Los Angeles/Regional Dance Preview: DIANA VISHNEVA: ON THE EDGE (Segerstrom Hall)

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by Tony Frankel on November 2, 2013

in Theater-Los Angeles,Theater-Regional


The title of two world premiere dance pieces at Segerstrom Hall this week could not be more apt: Diana Vishneva of the Mariinsky Ballet and American Ballet Theatre will have you on the edge of your seats. Commissions by Segerstrom Center and Ardani Artists for this unrivalled artist of the dance world include Jean-Christophe Maillot’s pas de trois, Switch, and Carolyn Carlson’s solo work, Woman in a Room. Diana_VishnevaThis once-in-a-lifetime event is not something which will be rolling to an arts center near you—after Segerstrom, Vishneva, truly one of the great prima ballerinas of all time, will be bringing the work to Europe and Russia, so make sure that Costa Mesa is your destination Nov. 6 – 10.

Danny Elfman, whose celebrated music of Tim Burton films received three sold-out engagements last week in L.A., offers the music for Switch, which Vishneva calls “a story about a woman and her alter ego and her relationship with men.” The two other featured dancers are Bernice Coppieters and Gaëtan Morlotti, stars of Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo (of which Maillot is choreographer-director).

Woman in a Room is created for Vishneva by Carolyn Carlson, director of National Centre for Contemporary Choreography in Roubaix and of the Atelier de Paris at La Cartoucherie de Vincennes in Paris. Inspired by the films of Andrei Tarkovsky, Woman in a Room is an evocative work that follows one woman’s journey in life, filled with joys, bitterness and contemplation. The music featured is by Italian post-Diana_Vishneva_minimalist composer and cellist Giovanni Sollima with a finale piece by René Aubry. “I’ve always thought of Carolyn Carlson as a choreographer who understands a woman’s soul and could make a story that would suit me and that we could collaborate on,” says Vishneva.

The charismatic Vishneva has a performance style of wondrous exactitude, and she has the physique to execute endlessly inventive formations: a petite upper body; a back which is like a structural framework that is fixed at one end and is remarkably free at the other; subtle, elongated arms; feet that point like the tip of an arrow; and legs which curve like a letter of the alphabet. She embodies the qualities that make a great ballerina: a sincere stage personality, a soulful, luminous presence, expressive appeal, and spectacular technique and resourcefulness. Quicksilver turns, effortless leaps and ankle-behind-the-ear stretches are just part of her amazing talents. Fortunately, Segerstrom offers four performances to choose from, so ardent admirers have the opportunity to see her more than once. You will no doubt be leaping yourself — out of your seat, that is.

Diana Vishneva rehearsing Moses Pendleton's F.L.O.W. - photo by Armen Danilian

photos by Luke Moyer

Diana Vishneva: On the Edge
a co-production wth Ardani Artists
part of Segerstrom Center’s 2013 – 2014 International Dance Series
Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa
November 6 – 10, 2013
for tickets, call (714) 556-2787 or visit http://www.scfta.org/

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