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Everything posted by Sacto1654

  1. My favorite ballets are: Swan Lake (Vladimir Bourmeister/Lev Ivanov version)--very underappreciated, especially because I felt the Odile in this version is much better than the 1895 Petipa/Ivanov version. Ulyana Lopatkina would be FABULOUS as Odile in this version, that's to be sure. The Nutcracker (Helgi Tomasson version)--it's very unique, especially with its inspiration from the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. Good thing it's not strange and weird like the latest version of this ballet performed by the Mariinsky Ballet.
  2. I just finished seeing the film on DVD and I find it fascinating the extraordinary competitiveness for various dancers to get various dancing roles. You can tell that Ulyana Lopatkina--who had just come back from a serious ankle injury during the film's production--had a lot of clout with the Mariinsky Theatre management. I can really see Lopatkina becoming Director of Ballet at the Mariinsky after her dancing career ends--that's how influential she has become. However, I am hoping that Normand does a sequel documentary, because right now I would love to see more into the newer, fast rising stars at the Mariinsky: Ekaterina Kondaurova and Viktoria Tereshkina, both of which (in my humble opinion! ) are heading for the type of super-stardom in ballet that Lopatkina now enjoys.
  3. Here's the problem with Obraztsova--she's just a tad too short to be matched with most of male dancers with Principal status at the Mariinsky (Obraztsova with Danila Korsuntsev in Swan Lake? I don't think so!). Now, if Obraztsova can do Swan Lake she needs to be matched with a shorter male ballet dancer like her husband, Vladimir Skylyarov. Now THAT would work quite well indeed.
  4. Natalia, Very nice videos. I even liked the distinctly "non-Western" feel of the music, too. (The music reminded me of the orchestral music from China with its distinctly Asian themes I would hear from documentaries produced by the Chinese government.) (Methinks someone had a hard drive digital camcorder and was able to quickly download it to a computer, encode it to YouTube specs, and quickly upload it to YouTube.) Obraztsova, as usual, was excellent in the role of Siyumbike.
  5. Now THAT is something I want to see. And unlike the 1890 reconstruction done at the Mariinsky Theatre, hopefully the reconstruction of the 1900 Gorsky version will actually STAY in the Bolshoi repertoire for a while--please?
  6. I agree but here's what I REALLY want: a new full-length production of Raymonda with Ulyana Lopatkina in the title role and/or a new full-length production of Le Corsaire with Lopatkina as Medora, both filmed at the Mariinsky Theatre. In high-definition, no less--please?
  7. I think a major reason why Ulanova's career ended with the Bolshoi was the fact she was known for her excellent acting skills on-stage, and in fact Konstantin Stanislavki, a legendary theater director and one of the founders of the legendary Moscow Art Theatre, actually wanted Ulanova to become a full-time actor at MAT because he was so impressed by her acting skills. As such, when her fame became known to Stalin, Ulanova was transferred to the Bolshoi Theatre (which was pretty much THE showcase for ballet during the Soviet era), where she became prima ballerina assoluta and was extraoridinarily beloved right up to the time she retired from active dancing in 1960. (I have to ask this: for the really old-time balletomanes in Russia today, who was more beloved, Ulanova or Maya Plisetskaya? I'd almost think Ulanova because unlike Plisetskaya, Ulanova didn't have a known record of political clashes with Soviet officials, which affected Plisetskaya's career for many years.)
  8. Natalia, I've already pre-ordered this DVD and the official DVD release of Bertrand Normand's documentary Ballerina from Amazon.com. (A little off-topic: Mind you, I would LOVE to see Normand do a follow-up documentary, but also add in Viktoria Tereshkina and Ekaterina Kondaurova as subjects for that follow-up documentary. The reason is simple: Tereshkina is already one of the most prominent stars right now at the Mariinsky ballet troupe (with a lot of major roles lately) and Kondaurova is one of the fast-rising stars in the troupe, especially after her triumphant debut as Odette/Odile at the end of October 2008. )
  9. What I find interesting about Taranda's political troubles was the contrast with what happened to Maya Plisetskaya during the same period in the 1980's. If I remember correctly from postings here, Plisetskaya--was spending time in Spain by the 1980's--wanted to attend a ballet gala in New York City where Mikhail Baryshnikov and (I believe) Rudolf Nureyev danced, but was told not to go by the the Soviet Embassy in Spain. But somehow she did did attend that gala, probably because it would have caused an ugly PR mess if the Soviets tried to stop her from attending that gala.
  10. If you have an Amazon.com account, you can download through the Amazon MP3 download service both the Previn and Fedotov-conducted versions of the ballet music, which can be played back on your computer or played back on a portable music player that supports MP3 files. The Previn version is essentially the one that Tchaikovsky originally wrote in 1877. However, if you want to hear the EXACT version of the ballet music as conducted by the Mariinsky Theatre orchestra at their Swan Lake performances, you can get the one conducted by Valery Gergiev (which is also available on Amazon MP3 download service).
  11. If I remember correctly, the original 1890 version of Spyashchaya Krasavitsa had what became the Lilac Fairy danced not en pointe but as a character dancer. It wasn't until MUCH later that the choreography changed so the Lilac Fairy danced en pointe.
  12. We may not get one unless one Ulyana Lopatkina does become a pedagogue after she retires from the performing stage. She'd be perfect, since Lopatkina was taught by Natalia Dudinskaya herself and was coached by Kurgapkina for most of the 1990's.
  13. I have to respectfully disagree here! Both the iTunes Music Store and Amazon MP3 download service here in the USA often offer special versions of album releases with extra tracks (Amazon did it recently with Enya's current album And Winter Came... by adding an Amazon-exclusive extra track if you downloaded the whole album). Since downloaded music doesn't have to fit within the 74 to 80 minute limitation of a commercial CD, both services could easily offer the unabridged version of the Dorati-conducted version of Sleeping Beauty with no problems.
  14. Co-sign: Dorati delivers the 5 star performance. Since the iTunes Music Store and the Amazon MP3 download service doesn't need to consider fitting all the music into two CD's, how about either one of them offering the Dorati-conducted full version for downloading?
  15. Kommersant's obituary says it all: not only a highly-revered dancer, but also an equally highly-revered coach and instructor for both the Mariinaky Theatre and Vaganova Academy. I still remember seeing documentary on Kultura TV that was posted online about Kurgapkina's 80th birthday gala at the Mariinsky Theatre and you could see her still strong enthusiasm for ballet with a smile that belies her age. Thank you, Ninel Kurgapkina, for a truly distinguished career in the history of 20th Century ballet.
  16. Well, given that CD versions of Tchaikovsky's ballet music are often NOT the version you hear during a live performance, no wonder why they're performed as Tchaikovsky originally wrote them. I believe that the CD releases of the music from Swan Lake as conducted by Viktor Fedotov in 1989 and Valery Gergiev in 2006 are representative of what we would hear in a live performance of Swan Lake, especially with the "Black Swan pas de deux" music moved from Act I to Act III (or as the Russians call it Act II) and the valses from the final Act. I believe Nutcracker doesn't have this problem because this ballet is so much shorter than the other ballets Tchaikovsky wrote music for. As such, most CD releases of the music is pretty much what you hear in a live ballet performance.
  17. Kurgapkina was not only a great dancer in her time, but she is also known for being a legendary coach at the Kirov (Mariiinsky) Theatre for many, many years. Indeed, she was Ulyana Lopatkina's coach for much of the 1990's. Her passing is truly a huge loss to the Mariinsky Theatre.
  18. I just got the Andrew Mogrelia-conducted 3-CD set of the complete score to Pyotr Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty ballet (Naxos 8.5500490-92). While it sounds pretty good, I thought the tempo in some spots was just a little slow for my taste. Here's the question: who has the best performed version of this ballet score on CD? I've heard good things about the complete score recording done by Valery Gergiev leading the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra from 1993, though there has been some complaints about the somewhat poor quality of the acoustics. I know there are several other versions from the likes of Previn, Dorati, etc. but most of them are usually abridged performances.
  19. (Makes mental note to put this on the Amazon order list along with the Ballerina documentary on DVD. )
  20. I think Disney may back down due to "prior art" issues and the fact they could face some really unhappy ballet fans in Russia!
  21. Raymonda is an important ballet for the Mariinsky troupe because 1) it was one of the very last ballets produced by Marius Petipa when he was working for the Imperial Ballet at the Mariinsky Theatre and 2) it is a great showcase for a really good ballerina (indeed, it is one of Ulyana Lopatkina's signature roles). I for one would LOVE to see someone produce new sets and costumes for the Mariinsky Theatre version and have it filmed with Ulyana Lopatkina in the lead role. I'd pay top dollar for such a video release.
  22. I am shocked by the sudden passing Ekaterina Maximova. She was truly one of the best-known female ballet dancers during the later Soviet era in Russia, and was BELOVED on both sides of the Iron Curtain because she was a huge favorite among Western ballet fans from the Bolshoi tours of the West in the 1960's, 1970's and early 1980's.
  23. If you're talking Blu-ray releases of ballet performances, both the performances of Swan Lake (filmed April 2006) and the Mikhail Chemiakin-designed version of The Nutcracker (filmed in 2007) that were filmed at the Mariinsky Theatre are now available in this format. I do know a number of other ballets were filmed in HDTV format, and we could see them on Blu-ray in the next few years.
  24. However, ballet dancers have to extremely good physical shape to do their moves. In fact, soloists probably have to be in better physical shape than any top-flight professional athlete you can name.
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