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About Mashinka

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    Long time ballet fan and former modern dance administrator
  • City**
    London UK

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  1. Mashinka

    Mikhail Lobukhin

    Well, I saw him dance with the Kirov in a few roles but to be honest I never sat up and took notice until he joined the Bolshoi. He is very lucky to have found the company that exactly matches his talent. In my opinion he is unmatchable in Flames of Paris and currently the best Conrad. Really looking forward to Spartak next summer.
  2. Mashinka

    Future technology

    I am wondering how much longer we can enjoy DVDs and CDs as streaming takes over and new technology replaces old. Recently a major UK store announced it would stop selling DVD players and the newest models of cars no longer have CD players. Now, I have only come across one music lover prepared to ditch his CD collection and know opera buffs with thousands of complete operas on CD, the time it would take to download would be considerable. I'm one of those people that like to pull a book, CD, DVD off a shelf. Am I a dinosaur?
  3. Mashinka

    Nutcracker 2018

    Languorous certainly, rather like Prokofiev's summer variation in Cinderella. It's hard to be sprightly when the temperature is 40C+ and the sensuality may well come from watching belly dancers. I always enjoyed Nureyev's Arab Dance, an interesting concept from a choreographer who was himself a Muslim. His tumblers in the Chinese Dance were superior to all that pointy finger stuff too.
  4. Having just watched her version for the RB, I consider it a dismal thing with so many of the usual elements missing. Where is the drum dance? where's Manu and her pot. No parrots, no elephant. A betrothal party so sparsely populated you wonder if the relatives of the tiger that Solor killed earlier have gone on the rampage. Above all we're eight Bayaderes short going down the ramp, An ineffectual last act viewed through a scrim is no substitute for the feast of opulence that the Russians give us, including Vikharev's version.
  5. Not an exaggeration to say that British ballet goers aren't just shocked, they are disgusted. How is it more expensive now than in the past? This coincidentally was the first ballet I saw Fonteyn dance back in 1964. On a pro rata basis is the Royal Ballet in receipt of fewer funds than in the past? Concert goers that otherwise ignore ballet will turn out to hear famous scores performed as they were intended, the all Stravinsky programmes conducted by Bernard Haitinck proved that. Too many triple bills are put together with little regard to the music, the antithesis of Diaghilev's artistic principles of course.
  6. Little chance, they seldom dance together. Actually I think the ROH are missing a trick with the casting as Osipova/Hallberg would have gone down particularly well with US audiences.
  7. Mashinka

    Royal Ballet Spring 2019 Casting Posted !

    Corrales is phenomenal, not just for his dancing but for his acting skills which are off the Richter scale and probably the result of his being a child actor (rather like the great John Gilpin), He has been dancing the relatively minor role of a Hungarian Officer in Mayerling, no doubt so that he can familiarize himself with the Opera House stage, but even in that role I heard the name 'Corrales' buzzing round the amphi as people realized something very special has landed in their midst. Tonight he makes his debut as Solor, with Romeo and Basilio lined up for later this season - and he is a mere twenty two years of age. For the record I consider him to have a very pleasant face.
  8. I'm with you about Chudin, I like him too. The Trocks are currently in the UK and I saw their version of Raymonda a few weeks ago. Funny of course, but they do dance the solos very well and I was overwhelmed by nostalgia for a ballet that seems strictly rationed in Britain. The RB rarely dances it and the Russians rarely bring it. Such an audience pleaser too, it doesn't make sense to me.
  9. Granted, but an approximation would be good. I've only seen video clips of the Bolshoi dancing Bournonville and a poor pas de deux in a gala programme. I wonder who the repeteur is. After not dancing Bournonville for many years ENB danced La Sylphide recently and produced a startlingly good Sylph in Erina Takahashi. Frank Andersen was in charge of the production and all the dancers seemed to grasp at least the rudimentary basics of what was required. In this ballet I don't see the correct style as some kind of add on, I think it is essential to the period charm of the piece.
  10. Thank you for that assessment, however you seem to have missed something out: how did they sound? The Danes are like thistledown, you don't hear them at all whereas Russians tend to have the ballet world's noisiest shoes. The perfect Russian Sylph? Probably Kaptsova I imagine if she could be persuaded to spend a few weeks of study in Copenhagen first.
  11. Mashinka

    Nina Kaptsova

    That's pretty much my opinion too. With a Bolshoi season in London next year, I have to admit that the likely list of female principals Zakharova, Smirnova, Stepanova makes me shudder. Only Krysanova lightens the gloom. Should out of favour Kaptsova and Alexandrova show up, or indeed, Obraztsova, I could muster some enthusiasm. Btw, could someone tell me what is happening with Obtaztsova? A friend booked for the Milan Bayaderes in the hope of seeing her but no luck. Is she out of favour as well?
  12. Mashinka

    Nina Kaptsova

    I think you will find that between the Tsarist era and the present day, we had the Soviet era that clearly didn't subscribe to ageism, hence the lengthy careers of Ulanova and Plisetskaya among others. If a mandatory retirement age has been introduced at the Bolshoi, I would like to know who introduced such a rule and when. It certainly doesn't apply at the Kirov.
  13. Mashinka

    Royal Ballet 2018-19 season

    Just back from my first Mayerling of this run. Empty seats throughout the auditorium. They should definitely give this ballet a rest, it should be revived no fewer than every ten yeas.
  14. Mashinka

    Nina Kaptsova

    I second your concerns, I was shocked at Alexandrova's demotion too.
  15. There can be little argument regarding the awful productions that the Royal Opera inflicts on it's audiences, but I dislike this word 'Eurotrash' intensely and believe it is highly misleading. So far I've seen nine operas in continental houses this year and although one production was dull and unimaginative, it wasn't thoroughly unpleasant in the way so many are in Bow Street. The problem seems to be with whoever commissions these monstrosities, not the nationalities of the directors. On the plus side the RO's recent Salome looked very good in a straight comparison to the bilge currently on offer at ENO, apparently a feminist interpretation by one Adena Jacobs, not European but Aussie. My pal at the Coliseum tells me around a dozen walk out in disgust every night. On Friday night when I saw it, three people behind me called it a day when the giant headless pink horse made its appearance. I notice it's the subsidised houses that present these horrors, the hits to misses ratio is far more positive in places like Garsington and Glyndebourne.