public forum
home forum magazine gallery links about faq courtesy
It is currently Mon Nov 24, 2014 3:36 am

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 38 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: "Swan Lake" in London - 2003
PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2003 10:42 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 3000
Location: San Francisco
One odd thing about the Kirov/Mariinsky theatre is that some of the entrances to the auditorium itself are lower than 6 feet. I had to duck when I entered. But it is lovely inside. I didn't see the company though.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: "Swan Lake" in London - 2003
PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 6:16 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 143
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Here's a somewhat late review -

Swan Lake
Friday, July 25, 2003
Royal Opera House

Many companies that I have recently seen perform “Swan Lake”– namely the Perm State Ballet and the Moscow Stanislavsky Ballet – have been caught walking through the performances. This ultimately makes the evening an unexciting, three hour ordeal – but yet I go to see it because “Swan Lake” happens to be the only thing that the company is performing. And so it was with some trepidation that I came to the Kirov Ballet’s “Swan Lake” on Friday night. But, I came away from the performance liking “Swan Lake” as much as I did the first time I saw it (which was a lot). The Kirov gives it real life and genuine power, performing it with the same kind of energy and thoughtfulness that it would give to a new production. The Kirov is a company that clearly treasures “Swan Lake” as an important part of its legacy, and takes great care to perform it well. From the moment the curtain lifted, each dancer was thoroughly “with” the production, performing impeccably - from the bottom ranks of the corps de ballet to the principals. That made for an exciting evening of ballet.

The Kirov corps was excellent and impressive, especially in the lakeside acts. Their precision made for some truly mesmerizing moments; I especially enjoyed the entrance of the swan corps in Act II, and their work in the White Swan Pas de Deux (no, they’re not the focal point there, but when they’re good, they add a lot to the pas de deux).

The soloists were great as well. Sofia Gumerova has very clean technique (two minor, accidental wobbles that made the audience near me gasp, but one can’t be perfect every single time); everything was very clean almost perfect. She wasn’t remarkably expressive, but her very good execution of the choreography appeared to be enough to do the trick. She did notice that her partner was there, however – which is much more than can be said of many Odettes that I have seen recently. I was also immediately impressed with Gumerova and how, in Odette’s very first dance in Act II, she “froze” for what couldn’t be more than a second in arabesque. It made the pose seem to linger in the air for a really long time, giving it that much more of a dramatic impact. The program lists Gumerova as a soloist – not a principal – but she was still mighty impressive. Daniil Korsuntsev, as the prince, doesn’t have very much to do in this production, but his partnering work was great throughout and he shined in his Black Swan pas de deux solo. The Act I pas de trois deserves special mention; the dancers were all completely spot on and exciting to watch. The pas de trois can really go either way with “Swan Lake.” I’ve seen instances where the soloists compete with each other for the audience’s attention, which makes a mess of the dance, and I’ve seen instances where the dancers are so focused on executing the steps that the whole thing is boring. But with the Kirov, it was simply excellent.

A few notes on the production: as much as I could gather from the program notes, this is the same production that was staged in 1950 (correct me if I’m wrong). But it’s a great production, and I really like it. It has dramatic clarity that many productions lack, and it also doesn’t have the excesses that many productions heap on in an attempt to make more out of “Swan Lake.” I like the Kirov’s production is simply “Swan Lake,” pure and simple. Act IV, despite the happy ending, is my favorite part of the production. The dances have a kind of surreal quality to them, with the geometry and simplicity of the choreography combining for a fantastic effect. One can overlook the fact that two dances are performed to non-“Swan Lake” music (two Tchaikovsky piano pieces were orchestrated and inserted into act IV by Riccardo Drigo for the 1895 production) simply because these dances are so great. I also like the way that the corps, through use of both white and black swans weaving into and out of each other, impressionistically represent the conflicting forces of good and evil in the story. So by the time the Soviet-imposed happy ending appears, one doesn’t mind that its not the ending that was written into the music: the ballet ends happily as the audience goes away happily.

Side note: this Los Angeles native loved the Royal Opera House. Despite the fact that I was in the upper reaches of the amphitheatre, it still felt more intimate than some of the theatres at home – not to mention that the house is much more beautiful than many of them. So much for improvement in theatre-building technology: the brand new Kodak Theatre in Hollywood (where the Kirov performs La Bayadere this coming October) is an airplane hangar painted red with seats installed in comparison to the ROH.

<small>[ 30 July 2003, 10:34 AM: Message edited by: art076 ]</small>


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: "Swan Lake" in London - 2003
PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 11:41 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Not late at all art, especially given your academic chores. Many thanks for your full description.

The large scale ballets can look very good from the Amphi, and the sightlines are some of the best in the ROH. But it's not everyone's cup of tea....is it Emma?


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: "Swan Lake" in London - 2003
PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 1:07 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Good to see a critic complaining about the all too frequent poor sight-lines at the ROH. Row D (the back) of the Stalls Circle is notorious. I was once in Row C and before the show, a woman behind me tapped me on the shoulder and said, "I wonder if you could lean to one side otherwise I will see nothing at all. Her seat had cost around £50.

Swan Lake, Royal Opera House, London
By John Percival for The Independent

My comments on the Kirov Ballet's Swan Lake, the second of their London programmes, must be given with the proviso "so far as I could see", since from stalls D6 (a top-price seat, if you please) my view of the stage was blocked by three heads in front. The Royal Opera House's costly rebuilding left an awful lot of faults.

Luckily I can report that the half of the swan corps de ballet I could see looked pretty good: lovely legs, lovely line, lovely arms, although sadly their block shoes are still too often clattery.

click for more


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: "Swan Lake" in London - 2003
PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2003 7:37 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Swan Lake
By John Thaxter for The Stage


Tchaikovsky's rich, lyrical score has made this the best-loved, most frequently performed ballet. But it had a history of Moscow flops before the Petersburg company rescued it with fresh choreography in 1895.

This romantic, picture-book version, centrepiece of the Kirov's London season, was re-staged by Konstantin Sergeyev in 1950, with Igor Ivanov's gorgeous cut-cloth settings...

click for more


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: "Swan Lake" in London - 2003
PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2003 8:29 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 2172
Location: London
I enjoyed Art's review. I do not enjoy sitting in the Amphitheatre. You are quite right, Stuart. I like to see the dancers' feet. If I had my choice I would always sit in the front row. The I can fantasise that it is a performance just for me.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: "Swan Lake" in London - 2003
PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2003 1:49 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Swan Lake - latest casting news

The principal dancers are as follows (subject to change):

6 Aug MATINEE - Sofia Gumerova & Daniil Korsuntsev

6 Aug EVENING - Svetlana Zakharova & Igor Zelensky

7 Aug - Natalia Sologub & Andrian Fadeyev

8 Aug - Daria Pavlenko & Igor Kolb

<small>[ 03 August 2003, 03:50 PM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: "Swan Lake" in London - 2003
PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2003 2:39 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 3129
Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Review from The sunday Times.

Quote:
On the classic front, the Kirov’s production of Swan Lake is still one of the loveliest-looking to be seen anywhere, with Igor Ivanov’s beautiful, romantic designs for the lakeside and his palatial ball-room, and Galina Solovyova’s handsomely toned costumes. Plus a feast of dancing from start to finish.

MORE


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: "Swan Lake" in London - 2003
PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2003 6:00 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 1756
Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
I'm interested to hear if Emma has any further comments on Gumerova's dancing. She is only a second soloist, and she's being given principal roles on this tour (in the US as well). I've seen her dance before but never in a full length work like Swan Lake. I'm curious about the acting element, as I know she has gorgeous legs already. ;-)

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: "Swan Lake" in London - 2003
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2003 12:02 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 2172
Location: London
Gumerova does dance beautifully. She is certainly not to be dismissed over the other more famous of the Kirov dancers. I found her acting a little dramatic for the Odette scenes - too pained. Her acting needs to be fine tuned. Lopatkina, for example, is an opposite extreme. She so internalises the role that the face seems to show very little of the considerable drama her body is giving. Gumerova wore everything on her face and her body danced. With experience I am sure she can integrate and create an acting package. I'm thinking Alessandra Ferri as Juliet - the whole person and manner of dancing IS Juliet.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: "Swan Lake" in London - 2003
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2003 10:43 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Casting for "Swan Lake" for Matinee and Evening on 6th August

Matinee Cast

Odette / Odile Sofia Gumerova
Prince Siegfried Daniil Korsuntsev
Queen Mother Elena Bazhenova
Tutor Pyotr Stasiunas
Jester Andrei Ivanov
Von Rothbart Ivan Popov
Prince’s Friends Nadezhda Gonchar, Elena Sheshina,
Vassily Scherbakov
Cygnets Irina Golub, Svetlana Ivanova,
Elena Vasyukovich, Elena Sheshina
Big Swans Nadezhda Gonchar, Viktoria Tereshkina,
Alexandra Iosifidi, Ekaterina Kondaurova
Two Swans Irina Golub, Nadezhda Gonchar
Spanish Dance Galina Rakhmanova, Natalia Tsyplakova,
Islom Baimuradov, Vassily Scherbakov Neapolitan Dance Yana Selina, Maxim Khrebtov
Hungarian Dance Polina Rassadina, Artem Yachmennikov
Mazurka Alexandra Iosifidi, Ekaterina Mikhailovtseva,
Ketevan Papava, Ekaterina Kovaleva,
Andrei Yakovlev, Igor Nikitin,
Alexander Klimov, Soslan Kulayev

and Artists of The Kirov Ballet

Approximate timings:
Act I 65 minutes
Interval 25 minutes
Act II 40 minutes
Interval 25 minutes
Act III 20 minutes

***************************************

Evening cast Swan Lake

Cast

Odette / Odile Svetlana Zakharova
Prince Siegfried Igor Zelensky
Queen Mother Elena Bazhenova
Tutor Pyotr Stasiunas
Jester Andrei Ivanov
Von Rothbart Vladimir Shishov
Prince’s Friends Irina Zhelonkina, Elvira Tarasova,
Anton Korsakov
Cygnets Irina Golub, Svetlana Ivanova,
Elena Vasyukovich, Elena Sheshina
Big Swans Nadezhda Gonchar, Viktoria Tereshkina,
Alexandra Iosifidi, Ekaterina Kondaurova
Two Swans Irina Golub, Nadezhda Gonchar
Spanish Dance Galina Rakhmanova, Ji Yeon Ryu,
Islom Baimuradov, Vassily Scherbakov Neapolitan Dance Polina Rassadina, Maxim Khrebtov
Hungarian Dance Xenia Dubrovina, Andrei Yakovlev
Mazurka Alexandra Iosifidi, Ekaterina Mikhailovtseva,
Ekaterina Kovaleva, Natalia Tsyplakova,
Fedor Lopukhov, Igor Nikitin,
Alexander Klimov, Soslan Kulayev


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: "Swan Lake" in London - 2003
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2003 5:49 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 3129
Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
I saw the matinee yesterday (6th Aug) and I have to say I was spellbound. For a start I sat in the best seats I have ever sat in at the Royal Opera House, Row E - Orchestra stalls. It was the first time at this venue that I could clearly see the dancers expressions. Gumerova was lovely, the torture and pain clearly coming through in Acts 1 & 3 but with a complete contrast to the manipulative temptress in Act 2. Korsuntsev gave a sincere portrayal of the Prince and whilst I agree with Emma that he wouldn't be my ultimate Prince, he gave a genuine sense of love and confusion at his love for Odette which was quite endearing.

As Stuart stated the Prince's friends, Nadezha Gonchar, Elena Sheshina and Vassily Scherbakov gave fantastic cameo perfomances in Act 1 showing technical brilliance and artstic flair.

The sets all the way through were superb but I found the costumes in Act 1 absolutely stunning, such subtle colours and such lovely movement from the material of the corp de ballet's dresses made the first half of Act 1 truly breathtaking.

Andrei Ivanov certainly made a strong case for the inclusion of the Jester in performances with a lovely ease to his jumps and a cheeky glint in his eyes. And of course the wonderful Kirov corps de ballet were on top form as usual.

I came away feeling as I did as a child leaving a theatre and was so pleased I booked my tickets.

<small>[ 07 August 2003, 07:50 AM: Message edited by: Joanne ]</small>


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: "Swan Lake" in London - 2003
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2003 8:05 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Casting for Swan Lake, Thursday 7th August 2003

Cast

Odette / Odile Natalia Sologub
Prince Siegfried Andrian Fadeyev
Queen Mother Elena Bazhenova
Tutor Pyotr Stasiunas
Jester Andrei Ivanov
Von Rothbart Vladimir Shishov
Prince’s Friends Nadezhda Gonchar, Elena Sheshina,
Anton Korsakov
Cygnets Irina Golub, Svetlana Ivanova,
Elena Vasyukovich, Elena Sheshina
Big Swans Nadezhda Gonchar, Tatiana Tkachenko,
Yana Serebryakova, Ekaterina Kondaurova
Two Swans Irina Golub, Nadezhda Gonchar
Spanish Dance Ketevan Papava, Polina Rassadina,
Islom Baimuradov, Vassily Scherbakov Neapolitan Dance Yana Selina, Maxim Khrebtov
Hungarian Dance Xenia Dubrovina, Andrei Yakovlev
Mazurka Natalia Tsyplakova, Ekaterina Mikhailovtseva,
Ekaterina Kovaleva, Galina Rakhmanova,
Fedor Lopukhov, Igor Nikitin,
Alexander Klimov, Soslan Kulayev


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: "Swan Lake" in London - 2003
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2003 7:16 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 1756
Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
Emma-- thanks for the comments on Gumerova. I'm keeping a look out for her while they're in SF.

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: "Swan Lake" in London - 2003
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2003 9:51 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
And I am anticipating comments from you, Catherine, ye of the I'm-answering-but-not-answering-the-Kirov-verus-Bolshoi-question.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 38 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 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