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The Bolshoi under Vaziev

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Posted (edited)

REMINDER : COPPELIA WEBCAST COMING UP SUNDAY 10 JUNE !  The live cinecast of tomorrow's Coppelia will (should) also be livestreamed on the Bolshoy website under the videos tab http://media.bolshoi.ru/login   (at upper right corner of home page) and maybe also on the Bolshoy YT page from 6 pm Moscow time (3 pm GMT). This livestream is usually georestricted to RF but can be received via VPN. Then it will be in archive under same tab from ca. 2 hours after performance ends till ca. 4 pm Moscow time on Monday - on last couple of occasions this was free-to-web. Casting info https://www.bolshoi.ru/en/performances/3333/roles/#20180610180000

Edited by mnacenani

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22 hours ago, Laurent said:

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.

Good to know there are two of us on this forum !  :D

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After returning from Moscow and answering a colleague asking about my impressions regarding the current state of Bolchoï, I found myself saying: don't be surprised if Shrainer is a better dancer than Smirnova, more naturally gifted, more harmonious, possessing a natural feeling for movement, something that Smirnova lacks, and this is, after all, among the most important qualities for a dancer. In her Coppélia two days ago, Shrainer demonstrated that she was making a real progress with her technique. We will see whether she is able to repeat her Friday success in the broadcast today. And, last but not least, she isn't plagued by those broken, angular lines that Smirnova has never been able to eradicate, in spite of all her efforts, and her pedagogues at the Vaganova Academy and later at Bolchoï.

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Margarita Shrayner was certainly a wonderful Sylphide - mercurial and vivacious, with light, high jumps and so very expressive.   She has lovely stage presence.  It is strange that, with so many solo and principal roles now, she is not at least at soloist level.  

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5 hours ago, MadameP said:

Margarita Shrayner was certainly a wonderful Sylphide - mercurial and vivacious, with light, high jumps and so very expressive.   She has lovely stage presence.  It is strange that, with so many solo and principal roles now, she is not at least at soloist level.  

There seems to be little resemblance between the ranks of dancers as shown on the Bolshoi website and the reality.  It seems they're not moving up because there are no vacancies currently in the upper ranks.

It's hard to tell how many female soloist positions might be opening up due to departures. I guess there are reasons why some never dance but retain their positions, such as maternity leave or an injury during which time (it may be) they cannot be dismissed or demoted.  Meskova has been on that status for a long time but once the period is expired, one first soloist position would open up.  Soloist Yanina Parienko seems to be developing her modeling career  Among the leading soloists, Goryacheva might be "aging-out", as well as Shipulina in the prima category (possibly a candidate for contract status).  

If Shipulina, Goryacheva, Meskova and Parienko vacate their positions, there would be four openings.  Who from the corps would be promoted to soloist?  Possibilities I'm aware of (in no particular order) are Shrainer, Chapkina, Sevenard, Denisova, Marchenkova, Zhiganshina.  Are there others?

Which soloists would be promoted to the next higher level?  

Leading soloist to prima (one position) - Kretova? Vinogradova? Maria may not be quite ready, but Kretova certainly has the chops and the repertoire.

First soloist to leading soloist (one position) - Khokhlova? Tikhomirova?  Both are loved but have technical difficulties.  Also, neither is Vaziev's preferred type.  They may continue languishing.

Soloist to first soloist (2 or possibly 3 positions if Semenyachenko (Pogosyan) departs) - Turazashvili? Kovalyova? Grebenschikova? Karasyova or Kishnyova (if character dancers can be promoted)?  Turazashvili is a sentimental favorite but has some technical and artistic limitations. Kovalyova, probably not because she's on her way to prima on the fast track.  

Given Vaziev's penchant for skipping ranks when it comes to his favorites, it seems more likely that Shrainer, Chapkina and/or Zhiganshina would move directly to first soloist or leading soloist and Kovalyova directly to leading soloist or even prima.

Will Vaziev clean house all at once, in September, or will the changes happen throughout next year?  Any predictions?

 

 

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Many of your predictions may come true, but Shipulina will most certainly NOT be moved to contract status. In a few years maybe, if she decides so herself, but not in the near future. 

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3 hours ago, Fleurdelis said:

Many of your predictions may come true, but Shipulina will most certainly NOT be moved to contract status. In a few years maybe, if she decides so herself, but not in the near future. 

That's good to hear, that her position is secure.  But does she want to stay on? She posts so many photos of herself relaxing in exotic destinations that I thought she might have had enough of the Bolshoi life.  

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Posted (edited)

We could never know what's on her mind, but judging by her continuing committment to quality performances and the relentless work she is putting into her roles, I believe that she has no plans to slow down. Not saying it is not going to be an uphill battle, because the administration's youth focus is apparent.

The exotic locations could be reflective of a work hard, play hard lifestyle.

Edited by Fleurdelis

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On 6/11/2018 at 2:44 PM, Quinten said:

That's good to hear, that her position is secure.  But does she want to stay on? She posts so many photos of herself relaxing in exotic destinations that I thought she might have had enough of the Bolshoi life.  

She certainly can afford expensive escapades to exotic destinations and her position at Bolshoi is more than "secure", it actually shows signs of acceleration after she married a friend of Putin: despite her age (she turns 39 this year), she is now getting debuts in big roles she never before was seen as suitable to dance.

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Admin speaking:

Anything that can't be substantiated by an official source will be removed, including insider information. If you have an official source, cite it.  It needn't follow the citation rules for a dissertation, but it's not our job to hunt down whether there is public-facing official information: it's yours to post where you got it.

The only people who can post without official news have "Editorial Advisor" and/or "Board Founder" under their names.  And as most people who've been around for a short time have observed, they almost never do.

 

 

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I don't see any evidence that Shipulina started getting major debuts only after associating herself with "a friend of Putin". A quick stroll down her biography on the Bolshoi's website tells us that she debuted as Gamzatti at 22 in 2001, Odile-Odette at 23 in 2002, Classical Dancer from Bright Stream in 2003, Kitri and Aegina from Spartacus at 25 in 2004, Cinderella at 27 in 2006. She married Matsuev around 2006 according to the article at the below link (in Russian only, sorry). The lead debuts she got since then were Mehmene Banu in 2007, Medora in 2009, Fleur de Lys in 2011, Marchesa from Marco Spada and Giselle in 2013, and Carmen in 2018. Hardly looks like acceleration. Filin promoted her to prima in 2011 upon becoming artistic director, it was a well deserved promotion, but she was already 32, once again, hardly an acceleration, as most other Bolshoi primas achieved that rank while in their 20s.

http://ego-zhena.ru/blog/denis_macuev_zhena/2016-12-26-159

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For years Shipulina was considered as the second rank dancer. Her career took up after she married a man closely associated with Gergiev and soon, close to Putin himself. She got promoted to Principal for no particular reason, being one of the most uninspiring dancers I have seen, she got the highest distinction in Arts without dancing a single outstanding big role, now, nearly 39, she is getting two big debuts, one of which I had a chance to observe in detail, she is dancing now whatever and whenever she likes.

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1 hour ago, Laurent said:

a man closely associated with Gergiev and soon, close to Putin himself

Are we referring to Denis Matsuyev ??  Surely his distinction can't only be being close to Gergiyev and Putin 🙄

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Shipulina was the only Bolshoi dancer to dance Balanchine idiomatically in the "Jewels" DVD.  And after doing almost a full run of Medoras single-handledly after the others dropped out, matinees and evenings back-to-back in an exhausting tour in DC after the others had to drop out, I don't dismiss her that easily, husband or no husband.  I've seen far more uninspiring Bolshoi dancers, and she carries her own weight, like countless dancers in the Mariinsky and Bolshoi who also married influential men.

 

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A pianist associated with a conductor, what's odd about that.  I take it we are discussing Denis the pianist and not an oligarch with the same name.

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It wouldn't really matter: there are powerful and connected musicians.  

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Posted (edited)

That's right. It doesn't matter whether he is a pianist, good or bad, whether Gergiev is a conductor, good or bad. It matters that both are "friends of Putin". In the case of Gergiev it has direct consequences for the ballet community in Petersbourg at large, and for the community of ballet scholars and choreographers throughout the world (Gergiev obstinately refuses access to the Musical Library, over which he has total  control, and which is a repository of nearly all essential materials relating to the history of Imperial Ballet, the situation is grotesquely lamentable).

Edited by Laurent

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13 hours ago, Laurent said:

Gergiev obstinately refuses access to the Musical Library, over which he has total  control, and which is a repository of nearly all essential materials relating to the history of Imperial Ballet, the situation is grotesquely lamentable).

Why?  And how do you know this?  Is it in the public domain?

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This is a common knowledge among choreographers and ballet scholars alike, whose interests lie in the area of 19th century ballet.

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Actually in a talk st City Center about Harlequinade Ratmansky mentioned this issue of only Gergiev having the keys to the music library. He did say there are/were workarounds to this though.

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6 hours ago, Laurent said:

This is a common knowledge among choreographers and ballet scholars alike, whose interests lie in the area of 19th century ballet.

"Common knowledge" among insiders' is not official news for the purposes of this site.  If you don't have a citation to official news, oral or written, do not post it here.

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Posted (edited)

What I said is not an insider information, it is regularly mentioned at conferences on ballet history and reconstruction. It's been mentioned at two most important conferences devoted to the Marius Petipa Bicentennial.

Edited by Laurent

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48 minutes ago, Laurent said:

What I said is not an insider information, it is regularly mentioned at conferences on ballet history and reconstruction. It's been mentioned at two most important conferences devoted to the Marius Petipa Bicentennial.

Then this needs to be cited/mentioned, per our site rules.  

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Plato may not be my friend, sed magis amica veritas. In the article under the link below, a prominent Russian conductor Roudin also complains that it is notoriously well-known that the Mariinsky theater library does not give anything to anyone. Can't tell whether it is because of Gergiev's supposed malicious whim, or simply a reasonable precaution to protect the library's collection of rare and fragile antique sheet music. In any case, it was also publicized that the library recently acquired a scanner to convert its collection to digital format and make it easy to access.

https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/2310500

 

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Getting back to Shipulina and Vaziev. Shipulina has been the Bolshoi's best Gamzatti and among its three best Aeginas in the last fifteen years or more, she was among the original five most accomplished Moscow Academy ballerinas chosen for the Cinque program by Bigonzetti (alongside Krysanova, Semionova, Kochetkova and Osipova), she completely stole the show as Ondine in Possokhov's Hero of Our Time, overshadowing Zakharova's Princess Mary, a more prominent character of Lermontov's novel. Moreover, if we are to esteem the opinions of choreographes and ballet scholars with knowledge of 19th century ballet, then look no further than Pierre Lacotte, who selected Shipulina for the lead role in the upcoming revival of his and Petipa's Pharaon's Daughter at the Bolshoi. I don't think Lacotte really cares about who may be Putin's friend, but he is very discerning about who dances his ballets, so this is a most compelling recognition of Shipulina's undoubted merit and accomplishments.

Everything Shipulina has achieved is thanks to her talent and hard work, not marriage to Matsuev. On the other hand, it should shield her from being pushed into retirement before she is ready to retire herself.

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