MadameP

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About MadameP

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    Ballet fan, former student
  • City**
    Oxford
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**
    UK

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  1. That's exactly what I thought, too, Natalia, except no - leave Zhivoi at Mariinsky!
  2. Possibly that is because she is lucky to have the position she does have.
  3. I really enjoyed The Four Seasons - I don't find any need to over-think what it all meant! I enjoyed it very much for what it was, including the played around with Vivaldi music. I thought both Kondaurova and Belyakov were excellent technically, expressive and all the corps dancers equally charming and all dancing well - and they were all MT corps members, so a special mention for Andrei Arseniev. It was just all very easy on the eye and feel-good. I liked it very much.
  4. Ha - Natalia. You said it just as I thought it, but I hear the North Pole has a new ballet company that needs an AD...
  5. Oh - I HOPE she does coach and pass on some of her wonderful experience to future generations. Mariinsky needs her.
  6. I saw today on the Russian side of the Mariinsky website the following announcement. Ульяна Лопаткина сообщила о завершении танцевальной карьеры Мариинский театр официально объявляет поклонникам таланта прима-балерины театра Ульяны Лопаткиной, что она сообщила о завершении своей танцевальной карьеры. Here is the google translation: Ulyana Lopatkina announced the completion of the dance career The Mariinsky Theater officially announces to the fans of the talent of the prima ballerina of the Ulyana Lopatkina Theater that she announced the completion of her dance career. This is very sad news for me and for all her millions of fans worldwide, everyone who ever saw her dance, whether live on stage or on television or video. She was a wonderful ballerina, a true Vaganova ballerina with textbook, correct technique, the most exquisite floating lyrical quality and astonishingly beautiful arms. She had had an operation on her hip earlier this year, but for the last few years her dancing performances had become fewer and fewer, but always exquisite. I feel privileged to have seen her throughout her career. I remember the first time I saw her was as Nikiya at the Royal Opera House, when she was in her early 20s. We all marvelled at her slender limbs, since she was a type of ballerina we had never seen before. Towards the end of her career I was so lucky to see her on the Mariinsky stage as Odette-Odile, Nikiya, Giselle, Tsar Maiden and other roles. I loved watching her. I am very sad at this news, but also grateful for having seen her and God Bless her and give her a long and happy life.
  7. Yes, so I understand. She was offered contracts at both Mariinsky and Bolshoi apparently, but she chose Bolshoi.
  8. We do not know whether Lopatkina will ever dance again. She is not at a good age to make a come-back after having an operation. I hope she does...
  9. Just wanted to thank you, Gnossie, for putting the Markitenka (La Vivandiere) video on this thread. Vikharev was such a great dancer, and so much to be admired for all his work on reconstructions of ballets, coaching, teaching, and of course as a dancer - so much... but for me, when I think of him dancing, it is in this piece that I remember him the most. I have watched it on video so many times over the years, since I also love Pankova. I love both of them in this piece. Thank you...
  10. Nothing concrete, but I was in St Petersburg a short while ago and revisited both Peterhof and Tsarskoe Selo palaces and Tsarskoe Selo /Pushkin (also known as Catherine Palace) had an exhibition of the costumes from this film, as well as many beautiful stills from it. The film is called Mathilde. The costumes and hats were sumptuous and the photographs and videos also beautiful. But interesting that they did not choose a Mariinsky or Bolshoi dancer for the dancing parts, although they did use the actual Mariinsky stage and yes, there is dance content, since they showed a short video clip with ballerina dancing, but I don't know how much there will be in the entire film. Looks very spectacular anyway as obviously it has beautiful locations, being filmed in Tsarskoe Selo and other locations in and around St Petersburg!
  11. Such sad news.
  12. A few days ago I saw two performances of A Legend of Love on the historic Bolshoi stage. The matinee performance on Saturday, 20th May was the debut of Yulia Stepanova in the role of Mekhmene Banu with Alexander Volchkov as Ferkhad and Anastasia Stashkevich as Shyrin. The evening performance the following evening was Maria Alexandrova as Mekhmene Banu with Vladimir Lantratov as Ferkhad and Evgenia Obraztsova as Shyrin. I already wrote about Yulia Stepanova's debut on the Yulia Stepanova thread in the dancers' section, so I will just write about Alexandrova's performance here. I will try to post the link to the Stepanova performance underneath. The two Queen Mekhmene Banu performances were very different. Yulia Stepanova was much more feminine. Alexandrova certainly commands the stage as the Queen as she has great presence and her Queen has immense attack and power. She is clearly a "Bolshoi" ballerina with that energy and drive but for me, it comes over as a little too hard. Technically though, she was excellent, but she does not have very beautiful lines, having comparatively short legs, and certainly not the wonderful arms and upper body that Stepanova has. I also I did not see the variety of expressions that I saw in the Stepanova performance. Vladimir Lantratov as Ferkhad was superb. What a great actor he is. I was watching with my binoculars, and his range of expressions is amazing and his jumps showed beautiful line. Where he also was great was in all the pas de deux work - so difficult in this ballet with its numerous convoluted and acrobatic lifts, requiring strength and timing. This was most noticeable in the final act pas de deux with Alexandrova/Queen, which was superb. Volchkov did not show nearly the same ease of partnering with Yullia Stepanova, but I think that was to be expected as it was a debut: Alexandrova and Lantratov are regular partners and it really showed in this pas de deux. The difficult upside down"candle" lift where Alexandrova then goes into the upside down splits position was outstanding and so were the other lifts. The expressions of both of them were outstanding - Alexandrova yearning and sensual - and the chemistry between them was palpable. This was their best section of the ballet. In the role of Shyrin, Evgenia Obraztsova was sweet and graceful, but although she is one of my favourite dancers, I have to say that technically Anastasia Stashkevich the day before was superior to her. Obraztsova's jumping did not have the same lightness and ease, and she just seemed heavier in all her movements, although there were certainly no flaws in a technically good performance. However, Obraztsova's expressions and command of the stage were superb and I loved her frolicsome pas de deux with Ferkhad. Lantratov was excellent with both ballerinas! The corps and minor soloists once again were superb in all their stylised group work. This is a great dramatic Grigorovich ballet and I saw two powerful performances!
  13. Yulia Stepanova had a great success today in her debut as Mekhmene Banu in A Legend of Love at the historic Bolshoi Theatre. Her Queen was elegant, showing beautiful lines in the many sculptural poses and lifts, but also strong and regal. Her hands and arms in all the oriental gestures were expressive, and accenting the music with dynamism where needed. This was a STRONG performance indeed, but also a Queen of subtle emotion, giving a real sense of tragedy at the loss of her beauty in exchange for her sister's life. Her monologue especially was SO moving - full of turmoil - and her expressions throughout were wonderful. I don't know how she managed to portray such emotion even while wearing a veil - but she did! Technically she was flawless, with fast turns, and she was especially strong in the sequence of swift fouettes, ending with a triple. Great performance, and the audience called her back for numerous curtain calls. Her Ferkhad was Alexander Volchkov, who managed the difficult candle lift and the other acrobatic lifts that the choreography contains and acted well also. Anastasia Stashkevich was charming as Shyrin with her fluttering hands, and especially thrilling grands jetes in the sequences of jetes synchronised with Ferkhad. She was graceful, light, gentle and I thought she was a perfect foil for Yulia Stepanova. This ballet is so striking and effective in the simplicity of its designs on the huge Bolshoi stage. There are four braziers on stage and a number of chandeliers hanging down that change colour and also a series of small raised backdrops that come down onto the back centre of the stage like a triptych style book that opens (difficult to describe) - but that is all. All the effects are in the emotions of the dancers, the power of the choreography, the lighting and in the ranks of dancers who pour onto the stage, often in stylised formulation. I was absolutely spellbound by it. What a great ballet. It has the real feeling of a strange oriental fairytale, but a tragic one. A great success for Yulia Stepanova and for the whole company.
  14. OK, true, Mariinsky management decided to inflict these ballets on Mariinsky Ballet I still don't like them, and think they could have made far better choices.
  15. Yes, we need to keep Ratmansky busy, if only to prevent him from inflicting another Little Humpbacked Horse, Anna Karenina or Cinderella on Mariinsky Ballet...