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Everything posted by chiapuris

  1. Χρόνια Πολλά και καλές γιορτές ! [Merry Christmas!]
  2. By sheer luck, I viewed all of the SB acts because i was curious to see Nacho Duato as 'classical' choreographer. I think all the observations of the viewers are accurate. Generally I concur with Natalia's comment that chopping Tchaikovsky's score is the cardinal sin of the production. i liked the costumes and the sets (whose name escapes me). The reporter who cited 'eye candy' was right on the mark. The Mikhailovsky dancers are first rate. Some I'd like to cite are the three gorgeous fairies in the third act as well as the 'brown clad' male dancer, spectacular and nameless. Others of note are Florine and the Bluebird, brilliant in blue, brilliant in sensuous partnering. Nacho Duato sincerely put a lot of work in. The vision scene probably needs some work (At least the panorama gets in). The variations seem musically adept. But no mazurka? BTW did the composer name the Rose Adagio? On the principals: Sarafanov brought nothing for me to the vision scene. Zakharova, beautiful and glamorous, sought luster to her international career,and Borchenko, made me to wish her in Petipa choreography.
  3. Oh. Thank you for pointing it out, Helene. I wish I had known of it before I wrote.
  4. I'm curious, has anyone seen the HD Film of Esmeralda? Just asking.....,,,,
  5. La Esmerada Bolshoi Theatre HD Music Cesare Pugni [Diana and Acteon divert. choreo by A. Vaganova was inserted sometimes by the Maryinsky from the ballet Le Roi Candaule] Reconstruction Yuri Burlaka/ Denis Medvedev Book Jules Perrot Esmeralda Maria Alexandrova Gringoire Denis Savin Gypsy Iulianna Malkhasiants Frolo Alexei Loparevich Phoebus Ruslan Skvortsov Fleur de Lys Ekaterina Krysanova Diana Anastasia Stashkevich Actaeon V. Lopatin First performed by Her Majesty's Theatre, London, March 9, 1844 Lots of corps de ballet dancing throughout all acts . The Tuesday before Thanksgiving, the Bolshoi presented the Sleeping Beauty (HD Theater) -Sure David Halberg was great, but the sets were awful.The Sleeping Beauty is Tchaikovsky's greatest ballet; Grigorovich was chopping the score as if it were a Reader's Digest version., We received Grigorovich "lite". Shame. This week the Bolshoi brought the HD of Esmeralda. I found it gratifying and luxuriously displayed. The sets formed a coherent historical space, and the costumes were visually vibrant and urbane, and the dancers, oh my, the dancers danced their hearts out. Osipova and Vasiliev were not there, but the dancers that were there displayed treasures, --cornucopias that feasted the eyes and the senses- act after act and scene after scene, until Pugni brought the melodrama to its emotional peak. The narrative afforded the serial display one after the other: the crowd and its concern, the protagonist(s) in intimacy, act after act. It was a visual pleasure to see the first act starting with the "court of miracles", the pickpockets, and the beggars, the bohemians and the students and the orphan Esmeralda and her encounters with the two men in her life, Gringoire, the poet, and the captain Phoebus de Chateaupers, as well as the malice of Frollo the priest, and Quasimodo the bell-ringer. The following scene is Esmeralda's sleeping room, a small vaulted chamber, somewhere next to Notre Dame cathedral. Alexandrova was superb in it, expressing her joy of living as well as her sympathy to the poet, who rescued him from hanging in exchange of his betrothal, and her sudden crush for the captain with whom he begged him for a sash of his as a keepsake. Savin as Gringoire shared her quarters, but not her bed, besotten by her and worried on how he's going to learn dancing to keep up with Esmeralda, rather than reciting poems. Savin's altogether a sympathetic character. The second act (after 25 minutes which was entertaining and informative through the press officer-Novikova-) relied on the reconstruction, as Medvedev stated, on the 1890 Petipa Mariinsky Sergeyev notes which provided the floor plans- but not the choreography. Medvedev had to replace the steps. (Presumably Burlaka devised the Perrot mime which initially had been produced in London in 1844). The second act is the Petipa blockbuster which provides the preparations for the marriage of Fleur de Lys and Phoebus with cdb and demi-soloists, a pas de six for Esmeralda (Alexandrova, Savin, and four demi-soloists) and to boot, Diana and Actaeon and eight cdb. [see note above]. Bravo Burlaka-- Bravo Medvedev! Whether ersatz or echt choreography, I truly enjoyed it. I truly enjoyed with Krysanova and Skvortsov and the demi-soloists (I think I spied Alizade and Kobakhidze ). There is never a time I haven't enjoyed Krysanova--- when I first saw her in Sleeping Beauty (fairy) in 2004 and then in 2005, when she won the junior silver) ( and Osipova the junior bronze). Splendid display. The Esmeralda pas de six was brilliant for the fact that Savin was as good as the other five. Stashkevich and Lopatin were athletic and dashing as the mythological Vaganova couple. While my compass imagined--and compared-- Terekhova and Berezhnoi throughout the score, I found Lopatin brilliant and virile but lacking some little iconic steps. Stashkevich is astonishing. The third act reverses the first act: the first scene is in Esmeralda's chamber where Phoebus gains entrance after Fleur de Lys breaks up with him; (she has woven the sash which Esmeralda wears). After a passionate pdd that gains intimacy from the confines of the stone walls, the lovers unite. At the moment Phoebus lies with Esmeralda on the stone bed, Frollo comes in and stabs him and exits. Esmeralda seeks help for Phoebus. The police come to arrest Esmeralda for murder. Frollo saw her. The final act takes place by the banks of the Seine with a prison on the right and the towers of Notre Dame nearby. A crowd builds because the execution of Esmeralda is going to take place. In the meanwhile a procession of truands bring on the king of fools: Quasimodo is dressed in royal robe and crown. Eventually Esmeralda is led to the execution.The musical agitation grows ever wider. Esmeralda sees Gringoire who is instructed to see that she is buried next to Phoebus' sash. Frollo defrocks Quasimodo of his royal robe.The agitation grows when suddenly appears .................Phoebus! He is well! In his hand he holds a scroll which he gives to a policeman. The policeman tells the crowd that Frollo is the murderer and not Esmeralda. Frollo flees; Quasimodo stabs him in the back. APOTHEOSIS. BRAVO BRAVO BRAVO
  6. Rest in peace, Andrea. My memories of you are of serenity and grace.
  7. Raymonda 14-10-11 lLa Scala Choreography Marius Petipa 1898 Reconstruction Sergei Vikharev Research Pavel Gershenzon Libretto Lidia Pashkova and Marius Petipa Set design Orest Allegri, Piotr Lambin, Konstantin Ivanov 1898 Costumes Ivan Vsevoloski 1898 RAYMONDA Olesya Novikova JEAN DE BRIENNE Friedemann Vogel ABDERAKHMAN Mick Zeni HENRIETTE Antonella Albano CLEMENCE Petra Conti Conductor Mikhail Jurowski ------------------------------------------------ The second viewing of Raymonda was all-together a time to relax; thumbs up or thumbs down?--- the hurried anticipation of a premiere was over. At least in my mind...... and likewise our foreign correspondent’s mind: it’s a hit. So the second time around there’s nothing to do but to relax and enjoy. Our seats, ten rows from the orchestra, were acoustically ideal. The first night’s box seats, rather near the orchestra, missed visually the upstage right, where certain entrances take place. La Scala box seats are narrow. Sometimes you have to crane the neck to view the entire stage.The couple who had stools in our box had to share a space by standing up next to the stool. (There are only two high-priced chairs per box). The orchestra (platea) seats seem better. I enjoyed the full-toned music from there. The first act, with its first scene, started with a tableau of mime to set the actors with their milieu. Then the introduction of the protagonist and some four variations. My companions felt that Novikova fared even better tonight than the premiere evening. The first act and its second scene sets the vision scene properly as a prologue within a narrative whose raison d’etre gives the substance of the White Lady’s mission: noblesse oblige or some such thing. Here Raymonda becomes aware of her destiny in the magical garden that the White Lady fore-ordains as she tells her: ‘Look and see what awaits you’. Firstly, the crusader Jean de Brienne and Glory, and the Knights,and their Celestial Maidens and the golden palms, and the flower-strewn maids and girls in swirls and in pairs. Secondly, the antinomial Other, all swagger and power , he of the exotic Otherland. As the synopsis writes, ‘The frightful vision disappears along with the White Lady’. Mick Zeni, by the way , is splendid as Abderakhman. The second act fulfills Raymonda’s cour d’amour and the prophetic entry of Abderakhman and his retinue. Raymonda with her red tutu dances her entre-chat quatres sur les pointes......... thirty in all. Clemence and Henriette (Francesca Podini and MariaFrancesca Garritano in the premiere performance) were different dancers tonight. Both are extremely likable.(their names on top)
 The third act of the Hungarian banquet and wedding is my favorite. The joyful cacophony of colors in the ensembles,and the veritable individuality of humankind warm and wake the senses.
Novikova in the pas classique is glorious. Bravi to all participants. Mikhail Jurowski led the orchestra in Glazunov’s bright ballet. Still no flowers offered during curtain calls. Am i missing a tradition? jc
  8. Eric, I asked about different language edition, they told me the synopsis was in english (pp. 10-11). Even some titles are in French but the texts are in Italian.
  9. Let me be plain with you...I loved the reconstruction of Vikharev and colleagues. Raymonda the ballet, makes sense as a narrative, makes sense as a dance, makes sense as a multi-scene production. Petipa lives. The Petipa production of 1896 glowed through the transmutation of Vikharev’s reconstruction. Olesya Novikova is the personification of elegance as Raymonda. No one so far as I know, since Pierina Legnani, has done changements sautes sur les pointes but ,never......entre-chat quatres sautes sur les pointes as Novikova does in the pizzicatto on Tuesday 11 October at the premier at La Scala. Frankly it was an overwhelming experience. I shall never forget it. (did the Harvard notes indicate entre-chat quatres?) The earlier full- length productions of Raymonda so far, have tried to eclectically pick and choose musical, choreographic, and dramatic moments and combine them. They miss.(Except for the Balanchine reminiscence of the Hungarian wedding cortege). The story gets botched, the main ideas, say, dream verses reality gets botched,and dances follow the musical score willy nilly get botched. Nothing but shambles. Vikharev’s reconstruction is elegant, the scenes follow the narrative, the costumes revivify the milieu and the atmosphere, and the universe is teeming with humanity: the Vitruvian human, the aged, and, by far, the young. One is impressed with the dozens and dozens of the La Scala academy boys and girls who inhabit the dreams and realities of the narrative of the scenes within the acts of Raymonda. Bravi to them and to their teachers! One is also impressed with the achievement of the ballet artists of all rank of La Scala. The soloists of Henriette, Clemence, Bernard and Beranger, the White Lady and Abderrakhman are noteworthy. Bravi. Particularly intense was the performance of the saracen, with strong lines and passion. Of the guest artists, Friedemann Vogel, is a flawless partner and earned a variation with cabrioles en avant in the wedding scene. Kudos for Olesya Novikova for all the variations (I’ll count them on the 14th) but more for the transcendent grand pas classique which I liked unreservedly. For myself, the tutus for the principals grew to my liking more and more--- I liked the luscious star-strewn red tutu and the Hungarian pink tutu with green vest and three-feathered red hat. The conductor led the orchestra on a gorgeous musical journey. I was struck that no-one offered any flowers to anyone, especially to Novikova, at the curtain call, She deserved them. 
Is that la Scala tradition? Until my next performance, Friday 14 October. jc
  10. Congratulations for your book, Catherine! I couldn't put it down until I finished it. It is well-written, probing, and thoughtful. I look forward to a leisurely reading of it. Again, my congratulations and look forward--why not-- to a second book!
  11. FYI- The Academy of Russian Classical Ballet located in Novi, Michigan is presenting a recital titled ‘Stars of the Russian Ballet Gala’ on 8 -27-11. The presenters, Sergey and Jessica Rayevskiy, presented a similar recital last year. In the 2010 performance, there were dancers from the Maryinski Ballet, but this year their visas were denied. Instead, this program will present Daniel Simkin from ABT, Maria Kochetkova, and Gennadi Nedvigin from San Francisco Ballet, Joseph Phillips of ABT and Ana Sophia Scheller of NYCB. Also appearing, will be Patricia Zhou of Canton, and Haley Schwan of Howell, each of whom recently won the Lausanne competition. Ms. Zhou has been promoted as apprentice with the Royal Ballet, and Ms. Schwan with the Berlin Staatsballet. The Rayevskiy’s, presenters,..... “began the workshop in 2008, motivated to help ballet students in Michigan experience the ballet world.” “There aren’t tremendous opportunities for students in Michigan..” they said....”we wanted to find some ways to help them and to move on to other places”. Other promises the presenters gave were.....” solos, pas de deux and scenes from the great 19th century repertoire (think Swan Lake and Giselle and Dying Swan) as well as contemporary classics as Balanchine’s Tchaikovsky’s Pas de Deux and Les Bourgeois,[sic???] a work immortalized on ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ by ABT superstar Daniel Simkin”. Tickets are $24 to $56 plus $10 processing fee per ticket for TicketMaster. The performance will take place at the University of Michigan Power Center at 7 am.
(The article appeared in ’ Ann Arbor.com’ by S Isaacs NIsbett).
  12. FYI For those interested in the 1898 Petipa reconstructed (Vikharev) Raymonda, I received by post the tickets I had ordered on the 27th july on the La Scala website. it took exactIly one week. I opted for the premiere , the 11th of Oct and the 14th
  13. I just purchased tickets from La Scala on their website for Raymonda Oct 11 and Oct 14! Hooray!
  14. Natalia, I just checked the website of La Scala and the premiere was listed for the 11, 14, 25, 27 for Raymonda, I planned two perfs. on the 11 and 14, securing them on july 27 as stated. Any info up and coming? jc
  15. have been out of contact for the last couple of months but I am looking forward to restarting my communication with everyone again. On December 15, 2010 I suffered a stroke which primarily affected my speech/language and my left arm and leg. I returned home on February 22, 2011 from an inpatient hospital acute rehabilitation program (after initial inpatient hospitalization and then sub-acute rehabilitation in different locations). I have been participating in physical, occupational and speech/ therapies since the end of December. We are told that the progress I have made in these last two months indicates further recovery over the next six months to a year. I can walk now with a cane (or a walker for longer distances) and I can use my left hand/arm to about 80% of my ability previous to stroke….. We missed the trip we had planned to Paris, to see two Swan Lakes in Bastille and a performance of Pina Baush's 'Sacre' in Garnier due to my hospital stays. Oh well…. For the next few months I will continue my intensive physical and speech therapies, with the goal of attending the reconstruction of Raymonda at La Scala in Milan……. from John ('chiapuris')
  16. Thanks for posting this Natalia! Hope to see you there! I've never been to La Scala. Every year I've been hoping to see Raymonda at the Mariinsky Festival. It doesn't look like it's ever going to happen there. (Especially a reconstruction of it).
  17. Paul Taylor Dance Company Ann Arbor, Michigan (Performances at Power Center, Oct. 7, 8, 9) Last Friday I saw the second scheduled performance of the PTDC presented by the University of Michigan Musical Society. The performances were part of a week's residency, which included the UM Dance Dept. students learning (during the current term) Paul Taylor's Le Sacre de Printemps (The Rehearsal) for a matinee family performance, as well as a lecture and a panel discussion, and a master class taught by former PT dancer Dan Wagoner. The Friday performance included Orbs (1966) and Also Playing (2009). Before the performance was the panel discussion called Then and Now: Restaging/Reviving Paul Taylor. The panel was led by Angela Kane (U-M Professor and Chair of Dance) Clement Crisp (Dance Writer, Financial Times UK), John Tomlinson (Managing Director of PTDC), Eileen Cropley and Dan Wagoner (former dancers of PTDC) and Bettie de Jong (PTDC Rehearsal Director and former dancer). Angela Kane is also on the staff of the PTDC as Company Historian. The hour-long panel discussion was very interesting for explaining how the work which had been dormant for more than a decade (more later on this) was revived through the work of the three dancers who were in the original cast: Cropley, de Jong and Wagoner. Paul Taylor only saw it for finishing touches. Clement Crisp was on the panel because he saw (and found it a work of the first order) in its initial appearance, so PTDC wanted to know whether the revival, first seen last Friday, matched with his memories of the original. Another interesting bit that came out of the panel discussion was when someone posed the question about teaching Paul Taylor technique as a way of preserving for the future the works on which it is based. The response from the panelists was that there is no such thing as "Taylor technique" that can be taught in classes. Mr. Taylor himself calls it a "style". Essentially the intensive classes feature the learning of blocs of choreography-- those who pick it up speedily and accurately have the 'technique' necessary for the job, whether they come from a classical dance background or any other background. In the UMS program I noted that on the page of the Paul Taylor Dance Foundation, Inc. under The Taylor School it states:"Taylor style and repertoire classes are held throughout the year, taught by former and current Taylor Company members." Orbs premiered in 1966 and was danced to Beethoven's Last Quartets, Op. 127, 130, 133. In Paul Taylor's autobiography he writes that Clive Barnes after opening night called it an "epic masterpiece". After looking up as much as I could, I found out on the internet an article of Anna Kisselgoff (April 14, 1982) which discusses the first revival of the work, whose subject was 'God and the universe' and the nature of humankind. The ambitious work was for Kisselgoff…"one of those grand successful failures that any choreographer encounters in his career". Kisselgoff's writes that in the climate of the 60s, the work initially was accused by some as being balletic, when, actually, what it reflected, in her view, was Taylor's heritage from the Martha Graham texts (read Appalachian Spring). So that brings me to the performance. Beethoven's last quartets seemed to me the farthest possible stretch from musique dansante. My concern, as I sat down for the performance, was that I would look and listen carefully for any dance behavior that was not consonant with its musical partner. I found none. The dancers performing as the Sun, four planets and four moons were found in the environments of a Venusian Spring, a Martian Summer, a Terrestrial Autumn and a Plutonian Winter. And that included a rubber turkey used as a prop in the terrestrial environment during the Harvest Farce. The work, close to an hour and a half, was absorbing, beautifully danced, and a worthy partner to its music. Paul Taylor is a genius. As Arlen Croce wrote of the work: "(like his Orbs, which made Beethoven quartets sound like Taylor music)". Also Playing, of 2009, is danced to Donizetti overtures, and has fun with the mannerisms of ballet, ethnic dancing, and the assorted goings-on of vaudevillians, to whom it is dedicated… "especially those who went on no matter what". Saturday night's program included the poignant Black Tuesday (2001), the spine-chilling The Word (1998), and the moody Piazzola Caldera (1997). The dancers, without exception, are top-notch.
  18. I read it rather quickly as soon as I found it on D. McLennan's ArtsJournal. It pays re-reading more carefully. Here's a quote from it that I found interesting: "Occasionally, balletomania sounds distressingly close to pornography. Dancers matter less than choreography, and no dancer can transcend trash choreography - though some can release the most engaging aspects of trash."
  19. What I remember most about A la Francaix, (in performances at the City Center in the fifties), is that it was danced downstage in the foreground, like a vaudeville skit, back and forth in a two-dimensional way, without the use of the upstage. What I don't recall is whether there was a curtain that cut off the larger stage space. In memory this seems to be so. Memory can be unreliable. I found the music charming ( Serenade for Small Orchestra -1934- by Jean Francaix) with its strong suggestions of music hall. The dancers were always top-notch. I remember Maria Tallchief in it, and Jillana. And always Andre Eglevsky. There is no other Balanchine like it. Light-hearted and meant to bring chuckles.
  20. Than you for posting it Leonid. The angle of the videographer made the execution of the choreography particularly interesting.
  21. Current reading: 1) Justice What's the right thing to do? by Michael Sandel Based on one of the most popular courses at Harvard, dealing with the big questions of political philosophy. My book club's current choice; we discuss it next Sunday. Almost finished with it. 2) The Girl who Played with Fire a novel by Stieg Larsson The second volume of the trilogy dealing with abuse of women in modern society; the first volume is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. My reading during the London trip to see the Bolshoi and the Mikhailovsky companies. Halfway through it. 3) Naming Infinity A true story of religious mysticism and mathematical creativity by Loren Graham and Jean-Michel Kantor A fascinating story of a heretical sect of the Russian Orthodox church called Name Worshipping, and its effects on the famous Moscow School of Mathematics and its work on the nature of infinity - leading to the founding of descriptive set theory. The Name Worshipping sect had started at the Russian St. Pantaleimon monastery on Mount Athos, Greece in early 20th c. Started reading it in London. Halfway through it.
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