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Bolshoi Ballet Tour in Japan


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#1 naomikage

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Posted 02 December 2008 - 04:50 PM

Bolshoi Ballet has started their Japan Tour on November 22nd beginning in Mie Prefecture then Biwako, Fukuoka, Oita and Sapporo, and the Tokyo Performance (Don Q, Swan Lake and The Bright Stream) will start today. The tour continues till December 14th.

Here is a link to the Official site in English
http://www.japanarts...hoi/english.htm

Also, there is a weblog reporting about the news and backstage photos which are very curious but all in Japanese.
http://bolshoi-ballet.seesaa.net/

A lecture was held by Alexei Ratmansky yesterday which I attended and was very very interesting. He said he has a premire of a Prokoviev new work on January 1st 2009.

And a documentary about the Japanese soloist Morihiro Iwata will be broadcasted on December 9th, NHK which expects many stage footage of the Japan tour.

Anyway, I will try to give reports here for the Tokyo Performances because I plan to see almost all of them.

#2 Helene

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Posted 02 December 2008 - 08:14 PM

Many thanks, naomikage, for the links, and we very much look forward to reading your reports about the Tokyo performances.

A heads up: there are five pages of wonderful photographs in the blog. Scroll down to the very bottom of the screen to go to the next page.

#3 Natalia

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 02:53 AM

I'm really looking forward to your reports, naomikage! :blink:

#4 naomikage

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 05:22 PM

DON QUIXOTE
Dec. 3 (Wed.) 18:30
Kitri:Maria Alexandrova
Basilio:Dmitry Belogolovtsev
Espada:Andrei Merkuriev
Lucia(Street Dancer):Anastasia Meskova
Mercedes: Maria Isplatovskaya
Queen of the Dryads:Anna Nikulina
Cupid:Anastasia Stashkevich
Gypsy Anna Antropova
Ist Variation: Yekaterina Krysanova
2nd Variation:Chinara Alizade
Gamache: Denis Savin

Maria Alexandrova's Kitri was excellent. Very glorious, powerful and charming. She has already established her Kitri charater, a sassy girl but very independent and lively, sparkling with joy. The music by the Bolshoi Orchestra were very, very fast but she had good musicality and her fouettes in act 3 were are singles but matched so much to the music..very fast and precise. Her pas de bourrees were very clean. She did not show too long balances, but as a whole her balances were exellent. She made everyone in the venue smile with her charms.
Also she was very elegant and had the class to make a look like a real princess in the dream scene of Act 2. Although her jetees were high and floating, no pointe noise was there and all the Dryads were very beautiful.

Dmitry Belogolovtsev was a replacement for Denis Matvienko. He does not seem to recovered fully from his injury and sometimes he was saving his energy, but his leaps were very clean and light. He looked very youthful and slim, tall. He had to walk during the single hand lift in act 1, but generally his supports and lifts were very good. And the acting of Kitri and Basilio at act 1 and 2 were very funny, especially at the fake suicide scene.

All of the soloists were good, including an elegant and attractive, stylish Espada by Merkuriev and the Gypsy woman Anna Antropova's powerful, emotionally touching solo. Also the corps were great, especially the male corps in the gypsy scene and the matadors. The music by the Bolshoi Orchestra was maybe too fast but added livelyness to the stage, well played.

As a whole, this performance had so much fun made everyone smile. It was a big success. Today I am going to see the Oshipova / Vasiliev Don.Q.

#5 Natalia

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Posted 04 December 2008 - 08:10 AM

Thank you, naomikage. I am very happy to read that Belogolovtsev is on the mend and back on the stage.

By the time that you read this message, you shall have experienced the Osipova-Vasiliev DON Q marvel. How did it go or -- more to the point -- how loud were the cheers?

#6 naomikage

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 06:25 PM

Thank you, naomikage. I am very happy to read that Belogolovtsev is on the mend and back on the stage.

By the time that you read this message, you shall have experienced the Osipova-Vasiliev DON Q marvel. How did it go or -- more to the point -- how loud were the cheers?


I am very sorry for the delay in reports.
So far, I have seen 5 performances. Osipova-Vasiliev DON Q, Antonicheva-Gudanov Swan Lake, Alexandrova- Shpilevsky SL, and Zakharova-Uvarov-Belegolovtsev SL.

Belegolovtsev's Evil Genius (Rothbart) was really great! I must tell all the people worried about his injury that he is fine by now.

Osipova-Vasiliev DON Q certainly did make the audience go crazy. This is the fist time the Japanese audience experiencing a full DQ with the two. Osipova's leaps were so large that she was like a superball, so bouncy. her fouettes were all double in the first half, and after one triple continued with single-double combination, finishing with a quad! The music by the Bolshoi Orchestra was so quick that I thought it was impossible to catch up with the speed in fouettes, but Osipova did it!
She was so technically strong on stage, but for the dream scence her arms seem to look too tense and stiff. But her jetees were so large!

Vasiliev was also super, everyone gasped when he showed his first great leap. At the one-hand lift in act1, he even lifted his leg to arabesque position which was jaw-dropping. He did a small miss at the Act3 variation- he landed on his knee but that was the only flaw.

But some of the audience had the opinion that was it really a ballet? They insist that too much acrobatic tecniques shown and doesn't look like art. But I myself enjoyed the flashy techniques and positive power of the two young dancers.

The Queen of the Driads was danced by Ekaterina Shipilna and was very elegant. Espada was Shpilevsky but he had no musicality and it was almost a disaster. The act 3 first variation was by Ekaterina Krysanova, 2nd variation was Nelli Kobahidze and although they had different character, they danced very well. Krysanova's crisp and clean jettes, Kobahidze's musical, eloquent arms were beautiful. These two dancers are the bright future of the Bolshoi, I think.

#7 Ostrich

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 04:57 AM

At the one-hand lift in act1, he even lifted his leg to arabesque position which was jaw-dropping.

:P

#8 Natalia

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 08:30 AM

Exciting report, naomikage. It was worth the wait! :P

I've see Matvienko and other guys perform arabesque during the high-point of the Corsaire 'presages lift' but with both hands on Medora. I don't recall seeing the arabesque performed by the guy while in a one-handed lift of the ballerina....perhaps when Kobborg lifted Cojocaru a few years ago, when he was at his strongest...Cojocaru/Kobborg's DON Q Act I was full of unusual feats.

#9 naomikage

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Posted 13 December 2008 - 09:31 AM

I am extremely sorry for the delay of the reports. I will finish them in a while.

The Bolshoi's last performance in Japan will be tomorrow's Don Quixote in Osaka, with Osipova and Vasiliev.

And the last performance in Tokyo, which was also Don Q was supposed to be danced by Svetlana Zakharova but Svetlana Zakharova had injured her foot the day before (as she was senn walking around after her injury it does not seem to be a serious one) and the cast was replaced by Osipova and Vasiliev.

It was a sold out performance so at first most of the audience were disappointed (and Zakharova's Swan Lake on Sunday was perfectly beautiful) but the young pair did a very good perfomance in spite of the fact that they appeared in The Bright Stream the day before as leading roles. There seems to be no exhaustion for them and they showed us their usual ultra-technique.

As a whole the Bolshoi Japan Tour was very successful, and after most of the performances, autograph sessions were held which you can see the photo reports in the official blog. Even Filin's 12 year old son joined the autograph sessions.
http://bolshoi-ballet.seesaa.net/

Also the documentary for first soloist Morihiro Iwata was broardcasted on NHK (national TV) and it was a very good one, showing footage of experts from In The Upper Room, The Bright Stream and the Bronze Idol and SL's Jester solos. For that program, many people came to purchase rush tickets for the Bright Stream second day when Iwata was appearing as the Acordion Player.

I will write later but the performances of The Bright Stream were so great! It was officially the last performance for Sergei Filin to dance with the Bolshoi, but his Classical Dancer was so funny and at the same time great technique and acting, it is very sad that we cannot see him again with the troupe when he has that brilliance and star power.

#10 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 13 December 2008 - 11:22 AM

Thank you for the reports and the link to the blog with the photos. I can't imagine these autograph sessions happening here in Europe.


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