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  2. It's not about "losing a few pounds", it's her legs and the body frame. It badly affects her dancing.
  3. California

    Don Quixote Spring 2018

    Wow - that's one I wish I could see, especially since she'll be partnered by Cornejo!
  4. fondoffouettes

    Don Quixote Spring 2018

    This is gorgeous.
  5. Inge

    ABT 2018 Swan Lake

    Are you me? I thought no one else felt the same way. What Bell lacks is intensity. Some naturally have it (Jonathan Klein does), and some develop it. I hope Bell can. Also he's 19, which cannot be covered by any amount of makeup or even strong characterization. I think the fault here is in weird casting.
  6. tutu

    ABT 2018 Swan Lake

    I agree with EVERYTHING you’ve written here, Amicos, and I can’t wait to read more of your thoughts. Devon Teuscher’s Odette is wonderful. She’s still developing her Odile, and you can see moments she’s developed — I expect that in a couple more runs, we’ll get to see those moments add up to an sense of seduction and deceit that lasts through the entire Act III. Would love to see her paired with a Siegfried who could carry some emotional weight.
  7. Katia Kapustin

    New Royal Ballet Swan Lake

    On a recent stay in London I was really lucky to be invited by my guests to attend the new "Swan Lake" production at Covent Garden. I saw the superb Marianella Nunez dancing with Vadim Muntagirov, what a great dancer he is! Much has been said here above about the production, some loved it others not so much. I very much enjoyed the new production, and I loved the stage and costume designs! I also saw the performance of the only Royal Ballet ballerina selected by the Director to dance her debut as Odette/Odile, Principal ballerina Yasmine Naghdi. That night she danced with fellow Principal Frederico Bonelli. I have never experienced a Covent Garden audience applauding and cheering a ballerina mid performance, she was clearly much loved and adored by the audience. Her characterisation of Odette/Odile was so well portrayed, her technique was simply outstanding (THAT balance in Act 3, which apparently went on and on in a previous performance of hers), her beautifully executed fouettes showed her superb musicality), she is also visually stunning to watch, I simply loved her and she surely has gained another fan across the ocean! I would love to see her guest here in NYC!
  8. Today
  9. Katia Kapustin

    Yasmine Naghdi, Principal, The Royal Ballet

    I first saw Principal ballerina Yasmine Naghdi perform here in the States when she was on tour with The Royal Ballet. Her beautiful physique and pure, clean, classical style of dancing grabbed my attention. On a recent stay in London I was lucky enough to see Naghdi dance Odette/Odile in the new Scarlett version of "Swan Lake". Commentators on a UK Ballet forum were raving about her and I found myself agreeing with all the comments! She was stunning to say the very least and I loved her performance with fellow RB Principal Frederico Bonelli. Naghdi is one of a kind, standing out amongst the current Principals as their youngest one (together with Francesca Hayward, another much talked about young principal). These two principals have a very different style of dancing and an entirely different physique. Naghdi is the most ballerina like of the two, in style, technique, facilities, and the highly classical repertoire such as Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Sugar Plum Fairy in Nutcracker, amongst others, suit her superbly well as do the MacMillan dramatic ballets such as Romeo&Juliet (she was a sensation in London when she danced her debut with Matthew Ball in 2015). Hayward is more of an Ashton dancer but she is also good in the MacMillan roles. These two Royal Ballet School trained principals come out of the same year group and the UK ballet goers are so very lucky to have those two wonderful principals and to enjoy seeing them on the Covent Garden ROH stage. I hope the RB plans to come back to the USA very soon.
  10. rhys

    New Royal Ballet Swan Lake

    Thank you, Mashinka. The Makarova-Dowell version was the first full-length recording of Swan Lake I ever saw and I don't think I've seen any others quite as dramatically compelling and satisfying since. And of course I loved the Nureyev solo performed by Dowell which I've missed in the subsequent productions. I've found the black-and-white Fonteyn-Somes video from 1954 on Youtube. Danced at this tempo, Odette feels terribly alive.
  11. fondoffouettes

    ABT 2018 Swan Lake

    These reviews of Murphy make me realize what I’ve missed in other Odettes — palpable tenderness and love toward Siegfried in Act I.
  12. Thanks very much for the video, MadameP. Maria Petukhova. I hope that she does great and is happy wherever she goes. She's a beautiful dancer. I'm pretty sure that this is her at 17:30. I'll try not to belabor the subject, but I still think that if she lost a few pounds (which seems quite possible with no health detriment) that she would be a stunner by today's ballerina standard. Added: In further regard to Maria Petukhova, apparently she performed the lead in La Naiade et le Pêcheur at the first of the two Vaganova Academy Graduation Performances this year. "La Naiade et le Pêcheur came next, with choreography by Petipa and Perrot but revised by Tsiskaridze. The movements here recalled Bournonville steps more than anything Petipa, with a focus on jumps for the men, and hops on pointe for the women. On 12 June, Ervin Zagidullin, a pupil of Fethon Miozzi, performed the role of Matteo alongside [Maria] Petukhova's Giannina." Catherine Pawlick -- "Vaganova Today" http://www.vaganovatoday.com/vaganova-academy-graduation-saint-petersburg-russia-june-2018 (thanks to Sophia at Dansomanie)
  13. Mashinka

    New Royal Ballet Swan Lake

    Try the earlier RB version recorded with Makarova and Dowell in the leading roles. There is also an even earlier Act II only with Fonteyn and Somes available, but it gives a better idea of how that act should be danced rather than Markarova's excruciating slowness.
  14. CTballetfan

    ABT 2018 Swan Lake

    Thank you so much, Laurel, for this review. Oh I wish I had been able to see Gillian Murphy one more time as O/O. The last time I saw her in this role she had to retire after Act 1 with an injury (2014). She has truly matured as an artist.
  15. pherank

    Favorite SFB Short Video Clips

    Ana Sophia Scheller has posted a couple of nice Instagram videos, "memories of Sleeping Beauty 2018". The 2nd video incorporates some live performance footage. The various costumes are shown to good effect. https://www.instagram.com/p/BkXx-Glhaq9/?hl=en&taken-by=la_scheller https://www.instagram.com/p/BkYK0JVBd2i/?hl=en&taken-by=la_scheller
  16. pherank

    Maria Kochetkova

    If you think about it, this is the perfect time to make a major change: Physically she's at her peak, and she's developed an international reputation. She's 34 years old. Her favorite partners at SFB and ABT have retired or moved on. Her marriage seems to have ended. Her best friends and new favored dance partners seem to be located in Europe. Her close family in Russia are not young, and I think she wants to be able to spend more time with them. I don't think there were any hard feelings about leaving SFB - it was just something she needed to do. However, I'm pretty sure it wasn't her idea to leave ABT. The New York audience just didn't care enough, her good friend Daniil Simkin was leaving for Berlin, and the ABT senior staff has been under a lot of pressure to promote in-house dancers (for good reason). I think they wanted that principal position back. It's a hard business. I've followed her career long enough to know a couple of things about Masha: she's not one to keep banging her head against the wall if something isn't working - she just moves on to something that does work. And, she never forgets the people who helped her along the way - she's very loyal to them. Masha won't forget how Tomasson helped to develop her career. But it's been 11 years and now is the best time to make a move as she's not getting any younger. I wish her good fortune.
  17. dirac

    Saturday, June 23

    Reviews of the Royal Danish Ballet at Jacob's Pillow. MassLive danceviewtimes
  18. dirac

    Thursday, June 21

    Semperoper Ballett photo gallery.
  19. dirac

    Saturday, June 23

    The Hungarian State Opera cancels "Billy Elliot" when ticket sales collapse after a right-wing writer calls it "gay propaganda."
  20. dirac

    Thursday, June 21

    A review of the "Young Choreographers" performances in Zurich by Sara Batschelet for Bachtrack.
  21. dirac

    Saturday, June 23

    More departures from the Royal New Zealand Ballet.
  22. dirac

    Friday, June 22

    Reviews of the Semperoper Ballett at Sadler's Wells. The Stage The Guardian The Independent
  23. dirac

    Saturday, June 23

    A report on the conclusion of the U.S.A. International Ballet Competition by Sherry Lucas for Mississippi Today. Related.
  24. rhys

    New Royal Ballet Swan Lake

    I was reading old reviews and came across this in a piece by Jann Parry on the occasion of Dowell's retirement (2001): The ideal director, if he or she is not a creator, should be a curator, ensuring that the Royal Ballet presents the classics in the purest form. By emphasising design over direction, Dowell has taken the company out of the premier league of classical troupes. It still dances well but its productions have become secondary ones, not the definitive statements Ninette de Valois required of the Royal Ballet. It seems to me a very sad thing that the new production has not righted the situation and the criticisms of the old one may just as well be levelled at the new.
  25. rhys

    New Royal Ballet Swan Lake

    Drew, Ashton Fan, thank you for your responses to my clumsily phrased, stupid-sounding question. They clarified some of the problems I was struggling to put my finger on. The scenario as it is does beg more questions than it answers. Perhaps Rothbart has power only over women – princesses, queens – and can’t cast a direct spell over Siegfried, but it doesn’t answer the question of why he has to bring Odile to the palace – surely if he means for Siegfried to take her for Odette, the lakeside might be a better setting… the list of questions goes on and on, which goes to show that complicating the original scenario, ostensibly to iron out logical inconsistencies, only serves to introduce more of them. Drew, I confess I was proposing the plausibility of historical/realist settings if we take a psychological approach purely for the sake of argument. In fact, I agree with much of what you say. Personally, I’ve not found the productions that take this approach to be anything other than hollow and anti-climactic. A Swan Lake without a sense of romance or mythic grandeur, where the concepts of suffering, the desire for freedom, the longing to simultaneously lose and find oneself, forgiveness and redemption, have no meaning – a production like that would seem to fall far short of what the music demands. To link this back to the new Royal Ballet production, I think the problem I have with the new ending is that Siegfried doesn’t die. He doesn’t redeem himself by joining Odette in death. Here also Odette is reduced to being a catalyst for Siegfried’s self-knowledge. Ashton Fan, could you point me in the direction of a current staging, or even an older one that has been recorded, that you feel has the poetry or poetic truth that this new production lacks?
  26. laurel

    ABT 2018 Swan Lake

    How lucky I was to have experienced Gillian Murphy’s emotional powerhouse of a performance in “Swan Lake” last night (Friday). I was astonished at this unexpected gift from such an amazing dancer, because even at the end of a long and successful career, Murphy showed that there is always much more that can be discovered. Murphy is no longer dancing “full out,” but she has danced this ballet longer than any other woman currently at ABT, and has Odette and Odile in her soul, and instead was able to channel everything into emotional interpretation, filling every move with meaning and complexity. Murphy knows exactly when to move, how much to move, and whether to move with the music or to anticipate it. Everything melded together to create a kind of emotional volcano, which had me in tears three times – and that was just Act I. Her Odile, of course, is peerless, and though her 32 fouettes did travel downstage somewhat, they were brilliant and mesmerizing nevertheless; a perfect manifestation of the character. Her Siegfried, sadly, was Whiteside, capable but plodding, and though he provided her with good support throughout, he was never on her level throughout the performance. He was like a tall telephone pole, whose only job is to hold up the wires which sizzle with electricity above him. His attempt at “acting” in Act IV, as Siegfried frantically runs to the lake to find Odette, consisted of his usual hammy vaudeville-style eye-rolling and head tossing. I’m really very tired of his constant presence on stage. After all the great reports last week about Aran Bell, including a NY Times puff piece as well as a brief review, I anticipated seeing a kind of young Rudolf Nureyev performing as last night’s Purple Rothbart. Alas, it was not to be. What I saw instead was the same blank-faced boy who couldn’t handle the Ratmansky choreography in last year’s “Whipped Cream.” He appeared to have been very carefully coached as Rothbart, and performed the choreography well, with energy and a high jump. However, his dancing was emotionless, and the only sign of a facial expression came from the heavy makeup painted on his face. He was more like a cute boy at frat party, rather than a dangerous sorcerer at a royal ball. Perhaps he understood and was able to identify more easily with Romeo, but he didn’t have a clue about Rothbart or how to portray him. He was also unfortunate in having to dance alongside Gillian Murphy. Her sly, seductive Odile was the focal point of Act III, and it was quite clear that this sophisticated woman was the stronger, scarier of the two characters and the real manipulator of events, not Rothbart. Which turned the entire action of the scene upside down. I'm not looking forward to seeing Aran Bell in any principal roles in the near future, but I'm certain management has other ideas. He is no prodigy, and was way out of his depth as Rothbart. There are currently four and possibly five men in the soloist level who are capable of dancing this role and, more importantly, principal roles, and should have been cast in them this season. It would have added some excitement to the spring and more variety on stage. This has been the dullest season in some time and it's almost a relief that the end is near.
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