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I saw it in DC's Landmark E Street Cinema this past Sunday. Thoroughly enjoyed it, especially after I made the connection between the reindeer in the forest and the tough male pedagogue at the ballet academy. I'd like to think of it as purely platonic admiration of an old teacher. People can read into it whatever the wish. Since Mr/Mrs Preljocaj are co-directors, the story may not be so innocent.

 

 Anastasia Shevtsova, the lead, is quite good. Some have complained about her frozen poker face but IMO it's right for the character. I attended the 2014 Vaganova Academy graduation concerts and, to be honest, don't remember having seen Ms Shevtsova before. Maybe she was in the corps of students? One "Ksenia Shevtsova" danced in Paquita at a later graduation but I don't see an "Anastasia Shevtsova" in my old playbills. Maybe she was ill and unable to dance at her graduation...or she was busy filming this movie.

 

Recently-retired POB Etoile Jeremie Belingard is believable as one of Polina's later love interests. He dances the final ballet (modern dance) set in a snowy forest. Very nice.

 

All in all, a pleasant movie with a happy ending. It should appeal to the general public.

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Thanks, Charlie, for your thoughts. I'm glad that you enjoyed it. I hope to see it in about a week. I'll try to keep the reindeer connection in mind. Anastasia Shevtsova is not a current member of the Mariinsky as far as I can see from the company list.

 

I've read many of the reviews and they are generally favorable. One idea that appears in several is the theme of escaping from the constraints of the ballet world. Even Mikhail Baryshnikov said that this was his reason for leaving Russia.

 

Here's another point of view from Olga Smirnova, Bolshoi Principal ballerina, shared by many.

 

"One and the same performance can not be performed in the same way: new nuances appear, in some places a new understanding and understanding appears, and this process is endless, just as we change without end: we grow up, learn, discover ourselves and others. It's life, and exactly the same life is hidden inside the images and heroes that I'm performing." 

 

http://www.elle.ru/celebrities/interview/olga-smirnova-tolko-kogda-balet-stanovitsya-smyislom-jizni-v-nem-mojno-chego-to-dobitsya/

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On 9/14/2017 at 11:30 AM, Buddy said:

Anastasia Shevtsova is not a current member of the Mariinsky as far as I can see from the company list.

 

It has been reported in Russian press that Anastasia Shevtsova has left the Mariinsky to focus on her movie career. 

Edited by Dreamer

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On 9/14/2017 at 7:15 PM, CharlieH said:

 

All in all, a pleasant movie with a happy ending. It should appeal to the general public.

 

I saw the movie last week in Philadelphia and agree with Charlie's quote. 

 

 Anastasia Shevtsova is lovely looking and loveable. 

 

It's more of a general public movie than a study of the dance world. It reminds me somewhat of Keenan Kampa's movie. If you want a more focussed and real look at the ballet world for a young women in Russia I would recommend  Bertrand Normand's sympathetic and feeling documentary, "Ballerina," from about ten years ago. It can be seen in its entirety here.

 

https://vimeo.com/39818153

 

I loved Angelin Preljocaj's "Le Parc" as interpreted by the Mariinsky. I found it to be fascinating and enchanting. I believe that some of his choreography can be seen here. 

 

Charlie also wrote, "Thoroughly enjoyed it, especially after I made the connection between the reindeer in the forest and the tough male pedagogue at the ballet academy." I remembered to watch for the "reindeer" but forgot Charlie's exact analogy. I viewed it more as a symbol of the power and the survival of the arts. The pedagogue was perhaps the most interesting character for me along with Polina. He starts out as a very stern characterisation, but then changes into a much more sympathetic representation of someone really searching for meaning and love in his art. He represents a connection between the classical and a longing to expand. I was hoping that Polina, with her new found vision, would reconnect with him. In a way the presentation does this for her and I found this to be the most touching part of the movie. I won't give exact details for those who have yet to see the movie.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Buddy

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30 minutes ago, Buddy said:

I loved Angelin Preljocaj's "Le Parc" as interpreted by the Mariinsky. I found it to be fascinating and enchanting

 

Certainly agree that it is "outlandish" ....... with the "gardeners" who must have landed from Neptune or Pluto

I surmise ..... they get little sunshine there so would have to wear black to absorb as much of it as they can :D

(I beg forgiveness !)

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50 minutes ago, mnacenani said:

 

Certainly agree that it is "outlandish" ....... with the "gardeners" who must have landed from Neptune or Pluto

I surmise ..... they get little sunshine there so would have to wear black to absorb as much of it as they can :D

(I beg forgiveness !)

 

The "fascination and enchantment" for me, Mnacenani, was the way that a brilliant sort of surrealism and Mozart were blended together so seamlessly by the ethereal beauty of the Mariinsky dancers and the creative 'genius,' in this particular work, of Angelin Preljocaj.  The swooning scene of the gowned women comes to mind as one of the instances of traveling through a myriad of artistic and descriptive dimensions. 

 

Now back to Polina  :)

  

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Right - bought the dvd from Amazon just yesterday (without realising it was a Preljokaj film :wacko:), it has been shipped.

Will try to do a reset and watch it with an open mind. Btw I hung on and did not walk out of Parc at the Mariinsky a

couple of months ago - a lot of people did !  The fact that it did not have an intermission, and that Kondaurova caught

my attention and impressed me helped. Anyway have to admit that Parc is much more watchable than the "New York

Pieces" which Medici livecast from Montpellier Festival this summer - I could only take ca. 15 minutes of that. I just can't

connect with "non-narrative" or "abstract" ballet and strongly oppose such works being classified as "ballet" for starters !

 

(Re Kondaurova : two weeks ago Mezzo was showing Cinderella with Vishnova and Kondaurova. I told my wife I had seen

Konda in Parc in July and she went "What ?  This can't be a woman - look at the height, those muscles !  This must be a tra-

vesti role danced by someone from the Trocks !  :D:D)

Edited by mnacenani

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1 hour ago, mnacenani said:

 

(Re Kondaurova : two weeks ago Mezzo was showing Cinderella with Vishnova and Kondaurova. I told my wife I had seen

Konda in Parc in July and she went "What ?  This can't be a woman - look at the height, those muscles !  This must be a tra-

vesti role danced by someone from the Trocks !  :D:D)

 

Ouch !  

 

Hope that you enjoy Polina anyway.  :) 

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