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The Bolshoi under Vaziev

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7 hours ago, Laurent said:

He is fully aware, and I don't think he is happy, that the company dances so little classic, while the company has more than enough capable dancers, who should be dancing classics, who want to dance classics, and who are denied or have very little opportunity to do that.

So for some reason during the 2014-15 season Filin was able to program 21 performances of Swan Lake, including six on tour, but mysterious forces limit Vaziev to programming only ten performances of Swan Lake, including three on tour. This despite the fact that the ballet is the most popular in the company's repertoire, routinely sells out the day tickets go on sale, and Muscovite audiences can't possibly be happy to have so few opportunities to see it.

I find the second half of your sentence untenable. Filin was frequently accused of favoritism, but a dispassionate analysis of casting shows that he distributed opportunities to dance Swan Lake quite equitably. Whereas under Vaziev his preferred casts get three performances of the ballet each, while most interpreters of Odette-Odile and Siegfried don't get to dance it at all. And we are expected to believe that Vaziev is somehow powerless to rectify this situation? If Filin managed to be fair, why on earth can't Vaziev swing it?

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La Belle?!?! 😱😱😱😱

Edited by Fraildove

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On 5/16/2018 at 8:41 AM, volcanohunter said:

So for some reason during the 2014-15 season Filin was able to program 21 performances of Swan Lake, including six on tour, but mysterious forces limit Vaziev to programming only ten performances of Swan Lake, including three on tour. This despite the fact that the ballet is the most popular in the company's repertoire, routinely sells out the day tickets go on sale, and Muscovite audiences can't possibly be happy to have so few opportunities to see it.

I find the second half of your sentence untenable. Filin was frequently accused of favoritism, but a dispassionate analysis of casting shows that he distributed opportunities to dance Swan Lake quite equitably. Whereas under Vaziev his preferred casts get three performances of the ballet each, while most interpreters of Odette-Odile and Siegfried don't get to dance it at all. And we are expected to believe that Vaziev is somehow powerless to rectify this situation? If Filin managed to be fair, why on earth can't Vaziev swing it?

I wonder how programming is influenced by those who subsidize the theater's expenses?   It wouldn't be surprising if oligarchs with a financial stake in the theatre are able to dictate casting and repertoire and overrule Vaziev and/or Urin when push comes to shove.  The influence of money could have become more potent over the last few years, which might to some extent explain the difference between Filin then and Vaziev now when it comes to staging the classics etc.  

 

 

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Vaziev is very devoted to classical ballet, also to 20th century choreographers like Lander, Cage or Forsythe. Not a poor or unusual choice of repetoire. Often he has to defer to the director's wife who is in charge of repetoire planning. She likes Dutch masters and all other sorts of forward thinkers, yet still it is not like the Bolshoi's repetoire is replete with modern gibberish, I'd venture to guess that it still dances more classics than any ballet company other than the Mariinsky. Looking at their season brochure, in 2017/18 45% of performances are classics (e.g., Petipa ballets), 21% were Western "neoclassics" (Neumeier, Cranko, Balanchine, Lander, Alonso, Robbins), 7% are original Grigorovich ballets, 16% are Ratmansky ballets, and only 11% of what you could more or less modern (Killian, Possokhov and Maillot, although you could say the latter two also belong to the "neoclassics" category and staged their works while Filin still nominally headed the ballet company). I am not even counting touring performances, which are mostly classics.

If anything, the programming today is about too much Ratmansky. 

La Belle was not a Bolshoi production, it was a visiting performance by the Monte-Carlo Ballet. May not be to everyone's liking, but still beats classics like Le Corsaire that the Bulgaria Ballet showed at the Bolshoi the other day.

Edited by Fleurdelis

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7 minutes ago, Gnossie said:

Kovalyova and Tissi (who did not graduated from the Moscow Choreographic School) to "represent" the Bolshoi at Bolshoi Ballet (Tv show)

 

 

УРААА !!

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I am not in the least bit surprised, but that doesn't make it any less of a travesty. :wallbash:

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To put it another way: would you have a reality tv competition for “Best Impressionist Painter”? Pit Van Gogh against Cezanne?  It would be an insult to the artform.  

Edited by Jayne

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On 5/29/2018 at 10:44 AM, Jayne said:

To put it another way: would you have a reality tv competition for “Best Impressionist Painter”? Pit Van Gogh against Cezanne?  It would be an insult to the artform.  

Looked up on Google and found the following: Post-Impressionism is a term used to describe the reaction in the 1880s against Impressionism. It was led by Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh and Georges Seurat. The Post-Impressionists rejected Impressionism’s concern with the spontaneous and naturalistic rendering of light and color. Instead they favored an emphasis on more symbolic content, formal order and structure.

You must excuse my ignorance, but I fail to see the parallels. In what way do Kovaleva and Tissi reject the ballet art form?

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I fail to see how the Post-Impressionists rejected their art form, since painting was their primary activity.

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I suppose the point was that they would not have qualified to compete for the best Impressionist title because they rejected Impressionism (as some say). But I still cannot understand what's the issue with Kovaleva and Tissi competing in a televised ballet show.

Edited by Fleurdelis

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8 hours ago, Fleurdelis said:

But I still cannot understand what's the issue with Kovaleva and Tissi competing in a televised ballet show.

Nothing is wrong ..... saw them twice in Diamonds last week and must say they presented a very elegant show, however much I dislike Balanchine (no drama). I  am deeply honoured that my discovery of last year (patent pending !) has been chosen as the "brand ambassador" for the Bolshoi too - am sure she will do great !!

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Diamonds has no explicit story. I don’t think that’s the same as “no drama.” (It still may not be to the taste of someone who prefers a different kind of choreography and story-telling.) Ballet doesn’t need explicit narratives to be dramatic and, in many works, Balanchine conveys whole worlds without obviously verbalizable narratives.

Edited by Drew

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27 minutes ago, Drew said:

Diamonds has no explicit story. I don’t think that’s the same as “no drama.” (It still may not be to the taste of someone who prefers a different kind of choreography and story-telling.) Ballet doesn’t need explicit narratives to be dramatic and, in many works, Balanchine conveys whole worlds without obviously verbalizable narratives.

So true. Seeing Concerto Barocco this weekend I was reminded of this yet again. Much drama, no story — and, in a certain way, that makes the drama all the more impactful.

Edited by nanushka

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Obraztsova's debut as Swanilda will take place on June 9 with David Motta Soares as Franz. She's been having a good season -- debuted in La Sylphide, performed the Giselle pas de deux at the Benois de la Danse gala and now Coppelia. These are all great roles for her -- she should be performing them regularly, starting with a full length Giselle.  Fingers crossed that Vaziev will make this happen.

I only wish I could see her in Coppelia on Sunday. 😢

 

Edited by Quinten
added text, correct date of performance

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Obraztsova made her debut in La Sylphide years ago, only she is rarely given it to dance at the Bolshoi. She's also been dancing Lacotte's version for years. She last danced Giselle in March, although that, too, is an infrequent occurence. I hardly think the dozen or so performances she's had at the Bolshoi constitute a good season. She is cast rarely, has the smallest workload of any full-time principal, and gets fewer performances than even demoted "ex-principal" Nina Kaptsova (although she's still ahead of Alexandrova and Allash, which isn't saying much). Her career has been rotting slowly ever since she joined the Bolshoi. It wasn't much better under Filin either.

Edited by volcanohunter

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20 minutes ago, volcanohunter said:

Obraztsova made her debut in La Sylphide years ago, only she is rarely given it to dance at the Bolshoi. She's also been dancing Lacotte's version for years. She last danced Giselle in March, although that, too, is an infrequent occurence. I hardly think the dozen or so performances she's had at the Bolshoi constitute a good season. She is cast rarely, has the smallest workload of any full-time principal, and gets fewer performances than even demoted "ex-principal" Nina Kaptsova (although she's still ahead of Alexandrova and Allash, which isn't saying much). Her career has been rotting slowly ever since she joined the Bolshoi. It wasn't much better under Filin either.

Sorry I should have specified I was talking about Obraztsova debuts on the Bolshoi stage.  I believe she described the recent La Sylphide as her debut on the Bolshoi stage and I think it was discussed here as such?  

You're right about the March Giselle -- the reference in this IG post is probably to Soares' debut at the gala. The Russian to English translation got the word order wrong, I'll blame it on that.😊

I agree that she is shamefully underutilized.  However, she seems very happy about the recent uptick in performances which I really think there has been over 2017.  Both she and Stepanova have agreed or chosen to perform with Soares, Chino and Tissi more than the other primas have, and it appears that this strategy may have given them both more stage time than they perhaps would otherwise have had.   

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I’ve seen at least some potential in almost all of Vaziev’s chosen ones,even if they are not really ready for the roles given.  However for the life of me, I cannot understand his thing for Antonina Chapkina. I happened to see her live once when she was at La Scala and found her completely lacking in any musicality or grace and her turns were so out of control that I wondered if she had some inner ear infection.  Yet I see her being given some variations and solo roles at the Bolshoi including Queen of the Dryads and the videos I’ve seen since joining the Bolshoi have not changed my opinion at all about her. 

Edited by Deflope

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Chapkina isn't inexperienced; she graduated ballet school ten years ago. She looks thin to the point of being underfed, and her ankles always look as though they are on the verge of buckling underneath her. Sometimes they do buckle. Personally, I find her unwatchable.

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I stand corrected: it is possible to enjoy two post-impressionists, one need not pick sides.  Hair splitting aside, I also enjoy many styles of ballet dancing.  

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Here is some video from Chapkina's instagram of her working with Gracheva on the Odile variation.  (The first is a photo of Gracheva, click through for the video clips)

 

Edited by Quinten

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Vaziev means to subject Swan Lake to Chapkina's Swan Queen?!!  :speechless-smiley-003:  Just when I thought things couldn't get worse.

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I saw Tchapkina today as "Prayer" in Coppélia and I didn't see anything criminal, actually I quite liked her. She is very distinctive. Shrainer's Swanilda was, by the way, excellent, and Shrainer — radiant, light, artistic. Swanilda and Sylphide are her best parts so far, she is developing into a lovely artiste. There was a prolonged ovation in the third act after she completed a series of variations. Nonsense about the death of Bolchoï makes me laugh. It's the exact opposite. I experienced four days of joy, night after night, observing happy dancers who are still able to dance what is, actually, ballet. Maybe the last place on the planet where you can witness it. So refreshing, compared to every company in the West I know.

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