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Yuri Vladimirov

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What has become of the Soviet heroic style

It has pretty much vanished. Last year the Bolshoi had to call upon the services of Carlos Acosta to fill the role of Spartacus as there were so few company members with suitable technique and panache around - unthinkable just a few years ago.

For me Vladimirov, along with Mukhamedov, typified what I would describe as 'Soviet navvy style'. too crass at times to be called heroic.

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I was intrigued by Mashinka's use of the term "navvy," which I'd never heard before. I Googled it, and one of the early items on their list was the following, written by a group I assume was called Pere Ubu.:

Dub Housing, 1978

Navvy.

I've got these arms & legs that flipflop,

flip flop.

I've got these arms & legs that flipflop,

flip flop.

I've got these arms & legs that flipflop,

flip-flip-flop!

I have desire.

"Freedom!"

I have desire.

"Somewhere to go!"

(Boy, that sounds swell!)

Somehow this seemed appropriate to Vladimirov in Bluebird and the "Vladimirov" tapes, though not relevant to his Spartacus adagio or the piece from Ivan the Terrible, also accessible on YouTube.

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What has become of the Soviet heroic style

It has pretty much vanished. Last year the Bolshoi had to call upon the services of Carlos Acosta to fill the role of Spartacus as there were so few company members with suitable technique and panache around - unthinkable just a few years ago.

For me Vladimirov, along with Mukhamedov, typified what I would describe as 'Soviet navvy style'. too crass at times to be called heroic.

"Crass" is the key word here, and applies also to his spouse and frequent onstage partner Nina Sorokina. Thinking of Vladimirov barrelling through some "bravura" passage or other reminds me of a great comment by Edward Gorey: "What that boy does is absolutely amazing; I wish he'd stop."

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Is this the same "Vladimirov" on the following brief clip? There's no other identification in the video text.

It is the same Vladimirov. :) You can also see him in the videos of the 1982 gala for Asaf Messerer on youtube (it is in 8 parts, you can find the first one here:

; I know the title says part 1 of 6, but there are 8 parts..), he is the man with the long hair on the right of the barre in the back, right next to Ekaterina Maximova. The next parts also show some centre exercices, you can easily recognize him by his white socks - or maybe they're leg warmers, whatever they are - in black shoes. :)

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Thank you so much, Lidewij, for those identifications. And for the Links!

Even within the category "Soviet heroic style," there is obviously quite a bit of variation. Vladimirov strikes me as a verey eccentric dancer when throwing himself into bravura jumps and turns. It's fascinating to watch. I look forward to being able to observe him more closely in those other videos.

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Whoa!!! The Messerer gala is fascinating!! Many of these dancers do not look young to be dancing this well... I guess in 1982, Vladimirov would have been 40... (at what age does one give up on rivoltade?) one can accumulate a lot of injuries by that age...

includes Vladimirov's variation. (by the way, there are a lot of lovely videos in this member's collection!)

Who is the one with the knee brace who does Acteon?

What lovely sissones in the men's section of class...

It's nice to see Andris Liepa dancing so well here, there was another clip on Youtube from later in his career that had me wondering... now I understand the reputation......

Would love to know who danced which varation...

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Amy tape #7 is L. Semanyaka (Swan Lake), a male I do not recognize, N. Ananashvilli (Bayadere), M. Lavrovsky with the knee brace (5 years before hip replacement surgury), then I stopped watching for now. Please excuse spelling errors until later.

It is a joy to watch the Bolshoi spirit again. It is such a very big one! :helpsmilie:

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By the way, nowadays mr. Vladimirov is trying to make a classical dancer out of young Ivan Vasiliev. :wink: (I mean he's his coach. :P )

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Awhile back I watched a film of IVAN THE TERRIBLE danced by the Bolshoi starring Natalia Bessmertnova and Yuri Vladimirov.  Vladimirov's performance was striking, but it's been difficult to find any information on his career.  Did Grigorovich choreograph IVAN on Vladimirov and what other roles were in his repertoire?

Thanks!

Melissa

In 1975 Grigorovich choreographed IVAN on Vladimir Vasiliev :D and he danced the premiere and subsequent performances. I have never come across any information on Vladimirov, but he was of the same generation as the late Alexander Gudonov, circa mid-late '70s.

Some backstage trivia regarding IVAN THE TERRIBLE: Vasiliev felt that the role of Ivan was "kitchy." He told G. Smakov in an interview for "The Greatest Russian Dancers" that "..... it (IVAN) was more interesting than Grigorovich's second version of "Sleeping Beauty" which was simply a waste of time." Shortly thereafter, there was a huge falling out between Vasiliev and Grigorovich over his next socialist ballet "Angara" and thus began the slow exodus and estrangement of Volodya and Katya from the Bolshoi, culminating in their forced retirement by Grigorovich in 1987. To his credit, Vasiliev wanted to grow as an artist and develop his career as a choreographer. Grigorovich retaliated with setting up obstacles and backstage politics. Vasiliev felt that Grigorovich was typecasting him as the "Ultimate Alpha Soviet Male" ie. Spartacus, Ivan et al. He too wanted artistic freedom, but he fought for change at home - not by defecting. Vasiliev

was a member of the Supreme Soviet and the Bolshoi Art Committee and beloved by the powers that were and the masses. Therefore he and Katya could not be gotten rid of so easily. Because of their priviledged status, in the interim until their retirement from dancing, Volodya and Katya travelled freely. They toured extensively throughout the world, premiering ballets, doing films, t.v. and guesting with other companies, while appearing infrequently in their home theatre. Gennady Smakov, covers this difficult time thoroughly in his essay on Vasiliev, and briefly mentions it in the essay on Maximova in the same book.

Yuri G created Ivan on Yuri Vladimirov - not V V

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His wife posted on Facebook that he is no longer working at the theatre and it clearly wasn't his choice to leave. 

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To make room for Yuri Vasyuchenko on the coaching staff? I guess now that Dmitry Gudanov has been put out to pasture, and Denis Rodkin has switched to a different coach, Vladimirov was deemed "unnecessary." Another deplorable move from Vaziev & Co.

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Vladimirov's dancing is burned into my memory. Several of my (older) family members were going to see the Bolshoi dance a highlights program at Constitution Hall in Washington D.C. in the sixties. This was well before Kennedy Center had opened and Constitution Hall was a very poor venue for dance. I imagine that was one reason for the HIghlights program and, in any case,  the Bolshoi must have wanted to be sure to perform in the U.S. capital. I wasn't supposed to go--judged way too young--but someone (possibly my mother?) couldn't use her ticket and I was allowed to go, though I believe I received several warnings about behavior (I was around 6?).

 

 Anyway, the Yuri Vladimirov/Nina Sorokina Flames of Paris was on the program and I remember being absolutely awestruck. I thought Vladimirov was actually flying through the air--I think I may even have said so (after the performance) and made sure to find out from the adults around me what/who I was watching (which is why I know). I saw Vladimirov/Sorokina do it again about 6-7 years later at Wolftrap--they were older and I was older, and I remember thinking it just looked overly muscular and effort-ful. I was more excited about seeing Gordeyev.  But I probably would have a better appreciation NOW of that kind of Soviet dancing as it appeared at Wolftrap.  And that first performance is STILL one of my most precious childhood memories--that was first time I saw the Bolshoi too. So, when I think Bolshoi  and heroic, exciting Bolshoi male dancers, Vladimirov is a piece of the picture. The Lantratovs and Chudins of the world (and I love Chudin) belong almost to another species.

 

I don't know what is behind Vaziev's decision in this particular case--and learning behind the scenes details about the Bolshoi is never edifying--but this definitely fits in with other changes afoot there. I hope Vladimirov finds something satisfying to do in coming years...

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