Posted by: trailerpilot | 01:29::2009

Cindy’s in town.

Vladimir Vasiliev, along with his US contemporary Edward Villella, epitomized an unmistakably hetero and thrillingly athletic performance style in the 1960s and 70s; theirs was the precedent that Mikhail Baryshnikov would later combine with impeccable line and musical qualities to revolutionize male dancers’ standards.  Like Misha, Vasiliev has stayed active and influential within the upper reaches of arts administration and, following a five-year tenure as AD of Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet, now brings his choreographic skill and producer’s chops to Igor Nepomnyaschy’s State Ballet Theatre of Russia (née Voronezh State Theatre of Opera and Ballet).


Vasiliev’s Cinderella, which is pounding the pavement worldwide this winter, is more or less of the textbook variety, which isn’t a bad thing:  Despite some beautiful dancing, Nureyev’s old-Hollywood 1987 reinvention in particular feels overly long and unsure of its tone.  The wicked stepmother role is kept in its traditional drag and, although the modernity of the music sometimes bogs its interpreters down with ponderousness, the mood is kept light and a firm connection to the story’s fairytale origins remains intact.  This production, booked for three performances this weekend at the Harris, probably isn’t cutting any corners with a cast of 55 and what footage is available of the alternating leads (Valeria Antsiferova, Tatiana Frolova, and Svetlana Noskova as Cinderella and Ivan Alekseyev, Vladislav Ivanov and Denis Kaganer as the prince) is certainly solid.  Additionally, the Bolshoi connection via Vasiliev portends better things than one to the Kirov would, whose style I’ve always been less fond of (with the exception of a few of its stars).  The score, as all of Prokofiev‘s ballets are, is unbelievably gorgeous:  The theme that plays upon many of Cinderella’s entrances made tears well up in my eyes, even while I was dancing it.  If you can get into an evening-length ballet–they can be great, you know–catch this while it’s here.


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