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06-22-2011, 12:10 AM
And what did you think of her Odille in particular, kwanfan1818?

06-22-2011, 12:19 AM
I thought it was earthy and a bit slyly glamorous. Vipers hug the ground until they strike and all :) He didn't have a chance :lol:

My general take on the whole scene is that Siegfried isn't a total idiot: Odette is the private side and can be soft and gentle. Then it's his big birthday bash, and he's being pressured by Mother to pick a wife, right there, right then, ten seconds left on the clock and he's in a panic, which doesn't lead to the most rational decisions or clear thinking, and suddenly, this girl shows up in a little black dress (or little gold and red dress in the earliest versions), and she resembles the private girl he loves in a more public persona. It's like a big Hail Mary or center-court shot with the clock running out. Wishful thinking at it's finest.

06-22-2011, 03:39 AM
I can see the evil intention here, but wished there was more, IMHO of course. I'm pretty sure she can pull more deviousness for Odille, being as expressive as she is.
I love her in sweet, delicate roles. She's technically precise, musical, able to pull of the characters and, on top of that, looks like a porcelain doll (gushing, much? :P ). She needs to do more of the evil roles.

And I like your rationale, kwanfan1818, on the scene.
But I still think that much of the men in ballet are fools that will fall for tricks like a girl made to look like the swan he fell for or decide to take the beautiful Rajah's daughter, eventhough they already swore love to another lady. Pressure? It's not like that they'll live in end, anyway... :P

06-22-2011, 03:49 AM
I agree with beepbeep. I think Evgenia is just not evil enough and is in fact a fish out of water as Odile.

Odile needs to be sexy and mesmerizing and Evgenia's is like a sweet little girl pretending to be bad, trying out smoking or mom's high heels for the first time. I understand her desire to break out of her "good girl" mold, especially since these days a dancer is expected to master all roles, sweet (Odette), tempermental (Kitri) and evil (Odile).

Unfortunately, it is my impression that Evgenia really belongs in the sweet girl category. I found it significant that Kirov hasn't cast her as a lead in Swan Lake. I thought it was interesting to hear Evgenia say that playing Odette comes naturally to her. Her Odile lacks confidence in her own charm and sexuality.

Not so with Polina Semionova who is in total control of herself, her partner, her role and the stage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPhXQox3BUA&feature=related

In this pdd Vogel is reduced to mere porteur or in this case, a boy toy. OTOH, I wonder if Polina is capable of dancing a truly sweet and loyal Odette. I didn't find her Odette as soulful as say, Lopatkina's but then Lopatkina's Odile wasn't my favorite.

I haven't seen enough of Vishneva's Odile/Odette to really judge but have a suspicion she is capable of balancing both.

ETA: Here's her Odile: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cqFtVt9tLA Her partner is saying that Diana showed just the right blend of sexuality/arousal in her Odile.

Diana as Odette: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zdw3OUdHeNc&feature=related OMG those arms!!! :swoon:

06-28-2011, 07:44 AM
I mentioned this in the meet-up thread, but will put it here as well - if anyone wanted to get tickets for Jose's farewell performance on Thursday, there are some seats available in the orchestra and the dress circle.

I saw ABT's Cinderella on Friday, they do the Kudelka version. What a snooze.
I saw it when they first performed it in 2006, and at the time I thought it was witty and fun.
I've revised my opinion, it doesn't hold up on repeat viewings.
The stepsisters' man-chasing antics get old after the first five minutes, ditto for the stepmother's tipsiness. And the pumpkin heads were just silly.
Gillian Murphy was adequate as Cinderella (wish she would ditch those GM's!) but she looked as bored as I was and I didn't feel any spark between her and her Prince Charming. (David Hallberg)
David's jetes were gorgeous and Alex Hammoudi (who should have been promoted long ago) made a wonderfully smarmy dance instructor and a surly shoe store salesman.
Craig Salstein and Isaac Stappas were hilarious as the stepsisters' hired escorts.
All in all, though, I felt like I'd wasted my time seeing this.

Holley Calmes
06-28-2011, 12:55 PM
Thank you all for the ballet postings and links. Out here in the cultural hinterland we don't get much of the best coming through town. Vishneva particularly speaks to me....even though I know Polina is a goddess and all. I greatly prefered Diana in both her links. What a way to start my morning of what will be a long, long day. So thanks and enjoy going to the ballet for me!

06-28-2011, 07:21 PM
I saw ABT's Cinderella on Friday, they do the Kudelka version. What a snooze.
I saw this a few years ago. I was never so excruciatingly bored at a ballet before or since. A lot of it -- pratfalls, exaggerated faces -- seemed specifically targeted to children, of which there were many in the theater when I saw it.

Sorry if it's been mentioned, but is anyone going to the Marinsky Ballet performances next month?

06-28-2011, 07:24 PM
I'm going to see LHH on the 12th, I have the evening off from work.
I MAY go on Friday the 15th, but I'm leaving that till the last minute. (I am normally off on Fridays,but I'm next up on the overtime list and may be mandated to work that evening. Luckily I requested the eve off for Jose's farewell as soon as the date was announced and they can't force me to work then!)

07-01-2011, 03:57 AM
Polina looks absolutely eville as Odette. Love it!

What to say about Vishneva? I find her the most versatile ballerina these days, as she can carry both sweet and evilish roles really well, IMO (and she's gorgeous on top of it all).

Here is the Black Swan's version that Obrastozova danced, but with Zakharova/Bolle http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6xhKxDGWqo . Svetlana's interpretation is more subtle, but still effective.
And I must admit posting this due to the fact that I never get tired of seeing her feet and a sight of Bolle ( :smokin: ) is always a good thing to have.

07-01-2011, 07:32 AM
My review of Jose's farewell (in which I will depart from my usual style and refrain from snark :lol:)
All the quibbles about ABT's version of Swan Lake aside, this was a near-perfect evening. It felt as if all the stars had aligned and everyone, from the principals to the corps, gave their best performances.
Jose entered in Act I to wild applause and was fairly beaming. It was hard for me to look away from him anytime he was on stage, but I couldn't help noticing Sterling Baca during the party scene. I saw him perform at the Guggenheim back in April, when he was still in ABT II. He is acquitting himself very nicely as a corps member.
Susan Jaffe was the Queen and totally......queenly. A delight!
The pas de trois was danced by Joaquin De Luz (moonlighting from NYCB) Sarah Lane and Yuriko Kajiya.
ABt's loss was NYCB's gain when Joaquin defected across the plaza. Why did they ever allow him to get away? His pirouettes were silky-smooth and his cabrioles were sky high. Yuriko had the first solo (the one with the echappes) and was just gorgeous. She was light and airy and skimmed across the stage.
I've really been impressed with Sarah this season. In the past I thought she was stiff and wished she would wipe the fake smile off her face. She just sparkled here.
Jose's solos were SPOT ON. Perfect cabrioles and divine pirouettes.

Julie Kent was Odette in Act II. It's true that her dancing is not what it was, her extensions are not as high as they should be and her back has lost flexibility......but it didn't matter. The white swan pdd does funny things to me. I get chills when the harp starts playing and I have to remind myself to breathe, because the music is so exquisite. The emotion from Julie and Jose was palpable. She wavered between wanting to trust that he truly loved her, and resigning herself to being trapped forever. There was a beautiful moment before the last promenade. Jose put out his hand for hers, and hers trembled as she hesitated before taking it...as if to say, okay, I believe you.
Gemma Bond, Marian Butler, Maria Riccetto and Misty Copeland were the cygnets. They were fabulous together, but I had trouble looking away from Misty. Please, Kevin, try her out in some principal roles!
Simone Messmer and Melanie Hamrick (Jose's fiancee) were the big swans and did very nicely, almost in perfect unison together. They got out of sync for about 2 beats at one point but quickly got it back together.

Act III opened with more wild applause for Jose when he entered with Susan.
Simone Messmer and Julio Bragado-Young led the czardas (I love that music. Why haven't any skaters used it for a short program?) It was nice to see Julio actually dancing, he mostly seems to have done character roles since his accident several years ago.
Melanie Hamrick and Karen Uphoff were the Spanish dancers, but who could bother looking at them, when they were partnered by Alex Hammoudi and Roman Zhurbin? Both men are tall, handsome, and leggy, and have gorgeous flexible backs. They looked like defectors from the Cuban Ballet.
Craig Salstein and Joseph Phillips did the Neapolitan. Which made me a little sad, because I'm so used to seeing Carlos Lopez dance this...I was counting on seeing him tonight, but alas! he retired from ABT. Craig and Joseph were a treat, though, with their camaraderie and one-upsmanship.
Of course the highlight of Act III is the entrance of Von Rothbart and Odile. David Hallberg was a sinister, lecherous Von Rothbart. He plays this much differently than Marcelo Gomes does. Marcelo is a sneaky seductor, but David is pure evil.
Now, I've promised not to snark, so I will limit my opinion of Gillian Murphy's Odile to saying that she was WAY over the top and Jose had to have been brain dead not to realize she wasn't Odette. She was a technical marvel, though. I never count fouettes, but she was whipping her leg around so fast it was a blur, and threw in several quadruples. Jose's solo was PERFECT. The audience went bonkers when Gillian started her fouettes, and kept it up when Jose started pirouetting, I don't know how the two of them even heard the orchestra.

I was a basket case in Act IV, and broke down when Julie threw herself off the cliff.

Julio Bocca, Alessandra Ferri, Xiomara, Maxim, Corey, Paloma, David, Marcelo, Ethan, Diana, and Kevin all came on stage to give Jose flowers, and Jose brought his two daughters out on one of his many curtain calls.

07-01-2011, 07:53 AM
I'm glad that you're still alive and well, despite your loss, and that you enjoyed the evening.
Thanks for the review :)

07-01-2011, 03:56 PM
Of course I am alive and well, I am not :fragile: just fond of :drama:

Now I must post random snarks about ABT's lousy SL. IMO, only NYCB's is worse.
As Isaac Stappas usually does the Swamp Thing (ie green Von Rothbart) I can't help wondering if he truly likes it, or if he gets saddled with it because he somehow got on the wrong side of Kevin. I can't begin to imagine how much weight he must sweat off, being stuffed inside that monster suit for a whole evening. I actually think Kevin's prologue is rather cool. I've never seen any other SL with action during this music; usually the curtain opens on the party scene. But after purple Von Rothbart carries off Odette, why must green Von Rothbart come back on and throttle a stuffed swan? This always makes me stifle a laugh, surely he could come back on with a corps member in her swan costume?
Most male dancers have sexy legs, and I certainly don't mind admiring them, but why do the peasants mush around in those shorts? They just look silly.
Everyone, but especially the peasants, is entirely too relaxed when the queen appears. They should be more deferential, and the peasants should be a little afraid of her.
What's up with the prince being locked inside his own palace after Von Rothbart makes his exit in act III?
Where did the rest of Act IV disappear to, Kevin????????

Some random things:
ABT was selling some JMC merchandise last night, I bought a fridge magnet with Jose in his lucious topless Corsaire pose.
One of the volunteers told me over 200 bouquets had been delivered backstage for Jose.
Lourdes Novoa was sitting behind me last night with her two daughters.
ABT was auctioning off the pointe shoes that David wore in "Bright Stream", one of the volunteers told me they sold for $750. I've never understood the concept of collecting anyone's smelly old shoes; I wish ABT would sell autographed photos.

07-01-2011, 04:05 PM
Thanks for your account of Jose's farewell, Marge.
How I wish I could have seen it.

07-01-2011, 04:10 PM
How I wish it had been taped. Aside from the black swan pdd on ABT's "Variety and Virtuosity" (sadly, out of print) Jose has never been immortalized on video. :(

07-01-2011, 04:34 PM
Now I must post random snarks about ABT's lousy SL. IMO, only NYCB's is worse.
Yeah, I was really disappointed in the NYCB version, which I saw this winter. The costumes were ugly, they butchered the Mazurka and what was with that jester? :yikes:

As Isaac Stappas usually does the Swamp Thing (ie green Von Rothbart) I can't help wondering if he truly likes it, or if he gets saddled with it because he somehow got on the wrong side of Kevin. I can't begin to imagine how much weight he must sweat off, being stuffed inside that monster suit for a whole evening.
One time I saw SL, and as the green Von Rothbart was exiting in Act II, one of his wings got caught on a piece of the scenery. He had to stand there and yank for a good 30 seconds before he got it loose and scampered off stage :rofl:

Where did the rest of Act IV disappear to, Kevin????????
Sorry for my ignorance, but what else is in Act IV? I've never gotten to see a SL production other than ABT and NYCB. I read somewhere that they chop up SL because labor union contracts require them to wrap it all up by a certain time at night (11:00?).