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The Bolshoi under Vaziev

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The translation of the original Russian text is imprecise. A more precise translation would be: "It has been four years that I haven't danced La Sylphide, it's just the way it happened, and now, unexpectedly for myself she is in the playbill, well, let's bring back the memories of how wonderful it is to perform the child of the air on the 18th of May on the New stage of the Bolshoy theater".

Doesn't look like she is complaining about not having been cast before by the management.

But otherwise it is a valid point: she is arguably the best Sylph of our times and one of the best in history, in the various incarnations of this ballet. Lacotte certainly knows a talent when he sees one, and Bournonville would have undoubtedly seen it too.

Edited by Fleurdelis

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On 5/5/2018 at 1:40 AM, Fleurdelis said:

 

Edited by Guest

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I don't think Vaziev has much say in terms of the repertoire decisions. His hands are tied in several departments, even some of the casting decisions are not his. 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. Just look at what has been going on through this season, for example. So, what is happening at Bolshoi right now, in terms of the repertoire, is, unfortunately, and against intentions articulated by Vaziev, yet another example of wasting talent, and there are very few left now anywhere in the world, capable of doing demanding classics well. The main, if not sole reason why so many of those gala "stars" prefer performing uninspiring modern pieces is precisely this: it is so much easier, while in demanding classics some of the "stars" risk embarrassing themselves, and who is to blame them, if this is not what they are rehearsing throughout the season. Concerning Pagliero, she may not be French, but she is by far the best artist at the moment, a true ballet artist, and not just in Paris.

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

 

 

 

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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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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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Guest

 

 

Edited by Guest
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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On 6/7/2018 at 11:29 AM, volcanohunter said:

r

Edited by Guest

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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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