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Solor

Change in the Bolshoi's dancing

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I have 2 films of the Bolshoi that have really got me wondering about something -

the first is a perfomance of "La Bayadere" (from the early 90's) with Gracheva, Bylova, and Vetrov. The dancing in this ballet (except for Vetrov) is technically sloppy and under the level of where one would think a world class company like the Bolshoi should be (and to top it off the orchestra plays really badly). It is the same in another film I have of "The Sleeping Beauty" with Semizorova, Speranskaya, and Fedeyechev. Basically, sloppy dancing, with no attention paid to clean technique.

Then I come to the latest film of the Bolshoi dancing, "The Pharoah's Daughter" (from 2002) and all the dancers are technically superb. I have a few bootleg perfomances of the Bolshoi performing recently and all traces of that "way to Bolshoi" , technically sloppy dancing seems to have vanished.

So what has happened? It seems, from what I can see of the Bolshoi - that over the last 10 years or so the Bolshoi has cleaned up, and that old style of sloppy dancing has gone away. (Not that all of the dancers that ever came out of the Bolshoi are sloppy mind you! - but I think some of you might know what Im talking about)

Does anyone know if the Bolshoi made a concious effort to clean up there dancers or the training they get? The style of performing and the technique seems to have really made a HUGE change for the better!

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I actually rather dislike the New Meaner Leaner Contorting Bolshoi. Its performance of Don Quixote at Wolf Trap was good, but it's developed those scary contortionist bodies the Kirov has now, and it totally changes the line and the way the steps look.

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I never thought I'd live to hear Nina Speranskaya and Alexei Fadeyechev described as "sloppy".

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Solor, I'd be grateful some specific descriptions -- of moves, combinations, etc. -- as to what constitutes "sloppy" versus "clean" dancing.

This is something I often wonder about when I observe all sorts of companies. Something I love often turns out to be technically wrong or stylistically controversial. Conversely, things that make me uncomfortable have their passionate supporters. Often, specific descriptive examples help me to figure it out.

Thanks.

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Well, for example, watch the Bolshoi's film of "La Bayadere" (Gracheva, Bylova, Vetrov). You will see the technique of the 2 female leads is well, sloppy. Same thing with the "Sleeping Beauty" film.

Fedeyechev is not sloppy. But the dancing of Semizorova is in the "SB" film. In "La Bayadere", particularly with Bylova, the dancing is less than exceptional. I cant describe it, one must watch it. But this technical sloppyness should not suggest that these ballerinas arent great performers.

Anyway, all I am saying is that I have noticed a HUGE change in the way that the Bolshoi's dancers are technically.

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