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  1. Laurent

    Vaganova Academy Graduation, 2018

    What condition was she in?
  2. from left to right: Sevenard, Zhiganshina, Stepanova, Obraztsova, Zakharova, Rodkin, Smirnova, Kovaleva 8 · The Queen of Waters variation (Stepanova). On the authority of Vaganova memoirs published 7 years after her death, this variation is a survivor of the earlier Marius Petipa, or even Saint-Léon text ; this leaves open the question who is the author of the Queen of Dryads variation, traditionally thought to be by Gorsky. Note that Yulia Stepanova danced yesterday a more difficult text than Maria Khoreva : the Italian fouettés were added quite some time after Gorsky's 1912 production, and they were too difficult for several dancers who were dancing the original text. https://scontent-arn2-1.cdninstagram.com/vp/91d426f63f65b0d0753e6de66d998388/5B2C2887/t50.2886-16/34920529_192408511479492_4856669424052150087_n.mp4 9 · A variation from le Pavillon d'Armide (Obraztsova) https://scontent-arn2-1.cdninstagram.com/vp/652d4758cc382fce95391ec4c98ff76b/5B2BF451/t50.2886-16/34941190_2121126964837071_4025521906945733198_n.mp4 (the source: Arina Windsor's Instagram)
  3. Laurent

    New Royal Ballet Swan Lake

    If Scarlet indeed wanted those ugly, broken, clumsy arms that Marianela Núñez showed us in her Odette, then I see no hope for him as a producer of great Classics. I can't help but quote here what Alexander Meinertz said in his recent article: Could it be that Scarlett is one of those who believe the ugly deformations to be the "standard" now ? I am among those who "need a defibrillator" when watching it. "Boneless" sounds to me as a derogatory term and it went into the history of ballet as a derogatory term when it was first employed (désossée) by Julien-Louis Geoffroy to condemn the novel way of dancing introduced by Geneviève Gosselin, a notable precursor of Marie Taglioni. An aside note: camera close-ups were a real disservice to Núñez and Muntagirov, in my opinion, and especially so in the White Adagio.
  4. The variation of the Queen of Waters has been indeed used for the inserted variation in the Grand pas of Don Quichotte at Mariinsky, it wass danced, e.g., by Olga Esina in 2006 (with Novikova and Sarafanov dancing the principal parts) which is understandable in view of the fact that its author, Alexandre Gorsky, was also the author of the variation of the Queen of Dryads. Both variations were in the past brilliantly executed by Agrippina Vaganova, called by the contemporary critics the "Queen of Variations". It is worth to remember that Gorsky produced his own redactions of both Don Quichotte and the Little humbacked horse after Marius Petipa's retirement. The Don Quichotte we know is by Gorsky, not Petipa. Preservation of numerous variations from lost ballets of the Imperial era we owe to Vaganova who was using them in her teaching throughout her career.
  5. Sevenard and Zhiganshina were planned from the very beginning. These variations were performed in the graduation concert last year. Yulia Stepanova is dancing the variation of the Queen of Waters, last year danced by Maria Khoreva, Yulia Spiridonova danced the variation from le Pavillon d'Armide, Eleonora Sevenard. dances the same variation, from ballet Trilby, she did dance last year.
  6. Laurent

    Is Bournonville Still Alive?

    They are not. This is true of many modern productions of classics, however, so, not being faithful to the original intentions, may not be the best criterion to judge those productions. Hübbe's approach to Bournonville seems to be wrong at its root, Alexander Meinertz in his article, and Anne in her long post above, articulate what is wrong with it very well. I consider their voices to be important and very timely. Ratmansky was mentioned by Meinertz in the context of searching desperately for somebody who could save Bournonville from the likes of Hübbe, not as a ready proposal. Perhaps the Danes need somebody like Yuri Burlaka whose productions of Imperial Russian classics (reconstructions and stylizations) have so much appeal.
  7. Laurent

    New Royal Ballet Swan Lake

    What you are saying seems so obvious and yet so many choreographers in recent times fall into the same trap trying to transform a fairy-tale into some kind of a historical novel. With Swan Lake this doesn't seem to work, or the men who attempted this are not well equipped to make it happen. Concerning your question why the first White Scene's choreography is 'sacrosanct', while the Second one's isn't: Swan Lake without the White Adagio, without Pas de Quatre, without Odette's variation, loses all of its appeal to the public. I saw a great deal of Scarlett, mostly high velocity sequences of tedious, acrobatic lifts, wearing out the dancers to the point of collapse, thus I have some doubts about his ability to suddenly become a 'partner' worthy of Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov.
  8. Laurent

    Vaganova Academy Graduation, 2018

    Tereshkina observed every single accent, this alone is a rarity today; her exaggerated, ostentatious, manner, however, made her less appealing in my eyes than, for example, Khoreva, who was dancing one of the variations (said to be from the late 19th century ballet Gretna-Green (!?!) but, in reality, being the Dulcinea variation of Dudinskaya).
  9. Laurent

    Vaganova Academy Graduation, 2018

    That's the whole problem: your opinions are not of your own making. The photograph was most likely intended by a journalist to look provocative yet any ballet lover should immediately recognize that it comes from a rehearsal of the Valse of Snowflakes from the Nutcracker, a ballet danced by the Vaganova Academy every year.
  10. Vikharev's Fille mal gardée is not a reconstruction in the proper sense of the word, and Vikharev himself was admitting this in 2015. Let's begin from the video clip you posted: it doesn't represent a reconstructed Petipa-Ivanov choreography, it is the final Pas de deux by Gorsky from the Moscow production of la Fille mal gardée, with later, Soviet times, extensions. Vikharev borrowed fragments from a number of disparate sources; he interpolated a pas de deux from Bournonville's Kermessen i Brügge into the Field scene; the resulting choreographic text was diverse and nonhomogenous. Was this the reason to make it even more of a mélange of all sorts of things by designing decorations and costumes inspired by van Gogh, and by inserting into the ballet the class from Bournonville's Konservatoriet, I don't know. The final result, however, is a production that by no means is a reconstruction of the Petipa-Ivanov's, or any other version, of la Fille mal gardée and, apparently, wasn't meant to be.
  11. Laurent

    Vaganova Academy Graduation, 2018

    One judges a man by his deeds, not by his image in the (social) media.
  12. This is the "Naiad and Fisherman", a reconstruction (?) by Yuri Burlaka, not Vikharev's "La fille mal gardée" which, by the way, is not a reconstruction but a conglomerate of a lot of things.
  13. I don't remember the date of the planned premiere, if I remember correctly, it is planned for the Fall. This will not be a "reconstruction" in any sense of the word. Even the score will be new. A lot more interesting and relevant was a recent staging of le grand pas des étoiles from this ballet by Danil Salimbaev, presented twice at the Cheboksary Ballet Festival this year.
  14. Laurent

    Khoreva, Bulanova

    Anastasia Nuykina is yet another star of the graduating class at the Vaganova Academy, at a similar level as Maria Khoreva. The difference is: she doesn't post a photo on Instagram every five minutes, as a result she is known only to the pedagogues and ballet professionals. Maria Bulanova's main strength is rotation. She spent only three years at the Academy. A year ago it was Maria Petukhova who was the leader, ahead of Khoreva, alas, her physical development didn't help her. This is a very strong year, there are several other excellent-to-very good girls and an unusual number of really good boys. A promising 6-grader, Anastasia Smirnova, will be highlighted tomorrow in a difficult pas de deux, in the third graduation concert; for a 6-th grader she is already fantastic. Most impressive is, however, the overall level of competence, it reminds the best times at École de danse a couple of decades ago, when the likes of Christiane Vaussard were alive (literally nothing of the former glory remains today in Paris, ballet is dying there).
  15. Laurent

    The Lilac Fairy

    Can I ask you which photographs did you see? The ones that are preserved at the Theatrical Museum in Petersburg? Those are all staged, they show Médora, Conrad and Birbanto in the dramatic pantomime scene thought to preserve the original Petersburg staging of Le Corsaire by Jules Perrot. It is entirely possible that Marie Petipa used such a pantomime excerpt for one of her concert numbers. More precisely, from the second act of Paquita. On the 4 February of 1901, Marie Petipa, in her bénéfice on the occasion of 25 years of her service at the Imperial Theatres, danced the second act of Paquita; as you know, it is pantomime plus a stylized Spanish dance. This was the only time she danced Paquita that season. She never danced the whole ballet. The most up to date study of the history of Sleeping Beauty at Mariinsky was published in Vestnik of the Vaganova Academy, 2017, N°2 (49) , pp. 31-60. Several pages are devoted to what we know about the Lilac fairy variation.