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Thread: NY Ballet fans

  1. #101
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    I was at Giselle on Friday night - loved Marcelo Gomes, but I have to say I didn't share in the audience love for Diana Vishneva. She's exquisite no doubt, but we did prefer Sonia Rodriguez's Giselle.

    Is it common for NY audiences to be so enthusiastic mid-performance? I don't think I've ever heard a bravo or seen anyone stand before the final bow in Toronto (even in the land of standing ovations )

    My favourite part of Giselle is always the second act, and here I had to give the prize to the ABT corp over the National Ballet - I could have watched them for hours. Give me lovely classical moves, perfect unison and beautiful traditional costumes over voidy death scenes any day!

  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Alexei is better than this girl...ouch... her teacher is insane to even let her own pointe shoes

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_W87Z...eature=related
    That was bad... You'd think a ballet teacher wouldn't let the students go to these things while being so untrained. Poor girl.

  3. #103

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post

    Is it common for NY audiences to be so enthusiastic mid-performance? I don't think I've ever heard a bravo or seen anyone stand before the final bow in Toronto (even in the land of standing ovations )
    Yes, unfortunately. There was a ton of inappropriate applause and bravoing at last night's performance. All it does is stop the performance mid-track and the sense of flow is gone. It's hard to lose yourself in the mood of the piece when the action gets stopped every 2 or 3 minutes.

    Now, don't get me started on all those people who insist on leaving the theatre before the lights come up. I had 6 people trip over me in the dark last night - fun, not.

  4. #104
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    Someone in teknik or even in no teknik, please post your review of Vishneva's Giselle. Some ubers are dying here.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

  5. #105

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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    Someone in teknik or even in no teknik, please post your review of Vishneva's Giselle. Some ubers are dying here.
    I wish I had seen it, but I didn't go that night; I can tell you about the Vishneva/Malakhov one I saw 4 or so seasons ago if you are interested. It was one of the most spectacular Giselles I have ever seen.

    My no teknik review of last night:

    Paloma Herrera, Roberto Bolle, Gennadi Saveliev, Michelle Wiles. It was pleasant but no great shakes; it gets a middle of the road grade from me.

    Is Hilarion a villain? Christ, he sure is when Saveliev dances the role. His characterization is, in a word, intense. Every moment he was onstage in Act I I kept thinking 'stalker', 'restraining order'.

    Michelle Wiles made a not bad Myrtha; she managed to show the implacable imperiousness quite well, but, I swear, ABT has not had a truly great Myrtha since Martine Van Hamel gave up the role.

    As for Herrera and Bolle, Herrera is another dance who does not float my boat. She's adequate but not outstanding. However, she and Bolle have great chemistry and made a very handsome couple. Bolle is so goddamned good looking and has such a charming boyishness about him that I almost didn't care about the dancing. His Albrecht is not a cad, he's just a man who picked the wrong moment to fall in love with the wrong woman. He is truly devastated when Giselle dies.

    Bolle did something interesting in Act II; he managed to make Albrecht look exhausted, far more exhausted than any other Albrecht I have ever seen, while dancing beautifully and not making himself, Bolle, look exhausted. I don't know how he pulled that off and he had one variation that was truly outstanding. High marks from me to Bolle.

    Back to Act I - the peasant Pas de Deux, Misty Copeland and Blaine Hoven - the less said about this the better. It was utterly forgettable. My one moment of teknik criticism is that Hoven pikes forward at the waist a lot; it looks really bad when he does it. I saw Reyes and Cornejo do this once; there is absolutely no comparison.

    I'm not sorry I went, because Giselle is my favorite ballet, and I love seeing different casts interpret the roles. I would certainly go see Bolle again if I got the chance, but Herrera, no. I don't get the love.

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by emason View Post
    I wish I had seen it, but I didn't go that night; I can tell you about the Vishneva/Malakhov one I saw 4 or so seasons ago if you are interested. It was one of the most spectacular Giselles I have ever seen.
    Yes, please!!!

    Thank you for the Herrera/Bolle review. Agree about Herrera, don't see the big deal.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

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  7. #107

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    The peasants got an excellent reception Saturday, especially for Daniil Simkin's solo (was with Sarah Lane).

  8. #108

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    Is it common for NY audiences to be so enthusiastic mid-performance? I don't think I've ever heard a bravo or seen anyone stand before the final bow in Toronto (even in the land of standing ovations )
    It seems to be an ABT thing. Especially for Swan Lake. NYC Ballet Theatre audiences seem to be much more restrained. Not sure why the difference.
    "Marge, if you're going to get mad at me every time I do something stupid, then I guess I'm just going to have to stop doing stupid things!" - Homer Simpson in the Mr. Plow episode

  9. #109

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    Vishneva/Malakhov: I saw this 2 nights after seeing Reyes/Cornejo. Two of the best Giselles I've ever seen and very different from each other. Reyes/Cornejo were the first cast and every role, including Giselle's mother and Myrtha's assistants, was perfectly cast. Every one was on the same page and the overall effect was fabulous and of a piece, a sensational evening of dance and theatre from start to finish.

    Vishneva/Malakhove were something else entirely. It was the two of them in one ballet and everyone else in another. All the other performances were so secondary and just throwaway. Reyes/Cornejo were of their world; Vishneva/Malakhov were in another world. Malakhov had such gorgeous posture and regal bearing from the second he stepped on stage that every peasant in that village was a grape cluster short of a wine barrel if they couldn't spot Albrecht for the aristocrat he was. This Albrecht was also a cad of the first order; Albrecht was utterly embarrassed when he was exposed, not because he loved Giselle but because he got caught and was shown up to be a heel. It made the redemption of the second act all that more interesting.

    Vishneva - my god, I've never seen anything like her. Absolutely stolid and earthbound in the first act; there is no frailty in her Act I Giselle, no foreshadowing of the ethereal Giselle of Act II. I was so stunned by Vishneva in the second act; I could not believe it was the same dancer. I have never seen another Giselle so transformed from the first act to the second. It was amazing, there is no other word for it. However, it was all Giselle and Albrecht all the time; the rest of the ballet just didn't exist.

  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    Someone in teknik or even in no teknik, please post your review of Vishneva's Giselle. Some ubers are dying here.
    Definitely not in technik (a couple of years of adult ballet qualify me only to appreciate how hard the ballet is ), but here goes:

    I thought Diana's performance was very sure, like she not only knew the ballet, but fully understood the character. I didn't see a misstep or even a wobble, and was particularly captivated by her arms - very floaty and other worldly I thought, even as the "alive" Giselle.

    I did think her death scene was a bit too voidy, and was distracted by the way her hair fell kind of awkwardly in stages while she danced - at first it almost looked accidental, so I found myself watching it wondering if it had gone right. Sadly I was a bit too far back to see her facial expressions.

    I'm guessing she has danced with Marcelo many times before - if not they are an exquisite match. Their unison was absolutely perfect - I was reminded of Tessa and Scott

    In contrast, when we saw Sonia Rodriguez perform the role a season or two ago, I found her more believably young and innocent (Diana's confidence in dancing perhaps made her seem a tad less believable as the innocent and weak hearted Giselle), but that might have been helped by sitting close enough to be able to see her face. (We've seen Sonia many times - she's quite an actress IMO.) Sonia also has great arms - they flow so easily with the rest of her body, quite mesmerizing - at times Diana's were so floaty they almost seemed separate from her body, while Sonia is so seamless in all her movements.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lara View Post
    The peasants got an excellent reception Saturday, especially for Daniil Simkin's solo (was with Sarah Lane).
    Can't recall who they were on Friday night, but they were the low point of the performance for us. The scene felt soooo long, which is never a good thing, and I found the man in particular seemed not quite ready for prime time.

    For me at least, Giselle is all about the second act.

  11. #111
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    Thank you, Jenny! There used to be a video of the Vishneva/Malakhov Giselle in Tokyo on youtube, full length and excellent quality with close ups. Sadly it is now gone.

    What I remember of Diana's Giselle is how adorable and playful she was in Act 1 and how eerie, weightless and ghostly in Act 2. The contrast was staggering. Diana is a terrific actress, they call her a " stage animal" or someone whose natural habitat is the stage.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

  12. #112

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheylana View Post

    I am hopelessly no-teknik, so I'm hoping Marge can fill in the holes! But a few other thoughts:
    Hmm. I know a pas de deux from a pas de chat, but I am not so sure I am any sort of expert on teknik.
    I did promise a review, and I also attended tonight's performance (Julie and Jose), so here is my take. However, keep in mind that I tend to notice odd details, and IMO, Jose is the epitomy of a danseur noble and I am hard-pressed to criticize anything about him. So here are my (very random) thoughts:
    When i was talking to emason on Friday, she mentioned that she enjoyed watching different Albrechts, because they each put their own spin on the role, and some are complete cads.
    Marcelo's Albrecht was definitely a cad, at least at first. He was high-handed with Wilfred, and enjoyed conning the naive, sheltered Giselle. During the "daisy" bit, he seemed to think, "Wow, I really put one over on her". When he lunged at Hilarion with his sword during the "reveal" scene, I think he truly would have stabbed him if they hadn't been separated. It was only when Bathilde confronted him that I think he realized he really loved Giselle.
    I don't think I can add much that hasn't already been said about Diana's act I, but for me, she was an innocent young girl, flattered that this handsome man wanted her, yet undecided between him and Hilarion.
    Jose's Albrecht was NOT a cad. He had already fallen hook, line and sinker for Giselle the moment he made his entrance, and it showed from the way his face lit up when he saw Giselle. Unfortunately he was so besotted he forgot about Bathilde....! There's no way he would have really stabbed Hilarion in the "reveal" scene. He was only bluffing to get him to back off.
    Julie's Giselle was totally different from Diana's. She was not a shy young thing, she flirted and was mischevious with Albrecht. Although she clearly had fallen for him, it seemed to me that she was the one running the show, and she had him on her chain, instead of the other was around. When Berthe (Susan Jones, who performed both Friday and tonight and did a marvelous job) warned her what would happen if she insisted on dancing, she looked like a rebellious teenager. "Yeah, yeah, Mom, whatever".

    On Friday I had trouble taking my eyes off Zhong-Jing Fang whenever she was on stage, but not for a good reason. The poor girl looked as if she had rushed on stage in the middle of attaching her false eyelashes, and she hadn't had time to trim them down. They were about 3 inches long and she could barely keep her eyes open, I kept expecting her to trip over someone.

    Gennady Saveliev was Hilarion on Friday. Saveliev does not float my boat. I saw his Espada in Don Q the first week, and he was a total snooze. Espada is supposed to be larger than life. He struts, he swaggers, he brandishes his cape. Saveliev did not swagger. He stalked around and looked as if his dance belt was too tight. But to give respect where respect is due, he really has an affinity for Hilarion. He's heartbroken when Giselle chooses Albrecht over him. I wanted to cry for him when he forlornly tossed away the flowers that Giselle had failed to notice.
    In tonight's performance, Isaac Stappas was a completely different Hilarion. If anyone was a stalker, it was him. I didn't get the impression that he loved her at all. He was the village "bad boy" and wanted her because she was the prettiest girl. When he tossed away the flowers you could almost hear him mutter, "B*tch! You'll be sorry!"
    I always lean forward in my seat when the borzois enter. I know they are selected for their good behaviour in crowds, but my overactive imagination wonders what would happen if one of them started howling along with the orchestra, or stuck his nose in a dancer's crotch. On Friday we had 2 tan and white dogs, but tonight one of them was black and white and the size of a pony. One of the children on the stage could have saddled it up and rode off the stage on it.
    Jared Matthews and Maria Richetto did the peasant pas on Friday. I like Jared (I know I'm in the minority) and thought he looked both proud and nervous to be dancing for Bathilde's entourage. His double tours were lovely, with nice soft landings in plie. I do not like Maria. I find her stiff and dull. And she wears GM's. I hate the look of GM's. She was adequate, nothing more.
    Tonight's peasant pas was Misty Copeland and Craig Salstein. I was very impressed with Misty, she has gorgeous arms and beautiful feet. I couldn't help wondering how she would do as Giselle....(Note to Kevin: You've let Maria do it, why not give Misty a chance? Prince might give you an even bigger donation next year...hint, hint) I find Craig enjoyable in comedy roles. He projects nicely without over-acting, and gets completely into character. His "Oh Johnny" in "Company B" is a hoot, and he was spot-on as Gurn in "la Sylphide". But he was a disaster here. His pirouettes were fine, but he stumbled around on all his jumps and his partnering was awful. You could see him frowning everytime he had to put his hands on Misty, as if he was just concentrating way too hard.
    On to act II.........
    Spotted during intermission tonight:
    Kevin McKenzie, looking spacey as usual. He always makes me think of a former boxer who has taken one too many whacks in the head.
    Cory Stearns, looking like a slob in baggy chinos, having an earnest conversation with Hee Seo, in a beautiful silver dress. (Did Irina give him the heave-ho?)
    Carlos Lopez, looking adorable in glasses. (So we know he is here in NYC, why haven't we seen him dance yet? I have a total soft-spot for Carlos. He is so cute and cuddly. )

    Friday's Myrta was Veronica Part. Tonight's was Simone Messmer, substituting for an injured Gillian Murphy. (No disappointment to me as I am no great fan of Gillian.) Veronica, to me, IS Myrta. Simone started out tenatively...she looked nervous and was wobbling around on all her arabesques. Veronica is commanding...her wilis rushed to do her bidding. Simone's leadership was not so secure. Her wilis seemed to say "who died and made you the queen?"
    Veronica was Royalty with a capital R and had no need to prove it to anyone...she had been born that way. Simone had merely married into a royal family and kept trying to prove her worth despite her common origins. By the time she flung away her branches, however, Simone had released her inner b*tch and relished every second of it.
    Diana and Marcelo were exquisite on Friday...I really can't add much to what's already been posted. One thing, though. Everyone gushed over his entrechats, and rightfully so. But did no one notice his huge, sky-high sissone right afterward? My jaw almost hit the floor.
    I have never seen Jose do entrechats in his Albrecht variation, and he did not do them tonight. I am hopelessly biased regarding him, I admit it, but for me he was the better Albrecht. His partnering was impeccable - he lifted Julie as if she was a feather. His pirouettes are still the best in the business...hard to believe he is 42....
    Julie really surprised me, because after seeing Diana I was certain nothing could match her. But Julie came pretty close.
    I've really babbled on waaay too long here, haven't I.....
    The applause for Jose and Julie was insane and Jose was actually in tears. Julie kissed him on the cheek and it was so touching........
    I will be a basket case on June 30th.
    Last edited by Marge_Simpson; 06-01-2011 at 09:20 AM.

  13. #113
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    Sounds like you had an amazing time! Thanks for sharing.

    Any thoughts on the second act and the different Giselles you saw? Who was the ghost with the most?
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

  14. #114

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    Marge Simpson, what are GM's?

  15. #115

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    Gaynor Mindens. Grrrr!
    I am posting this from DC...I am here for NBC. If I can get to a computer tomorrow, I can do a review of Don Q, if anyone is interested.
    Of course any reviews I do will probably consist of snark (though I doubt I'll find anything to snark about tonight) and gushing.

  16. #116
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    For those as confused as me: Gaynor Mindens are a brand of pointe shoe.

  17. #117

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marge_Simpson View Post
    Gaynor Mindens. Grrrr!
    I am posting this from DC...I am here for NBC. If I can get to a computer tomorrow, I can do a review of Don Q, if anyone is interested.
    Of course any reviews I do will probably consist of snark (though I doubt I'll find anything to snark about tonight) and gushing.
    I'm looking forward to your thoughts.

  18. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marge_Simpson View Post
    Gaynor Mindens. Grrrr!
    I am posting this from DC...I am here for NBC. If I can get to a computer tomorrow, I can do a review of Don Q, if anyone is interested.
    Of course any reviews I do will probably consist of snark (though I doubt I'll find anything to snark about tonight) and gushing.
    I've watched Don Q when they came here. It was to die for!
    Have fun!

  19. #119

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    I posted reviews of CNB and RDB in the "tourist tips for DC thread"
    I'm returning home tomorrow and will see "The Bright Stream" on Friday w/ my sex god (Jose Carreno) and can post my thoughts if anyone is interested.

  20. #120

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    I'm going to see Vishneva in Anna Karenina in NY in July! I'm so excited!

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