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 Post subject: St Petersburg Ballet: Swan Lake
PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2000 4:53 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 4725
Location: Australia
this is copied from a thread in MISCELLANY titled 'You Too Can to Write a Review'. NOT that this is meant to be any example(!) - i'm afraid i was too lazy to write a separate review for CD, after having written mine for Dance Australia magazine (THAT one will be up, here, after it's been published).<P>this just came up in conversation over there...<P>saint petersburg ballet have been/are touring australia for 5 months with their production of swan lake, with kirov principals.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>re saint petersburg ballet: well, it was 'interesting' as we are wont to say.....VERY old-fashioned production of swan lake, like a throwback to RB in the 50's or early 60's: genuinely quaint... SOME extremely capable dancers, as cold as ice the lot of them(!), especially odette and seigfried(!).....lavish costumes, fabulous gothic sets which drew applause on curtain-up.<P>leads were tatyana serova and dmitri zavalishein: never made eye contact the whole ballet! zavalishein clearly could not lift her, so all lifts were changed to promenades.<P>wierd interpolated choreography, especially beginning of act 4: literally pedestrian: walk, walk, walk, roll head, walk, walk, walk, roll head..etc, ad infinitum ....horrible big swans choreo: full of dog-leg-shaking .....<P>iouri Glukhikh (spellings as in our cast sheet) danced the pas de trois, which (to my shame) i missed. i missed the whole prologue : public transport 'accident', as it were.....never missed ANYthing i had to review before, but..you know...it's swan lake!!!!!!!! Image<P>there was one hunk in the tarantella, but all the names in the cast list appear to be female (maria, anna, tatiana, elizoveta, arina-?)..so no idea who HE was! is arina a boy?! if so, he's the hunk!<P>and the demise of rothbart was so pathetic i LAUGHED: seigfried ripped off a wing and flagellated him with it on the floor: pathetic!<P>i thought serova had a nice line, but my companion (a former prima ballerina) disagreed with me, so i bow to her superior knowledge and taste....sort of, but not really ... i also think that 'i saw what i saw', and 'she saw what she saw'!<P>i.e. "all views are valid", some are just more so... <P>after all that, i enjoyed it immensely ....just really because we get so very few full-length traditional productions, here at this end of the earth....<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> <BR>Maggie responded: <P>Oh, poor Rothbart being beaten by his own wing? That is too funny, the more so since I'm sure it's not intended that way.<BR><p>[This message has been edited by grace (edited August 13, 2000).]

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 Post subject: Re: St Petersburg Ballet: Swan Lake
PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2000 5:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 4725
Location: Australia
<B>tallulah</B> posted:<P>Grace, you are so right about Swan Lake. I mean it's great that we've been able to see such a wonderful international company perform locally, but what a performance! <P>Here we get into that whole personal opinion thing right, but how about i just say what i think and everybody can have a go at me about it later!<P>i guess i just felt cheated by the end, i went in expecting to be dazzled but it came out more like a drizzle. i guess you shouldn't go to see things with expectations, like i try not to read movie reviews before i've seen the movie, but such a hype was made about this production coming that i really couldn't help but have high expectations. <P>The dancing in my not so experienced opinion was great, the jester especially was breathtaking, but would it have killed the company to put a little performance quality into this show. <P>Swan Lake is a love story, but how can true love conquer evil when the blissful couple only made eye contact half a dozen fleeting times. As to the whole, rip off the wing episode, it was all i could do to keep from laughing out loud. i thought perhaps i'd walked into the wrong theatre and this was some kind of take off comedy, but no one else seemed to find it amusing, actually the women next to me was quiet carried away in the emotion of it all, i seemed to have missed that emotion somewhere. <P>The sets though were quite magnificint, now thats art that takes your breathe away. <P>The ending disapointed me too, i always thought of Swan Lake as a tradgedy, therefore<BR>i was at a loss to see them both alive and well at the end. I said as much and got into guiet a heated conversation with some nice old ladies sitting in front of me about choreographers having different ideas and expressing them in their own unique way, how unique the ending is i'm not sure, but there was no argueing with these old bags. <P> i don't mean to sound so pessimistic i was thrilled to bits to see an old classic. i just wish that the classic had some of that classic feeling associated with it. Once again i'm talking about performance quality but i think i've said quite enough on the subject already, i don't want to make too many enemies my first day as a member!<P>

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 Post subject: Re: St Petersburg Ballet: Swan Lake
PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2000 2:43 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2000 12:01 am
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
My goodness, on tour for five months with night after night of unrelieved Swan Lake...sounds like a recipe for quick burnout. Was Perth toward the beginning or the end of the tour? Sounds like a bit of a dreadful ordeal all around....


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 Post subject: Re: St Petersburg Ballet: Swan Lake
PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2000 8:03 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 73
Location: Canberra, Australia
Well I WILL be seeing it near the end - in November in Canberra - I'll be sure to let you know!!!!<P>I actually posted the following response to the review of the Perth performance on an Australian board. Here 'tis:<P>"I'm glad you posted on this Grace - I just bought tickets to the Canberra performance (November 11) and having had VERY few chances to see a full length calssical production I'm sure I'll enjoy myself despite the flaws. Having never seen the whole of Swan Lake I also won't miss the lifts that aren't there! <P>I must say it's disappointing though that you found so little in the characterisation - one of the things that makes a performance (or any work of art for that matter) truly great is it's ability to touch you on an emotional and spiritual level.<P>On that note, I have to tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed the recent performance of 'Carmen' by the WA Ballet in Canberra. I<BR>saw the matinee with Jacinta Ross and Callum Hastie and it very nearly moved me to tears on about three occasions (no mean feat, I assure you). I don't feel I have enough experience to make more detailed comments, but I loved what I saw.<P>They also did Five Tango's and a gorgeous, sensual pas de deux which I dimly recall was entitled 'Walking into the Heat of the Night' - the name didn't make much of an impression, but the intesity of the performance certainly did! <P>I hear that Ted Branson is staging a new Romeo and Juliet for the WA Ballet next year - I hope they bring it to Canberra -<BR>I'm sure it would be enthusiastically received."<P>As for Swan Lake - hopefully the cast will find some of the emotion and drama lurking in their souls and we'll see a difference - if not, at least I'll go in prepared - as someone else said, high expectations and hype can really be a killer.<P> Finally - a word of apology for the misspellings and where I got names wrong!!!<P> Danni


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 Post subject: Re: St Petersburg Ballet: Swan Lake
PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2000 5:14 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 73
Location: Canberra, Australia
OK - very old news, but I just saw this production in Canberra. I went in without high expectations and was pleasantly surprised. Overall, I was delighted - not the least because we just don't get full length classics in this part of the world!<P>Odette/Odile was danced beautifully by Irina Kolisnekova. She had a lovely line, incredible use of her upper body and was particularly stunning in Act III where she looked like she was revelling in the role. I was impressed with the 32 fouettes (I've never seen anyone do that live before) and she really did command the stage. I was also enormously impressed by the virtuosity of the Jester (Dmitri Chestov).<P>Unfortunately poor old Seigfried (Dmitri Zavalishen) was appalling in that he looked like he was on tranquillisers. He had a beautiful long legged body and a lovely line and he completly failed to use it. Must have been very hard indeed to react emotionally to him though Irinia clearly tried. He did, however, manage the lifts, etc beautifully, but really - very dissappointing. I wanted to get up there and give him a pinch to wake him up.<P>Grace - you'll be pleased to know that there was no beating of Von Rothbart with the wing by the time they got to Canberra! I was dreading it - a wing WAS indeed removed and looked odd but not laughable. Von Rothbart was very good actually - birdlike and menacing. Overall, I think it was the final Act that could have used some work.<P>Anyway - there it is, a nice unstructured babble to update you on the conclusion (almost) of the tour. I went to sleep that night dreaming of swans and beautifully arched feet in pointe shoes......


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 Post subject: Re: St Petersburg Ballet: Swan Lake
PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2000 10:04 pm 
I heard that St. Petersburg Ballet is returning to UK for a tour early next year. I am surprised to hear that Dmitri Zavalishen , a former dancer of the Kirov, is so bad. I found him quite promising when I saw him with the Kirov in London several years ago. I didn't realise that he had left to join St. Petersburg Ballet.


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 Post subject: Re: St Petersburg Ballet: Swan Lake
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2000 1:03 pm 
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Location: Canberra, Australia
Hi Kevin - no, he's still with the Kirov - he's just guesting with St P for this tour. You're right - it's a terrible shame to see a dancer who obviously (even to me, who is not overly experienced in these matters) has exceptional technique, deliver such a poor artistic performance. Cheers,<BR>Danni Image


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 Post subject: Re: St Petersburg Ballet: Swan Lake
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2000 3:06 pm 
Danni, thanks for telling me that Zavalishen is still with the Kirov. If so, he is not particularly highly regarded by the company; he wasn't with the company at all in London this past summer. I think they normally pick their best dancers to go on an important overseas tour.


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 Post subject: Re: St Petersburg Ballet: Swan Lake
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2000 4:26 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Ok - dumb question here - I know that Kirov is now back to being called Maryinski (or some spell it Mariinski) and this St. Petersburg ballet is a different company?


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 Post subject: Re: St Petersburg Ballet: Swan Lake
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2000 7:38 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 73
Location: Canberra, Australia
Hi there - this company is very young - I think it started up in 1994 and it's called the St Petersberg Ballet Theatre. I don't have my program with me or I could tell you more! They billed the guest artists from the Kirov as 'stars from the Kirov' - on a quick check of the web site most of the Kirovs guests are soloists at the Kirov. I wouldn't be surprised if our Seigfried isn't the most popular dancer at the Kirov if his other performances were like the one I saw (I heard from someone else who felt positively ripped off by his performance on another eveing). <P>From what I can gather the St P company started out with a big classics repertory and has included some Balanchine and more modern works in recent years. Certainly worth keeping an eye on for technique and traditionalism.<P>Danni


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 Post subject: Re: St Petersburg Ballet: Swan Lake
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2000 7:48 pm 
Grace, you have a point. Hong Kong used to be a far-flung British colony too, and I am not surprised if some top stars and companies don't try their best here, since as an Asian city Tokyo is far more important.<P>Danni, did you see in Melbourne the young dancer Yuri Glukikh with the St. P company? He was very good as Siegfried in the UK last January. I know he's only a guest artist of the company.


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 Post subject: Re: St Petersburg Ballet: Swan Lake
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2000 11:02 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Great critique Grace! And I do remember being moved to tears in 4th act Swan Lake watching a tape of Fonteyn and Nureyev dance it with the Vienna State Opera Ballet.<P>As convulsed as Nureyev's choreography was for the corps - he and Fonteyn brought me to tears with their grand pas de deux in that 4th act.


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