volcanohunter

Bolshoi 2014-15 cinema season

63 posts in this topic

Given that he was so spectacular in Spartacus ... I myself hope that Ivan the Terrible gets the full Bolshoi guest principal Ivan Vasiliev treatment. I would imagine that could potentially be a treat and heaven knows I. Vasiliev is built for just these kind of roles.

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He's never danced it, so that in itself makes his casting unlikely.

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It's a disappointing line-up, but I wonder who will get Odette/Odile?

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I suspect that if Filin attempts to cast Smirnova over Zakharova, the Onegin brouhaha will look like a minor skirmish. Zakharova was pregnant the last time the ballet was filmed. I'm sorry if this means Alexandrova's version will not be getting a DVD release.

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Is Zakharova's stock higher than Alexandrova's? There's no Cranko stager getting between Filin and Swan Lake.

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Not in my books, but so far Bel Air has not been releasing Alexandrova's performances on DVD, except when she played semi-second fiddle to Zakharova in La Bayadère.

Grigorovich is still with us, so the final say is his. We'll see who lobbies him more persuasively. Certainly Zakharova has the more powerful friends in high places.

This schedule puts Cineplex in an interesting bind, since they have been showing both the Royal and the Bolshoi. Which Swan Lake do they choose? I can't see them screening both.

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The Royal showed their Swan this year -- perhaps they'll change their schedule and give us something else.

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NO The Golden Age, still not ready?

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The Royal showed their Swan this year -- perhaps they'll change their schedule and give us something else.

When that Swan Lake with Zenaida Yanowsky and Nehemiah Kish was aired live in October 2012, Cineplex decided to pass on it, presumably because it had repeated the Bolshoi's Swan Lake during the previous season. Instead it showed the Fille mal gardée that had been filmed a half year earlier. Now Fille and both Swan Lakes are back for next season (and Cineplex had started its 2013-14 season with the Mariinsky's 3D Swan Lake). Personally, I have no problem with an annual screening of Swan Lake; I went to see a half dozen performances of the ballet last season. But from a scheduling standpoint this strikes me as really bad planning. It's been about ten years since the Royal last televised Ashton's Cinderella. They couldn't have done it instead?

We could really use that Winter's Tale.

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As you point out in another thread, all the ballets the Royal is showing in their cinema program are repeats. The gods know I love to see stuff multiple times, but with something like this limited resource, they might want to make different choices.

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I doubt the Bolshoi and the Royal consult one another about their seasons!

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I doubt the Bolshoi and the Royal consult one another about their seasons!

Oh I know -- I'm thinking more about the decision to repeat a work they've broadcast recently. In general, I'm wondering about the process of choosing which programs to broadcast through these second party projects. Do the distributors have much input on content, and what do they think about their cinema audience and repeating repertory. If the Royal is trying to brand itself in a larger audience, do they think that they're best served by Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty, ballets that are performed by a number of companies, or by something more exclusive to themselves, like Fille or Manon? Whatever you think of their Alice in Wonderland, it is theirs -- I'd be very happy to trade another go at Swan Lake for the Ashton program they've got next year...

But since this is the Bolshoi thread, we should probably take this particular sidelight to another location...

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It's foolish not to consider what other companies will be presenting. The market is very small. Today La Scala has effectively fallen out of it. The Paris Opera has seen its geographical reach shrink. Neither the Bolshoi nor the Royal is in a very secure position in North America.

Think back to the 2010-11 season when the Royal Ballet, the Bolshoi and the POB all launched headlong into the live-to-cinema market. We got two Nutcrackers (predictable, I guess), two Giselles (within the same week) and two Coppelias. At the time I think Emerging Pictures was presenting all of them in the U.S. That sort of glut couldn't have made for easy marketing.

This season the Royal Ballet arguably found a better deal with Fathom Events, which decided to augment its ballet presentations by reaching into the 2012-13 archives for Swan Lake and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, only to see those ballets programmed again for next season.

I hate to repeat myself, but if your Canadian distributor is faced with the prospect of two Swan Lakes, it's likely one of them is going to be dropped. Why take the chance that your company will be the one to be cut?

Distributors do have input into content, if only negative. Initially the Bolshoi's (French) distributor Pathé Live was also presenting the POB, but in 2012 Pathé opted not to renew the contract because it was unhappy with what the Paris Opera was offering for broadcast. http://www.tutti-magazine.fr/news/page/Interview-Thierry-Fontaine-Pathe-Live-fr

(But they think a dreary Brezhnevite "aesthetic" is going to sell?)

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Distributors do have input into content, if only negative. Initially the Bolshoi's (French) distributor Pathé Live was also presenting the POB, but in 2012 Pathé opted not to renew the contract because it was unhappy with what the Paris Opera was offering for broadcast. http://www.tutti-magazine.fr/news/page/Interview-Thierry-Fontaine-Pathe-Live-fr

(But they think a dreary Brezhnevite "aesthetic" is going to sell?)

Likely they're using attendance information from touring, if they do any research at all, and these were ballets that did well when the company was on the road. And I'd go to see a broadcast, if someone in my area was showing them (this year we got the Royal stuff through Fathom). We're still at the beginning of this new wrinkle on performance (your comments on the recent history are very germane) and so I think we'll see even more "let's try this" programming until they figure out what this format can actually accomplish and what they really want to do with it. The Met is much further along on the learning curve, but I think they're lucky to be able to build on their long history of radio broadcast.

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The Met is further along on the learning curve, but it still leans heavily toward the least adventurous of its programming, "The Nose" being an exception to the rule. Glass operas have proven serendipitous. No "Wozzeck," no "From the House of the Dead," Chereau's last and one of the most lauded Met productions, and, next season, no "Rake's Progress." We get "Bluebeard's Castle," but it's on a double bill with Tchaikovsky's Iolanthe for Anna Netrebko.

Since the Met also seems to take into consideration what DVD's they can sell from the series, next year, no Eva-Maria Westbroek in her greatest role, Katerina Ismailova in "Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk." There's already a DVD with her in it from Nederlands Oper. However, it is getting to the point where they're doing repeats -- Tosca, Carmen, Eugene Onegin -- due to the large number of productions they show on HD.

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Grigorovich Overload indeed. It's bad enough that all of the ballets that the Bolshoi is presenting on the upcoming US tour are by YG except for DON Q (which has already be presented to death in the US in the past 10 years). It's telling that the Bolshoi is coming to Washington, DC with its heavy-Grigorovich Giselle, of all things, and I do not care to attend. I have better things to do with my money.

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Do you all think the Bolshoi's modern ballets would not sell well to the western?

They were putting The Golden Age in HD broadcast schedule of last season, then canceled and replaced it. I was hoping to see it in the coming season. I also like to see a new composition of dancers for The Bright Stream.

I saw the complete ballet The Golden Age (2007) on youtube, I like it very much. It is mostly about the love story of Boris and Rita - no need to think about Soviet, and blah, blah, … There are many innovative movements in four duets danced by Boris & Rita, very beautiful. I love to see them on HD screen.

I feel very disappointed there is no major modern ballets from Bolshoi in their next season's HD broadcasting.

Even no more Ratmansky's ballet?!

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This is like a serious question. Are the Grigorovuch productions really that popular in Moscow? I can understand Spartacus in all it's Soviet superman glory but do balletomanes really eat up his Swan Lake (with the weird Evil Genius and odd musical arrangements) or Giselle (which makes nonsense of much of the first act's dramaturgy)?

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This is like a serious question. Are the Grigorovuch productions really that popular in Moscow? I can understand Spartacus in all it's Soviet superman glory but do balletomanes really eat up his Swan Lake (with the weird Evil Genius and odd musical arrangements) or Giselle (which makes nonsense of much of the first act's dramaturgy)?

Grigorovich is considered to be the 'Grand Master Choreographer of Soviet Ballet' (my words); so yes, he is still very popular. He was Bolshoi Artistic Director and Choreographer-in-Chief from 1964 - 1995. The Moscow International Ballet competition was established by him in 1969, and that's just one of the competitions where he's a jurist. He was and is still revered and influential, and I daresay will be long after he's gone.

The Mariinsky reveres the memory of Konstantin Sergeyev and they haven't altered, or removed any of his Petipa productions. The Bolshoi will (probably) do the same with Grigorovich's Petipa redactions and repertory. For example, Filin wanted to mount the 1899 reconstruction of the Bolshoi premiere of "Sleeping Beauty" in 2011 to celebrate the reopening of the Theatre. The management reproduced Grigorovich's 1973 production with "new" designs by the same team that brought us La Scala's and POB's current designs.

Grigororvich's work received the highest State honors. For me, he always seemed more of a stage producer (i.e.Broadway), than a choreographer of steps. I think he was the most successful at combining ideology with acrobatics and bombastic effects, more than his Soviet contemporaries. IMO all of these elements came together in "Spartacus" and to a lesser extent, "Ivan the Terrible."

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Grigorovich's Swan Lake is extremely popular in Moscow. Like Spartacus and The Nutcracker, Swan Lake tickets fetch the highest price (12,000 RUB), and they sell out the instant they go on sale. But I suspect that would be true of just about any production of Swan Lake, as long as it had more-or-less traditional white acts and a 'black swan' pas de deux. From my point of view, Grigorovich's Nutcracker is more dreadful than his Swan Lake, but evidently Muscovites are willing to pay through the nose to see it.

The Bolshoi's simple problem is that it ran out of full-length ballets, and after La Bayadère it had shown all the 19th-century classics in its repertoire. Having filmed the productions that made the Ratmansky and Burlaka periods so interesting--Coppelia, Esmeralda, Le Corsaire, Ratmansky's own ballets--we are now left with the Soviet dregs, and it gives the appearance that the company has entered a period of stagnation and succumbed to a reactionary aesthetic: the Revenge of Grigorovich. I'm not saying that's actually the case, but it's the impression this lineup creates.

A film of Onegin was never likely to happen. John Neumeier is not adverse to having his ballets filmed, but perhaps he would rather the Bolshoi's dancers develop their roles more before putting The Lady of the Camellias before the cameras. The Bolshoi could have revived some of the productions it hasn't performed since before the main theater closed for renovations, such as Petit's Notre-Dame de Paris or Neumeier's A Midsummer Night's Dream. And somebody could start presenting mixed bills, for crying out loud. But unfortunately I think they've opted for the worst possible solution.

If the company was finally forced to begin repeating repertoire, I suppose it's inevitable that they would have started with The Nutcracker and Swan Lake. Of all of Grigorovich's ballets, I find Legend of Love the least bothersome. But Ivan the Terrible is just plain, well, awful.

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I echo volcanohunter's view, and will probably only pay to see Legend of Love.

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Well this is interesting. Next season the Bolshoi will be presented in the U.S. by Fathom Events, which presented the Royal Ballet last season. It could present both companies, of course, as is the practice in Canada, but Royal Ballet screenings have not yet been scheduled. (The Metropolitan Opera has not yet been listed either, so this omission does not necessarily mean anything.)

October 26 - Legend of Love

December 21 - The Nutcracker

January 25 - Swan Lake

March 8 - Romeo & Juliet (repeat)

http://www.fathomevents.com/event/bolshoi-ballet-2014-15-season

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Both the Bolshoi and the Royal are scheduled to show Swan Lake as one of their broadcasts.

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