Sunday, March 18, 2012

Review- Turandot- Hong Kong Ballet

I had the pleasure of going to see Turandot tonight with my pals thanks to the discount tickets I aquired by attending the preview! I was really excited to see this production as the photos of the designs looked amazing and I'm a big opera person. All and all, the show was amazing although I can't say the same for the venue, the Cultural Center in TST. We will get to that later but first onto the production.

The Dancers
The dancers of the HK Ballet are very talented. I enjoyed their performance. I actually found the performance of the Corp to be the most impressive. They were very good and perfectly in sync; loved the dead people. I really loved the performances of the cast. My favorite moment was the death of Lui played by Li Ming. Her death was executed (haha) perfectly and performed beautifully! I loved all the death moments in the ballet. Wu Yan who played the executed prince in the beginning also gave a stellar performance. I was not so impressed with one of his guards, I believe it was Jonathan Spigner,  who you could see was anticipating the moves and was one beat ahead of all the other dancers. You could also see him concentrating. (Not a cute look on a dancer...) And unfortunately due to the fact he was the only white guy in the guard corp he stuck out and his mistakes stuck out like a sore thumb. I personally found the performance of Lui to be more challenging and beautiful than the performance by Turandot. But I think Wu Fei Fei's ability to handle the still-ness/ice required for Turandot was impressive!

The Design
The concept of this show both design wise and dance wise are beautiful! It is easily the prettiest piece that I have seen HK Ballet do. I prefer more avant guarde ballets to the classical, so this piece was right in my alley. I thought the costume design was perfect, although a bit glittery...
The scenic design was best when it was minimal. I thought the best parts were the simplest, like with the death of Lui. I thought the last scene perhaps had a bit too much glitter in it. (It might have just been that the big LOVE mirror was a tad too large for my liking.)
One of my favorite moments!

The Venue
Ok, I need to have a talk with Ushers and Venue owners in Hong Kong. An Ushers job is to help an audience and make the experience better. The Ushers at the Cultural Center are rude and too strict for their own good. They actually take away from the experience which is bad for the companies and the venue. (More the companies as it's them we come to see!) We were seated in the balcony and there were about 100 seats empty in front of us. We thought perhaps we would move up 3-4 rows and get more centered to enjoy the performance. Apparently, it's not allowed because those seats are worth more money. What money? The show is half OVER! Who's going to buy them at the end of the intermission? It makes no sense to leave a hundred seats empty when there are people behind them who would love to move a little closer to enjoy the show.

I realize this is a policy of the venue, but I think this is one that should be changed. It's cheap and it makes the audience mad to see perfectly good seats empty and un-used when we want to fill them! And no one seemed to mind in the place except for the Ushers. They need to relax... The enjoyment of the production is more important than a 30 dollar price point. It will get more companies returning to your venue and more audience for those companies.

Performance Grade=A

1 comment:

  1. Agreed. Ushers are really militant in Hong Kong. They need to lighten up. Who's going to buy the ticket in the middle of the show?