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About mnacenani

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  1. Starting at 7 pm Moscow time = 4 pm GMT
  2. An article by Vita Khlopova, my Moscow ballet tutor and friend. Vita is a graduate of the Moscow Ballet Academy and former dancer herself. Currently a quite well known ballet historian, writer and lecturer.
  3. MACMILLAN ON THE MAKING OF "MAYERLING" : for the benefit of any members who have not seen this docu but may want to :
  4. Have still to see Alyona live. Will be at Balshoy next week for Legend of Love but she has not been cast for any performance. Next season hopefully.
  5. Dear Ashton Fan thank you so much for this post - I really appreciate the time and thought you have devoted to it, and it has been of great interest to me. Yes - I would like to see Osipova in her signature classic roles rather than McGregor or Wheeldon stuff. I will certainly try to see her as Giselle and Manon, as Odette/Odile maybe - SL is not my favourite ballet. I would love to see her as Juliet : I am interested in ballet as drama. And I will not hide the fact that I have been afraid she would slide back in London, not having to keep up with the likes of Zaharova, Smirnova, Alexandrova or Krysanova. I know my likes are quite subjective and biased, as I have become quite addicted to Russian classical ballet. It's a diffe- rent world there. Re Wheeldon : I have not seen Strapless but had read the reviews - if I remember correctly Ismene Brown had posted a devastating one. Where I live I watch ballet on Mezzo almost every evening, tried to watch Alice in Wonderland to educate myself but could only take less than one hour of it, if you will excuse my saying so. I wish I had seen a second cast of Mayerling while I was there, like you did, to be able to judge the charac- terisation of different dancers - I do like studying characterisation. You did not comment on Mayerling's music : on a scale of ten I give it say two. I believe I have a good ear for music but cannot remember any tune from the score. Film music, but even that is more tuneful most of the time. Don't know whether this was also intentional or not.
  6. Dear Natalia I just finished watching this performance recorded in October 2009, with Watson-Galeazzi. With the scene cues page of the booklet in hand to identify who is who ! Sarah Lamb is Larisch and McRae Bratfisch, and incidentally Polunin is one of the Hungarian officers. My Moscow tutor Vita texted that she had seen Polunin as Rudolf (probably at Stasik last year) and thought he was excellent in role. Now : drink, drugs, sex, freaking out ...... I do believe Sergey would be excellent in this role and I would someday love to see Sergey and Natasha in Mayerling. There is a still earlier RB recording with Mukhamedov-Durante filmed in February 1994 which I will watch next. Larisch is Collier and Mitzi is Bussell, and on this Adam Cooper is one of the Hungarian officers ! I will put up with this to reach a final conclusion on the merits of Mayerling, since two ballet people whose opinion I value think Mayerling is a good work but may not reveal its beauty at first sight .....
  7. Yes this past Friday eve, the premiere with Osipova debuting in role. As Hanna Weibye posted on Artsdesk there were 10 principals on stage, as star-studded a cast as one will ever get. Now I will post my own take on the work and this performance, hoping our seasoned membership will ascribe it to "chacun a son gout". First the work : I firmly believe "ballet" must be able to tell a story (hopefully a timeless and universal story which can be readily picked up by anyone on any continent) through dance only, and one would not have to memorise the synopsis, go to a couple of pre-performance lectures or "insights", and have to watch the performance looking at the castsheet and synopsis every now and then. Mayerling with its particular, non-universal story and plethora of characters which do not allow instant identification regarding who-is-who (putting on surtitles identifying who Rudolf is dancing with whenever he picks up a new partner would be helpful ) is a thousand miles away from this. Does anyone have to read the synopsis to pick up the story of Giselle, Bayadere, R&J or Don Q ?? Manon in my view is less confusing, R&J most suitable for ballet but Lavrovsky got there first and Macmillan's is what we call in marketing parlance a "me too" product, period ! I will overlook the similarity of the ensemble scenes and steps between Mayer- ling, Manon and R&J as this could be ascribed to Macmillan's style (Grigarovich has similarities in ensemble scenes). This was the first time I saw Watson and thought his characterisation was excellent. However, my companion for the evening (a ballet guru) was telling me about the "evil" character of Rudolf but I saw no evil Rudolf on stage. Watson's characterisation came across to me as a weak and deluded person who was incapable of sustaining the pressure of the rank he was born into, rather than someone bent on doing evil. As such, I found his characterisation excellent. Now, my beloved Natasha : this was my third attempt in 2+ years to see her live. I flew over in Jan 15 to see her as Kitri and on the night got Tsygankova instead. Last year in Feb I flew in to see her as Giselle and on the night got Sarah Lamb. This time I caught Natasha all right but I would rather have seen her as Kitri, Giselle or Juliet. I do not think Vetsera will be one of Osipova's signature roles : after the performance I kept thinking would anything have changed if Lamb had danced Vetsera and Osipova Larisch ...... I don't think so. When Lamb replaced Osipova last year as Giselle I discovered that (esp. in the second act) she is excellent technically, but to me she was not "Giselle" in the first act, the way Osipova becomes the character, so the second act was a "spectacle" rather that the "spiritual" experience it can be ..... Osipova really shines as Kitri, Giselle, Juliet and even Lise (FMG is not my fav work) but did she shine as Vetsera ? (re characterisation, for me it is always characterisation first, excellent technique on top would make it unforgettable). As I said, I do not expect this to be one of her signature roles. The Royal Ballet keep casting her in silly "contemporary" stuff and are wasting the best years of Natasha's career. Pure commercialism ! So, some members may think I have betrayed my ignorance, poor taste, judgment, in any permutation thereof, but I signed up to post what I think, and if I were to take a defensive stance it would be a waste of your time and mine. PS : forgot to mention the music : imho totally unmemorable, another minus point. Manon is also a "pastiche" but in my view the music is infinitely better. Ballet music really has to be tuneful and memorable.
  8. Would like to restart Mayerling exchange in view of the Royal Ballet revival which premiered yesterday with Osipova and Watson. Have posted starter :
  9. Was there last night and finally was able to see Osipova in a full ballet. By chance sat at same table with Hanna Weibye of Artsdesk at intervals who rushed off after the performance to post her review, the only one online so far : I reserve my comments (posted further down) This was Osipova's debut in role, full casting : Telegraph has now posted a review : Here's a picture gallery : (+) A notable review by Judith Mackrell in Guardian :
  10. First Possohov work I saw was "Francesca da Rimini" which was part of Zaharova's "Amore" gala at the Balshoy last May. Must admit I did not know the story, and the program was in Russki only, but I could sort of make out the story and looked it up once I got back to my hotel. It is my firmly held belief that "ballet" must have a somewhat universal story which viewers can discern and relate to - listening to a pre-performance lecture or reading the program notes re what it is about will not get me involved emotionally. Does even a child have to be told what Giselle, or Bayadere, or Romeo&Juliet is about ?? This "ballet" I could not relate to, and am glad that I did not spend time and money to go see it live - and am hesitant about going to see "Nureyev" in July.. However ...... Olga Smirnova ...... was so beautiful, wasn't she ??
  11. Has anyone seen this in cinema or at home ? Could not make fish or fowl of it, would appreciate your comments. ("Nureyev" again by the same team coming up in July ....)
  12. Dear MadameP and Buddy "Spasiba Balshoy" for your posts. As I already wrote I am envious and sad that I could not go to see this year's Festival but at least I can get a sense of "being there" thanks to you. Wish I could have come this year, as God knows what the situation will be this time next year in view of current goings-on !
  13. Aaaaaarrgghhh ! Terribly jealous and green with envy . Next year I will certainly put this on the front burner, hope it will be as good as this year's festival. Dance Open Gala on the 24th will be my consolation for this year. Best wishes for any and all members currently there.
  14. You got it right Deflope ! Kovalyova has been cast with Tissi for Saturday's (April 1st) "Diamonds" :