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Quinten

Neumeier's Anna Karenina

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Still no casting for Anna Karenina.  Zakharova of course for the first performance, but who for the other 5? Anybody have any insights? guesses?  

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None. And it does not appear to be another Dame Aux Camellias style period adaptation. People may have seen this feature or other bits from Hamburg performances, but in case not: 

An excerpt from one of the pas de deux:

 

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Thanks for the videos Drew.  Seems to be a somewhat unsettling mix of classical ballet and experimental theatre. Shipulina posted on IG a photo of various elements of the ballet including a baby doll and sausages and confides that she will not be dancing although she had evidently been rehearsing the part.  Too bad, it seems like it would be a good role for her but what do I know? Zakhrova's website says she'll be dancing all 6 performances, but I'm not taking that literally -- she may have been asked not to reveal which performances she is actually dancing in, or maybe she doesn't actually know (although that seems unlikely). I've heard that Neumeier was arriving in Moscow today so perhaps some decisions have awaited his final determination.

 

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I took Shipulina's post to mean that she had been rehearsing Dolly Oblonskaya all along.

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Ha!  "Dolly"-- I get it now.  *facepalm*  Thanks, volcanohunter.

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15 hours ago, Quinten said:

Thanks for the videos Drew.  Seems to be a somewhat unsettling mix of classical ballet and experimental theatre.

Was curious to find out more about this production as it will be shown in Canada next year. You took the words right out my head. I also find it unsettling. 

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I believe Kretova and Smirnova are both rehearsing Anna.  Also Shrayner.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Gnossie said:

Smirnova as Anna...GOD FORBID! The casting seems atrocious,

What ??? Might as well cast Alyona Kovalyova as Natalia Petrovna in A Month in the Country.  

Shhhhh, don’t give Vaziev any ideas....

Edited by Jayne

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This seems pretty clearly to be Neumeier's Anna Karenina not Tolstoy's...

 

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Kovalyova is more likely to get Nikiya next. 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Drew said:

This seems pretty clearly to be Neumeier's Anna Karenina not Tolstoy's...

 

It is indeed a very loose adaptation of Anna Karenina, set in modern times. Karenin is a politician up for re-election, Vronsky is a lacrosse player

Edited by Deflope

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Posted (edited)

.

   

Edited by maps
delete

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I still can't get over the little train at the end of the ballet as she disappears through the trapdoor.

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Choreographed cradling?  

I’ve encountered a few modern adaptations. One was set in Rego Park among the Bukharians. Vronsky was a hipster adjunct professor. Levin was a pharmacist. Kitty was incredibly dumb. 

Another was set in Australia where Anna was a retired tennis star and commentator, Vronsky looked like the Adam Driver character from girls and you spent the entire time wondering why Anna left her husband. 

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Smirnova and Ovcharenko as Anna and Vronsky on March 24 and 26, per Artem's website.

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Posted (edited)
On 3/13/2018 at 7:49 PM, JumpFrog said:

Was curious to find out more about this production as it will be shown in Canada next year. You took the words right out my head. I also find it unsettling. 

The lacrosse element at least should go down a storm in Canada I think.

Years - and I mean decades ago - I did a national tour of a play across Canada.  We were playing in Kelowna, British Columbia - nestled in the truly stunning Okanagan Valley - and home to the Ogopogo (Canada's version of the Loch Ness Monster) - and - not having a theatre to suit at that time - the production was placed in the local hockey arena. 

After the first act finished (to a surprisingly good sized and responsive audience) I exited unto the sports vomitory and into my designated hockey changing room.  The interval seemed to stretch forever.  I was afraid - without a tannoy - that I might have missed my call.  I looked out from the vom and - to my surprise - our set had dismantled and they were having a lacrosse game.  Never having seen one I decided (with the PSM's permission of course) to go out and watch it.  I had a great time.  We did - EVENTUALLY - (once the set was reassembled) do the second act to - understandably - a virtually empty house.  T'was a unique occasion.  (Well, for me at any rate).   

Edited by meunier fan

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Posted (edited)

I am fortunate enough to have seen the Hamburg production of this Karenina. It is a true masterpiece. Neumeier simply "gets it". The closeness and faithfulness of the main story lines and the psychological texture and motivation of the characters to the original Tolstoy is as great as in any adaptation I can think of. Certainly miles ahead of the phony tedious ballet version by Spuck and the droll recent movie with Keira Knightley. I am only not sure how the work will fit the Bolshoi's company, it may be a challenge to replicate the Hamburg dancers given their intimate familiarity with Neumeier's style and this ballet being created to their individual qualities. I think Smirnova has a chance to deliver an outstanding Anna, since she has incredible acting range and power of artistic transformation, as fine a demonstration of the method as there ever has been, which makes me think she might have taken classes at the nearby MXAT - the cradle of the Stanislavsky system. I am more curious about Zakharova; there are several naturalistic moments in the work: will she be able or willing to suspend her customary gorgeousness during these moments for the sake of creating the character? An intriguing question I would certainly love to see the answer to. Rodkin as Vronsky can be the exact replica of Revazov, who premiered in this role, and my perfect Kitty would be Shrainer or Stashkevich.

I wonder if Neumeier decides to replace the lacrosse element,  which Russian audiences at the Bolshoi will know absolutely nothing about. Something more familiar like ice hockey would work better. 

Edited by Fleurdelis

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Zakharova's website now confirms she is dancing on 23rd and 27th, with Rodkin clearly.

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Casting is now up and  there are two performances each for Zakharova/Rodkin, Smirnova/Ovcharenko and Kretova/Belyakov.

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Posted (edited)

May I put forward a daring proposition that John Neumeier probably knows best who should be dancing what roles in his ballets?

Edited by Fleurdelis

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I often find Neumeier's casting decisions baffling. I mean, could someone please explain Edvin Revazov to me? The clumsy man-child persona was one thing when he was very young and creating roles like Tadzio and Parzival, but as a continuing source of inspiration for Neumeier, I must confess I am completely stumped.

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5 hours ago, Gnossie said:

The casting for March 23 has Zakharova and Chudin(!?) As Anna and Karenin with Rodkin as Vrosnky and Khokhlova and Savin(born to play Levin!) as Kitty and Levin.

For March 24 (matinee): Volchkov and Kretova as Karenin and Anna, Savarskaya and Gusev as Kitty and Levin and Belyakov as Vronsky. 

For the evening Merkuriev and Smirnova as Karenin and Anna with Ovcharenko as Vronsky, Belyakov and Fateeva as Levin and Kitty.

 

I'm not even going to talk about the casting in the leading roles, all I've got to say is that all the ballerinas casted as Dolly, should be dancing Anna (Kaptsova, Shipulina and Stashkevich)

Yes, I wrote the Anna/Vronsky pairings.  I think that Kaptsova, Shipulina and Stashkevich were never going to get leading role ahead of Zakharova and Smirnova -   Kretova maybe.  

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2 hours ago, volcanohunter said:

I often find Neumeier's casting decisions baffling. I mean, could someone please explain Edvin Revazov to me? The clumsy man-child persona was one thing when he was very young and creating roles like Tadzio and Parzival, but as a continuing source of inspiration for Neumeier, I must confess I am completely stumped.

The athletic man-child as the principal male character is very often found in Neumeier's works. Armand, Edvard, now Vronsky. Revazov fits this type to a tee. And if this is not your cup of "tee", then could it be that you do not really like Neumeier?

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Posted (edited)

No, actually. Unlike most Americans, I like Neumeier's work quite a bit. I've crossed oceans to see it. I admire the devotion with which his troupe dances his ballets--an intensity other companies cannot match when performing them. I have great admiration for a number of the Hamburg Ballet's dancers. I regard one of them as a genius, a distinction I am willing to grant to about three active dancers. But I really don't "get" Revazov, and I don't much care for the ballets Neumeier has built around him. I also think Revazov's rendering of Armand Duval is poor in comparison with other interpreters. The part was created on Egon Madsen, a small, slight and very fleet dancer of infinitely greater finesse and depth than Revazov.

Edited by volcanohunter

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