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February 23, 2020 Pathé Live Bolshoi Swan Lake Transmission


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I wanted to create a topic to discuss this Sunday's Bolshoi transmission of Swan Lake. Do people have thoughts on why the casting changed so suddenly from Ovcharenko to Tissi (at the same time that Smirnova's casting was announced)? 

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5 hours ago, Preston said:

I wanted to create a topic to discuss this Sunday's Bolshoi transmission of Swan Lake. Do people have thoughts on why the casting changed so suddenly from Ovcharenko to Tissi (at the same time that Smirnova's casting was announced)? 

Some say that Bolshoi was considering Yulia Stepanova as Odette/Odile (who paired with Artem Ovcharenko in Swan Lake in the last two years). But out of uncertain reason, she went out of the game. So they got a different pair instead of filling in Nikulina or Krysanova  with proper height to pair up with Ovcharenko.

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Krysanova is performing with Maillot's company on the 21st in Novosibirsk, nearly 3,000 km away, which made her participation practically impossible. 

And I don't think height had much to do with it, since Smirnova is shorter than Stepanova.

@Preston, it's impossible to answer your question, because the Bolshoi will never go public with the behind-the-scenes haggling. 

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Somewhere I read that Shipulina was cast for Sunday. although it seemed unlikely since she is not getting many roles.   I was really  looking forward to seeing her.  I do like  Smirnova but she's been in 3 recent transmissions,  so I had hoped to see a different dancer.

 

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I would love to have seen Shipulina. Her O-O was wonderful when I saw her, but that was six years ago. It's been four years since she last danced the ballet at the Bolshoi, when Filin was still director. I can't imagine she was ever considered for the broadcast. I don't think it would be too contentious to say that Vaziev has ageist attitudes when it comes to casting classical works in particular. He has expressed them publicly on multiple occasions. Zakharova can dance whatever (except Onegin) and whenever she wants. She has friends in very high places. But her rules don't apply to anyone else. (Even though Shipulina's husband also flies in very high circles.)

Edited by volcanohunter
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I felt like Smirnova was a little emotionally detached in the white scenes. I didn't get the sense of desperation and longing for freedom in the sissones that I saw in Zakharova's Odette solo in the last Bolshoi Swan Lake transmission. But to me, Smirnova seemed to wake up as Odile. I especially liked the distinctive way she played the moment when Odette appears at the window, mocking Siegfried instead of trying to conceal the white swan. I know a lot of people don't like this production but I actually love the gloom of the castle set.

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I thought Smirnova was excellent.  True, she sometimes doesn't emote.  I think her dancing is much richer than it was 5 years ago although I've never seen her in person. I was underwhelmed by Tissi. He's very princely but somehow just didn't sing. I dislike Grigorovich's SL, the production in general, the almost total loss of mime, and visually the colors, the costumes, the gloom, the lighting -- are not thrilling.  The national dances in particular were quite dull, even the Spanish, although Sevenard is a dancer to watch.   

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Smirnova is an extraordinarily lithe and lyrical Odette and a glamorous Odile. I don't quite understand the negativity, although I get that fans of other ballerinas such as Stepanova become frustrated.

Not so long ago, many were complaining that Zakharova got all of the cinemacasts. Krysanova also had a good share of the full-length classical cinema events, for a while. Schipulina seems to be in that "dependable house ballerina" category - sort of like Eleanor d'Antuono at ABT in the 1970s.

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Surely it's enough to look at Smirnova's upper body to recognize some problems: the large shoulders, elbows and wrists, the hyperextended elbows, and the awful-looking hands all contributing to her unyielding angularity and unharmonious line. Hers was the dullest and coolest final scene in my experience. I have never seen an Odette who looked less distressed about Siegfried's betrayal. And I certainly have nothing against single fouettés, even if they are performed behind the music, but the audience embarrassed themselves by summoning her from the wings for a second round of bows mid coda. For what?

Smirnova does hold the stage with enormous confidence. She does have glamour. She respects tempi more than most Russian primas. But her arms make it practically impossible for me to enjoy her performances. 

(I am just about the last person who could be accused of carrying water for Stepanova.)

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