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Bolshoi premiere of Cranko's "Onegin"


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False alarm. There was chatter that Zakharova had threatened to walk because she was not given opening night, but the casts have now been posted with Zakharova in place.

Smirnova / Lantratov / Tikhomirova / Chudin / Biktimirov

Zakharova / Hallberg / Kretova / Ovcharenko / Biktimirov

Obraztsova / Volchkov / Stashkevich / Gudanov / Vodopetov

Kaptsova / Skvortsov / Khokhlova / Alexeyev / Khromushin

Vishneva / Gomes / Kretova / Ovcharenko / Khromushin

Amatriain / McKie / Osadcenko / Vogel / Godunov - in other words, all Stuttgart

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I recall that Sergei Filin (to his credit) worked very hard to get this ballet - and the Cranko Foundation is very picky about which companies get it, staging, etc. My calculated guess is that part of the agreement was considerable Cranko-approved stager's choices for casts. It's just as interesting to see *who has not been cast at all* for the premier week compared to *who has been cast* - no matter which night.

I think it's good that she is dancing with David Hallberg, there will be a lot of trust there from years of partnering. Wow, Ms Smirnova and Mr Chudin are certainly on the rise! Opening night cast in the ballet that *everyone* at the Bolshoi was aiming for. To be honest, if I was in Moscow, I'd try to see every single cast, just to see if there are any surprise revelations.

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Bolshoi casting is a bit like old-fashioned Kremlinology. And meteoric rises are a double-edged sword. When fears emerged that Zakharova might not appear in the ballet you would not believe how much venom was directed at Smirnova in the RUnet. I never really expected Alexandrova or Shipulina to be cast in the ballet, but the exclusion of Krysanova is more surprising. Nikulina hasn't been getting much love from the Bolshoi lately. She recently danced a couple of Swan Lakes at the Mariinsky, but her own company has not cast her in the ballet for more than a year. For me it's a crying shame that Svetlana Lunkina is not around to dance in this production. I still hope this can be rectified in the future.

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Bolshoi casting is a bit like old-fashioned Kremlinology. And meteoric rises are a double-edged sword. When fears emerged that Zakharova might not appear in the ballet you would not believe how much venom was directed at Smirnova in the RUnet. I never really expected Alexandrova or Shipulina to be cast in the ballet, but the exclusion of Krysanova is more surprising. Nikulina hasn't been getting much love from the Bolshoi lately. She recently danced a couple of Swan Lakes at the Mariinsky, but her own company has not cast her in the ballet for more than a year. For me it's a crying shame that Svetlana Lunkina is not around to dance in this production. I still hope this can be rectified in the future.

Alexendrova and Krysanova can be seen rehearsing Lacotte's Marco Spada here: http://www.vesti.ru/videos?vid=517984&cid=460

Thought it interesting that while the Bolshoi advertised Zakhorova as dancing Tatiania ( when announcing the acquirement of Onegin at the press conference last season), leading to premature conclusions that she would be the opening night ballerina, Smirnova/Lantratov seem to have caught the fancy of the Cranko stagers. Didn't think Smirnova would be able to best out the Bolshoi prima/s for such an important event especially dancers of the dramatic caliber of Obraztsova/Kaptsova but one never knows with the Cranko fund and it seems one should never underestimate Smirnovaflowers.gif ... I'm sure all the casts will be special in their own way and it is such a wonderful opportunity for Smirnova/Lantratov.

Nice to see Tikhomirova getting the opening night Olga slot.

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Do the Cranko stagers really have so much power that they can dictate who dances on which night? Seems like unwelcome micromanagement.

Yes, they do. Sylvie Guillem was denied the role and the most likely cast for Tatiana in London, Leanne Benjamin, never made the cut either.

I know someone who worked for John Cranko and she told me he was a kind, unassuming man and would have been delighted if a major dancer expressed a wish to dance in one of his ballets. My friend is less than happy about the way roles are being allocated today.

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Another famous episode is that Tamara Rojo danced the Tatiana role once and then she was rejected to dance the role. It seems she was very upset about this. I can't fined the source right now but she cited her frustration about this in an interview.

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The Cranko estate makes the Balanchine Trust look downright lenient. And of course Messrs. Graefe and Anderson are notorious for preventing companies from filming Cranko ballets, too. That has never made much sense to me. I don't see how Cranko's legacy is served by making it nearly impossible to acquire DVDs of his ballets.

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Volcanohunter wrote:

The Cranko estate makes the Balanchine Trust look downright lenient.

That's putting it mildly laugh.png! Congratulations to all the cast members - especially Olga Smirnova and Evgenia Obraztsova! Personally, given all the drama this year, I thought that these two might not be apart of the inaugural slate of performances; so this is a very pleasant surprise to me. Zakharova will get two performances of Tatiana, as will Obraztsova and Smirnova.

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Do the Cranko stagers really have so much power that they can dictate who dances on which night? Seems like unwelcome micromanagement.

Yes, they do. I had heard some stories about how picky & dictatorial they were, when they worked with the National Ballet of China on Onegin. Then, I have been wondering how they will behave, if they meet Russian, Bolshoi. biggrin.png

I was amazed, when I saw there is no Mercuriev as Lensky on the casting list. IMO, he is a dancing poet, very unique.

BTW, in the latest YouTube video of A ticket to Bolshoi (June 2013), there are some historical and rehearsal scenes of Cranko visiting Ulanova, Bolshoi, selecting dancers for Onegin, and etc., from 30:55.

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July 12, 18: Smirnova / Lantratov / Tikhomirova / Chudin

July 13, 16: Obraztsova / Volchkov / Stashkevich / Gudanov

July 14, 17: Kaptsova / Skvortsov / Kretova / Ovcharenko

July 19: Vishneva / Gomes / Kretova / Ovcharenko

July 20: Amatriain / McKie / Osadcenko / Vogel

July 21: Obraztsova / Hallberg / Khokhlova / Alexeyev

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This is just killing me. I've waited all year in the hopes of seeing Hallberg in Moscow, and I have tickets for the 17th and 20th - such joy! Only to have it dashed away.

Sigh. At least Ovcharenko is still on for the 17th.

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This is just killing me. I've waited all year in the hopes of seeing Hallberg in Moscow, and I have tickets for the 17th and 20th - such joy! Only to have it dashed away.

Sigh. At least Ovcharenko is still on for the 17th.

Amatriain / McKie / Osadcenko / Vogel on the 20th are not to be sneezed at, I assure you.

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This is just killing me. I've waited all year in the hopes of seeing Hallberg in Moscow, and I have tickets for the 17th and 20th - such joy! Only to have it dashed away.

Sigh. At least Ovcharenko is still on for the 17th.

Amatriain / McKie / Osadcenko / Vogel on the 20th are not to be sneezed at, I assure you.

I know! I didn't mean to dis the Stuttgart soloists. I'm very much looking forward to them - it will be my first time seeing Stuttgart dancers live, and since I assume they're on a specific contract for that evening, at least they can't take that away from me.

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This is just killing me. I've waited all year in the hopes of seeing Hallberg in Moscow, and I have tickets for the 17th and 20th - such joy! Only to have it dashed away.

Sigh. At least Ovcharenko is still on for the 17th.

Major cast shuffling among principals, long after most people have bought tickets, seems to be the norm for the Bolshoi. At least that was my experience when they visited Orange County in spring 2010. I guess it's a warning to be prepared for this during their visit to New York in July 2014? Can Bolshoi experts let us know if this impression is correct? Or is this just a fluke.

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This is just killing me. I've waited all year in the hopes of seeing Hallberg in Moscow, and I have tickets for the 17th and 20th - such joy! Only to have it dashed away.

Sigh. At least Ovcharenko is still on for the 17th.

Major cast shuffling among principals, long after most people have bought tickets, seems to be the norm for the Bolshoi. At least that was my experience when they visited Orange County in spring 2010. I guess it's a warning to be prepared for this during their visit to New York in July 2014? Can Bolshoi experts let us know if this impression is correct? Or is this just a fluke.

I am not a Bolshoi expert but, in my experience, yes...it is correct.

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