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Anna K on Swan Lake

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I just read Anna Kisselgoff's review of the Kirov's Swan Lake, which was generally excellent--she really displayed her fluency with a lifetime of watching. One phrase, however, puzzled me, in her description of Zakharova, whom, she writes, has a "dropped heel when standing on toe." Any guesses as to what this describes? Loose pointe shoes? Not all the way up on point (I doubt that--and look at the pic that accompanies the review)? Poor editing?


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It's not a term I'm familiar with, but I doubt it's poor editing -- the sentence "reads," to me, not as though something's dropped. Perhaps Kisselgoff meant that the heel isn't pulled up, but Zakharova is leaning back a bit?

Ray, I agree with you that it is a good review. I always admire Kisselgoff writing about the Russian companies, and I always have absolute faith in what she says about the productions.

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Zacharova's feet are extremely arched, almost hyperextended like the rest of her, and in the past she knuckled under noticably on point, which had the effect of putting her heels more in line with her calfs. On Thursday, though, the knuckling under was totally gone and that could have made her heels sit back a little from the classical line. It's not something I noticed, although I did notice for sure that she was no longer rotating over her points.

Kisselgoff is also correct about Zacharova's performance tending towards formalism, but that may also have been because of Zacharova's and Korsuntsev's failure to provide dramatic detail or to relate to each other psychologically. In the White Swan PDD, for example, there was little if any hint that Odette had to be won or tamed by Siegfried, etc., and at the conclusion little if any psychological interplay between them either, although Korsuntsev provided very solid partnering from the physical point of view.

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