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New-old COPPELIA at Bolshoi, 3/15Osipova rules!


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#16 Alymer

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 04:57 AM

The Bolshoi is fortunate in having on its roster a number of lovely ballerinas of whom Osipova is one - and certainly she is remarkably talented, though still very young and still developing, as are many of the others.

But with regard to Esmeralda, it's interesting to remember Kschessinska's own recollections of the time when she asked for the role. This incident took place when her relationship with the Tsarevitch was well established and before his engagement, so she was certainly not without influence but nonetheless accepted the decision.

"I was very keen to dance the ballet Esmeralda in which Virginia Zucchi had surpassed herself, so I went and asked this favour of Marius Petipa, the famous and all-powerful maitre-de-ballet. .................. I told him that I should like to dance Esmeralda. He listened carefully and asked me point-blank in his jargon, "You love?"
Confused I answered that I was indeed in love, that I did love.
Whereupon he continued, "You suffer?"
I thought it a strange question and immediately replied, "Certainly not!"
He then explained to me - a fact that I was to remember later - that only artists who had known the sufferings of love could understand and interpret the role of Esmeralda."

#17 ngitanjali

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 01:44 PM

The Bolshoi is fortunate in having on its roster a number of lovely ballerinas of whom Osipova is one - and certainly she is remarkably talented, though still very young and still developing, as are many of the others.

But with regard to Esmeralda, it's interesting to remember Kschessinska's own recollections of the time when she asked for the role. This incident took place when her relationship with the Tsarevitch was well established and before his engagement, so she was certainly not without influence but nonetheless accepted the decision.

"I was very keen to dance the ballet Esmeralda in which Virginia Zucchi had surpassed herself, so I went and asked this favour of Marius Petipa, the famous and all-powerful maitre-de-ballet. .................. I told him that I should like to dance Esmeralda. He listened carefully and asked me point-blank in his jargon, "You love?"
Confused I answered that I was indeed in love, that I did love.
Whereupon he continued, "You suffer?"
I thought it a strange question and immediately replied, "Certainly not!"
He then explained to me - a fact that I was to remember later - that only artists who had known the sufferings of love could understand and interpret the role of Esmeralda."



What a fascinating anecdote. I'm actually not that familiar with Esmerelda (the whole ballet, I know the variation by heart)....is there a nice source that I can look it up? Thanks in advance!

As per the debate about Osipova...while I don't love extreme extensions....I'd rather take her than a certain ballerina at a certain theater in St. Petersburg, who seems to think that ballet needs to be devoid of art. The impression I do get from Osipova is sincerity (lacking in some other ballerinas), and a pure respect for the theater and the traditions.

That being said, I would love to see Gracheva in the role--she fascinates me, since clips of her are so rare. What about Rhyzinka? (Marianna, I believe?) Lunkina? Consider ourselves lucky that the Bolshoi has an army of amazingly talented women--of all ages and styles, and is willing to use them all.

Just my $0.02

#18 Mashinka

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 03:24 AM

I'm just delighted that Vikharev is mounting this old classic for the Bolshoi as the Kirov's Fateyev has made it clear he is no fan of reconsructions. As to who would make the best Esmeralda I can't see how one can possibly judge on the few scraps of choreography still performed. It is after all a full length ballet based on Hugo's Notre Dame de Paris and should provide a number of choice roles for several Bolshoi performers; I seem to remember that Esmeralda has a love rival known as Fleur de Lys who is tall, blonde and beautiful: Shipulina perhaps?

Perhaps this is the time to come clean and confess to being a fully paid up member of OA (Osipova-fans Anonymous). :wub:


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