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2017-18 Bolshoi cinema season

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9 hours ago, yudi said:

I don't want to carry on arguing with you about Krysanova's ballet performances. People could have different instinct and taste for ballet art. However, we should first pay respect to a ballerina's talent, hard work and great effort.

As a new participant in this forum, I couldn't agree more.  But shouldn't ALL ballerinas be treated with respect?  

 

I've acknowledged that Krisanava has many many admirers and that there are many admirable facets to her dancing. She is not a classical lyrical dancer, however, and this is a problem when it comes to the role of Medora.  This is not an off the wall criticism and does not in any way suggest that Krasieiva is not a good ballerina -- just not the best Medora.  I supported my critique of her dancing with video showing comparing her to a Medora I prefer, Altynai Asylmuratova.  It is possible to do a frame-by-frame analysis of Crisonava vs Asylmuratova to talk about the strengths and weakenesses of each, and how successful each is in expressing the role of Medora.  I am eager to hear what people think about this.

 

To me, Stepanova has little to do with this -- I only suggested that the beauty of the Stepanova/Rodkin trailer was in sharp contrast to the two rather ordinary people we saw in the cinema.  Yet critiques were directed at Stepanova rather than Asymuratova.  Can we stay on the topic, please? Thank you!!

 

 

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[Admin beanie on]

 

We are not a fan board or a scoreboard.  We are not a chat board or the lobby.  If you want to chat, use PM.

 

Post what you think, not about what others think.  

 

If you need to point out a factual error, that's fine.

 

And all casting changes need official sources, like dancer X decided not to do the role reported in the press/on Dancer A's public facing Instagram/in an interview.

 

[Admin beanie off]

 

 

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17 hours ago, yudi said:

Plus, I saw Stepanova dancing live in Etudes. She was hesitant and unsure, made some obvious missteps in fouette turns and the trio with Chino and Tissi, which cannot convince me that Stepanova could be a better Medora than Krysanova was.

 

Not true. Neither hesitant nor unsure. I saw that performance too. Mark Chino, a boy straight out of school, this was his first month at Bolshoi, and a last minute replacement at that, after a single rehearsal with her partner with his hands literally trembling when touching her. The situation was saved by her. Partnering by Tissi was fine even though it was their first duet together. The long Adagio was pure, unmatched lyricism of the most Romantic style. Nobody can dance like that.

 

Ballet is not a circus, is not a sport competition, even though some novices mistake it for one or another, imagining themselves, by the way, to be the verdict passing jurors. An occasional misstep doesn’t make a master artist a lesser artist, or a lesser master of dance. Similarly, a never erring machine is not automatically a great artist, or even a great dancer, she may be little more than a fast moving, high jumping dancing machine.  Classical dance has many dimensions, and the most ethereal and sophisticated ones are the domain of a very select group of dancers.

 

A principal deserving of such a distinction doesn't need to be technically the strongest. In the same company there can be equally strong or stronger soloists or demi-soloists. Listen to what Natalia Makarova has to say on this subject in her "Ballerina" BBC documentaries, a veritable Bible for an aspiring ballerina, and for an aspiring balletomane as well.

 

A great, even a supreme artist, may have a serious difficulty with or feel panic faced with the fouettés, to the point of being completely unable to do them. This is the reason why we rarely or never see some of them doing the fouettès. I would like to point this out to the person who has been pedaling this issue for a month in multiple threads, in countless posts, as if it was a decisive moment on which a ballerina stands or falls.  Anna Pavlova, Galina Ulanova, and a few supreme ballerinas still alive, obviously must be deserving the damning verdict "fail" (the ballerina who has been a constant object of her inquisitive mind, by the way, has no difficulty with fouettés at all and, while not a fouettés machine, does them at ease while many don't, I saw her fouettés a dozen of times, all in grand spectacles).

 

Ludmila Pagliero in her three Swan Lakes last December in Paris was short on the number of prescribed fouettés. A mortal sin, I suppose, for a novice, except that it is irrelevant. Pagliero is a supreme artist, currently by far the best ballerina at the Opéra de Paris, and one of the very-very few in the World.  Her performances were artistically absolutely exceptional. They stand at the very top of 25 Swan Lakes I saw last year, all danced by the principals of the leading companies (along with the November Bolshoi debut by Stepanova, artistically the most moving Swan Lake I saw since I can remember). So, if ballet is still counted as Art and not a form of competitive gymnastics, it doesn't matter if an artist occasionally missteps, it counts if she can uplift us with the ethereal qualities of her dance, if she is capable of filling stage with Light, if she can charm us with her soul.

 

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Perceptions are neither true not untrue.  One person's secure is another's shaky. 

 

Facts are "She didn't dance that performance." "X is listed as the choreographer, but in an interview with Y that Z took over." "Her Facebook lists her as a soloist in company A."

 

 

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4 hours ago, Laurent said:

A great, even a supreme artist, may have a serious difficulty with or feel panic faced with the fouettés, to the point of being completely unable to do them

 

Interestingly, in the Medora clip I posted above, starting at 5:40, Asylmuratova only did 20 fouettes, then stopped to give the audience a beautiful smile, made a few more turns and an arabesque and that was it. Even today I don't think anybody would seriously argue that her failure to do the full number of fouettes disqualified her from being a prima ballerina.  

Edited by Quinten
add missing word

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That smile of Asylmuratova when she ends her fouettes is so adorable that you just have to love her. 

Edited by Josette

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At a gala performance all sorts of liberties are allowed that would be a no-no in a formal performance. Asylmuratova, of course, lost stability here, probably a result of insufficient concentration before entering the stage, this is why she "finishes" her fouettés in the wings. it is notoriously difficult to concentrate in the coulisses during many gala performances, the weariness due to travel, the unfamiliar stage, off-season timing, lack of space and time for proper preparation before going on stage, etc, are all the contributing factors. Some "international ballerinas" like Yana Salenko or Maria Kochetkova know how to cope with that, gala performances around the World are a part of their job, after all, others, without a similar experience, don't.

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The Bolshoi in Cinema year so far and thoughts for the future. Did anybody go to the rebroadcast of Taming of the Shrew starring Krysanova et al?  (I didn't, not having enjoyed it the first time).  Next comes a rebroadcast of the NIkulina/Rodkin Nutcracker.  I liked it when I saw it a few years ago but not enough to go see it again. Then comes Romeo and Juliet in January and probably more Krysanova (she was first cast and got 2 of the 5 Moscow performances) even though many of us outside her rabid Moscow fan base would really prefer to see Obraztsova in the role.  It's shaping up to be a Krysanova year for Bolshoi in Cinema, don't you think?  Le Corsaire, Shrew, Romeo & Juliet (probably), Flames (probably) and Coppelia (possibly, although we can still hope and pray for Kovyaleva or even Sevenard!) That would mean 4 out of 4 of the live transmissions and 1 of the 4 rebroadcasts could feature Krysanova for a total of 5 out of 8 (the remainder starring Zakarova (twice) and Nikulina (once))!  I really don't enjoy it when Bolshoi features the same ballerina for a whole year -- got really tired of constantly seeing Zakarhova a couple of years ago, then too much Smirnova and now I'm plenty tired of seeing Krysanova.  They have eight wonderful and capable primas and I'd like to see them all at the movies, especially the neglected ones.  Anybody know how to do a write-in campaign to Bolshoi? :lol:

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Looked for a possible webcast (via VPN) today in vain, as I suspected they probably do simulcasts of live cinecasts only. Hate "modern" choreo but wanted to see Katya in a different role soon after her (imho) magnificient Juliet.

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9 hours ago, Quinten said:

[...] Then comes Romeo and Juliet in January and probably more Krysanova (she was first cast and got 2 of the 5 Moscow performances) even though many of us outside her rabid Moscow fan base would really prefer to see Obraztsova in the role.   It's shaping up to be a Krysanova year for Bolshoi in Cinema, don't you think?  Le Corsaire, Shrew, Romeo & Juliet (probably), Flames (probably) and Coppelia (possibly, although we can still hope and pray for Kovyaleva or even Sevenard!) That would mean 4 out of 4 of the live transmissions and 1 of the 4 rebroadcasts could feature Krysanova for a total of 5 out of 8 (the remainder starring Zakarova (twice) and Nikulina (once))!  I really don't enjoy it when Bolshoi features the same ballerina for a whole year -- got really tired of constantly seeing Zakarhova a couple of years ago, then too much Smirnova and now I'm plenty tired of seeing Krysanova.  They have eight wonderful and capable primas and I'd like to see them all at the movies, especially the neglected ones.  Anybody know how to do a write-in campaign to Bolshoi? :lol:

Krysanova's fan base doesn't strike me as any more "rabid" than the fan base of any other major Russian ballerina. (I must admit I'm not crazy about the word "rabid" here since I'm a fan of several ballerinas myself. Let's say we're passionate!)

I, too, though would love to see a range of ballerinas in these broadcasts--though from my perspective, when it comes to Coppelia much better to keep Kovalyeva or Sevenard to solo roles (Dawn, Prayer, Spinner) if they must be cast in featured roles at all. I can't say I want to see either of them as Swanilda at this point--nor do I think it's necessarily to their career benefit to have their earliest efforts at any role on endless youtube loops in the coming years which is likely what would happen if they were to be cast in one of the broadcasts.

The Vikharev Coppelia is wonderful! There are not italics or exclamation points enough to express how much I loved it when I saw it on tour in London. If I can fantasize myself in charge of Bolshoi casting for Swanilda, then what about Kaptsova who has danced it in the past and, from what I can judge from video, is ideally suited? Probably won't happen since she is now only on contract with the Bolshoi, but I would be happy to see her in the role. 

In London I saw Stashkevich (as well as no-longer-with-Bolshoi Osipova).   Stashkevich was very good and likely would be better now, so I'd be comfortable with her as well though she is not a principal [Quinten and Mnacenani corrected me below: she is].   From among the company principals and, by the by, also from among their Vaganova alums, I wouldn't mind seeing Obraztsova take on Swanilda either: I think she could be terrific.  And though she might be new to the role, she is a very experienced ballerina in a wide range of roles. Well, we will see...

Edited by Drew

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5 hours ago, mnacenani said:

Looked for a possible webcast (via VPN) today in vain, as I suspected they probably do simulcasts of live cinecasts only. Hate "modern" choreo but wanted to see Katya in a different role soon after her (imho) magnificient Juliet.

This is a very modern Shrew indeed, so you might well hate it; I found it entertaining in spite of my better judgment regarding what Maillot had done with the story etc. But....Krysanova's performance as Katherine is ON FIRE!

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3 hours ago, Drew said:

Krysanova's fan base doesn't strike me as any more "rabid" than the fan base of any other major Russian ballerina. (I must admit I'm not crazy about the word "rabid" here since I'm a fan of several ballerinas myself. Let's say we're passionate!)

 

Both Obraztsova and Kaptsova are seriously underutilized, which is a mystery and a great waste.  Stashkevich actually is a principal now and has finally been recognized as doing great work in "The Cage" and "Romeo and Juliet" but I'm not sure she has the comedic talent needed for Coppelia, while Krysanova certainly does.  I agree that Kovalyeva and Sevenard should spend a couple of years in soloist roles but based on past experience (Kovyaleva as O/O for goodness sake!), that's not going to stop Vaziev from pushing them further and faster.  I think it will come down to Krysanova vs Kovalyeva but we shall see!

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4 hours ago, Drew said:

Krysanova's fan base doesn't strike me as any more "rabid" than the fan base of any other major Russian ballerina

Boy ..... you dare to criticize another Bolshoy prima promoted to principal last season and you have had it ..... better run and hide ! 

Stash has become a principal, she really shone in the Corsaire Pas des Esclaves I saw last month.

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Very glad to read Stashkevich is a principal!

(Ballerina wars...I think I had better stay away from that topic.)

 

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33 minutes ago, Quinten said:

Both she and Kaptsova are seriously underutilized, which is a mystery and a great waste

Last season it was a mystery to me too where Genya had gone since I did not see her cast for anything. I found out later that she was expecting a baby (twins ?). She reappeared at the Dance Open closing gala in Piter last April and danced the Satanilla PdD with Lapatin - wasn't good and got polite applause only, didn't show up at the party afterwards. At Bolshoy one could very well drop down in the pecking order when he/she drops out for a whole season due to Vaziev seeming keen to develop the new talent - just think of the dancers recently placed on contract, my beloved Alexandrova and Kaptsova included.

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We allow discussions about social media on Ballet Alert! only if they are official news, ie, the public-facing social media of ballet professionals, or if the mainstream media reports on social media.

If contacts want something known here, they can register and post their thoughts.

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Official news only.  If you post that there's more story than there is official news, or intimate there's something you can't say, that's a reason for your posts to be deleted and for you to be put on Moderated.  This has been the policy for nearly two decades.  So stop it.  Or start a blog, where you can say whatever you please.

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Stashkevich was an adorable Lise in La Fille Mal Gardee, and showed great comedic talent, so I think Coppelia is a very appropriate ballet for her, and I hope she dances Swanilda.  (Also Franz would be perfect for Lopatin!)  With regard to Kovalyova, I think she is a an outstanding prospect and I am very happy to see her given all her opportunities.  Interestingly,, although of course the role of Swanilda would not be considered typical emploi for such a tall dancer,  in fact Kovalyova HAS already danced the role of Swanilda - at a Vaganova concert at the Hermitage theatre in 2015 she danced the adagio and she was exquisite in it.   And regarding those ballerinas given performances that are part of the cinema season - I certainly hope Obraztsova's Juliet is shown.  For me, she is far more lyrical and expressive a dancer than Krysanova, who I always find rather hard, as in her Medora performance - but then we all like different.  

Edited by MadameP

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1 hour ago, MadameP said:

I certainly hope Obraztsova's Juliet is shown.  For me, she is far more lyrical and expressive a dancer than Krysanova, who I always find rather hard, as in her Medora performance - but then we all like different.  

As you know firm casting was posted only within the last 24 hours up to which time I was hoping to see Obraz. at the premiere. After the event I came away soo happy to have seen Katya Krys. who imho put on a magnificient dramatic performance. Wish you had also seen it - you would have been as surprised as I was.

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2 hours ago, mnacenani said:

As you know firm casting was posted only within the last 24 hours up to which time I was hoping to see Obraz. at the premiere. After the event I came away soo happy to have seen Katya Krys. who imho put on a magnificient dramatic performance. Wish you had also seen it - you would have been as surprised as I was.

I like Krysanova in SOME roles, and yes, I think she is a good actress, but still for me, no matter how good her acting was, she does not have the lyricism or beautiful lines or flow of movement that I want to see in a Juliet (or Odette-Odile or Nikiya or Medora!)  :)

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1 hour ago, MadameP said:

I like Krysanova in SOME roles, and yes, I think she is a good actress, but still for me, no matter how good her acting was, she does not have the lyricism or beautiful lines or flow of movement that I want to see in a Juliet (or Odette-Odile or Nikiya or Medora!)  :)

I couldn't agree with you more!  Ballet is about more than acting. 

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23 hours ago, Quinten said:

I couldn't agree with you more!  Ballet is about more than acting. 

Acting -- or dramatic expressiveness through movement which is what ballet requires -- counts for more in some roles than others.   Juliet being one where it counts a lot.

However, Krysanova though not exactly my taste in a lyric/adagio ballerina role is certainly something more than an "actress." She can have electric speed with great clarity and also dances with daring physicality, intensity and even, at times, sensuality--which is what Maillot especially pulled out of her and these qualities surely do not count for nothing in choreography by Ratmansky.  She is capable of genuine power too.

Her dancing is not always the prettiest or cleanest in classics and when I have seen her live  (Swan Lake and Don Quixote on tour in New York) I found the performances uneven and even unevenly paced--superb in whole sections but not having consistently great "through-lines" from beginning to end.  Even as Kitri she seemed to turn it "on" and "off" -- that bothered me much more than the fact that she wasn't an exquisite Vaganova style Dulcinea. However, her broadcast Katherine in Taming of the Shrew seemed to me sensational from beginning to end. I've seen video of (sections of) her performances in a range of Ratmansky ballets that seemed terrific as well, and I have come to have a lot of respect for her.

One issue for me in thinking about Bolshoi "politics" as it appears from the outside is that I would be uneasy to see the company lose its distinctive character, though I accept change is inevitable and probably in some respects necessary; Krysanova is, to my admittedly amateur eyes, almost unimaginable at the Mariinsky, though I know she made at least one guest appearance there. But in the context of the Bolshoi she more than makes sense and can light up the stage. That's the fantastic richness of the Soviet/Russian ballet that I grew up admiring and still admire even though both the Bolshoi and the onetime Kirov have morphed a lot since then.

(My current "home video" ballet watching is in fact Obraztsova in Shurale with the Mariinsky. I could wish I had seen her dance it live.)

 

 

Edited by Drew
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There are also dancers on the record who left the Mariinsky to go the Bolshoi in part, at least, because of Vaziev's direction, which makes it a bitter situation to again find him as the boss, like an episode of "The Prisoner."

 

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Miserable ex-Mariinsky dancers, miserable dyed-in-the-wool Bolshoi dancers and the dilution of the Moscow style. :wallbash:

However, as long as (fellow North Ossetian) Valery Gergiev remains the dominant player in Russian culture, and Vaziev doesn't do anything to tick off Zakharova, I fear this wretched state of affairs is likely to continue.

Edited by volcanohunter

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23 minutes ago, volcanohunter said:

Miserable ex-Mariinsky dancers, miserable dyed-in-the-wool Bolshoi dancers and the dilution of the Moscow style. :wallbash:

However, as long as (fellow North Ossetian) Valery Gergiev remains the dominant player in Russian culture, and Vaziev doesn't do anything to tick off Zakharova, I fear this wretched state of affairs is likely to continue.

Uh, not really trying to pry here, but why the mention of Vaziev and Gergiev's ethnicity?

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