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 Post subject: Estonian National Ballet's "Swan Lake"
PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2002 1:14 pm 
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Location: Tallinn, Estonia
28 and 30 November
Will be premiere!
The "Swan Lake" production by Tiit Härm

Choreographer and Stage Director TIIT HÄRM
Music Director and Conductor ARVO VOLMER
Conductor AIVO VÄLJA
Designer ELDOR RENTER
Lighting Designer AIRI ERAS
Repetiteurs ELITA ERKINA, TATJANA LAID, IRINA HARM, JURI JEKIMOV, VIKTOR FEDORTCHENKO
Assistant Producer IRINA HÄRM
Stage Managers JURI KRUUS, PEETER KARELL

Estonian National Opera

(private site) Estonian National Ballet

<img src="http://my.tele2.ee/estballet/images/imidgs/Marina_leb011.gif" alt="" />

<small>[ 12-14-2002, 06:15: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

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 Post subject: Re: Estonian National Ballet's "Swan Lake"
PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2002 3:06 pm 
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Location: Tallinn
Here, in Estonia, everyone wait for this ballet because all have got used, that at theatre always it is possible to look this masterpiece of world ballet classics. But for last 2 years the "Swan lake" in National Opera was not performed. Earlier this performance in Estonia executed in edition by Kirov Ballet (Sergeev), and now we wait for that new, though is known, that in a new edition remain choreographic pieces by Lev Ivanov, who has thought up them, even more century back.

I think, that "Swan lake" there is a chance for troupe to be in very good form and I wish all good luck, who in this time worries and experiences for forthcoming performance.

<small>[ 11-25-2002, 01:47: Message edited by: observer ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Estonian National Ballet's "Swan Lake"
PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2002 4:41 pm 
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Location: San Francisco
Observer, I'm happy that Swan Lake is being performed again in Estonia. Here in San Francisco, the San Francisco Ballet performs only one full-length classic (such as Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Don Quixote) each performing season. That's OK with me; I don't mind seeing these ballets only every few years. But since Swan Lake is my favorite of the classics, I think SFB should make an exception and perform it every year.

In the future, I hope you never have to go without Swan Lake!


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 Post subject: Re: Estonian National Ballet's "Swan Lake"
PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2002 4:37 am 
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Vladimir, I wish you a wonderful, successful, premiere!


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 Post subject: Re: Estonian National Ballet's "Swan Lake"
PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2002 6:53 pm 
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Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
<img src="http://my.tele2.ee/estballet/images/imidgs/kor.JPG" alt="" />
<small>Kaie Kõrb</small>

To celebrate the fifth production of "Swan lake" at the Estonian National Ballet, a special reunion of previous and current dancers took place:

Swans and princes met again

November 11 was an exciting day for the Estonian National Opera – the theatre invited to its Winter Garden all the stars who have danced the role of Prince Siegfried and Odette/Ottilie through many years and different versions of “Swan Lake”.

“Swan Lake” has been the most popular ballet in “Estonia” – 700 performances of 5 productions. All these stagings have been designed by Eldor Renter, who is also the designer of the new version. “Estonia’s” first Odette Erika Määrits (82), who danced in Rahel Olbrei’s staging in 1940, could unfortunately not come to the meeting. Altogether met 8 swans (Liia Leetmaa, Helmi Puur, Tiiu Randviir, Larissa Kaur, Tatjana Maiste (Laid), Olga ####, Kaie Kõrb, Marina Chirkova) and 6 princes (Ago-Endrik Kerge, Aleksandr Basihhin, Viesturs Jansons, Viktor Fedortshenko, Tiit Härm, Vladimir Arhangelski). Every legendary swan and prince had a story to tell and they all agreed that “Swan Lake” has had a significant place in their life. The ballet stars gave their signatures on 2 pairs of ballet shoes – one pair to be taken to the theatre and music museum and the other one to be sold in connection with the 100 – years anniversary of the Estonian National Opera in 2006.

Premiére of the latest version of “Swan Lake” will be on 28 and 30 November 2002.By the words of the choreographer and producer Tiit Härm the “Swan Lake” is joined into an enjoyable piece by Tchaikovsky’s ingenious music, poetic story, versatility of dance rhythms and characters. Tiit Härm has based his new version of “Swan Lake” on Lev Ivanov’s original choreogrpahy that has been followed for almost a century creating a new dimension of a classical fairy tale: swan lake is the world of Prince’s imagination, a place easy to flee to from real life to seek for happiness and love, but hard to find one’s way back from.


Ülla Veerg
Estonian National Opera

********************************************
Here is a some background information:

The history of the ballet “Swan Lake” in “Estonia”
By Lea Tormis

“Swan Lake” has been performed on the ballet stages of the world for more than 100 years. The genius of Tchaikovsky embedded a timeless emotional-psychological charge into the music that has reached a popularity of almost too-frequent performance. The forever-human qualities of love and death, good and evil, loyality and betrayal, dreams and reality, fairy tale and psychological reality intertwine in the “Swan Lake”.

Each new staging of this ballet in its own way reflects the spirit of the age. This is so even when attempt towards so-called canonical choreography is been made (the Marius Petipa & Lev Ivanov staging of 1895 is what people usually have in mind, the debut of 1897 has been forgotten). Indeed, most of the interpretations of the “Swan Lake” either try to stay true to the “academic” version or attempt to push further, to argue with the original.

1940

“Swan Lake” made its debut in “Estonia” relatively late, in 1940, when the steady dance group, put together by Rahel Olbrei in 1926, had the experience of full ballet performances. Olbre, who was familiar with the traditional versions of the ballet, preferred to create her own new choreography for the “Swan Lake”. Her aim was to express the “drama/theatrical performance in the form of dance”. She has commented in her memoirs (1968) that “if it's a narrative ballet, make the action (pas d’action) clear enough for the viewers as not to require any libretto’s. This approach has parallels with the design of the Russian “Swan Lake” stagings (Gorski, Vaganova) of the 1920s-1930s; as well as with the more general new-realistic stage art tendencies of the period.

The famous director Andres Särev wrote a new version of the libretto on the request of Olbrei. According to this version two different dancers perform the roles of the peasant girl Odette and Ottilie, the daughter of duke Redbeard. Despite the fairy tale-like atmosphere, a logical progression of the events has been the goal. For example, a fancy dress ball takes place in act III – this is the reason why prince Siegfried mistakes Ottlie for his loved-one Odette. The divertissiment of different character dances finds a content-derived justification in act III. Olbrei interpreted the pathetic holiness of the finale as an ode to the victory of love over evil; a victory paid for by the life of Odette. The ballet master could not develop a more classical dance symphony due to the restraints of the troupe size and technical level. However, according to her own words, she intently excluded the more elaborate dance sequences because she “wanted to find movements that would somehow correspond to the majestic grace of a swimming swan.”

The dramatically overwhelming performances of the main dancers (Odette – Klaudia Sutt Maldutis, Ottlie – Erika Määrits, The Prince – Artur Koit) contributed to the completeness
and emotional impact of the staging. The “Swan Lake” continued to be played during the war.
New dancers came along; of these, Veera Leever (Eskola) danced the role of Ottlie also in the next new staging in 1948.

1948

R.Olbrei and K.Maldutis went to exile, the building of “Estonia” was destroyed in the March bombings of 1944 (restored in 1947); the dance troupe had lost members. Nevertheless, the “Swan Lake” returned. The version of Anna Ekston was in many respects similar to that of Olbrei, continuing the dance drama tradition. Erika Määrits and Valentina Vassiljeva shared the role of Odette (the lyrical gift of the latter had no space to develop because of the political repressions). Next to Veera Leever the role of Ottlie was danced by Liia Vink (Leetmaa), who was a pre-war Brussels ballet contest laureate and had studied in the Moscow Bolshoi Theatre school. She, as a representative of a classical school of ballet, has contributed to the succession of many Swans in “Estonia”.

The Choreography School (currently the Tallinn Ballet School) started by Anna Ekström in 1946, established regular dance teaching in Estonia. Although the Soviet unification policy, the preference of one direction in art, badly injured the tradition of and training in other dance styles, it nevertheless ensured one an access to the gold funds of classical ballet. The same internal conflict is manifest in the conversion of “Estonia” from a collective of different stage genres into a music theatre in 1949. The pressure- and rearrangement politics of Stalin had thus annihilated the strongest acting troupe in Estonia. Although the music plays thus received more space in the recently reopened building, it nevertheless made them more poore. The story “Swan Lake” reflects the development of dance theatre generally in the conditions that prevailed.

1954

In such turbulent times it was the decision of the quest stage director Vladimir Burmeister to bring his staging of the “Swan Lake” into “Estonia”, that proved crucial. A first generation of ballet dancers had finished our ballet school a year ago, in 1953. Helmi Puur, the school-mate of the young professionals, had studied in the famous Vaganov School in Leningrad. The new level of the performers made possible more demanding choreography. The interpretation of Vladimir Burmeister argued with the rutinized academic version, although it did not fully severe all connections with tradition. This was a ballet master who also preferred content logic, and attention to the beginning partiture of Tchaikovsky.
In his home theatre in Moscow Burmeister had preserved the famous swan act II of L.Ivanov
in his staging. To Tallinn he brought the new version of the act (Burmeister choreography has recently been re-staged in France and in Finland, proving its timelessness.)
For the sake of Estonian ballet it was important that the new staging fit into the psychologically motivated, dramatically/dynamically developing stage character dance tradition “Estonia” had cultivated thus far. The richer dance varieties made the Burmeister version a natural link on the way to acquire the polyphonic dance symphony of the Ivanov Petipa version in the future.
The unforgettably beautiful debut of Helmi Puur in the twin role of Odette/Ottilie created a legend spanning generations. Her partner was the first ballet prince of Estonia, Artur Koit – thus, a lively relationship between tradition and evolution was born. In the same staging the young Tiiu Randviir began to develop her Swan character.
First, she was more close to the powerful-mystical Ottilie, who in the Burmeister version belonged to the notorious company of the demonic Rothbart; became infused into the diabolic dance vortex designed to mislead the Prince in act III.
The Burmeister “Swan Lake” continued to be danced for a dozen years, giving opportunities to new Princes like Verner Loo, Ago-Endrik Kerge, straight out of the ballet school.

1967

In the 1960s the ballet troupe of “Estonia” was finally composed mainly of professionally educated dancers. Crises had been induced by the continuous traffic of ballet masters, rather than by the dancers. Well-educated new ballet masters (Mai Murdmaa, Enn Suve)
brought new vitality into the theatre: the repertoire became more diverse, the dance language more modern, the choreography more plastically-symbolically metaphorical.
Stagings were dance-dominated, free of the age-old pantomime and divertissiments (“The magic Tangerine”, “The Lost Son”, “Carmen” etc.). This was the period when canonical staging with dance symphonism made its debut in Estonia and diversified ballet repertoire.
Bolshoi Theatre redaction is brought to “Estonia” with a sense of style by S. Ivanova. The timeless values of classical pieces were contemporized by the personal charm of the performers and their sense of the age; as well as by the young intensity of Eri Klas in charge of the orchestra.
The fully ripe mastery of Tiiu Randviir in the role of both the White and Black Swan is especially memorable. Hers is an expression of the constant human urge towards harmony and sense of completeness; of the fight with oneself, and the shadowy side of the world. New Swans will appear, for example, the more pastel-like Tamara Soone, and those who will dance the Swan in the future stagings.
It is characteristic of the “Swan Lake” tradition in “Estonia” that the same dancers connect different stagings, yet new performers always appear and bring along their personal perceptions. The most important partner of Randviir is the Price of Jüri Lassi. This staging is played for more than 10 years; of the new Princes Tiit Härm is the most notable.

1981

Possibly because of the near-perfect partnership of Tiit Härm and the young Kaie Kõrb, the next “Swan Lake” lives the longest life so far – 20 years. The (slightly eclectic) new version of the academic Petipa-Ivanov choreography, staged by the legendary ballet Prince K. Sergejev. Kaie Kõrb, the student of the previous Swan T. Randviir, became equally impressive as both, the elegic-lyrical Odette and the powerfully shining Ottilie. Altogether 9 Swans and 12 Princes, from Tatjana Laid to Inge Arro to the youngest, Maria Chirkova, have participated in this staging. Several of them now teach the new generations; others, like Age Oks, Jane Raidma, Toomas Edur, Stanislav Jermakov, and others dance on the ballet theatres around the world.

The main dancers of the “Swan Lake” of “Estonia” (H.Puur, T. Randviir, K. Kõrb, T.Härm, and others) have performed the roles of Odette/Ottilie and Prince Siegfried at foreign theatres before, as have Russian, Finnish, Italian, Latvian artists (including such top artists as C.Bessy and A. Labis from France, N. Dolgushin from Russia, E.Evdokimova from the USA) participated in the stagings of the “Swan Lake” in “Estonia”. It has been said that “Hamlet” is the homeland of actors: “Swan Lake” is the homeland of dancers. A combination of fairy tale and truth, ancient, yet novel.

<small>[ 11-28-2002, 19:54: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Estonian National Ballet's "Swan Lake"
PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2002 6:55 pm 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Here is the programme information from the good folk at the Opera House:


Swan Lake

Ballet in four acts with one interval.
Libretto by V. Begitchev and V. Geltser, redacted by Tiit Härm.
Fragments from choreography by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov are used in the performance.
Premières at the Estonian National Opera 28 and 30 November 2002.

Choreographer and Stage Director
TIIT HÄRM
Music Director and Conductor
ARVO VOLMER
Conductor
AIVO VÄLJA
Set and Costume Design
ELDOR RENTER
Lighting Design
AIRI ERAS
Repetiteurs
ELITA ERKINA, TATJANA LAID, IRINA HÄRM,
JURI JEKIMOV, VIKTOR FEDORTŠENKO
Assistant Stage Director
IRINA HÄRM
Concertmasters
ANNELI TOHVER, REET KIVARI,
MILENA BORISSEVITŠ
Stage Managers
JÜRI KRUUS, PEETER KARELL


Cast:
Prince Siegfried - Vladimir Arhangelski, Sergei Bassalajev, Linnar Looris, Sergei Upkin
Odette/Ottilie - Marina Chirkova, Kaie Kõrb, Olga Rjabikova,
Luana Georg
Prime Minister von Rothbart - Sergei Bassalajev, Sergei Fedossejev,
Anatoli Arhangelski
Prince’s mother, regent princess - Marina Kesler, Kaja Kreitzberg, Lemme Järvi, Tatjana Järvi
Benno - Sergei Upkin, Linnar Looris, Anatoli Arhangelski, Allan Simson
2 maids of honour - Eve Andre, Luana Georg, Dagmar Rang-Saal,
Olga Rjabikova, Margarita Dombrovskaja, Ingrid Gilden,
Heidi Kopti, Marika Muiste, Kaja Kreitzberg, Sanna Kondas,
Galina Laush, Darja Günter
2 swans - Olga Rjabikova, Galina Laush, Kaja Kreitzberg,
Margarita Dombrovskaja, Ingrid Iter, Kaire Kasetalu,
Eve Mutso, Sanna Kondas
4 swans - Luana Georg, Ingrid Gilden, Marika Muiste,
Dagmar Rang-Saal, Heidi Kopti, Eve Andre, Seili Loorits, Inna Sõrmus, Darja Günter
Brides:
Hungarian – Margarita Dombrovskaja, Kaja Kreitzberg, Eve Mutso
Polish – Olga Rjabikova, Ingrid Iter, Dagmar Rang-Saal
Spanish – Ingrid Gilden, Darja Günter, Galina Laush
Neapolitan – Marika Muiste, Heidi Kopti, Seili Loorits

Guests, ladies-in-waiting, courtiers – dancers of the Estonian National Opera Ballet Troupe

Estonian National Opera Symphony Orchestra
Students of Tallinn Choreographic School

Remarks by Stage Director
Each stage director constructs the story on the basis of individual fantasies. I was inspired by the brilliant music of Tchaikovsky and attempted to find a solution from his musical ideas. He was inspired by his own fate and not by other specific persons. Tchaikovsky believed in consoling beauty that stood up against the wrong and the cruel. It seems to me that this story reflects the inner journey of all of us. It is not important what happened yesterday, but what is taking place inside you right now. I hope that this performance can touch everybody’s soul strings.
Tiit Härm

Synopsis
The action takes place in a tiny principality in the middle of the 19th century.

Act I
An important change is about to take place in the life of young Prince Siegfried. After the death of his father, the old Prince, the country is reigned by Regent Princess, the mother of Siegfried, together with Prime Minister Rothbart. Coming of age, the young Prince must come to the throne and choose a bride of proper ranking. But the dreamy youngster takes no interest in politics and his obligations as a sovereign. The Prince has made up a mysterious imaginary realm for himself, a retreat where he can withdraw from his daily obligations. Each time the youngster is alone, a flock of swans - pretty maidens as Siegfried sees them - enter his fantasy world. Odette, Princess of the Swan Lake, is the embodiment of pure love for the Prince.
Siegfried’s birthday party is in full swing. Regent Princess and Prime Minister von Rothbart arrive. They have come to greet the Prince and remind him of his obligations as a sovereign. But Siegfried is not amused by the merriment. The only thing he wants is to stay in his dream world. The Prince hopes to be free from his daily burden as a monarch and meet his beloved Odette instead. Like a whisper of sinister fate von Rothbart intrudes his fantasy world, attempting to separate the Prince from his precious dreams. The dance of young swan maidens and the joy of being with his beloved one dispel Siegfried’s grief and he is happy again.

Act II
A ball in the castle. Guests from various countries arrive one after another, introducing the would-be brides and the Prince is expected to choose one from the young women presented. The Prince dances with them but feels that he is not ready for the choice. At the request of Regent Princess the party goes on and Hungarian, Spanish, Neapolitan and Polish dances are performed.
Von Rothbart arrives unexpectedly, introducing his daughter Ottilie to the court. Her resemblance to Odette is striking and the confused Prince thinks that Odette herself has appeared to the party. His vision of Odette, that has never been too specific, now gets the shapes of Ottilia. Ottilia seduces the Prince craftily and Siegfried is so hypnotized that he gives her an engagement ring. This is the time for von Rothbart to reveal the truth. The real Odette appears agonized and the dreamland seems to slip away for ever.
Desperate Siegfried feels repentance and his only wish is to return to the fantasy world once again.Von Rothbart is triumphant, for he has subdued the Prince by forcing him to withdraw from his dreamland. Prince Siegfried imagines the anguish of Odette, the vision is unbearable, he cannot get rid of it and once again appears before Odette. Understanding the power of love von Rothbart feels helpless and his might fades away. Siegfried releases himself from the bonds of repressive obligations and steps to the other side of reality. He is now in his fantasy world wherefrom there is no return.


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 Post subject: Re: Estonian National Ballet's "Swan Lake"
PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2002 4:15 pm 
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<img src="http://www-arhiiv.postimees.ee:8090/postimees/failid/486/lj5.jpg" alt="" />
Marina Chirkova, Vladimir Arhangelski
Photo: Liis Treimann, Postimees

<small>[ 02 October 2004, 09:07 AM: Message edited by: Vladimir ]</small>

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 Post subject: Re: Estonian National Ballet's "Swan Lake"
PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2002 4:16 pm 
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Location: Tallinn, Estonia
<img src="http://www-arhiiv.postimees.ee:8090/postimees/failid/237/lj3.jpg" alt="" />
Olga Rjabikova
photo: Liis Treimann, Postimees

<small>[ 02 October 2004, 09:08 AM: Message edited by: Vladimir ]</small>

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 Post subject: Re: Estonian National Ballet's "Swan Lake"
PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2002 10:55 pm 
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Location: San Francisco
I know the tutus in the first picture are pink because of the lighting, but wouldn't it be interesting to have the swans in pastel-colored costumes?


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 Post subject: Re: Estonian National Ballet's "Swan Lake"
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 11:04 am 
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Posts: 60
Location: Tallinn, Estonia
I think, let's leave swans in white.
Here is new photos

<img src="http://my.tele2.ee/estballet/images/imidgs/luikede_6_small.jpg" alt="" />

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 Post subject: Re: Estonian National Ballet's "Swan Lake"
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 11:43 am 
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Location: San Francisco
Those are beautiful photos, Vladimir. I especially like the position en l'air from Act 3. Was the new production well received by the audience? How do feel about the performances?

Maybe the pink swans came from colored Easter eggs...?

<small>[ 12-05-2002, 12:44: Message edited by: djb ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Estonian National Ballet's "Swan Lake"
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 12:40 pm 
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I agree, the Black Swan photo is gorgeous! I hope all the performances went well.


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 Post subject: Re: Estonian National Ballet's "Swan Lake"
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 1:33 pm 
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Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
I hope to see a performance of this new "Swan Lake" over the New Year period. I did see a dress rehearsal a week ago, but in line with our policy on classes and rehearsals I won't comment about it, except to say that the lovely images of Vladimir and Marina give a good view of the expressive qualities of their performances.

Can any of our Estonian readers comment about the performances thus far?

<small>[ 12-05-2002, 14:34: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Estonian National Ballet's "Swan Lake"
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 3:38 pm 
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In these difficult economic times i was wondering if you could give us some insight into how the ballet company is doing financially? I see that you have an upcoming tour to sweden, and I wonder if there are ever any thoughts about visiting the US? If not, we people over here will simply have to visit! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Estonian National Ballet's "Swan Lake"
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 4:10 pm 
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Location: Tallinn
Swan Lake

I saw 2 performances (2 premieres: 28 and 30 November)

The premiere has passed with the big success, spectators for a long time waited this performance, also were not deceived in the expectations.

Performance was looked beautiful, was absorbing and interesting. Tiit Harm united 4 acts in 2, it has given to performance good dynamics. Magnificent dances in the second act, the choreographer has untwisted in dance all troupe.

He has put all accent on prince, and on Vladimir Arhangelski's share and Sergey Bassalaev (the second performance) the difficult task has dropped out to grasp the spectator in the world of pure, light dream about not an achievable ideal of human love. It was possible to Vladimir, to let know to public a condition of magic disconnection from the daily world. to Sergey it was possible worse.

Marina Chirkova and Kaie Korb (the second performance) both were fine, it is impossible to compare them, is so different individualities what to look these two performances there was one pleasure from a variety.
Marina has excellent arms, she is touching and very gentle in duets with Vladimir. In 3 picture she is charming, sports and has lifted a storm of an applause after foutte.
Kaie was dramatic and noble with deep internal asceticism, in duets with Sergey was felt professionalism the skilled ballerina.

It was pleasant to look at Olga Rjabikova and Galina Laush (young dancers from pas de troix), it will be visible that these ballerinas soon will be in the first roles.

Designer Eldor Renter has created excellent scenery in the first and thirds picture, but in the second and the fourth there was no conformity with an event on a stage, can the small stage of the National opera has had an effect. The costumes basically were rich and as a whole the impression remained good.

Performance has turned out classical, but Tiit Harm has coped with the main task, he having left masterpieces, has given to this ballet youth and with thin taste frame its strong aura of romanticism not destroying classical canons inherent in this choreographic product.

<img src="http://www.epl.ee/g/pics/pickX57pU.jpg" alt="" />

<small>[ 12-05-2002, 17:15: Message edited by: observer ]</small>


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