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Fosca

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About Fosca

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    writer
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    Stuttgart
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**
    Germany

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  1. What happened to Evan McKie, is he injured? He has not been dancing with NBoC for some months, but he seems to be rehearsing elsewhere, according to his Instagram. Any reason for that?
  2. A very late answer to this post: Cranko's Swan Lake premiered in Stuttgart on Nov 14, 1963 and was revised in 1972. You can still see the production at Stuttgart. It was never adopted by another company until recently, in March 2019, by the Czech National Ballet a Prague with different sets and costumes. The flood is made of three cloths that fly in from the wings, left and right, in a huge bow and then billow wildly on the floor. Siegfried moves between them, he fights and drowns, comes up again and dies, then the floods calm down, all very beautifully suited to the music. In the background, we see the swans (as birds) crossing the lake, they will not be redeemed. Fonteyn and Nureyev guested in Cranko's production in May 1964 at Stuttgart, so we can assume that Nureyev's 1966 Vienna version was influenced by Cranko. It seems that the Soviet versions at the time preferred the happy ending, so Cranko's sad ending was seen as a change then, back in the 1960s.
  3. The stalls are not raked, only from row 11 on, where you are already rather far from the stage. The balcony is very far from the stage, the first rows there are exclusively reserved for sponsors (they rely very much on donors). If you want cheaper tickets, go for the first balcony on the sides. The few boxes they offer have good sight with a slight restriction. In the second balcony you are already very far away, the theatre is huge. Avoid the seats on the second balcony sides, very bad view from there.
  4. One of the reasons the Mariinsky comes to Baden-Baden is the huge stage of the Festspielhaus, which is not exactly a renovated train station, that's only the entrance - the rest of the house was built completely new and is really big. Baden-Baden is a spa in the Black Forest, it was a favorite place for Russians in the 19th century, Tolstoy or Dostoevsky were there and Russians still love it. Especially rich Russians. The Festspielhaus is a bit like the Salzburg Festival, but stretched over a one-year-season: only the best orchestras, opera singers and chamber ensembles are invited, the tickets are rather expensive. They have a special relation to Gergiev and the Mariinsky orchestra. They invite five or six dance companies during their season, Hamburg Ballet (in October) and the Mariinsky (in December) come every year, the rest is made up of mostly modern companies: NDT, Cloud Gate Theatre, Aterballetto, Alonzo King, Béjart Ballet, also Het Nationale, Compania Nacional de Danca, Flamenco stars, etc. etc. The NYCB was there some years ago, on one of their rare trips to Europe. The next big towns are Strasbourg in France, Karlsruhe and Stuttgart in Germany, Basel in Switzerland. The audience comes from all these countries.
  5. Just for the record, Mr. Lebrecht: He succeeds JAMES Tuggle.
  6. Catazaro was hired in Munich as guest principal until the end of the season.
  7. Zachary Catazaro re-emerged at Munich in March, as Gremin in John Cranko's Onegin
  8. Those are dead artists. Just out of interest: Could you enjoy Polunin's dancing if his Instagram rants were anti-semitic?
  9. You'll find the explanation in Jann Parry's "Different Drummer", the biography of Kenneth MacMillan - it was the board of the Royal Opera House that had problems with choreographers using music that was not written for dance. Cranko intended to make Onegin with the opera music by Tchaikovsky, it was only at Stuttgart that someone, I guess the opera director, talked him out of it. The ROH board also forbid MacMillan to use Mahler's "Song of the Earth", so he went to Stuttgart to create it there.
  10. They were friends! Cranko repeatedly invited MacMillan to Stuttgart to create new works. Yes, he was angry, but I think Cranko was a rather generous person who'd leave it to posterity to judge instead of going to court.
  11. Jann Parry's MacMillan biography "Different Drummer", p. 284
  12. Fosca

    Maria Kochetkova

    Press release from THE NORWEGIAN NATIONAL OPERA & BALLET Maria Kochetkova to star with the The Norwegian National Ballet One of the world’s leading ballerinas will be dancing with The Norwegian National Ballet from next season. – There is no doubt that Maria Kochetkova is one of the world’s leading ballerinas and she is a unique artist with a distinctive style. It is really a feather in our cap that she has chosen to dance with our company, says Ballet Director Ingrid Lorentzen. Maria Kochetkova was awarded with the Positano Prize as “Ballerina of the Year” in 2017. She will now become principal guest artist with The Norwegian National Ballet and will this autumn dance the leading roles in Manon and Swan Lake in Oslo. – I’m looking forward to be performing with The Norwegian National Ballet in some of their productions next season including Manon which has always been a dream of mine, says Kochetkova. The Russian Maria Kochetkova has danced with some of the biggest and most renowned companies including: The Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and most recently she was a principal with San Francisco Ballet. She has also guested companies and stages around the world. She is known for taking on the big classical roles as well as working with choreographers on new pieces. She is a major profile known also for her sense of style and has been involved in both music- and design videos. Just last week she was awarded the Positano Benois-Massine Prize, her most recent of a long line of international awards.
  13. I was trying to explain: they had a Corsaire, reconstructed by Doug Fullington and Ivan Liska, which did very well in the repertory over many seasons. Paquita did not do quite so well - what I heard from people who care for their beloved Bavarian State Ballet dancers and not so much for a certain tribute to ballet history, they thought there was way too much pantomime in Paquita, and that the story was silly (compared to Le Corsaire). Bavarian State Ballet has done many Petipa ballets, actually the most Petipa ballets for any German company, but not all were reconstructions, so the styles of staging and dancing are rather different. A Bayadére by Patrice Bart, who also claims to "follow the Petipa tradition", is certainly more of a crowd-pleaser than the Ratmansky Paquita. Think of St. Petersburg, where they also dropped the Vikharev Sleeping Beauty for the old Sergeyev version. I don't say it is right or good, I only try to understand the reasons. Also, Munich has been a Cranko/Neumeier company for many years, so the audience loves dramatic ballet. Being used to the Cranko/Neumeier tradition of story-telling, where the story is in the dancing and not in the pantomime, you might consider the plot and story-telling of a reconstructed Paquita - well: boring and old-fashioned. I'm talking about a "normal" ballet audience, not the reconstruction buffs who care for the difference in the height of a leg or the execution of a certain step. Moving back in ballet history is fascinating for many of us here, but maybe not for the occasional theatregoer who likes to watch five or six ballet performances a year. Oh, and they do everything at Munich to educate their audience: great programme brochures with lots of interesting essays (for the Corsaire, you could read for every single variation where it comes from, choreography and music!), lecture demonstrations, talks etc. Maybe there is a certain point where reconstructions are too sophisticated to convey to a broad audience, I don't know?
  14. German theatres get a lot of money from the state/the towns, but they are supposed to work economically - as far as I know, they sell the sets and costumes of old productions if there is a possibility. To German theatres or anywhere else, no difference. If they did not sell the Munich Paquita, there may be many reasons - nobody wanted it, the timing with Ratmansky did not work out for the company who wanted to buy it, maybe the sets did not fit for the other stage; Munich has a huge stage. Nothing of this was official or in the newspapers, I'm sorry. To be honest, I don't think this was the best of reconstructions, many in the "normal", not historically interested Munich audience found it boring and too old-fashioned with all the pantomime - also comparing it to their reconstructed Corsaire which they liked very much. I'm not so sure if Paquita would have been a crowd-pleaser elsewhere. A ballet director has to think about things like that if he buys a production, I guess.
  15. There is no rule in Germany that state subsidized productions have to be destroyed after use... Munich has a very, very large opera repertoire and I suppose the Nationaltheater just did not have the space to keep the Paquita sets, once Zelensky said he doesn't want the production any more. Which is no excuse, I know. I heard after the last Paquita in Munich that Ivan Liska wanted to sell the production to an American company, but it seems this did not work out. Not all Paquita costumes did look expensive, by the way. They had floral prints for the gypsies that screamed polyester even if you watched from the fifth balcony.
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