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 Post subject: Re: Kirov in the USA 2003 - La Bayadere
PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2003 8:16 am 
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Location: NYC
Wasn't Bobovnikov the Golden Idol on opening night?
Also, who danced the Slave who partners Nikiya in the palace?

<small>[ 18 October 2003, 10:19 AM: Message edited by: ripowam ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov in the USA 2003 - La Bayadere
PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2003 9:29 am 
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Location: Jamaica, Queens, New York
I just looked at the casting insert which they gave us. It lists Andrey Ivanov for 10/15, 17, 18 evening, and 19 evening. Ruben Bobovnikov is listed for 10/16, 18, and 19 afternoon. ripowam, I'm sorry but I'm not so familiar w/ the Kirov to spot unannounced substitutions.

But, it's possible that the listing is not quite right. It says nothing of Gumerova for 10/16 for instance. Certainly the program notes could use some checking, I notice.

Just skimming the synopsis, the English geek in me notices there are errors in subject-verb agreement, misspellings ("Temle" rather than "Temple"), omissions of definite articles, ommission of commas, and just plain poor proofreading (e.g. "Nikiya dies with Solor kneeling at her shade" ... wouldn't "kneeling at her side" make more sense?).

oops, taking us away from the subject of this thread...

I think Nikiya's partner for her Act I, Scene II pas de deux is credited as: "Slave" Alexander Kurkov. If Kurkov's a huge guy w/ big muscles then that's your man. That role, similar to the Green Man who partners Titania in her Bower of Bliss in Balanchine's "Midsummer Night's Dream," is quite interesting as an example of the extremes possible for the self-effacement, virtual obliteration, of the male dancer in classical partnering.

In fact, there is another unusual pas de deux in the same act -- the Gamzatti - Nikiya catfight. In this staging, its more of a gesture -- a little school girl tussle which might as well be about Hello Kitty cellphone covers or misplaced lipstick as about Solor, the love interest. Makes me long to see the WWF-style knock down drag outs of the Paris Opera Ballet, or considering that this is high art -- the Charlie's Angels -- Madison Leigh Bad Angel Yuen Woo Ping-style choreo-action sequences. (Your pick ... whatever.)

<small>[ 18 October 2003, 12:49 PM: Message edited by: Jeff ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov in the USA 2003 - La Bayadere
PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2003 9:34 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 943
Location: Santa Barbara, CA USA
Hi Jeff,

According to our helpful Los Angeles insider, the opening night Golden Idol was Ruben Bobovnikov. The 2nd and 3rd performances were danced by Andrei Ivanov. Apparently, Ivanov landed at LAX the evening he was to perform due to flight problems.

Our insider also gave a criticaldance.com card to Leonid Sarafanov, so we may soon have Kirov dancers lurking here.

I'm very much looking forward to tomorrow night's performance, as well as next Sunday's Jewels.

--Andre


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov in the USA 2003 - La Bayadere
PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2003 12:04 am 
Art, I am glad to hear that some of the corps dancers have now recovered from flu, and that there can be 32 shades again in the corps de ballet. I haven't seen Niradze's Nikiya. I would like to have seen Diana Vishneva's superlative Nikiya again however. In view of Svetlana Zakharova's departure, and Uliana Lopatkina not yet dancing this role again after her long absence, Vishneva is by far the finest Nikiya the Kirov can offer at the moment


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov in the USA 2003 - La Bayadere
PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2003 1:05 am 
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
I'm not quite sure if there were 32 Shades on Friday, but the stage was much more full than it was on Wednesday. Saturday afternoon they were down to 24 again. I'm really not sure what is going on...perhaps I was a bit premature in saying they are all back. Then again, I didn't get a completely accurate count on Wednesday night, from where I was sitting. But the word directly from the publicist on Wednesday was that it definetly was a reduced corps.

Sofia Gumerova danced Saturday afternoon's Nikiya. Like her Odette/Odile ("Swan Lake") and Medora ("Le Corsaire) that I saw in London, she was technically immaculate, but was less exciting when it came to being really emotive. This, of course, is comparatively speaking, since I still keep thinking of Diana Vishneva's sparkle in the role. Gumerova was fantastic in the Kingdom of the Shades and her adagio work was breathtaking. It seems to take some really sublime adagio and technical perfection to pull off the Kingdom of the Shades sucessfully, much like Odette in "Swan Lake." So, Gumerova worked was spectacular here - much as she was in "Swan Lake." Less effective, was the all-important Act 2 flower basket dance; she danced it flawlessly but was unconvincing dramatically.

Casting sheets given out at Saturday afternoon's performance listed Andrian Fadeyev as Solor - but those inserts, which list casting for the entire the Kodak Theatre run, have not been updated since Wednesday. The casting list on the theater's web site, however - which was updated Thursday morning - lists Igor Zelensky as Saturday afternoon's Solor. So I'm not sure who I saw (I was sitting in Mezzanine 2 without binoculars for the afternoon). Either way, Solor was great this afternoon; the audience applauded the loudest for him during Acts 1 and 2. Irina Golub was a flashy Gamzatti in the Grand Pas Classique.

<small>[ 19 October 2003, 03:09 AM: Message edited by: art076 ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov in the USA 2003 - La Bayadere
PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2003 1:37 am 
Art, I am also curious who was Sofia Gumerova's Solor. I think it's likely that it was Andrian Fadeyev whom you just saw, especially since he is due to dance with Gumerova on Sunday afternoon. I doubt if they have that much time rehearsing so many variations in casts on this tour.


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov in the USA 2003 - La Bayadere
PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2003 2:17 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 457
Location: Jamaica, Queens, New York
FYI southern California CD friends: A power outage in Hollywood has forced cancellation of the Sunday matinee (10/19); and whether the Sunday evening show will go on is unknown -- at least to me.

Here's what they handed patrons as they drove in Hollywood and Highland's parking:

ATTENTION ALL KODAK THEATRE PATRONS

Due to a Los Angeles Department of Water and Power outage in the immediate Hollywood are, THE 2PM PERFORMANCE TODAY (10/19) OF THE KIROV BALLET HAS BEEN POSTPONED.

ALL TICKETS TO THE 2PM PERFORMANCE TODAY OF "LA BAYADERE" WILL BE HONORED AT A RESCHEDULED PERFORMANCE ON MONDAY, OCTOBER 20 AT 8PM.

If you are unable to attend the rescheduled performance, a ticket refund may be obtained at the point of purchase beginning this Monday, October 20 at 12 noon.

We regret etc etc etc...

NO DETERMINATION HAS BEEN MADE AT THIS TIME REGARDING TONIGHT'S 7PM KIROV PERFORMANCE. ALL OTHER BUSINESSES AT THE HOLLYWOOD AND HIGHLAND COMPLEX ARE CLOSED UNTIL 5PM TODAY. WE ARE HOPEFUL THAT THE DWP ISSUE WILL BE RESOLVED QUICKLY.

etc etc etc...

Naturally one feels for the company -- its dancers and production staff. It must be awful to have everything thrown off like this... and so close in time to their Orange County appearance.

I must say, however, that I was not at all impressed with either the Kodak or Hollywood and Highland's response. How about a phone number to check on 7pm? Instead of just handing us a paper which, why didn't they tell us the news verbally as we drove in to the parking that the performance had been rescheduled? What about patrons like me who can't get a refund so easily "after 12 noon" on Monday? A refund while we are at the complex would have been nice.

OK, venting over...

It's not possible to prepare oneself mentally for another "Bayadere" on a Sunday and then be denied one. If they are performing tonite I intend to go. If any southern California CD friends get an update on whether "the show goes on" or not, please post here (preferably before 5 pm which is when I need to get in the car to go).

<small>[ 19 October 2003, 04:42 PM: Message edited by: Jeff ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov in the USA 2003 - La Bayadere
PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2003 4:00 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Urgh... Thanks for the update, Jeff.


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov in the USA 2003 - La Bayadere
PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2003 11:28 pm 
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Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Bad luck indeed Jeff for all concerned. Is this a regular hazard for performers in California now?


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov in the USA 2003 - La Bayadere
PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2003 12:06 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 143
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Problems such as these only appear to show up at the Kodak Theater - at least in my theater going experience. Now, today's issue was probably just bad luck on the theater's part (it's located in an extremely dense area of Los Angeles with relatively old infrastucture so power issues might just be more likely there). But problems keep popping up when companies perform at the Kodak - even if they are not all the theater's fault. When the Moscow Stanislavsky Ballet performed there the first time, house opening was delayed until 5 minutes before the start of a "Don Quixote" as the technical staff leisurely took its time teching the show for first night; meanwhile, outside - a good portion of the audience was still standing outside of the theater waiting to be admitted by the inefficient ticket-takign staff. Consquently, curtain was often held by at least 20 minutes during that run. The Kodak's amplified sound system for the pit continues to make the music sound tinny when one can only hear the amplified sound - not to mention that some unintended distortion has also been known to come over the loudspeakers sometimes.

Of course, these may be totally unrelated to the Kodak itself - but everytime a ballet company has played the Kodak, there has been a problem of some sort, especially with the small details. It's primarily a concert venue, so things like correct casting sheets (or handling of cancelled performances, like today's) and a parking structure that knows how to handle cars for 3000 people quickly and efficiently are not part of the normal operating routine the way they are expected at other major venues. It doesn't help that the Kodak is also located in an area with notoriously bad traffic and small streets.

Other major venues in Southern California don't have the same problems - Costa Mesa's Orange County Performign Arts Center is a breeze to get into and out of and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in downtown LA is a very welcoming venue as well. Both handle opera, ballet and symphony productions all the time, and just seem to be more used to the demands of arts presentation vs. the cattle driving of rock concerts.

--art

<small>[ 20 October 2003, 02:10 AM: Message edited by: art076 ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov in the USA 2003 - La Bayadere
PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2003 12:06 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 457
Location: Jamaica, Queens, New York
Quote:
Originally posted by Stuart Sweeney:
Bad luck indeed Jeff for all concerned. Is this a regular hazard for performers in California now?
No, only at the Kodak.

(Sorry, just had to vent...)

I'm happy to report that the Kirov Ballet are good troopers. In the venerable tradition of the U.S. Postal service, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and Timex watches, the show did go on at 7PM.

(This, despite such forces of nature as California power utilities and the brilliant managment minds at Hollywood & Highland who neglected to take down multiple signs saying "Chinese Theater and Kodak Theatre CLOSED.")

Diana Vishneva danced Nikiya, Leonid Sarafanov as Solor, and a wondrous new attraction, Irina Golub as Gamzatti.

The cognoscenti tell me that tomorrow 8pm will bring Sophia Gumerova, Andrian Fadeyev, and Irina Golub in the principal roles. Irina Golub's Gamzatti (part Faith the Evil Slayer, Madison Leigh the Bad Angel, and Lilah Morgan from "Angel") alone is worth the price of admission.


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov in the USA 2003 - La Bayadere
PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2003 2:26 am 
Irina Golub's debut as Gamzatti should be interesting. I've admired Golub in minor roles like the first shades soloist and in the troubador pas de deux in Romeo and Juliet. She's also a wonderful Kitri which she danced in New York last year.

Andrian Fadeyev is a noble Solor. In the past year he was normally paired with Vishneva in this ballet. It is the first time that he dances with Sofia Gumerova.


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov in the USA 2003 - La Bayadere
PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2003 8:20 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Quote:
Originally posted by Jeff:
(This, despite such forces of nature as California power utilities and the brilliant managment minds at Hollywood & Highland who neglected to take down multiple signs saying "Chinese Theater and Kodak Theatre CLOSED.")
I've noticed very long ago that Southern California agencies do things differently from their Northern California counterparts... Not surprising for such a huge state that might be the world's third largest economy if it were its own sovereign nation but still...

<small>[ 20 October 2003, 10:21 AM: Message edited by: Azlan ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov in the USA 2003 - La Bayadere
PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2003 8:32 am 
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Posts: 943
Location: Santa Barbara, CA USA
La Bayadere
Kirov Ballet
Sunday, Oct 19, 2003, 7PM

Sunday's evening show was full of fits and starts everywhere --- the Hollywood and Highland plaza lost power earlier in the day, moving Sunday's 2PM performance to Monday at 8PM, and threatening Sunday night's performance. The ticket agency also lost my ticket, but quickly corrected the situation. The show did indeed go on at 7PM, but I was unaware of the power situation until a couple at a local restaurant also attending the ballet told me about it. As a result of the blackout, most of the shops and restaurants were closed, with the restaurant we were in just starting business again, and being completely impacted by the sudden rush of hungry theatre-goers. Despite arriving at the restaurant some 45 minutes before the show, I didn't get anything to eat, but fortunately there was plenty in the performance to fill me up.

First, let's get the bad out of the way: the acoustics of the Kodak are really terrible. The orchestra can barely project out of their pit, especially for seats on the main floor close to the stage. The amplification seems to amplify only certain instruments, and spoils the ensemble by juxtaposing its artificial sound over what little muted, direct sound from the ochestra.

The corps wasn't as on last night as reported on previous nights --- there were several instances of visibly shaking and buckling knees even on simple steps such as fondue arabesque. This was visible throughout the show from the beginning where the female corps appeared to the third or fourth shade coming down the ramp.

The principals were having trouble as well. Leonid Sarafanov's lifts were insecure, and nerve-wracking after a while, including what looked like an aborted overhead lift. Diana Vishneva fell during the third act --- it wasn't during a particularly tricky balance as she was just in a transition move on pointe --- but she recovered well, and the audience received her very warmly after that dance, as if trying to assure her.

Lastly, cell phones went off during the performance. :mad:

Now the good stuff. Vishneva is astounding. The expressiveness of her arms and upper body, coupled with her technique, are spell-binding --- I couldn't watch anyone else when she was on stage. Even her first movement just extending her arm out and up was gripping. Moving with mostly slower adagio steps until near the end of her dance in the wedding scene, I was surprised when she transformed her previously sinuous movement into quick powerful quick movement. I didn't know you could move through that wide a range! Her dramatic expression and commitment were equally amazing, as she made the most of the concise transformations through each of the three acts. Her argument scene with Gamzatti was particularly gripping for its sustained tension.

Sarafanov, when dancing alone, was amazing. Along with an expressive, committed physically dramatic performance (done with that beautiful port de bras and epaulement so abundant throughout the company), Sarafanov had an absolutely easy, floating technique. Jumps were truly effortless, as he made them float just another instant more. Double tours were the cleanest and most effortless I had ever seen, including a series done en menage. Tour jetes hung in arabesque in the air. Turns were fully controlled, with an especially powerful pirouette in second (reminiscent of Angel Corella's), and capped with insouciant endings, as if Sarafanov could go on if he wanted, but instead chose to stop exactly when he wanted and wait in balance for as long as he wanted to. Dramatically, Sarafanov seemed like a young Solor, earnest in his love for Nikiya, but perhaps more as puppy love than a truly deep love.

Irina Golub's Gamzatti dramatically complements Sarafanov's Solor. She's literally a rich, spoiled princess who always gets what she wants, and isn't afraid to shove that fact in your face, and she made Gamzatti into the villain you love to hate. Together, they're young kids who are perhaps in over their heads in this love triangle --- Solor for underestimating Gamzatti's spite, and Gamzatti for underestimating Solor's ardor for Nikiya.

Besides some shaky knees, the corps was quite disciplined --- their movements were synchronized, and performed as a uniform whole. The descent of the shades (24 of them on Sunday night) from their mountain ramp is still astounding in its scale, and the corps did nothing to diminish that.

If I had to pick one highlight for me, it would have to be Vishneva's complex dramatic performance, as well as her expressive technique. I hope I get to see her in Rubies next weekend, if for nothing else than to see how she transforms to a completely different role.

A last unrelated question: does anyone know if Vishneva has a tattoo on her left hip? There was something visible through some of her costumes that didn't look like a smudge.

--Andre


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov in the USA 2003 - La Bayadere
PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2003 8:44 am 
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Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
Thanks Andre, for the in-depth report. I'm surprised to hear Vishneva fell, but glad to hear no injuries were sustained. I wish I could have seen Golub's Gamzatti, it sounds like it was incredible.

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Author, "Vaganova Today: The Preservation of Pedagogical Tradition" (available on amazon.com)


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