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  1. Translation of Kommersant obituary May 12: ‘Dance’s female lion-tamer’ On 8 May in the outskirts of St P Ninel Kurgapkina’s life was tragically ended under the wheels of a car. She was a People’s Artist of the USSR, renowned Soviet ballierna and leading teacher-coach at the Mariinsky Theatre. Only two months ago at a jubilee evening in honour of her 80th birthday, she appeared in a long pink gown with fur trimmings over her naked shoulders, on the Mariinsky stage, where she thanked her pupils, “My dear girls, who long ago stopped being girls”. All applauded, her numerous students and her st
  2. That TV is too quick for me to get all of it, but it and the original report from the Mariinsky say she died on Friday May 8, not Saturday. The latest Izvestia report says she was hit by a car in the countryside near her dacha. They say the details are not yet released. Awful
  3. Gergiev's interview in Rossiskaya Gazeta, June 4: Headline: Crisis in choreography: Yuri Fateev will lead the Mariinsky ballet. An introduction outlines the on-off saga of Vaziev offering his resignation in March but it not being ratified, his non-appearance in the US tour, and Fateev's being deputed to lead that. It says that Gergiev has been reconsidering the ballet management, and Vaziev "undoubtedly" hoped that there might be a last-ditch offer to recognize by retitling him "artistic director" his sterling work in overhauling the Kirov's repertoire and world ranking, through adding maste
  4. This sounds like a very odd, intriguing new creation. A report in Kommersant, June 2 2008. BALLET PREMIERE: In Rostov took place the premiere of the ballet Hamlet on Shostakovich music in a production by Alexsei Fadeechev with participation from Bolshoi theatre performers. Tatyana Kuznetsova could not make out whether this Rostovian Shakespeare was comedy or tragedy. The Rostov Musical Theatre ballet company, formed in the new millennium, is scarcely out of babyhood in age, and yet already includes the grown-up classics Swan Lake and Giselle in its repertoire. Understandably the company, it
  5. delibes

    Igor Zelensky

    Marina Shabanova, Vedomosti, May 23 2008 Igor Zelensky interview: "Novosibirsk will be a capital city of dance" Ballet lovers expect large-scale events. The 1st Siberian international festival of ballet opens on May 26, and concludes with a gala concert on May 31. The fact that to the Siberian Grand Theatre travelled top dancers of today is largely to the credit of the artistic director of Novosibirsk Ballet, People's Artist of Russia Igor Zelensky. His international contacts are the consequence of his extended work abroad and a glittering artistic life. Today, by his own admission, he is ex
  6. Hamburg Ballet's prima ballerina Anna Polikarpova: "Humanity will die if it doesn't go to the theatre". Izvestya, May 14 2008, Svetlana Naborshchikova http://www.izvestia.ru/culture/article3116194/ On May 26 on the new Opera stage the "Sun Kings" gala concert will be held. The featured attraction will be Anna Polikarpova and Ivan Urban, the acclaimed couple from Hamburg Ballet. At the start of the 1990s the married couple became the first Russian dancers to be invited by John Neumeier to his company. How she then gained the title of Neumeier's muse was the subject when the former Peterburg
  7. "QUOTE Three roles in the Benefit -- Solor in Bayaderka, Narcissus in the eponymous miniature, and Herman in Pique Dame -- were dedicated to three legends of Russian ballet, Marina Semyonova, Galina Ulanova and Nikolai Fadeechev, who once upon a time prepared these roles with Nikolai Tsiskaridze. 'Once upon a time' is true for Semyonova and Ulanova, but Fadeechev still coaches him in all his roles, as far as I know." Sorry I don't know how to extract previous quotes properly. I should say that in translating Russian, it's possible to suggest slightly different nuances or variations of tone
  8. I have translated the Kommersant report in today's paper (May 12th), critical of Tsiskaridze, even sarcastic, but it explains his mysterious fame (mysterious to me, I regret). Introduction: The Bolshoi Theatre had a sold-out benefit for Nikolai Tsiskaridze, the most famous male dancer in Russia. Tatyana Kyznetsova was witness to his celebration. Benefit performances are given for three reasons: as a sign of farewell to the public, to verify someone's exceptional status, and to attract attention to that person. In the last instance they are usually organised in an outside theatre for those ar
  9. Catherine, sorry to be so long to check in. I found it through a link to another Russian article and when I copied the text for translation I didn't keep the full link. If you use this link to the Gorod site and search in the Kultura section you could find it. http://www.gorod-spb.ru/index.php
  10. An article in a St Petersburg weekly GOROD on April 7th about the Kirov/Vaziev turmoil is strongly critical of Valeriy Gergiev, the conductor and theatre's overall artistic chief. Irina Gubskaya writes that it is not at all clear that the ballerina Ul'yana Lopatkina has the company's support as the next ballet artitic director, as when she was officially designated "director" of the American tour -- with the prospect of "the company directorship" in due course -- it aroused an "indignant flurry" or "upset" inside the company. This was said to be why the dancers were so noticeably relieved on t
  11. The verb Baryshnichat means to profiteer, usually in horsedealing. A person who does it is a Baryshnik. Ov (or ev) at the end means, son of. Nureyev is son-of-Nuré or Nuri, a Russified Turkish name meaning 'light, or pale'. http://mirslovarei.com (in Russian) has a comprehensive list. Vaziev is not in the list, but I suppose that it might be a Turkic version of Vasiliev (Basil = king) type names, such as son-of-the king. Makhar means blessed. But Valery means strong. Tsiskaridze is Georgian, and derives from 'Tsiskari', a very old Georgian name meaning dawn. One of Balanchine's nephews is app
  12. There is a whole lot of strange spellings/ transliterations from the Diaghilev/ Dyaguileff Ballets Russes time. Sergeev can come out as Serguéeff, nowadays Sergeyev, and I guess that 'Serge' with the soft 'ge' sound was the result of French people having a stab at saying 'Sergei'. We presumably also owe to that time the kind-of-misspelling of Nijinsky. In Russian to English direct, as prounounced, he should be written Nizhinsky. But the French 'j' sound is the same as what we write in English as 'zh', so we inherited the French Nijinsky spelling from his first European transliteration, even th
  13. On from Catherine's post about transliteration, Vaziev should really be with a 'zee' rather than an 'es' as the sound is distinctly the zee letter, not the s. However as in the name Plisetskaya, there are those who write the 's' sound with two 'ss' to make the sharp unvocalised sound, and Kshessinskaya the same. The problem arises that in English 's' can have both the 'ss' and the 'z' sound. Many people seeing Plisetskaya would instinctly turn the s into a z. But on the 'iev' question - there are two problems here. If we wrote Vaziev consistently with the way we write 'Nureyev' would we not w
  14. I am not sure that I have such wholesome confidence that the sound team on the recording were so fastidious. If the recording is not recorded live, and the "live" sounds on stage would I guess give this away, then how certain is it that the dance you see is being danced to what you hear? in this case there are places where the dancers clap or stamp their feet, visually clear, but they are all just after the beat (and in some places kinda raggedy so it's not like they are an incredibly disciplined team all dancing just 'off' or 'through' together.) It would make a very strange impact live, I w
  15. They are two different ballets, kind of almost like comparing Tudor's Romeo and Juliet (Delius) with MacMillan's (Prokofiev). Same story, but different music, different treatment. Lacotte/Taglioni is a reconstruction of the first Paris Sylphide, which Bournonville saw and wanted to imitate in Denmark but could not afford to use that music, hence had to commission a fresh score for his own take on the story. I remember that I enjoyed the Lacotte one and its music very much when I happened to catch it on its premiere a few years ago. I have this Danish DVD and I think that the sound must have b
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