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SFCleo

The Bolshoi under Vaziev

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Some very interesting things are happening at the Bolshoi. In the recent four day run of Sleeping Beauty there was a huge number of debuts by dancers from the corps in soloist roles (such as Denisova, Schreiner, Zhiganshina) and lower level soloists in major roles (such as Anna Okuneva as the Lilac Fairy). In a last minute substitution, Krysanova danced Aurora with a very lucky Vladislav Kozlov from the corps as Prince Desire. On Instagram, many debutants were over the moon, understandably thankful for these unforeseen opportunities. https://www.instagram.com/p/BFbfm6IGJyP/?taken-by=call_me_perchand https://www.instagram.com/p/BFedQMJAqi2/?taken-by=gaglianonebruna are some examples.

I wonder: is Vaziev taking stock of the company, looking for diamonds in the rough to replace dead wood? He certainly made a lot of people happy, although I suppose some of the older dancers may not be all that comfortable with the process.

Here is the official listing of debuts from the Bolshoi website (translated by google translate so some of the names may not be exactly correct):

"Sleeping Beauty". Debuts

12 May
Yulia Stepanova - Lilac Fairy
Anastasia Denisova - Fairy of Tenderness
Yanina Parienko - Carefree Fairy, Fairy Gold
Daria Khokhlova - Fairy playfulness
Margarita Schreiner - Silver Fairy
Anna Leonova - White Cat
Anna Zachary - maid / maid of honor
may 13
Anna Okunev - Lilac Fairy
Andrew Mercury - The wicked fairy Carabosse
Oksana balls - Fairy of Tenderness
Xenia Zhiganshina - Diamond Fairy
Daria Khokhlova - White Cat
Anna Tikhomirov - Princess Florine
Anastasia Denisova - Cinderella
Ilya Artamonov - Grey Wolf
Faith Borisenkova - The Duchess
Ksenia Averin - maid / maid of honor
May 14 (beginning at 12.00)
Dmitry Dorokhov - Wicked Fairy Carabosse
Tamara Mironova - Fairy of Tenderness
Brune Kantanede Galyanoni - Fairy Carefree
Olga Kalinina - Fairy playfulness
Margarita Schreiner - Diamond Fairy
Anastasia Denisova - Princess Florine
May 14 (beginning at 19.00)
Anna Balukova Anton Savitchev - Peasant dance
Nina Biryukova - Little Red Riding Hood
May 15
Brune Kantanede Galyanoni - Fairy of Courage
Anna Tikhomirov - White Cat
Yulia Stepanova - Princess Florine

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Margarita Schrainer is dancing Kitri during the Bolshoi's London season.

Thanks for this. Good for Schrainer -- they must think highly of her.

While checking the ROH website I saw another change: Stepanova will be dancing Medora in Le Corsaire!

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When I was in Moscow for several performances of La Bayadere in April, the entire company looked better than I've ever seen it. It was probably too early for Makhar Vaziev to have had a lot to do with this, but he certainly has good 'material' to work with.

Added comment:

The Corps de Ballet was Absolutely Outstanding !

Perhaps all this had to do with the company being on it's own stage and not having been just rushed in from the airport. In any case the company had a Combination of aliveness, excellence and togetherness that was as fine as I've ever seen anywhere.

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Some very interesting things are happening at the Bolshoi. In the recent four day run of Sleeping Beauty there was a huge number of debuts by dancers from the corps in soloist roles (such as Denisova, Schreiner, Zhiganshina) and lower level soloists in major roles (such as Anna Okuneva as the Lilac Fairy).

SFCleo, the new and young faces scheduled to do Soloist parts are quite interesting. If I recall correctly when Alexei Ratmansky took over about fourteen years ago he completely redid the background (the Corps de Ballet, etc.).* They all looked as if they had just come out of the cradle. Now, perhaps, Makhar Vaziev is going to work on the top. The new Soloist landscape has also extended to changes made very recently to the London lineup. (Sophia at Dansomanie has listed them).

One of the things that Sergei Filin did was to promote several (I believe) dancers to Principal level who had been around for awhile. Ekaterina Shipulina was one. This finally gave them their day in the sun, their well deserved recognition. I saw Ekaterina Shipulina perform about five years ago, well into her career, and I was delighted at how well she did and how young she seemed.

Nina Kaptsova, I believe, was another. I saw her perform Giselle in 2011, before she was promoted, and I really want to include this comment that I wrote because I don’t believe this I ever felt like this before, or after.

“I woke up the morning after I saw Nina Kaptsova and my mind was as light, calm and peaceful as it could be as I visualized her dancing as lightly as the air itself.”

* Alexei Ratmansky also did some significant work at the top bringing in Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev, but when he tried to bring Diana Vishneva over as a Principal the company drew the line.
Added comment:

Sergei Filin also did some major work at the top by bringing over Olga Smirnova, Evgenia Obraztsova and Yulia Stepanova (and at a lower level, Xenia Zhiganshina) from the Vaganova/Mariinsky sphere. Olga Smirnova was a master stroke ! Yulia Stepanova and Xenia Zhiganshina were a recognition of very fine, young talent. Evgenia Obraztsova was a recognition for a long time of exceptionally fine, developed talent. Makhar Vaziev is certainly familiar with her from the Mariinsky and hopefully will feature her. Her performance of Swan Lake a year ago with The Royal Ballet in London was one of the finest that I’ve ever seen. Also David Hallberg was brought in, although the Bolshoi’s general director, Anatoly Iksanov, said that it was his desire that this should happen.

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I love to see Vaziev giving all these young dancers chances - how great for company morale, and exciting for audiences! I am especially happy to see Yulia Stepanova finally being given roles she deserved to dance years ago at Mariinsky. I saw most of these dancers in performance in Moscow in February, and there is definitely a LOT of talent in the wings!

Google Translate does come up with some inexplicable and hilarious translations! Diana Cherry for Vishneva? LOL! Anyway, just in the interests of clarification:


Andrew Mercury is Andrei Merkuriev
Oksana Balls is Oksana Sharova

Anna Zachary is Ana Zakharaya

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Sergei Filin also did some major work at the top by bringing over Olga Smirnova, Evgenia Obraztsova and Yulia Stepanova (and at a lower level, Xenia Zhiganshina) from the Vaganova/Mariinsky sphere.

Buddy, I don't know if you remember from Bolshoi Babylon the part where Maria Allash grouses about Filin bringing in non-Bolshoi trained dancers (read Obratsova, Smirnova, Hallberg) and, according to Maria, promoting them over equally qualified Bolshoi dancers. If such attitudes fed the resentment against Filin that resulted in the acid attack, one can only hope that those who opposed Filin have learned their lesson and will find a way to accept Vaziev's leadership. Certainly the Vaganova trained dancers bring something to the Bolshoi that Bolshoi dancers currently lack, namely the beautiful adagio for which Petersburg is known. Vaziev has been featuring Smirnova, Stepanova and Zhiganshina quite prominently this year with many debuts, partly I think because many senior dancers have been MIA this season, or maybe they have been MIA because Vaziev is not using them? Hard to tell. Kaptsova has been dancing a lot, though, which I agree is a good thing!

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I love to see Vaziev giving all these young dancers chances - how great for company morale, and exciting for audiences! I am especially happy to see Yulia Stepanova finally being given roles she deserved to dance years ago at Mariinsky. I saw most of these dancers in performance in Moscow in February, and there is definitely a LOT of talent in the wings!

Google Translate does come up with some inexplicable and hilarious translations! Diana Cherry for Vishneva? LOL! Anyway, just in the interests of clarification:

Andrew Mercury is Andrei Merkuriev

Oksana Balls is Oksana Sharova

Anna Zachary is Ana Zakharaya

LOL is right! OT a bit, my favorite Google Translate translation is "Two Jeeps" for -- you guessed it -- the two Wilis in Giselle!

Yes, Stepanova is on fire now, with TWO debuts scheduled for the London tour: O/O and Medora! She also danced last evening in the second Benoit de la Danse gala in a duet with Denis Rodkin from Vladimir Vasiliev's "Macbeth". I hope somebody managed to video that!

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Per Zhiganshina's Instagram, Kaptsova was injured/sick, which is why she got Gulnara on short notice. I think Meskova, who on Bolshoi Babylon, wasn't getting much to begin with, may be spending more time acting (she has a lead role in a Russian serial).

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Some dark mutterings in London over cast changes. They are always expected, but the fans expect the first team to appear and if newcomers are cast they will need to be of the calibre of a young Osipova to cut any ice. Btw, Osipova was rumoured to be appearing in Flames and Don Q but that doesn't seem to be happening. The fans were upset that booking opened before casting was announced and many have bought far more tickets than they can afford or need, planning to re-sell tickets for those casts they wouldn't have bought tickets for anyway.

Injuries must be serious indeed if the dancers can't recover by August.

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Certainly the Vaganova trained dancers bring something to the Bolshoi that Bolshoi dancers currently lack, namely the beautiful adagio for which Petersburg is known. Vaziev has been featuring Smirnova, Stepanova and Zhiganshina quite prominently this year with many debuts, partly I think because many senior dancers have been MIA this season, or maybe they have been MIA because Vaziev is not using them? Hard to tell. Kaptsova has been dancing a lot, though, which I agree is a good thing!

SFCleo, I used to feel a greater difference between the Bolshoi and the Mariinsky, but since seeing the Bolshoi for the first time on its own stage my perception has changed. The performances were electric and the theatrical prowess and expressiveness, which the Bolshoi is perhaps most famous for, merged Seamlessly with the ‘adagio’ beauty. If there is a difference, its one that now has much less meaning for me. It didn’t really seem to matter. The Mariinsky is ‘quieter,’ more delicate and dreamy. The Bolshoi is more lively and expressive, subtly electric. They are both remarkably beautiful, refined and graceful. I now appreciate and love them both equally.

I’m a great fan of the Mariinsky. I’ve probably seen ten times more of its performances than I have of the Bolshoi’s. I’m a great lover of its dreamlike gracefulness. As for the Mariinsky aura at the Bolshoi, my favorite ballerina is probably Svetlana Zakharova, who started at the Mariinsky and whose Mariinsky-like beauty has been my main attraction. I felt the same about the Bolshoi’s own Svetlana Lunkina. Another favorite is Evgenia Obraztsova, who had a long career at the Mariinsky.

The lead ballerinas that I saw may have something to do with my not feeling a great difference. Anna Nikulina was the first Nikiya (La Bayadere) and her airy loveliness reminds me of Svetlana Lunkina. Svetlana Zakharova was the second. She, if anyone, has seamlessly and often very subtly merged the Bolshoi and Mariinsky styles. Finally, Ekaterina Krysanova combines dreamlike gracefulness with expressiveness and almost bravura virtuosity.

Olga Smirnova, from the Vaganova, is perhaps the most fascinating. At the age of 23 or 24 she is already a Principal. I was greatly hoping to see her, but my tickets, bought before the casts were announced, did not include her. I did see her about a week earlier at the Mariinsky Festival doing an excerpt from Don Quixote. I gather that this was a work in progress because she doesn’t debut the entire role until London, this summer. By the time that it's ‘perfected,’ if it’s anything like the progression that she made for the two Swan Lakes that I saw her perform two summers ago in NYC, it will be A Masterpiece.

I think that her career will be a remarkable one, perhaps one of the finest in ballet history. She has a quality that for the moment I can only describe as ‘Dimension’ — Immense Dimension. At this time, her Vaganova fineness seems somewhat less noticeable than her remarkable expression and theatrical prowess. This may be the result of a new world being opened, explored and mastered by her since her moving to the Bolshoi. But its her very own world. I’m certain that she could feature her Vaganova beauty anytime that she wanted to. I think that she can probably do most anything. Her merging of the two worlds, Vaganova/Mariinsky and Bolshoi, along with her totally individual ‘genius,’ may well be an artistic adventure of historical proportion. And it’s impact somewhat parallels much of what I felt about the entire Bolshoi company in April.

I want to again quickly mention the Corps de Ballet. I’m not sure who is responsible, but its performances of La Bayadere were perhaps the finest Corps de Ballet performances that I’ve ever seen !

Sergei Filin, from a Bolshoi background, has brought in a lot of Vaganova/Mariinsky influence. It will be very interesting to see what Makhar Vaziev, from the Mariinsky, will do ? But the Bolshoi, I’m sure, will always stay absolutely itself and will always be one of the Greatest.

Added comment:

I think that Olga Smirnova should be paired up with Semyon Chudin as much as possible. It's "a match made in heaven."

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Some dark mutterings in London over cast changes. They are always expected, but the fans expect the first team to appear and if newcomers are cast they will need to be of the calibre of a young Osipova to cut any ice. Btw, Osipova was rumoured to be appearing in Flames and Don Q but that doesn't seem to be happening. The fans were upset that booking opened before casting was announced and many have bought far more tickets than they can afford or need, planning to re-sell tickets for those casts they wouldn't have bought tickets for anyway.

Injuries must be serious indeed if the dancers can't recover by August.

Shipulina is pregnant so that is why SHE has been replaced.

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Here’s Evgenia Obraztsova (formerly at the Mariinsky) with Artem Ovcharenko from about a half year ago at a Kremlin Ballet Theatre Gala, “Ballet Stars of the 21st Century.” This is posted by the Gala site. She looks pretty good to me and I hope that we’ll be seeing a lot more of her at the Bolshoi with Makhar Vaziev (formerly at the Mariinsky) now at the company. At about 1:40 you can see Sergei Filin in the audience.

Her performance reminds me of a benefit in Paris bringing attention to the need for earthquake relief in Japan a few years ago. She came on last at midnight. The program had started late, the audience was tired. She was like a Burst of Sunshine !

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=nnM1ZeTfcuI#t=0.311491026

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Buddy,

It's very interesting that you say Zakharova has done a wonderful job of merging both Mariinsky and Bolshoi. Here is why...

My husband studied all 8 years in Kyiv with the same male teacher who taught Sarafanov, Matvienko and many, many others that my production weary brain is not coming up with at the moment (our small company premiers Coppelia in 4 days and lack of sleep is par for the course for me! Can't believe I still enjoy it year after year! But imparting a beautiful legacy and art on such young, hungry students is all the encouragement I need to soldier on). Anyway, Zakharova, as well as Cojocaru, spent all but their last year in Kyiv as well, with Zakharova of course going to Vaganova for her 8th, and Cojocaru to the Royal for hers. I was trained completely from age 10 by Vaganova teachers imported straight out of the Vaganova academy, with 3 major ballerinas having coached me in several major roles. Sizova, Kolpakova, and Osipenko. This was a few short years after the Kirov Academy was founded in DC (which only Sizova was on faculty in that list. The others were outside the school) and the old guard running things like nothing had changed other than geography. (On a side note... True Vaganova training in the US is almost 99% impossible since usually most US parents would not want to be seperated from their 10 year olds to send them away to vocational school for ballet. It's also nearly unheard of for 10 year olds here to take ballet 6 days per week and having to pass very rigorous artistic and medical exams for entrance with the continued possibility of being accessed out of the program if not developing up to such I ncredibly high standards. I was very, very lucky to have started ballet at 9.5 years old and put in class 6 days per week the following year.) When I met my husband, we had been asked to do a guesting by a director who knew us well, although we had never met before. I'm actually surprised I agreed in the first place as partnering is built on trust and trust rarely would take place in the 4 rehearsal days provided before the performance. We favored each other in looks, body type, and temperament and I again was incredibly lucky. After that initial pairing we continued to dance together almost exclusively until medical issues finally proved too insurmountable for me to continue performing. When I started really observing him while we took class together, I noticed small, very subtle differences in his training than mine, and I do not mean male/female differences. It was very interesting to see him not just work but more so in how he taught. The more I observed the more convinced I was that he wasn't trained like either Russian school although extremely close to it, but a melding of sorts between the two. Not as charged or spirited like Bolshoi, not as elegant and super refined like Mariinsky. And it was and still is beautiful to see. When we started to actually try to pinpoint the technical proponents the clearer the differences became. I've had the same impression when I saw Zakharova in class back when she had not that long ago switched to the Bolshoi. Dvorovenko and Belerserkovsky the same. Sarafonov the same. And while neither of us will back down on what we feel is actually correct, we have had much fun being able to offers our students a little bit of both. The only Kyiv trained ballerina that I've seen that breaks this prototype for me is Cojocaru and that is because she is a creation all her on seemingly pulling all the many aspects that the different schools taught her and fine tuning what exactly worked for her.

I've always been partial to the Mariinsky, which is no surprise. Or I should say the Mariinsky prior to the current director... But by dancing and teaching with my husband I found a new perspective on what I thought I liked, but especially what I knew I disliked about the Marrinsky dancers. And what I appreciated from the Bolshoi that I was never able to define until seeing what can be done when mixed together. I suspect that since all three 'styles' were so close in actually methodology and its original founding technique it has allowed for this to take place. It is something that I don't think could happen anywhere else since each technique is so different. Like Paris Opera and Royal Danish. Complementary yes but melding??? I feel that would be like cherry picking the best of each which has proven many times over isn't advisable. Yes of course ballet has evolved from the original founding, and each system works beautifully because it teaches the entire body in harmony with itself and not disjointed.

On a side note, have you ever noticed the same type of 'best of both worlds' from dancers from Perm? From my perspective the Perm school is closer to the Mariinsky style and Kyiv to the Bolshoi, if only by a fraction. Saying that, it's curious how many ex-Kyiv dancers eventually ended up in the Mariinsky. They tried very hard to convince my husband to finish his last year at Vaganova, which he refused to consider. and which others jumped on for, in his estimation, the pedigree that the St Petersburg school could give. Sarafonov made the same choice as did Matvienko. Or maybe it was because they had found themselves with the good fortune to have a wonderful teacher at their disposal for their final 3 years in school.

Sorry this was so long winded!

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Buddy,

It's very interesting that you say Zakharova has done a wonderful job of merging both Mariinsky and Bolshoi. Here is why...

My husband studied all 8 years in Kyiv with the same male teacher who taught Sarafanov, Matvienko and many, many others.... The more I observed the more convinced I was that he [my husband] wasn't trained like either Russian school although extremely close to it, but a melding of sorts between the two. Not as charged or spirited like Bolshoi, not as elegant and super refined like Mariinsky. And it was and still is beautiful to see. When we started to actually try to pinpoint the technical proponents the clearer the differences became.

Thank you very much, Fraildove, for all the very interesting insights from your complete posting. I, not having any technical experience or developed knowledge of ballet technique, go on general impressions. When I first saw Svetlana Zakharova she had just moved to the Bolshoi and she performed “The Pharoah’s Daughter.” Svetlana Lunkina also was in the same series and the comparison was very interesting. I was new to ballet and was much more awed than analytical -- still am. It was exciting and wonderful to see all these great artists for the first time.

I felt, and still do, that Svetlana Zakharova, was so professionally perfected and danced so beautifully. There’s never been any doubt in my mind that she’s a star. I felt that Svetlana Lunkina was more cautious at times but extremely airy and lovely. I felt, and still do, that she was the most Mariinsky-like of the Bolshoi’s own ballerinas.

The more I watched the two companies, the more attention I paid to the Mariinsky influence at the Bolshoi, being a real Mariinsky fan. As I’ve written above, all this changed, almost like a bolt of lightening, when I saw the Bolshoi for the first time on it own stage in April. All the ‘stars must have aligned.’ I’ve tried to describe some of this in my above posts. The Bolshoi came on like I’d never seen it before, a ‘Seamless’ merging of theatrical brilliance and beautiful refinement.

My feeling for a long time, different from your professional insight, was that Svetlana Zakharova was a Mariinsky star transplanted to the Bolshoi, but still Mariinsky in essence. Her big transition, for me, as with other ballerinas, was after she had her child. She was back on stage at a London gala in a matter of months and I couldn’t believe what I saw. She was never in better physical condition and she was starting to develop a real depth of portrayal. A depth of portrayal is what I would associate more with the Bolshoi, yet as with Olga Smirnova, its so her own. I considered her development to be totally of her own doing. Now having experienced the Bolshoi in April at the very best that I’ve ever seen it, I feel that Svetlana Zakharova has in fact ‘absorbed’ some of its ‘manner and philosophy,’ and has indeed been merging Mariinsky and Bolshoi influences over the years in a very personal way.

I’m very grateful for your different insight, Fraildove. You feel that her merger of the two ’styles’ has been there all along. Maybe what I’m noticing are the more recent aspects of this. It would be interesting to hear some more of the detailed similarities, differences and melding of styles that your comment, that I quoted above, refers to. I still have to emphasise my feeling that the Bolshoi (and the Mariinsky) as a whole has its own very personal identity and always will. Where all this goes would make for interesting discussion and observation as the company moves on with Makhar Vasiev.

Added comment:

Wishing you much success with your upcoming performances, Fraildove. With your very busy schedule, when and if you have the time to respond to my comments, it would be great to hear from you.

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Here’s Evgenia Obraztsova (formerly at the Mariinsky) with Artem Ovcharenko from about a half year ago at a Kremlin Ballet Theatre Gala, “Ballet Stars of the 21st Century.” This is posted by the Gala site. She looks pretty good to me and I hope that we’ll be seeing a lot more of her at the Bolshoi with Makhar Vaziev (formerly at the Mariinsky) now at the company. At about 1:40 you can see Sergei Filin in the audience.

Her performance reminds me of a benefit in Paris bringing attention to the need for earthquake relief in Japan a few years ago. She came on last at midnight. The program had started late, the audience was tired. She was like a Burst of Sunshine !

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=nnM1ZeTfcuI#t=0.311491026

I love Obratsova in Satanella! Fabulous technique, great personality. Of all the ballerinas she is the one I would most like to see live. As I said above, I've been disappointed that she hasn't been dancing at the Bolshoi this year, but from her Instagram I've gleaned that she has been enjoying spending time with her husband. https://www.instagram.com/p/BFyb9WwGUPO/?taken-by=evgeniaobraztsova Note the strategically placed handbag. :innocent:

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Can't wait to see her again when she returns from maternity leave. Her technique, pointe technique and placement generally is fabulous, and there are so many roles she dances at Bolshoi that she could never dance at Mariinsky. Yes, her Satanella is fabulous ... but the performance that means the most to me personally is one I saw of her at Mariinsky in Shurale - most radiant, feel-good, joyous of ballets, and she was the perfect Syuimbike. Probably she will never dance that role again.

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Can't wait to see her again when she returns from maternity leave. Her technique, pointe technique and placement generally is fabulous, and there are so many roles she dances at Bolshoi that she could never dance at Mariinsky. Yes, her Satanella is fabulous ... but the performance that means the most to me personally is one I saw of her at Mariinsky in Shurale - most radiant, feel-good, joyous of ballets, and she was the perfect Syuimbike. Probably she will never dance that role again.

I've only ever seen Shurale in bits and pieces on YouTube. Wish the Russian companies would bring Shurale and other Russian ballets to the US and Western Europe when they tour.

I would really love to see Obraztsova as Aurora.

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Drifting further off topic but I can’t resist, because it’s so lovely (with several pretty exciting moves) and she looks like a dreamy Viktoria Tereshkina. Here’s Kazan Opera and Ballet Theatre Principal Dancer, Aleksandra Elagina, dancing the final adagio from Sharule. It’s posted from her site. She get’s chased around by ‘woods creatures’ a lot but there are beautiful solos and duets in this ballet. I can’t find any official video clips of Evgenia Obraztsova doing anything from here.

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I've only ever seen Shurale in bits and pieces on YouTube. Wish the Russian companies would bring Shurale and other Russian ballets to the US and Western Europe when they tour.

I would really love to see Obraztsova as Aurora.

SHurale and Bayadere are my favourite ballets. I was so lucky to see several performances of Shurale and it is a lovely ballet. THe music is beautiful and poignant and the final pas de deux for Syuimbike and Ali-Batyr so lyrical and moving. I think act 2 in particular is one of those acts in ballet where you feel that everything is right with the world. It is an act of great joy, has wonderful crowd scenes, Vaganova children dancing, very poignant moment where Ali-Batyr catches sight of Syuimbike, who has been "hidden" by the villagers. There is also a very beautiful scene for Syuimbike and her friends earlier on in the ballet, which expresses their mutual love, and is just SO moving. I think I cry every time I see this! There is some lovely choreograph for the female corps members, notably where they first swoop onto the stage in a sequence of grand jetes and then turn into their human form. I love Shurale and yes, I WISH Mariinsky would tour with it so that more people could see it but I do think it is one of those ballets that is so entrenched in Russian tradition and folklore, that it would not be the same danced by a non-Russian company. I cannot imagine any non Russian children dancing in it, for example, and they play a big part in act 2. I think it is truly a folk ballet. And Obraztsova and Smekalov were wonderful in this and my favourites, although I also loved Shirinkina, Evseeva and Martynyuk. Incidentally, speaking of ballets that are never toured, The Fountain at Bakhchisarai is another wonderful ballet, rarely (never?) seen out of Russia. Great, great shame...

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In Sharule there is indeed some very fine choreography for the women (for the 'woods creatures' as well, if you relate to them). The corp's grand jetes across the stage are dramatically exciting and very artistically effective. Some of the village scenes are very charming, colorful and full of beautiful 'folklorique' imagery. There is a lot of touching poetry. Syuimbike and Ali-Batyr in the Kazan Opera and Ballet Theatre video that I posted have a lovely interaction. I don't know the name of the dancer, but he is a very fine partner in all respects.

I suspect now might be the time to get back to our topic.

I do recall very clearly when Natalia Osipova first appeared with the Bolshoi. I don't know exactly where she came from, but I don't believe that she trained at the Bolshoi school. But for me she was the perfect, high energy and exciting Bolshoi ballerina. As I've mentioned Svetlana Lunkina was her lyrical contrast. For the moment, this sort of distinction, for me, is much less important at the Bolshoi as it covers so many areas so beautifully and so effectively.

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I suspect now might be the time to get back to our topic.

I do recall very clearly when Natalia Osipova first appeared with the Bolshoi. I don't know exactly where she came from, but I don't believe that she trained at the Bolshoi school. But for me she was the perfect, high energy and exciting Bolshoi ballerina.

Osipova trained for some years at the Bolshoi's academy (I think it's called the Moscow State Academy of Choreography.)

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The Fountain at Bakhchisarai is another wonderful ballet, rarely (never?) seen out of Russia. Great, great shame...

Seen in London some years back. Kirov Ballet with Sylvie Guillem in the lead.

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Seen in London some years back. Kirov Ballet with Sylvie Guillem in the lead.

Also seen (with the Mariinsky still touring under their Kirov name) at the Met. One cast was Zakharova-Lopatkina.

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Not in recent years then - we can thank Yuri Fateyev for that.

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