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mnacenani

2017/2018 season

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40 minutes ago, MadameP said:

It's so charming, isn't it?  Love that little excerpt!  And, Buddy, your wish is my command, and this one is longer than 1 minute, but not Olga Smirnova.  Here are Yulia Stepanova and Anastasia Stashkevich from Act One of Pharaoh's Daughter.  What a great spectacle this ballet is, and how gorgeous is Yulia Stepanova here?!  

 

Thanks, MadameP. I couldn't get this video clip to work, but I found one on YouTube, maybe the same, 5 minutes long (still not long enough, keep searching).

Yulia Stepanova and Anastasia Stashkevich (brief glance) both project as much personality as I've seen from them. Absolutely fine. Of course their dancing is lovely.

The production, I love it !  May not go down in history as one of the great classics (or maybe it will) but who cares. Performances, costumes, scenery.... A Real Gem !

 

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9 hours ago, Buddy said:

Thanks, MadameP. I couldn't get this video clip to work, but I found one on YouTube, maybe the same, 5 minutes long (still not long enough, keep searching).

Yulia Stepanova and Anastasia Stashkevich (brief glance) both project as much personality as I've seen from them. Absolutely fine. Of course their dancing is lovely.

The production, I love it !  May not go down in history as one of the great classics (or maybe it will) but who cares. Performances, costumes, scenery.... A Real Gem !

 

Yes, so sorry.  I put up the wrong link.  I think Quinten maybe have put up the correct one now, but in any case.... here it is again:

 

 

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Following on from the recent round of promotions, I am wondering if there will be any more, and hoping Soares still might become a soloist?  He surely deserves it, as he has far more roles currently in his repertoire now than most of the male soloists currently on the roster, most of whom rarely if ever perform principal roles.  Soares has danced Albrecht, Nutcracker Prince, Pechorin, Torero, Franz, to name just a few of his roles, and is still only in the corps?  It's a shame for this talented boy.  Here is his Fisherman's variation from Pharaoh.

 

 

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The parallel discussion has been moved to:

 

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Posted (edited)
  •  
   On 7/24/2018 at 12:02 AM,  Laurent said: 

No, Pierre Lacotte's La fille de pharaon is not a fantasy "based on". It is a recreation aiming to preserve as much of the feel of the ballets of that period as possible, including lost and forgotten "small steps" (petits pas).

Could I please return this post with reference to the other discussion removed? I'd like to do this to reemphasize my extreme admiration for how much, I feel, Olga Smirnova does so well.  Just another revelation, for me, in her ongoing amazement.

"I don't normally pay a lot of attention to steps but the ones that I see in the brief video clip (Smirnova/Chudin) posted by MadameP are interesting, more complex than I'm used to and delightfully performed. Because of their demand, I read that Pierre Lacotte offered to simplify them for Svetlana Zakharova, but she said that it wouldn't be necessary. She went on to set the standard for this work. 

"Added: I guess I am grateful to videos in that I can focus on the steps in one viewing and upper body expression, etc. in another. This would be quite difficult for me to do at an actual performance."

Edited by Buddy

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Does so well what ? In other variations Smirnova displayed the same defects she has been always afflicted with, her hands defying all attempts to conform to the canons of classical dance. If this is going to stay, she will never be a great classical ballerina.

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10 hours ago, Buddy said:

I don't normally pay a lot of attention to steps but the ones that I see in the brief video clip (Smirnova/Chudin) posted by MadameP are interesting, more complex than I'm used to and delightfully performed. Because of their demand, I read that Pierre Lacotte offered to simplify them for Svetlana Zakharova, but she said that it wouldn't be necessary. She went on to set the standard for this work.

As I had written I saw Zaharova live last month but after seeing the Smirnova video/s I regret not being able to see her too - she is great imho. The problem with the Bolshoy, as always, is having to buy tix blind at advance sale - I could only guess (correctly) that Zaharova-Rodkin would probably do the opener.

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11 hours ago, Buddy said:

She went on to set the standard for this work. 

Preposterous.  Did you never see Ananiashvili or Gracheva in the role?

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Posted (edited)

I just viewed a video clip of Ksenia Zhiganshina in the Congo River solo. She has an airy delightfulness and beauty that I really enjoy and appreciate.

(thanks to Sophia at Dansomanie for finding it)

Mashinka, I’ve not seen Nina Ananiashvili or Nadezhda Gracheva  in this, but I imagine that they’d be excellent. I have seen several other ballerinas and for me Svetlana Zakharova was ideal. Svetlana Lunkina, as her performance progressed, showed remarkable beauty. I now feel that Olga Smirnova may have inherited the crown or is certainly in the process of doing so.

Added:  Looking back at an older video clip it seems that Ksenia Zhiganshina may have slightly lost weight since then and is also reaching out more with her arm gestures which give her a new linear fineness.

Edited by Buddy
typo correction and "Added" and a slight word clarification

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Posted (edited)

Just some musing aloud.

In ballet in general and in this work, especially the ultracharming underwater scenes, I wish there were a way to capture more of the precious background activity. This would include the reclining children, their slightly older counterparts, the two delightful nymphs(?) sitting on either side of Neptune in their absolutely silly looking (and absolutely charming) wigs casting a spell like no other without moving for a second (only Russian ballet, perhaps the Bolshoi in particular, can do this).

I’m normally glued to the lead ballerina. That’s about all I can effectively take in. Yet I wish she might ‘relax’ for a moment and let the background take over for a few seconds. George Balanchine seemed to understand this as he would have his leads threading through the other dancers and even becoming part of them.

I’m not complaining and I wouldn’t change a thing in the wonderful works that I see, but it might be something interesting to consider in some yet to be created works.

Edited by Buddy

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3 hours ago, Buddy said:

In ballet in general and in this work, especially the ultracharming underwater scenes, I wish there were a way to capture more of the precious background activity

Dear Buddy after 3½ years of seeing ballet at the Bolshoy I have come to the irrevocable conclusion that classical ballet, as staged by the Bolshoy, loses at least half its impact if not seen on location. Pharaoh's Daughter thought beautiful to see has zero dramatic value, imo it's just a grand divertissement with the silliest of story lines, but inevitably there is great loss of detail when captured for tv : having to do close ups leaves much of the stage out of sight. And in ballets with a workable story line one does not see some important details : in Corsaire there is so much characterisation all around which tv shots do not capture, in Bayaderka one usually does not get to see the Rajah having a word with Aya and/or Gamzatti recoil and step down when Nikiya is bitten .... one can go on and on. Take Bolshoy's Coppelia :  I saw three casts in April and also the cinecast in June :  the cinecast in no way had the impact of the real thing : close-ups kill the richly cast, richly characterised, exquisitely detailed classical ballets staged by the Bolshoy. But if they were to show the full stage then again detail would be lost as everyone would look like ants scurrying around. (For me ballet is a high drama form as you know, others may have a different take).

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Posted (edited)

Hi Mnacenani.

I'm personally delighted with the pure entertainment aspect of this work. I'm glad that different things work for you.

I've seen the Bolshoi numerous times, but the finest was several performances in their actual theater. I'm not sure if this is always the case but the response was both knowing and electric.

By the way, I mentioned that I was charmed by the children in the underwater scene. At a closer look they seem to be regular 'chorus' members but with amazingly childlike expression at times.

I normally have theater glasses glued to the lead ballerina. That's why I like the idea of more interaction, so I that I can appreciate the entirety.

Added: Mister Rogers of the children’s show was in Russia years ago. He said that one of the things that he liked very much was, that with all the apparent hardship that they’ve historically endured, they still had a sense of whimsy. He saw this most in the historic buildings. I tend to notice this also in the ballets. Wigs and props are examples. It all combines naturally into wonderful, human cultural expression and artistry.

 

 

 

Edited by Buddy
"Added" added

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I have come to the irrevocable conclusion that classical ballet, as staged by the Bolshoy, loses at least half its impact if not seen on location. Pharaoh's Daughter thought beautiful to see has zero dramatic value, imo it's just a grand divertissement with the silliest of story lines,

You may revise your conviction that La fille du pharaon "has zero dramatic value" when you see it danced by the right artists.

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On 8/5/2018 at 7:24 AM, Laurent said:

Does so well what ? In other variations Smirnova displayed the same defects she has been always afflicted with, her hands defying all attempts to conform to the canons of classical dance. If this is going to stay, she will never be a great classical ballerina.

She already is one and has been for some time. A true jewel with some of the most beautiful arms and hands in classical ballet. Probably equaled only by Lopatkina. That is, to those who know a thing or two about classical ballet. Starting with the great upkeepers of the tradition such as Pierre Lacotte himself.

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A true jewel with some of the most beautiful arms and hands in classical ballet. Probably equaled only by Lopatkina. That is, to those who know a thing or two about classical ballet.

Apparently, those who think otherwise (this includes the named dancer herself, her closest friends, ballet pedagogues of the most respected ballet schools, etc.) must be hopelessly ignorant ballet dummies.

A quick reality check (for the one who knows a thing, or maybe even, two):

https://l450v.alamy.com/450v/f30trr/moscow-russia-27th-sep-2015-bolshoi-ballet-leading-dancer-olga-smirnova-f30trr.jpg

https://images.bwwstatic.com/upload10/417716/tn-500_grand00158959.jpg

Edited by Laurent

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I just don't see Smirnova as a "great classical ballerina".  Many great ballerinas were less than perfect in their technique, so I'm not one to say Smirnova is ineligible for the "greatness club" on that account, but honestly, it takes a lot more to be great than Smirnova actually delivers.  My main objection to her is that she lacks authenticity as an artist. The image is too tightly scripted and controlled and it feels to me as if every gesture is calculated.  Everything is planned, to the last detail, to the point that there is not even a smidgen of spontaneity in her dancing.  A great artist always projects the impression, if not the reality, of spontaneity and ease.  There is always great control, but it is not apparent in the presentation. Once Smirnova gives up some of that control and becomes more able to reveal herself (not the character) she will become a complete artist who can be forgiven for her technical shortcomings.  

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