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Everything posted by MadameP

  1. I am in St Petersburg from 1st to 9th, mainly because I wanted to take this opportunity of seeing one of my favourite ballets, Shurale, and this block of three might be the only performances this year. It is not often performed. There are also a number of other ballets during the week, ending with Tereshkina in Sleeping Beauty, and my internet is horrible, but I will try to write what I see. It's about -3C incidentally, so not bad for February, but the pavements are just compacted snow and slush over a lovely layer of ice and SO difficult to walk on. Anyway, last nght's performance was good and not quite so good in parts! SHURALE - 1st February - Evseeva/Ermakov/Kolb I have to say - this was a great performance from Ermakov, who I have been guilty in the past of not liking greatly. Last night though, he was fabulous. His partnering throughout all the tricky holds and many overhead lifts was excellent. The fight scene with Shurale (Kolb) realistic, and he has the height, build and strength to make the scenes where he is showing off his strength to the villagers, realistic. He acted well, was jumping out of his skin, and ... must be the first time i have seen him do 5 pirouettes both en dedans and en dehors - bravo Andrei! Kolb as Shurale, was strong, creepy and excellent in all the weird, contorted poses on the floor. Also, funny in his scenes with the drunken villagers. Sadly, I thought Evseeva was the weak wink, for a number of reasons. Technically, of course, she is excellent, and she has a good jump, but she doesn't have any softness in her arms, and generally she is a bright, sparky ballerina, and she was not realistic in the role. She never convinced me she was fragile or gentle, which is what I like to see in a Syuimbike. Truthfully, I felt her interpretation was more like a subdued Kitri. Tricky Final act variation was excellent though The corps of bird maidens and girls were beautiful, although I was sad not to see lovely Oksana Marchuk as one of the four friends. The second act with the village scene is one of my favourites, and so uplifting - the parts where ALi-Batyr is looking for Syuimbike are so moving, but I know Syuimbike is supposed to be a little wistful, wanting her wings back, but Evseeva really did look miserable for most of this act! The Vaganova children as usual were adorable, although the lead girl (sorry no name!) was not outstanding. All the character artists in this act were outstanding. This (with Bayadere) is my favourite ballet, and just hearing the start of the overture makes me feel happy! The audience loved it! Today I will see it two more times - Martynyuk and Shirinkina - and Shirinkina is one of my favourite ballerinas! I am so looking forward to this!
  2. I like Ilyushkina very much also - she danced one of the best variations in Paquita recently - and she does have a lovely, lyrical quality with beautiful arms. This was her debut in Emeralds, so of course she was not perfect stylistically. She's very talented.
  3. I read somewhere that the Evening of American Choreography is to include performances of Serenade and In the Night. I can't remember now where I saw this, but as soon as I do, I will post the link!
  4. Awful prices - top price for Spartacus is £155. Almost as expensive as Bolshoi's own prices for Spartacus with a top price of 15,000 rubles.
  5. Olga Smirnova and Yulia Stepanova are very different ballerinas! I love watching them both, and have seen both their Bayaderes. For me, personally, Yulia Stepanova is my preferred Nikiya, because of that wonderful cantilena, exquisite arms and expression she has. However, I also very much Olga Smirnova's spiritual Nikiya and her command of the stage. Bolshoi Theatre is extremely lucky to have two such wonderful Nikiyas, as well as Zakharova! Of course, personally I would love to have seen Yulia Stepanova featured in Bayadere, but I do think Olga Smirnova was completely valid and worthy to be cast for the broadcast. She has produced outstanding work for the Bolshoi for many years! We can all surmise and listen to gossip and conjecture, but in the end, unless we are inside the minds of the Bolshoi management, we cannot KNOW anything for certain. I think it is a big mistake to adversely compare and contrast Stepanova with Smirnova and also a mistake to try to claim political advantages for one as, personally, all I think it will do is cause difficulties for Yulia Stepanova inside the theatre. Let both ballerinas flourish - they are both wonderful (although personally I prefer Stepanova!)
  6. MadameP

    Yulia Stepanova

    Yulia has a debut on 10th February! FINALLY she gets her Aegina debut! The casting is Tsvirko (Spartacus)/Kaptsova and Belyakov/Yulia! This Aegina debut has been a long time coming!!!
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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!
  11. Can't resist posting this one also!
  12. 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???
  13. Several excerpts are on YT. Here is one:
  14. 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.
  15. 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. 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. 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. I can think of no-one promoted to first soloist at Khoreva’s age!
  19. Promotion to First Soloist of Maria Khoreva - congratulations! She has bypassed both coryhpee and second soloist ranks.
  20. Maria Khoreva has today been promoted to First Soloist! Many congratulations to this wonderful young ballerina!
  21. 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.
  22. No, even VIshneva was initially in the corps!
  23. 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.
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