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Posts posted by MadameP

  1. 11 hours ago, Mashinka said:

    That's pretty much my opinion too.  With a Bolshoi season in  London next year, I have to admit that the likely list of female principals Zakharova, Smirnova, Stepanova makes me shudder.  Only Krysanova lightens the gloom.  Should out of favour Kaptsova and Alexandrova  show up, or indeed, Obraztsova, I could muster some enthusiasm. 

    Btw, could someone tell me what is happening with Obtaztsova?  A friend booked for the Milan Bayaderes in the hope of seeing her but no luck.  Is she out of favour as well?

    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.) 

  2. 7th October La Sylphide: Anastasia Lukina/David Zaleev

    Anastasia Lukina is a beautiful girl, with exquisite feet a true Mariinsky ballerina, and as the Sylph she showed her well schooled technique, but to me she seemed somewhat careful!  She was not the merry sylph that Evseeva was, but more gentle, graceful and charming.  Of course, both interpretations  work; for me Evseeva 's was the more convincing as the Sylph, but Lukina had more beauty of line in general.   It seems to me that Lukina has great promise, but as yet, she hasn't really fulfilled it - and she still seems a little tentative at times.  She was not as fast as Evseeva, but had more of an other-worldly quality to her!

    David Zaleev was excellent as James, dancing with virility in his variations and also crisp footwork in general and soaring grands jetes.  I like him very much.   He is a convincing actor, and the sequences with Igor Kolb as Madge were excellent.  Kolb is magnificent as Madge - a really great character actor/dancer - and also very funny in the scene where he tells fortunes with Effie's friends.  The Effie tonight was outstanding - Maris Bulanova is gorgeous to look at, a beauty with big eyes, and she also is a wonderful actress, with particularly expressive face - every emotion visible! How wonderful that Mariinsky has both her and Khoreva this year among their new recruits.  She has a lovely jump and natural stage presence.  

    This really was a Sylphide of Two Beauties - Lukina and Bulanova!  

  3. 6th October La Sylphide: Yelena Yevseyeva/Filipp Stepin

    La Sylphide certainly is Yevseyeva's role.  She was completely bewitching as the sylph -  by turns capricious, captivating, vivacious, sad ...   a real multi-faceted expressive performance and her speed across the stage as the sylph was exceptional.  She hardly seemed to touch the ground - fast, light, with quick footwork and high bounding jumps.  Her smile was so irrestiible.  Her variation in act 2 with the attitude turns was beautiful, musical - a lovely performance, and very touching at the end when the Sylph dies (although she had an unfortunate mishap with her wings refusing to fall off and also Stepin failing to catch her ring!)  

    Stepin was a fabulous James, SO neat and accurate in his footwork, with his beats clean and crisp and beauty of line in his jumps.  This is another role he excels in (so WHY is he not a principal???  Rhetorical question since we know this is down to Fateev.)  I loved his acting, and he IS a very subtle actor, and also that of Ivan Oskorbin as a comedic Gurn, but Irina Prokofieva as Madge was not in the same league as Igor Kolb the following day.  Little Svetlana Russkikh was a fleet footed Nancy.

    The Sylphs generally were dancing harmoniously together with beauty and synchronicity, but it was a real source of unhappiness to me that lovely Oksana Marchuk was on the end of the line, when she should have been dancing the Sylph and MANY other roles for years now.  Incidentally, next to Oksana was Anna Lavrinenko, unless my eyes deceived me, who must have returned to the company, although she is not listed yet on the website.  If it was not her, then she has a double!  


  4. 4th October Swan Lake - Tereshkina/Shklyarov

    Better late than never!  I have seen Tereshkina's Swan Lake before several times, so I knew what to expect, but still was hoping for more.  Anyway, I am mystified as to why a good actress such as Tereshkina, is so cold and remote as Odette.  There was no softness, no sense of tragedy about her performance: it was though a marble statue was dancing.  Literally, she showed no emotion with the same expression throughout.  Very remote, and seemingly with little rapport with her partner, Vladimir Shklyarov.  Technically, she was very able, and her pirouettes and turns in general were excellent, although she does not have the most fluid of arms, but for certain, Odette is not her role.  However, Odile IS her role, and here all her acting abilities suddenly came to the fore.  Malevolent, evil, gleeful, eyes flashing, she seduced her luckless Siegfried, and for those who love fouettes, hers were outstanding, with many doubles and executed beautifully centred.  She was greeted at the end by rapturous applause and many curtain calls, but honestly, Novikova's performance two days earlier was in a different league for expression, subtlety and beauty of movement.  

    Shklyarov is an excellent prince.  He commands the stage with ease, jumps high and effortlessly, but his turns are not always the neatest.  His partnering was excellent throughout and his variation in act 2 fabulous.  For me personally though, I preferred Stepin's more beautiful academic technique.

    In the pd3 were Anastasia Nikitina, and Kamiko Ishii (her debut) with Yaroslav Pushkov.  It's a disgrace to me that Nikitina does not get more roles.  She has fabulous turns, wonderful series of entrechat six de cote across the diagonale, playful in her variation, good ballon, but she has never danced a principal role.  She was also wonderful as one of the Two Swans, along with Xenia Ostreikovskaya, who I honestly have to say I have never seen give a bad performance.  She is another under-rated ballerina.  Ishii was adequate and Pushkov had some good elevation in his grand jetes.  Alexander Romanchikov (MAYbe the tallest male in the company!) was an excellent Rothbart - with a real sense of evil to his acting.  This was a good Swan Lake, but Novkonva/Stepin two days earlier were by far superior. 

  5. 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. 

  6. Just posting here in case anyone knows definitely, but I was at the Bolshoi to see Obraztsova/Volchkov in Onegin on 4th, and they were replaced by Goryacheva/Rodkin.  Actually, both were excellent, particularly Rodkin, but I missed seeing Genia as Tatiana.  In one of her Instagram posts she implies she is ill.  Hope nothing serious?

  7. You won't be disappointed with Stepanova in either Swan Lake or Bayadere, Drew - she is magnificent in both!  I would think Kovalyova also must be a likely contender for both roles in London, and she is a lovely ballerina already at her young age!   Personally I don't like the Grigorovich Swan Lake, or Taming of the Shrew, but I love Bayadere and Spartacus.  Each to his/her own!  

  8. On 7/20/2018 at 8:33 PM, Buddy said:

    Thanks, MadameP. If you or anyone else hears something for certain, please post.



    On 8/14/2018 at 4:52 PM, Buddy said:

    Maria Petukhova

    I’ve had some time this morning to watch video clips of some of the ‘ballerinas’ that currently most captivate me because of their lyrical loveliness. This is the quality that I probably prize most. They are Oxana Skorik, Olga Smirnova (based on her recent Pharaoh’s Daughter), Zhanna Ayupova (from an old Apollo performance), Alyona Kovalyova, Maria Iliushkina and Maria Horeva (Khoreva).

    And I just finished watching Maria Petukhova. I mentioned in my previous post that I thought that she was perhaps the loveliest dancer of the recent Vaganova graduates. Based on what I’ve just been watching I think that she’s as lovely as all the dancers mentioned above. One quality that sets her apart is extremely lovely flow of motion. She floats like a velvet cloud.

    I’ll say once again that I hope that the Bolshoi takes her. It had the very commendable insight to welcome and quickly feature Olga Smirnova and Alyona Kovalyova.  I do think that she could probably lose just a little weight. Laurent has mentioned that there might be other physical issues. Whatever the Mariinsky’s reservations were about Maria Petukhova I would hope that the Bolshoi could find a way to succeed with her. They’re certainly doing it with Alyona Kovalyova.

    In any case, if she can maintain this beauty, I think that she would be a gem wherever she goes.   

    Buddy, Vaganova’s Facebook page today confirmed that Petukhova has indeed gone to Tallin. I wish her a happy and healthy career there. 

  9. Lobukhin is THE Spartacus!   That role requires great acting ability - it's not all muscles and lifts!   Although he does not have Vasiliev's spectacular jumps his is the more affecting performance.    Lobukhin is the greatest actor in all of the Bolshoi ballets I have seen  - can't really say more than that!   He is a true artist.    In the roles he dances in Golden Age, Raymonda, Spartacus, Lady of the Camellias (Gaston Rieux) - I simply cannot imagine anyone better,  He is great as Solor and Basilio also.   He dances often with Zakharova on tour.  He is a product of the Vaganova school, and has that beautiful schooling, but still he is is far better suited to the Bolshoi repertoire  No wonder he was recently made Honoured Artist!   

    Lobukin and Nikulina in Spartacus:



  10. 11 hours ago, Birdsall said:

    That looks almost identical to the Sergeyev, except that she lingers on the floor a little longer. When I saw her in the Sergeyev Mariinsky version instead of lingering on the floor she got up and went from side to side showing how weak Odette felt followed by the high attitudes (which you also see here). Nadezhda Batoeva recently debuted and did a 2nd Swan Lake at the Mariinsky, and she lingered on the floor just as Stepanova does here. So I think it is the Sergeyev, but apparently there are slight variations on the small details of Sergeyev's version.

    Yes, I agree it is Sergeyev version, allowing a little for personal artistic license and maybe the company allows this?!  (Kolesnikova embellished the port de bras  - as, for example, in Odile, when raising her arms to 5th -)  As for the Bolshoi Grigorovich Swan Lake ... I greatly admire Grigorovich for Spartacus,  Ivan the Terrible, Golden Age, Legend of Love  ... MANY ballets .. but I do not like his Swan Lake.   But just my opinion!  

  11. I consider Spartacus to be a great Grigorovich ballet and this is a wonderful opportunity for many who have never seen it live to see it, in the UK.  Michael Lobukhin is a stupendous Spartacus, and for me the best male currently performing Grigorovich repertoire "warhorses" as was written above.   No doubt Denis Rodkin will also be cast - a good role for him, too, but truthfully (and obviously this is my opinion) Lobukhin is far superior.   Bright Stream is of great interest also - many in the UK will never have seen it.  It was inevitable that Swan Lake would form part of the repertoire - it must be the biggest "seller-outer" in the world of ballet!  As for Bayadere - well, those who have not seen Alyona Kovalyova will no doubt be able to form their own opinions, since no doubt she will be featured!  

  12. 32 minutes ago, Mashinka said:

    Looking at the present Bolshoi line up, I don't see a natural Spartacus in the ranks.  A guest might be a good idea, Brooklyn Mack perhaps?

    Agree about Carlos Acosta, by far the best Spartacus this century.


    Bolshoi does indeed have a natural Spartacus.  In my opinion, Mikhail Lobukhin is the best Spartacus the Bolshoi Theatre has - he is an amazing Spartacus with all the physical and dancing attributes for the role.  He  totally commands the stage.  His acting, theatricality, partnering, sheer quality in this role is outstanding.  

  13. 14 hours ago, ABT Fan said:

    This pas, along with the gorgeous music, is one of the most beautiful duets I've ever seen by any choreographer. It's my favorite part of that ballet.

    My favourite part of that ballet also - just sublime, and I have seen many pairs of dancers in it but possibly my favourite was Osmolkina (with Stepin.). For theatrical beauty, the very last scene of the ballet is hard to beat with Puck on his swing and the magical fireflies flickering !  So lovely! 

  14. 27 minutes ago, CharlieH said:

    Not necessarily. May Nagahisa went from apprentice straight up to 2nd Soloist. The old order can be thrown out the window!

    Shakirova does not have either Odette/Odile or Nikiya in her repertoire.  In my opinion, she is no Aurora, although she now has that role in her repertoire. She is no Raymonda. I don't think she is principal calibre although I like her very much, and I do not believe Chebykina is principal calibre either.  For me, both are good soloists, but not principals.  As for Nagahisa, I still defend all those Vaganova corps and coryphee girls who were overlooked in favour of her... 

  15. 39 minutes ago, Colette said:



    Things seem to be changing, Makhalina and Pavlenko got decent farewells. A lovely change for once. But I must remind you that Lopatkina was simply unable to dance again after her hip surgery, more than a managment decision it was a health issue. Sadly. 😭



    Now there is a place in the principal ranks and it should be filled by Osmolkina or Novikova but I doubt it will happen, I fear it might be Shakirova or ....Chebikyna. 

    Makhalina still dances very occasionally - once a season.  There was a special Lopatkina "evening" during her last season, but no official farewell performance.  So sad.  Chebykina and Shakirova are both second soloists: I think it is more likely that a first soloist would be promoted to principal, .  

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