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Alexandra

Maria Alexandrova

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Shakespeare can stand a lot by now, but I agree, ballet audiences are far too tame. Brilliant move again: the Bolshoi artistic director having to kneel for a (famous or not) western producer?!

I'm trying to find out who the famous Western producer Donnelan is, but am so far drawing a blank. So is Google.

I'm sure his name will have been made after December, Alexandra. :grinning:

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Donnelan had (has?) his own company, called Cheek By Jowl, that perform(ed)(s) Shakespeare. It was quite celebrated in London and made the trip to the Brooklyn Academy of Music five or six years ago. I saw Much Ado and remember it as a pretty conventional staging and not up to the hype, both good and bad. His most famous staging was, I believe, of As You Like It, performed entirely by men. I also saw his production of Tony Kushner's Homebody/Kabul a couple of years ago -- a boring play (except for the opening monologue) with, again, nothing startling about the direction. Perhaps there is someone else involved in this R&J? Is there a choreographer, or is Donnelan expanding his artistic range? :wink:

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The choreographer is (as Mikhail said) Radu Poklitaru, one of the young hopes in Russia. Mikhail will undoubtedly be able to say more about him and his work.

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Guest Tatiana

More on Donellan and Cheek by Jowl at

www.cheekbyjowl.com

Donellan is quite popular in Moscow - his recent production is Twelfth Night, all parts being played by Russian male actors. I've seen As You Like It (performed by British actors) during a festival in 1994 - and enjoyed it greatly.

Frankly speaking I don't imagine Alexandrova being Juliette - she's truly not a Romantic-style dancer (as traditionally required from Juliette). Even her Esmeralda looked more like Carmen. If I had to choose dancers, I'd rather given "Pharaoh's Daughter" to Masha instead of Svetlana Zakharova, and "Romeo and Juliette" - to Svetlana instead of Masha (again if to talk about traditional version). But we'll have to wait for the premiere - maybe Masha is completely fit for the new "R&J".

Edited by Tatiana

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Welcome, Tatiana! You may well have a point -- this Romeo and Juliet may have a more modern, what we'd call "feisty" heroine :wink: Or it might bring out the lyricism in Alexandrova -- I think a lot of us will be checking this thread after the premiere to see what you all think!

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I wanted just to say, that after Bolshoi Tour in Paris, Maria Alexandrova became the new idol of French audience. Everyone who saw her said she was absolutely wonderful in Swan Lake, as Ramze or Aspicia or to finish as classical ballerina in The limpid Stream where she was absolutely amazing. Everybody dreamt to see her in leading parts in Paris !

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April 3, “Spartacus”

Spartacus – Yury Klevtsov

Crassus – Vladimir Neporozhny

Phrigia – Inna Petrova

Aegina – Maria Alexandrova

Very exciting evening! The ballet, with its boiling music and hot dancing still can touch one’s heart. This romantic, sensual ballet about gladiators fighting for freedom, that is so unlike usual fine performances with ladies in tutu and sweet princes in white, often arouse arguments, and sometimes bring critics to hysterical fits, but the Bolshoi showed that the story is still alive.

Klevtsov was very emotinal Spartacus. His dancing was not very powerful but competent, he is not very young, but he show his dramatic gift (I never saw him so good, by the way). His hero is not aggressive, and he understand that his fight for freedom will be very hard, but he cannot be a slave. He is man of kindness and dignity whom cruel fate put in a deathly trap, and he must fight with all the world, and he don’t lost his honor till his end.

Vladimir Neporozhny was rather bland. His Crassus, the chief of the legionaries, was interested in Aegina but not in the war I am afraid.

Inna Petrova as Phrigia, Spartacus girlfriend, was very moving and graceful. Her romantic fragility was very good contrast to Alexandrova’s self-assured, beautifully dressed Aegina.

Masha Alexandrova as Aegina was just great. She is the courtesan, the mistress of Crassus, she wants to rule with his help. Masha excelled with her charisma that made any of her movements something special, and show herself as real actress. As Neporozhny was not a very brave Crassus, Aegina apparently was the head here. That Aegina was a woman of low origin who stopped at nothing to gain the prominence she enjoyed now, and she is sure that she will have everything. She was very strong, powerful, and at the same time so beautiful, so womanly! Her variation in the gladiator’s camp, where she goes with her courtesans to distract the rebels and to make them forget about danger, was just fantastic. She radiated joy and sensual beauty. The poor gladiators have no chance against such a woman.

I also like Alexander Petukhov who with real fire danced the gladiator killed by Spartacus in the “blind” fight. The male corps was splendid, especially in the second and third acts. How much energy the performance give to the audience!

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Many thanks, Inga. Good to hear the Bolshoi can still make something of this ballet, although we have come a long way when one realizes that Crassus the cruel warmonger is more interested in women than warfare :grinning:.

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They want to say that Roman Empire was very much corrupted at the time, and warmongers became lazy! But don’t worry, Marc, Masha saved Rome at the end! :blushing:

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At May 15 Maria Alexandrova danced Don Quixotte with Vladimir Neporozhny. Alexandrova performed Kitri last time three years ago, so now she bring in the role all the experience she gained in the time. Three years ago she was bright ballerina but not Kitri. Now she IS Kitri.

Alexandrova not only show her famous stage presence, her charm, her rare technical strength. For me the most fascinating was the contrast between Kitri as simple girl and Kitri-Dulcinea in Don Q’s dream. In the first act Masha looked like a real innkeeper’s daughter, simple, self-assured and merry. You can easily imagine her pouring a beer to the clients and laughing with them! Her love for Basilio was sincere, she pretend to be indifferent to him, but she cannot hide her feeling.

In Don Quixotte’s dream she was just another person. Playful girl is gone, Dulcinea is a crystal fairy with royal bearing. And how beautiful was her balances!

In the last act pas de deux she again was simple girl, but she was so happy and charming! Her variation became the peak of the performance. The audience responded with enthusiastic applause.

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This night of June 25, after the performance of "La Fille du Pharaon" the art-director of the Bolshoi Ballet Alexei Ratmansky appeared in front of the audience to announce the names of the new Bolshoi's principals - Maria Alexandrova and Dmitry Gudanov (Dmitry just made his debut in the role of Thaor). This is the first time someone has been publically promoted to a new position. I hope this will become a new tradition at the Bolshoi. Our congratulations to Maria and Dmitry.

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Thank you, Mikhail (and good to read you again). This is indeed good news -- and a nice new tradition.

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We had a pre-announcement of this in yesterday's press release giving the casting for the Bolshoi's visit to London! Alexandrova opens the season in Don Quixote and also dances in romeo and Juliet and Pharaoh's Daughter.

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I saw Maria Alexandrova in Pharaohs Daughter in London. She demonstrated very high powerful grand jete. She has rather muscular technique of jumping. The ballet itself is entertaining to the extreme. There are snake, lion and even a live horse. The role itself is not dramatic and does not require a dancer to demonstrate much depth . Regardless, the ballet was "Bolshoi Season" triumph. Maria is avery good in this role and I would like to see her in the role of Myrtha, Aegina may be even Gamzatti. A very promising dancer indeed.

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I also want to add that the role of Aspicia requires tremendous strength in feet and calves. The technique of "petite pas" is not held in the same esteem now as it was 150 years ago. It is coming back though, thanks to Mr. Lacotte. Anyways, Alexandrova petite pas technique is not strong enouph for the role. At times she even doesn't fully stretch her toe. She needs to work on that. Grand jete however is definitely her strength. I was particularly impressed when she soared across the stage, bow in hand. This was met with the well deserved applause. I do believe, however, that the role of Ramze suites her much better.

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When I saw Alexandrova's Pharaonka in Moscow her technique was breathtaking. The thing I especially like about her Aspiccia is her being enigmatic and passionate that suit my notions about ancient Egypt queens like Cleopatra. Recently Russian ballet critics named Alexandrova the person of the season, especially for her performances in Pharaonka, Romeo & Juliet and Ratmasky’s Leah.

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Recently Russian ballet critics named Alexandrova the person of the season

Hmm... Interesting. I must find these reviews. British critics are not so enthusiastic

about her in classical role. They are kinder when she dances something modern. There are only few reviewers who I bother to read on the subject of ballet. Kevin Ng is among them:

"The whole Bolshoi company were magnificent last night. The dancing was fresh and vibrant. Maria Alexandrova's harsh personality, not right for her Kitri last week, perfectly fitted Donnellan's conception of Juliet in this production. She is a fine dance actress. She was particularly dramatic in the scene when she hesitated to take the sleeping potion, and most moving in the tragic climax."

http://www.ballet.co.uk/magazines/yr_04/au...olshoi_0704.htm

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Well, there's always different opinions. Here's one from Ismene Brown of the Telegraph:

Kitri is a firecracker of a role, and Maria Alexandrova is a real opening-night girl, with powerful legs and breathtaking jumps, needle-sharp turns, and a large and vivacious smile. Not a shred of 19th-century allure does she have; she looks like a gorgeous modern girl who earns more than her boyfriend, and Sergei Filin, a courteous and handsome Basil, gave in gracefully to her. It's been a while since the Bolshoi (Russian for "big") had such a "bolshoi" ballerina.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml...ixartright.html

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she looks like a gorgeous modern girl who earns more than her boyfriend,

Ha-ha... With that I do tend to agree. And also with the Kevin Ng who called her personality harsh. This is the word I was looking for when I tried to describe her rendition of Aspicia. Perhaps to some it appeared to be royal.

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Hmm... Interesting. I must find these reviews.

http://www.kulturagz.ru/RUBRIKS/Music/Rubrik1_index.htm

The article in “Kultura” where several critics talked about the season’s results that I mentioned above. Violetta Mainietse called Alexandrova “the most bright Moscow ballerina”.

Also two season result articles with high estimations of Alexandrova’s Aspiccia.

http://www.vremya.ru/2004/128/10/103327.html by Anna Gordeeva, “Vremya novostei”

http://www.kulturagz.ru/RUBRIKS/Music/a2.htm by Ekaterina Beliaeva, “Kultura”

I think the Telegraph article mentioned by Dale is good description of Alexandrova’s style. Jeffery Taylor in his article http://www.ballet.co.uk/magazines/yr_04/au...olshoi_0704.htm also very keenly named her the Muscovite missile. She have distinctive style of her own, and people can like her or like her not, it’s just a matter of taste.

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