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Everything posted by Andrei

  1. "" As performed by Sibley and Dowell, it is far from the kind of "sign language" -- or the mugging -- that most people think of when they think of mime. To me, it IS dancing. '' I'm agree with Bart on 100%. It SHOULD be dancing. The problem now with young dancers is that they study mime (if they study it at all) as a separate subject and in their minds dancing and acting never crossed each other. Now I'm going to jump and now I'm going to "talk", which means they don't know how to EXIST on the stage constantly. Of course, it has to be taught and developed during acting classes.
  2. yes, hare supposed to be a wild animal, leaving in the forest and rabbit is domestic, leaving in the cage or in the garden.
  3. On the first picture from drama's production Fire, not Ocean. The color for Farhad's costume is tourquoise or BIRUSOVYI in Russian.
  4. Looking at youtube, unfortuantely, I have to say it's not so good as it was 40 years ago . Alexandrova's body position is too straight in famous traveling hops backward, arms too weak during "turn in pas de bourree". Boys have to slide more down after fouette in the air together. The leading men should lean more forward after emboite and so on ...
  5. Mark, but how was the performance?!
  6. Natalia, don't take so hard on dancers yet, it's still just rehearsal. Interesting was Ratmansky's explanation that he gave this dance to principals because is so powerful choreography and he is looking for the ultimate dancer who has to be good in every style of dance. Ratmansky didn't change anything in the first and the last part, he said he brought famous Kirov's character dancer Irina Gensler to stage it. Unfortunately, the second part, which he changed, looks like a piece from another ballet. Ilya, this difficult to belive, but yes, they danced so fast. My teacher was Bregvadze( slightly younger then Dudinskaya and Chabukiani) and occasionally he showed how men should do chainee turns. We were ashamed
  7. It looks like Hungarian dance to me.
  8. Michael, send me a message with your email, may be I can help.
  9. Pavlova. Diagilev or Nijinski?
  10. ... Also I have always thought that I must keep a large distance between me and my colleagues. This helps me to work.... Actually, it's not correct translation. She said :"I have to be a head of my colleagues".
  11. Here are two possible versions of origin of this gesture. 1. In Russia we have an expression "to break the hat", which mean to put it deeper on your head before to start to dance, so it will not fell off. 2. Most of male folk dances are kind of competition between men. Taking off the hat in front of somebody shows that you accept his priopity, so keeping it on and confirming it by the gesture of the hand makes this proud look.
  12. To continue to dance without the music or not, this is a hard question for Artistic Director. First of all, the decision has to be done immediately, but in consideration you have to put too many things - is it short variation or long adagio, how many people should dance in the sink, does the taped music has tracks or it's one long piece, what is importance of this performance and, finally, what is the heck is going on, how fast they can fix the problem?! I had an expierence both ways of dealing with this situation as a dancer and as a director and can say that the public was always entusiastic, doesn't matter did you stop or not. If you keeping up on dancing, people amazed by sinhronized movements of artists, who became, IMO, kind of "trained elephants". And if you stopped and fixed the problem, artists got a lot of adrenalin to prove that they are better then any technical matters in the world. Talking about costumes mishaps, I bet that some of Kirov Ballet girls specially asked to make their top of the costume so short, that in big lifts or low port de bras boobs are falling out to the great pleasure of male auditorium.
  13. Of course, it's difficult to compare 18 years old with 60 years old ( the time when I saw Tiuntina the first time in my life), but I have a lot of doubts that she is on this picture.
  14. Vladimir Thomson danced all his life in Mariinsky, after retirement worked in the office, given salary to dancers.
  15. The school never was closed. It was renamed in 1921 as Petrograd State Choreographic College, the same year when Balanchivadze and Danilova graduated and Vaganova became Artistic Director of the school.
  16. I can tell about some of the names above. 1915 - Anatoly Viltzak and Ekaterina Geidenreih. They became soloists and later on teachers in Vaganova school. 1916 - Andrei Lopuhov, who is the younger brother of Feodor Lopuhov, the choreographer. 1917 - Lidia Tyuntina, soloist and later a teacher and a coach of little children for Mariinsky's productions. 1918 - Boris Shavrov, very good classical soloist, who was famous for his duet with Elena Lyukom. The teacher of Yuri Soloviev. 1919 - Vassily Vainonen - choreographer of "Flames of Paris" and "Nutcracker".
  17. I just bought DVD "Everything turns into dancing" on Amazon.com with excerpts of Jackobson's works. It was filmed in 1978, when Jackobson was already dead. The quality of DVD is awful, the sound, picture and camera's work are terrible, the selection and editing is very strange, but it has two very good pointes. a) It gives you the feeling of the time with some street scenes in Leningrad in Christmas. b) You still able to understand how good his choreography is. Unfortunately, there are not only Jackobson's choreography and all credits in the end of DVD and it's in Russian, so it's not any help either So, I can tell you that you can stop watching after pas de trois on music by Rossini, it's nothing interesting left behind.
  18. I never rehearsed directly with this genius, Leonid Jacobson, but I danced a lot of his choreography. My best friend was invited to dance with Jacobson's company when it was just formed, so I knew from the very beginning what happened there. Besides, I WAS in the room with Leonid Jacobson several times, which allows me now to pay my tribute to this incredible person. The first time we met, I was still in the school and Jacobson was working on "Vestris" for Baryshnikov. Jacobson had an idea to recreate the time when Vestris was dancing and he asked our French teacher to send to the recording studio a few kids who had a good French pronunciation. I was one of them. Jacobson stormed into the room. He had a small, but strongly build body, bald patches and already grey hairs. He had a sharp voice and spoke very fast, sometimes unclear for me. His eyes were always on the move, from object to object, from person to person, like he was searching for something or wanted to move us. Actually, with his appearance everybody started to move. He wanted to record the public reaction on Vestris’ dancing and asked us to cry, to laugh and to shout French words on musical cues. It was strange and uncomfortable for usually silent ballet dancers to produce anything, but Jacobson gave as a quick acting class and after several takes was happy with the result. Unfortunately, later he changed his mind and didn't include this sound track for Baryshnikov's performance. The next meeting took place at the Vaganova Academy in 1971, where Jacobson held an audition for his own company. I didn't try out; I had another year of study. So I was standing at the door with my friends, criticizing everybody, of course. Jacobson was already 67 years old (!), when he finally received funds from the state and was allowed to form his "Choreographic Miniatures". The class was very short and the best dancer, in our student opinions, was the teacher - Nikolay Roumyantzev, a brilliant demi-character dancer, who amazed us by his arabesque lines and emotional presentation of the combinations. He was around 60 and he never taught me, so it was a surprise. Jacobson didn't pick anybody after the class, but instead asked all of the auditioners to dance a little solo, whatever they want to show to him. If he liked it, then he asked them to come over to talk. We didn't understand his choices at all; he ignored the technically strongest dancers and invited to talk some who even didn't have the right proportions for ballet! One girl danced her own interpretation of "Dying Swan" with bad pointe technique; he took her. One men was dancing the Slave variation from "Le Corsaire" with a very strange first part. Instead of saut de basque en tournant from downstage corner he started from upper right corner and went downstage, doing grand assemblée with both legs bent in a turned out position, landing on one foot only and another then making a developpé in arabesque. Then, he brushed this foot in front attitude relevé and repeated the combination 3 times. The movement was too feminine for us and we began to laugh, but Jacobson invited him too! Now I regret that I didn't find out where that dancer learned this interpretation, may be it was Petipa's original? My friends told me that Jacobson came to rehearsal absolutely prepared, perfectly knowing the music and the general idea of what he had to do. He invented movements in the studio, not at home, so the development of the piece could go any direction. He never counted the music, so dancers should listen and feel it. Actually, I think that is a general rule for all the Vaganova School's graduates; our teachers never counted; even combinations in the class, were shown with the music. All the choreographers I worked with, I can divide in two groups. Some of them, like Eifman, Elizariev (from the Bolshoi Theater in Belarus), Brianzev (from the Moscow Stanislavsky), first have to put the dancer and themselves in the right emotional state of the piece and then produce some movements. If the piece is emotional, rehearsals can be very exhausting before they found the right move. Others started to weave a web of movements and will ask to include emotions later. Jacobson started with movements, but it never was movements for movements’ sake, they were made for this particular measure of the music. He never said: "Oh, that’s a good move, remember it, we are going to use it in another ballet." The same as he never choreographed without the music, the music was absolute ruler in his works. His casting abilities were phenomenal. He was able to see and to take from the artist the things that were hidden before for others. His first cast was always the best and very difficult to compete with. Unfortunately, this caused a great problem for his legacy, when dancers retired the piece, eventually, retired too. At the same time, he opened opportunities for every dancer in the company and all of them had to learn every piece he choreographed! They had to really work on it, sitting on the floor or even leaning on the barre during rehearsals was forbidden. He didn't change the choreography when it was done. The process itself could be long, but he never said on the next day: "I don't like it, let's start over." His choreography was difficult to learn, because it didn't have ordinary movements and had many little details, which you should not miss, but when you learned it, the dance became easy and rewarding. You really could invest your own personality and shine. As Jacobson liked to say about his company, "I don't have corps de ballet or soloists, all my dancers are stars!"
  19. John, can you tell more about "Street Games", isn't any literarture piece behind it and who was the composer?
  20. What were criteria for timelines? Why Moscow and St. Petersburg only, where are Paris, London, Copenhagen and, finally, New-York?
  21. I want to remind you that initially it wasn't pas de deux, but pas de trois with Benno, Siegfrid, Odette and bunch of hunters along swans. So it wasn't so much intimacy as we have it now. I see this adagio as Odette's continued speach from the previous mime scene, she is still sharing her grief and Siegfrid here is passive listener, who just mirroring her emotions. Acting should never be judged by facial expression, specially in ballet, where the whole body have to transfer movements of dancer's emotions.
  22. In St. Petersburg the boat doesn't move at all, but the forest does. There are two back drops, one in the front of the boat with a lot of wholes in it and another one behind, solid one. They move like a film in the camera, plus the front back drop moves a little bit faster then the other one and we have the illusion of a sealing boat.
  23. I agree with Mel, Nikolay Fadeechev from Bolshoy and, before him Konstantin Sergeev from Mariinsky were outstanding Siegfrieds. I'd like Helene idea, that Siegfried run to the lake, because he strucked by the mother's plans about wedding. Now, anybody can explain to me, why Siegfried, if he really felt in love with Odette, left the lake without her? Or, at least, didn't invite her to the party? Why he didn't tell to the mother about Odette?
  24. This is the first time, when I saw NYC competition and it makes me wonder about rules and regulations. Participants accepted as couples, but it looks like half of them never danced together and pairs were very, very uneven, the same as skills level. I felt really sorry for poor Cuban boy, who has a partner much taller then he is, the same as Estonian guy who has a very short Japanese girl. In this case it doesn't matter, how good you are, but you just looks awful, both men and women. After the first day I was shocked by the low level of technique and physical conditions of dancers. Some of them definitely shouldn't be there at all. The second day was much better an gave me some hope. Sorry, I left the program in N.Y. and I don't remember names, but after "Coppelia" few dancers really stand out of the group. They are Korean girl, who won the gold later. Chinese boy, who won the silver. Brasilian boy (Amour mentioned him) and couple from Philippines, who were only one true duet, with equal partners, who supported each other, who listen to the music and who LIVED on the stage. Unfortunately the boy was eliminated from the first round, because other boys were stronger techniqually. Actually, in this competition boys were much stronger then girls and in final round we saw 10 boys and only 6 girls. In contemporary round I like two dancers - Cuban boy, who brilliantly danced Neuimeyer's choreography and American girl Abigel ..., who showed very good pointe technique and musicality. Most of other numbers looks like was made by one choreographer. I hate this popular style, made usually on some songs - run, run, fall; run, run, jump; girls make pelvis rotation, boys make "wave" of the body, now freeze and make some suffering face , this one:yucky: or that one . The last round: Black Swan pas de deux became a hard nut for everybody. NOBODY did it clean, even the male variation was cut short (for what reason?!) except, guess who? Cuban boy and his partner, who was only the girl who made multiple clean fouette and he made clean variation and coda. Unfortunately, their partnering was awful and so, they didn't get any medals. Chinese boy( who has incredible good body, by the way) wasn't good partner and 2-3 pirouettes are not enough for the gold. Brasilian, even he is very good partner and really understanding what is he doing on the stage, unfortunately doesn't have a good jump from both legs and cut short of the medal. So, I agree with judges that male didn't deserve the gold, but the same should be done with girls, I believe. Korean girl didn't make clean fouette and her character wasn't 100% convincing either. Anyway, good luck for all dancers in their future life! Those who made it with medals, don't stop, go ahead and those who lost, I hope it makes you work even harder, remember, the life is not finished yet
  25. This is a very shoking and uncomfortable position for both the performer and the audience member, if the actor/singer/dancer decides to make eye contact with the certain person in the auditorium and play/sing/dance only for him/her. This action breaks the "illusion" of the theatre, when everybody agree to pretend that everything what happened on the stage is a true. Otherwise public should run to the stage to help Hamlet with his struggles. Probably with singers, when they have concert, not the opera perfrormance, the things are little bit different. The public is seating close by, the light in the auditorum is still in and such contacts could be made, depending on the taste and tact of the performer.
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