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Everything posted by Ostrich

  1. The schedule for June, at least, seems to be up, but does anyone know why I can't buy tickets on the Mariinsky.ru official site? Specifically I actually want tickets for the Vaganova graduate performance https://www.mariinsky.ru/en/playbill/playbill/?year=2016&month=6
  2. The Russian news reports that Tsiskaridze's flat has allegedly been broken into. Maybe someone who does not have to rely on Google translate can give better insight into what this short article reports: http://news.mail.ru/incident/12434661/?frommail=1&social=fb
  3. Interestingly, Ilyaballet on Youtube has been asked whether he uses slow motion to observe his students, and claimed that he does. I can' recall on which of his clips this is, but definitely on one of his many Bolshoi school videos.
  4. Regarding the slow-motion, I understand that it may bother people, watching, say, Don Q and not seeing the expected sequence of steps to the music, so as to accommodate a slow-motion leap, but otherwise I think it was a brilliant idea. For non-dancers, or people not used to watching ballet much/at all, the slow motion shows up what the dancer is ACTUALLY doing. An untrained eye just isn't able to see the complexity and technical accomplishment at full speed. A friend of mine actually confirmed it when she took her non-ballet loving family to see it and they picked out those moments as most impressive. And shall I admit it...I think slow-motion ballet is just GORGEOUS (I do it often with my DVDs - of course only the most accomplished dancers can be slowed down and still look great)
  5. Many years ago I remember seeing a programme called "Bolshoi Behind the Scenes", in which I remember Leonid Lavrovsky described how his Romeo and Juliet was created as a response to the tragedy of the Second World War. BTW, I am dying to find those programmes again - I remember at least 2, with all the soviet 'stars' - Liepa, Semenyaka, Bessmertnova, Mukhamedov, etc. - interviewed and dancing.
  6. Well, never having been to Stuttgart, I shouldn't be giving advice here, but it is sometimes possible to phone the theatre directly and ask them to put you on a waiting list for a cancelled ticket, or alternatively queue at the theatre on the night of the performance in the hopes that someone cancels one on the night. But, as I say, whether that works at Stuttgart I wouldn't know.
  7. A fairly obviouse place where use of the eyes becomes important is when Siegfried runs after the swans, following their flight with his hand and eyes. Some dancers are content to let the hand do the work, but others really see the swans, so much that you want to glance behind you to see them yourself! And in Giselle, of course, the mad scene is where a dancer who uses the eyes stands out. I'll never forget seeing a picture of Ulanova, I'm sure you all know it, where she's crouching fairly near the front of the sateg, busy plucking the imaginary flower. Her hair isn't disarranged, her body isn't spastic and wild, but I knew, from seeing the lost, bewildered eyes that the girl had lost it. Later, when I saw her in Giselle on film for the first time, my impression from the photo was confirmed.
  8. Yes, if he dances lead roles he would probably be a principal, or perhaps a leading soloist. No, he wouldn't have to audition, the roles would probably be assigned to him by senior management/artistic staff, possibly by the artistic director. He would probably not be the only one dancing the role - most major companies have at least 2 casts performing the same roles. Difficult to say how far in advance the roles are assigned and how long the rehearsals will take. It depends on the company, the ballet, whether it is a new choreography or one the dancers are familir with. Two months isn't unreasonable, but it can be more than that, or less. However, there are so many details which can be 'pitfalls' if you don't know them (and we can't possibly warn you against them all, as we don't know what you are writing), that i suggest you follow the advice of previous posters and chat to a dancer. It may also be a very good idea if you can find a dancer willing to read your story to check on the details. For example, is your dancer attending his daily (morning) class??
  9. I was four when I saw my first ballet. It was some ballet school production, a fantasy ballet with a crocodile in it (Peter Pan maybe?). My mom explained to me, when I wanted to know what those funy gong sounds were before the show started, that it meant everyone had to go to their seats otherwise they'd miss the show. Now, in the interval, I needed the bathroom. While I was sitting, the bell sounded, and in my panic that I'd miss the second half I fell into the toilet! Children differ a lot regarding the age when they can be taken to see live theatre. Generally kids with longer concentration spans and the ability to sit still for a while can be taken earlier. My little sister sat as good as gold through Madame Butterfly at age 4(although we did leave before the last act finished)! I remeber that, although there was no 'rule' regarding age limit, my mom had great trouble persuading the ushers to let her in. A ballet that is not appropriate for young children, but that I often see a lot of kids at, is Sleeping Beauty. It is too long for most young children, and although they usually love fairies, there are just too many of them in Sleeping Beauty! Cinderella can be a lot of fun for kids, though. It's definitely better to tell kids the story beforehand and explain that talking isn't allowed in the theatre, but if they are getting bored, especially in long classical scenes, I don't think it hurts to point out things to them that can hold their interest.
  10. I think the 2007 stage version is an improvement over the original(which I last saw years ago)- the story seems tighter and less rambling. The quality is lovely and crisp. Stephen McRae is really a fantastic Squirrel Nutkin. They have lost none of the charm of the original, but made it move faster. The Two Bad Mice and Jeremy Fisher are my favourite scenes - full of humour and so convincingly done, even on stage!
  11. Doesn't it sometomes make you feel terrible when one watches a dancer who shares one's age(or even exact birthday) and think to yourself, "Why can't I do that???"
  12. What about the 'Pretty Snowflakes' by Shirley Evans? Or is that part of what you are sparing us in your description? ;)
  13. I wouldn't know anything about the claim of the Moscow Classical Ballet to be one of the only 3 state supported ballet companies in Russia. I have been told, however, that every ballet company of a certain standard and 'pedigree' is awarded the title 'state academic', which the Moscow Classical Ballet isn't. It is supposed to be some sort of offiicial stamp of approval, or at least that is my understanding. So it seems strange that the government is willing to support a company without this. Hold on... I just did a search and find that it comes up with Moscow Classical Ballet, Moscow State Classical Ballet and Moscow State Academic Classical Ballet - now what??? Anyway, I did see the Moscow Classical Ballet on 2 occasions. The first time was about 8 years back and they delivered a technically very, very secure performance. The second time, about 6 years back, the standard seemed to have slipped. My complaints were mostly style and personality-related though - their technical prowess was still astounding. But who knows if it was the same company bart saw? And if it is based at the Kremlin, when at home, where does the Kremlin Ballet go?
  14. I'm a cancer too - can I get Nikolai Tsiskaridze (Capricorn)?
  15. Hans, how does the use of the foot differ in the battement tendu? I'm guessing metatarsal use??
  16. Reading the title of the post, I momentarily thought they were guesting together in the same performance and I thought ??? I've never seen the POB Nutcracker -I assume it is quite different from the Bolshoi's version?
  17. Dancers are usually very good at handling the unexpected on stage. I have seen dancers carry on when their music stopped unexpectedly, when their partner was injured, when costume disasters occur and a host of other problems. And dancers do usually have very good memories for the choreography. In adition to muscle memory, he musical cues help a lot (and of course, I like to think that dancers are just smarter than average ). Also, most dancers can improvise so beautifully - even with a partner - that you'd never guess if you didn't know the choreography beforehand. Sometimes the moment of shock on the face gives it away, but dancers are so trained not to show stress, pain or shock that they can usually hide it very well. I can't recall ever seeing a professional dancer loose the choreography completely (students, yes). I have admired how they handled a host of other situations, though. I remember once seeing Alexandrova in a gala in South Africa. As she did her supported pirouettes, a very large pearl flew off her costume and landed in the centre front of the stage, right where the next dancer doing en menage turns was sure to slip on it. When she took her bow, she moved towards the pearl, sunk into a deep curtsey, picked it up and flicked it away to the edge of the stage as she recovered.
  18. Ostrich, Where can I see Osipenko's Odile on video? My mistake, I meant Alla Mikhailchenko! Why do these girl's names have to rhyme?? Zakharova, Makarova, Osipova, Novikova.....
  19. On video, Alla Osipenko is pretty scary.
  20. I Googled him but didn't come up with anything other than South African results - that is very, very interesting (I've seen his sets on stage for years - did they never write a bio of his career in the programmes or did I never read it?) I deciphered the surname of the lucky original owner of the book - Cohen. The name is either Sonny or Jonny Cohen.
  21. Yes, she signs herself like that in my book too. The book is in very good condition, with a good dustjacket, the only problem is that someone (who probably treasured the book a lot) covered it in plastic and has left yellowing sticky tape marks on the inside. Most of the autographs in the book are preceded by a little message, all addressed to 'Sonny'. Does anyone know who that could be? They thank him for a 'great stay'. I assume this was a stay in South Africa, since that is where the book turned up and it is also autographed by Peter Cazalet, South African set designer. I don't think he was ever part of the Royal Ballet.
  22. I recently picked up a first edition copy of Baron's Ballet Finale at a charity store and discovered that it has something like 40 signatures of Royal Ballet dancers from 1958(which is also when the book was published) in it! Signatures include those of Margot Fonteyn, Kenneth MacMillan, Michael Somes, Desmond Doyle, John Gilpin, Belinda Wright, Alexander Grant, Antoinette Sibley, Ronald Hynd, Doreen Wells, Georgina Parkinson, Anette Page, Maryon Lane, Brian Shaw, and others. I am not going to sell it, but I am interested in its possible value - I have established on abebooks.com that the book itself ranges in price from about $10.00 to $75. Anyone have an idea how the signatures might affect the price?
  23. Can't remember when I last posted so - ping!
  24. Galina Ulanova. Actually, I fell in love with her from pictures first, but my first experiences of seeing her on film justified my infatuation. How I envy anyone who saw her live...
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