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Mashinka

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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
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    London UK

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  1. Mashinka

    Royal Ballet 2018-19 season

    Agreed, Wellington was introduced as a topical joke when the Goya portrait of him was stolen and the original Wellington, Derek Rencher, was made up to resemble the great man. Very funny at the time, less so now.
  2. Mashinka

    Blackface in the Bolshoi's La fille de pharaon

    Of course, the best way of dealing with these ballets is simply not to go. Some here see Pharaoh's Daughter as a racist statement, 99.9% of the Bolshoi's audiences won't. The Bolshoi doesn't at present have any black female dancers to cast in the role, presumably if it had, it would. The changeling Indian boy in Ashton's Dream was originally made up, but that's no longer necessary as there's now no lack of genuine Indian boys to play the role. The African prince in the Wright/Ashton Sleeping Beauty was blacked up, should that production be revived there are a number of black RB dancers to choose from. There is nothing intrinsically racist in make up being used to aid authenticity. Racism in dance is about denying opportunities to non white dancers, a practice that is vile and discriminatory, something I knew about all too well when a black dancer friend told me as recently as the 1980's that he stood little chance of joining a classical company because of his colour. Nearly forty years on times are changing, eventually there'll Be no need for that make up.
  3. Mashinka

    Isadora starring Natalia Osipova

    You're absolutely right (phew), in future I'll check with the well informed members of this forum, rather than those panicked by the mere mention of the name Isadora.
  4. Mashinka

    Blackface in the Bolshoi's La fille de pharaon

    Moving to different societies, heavy make-ups in Kabuki and in particular Kathakali obscure the race of practitioners completely and Hindu depictions are not infrequently of blue and black faces, I believe for something to be racist there has to be intent, Out of interest, what was the reaction to the film The Book Thief in the US? Was there outrage over the child that blacked his face to resemble his idol Jesse Owens?
  5. Mashinka

    Blackface in the Bolshoi's La fille de pharaon

    Wasn't the first ever film with spoken dialogue The Jazz Singer with a blacked up Al Jolson? Will that movie now be air-brushed from history? Yes there are people in the Netherlands opposed to Black Pete, but they are almost exclusively immigrants according to a TV news item from last Christmas. The Dutch are unlikely to ditch a tradition that goes back centuries.
  6. Mashinka

    Royal Ballet 2018-19 season

    The problem may well be the latest designs that were generally disliked, but casting may also be a problem as with each revival the portrayal of the ugly sisters has become more vulgar and inappropriate, possibly because the English pantomime tradition is dying. The final pas de deux is ravishingly beautiful and I've never understood why it has never been given as a stand alone gala item.
  7. Mashinka

    2017/2018 season

    Preposterous. Did you never see Ananiashvili or Gracheva in the role?
  8. Mashinka

    Royal Ballet Winter 2018-19 Casting Posted

    I can't help thinking that Acosta tailored his Don Q production in the knowledge that the previous two DQ's by Baryshnikov and Nureyev didn't work. The RB has it's limitations when compared to the Kirov or the Bolshoi and when I saw the last run it was painfully apparent that, to give one example, although other roles were successfully filled by a couple of casts, that of Dryad Queen was not. His Carmen, admittedly disliked by some, was very much a crowd pleaser and he was already experienced in staging works before being commissioned by the RB. Personally I've not heard much about directors meddling in a chorographer's actual work, though I have heard verifiable stories concerning directors/management influencing the choice of dancers available to a choreographer. Osipova is a star and that is a fact, she puts bums on seats just as Fonteyn did. Having a huge name on the roster is a matter of prestige. The RB does has a number of promising dancers right now, although whether they develop into much remains to be seen. I don't understand Ashton Fan's animosity towards Fonteyn, from the 60's onwards her status was that of a guest and frankly she danced nowhere near as frequently as I would have liked, other dancers emerged at that time, often performing roles that were outside Fonteyn's repertoire, of all those MacMillan ballets of the 70's and 80's, Fonteyn danced just one. The truth is she blocked no one. Frankly I find it rather bizarre that someone who purports to admire Ashton so much should have such a low opinion of his muse.
  9. Mashinka

    Isadora starring Natalia Osipova

    I remember that Ken Russell TV film (one of his best) and I also remember the feature film with Vanessa Redgrave, The MacMillan ballet was an absolute turkey, but Ashton's short piece when danced by Seymour was superb, Ashton I believe had the advantage of having actually seen Duncan on stage. The Isadora work I liked best though was the Bejart piece for Maya Plisetskaya with a group of children. I'm assuming the Pure Dance performances at Sadlers Wells will actually be this Isadora. If the American reviews regard it as anything less than a masterpiece, I'll be off loading my ticket.
  10. Mashinka

    Retirement of Daria Pavlenko

    Pavlenko was the most beautiful dancer. I remember her particularly in Vikharev's Bayaderka, she had all the qualities of a true ballerina, but it seemed to me her performances were extremely rationed. Do we have any explanation as to why she never toured? The last time I saw her was several years ago when she accompanied her husband to London but never actually danced. We endured far lesser 'talents on that particular tour I remember, but were denied the joy of seeing a true artist. I wish her all the best for the future but hope she hasn't retired from dancing completely, if the Kirov wasn't prepared to acknowledge her talents, might she not be more appreciated elsewhere? It has occurred to me that there is a vacancy now in the top rank, should be filled by either Novikova or Osmolkina.
  11. Mashinka

    Chase Johnsey leaves Trocks; Joins ENB

    The BBC has a link to this on its home page today. Something as a surprise as the beeb these days is obsessed with popular culture. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/entertainment-arts-44985730/gender-fluid-ballerina-chase-johnsey-take-me-seriously
  12. Mashinka

    Blackface in the Bolshoi's La fille de pharaon

    I think it is too, in Britain people like Matt Lucas and Sacha Baron Cohen regularly portray non white characters in their comedy sketches. Creating different personas is their stock in trade and although you hear the odd complaint, they seem far too popular across the board for much offence to be taken. Statues rather than black faces cause the most offence in the UK from the Rhodes scholar who wanted Cecil Rhode's statue removed from his university to calls to demolish Nelson's column.
  13. Mashinka

    2017/2018 season

    Ksenia Zhiganshina is dancing at an interesting gala in Barcelona on Friday, Igor Kolb is in the line up too along with Irina Perren and Igor Tsvirko. http://balletrusobarcelona.com/page2331457.html Barcelona is one of Europe's greatest cities but has a micro climate that makes it very humid, what it's like in the present heat wave I dread to think.
  14. Mashinka

    Blackface in the Bolshoi's La fille de pharaon

    I last saw it at the Bournonville Festival under Frank Andersen, don't think Hubbe has revived it. The RDB does however seem to have dropped Whims of Cupid and the Ballet Master, far earlier than Bournonville of course bur perhaps even more offensive to those posting here than Far from Denmark.
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