Natalia

Bolshoi @ Kennedy Center, 2012

34 posts in this topic

Now that Osipova & Vasiliev have left the Bolshoi, I wonder who will headline the Coppelias in DC? Obviously, the KennCen has not had a chance to change the publicity photo with Osipova.

While I saw Osipova w/ Lopatin in a Sunday matinee during the March 2009 opening run of this ballet in Moscow, I recall that it was actually Maria Alexandrova who had premiered this production (Vikharev revival). I'm guessing that we'll be seeing Alexandrova on opening night in DC.

EDITED TO ADD:

Ladies on the current Bolshoi roster who have danced Swanilda in this production:

Alexandrova

Stashkevich

Kaptsova

Goriacheva

[Osipova is still shown on the Bolshoi roster but we know she's left for the Mikhailovsky]

Men on current Bolshoi roster who have danced Franz:

Skvortsov

Lopatin

Ovcharenko

[Vasiliev did not dance this role, as per Bolshoi roster. Osipova usually danced it with Lopatin or Skvortsov]

This gives us a clue as to who we might see in these roles in DC. Quite a wonderful group of dancers, even though some are still in the First Soloist or Soloist ranks.

http://www.kennedy-c...ts/?event=BMBSG

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Just announced; I've cross-posted on the L.A. tour site, as someone asked about casts for the DC and Canada (Toronto and/or Ottawa?) legs of the tour. I believe that Washington, DC will be the only city on the tour seing the Vikharev-after-Petipa Coppelia. Other cities get Don Q and Swan Lake. Excellent opening cast with Kaptsova/Ovcharenko, as they have the most perfect 'emploi' for their roles. Not-to-be-missed. Stashkevich/Lopatin also delightful; she was a big surprise as Swanilda in the UK tour a couple of yrs ago. Aleksandrova may be a bigger name but she is more 'grand dame' than soubrette, IMO.

PRINCIPAL CASTING (subject to change)

Tue., May 29 & Fri., Jun. 1 at 7:30 p.m. and Sun., Jun. 3 at 1:30 p.m.

Swanilda: Nina Kaptsova

Franz: Artem Ovcharenko

Dr. Coppelius: Alexey Loparevich

Czardas: Kristina Karaseva, Vitaly Biktimirov (5/29, 6/3), Pavel Dmitrichencko (6/1), Anna Antropova

Wed., May 30 & Sat., Jun. 2 at 7:30 p.m.

Swanilda: Maria Aleksandrova

Franz: Ruslan Skvortov

Dr. Coppelius: Alexey Loparevich

Czardas: Kristina Karaseva, Pavel Dmitrichenko, Anna Antropova

Thu., May 31 at 7:30 p.m. and Sat., Jun. 2 at 1:30 p.m.

Swanilda: Anastasia Stashkevich

Franz: Vyacheslav Lopatin

Dr. Coppelius: Alexey Loparevich

Czardas: Kristina Karaseva, Vitaly Biktimirov, Anna Antropov

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Aleksandrova's photo is on a poster in the Opera House lobby.

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Recently, and coincidentally, we've been talking about Coppelia on several other forums. This includes Miami's version which I'll be viewing next weekend. Natalia, kfw, and others -- I hope you all will write in lots of detail about the Bolshoi's performances and anything you can tell us about the "Vikharev-after-Petipa" version.

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I hope the casting HOLDS ;-)) then i will be SO pleased. Have tickets for both Saturday performances and Sunday. See (some of you) there

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...Natalia, kfw, and others -- I hope you all will write in lots of detail about the Bolshoi's performances and anything you can tell us about the "Vikharev-after-Petipa" version.

Bart, I saw this production in Moscow during the March 2009 premiere -- the 3rd cast w/ Osipova/Lopatin. It is every bit as knock-the-socks-off spectacular as other Vikharev/Petipa recons, such as the Mariinsky Sleeping Beauty-1890 and the recent Raymonda at La Scala. Once one sees such Vikharev recons, the 20th & 21dst-C 'lite' versions just won't do, IMO. The Bolshoi recon's sets and costumes are 100% in the 1890s style. It's the full 3 acts (unlike POB). My favorite segment is the Waltz of the Hours that opens the Act III diverts, for 24 female corps members (representing the 24 hours of the day), divided into 4 clusters (Morning, Afternoon, Evening, Night), each cluster with a different color of tutu. Petipa at his most sublime!

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Anyone else going tonight? Excited to see Kaptsova and Ovcharenko, and the Vikharev/Petipa choreography.

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Tuesday, May 29, 7:30 PM

Just back home. Will write more anon but, in a nutshell....this is a GORGEOUS production, as can be expected with any Vikharev reconstruction. An explosion of color and realism, with no expense spared.

As for the production - We were transported to another era of gentility. The mimed passages, in particular, were so delightful and revelatory...just as the restored mime at the La Scala Raymonda made the story make perfect sense.

While I totally loved Nina Kaptsova's cute-n-frisky Swanilda and handsome Artyom Ovcharenko's Franz, it was Anna Tikhomirova, as 'Folie,' who totally stole the last act with a small but difficult solo and (especially) the coda of huge grands jetes. The 'air time' and timing of the apex of each jump precisely to the beats in the music was outstanding. THE highlight for me in an evening replete with blessings. Oh, I also loved Anna Nikulina's Veronika Part-like looks and statuesque and 'careful' style as Prayer, as well as the lovely newcomer, Anzhelina Vorontsova, as the leader of the "Work" pas de cinq in which she delivered beautifully-centered double pirouettes -- a dead-ringer for Obraztsova with a doll-like face!

PETIPA AND CECCHETTI LIVE!!!! Thanks yet again, Sergei Vikharev, for your magical resurrections.

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ITA with Natalia (for the most part!), and oh yes, Tikhomirova absolutely stole the show! A wonderful softness to her jumping (isn't the music for the Folie variation actually from Sylvia?) and gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous sauts de chat in the coda. She got just as much applause during the bows as Kaptsova and Ovcharenko. Nikulina and Vorontsova were also lovely, but I was not as impressed by Anastasia Stashkevich (as Dawn).

I actually didn't like Kaptsova very much. I was hoping to like her - there some wonderful clips of her Aurora on YT - but she just didn't have enough charm or personality. She wasn't bad, just not as good as I was expecting. She does have a very nice quality of movement though. I thought she was best in the 2nd Act. She looked like she was actually enjoying herself. I know Alexandrova isn't a soubrette, but she has tons of personality so I hope that comes through this weekend. (And her final jump in the coda should be spectacular!)

You can tell Ovcharenko is young -- some of the (very difficult) partnering in the 3rd act wasn't as secure as it could have been, and he still has that young, coltish quality. He also has about 3 expressions, but he's so cute and seems so genuine that one doesn't mind!

The costumes are very nice -- beautiful bold, bright colors -- and the doll's dress in Act 2 is absolutely lovely. Although I'm not sure how the jester-like Folie costume with the polka dots and poms poms fits into the overall scheme! I

I was also interested to see how close (very close!) the first 2 acts are to Balanchine's version. Balanchine's 2nd act is a little funnier, IMO. The mazurka and czardas and Swanilda/Coppélia's Spanish and Scottish variations are quite different, but overall they are indeed very, very close.

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Just some quick thoughts from me, as well. It's a lovely production, but my impressions were colored by having recently seen the HD broadcast with Osipova and Lopatin. Kaptsova was an adorable Swanilda, with some lovely dancing. Not as thrilling as Osipova (who is?) but she underwhelmed, generally, and was missing a certain impish energy and sense of mischief. Her best moments, for me, were the Spanish dance in Act 2 and a beguiling straw (corn? wheat?) dance with Franz in Act 1. As a result, the evening wasn't quite shot through with the free-wheeling energy I think this ballet needs.

Absolutely agree that Anna Tikhomirova stole Act 3, maybe even the show.

I also didn't love Stashkevich as Dawn -- makes me a little apprehensive for her Swanilda later this week.

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^ Wheat. If you can hear the ear shaking then it's true love. Swanilda doesn't hear it rattling, and neither does Franz, but he lies and says he does. She knows he's lying and runs off.

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.....I also didn't love Stashkevich as Dawn -- makes me a little apprehensive for her Swanilda later this week.

ITA with you and cinnamonswirl on Stashkevich. You'll notice that she's the only one of the four A3 divert soloists who I did not mention above. smile.png I saw her dance this role in Moscow during the initial weekend in March '09 when this production premiered. She was more secure in technique and less brittle (softer) than she is now. In fact, I'm almost tempted to write that some unannounced dancer filled-in for Stashkevich last night -- as often happens when the Bolshoi or Mariinsky are in town -- but I am not as familiar with the faces of Bolshoi dancers as I am with the Mariinsky's, so I'm assuming that we indeed saw Stashkevich. Okuneva is listed to dance this role at all other performances except the final one, which goes to Stashkevich.

ITA on Kaptsova's under-whelming dancing but her overall looks and 'adorability factor' -- the pure soubrette quality -- is what my soul prefers in a Swanhilda. No, she does not have the firepower of Osipova, e.g., in her coda solo, the diagonal of 'traveling fouettes' ends in a single fouette, when Osipova gave us a quadruple or quintuple. Ovcharenko had a couple of small off-balance slip-ups (untidy finishes to double tours en l'air in his solo and the last pirouette in his coda moment) in A3, which somewhat deflated my earlier memories of him in his student days and first year out of school. STILL, he is basically wonderful and with loads of charm, nice high jump, good lines, beautiful pointed feet during jetes, etc.

I should have mentioned the evening's Dr. Coppelius, Aleksei Loparevich, who was totally convincing in his mime. For example, at the beginning of A3, during the little scene in which newly married couples receive bags of money from the burgomeister, Loparevich's mimed argument that he, too, deserves a bag of money because of his heartbreak due to Swanhilda's trick, is touching. Once he receives his bag of money, he runs off, coming face-to-face with 'Old Father Time' atop a gigantic clock in the middle of the stage...and expresses his horror at the passage of time. All of this happens in a few seconds but is clear and effective.

Yes, cinnamonswirl, the 'jesterette' Folie's solo -- performed in the midst of Swanhilda/Frantz pas de deux, just after the adagio -- is danced to music from Sylvia that is often assigned to Frantz for his solo (Balanchine, for example).

The similarities to the Balanchine/Danilova version are primarily in Acts I and II. Nonetheless, Balanchine's Act III retains a dramatic moment in the finale where Swanilda runs and jumps into Frantz's arms, at the exact same corner of the stage, and the same musical spot...but the Petipa Swanilda jumps backwards, with the back of her head almost hitting the stage as she faces up! (Petipa's Don Q tavern scene also includes this 'inverted fish dive' for Kitri and Basil.)

A little factoid on the Obraztsova-like Anzhelina Vorontsova, who I adored as the "Work" soloist in the diverts. She is coached by the wonderful and 'infamous' Nikolai Tsiskaridze...so I was happily surprised that the 'politics' did not exclude her from this tour. Most of her training was at the Voronezh Ballet Academy but she completed her studies in 2009 after one year at the Moscow Academy, trained by Arkhipova. [Ovcharenko had also been coached by Tsiskaridze for a year or two after his graduation in '07 but changed coaches 2 or 3 yrs ago.]

p.s. The entire ballet, as presented at the Bolshoi, is being shown at the Kennedy Center. No cuts were made for the tour, as can often happen. The only tiny change, that I could tell: During the Act III pageant, the six little cupids (girl student-supers) who sit at the base of Old Father Time's clock are missing; at the Bolshoi, the little cupids stand up and move the hands of the clock in between divertissement numbers.

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For folks hoping to catch Tikhomirova's Folie in upcoming performances, she repeats the role on Thursday night and at the weekend's two matinees, according to the playbill. (Vorontsova dances Folie in the remaining performances.) Tikhomirova also appears as one of Swanhilda's 8 friends (Acts I and II) in all performances.

Run-down on the A3 divert's four classical solo ladies:

Tonight (Wednesday)

Dawn - Okuneva

Prayer - Grebenshikova

Work - Kokhlova

Folie - Vorontsova

Thursday

Dawn - Okuneva

Prayer - Nikulina

Work - Vorontsova

Folie - Tikhomirova

Friday

Dawn - Okuneva

Prayer - Grebenshikova

Work - Kokhlova

Folie - Vorontsova

Saturday matinee

Dawn - Okuneva

Prayer - Nikulina

Work - Vorontsova

Folie - Tikhomirova

Saturday evening

Dawn - Okuneva

Prayer - Grebenshikova

Work - Kokhlova

Folie - Vorontsova

Sunday matinee (last perf.)

Dawn - Stashkevich

Prayer - Nikulina

Work - Vorontsova

Folie - Tikhomirova

Big Downer: No Olga Smirnova on this tour. Boo! She would have been perfect in the 'tall sculptural' solo roles of this tour, i.e., Prayer, Big Swan, Dryad Queen. Yes, she was busy preparing Jewels at the start of the month...but so were many other dancers who are here, such as Vorontsova. Obraztsova, of course, is another one who I'm missing but I was expecting that, as recently-hired principals rarely go on tours.

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ITA with you and cinnamonswirl on Stashkevich. You'll notice that she's the only one of the four A3 divert soloists who I did not mention above. smile.png I saw her dance this role in Moscow during the initial weekend in March '09 when this production premiered. She was more secure in technique and less brittle (softer) than she is now. In fact, I'm almost tempted to write that some unannounced dancer filled-in for Stashkevich last night -- as often happens when the Bolshoi or Mariinsky are in town -- but I am not as familiar with the faces of Bolshoi dancers as I am with the Mariinsky's, so I'm assuming that we indeed saw Stashkevich. Okuneva is listed to dance this role at all other performances except the final one, which goes to Stashkevich.

Well, assuming that we, indeed, did see Stashkevich last night, I just exchanged my Thursday night ticket for tonight (Aleksandrova).

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Just a very quick report from tonight. Aleksandrova is a very different Swanilda. Not as soubrette, as you say, Natalia, but more technically assured than Kaptsova. Also, I thought she had a charming presence and winning personality that carried me quite effectively through the narrative. She also brought greater depth, poise and maturity to the Act 3 pas de deux. For adorability, Kaptsova is probably the more persuasive characterization, but I appreciated seeing both.

Skvortsov had the most exciting dancing of the evening in his Act 3 solo and was wonderful throughout. Missed Tikhomirova's Folie tonight.

The corps looked a bit sharper (no one fell tonight!).

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Thanks, SimonA! As much as I admire Alexandrova in queenly roles (Gamzatti and Raymonda), I decided to 'pass' on this one, so reports on this forum are doubly appreciated! smile.png

The Washington Post review of the first cast, by Sarah Kaufman, is now up:

http://www.washingto...Wi2U_story.html#

Another one - Alistair Macauley's for The NY Times:

http://www.nytimes.c...allet.html?_r=1

So it sounds like the Vikharev Coppelia reconstruction is a huge hit in the USA!

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Natalia, "queenly" is certainly an apt word to describe Aleksandrova. Hers was still a warm, high-spirited Swanilda, but also graceful, womanly, and almost refined. A world away from Osipova's "little hooligan" (to quote Macaulay's description). I did appreciate Aleksandrova's musicality and technical virtuosity, though her generally high level of dancing made the few shortcomings that much more noticeable. Two supported pirouettes in the Act 3 pdd looked off axis, and she either didn't press or curtailed the deep arabesque penchee in Act 2 (after she's given the mirror from Coppelius). (That being said, the preceding pirouette en arabesque was perfect.) I wouldn't want hers to be the only Swanilda I saw (I prefer the Osipova interpretation), but I'm still glad I did.

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Thanks, SimonA. It sounds as if Alexandrova truly rocked as Swanilda on Wednesday!

Did anyone catch the 3rd cast last night (Stashkevich/Lopatin)? This Frantz danced opposite Osipova's Swanilda at the March 2009 'premiere series' in Moscow. From what I recall, Lopatin was a wonderful technician and very cute/sweet in manner -- more boyish (truly demi-caractere) than Ovcharenko, who straddles the demi-caractere and danseur noble spectra.

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Greetings from D.C. I attended last night's performance (Kaptsova et al) and enjoyed the production tremendously. Absolutely charming every way. The sets are gorgeous, and the performances were first rate. I'm seeing both performances today with the second and third casts. I have loved Alexandrova's performances in the past, so I am especially looking forward to seeing her today. Last night was a wild weather night here in D.C. - non stop heavy rains. Today the weather is glorious. If any Ballet Alert folks are at today's shows, can we meet up at the Kennedy bust at the first intermission?

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Dear abatt,

could you give us а more detaled report? How did the dancers performed? Normally the first evening is never the best and they much better get adjusted for the second or the third performance. I hope they smoothed out the rough edges that were noticed by Natalia...

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Sat., June 2, 7:30 pm

SimonA, you were right about Alexandrova's mature and refined take on Swanilda! I decided to nab a last-minute ticket to tonight's performance (Alexandrova/Skvortsov), mainly to see the 'alternate Act III soloists' in the Divertissements and was also blessed with a mighty-fine Swanilda-Frantz pairing!

In a nutshell -

Maria Alexandrova was far from the cutesy soubrette doll of Kaptsova but more 'the woman with substance'...and certainly more secure technically. She had the most energy and truly STOMPED on Dr C's book! Her long balance in arabesque near the end of the pdd adagio (Act III) was TO DIE FOR. Audience went wild! Still, if allowed to see only one Swanilda among the two, I'd still go with Kaptsova for overall character and adorability factor.

Ruslan Skvortsov, although not often cast in demi-caractere roles, came across as quite tender and boyish, similar to Lopatin (who I saw in Moscow with Osipova in '09 but not here with Stashkevich). He offered the more solid partnering among the Frantzes and, while fine in his leaps and pirouettes, seemed to run out of gas a bit at the end of his big solo, yet everything was 'completed.' It's almost almost a 'toss-up' between him and Ovcharenko...if pressed to name a fave, I'd go with Ovcharenko because of his character allure -- almost a Nureyev air -- as well as gorgeous line and feet.

Now for the chief reason why I bought a ticket for tonight - the four Act III solo ladies, all different than the first-night casting. In order of appearance:

Dawn solo - tonight it was young Anna Okuneva, with a radiant face and effortless pirouettes-in-attitude that were soft as butter. No contest here - her technique, softness (not overly thin/brittle), and facial glamour makes her the winner in this role. [Yes, I confirmed that it was indeed Stashkevich the first night; she must have lost several kilos since I saw her dance this very role in 2009...no softness now...choppy movements. One wonders how she fared in the title role on thursday night and today's matinee? Yikes.]

Prayer solo - Yulia Grebenschikova (who I also saw in Moscow in '09) essayed this gentle solo, with languid developes and turns. She wins over first-cast Anna Nikulina. Grebenschikova did not hesitate one bit and was spot-on, almost one with the music. Nikulina may have the more beautiful instrument -- gorgeous legs, feet, Veronika Part face -- but was way too tentative...like (gulp) Part at ABT.

Work ensemble's soloist - Daria Kokhlova, a pretty round-faced newcomer, was pleasant in this solo full of pirouettes and fleet pointework...but first-cast Anzhelina Vorontsova had cleaner pirouettes, sharper piques, and had more natural 'sparkle.'

Folie solo - Vorontsova was tonight's Folie, chaming, quick...but not quite the impact of first-cast Anna Tikhomirova in this particular role, full of leaps, entrechats, and grands jetes. HOWEVER, give credit to Vorontsova for doing the last set of grand jetes in 'double time'...not waiting as long as did Tikhomirova between jumps. Vorontsova, who is 3 or 4 yrs younger than Tikhomirova, is certainly 'getting there'! [in contrast, the Folie who I saw in Moscow in 2009, Chinara Alizade, had very low jumps...although I love Alizade in slower dances/legato.]

Another great performance with instant standing ovation! However, the audience stopped clapping abruptly when the curtain came down, so there were no curtain calls at the very end of the night...even though the spotlight came on and curtain slightly parted....but dead silence. C'mon Washingtonians???!!!

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Bolotin's Frantz danced opposite Osipova's Swanilda at the March 2009 'premiere series' in Moscow.
Sorry, Natalia, Osipova danced with Lopatin in the premiere series (second cast on March 13, 2009) . As always, they showed wonderful partnership.

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Mikhail, yes, it was Lopatin. Thanks. I always mix-up those two names. Bolotin did not even come to DC...I was thinking Lopatin. Will correct.

Edited to add:

Actually, I DID write it correctly -- on the post directly above yours:

...similar to Lopatin (who I saw in Moscow with Osipova in '09 but not here with Stashkevich).

Not sure where you dug-up the incorrect post but will find and correct it. smile.png

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Botalex, I'm on a hotel computer where I can only stay on a few minutes. Not really possible to write in detail at the moment.

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The two people who made the biggest impression on me from this tour were Yulia Grebenschikova and Anna Tikhomirova. Yulia G. had such graceful, fluid movements. She was absolutely gorgeous, especially her arms and hands. I don't recall seeing her before, but now I will surely look for her name. Anna T. was like a beautiful butterfly floating effortlessly through the air. She has incredible, effortless elevation. She is another person I will be looking for in the future.

Alexandrova is very tall and regal, and I thought she approached the lead role with great wit. She also has so much charisma and presence on the stage. I also enjoyed Kaptsova, who was more of a traditional, girlish Swanilda. She was also very light on her feet.

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