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Les Saisons Russes du XXI Siecle at London Coliseum in April
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Author:  Cassandra [ Tue Nov 02, 2010 8:59 am ]
Post subject:  Les Saisons Russes du XXI Siecle at London Coliseum in April

One of the most interesting offerings in London next year will be Les Saisons Russes du XXI Siecle at the Coliseum from Tuesday 12 - Sunday 17 April 2011. This will consist of three separate programmes including Firebird, Scheherazade, Bolero, Afternoon of a Faune, The Blue God and Le Pavillion D'Armide. These will be danced by: Nikolai Tsiskaridze, Ilze Liepa, Maria Alexandrova, Mikhail Lobukhin, Irma Nioradze, Ilya Kuznetsov and the Kremlin Ballet. Booking is now open; here is a link to the Coliseum, just scroll down to the relevant dates:

http://www.eno.org/see-whats-on/see-whats-on.php

Very pleased to see The Blue God making a debut in London, this fascinating production is choreographed by ENB's Wayne Eagling and has music by Scriabin, rather than using the original score by Hahn. I went to see this production in Cannes in 2007 and reviewed the performances here:

viewtopic.php?f=33&t=30387

I remember I was less than impressed by the discipline of the Kremlin Ballet at the time, hopefully someone will have cracked a whip at them by now.

Author:  Cassandra [ Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Les Saisons Russes du XXI Siecle at London Coliseum in April

The week of Ballet Russe performances starts tonight with Programme 1, The Blue God and The Firebird. The second programme is Scheherazade and Thamar, Programme 3 is Le Pavillion d'Armide, Bolero & L'apres-midi d'un Faune. No casting details available, but I understand Nikolai Tsiskaridze will dance at every performance.

Author:  Cassandra [ Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Les Saisons Russes du XXI Siecle at London Coliseum in April

Last night's programme opened to a packed enthusiastic house, but I was disappointed that Maria Alexandrova, whose pictures adorned the brochures, was a no-show. Unfortunately her replacement as The Firebird was a lady nowhere near as distinguished.

Author:  Cassandra [ Thu Apr 14, 2011 4:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Les Saisons Russes du XXI Siecle at London Coliseum in April

The first reviews have appeared. Zoe Anderson was unimpressed by what she saw and didn't like Ilya Kuznetsov as Prince Ivan in Firebird: odd that, as I thought he was terrific.

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-enter ... 67389.html

Over at the Standard Sarah Frater is slightly more generous with the stars but falls into error with her statement about original music as The Blue God is danced to music by Scriabin and not to the original score by Hahn.

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/theatre/r ... in-town.do

Author:  Cassandra [ Fri Apr 15, 2011 11:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Les Saisons Russes du XXI Siecle at London Coliseum in April

Thamar, Scheherazade
Les Saisons Russes du XXI Siecle
London Coliseum
14th April 2011


The second programme in this Diaghilev season opened last night with a performance of the re-created Thamar and the familiar Scheherazade. I saw a pas de deux from Thamar danced at a gala in London a couple of years ago by Irma Nioradze and Ilya Kuznetsov and these two dancers led the ballet last night in the full length version of the piece. The choreography is by one Jurius Smoriginas and how much it reflects the original Fokine I've no idea, as it is a blend of classical and modern, but it is an engaging piece and to my mind enjoyable.

Thamar is one of those exotic pieces of orientalism that the Russians are so fond of, featuring a sexually voracious queen who is in the habit of ending her one night stands by having the ultimately unlucky man dispatched by being slung from the top of her tower and I believe the ballet is based partly on legend and partly on a poem by Lermontov. The set is familiar from reproductions, though Thamar's costume was an oddly modern number of pink leopard skin, something that struck an anachronistic note, but the lush beauty of Balakirev's score must have gone a long way in adding to the enjoyment of the evening and thereby cancelling out the odd stylistic errors. Irma Nioradze was perfectly suited to the title role with her expressive eyes flashing with lust/sorrow/regret during the course of her night of passion. In this version she has a devoted Vizier who lusts after her with unrequited passion (rather like the Vizier in Grigorovich's Legend of Love) and it is not clear whether her paramour was slain on her orders or out of the Vizier’s jealousy.

The hapless victim was played by Ilya Kuznetsov who makes his first appearance bundled into Thamar's presence wrapped in a carpet though unsurprisingly he doesn't at first consider these indignities such a bad deal with a night in Thamar's bed in the offing. Nioradze is massively popular in London and the mere mention of her name by Andris Liepa in his pre-performance preamble was enough for the audience to burst into prolonged noisy applause. The piece was very well received and is worth going to see for its novelty value alone but I've a feeling the critics won't be as generous as I am.

Scheherazade, the second ballet on the programme is familiar territory, though I'm not convinced by the claims for authenticity as I've a feeling lurex hadn't been invented in Diaghilev's day and there is a lot of it in this production. Costuming aside it was a real humdinger of a performance all down to the extraordinary Golden Slave of Nikolai Tsiskaridze for there is probably not another dancer in the world today with his special brand of charisma and he uses it to great effect in this work. As Zobeide, Ilsa Liepa, with her chiselled looks, bore an uncanny resemblance to the role's creator, Ida Rubinstein, and the backing dancers from the Kremlin Ballet did a great job too. It was a fun evening and my only reservation was that the two ballets were too alike in subject matter: one female sexual predator goes a long way but perhaps two are too much in one go.

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Sun Apr 17, 2011 8:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Les Saisons Russes du XXI Siecle at London Coliseum in April

Jeffery Taylor interviews Andris Liepa about his father, Maris Liepa, in the Daily Express.

Daily Express

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Les Saisons Russes du XXI Siecle at London Coliseum in April

Ismene Brown has compiled a lengthy preview and guide to the repertoire, as well as an interview with Andris Liepa in The Arts Desk.

The Arts Desk

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Les Saisons Russes du XXI Siecle at London Coliseum in April

David Nice reviews "The Blue God" and "The Firebird" for The Arts Desk.

The Arts Desk

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Les Saisons Russes du XXI Siecle at London Coliseum in April

Judith Mackrell reviews "The Blue God" and "The Firebird" in The Guardian.

The Guardian

Neil Norman reviews the same program for The Stage.

The Stage

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Les Saisons Russes du XXI Siecle at London Coliseum in April

Jeffery Taylor reviews Program 1 ("The Blue God" and "The Firebird") and Program 2 {"Thamar" and "Scheherazade") in the Sunday Express.

Sunday Express

Jenny Gilbert reviews the same programs in The Independent.

The Independent

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Tue Apr 19, 2011 1:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Les Saisons Russes du XXI Siecle at London Coliseum in April

Clement Crisp reviews Program 2 ("Thamar" and "Scheherazade") in The Financial Times.

Financial Times

Neil Norman reviews Program 3 ("Le Pavillon d'Armide," "L'apres-midi d'un faune" and Nijinska's "Bolero") for The Stage.

The Stage

Author:  Cassandra [ Fri May 06, 2011 7:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Les Saisons Russes du XXI Siecle at London Coliseum in April

Although the reviews of this week long season were not uniformly bad, I have to say that most in no way reflect the audience response to the three programmes. In fact the theatre was filled almost to capacity, apart from the Sunday matinee, and the audience response was rapturous, but you wouldn't have guessed it reading some of the reviews.

The worst aspects however were the personal attacks on Nikolai Tsiskaridze that were totally undeserved and almost appear to have been in some ways orchestrated; check out the comments by the rabbit person at the bottom of the Guardian review: very much someone with an agenda and with an axe to grind not only with regard to Tsiskaridze, but Wayne Eagling as well. Someone challenged this person extremely effectively but this kind of trolling leaves a very bad taste.

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