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About Birdsall

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
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  1. You know I agree with you! She is used as an "Also Ran" or sub, and she can dance circles around Skorik! At the final performance of the D.C. Raymonda tour she had to suddenly replace Skorik after Act 1, and it was announced that Kolegova would dance Act 2 and 3, and it looked like she only had her street make up on instead of her theatrical make up when she entered in Act 2. Then, in Act 3 her make up was the normal theatrical make up. So it appeared to be a sudden decision. I saw no sign of injury at the end of Skorik's Act 1.
  2. I vote for Swan Lake's love duet also. It is the Number One moment in ballet that I could watch every single day of my life. To me it captures how it feels to fall in love so deeply that it goes beyond anything. For me Diamonds is very pretty but somewhat mechanical in comparison (less touching, less meaningful). After a hard day at work or after being stressed about dealing with my elderly parents' issues, I will choose one of many Swan Lake videos I have and fast forward to the love duet, and it takes me away from all my troubles for 30 minutes. There is no other scene in ballet that works that same magic for me. I rate it as NUMBER ONE. There are many other ballet moments that I love, but that duet is my absolute favorite.
  3. There are harlots in the Lavrovsky but they play such a small role that they are easy to miss. For those of us who love flowing arms and upper bodies the Lavrovsky danced by the Mariinsky is the best!!! Plus, there is an elegance to the dancing and choreography that is lovely. I don't think I would like the Lavrovsky version danced by another company, however. I think the Mariinsky with its special style makes it work for me.
  4. Novikova is, in my opinion, the best ballerina at the Mariinsky, and that includes Lopatkina even before she retired. Her arms are the most flowing and delightful arms of all Mariinsky ballerinas. She is also quite versatile...able to dance Odette/Odile (though rarely getting the chance....I think she danced it ONCE on the Mariinsky stage and maybe once or twice on tours), Kitri, Giselle, Masha in Nutcracker, Raymonda, Aurora, etc. It is sad that Novikova is not a principal. She is so feminine and delicate but then spins like a Tasmanian devil when Giselle rises from the grave. So strength hidden under the delicate, flowing Vaganova training.... Beautiful, beautiful dancer. She should be the new prima now that Lopatkina has retired. In fact, she should have been the prima way above Lopatkina and Vishneva. IMO She is truly a great red wine that makes all others taste sour.
  5. Yulia Stepanova

    Thanks for correcting me that you have no personal sympathies. I was actually speaking in general and thought people reading would wonder why these other ballerinas are being put to pasture (I think it is because of age). I think you can understand how someone could accidentally assume personal sympathies when on a Stepanova thread and mention of her award we are now talking about many others and it seemed like it was implied that she did not deserve it when there are so many others. But apparently, my mistake. Personally, if I am neutral on a dancer I never read that dancer's thread. No time. Dealing with aging parents, getting their house ready to sell, back to work after many months of just taking care of parents, etc. Limited time means I only read threads that I have personal sympathies for.... I do have to agree with you on Alexandrova. I think she dances fine technically, but I personally think she has an angry looking face even when she's smiling. I am not sure I want to see her in anything besides Gamzatti or Odile or maybe in the future Carabosse.
  6. Yulia Stepanova

    Allash turned 41 in March and Kaptsova will be 39 in a few short weeks. If anybody can feel disappointed it is Obraztsova, not the stars on the threshold of retirement. I think Alexandrova is also around that age and has other projects. I understand people's disappointment at their favorites getting fewer opportunities to dance, but ballet strikes me as a cruel art in that respect...once you are no longer in your prime you can be discarded like you don't matter. Some dancers are able to keep dancing longer.
  7. Yulia Stepanova

    By the way, Alexandrova will be performing in the Bright Stream on Oct. 28.
  8. Yulia Stepanova

    The prize winners are nominated by the ballet and opera artistic directors and the company pedagogues. The award for Stepanova is a visible proof that Vaziev and some top ballet people in Moscow have a VERY HIGH opinion of Stepanova. Vaziev, in particular, was tremendously impressed by Yulia’s debut in the «Legend of Love».
  9. Alyona Kovalyova Swan Lake Debut

    I disagree about Stepanova. I have seen her do fouettes perfectly in person at the Mariinsky when she was a coryphee no less. And I have seen her in all of her Bolshoi roles in alternative ways and never saw a problem, so far. I will have to go back and check. However, thank you for the report about Kovalyova. I think the ballet world is actually watching her and wondering if she is destined for greatness.
  10. Also in the Sunday matinee Vasily Tkachenko is usually very good so he will be a great Spectre to Yana Selina's very solid Girl. She always gives a lovely performance. The second half of the matinee is disappointing though, but Kondaurova can sometimes give good performances.
  11. If Chopiniana is what you care most about then definitely 100% go to the matinee! Osmolkina and Stepin are both fabulous dancers. Way better than the evening Chopiniana cast! That is going to be worlds apart.
  12. Biopic of Matilda Kshesinskaya

    Scary! And I notice that the prosecutor is talking like people here in America where people don't want to believe newspapers or facts, so we might be headed in the same direction concerning the arts! Scary times right now! One of our founding fathers, I believe, said something like people are very quick to want to censor things they disagree with but then there is no free thought or free artistic expression.
  13. Yulia Stepanova

    Google Translate says "Board of Trustees" which is probably a mixture of people interested in the arts I am guessing. It is apparently given out every year.
  14. Yulia Stepanova

    Yulia Stepanova and Vyacheslav Lopatin are the two soloists who won the internal Bolshoi award for “outstanding artistic achievements” in the last season. The award is given annually at the beginning of each season to the “best artists” in the previous season.“http://www.bolshoi.ru/about/press/articles/none/242-beginning/
  15. tidbits from my St. Petersburg trip

    Good to hear!