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Mariinsky in London 2017

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CharlieH   
On ‎8‎/‎5‎/‎2017 at 7:23 PM, Buddy said:

I've just decided to make Yekaterina Osmolkina a Principal !  Does that count ?   :)

 

Wishing her much success and happiness on her Monday night Swan Lake.

 

I wish, Buddy. Better yet, if there would be some way to add her to the October 2017 tour to the Kennedy Center, then all would be perfect.

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Letter from London ...

Anna Karenina / ROH London / Thu 3 August
Mariinsky Ballet : Vishnyova - Zverev


I had previously seen the Eifman Ballet version a couple of times on Mezzo, music a potpourri of sequences from Chikofsky, am not
sure where the "train approaching" finale was taken from. Thought this had excellent pdd but rather meaningless, movement for move-
ment's sake ensembles.

London is awful in the summer (as is Moscow and Peterburg and so many others) and every time I make a resolution not to travel to Lon-
don ever in the summer, but again broke it and booked to see Diana as AK thinking this may be one of the last few occasions one could
see her on stage. It was after seeing Diana as Juliet with Shklyarov 4 years ago that I fell head over heels for Russian classical ballet.

She is so engrained in my mind as Juliet that I had difficulty accepting her as Giselle or Nikiya or in any role other than Juliet I saw her

dance ....... a case of obsessive compulsive personality disorder ? Anyway it's against this background that I arrived at the ROH last
evening for my first sampling of the Schedrin-Ratmansky AK, just to be able to see Diana.

Ratmansky's AK is short, barely 90 minutes, and when you take into account Schedrin's music it's a relief that it is not any longer. I  do

have a good ear for music but the "circus music" for the "Gipodrom" scene aside cannot remember any melodic sequence whatsoever.

I did know the story of AK and "a story" is discernible from what is presented on the stage - something I attach great importance to. The

choreo of the first scene I thought had too great a similarity to Mayerling to be coincidental. Then on full use is made of modern stage

mechanics and special fx - one cannot help thinking how great works like R&J, Bayaderka and Giselle are which have no need for such

things to prop them up.

What drove the performance last night was Diana :  take Diana away and I probably would have walked out at the interval along with quite

a few other people who did. Diana is a one-off : the grand mistress of mime, her eyes only would be sufficient even if she did not move any

of her facial muscles. But Ratmansky is not Lavrovsky, and Schedrin is no Prokofiev to be able to make full use of Diana's God-given, once-

in-a-millennium talent. Diana and Shklyarov as Romeo and Juliet, with that music which makes one suspect the hand of God at play, and that

choreography, could make a grown man cry ..... how do I know ??  Takes one to know one I suppose .....

Back to Anna Karenina : this needs a great talent like Diana to be effective, Vronsky and Karenin cannot save the performance. Last night

Zverev made an aloof portrayal, maybe as should be, but did not capture me in any way and I could not help thinking how Ovcharenko would

have acted this role. For me, Anna Karenina was the second best role I saw Diana act, after Juliet. This story has, had, the potential to become

a great work like Romeo and Juliet ....... had Prokofiev and Lavrovsky set themselves to the task. My wife is more receptive and tolerant of con-

temporary works than me, and has famously said that I watch contemporary ballet "like a cow watches a passing train" !  But when a friend asked

me last night what her reaction to Anna Karenina was, she said "could see it again sometime if I am invited and have nothing better to do on that

night" .....

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Letter from London ...
Don Kixot / ROH London / Saturday 5 August eve
Mariinsky Ballet / Matvienko - Askerov


Would like to start by listing my credentials relating to Don Kixot, since my views will surely be contested by
all of my tutors and some of my friends. Since January 2015 I have seen Don Kixot live 9 times danced by 8
different Kitris : Tsygankova, Shakirova, Alexandrova, Krysanova, Soboleva, Zaharova, Germizeeva, and
Matvienko ..... in addition to probably same number of stagings with different principals on DVD, from Royal
Ballet, Mariinsky, Dutch National Ballet , Cuban National Ballet, La Scala, Paris Opera Ballet etc etc. I could
conduct the whole thing from memory if I knew baton technique ...... any questions ??

This evenings performance was extremely enjoyable, as I discovered another "natural" Kitri : Nastya Matvienko
and an excellent Basilio in Timur Askerov, who I did not rate very highly on the basis of what I had seen of him
before. My amateur eye could see no lapses in Nastya's excellent technique, and she brought the house down
with a very fast perfectly executed 32 single fouettées in the grand pas. Askerov's tech may not yet be on par with
the best of the Balshoy's male leads but he was extremely good both technically and re characterisation. Kitri's friends
were good if not outstanding, Olga Belik as Mercedes was excellent as usual, but Gimadiyeva who I am told is a new-
comer was outstanding as Cupid - one wonders where do the Russian ballet companies find so many excellent Cupids,
one after the other - are they cloning them or what ?? Shakirova did the act 3 grand pas variation but the brief solo was
enough to show her class to anyone not acquainted. The evening's only performance which I will say was below par was
the street dancer of Chebykina. Dryads' Queen Ivannikova was sort of OK but imho did not shine, thought I had seen
better ones.

I really needed this, to detox any remaining traces of Le Parc I absorbed last month in Piter. Anna Karenina could not have
done it, Don Kixot is so wonderfully uplifting when danced and acted to perfection - I really could see it five nights in a row
with different principals. Gorgeous tuneful music, wonderful choreography, universal and timeless story even a kid can make
out first time ..... no "gardeners" or "mothers-in-law" present or required ..... what more can a true ballet lover ask for ???

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Helene   

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Paxita (Paquita) Mariinsky Theater Thu 15 June Teryoshkina-Askerov

 

Please let me explain before reporting my post for deletion : I did not see the Paquita Grand Pas which

was part of Contrasts at the ROH this week, but I saw the Grand Pas twice in Piter in June. It was presented

as the second part of the Vaganova Academy Graduation Performance on June 14 and the full ballet (?) was

performed by Mariinsky the next evening. I would like to post my take on Paquita in the hope of provoking

our learned members' comments which will gain me more knowledge and insight.

 

Prior to the said trip I had never seen Paquita live or recorded, and to do my homework watched the DVD of

the 2003 Lacotte POB staging with Letestu-Martinez. However once in Piter my tutor told me that there is no

definitive version of Paquita since everything except the 3rd act Grand Pas was lost, and usually this only was

performed as what were performed as the full ballet anywhere were crude "reconstructions" of the lost first

and second acts. So on the first night I saw the classic Petipa Grand Pas (tweaked a little by Tsiskaridze, cannot

tell you where) performed by the Vaganova Academy graduation class and lower classes, supplemented by a few

former graduates if I understood correctly, starring Eleonora Sevenard.  This was great ..... wonderful classic ballet

as I would like to see time and again. (however, I did not fall in love at first sight with Sevenard, like I did with the

star of the previous graduation class Alyona Kovalyova. Alyona is supposed to dance Odette/Odile at one of the

two Swan Lake matinees next month and I am checking the casting every day, not posted yet, with the full inten-

tion of making a day trip to see her live)

 

The next evening it was the "full" three-act Paquita, this one "reconstructed" by Mariinsky dancer-cum-choreographer

Yuriy Smekalov. As you could expect, the first two acts had nothing to do with the Lacotte version. If I remember

correctly Smekalov staged "The Bronze Horseman" last year and not everyone was well pleased with that one. In

any case :  imho the first act music and choreography was nothing to write home about, boring. In the second act

the music and dancing got better and I would say it was watchable. On the plus side my beloved Renata Shakirova

appeared as Carducha, the bad scheming girl - I think she is just a great dancer and "personality", my big discovery

of 2015.

 

Now the third act :  I would say one detects immediately that this is the real thing, and the first two acts were obviously

faked by "pretenders". I could also see this five nights in a row, wonderful classic ballet, music and choreo an all. No

wonder so many companies dance only this part and don't bother with trying to stage a "full" version, that there can be

no such thing is crystal clear. Teryoshkina was wonderful, I didn't quite click with Askerov but he made up for it as Basil

in Don Kixot last week. But between you and me : I somehow liked more the Vaganova presentation of the third act I

saw the night before, cannot give any concrete reason, could it have the edge slightly in terms of sync, symmetry and

separation, could this be possible vs the Mighty Mariinsky ??

 

Would love to hear from seasoned membership, credits and synopsis for Paquita version I saw :

https://www.mariinsky.ru/en/playbill/playbill/2017/6/15/1_1900

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Drew   
On 8/10/2017 at 3:44 AM, mnacenani said:

Letter from London ...

Anna Karenina / ROH London / Thu 3 August
Mariinsky Ballet : Vishnyova - Zverev


[...]


Ratmansky's AK is short, barely 90 minutes, and when you take into account Schedrin's music it's a relief that it is not any longer. I  do

have a good ear for music but the "circus music" for the "Gipodrom" scene aside cannot remember any melodic sequence whatsoever.

I did know the story of AK and "a story" is discernible from what is presented on the stage - something I attach great importance to. The

choreo of the first scene I thought had too great a similarity to Mayerling to be coincidental. Then on full use is made of modern stage

mechanics and special fx - one cannot help thinking how great works like R&J, Bayaderka and Giselle are which have no need for such

things to prop them [...]


Back to Anna Karenina : this needs a great talent like Diana to be effective, Vronsky and Karenin cannot save the performance. [...]

 

My thanks, too, for these reports.

 

I saw Ratmansky's Anna Karenina about five years ago when the Mariinsky brought it to New York. For me, the music definitely was the greatest obstacle to enjoying the ballet. I did however think the scenic effects were very effective--it's not a nineteenth-century ballet and the story calls for complex shifts of scenes and locations. (Actually the collapse of the temple in Bayadere as it was performed in the nineteenth century and still is in Makarova's version definitely calls for spectacular stage effects. And any number of Giselle productions have wilis flying through the air. I don't think Petipa shyed away from using the most up-to-date stage effects of his time.)  But I agree anyway that it's a problem when the scenic effects are the BEST part of a ballet. And I did think they were probably the best part of Ratmansky's Anna Karenina.

 

However, In New York I saw Kondaurova dance Anna and thought it was one of the greatest dramatic dance performances I had ever scene.  And that made the ballet more than worth it to have seen.

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16 minutes ago, Drew said:

However, In New York I saw Kondaurova dance Anna and thought it was one of the greatest dramatic dance performances I had ever scene.  And that made the ballet more than worth it to have seen.

 

Dear Drew :  I saw Kondaurova for the first time at Mariinsky in July in Preljokaj's Le Parc ..... only reason why I grit my teeth and

didn't join those who walked out. Was very impressed by her performance, must see her in the great Petipa classics sometime

next season (the hall would have emptied quite significantly had there been an interval :o

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On 8/11/2017 at 4:57 PM, Drew said:

 

My thanks, too, for these reports.

 

I saw Ratmansky's Anna Karenina about five years ago when the Mariinsky brought it to New York. For me, the music definitely was the greatest obstacle to enjoying the ballet. I

 

I saw AK last year in SP's White Nights festival...and just found it to be a bore. But again...I have never been a fan of the XIX century  literature "dark gowns" ballet adaptations.

Edited by cubanmiamiboy

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Drew   
7 minutes ago, cubanmiamiboy said:

 

I saw AK last year in SP's White Nights festival...and just found it to be a bore. But again...I have never been a fan of the XIX century  literature "dark gowns" ballet adaptations.

 

Neither am but some of these ballets still seem to me somewhat less boring than others. (I'd rather see a ballerina I admire in Neumeier's Dame aux Camelias than Macmillan's Manon.)   Still, It's hard for me even to say if I think Ratmansky's is "less boring" than, say, Onegin because the music is (to my ears) so unremittingly grim--which I found very daunting. But I did think Kondaurova was well worth seeing in it anyway. And I liked what I took to be Ratmansky's allusions to the traditions of the Royal Danish Ballet -- the company on which he set the ballet. But he has choreographed far more successful ballets for sure.

Edited by Drew

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7 hours ago, Drew said:

I liked what I took to be Ratmansky's allusions to the traditions of the Royal Danish Ballet -- the company on which he set the ballet. But he has choreographed far more successful ballets for sure.

 

Balshoy has scheduled Romeo&Juliet for 22-26 November which my friend in Moscow says will be the

new staging by Ratmansky ....... awaiting that one with trepidation !  Current Grigarovich version of

R&J is imho a non-starter, has made a hash of the beautiful Lavrovsky original. I definitely belong in

the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" school !

Edited by mnacenani

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JMcN   
8 hours ago, mnacenani said:

 

Balshoy has scheduled Romeo&Juliet for 22-26 November which my friend in Moscow says will be the

new staging by Ratmansky ....... awaiting that one with trepidation !  Current Grigarovich version of

R&J is imho a non-starter, has made a hash of the beautiful Lavrovsky original. I definitely belong in

the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" school !

 

Will it be the version he created for National Ballet of Canada?

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13 minutes ago, JMcN said:

 

Will it be the version he created for National Ballet of Canada?

 

There is no credits info yet on Ratmansky R&J under Balshoy repertory tab. This R&J will be cinecast next January 21st :

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/dance/what-to-see/watch-bolshoi-ballet-preview-ballet-cinema-season-world-premiere/

 

May very well be the NBC staging but I doubt whether Balshoy would mention that. Will enquire from friends in Moscow.

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sandik   
3 hours ago, JMcN said:

 

Will it be the version he created for National Ballet of Canada?

 

That's my question as well -- is this new choreography, or is he ringing changes on the Bolshoi's current production?

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sandik   
5 minutes ago, Dreamer said:

It will be the same version Ratmansky created for NBoC. 

 

Very glad to get a look at this!

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Yes, the 2017-18 season announcement states explicitly (in Russian) that it is the "transfer of Alexei Ratmansky's production at the National Ballet of Canada (Toronto, 2011)" and includes a couple of quotes from reviews in Canadian papers.

 

p. 19

http://www.bolshoi.ru/upload/medialibrary/101/10149b16ff60c2403a87f9acf04bd93c.pdf

 

Canadian critics and Alastair Macaulay reviewed it positively, but British critics gave it the thumbs down when the ballet was performed in London. Toronto audiences are similarly divided. I know people who like it, but also others who swear they will never go see it again.

Edited by volcanohunter

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