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Everything posted by colwill

  1. Any Ballet were the audience is largely school children. The anticipation before curtain up. The spellbound silence during the dancing The enthusiastic applause and cheering when the Ballet is over. Wonderful.
  2. Elizabeth Platel of Paris Opera Ballet
  3. I have seen Ponomarev several times in London, the most memorable of all performances was as Kastchei in Firebird. Absolutely stunning.
  4. I have seen both many times. Z is the "showy" dancer with the long extensions and beautifull arms. Altynia is the deeply emotional dancer for me the most perfect of all dancers.
  5. Rent the Kirov I agree, but not the Bolshio (not after seeing them in London) and add the Paris Opera Ballet. I would have DVDs made of twenty or maybe thirty of the best companies available, dancing a variety of works, so we could all get to view those companies we long to see. Both the companies and the programmes are open to a lot of debate but with $20M that can be accommodated.
  6. My total knowledge of ballet terms has been gained from a CD entitled BALLET CD-ROM by Victoria Morgan which not only explains over 700 terms but also speaks the term in perfect French and also demonstates in video form each term. It was produced in the USA some years ago but may still be avaiable. Sorry to be late in the discusion but better late than never :sleeping:
  7. I have just seen on the national news the dreadful news that the Kirov warehouse in which are stored both costumes and sets for the Kirov Opera and Ballet has been razed to the ground. The fire fighters were unable to save anything in the fire. I wonder if they are on tour at the moment and what sets/costumes they will have available for any future tours. It must be a sickening event for the Company and I can only add my sadness to those members of the Kirov.
  8. Marc what a great poll. Having seen all the ballerinas :rolleyes: I was spoilt for choice only ruling one as a definite no-no. I won't say what my choice was but she is second favourite at the moment .
  9. I am curious to know why this topic posted over two years ago has suddenly been revived. Was it recovered from the archives. :rolleyes:
  10. For three seasons of the Kirov Ballet in London I stayed at the same hotel as the company, the first time was just luck the next two were planned. It was wonderfull at breakfast to see the dancers drift in with the elegance walk that only ballerinas can manage at that time of day. In the evening, after the performance, it was a different story as very tired dancers returned. I was lucky to see most of the star names but in particular it was Altynia Asylmuratova that made the biggest impression. I was just coming in through the door when she passed me dressed in slacks and a sweater going to the theatre, nobody recognised her as she walked down the road, but I knew that I would see her in the leading role that night.
  11. My favourite seat would be in the centre stalls in the Palais Garniere in Paris to watch any of the classics danced by the Paris Opera Ballet.
  12. They came, they danced, they conquered. Last week, for the visit of the Kirov, the Lowry theatre was a complete sell out and how Manchester loved the company to judge by the wild, enthusiastic receptions they received. How does one judge the Kirov when in such great form? They seem to have recovered from the fall in performance level of a few years ago The Corps de Ballet were a little ragged on the opening night, nothing to serious by their usual high standards, and the other three performances I saw were back on top form. They danced the Shades to perfection. To see twenty-four pairs of arms and legs moving in perfect alignment was worth the price of the seats alone. I will concentrate on the principle dancers I saw but it must say that the national dancers were excellent in Swan Lake and I was particularly impressed with Irina Zhelonkina dancing as a friend of the Prince. Monday 28 April, Swan Lake Odette/Odile - Svetlana Zakharova, Prince - Igor Zelensky, Rothbart - Ilya Kuznetsov Odette was spoiled with too many extensions to the 12 o’clock position and looked a little strained at times, otherwise great dancing. Odille was danced with great showmanship and thrilling to watch. Her seductive poses, flashing eyes and precision dancing made this the high point of the evening. The Prince started very carefully, which was expected after his recent surgery, but picked up the longer he danced. He danced with his usual panache and deserved the rousing applause after the final act. Rothbart danced with great vitality; it is a change to see a handsome Rothbart with a restrained costume after the versions some companies produce. Thursday 1 May, Swan Lake Odette/Odile – Natalya Sologub, Prince – Danila Koruntsev, Rothbart – Ilya Kurnetsov The most interesting thing about this performance was that Soligub outshone Zakharove in the white acts both in the emotion and in the precision of her steps. However, it was the reverse in the ballroom scene when Soligub portrayed none of the emotions necessary to this act and indeed rarely looked at the Prince. Friday 2 May, La Bayadere Nikiya – Daria Pavlenko, Gamzatti – Irina Osmokina, Solor – Farukh Ruzimatov, Brahmin – Vladimir Ponomarev People who know me will realise that I enjoy this ballet above all others, but I do have to say right at the outset that the performance by the whole cast, with the exception of Ruzimatov, was of the highest order. In Daria Pavlenko the Kirov have a ballerina who will rise to the very top of her profession. Her portrayal of Nikiya is as near perfect as one could ask for, her port de bras were exquisite, forming perfect circles and prescribing beautiful arcs and her feet in turnout and in the arch of her instep were pure delight. In her portrayel of all the different emotions she was a joy to watch. In Act one she was truly in love with Solor from the moment she saw him; the range of emotions in her battle with Gamzatti through to the anguish in her scene at the betrayal were just a wonder. What a difference the acting of Solor was in comparison. He only came alive during his solos dances. He did not look directly at Nikiya or Gamzatti and his partnering left a lot to be desired. One every occasion I have seen him dance he seems so in love with himself that his partner does not seem to matter. That said his solo dancing was excellent, he has lost none of those famed jumps and leaps. Irina Osmokina is a dancer I have not seen before but I am sure she will become a well-known figure in the Kirov repature. She danced with a light touch and an assurance in the role, the one blemish was in her fouettes when she strayed perilously close to the front edge of the stage. The Brahmin deserves a special mention for his outstanding portrayal of the obvious deep love he felt for Nikiya and his anguish at his betrayal of her. Saturday 3 May, La Bayadere Cast as Friday except Solor – Leonid Sarafanov, Gamzatti – Viktoria Tereshkina I have not seen Sarfanov previously and when he came on stage with his slight figure and boyish looks my first thought was they had sent a boy to do a man’s job. This was soon dispelled on his initial meeting with Nikiya when he danced with such ease and delightful footwork and portrayed his love for her with such enthusiasm that lasted to the end of the performance. His partnering was excellent and he performed the lifts with ease. Gamzatti scene with Nikiya was suitably bitchy but unfortunately she slipped and fell heavily early on in the betrothal scene which caused a loss of confidence not helped by a further slide when coming down from being held aloft by the two partners. Alas I go on too long for a mere ballet fan, but I hope that I have conveyed even a little of the pleasure the Kirov brought to the audience in Manchester.
  13. I went on Thursday and thought the energy of the dancers was astounding. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole programme.
  14. On my English TV I can play US NTSC videos, infact I have several posted to me from the USA. Check the specifications in the vidoe handbook where it will also state the systems played. I think that most videos play the two systems.
  15. I have tickets for April 28, the combination of Zakharova/Zelensky looks good, on May 1st I have not seen Sologub/Korsuntsev. For Bayadere on May 2nd Zakharova/Ruzimatov/Osmolkina is fine although I have not seen Osmolkina. on my last visit May 3rd Gumerova/Zelensky/Tkachenko I have not seen Tkachenco. I would welcome any icomments on the dancers I have not seen.
  16. I am probably the last person to define what is or is not style. If however it can be linked to the enjoyment and pleasure given to the audience by a group of dancers the the Kirov is tops for style for me.
  17. Lineament One teaspoon per member of the corpes de ballet before going on stage to ensure alignment of arms and legs.
  18. Why pay GBP 80 to see the Kirov dance at Covent Garden, certainly I won't much though I love the dancers. Instead I can see them for only GBP 52 in the North of England at the Lowry Theater in a more restricted programme of Swan Lake and Bayadere, and it has the added bonus of only 40 minutes drive from home as against a 200 mile train journey.
  19. I voted for Swan Lake, not that I don't love it but because every Company that comes to the UK features it. I have missed out on some of the touring companies in the past six or seven months because of the endless repition of Swan Lake. However I must also say that it is a box office hit, everone and his dog goes wild for Swan Lake. having said that I am booked for two performances by the Kirov as my next ballet .
  20. What a fun ballet Coppelia is when danced by the Birmingham Royal Ballet. It is a couple of years since I last saw the BRB and I have no doubt that they are a classier act than my last sight of them. The performance at the Lowry in Salford last week saw Swanilda danced by Nao Sakuma, Franz by Robert Parker and Dr Coppelius by Michael O’Hare well supported by the rest of the company. Nao Sakuma is very petite and shows the precision in her steps the we have become accustomed to from Japanese dancers but I felt that she was not entirely at home in the role of Swanilda. Her dancing was everything one could ask, particularly in the final act pas de deux. Robert Parker was a handsome Franz, somewhat over acting the mime but then it was generally overplayed is if the audience needed it explaining in the form of this is a beautiful face and this is……………(maybe this is a little harsh on the general audience). His dancing was strong but he did have problems with his landings which were somewhat hit and miss. Michael O’Hare was a wonderful Dr Copelius blending the character and the mime to perfection. The second act when he ‘brought to life’ his beloved doll was both played with hope and tinged with sadness but never the less he was the master of the comic situation. I was particularly pleased to see Monica Zamora dance the Gypsy. She has long been a favourite dancer of mine and I was afraid she had left the company. She danced with her usual energy and filled the role, albeit small, in an admirable way. It is sad when one’s favourite dancers come to the end of their careers and just disappear without trace. The corps de ballet were especially good, well up to the Royal Ballet standards, and danced with just the right amount of panache as required for Coppelia. They were particularly enjoyable in Act one. Finally the orchestra played the delightful music of Delibes to perfection, rarely have I heard it performed so well. It was a most enjoyable evening and well received by the audience. My next visit to the Lowry will be to watch the Kirov dance Swan Lake and La Bayadere in late April when I hope to describe their performance
  21. I am a Bayadere fan and purchased the Makarova video from Amazon.com in the USA. It arrived in only three days and it will play on my UK video machine. I believe that all newish video players (mine is some 4 years old) will play both UK and USA systems. In my view the ultimate video recording is the Paris Opera Ballet Nureyev's production with Isobelle Guerin, Laurent Hilaire and Elisabeth Platel although the corps de ballet are the real stars. This is available from The Royal Opera shop.
  22. Zeneida Yanousky is one of my favourite RB dancers. The last time I saw her she danced the second variation in the Bayadere Shades a couple of weeks ago. I have to agree that she is very tall and stood out in the three shades but her line was incredible. She is the most perfect Lilac Fairy I have ever seen.
  23. I have watched the Moscow City Ballet many, many times, they are regular visitors to the UK. The first time I saw them was in 1991 and they have performed every year since. They are a very good company and dance extremely well, I would rate them at the top of the 'second tier' of ballet companies. If you search the archives I have posted a number of accounts of this company. Go and enjoy.
  24. The Latvian National Opera Ballet Company (also known as the Riga Ballet) is visiting the Lowry Centre, Salford to dance Coppelia and La Sylphide this week. I attended a performance of Coppelia on April 2nd. This is a company I had never previously watched and since the visit to the Lowry is the only UK venue I looked forward to the performance with great interest. I was not disappointed. I thought it would be of interest to give some background of the company, courtesy of the programme. The company dates back to the latter part of the 18th century when visiting dancers worked at the Riga German Theatre. The professional ballet developed in 1919 as part of the National Opera. In 1922 Mariinsky ballet master Nikolai Sergeyev began teaching in Riga and eventually under Alexandra Fyodorova the ballet productions became a distinctive, integral part of the National Opera Company. The company lapsed during the 1939-45 war but later regrouped to become a successful international company. Such well-known stars as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Alexander Godunov and Maris Liepa all began their formal dance training in Riga. The principle dancers for Coppelia were: SWANILDA Julia Gurvica FRANZ Alexei Avechkin Dr COPPELIUS Ignats Ancans DOLL/COPPELIA Zane Teikmane TRAMPS Intars Kleinhofs, Kiril Burlov SWANILDA’S FRIENDS Viktorija Jansone, Margarita Demjanoka Prior to the performance the audience stood whilst the Orchestra played the National Anthem in respect for the death of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. The ballet follows the story of Coppelia fairly well but the choreography by Aivars Leimanis is unlike any other Coppelia I have watched. The setting is a Latvian town square and the costumes represent that countries national dress whilst the ensemble dancing was more on the lines of country dancing than classical ballet. I must say I was most impressed by the standard of the dancing and the quality of the mime actions. On Act 1 curtain up the stage was bare except for the two tramps asleep on the ground. Following a sequence of dance/clowning by the tramps the house door opens and Coppelia enters to perform a solo dance, immediately portraying a classic but simplified style of dance. Franz then appears and also dances a solo during which time he sees the doll Copellia and is entranced with her. Enter the corps de ballet dancing a folk dance. The rest of the act follows along the conventional lines. Act two, set in Dr Coppelius workshop, where only two of the animated dances take place, a very dashing Scottish dance and a rousing Spanish ‘flamenco’ dance by both the doll and a male partner. When Coppelia, alias Swanilda, is brought out the usual performance ensues except that no attempt is made to transfer Franz’s life and spirit into the ‘doll’. An unusual point is the large dancing role given to Dr Coppelius. Act three lacks the usual dances for Dawn, Prayer, Peace and Work. The male dancers, dressed in national costumes incorporating ankle length white skirts, danced the Call to Arms. The tramps performed a wonderful, explosive, almost acrobatic dance prior to the entrance of Swanhilda and Franz who danced an exquisite pas de deux. I have dwelled on the format since this is important to appraise the dancing. It was a most unusual style, lacking the speed and fire of say, the Kirov, but providing a more relaxed dancing (except for the tramps) that I found intriguing. The standard of the performance as a whole was excellent and I would recommend this company for a rewarding evening. Finally the Latvian National Opera and Ballet Orchestra were superb, rendering the Delibes music with great delicacy with the correct mix of strings and brass, often overlooked by more well known orchestras.
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