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Buddy

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  1. Buddy

    Bolshoi La Bayadere in Cinema January 2018

    Daniel, I certainly agree with this. For me, Veronika Part has a similarly compelling stage presence but in a more dreamy and less easy to define manner. Olga Smirnova will be performing Giselle at the Mariinsky Festival in March which I hope to be at. This will require a somewhat more delicate touch and I look forward to seeing how she approaches it. The closest I’ve seen in style was Svetlana Zakharova’s Giselle, also at the Festival years ago, where her young maiden had a much more worldly manner, similar to Olga Smirnova’s current direction. It might seem somewhat different from the normal young Giselle, but I felt at the time that it was possibly ‘the best performance of ‘Anything!’ that I’d ever seen.’ As a quick aside, this production seemed to have a slightly more animated and ‘featuristic’ touch than I’ve felt in other Bolshoi La Bayaderes, reminiscent of Legend of Love. I rather enjoyed it. My imagination can run somewhat wild as to how Olga Smirnova could deal with her Giselle. I guess that’s just part of her fascination. Added comment: I've found a video clip of her dancing the famous Willis scene duet from about two years ago and it's really quite lovely.
  2. Buddy

    Bolshoi La Bayadere in Cinema January 2018

    I’ve now seen Olga Smirnova’s entire performance and I think that it’s outstanding. It’s no longer available at the Bolshoi site. I may be doubling back on myself, but for a couple years I’ve been writing that she could possibly be another Galina Ulanova or even an Anna Pavlova. This would be an ideal for me, because I’m very much into lyrical loveliness and dreaminess, perhaps above all else. But Olga Smirnova has chosen a more dramatic direction, for the moment anyway. She could, I’m certain, be a lyrical masterpiece, if she chose to be. She was, after all, a star student at the Vaganova school. But she also possesses a dramatic prowess that is remarkable. It’s compelling. It has depth and substance. Anna Pavlova and Galina Ulanova were of the 'Stars.' Olga Smirnova is more of the here and now, with the ability to carry that into the stars. It should be fascinating and beautiful to see what she chooses and what she accomplishes.
  3. Buddy

    Bolshoi La Bayadere in Cinema January 2018

    Thanks so much, MRR, for finding this. I’ve watched most of Olga Smirnova’s performance and I really don’t want to rush through the rest in order to write these few words. As I’ve written before, I think that we are witnessing at least one of the greatest ballet artists that I’ve ever seen live.
  4. Do you have any thoughts or favorites ? With physical challenges being more and more common in dance, as a Naturalist and Etherealist Lover at heart I wouldn’t mind seeing more of this sort of thing. Yet I can’t seem to ever get away from these guys. The Space Age Gene Kellys ? At least see the first one through to the end. (most of these videos are available at the artists’ or venues’ own sites)
  5. Buddy

    Is Alyona Kovalyova "Zvezda" material ??

    An interview by Yekaterina Bayeva. I haven't had a chance to read it but will do so as soon as possible. Also Alyona Kovalyova will be dancing Nikiya (La Bayadere) this weekend. https://worldofballet.com/alyona_kovalyova_en (thanks again to a friend for finding this)
  6. For 2019 maybe it can start here.
  7. Buddy

    Bolshoi La Bayadere in Cinema January 2018

    😊 By the way, I also think that Yulia Stepanova is a very fine ballerina.
  8. Buddy

    Bolshoi La Bayadere in Cinema January 2018

    I'd like to throw this into the equation, if I can. "I [Olga Smirnova] believe that the main thing is not wish for something better, rather than remain in harmony with yourself and with your loved ones," confesses the modest prima ballerina. "When I was a child, I could not even dream of such a fulfilling creative life as I have now. I think I just want to cherish and enhance it." https://worldofballet.com/smirnova_en For me, her exceptional artistic ability speaks for itself. There's nothing in my outsider's view of her personal life that would supersede this in importance. We all have our favorites. This should by no means exclude us from appreciating everyone else's ability.
  9. Buddy

    Bolshoi La Bayadere in Cinema January 2018

    Hi, Kaysta. If you've read any of my posts you probably know that I'm a great admirer of the artistry of Olga Smirnova. I also agree with what you've written. Since you've mentioned Diamonds, if you would like to see what I consider a beautiful contrast in style, relevant beyond just this work, I would suggest an internet Diamonds video of Oksana Skorik. I feel that both these artists in their own way are two of the greatest highlights in ballet today and watching them perform 'side by side' adds to the appreciation of both of them. Added: I would also say that Olga Smirnova is probably always thinking about the direction of her career and acts accordingly. Yet, from interviewers’ comments, etc., she also seems like a very decent person and I think that this would be reflected in all her actions.
  10. Seats are now on sale. It's fairly easy to do. There are lots of seats available and there's usually no big hurry necessary. This is the best official way I know of to get seats at the best (ticket office) prices.Click on the "Buy Ticket" boxes. Because the Ruble is down in value these are the best price that I've seen in 15 years. I just got mine. Also March is not a busy tourist month so hotel prices, etc. can be very reasonable. https://www.mariinsky.ru/en/playbill/festivals/fest2018_2019/ballet_fest_236 Seats are still not available for Jewels. I've read that these were made part of the subscription package before the Festival was planned. Further sales for this night were stopped quite awhile ago, so I would guess that there will soon be more seats available. Also the final Gala evening seats are not yet for sale. Added: I think that Kimin Kim has great theatrical potential. Inspired by being alongside Olga Smirnova, whom I feel is perhaps the finest at this ever on a ballet stage, he could really rise to the occasion.
  11. XVIII Mariinsky International Ballet Festival 2019 March 21 An Evening of American Choreography March 22 An Evening of American Choreography March 23 The Legend of Love Maria Alexandrova and Vladislav Lantratov March 24 Giselle Olga Smirnova and Kimin Kim March 26 A Creative Workshop of Young Choreographers March 27 Jewels March 28 Don Quixote Natalia Osipova and Vladimir Shkylarov March 29 The Sleeping Beauty Lauren Cuthbertson and Xander Parish March 30 Swan Lake March 31 Carmen Suite Divertissement Gentle memories Jiri Bubenicek Tarantella George Balanchine Méditation Evgueni Kliavine Pas de deux Giselle Marius Petipa after Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot Pas de deux Talisman Marius Petipa Adagio 2nd Act Swan Lake Lev Ivanov Tchaikovsky pas de deux George Balanchine Marguerite and Armand https://www.mariinsky.ru/en/playbill/festivals/fest2018_2019/ballet_fest_236 I've been checking daily but a friend got here first. Much thanks. My favorite will probably be Olga Smirnova as Giselle. I believe that this will be a first for her. [Correction: Apparently Olga Smirnova debuted her Giselle at the Bolshoi in 2017]
  12. I also look forward to seeing Maria Alexandrova in Legend of Love. It’s a very interpretive role in which she could excel. She does have range. As I’ve mentioned before, I saw her perform a Raymonda with the Paris Opera Ballet about ten years ago in which she was absolutely lovely and compelling. Vladislav Lantratov is of coarse a phenomenon of the highest order. If Natalia Osipova can get near to the ceiling like she did almost twelve years ago it’ll be a sight to see. She still has plenty of spring and her delightful and growing expressiveness make her Kitri in Don Quixote one of the finest ever. Vladimir Shkylarov continues to grow in power of portrayal, which might not be totally necessary in this work. His main problem, as with Kimin Kim, is not to get caught in the rafters. The Royal Ballet’s Lauren Cuthbertson was rushed in at the last minute to do the opening of several of Sir Frederick Ashton’s Sylvias in November. She apparently made a very good impression. To be offered The Sleeping Beauty at a Festival is quite a compliment. Xander Parish should be an excellent partner. And once again, Olga Smirnova…..and Kimin Kim ! I love her [LOL - Lots Of Love] and he should be great.
  13. Very glad to hear this, MadameP. Now all I need is for my 'beloved' Alyona to appear. 😊
  14. Buddy

    Natalia Makarova

    I've mainly been 'possessed' as you might say by the opening duet, Marta. This has so impressed me in artistic 'value' that I haven't really ventured much beyond although I'm sure that the rest is exceptional as well. It's such a marriage of classical beauty and universal 'humaness.' I think that it can point the way to future works, although it's fineness is such a one of a kind.
  15. Buddy

    Natalia Makarova

    I suppose that I could sit here and watch this performance for the rest of my life. Now that wouldn’t do or would it ? Fortunately one universe of beauty can point the way to another. I would say for starters that Jerome Robbins may have created his masterpiece, yet I’ve not seen a lot of his work. But speaking of masterpieces, several seconds of imagery here leads into another, with both picture perfect stills and flowing magnificence. Natalia Makarova adapts remarkably. The only trace of Russian classicism is in the fineness of her dance. This of coarse is a huge factor, but it doesn’t account for her identity. She has managed to assume a new being, filtered through Jerome Robbins’ theatrical prowess, emerging as a statement about human character in general. I might call each of the segments perfect in itself and in the way that each is tied together. How Jerome Robbins’ creates so many images and ‘situations’ and ties them together so remarkably, leaves me somewhat awestruck. His dance vocabulary is totally worthy of his two star performers. How Natalia Makarova expands from her classical excellence into a universal being is almost overwhelming and fits perfectly. Added: Again I would like to note that I'm referring to the initial duet.
  16. Buddy

    Natalia Makarova

    I just discovered "Other Dances" choreographed by Jerome Robbins, featuring Natalia Makarova and Mikhail Baryshnikov. I'm sure that there are other forums and topics where I could post this, but after a quick look, because of Natalia Makarova's amazing performance, I decided that here might be the best. If anyone can suggest any other related discussions please let me know. This performance has been posted on the internet and the first comment under the video sums it up best for me. "I really do not think I have seen anything better than this." Added: I'm referring primarily to the duet in the first five minutes. Brilliant choreography and excellent performance by Mikhail Baryshnikov, but Natalia Makarova's performance, for me, is Absolutely Magnificent !
  17. Congratulations, Xander !
  18. More video watching of recent performance excerpts and Alina Somova looks as lovely, in some ways lovelier, than ever. Here she is in Le Corsaire. I’ve long felt that she’s one of the basically most graceful and beautiful of all ballerinas. In this group I’d include Oksana Skorik and the very young Alyona Kovalyova. At the beginning of her career when she was getting more attention for huge extensions and athleticism she also had a noticeable ‘gazelle-like’, airy loveliness that was very apparent in her jumps, etc. As she matures with two children this beauty is even more noticeable. She seems to appear more selectively, maybe because of her children, and I tend to forget about her. Yet, at this year’s Festival she danced at the Gala, along with Oksana Skorik, and was equally beautiful. In the Le Corsaire views, she again shows an airy wonderfulness in all her motion. I’ll add in the ‘prowess department’ that she did as clean and impressive a set of fouette turns (including about six doubles) as I’ve seen. I don’t usually pay a great deal of attention to these, dreamlike gracefulness being my primary interest, but these did capture my attention. She’s also capable of very compelling drama and characterization. I hope that we’ll be able to see a lot more of her as her focus and basic loveliness continue to grow.
  19. Buddy

    Mariinsky 2018-2019 Season

    Thanks for this information, Drew. The Mariinsky has not posted anything about the Festival, but the normal time slot from March 17 to April 4 is 'unbooked' so I'm hopeful that the Festival will occur at this time. If so, I hope to be there. It'll be my 15th in a row and I would greatly look forward to it, as usual. I'll try to start a topic if it's announced if someone else hasn't already done so.
  20. Thanks, Millosr. Much of this is so lovely to see and listen to.
  21. Buddy

    Olga Smirnova

    This is a nice interview conducted by Ekaterina Baeva. https://worldofballet.com/smirnova_en [thanks to a friend for finding this] She could be, or already is, one of the greatest ballerinas ever. She also says things like this. "I believe that the main thing is not wish for something better, rather than remain in harmony with yourself and with your loved ones," confesses the modest prima ballerina. "When I was a child, I could not even dream of such a fulfilling creative life as I have now. I think I just want to cherish and enhance it. "John [Neumeier] is an amazing person, a real genius. A man of such talent, who, at the same time, is friendly and polite with everyone." On a course to greatness ? "We have such a short-term career that idleness is our worst nightmare. That's why we appreciate it so much when the theater gives us a chance to learn new ballets in various choreographies and to work directly with choreographers. "With every year your skill becomes more profound, the number and variety of your roles increase, and as an artist grows up, so do her characters, even though the choreography remains unchanged. "When asked to choose five roles that could remain her repertoire, Smirnova contemplates for a while and finally chooses: "Tatiana. Anna Karenina. Giselle. The soloist in the Artifact Suite [Forsythe] and... of course, Nikiya in La Bayadère." Of much interest to me and noted earlier at BalletAlert! she is now being coached by Maria Allash, former Principal Ballerina, recently made ballerina "Under Contract" as well as Coach, instead of the highly regarded Marina Kondratieva ("Ballet Master-Repetiteur"). Maybe someone has some insight into this. It will be very exciting to see what great heights she might attain while being highly aware of her abilities yet modest in expressing it and warmly considerate to all involved.
  22. Buddy

    Mariinsky 2018-2019 Season

    I’d like to continue this somewhat longer. It’s slightly complicated finding the right place to discuss this because it crosses company lines and concerns more than one ballerina. Since three of them are at the Bolshoi maybe that’s the better place, but I started here. The reason is that these four star ballerinas all have Vaganova and or Mariinsky roots and Vaganova/Mariinsky style is essential in all of them. The two that are primary for me at the moment are Oxana Skorik and Olga Smirnova. I think that Olga Smirnova may be considered as the greater because of her range. She has Vaganova fineness. She also has her own ‘genius.’ She has a power of expression that may be developing more because the Bolshoi emphasizes it, but it’s also something totally her own. She also has a stage presence that’s extremely captivating. I don’t think that videos have been able to show what I’ve seen her do so remarkably well on stage. One other element is less predictable. It’s her experimentation. It will certain increase her range and interest. If this all comes together in a sort of super-package then she could become one of the two or three greatest ever. I’ve mentioned this other contrast. Although Olga Smirnova may be considered the greater because of her range, Oxana Skorik could be the most basically beautiful. I’ve not seen a more beautifully moving ballerina on today’s stage. Which is better or should and will be valued more — probably it’s a personal preference. Alyona Kovalyova is rather amazing for her very young age. She also could be one of the most basically beautiful ballerinas ever. She may also develop an exceptional presence and sense of expression. For the moment I’m very happy just to enjoy her youthfulness. Her beauty of dance recently took a large step forward that shows in her Raymonda debut. There’s now an unbroken flow. In addition, her phrasing, which is very noteworthy, has now become a much more subtle yet even more compelling element. Little more can be said about Svetlana Zakharova. She’s proven her brilliance over the years, grows in refinement and continues to captivate her audiences.
  23. Buddy

    Mariinsky 2018-2019 Season

    It’s a Mariinsky world ? Except that three-quarters of it is at the Bolshoi. Some quick musings, ballerinawise. It seems that my preference for ballerinas is for the tall, linear ones. At least they look tall. Why the preference? There’s just something special about the way that their wonderful beauty projects even further-out into space. Oxana Skorik — Possibly the most beautiful ballerina in the world in terms of pure motion and statuesque fineness. She’s the one that stayed at the Mariinsky. Olga Smirnova — At times, she’s perhaps the greatest today. At times, the name Anna Pavlova comes to mind. She also experiments. She’s already, probably, one of the greatest ballerinas ever. And it’s still not inconceivable that she’ll be one of the top two or three greatest ever, in the company of Anna Pavlova and Galina Ulanova. Alyona Kovalyova — At her very young age, on course to being, along with Oxana Skorik, the most beautifully moving ballerina in the world. Svetlana Zakharova — Still Queen of the Bolshoi. I sort of consider her, at least in part, a Mariinsky ballerina. It’s where her career started and where she probably would have stayed if events had been different. The Bolshoi may possess the most stars, but the Mariinsky may have produced them and continues to be the overall home for graceful wonder. Beyond this, the Bolshoi is certainly equal in its own way, but perhaps because of this, I prize both companies equally.
  24. Buddy

    Swan Lake -Plushenko/Filin

    I'm glad to see that Evgeny Plushenko chose to go in an artistic direction even to the extent of featuring ballet. I wish that figure skating would include as much artistry as possible, shades of John Curry. I'd like very much to see someone like Evgenia Medvedeva featured as the skating White Swan. Hopefully it will be a success and encourage others in this direction.
  25. Buddy

    Bolshoi Ballet 2018/19 season

    Thanks, Naomikage. I think that a chance to see Olga Smirnova doing anything is a thrill. There's something about ballet artistry. It's such a subtle and delicate beauty that you wouldn't expect it to have a great effect in a more animated environment such as figure skating. Yet as exciting (even artistic) as Evgeny Plushenko can be, the quiet yet remarkable beauty of Olga Smirnova is compelling.
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