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Everything posted by Cygnet

  1. I saw it Sunday. It's an excellent film. Ralph Fiennes (Tribune Clavius) and Peter Firth (Pontius Pilate), gave superlative performances.
  2. She's appearing at BAM starting tomorrow night.
  3. Thank you Natalia for your report. I'm not happy to learn about Skorik's mega-sketchy opening night. Now that she's attained her position she needs pull herself together and bring it. I'm also disturbed by your Shapran report. The rest of the cast sounds to me like it was another day at the office, i.e. standard operating procedure - especially Tim Askerov's Jean de Brienne. I also nominate Batoeva & Latypov for Raymonda and Jean. She is reliable. Unfortunately, she hasn't been given the opportunity (yet) to essay Raymonda, Aurora or O/O. Time will tell if she will (ever) be a debutante in these roles. Latypov is exceptional as well.
  4. I voted for the La Scala 1898 recon because it connects the dots. The Bolshoi production can come to life, but only with a charsimatic and technically excellent Raymonda. For me, Ludmilla Semenyaka and Natalia Bessmertnova were both peerless in Grigorovich's production, especially their interpretations of the Act 3 clapping variation. They both evoked sheer drama. They both danced a czardas "aria." It was bel canto - en pointe. I also love the Act 2 solo that Grigorovich choreographed for Abderhakman. No one can touch Gedinemas Taranda's volcanic interpretation. In today's Bolshoi, I have to give it to Maria Allash; she's the best. For the corps de ballet and character dancing, I vote for the Mariinsky-Kirov's 1948 Sergeyev production for passionate precision and Magyar flavor. IMO the Kirov primas who set the bar in this production were (in chronological order): Natalia Dudinskaya, Alla Shelest, Irina Kolpakova, Gabriella Komleva, Galina Mezentseva, Yulia Makhalina, Altynai Asylmuratova, Olga Tchyentchikova, and Lubov Kunakova. In today's Mariinsky, the primas who have broken that bar are: Uliana Lopatkina, Daria Pavlenko, Victoria Tereshkina, and 1st Soloist Olesya Novikova. The best Nureyev Raymondas were Cynthia Gregory and Sylvie Guillem.
  5. This is very sad news. Rest in eternal peace, Violette Verdy.
  6. Natalia is absolutely correct. The company that performed in the Mariinsky Theatre that was named for the Czar's wife Maria, was known as the Imperial Russian Ballet, (or) the Imperial Ballet. This was the case until 1918 a year after the Revolution. After that, it was named the State Academic Ballet of Petrograd by the communists during the Russian Civil War years in the 1920s. Following the death of Lenin when the city was renamed Leningrad, Sergei Kirov was the Party leader of the city. After Sergei Kirov's hit was ordered by Stalin, (which began the purges of the 1930s), the Theatre was re-named, the Sergei Mironovich Kirov State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet, and the opera and ballet companies that performed in it were known by the name "Kirov." This name lasted until the early 2000s when the ballet company itself reverted back to it's original name. The Theatre reclaimed it's original name "Mariinsky" in the 1990s, when the city reclaimed it's original name, St. Petersburg. If Macaulay's verbs were past tense, perhaps he should have waited to publish his review before posting this rough draft from his airline napkin.
  7. Natalia, all of this sounds divine! Thank you for your coverage !
  8. I'll second that. Congratulations to Aurelie Dupont !
  9. I totally agree: A true danseur noble! Congratulations Xander!
  10. Best of 2015: *(Made the 'Best' and 'Worst' lists) ABT's 75th Diamond Anniversary season. The promotions of Stella Abrera and Misty Copeland to Principal Dancer at ABT. *Alexei Ratmansky's new production of "The Sleeping Beauty" at ABT and La Scala. *Kevin MacKenzie NYCB's Sterling Hyltin & Tiler Peck going from strength to strength, and to the NYCB for delivering another year of excellent performances. Sergei Filin "Best Ballet Promo Trailer of the Year" Award: It's a tie: Australian Ballet for their new production of David Macallister's "The Sleeping Beauty," and to Houston Ballet for their new production of "Romeo & Juliet." The final performances of Sir Anthony Dowell's late 19th century, Czarist St. Petersburg themed production of "Swan Lake" at Covent Garden. Twyla Tharp's Golden Anniversary as dancer/choreographer. World Ballet Day 2015: Best Company Class - Tied for 1st place - Australian Ballet taught by Stephen Heathcoate & the Royal Ballet taught by Julia Barrett. Best Informercial Award goes to the Bolshoi Ballet's entire segment, Best Interview Award goes to the Bolshoi Ballet for their Press Secretary's chat with Maya Plisetskaya's brother, Azari Plisetsky regarding memories of his sister. Best Studio Rehearsal Award goes to the Australian Ballet for "Suite En Blanc," and the complete Act 3 of David Macallister's new production of "The Sleeping Beauty." Best Solo Rehearsal That Should Have Been A Pas De Deux Rehearsal Award goes to Ekaterina Shipulina for being a trouper and essentially partnering herself during the "Russian Seasons" pdd rehearsal during the Bolshoi segment. (Slightly ), Stephen McRae tap dancing to a Hungarian violin accompaniment in studio at Covent Garden, (Back to topic), and Matthew Ball & Yasmine Naghdi's rehearsal with Wayne MacGregor of "Raven Girl." Robert Gottlieb Lewis Segal "Ballet Pianist of the Year" Award goes to the Royal Ballet's Grant Green for his impromptu and masterful musicianship of the highest caliber. The 50th Golden Anniversary of Sir Kenneth MacMillan's "Romeo & Juliet" marathon at the Royal Ballet in Covent Garden. Frederick Iseman and Yale School of Music for arranging for Uliana Lopatkina to come speak and dance gratis online for the world October 13 - 15, 2015. Uliana Lopatkina, on and offstage, anytime, anywhere. Specifically: Her appearances as Odette/Odile at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, leading the Mariinsky Ballet in "Paquita," and her impeccable "Dying Swan" at Kennedy Center, and finally, her appearance at Yale School of Music, culminating with an encore of "Dying Swan," and her Q & A sessions. Sara Lamb and Stephen McRae's performances of Titania and Oberon in Ashton's "The Dream" during the Royal Ballet's U.S. tour. David Hallberg for his Legacy Gala. All of the tributes, galas, obits, concerts and odes celebrating the life, art and legacy of Maya Plisetskaya and the Bolshoi Theatre's "Ave Maya" Memorial Galas held on November 20 & 21, 2015. The U.S. and Canadian tour of St. Peterburg's Eifman Ballet, and the presentation of Boris Eifman's work "Up and Down." The return of the Royal Ballet to the U.S. in a decade. Julio Bocca was appointed Artistic Director of Uruguay's National Ballet. Altynai Asylmuratova was appointed Artistic Director of the Astana Ballet in her native Kazhakstan, and Eleonora Abbagnato became Artistic Director of Rome Opera Ballet. Simone Mesmer's departure from San Francisco Ballet and relocation to Miami City Ballet as Principal Dancer. The emergence of Kristina Shapran as 1st soloist and the promotion of Oxana Skorik to Principal Dancer at the Mariinsky Ballet. The "Best Selfie-Gala" Award goes to weekend warrior co-Artistic Directors Roberto Bolle and Herman Cornejo for their marvelous performances with their renegade troupe BALLETNOW. The "Debut of the Year/No Pressure" Award goes to La Scala Academy Class of 2014 graduate, and former Vienna State Opera Ballet member, Jacopo Tissi for stepping in at the last tenth of a second of the 11th hour at La Scala to replace Dave Hallberg's replacement, (Sergei Polunin), as Ratmansky's Prince Desire vs. Svetlana Zakharova's Aurora in Ratmansky's "The Sleeping Beauty." Mariinsky Ballet 1st Soloist Xander Parish's first Benois de la Danse nomination for his Arminta in Ashton's "Sylvia and for going from strength to strength all year. The Bolshoi Ballet's Golden Mask sweep in the Ballet category with Jean Christophe-Maillot's "The Taming of the Shrew," with Ekaterina Krysanova's Golden Mask for Best Actress in Ballet, Vladislav Lantratov's Golden Mask for Best Actor in Ballet, and Best Ballet Production. The Royal Ballet's Stephen McRae's Bolshoi Theatre appearance as Albrecht in "Giselle," culminating in an epic series of entrechat six during the penultimate segment of the Act 2 grand pas de deux. *The BBC's documentary film "Bolshoi Babylon." Christopher Wheeldon's 2015 Tony Award coup d'état for "An American in Paris." The "Russian Movement Culture of the 1920s & 1930s International Symposium" lectures held at New York's Columbia University, Feb. 12 - Feb 14, 2015. The debut of Bolshoi principal Evgenia Obraztsova at the Met in her own right - and as a guest artist with ABT: Her Juliet vs. Herman Cornejo's Romeo in MacMillan's ballet on June 18. Alessandra Ferri coming out of retirement for Chris Wheeldon's "Woolf Works" at the Royal Ballet. The Mariinsky Ballet bringing the full-length "Raymonda" to the U.S. The best ballet conductor in the Mariinsky Theatre since the late, great Victor Fedotov: Gavriel Heine - Best Actor in a Play: 1) Benedict Cumberbatch's "Hamlet" at London's Barbicon. He's an excellent actor, but he was in front of the wrong ensemble, and in the wrong production. 2) The 2015 Tchaikovsky Competition Gold Medal and 1st Prize Winner - Piano, Dmitri Masleyev for his sweep of the rounds and final competition, as well as his Mariinsky Concert Hall debut recital on September 25. This young man is Vladimir Horowitz reborn. BACK TO TOPIC The Worst of 2015 *Kevin MacKenzie *Alexei Ratmansky's new production of "The Sleeping Beauty" at ABT and La Scala. The "Madame Celine Villeneuve-Desgoff und Taxis Wig" Award goes to Richard Hudson for the Queen's coiffure in the same production. The "I'll Pack My Own Wig, Ogromnoe Spasibo" Award - from Svetlana Zakharova to Richard Hudson for opting to wear her Bolshoi issue, baroque, powdered Act 3 Aurora wig at La Scala, rather than his creation in the same production. ABT's Music Director, Ornsby Wilkins, and staff conductors Charles Barker and David La Marche. Alastair Macaulay & the New York Times Vladimir Urin, General Director of the Bolshoi Theatre Cue the final "Jeopardy" game-show music: Urin's selection of Makhar Vaziev - and Vaziev's agreement to be the new figure-head/neutered director of the Bolshoi Ballet effective March 2016. Laura Bleiberg Hannah Weibiye The St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre's late summer performances of "Swan Lake" and "Bayadere" at the London Coliseum. The "Farewell Doesn't Really Mean 'Farewell' " Award goes to Julie Kent. "There's Not Enough 'There' There For the Both of Us" Award goes to A.D.s Helgi Tomasson and Kevin MacKenzie for bifurcating Maria Kochetkova between San Francisco Ballet and ABT as a Principal. Maria Kochetkova Carlos Acosta's production of "Don Quixote" for the Royal Ballet presented during the U.S. tour. La Scala's new production of "Cinderella," choreographed by Mauro Bigonzetti. Joy Womack Natalia Osipova Sergei Polunin Mathilda Froustey Sara Mearns The "Worst 'Black Swan' Imitation Reality TV Show' Award goes to Starz' cable series "Flesh and Bone." World Ballet Day's "worsts" included: Helgi Tomasson's "Giselle" Act 2 studio rehearsal at SFB, National Ballet of Canada's "re-think" and dress rehearsal of "Le Spectre de la Rose;" ABT's segment; "The 10 Minute Wolf-Whistle Award" goes to the Royal Ballet segment's host commentator, and the A.D.s of the Royal Ballet, Scottish Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, and Northern Ballet Theatre (Manchester) for choosing to focus and comment solely on the A.D. of English National Ballet's physical appearance, shoes and attire, and not what she was trying to tell the global online audience about her company's current programme, schedule and future plans. "Best Geo-block of the Year" Award goes to Buenos Aires' Teatro Colon, for their blank livestreaming of Ashton's "Sylvia" on August 28. The San Francisco Ballet's Spring marathon of Helgi Tomasson's "Romeo & Juliet." *BBC's documentary "Bolshoi Babylon:" Specifically, the 'Mr. Abramov - Clacquer Extraodinaire' & Maria Allash segments, and Urin's pathetic smack downs of Filin during the Theatre Board meeting and later, in front of the company. The promotions of Timur Askerov to Principal Dancer and Sofia Skoblikova to 2nd Soloist at the Mariinsky Ballet. The retirements of: Sylvie Guillem, Auriele Dupont, Paloma Herrera & Xiomara Reyes The passing of: Maya Plisetskaya, Willfried Poillet, Shelley King, Colette Marchand, Mary Clarke, Johann Renvall, Albert Evans, Katherine Walker, Maggie Black, Dudley Williams, Jonathan Ollivier, Daniel Levins, David Drew, Yolanda Sonnabend, and Bryony Brind. The "Drive-By Memorial Award" goes to the Bolshoi Theatre's Board of Trustees and management for the Hobbit-sized tripod, microscopic paragraph, little portrait, off the beaten path, around the corner, by the stage door Plisetskaya display. This Lilliputian tribute stood outside for a few days after the initial news of her death. It if had been inside the foyer of the Theatre, one could have tripped over it. The "I'm More Orthodox Than Thou" Award goes to General Director of the Mikhailovsky Theatre, Vladimir Kehkman, for unseating former Novosibirsk Theatre of Opera and Ballet General Director, Boris Mezdrich, by ranting in the Russian media about alleged blasphemy (committed by Mezdrich), re the new production of the opera "Tannhauser." The result is that Kehkman is now General Director of both the Mikhailovsky and Novosibirsk Theatres. The "Fifty Shades of Vanya" Award goes to Ivan Vasiliev and his wife, Bolshoi Leading Soloist, Maria Vinogradova for their photo spread in Tatler Russia's February 2015 edition. The "Apple Watch Dance Program Series Award," (1st edition), goes to Diana Vishneva for "Twenty," and everything that came with it, specifically: The Russian media's over sated and saturated coverage, the House of Tatyana Parfionova Photo Exhibits (that's plural), the Nike Russia 'Nike Women' ads, the group-raising campaign for the pending documentary "Pivotal Pointe," and her performance of "Giselle" at the Mariinsky Theatre on April 28. The "Alexander Dugin & Igor Girkin Performing Arts Empire" Award goes to Maestro Valery Gergiev, for annexing Vladivostok and that city's Primorsky Theatre of Opera and Ballet making it his fourth Mariinsky franchise. The "We Blinked And Missed Your Season" Award - from the Russian Theatre Union's Golden Mask Jury Panel to Maestro Gergiev & Yuri Fateyev, for the Mariinsky Theatre's now disturbingly annual, and increasingly conspicuous absence of competitive offerings in the Ballet/Contemporary Dance & Opera categories. This has become something of a trend in recent years compared with numerous nominations and winners from other major (and lesser) Russian theatres. The "Thanks For Your Participation - Now Get Out" Award from the creator, producers and managers of St. Petersburg's 2015 Dance Open to their winners for failing to have statuettes for them to take home last year.
  11. Cygnet

    Olga Smirnova

    Congratulations to the Bolshoi Ballet's newest prima! Brava Olga
  12. I agree that I too would like to see Yermakov get the role, but the odds are that he probably won't get it. I think I can guess who Parasha will be on opening night. I'll be surprised if it's not she.
  13. I'm so sad to learn of her passing. Bryony, RIP.
  14. This is true. Also, in the Mariinsky, (and the Bolshoi), one can be benched i.e. barely if ever cast or 'packed' for tours, and in some cases permanently. Furthermore, it doesn't matter how high one's rank.
  15. Here's Yulia Yangurazova (Stepanova) as Zarema and Evgenia Obraztsova as Masha (Vainonen) at last night's gala: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wt24zsuGhsU. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhD9TRdfNnM
  16. I'm so sorry to hear of her passing. May she RIP.
  17. My thoughts and prayers are with Paris and the French people.
  18. Pardon me, but how is it that Stepanova-Yangurazova and Vorontsova are on the programme at all given the backstory of both? The former is an extremely new hire. The latter( (was) a controversial figure re the recent history of the Bolshoi Theatre. Secondly, how is it that Evgenia Obraztsova wasn't given one of the two Kitris, or the Aurora Act 3 variation, but Masha? Apparently, her's is not to reason why, her's ... well you know the rest.
  19. This "Bolero" was filmed in 1975. She was 50.
  20. With respect to Zakharova, I believe she is de facto PBA of the Bolshoi Theatre and La Scala per managements' casting preferences. I'd also say that Lopatkina is de facto PBA of the Mariinsky Theatre because of her comparable stature in Russia and abroad, as Zakharova also has in Russia and abroad. The people love them both because they stay close to home and their respect for tradition. Of the two, I think Lopatkina is the current national icon. That said, I'm ITA with cubanmiamiboy's, mashinka's and volcanohunter's comments.
  21. I'll go on record to say, that I highly doubt he will rock the boat and overcome the entrenched conservatism against reconstructions there. I do not doubt that he will bring his main protégée. I'll be shocked if he doesn't.
  22. The Mariinsky's Sergeyev production of "Raymonda" is large scale, Petipa grand ballet in three Acts, so it 'reads' best in a standard sized, garden variety opera house or a large theatre with a large stage to do it justice. Kennedy Center can present it in it's full glory. BAM could present them in it but the corps would have to be de-populated, and some of the scenery either reduced or left at home. If they wanted to produce just Act 3's Grand pas by itself, that would work at BAM.
  23. Uliana is simply peerless, magical, divine... I'm speechless. Brava Uli!
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