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Bolshoi: London 2013 (29 July-17 Aug) @ Royal Opera House


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#61 volcanohunter

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 03:52 PM

Apparently Galina Stepanenko says that Alexandrova has a snapped Achilles. According to other reports, doctors gave her a cast, and she's flown home for further treatment. What a shame. crying.gif

 

http://www.vmdaily.r...lla-207845.html

http://www.forbes.ru...letela-v-moskvu



#62 California

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 04:49 PM

Apparently Galina Stepanenko says that Alexandrova has a snapped Achilles. According to other reports, doctors gave her a cast, and she's flown home for further treatment. What a shame.


Good grief - isn't that sometimes a career-ending injury, or am I thinking of something else?

#63 Helene

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 05:14 PM

It doesn't have to be career-ending, but it's generally severe and has a long recovery time.

#64 volcanohunter

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 11:38 PM

La Bayadère, August 3, evening

 

Nikiya - Olga Smirnova

Solor - Semyon Chudin

Gamzatti - Ekaterina Krysanova

High Brahmin - Alexander Fadeyechev

Rajah - Alexei Loparevich

Fakir - Anton Savichev

Toloragva - Yuri Baranov

Slave - Denis Rodkin

Aya - Anna Antropova

D’Jampe - Svetlana Gnedova, Viktoria Litvinova

Manu - Anna Rebetskaya, with Olivia Jones and Erin King

Golden Idol - Igor Tsvirko

Drum Dance - Denis Medvedev, Anna Antropova, Vitaly Biktimirov

Grand Pas - Elizaveta Kruteleva, Daria Bochkova, Yulia Lunkina, Svetlana Pavlova; Maria Vinogradova, Olga Marchenkova, Ana Turazashvili, Yulia Grebenshchikova, Ivan Alexeyev, Karim Abdullin

Shades - Anastasia Stashkevich, Daria Khokhlova, Chinara Alizade

 

conductor - Pavel Sorokin

 

Well, mine will probably be the minority view, but I did not come away thrilled with Olga Smirnova’s performance. In keeping with my newfound resolution to be a net contributor of positivity in this world--despite my natural inclinations--I will refrain from an entirely frank assessment of her first two acts. In general I found her to be very mannered: every vertebra and every joint in her shoulders and arms excessively articulated, her elbows constantly hyperextended; whenever her arms weren’t placed in a position in front of her body, they were way behind her spine, almost resembling insect wings. I felt like I was watching a contortionist rather than a ballet dancer. I was hoping for something more academically pure in the Kingdom of the Shades, and she was better there, but there are still shortcomings. She does not jump easily, and the shape of her legs make it impossible for her to achieve a beautiful line à la seconde in promenades--both of which are prominent features of the adage. During the scarf variation she fell off pointe in her pirouettes to the left, but her turns were very, very fast in the coda. She has many obvious gifts, but in general I found this to be an interpretation in need of drastic simplification. I’m sorry I missed Obraztsova’s Nikiya; I could really use some classical understatement right about now. I can’t say I’m really looking forward to Smirnova’s Swan Queen.

 

But you never know. I liked Semyon Chudin much more here than I had in Swan Lake. Perhaps because so much more of the mime has been retained in this ballet, his character had a dramatic arc to follow. I would have liked a bit more stalwart strength, to counterbalance Smirnova’s non-stop undulating, but he was entirely plausible. In his variations he showed beautiful turns, though his jumps were still too effortful for my taste in the betrothal scene. In the Kingdom of the Shades they were better. The jumps he performs in a backward direction, entrelacés and the like, tend to be smoother. It’s as though going forward he uses too much force, so the landings are jarring. Incidentally, in the betrothal scene he steered well clear of Ekaterina Krysanova as they jumped past each other.

 

On balance I liked Krysanova best. She was not the most glamorous or formidable Gamzatti I’d ever seen, but she performed with complete physical and dramatic commitment. I appreciated her directness, which struck me as very Bolshoi.

 

Here and there the corps had difficulty staying together. I can’t imagine why. Minkus’ rhythms are not obscure, but you know you’re in trouble when the supers playing the temple priests are better at keeping time than Solor’s band of warriors. And the company was uneven in that regard. During the grand pas Maria Vinogradova and Ana Turazashvili were perfectly in sync in their entrance, but Olga Marchenkova and Yulia Grebenshchikova who followed were not.

 

Anna Rebetskaya did a lovely Manu. Igor Tsviko’s Idol got a big response from the audience, though to be honest his vertical jumping, which dominates the first part of the dance, was better than the chaîné turns with which he ended. The drum dance was a great guilty pleasure; Denis Medvedev danced perfectly, and Vitaly Biktimirov was marvellously over the top.

 

The entrance of the Shades was too fast, and personally I found the multiple ramps too busy visually. But there was a palpable satisfaction from the audience when the Shades, all 32 of them, fell into their lines. The trio of solo shades was not always perfectly coordinated, because only Chinara Alizade was right on the music, but they shone individually. Again, credit to Alizade for doing well in a variation in which Agnès Letestu set an almost impossible standard. But the circusy speed of the final coda was perfectly dreadful. It was entirely impossible for the corps to stay together, and it looked and sounded absurd.

 

Audience applause during the final act was enthusiastic, so it’s strange that of the performances I've seen so far, this one had by far the shortest curtain call. I don’t know whether this was a question of the ballet’s length, its somewhat indeterminate ending (though as far as indeterminate endings go, Grigorovch’s Swan Lake is about as enigmatic as they come) or something else. You’d think, though, that if the audience were genuinely thrilled at having witnessed the Next Great Thing, they would have called her back a few more times. Instead on a couple of occasions, after Smirnova finished dancing and went into the wings, the applause would fade away, only to have to start up again when she re-emerged to take a bow.

 

I sat at the front of the amphitheater. Optimal location for watching Shades.



#65 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 01:52 AM

I was there last night too, volcanohunter. also at the amphitheater..!!  ;-)  I must say I'm with you about Smirnova.  It could be that from that far up, it is hard to do a proper assessment of facial moods and characterization, but overall, I felt her performance rather cold.  The entrance of the Shades, if well synchronized, was just too fast...I did not have time to luxuriate in the iconic arabesque-penchee/tendu devant-cambre sequence, and I found the props around the ramps-(4 in all, creating an inverted pyramid effect)-rather busy.  Chudin and Krysanova danced fine too, but...I could not top the memories of my last favorite Nikiya-(divina Part)-and my last favorite Solor-(Vasiliev...). 

Another note of criticism of the ballet finale.  Why, of why does the Bolshoi insist in keeping and offering truncated finales non adhered to what the original libretto calls for...? I must say I find Makarova's staging WAY more satisfying, for which she honors the proper finale just as Khudekov and Petipa envisioned , which just as in Swan Lake, calls for soul redemption via physical death-(which I think a very religious concept).  In Grigorovich false finale, Solor stays alone onstage, alive and remorseful.  It is time to change this. 

 

Igor Tsvirko was good-(not great)-as the Golden Idol, who danced surrounded by the black faced/black skin clothed children.



#66 volcanohunter

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 04:01 AM

Good to know I'm not a minority of one. Now you and I can be pilloried together, Cristian!

#67 Renata Rodrigues

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 11:11 AM

.You guys are not alone, I think the same thing about Olga. She is technically very strong but needs to evolve to be considered an artist.



#68 Jayne

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 11:33 PM

Does Ms Smirnova have "Keira Knightly" disease?  (plays the same character in every movie)



#69 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 12:47 AM

In all fairness to Miss Smirnova, I also think that for many of us it is a matter of watching again another ballerina playing the same character and steps after a thousand ballet viewing years and 34765 O/O's.  I'm sure she was mesmerizing as a first Odette.



#70 Mashinka

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 01:27 AM

Agree with the views above re Smirnova and am surprised at her rapid rise within the company.  Technically she has a lot of flaws and she doesn't have enough personality to carry a leading role successfully.  Went expecting something special, came away mightily disappointed.  Krysanova saved it from being a wasted evening though.



#71 volcanohunter

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 01:29 AM

Does Ms Smirnova have "Keira Knightly" disease?  (plays the same character in every movie)

No, I don't think so, but in truth I haven’t seen enough of her to say. If anything she seems so eager to capture the “Indian-ness” or “swan-ness” of a character that she quickly veers into exaggeration.



#72 meunier fan

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 05:43 AM

In face of Alexandrova's unfortunate injury, the following cast changes have been made to the Bolshoi/London Schedule:

 

Sleeping Beauty: Krysanova August 8th

 

Swan Lake:  Krysanova August 10th; Shipulina August 14th

 

Flames of Paris: Osipova and Vasiliev - now dance August 17th (evening) as well as 16th
                             Lantratov will now dance with Shipulina for the 17.8 matinee in place of Volchkov.  

 

All has been gratefully updated on the Bolshoi website, but not - as usual - on the ROH's.  (Perhaps it is because ALL the tickets have been sold and this is, of course, a rental .... though they are never very quick on the draw for the Royal Ballet even when they still have seats a-begging and the productions are in-house!!)  



#73 volcanohunter

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 08:29 AM

Thank you for the update. When I checked earlier Alexandrova's replacements had not been named.

#74 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 09:12 AM

Getting ready for tonight's SB performance, and I don't even know who's dancing...! happy.png



#75 Mashinka

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 09:21 AM

Originally Kaptsova, but now more likely Obraztsova or Krysanova.  Annoying not to know for certain.  I've looked on various websites that sometimes give casting but no clues at all!  Like you, I'll find out in just over an hour.




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