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Zakharova at the Bolshoi


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#16 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 29 October 2003 - 10:52 AM

Thanks, Inga, for this review. I think it's a great shame that this peculiar version seems to have been preserved for posterity.

How was this "Pharaonka light" received by the audience? Anybody else who saw it? Mikhail, Ina, Akimova?

#17 coda

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Posted 10 June 2004 - 04:51 PM

Congratulations and the very best wishes to Svetlana Zakharova on her 25th birthday!

#18 Nikia

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Posted 16 August 2004 - 08:25 AM

Mark Haegeman:
"How was this "Pharaonka light" received by the audience? Anybody else who saw it? Mikhail, Ina, Akimova?"

- I totally don't understand this reference to "Pharaonka light"?
I saw both performances in London - one with Alexandrova and the other with Zakharova in the role of Aspicia. The two ballerinas are not even in the same league. Alexandrova is not a lyrical ballerina. Neither she is a possessor of Zakharova technical ability nor Svetlana's beautiful form. Zakharova technique is awesome! Yet it does not overwhelm her pure Kirov line. She remains Kirov ballerina first and foremost.
I can't believe that she danced 3 out of 4 performances in Pharaonka! This role is very hard on a dancer feet. Yet all her performances with sheer joy which was totally shared by the audience who watched her and her partner Fillin in awe.
She is by far the best that Bolshoi have to offer and certainly one of today's world's greats.

#19 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 16 August 2004 - 09:06 AM

Nikia, I am so glad you seem to have found your favorite ballerina. It's actually a very rare thing to discover an artist who meets your expectations in such a complete way. I also hope that you'll be able to see much more of the Bolshoi, and of Maria Alexandrova in particular, so that you'll be able to find and appreciate the true qualities of that ballerina as well.

#20 Nikia

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Posted 16 August 2004 - 09:37 AM

Mark,

I only wanted to share my impressions about what I saw in London. Since I saw both ballerinas in the same role I could not resist comparing them. Svetlana was a treat for one's eyes and for one's soul.
I really don't want to downplay Alexandrova. I also watched her as Mirta some time back and was duly impressed by her ability to soar in the air akin to Spartacus, no sarcasm in this comparison. But my preferences lie with a more refined dancing style.

I also rush to share with you that Zakharova is not my very best, i.e. favorite ballerina. There is one who I think tops her in the ability to project. I leave it to you to guess.
Might be one of your favorite as well ;-)

#21 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 16 August 2004 - 01:23 PM

It's great that you share your impressions about the Bolshoi in London. Have you seen any other performances in that run? I'm sure others did as well - Jane, Alymer, ...? Please post about it in the appropriate thread.

#22 Mashinka

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 01:40 AM

For Nikia to like Zakharova is fine: but I'm sorry it was felt necessary to denigrate Maria Alexandrova.

I won't argue with the fact that joining the Bolshoi seems to have been beneficial for Zakharova as some of her sharp edges appear to have softened a little this time around. But to say she has a better technique is frankly erroneous and as to Alexandrova’s form not being beautiful, I beg to differ, as there are very many of us out there that have no appreciation of the emaciated form Nikia obviously prefers.

Where Zakharova does score points is that she is the far more experience dancer and consequently looks a little more assured on stage than Alexandrova. I also saw both dancers in the role of Aspicia and my preference was for the warmer interpretation of Alexandrova, a preference shared by those I spoke to after the performance.

[QUOTE] She is by far the best that Bolshoi have to offer [QUOTE]

That is a highly contentious statement: Nina Ananiashvili remains the company's prima even though she was sadly unable to dance with the Bolshoi in London this summer. I think it highly unlikely that Zakharova will ever prove a challenge to her.

#23 Nikia

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 03:41 AM

Mashinka,
I am very respectful of other people opinions and I find yours equally interesting even if you do find fault with Svetlana. It is perfectly fine to differ.
Unfortunately I didn't see Nina in the role of Aspcia. I saw her some time back in Corsaire. Yes, she was experience, she was expressive. But, well she was... old. Her body lost its suppleness, the lines were not the same. No matter how great a ballerina might be in the past, comes the time when it's time for her to go.

Since this topic is about Zakharova, I would like to share something else that dazzled me in London. It's Svetlana physical beauty. Nowhere had I seen a ballerina of such perfect proportions. It appears if nature went that extra mile to create a body especially for the ballet. Perhaps there were ballerinas in the past, perhaps Bessmertnova or Spessivtzeva, but I didn't see them live.

And another thing. I wonder if Svetlana is double jointed. What do you think Marc? When she opens her leg in develope and then carries it back to arabesque - there is no transition, so to say, but one movement. And her spine too. But the best feature is her amazing feet - flexible and expressive, perfectly able to create a phrase on their own. I wish I could write better. <sigh>.

#24 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 04:23 AM

Dear friends, before we get entangled in a pointless discussion about the respective physical qualities of these dancers, may I suggest that we limit our observations as much as possible to their performances, which is in any case more constructive.
After all, opinions about physical beauty, bodily shapes, flexibility and no-jointed hips are about as personal as colors and tastes, and what might seem ideal and beautiful to one person, will appear downright wrong and ugly to another.

Thank you.

#25 Nikia

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 04:41 AM

It's a very kind hearted intension, Marc. But a body is a dancer instrument, just like a violin is for the musician. Performance of a violinist might very well depend on that very instrument. And instruments do differ indeed. There is a stradivarius and there is another kind... made in China :-) To separate the two would narrow a discussion considerably. After all freedom of speech is not the privilege, rather it the right.
Dear friends,
please be more open to new ideas. Nina is gone. Hey, I was way too young to
remember Nina in her prime. There is a new breed of dancers out there. Open your eyes and your mind.

#26 Mashinka

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 05:30 AM

Indeed Nina Ananiashvili is not gone; she still performs to great acclaim worldwide.

Perhaps you are only prepared to acknowledge the most youthful of dancers, but that doesn't alter the fact that some of the most moving performances ever given in the art of ballet have been from dancers in the autumn of their careers.

Dance is not a sport nor is it a competition and its practitioners are people deserving of the highest respect.

To strip ballet down to just an exercise in technique will ultimately destroy it.

#27 Nikia

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 05:36 AM

Indeed Nina Ananiashvili is not gone; she still performs to great acclaim worldwide.


Mashenka,
I stand corrected. I wish I had seen Nina in Aspicia. This way I would have had an apportunity to compare the three Aspicias. And although this thread is devoted to Svetlana, it is always tempting to compare. Perhaps we should be kinder when we do that :-)

#28 Nikia

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 08:16 AM

Marc,
I visited your websites and found your photographs of dancers in general and Svetlana in particular rather beautiful. Some of them go back to 2000. Any chance to see your more recent work?

Regards.

#29 akimova

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Posted 18 August 2004 - 01:53 AM

[QUOTE] "For Nikia to like Zakharova is fine: but I'm sorry it was felt necessary to denigrate Maria Alexandrova." [QUOTE] For Mashinka to like Alexandrova and Ananiashvili is fine: but I'm sorry it was felt necessary to denigrate Svetlana Zakharova.

#30 Nikia

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Posted 18 August 2004 - 02:21 AM

Akimova,
I second your opinion 100%. Why it is perfectly OK to refer to Svetlana
Aspicia as Pharaonka Light and yet consider my opinion of Alexandrova not OK?
Where is the logic? After all, I just expressed my opinion which was that I find Alexandrova a good soloist, but certainly not a prima, and most certainly not of Zakharova caliber. I also expressed my own opinion of Nina A. When I saw her she was expressive, but too old to dance the lead.
Yet, Mashinka instead of expressing her own opinion found it necessary to speak
about what I feel and think. Please don't tell us what I think. Just tell us what *you* think of a dancer. After all, we do want to discuss the subject - not each other. Kindly keep this in mind.


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