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mnacenani

Romeo & Juliet Live Cinecast of 21st January

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Genya fans please don't "wish me ill" but it's Katya Krysanova and Vlad Lantratov (same cast I saw recently) who will feature in the cinecast. I am happy that members will have the chance to size up Katya in this great dramatic role ..... pity that Ratty has made a hash of the beautiful original Lavrovsky staging. So the casting as it stands now is (it's the Bolshoy !) :

Fri 19th Jan : Krysanova-Lantratov / Sat 20th Jan mat : Obraztsova-Belyakov / Sat 20th Jan eve : Stashkevich-Lapatin / Sun 21st Jan : Krysanova-Lantratov (cinecast)

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Thanks for this, mnacenani. So we can call 2017-2018 The Prima Krysanova Season!

We're grateful to see this ballet live in cinemas, no matter who is cast. As I mentioned earlier, I'll go with an open mind about the dancers and the staging.

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I've always loved the film of the Lavrovsky version, but that's not what Ratmansky's is playing against:  the Grigorovich version, still playing on the main stage, dates from 1979 and will be 40 next year.

I love the score and the orchestra was divine.  I don't love score as a ballet: for me it's too long and no choreographer has filled it up in a completely satisfying way, which is probably why the film version is my favorite.  I also loved Kent Stowell's "The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet," primarily because of the pastiche Tchaikovsky score that Stowell put together with Music Director Stewart Kershaw.  For me, nothing will top the simplicity of the mimed wedding scene to the Preghiera from Tchaikovsky's Fourth Orchestra Suite, especially when Flemming Halby portrayed Friar Lawrence.

That said, there are many parts I really loved about the Ratmansky version:  the crowd scenes, Tybalt's death -- the highlight for me -- the sequence where Friar Lawrence describes the fake poison scene to Juliet, the ending scene where Romeo and Juliet reunite for a moment after she wakes and until she dies -- may not be in the play, but all the operas do it, and for much longer -- the Giselle-like reconciliation between the families at the end, and the militaristic Dance of the Capulets.  I also liked that Ratmansky gave Paris a little dance, and while difficult to watch, how Lord Capulet was so vicious towards his daughter.

And the swordplay was spectacular, and not just between the main characters and the fathers: the first sword brawl including the corps was amazing.  

I preferred the wedding night pas de deux to the balcony pas de deux, but I was really disappointed not to see the recognition that Romeo had just killed Juliet's kin and mixed and heightened emotions that caused.  That, to me, is the real strength of Maillot's version -- that and the puppet show, which is such good, acute theater -- and here it was ignored.  The big plot-related confusions/missed opportunities I saw were during the ball scene, when Juliet, who was told by her parents that she's going to be married, meets Paris, and there's nothing wrong with him.  Like Aurora, who would have gladly married any of the four Princes had the kingdom not been put to sleep for a century, she likes him fine.  What I didn't understand was, that since she had been prepared for marriage, much like Aurora, and Paris was presented as their choice -- not just some random guy who asked her to dance at the ball -- why, after she and Romeo had their moment, and then she went back to dancing with Paris, there was no change in character: she was just as happy to dance with him, even though it meant having to pass up her newfound love.  

A small one is when Juliet is nowhere to be found the morning her parents expect her to marry Paris, and she runs in with a shawl.  Given how abusively Lord Capulet treats her, I would have expected some major repercussions for her being out on her own in her night clothes in the early morning hours, but, uncharacteristically, nada.

I thought Krysanova was lovely, and I especially loved her final scene, where she looked like she was being shredded from the inside.  Lantratov is a beautiful dancer, but a little too princely for what I prefer in a Romeo.   I kept seeing Cote in the choreography. I would watch Igor Tsvirko, the Mercutio, in anything.  He even resembled Cote a bit.

The amazing Ekaterina Novikov interviewed Tsvirko and Lantratov and translated during first and second intermissions, respectively.  Before the show, she was featured.  She must be so relieved that Vaziev is running the company:  I suspect the level of chaos has gone down considerably, and the attack on Filin must have taken a lot out of her.

 

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I loved how admiring of Paris Juliet's handmaidens are... there were many nice dramatic touches...

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This was my first live cinecast, I'm very glad I went.

I was also perplexed by the lack of reaction to Juliet regarding Tybalt's death. At first I thought perhaps she didn't know he had died, and would find out after Romeo fled the scene, but no... just left in the air.

One touch I can't stop thinking about is when Juliet first refuses to marry Paris and her mother ends up crying on Juliet's bed. Juliet puts her head to her mother's dress and her mother reaches out to comfort her--only to take her hand back, pull her dress away and resume the distant persona of a noble woman again.

I was mesmerized by the scene where Juliet "submits" to her father's demand to marry Paris and all four dance together, with Juliet as a heartbroken, stunned and almost puppet-like while being manipulated in a dance. I've been searching all night for any filmed productions that went a similar route but nothing comes close.

 

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6 hours ago, orangerose said:

 

One touch I can't stop thinking about is when Juliet first refuses to marry Paris and her mother ends up crying on Juliet's bed. Juliet puts her head to her mother's dress and her mother reaches out to comfort her--only to take her hand back, pull her dress away and resume the distant persona of a noble woman again.

 

 

This was an exquisite moment of  depiction of the conflicts in motherhood. As Goethe said, the genius shows in the details. Illustrative of the thought Ratmansky put into this production. We are lucky to have a contemperaneous choreographer like him. I liked this ballet very much and I have enjoyed reading the recap in this particular thread.

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I also liked that moment between Juliet and her mother.  I thought of it in broader terms, not just an important moment between a mother and her daughter. To me, it was a commentary on the plight of women who are subjugated to the will of societal norms in a world run by men.

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In the Maillot, retired PNB Principal Dancer Maria Chapman did exactly the same thing.  It was remarkable because there is no Lord Capulet, and every other Lady Capulet I've seen has played it like Lord Capulet.  It isn't baked in to the Maillot, but was a brilliant choice on Chapman's part.

Also in her potrayal, it made Tybalt the male head of the family, more important than the to-be heir.  Her reaction to his death was more than an emotional/familial one: it was as if she was a widow who would have to take charge and wasn't prepared.

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The way ABT presents the MacMillan version, there is a brief implication of an affair between Tybalt and Lady Capulet.  They steal a moment of intimacy before a crowd enters for the next scene.

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In the Maillot, there's the possibility expressed by the more aggressive Lady Capulets that she's attracted to Paris, and it's mutual.  For Paris, Juliet is a political-financial alliance, not much more.

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6 hours ago, abatt said:

I also liked that moment between Juliet and her mother.  I thought of it in broader terms, not just an important moment between a mother and her daughter. To me, it was a commentary on the plight of women who are subjugated to the will of societal norms in a world run by men.

That's a really interesting take on it. When I think about it that way, it does seem to fit in with other touches in the show which depicted the women suffering because of the men's decisions--like the duel in the beginning which depicted the women constantly trying to soothe the men out of finding, but ultimately ended with two women prostrate with grief over the dead men.

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3 hours ago, orangerose said:

That's a really interesting take on it. When I think about it that way, it does seem to fit in with other touches in the show which depicted the women suffering because of the men's decisions--like the duel in the beginning which depicted the women constantly trying to soothe the men out of finding, but ultimately ended with two women prostrate with grief over the dead men.

That reminded me of what I think is the most effective moment I've seen in a danced version of this play, Michael Smuin's production for San Francisco Ballet, which was televised in the early days of Dance in America -- the opening fight scene was quite chaotic, resolving in a young mother carrying her dead child, rushing downstage, looking for help, or justice, and finding neither.

The camera helped make the moment -- I always wonder what it looked like in the theater.  Likewise, I thought that moment in the Ratmansky where Juliet tries to connect with her grieving mother was really enhanced by the camera focus.  I'm not sure if it would read quite as powerfully from the balcony seats in the theater.

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One other tiny moment that really stood out was when Juliet was running off stage left to see Friar Lawrence, and passed between two lines of dancers traveling stage right.  They pivoted around to face the opposite way as she rushed by, as if they were blown around by her wind.

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And when Romeo launched himself skyward... assisted by the male market community...

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I would have preferred a little more wildness there and less a ship's masthead.  For me it didn't have the same impact as Juliet's that sandik describes.

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15 hours ago, Helene said:

I would have preferred a little more wildness there and less a ship's masthead.  For me it didn't have the same impact as Juliet's that sandik describes.

Thinking back on this, I have a feeling that the camera work undercut the bowspirit phrase -- an example of something that might not have looked as static if we were sitting in the audience.  But that's just an intuition.

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A couple more thoughts.  I was talking about this with my sister last night, trying to describe the staging, and wound up saying "it's like the play within a play in 'Kiss Me Kate.'"  The big and plain geometry of the forced perspective set (Ekaterina Novikov said that the designer was influenced by diChirico, which makes perfect sense looking at it) reminded me of mid-20th century illustrations of "Medieval/Renaissance" settings, from commercial publications of Ivanhoe and the line drawings in the collected Shakespeare my parents had to films like The Adventures of Robin Hood (which I happened to see on Saturday, so I was primed).  Alongside the sets, the costumes had a similar "modern take on period" look -- it felt like an Old Vic production of the play (or, for those of us on the west coast, an early iteration of the Ashland Shakespeare Festival).  And the exaggerated height of the two fathers (not to mention the fabulous hats) -- I kept expecting Robert Helpmann to make an entrance.

I agree with Helene above -- while I love the male quartet here, the Maillot puppet show performed to the mandolin music does a much more distinctive job in that production. 

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I had to miss the Romeo and Juliet broadcast Sunday and was pleased to learn that the Bolshoi has put it up on their website -- I don't know for how long. Allowing that my reaction to stagings of Prokofiev's score are mixed -- it's a dramatic, engaging score, but as Helene has written, it just seems long and, I would add, to generate ballets that aren't able to transcend the 'too longness,' but just reproduce it  -- Ratmansky's version still has any number of elements I like and even like a lot including some of the complex Ratmansky-esque details in the choreography for the leads. And the ending: I find it very moving to see the two families reconcile at the end. (That's in several other productions, too, I know.)

I also liked the dancers including Krysanova and Lantratov. (Though I must admit that if it weren't for his being a murderous bully, I think I would sooner kill myself over Biktimorov's Tybalt than Lantratov's Romeo.)  I thought Krysanova danced with great freedom and fierceness which I liked a lot. Here is the link--you have to register, but that's not hard:

http://media.bolshoi.ru/play/

Edited by Drew
missing pronoun/typos

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That's excellent news -- many thanks for the link!

I agree about Biktimorov's Tybalt.

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But you know he's going to get himself killed sooner than later.

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I know, I know -- but those first act tights (with the windowpane check shorts painted on) -- it's almost as good as the Norwegian curling team!

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9 hours ago, Drew said:

I had to miss the Romeo and Juliet broadcast Sunday and was pleased to learn that the Bolshoi has put it up on their website -- I don't know for how long. Allowing that my reaction to stagings of Prokofiev's score are mixed -- it's a dramatic, engaging score, but as Helene has written, it just seems long and, I would add, to generate ballets that aren't able to transcend the 'too longness,' but just reproduce it  -- Ratmansky's version still has any number of elements I like and even like a lot including some of the complex Ratmansky-esque details in the choreography for the leads. And the ending: I find it very moving to see the two families reconcile at the end. (That's in several other productions, too, I know.)

I also liked the dancers including Krysanova and Lantratov. (Though I must admit that if it weren't for his being a murderous bully, I think I would sooner kill myself over Biktimorov's Tybalt than Lantratov's Romeo.)  I thought Krysanova danced with great freedom and fierceness which I liked a lot. Here is the link--you have to register, but that's not hard:

http://media.bolshoi.ru/play/

Darn, has it already been removed? Or is it only available to certain countries?

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Looks like they have taken it down....at least I can't find it again. Perhaps some chunks will turn up elsewhere on the Internet.

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37 minutes ago, Drew said:

Looks like they have taken it down....at least I can't find it again.

It was available free-to-web last night and early this morning Moscow time but has been removed. Normally it stays in archive for 24 hrs after the livecast but this time they let it stay an extra day.

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