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The Bolshoi under Vaziev

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I fail to see how the Post-Impressionists rejected their art form, since painting was their primary activity.

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I suppose the point was that they would not have qualified to compete for the best Impressionist title because they rejected Impressionism (as some say). But I still cannot understand what's the issue with Kovaleva and Tissi competing in a televised ballet show.

Edited by Fleurdelis

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8 hours ago, Fleurdelis said:

But I still cannot understand what's the issue with Kovaleva and Tissi competing in a televised ballet show.

Nothing is wrong ..... saw them twice in Diamonds last week and must say they presented a very elegant show, however much I dislike Balanchine (no drama). I  am deeply honoured that my discovery of last year (patent pending !) has been chosen as the "brand ambassador" for the Bolshoi too - am sure she will do great !!

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Diamonds has no explicit story. I don’t think that’s the same as “no drama.” (It still may not be to the taste of someone who prefers a different kind of choreography and story-telling.) Ballet doesn’t need explicit narratives to be dramatic and, in many works, Balanchine conveys whole worlds without obviously verbalizable narratives.

Edited by Drew

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27 minutes ago, Drew said:

Diamonds has no explicit story. I don’t think that’s the same as “no drama.” (It still may not be to the taste of someone who prefers a different kind of choreography and story-telling.) Ballet doesn’t need explicit narratives to be dramatic and, in many works, Balanchine conveys whole worlds without obviously verbalizable narratives.

So true. Seeing Concerto Barocco this weekend I was reminded of this yet again. Much drama, no story — and, in a certain way, that makes the drama all the more impactful.

Edited by nanushka

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Obraztsova's debut as Swanilda will take place on June 9 with David Motta Soares as Franz. She's been having a good season -- debuted in La Sylphide, performed the Giselle pas de deux at the Benois de la Danse gala and now Coppelia. These are all great roles for her -- she should be performing them regularly, starting with a full length Giselle.  Fingers crossed that Vaziev will make this happen.

I only wish I could see her in Coppelia on Sunday. 😢

 

Edited by Quinten
added text, correct date of performance

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Obraztsova made her debut in La Sylphide years ago, only she is rarely given it to dance at the Bolshoi. She's also been dancing Lacotte's version for years. She last danced Giselle in March, although that, too, is an infrequent occurence. I hardly think the dozen or so performances she's had at the Bolshoi constitute a good season. She is cast rarely, has the smallest workload of any full-time principal, and gets fewer performances than even demoted "ex-principal" Nina Kaptsova (although she's still ahead of Alexandrova and Allash, which isn't saying much). Her career has been rotting slowly ever since she joined the Bolshoi. It wasn't much better under Filin either.

Edited by volcanohunter

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20 minutes ago, volcanohunter said:

Obraztsova made her debut in La Sylphide years ago, only she is rarely given it to dance at the Bolshoi. She's also been dancing Lacotte's version for years. She last danced Giselle in March, although that, too, is an infrequent occurence. I hardly think the dozen or so performances she's had at the Bolshoi constitute a good season. She is cast rarely, has the smallest workload of any full-time principal, and gets fewer performances than even demoted "ex-principal" Nina Kaptsova (although she's still ahead of Alexandrova and Allash, which isn't saying much). Her career has been rotting slowly ever since she joined the Bolshoi. It wasn't much better under Filin either.

Sorry I should have specified I was talking about Obraztsova debuts on the Bolshoi stage.  I believe she described the recent La Sylphide as her debut on the Bolshoi stage and I think it was discussed here as such?  

You're right about the March Giselle -- the reference in this IG post is probably to Soares' debut at the gala. The Russian to English translation got the word order wrong, I'll blame it on that.😊

I agree that she is shamefully underutilized.  However, she seems very happy about the recent uptick in performances which I really think there has been over 2017.  Both she and Stepanova have agreed or chosen to perform with Soares, Chino and Tissi more than the other primas have, and it appears that this strategy may have given them both more stage time than they perhaps would otherwise have had.   

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I’ve seen at least some potential in almost all of Vaziev’s chosen ones,even if they are not really ready for the roles given.  However for the life of me, I cannot understand his thing for Antonina Chapkina. I happened to see her live once when she was at La Scala and found her completely lacking in any musicality or grace and her turns were so out of control that I wondered if she had some inner ear infection.  Yet I see her being given some variations and solo roles at the Bolshoi including Queen of the Dryads and the videos I’ve seen since joining the Bolshoi have not changed my opinion at all about her. 

Edited by Deflope

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Chapkina isn't inexperienced; she graduated ballet school ten years ago. She looks thin to the point of being underfed, and her ankles always look as though they are on the verge of buckling underneath her. Sometimes they do buckle. Personally, I find her unwatchable.

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I stand corrected: it is possible to enjoy two post-impressionists, one need not pick sides.  Hair splitting aside, I also enjoy many styles of ballet dancing.  

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Here is some video from Chapkina's instagram of her working with Gracheva on the Odile variation.  (The first is a photo of Gracheva, click through for the video clips)

 

Edited by Quinten

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Vaziev means to subject Swan Lake to Chapkina's Swan Queen?!!  :speechless-smiley-003:  Just when I thought things couldn't get worse.

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I saw Tchapkina today as "Prayer" in Coppélia and I didn't see anything criminal, actually I quite liked her. She is very distinctive. Shrainer's Swanilda was, by the way, excellent, and Shrainer — radiant, light, artistic. Swanilda and Sylphide are her best parts so far, she is developing into a lovely artiste. There was a prolonged ovation in the third act after she completed a series of variations. Nonsense about the death of Bolchoï makes me laugh. It's the exact opposite. I experienced four days of joy, night after night, observing happy dancers who are still able to dance what is, actually, ballet. Maybe the last place on the planet where you can witness it. So refreshing, compared to every company in the West I know.

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REMINDER : COPPELIA WEBCAST COMING UP SUNDAY 10 JUNE !  The live cinecast of tomorrow's Coppelia will (should) also be livestreamed on the Bolshoy website under the videos tab http://media.bolshoi.ru/login   (at upper right corner of home page) and maybe also on the Bolshoy YT page from 6 pm Moscow time (3 pm GMT). This livestream is usually georestricted to RF but can be received via VPN. Then it will be in archive under same tab from ca. 2 hours after performance ends till ca. 4 pm Moscow time on Monday - on last couple of occasions this was free-to-web. Casting info https://www.bolshoi.ru/en/performances/3333/roles/#20180610180000

Edited by mnacenani

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22 hours ago, Laurent said:

Nonsense about the death of Bolchoï makes me laugh. It's the exact opposite. I experienced four days of joy, night after night, observing happy dancers who are still able to dance what is, actually, ballet. Maybe the last place on the planet where you can witness it. So refreshing, compared to every company in the West I know.

Good to know there are two of us on this forum !  :D

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After returning from Moscow and answering a colleague asking about my impressions regarding the current state of Bolchoï, I found myself saying: don't be surprised if Shrainer is a better dancer than Smirnova, more naturally gifted, more harmonious, possessing a natural feeling for movement, something that Smirnova lacks, and this is, after all, among the most important qualities for a dancer. In her Coppélia two days ago, Shrainer demonstrated that she was making a real progress with her technique. We will see whether she is able to repeat her Friday success in the broadcast today. And, last but not least, she isn't plagued by those broken, angular lines that Smirnova has never been able to eradicate, in spite of all her efforts, and her pedagogues at the Vaganova Academy and later at Bolchoï.

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Margarita Shrayner was certainly a wonderful Sylphide - mercurial and vivacious, with light, high jumps and so very expressive.   She has lovely stage presence.  It is strange that, with so many solo and principal roles now, she is not at least at soloist level.  

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5 hours ago, MadameP said:

Margarita Shrayner was certainly a wonderful Sylphide - mercurial and vivacious, with light, high jumps and so very expressive.   She has lovely stage presence.  It is strange that, with so many solo and principal roles now, she is not at least at soloist level.  

There seems to be little resemblance between the ranks of dancers as shown on the Bolshoi website and the reality.  It seems they're not moving up because there are no vacancies currently in the upper ranks.

It's hard to tell how many female soloist positions might be opening up due to departures. I guess there are reasons why some never dance but retain their positions, such as maternity leave or an injury during which time (it may be) they cannot be dismissed or demoted.  Meskova has been on that status for a long time but once the period is expired, one first soloist position would open up.  Soloist Yanina Parienko seems to be developing her modeling career  Among the leading soloists, Goryacheva might be "aging-out", as well as Shipulina in the prima category (possibly a candidate for contract status).  

If Shipulina, Goryacheva, Meskova and Parienko vacate their positions, there would be four openings.  Who from the corps would be promoted to soloist?  Possibilities I'm aware of (in no particular order) are Shrainer, Chapkina, Sevenard, Denisova, Marchenkova, Zhiganshina.  Are there others?

Which soloists would be promoted to the next higher level?  

Leading soloist to prima (one position) - Kretova? Vinogradova? Maria may not be quite ready, but Kretova certainly has the chops and the repertoire.

First soloist to leading soloist (one position) - Khokhlova? Tikhomirova?  Both are loved but have technical difficulties.  Also, neither is Vaziev's preferred type.  They may continue languishing.

Soloist to first soloist (2 or possibly 3 positions if Semenyachenko (Pogosyan) departs) - Turazashvili? Kovalyova? Grebenschikova? Karasyova or Kishnyova (if character dancers can be promoted)?  Turazashvili is a sentimental favorite but has some technical and artistic limitations. Kovalyova, probably not because she's on her way to prima on the fast track.  

Given Vaziev's penchant for skipping ranks when it comes to his favorites, it seems more likely that Shrainer, Chapkina and/or Zhiganshina would move directly to first soloist or leading soloist and Kovalyova directly to leading soloist or even prima.

Will Vaziev clean house all at once, in September, or will the changes happen throughout next year?  Any predictions?

 

 

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Many of your predictions may come true, but Shipulina will most certainly NOT be moved to contract status. In a few years maybe, if she decides so herself, but not in the near future. 

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3 hours ago, Fleurdelis said:

Many of your predictions may come true, but Shipulina will most certainly NOT be moved to contract status. In a few years maybe, if she decides so herself, but not in the near future. 

That's good to hear, that her position is secure.  But does she want to stay on? She posts so many photos of herself relaxing in exotic destinations that I thought she might have had enough of the Bolshoi life.  

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We could never know what's on her mind, but judging by her continuing committment to quality performances and the relentless work she is putting into her roles, I believe that she has no plans to slow down. Not saying it is not going to be an uphill battle, because the administration's youth focus is apparent.

The exotic locations could be reflective of a work hard, play hard lifestyle.

Edited by Fleurdelis

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