public forum
home forum magazine gallery links about faq courtesy
It is currently Sat Dec 20, 2014 2:10 pm

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]




Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 3 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: St Petersburg New Year Gala at the QEH 2003
PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2002 10:01 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 2172
Location: London
Queen Elizabeth Hall Sunday 12 January, 2003 at 7.45pm

A celebration of ussianopera and ballet marking the 300th anniversary of the foundation of St Petersburg, featuring soloists from the Mariinsky Theatre:

Irma Nioradze
Evgeny Ivanchenko

Marianna Tarasova (mezzo soprano)
Vladimir Maroz (baritone)


Plus Chloe and soloists of the Russian Chamber Orchestra of London

Tickets on sale at box office 020 7960 4242.

<small>[ 20 December 2003, 05:57 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: St Petersburg New Year Gala at the QEH 2003
PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2003 7:03 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 2172
Location: London
St Petersburg New Year Gala
Queen Elizabeth Hall
Sunday 12 January


One of the Russian “Ballet Stars” that will be coming to the Royal Albert Hall in May is Irma Nioradze. The Mariinsky principal dancer gave her services to charity last Sunday when she danced three pieces during the St. Petersburg New Year Gala at Queen Elizabeth Hall. I never got to the bottom of the genesis of the Gala since the programme was laden with references to “sponsored by,” “launch of’” and “with support from.” The programme of selected works showed an incredible disparity that gave no clues to the path of the evening. Readings in Russian from Brodsky rubbed shoulders with arias from Tchaikvsky’s ‘Queen of Spades’ and collided with a piano duet from Schnittke’s ‘Gogol Suite.’ Miss Nioradze, though she opened the programme, was fitted in around the two pianos needed for the one aforementioned piano duet. Cutting the piano duet and giving the star more room to dance her three pieces would have been sensible programming since the pianists were amply represented in other parts of the programme.

The lack of space was accentuated by the fact that Nioradze has an endless extension and long elegant arms. ‘The Swan’ – Pavlova’s ‘Dying Swan’ to us – would have been better performed on the piano where there was without doubt more room. The narrow strip of stage allotted to Nioradze required her to go the way of all feathered foul in captivity – she died a battery swan. But like all swans and great professionals, she was elegant and dignified to the last breath.

The Russian prima ballerina looks to be carving out a solo career to complement her important role in dancing the main repertoire of the Mariinsky Company and has modern choreography made on her. Alas, we will never know who choreographed ‘About a woman’ - music by Morricone - for her. Nioradze lifted her legs to enormous heights (above the piano) and gave us tantalising snippets of what she can do with jazzy steps but there was no mention in the programme of the creator of the piece.

Nioradze does Scheherazade well. She smoulders and pouts and looks sultry on cue. Fokine’s ballet and Bakst’s set designs are unashamedly kitsch but a good Zobeide and Golden Slave can make one quite hot under the collar. Clement Crisp of the Financial Times said of Nioradze’s Zobeide as part of the Kirov season at the Royal Opera House a couple of years back: “Nioradze makes every pose a declaration of sexual allure.” She gave a good account of herself again at the QEH and, like a true professional, she pretended that she hadn’t noticed the two pianos cluttering up the harem. Mariinsky soloist Evgeny Ivanchenko partnered her in the Adagio section from the ballet as best as the available space permitted him: jetes were performed on a narrow airstrip in a straight line and Miss Nioradze drew back in flat relief against the pianos to allow him to pass.

There is no doubt that Nioradze is a fine classical dancer. She will play it safe in future, it would appear, and will spread her wings in the safety of the Royal Albert Hall – a space that is currently accommodating an entire circus – Cirque du Soleil. She will perform with full extension short pieces from the likes of Le Corsaire, Swan Lake etc with a dazzling cast of colleagues from St Petersburg that includes Yulia Makhalina, Daria Pavlenko, Igor Zelensky, Farukh Ruzimatov and Nikolai Tsiskaridze. It was noble of her to give her services for charity and the fact she just got on with doing what she could in a limited space is a testimony to her graciousness and lack of pretension as an artist. I just hope that the number of pianos is not scaled up ‘in the round’ otherwise Zobeide will have no choice but to expire on a Steinway.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: St Petersburg New Year Gala at the QEH 2003
PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2003 7:22 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 186
Location: Great Britain
Dear Emma,
I agree with you absolutely with regard to the limited space allocated to the dancers at QEH. Even the microphone has not been removed further from the stage apron. I felt sorry that the dancers could not fully spread their 'wings' and legs. Even worse was the impact it had on the audience's perception of the mood, which they were trying to create with their performance, especially in "The Dying Swan" where the total loneliness of the white bird in the black wastness of the stage is of paramount importance. To Irma's credit she danced beautifully and is in an excellent form now. I read that the Moscow ballet lovers were very enthusiastic about her dancing "The Firebird" in the Kremlin recently.
However, I would like to defend the programme of that concert. You wrote: "The programme of selected works showed an incredible disparity that gave no clues to the path of the evening. Readings in Russian from Brodsky rubbed shoulders with arias from Tchaikovsky’s ‘Queen of Spades’ and collided with a piano duet from Schnittke’s ‘Gogol Suite.’"
First of all, it was a very Russian concert, very typical of the concerts which Russians are used to and love: mixture of music, ballet, opera, poetry reading, etc. - the same kind of a composition as a Royal Variety Show in England but without a comedian linking all the numbers. And the leit-motif of that concert was perfectly clear: St.Petersburg, timed to its 300th anniversary. Almost all performers, as well as every piece performed, had some link to St.Petersburg: arias from "Eugene Onegin" and "Queen of Spades" (the most Peterburgian of all Tchaikovsky's operas), poetry by Mandelshtam and Brodsky, "Tarantella" by a Leningrader Gavrilin. "The Overcoat" piece from Shnittke's "Gogol Suite" is based on Gogol's "St.Petersburg Stories". And two ballet numbers were choreographed by a Peterburgian Mikhail Fokine. Everything seemed logical to numerous Russians who constituted the majority in the audience on that evening. They could listen Sergei Yursky reading "Onegin" endlessly, however, I could understand that his reading in Russian seemed too long for the English-speaking viewers.
I personally enjoyed the concert although one of the singers should have stayed at home learning singing.
I am definitely looking forward to see the gala concerts with Irma Nioradze at Albert Hall in May.

<small>[ 21 January 2003, 06:08 PM: Message edited by: coda ]</small>


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 3 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
The messages in this forum are posted by members of the general public and do not reflect the opinions or beliefs of CriticalDance or its staff.
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group