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Hi all,

I'm currently mulling buying a version of the Stone Flower. There are two available: one from the Bolshoi, one from the Kirov. Can anyone who's seen both versions give a recommendation?

Also, the Bolshoi is releasing Mlada with Nina Ananiashvilli. Has anyone seen the ballet? Worth getting?

I'm also considering getting Etoiles, the documentary of the POB. Has anyone seen this documentary?

Opinions would be welcome.

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I posted the same question a couple of weeks ago, so far no answer. Perhaps this will help a little:

Kirov: Polikarpova, Gulyaev, Terekhova, Babanin; conductor (after all, the music is by Prokofiev, so this should matter) Viliumanus.

Bolshoi: Semenyaka, Dorokhov, Semisorova, Vetrov; conductor Kopilov.

For those in NYC, CUNY TV has scheduled a telecast of the Bolshoi version on Sunday, October 30 at 2 PM.

On the surface, Semenyaka could be a deciding factor, but an eye-witness account would surely help. I vaguely recall that both are about 15 years old.

Have you any more info on the Ananiashvili performance?

P.S. Videowise, I really enjoyed the new Zahkarova Swan Lake (la Scala). She's much more fluid, dramatic, less excessive that she was with the Mariinsky in NYC a few years ago. And supremely beautiful, of course. I only wish that the people who did the video work on last week's webcast of the Bolshoi's Raimonda had been in charge in Milan. The Milan team cut away from Sveta at all the wrong times.

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it's probably important here to note that this MLADA is likely the previously recorded rimsky OPERA, which has been out for a while now. MLADA, the rimsky opera vs. the minkus ballet, is one of the few operas in which a ballerina has a leading role; MUETTE DE PORTICI is another.

the bolshoi op. persented this prod. in nyc w/ ananiashvili (in the 1990s?); it's an odd work, based on very russian subject manner and with a rather complicated and almost mystical plot.

the minkus ballet of the same name, which includes a shades scene i've always suspected as having had a strong influence on petipa's later (and now familiar?) versions of BAYADERE's shades' scene, is a work i'd welcome more information about. there's a section in the petipa materialy - so far only available in russian (and maybe german) - on the ballet MLADA, which had a checkered start, as, if mem. serves it was meant to be a work, an opera w/ ballet work?, involving several composers, one of whom was due to be rimsky, but this project never came to pass, and minkus composed a ballet version himself and rimsky waited until later in the 1890s? to do his own opera, and that's the one recorded on video.

the plot may well be somewhere posted on the web, but i'm not sure.

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I'm currently mulling buying a version of the Stone Flower. There are two available: one from the Bolshoi, one from the Kirov. Can anyone who's seen both versions give a recommendation?....

The LA Times recently published a review of the two versions. A quote:

"As might be expected, the Kirov capitalized on elegance, with Aleksandr Gulyaev remarkably pure in line as Danila but also persuasively torn between his character's love for Katerina (the dewy Anna Polikarpova) and the secret splendors revealed by the supernatural Mistress of Copper Mountain (the forceful Tatiana Terekhova).

Gulyaev expresses a genuine yearning for creative transcendence, but Nikolai Dorokhov — his boyish, virtuosic Bolshoi counterpart — just concentrates on the steps, often flashier than in the Kirov edition. His Katerina (Ludmilla Semenyaka) brings welcome complexity to her mournful solos, and his Mistress of Copper Mountain (Nina Semizorova) an edge of glee to her twisty vocabulary."

The entire article:


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It's difficult to make a choice between the Bolshoi's Ludmila Semenyaka and the Kirov's Tatiana Terekhova, both outstanding artists in my view, but if I could only have one video I think I would choose the Bolshoi one because it includes a fantastic cameo role from Gediminas Taranda as the gypsy boy.

Regading Mlada, there are two versions of that available too, both with Nina Ananiashvili, one is a Russian recording and the other a western version, the latter being technically superior to the Russian one. Although there are different dancers in the supporting roles, the dancing is of a high standard on both videos. The only real difference is with the soprano in in the leading role of villainess Voislava. A rather dumpy looking girl with a lovely voice sings on the Russian version whereas the western version features a better looking soprano with a less attractive voice.

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