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Everything posted by Lukayev

  1. Well, sorry if my word choice isn't as eloquent as I'd like - of course neither dancer is a "version" of another, they just sort of strike me as sharing some unusual, sinuous characteristics. And of course, I've never seen either dance live so my opinion is probably worthless, and definitely uneducated ... but I'm still entitled to it.
  2. Tsiskaridze, to me, is like a Georgian, elongated, exaggerated, exoticized version of Vladimir Malakhov. Just my 0.02 USD. By the way, Coda, thank you for the link - they're really lovely pictures. :-)
  3. I loved Dupont as Aurora in POB's taped "Sleeping Beauty" - she avoided garish extensions and that over-elasticity that seems to be plaguing the contemporary ballet scene. Her feet and legs are just gorgeous though, and her port de bras is very "creamy", I guess I'd call it. She and M. Legris danced a beautiful ballet in true classicism. That video's on my Top Five list, most definitely.
  4. Lukayev

    Muriel Maffre

    Ooh, I totally forgot to add that Ms. Maffre performed Myrtha while us (barely competent, compared to her) students tried to scuttle as best we couldas the Wilis... I saw a cold and forbidding presence, unbroken until the very end, when the bells begin to toll and suddenly, Myrtha is no longer ruthlessly powerful. Ms. Maffre showed that all-too-rare vulnerable side of Myrtha, the one you'd expect the principal dancing Giselle to deliver in droves. But for some reason, I saw that "coming of the dawn" really shake Myrtha to the core.. I've never seen such a subtle yet awesome transformation. My roughly hewn words do not justice to her eloquent sortof poème tragique.
  5. Lukayev

    Muriel Maffre

    Oh my GOD. This lady has THE longest legs and arms in the world! Not only that, but she's got beautiful feet and gorgeous use of port de bras. Our ballet school recently held an SFBallet gala at the Concert Hall, and once we were done "guesting" as Wilis for Act II/Giselle, we were treated to a very very delightful smorgasboard of SFB goodies. Among them were Julie Diana and Zach Hench in Who Cares? and Amanda Schull with Joan Boada in the pdd from Flames of Paris. But Ms. Maffre absolutely blew me away with her performance in Agon. From what I've read, she seems like a real candidate for being a 'Balanchine' ballerina. Supple feet, small head, thin and lithe arms and legs.. I could go on. But I won't, because I want to hear other opinions on her scrumtrelescent (or not, depending on your POV) dancing!
  6. Wow! I have a video of him in like a Prix de Lausanne of years past.. maybe '97. Yeah, his elegance really struck me.... good to know he's all fancy and famous now!
  7. I would never have the patience to think up of a quiz like this! But I'm grateful you ended up making it, Hans. As for choreographer I was Petipa, and on that separate composer quiz I was, of course, Tchaikovsky. Vunderbar! :grinning: :cool2:
  8. Hello hello! Chacott is a dancewear/dance-related media store that's very popular with ballet students/professionals in both Japan and Europe. They *do* have a website, but you're going to have to forgive my laziness and do a search on google.com - :/ I take it you're interested in the video series of the Vaganova Academy - I'm not sure if the videos are able to be ordered online.... :shrug:
  9. While rummaging through my videos today, I realized that one girl in my tape of the Vaganova Academy's 13-15 year old class (from several years ago) looked EXACTLY like the Mariinsky's current rising 'star', Daria Pavlenko. Only until the teacher called out her name and said something in Russian did I realize it really *was* Ms. Pavlenko, as a student! What took me by surprise was the fact that she wasn't really a 'favorite' in the class - there were several obvious favorites, and they were front and center, while Pavlenko was somewhere on the side. Well well, she certainly showed them, didn't she? I purchased this video about 2 years ago from Chacott in Osaka, Japan, and they still might have them... Just thought you'd like to know, if you're interested.
  10. On my tape of "The Children of Theatre Street", narrator Grace Kelly says Balanchine's name like - bAl (rhyming with "pal") - on (as in the word "on") - shEEn (as in Martin.. haha, I had to add that in). I heard somewhere, though it's probably inaccurate, that Balanchine hacked off the '-vadze' and added the '-chine' onto his last name to make it more French-y sounding for the Ballet Russes. Why, I have no idea, I'm just a child.
  11. I don't live in London, so going to Covent Garden and seeing a full-length ballet by the RB was a really REALLY big deal for me. I can't really remember who danced Aurora or Lilac Fairy, but I do remember Ethan Stiefel as the Prince and Lauren Cuthbertson in the second Fairy variation. My mom and I agreed after the performance that she really stood out among the fairy variations, and look what's happening now! A promotion for her! Yay! I'd also like to mention here that seeing Ludovic Ondiviela mentioned in the promotions article is also 'neat' because he really stood out to me when I watched the Prix de Lausanne 2001 video. Wow, if/when he becomes a principal one day, I can say that I saw him dance James from La Sylphide as a 15 year old... and the people will have to believe me!
  12. (I don't live anywhere near NYC, disregard this post if you're looking for Workshop Reviews). I think Lokelani (or Likolani, I don't know) might've been the girl who came to just one of my summer intensive classes. I talked to her mom and sister, and she had trained at the Washington School and was going off to SAB year-round .. and that was two years ago, almost exactly. Makes sense, I guess! I remember her demonstrating a Donizetti and La Source variation for our repertory class with Mme. Violette Verdy - she had learned them during the summer. We were all duly impressed, of course. ~
  13. Woohoo! Though I won't be here for it, principals from the SF Ballet are coming to Hawaii for I think a two-day gala thingie! Right here, in Honolulu! Ohh, 'twill be magical, I'm sure. Slated to be performed are Agon, Don Q pdd, Shogun (?), a selection from Who Cares?, and other beautiful tidbits. I almost called up the Kirov right then and there to cancel my intensive - I have wanted to see Agon for the LONGEST TIME, and now that it's coming LIVE I am almost beside myself. The names I saw were Julie Diana, Joan Boada, Amanda Schull (because she's from Hawaii and a movie star, you know ), ahh.. a few others. Katia Carranza and Luis Serrano from Miamy City Ballet are coming too. Wahoo! It's only out of the respect I have for the artists that I'm not asking my mommy to bring a video recorder to the performances, concealed under a luxurious mink coat. Taataa!
  14. Ooh, Spring Waters. Of the performances I've seen on video, that pdd performed by any professional couple is about the only one that can still make my heart kind of flutter, what with the flying headlong into waiting arms, huh! I'm envious you got to see such a stellar cast of dancers!
  15. As I was roaming around the boards, I noticed that Ekaterina Osmolkina and Tatyana Tkachenko were mentioned among those that were promoted within the ranks of the Kirov. Now, I should back up and explain that about 2 years ago, on a random trek through a Japanese ballet shop, I came across a video-set of variations as taught by teachers at the Vaganova Choreographic Institute. Among those performing the variations (and shown in the painful albeit rewarding learning process) were the students Osmolkina and Tkachenko, with the former dancing Diana (from Diana and Acteon pdd) and Aurora, and the latter doing Kitri and the "big, jumpy" grand allegro variation from Paquita. They were both great, with Osmolkina being the more refined of the two, and I was ecstatic upon learning that these dancers, obviously having some talent, are starting their rise to the top. And to think, I saw them before any of this promotion nonsense.
  16. I recently obtained a copy of ABT's 'Le Corsaire' on videotape and was surprised at how ABT could cast such a brilliant, exquisitely refined dancer as Malakhov in the role of the slave trander Lankendem. As my mother and I watched the ballet, we agreed that while Corella and Stiefel may jump higher and turn more than Malakhov, one can see the amount of strength that they put forth into each of their virtuostic movements. With Malakhov's dancing, there is a floating, stretched quality that masks all of the physical exertion (or lack thereof) that he goes through. I know that the different roles that these men have in 'Le Corsaire' will affect how strenuous it can be, but I'm still convinced that for Malakhov, dancing is a piece of cake. So to prove my point, I also took a look at a video made in Soviet-era Russia called '30 Variations'. It was thirty variations danced by various principals/soloists, and a very young Malakhov was among them. Even at such an early age, he had the most beautiful suspended lines out of all those in the static-laced video. One could not find an ounce of a tense, strained look in his face or in his dancing. It completely knocked me away when he proceeded, in one of the variations, to do some entrechat-sixes, and I looked around the screen desperately for wires carrying him over the ground. I couldn't, and to this day I am still wondering how he dances like he does. --Luka
  17. When I was flipping through my video library, I came upon my copy of Makhalina in 'Swan Lake', and I watched the fourth act, wondering if the ending was going to be as ridiculous as other productions I had seen on tape. Of course, I was wrong, and their short but bittwersweet pas de deux in Act IV was so saddeningly beautiful; it was if all could not be helped, and Odette was doomed forever. The music was so touching, I leaped up after wiping my eyes and downloaded it from Morpheus. Another misty-eyed moment for me is during the Act II pas de deux of Giselle. For me, it's no so much that I love the dancing (although I do, whole-heartedly) but the music itself is so suited to the role that it's almost like being trasported right there to a graveyard. Somehow that music always inspires me to get up and attempt to dance what Giselle is on the screen. I'm also adding something from personal experience - this summer, our studio performed 'Serenade', staged by Robert Barnett, and I was exiled to the side for a while until I came on for about eight counts during the 'flowers' formation (right after the first girl's short solo), waited, and came on again as an 'Aspirin Girl'. At least, that's what they called them. Anyway, so I was watching from the sides, quite misty-eyed already because I wasn't in the starting corps (because I was seventeeth in a line of sixteen), but when I heard that beutiful music welling up, and the girls gazing past their outstretched hand, I almost lost it. However, once regaining my composure, I danced my heart out. --Luka
  18. While I'm a little young to be out and about and voicing my opinion on these sort of matters -- My mother and I were watcing Alessandra Ferri as Giselle (on tape) the other day and we both commented on how very soft her shoes looked. While it does provide a beautiful line for her feet while she's off-pointe, en pointe they look like they're about to send her toppling over her arches onto the floor. I'm sure they're strong enough to hold her, but I'd much rather prefer a little less arching in order to make the ballerina look (and probably feel) that much more stable. During her variation in Act I she didn't look very stable at all during the hops en pointe because she was so over her arches... Perhaps I'm saying this because my Serenades aren't 3/4ed and beautiful, so therefore I'm being spiteful towards over-pretty feet. --Luka
  19. While I'm a little young to be out and about and voicing my opinion on these sort of matters -- My mother and I were watcing Alessandra Ferri as Giselle (on tape) the other day and we both commented on how very soft her shoes looked. While it does provide a beautiful line for her feet while she's off-pointe, en pointe they look like they're about to send her toppling over her arches onto the floor. I'm sure they're strong enough to hold her, but I'd much rather prefer a little less arching in order to make the ballerina look (and probably feel) that much more stable. During her variation in Act I she didn't look very stable at all during the hops en pointe because she was so over her arches... Perhaps I'm saying this because my Serenades aren't 3/4ed and beautiful, so therefore I'm being spiteful towards over-pretty feet. --Luka
  20. I've only seen one full-length production of SB, and that's only on video -- the POB in '99 with Aurelie Dupont as (to me) a pleasant, youthful Aurora. Costumes were just absolutely gorgeous -- when my mom picked me up from school she was just ecstatic and drove me home full speed ahead so I could see for myself. The corps was one entity, and the soloists were so perfect in their roles that I almost cried for all the faults I have. The set itself, with billowing velvet curtains and lifelike statues, served as a transport from my homework-ridden world to this magical fairytale. What's this about Nureyev staging it for POB and making a dramatic disaster? Is this the same production? For strange reasons, there are no credits on the tape at all, it's just curtain to curtain. And even with the off-and-on lack of acting depth in Marie-Agnes Gillot's Lilac Fairy, and Dupont's sometimes strained smile, I am just amazed every time I watch that tape. --Luka
  21. Lukayev

    Lucia Lacarra

    Just yesterday evening, my mother and I went to see the 'Stars of the San Francisco Ballet' for a much publicized, one night only performance. While I was not really :eek: impressed by the male principals (low demi-pointe in their turns and piques) and a certain female principal wearing totally worn-down, grotesque shoes that were frayed and visibly dirty from even the balcony.. I really enjoyed myself and felt extremely lucky to see such a gathering of professionals on one stage (they did a little number at the end to the music following Kitri's Wedding in Don Q.. it was so neat!) And of course, I should feel lucky that I was able to give the dancers leis, and after my brief two seconds on stage, my knees were about to give out from shock of being in such close proximity of stars! During intermission, my friends and I gathered in the lobby to discuss how the first act went. (Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, Spanish Song, Chaconne, Adagio for Strings, and Black Swan pdd). Everyone was just ecsatic about the super-duper high extensions that seemed to make up 99.9% of Adagio for Strings, with Lucia Lacarra and Cyril Pierre. Now, I was just as wowed as the person next to me from her hyperextended legs and liquid-like backbends, but after five minutes of acrobatics like that, I was feeling rather bored. The second act (Two Bits, Sleeping Beauty pdd, revelation, Dying Swan [THE most beautiful solo, with Muriel Maffre], and Don Q. suite) was a little better. However, that annoying smile of Aurora's and constant showing off of 'Look, I am totally ignoring my partner and instead showing off my skills at scratching my head with my leg' was not exactly charming. I'm just wondering, do most of her perfomances follow along these showy lines? She's a beatiful dancer, but.. I don't know, I'm young and I don't know much about professional performances. --Luka
  22. Sometimes my friends question my mental stability. "Your feet are so gross and twisted." "Look, guys, the blister's OOZING.." "When are you going to get a brain and wear sneakers to class?" And I'll laugh along with them. After all, ballet is like some kamikaze mission. You dive headfirst into this world of pain, grueling torture, and backbreaking effort - for a career that will only last for as long as you can hover in the air. Why, then? Humans have been called ugly, furless creatures who pollute the planet then blame others for it. But we can be beautiful as well. The principals are not the only dancers out there -- a well-trained corps can look hauntingly beautiful in, say, Bayadere. I think that it is the opportunity to drop off this ugly clothing of politics, social status, and general public opinion that appeals to me so much. Call me a loner, but I'd rather spend my time in a studio learning the 'tools of the trade' than scurrying around like a mall rat and contemplate my next lipstick color. To reiterate: You drop your social mask to take on a different mask, whether it be Eurydice or Aurora, Kitri or your own choreographed piece. It's very pleasing once you learn how to tell 'the beautiful lie'. --Luka [ 07-17-2001: Message edited by: Luka ]
  23. About the knowledge of the history and classical ballet/music.. Everyday, I question whichever teacher at my studio who will be teaching variations the next day which ballet it's from, if I could have a copy of the videotape, the music, etcetera.. Right now my class is learning (or at least I am researching and constantly practicing while my classmates look on and talk about their social lives) the three Shades' variation from La Bayadere. I have taken it upon myself to watch the Kirov's version of this with Komleva as Nikiya many, many times so I could understand the gist of the plot. I mean, there's a girl in my class who's several years older than me who has good technique, but (not to be like a grumpy critic, which I have no right to be) she dances everything the 'same'.. whether it be a Pas de Quatre variation or something as bright and merry as the canary fairy thing in 'Beauty'. Not the style or anything, but the facial expressions, the general knowledge of the variation, and so on are limited to the steps (at least, in my class). I'm not planning a full-scale revolution or anything, but I've dubbed over videos for everyone to see the complete Bayadere version so that they'll feel this weighty air about the differing variations. I can't explain it, because my vocabulary is limited to primitive English and my own made-up language. In the meantime, I cackle as my teacher asks me to show the 'steps' (ugh, I don't like that word) of the adagio variation to a small group. I'll try telling them a synopsis of the story to help them understand. --Luka (Hoping that dancers perform knowing what the storyline is.) [ 07-14-2001: Message edited by: Luka ]
  24. Seeing how the ballet is just 'Swan Lake', this month, I was wondering if anyone saw the version that had bits in Billy Elliot and has the Act II pdd in 'Great Pas De Deux'.. any thoughts? --Luka (personally, I find it a bit scary)
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