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Subject: "`Sleeping Beauty' in NYC" Archived thread - Read only
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Wendy Glavis

30-06-99, 10:24 AM (GMT)
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"`Sleeping Beauty' in NYC"
   LAST EDITED ON 30-Jun-99 AT 10:30 AM (GMT)

Monday night saw the New York opening of the Kirov's `new' (or maybe `old') `Sleeping Beauty'. There's a review in the New York Times Arts section today:

(NB Just tested that link and it worked for me - but you may need to be registered.)

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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: `Sleeping Beauty' in NYC eugene 30-06-99 1
     RE: `Sleeping Beauty' in NYC Amy Besa 01-07-99 2
     RE: `Sleeping Beauty' in NYC Ari 03-07-99 6
  Kirov `Sleeping Beauty' in Ballet Alert Stuart Sweeney 01-07-99 3
     RE: Kirov `Sleeping Beauty' in Ballet Alert Mary Cargill 01-07-99 4
         RE: Kirov `Sleeping Beauty' in Ballet Alert Alexandra Tomalonis 02-07-99 5
             RE: Kirov `Sleeping Beauty' in Ballet Alert Eugene Merrett 03-07-99 7

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30-06-99, 02:14 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail eugene Click to send private message to eugene Click to add this user to your buddy list  
1. "RE: `Sleeping Beauty' in NYC"
In response to message #0
   Thanks a lot!.

I advise all thoughs interested to download in the next few hours. Soon NY Times will archive it and it will $2.50 to get it!

Interest article. I was scepital of a traditional SB mostly because of the vast improved technique of male dancers in the 20th century. One of the advantages of the current SB the Royal ballet do is the utilizing of more male dancers in the prologue and the Garland Waltz. That is in contrast to the old Kirov production which without the male dancers does not have the energy and pizaz of the RB one.

Can anyone is has or is going to see the new production comment on this.

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Amy Besa

01-07-99, 07:41 AM (GMT)
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2. "RE: `Sleeping Beauty' in NYC"
In response to message #1
   I have only seen the SB of the Royal Ballet on tape (with Viviana Durante). I saw 3 SBs of the Kirov (marathon watching, since each production is 4 hours long!) It's very hard to make a judgement as to which production is superior--although my initial reaction was the RB version is far superior. Besides any production with Viv in it will be nothing less than great.

The Kirov version has a lot of problems: too long (the prologue is almost unbearable), not enough male dancing (waste of Zelensky and Fadeyev who are both divine); and inconsistency of style. (Kisselgoff discusses that in her article.)

BUT!!! The costumes and scenery are stunning and those ballerinas are worth seeing. I saw Zakharova, Vishneva and Azylmuratova. The most satisfying prod was with Azylmuratova who danced gloriously. This was a very ecstatically happy Aurora and the other 2 could not match her emotional depth, nuance, grace, elegance. One thing though, Zakharova is electrifying. People were screaming Bravo as soon as she started the Rose Adagio with those incredible extensions.

My conclusion is: I am grateful for the revival because there are many brilliant aspects to the 1890 version, but they could have used some common sense and realized that it could never be a total reproduction and be successful today. As soon as Zelensky came on stage in the second act wearing boots, all our hearts grew heavy. We knew we would only see those legs break into heavenly leaps in the last act.

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03-07-99, 00:54 AM (GMT)
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6. "RE: `Sleeping Beauty' in NYC"
In response to message #1
   I've tried to send this twice before, and both posts went up in cybersmoke. This is my last try!

I saw the Wednesday matinee. Overall I'd say that the production is more of an historical curiosity than a living thing. Of course it's interesting to see, but it's not something I'd go back to.

Even as a museum piece it has its problems, though. They put the Lilac Fairy on pointe in the Prologue and then switched her to long skirts and heeled shoes for the rest of the ballet. Personally I think she belongs on pointe but whatever they decided, it should have been consistent. There were some bizarre touches, such as a cumbersome floral prop being hauled out during the Vision Scene for the sole purpose of having Aurora balance on it for a couple of seconds, and the appearance of Carabosse, carried on on a litter, during the wedding, like an honored guest.

One interesting thing is that the Garland Waltz looked a lot like Balanchine's, strengthening suspicions that there is a lot of Petipa in the NYCB's waltz.

About the male dancing--except for Andrian Fadeyev's elegant and promising dancing in the wedding scene, the men in this production seemed invisible. You hardly even noticed the fairies' cavaliers.

Assylmuratova was wonderful and I enjoyed Igor Petrov's Carabosse, but the company's classical dancing was mostly dull and lifeless. An exception was Maya Dumchenko in the second fairy variation; she is supposed to dance Giselle on Saturday afternoon and I hope to see her.

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Stuart Sweeney

01-07-99, 08:40 AM (GMT)
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3. "Kirov `Sleeping Beauty' in Ballet Alert"
In response to message #0
   The NY performances are unsurprisingly causing a stir across the Atlantic and you can read an extensive discussion about them on the US site, Ballet Alert on:

http://www.balletalert.com/cgi-bin/ubb/forumdisplay.cgi?action=topics&forum=Recent Performances&number=13

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Mary Cargill

01-07-99, 02:52 PM (GMT)
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4. "RE: Kirov `Sleeping Beauty' in Ballet Alert"
In response to message #3
   I saw three productions of the Kirov Sleeping Beauty, and don't agree about the prince. The heeled boots in the vision scene (which Zelensky wore) help create a magical feeling, because there is a real person in amongst the dryads and the vision of Aurora. It made it much more interesting and rich. There is so much variety and interest and choreographic architecture in this version, it is hard to absorb. Also I think if the Bluebirds had been better dancers, we would have gotten more male virtuosity. But this Sleeping Beauty is about all forms of dancing, which includes being able to dominate a stage with a grand personality.

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Alexandra Tomalonis

02-07-99, 01:35 AM (GMT)
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5. "RE: Kirov `Sleeping Beauty' in Ballet Alert"
In response to message #4
   Comments about men being "wasted" in "Sleeping Beauty" always bring out the closet feminist in me. I don't think I've ever read or heard anyone complain that a ballerina, or the women in a dance production, don't have enough to do. There's a lot of dancing for men in "Sleeping Beauty"! They had a broader definition of dancing then than we do now.

There's another very interesting review in the L.A. Times by Lewis Segal. I don't have the link, but I think it's www.latimes.com, then search for either Lewis Segal or Kirov.

Ballet Alert has a review by Mary Cargil at: http://www.balletalert.com/Reading Room/Reviews/KirovBeauty.htm

There will be a review in the Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com) by Sarah Kaufman soon. Don't know quite when; probably Saturday, but it may not run until Monday.


Thanks for posting the link, Stuart. It has caused a lot of comment -- and it's been sold out.

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Eugene Merrett

03-07-99, 05:18 PM (GMT)
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7. "RE: Kirov `Sleeping Beauty' in Ballet Alert"
In response to message #5
   I am so jelous of our American cousins! It is my favorite ballet so I really wanted to see it. If it was on over a weekend I would go over to see it but for some reason it was on on Monday -Thursday. I think most people in New York leave the city on summer weekends for the beaches etc it may not have sold well over the weekend!

I note that the prices were only $80 for the best. I bet that when it comes here it will be twice that (just like the Bolshoi is doing!)

I am still not sure whether the Kirov are coming to London. According to Dancing Times the Kirov are coming to Edinburgh next year in the Spring for "exclusive UK dates" and SB is not going to be included. Can anyone comment further on this.

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