Kasatkina-Vasilyov's company is mostly known under the brand ‘The Moscow Classic Ballet', and they live up to their name – classical productions appear to be their stronger point. Their 'Beauty' was really beautiful :))
01.03.2017 - 01.03.2017
Kasatkina-Vasilyov's company is mostly known under the brand ‘The Moscow Classic Ballet', and they live up to their name – classical productions appear to be their stronger point. Their 'Beauty' was really beautiful )
Good for them - my encounter with their 'Spartacus' a couple of months ago was a real catastrophe!
Natalia Kasatkina and Vladimir Vasilyov are former Bolshoi dancers, and their company is the former ‘Young Ballet’, an off-spring of Igor Moisseev’s Folk Dance Company since as long ago as 1966, so you can expect quite a tradition here.
As said, it's classic – for the most part. And the best one, too. As long as they stick to the good old Monsieur Marius Petipa, everything is perfect. Once they start trying to ‘keep up with the times’ and entertain the public – make the royal couple, who normally sit quietly on their thrones, do some funny tricks, it looks comic, and more comic than they wanted, IMHO. Besides, the stage director could not resist the temptation to make full use of the modern facilities of the Kremlin Palace and filled the stage with smoke, as if it were a hard-rock concert.
Kasatkina-Vasilyov have no own orchestra – no wonder, as they haven't got an own stage either, and have to migrate between the tiny Novaya Opera hall sitting 750 pax and the Kremlin Palace, which is a real hangar of a concert-hall, with 6 000 seats. How they manage to adapt the same production to these two completely different venues, I have not the slightest idea – I hate to say it, but I suspect they don’t!
Stage and costumes design
The set design was a bit modest for such a spacious stage, which may be well accounted by the fact that they are guests here. But the costumes had really caught my eye – bright, joyous and rich, absolutely splendid. Created by Elizaveta Dvorkina.
The company traditionally cooperates with the Novaya Opera orchestra, whose tempo here appeared sort of slow, in fact, that what I can say of both the orchestra and the dancers. Or maybe it's me and my ears...
Princess Aurora – Marina Rzhannikova
To say that Ms. Rzhannikova's dance is charming would be an understatement! It's voluptuously seducing thanks to her somewhat ampler shape than is usual with ballet dancers. With the opera glasses – strongly recommend, the cloakroom ladies rent them just for 200 roubles – I could follow all her movements, full of dignity and grace, and even the glance she would now and then cast at her devoted Prince. You wouldn't call this lady a princess, she is clearly a ruling empress in full ballet might!
Lilac Fairy – Alyona Podavalova
The part suits her perfectly. Ms. Podavalova is taller than most of her colleagues, and a 'ballet prince' might have a bit of a problem carrying her around the stage. As a 'fairy' she has a lot of independent dance which is a pleasure to watch.
Prince Desire – Artyom Khoroshilov
Ufff, that’s a relief :
Here, too, they had hit the target. I saw Mr. Khoroshilov as Spartacus, and that was a total disaster! I thought there and then, however, that with his elegant gait, noble poise and generally melancholic attitude Mr. Khoroshilov would make a good classic 'ballet prince'. Well, he did, though not to the extent I hoped. The part of Prince Desire is not so awfully demanding, IMHO – he serves mostly as a pedestal for Princess Aurora, only staging a few leaps and pirouettes in the last act. And mind you - even that left him visibly breathless! An aerobics class would do the vulnerable Mr. Khoroshilov a lot of good )
Fairy Carabosse – Ekaterina Khapova
That was a pleasant surprise. Carabosse is usually presented as an aged witch and often performed by male dancers. Here she is sort of a 'femme fatale' with very daring leaps and no less daring red-and-black outfit.
Star of the night
Blue Bird – Nikolai Chevychelov
I thought so. Mr. Chevychelov is clearly the star of the company. I had seen him as Crassus in 'Spartacus' – a perfectly worthless production, it let the audience admire Mr. Chevychelov's charisma, but hardly did any justice to his skills. Here as the Blue Bird he is literally flying around the stage! Shame indeed he had not thought of getting a stage name – to pronounce his own is quite a quest in any language ))
African youngster – Vladimir Yakovlev
This is a very small part, but Mr. Yakovlev' wild leaps and loops had made him a darling with the audience.
If I don’t review The Kremlin Palace (formerly – of Congresses) in the nearest future, here is what you – the audience – need to know. Unlike the old theatres, which may be hot and stuffy, the Kremlin Palace is vigorously air-conditioned, at some point it may feel a bit chilly, a light scarf would be very appropriate.
Come early – there is a frightful queue, and several security lines – it’s the Kremlin, folks!