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2017/2018 season


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8 hours ago, volcanohunter said:

I'm not sure about that. This is a list of the dancers who have already performed in the production

Ooops !  I just looked at the principals and seeing the current dates on the page thought this was the current roster, sorry about that.

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I remember really enjoying Alizade's dancing when I saw her in what I guess would be called a coryphee role way in the Ratmansky/Burlaka Corsaire--about a decade ago. I must admit I also found something about her very charming in a more purely subjective way. (I know all taste in ballerinas is "subjective" but some responses are at least based in judgments about technique, musicality, interpretation etc. -- others seem to me more purely personal.) But Alizade didn't seem to be getting big opportunities at the Bolshoi, so I wasn't shocked she departed. I hope she is happy as a principal with the Polish National Ballet.

This video was rather recently posted of her dancing in Flower Festival pas de deux, though the performance itself is identified as dating back to 2009 Anyway, I wish her well!  


Edited by Drew
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Once again it will be ballet travel article rather than serious ballet review. Flew in early afternoon to observe Krysanova in a different role after seeing her (imho amazing) performance as Juliet last November. Normally I hate and don't see contemporary "creations" and don't fancy Shostakovich either but took the risk of having to walk out at the interval since this was a "story ballet" I perhaps could relate to. I only had a rudimentary knowledge of the original plot (shame on me again) and as I believe good ballet should be self-explanatory I did not look up the story or read the synopsis before the performance.

Last evening there were five principals on stage, as star-studded a cast one could wish for : https://www.bolshoi.ru/en/performances/714/roles/#20180116190000 and the show started with Tixomirova the Housekeeper striking a pose in front of the curtain before the conductor came out - what a character she is. My companion told me that Tixo had a baby a few months ago (which I at first misunderstood as "Tixo will have a baby in a few months" so I was watching her with horror for the first 20 mins or so as she did high jumps all over the place) - nice to see her back in fine form.

From the action on stage can someone who doesn't know the plot at all make out the story ? Imho no way : one can understand that it's about a girl who roughs up and generally treats badly a number of men who try to woo her but anything more elaborate that this would be hard to dream up. But having said that I found this creation quite watchable dance and music wise and will see it again, this time in full knowledge of the original story and the printout of the synopsis of this staging in hand. I found it to be a quite watchable slapstick comedy if one can call it that. And it taught me that Shostakovich could write excellent melodic score when he wanted to, the score of this ballet is a pot-pourri of tunes from various compositions but someone has made a good job of stitching them up.

Now Katya : (at this point I have to disclose that I have been reported as a propagandist for Krysanova, so maybe readers should take in my views with a pinch of salt !) was it Kuznetsova who wrote after the premiere of the Ratmansky R&J that "Krysanova the actress outshone Krysanova the dancer" ??  After seeing her as the Shrew last night I fully agree with this appraisal - imho here we have an extremely talented "character actor" in addition to a dancer with excellent technique, a combination not found quite so often. OK, R&J and TotS are not "classical ballets" per se but I have seen Katya also as Kitri and Medora where in my (malevolently biased) view she outshone the other leads I saw in consecutive performances, the other Kitri being Zaharova. I hope quite a number of our membership will make the effort to see the Ratmansky R&J live cinecast coming up this Sunday so that we can open a thread to discuss both her acting/dancing and the Ratty staging vs original Lavrovsky.

Last night created quite a dilemma for me : I bought tix for the Shrew after casting was posted, to see Krysanova. This performance was at the New Stage, but afterwards while looking up what Alyona Kavalyova is slated for what do I find : on same evening Alyona is to dance the lead in Swan Lake at the Historic Stage !  No tix left on Balshoy  website of course, but yesterday while checking in at the hotel the concierge said "have you come to see Swan Lake ? We have a nice seat on the second row of parter at a good price" ....... it was good for me that I had one of my friends as my guest for the Shrew, and that the concierge did not have two tix for Swan Lake, so I managed to keep on course !

Edited by mnacenani
Tixo misunderstanding added, clarification
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Sunday 13th May :  Ballet Gala in honour of Svetlana Adyrkhaeva - certainly worth considering for more than one reason ..... :D:D  As a newcomer I get to see dancers I would otherwise not be seeing at all

Sunday 27th May and Tuesday 29th May :  Moscow Ballet Academy Graduation Performance.  Last year this one and the Vaganova graduation performance was well worth seeing, esp the Vaganova rendition of Paxita Act 3.

Thursday 31st May :  "World Ballet Stars Gala" ....... now what could this be ??  Never saw any such billing during my past three years of tracking the Bolshoy ...... "Live and Learn" as the Russians say !

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According to her website calendar Svetlana Zaharova is to dance all 6 Anna Kareninas scheduled from March 23rd to 28th !!  Methinks either there is some slip-up by her web team or she will apply for a Guinness Book of Records certificate. MadameP is on location and could possibly check this.

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38 minutes ago, Deflope said:

My guess is, they still haven’t decided on who will dance when (although it’s probably safe to say she gets opening night). For the last couple of premieres, they hadnt published the cast lists until a week before. 

I was/am referring to Zaharova's own website calendar, not Bolshoy's - at this moment still showing what I wrote above :


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Moscow, Saturday 12 May - from your own (self-styled) Moscow correspondent :  tonight the Historic Stage of the Bolshoy hosted the jubilee gala of former Bolshoy dancer, current ballet coach Svetlana Adyrhayeva. As SA has been coaching my fav Krysanova plus Stashkevich and has recently taken on Sevenard I thought we might be in for something interesting. In the event it wasn't something out of this world but not bad. Apart from the ballet what was interesting for me was learning that the emcee of the evening Vaziyev, the honoree Adyrhayeva, of those who danced my beloved Krysanova, Stashkevich, Lapatin and some others are from Ossetia.

The gala program was composed of excerpts from ballets SA had danced in her prime. The first piece was a PdD from Esmeralda (not D&A, the one with tambourine) danced by Kruteleva-Mkrtchyan. This was followed  by "Trio" (Music Chopin/Choreo Tyuntinov ?) danced by three girls from Vaganova, Adyrhayeva's alma mater. The third piece was "Hunter and Bird" (M Grieg/C Yakabson) danced by Stashkevich-Khromushin. This was new for me and I found the choreo interesting. Followed by that well-known gala standard, PdD from "Flames of Paris" danced by Mishina-Tsvirko. Igor seems hell-bent on proving anything Vasiliev can do he also can !  (TBC)

Edited by mnacenani
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Next came the Dance with Drum from Bayaderka, the Banu-Ferhad adagio from LoL (Marchenkova-Rodkin) and the Tatiana-Onegin PdD (letter scene) from first act of Onegin (Goryacheva-Skvortsov). First time I saw Marchenkova in a role since she didn't appear as Gamzatti recently - thought she could be good for some roles. I haven't seen Onegin and thought this PdD resembled the choreo of Manon - any comments welcome.

Last number before the interval was an excerpt from Laurencia (PdQ), the leads danced by Krysanova and Lantratov, supported by Sevenard, Kruteleva et al. I haven't seen this ballet either live or recorded and have to make a trip to Mixailovskiy sometime next season.

Edited by mnacenani
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The second half started with "Rapsodiya" (M Gabarayev/C Zakalinsk). Krysanova dancing with an
Ossetian folk dance troupe, young boys clad in traditional Caucasian garb. Can't remember the
music now but must have been Ossetian "muzika narodnaya". This was followed by the well known
PdD from Nutcracker starring Sevenard and Rodkin, candelabra-wielding cast in support. Sevenard
not looking bad but can't say more, will have to see if/when she leads in a full classic. Kovalyova was
one of the "extras" in this.

Then on the numbers presented were Diana & Acteon from Esmeralda (Stashkevich/Lapatin), Aegina-
Crassus PdD from Spartak (Marchenkova-Belyakov), Aurora-Desiree PdD from SB (Jiganshina-Skvortsov).
Thought Marchenkova looked good, leaving aside any possible "bad arms and hands". Jiganshina I am
getting to like more as I see her, cute sweet girl. Skvortsov appeared in place of Chudin who was in the
programme, was very good Desiree to my eye.

The closing number on programme was the Don Kixot Grand Pas, and I was waiting for the first bars of
this music I love so much but got a shock instead when drums began to beat loudly as if the Bayaderka
gang had run amok. In rushed the Ossetian folk dance troupe and put on a very impressive show of
traditional Caucasian folk dances. We know this well in Istanbul since belly dancers and Caucasian folk
dancers have forever been standard features of night clubs and restaurants catering for tourist groups.

Finally it is Don Kixot time and "maya lyubimaya artistka" Yekaterina Krysanova will be partnered by none
other thaaaaan ...... Ivan Vasiliyev !  Between numbers I was chatting with my companion re Vasiliyev and
said everyone discusses his aerobatics but rarely gives him credit for his (imho) excellent character acting.
Upon hearing this the lady in the adjacent seat smiled wryly, but I stand by my opinion - I have seen Ivan
in excellent characterisation as Albrecht, and not everyone convinces me he is Albrecht. Two years ago
I had seen Katya as Kitri in full DK in matinee vs Zaharova in the evening and thought Katya was the better
Kitri, though I can't get enough of Svetlana. Katya is a great ARTIST - wouldn't mind one bit if she gets the live
cinecast of Coppelia, though I have bet on Hahlova.

So this was it "Uvajaimiye Dami i Gaspada" ...... many people don't think much of galas dismissing them as
a bunch of unrelated PdDs which they are, but for novichoks like myself it is an opportunity to see artists and
repertory one perhaps would not be able to see, especially if one picks and chooses and targets only specific
artists and ballets - at the very minimum I got to see what Laurencia would look like !

PS :  at the start of the evening and at some point in the first half various dignitaries from Ossetia-Alania came out to bestow Adyrhayeva with assorted medals and titles of their republic.

Edited by mnacenani
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14 hours ago, mnacenani said:

an excerpt from Laurencia (PdQ), the leads danced by Krysanova and Lantratov, supported by Sevenard, Kruteleva et al.

Sevenard didn't dance in this divertissement; she was replaced by Zhiganshina. However, unlike the Sleeping Beauty pas de deux, the part was considered too small to merit a cast-change announcement.

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4 hours ago, volcanohunter said:

Sevenard didn't dance in this divertissement; she was replaced by Zhiganshina. However, unlike the Sleeping Beauty pas de deux, the part was considered too small to merit a cast-change announcement.

Right, thanks for the correction. I failed to see the easy to pick out Sevenard but forgot to cross her name out on the programme. Didn't know you were based in Moscow !

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Moscow, Tuesday 29th May :  " Нам 245 Лет" (We Are 245 Years Old) was the title of tonight's graduation performance of the Moscow State Choreography Academy (МГАХ). The performance, in three acts, started off with a full rendition of Jardin Animé from Corsaire, starring Yelizaveta Yegorova as Medora and and Anastasia Dedikina as Gulnare. Yegorova is a young dancer in the Kovalyova mold, so there are more of them coming dear members :D. Her excellent jump impressed me as did her overall performance. Dedikina was very good too but I thought Yegorova had more presence. The staging was very impressive with the dancers and extras, all students of the Academy I presume, filling the huge stage of the Bolshoy to capacity. This was followed by the famous Medora-Conrad PdD danced by Yelizaveta Kokoreva and Denis Zaharov. I knew these names and faces but couldn't make out where I might have seen them - my companion thought we had seen them at the Stasik Petipa gala some weeks ago, will look up at home to see whether they are past graduates or not.

The second part was a one act ballet (Ch. Miroshnichenko) to Chikofskiy's "Variations on a Rococo Theme" which in effect is a cello concerto. In addition to the ensembles this had two PdD danced by Aleksandra Trikoz-Igor Gorelkin and Yelizaveta Kokoreva-Denis Zaharov, and a PdT danced by Nikita Oparin-Nastya Dedikina-Mark Chino, this last one being last year's Moscow Competition prizewinner and current Bolshoy dancer. If I hadn't looked at the program, as a novichok I would have thought this was Balanchine - it was soooo similar to what I know of Balanchine. Good spectacle but doesn't touch my heart !

The third act started with the waltz from Sleeping Beauty (the tempo was soo s..l..o..w that I almost fell asleep) followed by the Rose Adagio with Stefaniya Gashtarska dancing Aurora. Then we had a PdD from Tshetnaya (FMG to you) : Trikoz was very likeable, again partnered by Gorelkin. Third number was Danse des Forbans from Corsaire, followed by Aurora-Desirée PdD danced by Yegorova and Chino. Imho Yegorova who greatly impressed me by her performance as Medora needs to work on her Aurora : my amateur eye saw room for improvement in her PdB. Chino shows why he was signed by Bolshoy : perfect tournes-en-l'air, impeccable stops !

Then came the "Dance with Drum" from Bayadere, followed by the pas-de-six from Esmeralda :  title role was danced by Polina Afanasyeva and Gringoire by Dmitriy Smilevski. Esmeralda I don't know whatsoever and need to read about and see it.

Last  number of the evening was the Hungarian Dance from Raymonda, the leading couple danced by Anastasiya Baluda and Mark Orlov. Baluda I thought had great presence and am sure we are going to see her in one of the more important troupes. It's so nice to see these graduation shows, both here in Moscow and in Peterburg, accompanied by the full Bolshoy and Mariinsky orchestras - must be delightful for the students too as it is for the audience. Regrettably I will not be able to see the Vaganova shows in Peterburg or Moscow this year since they are smack in the middle of the football world cup run. There are two weeks to go before kick-off but even now Moscow is unbearable - hordes of tourists at the airport and in the city centre ...... awful ! Hoping to report on the first night of the "World Ballet Stars - Homage to Petipa" show tomorrow - Da Svidaniya !

Curtain calls video https://flic.kr/p/27BkGe9

PS :  seems Moscow Academy students are regularly taking stage at ballets at the Balshoy and Stasik, so we must have seen Kokoreva-Zaharov at Stasik. Have a look at the info on Moscow Academy website :  http://balletacademy.ru/postuplenie/information-for-international-students/news-events/performances/


Edited by mnacenani
Curtain calls video added
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"LA FILLE du PHARAON" revival Thursday 19th July (Zaharova-Rodkin) :  after many years (no info on Bolshoy website re when it was last staged) this rarity was back on stage last night - three acts, eight scenes, 2:45 hours with two intervals. "Recontructed" by Lacotte for the Bolshoy it had premiered in May 2000. I first saw it on Mezzo some years ago starring Zaharova-Filin and later got the dvd for my collection.

Now, this silliest of ballet stories most probably will not make anyone's top five list, and the music is no match for say Coppelia, but you have to give it to the Bolshoy :  only they can mount this kind of "grand spectacle" with myriads of dancers, countless costume changes, countless PdD , variations and ensembles - no other company I have seen or know of has the human and financial resources. For me it has zero dramatic value and as such I would never see all performances of a particular run anytime, but seeing it once was good - continuous action keeps you alert throughout. Zaharova and Rodkin were technically very good, although I again will say that Zaharova has started to look a bit aged for some roles. Does this production merit a special trip to Moscow ? I would not say so, unless you live close by. If you would like to make a special trip to the Bolshoy to see something grand, I recommend Corsaire !

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The Bolshoi has a maddening habit of deleting its online archive. The last revival of The Pharaoh's Daughter took place in July 2012, and a subsequent block of performances took place in November 2012. Some of the information is still online, although curiously not about the first night or the final performance on 25 November 2012, which was beamed live into cinemas.


It remains to be seen whether this revival will be more enduring than the last one. Previously the production had been a staple, even during the lengthy renovation of the main theater, when the ballet was performed at the Kremlin "Palace."

Edited by volcanohunter
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3 hours ago, volcanohunter said:

The last revival of The Pharaoh's Daughter took place in July 2012, and a subsequent block of performances took place in November 2012. Some of the information is still online,

Thank you Volcano - I could not find the link you posted. I forgot to post the link for the castings of the current revival, am posting it now : https://www.bolshoi.ru/en/performances/181818/roles/#20180719190000

Just returned from Moscow and first thing will watch the Zaharova-Filin dvd from October 2003 (with Alexandrova as Ramzé and Yanin as Passiphonte) - last night I thought I saw some changes in Act 1 and want to test my memory.

PS :  watched it - there was no change. I must have puffed too much opium !!

Edited by mnacenani
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Here is Olga Smirnova in the beautiful "underwater" scene from Pharaoh's Daughter.  I love her grace in this, the choreography, costumes, scenery, music - everything.  I am very glad to see this fabulous ballet back in the current Bolshoi repertoire and hope they perform it again next season.   In my opinion, it IS well worth its place in the repertoire, and far more so than some of the current horrors currently wasting space in the playbill!  



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3 hours ago, MadameP said:

Here is Olga Smirnova in the beautiful "underwater" scene from Pharaoh's Daughter.  I love her grace in this, the choreography, costumes, scenery, music - everything.  I am very glad to see this fabulous ballet back in the current Bolshoi repertoire and hope they perform it again next season.   In my opinion, it IS well worth its place in the repertoire, and far more so than some of the current horrors currently wasting space in the playbill!  



Thank you so much for this, MadameP.

I don’t think that I’ve ever seen Olga Smirnova dance more beautifully and this is a video clip. I normally feel that video clips haven’t captured her well at all. I’ve often mentioned that I wonder what she would have been like if she had gone to the Mariinsky. I thought that she would be remarkably beautiful. I think that this video gives a good idea of that. She’s still got all her Vaganova/Mariinsky fineness and loveliness. It’s great to see !

I’ve always enjoyed the original Pharoah’s Daughter video. Svetlana Zakharova was radiant as was Maria Alexandrova and Sergei Filin was excellent as was Gennadi Yanin as his comically and athletically brilliant companion. I saw the actual production with this cast and with Svetlana Lunkina as Aspicia, who was as beautiful as I’ve ever seen her. I really enjoyed it. I believe that Pierre Lacotte did the costumes and scenery as well as the reinvented storyline and choreography. Truly impressive !  Beautiful production.

Now back to viewing — Olga Smirnova Heaven  😊


Edited by Buddy
typo correction
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I had read Lacotte did not use the notations except for one variation in the entire ballet. I can’t remember which is the one, but others probably do. He also gave an interview where he says he found the notations less valuable than for other ballets —he felt they were missing too much information and decided instead to create a ballet in the “spirit” of Petipa. This was his procedure for the first two acts of his Paquita as well. 

Edited by Drew
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