Please allow me to relate some of my impressions at the time of the following very fine performances in the order in which I saw them.
Cinderella----Svetlana Zakharova and Sergey Filin----First Night.
Svetlana Zakharova, one of the most beautiful women in the world, performed tonight.
Act I--I pretty much just watched her eye make-up until the arrival of the Four Seasons. I'm sure there were other things happening as well. She did do one 180 (one leg straight up in the air) to remind us who she is. It took my attention away from her face for a dramatic moment. I can sympathize with the desire for restraint in the extensions and sometimes I feel that way myself. In the case of the elegantly linear Svetlana Zakharova, somehow for me the large extensions can work well to add highlight and excitement to her dancing.
Every now and then she floated across the stage to also remind us that she is one of the most beautiful adagio (slow, graceful, ethereal) dancers in the world.
Then she went to the practice bar and did some more amazing stuff--180s, etc., and some amazing looking flexing maneuvers with one of her feet.
After that the Four Seasons arrived. The first two, Anastasia Stashkevich and Anastasia Kurkova were 'gracefully-airily-beautiful'. Then came Natalia Osipova, who was also 'gracefully-airily-beautiful' and everything else as well. A tiny bundle of loveable grace floating around with artistic wonder.
For perhaps ten minutes she and Svetlana Zakharova seemed to play off each other, although at times there were many other dancers on the stage and Natalia Osipova was often located at the back of the crowd doing secondary dancing. Natalia Osipova and Svetlana Zakharova had created their own separate space in my mind--Svetlana Zakharova, elegantly goddesslike and Natalia Osipova, the joyously ethereal dancing comet. I spent the intermission after Act I just glued in my chair in an absolute state of reverie. I was thinking that this is too personally wonderful to even try to relate to someone else.
During the beginning of Act II I was just watching Svetlana Zakhavova's 'made up' eyelashes and the sparkle of her necklace and diamond ornamented white evening gown. The fact that the eyelashes and the sparkling things were on Her I'm sure had something to do with their fascination.
Then came the duet with the prince, Sergey Filin. Her part of the dancing could be described as "Diana Vishneva meets Svetlana Zakharova as performed by Svetlana Zakharova". She was summersaulted over Segey Filin's head and twirled around in the air. She managed all this with exceptional ease and grace. I think that they may have actually simplified this duet for the next two performances. It was absolutely breathtaking here !
The first two acts were a delight. Act l featuring in my mind Svetlana Zakharova and Natalia Osipova and Act II featuring the duet of Cinderella and the prince.
How far is it from San Francisco to Hollywood ? (San Francisco is the current home of choreographer Yuri Possokhov). Yuri Possokhov tried to cover a lot of thematic ground in this ballet and I felt that his blending of Classical Ballet with elements of 1940s Hollywood Musicals was the most successful part of a generally very successful total effort.
Sergey Filin danced very gracefully and was extremely funny as the exhausted prince searching for Cinderella with the glass slipper at the beginning of Act III. Here is probably as good a place as any to once again insert a reference to all the male dancers, who invisibly accomplish the remarkable lifts, etc., that make the ballerinas look so impressive. Sergey Filin certainly did this extemely well in the demanding Act II duet. The other male dancers, including corps de ballet members, did this also throughout the performances with great skill.
The corps de ballet's dancing contained some very clever choreography forming delightful patterns and rhythms.
The Storyteller, Victor Barykin, I thought was a very sympathetic, fatherly character, who did some fun stunts as well.
Little children moving about kept the wonder and magic alive during the intermissions and reminded me afterwards where all this magic and delight really comes from.