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Birdsall

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Everything posted by Birdsall

  1. He was one of the few male singers I loved listening to, and I saw him many times once together with Olga Borodina in concert. Backstage at that concert Borodina would not come out and greet fans, and someone alerted the impresaria that Borodina would not come out, and Hvorostovsky was standing there with her and I was next to him, and he had an honest reaction of shock blurting out, "Well, that's not right!" Borodina was apparently upset with her performance that night (although she sounded as gorgeous as usual to my ears). To me his reaction showed that he cared about fans and felt it was part of their duty to meet the ones who were ardent fans. Anyway, I loved the singer.....so few good singers around anymore, and we lose a good one! It is a rarity for me to even attend opera anymore, because I don't like what I hear. I made the effort to see Stemme in Tristan und Isolde last Fall b/c her Brunnhilde in San Francisco in 2011 was absolutely amazing. But so few singers are exciting to me now. Sad to lose one so young. 55 is young for humans and baritones can often sing into old age. I guess 55 is usually when a soprano is starting to wind down her career or drop the most difficult roles out of her repertoire, but Hvorostovsky probably could have sung for years if he had not fallen ill.
  2. Well, I did not connect the dots and do not follow them on social media at all. I am just reading this thread and responding. You are right that they don't owe anyone anything, but being gay, in my opinion, is no big deal in 2017 especially in NYC so their lives will go on if they are indeed gay and probably for the better. The hiding is the part that keeps people from being amazing people. I have witnessed a very homely guy who held himself very awkwardly and looked ugly literally blossom into a gorgeous man (after he told his parents and they accepted him) who was no longer stiff and nervous looking and transformed into a hunk (his face was lit up and no longer had a serial killer look) that every guy wanted to date. When I saw this amazing and incredible transformation of a friend in college it made me realize that people have to be who they are. Period. Trying to hide it is no good. But you are right. Nobody has to follow my idea of how to act. Everyone can act however they want, but I have a right to have an opinion also. I also have a good friend whose husband left her for a man while she was pregnant. It was very traumatic. So, yes, I know that there are sensitive issues at play, BUT I bet she's glad she's not being fooled anymore! If I were a woman I would be thankful that my husband didn't keep hiding it and waste my precious time looking for someone who really wants me. Who wants to live a lie? The Truth is always the best, in my opinion. Best for everyone in the long run.
  3. As someone who is gay and openly gay in the South and in education (a field where many find it harder to be open) I find it absurd to be gay and closeted in the performing arts in NYC in 2017.......it boggles the mind. I took lgbt high school students and their parents to meet with school board members way before anti-bullying iniatives were popular and mainstream. They were getting harassed and beat up and the schools they attended were not doing anything about it. I was shocked by these kids' stories and took them to meet school board members to tell what they are going through (getting beat up simply because other kids assumed they were gay without them necessarily admitting it). Other teachers thought I was risking my career, but hearing what these kids went through (fearing for their physical safety on a daily basis) made me not worry about my career. They needed an adult who showed them he is not afraid to be who he is and stand up for them to the school board. After those experiences I have no patience for people who worry about their careers after hearing about what these kids went through.
  4. MCB's Jewels October 2017

    Last night I saw Miami City Ballet's Opening Night Jewels (and opening of their season)......I was hoping to see similarities to NYCB's Jewels since MCB is a sort of daughter of that company! And I feel I did see just that but with a slight Miami flavor. Tricia Albertson showed off gorgeous flowing arms in Emeralds which highlighted the lush music of Faure wonderfully. I loved every movement she made. Her off balance balances were great showing off good Balanchine style too. Rainer Krenstetter partnered her wonderfully. Emily Bromberg also had nice arms and did the "clock" movements well (not sure if that is what they are called but it always reminds me of a clock.....maybe passage of time?)......Emeralds can be the most boring of the 3 Jewels ballets, but it was not boring at all. I was mesmerized. It was a perfect welding of the music and movements that kept my attention, and I noticed that the corps was fast when speeding past each other like NYCB. Renan Cerdeiro partnered Bromberg, and both were great together. I never saw them paired and I thought it was a good pairing. Nathalia Arja, Shimon Ito, and Ashley Knox were all great in the trio......this Emeralds was actually fun and exciting. Katia Carranza (returning to the company this season) and Renato Penteado danced the couple in Rubies, and Penteado is always a wonderful dancer. Carranza was also very good, and they both had great charisma together. To me they brought a slight extra Latin pizzazz to Rubies that worked well since it is so jazzy and playful. Maybe it wasn't Latin, rather just slight spiciness. Jordan-Elizabeth Long came on like a femme fatale as the Tall Girl in Rubies, and I personally loved it. Her high attitudes were amazing, especially with those long legs. After one high attitude it did look like she almost fell out of it, but she recovered instantaneously. There was a slight wobble at one of the penchees as she left the stage (after the guys rotate her legs), but after that stretch I don't blame her. It must be so tiring. Those are minor quibbles. I loved her as the Tall Girl. She reminded me of Tess Reichlen, who I saw in the role at NYCB, but with a more femme fatale personality. So, after an exciting Emeralds and a fun Rubies, I was waiting for Diamonds with Simone Messmer and Jovani Furlan. Expectations were high. Although I liked what I saw I felt Diamonds was the weakest link, since the whole company seemed less energetic in Diamonds. Maybe it was an artistic choice (trying to play up the regal Russian style). I am not sure. But when I saw several Jewels at NYCB I was wowed by the speed and excitement that company brought to Diamonds. Nothing Messmer or Furlan did was wrong or bad. In fact, they were pretty good. In the past I have not quite understood why Lourdes Lopez seems to cast Messmer as if she were the company's Lopatkina. I have considered her mannered in the past (acting like a Russian prima ballerina without the goods to back it up), but tonight she seemed to act more like herself (like a regular person) and not as if she were trying to be something she is not, so I actually liked her a LOT better than I used to. I did wish for more speed in the chaine turns during the coda. Mearns at NYCB does the chaine turns at an incredible speed. However, Messmer was both regal and down-to-earth (if that makes sense). It was the right amount of woman as opposed to swan, right amount of regal movement without seeming pretentious. I liked her performance but it didn't knock my socks off. But I look forward to seeing her again now. I used not want to. I think she is getting better. I hear that Furlan was promoted to Principal, and he did look very princely and partnered very well. The audience loved him. The company needs a tall, strong partner. I do think he and Messmer look good together. He had a couple of sloppy landings that should have ended in fifth, but even the best male dancers can mess that up. Overall, I have always been impressed with his dancing. Anyway, I was glad I drove down to Miami to see this. I had to brave horrendous traffic and an accident that slowed things down. My partner and I drove to Jupiter to meet movers to move my parents' belongings up to Gainesville, and I saw that I could catch Jewels. In high school and college it was nothing to drive from Jupiter to Miami, but times have changed. The drive is HORRENDOUS! So won't be going tonight (I am back in Jupiter). I usually catch MCB during their West Palm Beach shows (20 minutes from my parents' house which is about to sell). Last night was sort of a "Goodbye" to MCB as my "sort of" official local company b/c I used to see all their shows. I probably won't anymore unless it is one I don't want to miss. I will also probably fly to West Palm or Miami for a show instead of driving from now on, since I will no longer have a home base and so I will book a hotel and fly and use uber to get around. The only really bad thing about MCB's Jewels are the backdrops. I didn't mind that the LED lights were simply green against a black backdrop during Emeralds. In fact, it sort of looked nice. They were red in Rubies but then turned into a tawdry dance hall or night club or whatever. Frankly, I don't know what it was supposed to be, but, in my opinion, it looked dumb. Then, in Diamonds it started as just white LED lights but then in the middle suddenly there was a chandelier made out of the LED lights, and I thought that was not very elegant looking. Little did I know it would get worse and become a wreath of chandeliers made out of the LED lights. It looked comical in fact. If Diamonds were a comedy it would be great. Thankfully, I care more about the dancing than the sets so it did not ruin the ballet at all. However, if I were a huge donor to MCB I would be lobbying big time for new backdrops for Jewels. Lopez is not afraid to bring in new productions (she did an underwater Midsummer and is bringing in a brand new production of Nutcracker), so next time she presents Jewels she should present it in a brand new production. I think I would have preferred a solid black backdrop for all three ballets rather than the LED lights.
  5. MCB's Jewels October 2017

    I am in West Palm Beach and caught two performances of MCB's Jewels. As noted above I saw their Opening Night Jewels about a month ago in Miami, so I will call that the first cast (and that same cast was West Palm's first cast, although I couldn't make that performance on this past Friday). Last night's Emeralds was decent but somehow not as exciting as the first cast (in Miami). I usually like Jennifer Lauren a lot, but last night I felt like she did not have that little reckless abandon that you can sometimes find in Balanchine dancers due to the forward momentum of their off balance balances. I thought Tricia Albertson was more exciting back in October in the same role. Simone Messmer was a decent seconda donna.....Chase Swatosh and Jovani Furlan partnered them respectively well. The trio was Samantha Hope Galler, Harrison Monaco, and Nicole Stalker, and I enjoyed all of them. Rubies showcased Tricia Albertson and Kleber Rebello, two of MCB's best dancers, in my opinion. They danced the couple in Rubies, and I loved them. They brought the most excitement of the evening last night. I was disappointed in Lauren Fadeley's Tall Girl. She was the All-American Big Smiling Girl in this role. I much preferred Jordan-Elizabeth Long in that same role. She was more of a femme fatale and her high attitudes were amazing. I feel that Fadeley's high attitudes were forced. I just think that this is not the role for her, and I enjoyed her much more in Diamonds in today's matinee. More on that below. Katia Carranza and Renan Cerdeiro were great in Diamonds, although I thought he was excellent and she was very decent. Basically, this 2nd cast that I saw last night seemed decent but not a top notch cast except Albertson and Rebello and Cerdeiro......I feel those three were the most exciting. Today's matinee felt much more exciting and "on" than last night's performance. i think MCB does Emeralds and Rubies about as good as NYCB, but their Diamonds is not quite there yet. In Emeralds today I saw Ashley Knox and Reyneris Reyes as the main couple. Reyes looks in better form than in the recent past, and he partnered Ashley Knox as if she were light as a feather, and she was a very pleasant surprise for me. I thought she had lovely arms and an overall elegance and "perfume" to her dancing. I haven't noticed her that much in the past (I don't think she gets many lead roles at MCB), but I would like to see her again. Jordan-Elizabeth Long and Ariel Rose were the second couple, and I enjoyed both of them. I wondered why I had never heard of Ariel Rose. He is in the corps de ballet, but he got a lead role today, b/c he might be one of the only male dancers who can partner the very tall Long. Both were great. Ellen Grocki, Damian Zamorano, and Leanna Rinaldi were also good as the trio. I always love Nathalia Arja. Her exuberance is contagious, and she always gives her all from what I have seen. She and Alexander Peters were the couple in Rubies. I think Arja might have the easiest high extensions in the entire company. She was really fun to watch. Peters was a good partner, but he looks very small. I think Arja is already small, and they looked the same height when she wasn't on pointe. That might limit his future casting. Christie Sciturro was a great Tall Girl! She also played it like a femme fatale sort of like Long did in the first cast. Her high attitudes were beautiful! After seeing Fadeley in Rubies last night I had my doubts about her dancing Diamonds, but she proved me wrong. I think she did a great job, and out of the 3 casts I saw she did the chaine turns after her variation the fastest which is more like how NYCB dancers do it. She also turned off the All American Girl Smile and was able to convey elegance. So I think her Rubies was a case of miscasting. She was much, much better in Diamonds. Chase Swatosh partnered her well. Overall, I enjoyed MCB's Jewels. They are a great Balanchine company. I think Diamonds might stretch them a bit thin (it is a much smaller company than NYCB), but they did an admirable job even so. I would gladly see them do Jewels again in a few years (possibly).......they shouldn't wait so long to do it again!
  6. Skorik

    I posted this in the tour topic, but I think some people may miss the news if that topic doesn't interest you. Oxsana Skorik is now listed on the Mariinsky web site as a First Soloist.
  7. St Petersburg - November 2017

    I like many others too! My favorites are Novikova, Osmolkina, and Kolegova!
  8. St Petersburg - November 2017

    Madame P., thank you for this review. I felt almost like I was there, because you gave so many supporting details! The school where I work is using a Reading program school wide, and even though I am the librarian, I go in and co-teach in a class for 90 minutes, and we are trying to get the children to find supporting details, so when I read your review, I thought, "This is exactly what we are trying to get students to do!" Basically, great review! I love Novikova too! She has range and can do fast work as well as adagio. Her use of arms is magical to me. Wish I could have been there. Tkachenko was probably exciting as the Street Dancer. Too bad she doesn't get many major roles. She has personality and stage presence to me. Please do post more reviews! I promised my partner and parents I would take a break from Russia after my mugging and have fulfilled that promise (the amount of time I promised) and was ready to return but now I am taking care of my parents, so mainly seeing the Mariinsky on tours when I can. Maybe one day I will return.
  9. Last time I saw Orlando Ballet's SL there was canned music, the lead fell flat on her face, the canned music messed up, etc. I was shocked by the lack of Scene 1.....the pas de trois was placed in the Black Swan act......there were two jesters rolling on the floor......LOL Then, I saw Orlando Ballet's Don Quixote after that which was MUCH better. Adiarys Almeida was an excellent Kitri.......the DQ performance showed me that Orlando Ballet could do a serious performance! So when I saw that Adiarys Almeida was dancing Odette/Odile this time I had hopes that the Cuban ballerina would raise Orlando Ballet's Swan Lake to a much better level than last time. Taras Domitro (former San Francisco dancer) was Siegfried. So I had hopes that they could help me like this version. Overall, she did bring the quality up, but I think she is a natural Kitri whereas she has to work a little harder at Odette. She was good, but she didn't erase all the Russian ballerinas I have seen in the role, and even she could not save this production. Domitro was also good as her partner and danced his solos well. I think they did a very admirable and good job. I had no complaints about either of them. In fact, this whole thing should have been replaced with a gala in which she and Domitro danced the love duet and Black Swan duet while company dancers did variations from other ballets. I think that would have been much nicer and actually easier for the company to stage. Basically, the actual production is a big mess still even with these great guests' contributions. I imagine it is very hard to stage Scene 1 for a small, regional company, but I missed the music, especially since this time they had the Orlando Philharmonic performing the score.....seems a shame to cut the first scene and miss the lovely music even if it is light waltzing. It seems like something could have been done. A small group of Siegfried's friends celebrating his birthday or something could be staged with fewer people dancing. I also like seeing the juxtaposition between the society scenes and the more intimate lakeside scenes. To me Swan Lake's story is lopsided when Act 1 Scene 1 is missing. There is a balance between public and private in the normal versions. I think Scene 1 needs to be put back in and the pas de trois should be moved back to its original place rather than in the Black Swan scene. Swan Lake is NOT a long ballet, so I don't buy Robert Hill's explanation in a previous video that people don't want to sit for a long ballet. I suspect the real reason is that a small company has a harder time filling the first scene's stage, but, I would understand having a very small group dancing to what a large corps would normally dance to.....I understand it is a small company. I have seen Nutcrackers with just 6 flowers and 12 snowflakes! I am fine with a small company having a smaller corps. I am actually one of the few people on BA who actually likes the Jester in the Mariinsky's version of Swan Lake (there is a whole storyline if you pay attention.....he's wooing one of the friends of the prince). But two jesters, to me, is overkill especially if they are jumping over each other as the other one rolls on the floor. I don't know. It gives it sort of a spoof-like feeling to the production. I feel like Orlando Ballet's Swan Lake is not serious enough. To me it is one of the most beautiful ballets in the repertoire and I could watch the love duet between Odette and Siegfried every night of my life....it touches me profoundly, so it is disappointing to see a production that is more like a spoof. I can handle that if it is Les Trockaderos but otherwise.....no.....I really wish Orlando Ballet would rethink its approach to the ballet. On a really high point I discovered a wonderful Turkish restaurant Bosphorous where I had turkish grape leaves, lamb shanks, and a turkish wine flight (4 different tastings)......I tried to get into Chatham's Place at the last minute without a reservation, but they were all booked up, so I went searching for another restaurant in the plaza across the street and found Bosphorous which I highly recommend! Orlando has much better restaurants than when I was a child and my grandparents used to live there!!!
  10. 2017-18 Bolshoi cinema season

    mnacenani, Every great artist ends up getting very divided opinions, because everyone's tastes are different. I spent years following opera, before I started following ballet, and all the great singers have their fans and their detractors. Maria Callas divided people and she still does due to her importance in opera history (so people continue to listen to learn why she is so great). Her artistry changed opera for good but people who want beautiful singing are dumbfounded by her squally high notes and wobbles (although her early 50s bootlegs show beauty). Her voice acting will probably never be improved upon in any of her famous roles like Norma and Violetta. In complete contrast, the amazing technical Dame Joan Sutherland has always been criticized for her mushy diction and poor acting. However, I don't think anyone sings coloratura the way she does in this day and age with such roundness of tone and absolutely no sound of strain. Today we have Radvanovsky, and I am flabbergasted at anyone finding that voice beautiful or finding her adequate in the role of Norma. But I am outnumbered by her many fans. Personally, I think Bellini is rolling over in his grave. My point is that all great artists divide people's opinions. Mediocre singers or dancers tend to not get anyone arguing or excited enough to argue. But the singers and dancers who stand out as unique always divide people and create vehement reactions. My love of Stepanova's dancing comes from the way she uses her upper body and arms and her natural acting. I hate stiff upper bodies and arms. I do not judge dancers by the pony tricks like fouettes because even the best can have a bad night and the worst can master a technical feat. To bring it back to opera, Radvanovsky can sing a great high note or pianissimo (she can do the "wow" technical feats) but it is the overall artistry that I do not like in her singing. I find Radvanovsky's acting laughable and the actual sound of her voice annoying. So that is why.
  11. Drew, everytime I have seen Tereshkina (and I have seen her in person as Nikiya twice and as Odette/Odile twice among other things) she gives her complete all to the audience. I do not understand why some say she is a cold dancer. I find it to be the exact opposite. She is a very warm dancer giving her all technically and emotionally even though, in my opinion, she's not the best actress....but tries her best and gives to the audience). When I have seen her she never fails to motion to the orchestra at curtain calls to give the orchestra credit. For some reason Tereshkina is not someone I seek out to see, but when I see her in the cast I am happy. And after each performance of hers I recognize that she is a performer who strives to give her all to us. I read somewhere that she gives her best because she realizes some people come to see her instead of buying a new dress, so how can she not give her best? So that sounds like a very big hearted person too. I hope you paid attention to her series of turns that end in arabesque near the end of the scarf variation. She usually does triples ending in arabesque and does it excellently.
  12. Kolegova has been blonde for months. I think it must be a personal choice, not a character choice. I personally like her best as brunette or redhead.....she is such a stunning woman but for some reason I don't think blonde is her best color.
  13. Jovani Furlan promoted to Principal

    Wow! I stayed only for part of the curtain calls. I should have stayed longer. He was good and looks princely and great....
  14. I will agree to disagree about Kolegova. We all see things differently. However, I think Kolegova is a great adagio dancer, and she often gets cast in roles requiring adagio. She was recently cast in the Second Movement of Symphony in C. To me adagio is her forte. I have seen her Swan Lake in person and have multiple recordings. Her Act 1 Scene 2 love duet is divine. She is probably the most feminine (and most beautiful....talking about her face) Odette I have ever seen. The way she puts her hand in Siegfried's hands after he picks her up off the floor and before the assisted turns.....just a flick of her wrist makes that movement delicate and beautiful. Although she can be great in fast footwork I tend to think she seems to excel when she is moving slowly which gives her the time to make beautiful movements, and her artistry is in very subtle and final movements. Her flowing arms when she falls backwards are amazing too, but you have to pay attention to the hands at the end of the backwards falls. I saw her as Nikiya in person, and it was not her best performance, but since then I have seen her in a recording and she did much better. However, I still don't view it as my favorite role of hers. Her Gamzatti is better than I expected, because I didn't think she had the temperament, but she did a good job.
  15. https://www.scfta.org/events/detail.aspx?id=16825
  16. You know I agree with you! She is used as an "Also Ran" or sub, and she can dance circles around Skorik! At the final performance of the D.C. Raymonda tour she had to suddenly replace Skorik after Act 1, and it was announced that Kolegova would dance Act 2 and 3, and it looked like she only had her street make up on instead of her theatrical make up when she entered in Act 2. Then, in Act 3 her make up was the normal theatrical make up. So it appeared to be a sudden decision. I saw no sign of injury at the end of Skorik's Act 1.
  17. I vote for Swan Lake's love duet also. It is the Number One moment in ballet that I could watch every single day of my life. To me it captures how it feels to fall in love so deeply that it goes beyond anything. For me Diamonds is very pretty but somewhat mechanical in comparison (less touching, less meaningful). After a hard day at work or after being stressed about dealing with my elderly parents' issues, I will choose one of many Swan Lake videos I have and fast forward to the love duet, and it takes me away from all my troubles for 30 minutes. There is no other scene in ballet that works that same magic for me. I rate it as NUMBER ONE. There are many other ballet moments that I love, but that duet is my absolute favorite.
  18. There are harlots in the Lavrovsky but they play such a small role that they are easy to miss. For those of us who love flowing arms and upper bodies the Lavrovsky danced by the Mariinsky is the best!!! Plus, there is an elegance to the dancing and choreography that is lovely. I don't think I would like the Lavrovsky version danced by another company, however. I think the Mariinsky with its special style makes it work for me.
  19. Novikova is, in my opinion, the best ballerina at the Mariinsky, and that includes Lopatkina even before she retired. Her arms are the most flowing and delightful arms of all Mariinsky ballerinas. She is also quite versatile...able to dance Odette/Odile (though rarely getting the chance....I think she danced it ONCE on the Mariinsky stage and maybe once or twice on tours), Kitri, Giselle, Masha in Nutcracker, Raymonda, Aurora, etc. It is sad that Novikova is not a principal. She is so feminine and delicate but then spins like a Tasmanian devil when Giselle rises from the grave. So strength hidden under the delicate, flowing Vaganova training.... Beautiful, beautiful dancer. She should be the new prima now that Lopatkina has retired. In fact, she should have been the prima way above Lopatkina and Vishneva. IMO She is truly a great red wine that makes all others taste sour.
  20. I am posting this, since it doesn't quite fit into another topic on Ballet Alert, but I thought it would interest many people. I wanted to mention the ballet-related sights or exhibits I saw during this July 2013 trip. Kschessinska's mansion is a political history museum (many of you probably know this already). The mansion itself is a wonderful example of Art Nouveau or Style Moderne. So architecture lovers will enjoy visiting it. Also, history buffs will love to see the balcony where Lenin gave his speech. Currently, there is an exhibit "Fouettes of Fate" that is in one room and includes many rare photos from Kschessinska's life. The only other rooms you see are the White Hall and the entry foyer. So there isn't much to see, but I think most ballet lovers would enjoy it nevertheless. Her mansion has been joined with another mansion (by building a very modern building that joins them both) to create the museum of political history, and I personally found the rest of the museum not very interesting, but history buffs might enjoy it. To me the majority of the museum feels contrived and a real stretch at making it worthwhile for a visit. Maybe history people will disagree with me. The only part I loved was seeing the outside of the mansion, and the couple of rooms that were in Kschessinska's home. I post this info so you can decide if it is worth visiting or not. I enjoyed it. But it is not a museum I will likely ever visit again. Nevsky Monastery and Cemetery: Tchaikovsky's and Petipa's graves are here, so go!!!! Someone left a tiny ballerina slipper on Petipa's grave! Other graves include Glinka's, Mussorgsky's, Rimsky-Korsakov's, Dostoevsky's........the cemetery has lots of trees and the tombstones are actually beautiful in many cases, so it is a nice, calm walk. I recommend this. It is a pilgrimage of sorts. Sheremetev Palace: some fascinating violins and variations on violin instruments on display. A violin that belonged to Glinka is on display. Only a few rooms are available for viewing, and if you only have one visit to St. Petersburg I think this can be passed up because Peterhof, Pavlovsk, and the Catherine Palace are must see palaces. Alexander Golovin exhibit at the Russian Museum. This only lasts until September 2, 2013. It included his well-known paintings of Chaliapin as Boris Godunov and as Mephistopheles as well as many stage designs and even his original design of the Mariinsky's stage curtain. Mikhail Chemyakin's exhibit "Pavements of Paris" at the Marble Palace (on the Neva river) will be over on August 5 (in a few days), but it is an interesting exhibit. The ballet connection is that he created the Mariinsky's new avant garde Nutcracker, and I have to say that I feel this exhibit of his "Pavements of Paris" (unrelated to ballet although some ballet characters in his works in this exhibit) help me to see him as a true artist. He took images he found on the sidewalk and turned them into figures and it was amazing to see the picture of a crack in the ground and what he ended up painting from that image. He also took pieces of discarded paper/trash or leaves and then painted with that shape and made it into a figure. The same twisted type characters that appear in his designs for Nutcracker are in these works also (not the same exact characters but the same style). Beyond this exhibit the Marble Palace is worth a visit simply to see the gorgeous staircase and the Marble Room that is amazing!!! Circus: I was snapping pics of myself in front of the gorgeous Circus building because it is the fanciest circus I ever saw (looks like an opera house), and I noticed people with children going inside. I thought the shows were only at night, but it was the weekend so I went in and caught a matinee. It was a cross between Cirque du Soleil and a circus. Lots of dancing and acrobatics, clowns, animal acts, etc. But why I post this is that many of the dancers/acrobats had the same flowing arms and upper bodies that Mariinsky dancers have. I am wondering if the Vaganova graduates who did not get into a ballet company or left the academy before finishing end up working for this circus. My hotel was right around the corner from the Mariinsky, and I saw several dancers and coaches talking with friends or eating dinner or walking past. There are so many things to see in St. Petersburg, and I saw much more, but those are the things that I thought might be of interest to other ballet lovers. WebRep currentVote noRating noWeight
  21. Yulia Stepanova

    Thanks for correcting me that you have no personal sympathies. I was actually speaking in general and thought people reading would wonder why these other ballerinas are being put to pasture (I think it is because of age). I think you can understand how someone could accidentally assume personal sympathies when on a Stepanova thread and mention of her award we are now talking about many others and it seemed like it was implied that she did not deserve it when there are so many others. But apparently, my mistake. Personally, if I am neutral on a dancer I never read that dancer's thread. No time. Dealing with aging parents, getting their house ready to sell, back to work after many months of just taking care of parents, etc. Limited time means I only read threads that I have personal sympathies for.... I do have to agree with you on Alexandrova. I think she dances fine technically, but I personally think she has an angry looking face even when she's smiling. I am not sure I want to see her in anything besides Gamzatti or Odile or maybe in the future Carabosse.
  22. Yulia Stepanova

    Allash turned 41 in March and Kaptsova will be 39 in a few short weeks. If anybody can feel disappointed it is Obraztsova, not the stars on the threshold of retirement. I think Alexandrova is also around that age and has other projects. I understand people's disappointment at their favorites getting fewer opportunities to dance, but ballet strikes me as a cruel art in that respect...once you are no longer in your prime you can be discarded like you don't matter. Some dancers are able to keep dancing longer.
  23. Yulia Stepanova

    By the way, Alexandrova will be performing in the Bright Stream on Oct. 28.
  24. Yulia Stepanova

    The prize winners are nominated by the ballet and opera artistic directors and the company pedagogues. The award for Stepanova is a visible proof that Vaziev and some top ballet people in Moscow have a VERY HIGH opinion of Stepanova. Vaziev, in particular, was tremendously impressed by Yulia’s debut in the «Legend of Love».
  25. Alyona Kovalyova Swan Lake Debut

    I disagree about Stepanova. I have seen her do fouettes perfectly in person at the Mariinsky when she was a coryphee no less. And I have seen her in all of her Bolshoi roles in alternative ways and never saw a problem, so far. I will have to go back and check. However, thank you for the report about Kovalyova. I think the ballet world is actually watching her and wondering if she is destined for greatness.
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