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Bolshoi's Bayadere


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#16 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 02:08 PM

In Cuba the formal term used is "Afro-Cuban". Curiously, the Spanish derivative of the "N" word is widely accepted too, and not in whispering, nor necessarily in an offending way either. It is just still current, somehow in the Mark Twain fashion/mood.

#17 macnellie

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 07:36 AM

Does anyone know why Olga Smirnova did not dance as scheduled?


#18 Jayne

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 03:12 PM

Yesterday I drove to Bellingham to see the re-broadcast. Due to unforseen delays for my friend, we arrived 40 minutes into the production, just as Nikiya is dancing her her "fall in love" ppd with Solor. It's such a long production that we were squirming during the final 10 minutes. We decided on the drive home that maybe it wasn't so bad to miss the first 40 minutes - because we had seen so much dancing anyway, and most of it is variations.

Ms. Zakharova is so secure and lyrical in her movements - and yet she left me emotionally vacant. Honestly I was rooting for Gamzatti throughout the production. But I did love her in the 3rd act and understand why her Odette is so amazing. I think all credit goes to Ms. Alexandrova for her performance. Her acting draws you in, and she's so exciting to watch dance, that you can't help but be on her side. The "cat fight" scene surprised me because it involved so much dancing. I've seen a DVD of the Royal Ballet version, so I guess I expected something similar. I liked Mr. Lantratov more than I expected to. He didn't over-act or push hyper panache that other dancers choose. His dancing was very pure, without any fussiness and everything looked effortless. His partnering was secure and he made his divas shine.

The blackface is really bad form, and I've heard the excuses about this in Dutch culture - where Black Peter helps Sinter Klaus. In Latin America, making slit eyes with your hands is considered acceptable to imitate Asian eyes, but I still cringe at that too. Eventually this is going to become a big deal for the Bolshoi - they will put on La Bayadere when the Obamas visit, or Kofi Annan visits. But eventually it's going to blow up on them. I don't think the Russians have an equivalent stereotype to fight against - except maybe the Russian gangsters in many the Hollywood movies.

I was prepared for the Shades to make me cry, but it left me a bit cold. There was some wobbling, but mostly I think the detatchment from the 2nd act made me unemotional in the 3rd act. I did really enjoy Ms. Zakharova and the 3 soloists. Ms. Z is built in the Sophie Guillem mold. If you met in person you would probably think "human sized asparagus ectomorph". Alexandrova's musculature mesomorph is more pleasing to my eye, so I guess Cubanaboy and I agree on our aesthetic preferences (please, more meat on their bones!) But they are both strong, secure dancers.

I wish I could have seen all the interviews. My seatmate is an ethnic Russian with a Ukranian passport. She was very, very uncomfortable during the interview with Ms. Alexandrova. I enjoyed the interview (well the translation). After the performance I asked her why she was fidgeting so much. Ms. Alexandrova, she said, was very "fake" in her interview. It was too exaggerated, and her comments seemed cloying. My friend said she thought Alexandrova was trying too hard to pull heartstrings. I noted that I really like Katarina Novikova as the MC for these events. My friend felt Bolshoi should get a different MC, with a better English and French accent. I think my friend would prefer a professional broadcaster in the role, as she expects this person to "represent" Russia to the US.

I, on the other hand, don't mind Novikova's accented English, and find her broadcast manner is more authentic than someone with more polish. Plus she always wears wonderful clothes! The stage workers behind the scenes are fascinating, and some of the stage hands are great eye candy. Do they always wear English T-shirts with "STAGE" and other labels? Just for the broadcast nights?

#19 abatt

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 06:14 AM

I have the complete opposite view of Katarina Novikova. First, how many people can fluently speak Russian, French and English? Not that many, I would surmise. Moreover, I think she is a very engaging and animated personality.

#20 Helene

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 09:39 AM

I agree: I think Novikova is amazing.

#21 sandik

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 02:43 PM

Yesterday I drove to Bellingham to see the re-broadcast.


You are hardier than I am -- I just can't do that round trip in a day.

The stage workers behind the scenes are fascinating, and some of the stage hands are great eye candy. Do they always wear English T-shirts with "STAGE" and other labels? Just for the broadcast nights?


I love those shirts. There are days when I wish that all performers wore shirts with their names on them, rather than trying to match them up with their photos in the program!

#22 Helene

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 03:38 PM

I'm with you. It's hard enough to keep track of a company with which you're somewhat familiar, but with visiting companies, it's impossible to tell who the players are.

#23 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 04:09 PM

I agree: I think Novikova is amazing.


Me too. One good thing is that she provides the three tnraslations in a very fast manner, and she's definitely a great dressed woman! My French friend had no problem understanding her at all.

#24 ascballerina

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 07:41 PM

I understand Novikova better in French than I do English, and she certainly seems much more comfortable in French, but who am I to complain about a trilingual person when I speak only one language fluently, and merely dabble in a second?

#25 Helene

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 09:45 PM

I wish I understood French, but I've never had a problem ever understanding her English, and so appreciate her facility with languages, how she thinks on her feet and the graciousness and intelligence that she shares with a worldwide audience.

She's one of my cultural heroes.

#26 Jayne

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:38 AM

I understand enough Spanish that the latin roots help me comprehend some French. I can understand some of her translation, but it helps to get it a second time in English. How many American broadcasters can claim multiple languages? Instead we get Kelly Ripa for the NYCB broadcast.

#27 Kerry1968

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 07:14 PM

In Hawaii (where I live), we've got to wait till 3/24/2013 to see this. Ouch :(

#28 Nanarina

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 05:13 AM

I am hoping to go and see the Bolshoi La Bayadere when they visit London in Summer 2013, and from the posts in this topic I am really looking forward to seeing it.

#29 volcanohunter

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 07:29 AM

If you missed it at the multiplex, this performance will be available for the next three months on Medici.tv.

http://www.medici.tv...h-marius-petipa

The site requires signing in to watch programs, but registration is free of charge.

#30 Mashinka

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 07:37 AM

For those interested, Zakharova, Obraztsova and Smirnova will dance the lead in Bayadere in London this summer (I have tickets for Obraztsova and Smirnova - a good guess as I was booking blind).


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