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About Mashinka

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    Long time ballet fan and former modern dance administrator
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    London UK

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  1. Bare midriffs in ballet are a personal hate of mine and most dancers tend to look as you describe Kondaurova. She has never struck me as emaciated when she wears a tutu though. I always cringe when I see the scene where Nikiya dances with the gift basket, the prominent ribs, I agree, aren't a good look.
  2. "Where are the Women in Ballet?"

    Ballet is dance though and although Bejart gave prominence to the males the females in the company were all strong personalities in their own right.
  3. "Karsar" (aka Corsaire) Coming Up at Bolshoy

    I believe it was Bernard Haitink's decision to put everything in without cuts, a video once existed so I'm surprised it hasn't been re-issued, by the way NVC Arts have re-issued some ROH operas on DVD, I recently bought a 1985 Andrea Chenier with Tomowa-Sintow, perhaps you should approach them. Have you seen ENB's Corsaire? It is actually very good and staged by the Holmes's. It features an Ali and a DVD is available of it with Cojocaru and Muntagirov as Medora and Conrad, Junor Souza as Ali and Yonah Acosta as Birbanto.
  4. "Where are the Women in Ballet?"

    Bejart once said the opposite I believe, that dance was man. Jorge Donn dancing his Bolero in the midst of a corps de ballet of men remains one of the most sexually charged things I've ever seen.
  5. 2017-18 Bolshoi cinema season

    Her debut? How can it be a debut when she danced it in London last year? Are you saying it was her debut in Moscow? If so I'm disgusted that the Bolshoi used London as a try-out, the company gave us a number of sub standard performances last year including Smirnova's below par Kitri on opening night, but Stapanova's dreary mistake ridden Medora was the absolute nadir. Krysanova didn't put a foot wrong in Corsaire and to my astonishment she is actually winning over those hard core RB fans with their sniffy attitudes to Russian dancers. She also, along with Alexandrova and their partners, recently participated in a project here to present ballet to underprivileged kids. She was on top form and deserves all the cinema exposure she can get.
  6. "Karsar" (aka Corsaire) Coming Up at Bolshoy

    Indeed, I went to Cardiff last weekend to see Welsh National Opera in Khovanschina an opera with a similar problem to Prince Igor, namely the composer dying before the work was complete. Those two operas were worked on at various times by Rimsky Korsakov, his pupil Stravinsky and Glazounov amongst others. One of my companions in Cardiff was a Russian who has worked on a production of Igor and he tells me there is a trend there to cut those passages that are clearly by another hand. I too was disappointed with Prince Igor when I saw it in Moscow some years ago and was surprised it was truncated compared to the only other production I'd seen at Covent Garden, though to be honest it was the magnificent cast led by Leiferkus, Tomowa Sintow and Burchuladze that I missed the most. Regarding Corsaire, I think the Bolshoi production is the finest of all though previously I had enjoyed their Sergeyev version which was dissimilar to the Kirov's but did keep the character called Ali.
  7. Here is an interesting Prince Igor from Bulgaria with Gediminas Taranda's Imperial Russian Ballet. Most of the girls will be Russian though some of the company is Kazakhstani and Moldovan. As the date is 2015 I think the leading male dancers are Nariman Bekzhanov and Denis Simon, not sure about the leading girls as my aging laptop wouldn't let me watch full screen. There is a much older version of them on DVD with Taranda himself dancing but unfortunately can't find it on line.
  8. Agree about the Massimo Morricone/Christopher Gable production that Northern Ballet dances, I haven't seen it for some time now but remember it as being true to the spirit of Shakespeare. There is a simplicity about the Ashton version, straightforward story telling. I always felt it inspired Cranko whose own version is very much the template for MacMillan's. I won't mention plagiarism though Cranko himself certainly alluded to it.
  9. MacMillan had his own personal take on the ballet, particularly the character of Juliet and his R&J isn't strictly Shakespeare's as in my view he has coarsened the story, not least with the superfluous 'harlots'. What is lost is the poetry and the Lavrovsky version has that in abundance. I've seen so many versions of the ballet now that I've lost count, but every production I've seen has had something to admire, even if fleetingly, and I've sometimes imagined a ballet comprising the best bits of all of them. I think Nureyev's version comes closest to the actual text of the play, but for dramatic purposes it is important to know what to cut and I'm not sure a simple sentence should be reproduced as part of a scene (e.g. death figure appearing to have sexual congress with Juliet). We all have favourites and I have got more from Vladimir Vasiliev's version than any other, though it breaks my heart that Ashton's R&J isn't performed by the Royal Ballet, or indeed by ENB that dropped it for Nureyev's. The version I regret never having seen is the Tudor, the photos I've seen are so beautiful. Telling what is possibly the world's best known love story through dance brings out the best in many ballerinas and will continue to do so for a very long time.
  10. Yulia Stepanova

    Off topic, but the "completely non-existence dance talent" of Serge Diaghilev didn't stop him from being the greatest AD in ballet's history.
  11. Yulia Stepanova

    That is sadly par for the course with a number of companies, English National Ballet springs immediately to mind, even though it isn't on a level with the Bolshoi. It will be interesting to see what effect these changes will have on company morale. Of those currently listed as female principals, only one, Krysanova, would I be prepared to see in everything and a second, Obraztsova, I would see in most things, though a couple of ladies further down the rankings interest me greatly too. I would be devastated if the unique Bolshoi style were lost or even diluted and it's looking as if there may be a danger of that.
  12. Yulia Stepanova

    I was lucky enough to have seen Lyubov Kunakova dance on a number of occasions, indeed she appeared in a mime role with the Mariinsky in Anna Karenina in London last month. Apart from a rock solid technique she had great charm and a genuine warmth that radiated beyond the footlights, Stepanova has none of those attributes and I'm at a total loss to understand her appeal
  13. Yulia Stepanova

    It was an evening given by a ballet school with Russian connections at the London Palladium. Chudin and Krysanova both performed contemporary solos, Alexandrova and Lantratov danced Raymonda pas de deux and variations and bits of Carmen Suite, Krysanova and Chudin ended the evening with Don Q pdd.
  14. Yulia Stepanova

    Alexandrova danced in London on Monday together with Lantratov, Krysanova and Chudin also appeared. It would be nice if she can arrange guest appearances to make up for her home company's neglect.
  15. Biopic of Matilda Kshesinskaya

    The trailer for the film certainly wouldn't tempt me into a cinema, is anyone saying it has artistic merit? MK isn't a bad subject for a bio-pic. particularly as she went from riches to rags, though other grande horizontales of the period were more interesting. As royal paramours go she was historically pretty low rent compared with the likes of say Diane de Poitiers or Piers Gaveston and even Lola Montez was given a title. Plenty of references to her in ballet history books and she could certainly dance, but she comes across as a negative character, though I admired her stoicism in adversity. I take it MacMillan's Anastasia hasn't been danced in Russia? After all those years of repressive censorship under the communists, seems the new Russians are no better, worse perhaps when the mob takes over.