abatt

Bolshoi at Kennedy Center- Spartacus

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The casting is up on the Kennedy Center website., as follows:

PRINCIPAL CASTING (subject to change)

Tue., Feb. 16 & Fri., Feb. 19 at 7:30 p.m. and Sun., Feb. 21 at 1:30 p.m.

Spartacus: Ivan Vasiliev

Crassus: Alexander Volchkov

Phrygia: Nina Kaptsova

Aegina: Svetlana Zakharova

Wed., Feb. 17 & Sat., Feb. 20 at 7:30 p.m.

Spartacus: Pavel Dmitrichenko

Crassus: Yury Baranov

Phrygia: Anna Nikulina

Aegina: Maria Alexandrova

Thu., Feb. 18 at 7:30 p.m. and Sat., Feb. 20 at 1:30 p.m.

Spartacus: Egor Khromushin

Crassus: Andrey Merkuriev

Phrygia: Marianna Ryzhkina

Aegina: Ekaterina Shipulina

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Hmmmmm.... I wonder if this means that The Kings of Dance scheduled for NY City Center on Feb. 19 will happen without Vasiliev. I'm furious :pinch:

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Hmmmmm.... I wonder if this means that The Kings of Dance scheduled for NY City Center on Feb. 19 will happen without Vasiliev. I'm furious :pinch:

Hmmm...Vasiliev was never scheduled for the Kings of Dance, at least not the City Center version. Why are you furious?

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Maybe my bank account is lucky that I'll be doing Olympics-related things in Vancouver in February, because it would be mega-tempting to travel to DC for a Merkuriev Crassus during a time when it will take a king's ransom to get in and out of the city.

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I'm glad to see Zakharova is coming this year. I've never seen her in person before.

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Hmmm...Vasiliev was never scheduled for the Kings of Dance, at least not the City Center version. Why are you furious?

Wasn't he? I was under impression he was and bought my ticket just to see him. Must be one of the senior moments - I've been having those a lot lately:)

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According to the Kennedy Center website, Shipulina is replaced by Ekaterina Krysanova as Aegina for the Thu., Feb. 18 at 7:30 p.m. and Sat., Feb. 20 at 1:30 p.m. performances.

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as per Russian site of Bolshoi

http://www.bolshoi.ru/ru/season/press-serv...x.php?id26=1430

It'll be Ruben Muradian (?) dancing on 18th and 20th of Feb, and not Egor Khromushin.

and it'll be Maria Allash, and not Zaharova on 16th, 19th and 21st.

And the Bolshoi site lists Krysanova, no Shipulina.

No English equivalent of the announcement, but wanted to let you know

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as per Russian site of Bolshoi

http://www.bolshoi.ru/ru/season/press-serv...x.php?id26=1430

It'll be Ruben Muradian (?) dancing on 18th and 20th of Feb, and not Egor Khromushin.

and it'll be Maria Allash, and not Zaharova on 16th, 19th and 21st.

And the Bolshoi site lists Krysanova, no Shipulina.

No English equivalent of the announcement, but wanted to let you know

I'm disappointed that Zakharova is not appearing.

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as per Russian site of Bolshoi

http://www.bolshoi.ru/ru/season/press-serv...x.php?id26=1430

It'll be Ruben Muradian (?) dancing on 18th and 20th of Feb, and not Egor Khromushin.

and it'll be Maria Allash, and not Zaharova on 16th, 19th and 21st.

And the Bolshoi site lists Krysanova, no Shipulina.

No English equivalent of the announcement, but wanted to let you know

I'm disappointed that Zakharova is not appearing.

Me too, very disappointed. Maria Allash is not one of my favorites, in fact I'd prefer Shipulina. Krysanova ia a young dancer that I LOVE but I've always thought of her as very lyrical, more of a Phrygia than an Aegina. Alexandrova would be my pick for Aegina however it's the 2 main men's roles that make or break Spartacus so I wouldn't be too concerned about who's cast as Aegina.

YID - thanks for letting us know!

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Thanks for the heads up. I am soooo bummed! I was so excited to see Zakharova dance live for the first time. As long as I still get to see Vasiliev, I won't totally freak out just yet. I knew the dream cast was too good to be true :-(

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It offends me when Zakharova is called a 'prima ballerina'. She is clearly nothing of the sort.

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It offends me when Zakharova is called a 'prima ballerina'. She is clearly nothing of the sort.

It offends me because the title was never applied to a number of much greater greater artists of the Kirov/Maryinsky ballet or indeed the Bolshoi Ballet.

Of course there are moments in Zakharova performances that one cannot help but recognise her physical/technical achievements. However it is my experience that Zakharova attracts fans and not balletomanes.

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It offends me when Zakharova is called a 'prima ballerina'. She is clearly nothing of the sort.

It offends me because the title was never applied to a number of much greater greater artists of the Kirov/Maryinsky ballet or indeed the Bolshoi Ballet.

Of course there are moments in Zakharova performances that one cannot help but recognise her physical/technical achievements. However it is my experience that Zakharova attracts fans and not balletomanes.

Well well, you are easily offended then :) . With both your experience as veteran balletgoers you should be able to understand that this is nothing more than newspaper hype, "prima ballerina" meaning foremost ballerina of this or that company - which, like it or not, she is.

And yes, all the American appearances have been cancelled, according to Svetlana Zakharova's website.

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"prima ballerina" meaning foremost ballerina of this or that company - which, like it or not, she is.

The status of any dancer depends not on media hype, company publicity, or fans and company pleasing critics, but by the reasoned judgement of connoisseurs of academic classical ballet.

As I am sure you know from your wide experience of watching ballet, because a company designates a dancer as a principal dancer, does not mean they deserve the appellation.

The Kirov/Maryinsky, Bolshoi and Royal Ballet companies have too often promoted dancers to stations well above their talent and artistry and publicised them as being significant.

Zakharovova is a product of a type of schooling that may seem exemplary because of her technical attainment, but her choices made in the interpretation of roles has for me and others been uneven and disappointing. Therefore one is entitled to question not only her personal status but the judgement of those that give her such a status.

The days of significant interpreters of the academic classical repertoire sometimes seem to me to be past and that balance in a performance goes beyond striking and holding a pose on point, or the ability to turn or elevation, instead, it is reflected in their integrated technique informed by artistry that results in a "complete" performance rather than exciting or "beautiful" moments that Zakharova can certainly achieve

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"prima ballerina" meaning foremost ballerina of this or that company - which, like it or not, she is.

The status of any dancer depends not on media hype, company publicity, or fans and company pleasing critics, but by the reasoned judgement of connoisseurs of academic classical ballet.

As I am sure you know from your wide experience of watching ballet, because a company designates a dancer as a principal dancer, does not mean they deserve the appellation.

The Kirov/Maryinsky, Bolshoi and Royal Ballet companies have too often promoted dancers to stations well above their talent and artistry and publicised them as being significant.

Zakharovova is a product of an type of schooling that may seem exemplary because of her technical attainment, but her choices made in the interpretation of roles has for me and others been uneven and disappointing. Therefore one is entitled to question not only her personal status but the judgement of those that give her such a status.

The days of significant interpreters of the academic classical repertoire sometimes seem to me to be past and that balance in a performance goes beyond striking and holding a pose on point, or the ability to turn or elevation, instead, it is reflected in their integrated technique informed by artistry that results in a "complete" performance rather than exciting or "beautiful" moments that Zakharova can certainly achieve

Quite so, leonid. It’s not because the bottle boasts the appélation controlée label that the wine becomes per definition vintage. Your observation does put the judgement of people like Vladimir Vasiliev, Yuri Grigorovich and Alexei Ratmansky in a totally different light.

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I was at the Bolshoi's performances of Spartacus on Tues and Wed evenings. I thought Ivan Vasiliev was electrifying as Spartacus. His soaring jumps and leaps were breathtaking. The Wed evening Spartacus was Pavel Dmitrichenko. He was fine, but he paled in comparison to Vasiliev. The rest of the lead cast on the opening night was very good. Volchkov was impressive as Crassus, and Kaptsova was lovely as Phyrygia. (Nikulina was also marvelous as Phyrigia on Wed.) However, I didn't particularly like Maria Allash as Aegina. On Wed. evening Maria Alexandrova was considerably better than Allash as Aegina. Were any other Ballet Talkers there?

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Thanks for the report abatt. I'd love to hear about today's matinee, if any BTers are there. Particularly interested in hearing about Merkuriev's Crassus and Krysanova's Aegina. I'm going to tomorrow's matinee.

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I was there on Tuesday night. Generally I agree with abatt. The men were much more impressive than the women. Electrifying is the perfect word to describe Vasiliev. Just incredible. Volchkov was also very good. I thought Kaptsova looked very, very tight, and I was totally underwhelmed by Allash. I would have liked to see Alexandrova as Aegina.

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Anyone who's ever seen Ivan Vasiliev dance, even for an instant would expect his Spartacus to be danced in spectacular fashion. One could just imagine him attacking all those leaps and jetes. He delivered all that and more for a stunning performance on Sunday afternoon. I recall when the Bolshoi brought Spartacus to NY in 2005 that I didn't find their men to be really believable in the 2 performances I saw; in fact I was more impressed with the women (remember, it was our first sight of Osipova in a Don Q solo and here in the tiny role of a shepherdess). Not so this time. Vasiliev established a charismatic, rousingly heroic Spartacus from the minute he stepped on the stage. He won the audience over from his first entrance and swept them along on his journey till the end.

He may not be the tallest Spartacus around, but I think his brawny, muscular appearance, incredible dancing chops and impassioned reading of the role make him THE Spartacus of his generation. From the abandon with which he threw himself into all of those glorious Grigorovich leaps to the tenderness & passion in his 3rd act pdd with Phrygia, his performance was never less than riveting. In fact I agree with abatt that it was truly electrifying.

I found Kaptsova to be a lovely, lyrical Phrygia, especially beautiful in her big 3rd act adagio & pdd and that poignant final scene but I missed the sweeping line and endless extensions I recall from Antonicheva at the 2005 Met performances. Allash was fine as Aegina, cold and calculating with a very sharp attack. Volchkov was more than fine as a very tightly wound Crassus who totally unraveled when humiliated by Spartacus. He showed beautiful classical form in the first act, his leaps spiraling more out of control along with his personality as the drama barreled along to its inevitable conclusion.

This really showcases the entire male contingent of the Bolshoi, and they were impressive. I heard several people say that it was the best ballet they'd ever seen. Not sure if I'd agree with that, but it was a wonderful performance and a very entertaining afternoon.

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Hello, I managed to see Tuesday opening, then Saturday matinee & evening (i.e. all three casts). I agree with Nysusan, abatt & cinammonswirl.

1. Bravo to energy and much higher level of performance of the whole ballet troupe (comparing to NYC's 2005). Truly marvel of execution, stunning energy, precision and coordinated synchronization.

2. I would like to compare and rank various soloist (to my taste & IMHO) with a disclaimer that I was sick on the opening night:

A) The best Phrigia was Marianna Ryzhkina. I can only compare her to Antonicheva of 2005's NYC run. Only they made me cry, only they were genuine to me (Marianna this time, and Anna Antonicheva in 2005). Both Anna Nikulina & Nina Kaptsova were technically perfect and romantic, but I saw them acting, when Marianna LIVED on stage. And I'd agree with Nysusan that Nina Kaptsova was a bit stiff to me.

B) Aegina. I can't decide between Ekaterina Krysanova and Maria Aleksandrova, who'd be my favorite. I'd place Ekaterina Krysanova, since her body is more fluid and softer (and she's much slimmer), she was very feminine, sexy and alluring. When Maria Aleksandrova (and Allash) look much heavier (I may be getting spoiled by Mariinsky's slimness). Aleksandrova danced very reliably and steady (like a locomotive on the rails), her jumps were high in the air, but her extensions are border-line and look stiff. Baranov's lifts worried me, she looked too heavy for him (or anyone). BUT, she acted as a MEAN, VICIOUS scammer. Much meaner, like a madam. Krysanova was just lighter & sexier. And Maria Allash just didn't allure neither moved me.

C) Crassus - I'd rank them as Yury Baranov and then Alexander Volchkov with Andrey Merkuriev. Baranov just acted a bit meaner, more vicious and more genuine (to me). Andrey Merkuriev just showed a different school, when Baranov & Volchkov were more angular, Merkuriev was more elegant and fluid in movements (what is best - I don't know, it's just different).

D) Spartacus - can I not rank them. They were different (I'd let Grigorovich rank them ;-)) Vasiliev showed most of charisma. But Pavel Dmitrichenko & Ruben Muradyan are much taller and have better lines & same or better extensions. I'd describe Vasiliev as a (Pirate, rebel) fierce fighter, where Dmitrichenko danced as more aristocratic fierce fighter. And dark hair & beards suit closer the Hollywood type of Spartacus.

PS: [added later} - Spartacus lifts. Dmitrichenko's lifts were steadier & longer & Nikulina raised the second leg much straigher. Then Vasiliev, then Muradyan. I've also heard that Muradyan & Merkuriev didn't dance those roles a lot. (end)

That's why I like seeing different casts.

About casting changes, a dancer told me that since Muradyan injured/or hurt himself, he only danced once, that caused the shifts of casts. He also praised Ryzhkina "old school" and experience (I'd agree). It was the best (out of all 3) performance of Phrygia, tender, loving, caring, passionate, soft, and devastated in last act. She didn't act, she lived. Thank you Bolshoi for a wonderful experience.

PSPS: this was posted at a rusian forum - glimses of Tuesday openning are on youtube under "HD 1080P End Act 1 & 2 & 3 Bolshoi Ballet Spartacus Vasiliev Kaptsova Volchkov Allash Grigorovich". No sound, but great viewing.

And wow, they look much SLIMER and taller from grand tier or tier one than from ochestra. Enjoy

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Spartacular!

(Thursday performance)

Fyi, the Tues./Sunday cast (Ivan Vasiliev, Alexander Volchkov, Nina Kaptsova, Maria Allash) also danced Thurs. Three times in a week, I don't know how they had any legs left. I feel privileged to have seen them. Such leaps, such bounds, such lifts! By both couples - it was just amazing, not only technically but dramatically too. And this rave from somebody who doesn't even like that particular ballet! To me the choreography (except for the above-mentioned leaps, bounds, and lifts) is just 3 hours of mugging. But what can I say - they made me into a believer.

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Aleksandrova danced very reliably and steady (like a locomotive on the rails), her jumps were high in the air, but her extensions are border-line and look stiff.

What are 'border line extensions'?

BUT, she acted as a MEAN, VICIOUS scammer.

You mean as if she has a sideline in sending emails inviting people to buy worthless share certificates?

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