Bolshoi @ Kennedy Center, 2012Coppelia
Posted 31 May 2012 - 02:49 AM
The Washington Post review of the first cast, by Sarah Kaufman, is now up:
Another one - Alistair Macauley's for The NY Times:
So it sounds like the Vikharev Coppelia reconstruction is a huge hit in the USA!
Posted 31 May 2012 - 09:41 AM
Posted 01 June 2012 - 06:58 AM
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.
Posted 02 June 2012 - 07:08 AM
Posted 02 June 2012 - 12:02 PM
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...
Posted 02 June 2012 - 07:51 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???!!!
Posted 03 June 2012 - 01:32 AM
Posted 03 June 2012 - 01:50 AM
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.
Posted 03 June 2012 - 06:44 AM
Posted 03 June 2012 - 06:18 PM
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.
Posted 03 June 2012 - 07:19 PM
I'm with you, abbatt, although I would also add Vorontsova. In the future, I'd love to see Vorontsova & Tikhomirova as Swanilda...and Grebenschikova as Odette or Nikiya! [I first saw Grebenschikova in Dec 2002, during a Moscow Academy student concert at the Bolshoi. She danced the 'White Swan' pdd...and totally blew me away...and I've always wondered why she languished in the corps for so long. Good things come to those who wait.]
As much as I enjoyed the two Swanildas who is saw in DC this past week (Kaptsova & Alexandrova), neither of them came close to topping Natalia Osipova in March '09 - both a cute-n-frisky soubrette and a great technician. What a shame that she quit the Bolshoi before this tour.
Posted 05 June 2012 - 06:20 AM
Posted 06 June 2012 - 05:10 AM
Simon, either everyone chickened out after reading our assessments of Stashkevich's 'Dawn' solo or, more likely, BalletAlertniks who traveled to DC this past weekend to see all 3 casts are still traveling (e.g., one person has followed the Bolshoi to L.A. to see the Swan Lakes opening tonight) or recovering from their trips.
Posted 10 June 2012 - 05:47 PM
re. Your point about the ambiguity of showing Dr. Coppelius being welcomed at the inn by a lovely young blonde:
In researcher Pavel Gerzhenson's (Vikharev's partner) notes in the souvenir programme from the 2009 Moscow premiere, an innkeeper indeed invites Coppelius to drink at the tavern. So this bit of mime is in the Nikolai Sergeyev/Harvard notes. However, this is normally a man -- as we can see in the current Royal Ballet version, which Dame Ninette DeValois staged in '52 based on N. Sergeyev's 1930s setting for the Royal (in which Dame Ninette danced Swanilda at most performances). For some odd reason -- maybe to give their tall, blonde & beautiful 'character principal' Antropova a little something extra to do -- the Bolshoi gives this bit to a youngish lady.
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