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Laurent

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    teacher
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    Paris
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**
    France

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  1. The vision scene is considered to be by Gorsky as well, he may have borrowed from Petipa ballonné, his favourite step, no more.
  2. We cannot be certain that in the Don Quichotte we see today there is anything left of Petipa. The dances that Macaulay meant are entirely by Gorsky.
  3. Laurent

    Sergei Polunin

    A worthwhile commentary, if you are able to read French, Sergueï Polounine le prince errant de l’âme russe https://www.lecourrierderussie.com/culture/2019/01/serguei-polounine-br-le-prince-errant-de-l-ame-russe/?fbclid=IwAR21s5lGij7denqzVoiS__w-8eLBmdpcAYCE_t8DXjNvWZYKE8JKk2zms7k
  4. Within quotes I would put rather the word "worthwile". In the matters of ballet history Macaulay remains a dilettante, he confuses his own writings with historical realities. In his recent sociological essay he tells us, for example, about Marius Petipa's images of women the following: The dances one can see in "Don Quixote" are entirely by Gorsky, not by Petipa. Ballet history basics, a telling blunder revealing how much or, rather, how little, Macaulay knows about the history of ballet.
  5. Laurent

    Yulia Stepanova

    Le Cygne (Saint-Saëns) , 22 December 2018,
  6. … and it isn't. Smirnova's Giselle didn't convince me at all, taking acting classes is not enough, she is simply not credible in the parts of naïve, vulnerable, pure heroines. I would like to see her in the roles of powerful women, like Lady Macbeth, eliminating all her rivals in a premeditated manner. What is wrong with Kim? I saw him several times this year, sometimes from the closest possible distance, he is an exceptional artist.
  7. The libretto of the original Petersbourg production states very clearly: (in front of me I have the Russian text of the libretto published in 1899)
  8. The absolute worst for me is seeing the cesspool "culture" of calumnies, filth and fabrications, notoriously associated with the Moscow "fanboys" of Bolchoi (some would be more correctly termed "dealers"), is being exported across the continents by the Russian expatriates steeped in it from top to bottom.
  9. Not all of her casting wishes were met by the Royal Ballet management. She had to work with what she had at her disposal. I hope this is not addressed at me, as I never said (or believed) anything like that. I didn't say anything at all about the recent Berlin "Bayadère". Above I responded to the unfounded claim that the Stepanov notation "proved that Marius Petipa's choreography was very musical". It could not prove it do to its intrinsic limitations, apart from the fact that many numbers are, simply, partly notated or had not been notated at all. Moreover, notation of some numbers is ambiguous.
  10. If "he choreographed on the melody" (whatever this is supposed to mean) is a proof of "Petipa's choreography was very musical", then every choreographer must be similarly considered "very musical". Notated sheets in the Harvard collection can hardly provide a proof of it due to the nature of the notation. I am not even alluding to the fact that the actual sheets are often partially notated. We are short of 24, if one wants to be factually correct, because, ideally, there should be 48 of "ombres"; this wasn't Makarova's choice, however, this was dictated by the necessity. Royal Ballet is a surprisingly small company, it doesn't have even 32 competent corps de ballet danseuses.
  11. "Petipa's musicality" meant as a historical reality or as a balletomane's fantasy? Are you aware that "musicality" was not considered by his near-contemporaries like Lopukhov, whose direct descendant was Balanchine, to be one of the strong sides of Marius Petipa's choreography?
  12. This recording is not The fact Makarova coached doesn't mean she was happy with the result. I don't want to go into the technical details to harm the dancer but whoever had the idea to post this recording on the internet made more harm than good to her and didn't help the reputation of the company either. Unfortunately the press/publicity departments of even the biggest companies often employ people who have little or no professional knowledge of ballet.
  13. I agree with cubanmiamiboy, it was "obvious" to anybody who had the slightest knowledge of the company and Balanchine's devotion to his Muses. If during the Romantic period ballet placed Womanhood at its centre, then in Twentieth Century it was Balanchine who continued this worshipful attitude to feminity expressed through movement and gesture.
  14. If Nagahisa, you feel, is “vastly inferior", then what to say about Lukina? She must then feel hopeless. Yet seeing so much of Khoreva, and also seeing very tentative recent performances by Lukina, I still must say that Lukina's artistry, if not her technique, is colossal compared not only to Khoreva but, in fact, to the majority of active dancers today. With Lukina I have an immediate feeling that I am in presence of High Art, with Khoreva (and she has her moments of high artistry), I don't have that feeling, in general. In fact, and I said that elsewhere, none of the "magnificent four”, who graduated from Academy Vaganova this year, artistically seems to be as compelling as, for example, Khiteeva, or, Nastia Smirnova, who may not have made that much of an impression in the Vaganova Prix, and there are some anatomical problems that may be affecting her future career, yet, when she is on the floor, she radiates. Compared to what I saw in June, it seems Khoreva made the greatest progress of the four I mentioned, she has had many weeks of high level coaching the other three hadn't. This is why Nuykina, which was as impressive and possibly more interesting in the future, looked rather pale compared to Khoreva, in the Suite en blanc that was broadcast. My view, from the perspective of Paris, on the Suite en blanc that we saw, is that the choreographic conventions of Lifar, with their different phrasing and articulation, feel rather awkward to Vaganova trained students, and there was no one who would explain and correct certain things, and made sure that those things are implemented (in spite of Maina Gielgud being there). Thus, I was more impressed by natural movement and gestures of Khiteeva in her Flora variation, than by any of the girl soloists of Suite en blanc.
  15. I am very fond of Khoreva, but I think Nagahisa possesses artistry to a much higher degree. "Manufacturing" Khoreva's career by means of the social media aggressive presence and promotion, I am afraid, will backfire, and I am not talking about petty resentment some may feel, I am talking about the young danseuse's artistic development. This whole attitude of premeditated, well-planned, "shaping" every aspect of you, from your own body being being literally moulded to the "optimal" shape in every limb, to daily "shaping" one's image in the media, I feel increasingly uneasy about it. Manufacturing a dancer like we manufacture "genetically modified food"? To have an optimal look, shape and taste? Is this the way of the future for manufacturing the most successful dancers? I hope not.
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