Just back from “Reflections” at Orange County’s Segerstrom Center, a beautifully performed showcase for the spectacular skills of seven Bolshoi Academy-trained ballerinas and four of their male counterparts.
Lots of vibrant creativity on display here — in a regrettably overly long program. (I never thought I’d write the words, ‘Cut the Balanchine,’ but here they are.)
The main event was the program-closer, Italian dance maker Mauro Bigonzetti’s smart looking, gorgeously shaped “Cinque,” for five women, set to Vivaldi. The classical techno-wizards, first in a comic line-up using chairs, then in a series of solo outings, marched on pointe shoe and twisting body through Bigonzetti’s witty thicket with obvious relish. The heady Baroque score — a dozen snippets from Vivaldi concerti performed live — warmed the house with echoing mandolin and clarion vocal soloist. (“I like big music,” Bigonzetti told me when I met him last August.)
In a delicious interlude, the “Cinque” ladies changed costume on stage. Natalia Osipova’s dresser lacing her into a high-tech tutu resembling a recycled Pirelli tire is a sight you won’t often witness.
“Cinque”‘s goofy humor was set up by a charming Bigonzetti pas de deux in which Ivan Vasiliev, dressed as an Italian peasant, dragged his real-life girlfriend, the Great Osipova, around the village square. What a joy!
In the solo outings forming the program’s core, each ballerina was a sensation, but one particularly excelled: the stunning, lanky brunette Polina Semionova of Berlin Staatsoper Ballet. Garbed in a chic gold pantsuit for “Strauss Incontra Verdi” (choreography and costume by Renato Zanella), her quiet command over a rapt audience defined the power of the modern, liberated ballerina.
Semionova is divine; a womanly creature, she’s got a long back, longer limbs, and bogglingly beautiful feet. A revelation to be in the same room with her.
Bravo Maria Kochetkova, Natalia Osipova, Yekateria Krysanova, Polina Semionova, Yekaterina Shipulina … ladies, high praise, you rock.
Like this? Read more on “Reflections”
- Osipova rehearses – L.A Times Culture Monster
- Lucinda Childs choreographs – L.A Times Culture Monster
- Reflections, the consummate ballet-business deal – Los Angeles Times
- Osipova and Vasiliev meet actress Jackie Bisset
- “Reflections” slide show on The Huffington Post
- Kochetkova & Jorma Elo rehearse – arts·meme
photo credit: ardani artists management, segerstrom center for the arts
I was at the Saturday night January 22 performance of Reflections in Costa Mesa, California and I am still in the “grip” of the power of that night. The raw explosive synergy of that show still has me riveted to seat #107. My God, this show was a “firestorm of creativity”. Polina seems to have “another gear”. Perhaps, some inexplicable “presence” or poise, as well, that has me saving my nickels and dimes to fly all the way across country to see her “guest” with ABT as Kitri in Don Quixote. I am most reluctant to exalt one dancer over the next (I have the highest regard for every one), but,at least for me, I am witnessing the appearance of the greatest dancer since Sylvie Guillem burst on the scene in the 1980’s in Nureyev’s Cinderella…. I am simply smitten…. Alton Grimes, Santa Barbara, California