Theater/Ballet reflection

Mikhailovsky Ballet- Flames of Paris at the Segerstorm Center for Performing Arts , Costa Mesa, CA. November 28-30. No resources needed (playbill-information hour) You can look at Youtube clips and or read revues if you need to better understand what I am saying. I just need some real help putting my thoughts into a better organized format and to include a historical reference as to what I saw. I am sending you what I have written and what I looked up along with links if needed. 3 page reflection, critique, response about a live performance I had to go see. I have interjected my personal ideas into the background of the story and included newspaper articles as well as revues by writers. I need a three page response that tells about the ballet and what I saw, how I felt, and what I thought about the dancers. I have attached my notes. I included my own thoughts and also reviews from others as well as the historical background. I would like to include a little bit about the theme of the ballet into this and you can reference this as (Playbill and information talk) Please edit what I have written so it sounds good as well as interject a little of the historical information into this critique. Below is all my information and what I have started along with links to the ballet and reviews. the first part i am giving you is what I have come up with. I could use help editing this to c=sound better as well as interjecting a little of the historical background of ballet and its choreographer and the russian ballet. Beginning (mine) I attended the performance of Mikhailovsky Ballet- Flames of Paris at the Segerstorm Center for Performing Arts , Costa Mesa, CA. The Segerstrom Theater- This is what a theater should be! The structure itself will blow you away. The architecture is so beautiful and modern that it only made the whole theater experience unforgettable The theater is pretty large with 4 levels of seating. We were located on Orchestra Terrace, which is technically the 2nd level. I thought our seats were great. ??The sound and lighting are excellent here. I had an unobstructed view with what I considered just far enough back so I could see the expressions of the dancers, and see the scene unfold from side to side in one view. This ballet was a fast-paced production that moved through five scenes in three acts, all in two hours and ten minutes. Had it not been for the informational program the ballet put on and hour before the curtain went up, I would have been lost in the story line.

NEED HELP HERE intertwining some of the hisotiritcal story line to the Russian ballet and info about choreographer. Middle (mine) My overall impression was this- Absolutely incredible performance. As a dancer I know how difficult it is to do a triple. But these dancers do triples in the air and land cleanly on their feet every time. Their technical ability is a reflection to the many years they have spent in training. There are a number of dancing roles and Mikhailovsky showed off its great depth with a number of fine performances.

Angelina Vorontsova who plays Jeanne, has great stage presence and a polished perfection to her style.. Her turns are spectacular, whether traveling across the stage while whipping off a series of fouettée turns, or polishing off a quadruple pirouette, or spinning with one leg to the side with as much power as any man. She displayed two turn sections that I have never seen before. First, she did 16 fouettés with her leg à la seconde; rather than going into a posse position, she kept her leg straight.

Then on to more conventional single, double, and triple fouettés. In the second act, she performed fouettés, changing her spot in quarter turns to side, back, side, and front again, but did so traveling in a circle. Very unique. Her leaps were beautiful and effortless. her speed and lightness are incredible, but so is her radiating charisma. From the view I had I could see the joy she had for dancing within her smile and the sparkle of her eyes. To me, if you can feel the enjoyment of the dance through the face of a dancer then they are performing because they love what they are doing. The male ballet dancers jumps seem higher than ever.

Most people think of ballet as delicate and soft. Not so with this ballet. There was a true athletic feel to this choreography. I was astonished to see how high the men could jump. Everyone in the audience gasped on some of these incredible dance/jump sequences. The lead dancer, Ivan Vasiliev played the role of Philip. He seemed to fly across the stage with grace and speed. At times if you could have stopped the motion, he would have been still with in mid air- then we was landing with softness sometimes onto one knee. It was like he was spinning in mid air, split jumps in between, and jumps where legs cross over one another so quickly it was hard to see the change yet he still landed them cleanly. All the men dancers were strong yet light on their feet.

Their control and grace were amazing. ENDING (mine) The ballet is wonderful, high-level professionals an unforgettable show. I had a really great experience from start to finish – I was there nearly 3 hours and the time just flew by. Although I was not familiar with the historical sequence of this piece, the spectacular theater setting along with the backdrops and costumes, captivated my imagination and engrossed me into the story. The choreography pulled the whole ballet into focus through vivid stage presence, dramatic conviction and sheer arrogance. I was drawn in by the excellent dancing and the perfection the entire ballet performed. I would most definitely go see a show there again because it was really Broadway caliber. LEAD people in this ballet Jeanne – Angelina Vorontsova Philippe – Ivan Vasiliev? Diana Mireille – Irina Perren Antoine Mistral – Leonid Sarafanov BACKGROUND infor about the The Ballet – Laura Cappelle of DanceTabs writes of the Mikhailovsky\’s three-act production, \”… the ballet is paced to perfection, and leaves us waiting more every time the curtain comes down.\” For modern day audiences, The Flames of Paris is a work perhaps more known by reputation than experience, though excerpts are often performed in repertory programs to showcase dancers\’ most virtuosic talents. It is rarely performed in its entirety and demands spectacular theatricality and the greatest technique and ability from its dancers. The subject is the French Revolution, and included in the action is the storming of the Tuileries by the Marseillais and their victorious march on Paris. Although its setting is 18th century France, it is a perfect illustration of Leningrad Ballet in the 1920s and 1930s, during which time there was a determined effort to find subjects in world history which reflected the more immediate situation in Russia, and to show that the October Revolution was part of more universal movements and historical events. The ballet opens in a forest near Marseilles, where the peasant Gaspard and his children – Jeanne and Pierre – are gathering firewood. When a count and his hunting party arrive, the peasants disperse, but Jeanne attracts the attention of the Count, who attempts to embrace her. When her father intervenes, he is beaten up by the count\’s servant and taken away. Later, in the Marseilles Square, Jeanne tells the people what has happened to her father, and the people\’s indignation over the injustices of the aristocracy grows. They storm the prison and free the prisoners of the Marquis de Beauregard. Next, the court of Versailles in all its decadence is portrayed. After a performance at the court theater and a banquet, the officers of the court write a formal petition to the king, requesting permission to deal with the unruly revolutionaries. The actor Antoine Mistral, discovering this secret document, is killed by the marquis. Before he dies, he manages to pass the document on to Mireille de Poitiers, who escapes as the sound of La Marseillaise is heard from the windows. The scene then shifts to a square in Paris, where an uprising and the storming of the Royal Palace is being prepared. Mireille rushes
in with the document revealing the conspiracy against the revolution, and her bravery is applauded. At the height of this scene, the officers of the marquis arrive in the square; Jeanne, recognizing the man who insulted her in the woods, runs up and slaps him across the face. Following this, the crowd rushes upon the aristocrats. To the sound of revolutionary songs, the people storm the palace and burst into the staircase of the front hall. Jeanne attacks the marquis, who is then killed by her brother, and the Basque Therese sacrifices her life for the Revolution. . The historical fresco depicting the events of the French Revolution has returned to the stage, fanning the audience with the flames of the struggle for freedom and personal dignity. The ballet then brings you to a square in Paris, where the revolutionary uprising and storming of the palace is being prepared. The ballet transforms from high spirited village scene to the dark and dreary dramatic feelings of a revolution The first scene captures the flag waving revolutionary spirit of the work. Peasants Jeanne (Oksana Bondareva) and her father are threatened by the evil Marquis and are rescued by a squad of national guard from the city of Marseille led by Philippe (Ivan Vasiliev). After the Marquis escapes, Philippe leads his troops in a rousing, flag waving tribute to the revolution. Although I was not familiar with the historical sequence of this piece, the spectacular theater setting along with the backdrops and costumes, captivated my imagination and engrossed me into the story. But for the ballet to work it has to be danced with conviction and joy, and this is what the Mikhailovsky pulls off marvelously well. The choreography pulled the whole ballet into focus through vivid stage presence, dramatic conviction and sheer arrogance. The third act- Pas de Deauz Mikhailovsky Ballet is a young, thriving company that effortlessly combines classical traditions with a modern look, and does not shy away from creative experiments. The Company’s Principal Dancers include world-class stars such as Natalia Osipova, Ivan Vasiliev, Leonid Sarafanov, as well as recent graduates from Russia’s top ballet schools and academies, who have already made a name for themselves, including Angelina Vorontsova, Kristina Shapran, Oksana Bondareva, Victor Lebedev. The choreography for the revolutionaries involves, as you would expect, large ensemble scenes, with many of the men hurtling across the stage and competing to see who can jump the highest and spin the most. To me they all could jump high and their spins were amazing. The production reaches its climax with the famous pas de deux for Jeanne and her lover Philippe where the couple keep outdoing each other in solo after scintillating solo – this is the part of the ballet many people will know, a former staple of international competitions in Vainonen’s version and again today in Ratmansky’s.

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