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MadameP

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Everything posted by MadameP

  1. Ah - So that is where it comes from originally? I did not know! Nevertheless, this music IS currently used for the Lilac Fairy's 3rd act variation in the Sergeyev version. The Gold Fairy doesn't get a variation in the Sergeyev SB.
  2. That music is the music used for Aurora's variation in the Dream act in both the Sergeyev Mariinsky production and the Bolshoi production. In the Vikharev reconstruction, Aurora's variation is the one Sergeyev used for the Lilac Fairy, so no, you did not hear that music for Aurora's variation.
  3. Yuri Fateyev's casting and ranking of the dancers in the company is really unacceptable - Oksana Skorik is a principal, yet Olesya Novikova, who is exquisite in every role she dances, and was wonderful in the Vikharev reconstruction Sleeping Beauty, is STILL only a first soloist? Totally unacceptable.
  4. MadameP

    Cinderella

    So funny that two members were sitting so close without realising! I saw Vorontsova/Zaitsev on 7th and Lebedev/Soboleva on 8th but posted my review in the wrong place and Helene has kindly moved it to this Mikhailovsky section. I LOVED Cinderella, and Lebedev is THE prince of princes! Here's the link to my review for anyone interested:
  5. Agreed - Tereshkina's epaulement was not to be compared with that of the "Vaganova" exiles. For me, she is not really an Aurora...
  6. MadameP

    Cinderella

    I had to leave before the gala, but just some thoughts about the two Cinderellas I saw at Mikharilovsky. Anyway, they were part of my trip, and honestly, for fairy tales, the Mikhailovsky Cinderella and Mariinsky Sleeping Beauty are both just magical! I managed to attend two Cinderellas back to back at the Mikhailovsky Theatre. This ballet is a real triumph in every way for the company. The scene was set from the moment of entering the auditorium - the lights around the pretty apricot painted interior were set to flicker exactly as if it were candlelight and not electric light bulbs, and the crystal drops in the chandelier were glittering. The colours of the costumes, scenery and special effects are just gorgeous - soft pastels in many glowing colours and this production to me is the truest representation of the actual fairy tale that I ever saw. THe first cast was Angelina Vorontsova and Ivan Zaitsev, who often are paired. Angelina is such strong technician and a very pretty girl and had a good rapport with her partner. Everything is easy for her. Zaitsev is also a good technician, although truthfully I could not rank him at higher than Mariinsky 2nd soloist, if that. Although he jumps and turns well, he does not have great extensions in arabesque and also for me lacks a little elegance. He does have a nice princely presence though, The second performance I saw - the matinee the following day - was the married couple of Viktor Lebedev and Anastasia Sobeleva ,and was the better in my opinion. Viktor Lebedev is an amazing dancer - he could and should be Mariinsky principal since he was Vaganova trained . I can’t think of anyone else who has his blend of elegance and charm, and smoothness and ease of movement. His jumps are amazing - in particular, his opening grand jete flying across the diagonale of the stage, was spectacular. His turns are phenomenal, with both speed and precision and high up on demi pointe. I think I counted 8 at one point, but it is his control that is so exception. He has all the time in the world to finish off every pirouette perfectly. His lines also are beautiful - stretched legs and feet and just perfection in arabesque and exquisite attitude turns. Honestly, it is worth going to St Petersburg just to see him in this ballet. His wife, Anastasia Soboleva, is a slender, long-limbed dancer, dancing with lovely lyricism and with a touching, poignant quality as Cinderella. I loved her performance - actually I even preferred her Cinderella to Vorontsova’s - much as i love hers also. What to say about the special effects? …. they ARE very special. They truly add to the magic of the production. Some of the most beautiful are while the fairies of the seasons are dancing, first with pink blossoms to the rapid allegro work of the spring fairy, Veronica Ignatieva particularly good in the first performance - and then with swirling leaves and snow as the seasons progress. There are also what look like “real” fireworks but of course are just back projected - but how lovely they are. Cinderella’s sisters are portrayed not ridiculous and spiteful, but actually amusing - and Valeria Zapasnikova was especially quick footed and comical. The choreography is beautiful - the pas de deux for the prince and Cinderella containing some beautiful lifts set among a stage full of stars - just so pretty! The corps is also very well served with intricate lacework of ensemble work. For the second performance I was sitting higher up and this was especially evident. The final act contains some effective solos for an oriental snake dancer and a Spanish scene, and also some stunning virtuoso dancing for the prince - Lebedev’s chaines must be the fastest I have seen a male do! This production completely puts the horrible Mariinsky Cinderella production to SHAME! It is FABULOUS!
  7. Like Buddy I saw both nights of the reconstruction, and I thought the second night was better. Novikova to me is a far more natural Aurora than Tereshkina, and also, being coached by Vikharev', she should ,in my opinion, have danced the opening night! How wonderful she is in this choreography. Her Vaganova training shines and she is so accurate , precise, beautifully placed. Love her - she should have been principal long ago, and was far more deserving of the opening night than Tereshkina, in my opinion. She is a natural actress whose every performance is different. Technically she is superb. Askerov was far better suited to the costume (!), and jumping well in the 3rd act, and he is an excellent partner. Oksana Skorik was Lilac Fairy - and although I do not like her dancing, she was better than I had expected, although lacking the regality of Kondaurova, and still moving from pose to pose with little lyricism. In the soloist ranks, outstanding were Anastasia Nikitina - rarely seen recently but highly talented with a lovely jump and turns, , and the tall, elegant Maria Ilyuishina as one of Aurora's attendants - who surely deserves more roles. Valeria Martynyuk was sparkling as the Diamond Fairy, and has great speed and accuracy, but still Skorlikova'-Ivanova's entrechats had the edge in this role for me. Teeny tiny Anna Smirnova was adorable as Red Riding Hood, although I think Russkikh the night before had the edge for acting, and Xenia Ostreikovskaya puurfectly cast as the White Cat. and it was so adorable to hear children near to where I was sitting laughing at her variation! I am sorry to say that I consider the casting of May Nagahisa (Sp?) as Florine to be absurd, especially when compared with the exquisite Florine of Maria Shirinkina the night before. There are SO many older corps and coryphee and soloist girls who would have been a lot better. Florine should never be "cute" and also, Nagahisa has very stiff arms, where FLorine's should be soft and fluid. Bad casting, but not this young girl's fault. I actually loved the whole performance. What a privilege to have been able to see it There are so many differences between this Vikharev reconstruction and the Sergeyev version, that it would require many pages of notes to document them all. There are elements of both that I prefer. I do love the spectacle of the Vikharev reconstruction, and also I LOVE the fact that there is so much mime - beautiful and as in the current Mariinsky Swan Lake, I wish more of the mime passages were used. BUT ... I prefer the Sergeyev 3rd act/Hunting Act - whatever - insofaras personally I prefer to see Lilac Fairy en pointe and more dancing for the prince. Of course, this was not as Petipa intended but times move on. Both the Lilac Fairy and the prince have far less actual dancing in the Vikharev reconstruction than in the Sergeyev SB. The Vikharev ensemble work is wonderful, and also I love to see so much of the Vaganova children as pages, garland waltz dancers, Lilac Fairy attendants, cherubs and so on... I hope that now they have brought the beautiful reconstruction out of the doldrums, Mariinsky will continue to show it. It is a WONDERFUL evening of ballet... congratulations to all the dancers and their coaches for their great performances!
  8. I am in Moscow for a few days to see two performances of the Great Grigorovich ballet, Ivan the Terrible. I have seen this on video, but never live on stage, and it exceeded even my already high expectations. The casting last night was magnificent - Mikhail Lobukhin as Ivan, with Svetlana Zakharova as Anastasia and Denis Rodkin as Prince Kurbsky. In a word - EXTRAORDINARY! This truly is a wonderful piece of theatre - dark in places, yes, but intense, dramatic, compelling. I was barely conscious of breathing throughout, it held me so enthralled. It is a ballet that deserves to be seen on this huge Bolshoi stage and it seems so authentically Russian to me, set in 16th century Russia, with wonderful costumes of the time. Just the opening scene is spectacular with the 8 bells with the ropes hanging down - it really emphasises the sheer vastness and height of the Bolshoi stage. Grigorovich uses his trademark patterning and shifting of groups of corps dancers to great effect throughout, but the real star of the show clearly is Ivan. Mikhail Lobukhin was a magnetic, powerful Ivan- literally terrifying in his entrance down the steps from his throne, where his use of his EYES was mesmerising, but his acting throughout was intense throughout - for me he is the best actor-dancer at Bolshoi. He performed some thrilling diagonals of grand jetes at the going into battle scene. Stirring stuff! I cannot fault his performance. The scene where he is in torment at the loss of his beloved Anastasia was actually harrowing in its intensity. The love scenes with Anastasia herself were tender, lyrical and all the many, exhausting lifts were accomplished with ease. The scene where he dances with the spirit of the dead Anastasia with female candle holding corps members was so beautiful, with the orthodox singing. Zakharova's lines throughout were exquisite. Those legs have never looked more beautiful to me. She was a true representation of purity. Denis Rodkin was superbly cast - virile, spectacular jumps - the audience loved him. There were numerous curtain calls with steady handicapping from the moment the curtain went down, and armfuls of bouquets for all the principals. Unforgettable performance! Grigorovich is a GENIUS. Tonight I will see Ivan Vasiliev with Olga Smirnova and Artem Ovcharenko - another exciting evening to some.
  9. Wow. I'm surprised, because she landed so heavily on her leg/knee, but since she landed on that side, I guess her arm or hand did take the brunt of the fall then. I hope she does come back soon.
  10. No - that already happened when Oksana Skorik danced Aurora.
  11. She was the White cat today. Lovely elegant dancer.
  12. Olga hurt her knee apparently. I have to say from what I saw, Olga was even better than Zakharova. She was LUMINOUS on stage and her expressions and acting superb - and beautiful lines also. Maria Vinogradova did very well at such short notice, with just a few hiccups not surprisingly in the complex lifts, and Vasiliev so touchingly kissed her hands at the bows but I think the role of Anastasia suits Olga so well. As far as Vasiliev was concerned, his acting also was excellent, but not in the category of Mikhail Lobukhin, who must be the greatest actor dancer at Bolshoi today. Of course, Vasiliev's jumps were amazing, but he does rather HURL himself into the air!!! For me, Ovcharenko as the prince did not have the command and virility and virtuoso jumps of Rodkin. What an amazing ballet this is. Grigorovich magic.
  13. I saw the opening night of the SB reconstruction also, as well as two performances of Cinderella at Mikhailovsky, but not much time for reviews. I will try to write Cinderella reviews later. Anyway, don't think I have ever seen as many dancers on the Mariinsky stage as in act 1 and also the 3rd act, where the courtiers, fairy tale characters etc seemed to pour onto the stage. I only have time for some brief impressions. Firstly, while Viktoria Tereshkina was chosen for the opening night Aurora, and was secure in all her balances in the Rose Adagio, raising her arm to 5th in the attitudes en promenade, etc, she is not my idea of an ideal Aurora. However, as Buddy says, she was well received. It was wonderful to see so much extra work for the little Vaganova students on stage - and the Tom Thumb children's dance is much better in the reconstruction. Maria Shirinkina was absolutely beautiful as Princess Florine - such wonderfully soft arms and hands and lines and charm personified. Sofya Skoblikova-Ivanova as the Diamond Fairy showed off what must surely be the finest entrechats6 in the company - such height and crisp beats and beautifully stretched feet. Personally I do not like no dancing for the Lilac Fairy after the prologue, and I REALLY do not the costume for Desire. I have to truthfully say that Shklyarov looked like a little man in a huge costume. He was dwarfed by the ridiculously large ringletty wig and equally huge hat - he is such a handsome man, but it was hardly possible to see his face - and also by the courtiers in character heels, who were many of them taller than him. Notwithstanding, when he finally got to show his dancing, he performed an OUTSTANDING variation, to the greatest applause of the night. It was good to see Oksana Marchuk in the Cinderella dance in the 3rd act, but a character shoes pd2 unfortunately. Russkikh was an adorable Red Riding Hood, and Yana Selina saucy as the White Cat, and showing off some perfect double gargouiallades. Backtracking now, of the prologue fairies, I loved the elegant, flowing Ostreikovskaya as the first fairy Candide, but all were good. It was so wonderful to see the full Panorama, complete with moving scenery and lighting - I wish more companies did this. And Lyudmila Tchaikovskaya's violin solo as usual brought the house down. It's just magical. I have seen videos of the original Vikharev reconstruction and this production of the reconstruction was largely faithful to it, although maybe not in every respect - whether or not we like it, is another thing! Some of it I Loved - especially the dance and whole scene with the "knitting gils" at the beginning or the first act. The apotheosis is wonderful with the backdrop of the lilac fairy and attendants in the clouds. OK - Personally, I do NOT like some of the costumes - notably the Garland Waltz blue and white costumes, which look a little like nurse's uniforms! - BUT ... this production is a triumph. The house was packed to the rafters with many standing and numerous curtain calls and flowers...
  14. I think Legend of Love is a wonderful Grigorovich work and absolutely a must-see! I agree with Birdsall that Mekhmene Banu is the more "dramatic" role for want of a better word, and better suited to Osipova than the role of Shyrin. I think temperamentally Osipova is unsuited to Shyrin - Shryin is much more of a "young", playful or lyrical role Osipova has nowhere near the arms and hands required for Shyrin either. By nature she is far too dynamic and boisterous. I have seen Legend of Love live myself twice at Bolshoi theatre - with Alexandrova and Stepanova (debut) in the role of the Queen, as well as various older video versions. It is a work of stunning theatricality, with wonderful ensemble work for both male and female dancers. I do think it is a truly Great Grigorovich ballet and one that deserves to be seen on the Bolshoi stage. I have also seen it on Mariinsky stage, in filmed format and greatly admired Lopatkina as the Queen. Every ballerina brings something different to the role, and while Osipova does not have the lines or regality that I personally would like to see in the Queen, she certainly has the stage presence and expression.
  15. Bolshoi's Alexandrova and Lantratov are confirmed for the Don Quixote performance on 17th March.
  16. Buddy, if you go to the little flower shop called Magnolia, just along the street from Mariinsky (I think it is Ulitsa Glinki) you can buy or order flowers for dancers at the Mariinsky. That is where many of the dancers themselves go. They have buckets of roses and other flowers and you can choose which you want and they will make up the bouquet. If you tell them the date of the performance and the dancer they are for, they will deliver them to the theatre for you.
  17. Angelina is a strong technician (especially in turns) with a vivid personality - I have seen her several times and I like her very much. She is perfect for exuberant roles such as Kitri, and in Laurencia, La Fille Mal Gardee etc. It is a shame Bolshoi did not give her the roles she deserved, but she is a wonderful principal for Mikhailovsky. I have actually seen Lebedev and Soboleva in Cinderella and I LOVED this production of Cinderella. It is SO much better than the dismal Mariinsky one. It is truly magical. The "special effects" - the swirling leaves for the fairy variations, fireworks, moving palace while Cinderella is leaving, turning world - it is all just so beautiful. And to see fabulous choreography for the prince, and the final act, where there are dances from the regions of the world where the prince is searching. I LOVED this Cinderella. Lebedev is a wonderful prince who just oozes quality and his wife was a touching Cinderella. , Anyway, I think you will love it. It is a true fairy tale and a modern synthesis of dance and special effects that is truly a triumph.
  18. Eagle-Eyes! I did not think even to look at the credits! I am so pleased!
  19. Seriously? Wow! I had booked those 2 SBs and the gala and DID NOT REALISE!!! Hooray!!! But still ... much depends on casting ...
  20. Despite the fact that the Bolshoy frequently puts up casting only a few days in advance? I prefer Mariinsky.
  21. I have never seen the Balanchine Nutcracker and I LOVE the Nutcracker! In the UK we don't have much access to Balanchine ballets, except those few that are in the repertoires of our companies! Maybe there is a film available here of Balanchine's Nutcracker, but I have not seen that either! The violin solo is magical! I remember the first time I ever heard it live was during Sleeping Beauty at the Mariinsky historic theatre and I just felt literally transported to another world. So very beautiful!
  22. Yes, I too have seen SB at the historic theatre as well as MT2 and the exquisite historic theatre is its rightful place, in my opinion. I love that violin solo - it is SO beautiful. I don't know of anywhere else where this is still performed. I really wish though that the orchestra could perform the whole of that wonderful panorama music instead of the shortened version, and accompany it with a real moving panorama!
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