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  1. 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.
  2. Fosca

    Ratmansky's Paquita

    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?
  3. Fosca

    Ratmansky's Paquita

    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.
  4. Fosca

    Ratmansky's Paquita

    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.
  5. The Malakhov galas at the Admiralspalast were not produced by the Staatsballett, but by Malakhov himself, so he would have to hire an orchestra which of course is too expensive for an event like this. His former galas at the opera house (when he was still director) had an orchestra, I'm not sure if all of them, but most of them. Galas produced by the big ballet companies normally have an orchestra, I don't know why there was none at "Polina and Friends". Try a Nijinsky gala at Hamburg for your money's worth - they last five hours minimum, with lots of guests, lots of Neumeier choreography, an orchestra and Neumeier speeches.
  6. Fosca

    John Neumeier

    There is a full-length ballet called "The Lady of the Camellias" made by John Neumeier in 1978. It has three long pdds for Marguerite and Armand, the first in a lilac dress, the second in white and the third in black. Lacarra danced the whole ballet when she was principal at Bavarian State Ballet Munich, mostly with Marlon Dino. There is, however, another full-length ballet called "The Lady of the Camellias" made by Val Canapiroli in 1994, which Lacarra also danced. Both works have music by Chopin. I think you can find excerpts of both works on Youtube. No Ivan, sorry.
  7. Most galas in Germany HAVE an orchestra, Neumeier's Nijinsky Galas at Hamburg, the Terpsichore Galas at Munich, the galas at Stuttgart: they all go out of their minds there to play everything that is possible live (not the electronic or pop music of course). The "Malakhov and Friends" galas at Berlin had an orchestra. I just saw a gala at Karlsruhe, a relatively small ballet company with 30 dancers, where everything was accompanied by the orchestra and an excellent pianist. They even invited a singer.
  8. Fosca

    Ratmansky's Paquita

    It will be back in November2018! The new director Johannes Öhman will throw out the Duato Nutcracker and restore the Burlaka/Medvedev production. https://www.staatsballett-berlin.de/en/spielplan/der-nussknacker/17-11-2018/808
  9. Fosca

    Ratmansky's Paquita

    Just for the record: the Munich newspapers all had the number of 29 dancers leaving in June 2016, maybe some 10 more in the next season. But 55 would have meant almost the whole company erased. It was a huge change in the roster, but let's stick to the facts.
  10. Yes, and there are lots of Aids galas to donate money to charities, but I hardly know about galas to raise money for the companies themselves, like in the US.
  11. As most theatres and ballet companies are state-subsidized in Europe, galas are not for fund-raising there. Tickets are more expensive, yes, but normally they sell out very fast. For the annual Nijinsky Gala at Hamburg Ballet, you even have to get in some kind of lottery to get tickets.
  12. Tetley's Sacre is on the programme at Prague's National Ballet this season, right now in February. The Korean National Ballet did it, La Scala did it one year ago, Stuttgart Ballet has it every few years. Stuttgart also did Tetley's Arena recently, Voluntaries and Pierrot Lunaire some years ago. Voluntaries was also at Dresden Semperoper Ballet. So Tetley is not forgotten, it seems Europe is his new home...
  13. Munich is a bit of an exception for ballet prices, which are rather cheap compared to the much higher opera ticket prices. At Hamburg or Stuttgart ballet is as expensive as opera or sometimes even more expensive. Which means best seats are at ca. 100 to 120 Euros. But you can get cheap seats in every German opera house/theatre, ranging from around 8 to 15 Euro. That's was the subsidies are meant for. Just for your information :-) Now back to Osipova!
  14. Fosca

    Onegin and Jewels

    The last pdd in Taming of the Shrew is one endless lift - over his head, on his shoulders, in front of his body... Petruchio really makes her fly, a very beautiful sign of his love for her after all the banter. Nobody recognizes that, everybody keeps complaining how women are treated in this ballet.
  15. Fosca

    Onegin and Jewels

    Cranko loved it when Haydée was in the air, that's why there are so many lifts in the ballets which he created for her - Onegin, Romeo, Taming. She says "He always saw me up there", and she was beautiful and expressive in the lifts, her arms, her face. It's hard for ballerinas sometimes to really fill these long flights with emotion, some just behave like in Petipa or Balanchine ballets. It won't look acrobatic if you know what it is about - Haydée was soaring...