Sunday, February 03, 2008

Something for everyone...

....or a mixed bag, at the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre today. World Premieres, they tell us.

Bit confusing, since the 'playbill' (don't you love those Americanisms?) shows two pieces, but four took place. No wonder I was ready to rush home at the second interval....

The first was standard ballet school stuff set to classical minuets, many from Gluck, some more stately than others. Pretty costumes, standard classical ballet stuff, pleasant music, but not that much inspiration. In the only movement with 4 beats the final few steps suddenly fired up, but otherwise it was just pretty all over. Not too much athleticism either, but if you like pretty this is your show. Did not quite understand the tutu that looked like a cabbage.

Then followed a piece of unkown origin with a violinist and a pianist on the stage, and very simple costumes - as if they were in a ballet studio. The delightful Lasha Khozashvili (who, it would appear I have always in my reviews so far mistaken for (his brother?) David and a young lady dancing various pas de deux, very modern and quite interesting, though it was a bit intense, with a rather bare stage, for the Sunday afternoon audience.

The next one was a pas de six called 'George Bizet' with the men dressed as sailors; Nina Ananiashvili, the ballerina who 'returned from Moscow' and who is rather high class, outdanced her colleagues. This was very nice and very modern. Not sure about the music, played on a piano, sounded like Chopin (variations on a theme of Bizet?). Very powerful dancing, with the cream of the crop of fine, proud Georgian manhood. (Not sure this sounds entirely correct....).

Finally the folk ensemble 'Changi' joined a group of 14 dancers in a melee of Georgian folk music and classical ballet meets Georgian folk dancing. Very popular with the audience. Spectacular leaps, severe Georgian steps (that Georgian men's dancing comes across as quite agressive at times, all pointed elbows and heels). Great fun. I wonder how it would transfer to a non-Georgian ensemble?

All a bit of a long session, though - and they know to keep the best bit to the end!