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Kirov Ballet — Le Corsaire, Diana and Acteon, Don Quixote, La Bayadere

by Lori Ortiz
April 10, 2008
New York City Center
130 West 56th Street
(Audience Entrance is on West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues)
(Entrance for Studios and Offices is on West 56th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues)
New York, NY 10019
212.247.0430

Featured Dance Company:

Kirov-Mariinsky Ballet
The Mariinsky Theatre
1, Teatralnaya Square
St. Petersburg, OT 190000
Russia
+7 812 114 1211
www.kirov.com

The Kirov's third program appeals to spectacle and competition lovers, but finishes with a romantic reprise of the Kingdom of the Shades from "La Bayadere."

Toward the evening's end April 10th Alina Somova leaves us awestruck, spinning away from Danila Korsuntsev, Solor, after their scarf dance. The scarf dance itself disappointed, with no connection to the story of unrequited love and the fragile border between the living and the dead. But the aftermath, Somova's beautiful turns and extensions, is briefly otherworldly. On the arm of Korsuntsev, a responsive partner, she safely lands with less klunk. Still, she's too cold and crisp, leaving no vestige of feeling. The Shades make this Kingdom. When they part their tulle-draped arms toward the wings in perfect formation, we see their painful past and somnambulist future pass before our eyes.

Excerpts from "Le Corsair" open the curtain. The uplifting Pas de Deux, much performed on the competition circuit, is performed in the middle of the garlanded Le Jardin anime. Battling, simpering colored décor mars it. 'Kleenex box' comes to mind. The mannerist mess of onion domes and similarly shaped leaves and flowers, in gray and pastel shades with too much black, detracts from our view of the corps and Odalisk Girls. The costumes and vanilla skin tones of the dancers disappear into the scene. There's no room for topiary on the small City Center stage.

Victoria Tereshkina is a fine Medora, in contrasting plum tutu, almost to the knee, and in 32 plum fouettés. Leonid Sarafanov is the Slave, and a very princely Yevgeny Ianchenko is Conrade. The trio's dynamics tell the characters' class rank. The audience titters at dramatic showman Sarafanov (between oohs and ahhs and wows.) It's his creativity we love, as seen in the individuality of his tours de force; they look invented and perfected just for us. I don't know the French for his pretzel leaps.

Everything's right in "Diana and Acteon," which features an effervescent Ekaterina Osmolkina partnered by a buck-like Mikhail Lobukhin. He was memorably animalistic in the recent Beauty in Motion.

Acteon supposedly turned into a deer. Lobukhin brings out the stag, inferring his so-called crime (peeking in on Diana bathing) as well as his vulnerability. The couple's gorgeous technique and abundant personality are a joy to behold. Especially Osmolkina who, in arabesque, reaches one hand back to her pointed toe, while her other holds forth a stick of wood. The colors too assuage our eye, Diana in vermillion and twelve nymphs in orange capes. Acteon's sexy hide-wrap reveals his Tarzan build, all against a soft peach cyclorama.

There could be no prouder Kitri than Diana Vishneva in the "Don Quixote" Pas de Deux. Andrian Fadeev as Basilico impressively lifts her in the air with one arm. We laugh with joy at Vishneva's insouciant fan dance; it offers that much release. She complicates her fouettés until we lose count.

Ekaterina Kondaurova does the variation and manages her height with aplomb that impresses many in the audience, but her pronounced reach with the long arch of her torso, in the most 'out there' red bodice, doesn't grab me. Kirov dancers, though, can be lauded for the individuality they bring to the classical tradition.
Uliana Lopatkina & Daniil Koruntsev, Raymonda

Uliana Lopatkina & Daniil Koruntsev, Raymonda

Photo © & courtesy of The Mariinsky Theater


Corps de Ballet, La Bayadere

Corps de Ballet, La Bayadere

Photo © & courtesy of The Mariinsky Theater


Corps de Ballet, Chopianiana

Corps de Ballet, Chopianiana

Photo © & courtesy of The Mariinsky Theater


Uliana Lopatkina, The Dying Swan

Uliana Lopatkina, The Dying Swan

Photo © & courtesy of The Mariinsky Theater


Diana Vishneva & Igor Kolb, Scheherezade

Diana Vishneva & Igor Kolb, Scheherezade

Photo © & courtesy of The Mariinsky Theater


Diana Vishneva & Andrian Fadeev, Rubies (from Jewels)

Diana Vishneva & Andrian Fadeev, Rubies (from Jewels)

Photo © & courtesy of The Mariinsky Theater


Uliana Lopatkina, Le Corsaire

Uliana Lopatkina, Le Corsaire

Photo © & courtesy of The Mariinsky Theater


Leonid Sarafanov & Olesya Novikova, Don Quixote

Leonid Sarafanov & Olesya Novikova, Don Quixote

Photo © & courtesy of The Mariinsky Theater


Irina Golub & Maxim Zyuzin, The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude

Irina Golub & Maxim Zyuzin, The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude

Photo © & courtesy of The Mariinsky Theater


Diana Vishneva & Igor Zelensky, Ballet Imperial

Diana Vishneva & Igor Zelensky, Ballet Imperial

Photo © & courtesy of The Mariinsky Theater

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