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Summer 2014 NYC & Saratoga Tour

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I have a Blu-Ray of the Mariinsky performing Balanchine's Jewels. I always find it off-putting to see Zhanna Ayupova's coal black shoes in the a Emeralds section.

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Now, I have been going to the ballet for close to half a century and one thing I never focused on during a performance was the bottom of dancers' shoes nor their toe boxes. However, I found myself distracted by the coal black bottoms and toe boxes of practically all of the dancers. It looked like they had all just been dancing in tar pits. It was not a nice look. I was in Row B of the Second Ring and, even without binoculars, thought they looked like "dirty shoes." I've never seen this at NYCB or ABT or any other visiting company. And, on a slightly different topic, the Bolshoi really does love bling, doesn't it?

I had that exact same experience! I've noticed it before with Russian companies -- it seems to be a national idiosyncrasy. Does anyone know what's behind that? Even David Hallberg seems to have "gone over to the dark side," as the bottoms of his feet on Thursday night were nearly black as well.

I have a Blu-Ray of the Mariinsky performing Balanchine's Jewels. I always find it off-putting to see Zhanna Ayupova's coal black shoes in the a Emeralds section.

Not "a national idiosyncrasy", perhaps, but certainly some kind of untidiness that you observe with many Russians. For me this has been always off-putting too.

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I have no doubt that Smirnova has wonderful talent and would be a great ballerina, but each time I see her (for instance,at YAGP gala and live relay of Marco Spada) I think sometimes her en dehors is not efficient, sometimes her pivot feet tacked in. Besides that, I find no flaw with her.

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....I join you in liking many things about this production. From a purely performance point of view I find the ballet orientation of the 'character' Brides dances to be very charming and beautiful. I also like the more streamlined feel. The swans dancing in the final act is lovely.

Buddy - I am incredibly sad that I could not attend the Bolshoi Swan Lake. I wish the Mariinsky had the character brides. Decades ago I saw Bolshoi Spartacus excerpts and Phrygia was on pointe. Bessmertnova.

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Russians like their pointe shoes to be well broken in. So they first wear a new shoe pair for many days to rehearsals until they are sufficiently comfortable to be worn on stage. By that time the shoe pair gets understandably dirty. Couple this with the fact that Russians indeed have taken en masse to wearing Gaynor Mindens, which, as mentioned above, last longer, and get worn longer thus getting even dirtier. But I agree that, whatever the explanation, it is still unsightly to look at their coal-black soles and tips. Isn't there any powder or paint to mask the dirt?

On Grigorovich's version of Swan Lake, I must admit I am a bit puzzled by all the negativity here. I personally think this is the best version of this ballet, with all the fairy tale silliness taken out, and the plot indeed made more "streamlined", common sense and coherent. It is a clear parable about the fundamental unity of good and evil, founded on their juxtaposition, as one would not exist without the other, and the inevitable tragedy and destruction of the youthful longing for beauty and purity that is unattainable among the dark realities human existence.

Most importantly, I think the removal of the archaic, time consuming, incomprehensible and dull mime, while preserving the beautiful "dancing" bits of Ivanov/Petipa and inserting new dancing sequences throughout, was a definite win for Grigorovich. In ballet I want to see artistry and action expressed through dancing first and foremost, and I believe that beautiful jumps and turns are a lot more expressive, inspiring and exhilarating than then endless walking about and gesticulation.

And I am by no means an indiscriminate Grigorovich fan. While I see him as one of the more important choreographers of the 20th century, in addition to successes (as I see his versions of Swan Lake or Spartacus), he has had his share of works that were either mediocre or even abject failures, such as his Romeo & Juliet.

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I was not able to get standing room to today's performance after arriving at the theater at around 930AM. Only a handful of people did including a few larger groups (with friends cutting in line to join these groups), and apparently many bought more than one ticket as they stopped selling well before 40 people reached the counter. Despite the later box office open at 1130AM today, people in the front of the line said they were waiting as early as 630AM in the morning. After the standing room sold out, there was a subsequent smaller line for people to wait for cancellations -- I did not try for that but imagine there were none considering there were no late offers for this performance on Craigslist and Stubhub was sold out. To be fair, I was initially surprised to hear the unanimous rave reviews from this board for this cast considering earlier comments had criticized Chudin's acting ability and Smirnova's spotty interpretations but I suppose in the end they emerged as the "dark horse" cast, whether on their own merit or merely in contrast to the relatively choleric/melancholic and older A-cast. Would love to hear anyone's impressions of Krysanova/Hallberg last night or today's matinee after it finishes.

I suppose I should also join in criticizing the festival for its poor management of ticket sales and the information pertaining to the sales. The ADA seats for Swan Lake and Don Q were each released roughly a week before the respective performance dates but no warning or announcement was given. Also because they wouldn't release anything firm regarding standing room until opening day, and nothing official on the web site even afterwards, I saw numerous people waste hours of time in futility today. One shouldn't have to resort to indirect sources such as forums to get important information and exercise brute persistence with some trial-and-error just to attend one of these performances, especially with a company as well-known as the Bolshoi not having been here for 9 years.

Onwards to Don Q.

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Russians like their pointe shoes to be well broken in. So they first wear a new shoe pair for many days to rehearsals until they are sufficiently comfortable to be worn on stage. By that time the shoe pair gets understandably dirty. Couple this with the fact that Russians indeed have taken en masse to wearing Gaynor Mindens, which, as mentioned above, last longer, and get worn longer thus getting even dirtier. But I agree that, whatever the explanation, it is still unsightly to look at their coal-black soles and tips. Isn't there any powder or paint to mask the dirt?

This sort of makes sense. But this week, it seemed that the higher the rank, the cleaner the shoes. Principals all seemed to be wearing new or nearly new shoes, soloists fairly new, and corps atrocious. I still wonder if the allotment to the corps is pretty stingy, which partly explains this. Also, in a recent interview, Gillian Murphy said that even though her Gaynor Mindens last a long time, she still likes to wear a new pair at performances, so they're nice and clean.

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Would love to hear anyone's impressions of Krysanova/Hallberg last night or today's matinee after it finishes.

It seemed to me Saturday night that these two hadn't danced together very much and/or had precious little rehearsal time. The partnering seemed unusually tentative and he had to scooch a little to be in the right position several times. His lifts really look like he's struggling, no matter the partner. Perhaps he needs to do some upper-body work...Greatest American male ballet dancer in history? Not yet!

Krysanova's fouette sequence was the most spectacular of the week: several turns in second with right leg straight to the side thrown in near the beginning, then multiples, at breakneck speed. She seems to have decided that it's impossible to match the music, so full steam ahead with the turns. Same thing with the entrechat/passe sequence (not sure if that's the right terminology) near the end of the white swan PdD in Act II -- incredibly fast, music be damned. But I confess that it's fun to see.

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Sorry for my English, I don't know it and use a translation program.

I read your reviews and shocked to the core. What happened on that tour? To the fact that in America don't like Grigorovich, we have long been accustomed, but the artists... (but in my opinion, Grigorovich has long been on the choreographic Olympus, even after the legend of Love). Could anyone not like Zaharova, she is someone who does not even believe that it deserves to be a prima ballerina at Bolshoi? I can not believe. Just wanted to see the company ABT. Apparently we are in Moscow understand nothing or blind.

Also wanted to say that I never saw in Bolshoi dirty shoes. Our artists are writing in facebook, that scene dirty and very hard, all sore feet. In don Quixote recommend to see Krysanova, in my opinion Katya now is the best Kitri.

Whose version is Swan Lake from you?

Thank you in advance. thanks.GIFflowers.gif

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Also wanted to say that I never saw in Bolshoi dirty shoes. Our artists are writing in facebook, that scene dirty and very hard, all sore feet.

This is very puzzling. That stage meets Balanchine's demanding standards for "spring," and the NYCB rehearsal studios (which I assume Bolshoi is using) are over in the new Rose building, which also has great floors for NYCB. I don't know if anyone on this board is familiar with the stage floors at both Bolshoi and Lincoln Center to compare, but I would have thought Balanchine's theater would meet the highest standards in this regard (although it's apparently not as big as the Bolshoi stage).

One difference we have heard about is that Russian stages are "raked," while American stages are flat. But that doesn't explain the complaint about hardness. Nor dirty shoes. NYCB dancers get many pairs of new Freeds each week, so we are used to seeing spotless shoes in performance (as we saw with the Bolshoi principals). This might be a matter of what we are used to seeing in that theater from American companies.

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The festival doesn/t have anything to do with standing room policy or policy re release of the ADA seats. That was Koch theater management. The very same issues arise re release of ADA seats for NYCB.

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It seemed to me Saturday night that these two hadn't danced together very much and/or had precious little rehearsal time. The partnering seemed unusually tentative and he had to scooch a little to be in the right position several times. His lifts really look like he's struggling, no matter the partner. Perhaps he needs to do some upper-body work...Greatest American male ballet dancer in history? Not yet!

Krysanova and Hallberg have danced together before, and last autumn they performed Swan Lake together on tour in Singapore. However, she wasn't originally scheduled to dance any Odette-Odiles in New York, so presumably they had not spent all that much time rehearsing together recently. I have to say, though, that if Hallberg has difficulty lifting Polina Semionova's 175 cm, I don't think he would have fared all that well with Ekaterina Shipulina's 173 cm either. Krysanova, at least, is a little bit smaller. I don't think there's any excuse.

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Could anyone not like Zaharova, she is someone who does not even believe that it deserves to be a prima ballerina at Bolshoi? I can not believe. Just wanted to see the company ABT. Apparently we are in Moscow understand nothing or blind.

I have to say that my understanding is that Zakharova left the Mariinsky for the Bolshoi because she refused to take their critiques about her dancing (her ultra high and not classical extensions, musicality,etc.). I, for one, am not impressed by flexibility alone. In a ballet, especially Swan Lake, I expect to see some dramatic interpretation. I truly felt that Zakharova has not grown at all as a dramatic artist in the same way that someone like Diana Vishneva (who is adored here) has. It really seemed like she was "phoning it in" and expecting the audience to love her based on her reputation alone. I also feel she is a very unmusical dancer. In sum I continue to be of the opinion it was a very disappointing and boring performance from her (and David Hallberg as well).

I would like to say that not every Bolshoi performance has been reviewed harshly. I saw Semyon Chudin and Olga Smirnova later in the week in Swan Lake and thought they were FANTASTIC. I believe others on this forum who saw them felt similarly. I believe they are two artists who exceed anyone we have here in the U.S. I have also read very positive things about Krysanova's Swan Lake. Unfortunately, because none of these three artists were in the Bolshoi first cast, they did not receive a review (at least yet) from the NYC press.

I would also like to add that I do not believe anyone believes ABT has a good production of Swan Lake (I like the Mariinsky best) or that the company is without major problems. It is just that expectations for the Bolshoi (and any Russian company) are exceedingly high, especially after an absence of 9 years. I think we are all thinking Don Q.wii be much more of a success.

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I truly do not know what to make of David Hallberg. He came into the ABT season late and, IMO, gave a very unimpressive showing in Giselle with Alina Cojocaru (those brise voles). Then he left early to rest a foot injury. I thought his Siegfried with the Bolshoi on Tuesday was similarly very unimpressive. From what I have read about the Krysanova/Hallberg Swan Lake, he also struggled with her as well (not just Zakharova). Is he still injured? Is he not being pushed enough at the Bolshoi? This is not the same dancer who used to wow me at ABT.

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I'll elaborate a little bit on what I previously said in that I very much admire Zakharova, I think she has much fire beneath her cool façade and has dramatic flair extending far beyond her impeccable technique. However Z/Hallberg is at best for me a weak and awkward partnership, while Z/Bolle worked for me, as did Z/Uvarov. I like to think of personalities in terms of the four temperaments, Z is frequently seen as the archetypical "choleric", Osipova the "sanguine", etc. For the men I view Hallberg as "melancholic", while Bolle and Uvarov are "phlegmatic". For me when you try to have a "choleric" woman dance with a "melancholic" man in Swan Lake it just doesn't work, it is disruptive to the delicate balance between the genders in this or any other heteronormative ballet and leaves the audience feeling disoriented and cold. This is why I left Thursday night obviously seeing that Zakharova did phenomenally well but also with an empty feeling. Maybe I am not being PC here but let me be clear I don't think Hallberg is any less of a man just he is poorly paired with Z and better with, say, Osipova. So for me there is not going to be any solution to the chemistry problem that's far more serious than the also serious, but more superficial issues with lifting and the controversial production.

I am sure Don Q especially the Krysanova performance, if anything like the videos, will be fabulous! And after reading all the comments, I'm now really sad that I missed seeing Smirnova/Chudin.

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I truly do not know what to make of David Hallberg. He came into the ABT season late and, IMO, gave a very unimpressive showing in Giselle with Alina Cojocaru (those brise voles). Then he left early to rest a foot injury. I thought his Siegfried with the Bolshoi on Tuesday was similarly very unimpressive. From what I have read about the Krysanova/Hallberg Swan Lake, he also struggled with her as well (not just Zakharova). Is he still injured? Is he not being pushed enough at the Bolshoi? This is not the same dancer who used to wow me at ABT.

I thought Hallberg danced beautifully in Act I Saturday night - Act II was a wee bit rougher around the edges, though still beautifully shaped. For myself, too, I only noticed a few minor partnering glitches with Krysanova in the black swan pas de deux. Throughout, Krysanova and he were definitely making eye contact, and I was happy to be seeing him dance with her rather than with Shipulina (taking height into account, nothing against Shipulina - plus I admire Krysanova). She is perhaps not a great Odette-Odile, but she IS a terrific dancer who definitely has her moments in the role, and I'm looking forward to her Kitri.

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....I join you in liking many things about this production. From a purely performance point of view I find the ballet orientation of the 'character' Brides dances to be very charming and beautiful. I also like the more streamlined feel. The swans dancing in the final act is lovely.

Buddy - I am incredibly sad that I could not attend the Bolshoi Swan Lake. I wish the Mariinsky had the character brides. Decades ago I saw Bolshoi Spartacus excerpts and Phrygia was on pointe. Bessmertnova.

maps, hopefully you'll get to see them next time. Since you mentioned Natalia Bessmertnova, if you can see her dvd (perhaps also on the internet) of Swan Lake, you'll see the lovely 'character dances' by 'ballerinas' rather than character dancers, as in the NYC performances. They are absolutely beautiful. I do like happy endings to Swan Lake, because I live for the Enchantment of ballet and the happy endings reinforce this greatly.

I've seen five Swan Lakes in this series, two by Svetlana Zakharova, one by Anna Nikulina and two by Olga Smirnova. I liked Svetlana Zakharova's and Olga Smirnova's very much. Svetlana Zakharova is the mature artist and Olga Smirnova is the prodigy. I join most everyone in agreeing that Olga Smirnova is Absolutely Remarkable !

Added:

I waited at the stage door tonight. Both Olga Smirnova and Semyon Chudin were as nice as could be to everyone, staying about a half hour to chat, be in pictures and sign programs. I was standing next to a man who stopped every dancer he saw. With all the goings on in the press, these artists remain some of the humblest and nicest human beings that I've had to pleasure to visit with.

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Sorry for my English, I don't know it and use a translation program.

I read your reviews and shocked to the core. What happened on that tour? To the fact that in America don't like Grigorovich, we have long been accustomed, but the artists... (but in my opinion, Grigorovich has long been on the choreographic Olympus, even after the legend of Love). Could anyone not like Zaharova, she is someone who does not even believe that it deserves to be a prima ballerina at Bolshoi? I can not believe. Just wanted to see the company ABT. Apparently we are in Moscow understand nothing or blind.

If you read us long enough, you'll see that we rarely agree on anything here. Some people will love and others will hate the same dancer, ballet, and/or production. I've only seen Zakharova live once, as Nikiya in California, and I thought she was a very warm and feminine Nikiya. I was surprised to hear her described as cold, so maybe I'm blind, too smile.png

In general, Zakharova's extensions that can go past 180 degrees are what many have disliked in the past. She didn't have as many in "La Bayadere" as I expected when I read about her, but it was frustrating, because everything else was lovely, and she didn't need them.

Also wanted to say that I never saw in Bolshoi dirty shoes.

We've seen it in person in different theaters and on film, so it happens at least sometimes. (I wonder if it's less obvious on a raked stage.)

Our artists are writing in facebook, that scene dirty and very hard, all sore feet.

Saratoga Springs is an outdoor stage, and I'd expect there to be more dirt, since there is wind and no walls. (There's a roof.) California wrote, "That stage meets Balanchine's demanding standards for "spring," and the NYCB rehearsal studios (which I assume Bolshoi is using) are over in the new Rose building, which also has great floors for NYCB." I can't imagine that it's a permanent floor, because the stage is used for concerts of all kinds, and they wouldn't want additional holes in it. If it is assembled on top of the base floor, does anyone know if it belongs to NYCB or the theater, and whether it is put down for all visiting companies?

In Frank Ohman's book he wrote about that he created a floor for a company or school using Balanchine's specifications. I'm surprised that the Bolshoi doesn't travel with it's own sprung floor, because these floors can be shipped in pieces and assembled at each theater, and they can be made outside a factory. When the Bolshoi visited Seattle, the theater manager gave a speech thanking the Bolshoi stagehands for their expertise, and I'm sure the carpentry crew at the Bolshoi Theatre could make one for the company.

In don Quixote recommend to see Krysanova, in my opinion Katya now is the best Kitri.

Thank you for the recommendation!

Whose version is Swan Lake from you?

I can only speak for myself, but my two favorite versions of "Swan Lake" are the David Blair version which ABT used to do, and Kent Stowell's version for Pacific Northwest Ballet. If you ever read what New Yorkers think of Kevin McKenzie's current version for ABT, the criticisms sound as harsh as the criticisms of Grigorovich's version. The only thing I didn't like about Blair's version was that the mime was cut.

Kent Stowell's version is current, and Pacific Northwest Ballet will perform it again this season. It has all of the familiar "After Petipa" parts, but what I love about is that Stowell has created a fourth act that balances out Act II.

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maps, hopefully you'll get to see them next time. Since you mentioned Natalia Bessmertnova, if you can see her dvd (perhaps also on the internet) of Swan Lake, you'll see the lovely 'character dances' by 'ballerinas' rather than character dancers, as in the NYC performances. They are absolutely beautiful.

I found a high quality video of the wonderful Anna Tikhomirova doing the Spanish Dance, which was also my favorite character dance followed by the Mazurka (especially the second theme).

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Krysanova's fouette sequence was the most spectacular of the week: several turns in second with right leg straight to the side thrown in near the beginning, then multiples, at breakneck speed. She seems to have decided that it's impossible to match the music, so full steam ahead with the turns. Same thing with the entrechat/passe sequence (not sure if that's the right terminology) near the end of the white swan PdD in Act II -- incredibly fast, music be damned. But I confess that it's fun to see.
I completely agree with that. Last night Krysanova was spectacular as Odette/Odile. Her fouette sequence with straight hight leg, multiples, wings/arms brandish, plus the straight traveling from the back to the front of the stage, all in breathtaking speed, made a very strong aggressive and forceful Odile. After her impressive fouette, the applause burst out like thunder. I saw her doing this last year in London, but the applause was not so crazy like last night. Americans are indeed more wild than the Europeans.
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I have seen on YouTube in D.Q. Krysanova's turns and steps were so fast that the conductor would try to catch her. Last night she did it again. However, her Odette Adagio was very slow, even slower than normal in any others Swan Lake. In the Adagio her whole body singed in a warm and sad tone, the music slowly flow through her body. She made me cry! Conductor Sorokin seemed to be moved also. The music just sounded very unusually beautiful, slow and soft. That was another breathtaking moment. The whole theater was quiet, stunned.
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One thing I would like to mention, I found that all Odiles, Krysanova, Olga Smirnova and Nikulina did the fouette in a traveling way, going from the back to front of the stage, as Zakharova. I guess the choreographer made this on purpose. At lease, it makes sense to me that Odile is making an offensive and provocative approach.
I have heard that the stage of Bolshoi has a slope, the back is 1 meter higher than the front, which many dancers love and take advantage to make Grand jeté jumping cross down the floor higher and lighter. I don;t know if the David Koch Hall has the same slope-stage. If not, doing the same traveling-down fouette could be challenging for Bolshoi ballerinas.
flowers.gif

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One thing I would like to mention, I found that all Odiles, Krysanova, Olga Smirnova and Nikulina did the fouette in a traveling way, going from the back to front of the stage, as Zakharova. I guess the choreographer made this on purpose. At lease, it makes sense to me that Odile is making an offensive and provocative approach.

That's an interpretation I hadn't considered before, yudi. But the truth is that the number of ballerinas who can perform fouettés on one spot is miniscule. You could probably count them on the fingers of one hand. A couple of years ago on the "Big Ballet" show on Russian television someone specifically paid tribute to Marina Kondratieva for her ability to perform fouettés without traveling through space and lamented that no one could do it anymore. Traveling is widely accepted, but the ideal would be to turn on a postage stamp.

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One thing I would like to mention, I found that all Odiles, Krysanova, Olga Smirnova and Nikulina did the fouette in a traveling way, going from the back to front of the stage, as Zakharova. I guess the choreographer made this on purpose. At lease, it makes sense to me that Odile is making an offensive and provocative approach.
I have heard that the stage of Bolshoi has a slope, the back is 1 meter higher than the front, which many dancers love and take advantage to make Grand jeté jumping cross down the floor higher and lighter. I don;t know if the David Koch Hall has the same slope-stage. If not, doing the same traveling-down fouette could be challenging for Bolshoi ballerinas.

I heard that Z traveled on Tuesday but she most certainly did not on Thursday. She did a series of singles that were about as stationary as I've ever seen anyone do them. I can't speak to whether ballerinas ever intentionally travel downstage to create the aggressive effect you've described, maybe someone else has insight.

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Sorry for my English, I don't know it and use a translation program.

I read your reviews and shocked to the core. What happened on that tour? To the fact that in America don't like Grigorovich, we have long been accustomed, but the artists... (but in my opinion, Grigorovich has long been on the choreographic Olympus, even after the legend of Love). Could anyone not like Zaharova, she is someone who does not even believe that it deserves to be a prima ballerina at Bolshoi? I can not believe. Just wanted to see the company ABT. Apparently we are in Moscow understand nothing or blind.

Also wanted to say that I never saw in Bolshoi dirty shoes. Our artists are writing in facebook, that scene dirty and very hard, all sore feet. In don Quixote recommend to see Krysanova, in my opinion Katya now is the best Kitri.

Whose version is Swan Lake from you?

Thank you in advance. thanks.GIFflowers.gif

Ekaterina, not everyone here in New York agrees with the views of the posters you have been reading. I have seen all but one of the performances this past week, and it seems to me that you Muscovites are both very fortunate and have a lot to be proud of as far as ballet is concerned. Based on what I've seen I think that the Bolshoi is a truly wonderful company. I find the female corps de ballet in particular to be simply magnificent. Their work in the "lakeside" scenes --which after all account for much of the fame and beauty of this ballet--was stellar. The same can be said of the soloists. Virtually everyone of the ladies who danced as one of the brides in this production, as well as one of the three swans or four swans made an excellent impression. And as far as the principals are concerned, I think that Svetlana Zakharova and Ekaterina Krysanova are extremely accomplished ballerinas who gave virtuoso performances as Odette/Odile; Olga Smirnova and Anna Nikulina, I believe, are well on their way to becoming such. Obviously there are differences in the way each performer dances this great and difficult role (that's what makes watching them all so interesting), and quite frankly not everyone can do everything equally well --to say nothing about all the things that never go quite as planned during a live perfomance. But what I can say is that I certainly enjoyed watching all four of them.

One more thing about all the women of the Bolshoi: they are incredibly comfortable en pointe --they make the viewer feel that they could remain there forever!

It's always more difficult for me to judge the performances of the men when I go to the ballet. Having said that, I thought that Ovcharenko, Chudin and Hallberg (whom, of course, we know very well over here because he has been a member of ABT for many years) did very well as Prince Siegfried --but none of them was flawless. Pretty much the same can be said about all the gentlemen who danced the roles of the Evil Genius and the Fool, roles which seem to me to include some difficult choreography. I believe that Spartacus is a ballet which will better showcase the talents of the Bolshoi's male dancers, so I'm looking forward to watching that.

Many people who post on this forum, Ekaterina, are very experienced balletgoers and are therefore quite demanding. You can tell from what they write that they've thought a lot about specific ballets, and have strong opinions regarding interpretations and dancers. Some of them perhaps are (or have been) dancers themselves; some may have taught ballet. None of this makes whatever they state necessarily right, and they often sharply disagree with one another. I also think that we Americans feel freer when we criticize. This has nothing to do with Muscovites understanding nothing or being blind. Although people over there surely have different opinions about ballets, productions and dancers too, no?

In New York during the past several years we have been seeing a lot two productions of Swan Lake: one offered by NYCB, and the other by ABT. Both are very much despised. So the reaction to the Grigorovich Swan Lake is hardly unique in this respect.

As a matter of fact I think one critic in New York has stated that there is no satisfactory production of this ballet anywhere in the world right now. As you can see, we have very, very high standards. But the bottom line is that you should be extremely proud of those compatriots of yours --Tchaikovsky, Ivanov, and whoever else-- who created this splendid masterpiece.

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Thank you posting this link,danc1988. Ever since I watched the Russian television show "Big ballet", i hâve anticipated lovely performances from Tikho. It is a shame she has been (seemingly) overlooked ny Filin in favor of Olga Smirnova. For me, Olga has got not only the great physical gifts but an ability to interpret a role that far exceeds her years. However both Smirnova and Zakharova have a very classical look (having trained at the Vaganova). Tikho, with her tremendous jumps and outgoing personality, seem more in line with my expectations of a Bolshoi ballerina: big, showy, power steps and a larger than life stage presence.

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Helen, thank you for having responded. Very interesting. I've never been to NY and have not seen these versions. Foreign troupes why not take them to our own Lake.

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