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Premiere, 4/14 - Massine Triple Bill

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Opening this thread for news about the upcoming Leonid Massine Triple Bill (Tricorne - Presages - Gaite Parisienne) and reports after the big night on the 14th.

I see that Russia's fabulous Kultura channel will preview the program on the day of the premiere - April 14, 18:15 'Ticket to the Bolshoi: Massine.'

Speaking of Kultura...other interesting upcoming ballet programs, prior to the Massine, include:

April 7, 18:15 - "Tsars Box: Mikhailovsky Theater" - a history of the opera & ballet troupes in St. Petersburg second imperial theater, also known as the Maly-Moussorgsky.

April 9, 18:45 - "To Your Home: Lyudmilla Semenya" - the great Bolshoi ballerina discusses her career

Each of these programs runs approximately 45 mins, sans commercials.

No word yet on the annual broadcast about the Mariinsky Festival but it's coming within one month. Stay tuned.


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Tonight's the opening night, with casting announced just a few hours prior to the premiere, on the Bolshoi website (which includes a number of fabulous photos from the Dress Rehearsal, two days ago). Russian-language web-fora are up in arms about the last-minute 'surprise' casting of POB's Jose Martinez as the Miller, in place of the Bolshoi's own Dmitri Gudanov, who was shown in clips of the ballet on a recent Kultura TV preview [an additional 'update preview' will air tonight, in conjunction with the premiere]. Some consider it a slap in the proud face of the Bolshoi Theater, that a premiere should be given to an outsider, regardless of the guest's fine qualities. Gudanov is now slated to dance the 2nd performance (April 17).

Three-Cornered Hat

Miller's wife – Maria Alexandrova

Miller – Jose Martinez (POB guest)

Corregidor – Yuri Petukhov

Les Presages

Hero - Vladimir Neporozhniy

Action - Ekaterina Shipulina

Passion - Maria Allash

Lightness - Mariana Ryzhkina

Fate - Aleksandr Vorobyev

Temptation - Yegor Khromushin

Gaite Parisienne

Gloveselling Girl – Svetlana Lunkina

Baron – Mark Peretokhin

Peruvian – Morihito Ivata

To see the photos, go to this website (below), then click on the red rectangles in the second column from the left. Each rectangle contains the name of a ballet in the Massine triple bill...each has its own set of photos. Alas, the English-language version of the Bolshoi site is yet again under construction, so this must do.


Natalia Nabatova

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I'm hoping that one (or two or three...) of our Moscow-based members may write a report. In the meantime, I've read through the Russian fora and it appears that last night's premiere -- the last one in the old theater! -- was mostly successful. The praise was extra-special for Maria Alexandrova's Miller's Wife, in Tricorne....and for Natalia Osipova as the Lead Can-Can Girl in 'Gaite Parisienne' (not that Lunkina/Peretokhin/Ivata didn't receive positive reviews, either).

As the Miller in 'Tricorne,' Martinez received reserved praise but almost everyone is looking forward to Dmitri Gudanov's rendering in the next performance, to compare.

The forum-reviews were mixed for 'Presages,' noting that the ballet is closer in style to Lopukhov's 'TanzSymfonia' than to anything by Balanchine.

In general, almost everyone agreed that it was a joy to see these three important ballets on Russian soil, at last.

Hopefully we can hear it straight from the viewers themselves...

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Here are some very personal impressions of the performance of June 23rd, 2005

The evening started with a big disappointment in Three-Cornered Hat. Since I have never seen any Massine ballet before, I have no idea how it should be – so I think the bad impression was a result of a mediocre (sometimes bad) performance.

Dmitry Gudanov (whom I really liked as James in the Sylphide and Lord Wilson/Taor in Pharaoh’s Daughter) dancing the Miller really had a bad day – right at the beginning he stumbled once running up a ramp and I wondered if this might have got him a small injury. There was absolutely nothing of his usual light and precise footwork ...

Anna Antropova (who is not one of my favourites) danced the Miller’s wife. As far as I could see she was technically okay, but her acting and facial expressions just didn’t match the music.

Some of the dancers of the corps had obviously difficulties in remembering the next steps.

Alexander Petukhov as the Corregidor did quite a good job, but is was not enough to make a good impression of the overall dancing-performance.

Good things to keep in mind were the scenery, the orchestra and the vocal soloist Evgeniya Segenyuk (who was brilliant as ever).

It seemed that most of the audience felt the same way I did - the applause at the end was nothing else than polite with no bravos at all (okay, it was a “wrong” ballet for the claque but now and then even “normal” people are shouting).


The contrast to the following ballet Les Presages could not have been bigger. Music, set, costumes and dance were perfectly matched together and it was highly appreciated by the public.

Hero – Alexander Volchkov

Action - Ekaterina Shipulina

Passion – Svetlana Lunkina

Lightness – Natalya Osipova

Fate – Yan Godovskiy

Temptation - Egor Khromushin

There were once again special - and well deserved - praises for Natalya Osipova. (I was astonished to see her dancing today, since I read that she is taking part in the current Ballet Competition.)


Gâité Parisienne nevertheless was the favourite of yesterday’s audience. This was really a comical ballet (not just meant-to-be and than spoiled by the performance). People were laughing and enjoying themselves and so were seemingly the dancers.

Marianna Ryzhkina – Gloveselling Girl

Mark Peretokhin – Baron

Denis Medvedev – Peruvian

Natalya Osipova – Soloist in the can-can

I have to admit that I nearly stared only at Mark Peretokhin as Baron. Before I had only seen him as Abdérakhmane in Raymonda, where he impressed with his passionate dancing but even here, with a totally different character and not many occasions for spectacular jumps, his presence alone filled the stage! Wow!

The rest was fine as well, especially Denis Medvedev and once again Natalya Osipova.

In the end: A lot of curtains, masses of flowers and nearly everybody was smiling leaving the theatre.

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I am delighted that the Bolshoi is resurrectingMassine---I hope it's a sign that his time has come around again. Le Tricorne does demand strong personalities; I can still recall Massine and Toumanova. I wonder if the Bolshoi re-created the original sets and costumes by Etienne deBeaumont for Gaite Parisienne; I always felt they were an essential part of the success of the ballet. I never saw any of the symphonic ballets---but I have been curious about'Rouge et Noir' (even with the Shostakovich score :( )

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Thanks for giving me a look at the new costumes and sets. They are not quite as classy as the original, which took place in a fashionable Cafe. The ballet is a piece of fluff and it needs all the help it can get, from Offenbach's glorious score and good set design. It was one of Massine's most popular ballets, but not one of his best. The picture of the 'Peruvian' was a surprise---I don't recall any interpreter of the part having to jump in that way. Again, thanks--I loved seeing the photos.

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