Posted 23 June 2008 - 06:34 PM
Kolpakova, Bessmertnova and Semmenyaka. I have never seen this ballet so I would like one that gives pleasure as well as being a learning exercise. I have looked on you tube of course but it is often rather dim and one cant tell if everything is included.
Posted 23 June 2008 - 08:41 PM
Natalia, EAW, atm711, Cygnet, and I weighed in on this thread (scroll down for reviews vs. delivery schedule )
Two words for either Bolshoi version: Gedeminas Taranda
Posted 23 June 2008 - 09:22 PM
Posted 23 June 2008 - 10:09 PM
Posted 23 June 2008 - 11:51 PM
Posted 24 June 2008 - 12:20 AM
Posted 24 June 2008 - 10:26 AM
I totally agree. Taranda was awesome; simply devastating on both Bolshoi tapes. Also, one can clearly see the stylistic difference in both institutions' approach to character dancing. IMO, the attention to detail, and aristocratic style in the Mazurka and Czardas on Kolpakova's tape are unsurpassed. Exemplary, but then again they did it first . If you want super-size, uninhibited character dancing, (Moscow style), that's on the Bolshoi tapes. For example, on the soundtrack of Bessmertnova's tape, during the presto in the Czardas, someone (onstage, or close to a mike) whistles . Sometimes in Russia, (during a Russian folk dance), one hear's this sound effect: Obviously, they enjoyed dancing this piece very much .
Posted 24 June 2008 - 10:52 AM
It does look like a vision start to finish - the court dances are so stately, they look like chess-pieces moving by magic -- all the court-dances are wonderful, especially love the pas de quatre where all four hold hands and do intricate pas de bourrees.
Taranda is indeed a sensation: preening macho thug; it's simultaneously tremendous technique, great acting, and psychologically astute. Sexy he is, but no-one in their right mind would really WANT him. There's no possibility of relationship.
Semenyaka is beautiful in every variation, especially the one with the scarf, and in the grand Hongroise pas, she's wonderfully gracious: the trajectory of her arms from the hand clap to a la seconde is a thing of unparallelled majesty -- the rotation in the shoulders that brings them from parallel into turnout just blows my mind, it's so beautiful. I've never seen any other dancer make me feel the action like this.
On the other hand, Plisetskaya's attack and follow-through is the greatest thing ever, shown here: . This is just a clip of a dance seen through a pearly haze, but I think it's glorious, and even MORE a vision. I'd buy it if the Bolshoi would re-issue the whole thing.
Posted 24 June 2008 - 02:49 PM
Posted 26 June 2008 - 05:28 AM
Posted 26 June 2008 - 06:53 AM
I've only seen the Bolshoi/Semenyaka version in full, so I'd like to ask a set of questions for those who've seen several, if I may.
Which version makes most sense of the complicated story? Which has the greatest dramatic coherence and power, separate from the stand-out dance elements? And which succeeds best with the White Lady. She's obviously supposed to be a very significant figure, but often comes across -- as I believe she does in the Semenyaka version -- is a kind of loony and embarrassing relative a la Gorey who escapes periodically from her bed room and wanders the hallways in her nighty.
Also: I seem to remember a video (or tv broadcast) of ABT with Cynthia Gregory. Probably in the 70s. Is this possible?
P.S.: Based on your recommendations, and the YouTube video that begins with Raymonda playing the lute, I'll be ordering the Kolpakova version. She's simply stunning and graceful (quietly so) beyond belief. I also like the way everyone on stage moves so attentively along with the music and the mood. As Raymonda plays, a court lady to her right responds to the music with a simple, slow movement of the arm that suggests that she is deeply touched and in a kind of revery about something from her own romantic past.
Posted 26 June 2008 - 07:19 AM
Posted 20 July 2008 - 08:49 PM
I have the Semenyaka version on DVD (Kultur D1170) and I do agree that Taranda did a great job "hamming it up" as Abderakhman.
By the way, you can tell the big difference between the Kirov/Mariinsky and Bolshoi troupes: the former emphasizes technical excellence, while the latter emphasizes on-stage acting excellence. (In the case of the Bolshoi, it must be the influence of the late Galina Ulanova and Maya Plisetskaya, both of which were legendary for their very strong acting presence on-stage.)
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