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Bolshoi in London


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#1 Jane Simpson

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Posted 22 December 2003 - 08:30 AM

Press release just received:

VICTOR HOCHHAUSER BRINGS THE BOLSHOI BALLET TO THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE

JULY 19 - AUGUST 7, 2004

One of the World's great ballet companies, the Bolshoi Ballet, comes to the Royal Opera House, London for a three-week season from July 19
- August 7, 2004. The company is presented by Victor Hochhauser who first brought the company to Covent Garden exactly forty years ago.

In its first major London season since1999, the company - under its newly appointed Artistic Director Alexei Ratmansy - will perform three of its
most revered productions - Yuri Grigorovitch's productions of Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty and Alexei Fadeechev's production of
Don Quixote - as well as the latest acquisitions to the Bolshoi's repertoire - a brand new take on Romeo and Juliet from British theatre
director Declan Donnellan with choreography by Radu Poklitaru, and a programme of Balanchine Ballets to celebrate the one hundredth
anniversary of the choreographer's birth.

Public booking for the season opens in March 2004.
Further details of the season will be announced early in the New Year.

_________________________

What will the Balanchine be, does anyone know?

#2 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 22 December 2003 - 09:37 AM

Thanks for posting that, Jane. The new Romeo and Juliet in London ? - sounds unreal, but could be fun :)

#3 Paul Parish

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Posted 22 December 2003 - 02:39 PM

Hi, Jane--

Marina Eglevsky told me in class this morning that she will be setting the "Sylvia pas de deux" and the "Glinka Pas de Trois" (did she say Minkus? I don't think so) in Moscow early next year for their Balanchine celebration... whether or not they will bring those to London, hmmmmm....


Both would be something to see.... Glinka is SO HARD, I've never seen anybody be able to pull it off -- but the Bolshoi might could....

Can't tell you about the rest...

#4 Inga

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Posted 23 December 2003 - 09:07 AM

Jane, thank you for the press release.

I think Balanchine’s program will be staged in Bolshoi in March and will consist of Symphony C, Agon, Tchaikovsky pdd, Tarantella and something else.
Agon and Symphopy C was first staged in Bolshoi in April 1999 and was in the rep till autumn 2000. At the time the management was changed and the ballets was dropped. It was a great loss because I think the Bolshoi danced Symphony C just superb. Nina Ananiashvili as the second movement ballerina was great, she looks not as if she danced with the music but as if she composed the music by her dancing! Nicolai Tsiskaridze and Maria Alexandrova was very impressive in the third movement.

I dont sure that bringing in London Romeo& Juliet is a good idea. I have impression that London audience prefer classical ballets to modern ones. Is it correct?

#5 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 29 December 2003 - 12:19 AM

I dont sure that bringing in London Romeo& Juliet is a good idea. I have impression that London audience prefer classical ballets to modern ones. Is it correct?


Well, Londoners will be able to say more about this, but I wouldn't think so, there is a public for both I guess, depending of the performing venue (Covent Garden, Sadler's Wells). But it is still a fact that London has a strong tradition of performing "Romeo and Juliet", so in any case it's going to be tough to sell that new "Romeo" to the London audiences.

#6 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 13 March 2004 - 05:28 AM

The schedule for the Bolshoi's London season (courtesy by the Bolshoi Theatre press), no more "Sleeping Beauty" and no more Balanchine, but "Spartacus" and "Pharaoh's Daughter" instead.

Week 1
Mon 19 July, 7.30pm - Don Quixote
Tue 20 July, 7.30pm - Don Quixote
Wed 21 July, 2.00pm - Don Quixote
Wed 21 July, 7.30pm - Don Quixote
Thu 22 July, 7.30pm - Swan Lake
Fri 23 July, 7.30pm - Swan Lake
Sat 24 July , 2.00pm - Swan Lake
Sat 24 July , 7.30pm - Swan Lake


Week 2
Mon 26 July, 7.30pm - Romeo & Juliet
Tue 27 July, 7.30pm - Romeo & Juliet
Wed 28 July, 2.00pm - Romeo & Juliet
Wed 28 July, 7.30pm - Romeo & Juliet
Thu 29 July, 7.30pm - Spartacus
Fri 30 July, 7.30pm - Spartacus
Sat 31 July , 2.00pm - Spartacus
Sat 31 July , 7.30pm - Spartacus


Week 3
Mon 2 August, 7.30pm - Swan Lake
Tue 3 August, 7.30pm - Swan Lake
Wed 4 August, 2.00pm - Swan Lake
Wed 4 August, 7.30pm - Swan Lake
Thu 5 August, 7.30pm - The Pharaoh’s Daughter
Fri 6 August, 7.30pm - The Pharaoh’s Daughter
Sat 7 August, 2.00pm - The Pharaoh’s Daughter
Sat 7 August, 7.30pm - The Pharaoh’s Daughter

#7 Alymer

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Posted 13 March 2004 - 02:04 PM

Well, I'm going to save a lot of money this summer!

#8 Roma

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Posted 13 March 2004 - 04:31 PM

Wait, I thought they were bringing their newish Balanchine evening to London. What happened to that?

#9 coda

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Posted 14 March 2004 - 07:01 AM

«Well, I'm going to save a lot of money this summer!»
I, on the contrary, will end bankrupt this August. To miss the Boshoi’s Don Q.? Never. I hope Maria Alexandrova will dance Kitri. Galina Stepanenko is in a brilliant form. Who knows, may be Nina Ananiashvili will also turn up.
Of course, it could be nice to see their Balanchine and “Beauty”. May be the fact that both these ballets were danced by the Royal Ballet this season prompted the impresario to replace them with two Bolshoi’s exclusives: R & J and La Fille du Pharaoh.
I had a luck to see La Fille du Pharaoh twice when the Bolshoi was in Paris last January where it had a great success and definitely I will go to see it again in CG. The story is wonderfully ridiculous: an Englishman caught in a desert sees in his dream how the mummy of a Pharaoh’s daughter Aspiccia comes to life as a huntress with a bow. They fall in love and their troubles start: a lion, the damsel in distress, her resque, his arrest, their escape by boat, a fishermen’s village, etc. There is a funniest monkey there as well. The scenery and costumes are exotic and colourful. Children will love all this too. But the most important of course is that this ballet is a FEAST OF DANCE. So much finest footwork for soloists to do. There are 3 excellent Aspiccias: Zakharova, Gracheva, and Alexandrova, not to mention Ananiashvili. What a pity that the corps will probably have to be sized down to fit the Covent Garden stage.
Their R & J is also an exclusive but modern production: no point shoes, both Romeo and Juliet are part of the crowd that prevents their union to survive. I heard and read very contradictory opinions and am looking forward to see it myself, especially Masha Alexandrova acclaimed as Juliet.
How can I miss Swan Lake with the Bolshoi’s corps?
And Spartacus? It became fashionable now among SOME ballet-goers to throw harsh words about “Spartacus” and Grigorovich. Many like to kick a wounded lion. True, there is no Vassilyev-Liepa-Bessmertnova cast at the moment (like there is no Fonteyn-Nureyev in “Giselle”) but nobody dances “Spartacus” better than the Bolshoi. Those who come to see it for the first time are enraptured with it as we were a few years ago.
Of course, if one wants to save money…

#10 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 14 March 2004 - 07:47 AM

I see no reason either NOT to look forward with much expectation to this Bolshoi season. I don't think it's such a bad selection. There are two new productions and besides London hasn't seen the Bolshoi Ballet in full force since 1999 (I'm not mentioning the rather ill-fated soloists stint at Drury Lane). There are several new faces and some of the youngsters from 1999 have developed into interesting artists. And let's hope indeed that Nina Ananiashvili turns up for "Don Quixote" and "Swan Lake".
The only thing to regret is that they don't bring Ratmansky's "The Bright Stream", although I guess in view of the way London received Ananiashvili's group at Sadler's Wells, I think it's better that they don't. :angry:

#11 Alymer

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Posted 14 March 2004 - 08:38 AM

they're not bringing Bright Stream because Mrs Hochhauser thought it was "too Russian" and that audiences wouldn't understand it. I don't know what they're supposed to make of Pharoh's Daughter!
I'll certainly go to see Don Quixote at least once and probably, out of curiosity, the Romeo and Juliet. I too saw Pharoh's Daughter in Paris, but I'm afraid it left me cold - except for admiring the way the dancers performed those hundreds of fidgety steps. Quite honestly it seemed to me the least good of Lacotte's "reconstructions".
I really dislike Grigorovitch's production of Swan Lake and I don't find Spartacus works unless you have a really strong cast, which I don't think is the case at the moment. (I did see Maximova/Vassiliev/Liepa and Bessmertnova/Lavrovsky/Liepa on a number of occasions which probably spoils me for other casts, however worthy.)
Marc, I think the company is looking terrific and I was very impressed by the standard of dancing both in Paris and with Ananiashvilli's group. But prices at Covent Garden are likely to be so high and there is such a small proportion of seats from which you get a reasonable view that by going to see only those ballets and casts which are of particular interest or you know you're likely to enjoy, you've saved a fair bit of money towards a trip to Moscow.

#12 coda

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Posted 14 March 2004 - 09:11 AM

I am afraid a trip to Moscow does not provide an opportunity to see ballets EVERY night as it will be during this summer season.
Also, are you aware, Alymer, that ticket prices for ballets at Bolshoi now are higher than those at Covent Garden?

#13 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 15 July 2004 - 08:55 AM

With the opening of the Bolshoi Ballet season in London only a few days away, I thought this preview in The Times might be of interest:

Dance: One jump ahead.

It features among others parts of an interview with star Maria Alexandrova and with director Alexei Ratmansky.

Anybody seeing something of the Bolshoi in London, be welcome to report.

#14 sandik

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Posted 29 July 2004 - 08:48 AM

Has anyone here seen the new R and J yet?

#15 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 05:01 AM

Very briefly - You might at best call it an experiment - as I know the Bolshoi likes to think of it that way - but it's not a ballet. Poklitaru's shoplifter's choreography is extremely poor, it doesn't match the dramatic intentions and (even worse) ignores the music; the story has been (oh how original!) updated to 20th-century depravity country full of vile, perverse, and unsympathetic characters still bearing the same names but for whom one couldn't care less; some details are magnified (Mercutio's ambivalent sexual nature, Tybalt's relationship with Lady Capulet), yet the central element of love has been banned; the music has been chopped up leaving everybody wondering whom they are seeing. In spite of the occasional screams and silent passages, it remains even on a purely theatrical level a non-event. We all realize the Bolshoi wants to move forward, but this is a serious step backwards I'm afraid. No blame for the dancers, though, who did what they had to do in the best possible way, but they deserve a lot better. The production has been shred to pieces by the London critics, but the audience on opening night was cheering.


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