public forum
home forum magazine gallery links about faq courtesy
It is currently Thu Apr 17, 2014 3:58 am

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 26 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2
Author Message
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 1:50 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 407
Location: Where little cable cars climb halfway to the stars
Thanks djb. Yes, the program notes explain the Russian caftans (and hopefully those who aren't rushing in late will read them); it's more the costumes in the hunting party scene that seem to extend the timeline to the very edge of credibility--at least for me and others in the audience I exchanged impressions with who have seen several versions such as PNB's and Boston Ballet's. Too bad because the costumes are so beautifully designed and executed!

_________________
"Live your life as an exclamation, not an explanation!" Eddie Izzard


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:29 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 3000
Location: San Francisco
Hm. Well, I thought the costumes looked appropriately 18th century.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 3:06 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 3373
Location: Canada
I wonder if perhaps it's not a matter of historical accuracy, but of what the audience thinks is accurate and pleasing to the eye. At least in the US, I suspect that a majority of ballet audiences would have very little idea about what is accurate or not accurate when it comes to European history. I've certainly seen lots of storybook ballets with historical inaccuracies, but as long as they're not jarring, it's beyond the point I think. Many people don't even cast a glance at the program notes, so one should never depend on notes to explain a costumes - the costumes and sets need to work on their own.

Not to mention that costumes have to be functional, and most atttire - even these days - is not designed with ballet needs in mind.

But of course, that means there are no easy answers and lots of challenges!

Kate


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 10:06 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 1451
Location: San Francisco, CA
After watching this production with fresh eyes this last week, I had a number of odd questions.

For instance, when I saw Beauty last Sunday it was hard not to notice that Brett Bauer and Steve Norman were among the squires for the Fairies at Aurora's christening, and that Chidozie Nzerem, Aaron Orza and Quinn Wharton courted Aurora at her 16th birthday... and then all of them showed up as gentlemen in Prince Desire's court. All of them also came out in the polonaise in the wedding act. It made me wonder just who they were-- I thought that perhaps it was like "Highlander," that old TV series in which Immortals travel through the centuries, having adventures in Jacobean England, and then popping up in the Crimean War... Of course they also have to slay each other to consolidate power. Maybe Aurora and Desire should keep an eye on those guys at court.

I think they should also watch out for those two pages who are constantly moving the benches on stage left. In the programs I saw they were always played by the same two young men, and always in the same little short white tunic, no matter what century it was. Those two are worth watching--when Aurora drops downstage and chaos ensues, there they are, calmly moving the benches upstage before making a hasty exit left. Bit dodgy, don't you think?

The fairies too, seem to show up in the christening and then again at the wedding. Possibly there's a war between the Immortals and the Fairies going on behind the scenes?

I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Rachel Viselli's debut incidentally. I thought she looked quite nervous and perhaps hasn't figured out how to structure a role for a four act ballet -- how to grow and develop the character, as opposed to coming out and doing the right steps. Nevertheless, it's always fun to see someone debut, and she included a lot of lovely little details in the execution of the Rose Adagio, in which I think she really conquered nerves.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 2:32 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 8612
Location: El Granada, CA, USA
Your questions make made me laugh. You'd think with a company that big , they'd be able to use a few different corps boys for the various corps boy roles therefore avoiding the questions of immortality.

Glad to hear Rachel did well.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 3:34 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 11630
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
A review of the opening night cast from Paul Parish in the Bay Area Reporter:

Bay Area Reporter


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 5:55 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 255
The king was quick to point out that it was the master of ceremonies, not himself, who had made the error of not inviting the Fairy of Darkness. The king, of course, never makes mistakes. Despite such a colossal screw-up the master of ceremonies still had his job 100 years later. Echos of the present day, perhaps?

At any rate. I would classify the Saturday afternoon performance as enjoyable. Sadly, I cannot call it great becase there were a few too many glitches (and I am pretty forgiving on the whole).

Tina LeBlanc was lovely. And totally in character. When she entered the stage, she looked exactly like a 16 year old birthday girl, curious, yet both shy and excited, about her suiters. The Rose Adagio was the high point of the ballet. When she finally met the right man (these things take time sometimes) she was totally sure of herself.

Also on the plus were the princesses, with Nutnaree Pipit-Suksun as a melting Fairy of Tenderness and strong performances from the others as well, all corps women whom I had not previously seen in solo roles. I especially liked Jennifer Stahl as Courage.

And the cats. Puss in Boots (Benjamin Stewart) sniffing and rubbing the White Cat (Alexandra Meyer-Lorey) looked EXACTLY like how my cat Rudy acts with my other male cat Orlando. It was really funny.

Men in female roles is problematic. Usually it is comic, such as Cinderella's ugly stepsisters. But the Fairy of Dakness is not a comic role. I was apprehensive, but Lance Parrish did well. He did not really look like a woman, but did not look like a man in drag either. Bluebird PDD was also worth seeing.

On the other side. Sarah Van Patten as Lilac Fairy danced extremely well, but her characterization needed work. Had I not known that Aurora would be awakened with a kiss, I would not have been able to tell from her mime. I read in a review that when Muriel Maffre told Carabosse "no" you could tell she meant it; I did not get that strength from Van Patten. It was also not a good afternoon for the Little Lilacs; one women was noticeably out of step with the others and another woman lost her balance and nearly fell. There were times when the stage seemed too crowded. The pages were in the way of the fairies.

Gennadi Nedvigin was very strong, in fact fabulous, in solo, but partnering showed a few glitches. At one time he was too far behind LeBlanc, who had to streeeeeeeeeeeetch to get to his supporting hand. And timing was off on the 3rd fish lift. She was in position before he picked her up.

So, a mixed review. Sorry if I step on any toes, that is my honest opinion as a non expert audience member.

RE: costumes. The idea of updating is fine. But the fairies are outside time and should not be stuck with powdered wigs. It just did not look right. Their costumes did not really change, why the wigs? And a powdered wig on Puss in Boots? Please! Cats have beautiful fur coats on their own. I also think that Aurora's costume in the final scene should be a bit more "bridal".

Not to change the subject, but I wonder, has anyone ever done a take off of this ballet from Carabosse's point of view? One could make a case. The outsider, snubbed again by the in crowd. After all, movie-goers rooted for Carrie, not the popular girls who tormented her. I wonder if the young women expelled from an Indiana sorority for being the "wrong" color, "wrong" weight, or just "not hot" would like to get revenge?

OK, I'll shut up before someone throws a virtual shoe at me.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:12 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2004 11:01 pm
Posts: 167
I saw three Auroras this year (Rachel Viselli last Sunday, Vanessa Zahorian on Wednesday night, and Yuan Yuan Tan this afternoon). There were wonderful moments in each performance, but Wednesday night was the most satisfying for me, beginning with the music: under Ormsby Wilkins of American Ballet Theater the orchestra sounded exceptionally rich and focused. The first time I saw Vanessa Zahorian dance Aurora a few years ago I thought she was born to dance the role, and on Wednesday night she made the role completely her own with lyrical, joyous dancing. Nutnaree Pipit-Suksun was a quietly elegant Lilac Fairy on Wednesday night; but last Sunday she was glorious as the Bluebird Princess—in this production I think that was her best role. Muriel Maffre was the Fairy of Darkness on Wednesday; she is so powerful in the role she may have been a bit overwhelming to Nutnaree's Lilac Fairy. Pauli Magierek has great comic timing and was terrific as the White Cat. Jennifer Stahl, who only joined the corps this year, was impressive as the Fairy of Courage (Helgi has been giving her soloist roles in her first year in the corps. I do appreciate the way Helgi stays with dancers he believes in, like Rachel Viselli, who grows on me). Liz Miner and Frances Chung were in all the casts I saw and were memorable in every one of their roles. I missed Lily Rogers and Courtney Clarkson; I'm assuming they are out with injuries. (Principal dancer Katita Waldo was interviewed as part of the Meet the Artist series. She is extremely articulate and sounds like a born teacher. I liked what she said about the members of the SFB corps—"they're all principals as far as I'm concerned").

It was a good run, the house was sold out for every performance, but I'm looking forward to the return of the regular repertory season next week.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:27 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 3000
Location: San Francisco
Quote:
LeBlanc's style and warm, radiant personality make her perfectly suited for Aurora. Technically she was, of course, absolutely secure. Her dancing is beautifully nuanced. In her variation in the grand pas de deux, there's a point where she does pas couru into a very low developpe. The contrast between the accelerating pas couru and the breathy lift and suspension of the little developpe, followed by the melting fondu of her supporting leg as her beautifully pointed foot softly touched the ground, elicited many a contented sigh from the audience around me.

I misremembered: this was in the vision scene, not in the grand pas de deux.

I also noticed the partnering glitches crandc reported, but to me, it looked as if the turns preceding the 3rd fish dive went awry, hence the glitchy fish dive.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 3:56 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Quote:
You'd think with a company that big , they'd be able to use a few different corps boys for the various corps boy roles therefore avoiding the questions of immortality.


But surely there is always doubling up of roles in ballet productions, so that dancers get enough to do on stage in a production plus some nights off.

From the descriptions I guess this device stands out more clearly with the SFB production than many others, but I expect a certain amount of poetic licence with dance plots in any case. The classic was MacMillan's "Sea of Troubles" for Dance Advance where:

Quote:
its six dancers divide all the main roles between them, swapping from Hamlet to Polonius, Gertrude to Ophelia with barely a pause.


Last edited by Stuart Sweeney on Mon Mar 05, 2007 2:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 2:06 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 8612
Location: El Granada, CA, USA
I'm glad to hear Jennifer Stahl is getting lots of stage time. She's a lovely dancer and strong as an ox (in a good way, of course).


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 26 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 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