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More on ballet in Almaty

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#1 Guest_A local foreigner in Almaty_*

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Posted 03 November 2003 - 04:06 AM

Hello all Nutcraker lovers,

First of all, please don't blame me if I mention stupid messages on this board. If I do, it's not my intention. I only visited ballet for the first time ever in my entire life 3 weeks ago. Tough I'm 33 years old, yes, only 3 weeks ago, my ever first visit to an operahouse whatsoever. :shrug:

The reason of my writing is following, I am originally from Europe, but currently live and work in Almaty Kazakhstan. As it seems that Nutcraker, is a performance not to be missed, I wanted to share following info with those of you living in Almaty.

On November 13th, the Nutcracker is going on premiere again in Almaty. I can not comment anything on the technical side of that performance since -as mentionned before- I am really cultural uneducated. :thumbsup:

But still, at least now you have the exact date, and I hope that at least some people might have found this info interresting. :D

ps. you want to know who that local foreigner in Almaty is ? Just go to that performance, watch all the people in the audience, and if you spot one guy, looking desperate and obviously not understanding any of the events that are happening, and if that guy is looking all the time at Leila Alpieve as if he wants to marry her (meaning he's her boyfriend who really knows Sh.. about ballet), than you found the author of this posting.

#2 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 03 November 2003 - 07:34 AM

Hello and welcome to Ballet Alert Local Foreigner!

Good luck on surveying uncharted territory. Even though it's unfamiliar and you think you don't know enough, I think you'll be enchanted by Nutcracker and not just Ms. Alpieve.

If you look at our "Discovering Ballet" forum, it might give you some extra background and a place to talk to other ballet newcomers and ask some questions you were too shy to ask elsewhere. And tell us about the performances in Almaty!

(Also ps - because we've got kids reading the board we try and keep language tame. Thanks!)

#3 Marianna



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Posted 05 November 2003 - 11:32 AM

Hey Local Foreigner, welcome to Almaty! :)

I've lived in Almaty all the first 29 years of my life before i've moved to Canada in July 2003. I am a great fan of the Almaty Ballet and a close friend to some of the ballerinas and dancers. They are my precious friends whom I'm missing tremendously!!

I am glad that you are delighted with Leila Alpieva's talents - she is a indeed a brilliant, versatile and most hard-working ballerina and is always a true pleasure to watch. She has a great personality, too, one of the brightest and brilliantly talented young women I've met in my life.

So if you are serious about marrying her you better prepare those 500 camels (or 300 bred horses) that anyone who wants to marry a Kazakh beauty must present as a gift to her parents. :) This ancient Kazakh tradition is called KALYM - sort of price that a husband-to-be pays to the bride's parents for taking her away from them. (just kiddin' :D you are not expected to do that anymore in Kazakhstan)

I can reassure you that besides the Nutcracker you are up for many more great ballets while you're in Almaty. I'll be very happy if you can keep us - those who are away from Almaty these days - posted on the recent ballet performances. Try to take your eyes sometimes off Leila and get a comprehensive picture of a whole ballet :D. However, I won't argue the notion that Leila herself is absolutely worth a whole ballet at times.

Enjoy your time in ALmaty and make sure to check out the mountains and ski resort!

Welcome to Almaty again :D


Edited by Marianna, 05 November 2003 - 11:38 AM.

#4 Guest_A local foreigner in Almaty_*

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Posted 05 November 2003 - 08:04 PM

Dear Marianne,

thanks for the nice words of welcome in Almaty.
Yesw, I must admit, the mountains are great :) , the local ski-resort is just super B) (since Yesterday first real snow is falling in Ala, which makes it a very romantic place indeed), but unfortunately camels are not widely available in the city centre :) , but the main point, Yes Almaty is a nice place, and as for me this city introduced me into the world of ballet.

As you mentionned, besides Leila, there are other ballet dancers here, and besides nutcracker, there are other performances. I enjoyed here Corsaire already, last Sunday, my girlfriend and me went to Swanlake, this evening, I'm off to the Fountains of Bakhchisaray or should that be fountains of tears, I really did not figure that out yet.
As for november, Leila is dancing The Nutcracker, La Selphide, and in December Sleeping Beauty. So for a newcomer in the world of ballet not that bad hei ?

Marianne, I suppose you know about that, but just to make sure you do, please find here the www adress of Almaty theatre : www.gatobabay.kz

Whishing all the best of luck in Canada, and whenever you're back in your hometown, I will invite you for a tour in the city (yours city), and an evening of ballet.


#5 Guest_A local foreigner in Almaty_*

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Posted 05 November 2003 - 08:10 PM

Sorry Marianne,

forgot one thing.
like your quote from Anna Pavlova. It deffinately works for me. :)

#6 Marianna



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Posted 07 November 2003 - 08:07 AM

Hi Local Foreigner in Almaty :D

That quote has really SHAKEN ME when I first found it in a book about the most prominent dancers of Russian ballet (XVIII - through late XX century)! I thought: "WOW!! How did that ballerina who lived more than a century ago know EXACTLY why i became so addicted to ballet now - in the the very end of XX cent.!?????" I was horrified and mistified (one would love to imagine that people in the XIX-early XX cent. in Russia were free of problems and work-related stress :wacko: ). But then i realized that real values in our lives have remained the same since long B.C. and the values that ballet delivers have remained that steady castle of rock that will never be shaken by no changes that may be brought by this civilization.

I am glad that you have discovered WWW.GATOBABAI.KZ - i check it out every day, so you can look for notes by Odillia (yes, Almaty is a small place compare to Toronto or NYC, and I was about the only Marianna who was attending the ballets as often, and it was too easy to figure me out, so i took a nick Odillia :) The fact that the site has been created is fascinating, however it definitely requires LOTS of improvement and professional work there. I am so impressed by the Kirov-Mariinsky/Bolshoy site created by Marc Haegman - that is something folks in ALmaty should strive for.

THANKS FOR GREAT NEWS, TOO - LEILA IS FINALLY DANCING SLEEPING BEAUTY!! I've brought her Sleeping Beauty CD from WashDC back in June 2001, so she finally has done this role. I am having a video tape of it ordered for me!!! You know, my boyfriend works in the Opera&Ballet theater as a sound engineer, so I ask him and his partner to video-tape my favorite ballets for me (so i am a lucky exclusive owner of the tapes with Swan Lake, Fountain of Bahchi-Sarai, and some others)

Speaking of the "FountainS of Tears" :D :D :D It is not "fountainS" - it is one single fountain :D The ballet synopsis is based on the poem by a great (my favorite) Russian poet of XIX cent. - Alexander Pushkin. The Fountain of Tears was built by Khan Ghirey as a memorial to a Polish Princess Maria (that will be our Leila) who was stubbed to death by the jealous Ghirey's senior wife Zarema (he owned a harem, you see :wink: ). The fountain was built that way that the water was dripping like tears (vs. fountainig like other foutnains in ALmaty do) - Khan Ghirey's (nasty cheater!!!) tears over his lost Maria. Hope you've enjoyed that ballet!! I often hold back the tears during that scene when (the NASTY CHEATER!!) Khan Ghirey's servants bring a carriage with Maria up on stage and Zarema is stunned and shaken - when she sees that her beloved husband has yet another woman on his menu list (nasty cheater!!)

I am glad that you're enjoying mountains, ski resort AND snow in ALmaty. It hasn't snowed here in Toronto yet ( i don't complain!! :D )

#7 Marianna



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Posted 07 November 2003 - 08:45 AM

AND a bit balated THANK-YOU for the invitation to the evening of ballet in my home town, dear Local Foreigner in Almaty, I am accepting with great pleasure - well in advance! :wacko:

Enjoy La Sylphide, Nutcraker and indeed, that Sleeping Beauty!

A presto, Marianna

#8 Guest_A local foreigner in Almaty_*

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Posted 09 November 2003 - 08:14 PM

Privjet marianna,

yes, I think you're absolutely right. People explained me already, and now yet again here's the proof. Almati really is a 'bolshoy derevnja' :wink:

So the website you obviously new already. I must say, it could use lots of improvements OK, but for a start, I think they did/do a pretty good job. It is a pitty though that the english version is far from complete compared to the russian page. Not that my russian is so good, but there's just much more info there. Honestly, I am afraid my knowledge is still at the same level of my ballet knowledge. :unsure:

And what is that all about that sleeping beauty CD. You actually brought her that very CD ? Is it really such a small world that me, a European guy is chatting about ballet (something I even never heard about two months ago), that this european guy is chatting with somebody in Canada, and that w eboth know the same people ? :dry: When I see her this evening, I'll deffinately ask her (without mentionning this conversation) If she by accident would not have a CD on Sleeping Beaty. :wink:

Just great ! But yes, in December she's the sleeping one, and she's looking forward to that big style. But first Nutcraker. That's this Thursday evening. And even for that she's getting nervous now.

Marianna, Do I understand you right that you are over there, and your boyfriend is still in Almaty ? :( Would be nice to meet him one time. Just for fun. I mean, strange isn't it, we are having these conversations regularly over the web, and they see eachother every day at work, and none of us knows about the others. :P

OK, before I forget, yes, yes, yes, you're absolutely right on that fountainS thing. I know it's only one fountain. Just mistake sorry. But Actually, I think I misinformed you. Leila was not dancing. The lady who was Maria was performed by a good friend of Leila : Korolei (also this name will be misspelled, but OK). We just went to see Korolei performing once. And to be honest, the first act was not that exicting at all, but second was better already, and third and deffinately fourth act were great. I really enjoyed at the end when Khan is staring at his fountain and Maria appears in his dreams. Just great !

One last thing before I quit for today. Maybe I can not spell the name of the performance wright (prononciation of that Bachiskj;ljhv;kj is even worse), but this fountain is not just a story by Pushkin.
Before I moved to Almaty, I used to live and work one-and-a-half year in Ukraine.
And Bakhchisaray is a village is Krimea, Ukraine. In that village, there was a fountain named the fountain of tears, with basically a similar story linked to it. Pushkin rewrote that story and made a poem of it, on which the current performance is based. So the original name was The Fountain of Tears, but only after it got famous outside Ukraine, it turned into The Fountain of Bakhchisaray.
Impressive for a newcomer hei ? (OK, agree internet helped me a lot on this, but still.)
So that fountain is not just a story, it's a real thing ! Pictures can be seen on http://bakhchisaray.russian-women.net/

Best greetings

#9 djb


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Posted 10 November 2003 - 12:34 AM

Local Foreigner, thanks very much for that interesting information (and the photos) about Bakhchisaray.

#10 Marianna



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Posted 10 November 2003 - 08:35 AM

Privjet Local Foreigner in Almaty :D

And another grande reverance to you (the first one went to djb for the profound knowledge of Russian phonetics) - and you were saying that you knew nothing about classical ballet! You've just told me something I didn't even know existed. IT IS ABSOLUTELY IMPRESSIVE!!! :lol: BRAVO!! :)

I did know that the "copyright" for the Fountain of Bahche-Sarai story didn't belong to Pushkin - just like it was with most of this poetry and prose, he was searching for fresh raw material for his next masterpiece(s) everywhere, then he'd found a jewel and "shaped and polished" it - to make a diamond of it. Well, his genious did.

But honestly, I didn't know that the place has actually exsited! WOW!! I thought it was some imaginary place where the story happened. SO THANK YOU EVER SO MUCH FOR THIS VIRTUAL TOUR!!

And, yes, I did bring that CD with Sleeping Beauty for Leila back in June 2001 (for some USD 30 - which is quite a lot, considering that you can buy classical music CD back in Almaty for $2 - $10), but she kept saying that this ballet is a real marathon for a soloist dancing the Beauty part, so she didn't really want to do it, etc., etc, (which was breaking my heart, of course. So, I'm delighted that she's finally found enough inner strength to go for it.

And THANK YOU for reminding me that it wasn't Leila who's performed Maria last week - HELLO! :rolleyes: of course it was Kuralay. I even spoke on the phone to her about it - two weeks ago. My memory goes as i'm aging (just kidding :wacko: )

How was the Wife of Khan Ghirey - Zarema? It was supposed to be a premiere for a young ballerina, and I wasn't quite sure if she can actually do the role as impressive as the two others - about 10 years older than she - were doing it before her. I usually had to hold tears back during that famous scen when the Khan's servants bring Maria onstage and Zarema is shocked by her beloved husband's change in feelings towards her. ONE OF MY FAVORITE MOMENTS in that ballet!

And how was Vatzlav, by the way? Was that Alexey Safronov - a young cute kid with beautiful lines (nice long arms and legs) who sometimes doesn't want to bother performing most difficult moves neatly? Eh? :wink: Tell me all about it - because i've been spending up to $300 Cdn PER MONTH on the phone - getting all the latest news from Kuralay and Dastan (another principal dancer of our ballet, he is REALLY GOOD and HARD WORKING KID). NOW, THANK GOODNESS I have you there :D

And if you'd like to meet my boyfriend, then you can find him at the sound engineers room (or a booth to be precise), at the balcony level, just have some Russian speakers to find that room for you. His name is Alexander, shortly - Sasha, however he loves it when he's referred by his full name ALEXANDER. He speaks some English, so if you speak some Russian, you should be able to have some conversation between two of you. I will tell him that you will be looking for him (hmmm... i don't even know what your NAME is, though :unsure: ) But, I'm sure he'll recognize a young man from Europe! And you will be able to recognize him - he is a tall slim guy, in his 20's, with big blue eyes and a big charming smile. Looks left aside, he is quite a decent person, but sometimes can get TOO SHY (like some of those ballerinas and dancers). I hope when you catch him he won't be in his shy mood - that is the worst time by far to meet that Sasha-guy as you won't squeeze a word out him then :pinch: So, yes, next time you go to the Theater, make sure you ask for Alexander, the SOUND GUY (ZVUKOVIK in Russian)


#11 Alexandra


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Posted 10 November 2003 - 08:37 AM

I didn't know Bakhchisaray was a real place either -- thank you (and welcome to Ballet Alert!) The photographs are lovely :)

#12 Guest_Skyshark_*

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Posted 10 November 2003 - 12:44 PM

But, I'm sure he'll recognize a young man from Europe!

Hello Marianna (and well-known local foreighner !),

As for that foreighner ballet is new to me (but one must take any chance in getting to know something new, definitely if it has the beauty and cultural value as ballet!).

But the foreigner isn't new to me any more (since 33 years and 2 and a half month) :)
You can be shure that your boyfriend won't doubt for a second when they meet.
And if your boyfriend should be in a "silent" mood, the foreigner won't have a problem in doing the talk either. ('t is toch waar hé ?)

Best greetings to Poss, Mariana and of course Leila !

#13 Marianna



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Posted 10 November 2003 - 01:40 PM

I see a twist of intrigue here - first A LOCAL FOREIGNER appears IN ALMATY, after I left it just few months ago, who is followed by a SKYSHARK, who has known the LOCAL FOREIGNER for a gazillion years, and every one knows Leila.

NOW, WHO IS POSS??????????????????????????????????? :shrug: :ermm: :shrug:

#14 Alexandra


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Posted 10 November 2003 - 01:45 PM

Welcome to Ballet Alert!, Skyshark!

We try to loosen our rules a bit for non-English speakers and those who live outside the U.S., especially when we have only one or two posters from one country, but I think I need to say at this point that, unlike other sites, we're not a chat board, and we don't want the board to be used to exchange personal greetings, or messages. We have a private messenger system for that -- you need to make 30 posts to be a full member and be able to use it.

But we want the board to be used for discussions about ballet. In this forum, on the company, or performances you've seen.


#15 Guest_A local foreigner in Almaty_*

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Posted 10 November 2003 - 10:20 PM

Dear DJB and Alexandra,

Thanks a lot for yours reaction on my Bakhchisaray postings.

As you might have read, one month ago, I really did not know the first word about ballet. Then it feels nice receiving positive comments as yours. I was really surprized and exited that I was able to bring up something that apparently was new for long-time insiders. :)

All the best. :ermm:

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