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Ardani Artists, Mariinsky Theatre of St. Petersburg, and Diana Vishneva Foundation Present "Diana Vishneva: Dialogues"
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Ardani Artists, Mariinsky Theatre of St. Petersburg, and Diana Vishneva Foundation Present "Diana Vishneva: Dialogues"

- Onstage with the Dancers

Salon Ziba

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Ardani Artists
(Ardani Artists Website)
Mariinsky Theatre of St. Petersburg
Diana Vishneva Foundation

Diana Vishneva: Dialogues
(Diana Vishneva Website)

At New York City Center
(NY City Center Website)

Diana Vishneva
Abdiel Jacobsen (Martha Graham Company)
Marcelo Gomes (American Ballet Theatre)
Andrey Merkuriev (Bolshoi Ballet)
Anton Pimonov, Ilya Petrov, Fedor Murashov,
Alexei Nedviga (Mariinsky Ballet)

Executive Producer: Konstantin Selinevich
Producer: Sergei Danilian
Production Supervisor: Mikhail Beylin
Ballet Master: Maxim Khrebtov
Film Director: Sergei Dubrovsky
Lighting Designer: Alexander Naumov
Stage Manager: Sergey Salikov

Press: Ardani Artists

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
March 16, 2012

Errand into the Maze (1947): One-act ballet, Choreography and Costume Design by Martha Graham, Costume by Edythe Gilfond, Music by Gian Carlo Menotti, Staging at the Mariinsky Theatre: Miki Orihara, Set by Isamu Noguchi, Original Lighting by Jean Rosenthal, Performed by Diana Vishneva and Abdiel Jacobsen.

After seeing this same work, with Ms. Vishneva and Mr. Jacobsen at the Graham Gala, I looked for differentiations tonight, in this, Ms. Vishneva’s own production (with the Mariinsky Theatre) of her new contemporary-styled dance roles. Ms. Vishneva still evoked the “Giselle” madness gaze, in her angst in the maze of wood and ropes. She was too vulnerable, too smooth. She does not allow her face to show the ugliness of internalized horror. She was more Monet than Munch. There were no twisted veins or taut agony. Yet, Ms. Vishneva struggled with Mr. Jacobsen as the Minotaur to her Ariadne with forcefulness and focus. A Graham historical film had set the mood, and Ms. Vishneva was clearly paying homage to an icon in dance. Her evening is called “Dialogues”, so this is her dialogue with the Graham genre. The Menotti score seared the air, as Ms. Vishneva and Mr. Jacobsen battled in space. And, as always, the maze of ropes collapsed, as Ariadne won over her fears.

Vertigo (2010): Choreography by Mauro Bigonzetti, Music by Dmitri Shostakovich: Chamber Symphony No. 110a (String Quartet No. 8 arranged for Orchestra), Performed by Diana Vishneva and Marcelo Gomes.

Mr. Gomes, also a Principal in Ballet Theatre, and one of Ms. Vishneva’s loyal dance partners, performed this duo, a Bigonzetti creation from 2010. The score is from Shostakovich’s “String Quartet No. 8”. Mr. Gomes was muscular, chivalrous, and essentially exquisite, in his partnering. Ms. Vishneva at one point bent over in dim, glowing lighting (I assume by Bruno Moretti, his usual lighting partner). The music enveloped the mood, and the seasoned chemistry of this duo was thick. He was endearing, and she was obviously filled with trust. Her leotard resembled beachwear, and he wore black tights. The piece was mesmerizing, exotic, and replete with silent spaces.

Subject to Change (2003): Choreography by Paul Lightfoot and Sol Léon, Asst. Choreographer: Hedda Tweihaus, Music by Franz Schubert (Death and the Maiden, Andante con moto – Part 2 in Gustav Mahler’s arrangement for string orchestra), Set and Costumes by Paul Lightfoot and Sol Léon, Lighting by Tom Bevoort, Performed by Diana Vishneva, Andrey Merkuriev, Anton Pimonov, Alexei Nedviga, Ilya Petrov, Fedor Murashov.

It was at this point in the evening that I was lost, and the endless intermissions did not help. Lightfoot and Léon’s Subject to Change played out on a rolled up then unrolled red carpet, that takes on levels and forms, was more frustrating than the extra-long intermissions. Five members of the Bolshoi and Mariinsky Ballets participate in this nonsensical exploration of what can happen on a moving carpet. Ms. Vishneva’s face looked like Coppélia, ingénue, innocent, doll-like. The men often vocalized in Russian, to add one more dimension, but nothing would have helped. I would rather have seen her “Dying Swan” once again.

Diana Vishneva in
Graham's "Errand into the Maze"
Courtesy of Gene Schiavone

Diana Vishneva in
Graham's "Errand into the Maze"
Courtesy of Gene Schiavone

Diana Vishneva and Marcelo Gomes
in Bigonzetti's "Vertigo"
Courtesy of Gene Schiavone

Diana Vishneva and Andrey Merkuriev
in Lightfoot and Léon's "Subject to Change"
Courtesy of Gene Schiavone

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at