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Everything posted by MadameP

  1. Nadia was a wonderful Aurora in her debut, but she was superb in everything I have ever seen her dance in. If ever there was a well deserved promotion to 1st soloist, this was certainly it. Nadia has lovely clean technique, is a superb actress and also very beautiful girl. If you get a chance to see her in ANYthing - GO!!!
  2. Well, I've just finished reading this thread and all I can say is, it seems a very good thing to me that this miscast, inadequately rehearsed ballet with content of a sexually explicit nature in whatever context, to the extent that apparently some greatly respected dancers refused to perform it, with what frankly I consider horrible choreographer, was taken off. Good riddance. Why can't Bolshoi spend its money on a reconstruction or one of the great ballets in its repertoire that are not in production at the moment?
  3. Novikova's Nikiya debut this season was miraculous - what a great shame that America will not see this. It was shamefully overdue. She and Alina Somova for me are the best Mariinsky Nikiyas now. Nadia Batoeva is an excellent Gamzatti - she is wonderful in everything she dances - but Mariinsky have several outstanding Gamzattis at the moment. Fateev's casting for overseas tours as usual leaves a great deal to be desired.
  4. Yevgeny Konovalov is now a coryphee. He is a former Vaganova student of Selyutsky, with good arms and elevation who has nice princely presence and good partnering skills - he's danced Bluebird, James and many small solo roles recently. Congratulations to him!
  5. Yes, Oscar Frame is going to Bolshoi as well as Geraschenko and Sevenard. He is British incidentally, not American. He trained at the Hampton Academy in the UK before winning a scholarship to the Kirov Academy in 2011 and then transferred to Vaganova in St Petersburg in 2016.
  6. MadameP

    Yulia Stepanova

    Thank you for posting!
  7. That's exactly what I thought, too, Natalia, except no - leave Zhivoi at Mariinsky!
  8. MadameP

    Joy Womack

    Possibly that is because she is lucky to have the position she does have.
  9. I really enjoyed The Four Seasons - I don't find any need to over-think what it all meant! I enjoyed it very much for what it was, including the played around with Vivaldi music. I thought both Kondaurova and Belyakov were excellent technically, expressive and all the corps dancers equally charming and all dancing well - and they were all MT corps members, so a special mention for Andrei Arseniev. It was just all very easy on the eye and feel-good. I liked it very much.
  10. Ha - Natalia. You said it just as I thought it, but I hear the North Pole has a new ballet company that needs an AD...
  11. Oh - I HOPE she does coach and pass on some of her wonderful experience to future generations. Mariinsky needs her.
  12. I saw today on the Russian side of the Mariinsky website the following announcement. Ульяна Лопаткина сообщила о завершении танцевальной карьеры Мариинский театр официально объявляет поклонникам таланта прима-балерины театра Ульяны Лопаткиной, что она сообщила о завершении своей танцевальной карьеры. Here is the google translation: Ulyana Lopatkina announced the completion of the dance career The Mariinsky Theater officially announces to the fans of the talent of the prima ballerina of the Ulyana Lopatkina Theater that she announced the completion of her dance career. This is very sad news for me and for all her millions of fans worldwide, everyone who ever saw her dance, whether live on stage or on television or video. She was a wonderful ballerina, a true Vaganova ballerina with textbook, correct technique, the most exquisite floating lyrical quality and astonishingly beautiful arms. She had had an operation on her hip earlier this year, but for the last few years her dancing performances had become fewer and fewer, but always exquisite. I feel privileged to have seen her throughout her career. I remember the first time I saw her was as Nikiya at the Royal Opera House, when she was in her early 20s. We all marvelled at her slender limbs, since she was a type of ballerina we had never seen before. Towards the end of her career I was so lucky to see her on the Mariinsky stage as Odette-Odile, Nikiya, Giselle, Tsar Maiden and other roles. I loved watching her. I am very sad at this news, but also grateful for having seen her and God Bless her and give her a long and happy life.
  13. Yes, so I understand. She was offered contracts at both Mariinsky and Bolshoi apparently, but she chose Bolshoi.
  14. We do not know whether Lopatkina will ever dance again. She is not at a good age to make a come-back after having an operation. I hope she does...
  15. Just wanted to thank you, Gnossie, for putting the Markitenka (La Vivandiere) video on this thread. Vikharev was such a great dancer, and so much to be admired for all his work on reconstructions of ballets, coaching, teaching, and of course as a dancer - so much... but for me, when I think of him dancing, it is in this piece that I remember him the most. I have watched it on video so many times over the years, since I also love Pankova. I love both of them in this piece. Thank you...
  16. Nothing concrete, but I was in St Petersburg a short while ago and revisited both Peterhof and Tsarskoe Selo palaces and Tsarskoe Selo /Pushkin (also known as Catherine Palace) had an exhibition of the costumes from this film, as well as many beautiful stills from it. The film is called Mathilde. The costumes and hats were sumptuous and the photographs and videos also beautiful. But interesting that they did not choose a Mariinsky or Bolshoi dancer for the dancing parts, although they did use the actual Mariinsky stage and yes, there is dance content, since they showed a short video clip with ballerina dancing, but I don't know how much there will be in the entire film. Looks very spectacular anyway as obviously it has beautiful locations, being filmed in Tsarskoe Selo and other locations in and around St Petersburg!
  17. A few days ago I saw two performances of A Legend of Love on the historic Bolshoi stage. The matinee performance on Saturday, 20th May was the debut of Yulia Stepanova in the role of Mekhmene Banu with Alexander Volchkov as Ferkhad and Anastasia Stashkevich as Shyrin. The evening performance the following evening was Maria Alexandrova as Mekhmene Banu with Vladimir Lantratov as Ferkhad and Evgenia Obraztsova as Shyrin. I already wrote about Yulia Stepanova's debut on the Yulia Stepanova thread in the dancers' section, so I will just write about Alexandrova's performance here. I will try to post the link to the Stepanova performance underneath. The two Queen Mekhmene Banu performances were very different. Yulia Stepanova was much more feminine. Alexandrova certainly commands the stage as the Queen as she has great presence and her Queen has immense attack and power. She is clearly a "Bolshoi" ballerina with that energy and drive but for me, it comes over as a little too hard. Technically though, she was excellent, but she does not have very beautiful lines, having comparatively short legs, and certainly not the wonderful arms and upper body that Stepanova has. I also I did not see the variety of expressions that I saw in the Stepanova performance. Vladimir Lantratov as Ferkhad was superb. What a great actor he is. I was watching with my binoculars, and his range of expressions is amazing and his jumps showed beautiful line. Where he also was great was in all the pas de deux work - so difficult in this ballet with its numerous convoluted and acrobatic lifts, requiring strength and timing. This was most noticeable in the final act pas de deux with Alexandrova/Queen, which was superb. Volchkov did not show nearly the same ease of partnering with Yullia Stepanova, but I think that was to be expected as it was a debut: Alexandrova and Lantratov are regular partners and it really showed in this pas de deux. The difficult upside down"candle" lift where Alexandrova then goes into the upside down splits position was outstanding and so were the other lifts. The expressions of both of them were outstanding - Alexandrova yearning and sensual - and the chemistry between them was palpable. This was their best section of the ballet. In the role of Shyrin, Evgenia Obraztsova was sweet and graceful, but although she is one of my favourite dancers, I have to say that technically Anastasia Stashkevich the day before was superior to her. Obraztsova's jumping did not have the same lightness and ease, and she just seemed heavier in all her movements, although there were certainly no flaws in a technically good performance. However, Obraztsova's expressions and command of the stage were superb and I loved her frolicsome pas de deux with Ferkhad. Lantratov was excellent with both ballerinas! The corps and minor soloists once again were superb in all their stylised group work. This is a great dramatic Grigorovich ballet and I saw two powerful performances!
  18. MadameP

    Yulia Stepanova

    Yulia Stepanova had a great success today in her debut as Mekhmene Banu in A Legend of Love at the historic Bolshoi Theatre. Her Queen was elegant, showing beautiful lines in the many sculptural poses and lifts, but also strong and regal. Her hands and arms in all the oriental gestures were expressive, and accenting the music with dynamism where needed. This was a STRONG performance indeed, but also a Queen of subtle emotion, giving a real sense of tragedy at the loss of her beauty in exchange for her sister's life. Her monologue especially was SO moving - full of turmoil - and her expressions throughout were wonderful. I don't know how she managed to portray such emotion even while wearing a veil - but she did! Technically she was flawless, with fast turns, and she was especially strong in the sequence of swift fouettes, ending with a triple. Great performance, and the audience called her back for numerous curtain calls. Her Ferkhad was Alexander Volchkov, who managed the difficult candle lift and the other acrobatic lifts that the choreography contains and acted well also. Anastasia Stashkevich was charming as Shyrin with her fluttering hands, and especially thrilling grands jetes in the sequences of jetes synchronised with Ferkhad. She was graceful, light, gentle and I thought she was a perfect foil for Yulia Stepanova. This ballet is so striking and effective in the simplicity of its designs on the huge Bolshoi stage. There are four braziers on stage and a number of chandeliers hanging down that change colour and also a series of small raised backdrops that come down onto the back centre of the stage like a triptych style book that opens (difficult to describe) - but that is all. All the effects are in the emotions of the dancers, the power of the choreography, the lighting and in the ranks of dancers who pour onto the stage, often in stylised formulation. I was absolutely spellbound by it. What a great ballet. It has the real feeling of a strange oriental fairytale, but a tragic one. A great success for Yulia Stepanova and for the whole company.
  19. MadameP

    Olga Smirnova

    OK, true, Mariinsky management decided to inflict these ballets on Mariinsky Ballet I still don't like them, and think they could have made far better choices.
  20. MadameP

    Olga Smirnova

    Yes, we need to keep Ratmansky busy, if only to prevent him from inflicting another Little Humpbacked Horse, Anna Karenina or Cinderella on Mariinsky Ballet...
  21. That is interesting what Sarah Lamb said. I see plastique as the using of the body to form shapes and lines and a way of moving particular to a choreographer's needs and also as interpreting the music. For me, that is why I rate Andrei Arseniev, currently still only in Mariinsky corps, so highly. I never saw a boy with his innate "rightness" of movement and line - it's SO DIFFICULT to put into words! - but he can use his body in so many ways, and they always seem perfect for the choreography and its dramatic truth. I think the dancers who have this instinctive amazing sense for plastique are born with it - it's a great gift and one that allies natural technical ability, intelligence, musicality, innate understanding of of the intention of the choreography.
  22. MadameP

    Olga Smirnova

    Buddy, I was smiling nicely at your posts, and that's because yes, you have been writing a lot about Smirnova, but, as Natalia says, it is good to see positive comments and enthusiasm about a dancer you clearly love. I also think Smirnova is a wonderful ballerina, and Uliana Lopatkina too, but I am afraid I just HAVE to pipe up here and say, that where our agreement must end is on the subject of the "other" O.S. who you just mentioned in connection with Smirnova, and who I do not consider worthy of tying the ballet shoes of Smirnova and Lopatkina, let alone being in the same realm of excellence! I think she is AWFUL. It was BURNING and I had to say it! and I do not want to start a trashing thread - but well, there it is! But Smirnova and Lopatkina - yes, love them both!
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