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Russian National Ballethas anyone seen them?


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#16 bart

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Posted 13 January 2006 - 05:49 AM

Thanks for the correction. I wondered about the long skirts.

#17 Amy Reusch

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Posted 13 January 2006 - 07:42 AM

When I saw them a couple of years ago, they were about the equivalent of one of our top 30 regional ballet companies... not as good as say the top 15. Of course, since our local Hartford company died an untimely death 7 years ago, they were better than anything available locally. The audience loved them and the house was well sold, but I thought the audience was more appreciative than the dancing was good. I suspect they do better in the big cities than on the university tours, where it seems they're doing a long series of one-night-stands. I'm not sure if any company could hold up quality to the kind of tours they seemed subjected to.

And the brochure from the theater usually has some mis-labelled photo... I seem to remember the Shades scene from Bayadere being labelled as Swan Lake... don't know if the problem is with the agent or the presenter.

One thing for sure: figuring out who is dancing is very difficult... they list several casts and it's anybody's guess who's dancing what. Bring a pen, and be ready... just as the lights go out, if you're lucky, they'll quickly read off who is dancing what. Write quickly, those multi-syllabic names are easy to get lost in.

#18 bart

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Posted 13 January 2006 - 12:04 PM

One thing for sure:  figuring out who is dancing is very difficult... they list several casts and it's anybody's guess who's dancing what.  Bring a pen, and be ready... just as the lights go out, if you're lucky, they'll quickly read off who is dancing what.  Write quickly, those multi-syllabic names are easy to get lost in.

You HAVE been lucky. In my experience with the Moscow Classical Ballet, Russian National Ballet, and Tchaikovsky Ballet (with orchestra), there was no attempt to name the evening's soloists. This seems rather demeaning to the dancers when there are two different names cast for each lead role.

I understand that the dancers in such companies are often disqualified from advancement in the top companies for a variety of reasons. Even I can see the technical flaws that prevent an otherwise quite delightful Aurora or Odette/Odile from careers elsewhere.

Recent posts on the Maryinski and Bolshoi threads suggest one reason: Russia seems to be turning out a great many more good dancers than they can fit into their own companies.

This kind of tour reminds me of the touring Broadway musicals. Except that the dancers are so much further form home. I wonder what life is like for them.

I also wonder whether this sort of gig sometimes produces job offers in the US, UK, or the other countries to which they tour? It would be nice to think so.

#19 Amy Reusch

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Posted 13 January 2006 - 08:49 PM

Bart, another of my techniques was to hunt out the sound engineer during intermission... it wouldn't work in every house, but at Jorgensen the sound board sits in the back of the house. I go with my pen and program in hand and not speaking a word of Russian, smile and ask for example "Natalya? Tatiyana?" (attempting the first names of the principal ballerinas), and the engineer marks up my program with who is dancing. Of course, he could be marking it all wrong just to reward me for annoying him, but...

#20 Ostrich

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Posted 14 January 2006 - 02:11 AM

I have seen this company on three occassions, once in a mixed programme, once in Carmen and once in DonQuixote. As another poster said some way back, their standard is mixed. The first two programmes I saw were good - some items were even outstanding (such as the Mariinsky's version of the Waltz of the Flowers), but their Don Quixote was pretty awful, with the exception of the character dancing and a few of the soloists.

I'm not sure how good their Swan Lake will be - I suppose it depends a lot on which dancers you get to see. I remember I was dying to see the soloist who danced Amour in the dream scene of DonQuixote doing Kitri - she was beautifully trained and far better, technically and artistically, than the dancer who actually danced Kitri!

#21 bart

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 10:02 AM

Here's a LINK to the management of this company in the U.S. It contains some background information.

http://www.jennykell...ian_history.htm

This is the same impresario that presents Opera Lyrico d'Europa, famous for its long barnstorming tours of university towns and medium-sized cities all over the U.S. Sings and orchestera are primarily Bulgarian. I've seen a few of these and feel -- as with the ballet -- that in many parts of the country this may be the only chance to see a well-done professional production of the most popular operas of Verdi, Puccini, etc.

And that is not to be sneezed at.

#22 Amy Reusch

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 06:53 AM

I just wish there were underwriting for US company tours... so many do such good work that it's a shame they aren't seen on the college circuit. I'm sure it's mostly a funding problem, though perhaps the prestige of Russian ballet still carries weight. Does anyone here know? Is it much cheaper to tour the Russian National Ballet in the US than say Boston Ballet or Pennsylvania Ballet? What stands in the way?

#23 koshka

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 07:04 AM

I have no direct information, BUT I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that it is actually cheaper to tour the Russian groups because they can get away with paying the dancers less and putting them up in less-nice places. Also, companies like Boston might have requirements about using their orchestras on tour, which would add to the cost.

It would be most interesting if anyone had any hard numbers or explanations...

#24 Helene

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 08:52 AM

It certainly is cheaper to tour with recorded music. It took Michael Kaiser to negotiate the return of NYCB to Kennedy Center, with an agreement to swap orchestras every other visit.

#25 koshka

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 09:52 AM

It certainly is cheaper to tour with recorded music.  It took Michael Kaiser to negotiate the return of NYCB to Kennedy Center, with an agreement to swap orchestras every other visit.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Exactly. It is definitely cheaper to tour with recordings, but from what I understand, some companies' contracts with their orchestras do not permit them to use anything other than their own orchestra (including recorded music) on tour.

#26 bart

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 10:37 AM

The following post apparently disappeared into the ether:

The "Tchaikovsky Ballet and Orchestra" -- the name under which the Perm State Theater Ballet will be touring the US this winter -- claims to have 125 dancers and musicians on board.

#27 richard53dog

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 11:15 AM

The following post apparently disappeared into the ether:

The "Tchaikovsky Ballet and Orchestra" -- the name under which the Perm State Theater Ballet will be touring the US this winter -- claims to have 125 dancers and musicians on board.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Oh...............I was just wondering about that. I've been eyeing going to a Sleeping Beauty in March at Lehmann College in the Bronx. Actually I was just looking at the caledar of the college to see if it was the Russian National Ballet today.

So the Tchaikovsky is the Perm State. I may try to make the MArch 6 date for the Beauty.

To confuse me further (easy) I have a note on my calendar for the a Swan Lake
real close to where I live in NJ. That one is going under the name Perm State. It's tempting for two reasons; I might find Makarova's version more to my liking that the two on show in NYC and it's a 10 minute drive.

But thanks for the lowdown Bart. I wonder why they go under different names as they move around.

Richard

#28 Amy Reusch

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 06:37 AM

But thanks for the lowdown Bart. I wonder why they go under different names as they move around.


Is it so that presenters can bring back the same company years in a row while seeming to bring in different companies? Is it only a marketing ploy?

#29 bart

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 08:07 AM

It does seem confusing. Is it possible that there are TWO different Perms touring around? :beg:

Anyone have more complete information?

#30 bart

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 09:48 AM

For those planning to attend the Russian National Ballet, here are some reviews of recent performances, posted by dirac in the LINKS section.

http://ballettalk.in...showtopic=21517

Skip down a few posts for the next link -- http://ballettalk.in...showtopic=21527

Comparison of American and Russian technique is interesting:

QUOTE: "You also saw it in the dancers' demeanor and nearly flawless technique.

"They were calmer and more reserved than Americans, who tend to interject a swagger into even the most classical choreography. There was the slightest hint of old-fashioned softness and gentility.

"Elbows were a bit sharper and more pointed, and the female dancers used their wrists more.

"And there were slight pauses between every movement that were a bit more exaggerated than you normally see in the United States. Pirouettes took a second to set up, and arabesques held on for a breath longer.

"The slight pauses served beautifully to showcase the stunningly clean, crisp technique that never faltered in the more than two-hour performance.


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