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Natalia

Grigorovich heads "Russkii Balet' nat'l competition at Bol

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I just saw this on Russian TV Kultura Channel a couple of days ago:

A nationwide competition for up-and-coming ballet students from academies throughout Russia, was held at the New Bolshoi stage. Guess who was the Chair of the jury? Yup - Yuri Grigorovich! Other jurors, shown flanking Grigorovich at the table, include Fateev, Eifman, Stepanenko, Leonova, Assylmuratova, Zelensky, Vishneva, Lavrovsky, etc, etc. (Something curiously 'politburo-ish' in the set-up!) Bolshoi Theater boss Iksanov is shown in the audience sitting behind Grigorovich and next to Mme Medvedeva, wife of the PM and ex-President of Russia. [Corny note: As Mme Medvedeva walked onto the stage to welcome the dancers, the orchestra played Tchaikovsky Entrance of the Monarchs march from the Prelude of Sleeping Beauty!] Also seated close to the jury, I spotted the editor of Russian Ballet magazine, Mme Uralskaya. Bolshoi stars Alexandrova & Ovcharenko were the emcees - both excellent and quite personable in their speaking manners.

Notably absent is he who normally emcees such TV dance spectacles: Tsiskaridze. I was also expecting Lopatkina, given the level of fire-power on the jury; maybe she had other commitments? Also, I was suprised that the telecast made no mention of Sergei Filin (unless it was done before the cameras started to roll).

About 20 students from academies throughout Russia competed. Top prizes went to:

1. Gold Medal: Alexander Omelchenko of the Bolshoi's affiliate academy. He's a new name to me but performed brilliantly the DonQ pdd. Possible future star; darkly handsome, lovely line, and seems tall (not demi-caractere):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaZGSEzjR28

2. Silver: Ksenia Ryzhkova, also of the Bolshoi's academy; Ksenia also won the Mikhailovsky Prix in Nov 2011, as well as the Grigorovich Prix competition in Sochi last summer (junior div.). She danced the DonQ pdd with Alexander...so a Dream Team captured the top 2 prizes!:

(see above link - same pdd as danced by Omelchenko)

3. Bronze: Ksenia Zhiganshina of the Vaganova Acad, who won the Mikhailovsky Prix in Nov 2010, dancing Medora's solo from Le Corsaire:

Ilya, I'm curious if Alexander is one of your students? I notice that he won 3rd prize in the 2010 Grigorovich Prix which was won by Klim Efimov, one of your ex-students now a featured member of the Bolshoi corps.

Among the 'diplomats' who didn't win one of the top 3 prizes, I very much enjoyed Maria-Teresa Beck of the Bolshoi Academy, in the Diana solo from Esmeralda. Super technique - multi-pirouettes stopping instantly in arabesque, on a dime. She's a little 'rough' on the finesse side but I'm sure that she will soften with time.

Bravi tutti!!!

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Until someone finds and posts Omalchenko and Ryzhkova's competition variations, here's a film of the two of them dancing the pdd from Sylphide at the June 2012 Bolshoi academy end-of-year concert:

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Thanks, Natalia -- is that Lacotte's choreography? THey're lovely in it, but I find the arrangement of steps kinda dull, and the scarf doesn't seem to be doing her any harm, which is odd.

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I've now found and added the Don Q pdd to my first post - so we can see Omelhnko & Rychkova in the subject competition.

Paul, I am guessing that our own Ilya (Kuznetsov) may have the answer, as other students of his have danced this version.

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Thanks Natalia for the links and the clips. Is another Grigorovich recruitment contest really necessary?

I'm only pointing out the fact that there are so many of them.

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