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Everything posted by ina

  1. It was not in vain that Vasiliev talked about his wish to dance "Ivan the Terrible". As far as I know the main goal of reviving this ballet was to broaden Vasiliev's repertoire, taking into account that his big, broad manner of dancing and acting is most suitable for Grigorovich ballets. And his fans were impatient to see him in this rather cartoonish, but superemotional role. Alas... The preparotary work on the revival was in already in progress, when all oa a sudden Vasiliev left Bolshoi "in search of artistic freedom", as was declared in the most of the interviews. Now , when Vasiliev is only partially back to the Bolshoi and still has a lot of obligations elsewhere, it's not so easy to find enough time to prepare this role, as well as the role of Farhad in the "Legend of Love", which also theoretically may suit him. "Ivan the Terrtible" had a huge success with public, but got very critical reviews from most of ballet writers (which it mostly deserves from my point of view).
  2. The wedding party in this version occurs in the Duke's palace, so there are no guests from the street scene . That's why Espada is absent, as well as Kitri's friends. So there is no reason to worry about Rod'kin. Hope he'll be convincing as Spartacus , despite the lack of experience in this role. Lobukhin was quite impressive in the performance shown in the cinemas last autumn. Enjoy!
  3. Sorry, but it seems to me there is some misunderstanding with the new Bolshoi “Esmeralda”. First of all Vikharev has nothing to do with it – the production is prepared by Yuri Burlaka in cooperation with Vasili Medvedev. I guess that Burlaka is responsive for the revival of the old choreography, while Medvedev created new dances instead the lost ones (or to fit the synopsis which looks as a combination of different versions). Since the premier was on the 25- th of December when most of Russian newspapers go on long holidays only a couple of critical reviews were published. The one in The Moscow Times is about entirely different “Esmeralda”, by Burmeister, which was also brought back to life this season , but in the Stanislavsky Theatre, where it was “born” more than 50 years ago. It’s a really good ballet with strong dramaturgy and mostly original choreography. The Bolshoi “Esmeralda” seems to me to be sort of excessive in dances ,stylistically not fit for an "old" ballet. Many details of the first performances (in Russian) together with photographs and TV-reports may be found here .
  4. My impressions are just the opposite: the applause was not at all enthusiastic, though there was much of special "premier" public in the theatre. As far as I remember even no curtain calls. In the intermission I've heard a lot of harsh remarks on the choreography as well as anxious questions about current repertoir policy of the company ( after Ratmansky's retirement). As to the reviews, they were mostly negative - both from critics and from balletomanes (just have a look at forum.balletfriends.ru). So my view is that the ballet has no chance even to be nominated for the Golden Mask. And IMHO it has little in common with Vishneva's project, which may be disputable, but not helpless.
  5. She is really eager to try herself in new roles most of the times, especially famous classical ones. Hope she succeds in this experiment she was long looking forward to. We are folloing her career with great interest here in Moscow and feel a bit jealous that this debut will happen overseas.
  6. Your complaints make me envious, since in the Bolshoi there is no practice of changing tickets at all. One can return the ticket in case the title of the performance is changed, but not the cast. Taking into account that the prices are VERY high nowadays early booking becomes rather risky financially. It's a great pity that Osipova's guesting caused troubles to devoted balletgoers. My guess is that the wind blows from the Bolshoi, just because I've faced their way of planning more than once.
  7. It seems very possible that "La Sylphide" of June 19 may be cancelled. But since ABT is on tour in London the information is just being late.
  8. There are many in Moscow who sincerely regret Ratmansky's decision to leave Bolshoi, at the same time understanding the reasons.
  9. No, you are not alone. The core conception of this festival didn't meet any enthusiasm among Moscow balletomanes. As a result I for example am skipping this event - the first time in past 8 years. But balletomanes are not numerous, while for most of the tourists Russian ballet=Swan Lake. So this may be a very wise marketing approach of the organizers. Never mind serious creativity goals and other crap of the sort.
  10. I'm sure this is the case when KGB has nothing to do with. In general it was rarely an initiative of KGB to be after somebody. The "bright idea" mostly came to them from the personal environment, mostly colleagues. My guess is that administrative duties in such a star-ish company as Bolshoi may be worse than any KGB, at least for a person with an orientation for creativity mostly. Our Moscow balletfriends club had a meeting with Mr. Iksanov about two months ago and he said that for the moment he sees nobody who could replace Ratmansky. At the same time he gave us a clear message that Ratmansky is not willing to continue to be both balletmaster and administrator. Here in Moscow we are also rather concerned who is going to follow Ratmansky as an art-director. To me personally his period brought a lot of exciting moments. He had rather distinct repertory strategy, which I would rather be followed. But this is seldom (if ever!) the case in our theatre. I do not think that Grigorovich will be (and should be) back at his age. His post-Bolshoi period showed, IMHO, that his creativity is already in the past. And I would prefer if the next art director does not sweep out all that was done before him – just for the sake of traditions which here, in Russia, we are more enthusiastic to speak about, than to preserve. Actually not a single ballet in the former Bolshoi repertory (say by Gorsky, Goleizovsky, Zakharov) has survived the Grigorovich era. Still I am not at all sure that Bolshoi ballet company should be a company of mostly one author ( as is Hamburg ballet, for example ). Well, the future seems rather vague for the moment, though we have a whole bunch of rumours as to who is eager to rule the Bolshoi ballet. But our nearest expectations and concerns are connected with Ratmansky's “Flames of Paris” – a rather challenging, but risky enterprise from my point of view.
  11. Surely Bolshoi is not sleeping and developing very different projects. As to the 21st century policy I think one of it's trends is to return some of the things which were carelessly lost. Not only in ballet. It doesn't mean that "THe Flames" should be returned. This decision is really arguable. But... I would rather have Vainonen than Eifman, who to my humble opinion should never be placed near Balanchine's name. Especially after his "hommage" to Mr. B named "Musaget", which was quite a risky and unworthy experiment for NYCB on the centenary of Balanchine.
  12. I would say that all three casts, which were shown in the first run, are remarkable in their own way. Svetlana Zakharova is a shining beauty, this role suits her perfectly. Svetlana Lunkina is both delicate and playful. Maria Alexandrova demonstrates her vitality and character not less than the pirates themselves, along with strong technique in jumps and turns. Conrads can also suit different tastes: Denis Matvienko with his bravura dancing; Nikolai Tsiskaridze being the most picturesque and emotional; Yuri Klevtsov full of noble manliness which we do not see often nowadays. Between Gulnaras – another role with a lot of dancing – I would rather prefer Marianna Ryzhkina to Ekaterina Shipulina, whose technique is brilliant, but her style of dancing a bit too modern for this staging. I watched Anastassia Yatsenko only at the rehearsal so I have no right to comment. In autumn we are promised to be introduced to a new cast formed with young dancers – Natalia Osipova, Ekaterina Krysanova, et al. There are a lot of other parts in this ballet – with dancing (as in Pas des esclaves or the newly composed Pas des eventails) or mime. I would rather point out Andrey Merkuriev as Birbanto (brilliant character dancing and acting) and Gennady Yanin as Lankedem (you would hardly recognize this good looking dancer in the old Jewish merchant!). Beautiful Anna Rebetskaya who partnered Merkuriev in two corsaires’ dances also should be mentioned. Of course this ballet is a vehicle for a ballerina since the female dancing prevails, especially in the harem scenes with the famous Jardin Animee, but this is how it is supposed to be in Marius Petipa times. I would also like to attract special attention of future watchers to the dances of six girls in Pas des eventails – it is pure Ratmansky, but very much in style of the Petipa ballet. To the best of my knowledge only variations of Gulnara and Medora could be attributed as original in this lost and "found" Pas. There are lots of interesting details to enjoy in the scenery, costumes, etc. I do hope that ballet-lovers will enjoy this staging – a sumptuous feast of classical dancing. I consider Le Corsaire at the Bolshoi to be a great success due to the efforts of the whole staging team under Yuri Burlaka and Alexei Ratmansky.
  13. I doubt that Riga’s “Gayane” is the one by Anisimova. Another version of Khachaturyan’s ballet was mounted there in 1976 by Boris Eiffman. It was one of his first choreographic works and as far as I know it was filmed. I also read before that Khachaturyan liked this interpretation of his music.
  14. Wonderful news! On Valentine's Day, the 14th of February, Nina succesfully brought a daughter Elena. Many heartful congrats to her and her husband
  15. Yesterday's "Raymonda" was dedicated to Golikova to celebrate her tripple(!) jubilee: 60th birthday on October 14, 40 years since joining the Bolshoi and 10 years of coaching at the Bolshoi. By no means it can be considered as the end of her carreer. She works now with Maria Alexandrova, Maria Allash, Anna Rebetskaya...
  16. I have never seen the articles of this author, Rozum, in the newspapers or magazines, at least those, which have authority and name in reviewing culture. The articles on the site bolshoi.org can hardly fit the "press" category since they appear only on this virtual resource which, to be frank, is organized and supported by the claque. And Alexandrova is far from being among their favorites. Of course “Swan Lake” was a challenging experiment for her, which from my point of view didn’t turn out to be 100% successful. Yet it didn’t turn out to be a disaster as one may conclude from Rozum writings. A number of reviews by moscow balletgoers on this subject can be found on http://forum.balet.ru in the Балет110 section. From my opinion Alexandrova with her shining assertiveness is more Raymonda than a Swan, especially in the conventional Russian sense described by Natalia. But I hope that some day she will find her own, special way to a convincing Swan. Whatever “writers” write, she is a ballerina.
  17. I know from a long-time experience that balletgoers’ impressions vary drastically, sometimes to such an extent that it may even seem that we attended different performances. In these cases I prefer not to argue, trying to affect someone’s opinion - especially from positive to negative. Here I just want to point out that MacMillan’s choreography is not “greek” to most of Russian balletomanes. In the past decades we had many chances not only to start admiring MacMillan’s works, but also to see them both on video and live in the theatres (among De Grieuxs thus seen I can mention Manuel Legris, Vladimir Malakhov, Ilya Kuznetsov, Anthony Dowell, Loran Hilaire, Jonathan Cope…) And we are fully aware of the fact that the special hopping movements in De Grieux’s solo’s were devised by the choreographer. The reviews were unfavorable to the quality of these (and other!) movements, let alone the lifts, etc. At least according to my understanding. I personally haven’t made my own contribution to festival reviews, but I must confess that 29.04 “Manon” was mostly disappointing. As to the new album of Shelest, it was organized and sponsored by a long-life admirer of her art – S.Kovaleva. This album had two presentations – in St.Petersburg and Moscow, in Bakhrushin Museum. We not only had a chance to hear reminiscences of her close friends and his last partner Tchernyshev, but also to see unique video fragments with Shelest (including fragments from “Laurencia” with Rudolf Nureyev, shot by amateur camera). She was an outstanding dancer and personality, who was very much honored by public and kept in the shadow in the Kirov. A couple of years ago her husband published a book (“Vechny Idol”), which is fully based on the reminiscences of Alla Shelest.
  18. Thank you, Natalia, for your interest of the Moscow balletomanes activities. Just a short remark on the Ratmansky triple bill discussion. That was a proposal initiated by balletomanes. Ratmansky himself didn’t show any enthusiasm of such a perspective, considering that there are enough of his choreographic works in the repertory of the Bolshoi. The fact, that the ballets, “planned” by balletomanes for a triple bill, are owned by Ananiashvily was mentioned just as a side effect.
  19. No wonder: the claque is still devoted to Grigorovich and consequently against anything new. To tell the truth, Neumeier was also not good enough for them, not to mention Ratmansky. My impressions about “The Bolt” can be found on http://forum.balet.ru as well as the whole bunch of critical reviews (many of them – but not all! – severe). Sorry, but I am very pressed now to write something distinct in English about the new ballet. This Sunday our Society of Ballet Lovers is meeting Ratmansky and some of his dancers for an “after-curtain” talk. I hope that we’ll discuss arguments (pro and contra) and we’ll hear Ratmansky’s answers to them.
  20. Gumerova-Martinez. But this is only a rumour, which are usually many around Mariinski Festivals.
  21. The prices to the Bolshoi (as well as other theatres in Moscow) are the same for Russian citizens and foreigners. This is not the case in St. Petersburg, where Russian citizens have at least this advantage - to pay less. In Moscow prices for ballet performances may reach 3200 roubles (for big classical ballets) or even more ( in case of a visiting company). In the beginning of April we will have Mariinsky in Moscow with Balanchine and Forsythe programs. The tickets are not being sold yet, but awful rumors circulate through ballet lovers that they will range from 750 roubles (no chance to see anything) to 6000 roubles! Opera tickets are much cheaper – a situation unusual for Western theaters. As to the choice of the ballets, one must take into consideration that “The Bright Stream” is performed on the New stage. So, no chance to see huge gold&red-velvet Bolshoi. Be careful buying tickets to the New Stage – there are a lot of VERY uncomfortable places there . Orchestra is wonderful, central parts of belle-etage and first tier are OK. Hope you’ll enjoy the visit to Moscow!
  22. Happy New Year! I don’t want to sound disappointing, but it seems that Natalia’s trip to one Russian forum failed to demonstrate a full spectrum of opinions on the latest premier in the Bolshoi. A variety of balletgoers’ opinions as well as a whole bunch of newspaper critical reviews can be found on http://forum.balet.ru. The discussion on the concept of this Neumeier’s work and it’s realization by the Bolshoi Ballet still continues there and will surely go on as new casts appear at January performances. The booklet published for the premier promises three more casts for the main couple – Allash / Belogolovtsev, Lunkina / Klevtsov, Antonicheva / Uvarov. Hope they will bring new colors to this grand-scale ballet, which I personally loved. Though I must confess that not every balletomane (both on-line and off-line) share my opinion. I should rather stress that the dancer who was homogeneously praised was Jan Godovsky . He was undeniably a spectacular Puck – quick, light, mischievous. There is no doubt that he enjoys this role. He seems to be very sensitive to different dance styles. Nina Kaptsova was indeed a revelation as Helena demonstrating unexpected comic talents as well as good footwork. She was adequately supported by her partner – Vladimir Neporozhny. As to Alexandrova, she remained without a partner several weeks before the premiere, and had only a few rehearsals with the new one – wonderful Ivan Urban from Hamburg Ballet. Still her work got mostly favorable reviews from dance critics. Her Hermia was lively and emotional, very convincing in the jealousy scene, although not fully polished on the opening night. At the second performance two days later Maria managed to add her usual shining style and confidence. In general, I would say that the opening night performance was a bit raw, but the next two ones were much better. All three times the cast was the same because of the numerous injuries and flues in the company. Nikolai Tsiskaridze, who still wears big bandage over his left KNEE (the one which was injured and undergone surgery), made an excellent match to gorgeous Titania / Hyppolyta of Svetlana Zakharova. His dancing improved from performance to performance, though he still hasn’t gained his former powers, while Svetlana used fully the abilities of her super flexible body and (yes!) demonstrated excellent dance training. Beautiful couple for a beautiful work of art. This ballet, as I see it, is a feast of dance and acting, a show-case not only for all ranks of soloists, but the corps too. The latter, mostly of young generation, did a really good job. Among them I would like to mention three rather promising girls – Nelly Kobakhidze, Julia Grebenschikova, Natalia Osipova, and a boy - Karim Abdullin.
  23. Just a few comments. Dmitry Gudanov was promoted to a principal in the end of last season. Normally he does not take part in the ballets, which are touring US now. He is engaged in the performances in Moscow. When the major part of the company is on tour, we have here in Moscow ballets, which are not very crowded – mostly “Giselle” and “La Sylphide”. Gudanov, one of our best romantic dancers, is engaged in both. In general the rank and the scale of the company allows both touring and home performances with preservation of the quality. At least I hope it happens this time too. The rest is the matter of taste and preferences. For example I think “Raymonda” to be one of the gems of the classics in spite of the quality of the story ( it is either bad or very bad – depending on the staging). But I am ready to accept it for the sake of the richness of dancing and music. New “R&J” is not among my favorites, but it’s construction is very theatrical and the dancers have a chance to manifest their dramatic skills. The weakest point, as I see it, is choreography, especially in solos and duets. This is my personal opinion, and I am eager to learn how it all looks for the ballet lovers overseas.
  24. Sorry to be late with the answers to your questions, Natalia! Alas, but Tsiskaridze hasn’t yet performed this year. I mean the challenging ballet roles of course. The Blue bird was planned, but not fulfilled. The recovery after such a serious injury seems to be rather unpredictable. This season Tsiskaridze appeared on stage of the Bolshoi only once - in a gala, partnering Raymonda in the adagio. He is still scheduled for “Queen of Spades” on the 13th of October. The role is one of his favorites, but it is difficult and exhausting. I haven’t seen yesterday’s “Giselle” and unfortunately have no information about the performance yet. Hope that some of the members of ballet.ru will write about it. As far as I know Stepanenko is not injured, but sick. It’s not the first time that health problems keep her away from Bolshoi tours. :shrug: The American tour of the Bolshoi is now in the focus of Moscow ballet goers. We hope to learn as much as possible about it not only from the local newspapers, but also from our “colleagues” overseas. Keep in touch. :rolleyes:
  25. The fact that neither Lunkina nor Tsiskaridze are engaged in the US tour of the Bolshoi has nothing to do with “shame”, since they haven’t danced for a long time and only PLAN to perform in October. I do hope that these plans will be fulfilled, but to plunge into a tiresome tour after all the health troubles they had undergone, would have been too risky and hence merely not wise. What to Volochkova, it is not the first time she is scheduled for regular performance (mainly Mirtha), since she is still in the staff. But untill now she neglected the offered roles. So I think it is just a ritual, not a real perspective.
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