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Summer 2014 NYC & Saratoga Tour


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#361 Helene

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 08:01 PM

yudi, thank you so much for the beautiful photos and your thoughts on the performances.

Thank you, too, Caesariatus. You probably haven't this post up thread, because Katenka joined Ballet Alert! after I did my morning check for new registrants, and I just made it visible:

Hi Caesariatus,
 
The Queen of the Dryads was danced by Ana Turazashvili (she also danced the second variation in the Grand Pas).



#362 Caesariatus

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 03:58 PM

Hi Caesariatus,

 

The Queen of the Dryads was danced by Ana Turazashvili (she also danced the second variation in the Grand Pas).

 

Thanks!  Any word on why Smirnova couldn't do it?



#363 Katenka

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 01:17 PM

Not that I've heard. Hopefully nothing serious! I was quite disappointed not to see Smirnova, but Turazashvili was lovely.



#364 Shirabyoshi

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 09:08 PM

Does anybody know who danced the Queen of the Dryads in today's performance (Thu. 31 July) at Saratoga?  The program lists Olga Smirnova, but just before the curtain rose there was a PA announcement of a change in that role.  However, I didn't catch the name.

 

I'm a little late seeing this, but for the record I can tell you it was Yulia Grebenshikova, NOT Ana Turazashvili. 

 

For the Thursday matinee and the Friday evening performance Smirnova was replaced as Queen of the Dryads by Grebenshikova. On Thursday the switch was announced before the curtain went up, on Friday it wasn't, but it was the same both times.

 

Of course, someone also had to take Grebenshikova's place in the middle of the Three Dryads, and both times that was Turazashvili. It was a delight for me to see a little more of her, so I noticed particularly. smile.png



#365 Katenka

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 04:46 PM

Shirabyoshi, thanks so much for the correction. Yes, it was a delight to see both Yulia and Ana! flowers.gif



#366 volcanohunter

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Posted 15 September 2014 - 09:25 AM

In a interview recently published, Vladimir Urin was pretty frank about the tour not being an artistic success.

http://portal-kultur...ali-drug-druga/

 

The Bolshoi's own, somewhat awkward, translation of the relevant passages:

 

As for the ballet, we had some challenges. The productions were performed at the same Lincoln Center, but in a different building. The stage there is much smaller than at the Bolshoi; moreover, it is not nearly as deep. It was the wrong decision to perform “Swan Lake”, “Spartacus” and “Don Quixote” there. The artists had to adjust to this lack of space; the air and the atmosphere that are so crucial for these ballets disappeared.

 

- Why had you not chosen some different repertoire? The Bolshoi Ballet has plenty of productions to choose from.

 

These guest performances had been planned a long time ago; the American organizers were the ones who had the final say when it came to the repertoire. They realized that tickets to familiar and popular productions would be sold beforehand. There was one more mistake: when the company goes to New York, it should not bring only those productions that were staged a long time ago and have already been shown there. There should be some new productions as well. Of course, mass media mentioned the high professional level of the company and the bright individuals; but at the same time they also reproached us for the choice of the repertoire. However, the house was full for all performances.



#367 Buddy

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Posted 15 September 2014 - 10:00 AM

I forget what all our comments were, but, for me, four out of five Swan Lakes that I saw were extremely successful artistically, two featuring Svetlana Zakharova and two 'revelations of greatness!' by Olga Smirnova.



#368 Drew

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Posted 16 September 2014 - 05:48 PM

I forget what all our comments were, but, for me, four out of five Swan Lakes that I saw were extremely successful artistically, two featuring Svetlana Zakharova and two 'revelations of greatness!' by Olga Smirnova.

Very gracious for you to note that and to recall that critical response to the Bolshoi was not monolithic among ballet goers, but perhaps it's as well that Urin, as leader of the the theater, appears not to be letting himself be complacent, especially if we hope to see more varied repertory from the Bolshoi in New York during future tours. (And, perhaps, too, if the cause of new repertory at the Bolshoi is to flourish more generally...??)

 

Critics and many fans (on this sight anyway) were extremely critical of Grigorovich's production of Swan Lake and, to a lesser extent, brought up the issue of whether any of the productions showed to best advantage at the Koch theater--an issue raised by Urin. And there was certainly no consensus on Zakharova in Swan Lake -- who was, additionally, slammed for that performance by the Times (which is the most prominent coverage any visiting-New-York ballet company gets). Spartacus received mixed to poor critical reception in the press and from many fans on this site as well: honestly, I myself was surprised at how poor since the criticisms seemed to me to make little in the way of concessions to the role of the ballet in the company's history and "culture" even when acknowledging that role.  But whatever we may feel--a lot of different opinions get reflected on this site, thank goodness--Urin surely cares more about the NY Times and the press in general than fans on Ballet Alert or other sites.

 

I think that almost everyone--professional or amateur--who voiced an opinion on the repertory choices for this tour (I was one) expressed dismay at a choice of works that in no way reflected developments at the Bolshoi in ... oh...the last 12-13 years. And that's giving credit to the Swan Lake and Don Quixote for having some 'recent' revisions: but in fact, they really should hardly be given credit for being as recent as that.

 

Were these ballets easy to sell? Sure, and Lincoln Center Festival does need to sell tickets, but I'm not sure in what universe the Bolshoi was going to be a hard sell whatever the repertory--or, at least, almost whatever the repertory. Maybe all Mats Ek would have been a problem. (The Lincoln Center festival sold out performances of the arguably far less famous--among non-ballet fans--Mariinsky in far more off-the-beaten-track repertory at the far larger Metropolitan Opera House.) I really do blame Lincoln Center for the choices (which they have not denied having requested) and perhaps the Bolshoi staff, too, a bit for not pushing back harder against them. At the risk of simply channelling the NY TImes--look at what has been brought to London and Paris and even Washington D.C. in recent years. The Bolshoi still might have gotten criticisms and even strong criticisms with some of that repertory, but the whole tour would have carried additional excitement for critics/fans--that is, artistic excitement.

 

(Like Buddy, I consider that I got to see some excellent dancing by the Bolshoi, for which I'm grateful. Including Smirnova and Chudin in Swan Lake.  But I don't think that counts much for what concerns Urin...)



#369 volcanohunter

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Posted 16 September 2014 - 08:05 PM

I must confess I am confused by Urin's complaints about the size of the stage. Surely, the Bolshoi knew what it was getting into. In the past it had performed Swan Lake and Spartacus at the State Theater. (Not sure about Don Q.) Admittedly, Bolshoi dancers are generally taller than they were, say, 25-35 years ago, but all three of these productions have also been performed in recent years at the Royal Opera House (Swan Lake in 2013, Spartacus and Don Q in 2010), and its stage is decidedly narrower than the Koch, though having a rear-stage area, it may well be deeper. The current company also has a lot of experience performing at the Kennedy Center, which is also considerably narrower than the main Bolshoi stage, and I'm sure they have encountered plenty of similar venues on tour. How is it that the company adjusted to those stages, but had so much difficulty this time around? I have trouble swallowing this particular argument.




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