public forum
home forum magazine gallery links about faq courtesy
It is currently Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:31 am

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 52 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Author Message
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2006 1:14 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 11:01 pm
Posts: 6778
Location: Estonia
Quote:
The Golden Age
by JUDITH MACKRELL for the Guardian

There are two reasons to love this scenario: firstly, Gelber's casting of Gabriella Komleva as old Sophie brings to the stage all the dignity and delicacy of her former ballerina graces; secondly, we get the gutsy thrill of his impressionistic but visceral ballet version of a football match.

published: July 31, 2006
more...


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2006 3:14 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 11:01 pm
Posts: 6778
Location: Estonia
Quote:
And then the bride caught fire
by LUKE JENNINGS for the Observer

Musically, this is a terrific idea, but great music does not automatically inspire great ballets, as Tuesday's triple bill demonstrated.

published: July 30, 2006
more...


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2006 3:32 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 11:01 pm
Posts: 6778
Location: Estonia
Quote:
London’s Russian Summer, on 2 Fronts: The Bolshoi and the Maryinsky
by ALAN RIDING for the New York Times

“To be honest and fair, you have to sell everything, of course, and Lilian knows that ‘Swan Lake’ sells,” Mr. Gergiev said in an interview with The Sunday Times of London in early July. “We also know that, but how many times can you do ‘Swan Lake’ in London?”

Well, on the 50th anniversary of the Bolshoi Ballet’s first ‘Swan Lake’ here, the answer appears to be open-ended. All six scheduled performances of “Swan Lake” in August have sold out.

published: July 29, 2006
more...


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Young God
PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2006 4:42 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 1640
Location: London UK
Quote:
Cassandra, I think 'The Guide' must have been a mistranslation in the English programs. When they dance "Hooligan" here, the word in Russian is "божок" which can translate to god, idol, young/little god, etc.


Interesting description, particularly with Popov in the role! I first saw the ballet in it's entirety fairly recently when I watched a friend's video of it starring Kolpakova. The choreography had been padded out to just over an hour and as a studio production a few more scenes were added giving prominence to the hooligans' controller and suggesting that he might actually be a proprietor of the club that the Hooligan visits. In the video I picked up on a gay subtext in the relationship between the gangster and his street boys, but this certainly wasn't apparent in the performances I saw last week.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2006 7:07 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:01 am
Posts: 142
Location: London
Just a very quick message to say how much I enjoyed Golden Age, what a beautiful ballet I thought it was and what wonderful performances the Mariinsky dancers gave on Saturday afternoon when I attended... Obviously the ballet has been reworked as the action on stage does not match that on the programme on several occasions.

However, I did not read the programme notes beforehand -only afterwards- and I was surprised that such a complex story was told in such a clear way.

The choreography is not brilliant, but it works, and the whole production and the wonderful performances by the dancers of different generations made this ballet outstanding for me. It was years since I had enjoyed a new ballet as much as I did Golden Age...

Once again, thanks to the Mariinsky for bringing these works to London!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Young God
PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2006 6:38 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 186
Location: Great Britain
Quote:

"I think 'The Guide' must have been a mistranslation in the English programs. When they dance "Hooligan" here, the word in Russian is "божок" which can translate to god, idol, young/little god, etc."

You are right, "the Guide" is a mistranslation.
However, the word in Russian is not "божок" but "вожак", which should be translated in this case as "The Ringleader".


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 6:35 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 11:01 pm
Posts: 6778
Location: Estonia
One that I missed earlier.

Quote:
Maryinsky Ballet
by DEBRA CRAINE for the Times

However, I’m not sure I see the point of this trio of one-act Soviet ballets from the 1960s. Historically fascinating, perhaps, but what a curious evening. Short on real dance, and baffling to boot.

published: July 27, 2006
more...


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 6:45 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 11:01 pm
Posts: 6778
Location: Estonia
Quote:
The Golden Age
by DEBRA CRAINE for the Times

The sight of the great St Petersburg Maryinsky Ballet in its new production of The Golden Age is one that doesn’t bear repeating. It’s dispiriting enough the first time around. Shostakovich’s score may not be the danciest in the 20th-century canon, but it is filled with the joie de vivre of melody and the hot blood of melodrama. This dismal and dreary new staging of The Golden Age has neither.

published: August 1, 2006
more...


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 7:06 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 11:01 pm
Posts: 6778
Location: Estonia
Quote:
The Golden Age, London
by CLEMENT CRISP for the Financial Times

It is about as awful as they come. In the annals of misbegotten and futile ballet stagings, The Golden Age, which ended the Mariinsky Ballet’s uninspired contribution to the Shostakovich on Stage season at the weeks’ end, is right up there with the Bolshoi’s dire modernisation of Romeo and the Paris Opera’s lethally silly Caligula in the Awful Evenings list.

published: July 31, 2006
more...


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 7:16 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 11:01 pm
Posts: 6778
Location: Estonia
Quote:
The misery of silly walks
by CLIFFORD BISHOP for the Independent

It isn't a reflection of native genius but a miracle of cultural assimilation that these people wound up with two of the greatest ballet companies on earth.

published: July 30, 2006
more...


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 7:21 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 11:01 pm
Posts: 6778
Location: Estonia
Quote:
The Golden Age, Coliseum, London
by ZOE ANDERSON for the Independent

The omens weren't good. This Age was made in haste, with a last-minute change of choreographers.

published: August 1, 2006
more...


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 10:48 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 1640
Location: London UK
The Golden Age
Kirov Ballet
London Coliseum
28th July 2006


The story of “The Golden Age” takes place in an unnamed Western European country, which I think we can safely assume is Germany. A group of veterans gathers to recall the past and Russian Alexander meets by chance a woman called Sophie whom he had briefly fallen in love with decades before. They are overwhelmed by this unexpected event and recall their past in the form of flashbacks.

Alexander (Mikhail Lobukhin), his friend Vladimir (Islom Baimuradov) and the rest of a Soviet football team have travelled abroad for an important match, at the stadium Alexander first catches sight of gymnast Sophie (Daria Pavlenko) training a group of little girls. He jokingly tries to emulate some of her movements to everyone’s amusement, but Vladimir seems uncomfortable with his friend’s interest in this foreign beauty. That evening the Soviet team is invited to a reception at the mansion of wealthy Mr and Mrs von Klein (Andrei Ivanov and Alisa Sokolova), Sophie’s parents and boyfriend are present, the former chilly and reserved and the latter downright unpleasant. Guest of honour is Olga (Ekaterina Kondaurova) ‘a film star’ with the looks of a present day super model who takes a fancy to the handsome Vladimir who is clearly made uneasy by her interest. Is it shyness on his part or something else that makes him so ill at ease? Alexander eggs him on, clearly pleased as punch that his good-looking friend can attract such a stunner.

Next day things warm up even further between Sophie and Alexander with her administering some physiotherapy after he injures himself during a preliminary match. In the evening everyone goes off to watch Olga as the star performer at a cabaret club where she dances specifically for Vladimir. The group of acrobats that perform after Olga’s number are oddly out of place and dance poorly to boot. Sophie and Alexander slip away for a moment together with the contrivance of their friends while in their absence the party heats up with several of the ladies becoming the worse for drink. The following day is the day of the big match, danced with obvious relish by the football-mad Kirov boys, but the device of the score board revolving so that it’s impossible to tell who is winning didn’t work for me, though this may have also indicated the passing of time as when we next meet the protagonists they are swept up in the events of WWII.

The war has taken its toll on Sophie who is now a displaced person stranded along with the children she used to teach and a group of refugees including the von Kleins. When a curious child approaches an elderly man sitting slumped on the ground and realizes he is dead she runs back in horror. In order to minimize the trauma to the children Mr von Klein seeks to distract them by performing a comic dance that becomes more and more manic, but exhausted by the hardships he is enduring, he has a sudden heart attack and dies. It the midst of all this suffering Heinrich reappears and offers a means of escape to Sophie. She gestures towards the children and the other refugees: ‘Can they come too’ she seems to ask, Heinrich surveys the others contemptuously and strikes her to the ground before striding off.

Alexander and Vladimir are in a prison camp, they survive a mass shooting but both are in a bad way. In a desperate duet they drag each other across the stage in a frantic effort to escape but it proves too much for Vladimir who dies in Alexander’s arms after kissing him passionately on the mouth. Has he harboured a love for Alexander that goes beyond friendship?

All of the action is inter cut with scenes of the newly reunited Sophie and Alexander played movingly by Gabriella Komleva and Sergei Berezhnoi who captivated the audience with their warmth, dignity and charm. At one point in the action Sophie finds she cannot cope with the intense emotion of meeting her former love again; she is taken ill and we watch film of her being treated in hospital before recovering to continue her life at Alexander’s side. It’s real happy-ever-after stuff to compensate for those harrowing memories of the past. Mr Gelber does to some extent wear his heart on his sleeve, but I don’t have too much of a problem with that, as it is so much easier to engage with a work of this sort when it is tempered with a genuine emotional input.

All the principal roles were danced exceptionally well with veteran performers Komleva and Berezhnoi enchanting us with their touching depiction of a love that stands the test of time. As the younger couple Lobukhin and Pavlenko aren’t as engaging but both excel in the work’s more dramatic moments. Kondaurova looked dazzling as Olga in her spectacular costumes and Baimuradov as the complex Vladimir noticeably received the most applause at the curtain calls. Andrei Ivanov is fast becoming one of my favourite dancers; and the humour and humanity he brought to his role as Mr von Klein marked him out as an exceptional actor as well as a brilliant dancer.

Choreographer Noah Gelber’s relative inexperience does show from time to time and particularly in those sections that are close to what Grigorovitch created for the Bolshoi in his production. I’m thinking of the nightclub scene in particular where Gelber’s fairly tame routine for Olga inevitably invites comparisons with the scorching duet Grigorovich devised for Bessmertnova and Taranda to the same music. The football match was a little disappointing too as this was a theme very popular with Russian choreographers of the past and wasn’t as well done as the danced soccer numbers I’ve seen by Moiseyev and Messerer. Some of Gelber’s choreography looks unnecessarily complex and in the cabaret scene the six acrobats were clearly having problems. The staging includes a few multi media ideas as well, there’s nothing wrong with that in my book, but is apparently something that ultra conservative critics and audiences have problems getting their heads around. I am still unsure about the giant camera that was manoeuvred around the stage though and I have a strong dislike of bright lights being shone into the audience as it causes many people to look away and thereby miss some of the action on stage but using the camera as a background for a portrait of Shostakovich at the end was a particularly apt finale to what is after all a celebration of his music. I would say that the highlight of the entire ballet was a magnificent pas de deux for the two lovers, which was admired by everyone I spoke to, even a friend who wasn’t taken by the work as a whole. The fierce interplay between the two men in the prison camp also demonstrated Gelber’s ability to express strong emotions in dance terms. As a former dancer with William Forsythe’s company, I had half expected Mr Gelber’s work to be influenced by his erstwhile boss but this wasn’t the case at all as this young choreographer is clearly finding a voice of his own.

The critics sharpened their knives over this ballet and I’m not sure why, as this was a work of great promise by a young choreographer obviously still finding his feet and surely this sort of fledgling talent deserves some level of encouragement rather than the largely negative comments that have appeared in the national press. Mr Crisp and his ilk may see the art of ballet as wall-to-wall Swan Lakes but would do well to remember that it is new work that is the lifeblood of the art of dance.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 7:11 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 5:02 pm
Posts: 1510
Location: USA-Switzerland
Hi Cassandra. Thank you for your fine review. I'm glad to see that there are two sides to this. I personally think that Noah Gelber is very talented.

In regard to your quote...

"...this was a work of great promise by a young choreographer obviously still finding his feet and surely this sort of fledgling talent deserves some level of encouragement..."

I really do agree. These are artists often working their hearts out and even if we prefer other efforts more, they do deserve appreciation for what they are trying to do and respect as individuals, often very talented ones.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2006 5:36 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:01 am
Posts: 142
Location: London
I completely agree with Cassandra. "The Golden Age" is not a masterpiece, BUT it is a beautiful work, very well crafted, well costructed in terms of narrative content, innovative in the way it introduces use of media and integrates older dancers in the piece, well designed and superbly danced. I cannot understand why the London critics have gone so totally out of their way to knock it down. Carlos Acosta recently highlighted the lack of opportunities for choreographers in ballet to produce new works... with such a response (to the Mariinsky!), it seems the situation is unlikely to change... which is really sad indeed...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 4:38 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 1640
Location: London UK
This review of The Golden Age combines heavy criticism of the Kirov as a whole with a vitriolic attack on Maestro Gergiev. Just for good measure the Kirov is compared unfavourably with the Bolshoi.

http://arts.guardian.co.uk/reviews/obse ... e_continue

Personally I was very happy with the programmes the Kirov brought to London this year as it made such a refreshing change from the endless classics and demonstrated just what fine dancer-actors the Kirov artists are.

Comparing The Pharaoh’s Daughter to The Golden Age is hardly comparing like with like and dismissing new work completely out of hand (and I continue to consider The Golden Age a work of merit despite a number of flaws) does little to encourage the commissioning of new work in the future.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 52 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 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