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Lynette H

Moscow Stanislavsky Ballet

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This company are making their London debut this Christmas, bringing The Snow Maisen (Bourmeister) and Swan Lake. The publicity material quotes lots of admiring reviews from New York - 'flawless' (NY Times) and 'eloquence and elegance' and 'handsomely danced' (NY Post).

I don't know anything about the company, but I was thinking that The Snow Maiden might be an interesting alternative to the Nutcracker for chidren.

Has anyone seen this company or these productions ? What's quoted on the publicity blurb can be rather far removed from the original review. It's interesting that they are using lots of US references to market the company. Much the same was done for the Universal Ballet last year.

I'd be interested in hearing views on the productions.

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Hi, Lynette! Thanks for dropping by.

I saw this company two years ago, in "Swan Lake," "The Nutcracker," and a mixed bill at the Kennedy Center. Even though I didn't like the Bourmeister and Ivanov productions of SL and N respectively, I'd go see the company again. The dancers are good, if not on the level of the Kirov or Bolshoi, and I thought the company was one of the best directed companies I've seen in a long time -- in the sense of casting, coaching, attention to detail, etc. The ballet mastering aspects. How that holds up on a long tour, I don't know.

If you see it there, please tell us what you think.

Has anyone seen the company on its recent tour?

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I try to see this company whenever I'm in Moscow and have developed quite an affection for them over the years. They perform at the Moscow Musical Theatre in Pushkinskaya, a street right by the Bolshoi Theatre. Their full title is the Stanislavski-Nemirovitch-Danchenko Company and they share their theatre with an opera company of the same name. This is where the Moscow balletomanes go, as the Bolshoi these days is full of mainly tourists and Mafiosi and therefore out of their price range. Consequently there is far more atmosphere there than at the Bolshoi.

I haven't seen their Snow Maiden, but have seen them dance Swan Lake, La Sylphide, Don Q. and Vladimir Vasiliev's superb, though unconventional, Romeo & Juliet. I have also seen some contemporary mixed programmes.

Obviously the Bolshoi gets the pick of the best available dancers but nevertheless the company has produced some real stars. I particularly admired Svetlana Tsoi who bears a resemblance to Lesley Caron and Gennadi Yanin (now with the Bolshoi) who was the best Mercutio I have ever seen - extremely funny, extremely dirty and totally outrageous! By the way I have been told that its possible Yanin will guest with the company in London.

Currently they have a huge star called Chernobrovkina (not sure of her first name) and I am looking forward to seeing her as I have been told she is outstanding.

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The Stanislavski-Nemirovitch-Danchenko Ballet has been one of Moscow's best kept ballet secrets for years - going back into the fifties. They've always featured provocative dancers and equally thought-provoking versions of the classics formulated at a time when restagings based on concentrated thought were rather discouraged.

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I haven't seen them since the same tour as Alexandra, but I will second her appraisal. They were not exceptional (ie Kirov or Royal's level), and their productions were probably more to Russian taste than Amercian, but they were quite good.

I would like to note that that this is not the Moscow Ballet which is currently touring the Nutcracker extensively in the U.S.

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Another good thing about the S/N/D Ballet is its place in the opening to the West in the Cold War made by the "ballet gambit". Somewhere around here I have a souvenir book (one cannot call it a program) with many photographs of the company which was produced for a season in France, before the Bolshoi and the Kirov were allowed to travel internationally. Certainly, excellent ballet is always good propaganda for its producer, but this tour represented an important step away from Stalinist isolationism.

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