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 Post subject: Kirov in the USA, 2003 - Fokine Program
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2003 11:26 am 
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I thought I'd go ahead and break off into a new thread.

I had a fabulous time at the Fokine program last night (Sorry I missed you djb!)

I know the Scheherazade was pretty over the top, but I really enjoyed it1 Of course Chopiniana was terrific as well, and firebird, those sets just kill me. The only thing I didn't like was the black curtain before the very end of the ballet. The curtain comes down and we wait while the stage hands wrestle with the props, clear off stray apples and Ivan and the princess hustle into something splendidly white. Surely there must be a better way... I didn't remember that from when I saw Firebird at the Met. Is it always like that or was it different because of the way the house is set up? Does anyone know?

BTW, I have a longer review in the paper tomorrow...

<small>[ 17 April 2005, 05:41 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov in the USA, 2003 - Fokine Program
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2003 6:26 pm 
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I have never seen Firebird at the Met, so can't comment. Indeed the only version I'm familiar with is Liepa's Fokine video version, and of course with film, no black curtain needed, and the options are endless. You raise a good question ME, but my guess would be it's due to technical restrictions at Zellerbach. (and that is only a guess)

I thought the sets for Scheherezade *and* Firebird were stunning. The composition of the program really highlights the flexibility in Fokine's choreographic talents: to be able to create the emotive, classical, romantic Chopiniana and then go on to a sexy, racy Scheherezade... I made this comment in the other thread but there is something for everyone in this program.

I'm rendered speechless!

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 Post subject: Re: Kirov in the USA, 2003 - Fokine Program
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2003 8:01 pm 
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Quote:
The curtain comes down and we wait while the stage hands wrestle with the props, clear off stray apples and Ivan and the princess hustle into something splendidly white.
When the curtain went down, I clasped my hand to my ear to listen for the anticipated muffled thuds of set changes. I didn't have to: they were more like crash-bang-boom.

Matthew, Emma, Joanne, and Stuart, was it like that in London?


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov in the USA, 2003 - Fokine Program
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2003 11:33 pm 
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How did everyone like the "overture" to the program? I loved it. On the video Essential Stars of the Russian Ballet, at the Kirov performance in London, Gergiev opens the program with the polonaise from Evgenii Onegin. Those polonaises certainly are rousing openers. However, I thought Chopin's Military Polonaise was too boisterous a piece to make a smooth transition into Chopiniana.

Speaking of the music in the performance, I wish I could have been in the audience in Paris in 1910 at the premiere of Firebird, just for the experience of hearing that wonderful music for the first time. (I guess I was too young when I heard it the first time to remember it.) I think I would have enjoyed the ballet last night no matter what was going on onstage.


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov in the USA, 2003 - Fokine Program
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2003 7:34 am 
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Azlan, I don't recall any loud stage noises in London, just the gentle pitter-patter of ballerina feet! ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov in the USA, 2003 - Fokine Program
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2003 8:54 am 
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A review from the Chronicle:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2003/10/09/DD12895.DTL

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 Post subject: Re: Kirov in the USA, 2003 - Fokine Program
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2003 8:56 am 
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And mehunt's review from the Contra Costa Times:

http://www.bayarea.com/mld/cctimes/entertainment/performing_arts/6970219.htm

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 Post subject: Re: Kirov in the USA, 2003 - Fokine Program
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2003 9:16 am 
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From the Contra Costa Times:
Quote:


Kirov worth the long wait
By Mary Ellen Hunt
TIMES CORRESPONDENT


A CERTAIN kind of ineffable grandeur descends upon Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall this week with the return of Russia's Kirov Ballet and Orchestra to the Bay Area after a 12-year hiatus.

The opening program Tuesday night offered not just imperial flourishes but a magisterial sweep, by way of three works from one of the 20th century's most influential choreographers, Mikhail Fokine.

MORE

--------------------------------------------
From the Chronicle:
Quote:
Kirov Ballet's opener a brilliant, thrilling spectacle

Ann Murphy, Special to The Chronicle
Thursday, October 9, 2003


Imagine 19th century ballet turned in a centrifuge. Out go the stiff tutus, the stagey forays into dead-end divertissement and grandiloquent displays of virtuosity. Out, too, are the traditional stage arrangements, with their visual and social hierarchies mirroring a world of princes, queens and tsars.

What remains of the work of early 20th century choreographer Mikhail Fokine performed by the Kirov Ballet as it was Tuesday at Cal Performances in Berkeley is a distillation that is not only modernist but leads to thrilling spectacle and explosive choreographic arrangements.

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 Post subject: Re: Kirov in the USA, 2003 - Fokine Program
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2003 9:28 am 
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I'm confused (as usual...) and feeling like I'm hallucinating. I WAS very tired that night... but was that NOT Lopatkina on Tuesday night? It sure looked like her, but the Chron review notes Tkachenko as Zobeide.


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov in the USA, 2003 - Fokine Program
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2003 9:32 am 
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Oh and I agree djb, about the polonaise militaire. It's something they do in the Russian productions, although I think we're more used to hearing the Prelude music over here. I believe that the tradition of using the military polonaise came about during the Diaghilev years though, and if memory serves me right it was because they wanted a more upbeat opening to start the program off. I could be wrong about that though...


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov in the USA, 2003 - Fokine Program
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2003 9:38 am 
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mehunt-- yes that was Lopatkina in Scherezade, you're absolutely right.

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 Post subject: Re: Kirov in the USA, 2003 - Fokine Program
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2003 9:47 am 
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Whew! I'm not crazy!! I was second-guessing myself there for a moment, but then I kept remembering that one aggrieved and yet, I-am-so-totally-in-TROUBLE look that she gave the audience right after the Golden Slave got killed that kept coming back to my mind's eye.


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov in the USA, 2003 - Fokine Program
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2003 9:53 am 
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Ha, yep. That's Lopatkina! That role may not have 32 fouettes involved, but it does challenge the ballerina's ability to act.

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 Post subject: Re: Kirov in the USA, 2003 - Fokine Program
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2003 10:04 am 
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Heehee, yeah, she can definitely act! She and Zelensky were really pretty...into that pas de deux.... There was a moment I loved when Zelensky was looking over at her and flashed a little smile, not a stage smile, or a leer, but just a nice natural, "Wow, she is really something" smile.

Do they usually get to dance together in Scheh. or is she usually with Ruzimatov?

<small>[ 09 October 2003, 12:12 PM: Message edited by: mehunt ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov in the USA, 2003 - Fokine Program
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2003 10:17 am 
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:-)

That's a great question. I don't know what typical pairing is for that ballet. I'd be curious to know too.

My guess is that Ruzimatov is more often given these types of roles (pirate/harem-esque) and that Zelensky is more rarely cast in them. I could be wrong, but that's my guess.

<small>[ 09 October 2003, 12:20 PM: Message edited by: Catherine Pawlick ]</small>

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