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mnacenani

2017/2018 season

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I’m curious to know if Doug Fullington’s research on the six River Variations ever resulted in a performance suite? I remember that a lot of his early work with the Stepanov notes was first set on students, such as the Corsaire Jardín Animé. Was the Pharaoh’s Daughter Rivers Suite (six variations) ever staged in Seattle?

Edited by CharlieH

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Drew, I believe it was Ramze's Act II variation with the four children that was restored from the notations, which Canbelto linked to above.

Edited by MRR

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5 hours ago, Drew said:

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. 

I remember doug's remarks about the Rivers variations, and how he had reconstructed the numbers only for Lacotte not to use them.

Doug's quote - "I reconstructed 5 of the 6 river variations for Lacotte for his Daughter of Pharaoh, but he didn't use any of them (in the versions I provided). He did use three (I think, maybe it was two with the first being longer - it's been a while now - I should buy the DVD and check!) variations in one of the court scenes. One is for two women and the other isfor a man (Lacotte added a double tour at the end)."

Edited by cubanmiamiboy

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Hope that you're feeling better today, Drew.

Did anyone notice Olga Smirnova's remarkably beautiful six minutes of dancing.  😊  I spent much of yesterday doing that.

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Can I get back to Olga Smirnova for a moment. You may have heard me mention her. 😊

Probably the thing that I want to say most is how important it is to see her in person, if at all possible. Videos, as fine for us as they are, are at least a step removed from the reality. In the case of Olga Smirnova, even a micro-step removed from the reality can have a large effect.

I feel, and I think it is somewhat of a general feeling, that the Mariinsky is primarily about pure dance and the Bolshoi is more about theater. I love them both very much. Diana Vishneva on the first Bolshoi television contest program stated that Olga Smirnova had managed to combine the two (also saying that Olga Smirnova was the first?). She might have also noted (I did) how remarkable this was considering her very young age. The 9 minute documentary is rightly titled “The prodigy.”

What Olga Smirnova shows so beautifully in the video clip posted here by MadameP is the fineness of her Vaganova/Mariinsky dance. What it maybe doesn’t capture as well, being a video, is each heartbeat, each breath, each thought. This can only be best observed at an actual performance, and this to an artist such as her or someone like Veronika Part is truly meaningful.

In my opinion, her strength at the moment is in her expression or her theatrical prowess. This is what you might expect at the Bolshoi. Yet, I feel, that her mind and ability is remarkably agile to the point of artistic genius. She can move back and forth between theater and ethereality of motion with absolute brilliance.

Anna Pavlova (based on very limited video documentation, and comments by observers) set an ideal.  Galina Ulanova may have almost reached the same level. They inhabited the ’soul’ of their art. Olga Smirnova is perhaps the closest I’ve seen. What is different is that I generally see her mind at work and it’s remarkable. I’m sure that she’s entered the realm of ‘the step beyond’ as well. This is what I watch for with particular interest. In any case, whatever she does is exceptional and outstanding. And again I would highly recommend seeing her live if at all possible.    

Edited by Buddy

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6 minutes ago, Buddy said:

Diana Vishneva on the first Bolshoi television contest program stated that Olga Smirnova had managed to combine the two (also saying that Olga Smirnova was the first?).

She said no such thing. How could she given the  illustrious career of, say, Lyudmila Semenyaka? Or, um, Galina Ulanova?

Edited by volcanohunter

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10 minutes ago, volcanohunter said:

She said no such thing. How could she given the  illustrious career of, say, Lyudmila Semenyaka? Or, um, Galina Ulanova?

With all due respect, Volcanohunter, I do recall her saying this. If I can, I'll try to find the link.

Added: Whether she said "the first" I'm not at all certain about. I would agree with you to some extent about Galina Ulanova, except that I put her in such a class of her own, as I do Anna Pavlova, that it, for me, it becomes something different.

Edited by Buddy

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To the best of my recollection, what Vishneva said was that in Smirnova she saw Vaganova training, but that her dancing already showed some Muscovite "accents." This is merely an obvious statement of facts. Smirnova graduated from the Vaganova Academy, but subsequently went to work at the Bolshoi, where she was preparing her roles with a graduate of the Moscow School, who spent her entire professional career in Moscow. It wasn't a value judgment, and it certainly wasn't some sort of balletic panegyric about Smirnova's abilities.

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1 hour ago, volcanohunter said:

To the best of my recollection, what Vishneva said was that in Smirnova she saw Vaganova training, but that her dancing already showed some Muscovite "accents." This is merely an obvious statement of facts. Smirnova graduated from the Vaganova Academy, but subsequently went to work at the Bolshoi, where she was preparing her roles with a graduate of the Moscow School, who spent her entire professional career in Moscow. It wasn't a value judgment, and it certainly wasn't some sort of balletic panegyric about Smirnova's abilities.

Thank you Volcanohunter. What I'm going on is a quote from a viewer who's a ballet expert and translates Russian as a profession. The following is more information. It more or less is what I've stated. I would be glad to send you a Personal Message with the link if this is not usable because of Ballet Alert! guidelines. 

The quote was:

"[...] So, Diana Vishneva noted one of the performances of Olga Smirnova from the Bolshoi Theatre. According to the prima's words, the young ballerina managed to reconcile the eternal debate between the Moscow and Vaganova schools, taking the best from them both."

It's by Catherine Pawlick.

It can be viewed here.

http://www.ballet-dance.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=36125

Edited by Buddy
spelling correction

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3 hours ago, Buddy said:

"taking the best from them both"

I rewatched the clip in question, and Vishneva did not say this. She praised Smirnova's "wonderful synthesis," but my memory of the details was correct.

"...the Vaganova schooling and the traditions and the lyrical note which is always present in her dancing, and at the same time I already see accents, details of the Moscow school."

The notions of "best," much less "first," did not come up.

Incidentally, both Vishneva and Vladimir Malakhov also criticised Smirnova for performing the water jug variation from La Bayadere too loudly. But it should also be remembered that Big Ballet is soft entertainment intended for the more-or-less masses. We're not talking the more exacting standards of one of the International Ballet Competitions. (And frankly, I don't like either idea.)

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4 hours ago, volcanohunter said:

I rewatched the clip in question, and Vishneva did not say this. She praised Smirnova's "wonderful synthesis," but my memory of the details was correct.

"...the Vaganova schooling and the traditions and the lyrical note which is always present in her dancing, and at the same time I already see accents, details of the Moscow school."

The notions of "best," much less "first," did not come up.

Incidentally, both Vishneva and Vladimir Malakhov also criticised Smirnova for performing the water jug variation from La Bayadere too loudly. But it should also be remembered that Big Ballet is soft entertainment intended for the more-or-less masses. We're not talking the more exacting standards of one of the International Ballet Competitions. (And frankly, I don't like either idea.)

Thank you, Volcanohunter. My Russian is much too limited to add anything to what's already been posted, but thank you again for your interest and effort to clarify this.

In any case, I'll reiterate my great admiration for Olga Smirnova. 

Thanks for your comment as well , Cristian.

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3 minutes ago, Laurent said:

I am much more scandalized by the majority of opera and ballet productions today that are made to reflect "21st sensibilities", to be concerned by the fact that some self-appointed censors consider Pierre Lacotte and 19th Century ballets "offensive" to those sensibilities.

So ... you're saying racist stereotypes onstage is a good thing?

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Here is Ksenia Zhiganshina dancing the Congo variation from the underwater scene of Pharaoh's Daughter.  I was so happy to see this lovely young ballerina recently promoted to soloist!

 

 

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Ksenia Zhiganshina  is dancing at an interesting gala in Barcelona on Friday, Igor Kolb is in the line up too along with Irina Perren and Igor Tsvirko.

http://balletrusobarcelona.com/page2331457.html

Barcelona is one of Europe's greatest cities but has a micro climate that makes it very humid, what it's like in the present heat wave I dread to think.

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More of Olga Smirnova (with Semyon Chudin) in her Pharaoh's Daughter:

 

 

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OK, and one more!!!   Soares in the Fisherman's variation from Pharaoh - love this talented boy. WHY hasn't he been promoted??

 

 

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5 hours ago, MadameP said:

More of Olga Smirnova (with Semyon Chudin) in her Pharaoh's Daughter:

 

 

I guess that we’ve got two parallel worlds going here and I can’t resist jumping into the Olga Smirnova one. Thanks again, MadameP. This one is brilliant and delightful, but for heaven sakes find ones that last for more than a minute. 😊

As usual this one shows that she knows every second exactly what she’s doing and how it’s effecting us. Look at her face. And she probably knows that she’s seconds ahead of all of us (at least me) in knowing exactly how each moment will register.

And her dancing here is as clearly defined as a work by Leonardo da Vinci.

Now some questions to ponder. Does she want to relinquish some of this control to what I’ll call exterior artistic/poetic currents, which is what I sense when I watch Anna Pavlova (based on one 60 second video clip) or Galina Ulanova ? Secondly, does she want to venture into the feeling of ‘etherial flow,’  which I consider a wonderful part of the Vaganova/Mariinsky beauty, when she exhibits her exceptional Vaganova/Mariinsky ‘fineness’ ? This to me will be fascinating to see. In any case, I’m Absolutely Delighted with what she does.   

 

  

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11 hours ago, Buddy said:

I guess that we’ve got two parallel worlds going here and I can’t resist jumping into the Olga Smirnova one. Thanks again, MadameP. This one is brilliant and delightful, but for heaven sakes find ones that last for more than a minute. 😊

As usual this one shows that she knows every second exactly what she’s doing and how it’s effecting us. Look at her face. And she probably knows that she’s seconds ahead of all of us (at least me) in knowing exactly how each moment will register.

And her dancing here is as clearly defined as a work by Leonardo da Vinci.

Now some questions to ponder. Does she want to relinquish some of this control to what I’ll call exterior artistic/poetic currents, which is what I sense when I watch Anna Pavlova (based on one 60 second video clip) or Galina Ulanova ? Secondly, does she want to venture into the feeling of ‘etherial flow,’  which I consider a wonderful part of the Vaganova/Mariinsky beauty, when she exhibits her exceptional Vaganova/Mariinsky ‘fineness’ ? This to me will be fascinating to see. In any case, I’m Absolutely Delighted with what she does.   

 

  

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?!  

Edited: I put the wrong link.  So sorry.  Here is the correct one:

 

 

 

Edited by MadameP
Wrong link

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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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  •  
   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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