I came to Tokyo on Jan.7 and saw Don Q by Russian State Ballet in Memorial of Musorski last night, with Pietragalla and Le Riche as the guests. It was an excellent performance. The stage was too small for Le Riche and Pietragalla was getting old, but I think they did it very well.The suporting dancers were also very nice. zakharova and Ruzimatov of KIrov will be on the stage for Swan lake and La Bayadere as well.
2. "RE: Don Q with Pietragalla and Le Riche "
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I saw Pietragalla and Le Riche's "Swan Lake" and my goodness...considering the fact that Pietragalla has NOT been performing recently...she was FANTASTIC for her age!!! Besides the fact that her technique has deteriorated a little bit and she's grown a little inflexible, her Odile was wonderfully dramatic, charismatic, ...her acting, and especially the way she used her eye contact was SUPERB! Le Riche isn't a "beautiful" dancer but he's so powerful, elegant, noble...can't find the "exact" words but in any case, I was very impressed. Paris Opera's dancers are THE BEST!!!!
3. "RE: Don Q with Pietragalla and Le Riche "
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I'm agree with you that POB dancers are the best but Le Riche is not a noble dancer, it's a character dancer. Legris is a noble dancer against he is powerful. I'm sad to heard that Pietra technic are not like before, but I can understand it by the fact she has not the same training now she's Company director where she dances especially contemporary ballets than before when she was at POB and when she must all dance from Petipa to Forsythe or Ek.
4. "RE: Don Q with Pietragalla and Le Riche "
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Catherine -- thanks for the correction. You are right-- Legris is more of a "noble" dancer than Le Riche. But if I were to compare Le Riche to other male dancers in other ballet companies, he is sooo much more noble. It's something about the POB training (thanks to Claude Bessy) that produces these wonderfully elegant and technically impeccable male dancers...it's not the same in other ballet schools, particularly with the male dancers. What QUALITY!!!
5. "I saw another show."
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Thanks. I saw another performance of Don Q with almost the same casting on Jan. 11. This time Le Riche seemed to have got used to the stage and managed to dance in a very great way. He was like a flying man. The audience got so excited. Pietragalla was very good too. Some Japanese ballet fans say she looks very lovely and even more precise then ever before (though I think she was technically more brilliant many years ago when I saw her danced with Patrick Dupond/ POB). I think Leningrad State Ballet (as the Japanese call it) is a very good company. They pay great attention to the casting and pay more respect to the Japanese audience (than Kirov). They put some of their best dancers to the supporting roles (Elvira Khabibulina as the Street dancer, Oksana Shestakova as the fairy and Andrey Merkurev as the toreador, among many others were all very nice). And Igor Solovyev (as Don Quixote ) looked both elegant and lovely (I like him very much). The Corp de Ballet was equally nice too. All of them seemed to be working very hard and enjoying dancing on the Japanese stage. They are giving 49 performances in Japan this time! (Most of them are Swan Lake@though). So, I think the performances were more exciting and generally better than the Kirov shows I saw a couple of months ago in Tokyo. The theater was quite full. To Kevin, Nice to see you here. Zakharova and Ruzimatov will do La Bayadere but not Don Q. I will see it tomorrow as well as their Swan Lake next Wednesday. To Catherine, yes, I agree with you. Manueal Legris is nobler in deed. But I think Le Riche is an equally nice dancer and he is younger. He was very great and emotional as Albrecht with Platel when POB came to Beijing (of cause quite different from the way Legres danced the same role). To Terry, I agree with you. Piestragalla is very good for her age. She has been one of my favorite dancers since I first saw her on the stage with Rudolf Nureyev's small group some 12 or 13 years ago in Tokyo.