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Everything posted by volcanohunter

  1. Nearly every production depicts Bianca and Baptista in the way you describe, but their behavior is not sufficient reason to explain Katherine's extreme anger, particularly if a production is given a modern-day setting, and there's really nothing stopping Kate from leaving the comfort and wealth of her father's home and making her own way in the world. She's also not a child. She has been resisting marriage for some time, and her younger sister is also of marriageable age, so I don't think the coming-of-age approach is valid in his case. Of course there's also the inconvenient problem that the play is called The Taming of the Shrew, not the "awakening" or "liberation" or "emancipation" of the "strong-willed young woman." Beatrice and Benedick are a contentious match of equals. There's no sugarcoating the fact that Petruchio, on the other hand, is out to subjugate Kate, and I would rather that producers of the work not try to dilute this reality in the interests of making this "comedy" more palatable, so that audiences can leave the theater smiling.
  2. The Blu-ray disk is back-ordered on Amazon, but the DVD is in stock, and both fomats are in stock on Canadian Amazon (where I got mine), as they are on British Amazon, although the latter would be a more expensive option. Unfortunately, I've known Amazon.com to cancel pre-orders or mysteriously change product numbers once an item is actually in stock, presumably so as not to honor the "pre-order price guarantee." Shame on them.
  3. Yuri Grigorovich's The Golden Age, filmed at the Bolshoi in October 2016, is being released on DVD and Blu-ray by Bel Air Classiques. The North American release date is July 7, 2017. Rita: Nina Kaptsova Boris: Ruslan Skvortsov Yashka: Mikhail Lobukhin Lyuska: Ekaterina Krysanova Compere: Vyacheslav Lopatin https://belairclassiques.com/film/shostakovich-golden-age-bolshoi-ballet-dvd-blu-ray?lang=en This is not to be confused with a Russian television documentary titled Yuri Grigorovich: The Golden Age, released on the same label.
  4. So do I. Of the versions mentioned, I can honestly say that I find Maillot's the most offensive, because it's a slick, facile and superficial reading that reduces Kate's "personality problem" to sexual frustration, which is magically cured after a tumble in the hay with Petruchio. (Hail the almighty phallus. ) Revolting. On the other hand, Caroline Byrne's quite stupendous production of the play, performed last summer at Shakespeare's Globe, was very powerful theater. http://www.shakespearesglobe.com/theatre/whats-on/globe-theatre/the-taming-of-the-shrew-2016
  5. I think it's fair to say that sums up Krysanova's approach to fouettes, although it may be better suited to Don Quixote than Swan Lake. I didn't see Kretova's Odile then, but I have seen Hayna Gutierrez do what you described in Don Q, and it can result in peculiar syncopation. A couple of months ago I saw Kretova do the Corsaire and Don Q pas de deux - twice. Theoretically that could have been 128 fouettes in two days, but honestly I don't remember the sequences she used. So if you can remember how she did them four years ago, I'd say your memory is pretty darn good! I'd rather they be aesthetically pleasing than super fast, with full extension of both arms and legs. Droppy elbows during fouettes are a pet peeve. I'm very partial to how Yoko Ichino, who studied with Mia Slavenska, did them, here in 1984.
  6. Perhaps we saw Krysanova at different performances--she did dance two Swan Lakes during that tour owing to the injury to Alexandrova (who did two singles, a turn in attitude en avant and then another single)--but I saw her do a single fouette, a single turn with the leg extended straight in front and then a double fouette, and she completed the sequence in the time it would have taken to do four single fouettes, so there was no rhythmical displacement. I don't much care for double fouettes either, although I have seen dancers who turn more slowly and can make it fit. Frankly, I don't find the sequence especially musical to begin with because of how drastically the rhythmic emphasis changes in the second half. Alastair Macaulay has alluded to this as well. But I also don't think it's one of Tchaikovsky's most inspired passages, so un-rhythmical fouettes aren't the greatest possible sin against the score. (Mess with the "White Swan" adage, and you'll see steam coming out of my ears.)
  7. Thank you for posting this. It's very informative and revealing, not to mention daunting!
  8. You should bear in mind that your experience is not typical. According to the most recent demographic survey by the Broadway League, 46% of the survey's respondents purchased their Broadway tickets online. (It was 41% three years earlier.) Granted, 63% of the Broadway audience are classified as tourists, meaning that they don't live in New York City or its suburbs. I doubt the composition of ABT's audience is similar, and it may be easier for them to go to the box office in person than it is for the Broadway "tourist." Nevertheless, to overlook the importance of online ticket sales is foolhardy for any arts organization. Since I live very far away, I nearly always purchase ABT tickets online. I don't find the Met site particularly simple to use, and ABT tickets aren't exactly a priority there. It's not that easy to move from information about the cast you want, to purchasing tickets for that date. ABT really ought to help make it as simple as possible, because as nanushka says, other people may not be as motivated to buy and may give up. Nearly all studies of online "shopping cart abandonment" put the rate over 60%, and many studies put the rate at about 75%. Again, I don't know what the rates are for theater ticket sales, but it seems to me that if the risk of a customer not completing an online purchase is so great, a website should be designed to ensure that user frustration is not the reason a visitor gives up and closes a browser window without buying a ticket.
  9. On the Bolshoi side, Semyon Chudin was injured mid-performance on June 12 and has withdrawn from all his performances since then, including a series of galas in Mexico over the past week. Perhaps, as with Mearns, his aim has been to rest and recover in time for the festival.
  10. I doubt it. Osta probably wanted to go on the tour. At that point the POB hadn't been to the United States for a very long time, something like twenty years. All the company's able-bodied étoiles went on the tour. (Too bad the Bolshoi doesn't follow the same practice!) I think the sole exception was Myriam Ould-Braham, who stayed behind in Paris to dance in La Fille mal gardée and was promoted just before the tour began. I seem to recall that in early 2014 Isabelle Ciaravola went on Japanese tour of The Lady of the Camellias after her official retirement from the company in Onegin. I can't recall now whether the formally retired Agnès Letestu was also on that tour. Maybe it's easier for the dancers to leave the stage more gradually, rather than to go cold turkey after the shower of star-shaped confetti. But to your point, Pujol won't turn 42 until the autumn.
  11. And tickets were a lot less expensive, too!
  12. Yes, Osta's official farewell complete with confetti shower was a performance of Manon at the Palais Garnier on 13 May 2012. https://www.memopera.fr/SpectRepres.cfm?SpeCode=MANO&SpeNum=41195&Dist=9334 But she subsequently went on tour with the company to the United States, and her final performance took place in Giselle in New York on 19 July 2012. She was wonderful.
  13. There seems to be conflicting information about Pujol and her retirement. At the moment she listed in the preliminary casting for "Emeralds" in Paris in the autumn. https://www.operadeparis.fr/en/season-17-18/ballet/joyaux I am pessimistic about the future of ballet dancing in general. Hugo Marchand is one of the very few young dancers who gives me hope.
  14. Congratulations!
  15. I can see how that could qualify as butchering the score and might be legitimate cause to boo a performer.
  16. This story was among the news links for July 12. https://www.ilona-landgraf.com/2017/07/drain-of-the-bavarian-state-ballet-worse-than-thought/ Close to a third of the company, 22 dancers, is leaving, most of them having joined before Zelensky became director. Add that to the 29 dancers who left a year ago, and the eradication of the company's institutional memory continues apace.
  17. Final bow for Hurel and Thibault.
  18. The dancers are really suffering under the circumstances. Two days ago Kristina Kretova, one of Possokhov's "Margots," wrote about how difficult it was to prepare to dance Don Quixote on the day that Nureyev should have premiered, saying it wasn't just a matter of having very little time to get ready, but that the theater had become "cold." "We aren't free people, they command, we do it! There are few among us like #Nureyev, and perhaps none at all..." Granted, she did seem a lot happier once the show was done, and the audience had been especially supportive. But I can understand why Vishneva would want to give the dancers her maximum encouragement right now.
  19. The photo is terrible, but Dupont did find the time to acknowledge retiring premiers danseurs Mélanie Hurel and Emmanuel Thibault, dancing in La Sylphide tonight for the last time. To canbelto's point, Dupont might have found a photo of Hurel rather than herself.
  20. The Royal Ballet announced its 2016-17 season today. http://www.roh.org.uk/news/ballet-and-dance-201617 There will be six live-to-cinema transmissions. 2 November: Anastasia 8 December: The Nutcracker 8 February: Woolf Works 28 February: The Sleeping Beauty 11 April: Jewels 7 June: The Dream / Symphonic Variations ( ) / Marguerite & Armand But y'all know how this works. If you want your cinema to carry Symphonic Variations, you've got to go see Anastasia and The Nutcracker, otherwise cinema owners may give up on the season long before June 2017. I will be curious to see what American movie theaters do with The Sleeping Beauty, given that this season's broadcast of Frankenstein has been embargoed in the U.S. and replaced with an older recording of Beauty.
  21. The same message is on Instagram. It doesn't exactly have a "next May at the Bolshoi!" kind of feel to it. "Today would have been the premiere. But Rudik cannot live without freedom. And he again flew away. Yura, Ilya, artists, dancers, chorus, all friends and brethren in the theater, to all all all who made this show, including the producers and general director Urin V.G. – Thanks to all of you. To some - for the amazing work on the stage, which exists regardless. To others - for the opportunity to do it. Just as these letters are stored in a "cloud," so unopened shows are sent directly to a special storage, but definitely don’t disappear. Friends, I love you all! Rudik is pleased with us, I'm sure."
  22. Incidentally, that TV program was filmed in early spring, and it included footage of Possokhov choreographing Nureyev. Possokhov said something about how it pleased him to see dancers of his generation running companies because they shared the "same goals" and had the same "worldview." The program host, meanwhile, pointed out to Vaziev that staging a ballet about Nureyev that included references to his love life was a provocation in Russia, and Vaziev replied that "of course it's a provocation, but a creative provocation."
  23. Perhaps my greatest reason for doubting the official versions is the documented behavior of Makhar Vaziev. A few months ago, an extended feature about him aired on Russian television, and it seemed to portray a micro-manager. He was shown visiting various rehearsals. It showed the infamous TV screen in his office, which was indeed displaying a live feed from a rehearsal, and he confirmed that when he felt it necessary, he would pick up the phone and call in corrections. Most astonishing to me were his inspections of morning classes, where he would sit himself down at the front and shout out a seemingly endless stream of corrections during classes being taught by other people. (I'd never seen such a thing.) He claimed to watch every performance. He was seen upbraiding dancers immediately after performances. The program showed Bolshoi dancers under constant surveillance and scrutiny. And yet, as the Bolshoi was preparing the first major choreographic commission of Vaziev's directorship, he seems to have been unaware that the production was floundering until he watched dress rehearsals four days before the scheduled premiere and was then shocked! shocked!!! to find that the ballet was in poor shape. I can believe that Urin may not have seen the ballet up to that point because he had been relying on reports from his subordinates, such as his wife and Vaziev, from production department heads and from Possokhov, Serebrennikov et al. But I find it extremely difficult to believe that Big Brother Vaziev was unaware of what was going on and/or suddenly dismayed by what he saw on stage. That is, until he saw that his boss and Lord knows who else were dismayed. And yeah, the Bolshoi commissioned a ballet about Rudolf Nureyev. The choreographer, librettist, composer and the rest of the production team were known entities. What exactly was the company expecting to get? P.S. Given the slow ticket sales for The Taming of the Shrew in New York, Nureyev may not be the last of Vaziev's headaches or debacles.
  24. Thank you for sharing your impressions, SandyMcKean. You reminded me that I had neglected to post these sooner. On Frederick Ashton's choreography On Symphonic Variations On the challenges of performing Ashton's Bottom A little bit of Zenaida Yanowsky's final curtain call at Covent Garden