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 Post subject: Re: Mikhailovsky Ballet in London (March/April 2013)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 10:28 am 
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Zoe Anderson reviews "Don Quixote" for the Independent.

Independent

Judith Mackrell reviews "Don Quixote" for the Guardian.

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 Post subject: Re: Mikhailovsky Ballet in London (March/April 2013)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:48 am 
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Location: Rugby, UK / Taipei
Don Quixote
Mikhailovsky Ballet
London Coliseum; March 30, 2013

Charlotte Kasner

Attachment:
Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev in Don Quixote. Photo The Mikhailovsky Theatre.jpg
Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev in Don Quixote. Photo The Mikhailovsky Theatre.jpg [ 37.76 KiB | Viewed 1177 times ]

“Don Quixote” is usually presented as a rather clunky Soviet-era warhorse; all too often, a dull, rather silly story that is only bearable because the audience knows that the fireworks of the famous sections, such a staple of galas and competitions, will enliven the tedium. This is not a great ballet; the music is no more than adequate, it bears scant resemblance to Cervantes' story and it probably only survived as a full length work for historical reasons. The white act is far from the finest example of ballet blanc and would not stand up as an extract out of context.

The Mikhailovsky production has found a way to make it relevant and even exciting, although there is not much than can be done with the plodding score, however well it is played. This “Don Q” is a joy throughout: a breath of warm air and vibrant colour that brought to life a dull, cold, late spring evening in London. Mikhail Messerer sets the pace as fast and furious. The storyline is clear and logical, the characters clearly and well defined and one hardly has chance to draw breath as scene follows scene apace.

The pallette is one of pulsing reds and glowing oranges tempered by some fabulous costumes for Mariam Ugrekhelidze as the gypsy soloist, especially her finale dress in black and silver. Sets are naturalistic, effective and well-lit.

But there is no question that Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev were the good, old fashioned stars of the evening. They were quite literally breathtaking. Their phenomenal jetés, turns and lifts elicited gasps from the rapt audience, but never did it overwhelm the production or become an ego-fest.

This was reminiscent of visits from the Bolshoi in Soviet Union times with flung flowers and numerous curtain calls; all utterly deserved. It is remarkable that Osipova does not get whiplash from the speed of her tours, pirouettes and fouettés. Vasiliev, at times so like his namesake in the role, the great Vladimir Vasiliev, has more than just a jump like a gazelle; his control over pirouettes was astonishing to watch and never, at any point, did the characterisation lapse. One-handed lifts lasted for ever and Osipova's balances made one long to see her Rose Adagio.

Mikhail Messerer has informed this production with intelligent, extensive research that showcases the best of several generations of Soviet and Russian choreographers whilst melding it into a cohesive whole.

This was one of those rare evenings that will remain in the memory until death, the like of which I never expected to see again, and certainly not in “Don Q”. What a pity that there were only two performances, but it at least gives us chance to experience the full range of this Company who have gone from strength to strength.


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 Post subject: Re: Mikhailovsky Ballet in London (March/April 2013)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:56 am 
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Location: London UK
David wrote:
This was one of those rare evenings that will remain in the memory until death, the like of which I never expected to see again, and certainly not in “Don Q”. What a pity that there were only two performances, but it at least gives us chance to experience the full range of this Company who have gone from strength to strength.


Actually the Mikhailovsky gave three performances of this work, the second was performed by company principal Oksana Bondareva with Denis Matvienko and that too was greeted with flowers thrown on stage and storms of well deserved applause. The company is far more than just two star dancers.


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 Post subject: Re: Mikhailovsky Ballet in London (March/April 2013)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:51 pm 
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Judith Flanders reviews "Laurencia" for the Arts Desk.

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 Post subject: Re: Mikhailovsky Ballet in London (March/April 2013)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:05 am 
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Laura Dodge reviews "Laurencia" for Londonist.

Londonist

Zoe Anderson reviews "Laurencia" for the Independent.

Independent


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 Post subject: Re: Mikhailovsky Ballet in London (March/April 2013)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:58 pm 
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Sarah Crompton reviews "Laurencia" for the Telegraph.

Telegraph

Judith Mackrell reviews "Laurencia" for the Guardian.

Guardian


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 Post subject: Re: Mikhailovsky Ballet in London (March/April 2013)
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:39 am 
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Location: Rugby, UK / Taipei
Laurencia
Mikhailovsky Ballet
London Coliseum; April 3, 2013

Charlotte Kasner

Attachment:
Natalia Osipova in Laurencia. Photo The Mikhailovsky Theatre.jpg
Natalia Osipova in Laurencia. Photo The Mikhailovsky Theatre.jpg [ 51.69 KiB | Viewed 1087 times ]

This is the second time that I have seen this production and indeed, the second time that I have seen this as a full length work. It is a classic of the Soviet-era repertoire which no doubt would have been condemned at the time by many critics as being propagandist. Poor people overthrow tyrannical leader and win out would like as not be seen as some kind of Soviet bragging, whereas a production of “Fuente Ovejuna”, the play upon which “Laurencia” is based, would not.

Actually, at second viewing, I think its main failure is that it is not dark enough. It is a 20th-century ballet trapped inside a 19th-century shell. The peasants are not really downtrodden and trip around in pretty clothes, till the land and do the laundry; for all the world like Jerome K Jerome’s peasants in “Stageland.”

Osipova does her best as the eponymous heroine but she is not helped by a light score that does not really take its subject seriously until the end. Of course she is a bravura technician as well as no mean actor and there is plenty to enjoy in her dancing. She changes from a light-hearted flirt to a wronged woman and radiates joy at her wedding. Ivan Vasiliev is a bundle of testosterone as her lover Frondoso and is not called upon to do much more than jump and turn, whether in the service of the brash boyfriend or the angry young man. However, this being Vasiliev, jumping and turning is awesome and, never for the sake of it, but always in the interests of his character.

The classic form of pas de deux, solos and codas hampers the storyline and the set only comes into its own at the end. The opening scene is like the harvest in “Giselle” and doesn't really suggest Spain, but rather mittel Europe. Costumes are stunning, especially in the wedding scene, but what a mistake to put castanets in the hands of the dancers. Not only were they played badly, they were clunked and clicked in an irritating tattoo throughout the wedding dancing. Vasiliev’s castanet technique is probably the only weak thing about him but it did not enhance his solo one iota (or should that be jota!) Doubling up the castanets in the orchestra only underlined the feeble playing on stage.

I remember how exciting the film of the storming of the castle was at the end, although it was not viewed at its best when projected onto the tabs. I found myself looking forward to seeing it again, framed as it is by the projection of the original poster throughout the overture.

This ballet was first produced just three years after the end of the Spanish Civil War, when of course the tyrant triumphed, and two short years away from the disastrous onset of the Second World War. Looking at it, one could have imagined that it was 1850. I would like to see this again, but dirtied up a bit, and when I think that it could be a real stunner.


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 Post subject: Re: Mikhailovsky Ballet in London (March/April 2013)
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:23 am 
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Location: London UK
"Dirtied up"? But then you won't be able to bring the kids.


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 Post subject: Re: Mikhailovsky Ballet in London (March/April 2013)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:14 am 
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Lyndsey Winship reviews Nacho Duato's "Without Words," "Nunc Dimittis" and "Prelude" for the Evening Standard.

Evening Standard

Katie Colombus reviews the same program for The Stage.

The Stage

Katie Colombus reviews "Multiplicity, Forms of Silence and Emptiness" for The Stage.

The Stage

Judith Mackrell reviews "Multiplicity, Forms of Silence and Emptiness" for the Guardian.

Guardian

Marilyn Kingwill reviews both programs for The Times.

The Times


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 Post subject: Re: Mikhailovsky Ballet in London (March/April 2013)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:57 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Luke Jennings reviews "Don Quixote" and "Laurencia" for the Observer.

Observer


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