public forum
home forum magazine gallery links about faq courtesy
It is currently Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:48 am

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 54 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky to Kennedy Center in Washington, DC: Oct 16-21
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:34 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2012 2:59 pm
Posts: 18
Location: Chicago, USA
After reading mixed reviews of Ratmansky's Cinderella, I had relatively low expectations. With those expectations, I watched the curtain rise at the Kennedy Center....

Two scaffold-like structures on either end of the stage caught my eye. Despite my initial skepticism, the props were used very well in telling the story. Subtle, and not so subtle, changes in props and backdrops throughout the performance were very effective in setting the scene. Lighting was used especially well in setting the mood.

The characters were wonderful. From start to finish, the entire audience loved to hate Cinderella’s stepmother (Sofia Gumerova) and her sisters (Margarita Frolova and Nadezhda Batoeva). They were mean and nasty toward Cinderella. At the same time, however, they were clumsy and humerus, which drew much laughter throughout the performance. As for Cinderella (Daria Pavlenko), I couldn’t help but to feel sorry for her in the first act. She was homely and dreaming of better times. Then comes the Fairy Tramp (Elena Bazhenova) – a wonderful character – who gave Cinderella the courage to attend the ball. As Cinderella practiced her dancing skills for the ball (Pavlenko shows off a little in a pas seul), she transforms into a beautiful woman. At the ball, Cinderella meets the Prince (Alexander Sergeyev). The Prince is exactly what you expect – handsome, confident and dashing. The Prince sees Cinderella, they dance in their first pas de deux, and they fall in love. Sergeyev, too, was spectacular in a pas seul, which drew continuous applause as he was dancing – Sergeyev has tremendous stage presence. The third act pas de deux with Pavlenko and Sergeyev was phenomenal. Cinderella and the Prince showed their love for each other, which I think was an extension of the real-life love between Pavlenko and Sergeyev. Before the curtain was down, the audience was on their feet applauding.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky to Kennedy Center in Washington, DC: Oct 16-21
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:41 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 8:17 am
Posts: 374
Willie, it sounds as if the Pavlenko/Sergeev combo was a hit with all fora reviewers! Call me 'old fashioned' but I was weaned on the Ashton version which -- like Zakharov and K. Sergeyev -- have the Disney-esque princessy glamour, colour and richness that many wish for in fairy tales. [Yes, some adults love child-like magic and values, too.] If I want grit, grime and seediness (e.g., the prostitutes in Act III, even though the programme identifies them as 'dancers'), I can stay home and look out my window. I don't pay $100 a ticket expecting glamour, to see grime. That said, the dancers and performers can elevate even the darkest production to sunshine.

Even in our own times, it's possible for a choreographer to create lovely, old-fashioned Cinderellas. Exhibit A: David Bintley's lavish and magical production for Birmingham Royal Ballet. Now I'd love to see Pavlenko & Sergeev in that...or in the Ashton.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky to Kennedy Center in Washington, DC: Oct 16-21
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:17 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 5:02 pm
Posts: 1493
Location: USA-Switzerland
Willie, thank you very much for your review and I'm very glad to hear that you and the audience enjoyed it as much as you did. I do feel that the success of this work is pretty much dependent on the lead artists. It was created for Diana Vishneva to perform and for me it revolved around her. As I watch video clips and recall her performances I think the duets for example are being adjusted to fit the lead dancers. I can see slight differences in the video performances, although I'm not generally focused on detail.

Both you and Natalia' s husband, Vadim, liked Margarita Frolova very much. I can't place her for the moment, but I'll try to remember her. Nadezhda Batoeva, whom I believe Natalia also likes, performed beautifully as one of the Prince's Friends in Swan Lake at Costa Mesa. He motion, for one thing, was so alive and articulate.


Natalia, if you read this, I tend to agree with you in general about liking Alexei Ratmansky for his "pure dance". I tend to abstract and distill when I watch his works. It's not a conscious process, it's just the result of what is effecting me the most. I do this with much of my ballet watching. I'm perhaps not as interested in story or intent as much as I am with what I'm seeing and feeling at that moment.

In the Bolshoi's performance of Russian Seasons there was an entire kaleidoscope that I was experiencing, not just dance. The focus kept shifting. It might have been an emotion that Alexei Ratmansky zeroed in on for a moment and then the meaning of a dance step for another moment. An entire range of thought and activity was being juxtaposed and I felt that it was brilliantly grasped by the Bolshoi artists.

I would think that this could be kept alive in any sort of staging, elaborate or not. I do tend to agree with you that it might be easiest to appreciate in a simplified form.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky to Kennedy Center in Washington, DC: Oct 16-21
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:51 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 8:17 am
Posts: 374
Buddy, if you liked Ratmansky's Russian Seasons for its kaleidoscope of colours (literally & figuratively), then I suspect that you'll LOVE Concerto DSCH, in which a group of brilliant technical dancers (with a corps of men) is juxtaposed with a lyrical group (with a corps of women). The movement becomes the music and vice versa.

Frolova is one of Professor Ludmilla Kovaleva's many prodigies -- Vishneva being one of the first and most famous. She has a super-pretty face and eyes that 'pop out' at you. (In a line-up of 100 ladies, one would definitely pick her out for her bright facial features.) She tends to be cast in soubrette roles, maybe because she had the bad luck of being cast in Harlequinade pdd at her graduation (June 2009) but she is so much more than a cutesy Columbine, as she seems to have proved in DC. Her physique and leanness are very similar to Terioshkina's. She has beautiful 'classic' positions & lines. She is not so short and only-perky to warrant casting her only as a soubrette.

http://www.mariinsky.ru/en/company/ball ... n/frolova/


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky to Kennedy Center in Washington, DC: Oct 16-21
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:26 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 5:02 pm
Posts: 1493
Location: USA-Switzerland
Thanks, Natalia. I'll certainly keep Margarita Frolova in mind. I'll also look forward to Concerto DSCH.

Willie, I'm so glad to hear things like, "The third act pas de deux with Pavlenko and Sergeyev was phenomenal".

Catherine, I gather that Russian Seasons is being performed by the Mariinsky? Would love to see this.

Now to really stretch this topic for an instant. Anna Karenina is another Alexei Ratmansky work that was performed by the Mariinsky at this year's Festival. One of my dominant memories after Ulyana Lopatkina's excellent performance was of the few moments when Vladimir Ponomarev appeared as the family servant. I'll never be able to say enough about what an acting genius I think that this man is (his all time great, for me, being **Don Quixote**). When he welcomed Anna home at the beginning of the ballet I was touched beyond belief ! When he turned his back on her toward the ending, I was crushed ! He's not a ballet dancer, but he has stood out like a giant during my ten years or so of Mariinsky watching !


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky to Kennedy Center in Washington, DC: Oct 16-21
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:49 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 8:17 am
Posts: 374
Buddy, I share your admiration for Ponomarev. I always feel a slight pang in the heart when I read that someone else has been cast in one of his standard roles, such as Khan Girei in Fountains (Ilya Kuznetsov dancing the role). He was very active in the Jan 2012 'Diaghilev Russian Seasons' tour to Washington, DC, dancing either Kotschei or the Sultan in every performance. He was the Herald in Swan Lake during last year's tour of Canada but apparently not in California. (Everybody needs a break!)

Russian Seasons is in the rep of the Bolshoi, not Mariinsky. Another ballet with music by Desiatnikov, Swann's Way, with choreography by Mironischenko, premiered at the Mariinsky a few years ago. You may have seen it. Novikova wore a short 1920s flapper-style wig.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky to Kennedy Center in Washington, DC: Oct 16-21
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:23 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 5:02 pm
Posts: 1493
Location: USA-Switzerland
Natalia, I think that Islom Baimuradov (Ekaterina Kondaurova's husband and coach) might be able to fill some of Vladimir Ponomarev's shoes, if Vladimir Ponomarev ever wants to slow down somewhat and if he is interested. I also thought that Farouk Ruzimatov might be able to do this after seeing his Moor's Parvane, but he's moved on to other things.

I don't recall ever seeing Swann's Way, Natalia.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky to Kennedy Center in Washington, DC: Oct 16-21
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:19 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 8:17 am
Posts: 374
Buddy, I believe that you attended the 2006 Mariinsky Fest...the same one with Cojocaru in Sleeping Beauty and the premiere of Lacotte's Ondine,no? Du Cote Chez Swann premiered as part of a triple bill of contemporary works, along with The Overcoat and something else that I forgot...Bourgeois Gentilhomme maybe? It was definitely '06 and towards the end of the festival that year. Our 'Man of the Hour' Alexander Sergeev danced with Olesya Novikova.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky to Kennedy Center in Washington, DC: Oct 16-21
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:44 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 5:02 pm
Posts: 1493
Location: USA-Switzerland
Ah yes -- Dear "Overcoat" ! That's where I thought that Noah Gelber was on his way to choreographic glory. Maybe still. (I haven't forgotten your subsequent thoughts). "Overcoat" was also where I got the idea that Islom Baimuradov could become another Vladimir Ponomarev.

I do vaguely recall a 'Du Cote Chez' Swann. Was it set on a beach?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky to Kennedy Center in Washington, DC: Oct 16-21
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:06 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 8:17 am
Posts: 374
Beach? I think that you're thinking about Daphnis and Chloe at the Daria Pavlenko Gala a year earlier. Swan was ultra-modern, the backdrop a projected number like some lottery ticket. None of these mid-2000s new ballets seem to exist in the repertoire now.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky to Kennedy Center in Washington, DC: Oct 16-21
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:01 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 5:02 pm
Posts: 1493
Location: USA-Switzerland
NataliaN wrote:
Beach?


What a great idea, but I have to drive two hours to get to mine.

Yes, I believe that Daria Pavlenko was in the one that I was thinking of.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky to Kennedy Center in Washington, DC: Oct 16-21
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 3:31 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 8:17 am
Posts: 374
Which beach is closest to Switzerland, Buddy - Monte Carlo? San Remo?

There is a Mariinsky Ballet connection here, by the way. IF you go to Mte Carlo -- itself an important ballet capital of the past -- travel to the first village due-west, Cap d'Ail, France. Cap d'Ail has a divine little secluded beach, reachable on foot, down a rocky path. It's called "Mala Beach" as this was once the beach of Mathilde Kchessinskaya; her nickname was Mala. Her former palace-like home, with big veranda, is passed on the path down to the beach. Home is in private hands but beach is open to the public, even though there are a couple of spa-eateries at either end. It's still lovely, despite the development. The grave of Kchessinskaya and several Romanov Grand Dukes aren't too far away either. Big Russian emigre population, even today.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky to Kennedy Center in Washington, DC: Oct 16-21
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:45 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 5:02 pm
Posts: 1493
Location: USA-Switzerland
Thanks, Natalia. This is very interesting. I lived in that area for several months, but I wasn't into ballet at the time. It's a beautiful area that I would love to visit again and see the places that you've mentioned.

I'm actually living half the year in Palm Springs, California, in my father's old house. Before you get too envious, we're just coming out of our typical summer, 110 degree, weather. Winters are great, but I also love Switzerland in the winter. There's no ballet connection here, except that the Ardani company seems to like the coast and we're usually graced with either the Mariinsky or the Bolshoi every year.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky to Kennedy Center in Washington, DC: Oct 16-21
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:45 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 8:17 am
Posts: 374
Both locales sound great, Buddy - Palm Springs and Switzerland. What a combo!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky to Kennedy Center in Washington, DC: Oct 16-21
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:55 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 5:02 pm
Posts: 1493
Location: USA-Switzerland
The Natural Beauty, for one thing, is Remarkable, Natalia. Beauty is pretty much what I live for. Sharing our love for it at places such as Critical Dance is a real pleasure.

If they had fine dance companies in my areas of Switzerland and California it would be even more enjoyable. I have ideas and float suggestions, but for the moment nothing more. If you ever hear of the "Buddy" Dance Company some day, let me know what you think. :D


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 54 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


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