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Natalia

Osipova/Vasiliev's debut as regular Mikhailovsky stars

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A real circus act -- good grief. What a waste of fine talent. ---and that opening PDDyucky.gif

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oh, my!

Does anyone know any more about this? When and why was it choreographed?

-d-

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What a waster of their TALENT I think not, but a chance to see them in a differtent light, soft, amusing, and far distant from their usual virtuiosity at the Bolshoi.. This is very charming, but equally impresive choreography actually that suits them as a couple both in life and on stage. I loved it, however tthe music conflicts with its place in the version of La Fille mal Gardee that I know created by Sir Fred Ashton. for the Royal Ballet. Part of the score is from the Pas de dceux and also the clog dance, a very funny routine danced by Widow Simmone Lise's domanering mother which is usually danced like a pantomine dame. I cant help tjhinking back to the latter when watching this Pas de deux.. All the same I loved this Pas de deux danced by the spectaculat artists.

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I watched "Fille Mal Gardee" today, and I do not recognize this as part of the ballet.

I think Ivan and Nat would make a great Lucy and Desi. Who would play Ethel?

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Sorry, I thought that everybody knew about this Leonid Jakobssen bravura pas de deux, which has been in the "USSR Gala Circuit" for 40+ years. It was usually danced in combination with "Merry Quartet" - another Jakobssen bravura piece, this time for 4 dancers, also to Rossini (music from William Tell opera-ballet segments).

It appears that Jakobssen does not 'translate' well to western eyes. I read similar negative reviews about Jakobssen's Spartacus from westerners. In Russia, he is considered a genius. It is really interesting to read diverging opinions.

Edited to add: I personally do not love some of the moves but I appreciate it for what it is -- a bravura 'show-off' piece for gala concerts. Jakobssen used several of these 'jarring' moves-- such as the guy holding the gal's leg as she hops on her free leg -- in other of his many 'Choreographic Miniatures' from the 50s/60s/early 70s.

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From a fairly new person's perspective I have two conflicting thoughts about it. On the one hand, it has very thrilling moments that make you think, "Wow! Look what they just did!" but on the other hand some of the "wow" movements do seem jarring and not very beautiful, just acrobatic and wild compared to what I think of as traditional, classical ballet. So there are pros and cons to this choreography. Overall it is a fun piece for a gala. I understand why some people hate it while others love it. I suspect it will always divide people.

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It appears that Jakobssen does not 'translate' well to western eyes. I read similar negative reviews about Jakobssen's Spartacus from westerners. In Russia, he is considered a genius. It is really interesting to read diverging opinions.

Edited to add: I personally do not love some of the moves but I appreciate it for what it is -- a bravura 'show-off' piece for gala concerts. Jakobssen used several of these 'jarring' moves-- such as the guy holding the gal's leg as she hops on her free leg -- in other of his many 'Choreographic Miniatures' from the 50s/60s/early 70s.

I don't think it's so much that we don't like his work as we're not very familiar with it -- I remember being gobsmacked at the Miniature that Baryshnikov performed early in the American part of his career. Of all the things he did, it was the work that made it clear to me why he would want to come to the West to perform a wider variety of styles -- it was an incredible tour de force.

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Thanks for reminding us of the Vestris by Jakobsen that Baryshnikov performed here. This is the 1976 Wolf Trap performance, two years after his defection:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W74NRei-KtI

It showed off his incredible virtuosity, but was so unlike anything we'd seen before in terms of the dramatic, perhaps overdone intensity.

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And thank you so much for putting up this clip -- it had been awhile since I'd watched it, and it's such a treat for the beginning of the week!

I was curious about your remark that it could be seen as an "overdone" intensity, so I watched with that in mind. I don't agree with you, but I do remember how unusual it felt at the time. We were still fairly in the dark about dance practice in what was still the USSR then -- I remember thinking, "Wow, they do that?!" Looking at it this morning, though, it reminded me of Robert Helpmannn, especially the work he did for de Valois, where his actorly skills really came forward.

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Thanks. I wish that somebody would find "somewhere" (a private collection?) and upload another Jakobsen miniature of the 1960s/early 70s titled "The Flight of Taglioni," which was created for the great Kirov prima Alla Osipenko when she had moved to the Jakobsen troupe. This 5-minute mini-treasure is one of the most gorgeous pieces of sculptural dance I've ever seen. Against a black backdrop, the Sylph in her snow-white romantic tutu is spotlighted as she "flies" via the lifts of four men dressed in black (so the men are barely seen)....similar to the 'floating girl effect' that Balanchine created with Allegra Kent in 'The Unanswered Question' segment of Ivesiana. I was lucky enough to see Flight of Taglioni performed live by Osipenko; I have no idea if a film exists. It used to be in the repertoire of the Leningrad Choreographic Miniatures troupe for years following Jakobsen's death (Askold Makarov era as A.D.), so perhaps it was filmed with another ballerina, if not Osipenko?

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Perhaps "melodramatic" would be a better word here -- exaggerated plot/characters. It just seemed quite different from the cooler, more subtle things we were familiar with. It reminds me of what Westerners think of "Soviet realism" in visual art -- not the pro-communism element, but the too-literal portrayals. Dial it back already - we get it!

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I find some parts of it charming and very creative and others truly misguided... I would like to see more. We see almost no Jacobson here and I would like to know more about him. I believe there was going to be a presentation a few years ago, amd then the visas didn't come through... Wasn't it going to be Cojocaru performing? Anyone remember?

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I loved every quirky part of it! Thank you so much for posting it, Natalia!

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