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Bolshoi premiere of Cranko's "Onegin"

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I've watched most of the available Youtube clips and this sounds like a weird thing but the Bolshoi's Onegin almost seems too "nice." Weird because they have such a history and reputation of strong acting but everything is played at this slowed, garden-party speed that takes away from the ballet's more veristic moments. There's little of the passion and fire I'd expect from a performance of Onegin.

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What was most interesting in the Kommersant review was the information that after Svetlana Zakarova left the Bolshoi and Moscow, she was seen days later in Kazan. Oh-so-coincidentally Vladimir Putin was also in Kazan that day to visit a University. Google Translate is awesome!!!!

We'll never know if they met, but it does add another factoid to the list of crazy at the Bolshoi.

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Bit of a long shot this I know ......

I'm wondering there are any pointers in how Bolshoi casting generally works as to whether Onegin casts are likely to be the same when it's performed again in October.

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I got to see the Kaptsova/Skvortsov evening and it was wonderful. It was quite a contrast to the Stuttgart evening - the Bolshoi soloists aren't as practiced at the idiosyncrasies of Cranko choreography, but they had a really good handle on the characters. I thought Skvortsov was very compelling as Onegin, and fleshed him out even more than McKie. I wish I could have seen the opening night cast, but it was not to be.

Full review: http://itinerantballetomane.blogspot.com/2013/07/a-russian-epic-returns-home.html

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Thank you for your report, Swanilda8. I envy you for having had the opportunity to see such performances. I hope you keep the blog posts coming.

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For some contrast, here is the unique interpretation by Makarova dancing with Reid. I hate sets, but Makarova makes you believe she is breathing and pumping blood as this character:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgY6dwmELMI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1JInMcXqEE

Also here is the Alicia Amatriain and Evan McKie - you can see the different acting accents and nuances:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6MVpHjccRc

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Thank you Jayne for all the youtube links! With each one I found pieces to love but ending with the Stuttgart dancers was the cherry on top - they are sensational!

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I watched two performances of Onegin at the Bolshoi (my first trip to Russia). It was the last two performances, the Stuttgart guest day and Obraztova / Hallberg cast day. (unfortunately Vishneva / Gomes performance was sold out and I couldn't make it)

I have seen Onegin at various companies including POB, Royal and also in Stuttgart many times. So my views might not be completely neutral, but yes, Alicia Amatriain and Evan McKie pair were just sensational and delivered such a dramatic, nuanced and breathtaking performance. I would say they are the best interpreters of the ballet at present. Such a delicate and yet strong Tatiana by Amatriain and McKie's elegant, deep, pathetic and charming Onegin, with such magical partnering. Anna Osadcenko as Olga was also very playful and lovely.

I noticed the music was too slow at times which killed some of the passion and speed, although they seemed to have become faster in the Stuttgart guesting day. But the corps by Bolshoi dancers were doing a great job and made use of the huge stage at Bolshoi.

Evgenia Obraztuova was like Juliet in her first act. She was sweet and her dancing was eloquent and lovely but too classical and old-fashioned for Cranko. She did have much dramatic quality and much into the role especially in the last act but the chemistry between David Hallberg didn't seem to be there, maybe she might have been better with her other partner. Thought Hallberg was just too tall for her. Hallberg is a beautiful dancer with gorgeous lines, his variations were stunning but his acting seemed too serious at times and I couldn't see much love to Tatiana. It was unfortunate for him to have last minute changes of his partner.

But as a whole, it was very touching to see Pushikin's masterpiece brought back on stage in Moscow. Onegin does have flaws, especially from a Russian point of view but a grand and very memorable piece.

You can see more videos of the Amatriain / McKie performance on the same channel as posted above.

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Bit of a long shot this I know ......

I'm wondering there are any pointers in how Bolshoi casting generally works as to whether Onegin casts are likely to be the same when it's performed again in October.

The Bolshoi has finally posted the next round of Onegin casting.

Oct 10, 12e - Smirnova, Lantratov, Tikhomirova, Chudin, Biktimirov

Oct 11 - Obraztsova, Volchkov, Stashkevich, Gudanov, Vodopetov

Oct 12m - Kretova, Skvortsov, Khokhlova, Ovcharenko, Khromushin

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In addition to posting Onegin casts in October, the full Spartacus casts are visible and Lobukhin, not Ivan Vasiliev, will dance the movie version of Spartacus on October 20.

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Male casting for the forthcoming run of Onegin has been shuffled. Wieslaw Dudek of the Staatsballett Berlin will appear as Onegin opposite Evgenia Obraztsova. Artem Ovcharenko takes over Dmitry Gudanov's performance as Lensky, and Ivan Alexeyev goes into Ovcharenko's original spot.

Oct 10, 12e - Smirnova, Lantratov, Tikhomirova, Chudin, Biktimirov

Oct 11 - Obraztsova, Dudek, Stashkevich, Ovcharenko, Vodopetov

Oct 12m - Kretova, Skvortsov, Khokhlova, Alexeyev, Khromushin

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Yesterday I took the bullet train from St. Petersburg to Moscow and saw Onegin and returned to SP on a sleeping train.

I have seen the premiere cast of the Bolshoi's Onegin (but not actually in person), and a friend had told me the cast I was getting in person was not the best. But I still enjoyed it very much as a first in person Bolshoi experience.

Onegin: Denis Rodkin

Lensky: Artemiy Belyakov

Tatiana: Anastasia Goryacheva

Olga: MariaVinogradova

Rodkin was miles behind Lantratov in his interpretation as well as actual dancing. To me he did not command the stage as well and did not express his inner angst in his first solo (Lantratov makes the most of putting the back of his hand to his forehead).

However, his reactions to Lensky slapping him with the glove was very good!

Goryacheva was sympathetic as Tatiana but just not quite as moving as Olga Smirnova.

Maria Vinogradova made an excellent Olga. This role is easy to overdo and seem too silly but she did not overdo it.

Overall a nice night at the Bolshoi even though the casting was not first tier.

The Bolshoi looks like a brand new (newly built ) theatre on the inside...sparkling, shiny, modern conveniences like handicapped elevator. The outside still shows signs of being a historic theatre but the inside is so clean and new looking. But a little too bright. I am hoping the Mariinsky will not be this new looking after renovation because it has a warm glow about it that I love .

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Goryacheva was sympathetic as Tatiana but just not quite as moving as Olga Smirnova.

In my opinion, Goryacheva is subtle, while Smirnova is overdoing it. Anastasia Goryacheva is a very fine ballerina, loved by Bolshoi cognoscenti.

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