the subsequent three releases star the same dancers does suggest that the company is not deep in strength. If I were its AD, I'd be afraid of giving the impression that the company is merely a rent-a-corps for a famous guest ballerina.
The filmed Giselle was supposed to be a Ferri and Bolle one, but Ferri’s injury gave space to that strange thing … “Svetlana with a romantic tutu”. Honestly I cannot understand the reason to film another Ferri’s Giselle, this time partnered by Bolle’s insipid Albrecht (no acting, modest batteries – yes, lots of entrechats, but what about the quality????…
). IMO Bolle is another unreasonably overrepresented dancer in DVD.
I’ve not seen live La Scala Bayadere, but it was broadcasted and a friend recorded it for me: I thought they televised it because they didn’t dare to put it on DVD, but I was wrong. I agree with your comments about Zakharova’s Nikyia, but she is the only watchable thing of that performance. I’ve been told that in the public presentation meeting Makarova said clearly that she was absolutely disappointed by the quality of the company, especially the women.
The next La Scala DVD –or the next televised thing- should be Balanchine Midsummer Night’s Dream, starring all the etoiles: Ferri, Bolle and Murru. I’ve seen one of the performance and I ask myself how the Balanchine trust could accept it. Ferri was good, with her great stage presence; Murru was in a very bad mood (at the end my mood was even worse thinking at the price of the ticket I paid to see his sulky face
) and for that reason almost unwatchable; Bolle wasn’t able to create even a pale Oberon and looked physically tired, with a heavy and slow dancing. La Scala public, always enthusiastic, was cold at the end…. a boring and modest performance indeed: I hope that the others were better, but I’m not really confident.
IMO, at the moment the level of La Scala company is very low. Ferri’s retirement is a sort of disaster: nobody can take her place and the “big star” of company is even more the boring Bolle, a sort of idol in Italy (a lot of people consider him not just a good danceurnoble with a clean technique, but also a great and passionate actor and a “virtuoso”
Of course Zakharova, returning also for Sleeping Beauty, is an idol too: the best dancer in the world and a fine actress… But the perception of her absolute perfection and greatness is not really consolidated and some perplexity is arising about her acting and her waved legs.
I think that to create a better taste and a culture of ballet, La Scala public should be allowed to watch other ballerinas and some great male dancers too (as a guest they had –and will have- just Sarafanov for Lacotte’s Sylphide, La Bayadere and Sleeping Beauty!).
Carla Fracci in Rome is doing a good job, with a rich, interesting and unusual programming (well, not everything is good, but the majority of the productions is really interesting) and with several guests (Obraztsova, Fadeyev, Lunkina, Yebra, Picone, Lund, Lezhnina, Bolle himself and others…).
The centre of the Italian ballet cultural movement has probably moved to the capital city and La Scala seems to live just of its great, but empty, name.