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Lam

Nina Kaptsova

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I believe there are no topic dedicated for Kaptsova so I thought it would be nice to have one.

I saw her in Bright Stream as Zina on 28th October 2017 performance and I thought she was in fine form and technically proficient. I am still shocked that she was demoted to soloist under contract position :((((

Edited by Lam

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A beautiful ballerina--unfortunately she was not with the Bolshoi when they last came to New York in 2014. as I would have loved to see her then. I did see her in London as Phrygia in a lovely and touching performance a few years earlier and often watch videos of her performances including recent ones. Count me as another person who was, let's say, disconcerted by her demotion.

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20 hours ago, Lam said:

I am still shocked that she was demoted to soloist under contract position :((((

She "wasn't demoted to soloist", she was retired. Bolchoï, like Opéra national de Paris, is a state institution. In Russia the retirement age for dancers is 38, for the dancers of  the Russian Imperial Theatres it was 36 (the mandatory 20-year service period was counted for the élèves of the Imperial Ballet School from the age of 16), and it was quite rigorously observed. The principal who retired from service could continue appearing on stage at the theatre where she "served" for 20 years, under contract. Otherwise she was free to travel and make as many guest appearances as she pleased.

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I think you will find that between the Tsarist era and the present day, we had the Soviet era that clearly didn't subscribe to ageism, hence the lengthy careers of Ulanova and Plisetskaya among others.  If a mandatory retirement age has been introduced at the Bolshoi, I would like to know who introduced such a rule and when.  It certainly doesn't apply at the Kirov.

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I am aware that Bolshoi is a state institution.

I'm also curious to know about this retirement rule and whether this is something set into the company rules and then convieniently applied when she turned 38. Antonicheva and Ryzhkina retired  when they were over 40. Granted, they also danced less. At one point both were moved to soloist under contract and then moved back to principal status and then back to contract position and then retired. Zakharova is 39 and still dancing so I don't understand why Kaptsova, a highly capable and versatile dancer, should be demoted from principal status.

 

 

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I don't know the ins and outs, but she's been a standout on the Bolshoi's visits to DC--she is an unusually light and musical dancer--and so I hope we'll still see her performing one way or another.

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It should be abundantly clear that the Bolshoi is not the Paris Opera, because "rules" are not applied equitably at the former.

Kaptsova, class of 1996, was shunted to the "under contract" category last season. First soloist Andrei Bolotin, class of 1996, was moved to that category at the beginning of this season. Soloist Svetlana Pavlova, also class of 1996, continues full time as before.

Bolshoi dancers may begin collecting their pensions at 38, but it's not a mandatory retirement age. There are a number of 20+ year veterans on the full-time roster. 

No one is going to send Zakharova into retirement. Not unless that AD wants to commit career suicide. She has friends in very high places. It would take regime change to force her out.

Edited by volcanohunter

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But to address the main topic of this thread, among the ballerinas currently working at the Bolshoi, Kaptsova is the one I admire and enjoy most. In the season immediately prior to her "demotion," she was among the company's most active ballerinas, appearing about as frequently as Smirnova, Stashkevich and Stepanova. Sadly, her workload has been reduced sharply since, and it's been several years since she has been cast in some of the roles to which she is best suited: Giselle, Aurora and, most inexplicably, Tatiana. However, this year I have seen her as Princess Mary, the Sylph, Grigorovich's Juliet and in "Rubies,"

Kaptsova, like Stashkevich, is extraordinary as Princess Mary. Those who have seen only Zakharova on film probably don't even imagine how much they are missing. Kaptsova's Mary has bite, she has personality flaws, her infatuation with Pechorin is heady and intense, so you know she will come crashing down very hard. These days Mary's final solo is probably as close as Kaptsova gets to Giselle's mad scene, and she invests it with just as much dramatic intensity.

Like nearly all of the Bolshoi's women, excepting perhaps Anastasia Goryacheva, Kaptsova has nothing approaching authentic Bournonville style, but she certainly has lightness, and her performance is remarkable from a dramatic point of view, so fully and enchantingly does she live her character on stage.  The way she releases the captured butterfly is theatrical magic like I have seldom seen. I found myself wondering whether my eyes had played tricks on me.

On Tuesday Kaptsova marked her 40th birthday by performing "Rubies." I saw her performance in the spring. The Bolshoi's "Rubies" are more Sochi than Manhattan; the resemblance to how the company dances The Golden Age is unmistakable. But Kaptsova was thoroughly delightful regardless: completely charming and very fleet.

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1 hour ago, volcanohunter said:

among the ballerinas currently working at the Bolshoi, Kaptsova is the one I admire and enjoy most.

That's pretty much my opinion too.  With a Bolshoi season in  London next year, I have to admit that the likely list of female principals Zakharova, Smirnova, Stepanova makes me shudder.  Only Krysanova lightens the gloom.  Should out of favour Kaptsova and Alexandrova  show up, or indeed, Obraztsova, I could muster some enthusiasm. 

Btw, could someone tell me what is happening with Obtaztsova?  A friend booked for the Milan Bayaderes in the hope of seeing her but no luck.  Is she out of favour as well?

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2 hours ago, volcanohunter said:

But to address the main topic of this thread, among the ballerinas currently working at the Bolshoi, Kaptsova is the one I admire and enjoy most.

I agree.  I have liked everything I have seen her in (mostly though recordings and Youtube). As far as I can tell she excels both in comedic as well as dramatic roles. I hope to see her more in the future.

From the current principal roster Krysanova, Obraztsova, Shipulina and Stashkevich interest me the most.

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11 hours ago, Mashinka said:

That's pretty much my opinion too.  With a Bolshoi season in  London next year, I have to admit that the likely list of female principals Zakharova, Smirnova, Stepanova makes me shudder.  Only Krysanova lightens the gloom.  Should out of favour Kaptsova and Alexandrova  show up, or indeed, Obraztsova, I could muster some enthusiasm. 

Btw, could someone tell me what is happening with Obtaztsova?  A friend booked for the Milan Bayaderes in the hope of seeing her but no luck.  Is she out of favour as well?

No sure about the Bayaderes,  but  - I know she has had a virus.  I went to Mariinsky and Bolshoi earlier this month, the Bolshoi was to see Obraztsova in Onegin, but she was replaced last minute by Goryacheva (and Rodkin,) because she had a virus and she put up messages to that effect on Instagram.  (Rodkin surprised me with a great dramatic performance, and Goryacheva also was very touching in this beautiful ballet, but I was disappointed not to have seen Genia.) 

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17 hours ago, Mashinka said:

Btw, could someone tell me what is happening with Obtaztsova?  A friend booked for the Milan Bayaderes in the hope of seeing her but no luck.  Is she out of favour as well?

:offtopic:Obraztsova hasn't danced La Bayadere since Vaziev became director, and I don't think she's likely to dance it as long as he's director. 

She dances comparatively infrequently, but it was the same under Filin. It's a mystery to me why he invited her to join the Bolshoi and then rarely put her on stage. I saw her recently in Etudes and Giselle, and I'll try to write about it on a separate thread. She was lovely but overshadowed by her partners (Vyacheslav Lopatin in Etudes, Ruslan Skvortsov in Giselle), who also seemed to be more popular with the audience.

I also saw her in Onegin during the previous run. She dances it regularly, but I don't think Tatiana is her best role: too pretty, too posed.

Edited by volcanohunter

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On 10/17/2018 at 2:50 PM, Mashinka said:

I second your concerns, I was shocked at Alexandrova's demotion too.

Hello, I know very little about Kaptsova's case, but Alexandrova resigned of her own volition, no? As I understood it, she told the management she was leaving and reports were that Urin tried to make her change her mind, whereupon they came to an agreement that she would still dance for them 'under contract' so that she had more freedom to do her own thing. The initial split followed by compromise is backed up by the timing and content of her Instagram posts about the whole thing.  (certainly she's cited 'the administration and the director' as the hardest thing about working at the Bolshoi (and Vlad agreed!): http://www.vaganovatoday.com/vladislav-lantratov-and-maria-alexandrova-bolshoi-power-couple). I'm sure there are many sides to all this; none of us know the full truth! It's pretty clear the Bolshoi is not the easiest place to work, and is full of strong characters, Alexandrova being one of the strongest. She's been pretty busy since, dancing in a lot of galas with Lantratov obviously, but also Sleeping Beauty with ENB, a duo show with Blanca Li, guest principal appearances in Perm, Rostov, Ekaterinburg and Tbilisi, in China with the Kharkhiv company, some kind of mime drama called Caligula, and four Swan Lakes in about five days in Athens with  a young company under Grigorovich. She's also appeared at the Bolshoi in Nureyev, Spartacus and Don Q (and possibly some other things I've forgotten about!). From interviews she seems really happy. Sorry if this is a little off topic in a Kaptsova thread; I love what I've seen of her dancing and hope I may get to see more.....

Edited by Khoretskaya
added a bit I'd forgotten about!

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9 minutes ago, Khoretskaya said:

(certainly she's cited 'working with the management' as the hardest thing about working at the Bolshoi...I will try and hunt the article down if you need a source!).

We do need sources (per our official news policy).  Rumors are unofficial news, not permitted here, unless it's a citation of a ballet professional in an official news source talking about rumors.  Which, of course, happens.

Here is a thread on Alexandrova, started in 2003

https://balletalert.invisionzone.com/topic/9528-maria-alexandrova/?tab=comments#comment-75388

And another about Alexandrova and Odette/Odile:

https://balletalert.invisionzone.com/topic/19468-maria-alexandrova-as-odette-odile/?tab=comments#comment-157126

 

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20 hours ago, Helene said:

We do need sources (per our official news policy).  Rumors are unofficial news, not permitted here, unless it's a citation of a ballet professional in an official news source talking about rumors.  Which, of course, happens.

Sorry, here's the interview: http://www.vaganovatoday.com/vladislav-lantratov-and-maria-alexandrova-bolshoi-power-couple

This bit: 

What's the hardest part of work here?
Maria: People. The administration and the director.

Vladislav: I agree, I have nothing to add.

I will amend above. 

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