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  1. It might interest you that the role of MacMillan's Romeo by the New National Theater Ballet (now called "The National Ballet of Japan"), scheduled June-July 2011, is yet to be announced. It was vacant for the foreign guest dancers (= 1 ballerina and 1 male dancer). So I recommend that Ms. Kondaurova talks personally to David Bintley about it. I believe she can bring to the NNT something that Zakharova didn't in the past. I watched both programs of the Gala at Ueno. Obrastzova's Giselle was so delicate.., she looked as if she was floating on the stage. And Sarafanov aroused excitement in Tarantella, not just by his technique, but mostly by his inner passion. Also, Miss Osipova's Kitri gave us lots of courage!
  2. Good news, but no wonder. I think Kondaurova dances much more beautifully than Somova does. It was sad she didn't come to Tokyo for Boloshoi-Mariinsky Gala.
  3. Mikhailovsky Ballet looked to be a second rate company to me, as its repertoire and dancers were not as fabulous as Mariinsky's. Why did Sarafanov sign such a contract? Maybe things are going better ways after Ruzhimatov was sacked?
  4. >Luke Jennings utter nonsense. The correct choices are: --Yoshida (...goddess at last) --Kumakawa (virtuosity) --Kuranaga (I wonder why she stays in a small company like Boston. She can immediately fill the vacancy resulting from Yoshida's retirement and naturally surpasses Cojocaru and Nunez.)
  5. The Royal Ballet of London is touring Japan, from June 19 through July 3, presenting "La Fille mal gardée", "Mayerling", and "Romeo and Juliet". Yesterday's "RJ" at Tokyo was Miyako Yoshida's last performance with the company. Her partner was Steven McRae. Miyako's torso was perfectly fit for this day, and her spill of emotion as a dancer was recognized especially in the 1st act. After the short pas de deux with McRae, her left foot almost slipped, but she quickly recovered. McRae showed some super-technique of chainé. I liked the scene of 3rd act, where she sat on the bed, pondering to go to church. She thinks, thinks, and finally reaches the idea (?) to get the sleep medication from the monk. Overall it was a superb performance. In the curtain call flower bouquets were handed to her by Monica Mason (Director), Jonathan Cope (repetiteur), Kevin O'Hare (administrative director), David Bintley (Director of BRB, her former boss), etc. She looked humble and modest as she always had been. Among the audience was Roberta Marquez, who is about to dance Juliet on July 3 at Kobe.
  6. Thank you for the information. It's beautiful. However, why does the honor of performing the title role on the first night go to Vishneva? OK she is an almighty star, but it is not surprising enough. It should have been Miyako Yoshida instead!
  7. Interesting... Is this "La Péri" by Burgmüller? I'm anxious to know who dances the role of Péri on the premiere. I'd love to watch it by Shoko Nakamura.
  8. Thank you, Alymer and Leonid, for your help. Now Lifarenko sounds like the real one to me. Was/Is Christout a charming lady? I guess she should be. The first ballet book I read was her "Histoire du Ballet" (Collection Que sais-ju? No.177, translated edition), and it was terrific. hmm...
  9. Hi, I'm in a trouble and somebody may help me on this. Marie-Françoise Christout, a famous French ballet historian, writes that Serge Lifar's real name is "Sergei Mikhailovich Serdkin". (International Encyclopedia of Dance, Vol.4, p.182, Oxford U. Press) But Lifar never mentioned the name "Serdkin" in his autobiography, and I couldn't find any russian sources which substantiate Christout's claim. So, what is his real name? Is "Лифарь" a pseudonym? Was he a Ukrainian or a Russian? Did he ever speak or write Ukrainian language? *Russian wikipedia says his name was "Лифаренко". Then, was it "Сергей Михайлович Лифаренко"? *If it were Serdkin, as Christout claims, it would be literally "Сергій Михайлович Сердкин" (ukrainian) or "Сергей Михайлович Сердкин" (russian). *In an interview by John Gruen in 1970s ("The Private World of Ballet", Penguin Books), Lifar said "To us Russians he (=Diaghilev) was a kind of Tsar....". So, was he a Russian?
  10. The jury is also announced: Frank ANDERSEN: Ex-Artistic Director, Royal Danish Ballet. Ms. Lola de AVILA: Associate Director, San Francisco Ballet School. Ms. Arlette van BOVEN: International repetitor for Jiri Kylian and Hans van Manen. Christine CAMILLO: Balletmaster, Berlin Staatsoper. Ms. Shelly POWER: Associate Director, Houston Ballet Ben Stevenson Academy. Ms. Zhao RUHENG: Executive and Artistic Director, National Ballet of China. Federico BONELLI: Principal Dancer, The Royal Ballet. Ivan LISKA: Ballet Director, Bavarian State Ballet. Mauricio WAINROT: Artistic Director, Ballet Contemporáneo Théâtre San Martin, Buenos Aires.
  11. It's just that they knew what constituted good ballets, what moved the audience, even with diffrerent musicalities. I can at least say MacMillan's Manon, performed by the Royal Ballet in 2005 at Tokyo was fairly impressive. The girl sitting next me was shedding tears when Manon died in Act 3. The question I want to ask is, for instance, did Ashton or MacMillan ever allow thier company to perform with recorded music, as Neumeier frequently does with his Hamburg Ballet? Does Neumeier really know the good from the bad concerning music? For the record here is why I didn't like his R&J (performed by the Royal Danish Ballet, May 23 2009, at Tokyo): 1. Group dances of Act 1 and Act 2 were too "contemporary" (and thus became easily obsolete 38 years after the production), and their contributions to the narration of the story were almost none. 2. Neumeier altered Prokofiev's music Dance of the Knights of Act1, the most famous part of R&J, with its ending meaninglessly prolonged. He was audacious enough to challenge the Prokofiev's original score and the result was just a disaster. 3. Neumeier loves to open the stage curtain with no music at all, and did again in Act 3 of his R&J. He may claim it is based on his study of Noh, but it wasn't impressive to me. It is, after all, a denial of the role of the music. 4. (This may be a fault of Nikolaj Hübbe, the director of RDB) In Act 2, the orchestra stopped playing and the Dance of the mandolins was performed with recorded music. Hübbe might have thought that the audience of Tokyo were deaf and they would not realize such trick. 5. (also likely to be a fault of Hübbe) They dropped confetti and hand-clapped (to self-applause) in Napoli a week ago, and they did the same in Remeo and Juliets. I wonder if such procedures were commonly used in the good tradition of ballet. Once might be tolerable, but when it came twice, it just stinked. So it looks to me as if Neumeier were attempting to become Hegel or Marx of the ballet history, and Hübbe delightfully played his role as Lenin. (Napoli was fine, though.)
  12. Last evening I watched Neumeier's Romeo & Juliet by The Royal Danish Ballet at Ueno, Tokyo, and I was really disappointed. The sets were unique and silhouettes were beautiful, but his use of music was simply that of the plotless contemporary dances; the ballet was far from persuasive compared with R&J of John Cranko. Having also watched his Die Kleine Meerjungfrau, I've come up with the conclusion that Neumeier simply doesn't understand music as Ashton and MacMillan (and maybe Bintley) did. I hope somebody tells him that fine sets and bunch of "contemporary dances" wouldn't make good ballets. The right selection and correct intrepretation of music does.
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