Archive Page Design
Click here to go to Balletco's new home page and site navigation

About the Change
HomeMagazineListingsUpdateLinksContexts

 


 Ballet.co Postings Pages

 Some Special Threads:
  TodaysLinks - worldwide daily dance links
  KirovTalk talk about the Kirov
  BolshoiTalk talk about the Bolshoi
  Ballet.co GetTogethers - meetings and drinks...




Ballet.co Postings

Subject: "Kirov in London - Swan Lake"     Previous Topic | Next Topic
Printer-friendly copy     Email this topic to a friend    
Conferences KirovTalk - Kirov and Mariinsky ballet discussion Topic #117
Reading Topic #117
Bruceadmin

19-07-05, 08:59 AM (BST)
Click to EMail Bruce Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
"Kirov in London - Swan Lake"
 
  
The Kirov opened their two week London season last night with Swan Lake. Lopatkina is awesome but that observation won't really come as a surprise I think! She caries all the emotion in a production that is a bit flat theatrically but crammed with dancers doing things together, higher, faster than you would normally see. The place was packed and more than a few readers... do say what you thought...


  Alert | IP Printer-friendly page | Edit | Reply | Reply With Quote | Top

  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Kirov in London - Swan Lake DaveM 19-07-05 1
     RE: Kirov in London - Swan Lake StephenR 19-07-05 2
     RE: Kirov in London - Swan Lake alison 19-07-05 3
         RE: Kirov in London - Swan Lake 18th July ian_palmermoderator 19-07-05 4
             RE: Kirov in London - Swan Lake 18th July Paul A 19-07-05 5
                 RE: Kirov in London - Swan Lake 18th July Kevin Ngmoderator 19-07-05 6
                     RE: Kirov in London - Swan Lake 18th July Leonid 19-07-05 7
  RE: Kirov in London - Swan Lake - Review - 18 July 2005 Bruceadmin 20-07-05 8
     Kirov in London - Swan Lake 19th July 2005 ian_palmermoderator 20-07-05 9
         RE: Kirov in London - Swan Lake 19th July 2005 Ian Graham 20-07-05 12
             RE: Kirov in London - Swan Lake 19, 20 July Kevin Ngmoderator 21-07-05 13
                 RE: Kirov in London - Swan Lake 19, 20 July Beryl H 21-07-05 14
                     RE: Kirov in London - Swan Lake 19, 20 July JohnM 21-07-05 15
                         Kirov in London - Swan Lake 20th July ian_palmermoderator 21-07-05 16
     RE: Kirov in London - Swan Lake - Review - 18 July 2005 DaveM 20-07-05 10
     RE: Kirov in London - Swan Lake - Review - 18 July 2005 alison 20-07-05 11
  John Ross Photographs Bruceadmin 21-07-05 17
     RE: John Ross Photographs Anjuli_Bai 21-07-05 18
         RE: John Ross Photographs Ripowam 21-07-05 19
             Kirov in London - Swan Lake 21st July 2005 ian_palmermoderator 22-07-05 20
                 RE: Kirov in London - Swan Lake 21st July 2005 NataliaN 22-07-05 21
                 RE: Kirov in London - Swan Lake 21st July 2005 Viviane 22-07-05 22
                     RE: Kirov in London - Swan Lake 21st July 2005 Naoko S 23-07-05 23

Conferences | Topics | Previous Topic | Next Topic
DaveM

19-07-05, 09:42 AM (BST)
Click to EMail DaveM Click to send private message to DaveM Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
1. "RE: Kirov in London - Swan Lake"
In response to message #0
 
   A production that is a lot less 'cluttered' (with people or scenery) than the Royal Ballet's version, and less gothic. I preferred the costumes in the RB's version - much richer in texture, but it seems the Kirov's ethos is 'less is more' - and in many cases, it was. The Act I pdt was danced beautifully (Irina Golub, Ekaterina Osmolkina, Anton Korsakov); and the role of the Jester (which doesn't appear in the RB version at all), linked the various sequences in fast and spectacular style (one spinning movement i thought he was going to take off, helicopter fashion!) was danced by Andrei Ivanov. Jolly good he was too (though had somewhat spoiled the illusion on our way in to the theatre, when we caught him having a crafty fag outside the stage door - in costume and make-up!).
Act II was simply breathtaking. Uliana Lopatkina deserved all the plaudits I've heard going her way, and then some. Amazing line (very Russian of course), beautiful elegant poise - a sheer joy to watch. I must confess to preferring the corps de ballet's long dresses in the RB version to the tutus here, but the dancing, and pin point accuracy of the line-ups at the side of the stage couldn't be faulted (something that can't always be said for the RB). All the familar parts -the cygnets, the swans etc, were all magnificent.
The Black Act, again some spectalur dancing - but I felt a lot of it was a bit 'restrained', amsot as if marking time until the big pdd with the Prince (the excellent Daniil Korsuntsev) and Odile. Which was certainly worth waiting for! As well as NEAR as 32 Fouettes as i've ever seen, Uliana's Odile was superbly danced, but seemed to miss the sly, sexy nuances of other Odiles i've seen. And the ending of the music after the fouettes, where she took a bow, instead of dancing on, i thought a bit cheeky!
Act IV I'm afraid I found a bit lame. Nothing wrong at all with the dancing, but the limply happing ending, and the plot generally, seemed to completely miss the rhythm and intensity of the music, almost in fact to be at odds with it (someone else said the same last night - so sorry for stealing your thunder).

All in all then, there were parts of each of the Kirov's and the RB's that were better than the other, but I loved both! Ah, now if only we could get Uliana to guest for the RB....


  Alert | IP Printer-friendly page | Edit | Reply | Reply With Quote | Top
StephenR

19-07-05, 11:11 AM (BST)
Click to EMail StephenR Click to send private message to StephenR Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
2. "RE: Kirov in London - Swan Lake"
In response to message #1
 
   LAST EDITED ON 19-07-05 AT 12:50 PM (GMT)
 
Being a cynical old goat, I was hoping beyond hope that after all I have read concerning Miss Lopatkina's Odette-Odile, it would not be a case of the "Emperer's New Clothes", and that I would leave disappointed. However, with gratitude to the ballet Gods, disappointment was one of the few emotions that I did not feel. These kind hearted ballet Gods conspired to bestow on me a rare opportunity to witness the proceedings from a seat so close to the stage that I could read every expression, and every gesture articulated by one of their most devoted disciples. I was in awe.

From the first moment that Uliana graced the stage, you could tell she was not merely dancing. This was a ballerina that treasured the role within her heart. Every arabesque, every step into attitude was performed as if Uliana had the blood of the Swan Queen racing through her veins.

I never truly empathised with Odette before, sometimes finding portrayals one dimensional and superficial. To see a ballerina portray Odette emoting such pain and dispair finally gave the emotional resonance that captured me. At this point I did not need the analysis of her psychosis, (as explored by Ek, Murphy et al), I understood.

She was as near to a perfect Odile as I have ever witnessed. Never before have I been as emotionally convinced that this was a different person to Odette. Uliana's Odile was a predator, determined to ensnare her prey. During her seduction of the Prince, she combined, what I can only describe as primal "sexiness", with pure evil, then as she turned to Rothschild the true level of her sly deception was revealed in her eyes and smile. Genius.

Much discussion is provoked over the "happy" vs "sad" ending. I have mixed views on this, but after last night I was convinced Odette could never live beyond the lake of tears, as she is just too pure for this world. So while I should naturally be happy that she does not die, my heart aches for the prospect of such a divine entity living a such a banal existence in the "real world".

Gushing review? Yes, but after last night I feel as if I would struggle to portray my in-bred cynacism.


  Alert | IP Printer-friendly page | Edit | Reply | Reply With Quote | Top
alison

19-07-05, 01:02 PM (BST)
Click to EMail alison Click to send private message to alison Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
3. "RE: Kirov in London - Swan Lake"
In response to message #1
 
   >And the ending
>of the music after the fouettes, where she took a bow,
>instead of dancing on, i thought a bit cheeky!

Standard "Russian" practice, it would seem, Dave - the music always seems to stop for applause there. I *hate* it - it totally ruins the musical flow into Siegfried's variation, but then I don't think you're ever going to stop Russian companies stopping to take bows at points which more westernised audiences find inappropriate.

>Act IV I'm afraid I found a bit lame. Nothing wrong at all
>with the dancing, but the limply happing ending, and the
>plot generally, seemed to completely miss the rhythm and
>intensity of the music, almost in fact to be at odds with it
>(someone else said the same last night - so sorry for
>stealing your thunder).

Not having seen the RB and Kirov productions so close together before, I hadn't previously realised quite how similar they were in the final act, barring, of course, the dreaded Soviet "let's kill Rothbart off by pulling his wing off so we can have a happy ending no matter that the music is telling us precisely the opposite" ending.


  Alert | IP Printer-friendly page | Edit | Reply | Reply With Quote | Top
ian_palmermoderator

19-07-05, 02:09 PM (BST)
Click to EMail ian_palmer Click to send private message to ian_palmer Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
4. "RE: Kirov in London - Swan Lake 18th July"
In response to message #3
 
   LAST EDITED ON 19-07-05 AT 03:21 PM (GMT)
 
She Came, We Saw, She Conquered

For the last few weeks the British press has been trumpeting the news that a star is coming to town. We know what she eats for breakfast (yoghurt), we know what she eats before going to bed (a biscuit). Before long, no doubt, Vogue will be telling us what she likes to wear around town and, before even longer still, I am half expecting the tabloid press to tell us what she wears to bed, with suitably illustrative photographs.

It has been a veritable “Lopatkina-Fest” and it culminated last night (18th) in a rare appearance on the London stage in the role with which she is most closely associated. It has, naturally, been hyped and as is so often with hype, there is always the worry that the glare of flashbulbs and cacophony of excited chatter will drown the artistry from which it has all arisen. It is in this sense, perhaps, that the audience is placed in the lofty position of Prince Siegfried himself (bear with me). We can be smitten with the “Odile-esque” bravura of the hype, but can we see through to that thing which is the consummate artistry of the “Odette-like” truth? We need something that can unite our hearts with our heads.

And so, all eyes turned to Uliana Lopatkina and from them the scales were lifted: this was purity, truth and artistry in its most perfect form. Every movement was ravishing. I am sure that were you to take camera stills of her dancing, you could gaze at them for hours without ever seeing a position or an image that was never less than the most perfect beauty. Her back melts, her arms, like willow branches, sway as if blown by the softest of breezes and the delicate stem of her neck is crowned by a porcelain head, whose wide round eyes gaze in wonder, amazement and love. As Odette, she is the most delicate of creatures. Her Siegfried, Daniil Korsuntsev, seems barely to touch her, lest her fragile frame snaps under the pressure.

But it is more than just plain bodily movement, there is something almost ethereal about it. We have read in her interviews that she says “I never try to dance just with my body, but with my soul and my heart.” “Pah!” we respond, "that is just the hype”. But to watch her, to gaze upon her, to engage with her in that “painting of bodies” is to know that it is the truth. Her dance sings to you, it speaks to you in ways you have never been spoken to before, and when, in that final moment over the dead body of von Rothbart (Ilya Kuznetsov), her face becomes enlightened you know that her soul has become transcendent and that it has captured you and all you can do is gaze in amazement at the glory of dance.


  Alert | IP Printer-friendly page | Edit | Reply | Reply With Quote | Top
Paul A

19-07-05, 02:25 PM (BST)
Click to EMail Paul%20A Click to send private message to Paul%20A Click to add this user to your buddy list  
5. "RE: Kirov in London - Swan Lake 18th July"
In response to message #4
 
  

>
>And so, all eyes turned to Uliana Lopatkina and from them
>the scales were lifted: this was purity, truth and artistry
>in its most perfect form. Every movement was ravishing. I
>am sure that were you to take camera stills of her dancing,
>you could gaze at them for hours without ever seeing a
>position or an image that was never less than the most
>perfect beauty. Her back melts, her arms, like willow
>branches, sway as if blown by the softest of breezes and her
>unbelievably refined neck is crowned by a porcelain head,
>whose wide round eyes gaze in wonder, amazement and love.
>As Odette, she is the most delicate of creatures. Her
>Siegfried, Daniil Korsuntsev, seems barely to touch her,
>lest her fragile frame snaps under the pressure.

Oh Ian, that's pure Clement Crisp! (Glad you enjoyed it!!).


  Alert | IP Printer-friendly page | Edit | Reply | Reply With Quote | Top
Kevin Ngmoderator

19-07-05, 03:57 PM (BST)
Click to EMail Kevin%20Ng Click to send private message to Kevin%20Ng Click to add this user to your buddy list  
6. "RE: Kirov in London - Swan Lake 18th July"
In response to message #5
 
   I echo everyone's praise of Uliana Loptakina. Her performance last night was greater than her last performance of Swan Lake in London back in 2001 when she was not completely recovered from injury.

In the Act 1 pas de trois, I was impressed by Irina Golub who danced sharply with sparkle. However I was surprised to see Anton Korsakov changing the steps in his solo when he substituted in a dazzling series of entrechats towards the end. But the audience loved it and warmly applauded him. I look forward to seeing him in La Bayadere next week.


  Alert | IP Printer-friendly page | Edit | Reply | Reply With Quote | Top
Leonid

19-07-05, 07:59 PM (BST)
Click to send private message to Leonid Click to add this user to your buddy list  
7. "RE: Kirov in London - Swan Lake 18th July"
In response to message #6
 
   Whilst I found Lopatkina extraordinary in Act 1 scene 2 and she did for me, justify the reclame she has enjoyed. Her performance almost seamless as it was did not efface the extra personal distinctions I have of memories of former Kirov dancers as Odette. As Odile she was somewhat disappointing, with an edgy technical bravura and uneven quality of line in attitude poses that spoilt the overall impression. Korsuntsev as Siegfried was elegant with a slightly period style much more suitable to the role than what one often seems. He partnered Lopatkina carefully, enhancing her performance with his height providing the kind of masculine foil she needs. Regrettably for me a developing cough meant I missed the last act. What impressed me most was the general level of soloists (jester excluded) and the female and male corps de ballet at a level not seen for some time. The production appeared fresh despite its age and unlike the current RB production gives this 19th century ballet the appropriate period setting. I definitely felt the Kirov on that performance are back. Well done Vaziev


  Alert | IP Printer-friendly page | Edit | Reply | Reply With Quote | Top
Bruceadmin

20-07-05, 11:01 AM (BST)
Click to EMail Bruce Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
8. "RE: Kirov in London - Swan Lake - Review - 18 July 2005"
In response to message #0
 
  
Kirov Ballet
Swan Lake
London, Royal Opera House
18 July 2005

The Kirov are back in town and there are the traditional cries of "got to see them but goodness it costs so much". Despite the latter, which economics dictate and is unlikely to change, you really have to go and see a company at the pinnacle of dance, strutting its stuff its own way.

I find watching them a series of wonderful highs and some occasional jolting lows: they are just such a different package to what we normally see. Anyway here are my +/-ve points. Er... all scales are arbitrary and this is in comparison to a typical London Swan Lake, whatever that might be...

  • + 200 points - Uliana Lopatkina. A wonderful, ethereal being from another world. Every movement is invested with grace, poise and eloquence. Nothing is rushed and she maintains her own heartbeat - with the music and yet not; she seems to be the power that drives it all forward, not Tchaikovsky. Lopatkina, as Odette, has reached the stage where technique is really faultless and movement has become natural perfection.

  • +30 for Lopatkina's fouettes in act 3. No doubles or trebles just a rock-steady succession of singles. We all knew she could do more but it's not her style to be ostentatious. Delicious - to be able to do it and not to.

  • +5 for a first act that canters along on dance rather than having lots of fiddly character stuff.

  • +5 Sets that give room for dance and also pack small and enable the Kirov to travel 'light' and bring loads of ballets in only two weeks. Good thinking.

  • +40 wonderful corps and soloist dancers - sharp, all together (Swan Maidens with arms that match, for goodness' sake). A collective peerless technique in many respects.

  • +20 for corps all being matched in height and their supernatural power (in the White acts) being all the more magnified.

  • -80 for it all being about movement - there is little sense of a wondrous story being communicated (aside from Lopatkina who carries it all dramatically really)

  • -50 for the end of Act 3, when Odile triumphs over Siegfried and Odette, for being so very understated and muddled. Apart from some perfunctory lighting, nobody really seems to know what to do or how to act distraught at this cataclysmic turn of events.

  • +15 wonderful painted panorama backcloths

  • -50 costume design and colours all rather muddled and old-fashioned. It all feels dusty and due an overhaul

  • +5 except for national dances costumes in Act3 - striking

  • -40 special Rothbart design deduction - for having wings that appear to have been previously owned by a slightly overweight Wood Pigeon.

  • +10 for national dancers themselves - passionate, high-kicking communicators all and a special mention for the incredibly supple backs of the Spanish dancers.

  • +5 for Daniil Korsuntsev as Siegfried - a partner of the old school and there for a ballerina to depend on but not take over.

  • +10 for Korsuntsev's soft landings.

  • +10 for 'swans' that majestically float across the lake in acts 2 and 4 and one having a tiara - sweetly barmy and always makes me chuckle. This should really be a deduction because I shouldn't be smiling of course.

  • +40 for the orchestra - full on and much more varied tempi than we are used to I think. B**ger the cost, its right to bring them.

  • -100 for having a jester in the production. No mater how well danced I just shudder at an element that only detracts from a serious work.

Sum-up
Lopatkina gives sense to this because we can believe she comes from another world: to miss her is to shoot yourself in the foot - well, both feet and several times really. Wonderful dancers technically and drilled to perfection but the ancient 'dramatic' approach will shriek at you for good or ill and I wish they would tell the story better. But it's their show and their tradition and I'm so glad I was able to see them.


  Alert | IP Printer-friendly page | Edit | Reply | Reply With Quote | Top
ian_palmermoderator

20-07-05, 11:49 AM (BST)
Click to EMail ian_palmer Click to send private message to ian_palmer Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
9. "Kirov in London - Swan Lake 19th July 2005"
In response to message #8
 
   From Little Cygnets Great Swans do Grow

Day two of the Kirov’s London residency and whereas the opening night had served to showcase a reigning swan, the very Queen herself, this second night presented us with a company cygnet, not yet quite as full of wing and plumage as her illustrious colleague. She was Viktoria Tereshkina. She is a tall, leggy brunette with cheek-bones you could cut diamonds on and (as Odile) has a knowing and sexy look that far belies her youth. It is in the “Black Act” that she is supreme: whipping, cracking, sparkling her way through the Petipa and with each dare-devil feat she looks down at the audience, through those long and heavily mascaraed eyelashes, as if to say “Hey there Big Boy, I dare you to mess with me!” That Prince Siegfried should be seduced by her goes almost without saying.

But a great Odile doth not a Swan Lake make and it is in her Odette that she is less convincing. All the steps are there with precision and grace and, as with the night before, the interpretation is lugubrious and expansive such as to take your breath away, but there is an overall sense that she does not, as yet, truly inhabit the role of Odette. She is the haughty queen, imperious, rock-like, but there is no fragility there, no vulnerability and as such it is very difficult to feel any pathos. It feels very much “work-in-progress”, which is by no means a bad thing, but one wonder quite why it should be presented on tour. There are, dare I say it, other ballerinas left back at home whose Odette/Odiles I would be very grateful to see.

Her Siegfried was a dashing Igor Kolb, investing his Act One birthday celebrations with a certain rakish quality. He partnered immaculately and inserted a solo just before the Pas de Trois, (which Korsuntsev the night before had not), which soared and blazed (though his landings were a little heavy at times in his Act 2 Variation).

However, soaring and blazing is very much the order of the day. From Andrei Ivanov’s spirited jester that goes off like a champagne cork, to the very, very grand jetes of Ilya Kusnetsov’s von Rothbart (aside from the leads all other parts were played by an identical cast to the first night) via Anton Korsakov as one of the Prince’s friends and then on to the National Dances (the gypsy-looking Islom Baimuradov especially catching my eye in the Spanish Dance) this is all First Class Honours stuff. But the double-starred First goes to the corps of swans. In the costumes of Galina Solovyova and within the set designs of Igor Ivanov (which by comparison make the Royal Ballet’s production look like the inside of a tart’s boudoir) the dance and the dancers are given the space to breathe. The seamless formation and interweaving of shapes, the immaculate rows and rows, are all a wonder to behold and then to watch the legs! Even the simplest of leg movements, when performed with such precision by every single member of the corps is overwhelming. This is what it means when people speak of the “Pride of Russia”.

I have heard that Bolshakova, the Odette/Odile at today’s matinee, is something very special indeed. Work prevents me from going, but if you are attending, please, please report back.


  Alert | IP Printer-friendly page | Edit | Reply | Reply With Quote | Top
Ian Graham

20-07-05, 10:37 PM (BST)
Click to EMail Ian%20Graham Click to send private message to Ian%20Graham Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
12. "RE: Kirov in London - Swan Lake 19th July 2005"
In response to message #9
 
   I too was at this performance - both Ians in the same place at the same time!

I found it a disappointing evening. While there was much to admire in the technical expertise of most of the dancers, as a performance of a 'narrative' ballet is was pretty weak. There was hardly any attempt to tell the story! Instead the stage was filled with endless rounds of jolly dances that told us nothing about what was going on.

I agree with 'young' Ian that Tereshkina was better as Odile than as Odette, actually showing a bit of character. But her fouettes were short in number and had her travelling halfway across the stage; and as Odette she actually took a tumble!

Kolb as Siegfried had all the moves but again did not convince me as a heroic figure or a real character.

And that for me summed up the evening really.

Things were not helped by dancers taking 'curtain calls' during scenes, and even in the middle of a particular dance sequence.

Ivanov gave a spectacular and witty performance as the jester.

The orchestra was loud and coarse, with particularly raucous noise coming from the brass. This is one of the most beautiful romatic ballet scores there is, but it didn't sound it on Tuesday.

Sorry to sound so negative but I felt that for £85 I should have been given better fare than this.


  Alert | IP Printer-friendly page | Edit | Reply | Reply With Quote | Top
Kevin Ngmoderator

21-07-05, 00:38 AM (BST)
Click to EMail Kevin%20Ng Click to send private message to Kevin%20Ng Click to add this user to your buddy list  
13. "RE: Kirov in London - Swan Lake 19, 20 July"
In response to message #12
 
   LAST EDITED ON 21-07-05 AT 00:40 AM (GMT)
 
I saw two more casts after the opening night. This afternoon it was most rewarding to see the Swan Queen of Yulia Bolshakova, who only joined the Kirov a year ago from the Vaganova School. It is incredible that the Kirov has such an endless supply of new talent. Bolshakova's long and stretched line and high extensions are very much in the mould favoured by the Kirov nowadays. Her technique was iron-clad. Her fouettes in the coda of the Black Swan pdd were executed almost 'sur place' without moving much at all. Her Odette was emotionally satisfying and expressive. A remarkable performance! I preferred Bolshakova to Viktoria Tereshkina's Swan Queen on Tuesday night. Tereshkina's best performance was in Act 2, despite an unfortunate slip after which she recovered quickly. Her Odile was rather more conventional in characterisation.

Bolshakova's prince Evgeny Ivanchenko was a sturdy partner and danced impressively on a big scale. Igor Kolb on the night before interestingly added a solo before the pas de trois set to the same music as Nureyev's solo in the old Royal Ballet production.

In the Act 1 pas de trois, Vasily Scherbakov this afternoon danced impeccably as usual. It was gratifying to see him dance the digaonal of double tours en l'air in the original choreography instead of the series of entrechats which was substituted in by Anton Korsakov last night.

The national dances were still exemplarily danced at every performance. No other company can dance them on this level. And needless to say the Kirov's corps de ballet is still the best in the world.

Did anybody see Alina Somova's Swan Queen tonight? I couldn't make it unfortunately.


  Alert | IP Printer-friendly page | Edit | Reply | Reply With Quote | Top
Beryl H

21-07-05, 09:40 AM (BST)
Click to EMail Beryl%20H Click to send private message to Beryl%20H Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
14. "RE: Kirov in London - Swan Lake 19, 20 July"
In response to message #13
 
  
>
>Did anybody see Alina Somova's Swan Queen tonight? I
>couldn't make it unfortunately.


Very blonde, very pretty, and very tall with the longest legs ever!
Seriously though, technically she sailed through it with just a slight stumble in the act 2 PDD, and with incredible support from Daniil Korsuntsev, she has all the makings of a new sensation, another one, what a Company!



  Alert | IP Printer-friendly page | Edit | Reply | Reply With Quote | Top
JohnM

21-07-05, 10:01 AM (BST)
Click to EMail JohnM Click to send private message to JohnM Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
15. "RE: Kirov in London - Swan Lake 19, 20 July"
In response to message #14
 
   Something of a little-miss-leg-in-air I thought.


  Alert | IP Printer-friendly page | Edit | Reply | Reply With Quote | Top
ian_palmermoderator

21-07-05, 11:14 AM (BST)
Click to EMail ian_palmer Click to send private message to ian_palmer Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
16. "Kirov in London - Swan Lake 20th July"
In response to message #15
 
   LAST EDITED ON 21-07-05 AT 11:49 AM (GMT)
 
My Impression of an Impression of an Impression

What is the Kirov style? It requires a more seasoned balletomane and Kirov-watcher than I to answer that question, but perhaps you will allow me an attempt at something of a definition. There is clarity, grace and refinement. Everything is beautifully proportioned and shaped, like a Mozart String Quartet. There exists an inherent harmony which binds every element of the dance and sings to you. And above all, there is an aristocracy, which suggests that these dancers are the very princes and princesses in the Court of Dance. When the country peasants of Act 1 Sc1 dance and make merry, as country folk are wont to do, it matters not one jot that they are doing so in gorgeously bejewelled frocks, the cost of one of which would no doubt feed a country peasant and his family for many weeks. That is not the point. These aristocrats of dance do not need to do gritty realism - that is for other companies in other cities. These dancers present an impression of an impression.

Take, as an example, the end of Act 2: Siegfried's mother, the Princess Regent, learns with distress what her son has done. How many times have we seen our own Genesia Rosato, in the Royal Ballet's production, sweeping and swooning and fainting to the floor as courtiers, footmen and ladies-in-waiting rush across the stage to offer assistance? Very dramatic. Now watch the Kirov's brilliant Elena Bazhenova (glittering with even more jewels than the peasants) as she sways ever so slightly to the right, her hand up to the side of her face, her eyes looking up to the heavens, as the courtiers gather round her, supporting her, presenting a final tableau of distress as the curtain falls. The impression of an impression.

Similarly we have the National Dances. We are not meant to believe that the Spanish, the Italians and the Hungarians actually danced like that. But watch Polina Rassadina and Artem Yachmenikov in that Hungarian dance and the flamboyant little head flourishes, the fast snapping of the wrists, and it gives the impression of an impression of the Czardas.

This, for me, is Kirov style. Then, like that proverbial bull in the proverbial china shop comes Alina Somova as Odette/Odile. This, for me, is very definitely not Kirov style. She is… how can one put it?…very sporty. She is very spiky and her legs remind one of pincers. Her extensions are à la Zakharova and Guillem and her développés (to quote S Club 7) "reach for the stars". Some people rather like that sort of stuff, but I can hear my mother's voice in the back of my mind saying, "this is neither the time nor the place". The shapes she creates, her leg arching backwards peeping up over her head like a periscope, seem ugly and it is all very inappropriate. Which is a shame, because she is a very good and promising young dancer. She whipped her way through the fouettés, travelling very little, and it is clear she has a technique and a half, but as Odette/Odile she is, (oh dear I hate to use the word) a little vulgar. I should like to see her in the Forsythe bill.

The orchestra, conducted by Alexander Polianichko and led by Ludmilla Tchaikovskaya (a descendent of Pyotr Ilyich perhaps?) continues to crash and bash its way through the score, though the wind section last night seemed almost to have caught up with the strings, and it makes you realise how lucky we usually are with our own House orchestra.


  Alert | IP Printer-friendly page | Edit | Reply | Reply With Quote | Top
DaveM

20-07-05, 01:21 PM (BST)
Click to EMail DaveM Click to send private message to DaveM Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
10. "RE: Kirov in London - Swan Lake - Review - 18 July 2005"
In response to message #8
 
   >
>
  • +10 for 'swans' that majestically float across the lake
    >in acts 2 and 4 and one having a tiara - sweetly barmy and
    >always makes me chuckle. This should really be a deduction
    >because I shouldn't be smiling of course.
  • from up in the Amphi, a definite negative is the little trucks that those swans 'float' along on, which are all too evident. Perhaps the 'rocks' at the back of the stage should be a little taller!


      Alert | IP Printer-friendly page | Edit | Reply | Reply With Quote | Top
    alison

    20-07-05, 01:31 PM (BST)
    Click to EMail alison Click to send private message to alison Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
    11. "RE: Kirov in London - Swan Lake - Review - 18 July 2005"
    In response to message #8
     
       >
  • +10 for national dancers themselves - passionate,
    >high-kicking communicators all and a special mention for the
    >incredibly supple backs of the Spanish dancers.
  • Yes, I have to admit, I just sat there stunned after the first backbend, wondering if I'd actually seen what I thought I'd seen, and whether it was physically possible. My second thought was: "Eat your heart out, Vanessa Palmer!" (and she's no slouch in the backbend department herself).


      Alert | IP Printer-friendly page | Edit | Reply | Reply With Quote | Top
    Bruceadmin

    21-07-05, 01:50 PM (BST)
    Click to EMail Bruce Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
    17. "John Ross Photographs"
    In response to message #0
     
      
    John Ross was at the Opera House photoshoot when the company arrived...




    Igor Kolb as the Prince and the Kirov corps in Swan Lake




    Viktoria Tereshkina as Odette in Act IV of Swan Lake




    Kirov - Swan Lake - July 2005
    Ballet.co Gallery Area
    all images © John Ross


      Alert | IP Printer-friendly page | Edit | Reply | Reply With Quote | Top
    Anjuli_Bai

    21-07-05, 02:41 PM (BST)
    Click to EMail Anjuli_Bai Click to send private message to Anjuli_Bai Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list Click to send message via AOL IM  
    18. "RE: John Ross Photographs"
    In response to message #17
     
       Beautiful photographs, John - thank you!


      Alert | IP Printer-friendly page | Edit | Reply | Reply With Quote | Top
    Ripowam

    21-07-05, 06:45 PM (BST)
    Click to EMail Ripowam Click to send private message to Ripowam Click to add this user to your buddy list  
    19. "RE: John Ross Photographs"
    In response to message #18
     
       Beautiful indeed.
    In the Forsythe there are a few dancers misidentified

    "Petina and Pimonov"

    are actually Serebriakova and Pykhachev.

    "Puhachev" is actually Chashegorov.


      Alert | IP Printer-friendly page | Edit | Reply | Reply With Quote | Top
    ian_palmermoderator

    22-07-05, 01:44 PM (BST)
    Click to EMail ian_palmer Click to send private message to ian_palmer Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
    20. "Kirov in London - Swan Lake 21st July 2005"
    In response to message #19
     
       A Swan Song

    To see one great Odette/Odile in a week is extraordinary; to see two is…well, Lady Bracknell would have had something to say about that. But dash Lady Bracknell - I want to talk about Daria Pavlenko. She is a marvel.

    Her reading of Odette is lyrical and fluid. There is a sense of perpetual motion, whether it be in the fluttering of a finger, the unfolding of an arm, a quivering of the back, a twitch of the head - and it carries with it a great feeling of dramatic un-ease and not, I hasten to add, in a bad way. This Odette feels no stillness because hers is not a soul at rest - this is a human queen trapped in the body of a swan, wrestling, writhing, desperate to get out. Her body follows the musical phrases of the Tchaikovsky as if she herself were a musician playing the score and this fluidity in her dance captures the inner torment of Odette's soul brilliantly. And then there are her eyes: large, deep and mournful they howl even to the back of the amphitheatre with desperate and agonised cries for help.

    Now compare that to her Odile, which is the complete physical antithesis of her Odette - so much so, in fact, that it takes you a couple of seconds to convince yourself that there has not been an unannounced substitution during the first interval. But there hasn't - those unique eyes tell you it is she and if you are still in doubt just look at those legs, which are surely two of the most beautiful in the business. She has a sharp and dazzling technique, which she uses to the full. She holds her attitudes and her arabesques just that nanosecond longer, forcing you to stare in wonder at her and in doing so ensnaring the audience into her web of malevolence and deceit. Just as in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte the Queen of the Night tricks Prince Tamino with her dramatic coloratura, so too does this Odile trick Prince Siegfried with her array of artifice, culminating of course in Pierina Legnani's 32 Fouettés (damn her).

    And then we are back to the lake and the so-called "Soviet Happy Ending" and a stage bathed in the morning sun. With von Rothbart lying wingless and dead on the floor, the spell is lifted, the swans become human again. And now watch Pavlenko, as she looks down at her hand discovering that fingers are there and that humanity and femininity have been returned to her. See that dawning of a life renewed. It all makes sense and I love it.

    I should like to write more, to tell you about the wonderful Vasily Scherbakov in the Pas de Trois, the beautiful swans of Daira Sukhoruva and Xenia Ostreikovskaya, the four perfect cygnets (Ivanova, Obraztsova, Vasyukovich, Chiml) and Igor Kolb's majestic partnering (and his wonderfully melancholic Act 1 solo), but I cannot. Words are spent and I am drained. I have written too excessively over the last four days, but if you take one sentence from my four postings let it be this - that the Kirov is a phenomenon, a true Wonder of the Dance World. Thank you for letting me share this week with you.


      Alert | IP Printer-friendly page | Edit | Reply | Reply With Quote | Top
    NataliaN

    22-07-05, 02:32 PM (BST)
    Click to EMail NataliaN Click to send private message to NataliaN Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
    21. "RE: Kirov in London - Swan Lake 21st July 2005"
    In response to message #20
     
       Thank you, Ian. This is not a mere review; rather, it is a poem.


      Alert | IP Printer-friendly page | Edit | Reply | Reply With Quote | Top
    Viviane

    22-07-05, 08:06 PM (BST)
    Click to EMail Viviane Click to send private message to Viviane Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
    22. "RE: Kirov in London - Swan Lake 21st July 2005"
    In response to message #20
     
       Ian, thank you so much for this review ! So far, Pavlenko and Kolb gave me the most beautiful 'Swan Lake' I ever saw : already two years ago in Graz it sparkled and that performance convinced me that she would became a principal. It's so good to read that she's fully recovered from injury, London being her first full return !

    Thanks again for letting me share your wonderful experience


      Alert | IP Printer-friendly page | Edit | Reply | Reply With Quote | Top
    Naoko S

    23-07-05, 02:56 PM (BST)
    Click to EMail Naoko%20S Click to send private message to Naoko%20S Click to add this user to your buddy list  
    23. "RE: Kirov in London - Swan Lake 21st July 2005"
    In response to message #22
     
       Thanks Ian for your wonderful reviews - just as Natalia mentioned, turning a ballet-goer into a poet, that's one of the many things this ballet company do for us, I think!

    Viviane, two of the avid ballet-goer friends of mine declared that Pavlenko was by far the best Odette/Odile on offer on this SL run. I'm just kicking myself having failed to see her in the role.....


      Alert | IP Printer-friendly page | Edit | Reply | Reply With Quote | Top

    Conferences | Topics | Previous Topic | Next Topic

     
    Questions or problems regarding this bulletin board should be directed to Bruce Marriott