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Bolshoi Ballet "Apollo" Premieres


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#1 Cygnet

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 11:11 AM

The Bolshoi Ballet will be giving it's premiere performances of Balanchine's "Apollo," starting
tomorrow evening, October 4. Olga Smirnova will make her debut as first cast Terpsichore
to Semyon Chudin's Apollo. Evgenia Obraztsova will dance Terpsichore to Artem Ovcharenko's
Apollo Friday night, October 5. This will be Obraztsova's Bolshoi debut in the role, as she
danced Terpsichore several years ago when she was still in the Mariinsky.

http://www.bolshoi.r...#20121004190000

http://www.bolshoi.r...#20121005190000

#2 alexaa1a

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 03:55 PM

This will be Obraztsova's Bolshoi debut in the role, as she
danced Terpsichore several years ago when she was still in the Mariinsky.

I know that the Bolshoi Ballet site lists Obraztsova as dancing Terpsichore at Mariinsky and De Ballet site lists the same ballets as Bolshoi site. Obraztsova's personal site does not mention Apollo. I know that the Mariinsky Theatre video room has almost all their recent performances and they only have one Apollo with Obraztsova as [font=arial, sans-serif][size=3] Calliope, Muse of poetry, whose symbol is a tablet. [/size][/font][font=arial, sans-serif][size=3]Polyhymnia, Muse of mime, whose symbol is a mask was played by Novikova and Terpsichore, Muse of dance and song, whose symbol is a lyre and does the adagio with Apollo, for the leading ballerina role, was danced by Tatiana Tkachenko. It is possible that Obraztsova danced Terpsichore, but that is a role usually danced by taller ballerinas at Mariinsky and I suspect Obraztsova never danced it at Mariinsky. I do know 100% that she danced Calliope and that role is not listed anywhere. If I was a bettor, I would bet that her Bolshoi Terpsichore will be her first ever debut in that role..[/size][/font]

#3 alexaa1a

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 04:28 AM

It is interesting that Obraztsova's 2 other muses are very short girls, like Obraztsova. Anastasia Stashkevich was first cast Amour in recent Don Quixote and Daria Khokhlova was second cast Amour in recent Don Quixote. Apollo is based on Greek mythology and the Greek muses were daughters of the head God, Zeus. So you can call the Muses, Goddesses. I think Balanchine or anyone would feel that the main Goddess in this ballet, Terpsichore, would need to be the tallest ballerina or at least close in height to the other ballerinas, which the 2 short Amour dancers, Stashkevich and Khokhlova, provide. A tall Ekaterina Shipulina would make her more suitable for Terpsichore, if she was dancing with Obraztsova, and make Obraztsova an unlikely Terpsichore, if Shipulina was dancing in Apollo..

#4 nicolezly

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 05:57 PM

I found fiordililia has posted excerpts of October 6 performance on youtube, with Seymon Chudin, Olga Smirnova, Anna Tikhomirova, and Anna Nikulina.

Here are the links:





#5 nicolezly

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 05:57 PM

More:









#6 pherank

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 07:47 PM

My first thought on seeing these videos is that it's pretty great the Russians film seemingly every performance and show them to the world straight away. The US companies are made to worry so much about copyright legality that their performances are rarely seen by the 'outside world'. And so the Russians 'win', in effect - Russian ballet is easily accessed all around the world, even if you can't go to the live performances.

I will say that I LOVE the Bolshoi's decision to show the older ending with the dancers mounting Mount Parnassus. Very good choice.

I don't get the sense that the audience was thrilled by the performance. But I don't know if they felt it wasn't a great performance of Apollo, or they just didn't understand Apollo. I'm not certain of their level of familiarity with this Balanchine piece.

#7 Helene

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 08:53 PM

The two obstacles in the US are digital rights -- there can be up to five unions represented in any live performance, and for newer ballets, the choreographer's permission to film -- for Balanchine, the Balanchine Trust, and for other choreographers, their own trusts. Most companies won't cross the Trust, because they rely on the Trust for permission to perform the ballets live and for film and for stagers. I don't think copyright per se is the reason US companies don't film.

As to how they appear on YouTube and other video sites, the Trust has been pretty vigilant about finding them and getting them yanked when they haven't met the extremely short duration requirements. In fact, being identified here is like putting a target on them and the account under which they were uploaded. We allow links, because we're only the copyright police for quotes under copyright, and limit quotes to 250-word excerpts.

In the past, the account of a poster who had put up hundreds of Russian ballet videos was removed because a very small subset violated the Trust's rules.

#8 sandik

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 10:52 PM

Does anyone know who staged this production?

#9 Mashinka

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 01:17 AM

It is interesting that Obraztsova's 2 other muses are very short girls, like Obraztsova. Anastasia Stashkevich was first cast Amour in recent Don Quixote and Daria Khokhlova was second cast Amour in recent Don Quixote. Apollo is based on Greek mythology and the Greek muses were daughters of the head God, Zeus. So you can call the Muses, Goddesses. I think Balanchine or anyone would feel that the main Goddess in this ballet, Terpsichore, would need to be the tallest ballerina or at least close in height to the other ballerinas, which the 2 short Amour dancers, Stashkevich and Khokhlova, provide. A tall Ekaterina Shipulina would make her more suitable for Terpsichore, if she was dancing with Obraztsova, and make Obraztsova an unlikely Terpsichore, if Shipulina was dancing in Apollo..


Many years ago I actually met Alexandra Danilova, the creator of the role of Terpsichore, and I remember her as being very small. Height should not be an issue in this work.

#10 Natalia

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 02:02 AM

Natalia Makarova was a lovely Terpsichore at ABT in the 70s and she was/is petite. What matters are the harmonious proportions. Danilova, Makarova and Obraztsova had/have gorgeous small-torso/long-legs proportions...but without the wacko-overly-long limbs that can look sloppy and floppy if not under control.

#11 Helene

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 08:01 AM

Danilova might have been the dancer Balanchine might have had in mind when he choreographed Terpsichore, but Alice Nikitina premiered it (and Balanchine got rid of her as soon as he could). Balanchine also said, in response to criticism when he cut the opening, that (contemporary) people would have laughed had they seen the original.

Terpsichore casting trends toward taller dancers with Somova's physical proportions -- although the last time I checked, Somova wasn't guesting in the role with the Bolshoi, so maybe the proper analogy would be Alexandrova -- probably due to trend of casting tall Apollos, but Balanchine and his stagers have cast shorter dancers when they felt the dancer would do justice to the role and the Apollo was the right size.

#12 bart

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 01:41 PM

Thank you so much, nicolezly, for those video links.

I won't have the chance to watch this video for a couple of days. In the meantime, it would be lovely to read what BA members who have seen it thought about it.

#13 pherank

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 10:00 PM

Thanks again for finding these videos.

My first thought on watching: not half-bad, really. I often seem to have aesthetic issues with Russian stagings of Balanchine works, but the Bolshoi is getting better at it judging by this effort.

The Bolshoi bills the ballet as Apollon Musagète and that explains the older form of the ballet (and I think that was a good decision).

I personally prefer Jacques D'Amboise's "wild child" approach to the Apollo character, as it provides a whole other level of character development and drama - without that approach we get only the danseur noble behaving nobly (surprise!), and very little change beyond that. Semyon Chudin tends toward the noble Apollo approach, but he does have his dramatic moments. The only part of these videos that really bugged me was right at the beginning - his 'Pete Townshend windmill' motion: it was rather bland, and didn't correspond to, or emphasize particularly well, the dynamics of the score (and this IS wonderful music after all). Fortunately, things generally improved from there. I have minor quibbles with things here and there, but again, not bad, judging from the videos. That's my two cents.

#14 Tara

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 01:15 PM

My first thought on seeing these videos is that it's pretty great the Russians film seemingly every performance and show them to the world straight away. The US companies are made to worry so much about copyright legality that their performances are rarely seen by the 'outside world'. And so the Russians 'win', in effect - Russian ballet is easily accessed all around the world, even if you can't go to the live performances.



I couldn't agree more! US companies are for the most part not making enough use of social media such as YT. Even those that do too often limit it to promotional videos and if we are lucky maybe some studio stuff.

#15 Tara

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 01:31 PM

The only part of these videos that really bugged me was right at the beginning - his 'Pete Townshend windmill' motion: it was rather bland, and didn't correspond to, or emphasize particularly well, the dynamics of the score (and this IS wonderful music after all). Fortunately, things generally improved from there. I have minor quibbles with things here and there, but again, not bad, judging from the videos. That's my two cents.


Yea, it didn't do anything for me either but my real quibble was the timing of the triple penchée at the 6 min. mark. The whole thing was way, way off. It does get much better from there on out but that was certianly a disappointment.


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