Diana Vishneva: Celebrated Ballerina in Beauty in Motion
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The last date listed for Diana Vishneva: Beauty in Motion was Friday February 15, 2008 / 7:30pm.
Currently at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Segerstrom Hall:
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Reviews & Ratings
Featured review from S. CraigRed Velvet
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It's obvious to see why Diane Vishneva is rated so highly as a Ballet Dancer. She brought along with her, absolutely top-notch performers, who, when given their turn in the spotlight, shown brightly at every turn.
Although I was glad to have seen her perform, I was disappointed that the show was entirely Modern, with no traditional Ballet piece(s) included. The first and third pieces each had their hi-points, but easily could have been pared down by 1/2 the time. Modern Dance afficianados might disagree, these pieces were "finished" long before the dancers stopped performing. Although each piece was a tour de force in technique, physicality and stamina, ALL could have benefited from the choreographer's knowing when to "finish".
The highlight of the evening was the second act, which was brought forth of some of the most innovative and unusual dancing I've ever seen. (echoes of Mummenshanz and an outgrowth from the Choreographer's involvement with Pilobous Dance) I was enthralled, wondering what was going to happen next, delighted in each movement, and the piece never lost my interest. In contrast, the 1st and 3rd movements went on "forever". By the end, rather than feeling exhilarated, I felt bludgeoned and frankly bored, waiting for the piece to end. As the newspaper reviewers stated, the fact that the 1st piece was in German (with no translation) made it very difficult for the audience to follow what was going on. The dance in itself, didn't provide enough clues to what the narrative was, leaving this viewer feeling throughout the piece that something was "missing."
In conclusion, I'm glad I went, "BUT...". Diane Vishneva obviously likes to stretch the boundries, and has the talent to do pretty much anything she desires.
It's impressive to see a performer at the top of her game. Had she started and ended the evening with something(s) from her Classical repetoire, it would have launched and framed the Modern pieces in contrast, heightened the audience awareness of the breadth of her talent. I wished that she had done this. If she had added the Classical element, tightly edited the 1st and 3rd pieces in her program, this would have elevated the evening into the kind of program that would have showcased much better, the talent on stage that evening, and elevated her to the level of greatness, that her performing talent deserves.
Quotes & Highlights
“Few ballerinas in recent memory have created quite a stir as the Kirov Ballet’s Diana Vishneva.” —San Francisco Chronicle
The Orange County Performing Artscenter and Ardani Artists have announced the world premiere of Diana Vishneva: Beauty in Motion. Three ballets are being created for the Beauty in Motion to showcase the phenomenal talents of prima ballerina Diana Vishneva. World premiere ballets are being choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky, Moses Pendleton and Dwight Rhoden (who replaces the previously-announced Edouard Locke).
The new work being choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky, artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet, will be to Arnold Schoenberg’s brilliant song cycle Pierrot Lunaire. The cycle, which premiered in 1912, was for soprano and orchestral ensemble and was based on poems by Albert Giraud . Members of the Kirov Orchestra and Opera will also be featured in the ballet.
Moses Pendleton, choreographer and artistic director of New York-based dance company Momix, is creating a solo work called Picarte, originally named Flow, for the Russian prima ballerina. Ms. Vishneva’s costume is being designed by Phoeby Katz and props by Tony® and Emmy® Award-winner Michael Curry. The name Picarte refers to three artists whose paintings inspired Moses in this three-part ballet: Picasso, Caravaggio and Erté.
Desmond Richardson, one of the world’s premier male dancers, will join the extraordinary Diana Vishneva in a new work by choreographer Dwight Rhoden called Three Point Turn. Rhoden’s work replaces that which was to be created by Edouard Locke. This will be the first time these brilliant artists will dance together. The one act ballet for three couples will also feature four dancers from the Kirov Ballet. Titled Three Point Turn, the creative team includes composer- musician David Rozenblatt, costume designer Isabel Rautio, and lighting designer Antonio Marques. Composer and percussionist David Rozenblatt’s score will be performed live by four musicians from the United States and Russia.
Diana Vishneva: Beauty in Motion follows the phenomenal success of Kings of Dance, which was also produced by the Center and Ardani Artists, and which has since traveled to New York and was performed in Moscow in October of 2007. Vishneva is one of the world’s most glamorous and extraordinary dancers, worthy of this tribute. As the San Francisco Chronicle states: “Few ballerinas in recent memory have created quite a stir as the Kirov Ballet’s Diana Vishneva.”
Richardson served as principal dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater from 1986-94, the prestigious Frankfurt Ballet from 1994-96 and was a principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre, creating the title role of Othello in 1997-98. He was featured in Fosse on Broadway, for which he received a Tony nomination. He performed in Soul Possessed with Patti LaBelle and was featured in The Look of Love, which recently closed on Broadway, and Twyla Tharp and Billy Joel’s Movin Out. He has appeared with such artists as Michael Jackson, Prince, Aretha Franklin and Madonna. He is featured in the Oscar-winning Chicago and with Patrick Swayze in Lisa Niemi’s film One Last Dance. He made his singing debut in Charles Randolph’s Wright’s film On the One and is in Julie Taymor’s Across the Universe. Richardson is co-artistic director with Dwight Rhoden of Complexions Contemporary Ballet.
Dwight Rhoden, choreographer and co-artistic director of Complexions: a Concept in Dance, joins the illustrious Alexei Ratmansky and Moses Pendleton who are also placing new works on the beautiful Russian ballerina. Mr. Rhoden has created more than 60 ballets for Complexions, as well as numerous other companies, including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; The Arizona Ballet; The Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Company; The Dance Theater of Harlem; Dayton Contemporary Dance Company; The Joffrey Ballet; New York City Ballet/Diamond Project; North Carolina Dance Theater; The Pennsylvania Ballet; Philadanco; Minneapolis Dance Theater; Phoenix Dance Company; Sacramento Ballet; Oakland Ballet; Pittsburgh Ballet Theater; The Washington Ballet; and Zenon Dance Company. He has worked with, coached, and created for some of the most diverse artists spanning the world of ballet and contemporary dance.
Alexei Ratmansky has been artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet since January 2004. Previously he was a principal dancer with the Royal Danish Ballet. Trained at the Ballet School of the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, he danced with the Ukrainian National Ballet and Royal Winnipeg Ballet before joining the Royal Danish Ballet as a soloist in 1997. He was promoted to principal dancer in 2000. Ratmansky was awarded First Prize at the Ukrainian Ballet Competition in 1998, the Gold Medal at the Moscow Diaghilev Competition in 1992, and the Nijinsky Prize in 1992. In 1999, he created his first ballet, Betwix, as a participant in the Choreographer Workshop at the Royal Danish Ballet. His other works include Turandot’s Dream, which was performed as part of the Shaken – Not Stirred program at the Old Stage of the Royal Theatre, The Nutcracker and Anna Karenina for The Royal Danish Ballet. Poem of Ecstasy, The Fairy’s Kiss, Middle Duo and Cinderella for Kirov Ballet, as well as Capriccio, Dreams About Japan, The Bright Stream, Leah, and Bolt for the Bolshoi Ballet.
Moses Pendleton is one of America’s most innovative and widely performed choreographers and directors. One of the founding members of the ground-breaking Pilobolus Dance Theater in 1971, he formed his own company, Momix, in the early 80’s and has been its artistic director since 1984. He has also worked extensively in film, TV, and opera and as a choreographer for ballet companies and special events. He has created works for the Paris Opera, Joffrey Ballet, Deutsche Oper, La Scala, U.S. Spoletto Festival, Munich State Opera and many other companies. In 1980, he choreographed the Closing Ceremonies of the Winter Olympics at Lake Placid and in 1981 he created Momix, which rapidly established an international reputation for highly inventive and often illusionistic choreography. He is also a noted photographer and has received the American Choreography Award, the Cine Golden Eagle Award and an International Emmy Award for Best Performing Arts Special, representing his multi-faceted talents and achievements.