DIANA VISHNEVA: DIALOGUES
March 18, 2012
Diana Vishneva: Dailogues at City Center Theater began with a short film
reflecting on the various ballets on the program. Unfortunately, an injury
sustained by Thiago Bordin caused the program to change. An ever galant
Marcelo Gomes (American Ballet Theater) stepped in to dance Vertigo by
Mauro Bigonzetti, to hauntingly beautiful music by Dmitri Shostakivich.
In this duet, the dancers seem to hold each other up as they wrap, enfold
and collapse. A striking cone of light reveals the dancers as the partnering
becomes more complex, full of one-handed promenades and spirals.
Ms. Vishneva is pliant and yet strong, with a sharp line that dissolves and
reactivates, at times forceful and confrontational. Persuasive and detailed, the pas de deux even threw in an erotic moment when Mr. Gomes glides his chin up her body.
The film by Sergei Dubrovsky, began the program by introducing Martha
Graham's "Errand Into the Maze"(1947), with a commissioned score by
Gian Carlo Menotti. Janet Eilber, Artistic Director of the Martha Graham Dance Company, describes the project that brought this
choreography to the Mariinsky. Staged by Miki Orihara with sets by Isamu
Noguchi, Ms. Vishneva cut a striking figure as the curtain rose. Her black
and white dress and archaic poses brought attention to her strength and
power, physically and emotionally. Appearing in the form a Minotaur, Abdiel Jacobsen(Martha Graham Dance
Co)exhibited a powerful physique and passionate
intensity. Ms. Vishneva was lighter but no less forceful in her portrayal,
making wonderful shapes and marching over the rope with stylized arms.
Her wrapping of the rope was full of emotion emanating from
her chest and back. There was a stunning hinge in which Mr. Jacobsen
bent back with her on top, showing her fearlessness and ability to
conquer any fears.
Last was "Subject to Change" by Paul Lightfoot and Sol Leon to music of
Schubert and Mahler. The scenery, also designed by the choreographers,
started as a long white log, which turned out to be a red square carpet,
unrolled by four sculpted men from the Mariinsky Ballet. In dark suits with
red linings and no shirts they marched like uniformed officers, preparing the
stage and literally rolling out the red carpet. With eloquent lighting by Tom
Bevoort, Ms. Vishneva and Andrey Merkuriev (Bolshoi Ballet) began a series
of duets and solos, at times agitated, gesticulating from hand to face and
face to hand, sometimes playful, sometimes desperate. Wonderful moments
when the four men rotate the carpet with Ms. Vishneve and Mr. Merkuriev
standing on it change our perspective on the action...and theirs as well. At
the end as the carpet is rolled up behind Ms. Vishneva, a square scrim drops
around the stage and when it raises again, she has vanished!
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Deborah Wingert