Home & + | Search
Featured Categories: Special Focus | Performance Reviews | Previews | DanceSpots | Arts and Education | Press Releases
Join ExploreDance.com's email list | Mission Statement | Copyright notice | The Store | Calendar | User survey | Advertise
Click here to take the ExploreDance.com user survey.
Your anonymous feedback will help us continue to bring you coverage of more dance.
SPOTLIGHT:
PERFORMANCE REVIEWS
ExploreDance.com is sponsored by
ExploreDance.com Kickstarter Campaign

The ExploreDance.com Kickstarter campaign is live! Please consider backing our campaign to help us expand our coverage of dance.
www.kickstarter.com/projects/1306220552/exploredancecom
ExploreDance.com (Magazine)
Web
Other Search Options
Lori Ortiz
Performance Reviews
Ballet
New York City Center
Kirov-Mariinsky Ballet
USA
United States
New York City
New York
New York, NY
ExploreDance.com is sponsored by
******* ** **
exploredance.com

Kirov Ballet — Chopiniana, Le Spectre de la Rose, The Dying Swan, Etudes

by Lori Ortiz
April 11, 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 Ballet's season at the New York City Center runs through 4/20/2008.
Aside from its moral, that dance isn't all fun and games behind the scenes, the subject of "Etudes," classroom practice and its day-to-day tedium, can be tedious to watch. The Kirov's energy appeared to be flagging on April 11th, opening night for this program, admittedly mine was and "Etudes," the curtain-closer, was generally sleep inducing.

But when the dancers onstage lie down and rest at one point, that signals a point of departure in this Kirov season, even if Danish dancer and choreographer Harald Lander studied under Fokine, his "Etudes," created in 1948, is a harbinger of postmodern dance.

The class regimen is consolidated into the evening's epic final third act, beginning with pliés and tendus at the bar, proceeding to floor work, adagio, rehearsal of a romantic pas de deux (in costume,) across the floor leaps, pirouettes, and then jumps.

Through changing positions of the ballet barre and pointed lighting patterns designed by Josette Amiel, who is also credited with staging, the simulation of class becomes a showpiece for the dancers, and a goodbye. We expect "Etudes" to convey the intimacy and atmosphere of the studio; as seen tonight it is a portrait of The Kirov's inner sanctum, and not very touchy feely.

Alina Somova, who looked miscast in many of the roles she danced over the last weeks, singlehandedly redeems "Etudes." Her technique is brilliant; this is her baby. Her hands are exquisitely expressive and her long fingers talk with clarity. Her part in the romantic pas de deux is a postmodern play on it; it's wonderfully soft. She riffs on the classroom steps. Vladimir Shklyarov is her able partner. He and Leonid Sarafanov play the two boys in the class (Sarafanov looks like a child prodigy). He garners lots of applause for his tours, one in which he pirouettes round and round in second while raising and lowering his arms. When he fouettés with his foot shifting front and back of his knee, he sets the rest of the class in motion; the stage is a room of whirling dancers incredibly in synch. Somova's memorable chaînés turns are achingly slow, revving up to speed with the music.

But sharing the classroom drudgery, that these very dancers know so well, strikes me as the antithesis what we've come to the theater for. It could expand with life in performance, but the phrasing tonight was not to-die-for.

Dancers from The Royal Danish Ballet recently performed Lander's scintillating 1942 "Festival Polonaise," at Jacob's Pillow. The post-war optimism in that duet can be recognized in "Etudes." Lander and the studio/class theme (taken up by Balanchine, Robbins, and others) is an early and important example of a ballet reflecting upon itself—a concept central to William Forsythe's choreography. The Kirov performs Forsythe and George Balanchine in the remaining weeks of its current City Center season.

A new face, Mikhail Agrest presided over the Kirov Ballet Orchestra on April 11th. An orchestral arrangement of Karl Czerny music accompanied "Etudes" and it matched the mood of labor, even while it interestingly mapped the drama. One might expect piano scales and leotards, a black and white ballet, yet it's old world and formal; changing corps are clad in short white and then black tutus, as if for evening; the males wear gray with the two boys in white tights and stiff, satiny shirts.

Also on the program, a reprisal of "Chopiniana" with Yevgeny Ivanchenko as the Young Man. "Le Spectre de la Rose" featuring Yana Selina and Igor Kolb, who is less narcissistic than Sarafanov and not nearly as interesting. Kolb doesn't offer such voluptuous hand flourishes, which are ballet mime for "I want to dance," thus, it's not as reassuring to watch him.

Uliana Lopatkina's "The Dying Swan" is brittle as a bone, and beautifully so. Here again, the subject of fatigue is expressed in a theatrical framework. This brief solo, magnificent by both ballerinas, Diana Vishneva and Lopatkina, has us on the edge of our seats and we are far from self-pitying thoughts of fatigue. Especially in Vishneva we see beauty in the end.
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

ExploreDance.com is sponsored by
* **** ****


ExploreDance.com
ExploreDance.com is sponsored by
******* ******
exploredance.com


home || view our calendar || the store || copyright information || join our mailing list || mission statement
Search for articles by
Performance Reviews, Places to Dance, Fashion, Photography, Auditions, Politics, Health