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Vishneva (continued)


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#1 Giannina

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 05:53 PM

Paul Parish posted this response to jps on the Welcome Forum and I have moved it here, using a very un-professional method (but it works!). To wit:

I've been fascinated by people's responses to Vishneva. Did you see Joan Acocella's thoughts about her Giselle in the New Yorker? Really inrteresting -- did you feel what she felt? What was it YOU felt? Can you be more particular? There's something about her that gets way under people's skin. I sure wish i could see her myself...


Giannina

#2 richard53dog

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 06:59 PM

Giannina

Well, I didn't see the same performance of Giselle Acocella reviewed but I saw many of the same components of Vishneva's Giselle in the earlier performance I did see.

Without going into details, I would take a step back to a basic level and say that I feel Vishneva has a tremendous magnetism on stage. She draws your eye to her. I find it difficult to look away from her when she is on stage and look at someone/something else.

This is all fresh in my mind; I just saw her last night with ABT in Romeo and Juliet.

There is much, much more that could be said; what she does, how she does it, etc. but I thought to start off I would throw out my thought on what I feel is her great magnetism.


Richard

#3 Buddy

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 07:36 PM

I also saw Diana Vishneva's "Giselle" with Vladimir Malakhov. I was "Mind Boggled" as usual. ("Mind Boggled" means I liked it.) Still her claim to immortality as I have mentioned before, for me, is her performance in Ratmansky's Cinderella. I've seen this performance 2 1/10 times. (The 1/10 was the pas de deux performed at the Mariinsky Winter Festival Gala this year. All performances were equally spectacular in my opinion. Below is my lifting of my previous posting at the ABT Giselle topic.

[Quote by Buddy]

In the New Yorker Joan Acocella discusses Diana Vishneva's "Giselle". Ms. Acocella has some rather different ideas about the nature of the character than I do, but I definitely share her sentiments about Diana Vishneva's abilities. Two quotes below.


"Diana Vishneva, a principal dancer at the Kirov Ballet and at American Ballet Theatre, once told Francis Mason, of Ballet Review, that in any ballet she always tried to find “a particular thing that allows me to know what I am doing with the role, not just to do it beautifully.” She needed, she said, to find her own “secret.”


"Her versatility is huge. So is her scale. She has the hundred-and-eighty-degree extension that ballerinas, worldwide, now cultivate, but she uses it for dance purposes—to carve the air, broaden the arc—rather than for the merely visual purpose, so strange and fundamentally vulgar, of raising the foot to the ear. Also, she has the celebrated Kirov back. When she turns around, you can see all the movement emanating from the lumbar spine. But you don’t have to see it. Always, you can feel that generator working, and this gives the movement force and unity, which read as spiritual qualities—the body as soul."


http://www.newyorker...710crda_dancing

#4 Andre Yew

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 07:53 PM

I've seen her in many ballets, and she is always amazing, even when she's having an off night. Memorable ones include the first time I ever saw her, which was Nikiya in La Bayadere: amazing range of movement and contrast of speeds as well as an emotional complexity in her character. She's also done the only perfect Rose Adagio I've ever seen. It looked almost too easy. Her Rubies is fantastic, too. She has an incredible stage presence. When she comes out, it's almost like someone turned on some extra lights.

--Andre

#5 carbro

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 08:20 PM

If you're interested, we have two earlier threads devoted to Diana: here and here. :huh:

#6 Buddy

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 08:22 PM

Hi Andre,

We meet again from earlier Diana "discussion" days. Good to have you back! Cheers!

#7 atm711

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 03:57 AM

I saw two of her Giselles--last year with Corella and this year with Malakhov. What I can't get out of my mind is her Act 2 performance this year. From the moment she emerged from the grave and went into a frantic spin which was so fast it r eminded me of one of those artsy blurred photographs--a mass of white emanating wisps of white--I knew I was in for a very different Giselle. Most Giselles look like complacent phantoms, already of another world, but her Giselle was seeking peace. I found her return to the grave so poignant when she purposely avoided Albrecht's touch, finally embracing her death. I did not have these same thoughts when I saw her Giselle the year before with Corella; then I was overwhelmed with her Act 1; and felt, at the time, that she did not blend well with Corella---which, from recent postings, has improved this season. But, make no mistake about it--this is one of the great Giselles.

#8 canbelto

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 05:17 AM

What most impressed me about Vishneva's Giselle was her manic energy. Especially in the second act. There was something so implacable about her. It was as if she was purging her own inner demons. She was going to battle Myrtha and she was going to win. From her frenzied spins to her enormous grande jetes, she used every bit of movement to delineate her strength of character. Her face was stern, staring Myrtha down, and only softening during the pdd with Malakhov. When daybreak came, she gently lifted Malakhov's arm, to remind him that he was alive. Suddenly, she radiated serenity and peace, and a desire to descend back into her grave. She gave Malakhov one last flower, and then she disappeared. It was unforgettable.
Vishneva's petite (certainly not a part of the Kirov Basketball Team), but her super-long arms and enormous eyes give her a huge stage presence. Her feet are not Paloma Herrera pretty, and unlike many American dancers she doesn't seem afraid to absolutely pound her shoes into the stage floor. She has such enormous elevation, which is why she's such a good partner for Malakhov. The way they were able to jump to the exact same height was something to watch.

#9 drb

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 06:24 AM

...certainly not a part of the Kirov Basketball Team...

Thanks for the image, Canbelto! But in basketball there is a place for a shorter player with long arms and speed, and INTELLIGENCE. I think she's a point(e) guard, that's the player in charge, the emotional leader who orchestrates the attack, who determines the line of play. That is a lot of what Diana does for a ballet performance, that makes it fresh and new and gives it an arc of logic.
(Admittedly it isn't a virtue easy to recognize in NYC: We have the Knicks...)

#10 Buddy

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 08:17 AM

canbelto, I did see the same performance that you did. I also have the video from Japan, which can only be obtained by someone in Japan. This is a real shame. I actually e-mailed Diana Vishneva at her site asking her to try and get the video released worldwide.

In any case I have watched this video a lot, especially from the Act II Grand Pas De Deux on to the end. It is even a sort of lulliby for me at bedtime. The problem there is that it keeps me awake at early hours thinking about it. Also as an excellent contrast and perhaps my favorite video until the arrival of this one (now I have two 'perhaps favorites') is the Makarova-Baryshnikov "Giselle". (This VCR is 'out of print'(?) ), but can be purchased on the internet for a lot of money. I paid about $60 a few years ago. Not bad at the time.

"In any case I have watched this video a lot" (Diana V version)...and I will have to study your description of what you saw word for word, but...

first viewing of what you wrote seems Absolutely "Right On". Thanks.

#11 canbelto

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 08:43 AM

drb, Diana as a pointe guard! :yahoo: I'm totally stealing that from you :) She does have the long arms and agility of the best point guards. When she grande jetes (which are something you just have to see live), it's such a "fast break." Ok I have to stop now, before I start sounding like a dork.
Something more about Vishneva and Malakhov: at the end of their pdd, it was amazing to see their arms and bodies lined up perfectly. The only other time I've seen such a perfect alignment was the Fonteyn/Nureyev tape.
There are so many great touches to Vishneva's Giselle, but one great moment is how when she realizes Albrecht has betrayed her, she furiously RIPS off Bathilde's necklace and flings it into the air with disgust. This Giselle is not a pretty pushover. She's passionate and strong-willed, and she wasn't just heartbroken, she was MAD. So it wasn't a surprise that she'd be such a formidable, implacable presence in Act 2.
Interestingly, Diana on her website said that she originally wanted to be a figure skater. I am glad she chose ballet instead, because while I'm sure Diana would have brought grace, passion, and fierce athleticism on the ice, it would only be 4 minutes of grace, passion, and athleticism.
Buddy, the video from Japan is is obtainable I believe from Japanese websites.

#12 FauxPas

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 09:04 AM

Vishneva's physical attributes make her effective in a wide variety of roles that sometimes are thought of as separate emploi. She seems to be both tiny and large at the same time and in different ways in each ballet. She also blends the sensuous and the austere in her movements. Her lower body is very strong and virtuosic with a strong level of technical ability but her upper body is very flexible and expressive. Her long arms, flexible back and long strong legs make her a very good romantic dancer in "Giselle". However, she is also an excellent Kitri in "Don Quixote" and not in the soubrette tradition either. Except for Ekaterina Maximova not many ballerinas excel in both roles. She also has the radiance and technical control to be a great Aurora in "The Sleeping Beauty". I have seen her dance Balanchine's "Rubies", "Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux" and "Ballet Imperial" to fine effect.

Her "Manon" and Juliet in "R&J" in the MacMillan ballets shows her to be expert at detailed theatrical portraiture with minimal virtuoso brilliance in three act story ballets.

The revelation of her recent ABT appearances is her dramatic ability which is seen at its best with Vladimir Malakhov. When they are together onstage every moment is a fascinating revelation and you don't know where to look. If you look at Diana realizing a moment or creating a fascinating dramatic gambit you miss a heartbreaking reaction or revealing gesture from Vladimir. I saw her "Giselle" and "Don Quixote" with the Kirov on tour in New York - her ABT performances were vastly more fascinating and brilliant. The difference was her dramatic portraiture and artistic interpretation - I always loved her dancing but the acting is really something now.

The only great classical role she hasn't as of yet completely synthesized all the elements of is Odette/Odile in "Swan Lake" which is a recent addition to her repertoire. I think that in two or three years probably with Malakhov she will conquer the role. Oddly, as I see her as naturally an allegro dancer, her Odette is currently better than her Odile. Her performance at ABT in 2005 showed a fascinatingly willowy vulnerable Odette but a brittle small-scale Odile. This year her Odette wasn't as fragile and more staccato but her Odile was more of a ballerina and siren and generally more effective despite tiny technical glitches. She is still exploring "Swan Lake" but I am confident of her eventual triumph. Her first Giselle in NY with the Kirov was nothing in comparison with what she achieved with Malakhov this year.

#13 Helene

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 02:05 PM

In today's links there was a review of the Royal Ballet's Sleeping Beauty by Robert Gottlieb, in which the last paragraph began,

I don’t as yet sense in Cojocaru an understanding of all this, but it will surely come. She is, with Diana Vishneva, one of the two most satisfying classical ballerinas in the world today.


There are artists, like Luciano Pavarotti in his pre-Three Tenors days, who always play themselves. That's not to deny that a Pavarotti had a golden, honeyed voice, and in his early-mid '70's recitals had the patience to treat every song like a precious jewel. But there is no doubt that the artist supercedes the material. I've seen Vishneva live once, in Sleeping Beauty, and didn't for a moment think I was watching Aurora. There were some very lovely things that she did in that performance, but I felt like I was watching The Diana Vishneva Show.

(Someone has to be Scrooge...)

#14 carbro

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 03:54 PM

"The Diana Vishneva Show." :yahoo: That was the impression I had with her 2005 Giselle and her 2006 Swan Lake with ABT. I'm willing to grant special dispensation that, by common consensus, the recent Swan was just one of those bad nights, but I am very sorry I was out of town and unable to see her Giselle. So many intriguing reviews.

#15 aurora

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 04:43 PM

"The Diana Vishneva Show." :yahoo: That was the impression I had with her 2005 Giselle and her 2006 Swan Lake with ABT. I'm willing to grant special dispensation that, by common consensus, the recent Swan was just one of those bad nights, but I am very sorry I was out of town and unable to see her Giselle. So many intriguing reviews.


You thought that of her Giselle last year? I thought I was the only one. :)

I liked it, it wasn't in any way bad. But I wasn't blown away by it. I have to say the Giselle I saw this year with Dvorovenko and Beloserkovsky was much better in my opinion.

I think I made my feelings regarding the Swan Lake somewhat obvious.

That said, I did *really* enjoy her Juliet this week. I thought it was really lovely, powerful, different, yes, but within the confines of the role (maybe pushing them a bit, but it was to my eyes, a valid interpretation of Juliet)


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