a corp member instead of superior soloist for such a coveted role baffles me!

Share this post


Link to post
3 minutes ago, Cyberindio said:

...but why they'd cast a corp member instead of superior soloist for such a coveted role baffles me!

In principle I agree, though I also wonder if Solor is really the right role for either Forster or Hoven to show what he can do in a full-length lead.

I wonder if Hoven, in particular, has the stamina at this point. It's a long role, with a lot of dancing.

In any case, at least based on the Met reports, it sounds like Ahn managed quite well?

Share this post


Link to post
7 minutes ago, nanushka said:

In principle I agree, though I also wonder if Solor is really the right role for either Forster or Hoven to show what he can do in a full-length lead.

I wonder if Hoven, in particular, has the stamina at this point. It's a long role, with a lot of dancing.

In any case, at least based on the Met reports, it sounds like Ahn managed quite well?

For Hoven, maybe... though, running out of gas at 32? Solor is no Siegfried or Espada, right? Met performances aside, Ahn was competent but his jumps were NOT particularly high or explosive and his arabesques were not quite 90 degrees, despite the thunderous applause from the LA audience. I'm nitpicking here, of course, but isn't that where we find the difference between the good and the great?

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, nanushka said:

In principle I agree, though I also wonder if Solor is really the right role for either Forster or Hoven to show what he can do in a full-length lead.

I wonder if Hoven, in particular, has the stamina at this point. It's a long role, with a lot of dancing.

In any case, at least based on the Met reports, it sounds like Ahn managed quite well?

I think of Forster and Hoven as being more in the Marcelo mold -- not necessarily bravura dancers who are going to do lots of whiz-bang leaps and turns. Hoven is around 32 and Forster is somewhere around 31/32, so it may be getting a bit late in the game to take on a role like Solor. I think they'd be great as Romeo, Siegfried or Albrecht, though. Oh, and someone mentioned Forster as Des Grieux; even though I don't love the ballet, I think he'd be absolutely dreamy in that role.

10 minutes ago, Cyberindio said:

For Hoven, maybe... though, running out of gas at 32? Solor is no Siegfried or Espada, right? 

I think Solor is considered one of the more grueling male roles (so many leaps). Hallberg basically says as much in his memoir. And Gomes had to retire the role before he reached 35, I believe. I think Espada is another role that dancers may need to retire on the early side. 

Edited by fondoffouettes

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

One thing that I noticed about the Solor requirements is the difficulty of such things as the jump turns. There are a lot more off center turns, etc., than I'm used to seeing in Russia. It's quite impressive.

Edited by Buddy

Share this post


Link to post
30 minutes ago, Cyberindio said:

For Hoven, maybe... though, running out of gas at 32?

I’m not sure it’s a matter of running out of gas — rather, I don’t think of Hoven as a dancer who’s ever been noteworthy for his stamina in particular, and at 32 Solor is probably not the best test of what he can do with a full-length. I could imagine him succeeding quite well with Siegfried.

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)
On 7/13/2018 at 9:29 AM, fondoffouettes said:

Murphy is a fantastic Gamzatti, probably my favorite in terms of characterization. You are in a for a treat. 

 

I hope to get back to Christine Shevchenko's amazing performance and try to do it justice.

Since fondoffouettes has mentioned this I’d like to comment. I thought that Hee Seo and Gillian Murphy did an excellent job. I totally agree with you, fondoffouettes, about Gillian. It’s probably the best portrayal that I’ve seen her do.

The difference between what she did and what Hee Seo did, is that Gillian showed remarkably developed artistry, while Hee Seo showed inner poetry.

I’ve seen Hee Seo several times and think that she is a lovely dancer who also has a fine sense of drama and portrayal. She combines all this extremely well. I also find her to be very likable.

Gillian did an exceptionally fine interpretation of Gamzatti, one of the very best that I’ve ever seen. And so that we wouldn’t forget about her dance prowess, she threw in a remarkable set of spins ending her fouettes with what looked to be a triple.

Edited by Buddy
typo correction

Share this post


Link to post
13 minutes ago, fondoffouettes said:

I think of Forster and Hoven as being more in the Marcelo mold -- not necessarily bravura dancers who are going to do lots of whiz-bang leaps and turns. Hoven is around 32 and Forster is somewhere around 31/32, so it may be getting a bit late in the game to take on a role like Solor. I think they'd be great as Romeo, Siegfried or Albrecht, though. 

I think Solor is considered one of the more grueling male roles (so many leaps). Hallberg basically says as much in his memoir. And Gomes had to retire the role before he reached 35, I believe. I think Espada is another role that dancers may need to retire on the early side. 

Wow! I would never have even guessed that. Granted that I pay far more attention to the female dancers than the men, I did not notice that this Solor was such a marathon or had a wealth of bravura steps. I'm going to youtube to do variation comparisons, because I get the feeling the difficulty may have been stepped down.

Thanks for the insight!

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Cyberindio said:

Wow! I would never have even guessed that. Granted that I pay far more attention to the female dancers than the men, I did not notice that this Solor was such a marathon or had a wealth of bravura steps. I'm going to youtube to do variation comparisons, because I get the feeling the difficulty may have been stepped down.

Thanks for the insight!

Yeah, I think in his book, Hallberg said something to the effect that Solor is the same three jumps over and over again. I think it's mostly that Act II is really a marathon -- that pas de deux feels like it goes on forever (in a good way). If you look up someone like Vladimir Shklyarov or Leonid Sarafanov, you'll see the full-on Russian-style bravura; I particularly like Shklyarov, who is so stylish, never vulgar. 

Edited by fondoffouettes

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

Also, it’s substantial dancing in 4 of the 5 major scenes, including 2 major multi-movement PDDs.

Edited by nanushka

Share this post


Link to post

Some might remember that Marcelo Gomes did Bayadere with Vishneva in 2012 in Japan and it was filmed for Anatomy of a Dancer. At that time, he said that was his last Bayadere, but he continued with Swan Lake and several other roles long after 2012.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/culture/2012/08/03/stage/world-ballet-festival-shows-how-japan-has-jetd-its-way-onto-the-world-stage/#.W0zcJ9VKjIU

Share this post


Link to post

I saw Marcelo Gomes dancing La Bayadere with VIshneva in the 2014 Met season. 

Solor's variation in Act 2 of Makarova's version is watered down.  Two of the three Solors I saw last week did a manege of only five (very labored, too) double assemble turns. The conductor had to slow the tempo to give them enough time to catch the breath between the jumps. I remember Shklyarov and Kim doing 8 or 9.

Share this post


Link to post
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×