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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    avid balletgoer
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    Moscow / Russian Federation
  1. Hi Hannah, here a few links to pics of Dmitriy Belogolovtsev http://www.bolshoi.ru/ru/theatre/ballet_tr...6=info&id26=126 http://www.bolshoi.org/stars/belogolovtsev/photo-eng.htm http://www.bolshoi.net/photos/brajnikov/page-anton.htm dachnitsa
  2. Thank you for your posting - it's always interesting to see, how differently the same performance can appear sometimes. The people who accompanied me at the performance seconded my opinion. Make-up on Anna's legs is a possible explanation (even if I never saw that before). Despite of that the fact remains that he DID "fling" her over his shoulder! Admittedly these are extremely demanding lifts, but they still have to appear soft and fluid. Especially in the third act, Matvienko had his difficulties holding Anna, therefore setting her down rather rudely. There was no sign of the tenderness with which (the otherwise impetuous) Spartacus should IMHO have treated his adored wife. As for missed movements: You will have noticed that Matvienko stumbled more than once, sometimes lacked timing in the pdd, and some turns and jumps were cut off prematurely. His gestures (mainly in the monologues and the recruiting of the shepherds) were scant at most. But then maybe that's just his interpretation of the role ... Don't get me wrong, I'm far from saying Matvienko is a poor dancer, but for me and my fellows in this very performance he's been mediocre at best. I still wonder why on earth he didn't chose another role for his debut, one he feels really at ease with. It's a pity he isn't listed as prince Desiré on January 12th anymore - I'd have loved to read your review. dachnitsa
  3. Spartacus, 30th of December cast Spartacus – Denis Matvienko Crassus – Alexander Volchkov Phrygia – Anna Antonicheva Aegina – Nadezhda Gracheva As other board members agreed with me in the recent poll, Spartacus is the toughest full evening ballet for a male principal. IMHO not the best choice to make a debut with a company such as the Bolshoi - in the case of Denis Matvienko it was a very unwise decision. I didn’t expect him to fulfil the role as Irek Mukhamedov did (this would be more than unfair) but I expected to see at least an average performance of the winner of the grand prix of the 10th Moscow International Ballet Competition. Unfortunately he did not succeed in this: there were too many insecurities, missed movements, bad timing… Ok, some jumps and turnings were quite good but nothing spectacular. The worst were the pdd – he just slung Anna on his shoulder as if she were a potatoe-bag… she had big dark-red marks on her legs after the pdd in the third act - oh, how I was pitying her! Hard to believe, but the rest of the evening was more than fine: Anna (especially in her soli) was a sweet, lyrical and touching Phrygia. Her dancing was pure and light - she has such a beautiful line! Alexander Volchkov was a brilliant Crassus who easily outmatched the “hero”. His interpretation was more refined and “classical” than the other Crassus’ I have seen before, but this was not a bit disturbing. His acting was appropriate and he was very secure and fluid in his pdd. The male corps was outstanding – especially in the recruiting of the shepherds (one of my favourites in this ballet) – special mention goes here to Denis Medvedev. Even if Spartacus is a male ballet – the etoile of yesterday’s performance was Nadezhda’s Aegina. Not only technically outstanding, she also was the perfect incarnation of an ambitious courtesan. She was intriguing, imperious and just emanated eroticism …
  4. My Bolshoi review 2005 Highlights Swan Lake, 29th June, last ballet performance before the closing of the old stage for reconstruction (at least until the beginning of 2008) The theatre was fully packed. Extra chairs were set wherever there was space. It was pouring outside and a lot of people were late - total confusion and chaos reigned. Even when the orchestra started to play, some people were still searching for their seats. When the curtain opened and everybody was finally settled the tension gradually vanished until everyone was absorbed by the performance. All of the dancers gave their absolute maximum, but what made the evening unforgettable was Nadezhda Gracheva. Her Odette was so exquisite, of such a beauty and melancholy that it was completely overwhelming. I sat there with the tears rolling down my cheeks ... (later I realized that I was far from being the only one with red eyes.) Another highlight this year was Nelli Kobakhidze’s debut as the miller’s wife in Tricorne. Even if this might be more for the MVP thread, I would like to mention Mariya Allash, Olga Stebletsova, Nelli K. (once again), Gennadiy Yanin, Mark Peretokin and Andrey Uvarov, who set (at least small) highlights in all of their performances. Lowlight Swanlake, November 23rd, opening of the Maya Plisetskaya festival. Siegfrid (and subsequently Odette/Odile) had to be replaced on short notice because of the illness of Andrey Uvarov. The substitute Siegfried was … dreadful in the first act and mediocre in the second. I do not want to go into details, but more than once I held my breath or closed my eyes because I was afraid that he might drop Odette (once again Nadezhda Gracheva). Nadezhda was obviously so affected by this, that her Odette was just a shadow of the above mentioned and Odile’s 32 fouettes went astray. Even if the other dancing (especially the swan corps, the “evil genius” and the princesses) was fine it was definitely the worst performance I have ever seen in the Bolshoi. I wonder what Maya Plisetskaya was feeling about it – at least her presence and the long (!) standing ovations for her made that evening memorable in a positive way as well.
  5. Thank you BalletNut for adding the Spartacus option ! Greetings from Moscow dachnitsa
  6. I am missing the button for the "other" check box ... My vote would be Spartacus: there is so much powerful dancing in it - tremendous jumps, turnings, press-lifts ... and the hero has to bridge the gap between war-scenes and the more lyrical ones to be convincing.
  7. I just borrowed the VHS tape from a friend of mine (unfortunately I had no time yet to give it a deeper look). This tape is a release from 2000 of the 1976 ballet-film from "Ekran" (51 minutes). The ballet is based on a short story by Anton Chekhov, music by Rodion Shedrin, choreography by Maya Plisetskaya. It is performed by Maya and B. Yefimov. Once I have seen it, I'll try to give a brief summary - unfortunately these days I am very short of time. dachnitsa P.S.: For the original story have a look on http://www.eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/.../LadyWith.shtml
  8. In my experience the Russian dance is definitely a favourite of the Bolshoi audience and I (as a foreigner living in Russia) like it too! In all of the SL-Grigorovich-Bolshoi productions I know (latest production 2001 and the ones I have on DVD from 1983 and 1989) there are all the 5 dances of the brides-to-be (in order of appearance: Hungarian, Russian, Spanish, Neapolitan, Polish). Since Grigorovich's SL is divided into 2 acts with 4 scenes; they are in the 3rd scene (at the beginning of act 2). I am so used to it now, that I am not sure whether I would still like a production without the complete range of national dances ... (and yes, I do admit that I like the jester as well!)
  9. Dear Gloria, thank you so much! Since the old site was closed in summer I was searching in vain for the new one ... Even if the design now is kind of kitschy, I really enjoyed the photos of the perfomances and the videos. This consoles me even a bit for not having seen him yet in this season. Andrey was scheduled for the Swan Lake during the Maya Festival and for Chopiniana & Symphony in C last week but was both times replaced... Hope I will be luckier in two weeks when he is supposed to dance Jean de Brienne. dachnitsa
  10. I just came home from a wonderful evening (Chopiniana, Tricorne, Symphony in C) at the Bolshoi: Nelli had a magnificent debut as the Miller’s Wife in Tricorne. It was the first time I saw her in a non-lyric role and she was absolutely fantastic – brilliant technique, flamboyante, coquet, hilarious … ( my husband adds "gorgeous" to the list) Mr. Ratmanskiy: it is definitely time for a promotion!
  11. Thank you Natalia! I was indeed referring to the Nutcracker of the <<NHK 'Bolshoi at the Bolshoi' >>. Of the same series I had already purchased Swan Lake, Spartacus and Raymonda and even if their sound is not overwhelming it is 1000 times better than this Nutcracker ... Perhaps it is really just my copy ... I will get in touch with the dealer and tell you afterwards.
  12. Maya Plisetskaya and Nadezhda Gracheva at the Bolshoi (16th Nov 2005)
  13. I've just bought the original arthaus DVD "The Nutcracker" in the 1989 Bolshoi version with Irek Mukhamedov, Natalya Arkhipova and Yury Vetrov. The quality of sound is absolutely dreadful - the music and the applause seem to be coming right out of a bucket! Impossible to connect the DVD-Player to the HiFi-system without hurting your ears... even my three year old son is complaining about it. Before I'm going to write to the dealer I would like to know whether this a general problem or if it is just my copy? Thank you! dachnitsa
  14. The website of the Bolshoi is stating that yesterdays perfomance has been dedicated to Tatina Golikova's end of career as balletmaster-rehearser. (Tatiana Golikova has been working with both, Mariya Alexandrova and Mariya Allash.)
  15. @ Ostrich Just a short reply, since I should go and see after our guests: Rinat Arifulin (soloist) is dancing Abderakhman concerning Odette, I think it must be Svetlana Zakharova ( I will have a closer look at the trailer next Saturday, when I am in the Bolshoi again) Clips of Mariya Alexandrova can be found at http://m-alex-video.narod.ru/index.html
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