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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. Thanks for jogging my memory, yes, it was Versailles, I couldn't watch more than a few minutes. A brilliant film could have been made about Louis, instead we got that rubbish. I'm not usually a fan of crime, but the Scandinavian productions have converted me.
  2. Indeed, I think such ballets will eventually be dropped in western Europe. Many dancers in Russia come from the old republics where skin tone is noticeably darker and eyes are not Caucasian and they have been cast accordingly.
  3. Seeing how fakir behaviour includes meditating in the open air in all weathers, a weather beaten look is appropriate in comparison with the other characters. Kind of permanent first degree burn. I once watched a performance of Swan Lake in Marbella, a lot of the dancers had clearly taken advantage of the sun. No uniformity that night. Some had a fabulous tan, some had turned red, while the ones that had eschewed the beach looked pasty by comparison.
  4. If they're the ones I think they are, the scores made them unwatchable for me. The recent Henry VIII series was ridiculous, there was also a dreadful Louis XIV series. My favourite viewing right now is Scandinavian crime series, really gritty with superb acting, if you've not seen any I recommend them.
  5. History tells us it was Mary who relied on a series of dissipated/inept men. The whole point of Elizabeth's spinster status was to make her own decisions and not be reliant on any man. She chose her male advisors and they were always the most astute.
  6. Of these touring Russian companies St Petersburg Ballet Theatre is about the best. Kolesnikova is Vaganova trained and for many years she was coached by Alla Osipenko, her style is very much 'old Kirov' I find her soulful and beautiful, a few find her mannered. The production is very much based on the Mariinsky version, no nasty deviations from the basic plot, the sets and costumes are traditional. One's reaction to any dancer is subjective so I imagine it depends on how keen you are on Russian dancers as to whether she's worth a journey.
  7. It is pretty easy to offend through ignorance actually. Not knowing about local customs/superstitions can easily cause upset/embarrassment/anger, even mispronouncing a foreign word can get you into trouble. Innocuous example: once gave a Russian friend twelve roses, was unaware even numbers of blooms in bouquets are unlucky, she was clearly upset. I'm reading this thread with incredulity, cannot believe anyone would defend the harassment of innocent young girls.
  8. Surely intent has to be proved before the children in question can be accused of a racial insult? If they had no intention of offending their audience they have to be considered blameless. If the company was aware of such sensitivities and ignored them that is another matter.
  9. As I happen to admire Osipova's modern work very much, I think this is well worth making a journey to see.
  10. I've been reading this thread with great interest. Rulers in my view are few and far between. When I began my regular ballet going in the 1960's there could be no question of who ruled, it was Fonteyn and Nureyev, a kind of balletic William and Mary. Since then I would say only Sylvie Guillem created the nearest level of interest as those two, but many of us decried the influence she had on technique and blame her for the introduction of the vile six o'clock extension. I like and admire the majority of the names put forward here, but apart from one, I can't see a present or future ruler among those names. A couple I haven't actually seen in the flesh, the clip of the oft mentioned Ms Peck is indeed awesome. There are few French names and no Danes at all, possibly because they don't tour, Americans and Cubans are a rare treat in the UK these days. So who rules? At this moment only Natalia Osipova. She ticks the boxes of having both an international reputation and an extraordinary versatility, not many have both Giselle and Kitri as their most admired roles and Osipova is adventurous in her choices of repertoire. Too adventurous perhaps as her increasing forays into the modern style takes her away from what most would consider her best roles. She certainly has her detractors, the greats always do, but she has the compelling stage presence that marks her out as a star, above all a passion for dance that communicates itself to an audience and that is where so many others can be found wanting. The name of Elena Glurdjidze doesn't appear in the previous posts. I'm not surprised as she didn't have an international career and has stopped dancing now anyway, but please spare a moment to read what the critic Luke Jennings had to say about her. When she was dancing she may not have ruled the world but lovely, unsung Elena certainly ruled my heart and perhaps that is what matters most. "People ask me what has been the best thing that I’ve seen, and of course there is no “best”. But if you were to ask me which experience I’d most like to repeat, I think I know. It was a weekday matinee in 2007, and English National Ballet were dancing their traditional version of Giselle, with Elena Glurdjidze in the title role. Then 32, Glurdjidze had studied at the Vaganova Academy in St Petersburg, and had learned Giselle from her teacher, the great Lyubov Kunakova. Her performance reminded me of why I first fell in love with ballet. Nothing she did was technically extraordinary, nothing was showy, her legs hardly ever rose above the horizontal. But such was her transparency, so profound was her identification with the role, that you couldn’t really see the dancing. All was character, all was emotion, all was story. Glurdjidze stopped time, and that is what great dancing can do"
  11. Fakirs exist in both the Hindu and Islamic religions, they are mendicant monks and in many cases dervishes. They are not necessarily lower caste, in fact in Islam there are no castes. All that unites them are vows of poverty,
  12. There is no equivalent to the English letter H in the Russian language, the closest you get is X, roughly pronounced kh. H in Russian script is pronounced N, e.g. Nureyev in Russian script is written as Hypeeb. To give you an example, Hamlet (play and ballet) in Russia is known as Gamlet. In his 'Complete Book of Ballets' Beaumont refers to Gamsatti, the only difference I can find
  13. To the best of my knowledge this was created as a one off for a gala, a sensational piece, I remember it still. Wayne Eagling was labelled as a MacMillan dancer, but he always looked very at home in Ashton's ballets, e.g. Fille and Cinderella. Papillion was very much crafted to match Eagling's unique abilities, I rather think Sir Fred admired Eagling as much as MacMillan did. Hard to say, but he always seemed very happy dancing Colas, so I imagine that ballet at least will stay in the rep.
  14. I am so very sorry to hear this news about Steven Macrae, he has had a number of injury problems and this must be a dreadful blow to him despite his stoical reaction. In my view he is is unique and in many ways there is no one who can replace him, I accept the show must go on, but I may well finish up returning my tickets. However I would much prefer the elegant, ever classical Hirano to the lumbering Reece Clarke.
  15. If they're just doing Carmen it's going to be a very short evening.
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