Wednesday, Oct 5, 2005
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles
The Kirov opened their Sleeping Beauty run in SoCal last night, and in spite of some slight opening night jitters, it was a magnificent performance. Either I have not seen a good corps de ballet in a while, or the Kirov's really improved a lot since I last saw them a couple of years ago. What can you say about their corps that hasn't been said already? The unity of motion, style, and effect is amazing --- seeing all those gorgeous shoulders, arms, and backs moving as they do in this company has got to be one of the wonders of the dance world.
Uliana Lopatkina gave us an imposing, deep, don't-mess-with-me Lilac Fairy, for which I don't think the crowd was initially too sympathetic. It was almost a dancer's dancer performance, with lots of subtle detail and style. Her slow, adagio pirouettes during her solo which stretched and dominated the music almost to the breaking point is a great example of her performance quality --- this was one Lilac Fairy that was in charge.
Diana Vishneva gave us a radiant Aurora with lots of energy. The stage almost literally lit up whenever she walked on. Her partnering with the very solid Igor Zelensky was a bit shaky, but with the exception of one turn at the end, they saved all of the anxious moments. It certainly made for exciting theater, as they seemed to be near the edge several times.
The local kids recruited were surprisingly good as well, looking especially stylistically idiomatic in their Act I garland dance. Well done to whomever prepared them!
The Act III dances were winningly danced, earning well-deserved audience appreciation. Puss-in-boots, and his partner the white cat (Anton Lukovkin and Yana Selina) were especially good. Slightly disappointing were Florina and Bluebird. Yulia Bolshakova was visible weak and shaky as Florina --- hopefully as she gets acclimated, her reprise of the role on Friday will be something to look for. Anton Korsakov gave a solid performance of Bluebird, but I wish the completion of his steps and some transitions were a bit cleaner. These are minor nits, which are more than made up for by Bolshakova's beautiful line, and the otherwise high quality of their dancing.
The sets and costumes were fantastic and lavish (there was even a working fountain), but Carrabosse's party was a bit weak and undercharacterized. Her evil henchmen don't look very scary, especially the white rabbit/bat hybrid things.
Speaking of Carrabosse, the mime sequences from this company are also something else to behold --- it's so rare to see well-trained, articulated, projected mime performances.
For those keeping score, there were 180-degree penches all over the place, legs up to ears, etc.
edit: I've been told that Florina was not danced by Pavlenko, but instead Yulia Bolshakova
edit 2: fix wrong date
Last edited by Andre Yew on Fri Oct 07, 2005 9:49 am, edited 1 time in total.