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Kirov 'Bayadere' at Kennedy Center, Jan. 2008


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#31 bart

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 04:01 AM

I am a member in Japan and recently an interesting documentary film was released in DVD and in theatres.
It was filmed by a French director and entitled Ballerina.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0898897/

It is a documentary about Kirov ballet and features two ballerinas; Evguenya Obraztsova and Alina Somova. Also it contains some footage and interviews of Lopatkina, Vishneva and Zakharova. But the main topic is the coming generation of new ballerinas in Kirov, represented by Somova (and Obraztsova).

Thnk you, naomikage, for that report. I know that many of us will be looking out for this to be released here. It reminds me of a documentary I saw long ago (British tv, also shown on tv here in the US) about training at the Royal Ballet, featuring the very young Darcy Bussell and Viviana Durante. I'm delighted that the Japanese audiences for this sort of work are large enough to warrant a theatrical release.

#32 naomikage

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 06:32 AM

I know that many of us will be looking out for this to be released here. It reminds me of a documentary I saw long ago (British tv, also shown on tv here in the US) about training at the Royal Ballet, featuring a very young Darcy Bussell and Viviana Durante. I'm delighted that the Japanese audiences for this sort of work are large enough to warrant a theatrical release.


I think Japanese audience are very lucky because 2 other DVDs were recently released in Japan. I think these are exclusive for Japan, and they are Variation Lessons by Lopatkina/ Variations Lessons by Vishneva. I think this topic is suitable for the video forum, but in these DVDs, the two great ballerinas show and explain how they dance Nikiya, Paquita, Raymonda (Lopatikina), Giselle, Odette, Kitri, Aurora (Vishneva). Theie reheasals were shot for this DVD, with long interviews and also stage footage.

Back to the topic. In Japan too, Somova is infamous for her lack of musicality and her rough devloppe, extention-focused dancing. There was a gala by Bolshoi and Mariinsky dancers in August here and Somova danced Tchaikovsky Pas de Duex and Sleeping Beauty Act 2 and they were such a disaster. I had never seen such an awful Balanchine in my entire life. In another gala in August she danced Kitri with Sarafanov and her fouettes were so wierd. so wobbling and shakey.

Somova had appeared as a guest in New National Theatre's Nutcracker in 2004 but at that point she was not so bad. Neither so in the previously mentioned Ballerina DVD. Maybe her coaches ruined her.

#33 Natalia

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 09:37 AM

Just read the casting and nearly fell to the floor with glee. Unbelievable! Vishneva opener PLUS two Lopatkinas on this tour? And a Nioradze performance to boot! Of course, the two Somova performances were expected. Hopefully these won't turn into three or four Somovas. :yahoo: Glad to read that Vishneva's website now confirms the opening night.

#34 canbelto

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 10:37 AM

I know! In my best Dianglish: "To meeting excited in January. Welcome to performances La Bayadere." :yahoo:

#35 chrisk217

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 12:06 PM

It is a documentary about Kirov ballet and features two ballerinas; Evguenya Obraztsova and Alina Somova. Also it contains some footage and interviews of Lopatkina, Vishneva and Zakharova.

Ballerina was shown on the satelite french channel TV5 about a year and a half ago. What you say of it makes me wonder if a different cut of the video played in Japan. The video I saw was about all five dancers going progressively from the (then) lower rank Somova, to Obraztsova, Zakharova, Vishneva and finally Lopatkina, according to hierarchy. On the whole, the film captures the beauty and joy but also the tremendous difficulties and pain that come with dancing at that high level.

Somova doesn't really register that much in the film - she is too young and the little she says is rather predictable ("my first year was very hard" etc). The ones that make the most vivid impression are Vishneva and Obraztsova. They are both very open and give good interviews. Vishneva, comes across as intense and very intelligent while Obraztsova looks warm and bubbly but capable of great emotional depth on stage. Most of the doc was filmed in 2002-2003 just before Zakharova left for the Bolshoi and around the time when Lopatkina returned from her two year injury hiatus. Lopatkina is the more aloof of all, she does not say a lot to the camera but rather lets others and her dancing speak for her.

#36 naomikage

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 05:31 PM

Ballerina was shown on the satelite french channel TV5 about a year and a half ago. What you say of it makes me wonder if a different cut of the video played in Japan. The video I saw was about all five dancers going progressively from the (then) lower rank Somova, to Obraztsova, Zakharova, Vishneva and finally Lopatkina, according to hierarchy. On the whole, the film captures the beauty and joy but also the tremendous difficulties and pain that come with dancing at that high level.


chrisk217,
I think it is the same version that you saw on TV5. The film was a little bit disappointing for me because in Japan it was promoted as Lopatkina and Vishneva, Zakharova was the center subject of the film (especially Lopatkina because Lopatkina is very very popular in Japan but Vishneva is less popular) but in fact Somova appears quite a lot and footage of Lopatkina quite few.
Of cause I was very impressed with the delicate expressions and acting of Obraztsova, and the divine beauty of Lopatkina. The footage of Obraztsova was very, very impressive and touching although so short. Also it captures some of her daily life. So it is a very valuable film, anyway.

As for the interviews, Vishneva was much impressive with the other DVD, Variation Lessons by Vishneva. She speaks so much about her art, what she thinks about when she dances each work such as Giselle, Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake.
Here is a link to the DVD official site (Japanese).
http://cmecr.columbi...o.asp?gc=XI1374

Anyway, I envy the American audience can see such a wonderful cast in La Bayadere which I truely love. In Japan, Kirov comes every 3 years but every time it is Swan Lake and I am dying to see other work.

#37 Solnishka79

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Posted 31 December 2007 - 08:56 PM

Unfortunately, I will be submitted to Somova's Bayadere. Bayadere is my all time favorite "Petipa" ballet-this should prove to be an interesting experience. At least the corps will be worth the ticket money. I saw an open dress rehearsal of Nutcracker a few years back at the Kennedy Center and have vivid memories of Vasiev yelling over the microphone repeatedly, "Alina! Line! Somova get in line!". I am excited about seeing Sarafanov and Osmolkina.

#38 YID

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Posted 11 January 2008 - 11:27 AM

Unfortunately, I will be submitted to Somova's Bayadere. Bayadere is my all time favorite "Petipa" ballet-this should prove to be an interesting experience. At least the corps will be worth the ticket money. I saw an open dress rehearsal of Nutcracker a few years back at the Kennedy Center and have vivid memories of Vasiev yelling over the microphone repeatedly, "Alina! Line! Somova get in line!". I am excited about seeing Sarafanov and Osmolkina.


Do you know if they'd have a dress rehearsal this year? it would be so nice ;-))
... and I am happy, I'll be going on Tuesday, Wdn, Thusday, hopeful that they still stick to the announced cast, Vishneva, Lopatkina, Nioradze, and my favorite Fadeev twice....

#39 Solnishka79

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Posted 18 January 2008 - 08:55 PM

Unfortunately, I will be submitted to Somova's Bayadere. Bayadere is my all time favorite "Petipa" ballet-this should prove to be an interesting experience. At least the corps will be worth the ticket money. I saw an open dress rehearsal of Nutcracker a few years back at the Kennedy Center and have vivid memories of Vasiev yelling over the microphone repeatedly, "Alina! Line! Somova get in line!". I am excited about seeing Sarafanov and Osmolkina.


Do you know if they'd have a dress rehearsal this year? it would be so nice ;-))
... and I am happy, I'll be going on Tuesday, Wdn, Thusday, hopeful that they still stick to the announced cast, Vishneva, Lopatkina, Nioradze, and my favorite Fadeev twice....


I haven't heard anything about an open dress rehearsal but perhaps a phone call to the Kennedy Center could rectify that. I really enjoy dress rehearsals more than performance; as a retired dancer, I love the "behind the scenes" aspect. Some of my students are also attending the Somova performance and I'm hoping that they don't start idolizing her. I did check out her youtube Bayadere and it was nowhere near as bad as her Sleeping Beauty. Maybe there is hope!
I'd love to see Lopatkina and Vishneva. Fadeyev was wonderful in "Giselle" a few years back.
Has anyone heard any hints on next years' tour? What production?

#40 Stasi

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 02:38 AM

Hi!!! I'm from Saint- Petersburg and I've seen Somova a lot of times...I can say just that she is very good in short roles, but she it too unexperienced to dance first roles...As for me, I can see with pleasure, for example, her variation in pas de trois in 3 act of La Bayadere, but not Nikya!!! She almost doesn' t care about the character, just technique....


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