Last night saw another masterclass in Munich, this time with the legendary ballerina Maya Plissetzkaja (if I am not wrong, her autobiography has only recently been published in English, while it has been available in German for quite a while?) - and what ballet would better suit her than Swan Lake?
She rehearsed Maria Eichwald about who I once read that she saw Plissetzkaja dance while still a child and from that moment knew she wanted to be a dancer, too - don't know if it is true, but obviously for her a dream came true last night.
She was partnered by Alen Bottaini who did not get a lot of corrections but seemed to enjoy it, too - especially when Maya Plissetzkaja marked her part in a pdd and inter-acted with him - he even took her up and swung her full circle in the first encounter Odette - Siegfried, and she looked very much surprised in that moment, then enjoyed being a classical ballerina again at least for a few seconds...
Whole evening was in Russian, Maria Eichwald and Ivan Liska translated the key parts - but I particularly enjoyed two aspects (even without understanding much):
1) Swan Lake seems THE ballet for Maria - she has found her style and absorbed the role of Odette/Odile. I love her arabesques and soft port de bras - her arms do look like wings, but in a very special, individual way.
2) When Plissetzkaja marked the movements - she "only" walked around, but boy, her arms are incredible. Plus she has a very special aura - only a few seconds, she looked tired, but when she "switches on" her stage presence, it's still absolutely fascinating. I have never seen her on stage but do imagine she must have been very special.
- First encounter Odette - Siegfried
- white pdd act II
- black pdd act III (pdd part only)
- white pdd act IV
Basically, Maya Plissetzkaja seemed pleased with Maria's way of doing it - she only corrected some basic technical things to improve her lines - plus gave us her ideas about the three pdd:
Act 2: Odette is the proud queen of the swans (found this interesting - she seems to look at her as swan, not as woman)
Act 3: Odile is worried that Sigfried might realize she is not Odette. When looking at him, she is Odette - and when he is not watching, she thinks: "Does he believe me?" When the white swans appear to warn Siegfried, she is so shocked that for a moment, she fully stops acting!
Act 4: Odette is broken - no more beautiful lines, but broken lines - it hurt to see these arms, even in rehearsal!
That's my summary of this masterclass - hopefully we'll get a chance to see Maria dance again next season as this season, there will only be one more performance of Swan Lake (Sunday 2 June), but with different cast!