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mnacenani

2017/2018 season

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41 minutes ago, volcanohunter said:

Ekaterina Krysanova, who hadn't been scheduled for any Corsaires this run, will dance Medora in Smirnova's place.

 

Thanks for this heads-up :  everything going according to plan I was to see Stepanova on 18th Oct and Smirnova on 19th Oct

but Katyusha is most welcome - in fact now I am more excited about seeing her as Medora as opposed to Smirnova, can't say

why.

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On 10/7/2017 at 6:15 PM, Fleurdelis said:

Hope you will enjoy Krysanova.

 

Mauvaise langue !!  So it is Katyusha after all - you have insider info or something ??

 

Jokes aside, I am somewhat more excited at the prospect of seeing her as Medora

as opposed to Smirnova - I have a soft spot for K and have not seen her for a year now.

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7 hours ago, mnacenani said:

 

Mauvaise langue !!  So it is Katyusha after all - you have insider info or something ??

 

 

No, I have a crystal ball. And you shall live a long and prosperous life.

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6 minutes ago, Fleurdelis said:

, I have a crystal ball. And you shall live a long and prosperous life.

 

Отлично - большое спасибо !  :D

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....and get to see many, many wonderful Bolshoi and Mariinsky performances. :)

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KweI7WySw3c

 

Opening night Wednesday 18th with Stepanova&Lobukhin and Zhiganshina as Gulnare. I wakened up to what

Gulnare can be when Anna Tixomirova put on an unforgettable characterisation when I saw Karsar during

Bolshoy's ROH tour last year, so Zhiga has a difficult task at hand. Stepanova usually dances the Pdd with

Rodkin at galas but I did not see Rodkin cast for any night during this run. The second night presents Krysanova

partnered by Tsvirko with Hahlava (Khokhlova to some :D)  as Gulnare, and I am quite interested in what Darya

will make of this role.

Regrettably, this Ratmansky staging has no Ali !  I like the version with Ali and I think it adds to the overall enjoyment

of the performance than otherwise, but what can one do. Corsaire can be and often is a delightful ballet, and I am

fully expecting to get my money's worth and be mesmerised by the Jardin Animé scenes performed to perfection by

the incomparable Bolshoy CdB on two consecutive evenings.

Now Stepanova :  I am trying to keep an open mind about her artistry which so many of our senior members like.

Hope this time she will perform a faultless fouettée and not give me cause for complaint. This will be the first time

I will see Stepanova in a full Petipa classic, keeping my fingers crossed !

Edited by mnacenani

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The Bolshoi's "Le Corsaire" was a co-work of Ratmansky, who choreographed in the style where the notation was missing, and Burlaka, who was using the Stepanov notations.  Ali wouldn't have appeared in the original sources that Burlaka used.

 

It's a stunning production, and I only saw it in the truncated version that toured the US, cut down to three hours so that it didn't go into overtime.

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4 hours ago, Helene said:

the truncated version that toured the US, cut down to three hours so that it didn't go into overtime.

 

Helene ..... the young generation cannot concentrate on anything longer than 2 hours

so operas are butchered, and any ballet over 3 hours is cut so that it does not go into "overtime" ....

no wonder I am becoming more and more alienated from the West and becoming more and more

attached to Russia and Russians !!

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4 hours ago, mnacenani said:

 

Helene ..... the young generation cannot concentrate on anything longer than 2 hours

so operas are butchered, and any ballet over 3 hours is cut so that it does not go into "overtime" ....

no wonder I am becoming more and more alienated from the West and becoming more and more

attached to Russia and Russians !!

 

It's not a question of what the audience can tolerate, but what the theater can afford.  Longer than three hours puts the production into overtime for artists and stagehands.

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In North America and much of Europe, the trend in opera has been to restore cuts that are centuries old, including those made by the composers.  (Different versions of "Don Carlo" for example.)   The only exception has been to continue to leave out the cut ballets, like in "Don Carlo," which, having seen enough dance in operas, is a blessing in disguise, in my opinion, and many of them were added for convention only, ie, a premiere or run in Paris.

 

The Soviets not only made cuts to the Petipa classics, they added characters, the superimposed a happy ending on "Swan Lake." that changed the meaning of the ballets.   That over-three-hour Le Corsaire that the Bolshoi premiered in 2007 restores cuts that made the ballet a lot longer than the Soviet version..  My understanding is that the reconstructed "Sleeping Beauty" the Mariinsky did in 1999 was quite a bit longer than the Sergeyev from the early '50's. 

 

It's not always a one-way-street  In home theaters, and it has little to do with the attention spans of young people.  it may have had to do with a change in the audiences from aristocrats with time on their hands to working people who had to get up in the morning.  For touring, there are financial constraints of the presenters -- and I'm sure they would accept a big fat check from someone who wanted to pay for those additional costs -- as well as companies that create touring productions on their own.  For example, I saw the Cuban National Ballet's touring production of "Don Quixote" that looked to me to be missing sections that cubanmiamiboy has described or provided links to along with stripped down scenery that worked for touring logistics, including having to be adaptable to many size theaters and technical configurations and capabilities.

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15 hours ago, Helene said:

In North America and much of Europe, the trend in opera has been to restore cuts that are centuries old, including those made by the composers.  (Different versions of "Don Carlo" for example.)   The only exception has been to continue to leave out the cut ballets, like in "Don Carlo," which, having seen enough dance in operas, is a blessing in disguise, in my opinion, and many of them were added for convention only, ie, a premiere or run in Paris.

 

 

 

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.

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34 minutes ago, Mashinka said:

though to be honest it was the magnificent cast led by Leiferkus, Tomowa Sintow and Burchuladze that I missed the most.

 

Yes indeed Mashinka .... and a debuting young Yelena Zaremba as Konchakovna ! That was February 1990 and the staging was quite poignant

coming right after the fall of The Wall. As you will recall, the fall of the wall followed by the collapse of the CCCP triggered an interest in the West

in Russian opera, and beginning with Knyaz Igor in Feb 1990 to the Mariinsky ROH tour in the summer of 2000 I made quite a few trips to London

and saw all of the major Russian operas staged at the ROH - opera being our cultural passion at the time.

Having spent quite some time seeing and reading about Russian opera I do understand the point of view of the "butchers". Russian opera more

often than not does not have a coherent dramatic structure, a storyline which runs through the work. This makes the work "episodic" as if the

three or five acts are stand-alone pieces - in some operas the main characters of the first act are never seen or heard again !! But I see no justifi-

cation for butchering Igor so savagely and throwing out the beautiful choruses and arias/duets in the excised parts. I have been writing to the

ROH and Opus Arte for quite some time now trying to get them interested in restoring and issuing the recording of this Knyaz Igor, and trying to

make them understand that this staging is a world cultural heritage piece, as we are not going to see the full 5-act uncut opera again in our lifetime,

if ever. But it has been to no avail, although the opera was recorded and telecast by the BBC.

 

Re Karsar :  I do have strong objections to any Alis being cut out of ballets ...... well I would have, wouldn't I ??  :D:D

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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.

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14 minutes ago, Mashinka said:

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.

 

I have the Igor on Laserdisc and recently bought a dvd of it from Premiere Opera in NYC - you can order one if you would like to see it again.

 

I have not been able to see the ENB Corsaire live, would like to, but I have it on BR disc. Last year Istanbul State Ballet staged Holmes's Corsaire

and it wasn't the Bolshoy but was quite watchable. Considering the multitude of problems the country is facing that there is still ballet being

staged seems like an anomaly, another paradox !

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Casting info for the Wed 18 October performance :

http://www.bolshoi.ru/en/performances/198/roles/#20171018190000

 

Have decided to post my report after the second performance tonight :

http://www.bolshoi.ru/en/performances/198/roles/#20171019190000

 

I somehow did not click with the first performance, this was the first time

I saw Stepanova live in a full Petipa classic. Good physique, fouetté was

fine this time ..... I do not want to draw the ire and fire of Yulya's admirers

before saying out loud what I thought - want to see Krysanova first to pick

my brain a bit. In general I did not connect with last night's performance.

Just want to say this now :  in law, criminology, it is a well-established fact

that witnesses to a traumatic event like a murder or accident often give

quite different accounts of what they witnessed - we are all affected by our

subconscious.

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Even after the second night of Corsaire at the Balshoy don't really
have much to write about which would be of much interest for our
members. Can't seem to make fish or fowl out of Corsaire - am on
the flight back to Istanbul (where I am hoping to catch the last per-
formance of Sleeping Beauty by Istanbul State Ballet) and called
up my spreadsheet to look up how many Corsaires I have seen
live since Jan. 2015 : one at Mariinsky (Gusev staging), three in
Istanbul (A-M Holmes), and four at Balshoy (Ratm-Burl). I have
also seen the ENB Holmes staging and the quite interesting if un-
conventional Belarbi Bordeaux staging couple of times on video. I
will have to do some more viewing of Corsaire before I can call up
the particulars of the various versions from memory.

Last night was Katyusha's turn as Medora, with Hahlava as Gulnare
and Tsvirko as Conrad. Don't have to say anything re Katyusha - her
excellent execution, poise, presence are well known. Tsvirko is also
a well known asset. Hahlava was quite good as Gulnare, and imho
was maybe just one tick off the incredible characterisation by Tixo-
mirova at the London tour last year. I am not a big fan of this Ratty
staging - the characters are not instantly identifable (should be in
my view) and I like the Jardin Animé presentation of the Mariinsky
staging better. That said, the Balshoy CdB is a feast for one's eyes,
believe it or not this scene makes the huge Balshoy stage seem too
small for the CdB !
Stashkevich was excellent in the pas des esclaves, she really shone,
I retract the countervailing view I posted after seeing her in Flames of
Paris couple of weeks ago. And once again may be allowed to say that
the character roles, ie the Pasha, Lanquedem and Zulmea are so well
executed and add so much to the spectacle - there simply is no match
in the West.
Now the first night, ie Stepanova & Co :  Yulya imho is a very good dancer,
quite attractive, but no Zaharova re technique. Re characterisation I found
her a bit "hesitant", acting the character as opposed to being the character.
To my eye Krysanova looked so confident, so sure she is doing it right. But
as I wrote above maybe I am seeing what I want to see, it's quite possible.
Jiganshina as Gulnare I found so-so, not very memorable. On both nights
there were familiar faces in the PdS of the Jardin Animé : Sevenard and
Shrainer. Overall I seem to have enjoyed the second night a bit more, will
have to see more of Stepanova to make my mind up. Did she merit being
fast-tracked to principal ?? Can't tell, will have to see more of her this sea-
son, will be looking up what she is cast for.

 

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Thanks for your reports. Medora in this production needs buoyancy I think. I don't mean jumps--I mean a lightness and energy and vividness through all her dancing. Classical beauty too, but something more as well. She has to be someone who, in the "petite" Corsaire variation, can convincingly summon a gang of pirates! (In this version she even calls out something like "ahoy" or  "all aboard" --the Russian equivalent that is).

 

(Whatever their historical accuracy, some of the gags in this production do make me personally uncomfortable.)

 

 

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17 hours ago, mnacenani said:

 with Hahlava as Gulnare


 

I am going to deduct a full point from your review score for your incorrect distortion of the English transcription of Darya's last name. It is stress-less vowels that get pronounced differently, here the stress is on the second syllable, so the second vowel should still be an "o".

 

Yes, and it should also be "Stipanava" and "Sivinard"

Edited by Fleurdelis

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23 minutes ago, Fleurdelis said:

I am going to deduct a full point from your review score for your incorrect distortion of the English transcription of Darya's last name

 

You are welcome, I am not a know-all. I heard Darya's surname pronounced as "Hahlava" on Russian TV, but my

friend Vita says "Hahlova" which may be the correct pronounciation. Will take you tip re the other two.

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8 minutes ago, mnacenani said:

 

You are welcome, I am not a know-all. I heard Darya's surname pronounced as "Hahlava" on Russian TV, but my

friend Vita says "Hahlova" which may be the correct pronounciation. Will take you tip re the other two.

"Hahlava" sounds like a Georgian last name. Maybe on Russian TV they were talking about some Georgian ballerina.

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1 hour ago, Fleurdelis said:

"Hahlava" sounds like a Georgian last name. Maybe on Russian TV they were talking about some Georgian ballerina.

 

No, it was Darya they were talking about on "Balshoy Ballet" or similar program. However, I just asked my

friend Vita in Moscow to voice message me the three names above, and she said "Hah-lova", "Stipanova"

and "Sivinard" so it's almost a full match vs your suggestion - thanks for the tip.

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PS :  I forgot to mention the "Special FX" put on as coda, with the ship spectacularly

breaking in half accompanied by thunder and lightning and the full symphonic might

of the Balshoy orchestra. Does anyone know whose composition this theme is, from

among the half dozen contributors ??

 

Could I have a point, or could I be totally mistaken, in thinking Ratmansky has something

in common with Wheeldon, namely style and FX over substance ? I greatly enjoyed American

in Paris with Cope-Fairchild but could not stand Alice in Wonderland, and hated Little Humpback

Horse too. Am due to see Ratty's R&J at the Balshoy premiere next month and have an uneasy

feeling about it.

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Ratmansky's best ballets seem to me quite substantive--often humorous and quirky, but not superficial. You have not listed any of my favorites. From the Bolshoi repertory I would recommend Russian Seasons. Also The Bolt if only they still did it! You can get a small flavor of Russian Seasons via youtube and you can probably find The Bolt. If you like farce, then Bright Stream which is also rather brilliant in its riffs on Soviet Ballet. 

 

 Ratmansky is very prolific and there is a range including quality-wise in what he does. You also may just not care for his work--we all have different tastes--but 'style over substance' seems to me reductive of such a musical, inventive, and historically self-conscious artist. I think he gets to some very interesting places formally and emotionally (anxiety haunting  joy in the Shostakovich trilogy for example).

 

The FX (You mean stage effects?) were to recreate nineteenth-century spectacle in Corsaire. That seems appropriate enough--those ballets were spectacles and full of special effects.

 

(In some ways I prefer to distinguish Ratmansky the stager of nineteenth-century vallets from Ratmansky the choreographer anyway, and honestly I found the Burlaka/Ratmansky Corsaire felt a little long, but I did think Ratmansky's pastiche Petipa choreography for the Pas des Eventails was very skillfully done. And I enjoy that type of Petipa divertissement.)

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