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Petipa Gala

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3 hours ago, Gnossie said:


Allow me to doubt it (your last paragraph)

Moscow will have to wait until next year to have a proper celebration of Petipa, when the Ekaterinburg ballet brings Yuri Burlaka's wonderful recon of Harlequinade for next year's Golden Mask.  (Recon made for Samara Ballet 4 years ago, because you know, there are people who don't go around "reconstructing" ballets that have already been reconstructed...) 

ABT’s Harlequinade recon will be just that. No Balanchines or contemporary choreographies on the same program, as in all of the Petipa “tributes” at the Bolshoi, Stanislavsky, Mariinsky. 

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On 5/15/2018 at 1:29 PM, Gnossie said:

Finally, when will Guerin and Ferri stop embarrassing themselves!?, that's it, its over, retire with dignity!

It's ironic that the list of "world ballet stars" invited by Vaziev includes Friedemann Vogel (b. 1979), Marcelo Gomes (b. 1979), Lucia Lacarra (b. 1975), Manuel Legris (b. 1964), Alessandra Ferri (b. 1963) and Isabelle Guerin (b. 1961), while within the Bolshoi Vaziev has demoted Maria Alexandrova (b. 1978), Maria Allash (b. 1976) and Nina Kaptsova (b. 1978), driven out Dmitry Gudanov (b. 1975) and is doing his level best to sideline company dancers who are in their mid to late thirties by giving them too little to do.

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On May 16, 2018 at 1:40 PM, Drew said:

At any rate, Balanchine has a more legitimate claim to be part of a Petipa gala than, say, Wheeldon or Maliphant....

Why is Apollo in a nuryevev gala with his Sb and dq

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15 minutes ago, Vs1 said:

Why is Apollo in a nuryevev gala with his Sb and dq

This was addressed to me, so I’ll respond:

I didn’t design the gala you are referring to, so I can’t speak for the organizers. I can say that Nureyev did dance Balanchine’s Apollo, and if you go to the Nureyev Foundation website they describe it as an important ballet to his career that he danced, in their words, “continuously” from 1967 through to his final Nureyev and Friends tour in 1991  — I am on a tablet and can’t do the link, but a search will turn it up easily enough. It wouldn’t surprise me if that is one reason Apollo would be included in a Nureyev gala.

Edited by Drew
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On 5/15/2018 at 7:23 PM, volcanohunter said:

It just ain't a Petipa gala without Russell Maliphant, Patrick de Bana and Krzysztof Pastor. :blink: The Bolshoi's attitude to the anniversary year has been a disgrace,

Dear Volcanohunter ..... you "mauvaise langue" !!  You wouldn't believe how many times this post of yours crossed my mind last evening at the Bolshoy. Easily the WORST so-called "Petipa Gala" I have been to anywhere, eg Mariinsky and Stasik. What is more, I found and bought a ticket for tonight's performance too before seeing last night's. Serves me right - one should not have got carried away by the names but paid attention to the program, especially after you highlighted it ...... never again ! It was a long evening, starting at 7 pm and ending ca 11:15 pm with one interval. Just imagine : the closing number was the Raymonda Grand Pas with Smirnova-Chudin plus 20 Bolshoy dancers by which time dozens of people in parter were fed up and had left !

The link to the programme in English is above somewhere - the evening started off with the Diamonds adagio danced by Kovalyova-Tissi :  very elegant couple, am sure Alyona is on the way to stardom, Buddy would have loved this but I don't connect without some drama. Then the Bluebird-Florine PdD with Hahlova-Belikov, and Margot-Nureyev PdD from "Nureyev" with Kretova-Ovcharenko. I was surprised by the symphonic quality of Demutsky's composition : no memorable tune but does the job nicely. The choreo won't make my top ten but will probably see the full ballet sometime.

Next came a PdD from Le Parc set to Mozart's concerto, danced by Kondaurova-Smikalov. I had found the full work unbearable but this bit is good, more "meaningful" than the whole. I think one problem with "contemporary" choreo is that many works are too long for what they are - something which can only be "tolerated" for 30 mins is pumped up into 2½ hours and it just doesn't float (eg Wheeldon). Following number Talisman PdD was danced by Stashkevich-Lapatin : good gala piece, the joyous waltz at the end wrapping it up very nicely (will only comment on execution which I thought was less than perfect). On to mirror PdD from Onegin (Smirnova-Vogel) - Olga had memorably flowing movement and PdB in this piece.

It takes some nerve to come to the Bolshoy and put on the White Swan adagio when you are not the prima of a major company but basically a freelancer but my beloved Lacarra did just that and imho pulled it off - big sustained applause at the end. Danced with husband Dino - excellent execution, so flexible and pliable, like Makarova in her prime (imho). After this a PdD from Cherkaoui's "Qutb" was a shocker - to repulsive playback, Osipova in jeans partnered by Kittelberger (??). Why come all the way from London to dance this xxxxxx - have you got the Guillem syndrome or something ? A fitting title for this number could be "The Dream of Contortius" !!

The next piece, a PdD from Petit's Rendez-vous was nice to see for me insofar as it enabled me to see Isabelle Guérin and Manuel Legris, dancers we knew from the Nineties. Can't even remember how the choreo went, except that Isabelle produced something which looked like a razor and slashed Manuel's throat at the end !  Isabelle's calf muscles looked fully in place - could she be taking class and/or still performing to some degree ?

Now :  if you are coming to the Bolshoy and putting on the Grand Pas from  Don Kixot you better have what it takes, and sadly, in this case, Pagliero and Heymann didn't. I find Russian, especially Bolshoy's, male principals way superior to what I see in the West, and Heymann doesn't match up in execution. Pagliero was also not up to Bolshoy standards, her fouettees petering out and ending 4-5 counts short ..... but her Kitri tutu was gorgeous ! Thus ended the first half of this gala.

Will try to be brief so as not to become as boring as last night's gala was :  second half started with what was billed as "Tchaikovsky PdD" by Balanchine - a number of PdD and variations set to music from Swan Lake, excellently executed by Teryoshkina and Shklyarov. I think I know SL music fairly well and I thought not all the music used was for the White or Black swans, or from the same act - will appreciate input.  Following number was Spiral Twist by Maliphant, one of the two standard gala pieces of Lacarra and Dino (the other one, Light Rain by Arpino set to oriental music I find more likeable). Again Lacarra very impressive but the choreo is "Dream of Contortius Strikes Back", what a waste of excellent talent. In turn followed by PdD from Wheeldon's After the Rain danced by Alessandra Ferri and Marcelo Gomes. I thought "cruel and inhuman punishment" meted out on spectators had been abolished....., anyway, Ferri at her age also sports impressive calf muscles - what's the trick ??

At last some things watchable :  PdD & variations you know from Flames of Paris (Shreiner-Tsvirko), Aurora-Desiree PdD (Novikova-Sarafanov), Grand Pas Classique danced by Sae Eun Park (Paris ?) and Ovcharenko. First time I have seen Park : very good dancer, hops-on-pointe and fouettee perfectly executed.

Then two numbers which proved to be the last straws for some people in parterre to throw their programmes in and leave : Patrick de Bana's Farewell Waltz danced by Guérin and Legris, a waste of time and energy (but Isabelle really looking good), and Tristan&Isolde PdD by Pastor with Zaharova and Labukhin ...... the exodus really speeded up during this. Which brought us to the finale : Grand Pas from Raymonda with Smirnova-Chudin, plus 4 men for the PdQ and 16-dancer strong CdB. Shreiner danced the variation - she is the only Coppelia I didn't see last month but on the strength of what I saw of her this night I think she can/will be good Coppelia on 10th June. The men's PdQ was sloppy, was much better done at the Mariinsky livestream of past Monday. I thought as a whole the Mariinsky GP looked better, to my eye at least. Phew ...... finally over !

Edited by mnacenani
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Will try to be brief so as not to become as boring as last night's gala was :  second half started with what was billed as "Tchaikovsky PdD" by Balanchine - a number of PdD and variations set to music from Swan Lake, excellently executed by Teryoshkina and Shklyarov. I think I know SL music fairly well and I thought not all the music used was for the White or Black swans, or from the same act - will appreciate input. 

The music for the pas de deux was taken from alternative music Tchaikovsky wrote for the 1877 production. It never become a part of the Petipa/Ivanov production of 1895. It's a very popular gala piece.

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7 hours ago, mnacenani said:

Dear Volcanohunter ..... you "mauvaise langue" !!  You wouldn't believe how many times this post of yours crossed my mind last evening at the Bolshoy. Easily the WORST so-called "Petipa Gala" I have been to anywhere, eg Mariinsky and Stasik.

I'm sorry you didn't enjoy the performance. Ideally Makhar Vaziev would recognize that the program was a bust and learn from the exodus of viewers, but I'm not hopeful. (I would really like to hear his justification for including a piece by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui at a Petipa anniversary gala.)

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SECOND NIGHT OF BOLSHOY "PETIPA GALA" Moscow Friday 1st June - Back to the Historic Stage for the second night of the Petipa-less "Petipa Gala". Opening number again "Diamonds" by Kovalyova and Tissi, the new faces or "Brand Ambassadors" of the Bolshoy - I have no complaints !  Princess Florine is danced by Denisova tonight vs Belikov's excellent Bluebird. If I hadn't enrolled in this forum I would not have known that there is a story to this piece - the choreo makes so much more sense to me now and I appreciate the execution more. The evening continues as scheduled with PdD from Nureyev, another from Le Parc, the Talisman gala piece by the same dancers as night before.

When it came to the Mirror PdD from Onegin I tried to concentrate on Smirnova due to something I noticed the first night :  what an excellent body line, excellent PdB, the upper body and arms flowing like they were liquid, she can put on when she wants or is required !  I say so because she is not the same when she dances Raymonda. Friedemann Vogel is obviously a good dancer but I think this piece calls for someone less boyish than Vogel, to characterise Onegin properly, my view.

The Lacarra-Dino White Swan adagio is again excellent - it almost seems Lucia has no bones or has been implanted with bones made of a newly-formulated composite !

The PdD from Cherkaoui's "Qutb" is not worthy of mention but I would like to mention something about Osipova I only noticed the night before and concentrated on tonight :  Natasha has enormous calf muscles which would make a junior sumo wrestler envious - it's just that they are not noticeable under a tutu and tights. She would have to, taking into account the laws of physics, to fly around as Silfida the way she does. In this piece she is wearing jeans rolled up to her knees making her very prominent calf muscles noticeable. No wonder my friends tease me saying I fall for "strong women" !!

After Rendez-vous we come to the Don Q GP PdD by Pagliero-Heymann only. The PdD is sort of OK, Heymann a bit better tonight, as if he has been told what he put  on the first night didn't get a pass. His first and second variations are good. Pagliero's first variation (fan) is good but the fouettee again doesn't get a pass, falls out of sync and again stops 4-5 counts early.

Teryoshkina-Shklyarov start second half with excellent rendition of Balanchine's Tchaikovsky PdD : all the tricks of the trade done to perfection. Shklyarov head and shoulders above what can be seen in Europe - has magnificient elevation and tournes. Passing "Spiral Twist" and "After the Rain" (can be cut by 3/4 without being diminished in any way) brings up the Flames of Paris PdD and variations. Now : I paid special attention to Rita Shreiner on both nights since she trumped my nominee Hahlova for the Coppelia cinecast coming up. On the strength of what I have been able to learn about classical ballet over the last 4 years, and comparing her with her peers at the Bolshoy, I can say that Shreiner has excellent technique :  excellent pointe work, jumps, hops-on-pointe, fouettee, under a warm happy face. So imho she is also well qualified to dance Coppelia at the livecast, we shall see.

The Aurora-Desiree PdD (Vikharev recons) :  Novikova and Sarafanov are known quantities, good dancers. I don't have the knowledge to comment on the steps Vikharev might have used, but would appreciate input from our learned membership on this issue :  my choreo vocabulary is next to zilch, in this PdD Aurora has quite a number of "small vertical jumps with a scissors movement" - what is the proper term for these ?  Whatever it is, she couldn't do them well on both nights which surprised me a bit.

GP Classique :  Park again very good on second night, Ovcharenko excellent as usual. Farewell Waltz ..... oh, a third person puts the razor into Legris's shirt pocket at the start, nothing else to discover ..... Isabelle looking very good. Followed by my consolation prize for going to the second night :  the bedroom PdD from Manon, danced by Osipova and Shklyarov, which wasn't on the night before. I had seen these two in London in March (?) which was Volodya's debut in role. Excellent rendition by both dancers, I have longtime ago subscribed to the view that Macmillan is the master of the PdD  .... really is.

Tristan&Isolde duet danced by Zaharova-Labukhin :  these pieces bring to my mind the story of "Emperor's New Clothes" ..... when someone asks you how you found it you feel compelled to say "Oh, wonderful, gorgeous .... such innovation and craftsmanship !" on pain of being branded an ignoramus !  I had seen the Bolshoy debut of Svetlana's "Amore" show two years ago and written that two out of the three pieces were trash - I was overjoyed when Clement Crisp wrote the same thing after its London debut last year.

Final piece Grand Pas from Raymonda :  a totally different, more rigid portrayal by Smirnova, as opposed to her Tatiana on both nights, maybe this is the norm. Shreiner very good also in the variation, the supporting corps-de-seize, all dancers we know by name very good, but again the PdQ by Chino, Alexeyev, Hromushin and Soares a bit ragged : imho this PdQ looks good when sync, symmetry and separation are perfect but nyet - has Raymonda been out for some time or something ??  Soares who had greatly impressed me at his Zloy Geniy debut two years ago couldn't make a perfect stop after his tournes more than once.

Another discovery particular to this second evening :  the Bolshoy ballet orchestra has a tall, very attractive "konzertmeisterin", ie leader - how do I know ??  By chance I was seated very close to her - at the Bolshoy as you may know the solo violin stands up to play the White Swan solo. (Yiyo zavut :  Mila Hersonskaya)

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FLASH NEWS :  Kuznetsova has reviewed the Bolshoy Petipa Gala in today's issue of Kommersant. Russian speakers please do post a resumé - I am dying to know whether we tally :  https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/3648769                                     

Google translation - can be understood rather well : "On the Historical Stage of the Bolshoi Theater was a four-hour gala concert of world stars called "Dedication to Petipa," in which the 200-year-old was given an extremely modest place" Tatyana Kuznetsova reports :

This gigantic gala of 19 numbers, compiled by the ballet hudruk of the Great Mahar Vaziev, was deprived not only of the similarity of the concept, but also of a hint of memoriality. Everyone danced: from the Western avant-garde to the Soviet classics. Everyone danced: from pioneers to pensioners. The French predominated (as compatriots of the jubilee), the soloists of the Mariinsky Theater (the main "house of Petipa") and the multi-stage artists of the Bolshoi - Khudruk Vaziev wished to show not only his leaders, but also his young nominees. The latter could be easily bailed out. So far, none of them have that peculiarity (let's not talk about charisma), which turns a strong soloist into a memorable ballerina.

Charisma was different for pensioners. They ruled the ball. Etuales of the Paris Opera - 57-year-old Isabel Guérin and 54-year-old Manuel Legrie - with amazing subtlety and sense of proportion played two novels about the fateful love ("Rendezvous" Roland Petit and "Farewell Waltz" Patrick de Bana). As for technology, none of the eminent participants in the concert could boast of such an exquisite pas de burr as Geren, and such a rapid shena as that of Legri. From the same great generation and Alessandra Ferry - the world star, danced with Marcelo Gomez Christopher Wildon's "After the Rain." The beauty of perfectly trained legs and completeness of poses was combined with a wise femininity and languid eroticism: the love story of this 55-year-old woman seemed far more natural than the strainedly constructed, overly acrobatic relationship of the heroes of Natalya Osipova and Jason Kittelberger in the duet from the ballet "Qutb" Sidi Larbi Sherkaui. However, all these love stories, successful and not very much, as well as their authors who heavily dramatized the dance, categorically did not correspond to the artistic principles of Marius Petipa, the great master of harmonious ensembles and the separation of pantomime "flies" from dance "cutlets".

However, the presented "classic" distorted the legacy. Adagio from the "white act" "Swan Lake" (in the choreography of Lev Ivanov), performed by Lucia Lacarra and Marlon Dino, looked weird. Not only because of the revised wording; The 43-year-old ballerina, who is in excellent shape, always strove to touch her forehead with her forehead while sloping into the arabesque, and with her hands launched such a shallow "watery" ripple that even her fingers fluttered. In the savage pas de deux from Don Quixote (the Nureyev editorial barbaric riddled the choreography of Alexander Gorsky) the most unsuccessful were the operas of Paris Opera Lyudmila Paliero and Matias Eiman. Only St. Petersburg Olesya Novikova and Leonid Sarafanov, past universities of Sergei Vikharev, danced the pas de deux from the Sleeping Beauty in his editorial office very delicately (however, there was also a stylistic puncture - a double assembly in the prince's variation). The grand pas marathon from Raymonda, whose Bolshoi artists performed in the entire Soviet splendor of Yuri Grigorovich's editions, was sweepingly and militarily, without burdening himself with the clarity of "little things" and long legs (although the leading couple, Olga Smirnova and Semyon Chudin, corresponded to the strictest classical standards).

As a result, "Dedication to Petipa" was somewhat disrespectful to the classics. Twenty years ago, no one would have noticed: in those years, Russia had not yet thought about the authenticity of the performance, nor about the restoration of the choreography - it was considered normal to "perfect" the dance and staging the needs of the current moment and specific performers. However, at the turn of the century the Mariinsky Ballet - just during the time of the director's office there Mahar Vaziev - committed an artistic revolution: Sergei Vikharev presented his "Sleeping Beauty", recreating the appearance of the performance of the XIX century. Later, the artistic director of the Bolshoi Aleksey Ratmansky was carried away by restoration works, and his successor Yuri Burlaka also took pains. There are also quite scientific "Corsair", "Esmeralda", "Coppelia" and "Paquita" in the repertoire of the theater. None of these productions were presented in the jubilee gala: Mahar Vaziev seemed to have returned to the era when Petipa served as a canvas for free fantasies of "editors" and teachers - the public always approves of various technical innovations, revering stuntness virtuosity. So it turns out that the anniversary of "our whole" is celebrated only in America, where Alexei Ratmansky, armed with prerevolutionary records, reconstructed one of Marius Petipa's disappeared ballets - "Millions of Harlequin". The millions allocated by Russia for the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the choreographer are spent, as we do, noisily, loudly, internationally. Now it is possible with a clear conscience to forget about the Russified Frenchman and his 19th century




Edited by mnacenani
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7 hours ago, Gnossie said:

Also can someone explain why the set from one scene of Marco Spada was used as the backdrop for his gala?

That's because Kitri and Basilio lived on the outskirts of Rome, not Barcelona. And the crusaders from Raymonda actually inhabited XVIII-century neoclassical palaces. At least according to the leadership of such storied cultural institution as the Bolshoi.

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On 6/2/2018 at 7:33 PM, mnacenani said:

The Aurora-Desiree PdD (Vikharev recons) :  Novikova and Sarafanov are known quantities, good dancers. I don't have the knowledge to comment on the steps Vikharev might have used, but would appreciate input from our learned membership on this issue :  my choreo vocabulary is next to zilch, in this PdD Aurora has quite a number of "small vertical jumps with a scissors movement" - what is the proper term for these ?  Whatever it is, she couldn't do them well on both nights which surprised me a bit.

The movement/steps I am referring to is at time 7:52 on this video - what is the proper term pleeease https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsjk4e2yz2E

Edited by mnacenani
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6 hours ago, alexL said:

Those are sissonne jumps. I rarely see dancers land it in perfect 5th nowadays. 

Thank you so much !  Imho Aurelie can't do them very well in this video, and Novikova's execution was rather bad on both of these galas.

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Kuznetsova is a national treasure, always saying it as it is!

Is she ?! More biased and partisan newspaper ballet critic is hard to come by. Not that anybody in Paris cares about Madame Kousnetsova, but her calumnies about l'Opéra and some of its best dancers, including Myriam Ould-Braham that you seem to adore, written as a retaliation for Paris "rejecting Ratmansky's «Les Illusions perdues »", reverberated here for a while. I was at the spectacle that Kousnetsova trashed, so I know the actual meaning of her "always saying it as it is". For not initiated: Mme Kousnetsova is a number one champion of Ratmansky. Her infatuation with everything contemporary paired with her disdain for classics may have given Madame Tchernomourova (the person responsible for the repertoire policy at Bolchoï) the wrong idea about what is right. I am afraid, also Mme Tchernomourova  may consider Kousnetsova a "national treasure". I can only imagine what would have happened to Bolchoï if Kousnetsova, a failed classical dancer like Brigitte Lefèvre, was named the director of the company: something comparable to what Mme Lefèvre achieved at l'Opéra.

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Kuznetsova is probably the world's most knowledgeable and professional ballet critic. I may not always share her tastes, but have utmost respect for her opinions and admire her biting wit.

Her Thorns and Roses of the Bolshoi Ballet book is the most authentic and truthful depiction of what has been going on at the company, unlike the recent cinematic duds.

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