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  2. 2017 Fall Season

    I've sometimes wondered why we haven't seen a production of one of the classics with supertitles that could explain the mime sequences in detail. Hardcore balletomanes would object of course, but I think novice audiences would find the addition an ehancement. You wouldn't have to explain to your friends ever again that Odette told Sigfried the story of the curse that she's under.
  3. 2017/2018 season

    The cast list for the first livestream, Corsaire is up. Medora: Olga Smirnova Conrad: Igor Tsvirko http://www.bolshoi.ru/performances/198/roles/#20171022180000
  4. Today
  5. Tuesday, September 19

    A review of the Royal Ballet in Hull by Siobhan Murphy for DanceTabs.
  6. 2017 Fall Season

    Oh, it took me at least a decade to figure out how to watch a story ballet! In my early ballet-going years what I thought I wanted was all dancing all the time; since I'd cut my dance teeth on leotard Balanchine and Merce Cunningham, I couldn't imagine why anyone would want to clutter up a dance stage with all that other stuff. It took me a while to understand what the form's various conventions were and why they were important. By the way, I think one of the sweetest examples of mime is when the little Nutcracker Prince recounts his battle with the Mouse King to the Sugarplum Fairy and her court. A good Sugarplum makes sure we see that it's the most thrilling battlefield report she's ever received.
  7. Thursday, September 21

    A review of English National Ballet in 'Giselle' by Louise Levene in The Financial Times.
  8. Thursday, September 21

    Sara Mearns talks about dancing in Matthew Bourne's "The Red Shoes."
  9. Thursday, September 21

    The Royal New Zealand Ballet announces its first season under artistic director Patricia Barker. In brief,
  10. Thursday, September 21

    An obituary for Barbara Ann Smith, who has died aged 76.
  11. Thursday, September 21

    Syracuse City Ballet moves into new digs.
  12. Thursday, September 21

    Ron Cunningham talks about the history of Sacramento Ballet.
  13. Wednesday, September 20

    Another story on the appointment of Michael Scolamiero as Ballet West's new executive director.
  14. Wednesday, September 20

    Photo gallery from the Australian Ballet's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland."
  15. 2017 Fall Season

    Thank you for sharing Kathleen! I appreciate your insight and the comedy video is so cute. Now that I think about it, I do like a lot of story ballets -- La Fille Mal Gardée was adorable, I had so much fun at Onegin, and La Sylphide grew on me the second time I saw it (as did Sleeping Beauty but I first saw the Ratmansky, then the Martins). I've been trying to get to Midsummer's but the timing hasn't worked out yet. And I'm a cliché but my favorite ballet is the Balanchine Nutcracker...but IMO this is very light on story and heavy on Tchaikovsky and dancing. I think I have to reevaluate my stance! It must be the Giselles, Don Qs, and Corsaires I grew up with that color my view.
  16. Alyona Kovalyova Swan Lake Debut

    Dear Helene I was devastated when I missed Masha's last performance as Gamzatti at the Balshoy end of past January and she resigned couple of days later - I had tix but could not make the trip and gave my tix away to friends. It was my dream cast : Zaharova, Alexandrova, Rodkin.
  17. Alyona Kovalyova Swan Lake Debut

    Stepanova's fouettée at time 1:11 in this gala video is quite acceptable in my view, but she cannot be relied on for perfect execution each and every time https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1451&v=BQiIA3Hyqfc
  18. Alyona Kovalyova Swan Lake Debut

    Alexandrova's strength is one of the reasons she's among my favorite dancers I've ever seen live. The penchant for skinny has never intersected with my taste.
  19. Alyona Kovalyova Swan Lake Debut

    Dear Naomi I saw Sevenard live as Paxita last June at Mariinka during the Vaganova graduation show. Imho damn good dancer technically but does not have the "allure" of Kovalyova and can never have, it's a gift of God. I could maybe liken Sevenard vs Kovalyova to Alexandrova vs Zaharova. Alexandrova was my default Gamzatti - not even knowing her name at the time I was simply stunned by her performance when Mezzo livecast the current production of Bayaderka from Bolshoy in 2012 or 13. But she does not have the allure of Zaharova "who can simply go out on the stage, just stand there and not move at all and still create incredible beauty" in the words of Vaziyev. PS - between you and me : my friends in Moscow used to and still tease me regarding my sympathy for Alexandrova, saying I have betrayed my affinity towards "strongly built women" ! Hope I won't get reported and censored for these harmless quips !
  20. Alyona Kovalyova Swan Lake Debut

    Some videos of Eleonora Sevenard's Black Swan from her instagram. At this point, she seems to have more refined technique. We'll see how those two mature. (those videos were filmed in May, while she was still a student) https://www.instagram.com/p/BTqY-80AN9e/?taken-by=elya_7ard https://www.instagram.com/p/BTvfrF-A6KA/?taken-by=elya_7ard Kovaleva's Black Swan (last pic of this Instagram, scroll to the right) https://www.instagram.com/p/BZGgvnnjcg3/
  21. 2017 Fall Season

    The gala can be fun, especially in the spring, because of the celebs. I don't attend the dinner but generally sit in the 2nd ring. Depending on my mood and the weather, I try to dress up a little. It's good if you can't wait the week to see the program at the normal prices.
  22. Alyona Kovalyova Swan Lake Debut

    I think a video of a performance is really just so different from a live performance it's like a different entity--and I don't think there can be any question but that ballet in all its greatness is a live performing art. So, for me the value of someone's thoughts on what they saw/felt in the theater counts for a lot. That's also why I asked about projection. It's interesting too....when I have loved something live, I often don't want to see video of it or even of the same dancer in the same role. I feel as if the video image will obscure/replace my live experience even when a few images in my head and the memory of my response to the performance are all that's left to me. It's not a hard and fast rule and I am able to see so little ballet now, I am really becoming "dependent" on video for much of what I see...but I do have mixed feelings about the whole transformation of the ballet going experience. I suppose one day a mature Kovaleva may not be altogether thrilled that excerpts from her first stab at Swan Lake are all over the internet.
  23. Alyona Kovalyova Swan Lake Debut

    Polina at the 2009 Zurich Spoerli staging : any resemblance would you say ?? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vU0DPmcjvYc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBk8XzVGfWo The more I watch the clips being posted on YT the more I am thinking Kovalyova and Tissi put up a very acceptable performance regardless of it being their debuts. Matters of aesthetics are quite personal and I have total respect for your view - I have yet to arrive at a final appraisal. One cannot, at least I cannot capture everything as the live performance flashes past : saw Vishnova as Giselle (with Ganio) live at Mariinka last year and could not really connect, probably because I was infatuated with Vishnova as Juliet for a long time (her performance made me dump opera for Russian classical ballet). Earlier this month Mezzo Live HD telecast the very same performance I saw and I recorded it, watched it three times so far. Woken up to what a great, possibly incomparable portrayal Diana made of Giselle - now she is my joint No. 1 Giselle, tied with Cojocaru. For me it does take some time to fully digest and appreciate a performance or portrayal.
  24. 2017 Fall Season

    I am tired now, will write more later but thought Tess gave a very lovely performance tonight, and for those counting, she did about 30 fouettes with 4 doubles thrown in and landed in a clean fourth position.
  25. Alyona Kovalyova Swan Lake Debut

    A short clip of Odile's variation. I find it to be a good example of why extraordinarily long limbs are not necessarily a desired attribute in a ballerina. Nor are they estetically pleasing.
  26. Yulia Stepanova

    But life at the Bolshoi is a fickle thing. A year ago one of the award's recipients was Maria Alexandrova. Before the season was out, she had resigned, then was sort of re-instated, and then "demoted" but left on the roster, although without any performances schueduled so far this season. Recipients of the award from the ballet company over the past decade: 2017 - Yulia Stepanova, Vyacheslav Lopatin, Daria Lovtsova 2016 - Maria Alexandrova, Igor Tsvirko, Margarita Shrainer 2015 - Ekaterina Krysanova, Vladislav Lantratov, Egor Sharkov 2014 - Olga Smirnova, Mikhail Lobukhin, Anastasia Kazakova 2013 - Anastasia Stashkevich, Semyon Chudin, Yan Godovsky, Alexander Vetrov 2012 - Ekaterina Krysanova, Ruslan Skvortsov, Anna Nikulina, Artem Ovcharenko 2011 - Nina Kaptsova, Vladislav Lantratov, Vladimir Nikonov 2010 - Marianna Ryzhkina, Ivan Vasiliev, Marina Kondratieva 2009 - Nadezhda Gracheva, Ekaterina Shipulina 2008 - Anna Antonicheva, Alexander Volchkov, Nikolai Fadeyechev 2007 - Galina Stepanenko, Inna Petrova, Yuri Klevtsov, Alexander Petukhov, Tatiana Krasina
  27. Yulia Stepanova

    Thanks for the background re the nomination.
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