Swan Lake mania hits the San Fernando Valley 2



Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Marvin Hamlisch, Shirley Maclaine, Joan Rivers, kindly step aside. Proud though you may be to partake in the opening season roster of the brand new Valley Performing Arts Center (VPAC), look who’s the first to sell out the 1,700-seat house on February 8.

The Russian National Ballet!

Um, what’s that? Not the Kirov — now reverted to its pre-Soviet name, the Mariinsky. Nor the Bolshoi, whose superstar ballerinas recently sizzled in “Reflections” at Orange County’s Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

No… it’s the Russian National, a Moscow-based group formed in the mid-1980s with an archly conservative “all-classics” repertoire. Foremost among which, “Swan Lake.” As the Russians launch a four-month U.S. tour, I sense the presence of an arm-flapping “Black Swan” …  and a smart booking agent.

They should make Darren Aronofsky attend. Tie him in his seat! No, let me do it.

We recently learned that “Black Swan” mania is so extreme, the box office of the Royal Ballet in London got numerous calls inquiring when Natalie Portman would be dancing Odette/Odile. The Telegraph reports that “”Black Swan” is “bloody good for box office” at Covent Garden.

Do not fear. Dance artists Aszure Barton & Dancers and David Parsons also figure in VPAC’s performance calendar.

Pictured: the ‘four little swans’ variation from my favorite “Swan Lake” production, the great Act II comic staging by Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo.

2 thoughts on “Swan Lake mania hits the San Fernando Valley

  1. Violin Concerto Feb 9,2011 11:08 pm

    Let us know if you saw the RNB, and please mention the director’s name. There are so many Russian “National” companies crisscrossing the states these days…. some are good, some are not. I’ve heard so many mixed reviews. I hope the Performing Arts Center’s audiences are rewarded with a good production.

  2. Nicholas Goldsborough Feb 9,2011 9:15 pm

    The story about the inquiries of when Natalie Portman would be appearing with the Royal Ballet are hilarious. If the world only knew how difficult it was for her to get into shape to do what she did in the film. However, the payoff may be an Oscar, and even better, she gets Benjamin Millepied, a charming, talented and altogether lovely man.

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