|Photo taken by me for +MusicCenterLA|
Hey internet. Long time no blog, huh? I'm easing back into life after having submerged myself in all things Mariinsky last week. The legendary Russian ballet company brought Alexei Ratmansky's 2002 version of Cinderella to The Music Center for 5 performances and a slew of other activities throughout the week. I simply adore show weeks, but they are exhausting and require some pretty intense social media-ing. I literally signed out of all my personal accounts and just focused on work last week, so that's why things have been quiet on all Firebird fronts.
In any case, the shows were absolutely stunning. The Mariinsky Ballet is, not surprisingly, ballet perfection. Technique, artistry, production - every member of the company is strong and beautiful. It was truly inspiring to see them work both on and off the stage.
I was incredibly fortunate to see the production 4 times (though not the whole thing each time) and experience 4 different casts of Cinderella. It was interesting to see how each ballerina interpreted to role and made it ever so unique to her personality. While they were all incredible, I must admit seeing prima ballerina, Diana Vishneva (on whom the part was originally choreographed) was a special treat. She lives up to the hype. The woman is a true artist.
Furthermore, I thought Ratmansky's take on the classic fairy tale was fun and refreshing. Without sacrificing the story's inherent charm, he cleverly played on themes of time, poked fun at aristocracy, replaced a glittering fairy god-mother with a grungy fairy-tramp and infused humanity into the often-times flat characters. And there were those moments.... Those visual moments that stick with you, even when they are often the simplest of moves, which I find in every Ratmansky ballet. I think he is the best thing to happen to ballet in a long time. (What you're hearing now is the sound of me fan-girling!)
You can get a glimpse of some of the going ons I was capturing behind the scenes on The Music Center's blog, 135 Grand.