I had been waiting for Kirov's Corsaire with great anticipation. I remembered the famous pas de deux performed by two extraordinary young Kirov talents - Alina Somova and Leonid Sarafanov at the February Kirov Spectacular
and was wandering what the full 3 Act production would be like. On July 9 they danced Medora and Ali.
Kirov occupies a very special place in the cultural life of Washington. The Ballet company is in the 3rd year run of its 10 year contract with the John F. Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts. Both The Kirov Orchestra and The Kirov Opera are frequent quests here. So, this was no great surprise to see the full house gathered for the Kirov ballet performance.
But right from the beginning the show itself was full of surprises. It started with the visually stunning storm scene which could compete in quality with virtual reality. Waves were frightfully real and storm colors true to life. Sets and costumes looked spanking new and the orchestra was magnificent. Well, it was *the* Kirov Orchestra, after all.
The well anticipated pas de deux (in the Kirov version pas de trois) culminated the ballet as could be expected. When Sarafanov did his double tour jumps, the audience went wild. But the evening belonged to the youthful Alina Somova. She easily wrapped the audience around her little finger - delicate, with the face of an angel and the super long flexible limbs, she lit up the house the minute she set her foot on stage. She has that unmistakable ballerina aura! Technically she was perfect, or almost perfect! I also want to mention the unique quality of Alina's grand jete
. It was exceptionally high for someone with her extension and flexibility and very musical, pointed not just forward, but forward and upward! By far she has the most impressive and unique jete
I should also mention Evgenia Obraztsova who became talk of the ballet world after she had won the 2nd prize in this year Moscow Ballet competition. She danced one of the odalisques. She is charming, precise and she radiates happiness. This is all I can say at the moment. There was no miracle… perhaps it's in the future.
The scene that simply took my breath away was that of The Living Garden
of Pasha. The sound of real water fountains seemed to join the full orchestra with its own peculiar sound. The evening ended with the standing ovation and numerous curtain calls which I think pleasantly surprised young Kirov artists.
And my final note is about the manner in which Conrad-Shishov was helping Medora-Somova to come down from the lift at the end of the famous pas de trois. She didn’t just come down gracefully, but slid down like a thin sheet of water! Inconsequential moment, one might say, but it is precisely at such moments that I begin to understand why Kirov is KIROV! The devil is in the detail!
Beautiful picture from The Washington Post
of Alina Somova and Anton Korsunov rehearsing on stage of KenCen is here
July 14, 2005. Washington, DC.