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Everything posted by Buddy

  1. I have to say again that I'm enjoying very much the digital presentation of Vienna Waltzes' DER ROSENKAVALIER: ERSTE WALZERFOLGE. I have focused primarily on Maria Kowroski and she's elegant lovely. I also went immediately to the video of Suzanne Farrell. For me, she's as committed and encompassing as I've ever seen her. I debate somewhat all the deep backbends until she does her final one disappearing behind the curtain and I'm hooked. The ensemble dancing is spellbinding. I could spend a lot more time watching both of these. Added: I think that with Maria Kowroski it's more a story and with Suzanne Farrell it's more about the performance. Both are very effective.
  2. Another ballerina that I like very much, ECat, is Héloïse Bourdon. She appeared at a rather young age as Odette/Odile (Swan Lake) at the 2016 Mariinsky Festival, which is quite an honor. I thought that she was very fine. I didn't hear much mention of her after that. Checking the POB website, she's listed as a Premier danseur, one step down from Etoile (the highest ranking), so that seems good. Miliosr or Merit, maybe you know how she's doing ?
  3. Here’s a video of Maria Iliushkina performing Giselle over a year ago. It’s a video clip that I’ll post because it’s from the producer. It’s the first time that I saw her do a major role and I think that she was as beautiful then as ever. Also, in the recent performances that I mentioned in my previous post, I think that she and Maria Khoreva are, once again, as lovely as I’ve ever seen them.
  4. I've only watched the last half of Vienna Waltzes, but am enjoying it very much. I especially like Maria Kowroski in the final dance, DER ROSENKAVALIER: ERSTE WALZERFOLGE (1946). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpqhrYV7W3I
  5. There are video clips of Maria Khoreva's recent Giselle and Maria Iliushkina's recent debuts in La Bayadere (Mariinsky Primorsky Stage at Vladivostok and excerpt at the Mariinsky in St. Petersburg). Maria Khoreva is a very high quality artist, especially for her age, and her balance of this with her youthfulness works very well for me. A major quality, for me, is that she always gives more than expected. Her's and Maria Iliushkina's careers are somewhat paralleling each other at the moment. Maria Iliushkina is similarly fine, showing more outward sweetness, but with very fine ability and inner resolve. In her most recent gala duet from La Bayadere they've given her more eye makeup to appear more mature. I think that it works from a distance and is something that they can experiment with. I think that it looks rather cute, actually, because her sweetness still sneaks through. I feel that this balancing of youthfulness with artistic maturity works well for both of them. Xander Parish partnered Maria Khoreva in Giselle. He's a very handsome and fine dancer. His sense of theater is also quite good. I still somehow attribute this to England's well recognised theatrical tradition. The challenge is not to overwhelm the beauty of the ballerina. He's also quite versatile. At the last complete Mariinsky Festival, two years ago, he was given, by far, the most, different performances. This might be the result of not having trained within the Vaganova perspective, where the main focus is producing many of the most gracefully beautiful dancers in the world. I have no complaints about that. Victor Caixeta also seems very good as Maria Iliushkina's partner.
  6. For me, A Legend of Love is a highly energetic work, punctuated by slower but often intense drama. Princess Shirin is more quiet, but she's not really the center of attention. Since I'm a person who loves the beautiful duets (Swan Lake, Giselle, Midsummer Night's Dream) what would attract me more to A Legend of Love, as brilliant as it is, perhaps comparable in invention to some of the best of George Balanchine ? Some more quiet highlighting, maybe. I read that Alena Kovaleva used a more warm approach to the central and usually heavily dramatic character of Queen Mekhmene Banu. I wondered about this possibility in a previous post. I'd be curious to see this and whether it would make A Legend of Love more embracing to a person such as myself, because I do consider it a masterpiece. By the way, I was just watching a video clip of Alena Kovaleva and Denis Rodkin from Swan Lake at the beginning of May. It's filmed from backstage. You can see dancers in the wings doing whatever it is that they're doing. I always wonder how the performers can stay so amazingly focused. Yet in this one, Denis Rodkin is all alone on stage at the end, heartbroken at the loss of Odette, and for a moment I got the feeling that those slightly out of focus, offstage corps de ballet swan maidens were comforting him.
  7. You're very welcome, ECat. Check the previous post that I just made.
  8. Maria Iliushkina Well she's done it again -- La Bayadère ((Mariinsky Primorsky Stage at Vladivostok) Also Alexey Timofeev (good to hear) and Victor Caixeta debuted as Solor. "Congratulations to the soloists of the Mariinsky Theater who made their debut in the ballet La Bayadère on the Primorsky Stage! On May 29, Alexey Timofeev⭐️ performed the part of Solor for the first time, and on May 30, Nikiya and Solor were danced by Maria Iliushkina⭐️ and Victor Caixeta⭐️ ⠀ Tomorrow the duo will perform the pas de deux from the third act of the legendary oriental ballet Petipa in St. Petersburg, on the stage of the Mariinsky II. Alexei Timofeev will also take part in the ballet evening, as Torero in Alonso's Carmen Suite.' https://www.facebook.com/mariinsky.theatre/posts/10159814014985798 (Thanks again to Sophia at Dansomanie)
  9. This seems to be some good news. Google translation: "Ballet soloist of the Mariinsky Theater, 31-year-old David Zaleev regained consciousness after a coma, into which he fell as a result of a fall from a scooter. This was reported to RBC by the press service of the theater. "The theater clarified that Zaleev's condition has improved, he is now in the hospital, but is conscious and breathing on his own." https://www.rbc.ru/rbcfreenews/60b4f7b79a7947524c743da8 (Thanks to Sophia at Dansomanie) Google translator: https://translate.google.com
  10. Eight graduates of the Vaganova Academy were admitted to the Mariinsky. This is the result of a "competition," which from the video clip appears to have been held at a Mariinsky II practice studio. This would seem to be a slightly different procedure than before with the announcement occurring slightly earlier. Two foreign students were included. "Foreign artists will once again come to the troupe - Kian Mangis from the USA, as well as Jasmine Henry, Australia's first representative in the Mariinsky Theater ballet." The other six: Elena Lyskova, Marina Chernyavskaya, Yeva Nasadovich, Yan Begishev, Nikita Zakharov, Anton Sturgeon https://www.facebook.com/mariinsky.theatre/posts/10159802319075798 (Thanks to Sophia at Dansomanie for this information and insight)
  11. I have to agree with you, Helene, about the misogyny. As clever as I find some of it, and I really do, other parts, regrettably, leave me cold to the point of dismissing it all.
  12. Alena Kovaleva Okay, you asked for more, here's more. 🙂 Fouettés -- Twelve totally solid single-doubles (Odile 2021) From La Bayadere (2021) -- Remember those spins across stage in Act III ? Well she does them at the speed of light, stops on a dime and goes into a totally secure reverse without a single wobble in the free back leg. And speaking of the free back leg, her's floats like a sail in the jumps. As for characterisation, she can change facially, seamlessly, from her youthful vibrance to very believable portrayal. Her 'linear Statuesque' is a sight to behold. Yes, in my opinion, she's that good !
  13. I've not found any mention or video of Alyona Kovalyova's debut as Mekhmene Banu in Legend of Love and was not necessarily expecting any. I've found nearly no video clips of recent Bolshoi performances and reviews and comments can be rather intermittent. What I did find was a compilation of excerpts starting at the age of 16. I'm not particularly strong on technical detail unless it noticeably effects the overall imagery. A few things that I did notice are how fast she can be and how in control she is of her beautiful long limbs. Her flow and timing are extremely lovely. Her sculpture is exact and wonderful. The feel of the shapes that she makes is relaxed and elegantly poetic. Her finely designed jumps sail and float with impressive elevation. And I could probably go on and on. I hope that she succeeds very well and is treated with kindness and respect in her creation of this role and throughout her career. As for heavy drama, which is usually present in the Mekhmene Banu character, I really wouldn't miss it in such a beautiful presence. Maybe most noticeable, her overall vibrance radiates from her face to her gorgeous motion. Added: And along the way, low and behold, a video of Nina Kaptsova (with the amazing Ivan Vasiliev) excepts from La Fille Mal Gardee -- Delightful !
  14. I think that I was at the performance when Stephane Bullion was made an Etoile. Myriam Ould-Braham I must see again (and again and again, hopefully) before she retires. I only saw her in La Bayadere and her Kingdom of the Shades act was Merveilleux ! Added: In further regard to seeing Myriam Ould-Braham, heaven knows I've tried. I'm seldom near Paris when she's performing and POB tickets aren't always easy to get and the one time that I snagged one for a Swan Lake (Heaven!), even made a hotel reservation, the ticket was annulled. But persevere I do. 🙂 Another ballerina that I loved, by the way, and did get to see twice, was Delphine Moussin.
  15. It's still "a bright sunshiny day" where I am and the vibrant Maria Bylanova once again comes to mind. She'll be performing in the Pas de Trois (Le Corsaire) next Wednesday and The Lilac Fairy (Sleeping Beauty), June 9. I just watched her as the Lilac Fairy from over a year ago and she's charming and vibrant. Her performance will be during a "Ballet Evening" which will be an assortment of famous solos, duets, etc. It looks like a very fine grouping. https://www.mariinsky.ru/en/playbill/playbill/2021/6/2/2_1930/ Another vibrant dancer is Viktoria Brilyova. She's being given more this year than I've ever seen. Here's a very brief glimpse of her with Andrey Ermakov from Maxim Petrov's delightful, "Cinema", starting at 1:03:00. (posted by the Mariinsky)
  16. INDESTRUCTIBLE LIGHT And probably the best reason for liking this. It made me smile ! 🙂
  17. INDESTRUCTIBLE LIGHT Stilled glued to it. This might be the last night that it can be seen on the internet. For me, it's an instant ABT Classic. It's really nice when something different really works. This does. I hope that it'll become part of the repertoire and I can't imagine a better cast. There's a lot of Cool Stuff here. Choreography by Darrell Grand Moultrie Dancers: Betsy McBride, Jacob Clerico, Anabel Katsnelson, Melvin Lawovi, Hannah Marshall, Duncan McIlwaine, Scout Forsythe, Joseph Markey Music by Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Neal Hefti, and Billy Strayhorn Songs: “Battle Royal,” “Little Pony,” “Tricky’s Licks,” and “The Star-Crossed Lovers”
  18. I just found a video of Elizaveta Kokoreva excerpts. I've liked this vibrant young Corps de Ballet dancer since I first saw clips of her debuting in January as Swanilda (the lead) in Coppelia. She's vibrant and a lovely dancer. I wish her a fine future. I also return often to the video clip that I posted of Alyona Kovalyova in La Bayadere. We all have elements of ballet that we admire and for me it's her absolutely lovely and overall essence. As I've mentioned, she'll be debuting as Mekhmene Banu (the lead) in Legend of Love in next Saturday's matinee. I continue to feel that she's much more of a graceful apparition than a dramatist, but she's already shown that she's capable of these demands. I think that she's lovely, lovely, lovely and how this is displayed in next Saturdays highly dramatic and physically challenging presentation is something that I'd really like to see. I wish her much success.
  19. June's programming and casting have been posted. https://www.mariinsky.ru/en/playbill/nextplaybill/?type=ballet Things start with Nadezhda Batoeva and Timur Askerov scheduled for two Giselles in three days. Some personal highlights: Alina Somova, Kimin Kim, Maria Iliushkina and Oxana Skorik, Philipp Stepin, Maria Bulanova in The Sleeping Beauty. Yekaterina Kondaurova with Timur Askerov and Alina Somova with Philipp Stepin, featured in A Midsummer Night's Dream with Nadezhda Batoeva, Victor Caixeta and Renata Shakirova, Kimin Kim (this couple I'd especially like to see) in the poetically lovely Act II Divertissement Duet. And another dancer that I like, Maria Bulanova, continues along with the Lilac Fairy (Sleeping Beauty, June 9) and Myrta (Giselle, June 22) and recently with Medora (Le Corsaire), and one of four in Parc. Her very slightly 'buxom' appearance (a pleasant change) and her vibrant character both have a very nice healthiness about them. In addition, for fouetté fans, she does all doubles with two triples in Le Corsaire, Also The Mariinsky is working on a new production of the Pharaoh's Daughter staged by Alexei Ratmansky. I always enjoyed Pierre Lacotte's 'interpretation' featuring Svetlana Zakharova and Sergei Filin at the Bolshoi. The costumes, scenery, choreography (most?) and staging, all beautifully done by Pierre Lacotte. https://www.instagram.com/p/CPGmt39FBHT/ (thanks to Sophia at Dansomanie) "Rehearsals of the ballet Pharaoh's Daughter staged by Alexei Ratmansky are underway at the Mariinsky Theater - the premiere is scheduled for December. Together with the artists, the choreographer is working on a new interpretation of the plot about the struggle for the heart of an Egyptian princess in dreams of exotic antiquity. ⠀ "Created in 1862 based on the novel by Théophile Gaultier to the music of Caesar Pugni in an extremely short time, it was The Pharaoh's Daughter that became the first full-scale production by Marius Petipa for the Imperial Theaters." (Google translation)
  20. I wish David Zaleev as quick and complete a recovery as is possible. Yesterday Maria Iliushkina performed another Le Corsaire. From a series of brief video clips you can see once again her ability to sustain a solid, full performance with an almost child-like glee and looseness that makes you wonder how she can do it. But she does with artistic fineness and surety. It also makes you wonder how she can navigate the unchild-like character waters of a Le Corsaire or an Odile from Swan Lake, but once again she does. The only place that she gets upstaged in the friendlier waters is by the children in such scenes as Le Corsaire's Jardin Animé. As for physical stamina she knocks off the fouetté spins with total solidity and preciseness. Also from Le Corsaire, Kimin Kim, looks as alive, artistically formidable and likeable as ever. For me, he continues to somehow rise above it all this season, with outstanding commitment and character. Saturday, Alexander Sergeev with Anastasia Matvienko will be performing the ballet Giselle. I've never seen him do this, and as capable and versatile as he is, find it a little hard to imagine, but from a brief display in an old video clip he shows that he can handle these poetic depths with dramatic surety.
  21. Thanks, Volcanohunter, for your thoughts and for the videos. There are actually what I consider some very lovely videos of Alyona Kovalyova in the Andris Liepa Production series. Here's La Bayadere with Andrei Yermakov. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tfmjrp4m2Uw
  22. I continue to like the Liebeslieder Walzer very much. For me, it's one of the finest that I've seen of the video offerings. The filming and setting are very artistic. Like at least one other poster, I also find the natural lighting contrast rather strong at times, but the intent is good and if you can penetrate this the shadow and light work very artistically and the emotion and beauty of the performance are very touching.
  23. Something more about the love scene that Volcanohunter has mentioned. I found a version of it since I didn't remember it that well. This features Maya Plisetskaya with Maris Liepa. It does indeed have some challenging lifts, but these have been accomplished regularly with dancers such as Maria Alexandrova, who, for one, is not a particularly petite woman, although a very agile and graceful one. There may be physical challenges, but ballet has many. What interests me very much is the potential. Alyona Kovalyova, with her remarkably beautiful, long limbs and linear, graceful motion could turn this into a very lovely and impressive rendition, reminiscent, perhaps, of linearly supported, flowing sails at sea, her limbs being the linear support and their motion being the flowing sails. As for the dramatic implications, as I've tried to explore in my previous post, it will be very interesting to see how she handles this. She's much more of a graceful apparition than a dramatist, but this could be crafted into something very special. More news from Olga Smirnova. This is from an interview using a Google translation from russian. "Olga, let's start with the most important event for you, which is already in May - the premiere on the stage of the Bolshoi Theater of your first solo program POSTSCRIPT, where you will participate in three of the four ballet numbers included in the program - creations of the most famous and very various choreographers Wayne McGregor, Alexei Ratmansky and the duo Paul Life and Sol Leon. Olga: "This program was initiated by the work "McGregor + Mugler", which premiered in the UK in 2019, but it will be presented for the first time in Moscow. The rest of the numbers are included in the program by mutual agreement, taking into account my ardent desire to dance in the Ratmansky ballet, of which I am an absolute fan of choreography, and my dream of meeting interesting European choreographers Paul Life and Sol Leon. "Is the premiere of a new solo program important for you? Olga: "Of course, I think that this is going to a new level in the profession. Even while participating in the programs of one-act ballets at the Bolshoi Theater, during the evening I manage to dance only in one of them, and here it is possible to participate in three different works of modern choreography at once, to comprehend the creations of three most interesting and different authors at once. And this is really a way to a different professional level." https://ria.ru/20210416/teatr-1728437858.html (thanks to Елена С. at Balletfriends, Большой Балет и Опера)
  24. I join you, ECat, in wishing Alyona Kovalyova much success. For me, Legend of Love is a character work. It requires personality. Alyona Kovalyova's strong point is her lovely, long, statuesque beauty. Of the debuts that I see listed for her at the Bolshoi site, Myrta (Giselle) in 2017 and 2019 and Nikia (La Bayadere) in 2018 would seem to demand the most character so far. Mekhmene Banu is the regal center of attention in Legend of Love. Alyona Kovalyova's height might help her here, Volcanohunter. Also pure loveliness can count for a great deal in any ballet, no matter how dramatic, and this Alyona Kovalyova has huge amounts of. ECat, your mention of Viktoria Tereshkina also reflects on silent presence which is most noticeable in the scene where Mekhmene Banu is seated on her throne simply watching the whirlwind of dancing below her. Ulyana Lopatkina performed this scene by itself once at a Mariinsky gala. Viktoria Tereshkina was in a similar scene in a new work at the Mariinsky. Once again it involved just sitting there while a flurry of male dancing was going on below her. Who will I always remember from that bravura performance ? You guessed it. Silent beauty and presence can be very powerful and this could work in Alyona Kovalyova's favor. Drew, of the names mentioned here, Svetlana Zakharova, after the birth of her child, when she matured considerably in character, would seem highly interesting. Also, Maria Alexandrova, who exudes personality, would seem a fine choice.The only time that I ever saw Maria Allash, Volcanohunter, was in Raymonda almost thirty years ago. Interestingly, which I've mentioned before, Maria Alexandrova's performance of Raymonda with the Paris Opera Ballet about fifteen years ago, was probably the most subtle and fine performance that I've seen her give. I've only viewed Legend of Love once on stage. This was at the Mariinsky with Yekaterina Kondaurova as Mekhmene Banu. She took over the stage the minute that she entered. She was outstanding ! For me, what makes Legend of Love such a masterpiece is Yuri Grigorovich's invention of dance shapes and motion, most noticeable in the group dancing. I'd like to quickly add that in my previous post I welcomed Olga Smirnova back after her long illness. I'd also like to do the same for everyone at the Bolshoi who was ill last year and is now hopefully, healthily returned.
  25. I watched "Indestructible Light" over and over last night and enjoyed it very much. There are other performances that look quite good, but I haven't had a chance to view them completely. Still it's "Indestructible Light" that continues to capture my imagination. It's among the first truly 'hip' and truly jazz ballets that I've ever seen, along with some of London's Ballet Black's works.
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