Swan Lake Afterthoughts

Feb 04, 2011

Thank you for attending the magnificent storybook ballet Swan Lake by the Voronezh State Ballet Theatre of Russia! We hope the classic tale done through classic Russian tradition awoke something in you. For those who have seen the ballet before, did you find yourself discovering a new insight? First-timers, did the beautiful Russian choreography make your expectations come alive? Tell us about your experience by posting your thoughts and don't forget to check out our photos from the Performance Preview on Flickr and the video below.

Performance Preview

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Comments

i didn't get to attend the ballet because there is not a van from the east river road parking lot - it is from coffman - which was too far to walk since i currently have great difficulty walking. had i known the van did not pick up at the lot, i would have reserved a place in the church street garage but you unclear description gave the impression that the van would be convenient - it was not.

I always wait for a full classic ballet. I was very pleased with this production of Swan Lake. I felt I was seeing mastercraft of Russion precision in dancing. I would assume a live orchestra would have been far better. The staging and costumes were great. The jester is an outstanding dancer. I was waiting for the final plunge into Swan Lake. I truly hope to see more full ballet productions in the future.

The dance performance was simply beautiful. The dancers superbly displayed what dancers ought to be: fluid, exact, and enjoyable to watch. Thank you Voronezh State Ballet Theatre!

The dancing was beautiful and amazing, but I felt that it lacked emotion except with the jester. The jester will be the character I'll remember most because of that. I even felt that he was the best dancer and he wasn't even one of the main characters. He did 33 spins in a row! Also, I was disappointed that it didn't have an orchestra and they used a recording of the music to perform to. Because of this, I felt like I was watching a dance recital more than a show. The main two dancers kind of fumbled a tiny bit at the beginning also. I was excited to go as it was my first time watching Swan Lake, but unfortunately I left slightly disappointed.

Plus, for the price it cost, I was expecting an orchestra rather than a recording.

The dancing was beautiful! I very much enjoyed my experience at the ballet. I do wish however they would of had a live orchestra. Thank You!

Lovely sets - lovely dancing. Still, without a live orchestra it felt like a dance recital instead of a professional dance company performance. I expect better from Northrup. Raise ticket prices if you must but live music is essential to a quality dance performance. Also, we took the shuttle from East River Lot. You should run more than one shuttle - two or three would be better. Patrons standing in the cold for 20 minutes or 40 if the second shuttle is also too full - is simply unacceptable.

Absolutely stunning! Their technique was flawless and the dancing very expressive. The set design was also gorgeous.

We are long-time season ticket holders. The ballet was beautiful. Have seen Swan Lake done by several companies, including the Bolshoi (twice). Each company does it a little differently, but each one has been a pleasure to see. The Voronezh company did a fine job, and we enjoyed it very much. The last act with the dancers' hands fluttering really depicted wings in motion. This is the only time we have seen that done. Yes, a live orchestra tops it off, but the music is gorgeous in itself. Voronezh company, please come back again. You were a pleasure to have here.

My first experience attending an event at the Northrup was peppered with positive and negative observance. The dancers were pleasant to observe but I felt were lacking in the professional presence I expected from the 'Russian Ballet'. Though the recording was pleasant it was not a live orchestra which makes one wonder if the ballet can dance to a live accompaniment as the ballerinas seem to struggle a bit at points in the production. Passion was lacking in the lead dancers but the jester was something to behold indeed. He actually made the production interesting in his ability and his stage presence. Again the Northrup is a beautiful venue but it would be better to let it stand in it's majesty without streaming the chandeliers. Parking was and is a great deterent for attending this venue on a cold winter night.

We had a lovely time. The precision was impeccable. We wish the company safe travels. Thank you all for the question and answer session. It was the icing on the birthday cake.

A HUGE WOW FOR THE JESTER, HE WAS STUNNING! THE PRINCE WAS SO- SO-ODILE/ODETTE WERE GOOD. I AGREE THAT THE "SWANS" IN THE LAST ACT WERE LOVELY WITH THEIR ARM AND LEG MOVEMENTS, AND IN THE SECOND ACT THERE WAS A QUARTET OF "SWANS" THAT ALSO DID A MAGNIFICENT JOB. ALL IN ALL, A PASSABLE JOB, BUT I EXPECTED THE WHOLE TROUPE TO BE AS GOOD AS THE JESTER, AS IT WAS A RUSSIAN TROUPE AND TRADITIONAL BALLET SHOULD HAVE BEEN THEIR STRONG POINT

Thank you for your beautiful show. A rare treat for me and something I will not easily forget. The only point of criticism that I had was the ending. Many around me were asking jokingly asking why if all that Siegfried had to do was pull off the sorcerer's wing, he didn't do that in the first place! Also, I regret our American habit of giving a standing ovation in order to "encourage" the performers, rather than giving a standing ovation when one is deserved. I do however give your Swan Lake a solid "C" for effort and enthusiasm and vitality.

My wife and I had seen "Black Swan" recently and were intrigued to see Swan Lake in its entirety. We were not dissapointed. The Russian dance troupe was amazing. As others have stated, the jester really stood out among the rest. All things considered we had a great night at the ballet and I would not hesitate to go see a production of Swan Lake again.

Yes, the jester was phenomenal. A real treat to behold. And, yes, the canned music left much to be desired --- much to the chagrin of the the live musician who wants to earn a living --- however live music is likely not economically feasible for a single performance. So, all in all, a nice chance to see a quality ballet troup and enjoy a good evening once at the Northrup. However, the Northrup's incredibly POOR job of notifying patrons that the "public" parking at Church Street was not public parking but in fact was reserved wasted 20 minutes snaking through traffic both in and out. ....Maybe one of the reasons the performance started twenty minutes late???... No where on your website nor do I believe in your e-mail reminder to ticket holders, that the venue had changed, did it note that the Church Street site was 'reservations only'. I wonder how many first-time attendees will be turned off for good by the poor communications regarding parking. A shame give that such information is so easily posted on the website, in an e-mail, or even via a large sign BEFORE you turn onto Church Street.

This is my first time going to a Northrop Dance concert and my first time seeing Swan Lake live. I hate to be such a rube, but I loved it. I disagree with most of the comments I see, because I thought Anastasiya Rusinova, the principal ballerina was flawless. She took my breath away. I thought all the swans were inspiring. The male lead, I didn't think was as strong; perhaps I do agree with the other comments: the Jester was also outstanding. My only complaint was not that the music was piped in; but it was a lousy rendition of Swan Lake. The harps sounded like ukele's. It was embarrassing. However, the dancers soldiered on and I would go again to see a Classical ballet. Thank-you for bringing them.

I appreciated that the troupe made their principal dancers available for the lecture before the performance. That was a treat!! I thought the prince had strong dramatic skills and his youth and athleticism made his body seem light with the joyous leaps in Act III. The prima ballerina was precise and, to my eyes, flawless. Appreciated the chance to compare this performance with the ballet film series Swan Lake just screened at The Heights Theater (Mariinsky Ballet, St. Petersburg).

I have mixed reviews of this performance. The swan corps, jester and Odette/Odile were gorgeous. Special kudos to the four cygnets who danced with precision and grace; they were stunning. Unfortunately, the male principals looked tired as did other parts of the performance. I know it is hard on these companies that come from Russia and perform in a new city every night-but the wear and tear showed with many members of this troupe. On a scale of 1-5 I would give this performance a 3. Also-very disappointed that BOTH the Nolte and Church street ramps were reservation only. How does one even make a reservation? Go back to first come first served because I do not enjoy navigating the campus for parking and walking in the freezing cold.

My granddaughter and I enjoyed the performance, when we finally got to our seats, but the parking ramp reservation baloney could have been better advertised. We arrived one hour before the start of the ballet, and by the time we finally found a place to park and got into the auditorium, being 10 minutes late, were escorted to the very top of the balcony. Very disheartening to say the least. I have been to very many performances at Northrup and this was the very worst experience!!!! We had to wait until the first intermission to get to our seats, unbelievable!!!!

I agree with many about the parking issues. While I realize that Northrop cannot control the parking situation, they could at least notify ticket holders that all the nearby ramps are reservation-only. I was extremely disappointed that the music was piped in from a recording instead of a live orchestra. And not only was it a recording, it was a low-quality recording. I definitely expected better, especially given the price of the tickets. That being said, I enjoyed the dancing very much and overall, still had a positive experience. Unlike some others, I wasn't that impressed with the Jester. Yes, he did some of the "flashiest" dancing, that is not necessarily the type of dance that is the most difficult or takes the most talent to do well. I thought others displayed incredible talent even in their delicate movements. The altered ending was a bit strange - sure didn't seem like they committed suicide as was described in the synopsis in the program book.

Yet another disappointing outing to the Northrop . The parking was the same nightmare that we have experienced many times. I cannot imagine that it would be very difficult to add a link to reserved parking when purchasing tickets. Inform attendees that this is an important option if you actually want to be on time for the performance. The Church St. garage should be for ballet ticket holders only on performance nights. Northrop is also the only venue where I have ever been subjected to canned music during a ballet. The quality is truly appalling. The building itself is very shabby looking. Certainly not what one would expect at this ticket price. As for the Voronezh State Ballet Theatre...... they are certainly not the Bolshoi. Many errors from the dancers. In conclusion, it is easier and more enjoyable to go all the way to New York to see a truly quality performance. I will not be back.

Overall, I enjoyed the performance. The biggest disappointment was the music -- if there isn't going to be a live orchestra, Northrop needs to do something about its sound system. Also, it was clear we were watching the "B" squad rather than varsity team because there were many mistakes by the dancers evident to my untrained eye. Other than the jester, the performance lacked enthusiasm by the dancers, but I do not regret attending.

VERY DISAPPOINTED WITH NORTHROP AUDITORIUM. 1. HORRIBLE SEATING 2. LADIES RESTROOM(NOT ENOUGH STALLS TO USE FOR THE AMOUNT OF LADIES NEEDING TO USE. IT CAUSE ME TO GET BACK INTO MY SEAT BEFORE THE INTERMISSION ENDED. IT MADE ME BE VERY DISRUPTIVE TO THOSE AROUND ME . 3. I FELL DOWN FROM POOR LIGHTING UPON LEAVING THE AUDITORIUM. I FELL DIRECTLY ONTO MY RIGHT EAR INTO A SEAT ARMREST. IT STILLS HURTS. I DID NOT GET ANY HELP GETTING UP FROM ANY USHER . LAST BUT NOT LEAST I WILL NOT EVER GO BACK TO NORTHROP AUDITORIUM. IT NEED IMPROVEMENTS. THE SWAN LAKE BALLET PERFORMANCE WAS A GIFT FOR MY DAUGHTERS BIRTHDAY. SHE ENJOYED WATCHING THE PERFORMANCE, HOWEVER, BECAME ANXIOUS AND FRIGHTEN AFTER MY FALL. SHE HAD TO HELP ME GET UP. THE PERFORMERS LACK ENTHUSIASM. I WOULD LIKE YOUR FEEDBACK SINCERELY.

I thought the prima ballerina was fantastic but her partner was lacking...clumsey, stiff and wasn't a good match for her. Too bad. I agree with the previous persons comment regarding the restrooms...what a mess! And besides that the bathroom smelled bad. Hopefully when the renovation is done they will upgrade the womens bathrooms. Don't know if I woud go to see this company again, althou I love Swan Lake.

Canned music......BUMMER! When a full orchestra is used the conductor follows the dancers and adjusts to their pace. When canned music is used the dancers have to adjust to the music...and one could see a few times when being behind even one tiny step can really throw things off. I have "grown up" at Northrup and will be looking forward to the "new" Northrup after the renovation.

Oh so true. By far the only negative aspect of the performance was the lack of a live orchestra in the pit.

The ballet was beautiful. A wonderful way to spend a February evening, once we got inside and were actually allowed to be seated in the seats we paid for. The parking was the biggest bunch of b.s. I've ever encountered. Ridiculous.

We've held season tickets to the ballet series for over 10 years, attended for th past 20 years and I've been disappointed with the last few performances. I've seen Swan Lake several times and was let down by this company. There are so many wonderful US and international companies, I really expect more. The seats. lighting, sound systems are so deteriorated at Northrop that it's really become disgraceful for a city the size of MSP as it's primary dance venue. With all the stadiums being built or proposed, I feel strongly that Northrop needs to push harder to obtain funding for the renovation as it has become the U's black eye. Every year I've hung on to hopes of a new interior which leave the gorgeous architecture and updates the rest. If this was ever completed I believe we could attract additional first class companies like the Kirov/Marininsky, etc. who require larger stages with updated facilities and more consistent audiences. Additionally, it is a shame we're subjected to such an uncomfortable art experience, as the front row balcony seats are so uncomfortable that if you are taller than 5'8" one has had to move to open seats in the back of the theatre just to relieve the pain in this cramped legs. If the renovation are stalled again this year, we will not be renewing again.

The performance was very nice, but I thought the music was terrible. I was surprised that they did not have an orchestra and hugely disappointed by the sound system. The main reason we went to this production is that my daughter loves the music! They really should have several coat checks and if they did I missed it. I am not a big person, but with my bulky coat and scarf (needed for the long trek to Northrup) and my winter boots- I could not sit straight in my seat. It was really cramped with all my winter gear. I will probably wait until renovation before I attend another Northrup performance. That being said, the space was perfect for an 8 year old who had no complaints!

Agree witht he bad music comments. Also, if a shuttle is provided it should be able to run more than once every 1/2 hr - it should also have priority access somehow as we sat in traffic for 20 min - could have walked faster!

I really really miss a live orchestra at the dance performances. I would pay more for a ticket in order to have live music. Also, I thought the women in the troupe were very good (the talent there seems to be very deep) but the men seemed to be the B-team, very young or balding, it seemed like the middle group of men didn't come on the tour. The prince was the weakest point of the troupe which was too bad. And sometimes it seemed that the troupe was just going through the dance by rote especially in the first half. But I really like Swan Lake so I was glad to see it and it was nice to see such a traditional performance except when they changed the ending to a Disney happy ending. That was very strange and totally unnecessary. The parking was ridiculous. You really need to have someone at the corner of University or a big sign before people turn onto Church Street to tell them you must have a ticket to park in those parking lots. This is a recurring problem and gets worse whenever there is a performance where first time attendees go. This just turns off new people which is not a good thing and exactly the opposite of what is desirable. We do have tickets for the Church Street garage and it took us over thirty five minutes to get into it from University. So I was glad that you held the performance so long because we just made into our seats before you started. Good thing we left earlier than normal or we also would have been out standing in the dark until the first intermission like so many people sitting around us.

I can't believe how many of you have been coming to Northrop for over 10 years, etc. and still don't know how to spell it correctly. This blog has become an annoying receptacle for complaints rather than an engaging conversation about the art. If you need to complain about your parking and want something done about it, spare the rest of us and contact customer service.

Amen to that! And I'd like to tell these people who complain about the reserve parking in Church Street ramp. READ THE SIGNS!!! If you don't have a prepaid ticket, DON'T GET IN LINE!!! There are always signs that say RESERVED PARKING ONLY! Get YOUR act together.

I loved the performance. Many of the dancers were wonderful and, overall, the ballet was quite beautiful. Yes, there were a few flaws, which others have commented upon effectively. But at the end of the performance, why then did so many of the audience stand up and cheer and give the dancers a long ovation? It reminds me of the old Peanuts cartoon in which everyone on the baseball team is giving Charlie Brown suggestions on how to pitch. His response? "The world is full of people who are anxious to function in an advisory capacity." You know what, people? Get over yourself. Focus on the positive. You'll find that your life is a lot easier and a lot happier.

You said it very well. It's a beautiful ballet.... just relax and enjoy it. Nit-pickers: stay home. Your comments don't spoil our enjoyment, and they don't add anything either. The dancers work very hard to give their audiences a nice experience. We appreciate their efforts and thank them for it.

And if you were a dancer who had been on the road for 2 1/2 months, sleeping in hotels, eating different food than you were used to, water changes, crossing time zones, etc. I'll bet you complainers wouldn't be on your best game every night either. We applaud the dancers, and all the folks they travel with, who do their best to make it happen for their audiences. Thank you.

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