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volcanohunter

Bolshoi 2015-16 cinema season

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Okay, that's wild because Sergei was going to take the place of Dave Hallberg. Who will replace the replacement? Mr. Murru?

On La Scala website it says: "The Ballet Direction has decided to commit the performances to Jacopo Tissi, young and talented artist, graduated at the Ballet School of the Teatro alla Scala Academy in June 2014".

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Hope this time in Bolshoi's broadcasting of Giselle they would not do too many close-up shots, as in HD broadcasting of ROH's Giselle. ....

BTW, for ballet, they should keep the head, hands and feet of main roles in frames, when they are dancing.

Just don't do too much close-up shooting on dancers' faces, OK on feet, that would also reduce the recognition of dancers' ages.

I've wondered about this since we've been seeing more "live in cinema" screenings. When something is shot in a studio, with the kind of shots and editing that are possible when you don't necessarily dance the work from start to end, that kind of proximity doesn't seem so odd. But in a live performance, where you know there are other people sitting in theater seats getting a theater view, I've had some uncomfortable moments with the extra-close camera shots.

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What I wish they would rethink is stage makeup, because if there are going to be close-ups, it should be toned down accordingly, even if it alters the view from the top of the house for a performance or two.

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I can't believe they picked Zakharova for this. There are already so many commercial DVD's of her in this role. I would have cleared my schedule to see Obratsova.

I saw Zakharova do Giselle at the Kennedy Center in June 2014 with Hallberg. I have to agree wtih volcanohunter that she is far from my favorite Giselle.

Totally agree. Apart from some nice feathery bourrees in A2, Zak is so wrong in this part. I can't believe that the Bolshoi missed a golden opportunity to preserve Obraztsova's finest role on film.

Polunin? Really???

I too will pass on this one.

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What I wish they would rethink is stage makeup, because if there are going to be close-ups, it should be toned down accordingly, even if it alters the view from the top of the house for a performance or two.

That's an interesting suggestion. If it's a stage performance, I'm not sure how I feel about the idea of elements being modified for broadcast performances .... though I wonder if some artists aren't doing it already. It might open a can of worms -- live acting/pantomime is also different than acting for the camera, etc. -- too many adjustments and one might as well be watching a studio performance and that's quite different from a broadcast of a theater performance. And I admit I have just not been bothered by stage make-up when I have seen "live from..." ballet performances (or when I have sat close up in the theater). Now you have put the idea in my head though... :wink:

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I watched the Bolshoi Giselle in cinema and I thought Zakharova was very convincing in Act I. She did have a stumble about half way thru Act II but otherwise was satisfactory. I still think her best role is in Swan Lake. The choreography was slightly different then I am accustomed to. For me the total effect was good but not outstanding.

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Zakharova fell down in Act 2, would PATH publish the DVD of this Giselle?

It seems that FATHOM Events don't cover Bolshoi's Don Quixote on April 10 of next year.

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If PATHE is going to make a DVD of Zakharova I hope they catch her in a role she doesn't already have on

DVD.

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Surprise surprise. Zakharova is getting the Dec 6 broadcast of Lady of the Camellias. Her partner is someone I've never heard of from the Hamburg ballet (E. Revazov?). http://www.bolshoi.ru/en/performances/713/roles/#20151206180000

I would have enjoyed seeing either the Obratsova cast or the Smirnova cast, but, alas, it seems that nobody else gets the broadcasts except Ms. Zakharova.

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Revazov is a principal at the Hamburg Ballet (the only one tall enough to partner Zakharova). I don't really "get" Revazov. He's a bit big and clunky, which is fine in the man-child roles Neumeier has created especially for him, such as Parzival or Tadzio in Death in Venice, but which frankly seems unfitting in a principal dancer. However, he obviously inspires Neumeier.

It's not entirely unusual for Neumeier to insist on having outside dancers, usually his own, appear in films of his ballets when performed by other companies, e.g., Lloyd Riggins in San Francisco Ballet's The Little Mermaid, or going back to Kevin Haigen (and Judith Jamison) in the Vienna State Ballet's film of The Legend of Joseph. When the Royal Winnipeg Ballet filmed his Nutcracker for Canadian television years ago, Violette Verdy played Louise and Max Midinet played Drosselmeier. The difference here is that unlike Haigen, Jamison or Midinet, Revazov is not the role's original interpreter. Only the Paris Opera Ballet seems immune to guests in its films of Neumeier ballets.

I would have enjoyed seeing either the Obratsova cast or the Smirnova cast, but, alas, it seems that nobody else gets the broadcasts except Ms. Zakharova.

I agree, so I'll pass. Again.

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Surprise surprise. Zakharova is getting the Dec 6 broadcast of Lady of the Camellias. Her partner is someone I've never heard of from the Hamburg ballet (E. Revazov?). http://www.bolshoi.ru/en/performances/713/roles/#20151206180000

Did E. Revazov dance with Zakharova for Bolshoi's premiere of Lady of the Camellias last year in Moscow? It seemed to be, and I saw some clips on YouTube.

IMO, Zakharova's Marguerite is good, as she looked proud, cold and sick. From what I saw on YouTube, I think Revazov's Armand is boyish and little bit simple-minded, who is not the Armand as my understanding from reading the book. But, if Neumeier likes Revazov's Armand, I would try to adjust my percipient.

:flowers:

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I thought this performance was excellent--at least if one likes the ballet...which I do. Zakharova was very moving (especially in Act II, but really throughout); I can't remember seeing her live--or on video or on HD broadcast--give anything like this affecting and memorable a performance. That she danced with great fluency and, occasionally, a touch of power certainly didn't hurt the performance either.

I suspect Neumeier must get some credit, and also his team, for drawing this performance out of her. According to Novikova, speaking at intermission, Keven Haigen rehearsed the Bolshoi dancers for this run while Neumeier has been preparing for the premier of his Duse ballet with Alessandra Ferri, though Neumeier did work with them setting the ballet originally. (An experience mentioned by dancers in pre-recorded segments and, I think, also by Tikhomirova, during an intermission interview.)

The last time I saw Zakharova was in the broadcast performance of Sleeping Beauty--where she hardly looked at her partner. I have enjoyed her dancing live (up to a point), but without ever being swept away. Anyway, Neumeier's Marguerite seems to be a role that sets her free.

As for Revazov as Armand--a dancer entirely new to me--he was a fantastic partner for Zakharova (she looked petite and fragile next to him) and in the intricate pas de deux, one could focus entirely on the dance which is to say, too, the story and not give a thought to the 'partnering.' I found him a good actor as well. Maybe, as Yudi says, not a complex portrait, but full of feeling all the same. Enjoyed the soloists in the subsidiary roles as well.

Other Bolshoi dancers may do as well or better than this cast, but I am plenty satisfied with what I saw.

I noticed, too, that this was by far and away the best attended of any Bolshoi (or other) ballet broadcast I have attended near my home (in the southeast). Not entirely sure why--and I don't attend all of them anyway. The broadcast was not live, but began early afternoon and that may have helped. But I don't really know.

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I agree with Drew that Zakharova surprised me in this. I have seen her live and also on film, and she has always seemed cold. Not in this. Her performance was very moving. I also though that Revazov as Armand did a fine job with the partnering. However, there was not the kind of chemistry that one would hope for in this ballet. I guess I have a very high standard, as I kept comparing this couple to Gomes and Vishneva, who did this ballet at ABT. However, all in all, a very worthy way to spend an afternoon. I went to a local small theater In Queens that I have never gone to before, and it was about half sold.

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Me too, I love today's broadcasting of The Lady of the Camellias very much!
Bolshoi's musicians played the Chopin's piano concertos so beautifully, though, not passionate enthusiasm like Argerich's playing. However, the music and dance fit really well. The Bolshoi dancers can make every movement look very natural, their performances are highly true, which made this ballet believable.
I might say that Zakharova's performance of today is being herself. Actually, I didn't have lots of chances to see her dancing in theaters. Although I know she is a super ballet star, but for what? From YouTube, I could only see she is one of many excellent ballet dancers. However, her performance of today is hard to beat.
Revazov as Armand is very competent. And, he is young, healthy, simple, a true lover. Revazov's Armand and Zakharova's Margaret are a pair of contrasts, that makes sumptuous and tragical Margaret stand out.
I am very happy to see all dancers of major roles got bunches of flowers in hands at curtain calls. They certainly deserve these.
:flowers:

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I have to disagree. It would be wrong to say I was very disappointed, because I did not have high expectations for this performance. But I was surprised to have been left so unmoved by what I saw, and I say this as someone who has been known to sob out loud during the final scene, when Des Grieux carries Manon Lescaut off the stage and Marguerite is left behind alone. On just about every point I found this performance to be inferior to the film made by the Paris Opera Ballet. I liked the performances by Mikhail Lobukhin and Vyacheslav Lopatin, and that was about it.

I could not have gone to the cinema to see this even if I had wanted to, but I did trick my browser into letting me watch the Russian feed online. I saw the first two acts live before heading out the door, and when I returned in the evening, I found that the stream was still up, so I watched the final act then. That I watched the performance on my fairly large television set rather than on a movie screen probably also factored into my perceptions. Problem number one was Svetlana Zakharova, who was, to borrow from Cygnet, all limbs and mannerisms sans pathos. But other casting decisions were bothersome, too. Anna Tikhomirova and Semyon Chudin were not tall enough to be the alter egos of Zakharova and especially Edvin Revazov, which was most problematic in the scenes where the dancers mirror each other. This was a puzzling casting choice since the Bolshoi has taller interpreters of Manon Lescaut and Des Grieux at its disposal, and dancers could have been better matched to each other.

On the filming side, there were many poor directing decisions. The choreography is often structured in such a way that the leading characters are fairly still in the foreground, while a lot of dancing takes place behind them. The camera too often concentrated on close-ups to the point of completely obscuring the dancing to which they were reacting. At other times, notably during the “black” pas de deux, the camera remained resolutely at a distance, which may not have been an impediment on a movie screen, but which certainly was a problem on a TV screen (and presumably would also be on a potential DVD release).

The playing of the solo pianists was sloppy, and I was most surprised by the poor performance of the corps in the party scenes, which was rhythmically flaccid and lacking in brilliance. Perhaps so much rehearsal time was spent working on the soloists’ interpretations that the ensembles slipped through the cracks.

My reservations about Revazov remain unchanged. His character’s youth and frequent emotional distress may have justified his somewhat clumsy way of moving, but it could not disguise the basic lack of finesse in his execution. His manner was sincere and direct, and this further underlined the fact that many of the Bolshoi’s dancers aren’t very skilled at Cranko-MacMillan-Neumeier-style dramatic naturalism. I couldn’t help thinking that the ballet would have been much better served by a live transmission from Hamburg with Neumeier’s own dancers.

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In my opinion this ballet (and several others, too) would be best served by putting Vishneva and Gomes on tape. It's almost criminal that we have no video record of their partnership. I'm now interested in finding the Paris Opera ballet version that you have mentioned.

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:tiphat: Make a note:

Ballet "La Dame aux Camelias" music of Frederic Chopin 2008
Published on Mar 24, 2013
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paLMB3BPnlA

Music: Frederic Chopin
LA DAME AUX CAMÉLIAS

Marguerite Gautier -- Agnès Letestu
Armand Duval -- Stéphane Bullion
Monsieur Duval -- Michaël Denard
Prudence Duvernoy -- Dorothée Gilbert
Manon Lescaut -- Delphine Moussin
Des Grieux -- José Martinez
Olympia -- Eve Grinsztajn
Gaston Rieux -- Karl Paquette
Le Duc -- Laurent Novis
Nanine -- Béatrice Martel
Le Comte de N. -- Simon Valastro

____________________________________________________________

Lady of the Camellias - Marcia Haydee & Ivan Liska (1986)
Published on Apr 13, 2014
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JeBNkV5aw1s

Coreografía: John Neumeier
Año: 1986

Marguerite Gautier - Marcia Haydee
Armand Duval - Ivan Liska
Monsieur Duval - Francois Klaus
Prudence - Colleen Scott
Gaston - Vladimir Klos
Manon Lescaut - Lynne Charles
Des Grieux - Jeffrey Kirk
Olympia - Gigi Hyatt
Nanina - Beatrice Cordua
Duke - Victor Hughes
Earl N. - William Parton
Pianist - Richard Hoynes
Married couple - Shristina Fritschi, Anders Hellstrom

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Thanks for the links. Hope to watch them when I have time.

Did anyone notice that when the host, Novikova, listed great past interpreters of the lead roles she included David Hallberg? Hallberg did not dance Armand at ABT. He danced the l secondary role of Des Greiux. Well at least the Bolshoi has not forgotten Hallberg. That's a positive sign, I suppose.

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I was glad Novikova mentioned Hallberg as well.

Marcia Haydee and Egon Madsen in the Stuttgart's original production of Dame aux Camelias are both absolutely seared into my memory as among the very greatest dramatic dance performances I have ever seen. But I have tended to stay away from video of performances I have loved in the theater because I worry the video image may come to "replace" my few memory-images of the live performance...and dramatic impact/effect live in the theater is, in any case, somewhat different from what one gets on video. But I'm glad Haydee, at least, is has been recorded and at some point I will probably want to see the recording of the performance with Liska.

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I was stunned at my reaction to seeing this broadcast

I had gone to the Bolshoi "Jewels" broadcast a couple of weeks ago, and was disappointed that they just didn't "get it" (IMHO) except, of course, in "Diamonds". So here was another non-traditional ballet.....would the Bolshoi dancers, tho superb technicians, deliver on this complex ballet/play/dramatic-par-excellence?? Boy, did they ever!!!! I loved every minute of it. I was powerfully moved time and time again. Svetlana Zakharova was a wonder to behold. Much is owed to Chopin of course. As I said to my seat mates (who happen also to be neighbors), "What we saw here today is the power of ballet to communicate a story." Even a 50 year balletomane such as myself was stunned by the possibility of drama and honest emotion in ballet as created by an extraordinary artist such as John Neumeier.

I live on a small island in the very NW corner of this country....getting anywhere can be a challenge. Even so, next Sunday my wife and I will be taking 4 ferry rides and 6 hours of travel (round trip) just to get a chance to see this magnificent work again (thankfully it is being re-shown at a small arts theater in Port Townsend on the Olympic Peninsula).

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I could not think of a more boring interpretation of Camellias than the film by Paris Opera Ballet. It left me snoozing and so disappointed. They were so limp, lacking in energy and just lethargic looking. This ballet is about drama and it isn't supposed to be handled with absolute subtelty, and though Zakharova can be all legs and cold in some ballets, Marguerite is the role that she owned at the broadcast. Everyone in the cinema was in tears.

Also, I think it is a shame that you have said multiple times that you would not go to the cinema due to casting decisions, and yet in the end, you "stole" the link to see this broadcast for free, when these cinema broadcasts from Bolshoi/Royal and all others rely and only exist because of box office sales. This is something to support, not just "hack" online to then later spew insults at the artists. Every single one of the artists lives and breathes their profession. You can tell from the interviews they do on youtube from the Bolshoi in Cinema account.

In any case, Taming of the Shrew today was absolute rapture.

I have to disagree. It would be wrong to say I was very disappointed, because I did not have high expectations for this performance. But I was surprised to have been left so unmoved by what I saw, and I say this as someone who has been known to sob out loud during the final scene, when Des Grieux carries Manon Lescaut off the stage and Marguerite is left behind alone. On just about every point I found this performance to be inferior to the film made by the Paris Opera Ballet. I liked the performances by Mikhail Lobukhin and Vyacheslav Lopatin, and that was about it.

I could not have gone to the cinema to see this even if I had wanted to, but I did trick my browser into letting me watch the Russian feed online. I saw the first two acts live before heading out the door, and when I returned in the evening, I found that the stream was still up, so I watched the final act then. That I watched the performance on my fairly large television set rather than on a movie screen probably also factored into my perceptions. Problem number one was Svetlana Zakharova, who was, to borrow from Cygnet, all limbs and mannerisms sans pathos. But other casting decisions were bothersome, too. Anna Tikhomirova and Semyon Chudin were not tall enough to be the alter egos of Zakharova and especially Edvin Revazov, which was most problematic in the scenes where the dancers mirror each other. This was a puzzling casting choice since the Bolshoi has taller interpreters of Manon Lescaut and Des Grieux at its disposal, and dancers could have been better matched to each other.

On the filming side, there were many poor directing decisions. The choreography is often structured in such a way that the leading characters are fairly still in the foreground, while a lot of dancing takes place behind them. The camera too often concentrated on close-ups to the point of completely obscuring the dancing to which they were reacting. At other times, notably during the “black” pas de deux, the camera remained resolutely at a distance, which may not have been an impediment on a movie screen, but which certainly was a problem on a TV screen (and presumably would also be on a potential DVD release).

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I very much enjoyed Taming of the Shrew--though the stage lighting did not always translate well for the HD broadcast. I swear I think some of the bootleg video that turned up on youtube when the ballet premiered may have gotten a better picture.

Really thrilled to get a broadcast with the original cast at least in the major roles--and I thought they were all terrific. I am not sure how I think the ballet itself would hold up to anything less than these kinds of stellar lead performances, but I find Mailot's choreography looks fresh, funny, tender, and sensual on the Bolshoi dancers.

If I hadn't known the story/play, I would have assumed, seeing the expression on Lantratov's (Petruchio's) face after Krysanova's Katherine slaps him (the expression he deliberately goes on to shutter) that in Act II he was going to beat her to a bloody pulp. Fortunately that is NOT the story, but I don't think this ballet will be winning any awards for its treatment of gender relations--despite Maillot's insistence that no 'taming' is going on, just two people who belong together and learn to share a playful understanding of how gender roles are performed. (I'm not making that up...see the Bolshoi website's detailed synopsis of the ballet which begins with a paragraph about the taming question.)

The ballet ends on a light almost anti-climactic vein as, to the tune of Tea for Two, the ballet's various couples demonstrate how they take tea together -- with only Katherine and Petruchio (who start the whole thing) enjoying it together without carping or fighting. I wouldn't have minded a more conventionally rip roaring ending for the leads--perhaps one final crazy lift--but that's Maillot's playfulness/irony i suppose. As it is, the last of ballet's major pas de deux goes to Bianca and Lucentio--which feels dramatically wrong despite the tea-drinking shtick that follows But no arguments from me on the beautiful dancing (and dance-acting) of Smirnova and Chudin in those roles. Anyway I would enjoy a chance to see this ballet live, but I don't think I will be able to anytime soon, so very grateful to have seen it at the movies.

Edited to add: What a pleasure to see Filin smiling and laughing with Jean-Christoph Maillot at intermission and to hear the program's hostess Novikova talk about his contributions to the Bolshoi repertory. Of all things, she even asked him about the new dancers he brought to the Bolshoi. (He, tactfully as I thought, skirted that last question.)

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The broadcasting of Taming of the Shrew was down about half hours after start at the nearest theater yesterday. We could only see big sign of "dish" on screen. The manager said that was a problem in the whole region (west cost). So, we got refund. Maybe they would encore this ballet sometimes in the future. At this moment, it is unknown.
:dunno:
In the first half hour, Taming of the Shrew is an "action ballet". The choreographer weaved all kind of stylish slapping and kicking in to dancing. Very eye-popping! How could he manage to do this artistically?! Somehow, just like Shaolin dance.
:yahoo:

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The manager said that was a problem in the whole region (west cost).

Not so, altho I suppose it depends on how literal one is using the term "west coast" which covers more than 2000 miles.

I saw the performance yesterday in a small cinema north of Seattle with zero problems.

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Also, I think it is a shame that you have said multiple times that you would not go to the cinema due to casting decisions, and yet in the end, you "stole" the link to see this broadcast for free, when these cinema broadcasts from Bolshoi/Royal and all others rely and only exist because of box office sales. This is something to support, not just "hack" online to then later spew insults at the artists.

DD6948, your ire is misplaced. If you were to look through the threads on this board, you’d find that I have been banging the drum for these ballet in cinema transmissions for the last seven or eight years. When I haven’t been able to attend broadcasts, I’ve bought tickets for them anyway, because I recognize the use-it-or-lose-it nature of the enterprise. I’ve lost track of how many transmissions I’ve attended over the years, but none has ever been close to sold out, so I am fairly confident that my phantom participation has not deprived anyone of a ticket, and if I was required to select a seat to make the purchase, I made a point to choosing the least desirable spot in the auditorium. It’s true that I haven’t always paid money to buy tickets. Sometimes I’ve redeemed loyalty points, and sometimes I’ve used vouchers received at failed broadcasts. In one instance I made three attempts to see a particular ballet cinemacast, but sadly the initial and two rescheduled screenings all succumbed to faulty technology. I have also paid to watch ballet streams online, but these opportunities present themselves less frequently. So rest assured; I’ve invested my share of time and money into the cause.

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