Ardani Artists Management Presents:
And Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre
Valery Gergiev, Artistic & General Director
Mikhail Agrest, Conductor
Media: Helene Davis Public Relations
Serenade, Rubies (From Jewels)
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
April 19, 2008
Serenade: Music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky (“Serenade in C major for String Orchestra”, Op. 48), Choreography by George Balanchine, Staging by Francia Russell and Karin von Aroldingen, Costume design by Karinska, Original lighting design by Ronald Bates, Lighting by Vladimir Lukashevich.
Rubies (from Jewels: Music by Igor Stravinsky (“Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra”), Choreography by George Balanchine, Staging by Karin von Aroldingen, Sara Leland, Elyse Born, and Sean Lavery, Scenery by Peter Harvey, Costumes by Karinska, Recreation of costumes supervised by Holly Hynes, Original lighting by Ronald Bates, Lighting by Perry Silvey.
Ballet Imperial: Music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky (“Piano Concerto No. 2 in G major”), Choreography by George Balanchine, Staging by Colleen Neary, Costumes after Karinska, Executed by Tatiana Noginova, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Executed by Vladimir Lukashevich.
It takes courage to perform Balanchine in New York, with so may balletomanes as steadfast fans of City Ballet’s expansive and oft-repeated Balanchine repertoire. The three works tonight exemplify quite familiar Balanchine repertoire for the New York ballet audiences. However, Kirov Ballet presented elegant mastery and the highest respect for Balanchine’s oeuvres, and there was a difference, not better or worse, between its and City Ballet’s interpretations of the three. With the Kirov, timing seemed a bit slower, spontaneity was noticeable in solos, and corps passages seemed a bit more rounded and sensual. In Serenade, the nymphs seemed quite young, in the palest blue tutus, but well rehearsed and deliberately timed. There was wonder and wistfulness at once, and when one dancer fell down and one takes her place, it was eloquently realized (Balanchine writes, in quoted program notes, that in rehearsal one girl was late and another fell down, and he added these real life sequences to this dramatic choreography).
Tonight’s Walse was danced by Ekaterina Kondaurova and Danila Korsuntsev. Ekaterina Osmolkina danced the Russian solo, while Daria Vasnetsova danced the Dark Angel. Alexander Sergeev danced the Elegia. One could study the long, narrow torsos of these ballerinas and their regal poses. Mr. Sergeev was like a prince, as he entered stage right and walked oh, so slowly. The second work was the centerpiece of Balanchine’s Jewels, Rubies. Olesia Novikova was a last minute replacement for Alina Somova, and her spritely, taut physique was perfect for the dazzling spins and ever-so-high leg kicks. Yet, her partner, Leonid Sarafanov, so startlingly alluring in other ballets this month was not up to the challenge. Rubies calls for charismatic, devilish aerobics and sexy partnering. Ms. Novikova needed someone more physically appropriate to her size and more electric in his performance.
The iconic female turns with hands at angles down were seamlessly spun through Ms. Novikova’s flashy fervor. Ms. Novikova’s presentation was fearless and awesome, as her legs burst from the stage and reached her head. Again, I noticed that this company does not rush. This Rubies had some pauses, some attention to nuance and ornamentation that did not totally merge from sequence to sequence. It was mesmerizing to see a familiar work with different artistic direction. Stravinsky’s atonality took on deep theatricality, rather than whimsical breeziness. The Mariinsky Orchestra was impressive, under Mikhail Agrest’s conducting.
The 1941 Ballet Imperial, also called Piano Concerto No. 2, uses Tchaikovsky’s Second Concerto as the score. Uliana Lopatkina and Andrian Fadeev led the company. The challenging choreography here was fully mastered by both leads, as well as Olesia Novikova, Alexander Sergeev, Maxim Zyuzin, Yana Selina, and Svetlana Ivanova. Every bit of this ballet exemplifies the history and regality of Russia, and the Kirov shone with scintillating luster, all around. Kudos to Kirov Ballet, Valery Gergiev, Artistic and General Director, both Conductors this season, and Ardani Artists Management for a magnificent Kirov Season in New York.
Uliana Lopatkina in "Serenade"
Courtesy of Mariinsky Theatre
Diana Vishneva and Andrian Fadeev in "Rubies"
Courtesy of Mariinsky Theatre