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Marc Haegeman

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    dance writer and photographer
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  1. Here is a photo gallery of the Bolshoi's new staging of The Sleeping Beauty. http://www.for-ballet-lovers-only.com/bolshoi-sleepingbeauty-2011.html Sets were designed by Ezio Frigerio, costumes by Franca Squarciapino. Light design by Vinicio Cheli. Music direction by Vasili Sinaisky. The premiere took place on 18 November 2011 and featured Svetlana Zakharova and David Hallberg in the main roles. A second cast was headed by Nina Kaptsova and Alexander Volchkov. At the issue of the performance on 19 November Kaptsova was promoted to principal ballerina by director Sergei Filin.
  2. Some photos of Obraztsova's debut in "Swan Lake" with the Stanislavsky Ballet in Moscow, April 23, 2011. Obraztsova in Swan Lake
  3. Me, too. But it's 624 pages in my paperback edition (Flammarion). The synopsis as printed by the Bolshoi omits a lot. But it leaves IN an incredible amount as well.. It would be fascinating to see whether Ratmansky can convey a sense of the story to the audience without swamping them in plots, subplots, multiple characters and settings, turbulent ups and downs of fortune, and Balzacian social commentary.. P.S. Thank you, Marc, for the wonderful photos. Thanks also to ksk04 for the video links. Welcome, Bart. Let's not forget the basis of this 2011 ballet is Vladimir Dmitriev's libretto from the mid-thirties, rather than the novel by Honoré de Balzac. Of course, Dmitriev's plot was sourcing Balzac, but his main purpose was no less: "While keeping within the limits of the romantic genre, my goal was to lay bare and, thereby, expose its hollowness." Ratmansky and team used this libretto and edited it again for their own purpose. Ratmansky is a born storyteller who moreover knows his classics. What I liked in this production is how he managed to show us glimpses of Marie Taglioni's world versus Fanny Ellsler's, by giving the two main female characters (Coralie and Florine) their own defining ballet - "La Sylphide" and in stylized form "La Fille du Bandit" (here called "In the mountains of Bohemia"), all against the background of the main plot.
  4. A photo gallery of the new Ratmansky ballet "Lost Illusions" at the Bolshoi Theatre. Premiere on 24 April 2011. Lost Illusions.
  5. Interesting question, Amy. There will be an intendant for both troupes, as well as artistic directors for both. A crisis manager will have to solve the financial problems the ballet company is still facing in spite of Kathryn Bennetts' laudable efforts. This is a ballet board, reactions are justifiably emotional to all this. Within its local context, it is far less so. In the papers here you can read reactions like: "Why pay 6 million euros for an institution that nobody goes to see?!" That may be hard to swallow, but that's the reality. In Flanders (or Belgium) there is basically no interest in ballet, there is no tradition, and there never will be, no matter the level of the shows on offer, no matter how good the dancers may be. There is no interest from the press, we don't have proper ballet critics or at least the papers don't find it worthwile the pay any and cover a performance. The Royal Ballet of Flanders won more critical success abroad then in Belgium. There is even less willingness to pay money for it. We have come a long way in the last decades, after years of struggle we even got our own independent ballet company, with its own theatre - at least for the time being. But sadly this seems to be the limit where tax-paying Flanders is willing to let it go. Ms. Bennetts is right to retort that it is for a large part about how and on what the available money is spent, but she has to face the fact that the majority here doesn't care about ballet. None of our politicians is concerned about what happens to it, and neither is the majority of the cultural-minded population: give them trendy contemporary dance and they will flock to it, any performance featuring a dog in heat with a bonnet on created by Jan Fabre or any other of the local geniuses, but "ballet"... nah.
  6. Cool that you finally made it, Bart. A visit to the Palais Garnier is by all means always something of a memorable event - no matter how many times you may have been there.
  7. Her page on the Bolshoi site: http://www.bolshoi.ru/ru/theatre/people/de...fo&id26=436 Her biography by Geoff Whitlock on For Ballet Lovers Only
  8. According to our Russian friends from http://forum.balletfriends.ru/ Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev were promoted to principal dancers after the performance of Don Quixote, May 3 in China. Congratulations to both.
  9. Please check out this exhibition of Bolshoi Ballet photography of mine organized by Ave Maria University, FL, March 27-May 9: http://www.avemaria.edu/balletphotography. Anyone in the area might want to have a look
  10. Marc, somone hawked your site, both this link and the link from my favorites goes to some dating site ;-(( Yep, sorry guys, it's the fault of the hosting service (Thanks Hostingmatters!) - they promised "it will be resolving again very shortly".... :-(
  11. Photos of Giselle in Rome, featuring Evgenia Obraztsova/David Makhateli and Ashley Bouder/Robert Tewsley posted on For Ballet Lovers Only. Enjoy!
  12. The status of any dancer depends not on media hype, company publicity, or fans and company pleasing critics, but by the reasoned judgement of connoisseurs of academic classical ballet. As I am sure you know from your wide experience of watching ballet, because a company designates a dancer as a principal dancer, does not mean they deserve the appellation. The Kirov/Maryinsky, Bolshoi and Royal Ballet companies have too often promoted dancers to stations well above their talent and artistry and publicised them as being significant. Zakharovova is a product of an type of schooling that may seem exemplary because of her technical attainment, but her choices made in the interpretation of roles has for me and others been uneven and disappointing. Therefore one is entitled to question not only her personal status but the judgement of those that give her such a status. The days of significant interpreters of the academic classical repertoire sometimes seem to me to be past and that balance in a performance goes beyond striking and holding a pose on point, or the ability to turn or elevation, instead, it is reflected in their integrated technique informed by artistry that results in a "complete" performance rather than exciting or "beautiful" moments that Zakharova can certainly achieve Quite so, leonid. It’s not because the bottle boasts the appélation controlée label that the wine becomes per definition vintage. Your observation does put the judgement of people like Vladimir Vasiliev, Yuri Grigorovich and Alexei Ratmansky in a totally different light.
  13. It offends me because the title was never applied to a number of much greater greater artists of the Kirov/Maryinsky ballet or indeed the Bolshoi Ballet. Of course there are moments in Zakharova performances that one cannot help but recognise her physical/technical achievements. However it is my experience that Zakharova attracts fans and not balletomanes. Well well, you are easily offended then . With both your experience as veteran balletgoers you should be able to understand that this is nothing more than newspaper hype, "prima ballerina" meaning foremost ballerina of this or that company - which, like it or not, she is. And yes, all the American appearances have been cancelled, according to Svetlana Zakharova's website.
  14. For the UK readers or those having a subscription to The Dancing Times, I have a review of the new Bolshoi "La Esmeralda" in the February issue.
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