View Full Version : NYC get-together (pre-ballet)

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07-02-2011, 10:14 PM
Is anyone going to the Mariinsky? M_S, are you seeing the Wednesday matinee?

07-02-2011, 10:17 PM
Eys! Come up (or down) to the back of the dress circle. I will be wearing gray trousers and carrying a Magnolia bakery box. If you fail to claim your cupcake there will be an extra one for me. :lol::lol::lol:
Cool. Actually we are sitting in DC as well. I'll be with my friend--thirtysomething black and Asian girls trying to look cute :D

07-03-2011, 01:53 AM
I want a swan cupcake pic! Thanks. :) Have a great time!

Holley Calmes
07-03-2011, 01:55 AM
Aw...you guys are so lucky! Have a wonderful time. Wish I could be there!

07-03-2011, 02:28 AM
It is intermission. The good news is that Semionova is so lovely--love her!

The bad news is that I can't find Marge Simpson or emason! If you see this (unlikely as it is) I'm stage right, dress circle, row D seat 4.

07-03-2011, 05:21 AM

Marge Simpson and I tried to find you; I'm sorry that we didn't connect.

I will let Marge Simpson bring the snark, but the bad news is that neither MS nor I enjoyed the evening. For my money it was a total misfire. The only real visceral thrill of the whole evening for me was during curtain calls. The usher delivered two enormous bouquets to Semionova; instead of pulling out a single rose to gift to Gomes, Semoniova bestowed both bouquets on our hero. He responded by kneeling and laying the bouquets back at Semoniova's feet. That 30 second interaction had more genuine feeling and chemistry in it than the entire evening that came before.

Serious snark to follow tomorrow after I have had a good night's sleep.

07-03-2011, 05:54 AM
I was at Lincoln Center today to see WarHorse. Wish I would have read this earlier....

07-03-2011, 06:23 AM
I fully admit to being no-teknik, but I enjoy ABT generally, and tonight I really just loved to see Semionova dance! :)

07-03-2011, 07:44 AM
It is intermission. The good news is that Semionova is so lovely--love her!

The bad news is that I can't find Marge Simpson or emason! If you see this (unlikely as it is) I'm stage right, dress circle, row D seat 4.

Cheylana, I had a cupcake for you AND an extra, and I hold you personally responsible for the weight I put on tonight. I planned to take the 2 cupcakes home and stick them in the fridge, but I ate them on the train ride home.

Semionova IS lovely. And Marcelo is now my #1 man, since Jose has retired.
However, I have never - NEVER! - sat through a more hideous Swan Lake than the one I saw tonight. (and this comes from someone who has seen NYCB's Swan lake)

I was totally uninvolved with anything happening on the stage. The DANCERS were totally uninvolved with anything happening on the stage. I was bored out of my head and tempted to pull out my Nook and read until it was over. It felt as if all the dancers had given their best performances on Thursday and just couldn't be arsed to muster up any more enthusiasm. There is something seriously wrong when the highlight of my evening is Vitali Krauchenka, who has been marking time in the corps for about 20 years, doing the Spanish dance in act III.

Where to start? To begin with, the orchestra was atrocious. A recording would have been preferable to the noise we had to suffer through tonight.

Roman Zhurbin was green Von Rothbart tonight. Instead of throttling the stuffed swan in the prologue, he stroked it in a most disturbing manner. Which made me think of "Bird Man of Alcatraz"

The pas de trois was danced by Stella Abrera, Maria Riccetto and Daniil Simkin.
They were each dancing to the beat of a different drummer, or different violinist, at any rate, they were all out of snyc with each other. Stella had the first solo, which should be fast and bubbly, but she was sluggish and slow. Maria seems to have dyed her hair red, which suits her very nicely, but she was back to being stiff and uninteresting. I heartily dislike Simkin under the best of circumstances. He performs as if he is at a competition, or if he is auditioning for the Moscow State Circus. He does not dance as if he is a member of a company, and actually performing in a ballet with OTHER DANCERS. He is all "me, me, look at MEEEEEEEEE!" And he has the most annoying smirk that I want to slap off his face.
He was a hot mess tonight. His partnering was crap. His landings were all over the place. His legs didn't even make it up to 45 degrees in his cabrioles, and his jumps were puny. He didn't look like Marcelo's contemporary, he looked like his pesky baby brother.

The corps was back to being ragged again, and the act I waltz was a wreck. Isaac Stappas was a nobleman - he is seriously handsome! - but had an insane grin plastered on his face the whole time. I expect he was relieved to be out of his green Von Rothbart costume for once, but that grin made him look completely demented.

Normally I adore Marcelo, and I'm willing to cut him some slack because this was a last-minute switch and he has been carrying a heavy load this season. But he wasn't on top of his game, either. He seemed to have trouble with all his jumps, you could see the effort it took him to launch himself into the air.
Now, Polina. I adored her dancing in Act II. She's a beautiful woman and has a very sensual, languid quality to her dancing. She didn't rush through anything, her solos were all done with relish at super-slow tempo.
But she had no connection to Marcelo. Nor he to her. Zero. Zip.
Marcelo didn't find the girl of his dreams in Odette. Polina's Odette already knew she was doomed and didn't even give him a chance.
Normally I get goosebumps during the white swan pdd, but just thought "ho, hum" here.

I'd really bought my ticket based on the black swan clips of Polina I'd seen, so I had high hopes for acts III. Surely things couldn't get worse?
They could. My hopes were dashed.

Julio Bragado-Young and Simone Messmer were the leads again in the czardas, which was fine. Vitali made my eyes pop in the Spanish dance. He must have been a toreador in a previous life. Grant DeLong had no clue he was supposed to be from Spain, clearly he thought he was at NYCB and auditioning for the jester's part.

Mikhail Ilyin and Joseph Gorak were pitiful together in the Neapolitan, I don't think they were in sync for more than 3 seconds.

Sascha Radestsky was Von Rothbart. He is not my favorite dancer by any means, but I've seen him do some really nice things. He was laugh-out-loud funny as the accordian player in "Bright Stream" and he does a wonderfully hammy samba sailor in "Fancy Free"
As Von R, he was a bust. He wasn't a sleazy seducer like Marcelo or an evil lecher like David. He was a manic-depressive who needed his meds adjusted. He, too, was having an off night technically. He didn't land a single jump cleanly and yanked Isabella Boylston right off her feet at one point, he only just managed to keep her from going face-first into the floor.
Technically, the black swan pdd was fine. Marcelo got some energy and did some nice jetes. Polina can balance like nobody's business and I really like the way she whipped her leg in the fouettes, almost with an audible snap. If she and Marcelo had performed this pdd at a gala, I would have been the first one out of my chair to give them a standing ovation.
But here? Emotionally? She made Gillian Murphy's Odile look shy and retiring. She had a sly way of tilting her head down and looking up with a demonic look in her eyes. Like she needed an exorcist.
I couldn't muster up any emotion when she threw herself off the cliff, all I felt was relief that this awful evening would be over in a few minutes.

07-03-2011, 08:18 AM
Is anyone going to the Mariinsky? M_S, are you seeing the Wednesday matinee?

I'm doing LHH on Tuesday and would also like to go on Friday. Unfortunately I'm next up on the overtime list and it seems likely I'm going to be mandated to work that evening.

07-03-2011, 08:32 AM
Marge, I owe you a cupcake! :D

07-03-2011, 09:54 AM
No you don't.
Who is in for dinner on the 8th, pre-SB?

07-03-2011, 10:00 AM
No you don't.
Who is in for dinner on the 8th, pre-SB?
Me, me, me, me, me, me, me!!!!!! And drinks afterwards!!!!!!!!!

And on Tuesday, before Little Humpbacked Horse!

(I hope you don't end up having to work on Friday...)

07-03-2011, 02:28 PM
No you don't.
Who is in for dinner on the 8th, pre-SB?

Me, too.

Back to Swan Lake. My review is not so detailed as Marge's since I am totally in no teknik, but I have to agree about a lot. There was absolutely no chemistry between the leads. Gomes can usually dance with a fireplug and make it work, but not last night. My mind kept wandering all evening long; I never got sucked into anything that was happening on stage. The whole thing was meh, but I will make some allowance for the fact that Gomes was a last-minute substitution and there may have been inadequate rehearsal time for the principals. As I said in the other thread, the one moment of genuine thrill I got was during the curtain calls when Gomes knelt and laid Semionova's bouquets back at her feet after she had gifted him with them.

Semionova's interpretation of the Black Swan was interesting in one respect; Odile never referred to Odette at all. Odile was no imposter; she was a completely different character, a temptress there to seduce our hero, but not as a false Odette. The problem with this was that any prince with an IQ over 10 would have seen right through this toots from the get-go.

Open appeal to ABT: can this production, please. Lizard King Von Rothbart needs to go and the tinkering with the opening prologue needs to stop. Every time I see it it's been changed in some way and the stuffed swan fondling last night was disturbing to say the least. Also, has there every been a more unattractive costume for a prince at his coming-of-age birthday gala? Hospital-white tights and an ordinary top do not a birthday outfit make for one of the most famous scenes in all of ballet. On the other hand, maybe that was the costumer's point; this guy so doesn't want to chose a wife that he can't be bothered dressing for his own party.

I could go on and on, but Marge nailed it. This was not a good night at the ballet, but the audience loved it. Prediction: if there is a review in the papers, it will be a rave and I will be shaking my head.

I certainly would like to see Semionova again; I didn't dislike her, just the hot mess of the ballet she was in. Absolutely nothing worked last night and to say my mind kept wandering is an understatement. There was no magic, no mystery and gorgeous technique and bravura dancing mean nothing if you can't sell the story.

07-03-2011, 02:32 PM
I'm envying you guys so much right now.