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Bolshoi versus Kirov -- once more ?


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#16 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 01 May 2001 - 04:48 PM

Michael, as we know Nina Ananiashvili has many engagements outside the Bolshoi, and she is merely fulfilling them.

Thanks for some positive sounds from the London front :).

#17 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 03 May 2001 - 03:54 PM

A bit in the margin of this thread, but it struck me that in several articles looking ahead at the Kirov tour the name of Altynai Asylmuratova is mentioned. Scheduled months ago to appear just once in London, in the final "Manon", Asylmuratova’s performance is still presented as the major event of the whole engagement. I gather the evening is nearly sold out on the strength of her name, and I hate to disappoint anyone, but according to a very reliable source Altynai Asylmuratova will NOT be in London for this tour.

#18 nutkin

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Posted 03 May 2001 - 03:59 PM

Originally posted by Marc Haegeman:
Just a short reaction to the article by Debra Craine in The Times (linked by Dirac) looking ahead at the coming Bolshoi and Kirov engagements in London.

It’s fine with me that the British press is trying very hard to present this whole thing as a duel between the Russian companies, but what I find less plausible is that between (or in) the lines one can perceive a certain tendency against the Bolshoi.

OK, a program 'Stars of'-style with highlights and pas de deux may not be the best way to appreciate a company like the Bolshoi, but is it really necessary to emphasize the negative sides in such a way?  Do we need to remind again that under Fadeyechev and Vasiliev the Bolshoi was restoring its classics, was dancing among others "Agon", "Symphony in C" and "Mozartiana", was acquiring contemporary works, was in other words 'broadening its vision' as much as the Kirov?  Vasiliev’s "Swan Lake" was a costly mistake, but I really fail to see what 'this critical hostility' during the Bolshoi’s 1999 London stint was about?  Aren’t we forgetting that we were seeing a company again in glowing form, full of good spirit and with (old and new) talent aplenty?

The Bolshoi has been going through unwelcome and regrettable times, but is that a reason to blame the company for this or to forget about its (near) past? If (heaven forbid!!) similar events should occur at the Mariinsky, Jewels or Manons notwithstanding, the result would be the same: they, too, would be in deep....

Any comments?

[ 04-23-2001: Message edited by: Marc Haegeman ]


Hi marc i think u are right, there is clear bias against Bolshoi and my experience today at the Drury lane theatre goes to show the company has worked v hard to restore its credibility.. their mixed bills are an excelent introduction to newcomers to classical dance with "bite sized" excerpts and also hugely enjoyable for those of us who know and love these works. go and enjoy. nutkin

#19 Ann

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Posted 03 May 2001 - 04:52 PM

Marc
If it is really true that Asylmuratova will not be in London to appear in 'Manon' as advertised in the printed programme for the Kirov season, then it is extremely irresponsible of Victor Hochauser (who is presenting the Kirov season)not to announce this fact, given the popularity of both the ballet and the ballerina. Many people (tho' not me) will have booked for this particular performance purely to see Asylmuratova.

#20 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 03 May 2001 - 05:15 PM

That's very true, Ann, but they know what they are doing. And it's not the first time Asylmuratova's name is used for box-office appeal.

#21 Alexandra

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Posted 03 May 2001 - 05:29 PM

Isn't this similar to what happened in New York a few seasons back? Ayupova, who at the time was more of a "draw" here than the younger ballerinas who weren't yet known, was announced, though I don't believe she appeared. And Asylmuratove was said to be too injured to dance, drat, and then suddenly appeared.

#22 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 03 May 2001 - 05:33 PM

Something like that, yes.

We had it back in 1993 too, when Asylmuratova was announced for the Kirov tour in London, months ahead, while she gave birth to her baby in the first week of that tour. As if they didn't know...

#23 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 17 May 2001 - 02:20 PM

With the London season coming to an end, the discussion about the Bolshoi Ballet has quieted down, but I just wanted to add that I enjoyed watching a few performances of the second and third program at Drury Lane Theatre a lot. In fact, I haven't enjoyed Russian ballet this much in ages. The company is in good shape, the spirit seems to be fine, the soloists (women and men) and corps remain truly first rate, and (no matter what was said about the bits and pieces) the programs were good fun.

Among the many memorable moments I’d like to single out the appearances of Anastasia Goriacheva, a young soubrette-type dancer, excellent in "Flower Festival of Genzano", but quite unforgettable in the dazzling "Flames of Paris" pas de deux; Maria Alexandrova, whose steely strength and amazing jumps paid off in the "Don Quixote" and "Le Corsaire" pas de deux; and the stylish Andrei Uvarov, a beautiful danseur noble who never danced better then during this engagement.

Director Boris Akimov said they will come back to London in Summer 2002, and this time in full force and to Covent Garden. I sure hope they will.

#24 cargill

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Posted 17 May 2001 - 03:17 PM

Marc, I am so glad to hear that Goriacheva has made such an impression in London. She was a last minute substitute for Lunkina in the first movement in Symphony in C in New York last year, and I thought she was a lovely dancer, so fresh and joyful. Her smile during the curtain calls would have melted a stone.

#25 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 17 May 2001 - 04:05 PM

I agree, Goriacheva is an interesting type of dancer, too. Short, sparkling and swift, a very fluent way of moving. Her variation in "Flames of Paris" every time brought the house down (and for one not even half full, that's quite something). Great virtuoso dancing combined with irresistible girlish charm (Maximova is not far away).

#26 Ann

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Posted 17 May 2001 - 05:48 PM

Marc
I saw the Bolshoi's Drury Lane performance tonight and really loved it. I thought the male soloists were outstanding, in particular Dmitry Gudanov in 'Spectre'. He danced it as well as anyone I've ever seen, with real technical ease and true musicality. I loved the 'Flames of Paris' pdd danced by Goriacheva and Godovsky and I even thought 'Narcissus' was enjoyable (it was comprehensively trashed by Clement Crisp in the FT) As danced by the promising Gennady Yanin, the choreography made absolute sense of the old Narcissus legend.

I loved Maria Allash too in the third 'Bayadere' variation; she had a softness lacking elsewhere in the women in this piece.

The meagre audience tonight gave the company a warm, richly-deserved, ovation.

Glad to note that Akimov promises that the company will be performing next year at the Royal Opera House. It's a much more fitting venue for the Bolshoi.

#27 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 18 May 2001 - 01:20 AM

Yes, Gudanov was wonderful in "Spectre", a good light jump and a really lovely quality of the arms. It's a difficult thing to bring off, but he certainly did.

Interesting to note that Yanin is already in his early thirties.

#28 James Wilkie

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Posted 26 May 2001 - 08:54 AM

Marc and to everyone else who has posted;
As many may know I am a hugr fan of both the Kirov and Bolshoi. I did go and see the Bolshoi or 'the Stars of the Bolshoi' and I was saddened that the theatre was half empty. I thought that the level of dancing was as always brilliant although some pieces were not as good as i had hoped for. I went to the first programme which opened with Swan Lake. I have to say that this in my opinion let the company done (not entirely the company's fault) Anna Antonicheva performed Odette I was not keen on her as she seemed to be walking through the role as if it were a rehersal. She has a beautiful leg line with pleasing feet and she could have given more to the role. On another note the company looked uncomfortable on this stage that looked too small for them.
When Antonicheva came on a nd danced The Adagio from Raymonda all was forgiven as she performed this role beautifuly and showed off her line to the maximum.
The evening got better when they performed such fire crakers as Don Quioxte pas de deux. Maria Alexandrova was a real treat to the audience and a very good end to the evening.
Regarding to the Kirov vs Bolshoi and the British critics I feel that we hear so much more about the Kirov that Ballet lovers are biased towards them. We have a St Petersburg Newsletter every month in Dancing Times and after last years success of the Kirov the Bolshoi have got a lot to live up to.
I think the Bolshoi is a fantastic company with beautiful dancers that do not recieve the praise that they deserve.
It will be interesting to see how the British take to them when they come ove to Covent Garden in 2002. I am already saving up for my tickets!

#29 bolshoi lover

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 09:55 AM

Do we need to remind again that under Fadeyechev and Vasiliev the Bolshoi was restoring its classics, was dancing among others "Agon", "Symphony in C" and "Mozartiana", was acquiring contemporary works, was in other words 'broadening its vision' as much as the Kirov?

Excuse me,I don't know the history of Bolshoi.I'm a very young ballet watcher.What did Bolshoi look like before Vasiliev and Fadeyechev?And what did Vasiliev and Fadeyechev do?
What did the TIME journalist say?
Another question,why is Bolshoi so different from its 1980s?I watched their Swan Lake(1989),Legend of Love(1990),Raymonda(Semenyaka),The Bolshoi Ballet in the Park(1986),Nutcracker(Vasiliev)... ...Now they look very different...What happen?

#30 Natalia

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 11:06 AM

Bolshoilover, before Vasiliev, Fadeyechev, and those who followed was the Era of Yuri Grigorovich. The 'Age of Spartacus,' if you will...the great big Soviet Hero. The entire esthetic was big, all-powerful, Soviet, oomph...less finesse and no eye towards happenings in the West. Simple answer to a complex question.

A detail: the men were, on the whole, more muscular. One would never have thought of casting 'smaller' or 'less muscular' dancers like Dmitri Belogolovtsev or Ivan Vasiliev in the role.

The differences between Kirov and Bolshoi style were obvious then; less so now. Bolshoi is gaining in finesse, although I still give the elegant edge to the Kirov-Mariinsky corps of ladies. They could be soon overtaken by the Bolshoi ladies if they do now watch out.


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