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great Russian dancers of 70s 80s

Paul Parish

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Forgive me if this has already been posted, but I just happened upon this EXTRAORDINARY 90-minute YouTube video


Amazing footage, esp in the last 30 minutes, truly exceptional Chopiniana and white swan (Mezentzova in perfect form, glorious singing phrasing in the arms), Rose Adagio with Kolpakova in great form

First part has curios like "Carnaval" and other Diaghilev-era ballets, done well but not fabulous; it's the last 30 minutes that are staggeringly beautiful... I almost wanted the Chopiniana to go slower, the through-line of the dancing is unbelievable

Wonder what you all will think

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It IS a huge nuisance that the best stuff on this video is SO FAR at the end. But here's how:

to watch hte end of a long Youtube clip is to START it, then click pause and go away for an hour and a half to do what you have to and come back, then click on the minutage bar at the bottom (using the uploader's timings, which are there in great detail) and it'll have loaded in during that time -- then it and will go to that place and play it (I started it last night, and watched it this morning, just now).

The contents and minutage are as follows:


This video consists of two programs from Soviet Union TV in the 1980s, consisting of ballet fragments from the 1970s and 1980s. the first program has a man talking plus a woman speaking with the information on each piece, in this order

1. The Waltz from Chopiniana (aka Les Sylphides ) with Irina Kolpakova and Sergei Berezhnoi Time 0:06:18

2. Le Carnaval with Alexandre Grebnina as Columbine , current Mariinsky Ballet artistic director, Yuri Fateyev as Harlequin and Sergei Svatov as Pierrot

Time 0:14:01

3. Dying Swan - Maya Plisetskaya Time 0:20:10

4. Spectre De La Rose - Maris Liepa of Bolshoi Ballet with Natalia Bolshakova of Kirov Mariinsky Ballet . This performance was probably near the end of Liepa's career and may be the only time he danced this role without one of his two regular Bolshoi partners, Natalia Bessmertnova and Marina Kondratieva

Time 0:28:00

5. Polovetsian Dances from Prince Igor - Kirov Ballet Time 0:34:13

6. Firebird - Marina Leonova , director of the Moscow Choreographic School in Moscow , making her the Moscow equivalent of Altynai Asylmuratova , who is director of the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet in Saint Petersburg . She is partnered by Yuri Vasyuchenko Time 0:44:11

7. Petrouchka - Alexander Yevdokimov Time 0:48:52

8. Ruslan and Lyudmila - Irina Kolpakova and Vladimir Lopukhov Time 0:55:12

9. conclusion of chopiniana with Irina Kolpakova and Sergei Berezhnoi along with Nina Soldun and Olga Likhovskaya. Time 1:01:23

Second ballet program is much shorter, but explosive like dynamite

1. entrance of Aurora and Rose Adagio - definitely from 1970s, if not even late 1960s with Irina Kolpakova . The girl watching the Rose Adagio, who suddenly is transported onto the stage as Aurora is Xenia Ter-Stepanova. Time 1:08:06

2. Different Chopiniana with Sergei Berezhnoi , Yelena Yevteyeva ( Elena Evteyeva ) and Xenia Ter - Stepanova Time 1:15:38

3. The Best Odette White Swan Adagio from Swan Lake I had ever seen, by a big margin by Galina Mezentseva, until I finally found one to compare with her this year, Alina Somova

This was definitely a very young Galina Mezentseva in the 1970s, probably early 1970s, being born in November 1952, so early 20s in age of Mezentseva at that time..

I think her partner is Vitali Afanaskov Time 1:22:46

4. Don Quixote variations and Coda - Vadim Budarin and Ninel Kurgapkina

Time 1:30:45

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Dear ATM -- it was not MY Somova comment -- it is the uploader's -- indeed I was startled, too, and felt the same way you do. Then I went and looked at a recent youtube of SOmova dancing Odette's solo and I was impressed by the increase in sensitivity and quiet in her dancing.... I haven't seen the pdd, but that solo is VERY hard to dance in a way that actually moves the audience, and she made it happen for me. So I'm reconsidering her...

Meantime, I agree with you completely about Mezentseva; that performance really makes yoou feel differently about every other one you've ever seen.

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Paul, thank you for posting the tables of contents. It will really be help as the discussion progresses.

I'll be following along with you all, starting with Mezentova's Swan Lake Adagio. The Kolpaktova Aurora I've already seen, but I have a strong emotional memory of how wonderful the entree was. Very much like the impact made by Fonteyn. Looking forward to seeing it again.

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