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Bolshoi @ Kennedy Center, 2012


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The two people who made the biggest impression on me from this tour were Yulia Grebenschikova and Anna Tikhomirova. ....

I'm with you, abbatt, although I would also add Vorontsova. In the future, I'd love to see Vorontsova & Tikhomirova as Swanilda...and Grebenschikova as Odette or Nikiya!

As much as I enjoyed the two Swanildas who is saw in DC this past week (Kaptsova & Alexandrova), neither of them came close to topping Natalia Osipova in March '09 - both a cute-n-frisky soubrette and a great technician. What a shame that she quit the Bolshoi before this tour.

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Did anyone see the third cast led by Stashkevich and Lopatin?

Simon, either everyone chickened out after reading our assessments of Stashkevich's 'Dawn' solo or, more likely, BalletAlertniks who traveled to DC this past weekend to see all 3 casts are still traveling (e.g., one person has followed the Bolshoi to L.A. to see the Swan Lakes opening tonight) or recovering from their trips.

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Thanks, Alexandra.

re. Your point about the ambiguity of showing Dr. Coppelius being welcomed at the inn by a lovely young blonde:

In researcher Pavel Gerzhenson's (Vikharev's partner) notes in the souvenir programme from the 2009 Moscow premiere, an innkeeper indeed invites Coppelius to drink at the tavern. So this bit of mime is in the Nikolai Sergeyev/Harvard notes. However, this is normally a man -- as we can see in the current Royal Ballet version, which Dame Ninette DeValois staged in '52 based on N. Sergeyev's 1930s setting for the Royal (in which Dame Ninette danced Swanilda at most performances). For some odd reason -- maybe to give their tall, blonde & beautiful 'character principal' Antropova a little something extra to do -- the Bolshoi gives this bit to a youngish lady.

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Thanks for that, Natalia. Yes, in all the other productions I've seen, the innkeeper is a man, and his inn is the first one on the left. I wasn't sure if this was a rival inn (as it's farther back). In the Royal's production, the divertissement of the bells is quite a formal affair, with the local Duke and his entourage, and in earlier acts there are many happy drinkers going in and out. It makes more sense to me to have a male innkeeper of the same age being helpful to Dr. C. I only care because I wondered if this was a change or a restoration.

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Well, I've now been able to review my 'documents' from the March 2009 premiere of this Vikharev-Gerzhenson reconstruction in Moscow. It's a middle-aged couple (male innkeeper and his wife) who go up to Dr C, motioning him to enter the tavern. In other words, the sexy lone female at the Kennedy Center was done just on this tour, Alexandra.

I also saw the Novosibirsk version (Vikarev-Gerzhenson's 2001 recon, also using the Harvard notes) - again, an older man and woman motion to DrC to enter the tavern.

So now we know at least two alterations made just for this tour -- no little cupids posing around Old Father Time's clock and no middle-aged couple at the inn.

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The biggest Russian WEB-media RIA Novosti posted a very strange review "Critics in the USA were not delighted with Bolshoi ballet troupe": http://www.ria.ru/culture/20120611/670684345.html.

It is in Russian. In general the article is published to convince Russians that American media and the audience were disappointed with Bolshoi's "Coppelia" and "Swan Lake".

Based on what was published in NYT and Washington Post I draw a conclusion that the tour was a big success...

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Botalex, it HAS been a big success. The little quotes from mostly-praising reviews are taken out of context here. I've been carefully following the reviews of this tour & the only lukewarmish article came from the L.A. Times, knocking Nikulina's opening Odette...but liking her Odile.

RIA Novosti is an official organ of the Russian Federation, so I can only surmise that its purpose could be to (a) set the stage for the sacking of the current management (Filin) and/or (b) convey overall 'nasty vibes' towards the USA in light of geo-political differences over Syria and other spheres. Just guessing. smile.png

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