(Have brought up this post from the wrong Forum.)
"D. Vishneva at POB"
Yup, the girl is a real shocker. The question is, why did the audience go bezerkers ?
Leaving to one side for a moment, her dancing, which is - well - - the one thing the Russians have always got on straight, is that this is a PEFORMANCE. There is an audience out there.
Miss Vishneva is not dancing for Hugues Gall, Brigitte Lefefvre, the répétiteurs, her instructor, or the person giving class tomorrow morning. She is dancing for the public. She is not worried about mistakes, because she considers, rightly of course, that absolutely no-one except us dried-out old prunes wearing thick specs and flat gum shoes, is going to notice. She rode the thing hell for leather, and certainly put a fire under her fellow dancers whatchumacallit. Even woke Martinez up with a start.
Hence, an audience in heaven.
Compare that to the ultra-cautious, academic approach we have got used to, in her French counterparts in the same role. Metaphorically, one senses many of the POB girls glancing anxiously out into the rows of professors, wondering what Awful Sanction might fall down upon their head if they flub a step...Everything fastidiously executed down to the last hair-splitting detail.
Now if the French could stop worrying about Dread Punishment, and go out there and have a hell of a time DANCING to MUSIC, we would have the best of both worlds. Or should I say, the best of all possible worlds ?
Miss Vishneva seems to ride easily on the music. Why ? Well, if she sees that she'll have to blow a step to make it LOOK musical, she'll sacrifice the step, half-finish it, or whatever, and go for the music. A French dancer will SACRIFICE the music, and go for the step. Unless one is lucky enough to be a Phavorin or a Thibault - there you get the step, and the music !
Now, back to the actual contents of what Miss Vishneva was doing. BEURK as the French would say. Doesn't like a position in mid-lift ? Correct it ! Finds the arabesque drooping a little ? Yank it up ! Purpose of arms on human body ? To create ramrod straight lines, you fools ! Incoherency between developpé à la seconde at 180 degrees, devant at 95 degrees and derrière at 120 degrees ? Who cares ? All goes into the same hopper, don't it ? Purpose of épaulement ? To expose one's chin to the world, while folding the upper back into a Japanese paper thinggie.
If that is what the Vaganova school is now turning out, I say, thank Heavens Miss Assylmouratova has just taken over.
One might have hoped that the delicate Irina Zhelonkina would have been invited to Paris, but I sp'ose she has not yet learnt to turn her leg into a baseball bat.
Jose Martinez surpassed himself, seemed even to enjoy dancing (?!). Like his wife Mlle. Letestu, M. Martinez is a strictly épaulement-free zone, and his plié is always a little shallow, but he is nonetheless a formidable and extremely technical dancer who pulled out all the stops last night.
Myriam Ould Braham exquisite in the trio. Dancing of E. Thibault as beautiful as always. I found the gypsy scene rather better than last week, with M. Bélingard giving it his all, despite a hideously unflattering costume.
A note to costume people: can we not somehow all agree that costumes MUST be changed if their cut or length do not suit the person who has got to wear it ? Mlle. Hurel, who did the Cupid last night, is a slightly stockier woman than the other "inhabitants" of the costume, and the full plateau tutu slumped down and looked just awul on her. As the dancer has got 2000 people staring at him, the least costumers can be expected to do, is to make sure that he doesn't feel tricked out in circus gear.
Unlike several critics, I found the Russian set designs, by Beliaev, very fine. Great impression of height and space.