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Subject: "Sleeping Beauty- some thoughts" Archived thread - Read only
 
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #753
Reading Topic #753
Eugene

13-06-00, 03:28 PM (GMT)
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"Sleeping Beauty- some thoughts"
 
   The most visually stunning production I have ever seen by a very long margin. Worth seeing for this alone.

Choreography looks rather out of date by today standards. Reflect an era where grace, majesty and elegance were value more highly then in today. It was a bit turgid in parts . It was rather like a magnificent defile whith some dancing thrown in.

But it was fascinating all the same and really gives on an understanding of life an attitudes of those bygone days.

Diana Vishneva was incredilbe athletic but rather bland in personality.

Orchestra was not that great as well.

But definely quite an evening out!


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Sleeping Beauty- some thoughts Michael Llewellyn 14-06-00 1
     RE: Sleeping Beauty- some thoughts Bruce Madmin 14-06-00 2
         RE: Sleeping Beauty- some thoughts Eugene 14-06-00 3
             RE: Sleeping Beauty- some thoughts Bruce Madmin 14-06-00 4
                 RE: Sleeping Beauty- some thoughts eugene merrett 14-06-00 5
                     RE: Sleeping Beauty- some thoughts Shirley 14-06-00 6
                         RE: Sleeping Beauty- some thoughts Julia 15-06-00 7
                             RE: Sleeping Beauty- some thoughts Katherine 15-06-00 8
                             RE: Sleeping Beauty- some thoughts Ann Williams 16-06-00 9
                             RE: Sleeping Beauty- some thoughts Eugene Merrett 16-06-00 10
                             RE: Sleeping Beauty- some thoughts Fuzzyface 16-06-00 11
                             RE: Sleeping Beauty- some thoughts alison 16-06-00 12
                             RE: Sleeping Beauty- some thoughts Jane S 16-06-00 15
  RE: Sleeping Beauty- some thoughts Helen 16-06-00 13
     RE: Sleeping Beauty- some thoughts Eugene 16-06-00 14
     RE: Sleeping Beauty- some thoughts alison 19-06-00 16

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Michael Llewellyn

14-06-00, 01:48 AM (GMT)
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1. "RE: Sleeping Beauty- some thoughts"
In response to message #0
 
   I thought the Prologue was superb, thanks mainly to the excellent mime, the charming and lovely Lilac Fairy of Veronica Part and vivid Carabosse from Islom B. It was a tribute to Madam, sadly lacking in the programme, that the RB text for Beauty is so authentic. Despite the adverts some of the cuts were appalling, especially the Panorama music - even if they couldn't bring the scenery, they could at least play one of the highlights of the score. The Queens mime after Aurora pricks here finger was also cut- but we had endless emoting over the clog dancing knitters. Vishneva danced very well but was one dimensional throughout with a brassy grin, very modern, and rather lacking in the charm so necessary for the role. Not a patch on Darcey or her Kirov seniors Asylmuratova and Ayupova. Veronica Part could give her a lesson in demeanour. On the basis of her Aurora, Vishneva should be sensational in Rubies. Seeing the Channel 4 bits explains why Zelensky looked out of it, and made a mess of the finish of his only variaiton having started it well - he seemed to run out of energy.


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Bruce Madmin

14-06-00, 08:30 AM (GMT)
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2. "RE: Sleeping Beauty- some thoughts"
In response to message #1
 
   >I thought the Prologue was superb, thanks
>mainly to the excellent mime,

Isn't it amazing how differntly we see things - I thought the mime/dramatics not so good

> the
>charming and lovely Lilac Fairy of
>Veronica Part and vivid Carabosse from
>Islom B.

... and I thought the Carabose not a patch on Dowell or the magnificent Monica Mason (I always book to see her regardless of who else is dancing)

> It was a
>tribute to Madam, sadly lacking in
>the programme, that the RB text
>for Beauty is so authentic.

Yes - spot on. Well at least for the first 2 acts. I was so zonked I left then.

>Despite the adverts some of the
>cuts were appalling, especially the Panorama
>music - even if they couldn't
>bring the scenery, they could at
>least play one of the highlights
>of the score. The Queens
>mime after Aurora pricks here finger
>was also cut- but we had
>endless emoting over the clog dancing
>knitters. Vishneva danced very
>well but was one dimensional throughout
>with a brassy grin, very modern,
>and rather lacking in the charm
>so necessary for the role.

Amazing how we see things so differntly etc etc

I thought she was devine - her smile a combination of Lesley Collier and Darcey Bussell and not at all 'brassy'. She charmed me sensless. She did however dance within herself and there was no sense she was stretching and pushing - I'd have prefered it if she had been a little more brave.

>Not a patch on Darcey

Well I'd say she was as good - taste thing of course.

> or
>her Kirov seniors Asylmuratova and Ayupova.
> Veronica Part could give her
>a lesson in demeanour.

Part looked a bit spare to me - I'd prefer the person fighting for good (over evil) to be a little more charasmatic and authoratitive...

> On
>the basis of her Aurora, Vishneva
>should be sensational in Rubies.
>Seeing the Channel 4 bits explains
>why Zelensky looked out of it,
>and made a mess of the
>finish of his only variaiton having
>started it well - he seemed
>to run out of energy.

Getting old I suppose! (Unfortunatley I was not there by then)


Re the designs and costumes I though them delightful - though the victorians obviously lacked any knowledge of colour theory... what a riot of colours!!

The corps were looking rather good I thought. But some the princes seem to be having problems - almost like they had only encountered Vishneva for the first time that night.


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Eugene

14-06-00, 01:35 PM (GMT)
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3. "RE: Sleeping Beauty- some thoughts"
In response to message #2
 
   Dear Bruce

I am so sad that you had leave on Monday. I think this the most important day in Ballet in England for the last 20 years.

I am glad the Kirov did the original choreography but I would hope that in the future they would update the choreography to modern standards and speed it up. As it stands the choreograhy is fascinating but very dated. Ballet newcomers might find it a bit boring. Derek Deane finds it boring and he has not even seen it!

I did not much care for Vishneva - a little bit too athletic and forceful for my taste and rather bland in personality. Same goes for Zelensky.


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Bruce Madmin

14-06-00, 01:58 PM (GMT)
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4. "RE: Sleeping Beauty- some thoughts"
In response to message #3
 
   >Dear Bruce
>I am so sad that you had
>leave on Monday. I think
>this the most important day in
>Ballet in England for the last
>20 years.

Oh Eugene, don't be so melodramatic!

If I remotely thought that was the case I would have been way too transfixed to leave.

It's another production of Sleeping B for goodness sake. A good one from what I saw and I'm sure I will see it all a few more times yet.

It does beg the question of what has been the most important day in Ballet in Britain (not just England) in teh last 20 years....

Of course there can be important good and important bad.

Rather than performances or visitors I would tend to think of the appointement of Artistic Directors as being the most important to us.

Whatever, I can't give a balanced view because I have not been going to the ballet for 20 years.


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eugene merrett

14-06-00, 05:07 PM (GMT)
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5. "RE: Sleeping Beauty- some thoughts"
In response to message #4
 
   I am a little surprised at the rather muted reaction. I thought I would be the most negative about it and that everyone else would be over the moon about this ballet (given my views on design etc). But I appear to enjoy it far more then any one else!!

I saw a few other folks there which I recognize at the ROH so if you were there please please post some quick thoughts if not a review!!


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Shirley

14-06-00, 05:52 PM (GMT)
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6. "RE: Sleeping Beauty- some thoughts"
In response to message #5
 
   Quick opinion - waste of Zelensky's talent!!


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Julia

15-06-00, 02:31 PM (GMT)
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7. "RE: Sleeping Beauty- some thoughts"
In response to message #6
 
   One of the best evenings in forty years of ballet going! I usually find Sleeping B quite boring, but although this ran for four hours I could have taken even more.

I thought the designs superb - made me imagine what the nineteenth century 'spectaculars' must have been like.

I thought Vishneva too modern in style, unlike most of the others,and someone should do Zelinsky's hair properly - maybe a wig, or much more laquer.

I am truly grateful to the Kirov authorities for having had the courage to put on this production.


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Katherine

15-06-00, 06:16 PM (GMT)
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8. "RE: Sleeping Beauty- some thoughts"
In response to message #7
 
   I went on Tuesday night (don't know off-hand who the cast were). Visually I prefer the RB's production (yes I know I'm probably in a minority for actually liking the RB's design), but it was interesting to see the historical costume designs in the Kirov version which changed from act to act. Was this an attempt to show the passage of time? (Perhaps this was written about in the programme - I didn't read it all!).

I was impressed that the four princes actually had some personality, and that the children got to do some "proper" dancing. Does anyone know how old they were? They looked very young, but the girls were en pointe so they weren’t tiddlers.

And does anyone know what the dancers think of the backstage facilities? Will we have major foreign companies rushing to perform at the ROH because of the wonderful showers etc?!


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Ann Williams

16-06-00, 00:37 AM (GMT)
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9. "RE: Sleeping Beauty- some thoughts"
In response to message #8
 
  
I saw tonight's (Thursday's) performance and have very mixed feelings about it. Some of the dancing was quite poor, and in particular a couple of the Prologue fairies were, frankly, bad. Vishneva, replacing Asylmuratova, started tentatively but ended fabulously; her partner Andrian Fadecheyev shocked many by looking like a girl with his long blonde wig (when he removed it for Act III he merely looked like Julian Clary) but when he danced his solo - WHAAA! I haven't seen jumps like that since Konstantin Zaklinsky back in the early 90s; he jumped high and slow and he hovered a bit. Veronica Part was wonderful as the Lilac Fairy in a costume which, as one critic memorably said, looked like 'a cross between Britannia and Little Bo Peep'. The costumes and scenery were utterly magic and brought back childhood memories of pantomimes. I don't know how many performances of SB are left, but I just hope they can steady that dancing.


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Eugene Merrett

16-06-00, 10:22 AM (GMT)
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10. "RE: Sleeping Beauty- some thoughts"
In response to message #9
 
   I thought Vishneva was far better on Thursday then Monday. She was far less aggressive and she toned down her technique to make it more natural.

I agree that the dancing was not all that good particulalry the Fairies. But the corp de ballet was splendid!


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Fuzzyface

16-06-00, 11:15 AM (GMT)
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11. "RE: Sleeping Beauty- some thoughts"
In response to message #10
 
   I'm not so sure. I wasn't that enthralled by it. I'm a bit suspicious of some of the choreography, which looked distinctly soviet to me (oh! Controversial!). I have to say that the refinements that have occured to the ballet over the years have improved it. I much prefer the traditional Royal Ballet text (and no, I'm not being nationalistic, ours just seems more elegant).

Although it was fascinating to see the original designs, I do think that later versions like the ones by Bakst were more successful.

Agree that some of the dancing was not too good, and I didn't really warm to Vishneva. She's a good dancer (see her in "Don Q"), but not really my idea of an Aurora.


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alison

16-06-00, 01:13 PM (GMT)
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12. "RE: Sleeping Beauty- some thoughts"
In response to message #11
 
   I went to yesterday's (Thurs) matinee, which I generally thought was under-powered. Pretty spectacular costumes (although why were the court ladies wearing the same dresses for Aurora's 16th/20th birthday as for her christening?!), except that I really hated the colour of the nymphs' tutus in Act II (and even found myself wishing for the Royal Ballet's Act II, the only one I like, instead!). The Kirov go for the older-style, longer and floppier tutus, compared with the "dinner-plate" variety which we are more used to nowadays, and this has one very significant advantage - when Aurora pricks her finger and falls asleep, the skirt falls decorously over her hips, instead of the case which we get so frequently of the ballerina lying down with her skirt sticking out at right-angles, giving all the visiting Princes and everyone else a nice view of her knickers. (I've always thought that *most* undignified for a princess!).

It was very interesting to see the different, and opulent view of the final act, with all the extra fairytale characters arriving, but I found myself missing the Red Riding Hood and the Wolf dance - I certainly didn't find the replacement dance (presumably the seven-league boots?) anything like as interesting.

The Waltz of the Flowers is a *huge* production number, with loads of children dancing as well, and looked stunning. Perhaps Derek Deane should have borrowed it for his arena version!

And talking of DD, I noticed that the running time yesterday, allowing for each interval being 10 minutes longer than at the Albert Hall, was only 10 minutes longer than ENB's production. So no, I don't think I'll be having my fingernails removed ...


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Jane S

16-06-00, 03:45 PM (GMT)
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15. "RE: Sleeping Beauty- some thoughts"
In response to message #12
 
   Alison, someone told me that RRH and the Wolf have been cut because the ROH wanted to make the show shorter.


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Helen

16-06-00, 01:19 PM (GMT)
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13. "RE: Sleeping Beauty- some thoughts"
In response to message #0
 
   I was thrilled by this excursion into Tsarist Russia, more by the production than the performances. I went on Thursday afternoon. Ayupova disappointed me as Aurora - I had expected better. Although she did a very stylish last act variation, she somehow didn't dominate the stage the way Aurora should - she looked almost insignificant. Maybe this was partly becauseof her costumes, which seemed to break the rule that "the ballerina is the one in the fanciest frock". They were quite ornate, but in dullish colours, so she didn't stand out; at the end, her bouquet nearly went to the Diamond Fairy, as the girl presenting it clearly couldn't tell which one was Top Dancer. It was also partly her partner, Anton Korsakov. He looked extremely young and rather nervous, and I wondered if Ayupova had been making mincemeat of him at rehearsals, perhaps. When he got a chance to dance alone he was good, though.

The two I liked best were Daria Pavlenko as the Lilac Fairy and Vassily Scherbakov as the Bluebird. He isn't even important enough to have a biography in the programme, but gave a wonderful,stylish performance with soft, light jumps and much elegance. I loved his royal blue feathers, too. Pavlenko had all the charm that Aurora should have had. She looks like Fonteyn, Seymour, Karsavina and Kschessinskaya all rolled into one - a real Mariinsky ballerina.

I was also intrigued by the children - they did indeed look very young. I found the sight of all those little Kirov dancers in the making very touching - such style, so young, boys and girls alike.

The sets were magical, beautiful; the costumes - well, odd. They seemed to have come out of some amazing Tsarist dressing-up box, with their riot of uncoordinated colour. Some were stunning, some hideous - the fairy in scarlet and mauve with black rat appliques, for instance, or the yellow one with polka dots. Still, a fascinating journey back in time.

Incidentally, near to me in the stalls was a large party of schoolchildren, about 9 or 10 years old or even younger. They seemed to be getting a lot out of it. How enterprising and brave of their teachers, and what an experience for them.


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Eugene

16-06-00, 01:28 PM (GMT)
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14. "RE: Sleeping Beauty- some thoughts"
In response to message #13
 
   Fuzzy Face, I agree that modern refinement have made it better or rather more suitable to modern audiences. In those days where skirts were put on piano legs (well in England at least) just seeing a young woman in a tutu with bare shoulders gave people alot of entertainment. Nowadays as we are use to woman in varous stages of undress we want them to dance a bit! Actually that is an exaggeration but there is no doubt that todays audience expect more energy and excitement on the stage then our forbearers.

But as I said earlier it is so interesting to see an original production with the long drawn out processions and a lot of posing as opposed to dancing.

After a couple of years of this maybe the Kirov will put some modern "refinements"


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alison

19-06-00, 01:08 PM (GMT)
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16. "RE: Sleeping Beauty- some thoughts"
In response to message #13
 
   >The two I liked best were
>Daria Pavlenko as the Lilac
>Fairy and Vassily Scherbakov as
>the Bluebird. He isn't even
>important enough to have a
>biography in the programme, but
>gave a wonderful,stylish performance with
>soft, light jumps and much
>elegance. I loved his royal
>blue feathers, too. Pavlenko had
>all the charm that Aurora
>should have had. She looks
>like Fonteyn, Seymour, Karsavina and
>Kschessinskaya all rolled into one
>- a real Mariinsky ballerina.
>
I liked Pavlenko very much, as well, and I agree that the Bluebird was good, although I don't think I've ever seen such muscle-less legs on a male dancer, and didn't find that attractive. But I didn't like his costume - I thought it was totally the wrong shade to match with Princess Florine's - and surely bluebirds are rather nearer to turquoise than to royal blue aren't they? Where are our ornithologist readers?

>The sets were magical, beautiful; the
>costumes - well, odd. They
>seemed to have come out
>of some amazing Tsarist dressing-up
>box, with their riot of
>uncoordinated colour. Some were stunning,
>some hideous - the fairy
>in scarlet and mauve with
>black rat appliques, for instance,
>or the yellow one with
>polka dots.

Yes, I've never seen such a lack of uniformity of design, even in Russian productions! Some of the fairies had nice pastel colours, then there was the one in the lurid red etc. - very strange effect.

>
>Incidentally, near to me in the
>stalls was a large party
>of schoolchildren, about 9 or
>10 years old or even
>younger. They seemed to be
>getting a lot out of
>it. How enterprising and brave
>of their teachers, and what
>an experience for them.


There were an awful lot of school parties there, from what I could see, and as far as I could tell they were all pretty well behaved, which makes a nice change from some I've encountered at Sadler's Wells before.


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