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Everything posted by MadameP

  1. Yes, I think you are right that she would have wanted to dance her debut because that is what her father would have wanted, but that did not make it any easier for her.
  2. Thank you for writing this - I was just reading this thread and wanting to write exactly this. For Zhiganshina to have performed at all under her very sad circumstances is praiseworthy. Anyone seeing her Gulnare, Gamzatti and other roles would see she is entirely ready, having very strong technique and acting skills. Yes, she's young, but in my opinion, she WAS ready for this debut. Of course, dancers all are professionals and used to "the show must go on" but for a young girl, with this most important debut, maybe THE most quintessential pure classical ballerina role, to dance under such circumstances was SO hard. Of COURSE she was not perfect. God bless her, I say.
  3. Maria Shirinkina has some of the most beautiful arms and hands in the company. If you can ever see her Sylphide, you should do so - her arms are beautiful in this also. She's a lovely Syuimbike, Giselle and many other roles that show of her lyrical and expressive talents without asking for virtuoso technique: that's not her forte. I love watching her, and especially in Shurale. She is an excellent Giselle also, and I remember her very touching mad scene which was never over the top, as some ballerinas act it. But anyway ... Shurale ... I love it. It makes me feel happy every time I see it. The scene where Syuimbike greets her fellow bird maiden friends is just SO touching and also the scene where Ali Batyr is looking for her in the second act and she is eventually revealed - actually brings tears. Such a beautiful ballet! It gives me SO much pleasure to see it!
  4. One fouette more or less, one chainee more or less, one double or triple more or less ... honestly i prefer to look at the whole picture of a performance.
  5. Not at Bolshoi, but Mariinsky's Olesya Novikova has some of the fastest chaine turns I have seen!
  6. Lopatin is a fabulous dancer - he has maybe the best technique of all the males. He is not tall though, so needs a short ballerina.
  7. It's easy enough to count, and I have seen Alexandrova, Smirnova, and Stepanova ALL executive them, although not recently in Alexandrova's case. However, correct academic technique, epaulement, arms, musicality, phrasing, presence, ability to inhabit a role ... so many factors make up a true ballerina. There is no such thing as a ballerina who never makes a technical mistake, but that is only part of the whole picture of what makes up a true artiste.
  8. I LOVE Shurale - Shurale and Bayadere are my favourite ballets. Shirinkina was a gorgeous Syuimbike last time she danced it so I hope today was just as good. Syuimbike should also be a fab role for Shakirova. Beautiful music, joyful, uplifting ballet with Russian folkloric elements, poignant pd2 and scenes for the female corps - everything is right with the world when I see SHurale! I hope you enjoyed both performances!
  9. Maybe I should have added "for today's standards." Of course, Petipa was working with the ballerinas he had available, who for the most part, had vastly different physiques from the ballerinas of today.
  10. That photo of Alexandrova clearly cleverly uses light and shade to thin down Alexandrova's muscular legs- and it is her muscularity that makes her look stocky. She certainly is not an elegant dancer, but one with a bold, passionate presence on stage, and I do like her in some roles, but for me she will never be a Petipa ballerina.
  11. I also saw Alexandrova's Legend of Love (and Kitri) - I generally do not like her as a dancer as she is too aggressive and lacking in refinement for me - but I did enjoy her performance as Mekhmene Banu. Her execution IS crude and honestly she has horrible lines - she is very muscular and short limbed - but she has undeniable presence and command of the stage,. I would like to see her dancing more of the roles appropriate to her, but honestly within the last two years, her Sylphide and Aurora were both just miscasting in my opinion.
  12. Very busy at the moment and I wish I could join in this conversation - when I have more time, maybe. But ... I just wanted to say in Alina Somova's defence, that her days of employing extremely high extensions have long since gone, and although she has been offstage actually for some time recently with pregnancy and injury, she has always used appropriate extensions recently when I saw her. I think she was badly advised and coached to overuse her flexibility as a very young ballerina and now she does not. She is a wonderful ballerina. And neither Smirnova nor Stepanova overuse their extensions, despite their natural flexibility.
  13. What a wonderful photograph and Alina Somova IS a wonderful Tsar Maiden and rightfully won the Golden Mask for her role in this ballet. With her beauty and long lines and expressive acting she is a perfect princess and Tsar Maiden. Evidently Maya also thought so - amazing gesture from her. Not the same, but also relating to the great Maya Plisetskaya, I remember being in the audience in 2013 when Maya Plisetskaya and Rodion Shchedrin were in the Tsar's Loge in Mariinsky 2 for the performance of Uliana Lopatkina as the Tsar Maiden. Gergiev was conducting. I think many thought this would not entirely be Uliana's role - but she was charm and vivacity personified and truly looked like a young girl on stage - she looked so happy. There were many bouquets and Uliana tried to give some of hers to Shklyarov, but he insisted she have his. Anyway, at the end Maya stood and applauded and where at the end of the ballet the dancers often wave from the stage, they were all smiling and waving and clapping back at Maya, and she was waving back. Great memory!
  14. Some of us HAD already seen her, and noted her immense talent since Vaganova days, where she was being featured in Vaganova performances long before her actual graduation year!
  15. Basically, so many operas/ballets/plays written before the last what? 50 years? less? can now considered by SOME as sexist/racist/politically incorrect in some way. We are all entitled to an opinion, so I will only say that personally, I think this is just getting ridiculous.
  16. MadameP

    Yulia Stepanova

    I did not see Pagliero's La Sylphide, so cannot comment on that, but it sounds truly magical! However, I HAVE been fortunate to see Yulia Stepanova dance numerous times over the years - in class, in rehearsal, live on stage, in all her roles, including those shown in the video. I can only agree with you. Overall, her Medora was a stupendous ballerina performance, showing as it did, not just those wonderful arms and flow of movement, but musicality, acting skills and also the purest of unflashy technical prowess. Few so-called "ballerinas"actually deserve that title; but If ever there was a test of a ballerina's right to be called a ballerina - then with that Medora, Yulia Stepanova passed with the highest honours. The only tragedy is that we could not see her as a principal dancing these roles years ago...
  17. Gnossie - I was interested to read your opinion, and this is just MY opinion, but honestly, I saw A Hero of our Time and HATED it - Demutsky, Possokhov and Serebrennikov to me spells triple disaster rubbish, horrible music and worse choreography - so I have no desire whatsoever to see this triple horror's attempt at Nureyev and am not at all surprised by your review. When I think of what could be occupying the space on the playbill, those two seem to me to be an utter waste of space. Ditch them now. I can't wait to see Coppelia again - at least that deserves its playbill space.
  18. It seems that ALyona Kovalyova has caused some dissent on this thread and I can't understand it. In the end, she is a young girl who is not to be blamed for taking the chances she was given. Was she supposed to refuse her opportunities and risk not being given them again? She seems to me, from what I have seen of her on stage, and various interviews and comments she has made on her instagrams and those of others, to be a very sweet natured girl as well as having an extraordinary talent. Her career will develop over time and I hope she retains that sweetness, which is more than can be said for some already primas at Bolshoi. Of course there are bound to be dancers who will be jealous of her and will try to undermine her, and also various groups of fans and balletomanes who will do the same. I do know that she was devastated at not being given at Mariinsky contract by FAteev and never thought she would have such a quick rise to prominence at Bolshoi. She is a modest girl. As I said earlier, she is considered highly enough by many to have been given the honour of closing the gala to celebrate the 80th birthday of Vinogradov in St Petersburg last month. She danced in Vinogradov's own Adagio set to Barber's Adagio. I was there and saw it myself, and she was much applauded for her mesmerising performance. Here is link to the performance:
  19. When you say you go to the Bolshoi on a weekly basis, do you mean you go to performances weekly, or do you go to classes and rehearsals inside the theatre? And which years were you working there?
  20. We all have different tastes on this forum. Vaziev does indeed have a hard task pleasing everyone - giving the "old guard" ballerinas roles while encouraging young talent. Let us not forget that, as well as giving leading roles to Kovalyova, he has also given them to Margarita Shrayner (Kitri, Sylphide, Jeanne, Masha among them), Ksenia Zhiganshina (Gulnare, Masha, Gamzatti, Ballerina), Diana Kosyreva (Jeanne, Ondine) and many others. Of course they have not been promoted young as Kovalyova has been, but nevertheless, Vaziev gives many debuts. Allash, Kaptsova and Alexandrova might have been pushed sideways on the roster to the "performing under contract" category, but all ARE still being given roles - maybe not as many as formerly, but they are still performing Kaptsova was Zina in The Bright Stream in October, is Masha during December and also rehearsing for the role of Margot in the upcoming Nureyev. Alexandrova and Allash both performed Aegina last month and Alexandrova is rehearsing for Nureyev also. If we are to talk about the physiques of dancers, then everyone has their own taste, and yes, I think Kovalyova is tall, but she is a very talented girl, her long limbs do make the most beautiful lines, and to me far more beautiful than those of Maria Alexandrova, who honestly to me resembles a mini weight lifter on stage. Finally, I would ike to say that at the recent Vinogradov 80th birthday gala in St Petersburg, which I attended, Kovalyova was given the honour of closing the gala with her partner, dancing Vinogradov's own Adagio set to Barber's Adagio, and judging from the applause, not just Vinogradov, but all the audience very much admired her.
  21. ALyona Kovalyova will debut as Mireille de Poitiers in Flames of Paris on 14th December. Her partner will be Jacopo Tissi.
  22. LOL! Well, you can be impressed then - because I have seen Tereshkina in the role also, as well as Kolegova,, and in my opinion, both Stepanova and Somova were FAR better... Tereshkina lacked the necessary feminity for the role. I forgot - also saw Batoeva!
  23. I saw Yulia Stepanova's debut as Sylvia at the Mariinsky and also Alina Somova in the role: both were magnificent! It is technically an extremely difficult role and Osipova has technique, but I am not sure she will have the refinement.
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