The Kirov Ballet
18th July 2003 -- Teatro Rossini
in Civitanova, Italy
Attempting to have something to
eat before going to see the Kirov Ballet perform is a bit of a gamble,
nevertheless I do succeed to have something in the glamorous bar beside
Teatro Rossini in Civitanova. Then the small preliminaries, collecting
the ticket, finding my seat and taking a look at the programme: there
is a change, instead of Tchaikovsky pas de deux by Balanchine, we will
see the adagio from 'Manon' by MacMillan. I exchange a few words with
the two friends I have come with and then lights out, silence and expectation
fill the theatre.
The first piece is ‘Chopiniana’, and it touches the audience's heart like
a soft and caressing cloud of silky wind. Daria Sukhrukova is splendid
in her Mazurka, which she performs with elegance and verve. Igor Kolb
is slightly stiff in his movements, his princely stature and strong built
in contrast to the feather-like ballerinas. Overall the cast is perfectly
synchronised and in tune with the pathos of this piece in which stasis
plays an important role.
A long pause follows and the delighted audience exchange comments. Then
the lights go down again and the softness and delicacy of ‘Chopiniana’
are replaced by a series of outstanding duets.
First of all one from ‘Harlequinade’, with Andrej Ivanov's elevation and
comic wit to delight us, counterbalanced by Elena Sheshina's millimetric
Then a passionate and flowing adagio from ‘Manon’ re-established an emotional
balance after the previous comic piece. Diana Vishneva is extremely flexible
in the arms of Andrey Merkuriev and when they exchange the sweetest of
kisses, the audience stand breathless as not only technical perfection
has the power to move people.
A powerful pas de deux from ‘Le Corsaire’ shakes the audience from the
love and erotic quality of the adagio from ‘Manon’. Leonid Sarafanov is
handsome and proud in his jumps, again the audience remain breathless
in front of his capacity to nearly stand in mid-air (Nureyev's spirit
might have been there watching). Sofya Gumerova is quick and perfectly
balanced in her numerous fouettes. The audience is overwhelmed and acclaims
the dancers throughout the performance.
From the turquoise and bright
purple of ‘Le Corsaire’ to the black of ‘Middle Duet’, a bolero-like tango
piece. You stand hypnotised by the tension of the steps and the intimacy
of the two dancers. Yes, they dance themselves to death as if they have
been assimilated by a sinister spell, which would not let them go. The
final movements resemble the loss of control that puppets have until they
abruptly collapse to the floor. Magic performance, maybe the one I enjoyed
most. The dancers are Natalie Sologub and the fair-haired Andrey Merkuriev.
’The Death of the Swan’, is performed by Daria Pavlenko, but she is unable
to transmit the tragic and ethereal quality this apparently simple solo
needs. It is followed by an energetic and sparkling duet from Don Quixote.
Olesya Novikova and Anton Korsakov are perfect for this final piece. The
audience applaud continuously, excited in exultation at such a performance.
At the end of the performance,
the mayor of Civitanova, Erminio Marinelli gave the Enrico Cecchetti prize
to the Kirov represented by Ballet Director Makahr Vaziev, who thanked
the warm audience and the town of Civitanova. Last year the same prize
was given to Alessandra Ferri.
Vaziev underlined the great work Cecchetti did with the Kirov and stated
that the Kirov Ballet had intended to show Cecchetti's place of origin
what he had taught them. The Teatro Rossini Artistic Director, Gilberto
Santini said he hoped this visit would not be an isolated occurrence and
Vaziev replied that it might develop into a regular event.
Edited by Stuart
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