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Bolshoi N.Am. - Poklitaru Romeo & Juliet reviews


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#1 Natalia

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 08:36 AM

The Bolshoi will perform its controversial new 'Romeo & Juliet' during stops in Minneapolis, Seattle & Berkeley. Please place your reviews & comments here.

I'm especially looking forward to what is written about THIS one...and will keep my opinions (having seen it in Moscow) all to myself 'til then!

#2 wanderer1

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Posted 08 October 2004 - 10:47 AM

Just bought ticket to see Nov 7 Romeo & Juliet by Alexandova @ Berkeley. I was trying to figure out which seat is best, one is the last row of Orchestra and one is 1 row of upper left tier.. the box office guy was not helping too much at all giving advice, then I chose the upper tier for an hovering view of the stage, but at the risk not seeing all the stage, wish I made the right decision!

Natalia, I have watched Romeo & Juliet by Stuggart, videos by Ulanova and Royal Ballet. Which version Bolshoi will play this time? And what are the scenes one should definitely wake up and be prepared for IYO?

Have a nice weekend,

#3 Helene

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Posted 08 October 2004 - 10:51 AM

Just bought ticket to see Nov 7 Romeo & Juliet by Alexandova @ Berkeley. I was trying to figure out which seat is best, one is the last row of Orchestra and one is 1 row of upper left tier.. the box office guy was not helping too much at all giving advice, then I chose the upper tier for an hovering view of the stage, but at the risk not seeing all the stage,  wish I made the right decision!

Zellerbach is a relatively small venue. You should be fine in the first row of the upper tier.

#4 Natalia

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Posted 08 October 2004 - 01:53 PM

Dear Wanderer 1 - I, too, was going to suggest 1sr row of upper tier. The Bolshoi will be dancing the new, somewhat 'shocking' version with choreography by Radu Poklitaru, directed by the very creative English stager D. Donneclan (sp?). It is a 'chamber-scale' ballet with minimalist scenery & simple costumes. In other words, if you're sitting too far back (last row of Orchestra), you'll feel rather far removed from the action, I would think.

When I saw it in Moscow, it was at the 'smallish (1,000-seat) New Bolshoi' theater next to the massive 'old' Bolshoi. It works on the New Stage...would never work in a cavernous venue like the Chicago Auditorium or the Wang/Boston, which probably explains why it's not being shown in those cities.

What to look out for? Awwww...I would be giving away my feelings, if I begin to list the more 'visually memorable' choreographic moments. :green: Look-out for the fine use of the corps de ballet as a Greek Chorus; they're on stage practically every minute. You'll be seeing Alexandrova at her best for, to me, she is better in this sort of work than in the classics, where she tends to eschew pure lines. In 'R & J' -- and in the Eifman 'Tsar Paul' a few years back -- she can let go of any conventions and pour-out the gale force of her soul. Denis Medveyev's sickeningly slimy Tybalt is another interesting performance. MOST ESPECIALLY, savor every minute of the aristocratic Ilze Liepa's Lady Capulet. [I have no idea if Liepa is on this tour but she danced Lady Capulet in Moscow...ditto Medveyev's Tybalt. Hopefully those two are on the tour roster.]

Go with an open mind thinking that you're seeing a theatrical performance, not necessarily a ballet. Remember the Shakespeare play & its essense...what's the point of that play? THEN let's list plusses & minuses! :thumbsup: -- Natash

#5 wanderer1

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Posted 08 October 2004 - 04:35 PM

Thanks Natasha and Helene! I think with your advice, I will enjoy and understand more about the performance. And I will remember your word to keep an open mind...After watching "the afternoon of a faun", I was ready to accept anything for ballet!



#6 millamant

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Posted 10 October 2004 - 08:42 PM

Hi Wanderer1: If by the first row of the upper tier, you mean row AA, then you are off on the side, so will have a slightly obstructed view. However, it is infinitely better than last row of the orchestra, in my opinion. There is very little rake in the orchestra, which means you are subject to tall folk, pointy heads, and large hair - this can be a problem even closer up in the orchestra. I wouldn't exactly put Zellerbach on the small size, unless a 2000-seat hall is considered small, but the AA tier seats are nearly level with the stage, so it provides a very interesting perspective, even if you do miss some of the peripheral action.

I've got tickets for Raymonda - have been debating whether I should get R&J ticket
as welll, it being my favorite ballet score. Sounds like it could be interesting. Last time I saw the Bolshoi in LA a few years ago, it really seemed they had come out of their long slump.
Here's hoping...

#7 Natalia

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Posted 12 October 2004 - 03:31 AM

Just back from Boston, where I got the full roster of dancers on this tour. Alas, Ilze Liepa did not come; I can't imagine anybody BUT her as Lady Capulet in this version but, I'm sure, the Bolshoi has many fine 'character ballerinas'capable of pulling off the role with equal impact. Denis Medveyev IS here & will dance Tybalt in America.

Then again, maybe Ilze Liepa will join the tour in Minneapolis? Doubt it, though, because she usually has a part in Don Quixote (Spanish Dance); she did not appear in any of the Boston Don Qs.

#8 Helene

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Posted 12 October 2004 - 08:56 AM

Just bought ticket to see Nov 7 Romeo & Juliet by Alexandova @ Berkeley.

Do you really mean 7 November? The Cal Performances website advertises, "The Bolshoi Ballet & Orchestra in the Bay Area Premiere Romeo and Juliet November 3-4, plus Raymonda November 5-7." I hope you mean 3 November @ 7pm for Romeo and Juliet with Alexandrova.

Here's a link to the Zellerbach seating chart. (See Map "A" for dance.) The ticket prices are $88 (top), $68 (second), and IIRC $48 (third). If you ordered a "top" ticket, you should be in the first row of section 7. If you ordered a "second" ticket, you should be in the first row of one of the two sections 8.

#9 wanderer1

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Posted 12 October 2004 - 06:11 PM

Thanks Millamant for your reply. I am glad to go for the 1st row of right tier instead of the last row in Orchestra. I loved the R& J music also and got tickets for next year SF symphony performance.

Helene, sorry that I was meaning the Nov.3 performance. I also bought the Raymoda for Nov 7 that might be the cause of confusion. I have been to Berkerly twice for ballet but both time sitting far far away. This time I bought 2nd level tickets. Wish to live closer and be able to afford better seats and see different performances.



#10 Giannina

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Posted 18 October 2004 - 09:34 AM

Natalia...and others who have seen it:

When you say "theatrical performance, not necessarily a ballet" do you mean there's not the usual amount of dancing in the "perforance"? Lotsa mime? Modern ballet rather than classical? All of the above? Those tickets aren't cheap, and I don't want to fly to San Francisco to see minimal dancing.

Thanks for any info anyone can give me.

Giannina

#11 Natalia

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Posted 18 October 2004 - 10:01 AM

Giannina - There IS dancing but it's modern and (to some) offensively crude in parts.

I invited folks to 'think theatrically' because, to me, the acting is the saving grace of this production. But that doesn't mean that there isn't lots of modern dancing...or effective 'moving of the masses,' as the corps the ballet DOES move effectively as a mass. You'll understand what I mean when you see it (if you decide to see it).

If you love the MacMillan or Lavrovsky or Cranko versions, this may disappoint you. If you love the romance aspect of the story...well....you will most likely not be satisfied. If 'R&J' is all you're planning to see, then the trip to Berkeley may not be worth your hard-earned cash; coupled with Raymonda or Don Q, I'd say give it a look-see. Just my opinion.

#12 Giannina

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Posted 18 October 2004 - 10:18 AM

Thanks for the quick response, Natalia. That's the worst news I've had in ages! Not only am I a classicist but I'm also a prude. What to do, what to do?

Giannina

#13 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 18 October 2004 - 10:21 AM

Giannina, it's physical theater, it's not ballet - even if it is performed by the Bolshoi Ballet.

#14 Giannina

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Posted 18 October 2004 - 10:27 AM

Are Raymonda and Don Q the ballets or is this physical theater too?

Giannina

#15 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 18 October 2004 - 11:06 AM

There are a few aspects unique to the Bolshoi production but in the main, Don Q is the Don Q that you know and love. I saw it on Boston and had a marvelous time.


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