CriticalDance Forum

Swan Lake----Village Skating Club--Kirov-Mariinsky
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Author:  Buddy [ Fri Feb 29, 2008 4:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Swan Lake----Village Skating Club--Kirov-Mariinsky

As I mentioned at the Mariinsky Festival topic I am staying in the Swiss mountain town, where I have often lived the last fifteen years, until the Festival begins. Much to my surprise the village figure skating club will be performing their version of Swan Lake several days before the Kirov-Mariinsky begins it's performances.

The club, almost all girls (ages 0-16 (??)), has been rehearsing regularly. A few of the older girls can do axels (1 1/2 turns in the air) and some can do doubles. This is quite impressive since they only have supervised coaching for their particular group two hours a week. Their coach is a devoted young woman from Canada, who founded the club, receives no financial reward and puts the whole thing together each year. Rehearsals are going very well.

Last night the skating dresses arrived from Texas for the seven 'swans'. They are absolutely beautiful, especially those for the white swans, with simple diamond-like rhinestone necklaces.

Some of these teen girl 'swans' actually looked to have blossomed for the first time into beautiful women today in their new Swan Lake dresses. As for the young guys present from the village hockey team, who usually rush as fast as possible into their locker room, they weren't in such a hurry today. In fact they just stood there somewhat awed.

So here is my current critical assessment.

"Swan Lake"

Village Figure Skating Club--Kirov-Mariinsky Ballet Company

For the moment I will have to give the nod to the Kirov-Mariinsky Ballet Company (possibly the best in the World) for "professionalism", although the Village Figure Skating Club is looking better every day!

As for "Charm"----It's A Close Call !

Any more occurrences of Extreme Beauty or Wonder will be posted as soon as possible.

Author:  Buddy [ Mon Mar 03, 2008 8:37 am ]
Post subject: 

This is admittedly a cold, stay-in-your-nice-warm house sort of day even in this outdoors nature paradise.

But !----the village figure skating club is putting on one of it's final rehearsals this evening for it's weekend Swan Lake performances. There are many young children in the village skating club, and it is my confirmed opinion from experience that even the most severe weather should take respectful notice of the single-minded determination of any children's theatrical production (or any other children's activity for that matter).

Humans take heed as well. Yesterday afternoon, in much warmer weather, the melting outdoor rink literally resembled Swan Lake to this determined-to-be-an-adult-kid who was out there skating. Of course some of the youngest of the skating club were out there as well practicing. Needless to say when evening arrived and a dress rehearsal was scheduled, this artificially frozen rink was put into the best possible condition. Only the hockey team might have this much clout.

So tonight this otherwise frozen day will come alive with children's joy and single-minded determination.

I will be out there as well with my critic's pad and pencil ready to let you know in an instant if the artistic world as well as the natural world should stand up and take immediate notice. The Fun Index Reading will also be carefully recorded.

[spelling correction made later]

Author:  Buddy [ Sun Mar 09, 2008 6:59 am ]
Post subject: 

Swan Lake--The Village Skating Club

On the way to what should be a series of wonderful Swan Lake ballet festival performances in Saint Petersburg can I mention a few final words about the village skating club's two Swan Lake performances.

The effort that everyone put into these two evenings showed itself beautifully and was a real pleasure to watch. Some of the skating was quite impressive. Some of the choreography was really stunning. The costumes were often gorgeous and the set was charming. Everyone seemed to be trying to put on a great show.

The older girls were Lovely and the younger children were Lovable.

There has to be something special to be said for 'gliding along the ground' as well as gliding through the air, both like a real swan would do, to some of the most beautiful music ever written.

I won't get into a long commentary analyzing the differences between figure skating and dance or comparing their artistic value. I will say that the next time I have a chance to see an ice show performance of something as beautiful as Swan Lake I will try and be there.

It was a real pleasure to be able to enjoy both the younger children's joyful spontaneity and some very sincere and exciting adult artistry.

Beauty is wherever you may find it.

[last sentence very slightly changed and a later spelling correction]

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