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About sasark

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

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  1. Wow, that is amazing!! I'm stunned that he turned in such a polished performance under those circumstances. Thanks pherank!
  2. I saw it Friday night with Kochetkova/Walsh. I don't know how often this company performs Swan Lake, but I've just moved to SF, so this was my first time seeing them do it. There were a lot of things I didn't like about it, but I almost always enjoy Swan Lake, as long as the core elements are there, and I'm looking forward to returning to see Chung/Luiz and Zahorian/Karapetyan. As others have mentioned, the piece opens with a prologue. In general, I like the inclusion of a prologue, because it helps tell the story, and I also think the overture music is well suited to storytelling.
  3. I just saw Alexandrova last night at the Bolshoi, in "Sleeping Beauty," so I thought I'd wake up this long-slumbering thread. This was my first time seeing Alexandrova. In the interest of being totally honest, I'll admit that I wasn't sure how to feel about her having been cast. Since her injury, I've been reading mixed reviews. Also, I had really been hoping for Krysanova (who ended up dancing the previous night, sigh). However, I tried to keep an open mind. During the First Act, I was a little disappointed. I thought that Alexandrova lacked the lightness and playfulness that these charmi
  4. Thank you Raymonda! I've actually just returned from my front-row seat. : ) You're right that the wall was fine. I was a little disappointed about the lip at the end of the stage (I assume it's a lip that keeps you from seeing their feet when they're close to the edge), but I agree with you that it's far better to sit close and see more details, rather than far back and able to see their feet the whole time. I wondered whether it would be a good option sometime to try the box seats that are at the first level right by the orchestra. You'd be a little higher while still being close (albeit off
  5. Thanks everyone for the comments! Drew, I'm glad you got to enjoy Chudin as much as I did. I feel it's one of those great performances that I'll never forget. Birdsall, with the national princesses, yeah, I noticed that -- when he dances with them all, it's the same music to which the prince dances (in some versions) with random women holding with fans. I thought it was a nice touch using the princess that way (instead of random women). But something about having all-women for the national dances, except the Spanish one, struck me as less exciting than showcasing a couple or male-femal
  6. I've just returned from Moscow and am now on a Bolshoi high. : ) Most of the works described in this thread were not being performed while I was there, but I was lucky to see Semyon Chudin turn in a phenomenal performance in Swan Lake. I also saw the new Hamlet. I'll start with SL: I thought I'd seen good Siegfrieds before, but Chudin was something else entirely. Every leap seemed to hang in the air. Every series of turns and jumps ended with a rock-solid finish -- with no unsteadiness or extra steps. His solo in the pas de trois was without question the best I've ever seen (although granted
  7. I am a chronic buyer of front-row tickets whenever possible. However, I've been browsing photos of the historic Bolshoi theater and am concerned about how the sight lines are in the front row. It looks like the wall between the seats and the orchestra pit may be a bit high. At least, that is how it appears to me judging from photos like this one on TripAdvisor: http://www.tripadvisor.com/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g298484-d302506-i101494756-Bolshoi_Theatre-Moscow_Central_Russia.html Does anyone have experience sitting in the front row? Or have you heard anyone say anything about it? thanks a l
  8. I think most reasonable people would agree that bad things can happen anywhere. However, I mentioned complacency in foreign cities because, if you don't know the language, the customs, the neighborhoods, the local scams, and so on, I think you're more at risk than somebody who does. I also think that criminals often perceive tourists as easier marks. Additionally, if you're the type of traveler who crams a lot of activities into one day, you may be quite tired when you finally call it a night. Being very tired puts you at risk because you are less likely to notice warning signs. If you're havi
  9. Oh.... what a terrible ordeal. I am just getting caught up on this thread, and I was so sorry to read all of this. I wish you a speedy recovery, both physically and emotionally. It sounds so traumatic. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. It definitely makes me wonder if I am sometimes too complacent in foreign cities. I always think I'm being careful, but I wonder if it's easy to develop a false sense of security. Sometimes, if you're having a good experience in a city and doing things like going to ballets that finish up after dark, I think it's easy to let your guard down. (In fa
  10. Oh wow. That's amazing!! LOL! Thanks so much for the detailed reviews. It's the next-best thing to being there. Keep them coming, please!
  11. LOL! How exciting that you got to spend time with Kolegova after the theater -- how did that come about!? I tend to see them as unapproachable movie stars.
  12. LOL. I thought the same thing too! But that's OK; it was fun dressing up. : )
  13. Oh that's interesting. I noticed that she'd disappeared from the list of possible O/Os for the last few Swan Lakes of this season, but they (the Czech company) still have her bio up, so I didn't think anything major had happened. Oh well. A good hire for the Finnish company.
  14. I share your feelings completely about how this production compares to others. In the past year, I've seen SL performed by the POB, the Royal Danish Ballet, the Mariinsky, and a few other companies. I would put the Prague production, along with the Mariinsky's, at the very top of that list. In some ways, it's apples and oranges (for example, the POB does the Nureyev version -- obviously it's pretty different). But they are all still Swan Lake, and I think the Czech company does a really beautiful version that compares favorably to the others. I feel the same about the individual O/Os. I suppo
  15. I saw this production on its last three nights, and, while I admired some things about it, in the end I thought there was too much that didn't make sense. First, some positives: I really enjoyed the costumes, especially the court garments and styling. In some ways, the garments were very traditional, with wide skirts, long trains, and corseted bodices, but throughout the piece the costumes also use fantasy elements, including elaborate, strange headpieces. I felt I was seeing a touch of retro futurism here -- sort of like the luxe weirdness of Bram Stoker's Dracula with a hint of Queen Amidal
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