The matinee today had Daria Pavlenko performing the Sicilienne in "Emeralds" and the soloist in "Rubies." They announced before the performance that someone who's name I don't recall would be performing the solo in "Rubies," and I thought it was amazing that she looked so much like Pavlenko. But it's an indication of Pavlenko's range that she danced so differently in the two roles that I wasn't absolutely sure it was the same person. (I checked with one of the Russian people selling programs, who said it was indeed Pavlenko who performed, and she didn't know what that announcement was about.)
Sukharukhova was lovely in "Emeralds," as was Pavlenko. The Sicilienne is my favorite part of this act, and I was contrasting Pavlenko's performance with my favorite performance by an SFB dancer (Katita Waldo). They were very different, and I think the music contributed greatly to that difference. Waldo's performance was very light and delicate, while Pavlenko's was sweeping and lush. But sweeping and lush (and slower) was how the music was played in the Kirov, so both dancers performed beautifully and appropriately to the music.
I was least impressed with "Rubies" overall, because that was the one section in which the corps de ballet's precision sort of fell apart in some of the faster places. Also, even though Nioradze was very fast and perky in the pas de deux, I think she carried the throw-away look too far, so that her technique sometimes looked a bit sloppy.
Usually "Diamonds" is my least favorite of the three sections, but in today's performance, it was my favorite. The port de bras had such refinement, and the uneven quality of port de bras in American companies always bothers me, so it was a real pleasure to see the Kirov in this ballet. Also, I've never seen such great unison in the corps in this ballet. Even in the finale of "Diamonds," when all the women and men are dancing together, very quickly, it was in the most amazing unison I could imagine. I'm curious to see whether it looks that good tomorrow, because even for a company famous for it's corps, this seemed almost freakishly well coordinated.
I was just thinking over Pavlenko's performances, and I think she changed her makeup for "Rubies." Her eyebrows looked more slanted. Her use of her face was quite different in the two roles, too. It looked softer in "Emeralds" -- not just a softer expression, but actually softer.
Gumerova and Zelensky were very smooth in the pas de deux in "Diamonds." Gumerova, for the most part, seemed to focus a bit inward, but in her solo, she was flying and looked very beautiful.
In "Diamonds" I started looking for interesting dancers in the corps. I immediately spotted one who had very beautiful arms, and realized an instant later that it was Sukharukova.
<small>[ 12 October 2003, 01:34 PM: Message edited by: djb ]</small>