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Subject: "White Nights Gala" Archived thread - Read only
 
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #802
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Gerald Dowler

06-07-00, 10:28 AM (GMT)
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"White Nights Gala"
 
   Last night's gala was probably the finest of such events for a very, very long time. Every item was of first, world class. The kirov orchestra played phenomenaly under their Director Valery Gergiev. The opera items were well chosen and sung by the finest voices: Diadkova singing "re dell'abisso" from Ballo in Maschera was simply breathtaking, but Domingo in two pieces from Otello and the final scene from Carmen with Borodina was worth the price of entry alone.
The ballt was well represented by artists from the Kirov and the Royal: Vishneva and Samodurov opened the dance proceedings with a good account of Tchaikovsky pas de deux: he energetic, she simply phenomenal - I would not be surprised if she joined NYCB; she seems so much more comfortable in neo-classical choreography. Remanso, the Duarto we saw last autumn was beautifully played and judged by Cope, Acosta and Urlezaga. Not a piece one would naturally choose for a gala but a huge success. For me Zakharova and Ruzimatov in Corsaire were fine but not really good enough. He is simply too old and seemed to have chosen the 'easy' version of his part, making up for it with ridiculous and laughable posturing. She was efficient but little more. There was also Bussell and Zelensky in the R+J pas de deux. Very good if rather generalised.
The second half saw a wonderful account of Flower Festival at Genzano with Jaimie tapper who danced very prettily but was simply danced off the stage (as would be expected) by a Kobborg on top form. He was simply Bournonville grace, airiness and precision personified. His petite batterie were like the hoverings of a dragonfly. There is no better. Acosta returned to stun the house in the Diana and Acteon pas de deux. This was the most breathtaking male bravura dancing I have ever seen, with Carlos flying through the air, turning on a penny to a startling stop, hurtling around the stage. Simply amazing. His Diana was Marianela Munez (Nunez?) who overcame a little hesitancy to turn in a very creditable performance: her balances and graceful arms were much appreciated. The oldies came next with Asylmuratova and Mukamedov doing their Louis Armstrong/tuckett piece. Very popular. The evening closed with a danced Polovstian Dances. Better leave unsaid what remains of Fokine's already patchy choreography.

All in all then an incredible evening.


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: White Nights Gala eugene merrett 06-07-00 1
     RE: White Nights Gala Fuzzyface 06-07-00 3
  RE: White Nights Gala Bruce Madmin 06-07-00 2
     RE: White Nights Gala meunier 06-07-00 4
         RE: White Nights Gala - Vishneva Kevin Ng 06-07-00 5
         RE: White Nights Gala Jeannie 06-07-00 6
             RE: White Nights Gala Shirley 06-07-00 7
                 RE: White Nights Gala Naoko S 07-07-00 13
         RE: White Nights Gala Gerald Dowler 07-07-00 8
             RE: White Nights Gala Fuzzyface 07-07-00 9
                 RE: White Nights Gala meunier 07-07-00 10
                     RE: White Nights Gala meunier 07-07-00 11
                         RE: White Nights Gala Jeannie 07-07-00 12
                             RE: White Nights Gala meunier 07-07-00 14
                             RE: White Nights Gala kn 07-07-00 16
                             RE: White Nights Gala kn 07-07-00 15
                             RE: White Nights Gala Bambi 08-07-00 18
                             RE: White Nights Gala Mark 09-07-00 19
                             RE: White Nights Gala Ninotchka 10-07-00 20
                             RE: White Nights Gala Eugene Merrett 10-07-00 21
  RE: SARAH Wildor Karen Miller 08-07-00 17

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eugene merrett

06-07-00, 12:21 PM (GMT)
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1. "RE: White Nights Gala"
In response to message #0
 
   I envy you! I would have love to have gone. It would have cleared my mind of all the bad thoughts that came into my head after seeing Mazzeppa the night before. It was terrible! Really bad production (really done on the cheap) , a terrible libretto back up by some of the most overblown and bombastic music I have ever heared. It is hard to believe that this is the same composer who did Onegin.


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Fuzzyface

06-07-00, 01:30 PM (GMT)
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3. "RE: White Nights Gala"
In response to message #1
 
   Eugene, you never fail to amaze or exasperate me! "Mazeppa" was absolutely stunning, the singers were wonderful; the production, a revival of the original 1884 version (so a bit like "Beauty" then) was simple and straightforward; fabulous music; and conducted superbly. One of the opera critics said it was one of the few really great nights at the opera he had witnessed. I am afraid that I have to disagree with everything you have written. Sorry!


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Bruce Madmin

06-07-00, 12:30 PM (GMT)
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2. "RE: White Nights Gala"
In response to message #0
 
   Isn't it nice when it all comes together! Nice to hear that's so many of the dancer did well. Particularly pleased on Kobborg - I'm sure we have not even begun to scratch the surface of what he can do for us yet. Pleased for Nunez too - one to watch.


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meunier

06-07-00, 01:54 PM (GMT)
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4. "RE: White Nights Gala"
In response to message #2
 
   I was glad to have been present. How, Gerald, you can mention the evening and not mention the miraculous contribution which was Renee Flemming, I don't understand. She, operatically, was, alongside the orchestra, the highlight for me. Carlos Acosta and Kobberg were, of course, close to the top as well. A great deal of riches, of moments, to enjoy.

However, I must disagree with you on one issue. Vishneva was beyond bad in the Tsch. Pas - She was embarrassing. I have never seen such a distorted performance of this piece. Were Balanchine to have been alive, I'm confident he would have at least blushed in anger. It reminded me of a performance I witnessed by the Kirov at the Met of Robbins In the Night. It was, in the true state of the ballet, horrific. Each of the three principle ballerinas went in turn to try to pull Robbins onto the stage. Three times -- like Caesar -- he refused. I never saw his beard so white, so red was his face. My mouth dropped during Vishneva's variation -- and there are plenty of Balanchine produced variations on this theme. I have NEVER witnessed such disrespect for the music. It jolted; it jerked. See the music. Hear the dance, Balanchine said. Yes. But not here. I will never again complain about any NYCB performance of this piece. Thank heavens they are doing it in Edinburgh in August. Still, not even Woetzel -- ah, those memories of the Tsch Pas with Woetzel and Nichols -- could have kept Ms. Vishneva determined on musical distruction on course. Most decidedly she will NOT be joining NYCB!!!!!!!!

I'm sorry, but rarely has an ARTIST left me so angered by her wilfull distruction of a masterpiece.

Russians can do it!! I well remember seeing Misha and Patty McBride revel in the splendour of the music. Not Ms. Vishneva. Would that it had been given to Acosta and Meunz.

Enough said. My mind will remain fixed on the splendour of Ms. Flemming. Her respect for the music was total.


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Kevin Ng

06-07-00, 02:41 PM (GMT)
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5. "RE: White Nights Gala - Vishneva"
In response to message #4
 
   Gerald and Meunier, you are lucky to have watched the White Nights Gala last night. I enjoyed reading your reports.

Meunier, I am interested in your opinion of Diana Vishneva in Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux. (I adored Kyra Nichols in it too.) I am surprised to hear that it was such a disappointing performance. But did you see Vishneva dancing Balanchine's "Rubies" with the Kirov in the past few weeks, and what do you think? I was most impressed, and thought that she compared very well with the NYCB casts that I saw in the past - Heather Watts, Melinda Roy.


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Jeannie

06-07-00, 02:46 PM (GMT)
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6. "RE: White Nights Gala"
In response to message #4
 
   Thanks, Gerald, for transporting us to this very special event,through your words! After your review, I certainly hope that the rumors about the evening being videotaped for future commercial sale on Phillips label are true. (Did you see any cameras on the premises?)

I can imagine how fantastic Vishneva was. She is truly in her element in this ballet - has been since I first saw her dance it ca 1995 (her graduation year) &, later, at a Gala in New York. Indeed, I agree with you, Gerald, about NYCB being her natural 'guest company.' She IS today's Patricia McBride - delectably petite, coquettish, of quick batterie, musical beyond compare. Perfect! My wish is to someday see Vishneva dancing the role of Columbine in Balanchine's HARLEQUINADE. That would be sheer magic - guaranteed.


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Shirley

06-07-00, 08:08 PM (GMT)
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7. "RE: White Nights Gala"
In response to message #6
 
   Great evening - stunning show! I heard Nunez has been promoted to First Artist after the show last night!


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Naoko S

07-07-00, 10:30 PM (GMT)
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13. "RE: White Nights Gala"
In response to message #7
 
  
....Ah..let me just add one thing no one has mentioned.
Uliana Lopatkina apparently recovered from injury and danced
'Dying Swan'. Let's keep fingers crossed she could appear
in the Kirov's August run...(her Swan Lake is unmissable!)


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Gerald Dowler

07-07-00, 12:09 PM (GMT)
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8. "RE: White Nights Gala"
In response to message #4
 
   Apologies for missing Renee Fleming, who, as a surprise, turned up to sing ' Il bel sogno di Doretta' from La Rondine. Mea culpa.
I cannot agree with you over Vishneva: she was excellent in Rubies and I found the Tchikovsky pdd very fine, not least with her playfulness with the music.
Ah well, La Scala still has its 'Callas widows' who can't bear to see 'her' roles done differently by any other artists. Does Blanchine have his 'widows' ?
As for Robbins; he was a bad tempered old curmudgeon, so his unpleasantness comes as no surprise. I always think that he used up all his humour and levity when creating The Concert...


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Fuzzyface

07-07-00, 12:38 PM (GMT)
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9. "RE: White Nights Gala"
In response to message #8
 
   Good for you Gerald! Tell it like it is!


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meunier

07-07-00, 02:32 PM (GMT)
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10. "RE: White Nights Gala"
In response to message #9
 
   Dear Gerald,

I wonder have you seen Robbins' 2&3 Part Inventions? It seemed to me that, even at that late stage in his life, Mr. Robbins was exhibiting sincere humour in regards to the music, no less so than in Ives Songs, and other items which have been celebrated not only in New York, but also in Paris where he is hailed, and in other major companies around the world. As to Mr. Robbins' personal relationships with dancers, I cannot speak, short of hearsay. Short of one brief meeting myself, I did not know the man. Please, I will be most interested, as I'm certain others will be, to hear of your own personal experiences with Mr. Robbins from which you draw your opinion. It is a unique history, I would imagine. If you could share that with us, it would be most rich, I think.

Everyone, as is obvious from this forum, has their own opinions, and I believe that these should be prised for exactly what they are: personal opinions. Certainly, mine was a solely my own, and I am sorry if I implied in any way whatsoever that it was anything more or less. I am pleased you gathered joy from Visneva's performance, even if I did not on this particular occasion, during those particular mesh of moments.

As to being a 'Callas widow', as you so delicately put it, I am pleased to say, that this is not appropriate for me, certainly in this case. (It may well be true in some others. I still struggle with my memories of Vickers in Fidelio today. The sound remains sterling in my ear. Not that I don't listen to others. It just is hard, as his were the sounds which first drew me to the piece.) The first artist I saw dance this Balanchine pas was, Patty McBride, but I have seen countless others since that time. Recently those have included Darcy Bussell, Jenifer Ringer, Wendy Whelan, Paloma Herrera, Margaret Tracey, Nina Ananashvilli as well as a talented lady whose name escapes me from from Miami City Ballet. One of my favourites was one I saw in a taped performance from a gala in which Melissa Hayden danced with Jacques Damboise. Her variation in that was truly breathtaking and unique. Fonteyn in the same City Center gala in benefit of the New York Public Library also danced the Sleeping Beauty grand pas with a Mexican partner and Gelsey Kirkland danced the Corsaire pas with Nureyev. You can find this today in the invaluable Robbins collection at the New York Public library. This was the collection he began for the benefit of all, both in and outside dance and how lucky I and vast multitudes of others have been to benefit from Mr. Robbins' generosity. I trust it is one which will survive us all.

I will be most interested, Gerald, to hear of your favourite interpreters in this glorious piece. Or, would you now consider yourself a 'Visneva widow' now? Sorry, that is unfair. Ms. Vishneva has many performances remaining to delight her burgeoning gallery of fans. I, too, will look forward to witnessing her future history. Certainly, I agree, if one doesn't them, one cannot rightfully comment. I too hope those cameras were turning. The facts will be better than dreams, and I would love a record of Kobborg's and Acosta's brilliant work.


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meunier

07-07-00, 02:56 PM (GMT)
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11. "RE: White Nights Gala"
In response to message #10
 
   Dear Gerald,

Mea culpa. It was not Jacques Damboise in that Gala performance on tape. Melissa Hayden danced with Peter Martins.


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Jeannie

07-07-00, 08:25 PM (GMT)
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12. "RE: White Nights Gala"
In response to message #11
 
   Gentle reminder to "meunier" that his/hers is not the only informed "personal opinion" on this board. Several of us--certainly Kevin Ng & others who happen to admire Vishneva--have traveled the world far & wide viewing first-class ballet. Yes, even to NYCB in New York. Yours is not the only opinion around here that is based on years of ballet-going. In fact, I would venture to guess that the majority of people posting on this board have seen quite a bit of live ballet beyond their native shores.

I respect your opinion; please respect that of the rest of us who can also provide a detailed long list of performers whom we've seen dance Tchaikovksy pdd through the years!


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meunier

07-07-00, 11:38 PM (GMT)
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14. "RE: White Nights Gala"
In response to message #12
 
   Dear Jeannie,

I believe I had suggested in my note above that Gerald's points were well taken. I was merely expressing my own opinion and look forward to reading others. I am well aware that there are many notable opinions -- far more informed than my own. At no time, I believe, did I suggest that there were not. I was simply replying to the the 'Callas widow' question, which had, I believe, been directed to me.

I am sorry if I did not make this clear. May I say I very much enjoy reading your commentaries on Ballet Alert as well as here, and enjoyed all your comments on the Kirov on the latter's board.


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kn

07-07-00, 11:48 PM (GMT)
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16. "RE: White Nights Gala"
In response to message #14
 
   meunier: You and I posted more or less simultaneously in reply to Jeannie. You're just more polite than I am. I do wish, however, that people would read postings more carefully before seeing slights that simply aren't there.


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kn

07-07-00, 11:42 PM (GMT)
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15. "RE: White Nights Gala"
In response to message #12
 
   Jeannie: One could ask "what's your problem?". Meunier's reply to Gerald specifically said that everyone was entitled to their own opinions, and certainly didn't give me the impression that "m" was claiming to be the only one to have an informed opinion. Similarly, "m" wasn't claiming to be the only one to have seen loads of different dancers dancing the Tchaik pdd, but contradicting the suggestion that he/she was so fixated on one dancer's performance, they couldn't bear to see anyone else dance that role. To me, meunier showed a far more respectful attitude to other people's opinions even when completely different from their own, than you have shown to meunier. Just a "gentle reminder" of my own, you could say.


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Bambi

08-07-00, 06:38 PM (GMT)
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18. "RE: White Nights Gala"
In response to message #15
 
   KN, Could I say a big THANK YOU for having the guts to reply to Jeannie's unbelieveably rude answer to meunier's logical and well-argued comments on Vishneva's Tschaikovsky pas de duex. Jeannie can count fouettes and babble about tutus and tiaras, but cannot talk about style, and hates people that can. Meunier is a lot more tolerant than most people are about her posts!


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Mark

09-07-00, 04:07 AM (GMT)
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19. "RE: White Nights Gala"
In response to message #18
 
   Bambi, since meunier is so 'tolerant' as you remarked, why are you adding fuel to the flames? I think it's about time to return to the main subject of this thread which is the White Nights Gala, instead of any personal issues.


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Ninotchka

10-07-00, 04:33 AM (GMT)
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20. "RE: White Nights Gala"
In response to message #19
 
   Jeannie is one of the most knowledgeable and informed posters around. There was nothing rude about her post. If anything, it was an altogether tactful reminder that one doesn't need to babble a litany of dancers seen in a role to justify one's preference.

I agree with Mark. On to the main subject of the thread.


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Eugene Merrett

10-07-00, 12:37 PM (GMT)
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21. "RE: White Nights Gala"
In response to message #20
 
   >Jeannie is one of the most
>knowledgeable and informed posters around.
>There was nothing rude about
>her post. If anything, it
>was an altogether tactful reminder
>that one doesn't need to
>babble a litany of dancers
>seen in a role to
>justify one's preference.
>
>I agree with Mark. On to
>the main subject of the
>thread.


I totally agree with the above sentence. It was rather silly to say that Jeannie was impolite. The critism of Vishneva seemed unduly harsh although I suspect there may be a grain of truth in it!


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Karen Miller

08-07-00, 01:18 AM (GMT)
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17. "RE: SARAH Wildor"
In response to message #0
 
   Please PLEASE CAN ANYONE throw some light on the condition of Sarah Wildor, rumour has it she is terribly injured and will be off for a very long time, I AM SO WORRIED for her, please tell me these rumours are exagorated. I WILL BE SO GRATEFULL, Thank you.


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