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mnacenani

Bolshoi Ballet Artists' Galas - Second Night

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So we are back to the New Stage for the second night of
"Balshoy Ballet Artists' Gala-Concert". Program posted on
website for this night was most attractive : both Osipova
and Vasiliev guesting (separately) in addition to the bunch
of top Balshoy talent. I buy a program (in Russki only) and
immed start to decipher the casting ...... Nooo - this can't
be true .... no Osipova tonight .... she has jilted me again !
Casting posted on website looked too good to be true for
starters, and in view of what I got from Natasha on previous
occasions am resigned to my fate and take my seat.

The lights go down, Maestro Sarokin takes the podium and
the announcer comes on : the first piece of the night Spring
Waters is off !! Didn't I tell you that this piece was cut short
on the first night when Tihomirova-Ovcharenko disappeared
prematurely, so something must have gone wrong ? I thought
I saw Ovcha struggle to catch his wife just before this, he pro-
bably is the injured party. (my friend Yigor texted today that it
was Tixo who was injured so maybe I should have my eyesight
checked !)

So the second piece moves up : Flames of Paris pdd this time
with Kosyreva and Vasiliev. They are perfectly matched in height
and Vanya puts on his usual pyrotechnics, Diana is excellent
dancer, good stuff.

Next comes something I have never heard of : "Sagalobeli" set
to Georgian "muzika narodnaya" (folk tunes) by Posohov ! Is he
Georgian - the name does not match. But no mistake about Ana
Turazashvili who definitely is, partnered by Savin. This is available
on Youtube and I have to look it up myself to hopefully remember
how it went. But Ana was excellent, I remember that much.

Next is the famous 2nd act Pdd from Corsaire. The Balshoy sta-
ging has no Ali and the pdd is Medora-Conrad but tonight it is Me-
dora & Ali for a change, danced by Stepanova-Rodkin. I have seen
much adulation to Stepanova elsewhere on this forum but will stick
my neck out and say what I saw : been to two nights of Malakhov
and Friends gala in Berlin beginning of September, on both nights
Yulia and Denis were on with this Corsaire pdd and on both nights
Yulia could NOT do a proper 32 fouettée, fell off pointe etc. And
tonight at the Balshoy gala again no perfect fouettée though a bit
better than what I witnessed in Berlin. Stepanova just got promoted
one rank up couple of weeks ago ..... definitely not on the strength
of her fouettées !!

Now the big surprise of the evening in more ways than one :  OK
Osipova is off (grumble) but "Silfida" tonight is none other than Mar-
garita Shreiner who has been at the back of my mind ever since
Vaziev cast her as Kitri on the ROH London tour. When she appears
I almost think it's Natasha again and I have misread the program but
it's Shreiner all right : same height and stature as Osipova and what
a delight to discover. Excellent dancer as Sylphide, charismatic, good
characterisation, excellent technique - jetes may not be on par with
Natasha, for now ! I have to say this is zvezda material and destined
to become top Giselle if she is a hard worker and can act. OK Vaziev
beat me to it for Shreiner, but last season I beat Fateyev when I wrote
to all my ballet contacts when I discovered Shakirova as Kitri at Mari-
insky - Fateyev promoted her on stage in Canada a few months later
(patting my own back !) James was Belyakov as on previous night,
always identify him with "Zloy Geniy" (the bad guy) in Swan Lake, the
first ballet I ever saw at Balshoy, so striking was the characterisation
and Grigarovich's choreo.

Last piece in first part was Diana & Akteon danced again by Krysanova
and Tsvirko and again excellent.

Second part started with Spectre de la Rose, which was cancelled on
the first night, causing wonder and speculation as to what the cause
might be. As Gudanov appeared in other pieces I thought that Masha
Vinogradova might be indisposed, but here they are tonight. Masha is
a classic beauty I admire and excellent dancer too : she and husband
Vanya danced the adagio of Spartacus at the Expo Gala in Milano last
year and I thought Masha was very good.

The rest of the program was respectively Valse, Talisman pdd, Mort de
Cygne and Grand Pas Classique by the same dancers as on previous
night. Smirnova and Chudin again shone in the last piece. Before this
Grand Pas started there was an announcement to the effect that it was
dedicated to Yvette Chauviré who passed away recently. A short pause,
and the announcer returned to say that this GPC was created for Chau-
viré ..... someone must have given him a prod in the back.

This night's audience was much more lively and boisterous than the first
night. Rythmic clapping and numerous curtain calls in true Balshoy style.
The dancers will remain on stage and take their bows even if there are
only a dozen hard core enthusiasts staying on till they call it a night.

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It sounds like you had a wonderful time!

 

Just so you know, I've moved these threads to the Bolshoi forum, where more people will see them.  There will be a link in the original forum for a month, so that people can just click to the new location.

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Sorry about my occasional slips of tongue, from now on I will take care to stick to the correct phonetic spelling "Balshoy".

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I understand why you would do that, but if members interested in the Bolshoi ballet company would do a search using the "regular" spelling, your messages probably won't turn up in the results. Ditto for dancer's names. 

And that's just too bad, because you obviously put a lot of work into your reviews.

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There are different conventions for transliteration between character sets in different languages.  Only recently has the POB site listed "Nureyev."  I particularly love German transliterations, because they are consistent and literal, unlike English transliterations.  Similarly Italian transliterations.

 

The Bolshoi does have a standard convention for transliteration into Roman characters on its website, both for the company and the dancers names.  That said, these long, detailed reviews are easily found in our "Bolshoi" forum by our members, and I am grateful that mnacenani was willing to spend the time to write them up and share them with us.  If the spelling wasn't as familiar as I'm used to, it was worth the very small effort to figure them out.  But like every other post, every member gets to decide which posts to read.

 

As far as search and the outside world is concerned, I did a test:  I googled "Bolshoy Ballet Artists' Gala" and we didn't come up.  I changed the title to "Bolshoi Ballet Artists' Gala" and googled, and we still didn't come up.  I changed to the Duck Duck Go search engine, searched for "Bolshoi Ballet Artists' Gala", and we came up first, under the original title "Bolshoy Ballet Artists' Gala."

 

Without knowing the internal algorithms of Google, Duck Duck Go, bing, yahoo, etc., I don't think we can say anything about the likelihood of our reviews coming up based on the spelling.

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There is a difference between transliteration, which is the conversion of the characters of one alphabet into another, and transcription, which is concerned with conveying sounds, not spelling. The latter can be very different from the former if there is a pronounced difference between "historical" spelling and actual pronunciation.

 

Spoken Russian features several forms of vowel and consonant reduction. The most noticeable is akanye, by which unstressed Os are pronounced approximately like A. But there is also ikanye, by which unstressed JEs and often JAs are pronounced like I. There is also the reduction of voiced consonants into their unvoiced pair at the end of words and when preceding unvoiced consonants. Some sounds have no direct equivalent in English. For example, Russian distinguishes a hard L from a soft L'. English uses a neutral L, which, as the name implies, lies somewhere in between. So while it is possible to note the soft L' as linguists do--not that the average person would understand what that apostrophe-like thing indicates--an English L does not accurately convey a hard Russian L. Some Russian consonants are always "hard," so when followed by an I, the vowel is actually pronounced Y. (A whole other story. The Russian vowel Y (ы) is so difficult to master that the notorious Vladimir Zhirinovsky [not pronounced that way] actually proposed eliminating it altogether.) Other consonants are palatalized ("softened") when followed by I and iotated vowels, but to a differing extent. So should that be rendered in a quasi-transcription, too? How far do you go in attempting to render actual pronunciation?

 

Standard practice for converting all Cyrillic-script languages into Latin script is transliteration and not transcription, regardless of whether or not the language has a close correspondence between spelling and pronunciation. As Helene points out, these will vary depending on whether they are being transliterated into English, French, German or Hungarian. (But so, too, would transcription, unless using the IPA, which may as well be Phoenician for most people.) Only Serbian has a standardized Latin-script orthography, which corresponds largely with Croatian orthography.

 

Then there is Lidewij's point about using forms that are familiar and recognizable, which is the accepted standard by the style manuals with which I'm generally acquainted. Therefore in English we write Tchaikovsky, not Chaykovsky (or Tschaikovsky, as Balanchine preferred, because that's how P.I. signed his name in Latin characters) and certainly not Chikofskiy, which is how it's actually pronounced (i.e., ikanye and consonant reduction). Although it has been updated a little through the years, Russian orthography largely retains "historical" spelling, because the phonetic mutations take place consistently and every native speaker applies them automatically. Trying to teach them to people who don't speak the language is, I think, unnecessarily confusing.

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Dear Helen and Volcanohunter, "Balshoye Spasiba" for your posts, I really mean it !

I was alerted to the difference in pronounciation when on my first visit to Maskva I

started talking about Diana "Vishneva" with my guide and she kept referring to her

as "Vishnyova". So I resolved to find out for myself how to pronounce words in

correct Russki fashion and enrolled on a Russki beginners' course. As the Latin

alphabet does not have the letter "Yo" (E with two dots on top) the Anglo-Saxons

substituted their "e" and it became "Vishneva". But they could have adopted the

correct phonetic spelling "Vishnyova" ..... no problem for English speakers to

pronounce this ?? Anyway as I am trying to learn to speak Russki correctly please

bear with me on this issue. I am hopeful that there will be some content in my

reports from location to make the senior members tolerate my antics !

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Privyet iz Maskva ..... Hello from Moscow for the Angliskiy and Amerikanskiy (!)

I am back to see what I would call the "dream cast" of Bayaderka :  Zaharova,

Alexandrova and Rodkin !! Am a bit tense since Zaharova (my joint World No. 1

with Vishnyova) can pull out at the last minute due to unspecified causes and

you get to know it only when you pick up a program once at the Balshoy, has

happened to me on two occasions last season. I hope this will not be the case

and what I will see will merit a special post on this forum.

I saw this current production on live satcast on Mezzo a couple of years ago

and was captivated : Zaharova, Alexandrova and Lantratov. At the time I did

not know Masha Alex. at all and she stupefied me as Gamzatti with technique

on par with Zaharova - no mean feat as you would know. This telecast later

appeared as DVD/BR and I would urge the membership to get their hands on

one if it is not available on YT.

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1 hour ago, volcanohunter said:

(A whole other story. The Russian vowel Y (ы) is so difficult to master that the notorious Vladimir Zhirinovsky [not pronounced that way] actually proposed eliminating it altogether.)

My friend Alexander tried to teach me to pronounce ы, and after about five days, gave up for his own sanity :) 

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21 minutes ago, Helene said:

My friend Alexander tried to teach me to pronounce ы, and after about five days, gave up for his own sanity :) 

 

Dear Helen it's obvious that Angliskiy-speakers struggle with some Russki vowels,

while Russian opera singers struggle with Italian vowels :D. But for us "Turetski" the

Russian alphabet is quite easy to learn to pronounce correctly, we have the same

sounds in our language. The alphabet although looking weird at first sight is also

quite easy to master - I can read the big letters writing (or print) quite easily but

the handwriting with small lettering is quite counter-intuitive : "T" written as "m"

and many other letters also bearing no resemblance to even Cryllic capitals !

Edited by mnacenani
correction

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On ‎29‎/‎10‎/‎2016 at 8:04 AM, Helene said:

My friend Alexander tried to teach me to pronounce ы, and after about five days, gave up for his own sanity :) 

 

I was assured that Americans find bl easier to pronounce than Brits, so perhaps that's a linguistic myth.  Most recently a Russian friend told me I must bring the sound up from my stomach.  I made a noise that to me sounded like a vomiting cat and she told me I was getting close.

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