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mnacenani

2017/2018 season

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On 10/20/2017 at 9:19 AM, mnacenani said:

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.
 

I saw Krysanova and Stepanova dancing live in Etudes. I thought pretty much the same as you said.

Katya is a dancing virtuoso, one of my favorite ballet dancers. On stage she always looked very confident, open and show-off to tell story with her dancing. In Etudes she was as amazing and awesome as usual. Technically she was super and her performance inspirational.

Stepanova was hesitant and unsure, made some manifest missteps in fouette turns and the trio with Chino and Tissi. She was excellent as The Queen of the Dryads in D.Q., though. Maybe, she would feel more comfortable to certain roles and recover her confidence.

I also saw Alyona Kovalyova dancing in Etudes. She is a "Snow White" kind of beauty. She was good in Etudes. However, when Kovalyova stood on pointe toes, she was higher than Ovcharenko for over a head.

:o

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16 hours ago, Drew said:

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. 

 

Wonderful post! That is very informative and educational. :flowers:

On YouTube I have seen complete Russian Seasons, The Bolt, and other Bolshoi ballets that have been broadcasting live in cinema. Some were deleted, but there are still different editions left.  

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20 hours ago, mnacenani said:

 

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.

 

It is Stipanava. Your friend Vita is not Russian, is she?

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20 hours ago, mnacenani said:

 

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 get the same feeling about them two when it comes to full length ballets.

 

In shorter forms Ratmansky is simply amazing.

Edited by Fleurdelis

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35 minutes ago, Fleurdelis said:

It is Stipanava. Your friend Vita is not Russian, is she?

 

She is Russkaya - Moscow ballet writer and lecturer. However, there might be more than one

acceptable way of pronouncing Russian words or names, as there is no accent shown in writing.

I am certain the Russian presenter said "Hahlava" on tv although I feel it should be "Hah-lova".

Especially confounding is the letter "yo" (e with two dots on top for anyone not familiar) which are

99 % of the time not shown in print and one is supposed to know. If you remember the extended

discussion on whether it is Kovaleva or Kavalyova when I introduced Alena/Alyona on this forum

earlier this year.

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20 hours ago, Drew said:

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. 

 

 Thank you for the tips, will certainly follow up asap. Would like to see Bright Stream live if Alexandrova were to dance

the Ballerina - Masha is my "lyubimaya artistka" and I have been told this is one of her signature roles.

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3 hours ago, yudi said:

I also saw Alyona Kovalyova dancing in Etudes. She is a "Snow White" kind of beauty. She was good in Etudes. However, when Kovalyova stood on pointe toes, she was higher than Ovcharenko for over a head.

 

Saw her Odette/Odile debut last month, turned out Laura Cappelle was also at the performance and later

tweeted likening Alyona to Bambi ..... both descriptions are somewhat befitting I think. Will be tracking

Alyona this season and if she does well will be patting myself on the back :cool:

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1 hour ago, mnacenani said:

 

She is Russkaya - Moscow ballet writer and lecturer. However, there might be more than one

acceptable way of pronouncing Russian words or names, as there is no accent shown in writing.

I am certain the Russian presenter said "Hahlava" on tv although I feel it should be "Hah-lova".

Especially confounding is the letter "yo" (e with two dots on top for anyone not familiar) which are

99 % of the time not shown in print and one is supposed to know. If you remember the extended

discussion on whether it is Kovaleva or Kavalyova when I introduced Alena/Alyona on this forum

earlier this year.

 

Sorry, it is Khokhlova and Stepanova, there are no other possible ways have the stresses in these particular Russian last names. Maybe only in Czech ones. 

 

The ë is a totally different matter.

Edited by Fleurdelis

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Just for future reference:

 

Zakharova

Krysanova

Nikulina

Obraztsova

Smirnova

Stashkevich

Stepanova

Shipulina

Volchkov

Lantratov

Lobukhin

Lopatin

Ovcharenko

Rodkin

Skvortsov

Chudin

 

Anything else is alternative facts.

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 On ‎10‎/‎21‎/‎2017 at 7:55 AM, Drew said:

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. 

I'd also suggest Seven Sonatas and Pictures at an Exhibition, along with other works he did on the New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre.

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47 minutes ago, Marta said:

 On ‎10‎/‎21‎/‎2017 at 7:55 AM, Drew said:

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. 

I'd also suggest Seven Sonatas and Pictures at an Exhibition, along with other works he did on the New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre.

 

Absolutely. I love any number of them. I focused on the others, all danced by the Bolshoi, because I thought it likely easier to find youtube video of them, and, also, Mnacenani so often writes about Russian companies and the Bolshoi in particular. 

 

 

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I noticed the Costa Mesa dates are no longer listed on the Bolshoi website. It seems this may have been cancelled. 

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Sun 17th Kretova-Vasiliev / Tue 19th Krysanova-Chudin / Wed 20th Smirnova-Rodkin ....... boy, wouldn't I love to see all of them ...... sigh !  It's so annoying that Bolshoy posts the casting two weeks in advance while tix have sold out three months in advance. Look up the full casting for these evenings there are other goodies !!

https://www.bolshoi.ru/en/performances/912/roles/#20171217190000

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Safe to say that Stepanova will NEVER be like Krysanova, who is probably one of the most extroverted and confident (bordering on arrogant) ballerinas of our time, and revels in showcasing her flashy technical brilliance, speed and character.

While Stepanova, by this measure, feels to me as wanting in expressiveness and characterization. She looks the same in all her roles and performs them evenly throughout, in the same measured, mechanical, plodding way, without dynamics, accents, emotions or mood inflections. She displays fundamental soundness in her execution of steps and movements, but not what one would call artistry. So where this leaves me is that I cannot really find many faults with her, except that she is, for lack of a better word... boring.

Edited by Fleurdelis

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12 hours ago, Fleurdelis said:

Ah, but this changes things entirely...:)

OMG ....... incredible characterisation !  Krysanova should better watch out !  :P

Edited by mnacenani

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8 hours ago, mnacenani said:

Someone posted this comment about Stepanova on "bornagainballetomane" way back in 2012, and I quote : " The only other thing I wish from Stepanova is more of an air of command.  She still looks like a corps dancer plucked out at the last minute and given a solo.  She needs to take over the stage and in this case, give the feeling that she can easily tell Carabosse where to get off.  I just don’t see that yet — at least, not enough of it". Five years on she still lacks (imho) the air of command Krysanova radiates out.

A criticism from 2012? Really?  And why today? Could it have anything to do with the just-released Vogue Russia video? Wow, Stepanova must pose quite a challenge to Krysanova.  It's easy to see why.

The Vogue Russia video shows once again how very telegenic Stepanova is.  It highlights the mysterious and romantic aspects of her persona that have always been present for those willing to look. She is dreamy and sensual at the same time, gently humorous and a bit quirky.  These subtle qualities are no doubt difficult to express on the huge Bolshoi stage, but they absolutely jump off the screen and coupled with her dancing ability would be enough to catapult her to international stardom if and when she is properly featured in a broadcast.  Yes, maybe Krysanova better watch out!

 

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Krysanova is all set in the international stardom department, in fact, she is starring in the lead role with the Ballets of Monte Carlo as we speak.

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2 hours ago, Quinten said:

 

The Vogue Russia video shows once again how very telegenic Stepanova is.  It highlights the mysterious and romantic aspects of her persona that have always been present for those willing to look. She is dreamy and sensual at the same time, gently humorous and a bit quirky.  These subtle qualities are no doubt difficult to express on the huge Bolshoi stage, but they absolutely jump off the screen and coupled with her dancing ability would be enough to catapult her to international stardom if and when she is properly featured in a broadcast.  Yes, maybe Krysanova better watch out!

 

Regarding subtleties that "are no doubt difficult to express on the huge Bolshoi stage." This does seem to me far from an aside. Ballet is a live art form and Stepanova is a prima ballerina at the Bolshoi theater.  Presumably she wasn't promoted to prima ballerina on the grounds that she is telegenic and Semenyaka isn't coaching her to be a movie star.  I go to ballet for the live experience of its beauty including its subtleties. I am hopeful from all I have read and seen on video that Stepanova can project them even on the Bolshoi stage. Ballet gods willing I will be able to judge for myself one day. And no...video is not the way one can judge someone's ability to project and communicate to an audience.

I suppose it is very possible, though,  that Stepanova really is a better fit for the Mariinsky.  (That was indeed my traditional view of her based on video.) However, IF that's so, then it would not exactly be a comfort to her Bolshoi audience which sees her dance regularly at the Bolshoi theater.  I infer, partly from an interview given shortly after Stepanova joined the Bolshoi, that one thing Semenyaka and she have worked on is coming up with the right Mariinsky/Bolshoi mix--very much as Semenyaka did...and how!

Anyway, to put it in more general terms, it seems to me very dubious praise of a ballerina -- and a sign of the times -- that a ballerina's telegenic properties would be written about as if they were more important than what she projects at her home theater. Don't misunderstand. To return to Stepanova in particular: I very much enjoyed the Vogue video and thought she looked gorgeous. It even made me wonder about untapped possibilities in her performing persona insofar as I know it from video and reports. But when I go to the theater, I care about what I can see, not what the camera can see.

Regarding ballerinas who should "watch out:"  I know ballet is a competitive world, but there is room at the Bolshoi for more than one major ballerina--there always has been. And of course that means there will be differences of opinion about those ballerinas.  But constantly pitting one against the other, though I suppose it's a tradition going back to Taglioni and Elssler, seems to me to be misleading, and well, from a crude PR point of view, I'm not sure it does Stepanova any favors either as she is already linked to ballerina wars at the Mariinsky in a way that has sometimes seemed to get in the way of people appreciating her on her own terms.  Anyway, ballet is an art form, not a zero sum game.

Edited by Drew
Missing word

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1 hour ago, Drew said:

I go to ballet for the live experience of its beauty including its subtleties.

As do many of us, Drew, but apparently not all.

1 hour ago, Drew said:

 

1 hour ago, Drew said:

I am hopeful from all I have read and seen on video that Stepanova can project them even on the Bolshoi stage.

Me too.  I'm not sure she doesn't in fact project "to those willing to look".  

1 hour ago, Drew said:

Anyway, to put it in more general terms, it seems to me very dubious praise of a ballerina -- and a sign of the times -- that a ballerina's telegenic properties would be written about as if they were more important than what she projects at her home theater.

Selfishly perhaps, I really don't care how a ballerina projects at her home theatre if I can't see her there (which I can't).  I'm only interested in how it looks to me via media that I can view.  My perception of what happens on screen is every bit as real -- and valid -- as the perceptions of those in the theatre.  One more good reason why there's room for all kinds of ballerinas with different talents.

1 hour ago, Drew said:

Stepanova really is a better fit for the Mariinsky

Yes of course she is; it's a great tragedy that she's not there.  However, it is what it is.  I hope she will have the courage to be herself on whatever stage she appears on, that her mentors will help her and that people will at least make an attempt to understand and appreciate.

2 hours ago, Drew said:

But constantly pitting one against the other...I'm not sure it does Stepanova any favors either as she is already linked to ballerina wars at the Mariinsky in a way that has sometimes seemed get in the way of people appreciating her on her own terms. 

it's a rock and a hard place: either try to set the record straight (thus "pitting"?) or ignore it (which only encourages more of the same).  

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7 hours ago, Drew said:

But when I go to the theater, I care about what I can see, not what the camera can see.

That makes two of us ! However, I need to see a bit more of Stepanova to be able to arrive at a definitive opinion. Beautiful form and execution is important but for me ballet is something more. "We'll see how it goes ..."  :)

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1 hour ago, mnacenani said:

That makes two of us ! However, I need to see a bit more of Stepanova to be able to arrive at a definitive opinion. Beautiful form and execution is important but for me ballet is something more. "We'll see how it goes ..."

Why so coy? We already know how THAT will go. :P 

Instead of the same old same old why not share your impressions of some of the other Bolshoi ballerinas?  You are so lucky to see so many of them dance! Go down the list, rate them, tell us in what ways they have to improve to gain your approval. We'll all learn something. It'll so much more fun, you'll see!

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47 minutes ago, Quinten said:

Instead of the same old same old why not share your impressions of some of the other Bolshoi ballerinas?

Now you do have a point here, and I do have a problem with who to see. I normally tend to see dancers who I know and like, which is damn difficult at the Balshoy to organise. Ticket sale opens 3 months before performance date but casting is posted max 3 weeks before by which time there are no tickets left. I keep thinking whether I should just buy tix blind and see whoever appears on the night to broaden my knowledge base, but who wouldn't want to see a dancer he/she admires if there is the chance ??  With ticket prices becoming unacceptable on the "open market" I will have to buy blind thus resolving this dilemma.

Stepanova :  I don't have anything against her, will make an effort to see her in different roles, no foregone conclusion ! This season she is on my watchlist along with Kavalyova. However, you and I might have different priorities and likes which affects who we will gravitate towards.

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Neumeier's "Anna Karenina" is to premiere on March 23rd with six performances running till March 28th. Hamburg/Canada/Bolshoy co-production.

The eagerly awaited revival of Vikharev's 2009 reconstruction of "Coppelia" is set to premiere on 20th April and will run for three nights.

Incidentally, two "Ballet Soloists' Gala"s have been scheduled for 25-26 April. I had seen and reported on the previous galas on 22-23 October 2016 - the program when posted will be sort of "predictable" but what a difference a full live orchestra makes, compared to some other shows with recorded music only. An enthusiastic balletgoer could enjoy seeing it five nights in a row !

Edited by mnacenani
Clarification

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