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MadameP

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Everything posted by MadameP

  1. MadameP

    Yulia Stepanova

    So beautiful.
  2. MadameP

    Bolshoi La Bayadere in Cinema January 2018

    No doubt Zakharova and Smirnova do wield some degree of power and have some privileges, but If Smirnova truly decides completely "what, when, and with whom" she will be dancing, how is it that she did not refuse when Vaziev assigned her the role of Kitri, which she was unhappy about dancing?
  3. LOL! Well, we'll have to agree to disagree. I thought her Giselle was entirely convincing and well acted and I find Kim extremely UNconvincing in the role of Albrecht.
  4. MadameP

    Bolshoi La Bayadere in Cinema January 2018

    Quinten, I prefer Yulia Stepanova myself, but I do think it is wrong to state or to imply that Olga Smirnova uses a claque or that she is not "dedicated to her art for the sake of art." There have been many features and documentaries illustrating Olga's work ethic and the way in which she has dedicated herself to her ballet. I can attest to this myself, in some small way, as I was fortunate to watch her rehearsing with her coach Marina Kondratieva, and her professionalism and hard work/attention to every single detail, whether artistic, acting or technical was absolute. She is very different from Yulia Stepanova, but not less dedicated to her art. I think she displays more of a prima presence on stage than Stepanova though. She has a certain old fashioned glamorous aloof allure about her, whereas Yulia Stepanova is gentler and more feminine. However, as you say, there should be room at Bolshoi for both these ballerinas to be given ample opportunities, and at the moment these are all going to Smirnova. Yulia Stepanova was long ago promised the roles of Aegina and Giselle, but they have not materialised. That is a very great shame.
  5. Honestly, I am disappointed with this year's Festival. And yes, Olga Smirnova has danced Giselle at Bolshoi already and, although I never thought this would be the role for her, she was wonderful, especially in her ethereal act 2. She is definitely worth seeing in Giselle - but I honestly cannot say the same for her partner, Kimin Kim This is an extremely stronge pairing to me.
  6. MadameP

    Bolshoi La Bayadere in Cinema January 2018

    Yes, every company has politics, but I think both Smirnova and Stepanova are wonderful ballerinas. Personally, I consider Stepanova to be the better - her movement is far more musical, lyrical and flowing, and her acting natural and expressive. I like Olga Smirnova very much also: I do appreciate the care she takes with every aspect of every role - of course, this is seen by some as being "too careful" but I think every ballerina has her own way of interpreting a role and they cannot all be the same. However, Olga Smirnova is clearly the up and coming Prima stepping into Zakharova's shoes and perceived as senior to Yulia Stepanova. I think she is hardly hard done by having Belyakov as a partner - it surely can't be long until he is made principal and he is outstanding. Certainly his Solor debut was outstanding in my opinion - dynamic and well acted. I actually take far more issue with Marchenkova being cast as Gamzatti.
  7. MadameP

    Why Aurora...?

    Ah ... thank you for this quote from the 1899 libretto! This makes total sense. I wish all Auroras would read this libretto. Some Auroras do approach the King and Queen, showing them the roses and then dropping them gently at their feet and that seems appropriate, but throwing them always seems so disrespectful!
  8. MadameP

    Promotions 2018-19

    Promotion to First Soloist of Maria Khoreva - congratulations! She has bypassed both coryhpee and second soloist ranks.
  9. MadameP

    Bolshoi Ballet 2018/19 season

    Can't resist posting this one also!
  10. MadameP

    Promotions 2018-19

    Buddy, I agree. I, too am very happy that Renata Shakirova was promoted, but there are several others who of course I would like to see promoted. I would love to have seen Maria Shirinkina promoted. She has gone from strength to strength since her year away, and is a beautiful, lyrical ballerina. Female promotions to the role of principal would be VERY welcome and yes, Osmolkina is long overdue a promotion, but every year it seems a little more unlikely, given her age. Novikova, too, should have been a principal long ago, in my opinion. And then there are the men .... Stepin, Ermakov and Zverev ... where are the promotions for them???
  11. MadameP

    Bolshoi Ballet 2018/19 season

    Several excerpts are on YT. Here is one:
  12. MadameP

    Bolshoi Ballet Summer 2019 ROH London Residency

    Completely agree! Spartacus and DonQ - love both of them. Both great vehicles for the Bolshoi ballet. I dislike both Taming of the Shrew and the truly DIRE in my opinion Hero of our Times.
  13. MadameP

    Mikhail Lobukhin

    I have seen Mikhail Lobukhin dance live at the Bolshoi many times. Also, in the UK, and filmed privately. As I said above, he is an outstanding actor and has an amazing natural presence and magnetism on stage. He is also an excellent natural partner, who makes partnering seem as easy as breathing. I saw him as Abderaskhan in Raymonda, both live on stage and (oh lucky me!) in rehearsal backstage with Olga Smirnova. Impossible to take your eyes off him. Also, live as Ivan, Basilio, in roles in Golden Age - phenomenal tango! - Solor, concert solos, Russian Seasons - many roles. At MT he was never a principal and never given the principal role repertoire he deserved, and to some extent at Bolshoi he has not danced as many times in classical "prince" roles as he could have. But as Ivan, Spartacus, his roles in Bright Stream, Lady of the Camelias - he's wonderful. He has Vaganova schooling with very fluid body movements, lovely port de bras, masculinity which he exudes in every role. I live in the UK, and to have paid the price to go to the Bolshoi to see him in DonQ, Ivan(ESPECIALLY Ivan) Raymonda, Golden Age - was worth every penny.
  14. MadameP

    Mikhail Lobukhin

    Thank you, Quinten! Lobukhin truly deserves his own thread! He is a wonderful dancer and partner and a Great actor, with truly magnetic presence on stage. In particular, he is outstanding in Grigorovich ballets.
  15. MadameP

    Maria Khoreva

    I do agree about Khiteeva and think she may prove to be the best artistically that we will see from Vaganova in these few years - those beautiful arms and movement quality! Also, yes, I love Lukina, who is a real grand Mariinsky ballerina and who also has those gorgeous feet and allure on stage, but she does have some technical issues. Also, Maria Bulanova has real artistry and expressive/dramatic quality - she has had so many debuts that it is surprising she has not been promoted also.
  16. MadameP

    Maria Khoreva

    I do agree that there is too much about Khoreva in the media, but I still think she is vastly superior to Nagahisa. Incidentally, Nagahisa made a mess up of her Corsaire pd2 with Shklyarov in the Pavlova diverts - not a lot of artistry there ... I do think Medora is a surprising choice of role for her, and one for which she was evidently inadequately prepared. If Fateyev wishes to thrust these young dancers up the promotion ladder, then he has a responsibility towards the audience to ensure that they are prepared and suitable for the roles they dance.
  17. MadameP

    Promotions 2018-19

    Yes, I hope she will not let this rapid promotion go to her head. She is so talented, but to be promoted so far in her first season? It's unprecedented. She is superior to Nagahisa though, who was promoted recently to second soloist, so if Nagahisa was worthy of second soloist (which I personally do not think she was) then Khoreva should certainly be ranked higher - in my opinion. Also, it is surprising to see Khoreva promoted ahead of the previously favoured Renata Shakirova in the second soloists.
  18. MadameP

    Maria Khoreva

    I can think of no-one promoted to first soloist at Khoreva’s age!
  19. MadameP

    Maria Khoreva

    Maria Khoreva has today been promoted to First Soloist! Many congratulations to this wonderful young ballerina!
  20. MadameP

    Maria Khoreva

    That's a very good question, and one to which, unfortunately, there is no clear answer! Until recently there was a category on the roster called "Trainee" and this listed Camilla Mazzi, Victor Caixeta, May Nagahisa (and I think one other, but now I can't remember who!) They were all young graduates of other ballet schools, and all were given numerous coryphee/soloist level opportunities while still being in the "trainee" category. After a year, the first two were taken into the corps, but Nagahisa bypassed corps and corphee levels and was placed straightaway in the second soloist category, at age 18.
  21. MadameP

    Maria Khoreva

    No, even VIshneva was initially in the corps!
  22. MadameP

    Maria Khoreva

    I agree. I think she is special, and so also is Maria Bulanova, her classmate. What an outstanding graduating class. I HAVE seen Khoreva "live" and I do think she is an extremely talented dancer. She has fabulous long lines, musicality and phrasing, as well as an excellent all-round technique. She is dancing soloist roles but she is not a soloist - she is in the corps. Renata Shakirova also danced mostly soloist or principal level roles while still in the corps. I cannot think of any Vaganova graduates who have been taken on immediately out of Vaganova into any other category other than corps. Of course ... trainees get different treatment - but that is another story.
  23. For characterisation, expressive quality and wonderful light jump, best for me as the Sylph is Margarita Shrainer.
  24. MadameP

    Nina Kaptsova

    No sure about the Bayaderes, but - I know she has had a virus. I went to Mariinsky and Bolshoi earlier this month, the Bolshoi was to see Obraztsova in Onegin, but she was replaced last minute by Goryacheva (and Rodkin,) because she had a virus and she put up messages to that effect on Instagram. (Rodkin surprised me with a great dramatic performance, and Goryacheva also was very touching in this beautiful ballet, but I was disappointed not to have seen Genia.)
  25. I am in Russia for a week to see Mariinsky Swan Lakes and La Sylphides, one Mikhailovsky Swan Lake and a Bolshoi Onegin, but so far the internet has not been good enough to even get online. Belatedly, I will attempt to write what I saw! 3rd October - Novikova/Stepin This was only Novkova's second Odette/Odile on the Mariinsky stage, and this is a terrible misjustice for her. Her Odette was fragile and tragic - her facial expressions were just outstanding. Her whole performance was truly living the role on stage, responding to each moment in the music and reacting to her surroundings. It was also so beautiful, the way she allowed herself some tentative, I-can't-believe-this-is happening, smiles in her White Swan adagio. Uncanny the way she could portray fear and despair and so much through her movement. Her Odette variation was excellent - her turns and arabesques throughout well centred with some great arabesque balances. For me, she was more effective as Odette than as Odile, although this, too was excellent.. As a performance as a whole though, this was an Odette/Odile of great artistry. Filipp Stepin as Siegfried partnered Olesya impeccably, and indeed is the perfect prince, with manners and looks to match. He has a beautiful Vaganova technique, with easy high jumps and very neat footwork. He is also a fine actor, and as a partnership, this pair is wholly convincing. In the pd3 I saw Maria Khoreva, Shamala Guseinova and David Zaleev. Khoreva to me is an outstanding ballerina, a principal in the making. Her musicality and phrasing of the music was wonderful, clean entrechats, beautiful arms, expressions - fabulous performance. She should do Odette/Odile next. Guseinova also did well, but in appearance I think she is better suited to more queenly roles - she is more stately in style, and an excellent Myrtha. Zaleev's sissonnes and double tours were fabulous. Great pd3! This year's grads Ionova and Niukina were the Two Swans - Ionova better for me. Maria Bulanova had a debut as one of the princesses, as well as being a Big Swan. She is another one to watch - a beautiful girl, with strong technique and expressive face. In the coaches' box Lyudmilla Kovalova was watching her four students! The corps was excellent as usually, perfectly placed, led by Xenia Ostreikovskaya. I was a little sad to see beautiful Svetlana Ivanova relegated to Neapolitan corps - she is worthy of so much more. Overall, a great performance - but I hope Olesya can dance Swan Lake again soon, and as the principal she should be.
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