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Mariinsky Swan Lake in 3D


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I went to the 3D Swan Lake screening tonight in Bath, streamed live from the Mariinsky Theatre.

 

To get it out of the way first, I thought the 3D was okay. It wasn't gimmicky like I'd feared (e.g. not very many sweeping shots) but I also kind of didn't notice it.. For the most part I think I would have enjoyed it just as much in 2D (more so if 2D would mean higher definition!). There was a couple of nice moments though - Odette walking down an aisle of swans before the Act I Sc. II Adage was effective in 3D.

 

Kondaurova danced Odette/Odile. I was very impressed with her Act I Sc II Odette, adding lots of character to her steps. Her Odile was blisteringly fast but she verged almost on the frantic side. The opening of her variation was impressive in terms of number of turns (double/triple pirouette fouetteing into a double attitude turn each time) but I didn't feel like she had complete control. I'm not sure if this might have been due to fast conducting by Gergiev though. 

Askerov (Siegfried) gave a rather nice Act II Variation and seemed a very supportive and secure partner throughout. I liked how his Act I Sc I Siegfried was quite happily flirting with all the girls - it made his change post-Odette make his love that bit more believable.

 

A highlight was definitely the Act I Sc I Pas de Trois featuring Shirinkina, Batoeva and Xander Parish. All three shone with their technique, lines and charm. Xander Parish also helped introduce the performance before Act I and in the intervals and came across rather well - including asking the (international model) for private Russian lessons! Certainly everyone in the cinema seemed to be talking about "that British lad" as I was leaving.

 

As always with the Mariinsky, the Corps were phenomenal. Act I Sc II was perfectly in sync throughout. I particularly enjoyed Act II's character dances and thought Rothbart died a very good death at the end (though I'm still not a fan of the 'happy ending' version!).

 

All in all a very enjoyable performance. Pricing was a bit steep (over £20 a ticket [even for children] and £80 for a family ticket) which possibly explains the half-full cinema. RB broadcasts are always fully booked (with plenty of kids) so perhaps the price was a big factor (or maybe Mariinsky is a less well-known name that the Royal).

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There was no 3D in my cinema, thank goodness, I saw the ROH Carmen in 3D and didn't think it added anything positive to the experience. Tickets were also much cheaper than for the Bolshoi, 10 Euros instead of 15.

 

I completely agree with DavidW's comments on the performance, and would add that the orchestra was excellent too, including the bit of Tchaikovsky's 4th Symphony which they played as part of the general presentation on St Petersburg.

The fascinating and knowledgeable Miss Novikova who presents the Bolshoi ballets was sorely missed. You may be a supermodel, but if you're going to present an event at least make the effort to remember the name of the ballerina dancing Odette! Especially when the person you're talking to is that ballerina's husband.

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No 3D where I saw it either, but since  I have a minor sight defect which means that I cannot get the benefit of the 3D experience, this didn't matter.  I loved the performance for all the points mentioned above - wondrous, easy dancing, the precision of the corps  and the Maryinsky Orchestra's playing under Gergiev's  masterly conducting.  I loved Kondaurova's beautifully controlled dancing and her moving grasp of Odette's tragedy, presented simply and without pretention.  I also admired the unshowy Timor Askerov's Siegfried (a Tom Cruise-lookalike if ever there was one). He seemed a calm and controlled partner for Kondaurova and showed easy power in his solos – we’ll surely see more of him. What I didn't like was the curiously old-fashioned look of the design; particularly the womens' costumes - when will the Russians get over their curious fondness for French Foreigh Legion-type cloths flapping from the back of headdresses?  Messy and unflattering. 

 

I was disappointed that we weren't shown the tweets coming in from round the world as we were for the last couple of Royal Ballet live transmissions (this may be  an RB innovation of course) but overall this showing of the Maryinsky's Swan Lake was a marvelous treat and I hope we won’t have to wait too long for another live broadcast from this great company.

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I really enjoyed the screening. Kondaurova is absolutely stunning and I thought she and Askerov danced well together. After watching some of the videos of Askerov on yt my expectations weren't particularly high but he did extremely well. The pas de trois was well done, how did the Royal let Xander slip through their fingers? The corps were of course bang on. The sound came across as a bit flat in quality during the white acts but that was probably the cinema sound system rather any fault of the orchestra. I thought the presenters did okay but seemed nervous at the start (does anyone know who the dancer they filmed in the tutu during the Vaganova segment was? She looked familiar for some reason).

 

I'm surprised to hear it cost £20 for some people, at my local it was slightly more expensive than for the RB but it was in 3D, which worked surprisingly well. The cinema was absolutely packed when we arrived and by the time the broadcast started the only seats left were by the very front and a smattering of single seats.

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When I first heard about this 3D production of the Mariinsky I was like "What the hell...". After a day or two thinking about it, I decided I was willing to give it a shot if I could be able to see it (they are not going to show it in cinemas where I live, so it is just a dream, but still I think it is worthy to give it shot.). Perhaps if I sit in the first row I'm gonna have Kondaurova dancing in my lap. :)

Technologies evolve, social structures change, people change... Creating 3D ballet productions was inevitable.
 

At the same time I've seen very good complete revivals of ballets recently like Esmeralda, Paquita (full version) and Ondine. And definitely ballet choreographers, producers and companies' directors are not that stupid to turn ballet into a commercial entertainment. Ballet was an elitary art in the past and it still is ... kind of...
As long as ballet companies stick to the classics era and its values and looks, they could definitely do 3D ballets, even holographic ballets.

 

And I agree with Shmendrick. 20 pounds in not pricey for watching 3D live broadcast from the Mariinsky.

 
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The pas de trois was well done, how did the Royal let Xander slip through their fingers?

“… he had been a member of the Royal Ballet, where he had languished in the corps de ballet for five seasons, growing increasingly frustrated as advancement passed him by.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/theatreblog/2011/aug/02/xander-parish-mariinsky-ballet-chopiniana

 

I can imagine how proud and happy Xander felt knowing that his solo performance with Mariinsky was being watched in Britain.

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