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 Post subject: Re: Nikolai Tsiskaridze
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2002 4:26 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Welcome to the board Zabela...I see that you joined us a couple of months ago, but this is your first post. And a wonderful contribution it is too! :)

I hope that you will contribute - and I look forward to reading more about this dancer and his roles.


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 Post subject: Re: Nikolai Tsiskaridze
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2002 5:18 am 
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Posts: 186
Location: Great Britain
On the 17th and 18th of September, the Bolshoi Ballet gave two performances at the Palais des festival et des congres in Cannes. The company was in good shape although they just started the season.
Nikolai Tsiskaridze danced in "Les Sylphides". Try to find a dancer more suitable for the role of the Young Poet? I for one don't remember. Starting with his first graceful pose upstage when the tabs open, then his light run from the wings across the apron of the stage - he is illuminated with the innermost poetry. He aspires tenderly, as if catching his vision, to one of the sylphides, then to another one and supports them with gentle carefulness. All lifts in the Waltz No.7 were so light and natural. It is not a role which can bring a dancer a rapturous applause like in Don Q, for example, where the general public can sometimes be quite happy with a few tricks. In "Les Sylphides", the pure style and effortless display of perfect technique is everything. Not every ballerina can look poetic enough next to Tsiskaridze. However, on these evenings his elegiac Young Poet was beautifully matched with Svetlana Lunkina's statuesque sylphide.
There is a very good tape of them dancing "Giselle" together (www.balletvideo.narod.ru).
If some of the French members of the Forum see any reviews, could you please tell us what the critics, if there were any, wrote about these concerts. (Sorry to say that in my three days in Cannes I have not seen a single advert of the Bolshoi in the streets.)


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 Post subject: Re: Nikolai Tsiskaridze
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2002 8:06 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
I looked at that site you gave, Coda, but alas it is all in Russian, and everyone in my family who spoke Russian is gone.

I would love to have that tape of Tsiskaridze and Lunkina dancing Giselle. Is it for sale?


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 Post subject: Re: Nikolai Tsiskaridze
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2002 4:25 pm 
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Posts: 3000
Location: San Francisco
The following url is the ballet video catalog (the page with complete ballets):

http://www.balletvideo.narod.ru/F1w.htm

Or you can navigate to it from the home page by clicking on the top item on the list at the left (it looks close to the word “ballet”). Please note that it takes a long time to load, whichever way you do it.

You can copy the text and translate using Babelfish or Promt, selecting Russian to English translation. Or just copy the url to translate the web page -- this will maintain the formatting of the text, which helps when the text is set up in a tabular form.

Promt: http://www.translate.ru/eng/

Babelfish: http://babelfish.altavista.com/

The translation will also take some time.

The complete list on the left on the ballet video home page translates as follows:

Ballet
Ballet films
Ballerinas and male dancers
Opera from Adan(?) to Vivaldi
Opera from Handel (“Gendel”) to Prokofiev
Opera from Puccini to Strauss
Great singers and musicians
Misc. dance
New arrivals
How to do it (goes to same page as “Order”)
Order (this page is fun to read when it’s translated)
Forum

Unlike Babelfish, Promt doesn’t transliterate words and names it can’t translate. Instead, it leaves them in Russian. You might be able to figure out some names if there are enough letters that are pronounced as they are in the English alphabet. But if you have nothing better to do, you can try to figure them out using this guide to the Russian alphabet:

Russian Alphabet

[Note that in the old method of transliterating into Russian, "H" at the beginning of a name was transliterated as a hard "G".]

Most of the videos in the catalogue are ones I’ve seen elsewhere. But there are some performances of ballets I’d really like to see, notably full-length ballets starring Kolpakova or Komleva.

Click on the wide box at the bottom of the home page (translates as "World of Dance") to see a page with a nice photo of Raisa Struchkova.

<small>[ 09-20-2002, 19:26: Message edited by: djb ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Nikolai Tsiskaridze
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 2:33 am 
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Posts: 36
There are several new fantastic photographs of Nikolai Tsiskaridze as Jean de
Brienne in "Raymonda" on
http://www.bolshoi.net/stars/ciscaridze/photo-raymonda.htm
By the way, I heard that Nikolai will dance "Sheherazade" with Ilse Liepa in
Theatro dell'Opera in Rome on the 4,6 and 12 October. If someone is there on
those dates please enlighten us about these performances.


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 Post subject: Re: Nikolai Tsiskaridze
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 10:08 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 186
Location: Great Britain
Olechka, thank you for the site.
You did not mention that one has to click the arrow on the right to see all the photographs.


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 Post subject: Re: Nikolai Tsiskaridze
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 10:31 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Thanks from me, too, Olechka...they are beautiful photographs, indeed.


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 Post subject: Re: Nikolai Tsiskaridze
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 8:44 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 3000
Location: San Francisco
I'm not sure, but I don't think a link to the page (in English) of bolshoi.net, with all the photo galleries,* has been provided yet. Here it is:

http://www.bolshoi.net/stars/tsiskaridze/photo-page.htm

*I don't think the studio portraits are on this page, but I think all of the rehearsal and performance photos are.

<small>[ 09-30-2002, 22:46: Message edited by: djb ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Nikolai Tsiskaridze
PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2002 2:22 pm 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
He is indeed a panther, a leopard, he stalks the stage and conquers all its spaces.

I have just finished watching a tape of the complete ballet with both Nikolai Tsiskaridze and beautiful Irma Nioradze in Sheherazade. What a splendid dancer Nikolai is.

The grand jeté has three major components: the arc in the air, the full split in the air and ballon - hoverability. Usually, a dancer will have a bit more of one than the other. The women tend to get the split, the men more of the arc and ballon. Nikolai Tsiskaridze gets all three and then some. He has the ability to imprint upon the eye.

He marries speed to strength to flexibility. His backbends as pliable as the ballerina, his spitfire fouettés becoming machine gun tours in second - everything smoothly finished - no seams, no tears, perfectly executed. Fiendishly difficult renversés taken at the height of a full split attitude to the back - something I have never seen done before.

Does he sacrifice port de bras? or any other false contortion to accomplish this? Not that I saw. In this ballet his dancing is not only extraordinary, but also his conviction - he is sensuously engaged in love, and horrifically surprised at death.

This is only one ballet of several that were sent to me....I have yet to watch the others. More delicious delights to come.

Thank you so much, Coda!


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 Post subject: Re: Nikolai Tsiskaridze
PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2002 6:31 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2002 11:01 pm
Posts: 25
Location: Moscow, Russia
There are new photographs of Nikolai Tsiskaridze in "La Dame de Pique" on http://www.bolshoi.net/stars/ciscaridze/photo-dama.htm
and in "The Sleeping Beauty" on
http://www.bolshoi.net/stars/tsiskaridze/photo-sleep.htm


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 Post subject: Re: Nikolai Tsiskaridze
PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2002 7:44 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
The Sleeping Beauty/Blue Bird shots are just exquisite. Thank you, Arina.


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 Post subject: Re: Nikolai Tsiskaridze
PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2002 12:50 pm 
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Posts: 186
Location: Great Britain
Dear Basheva, you shared with us your impressions of Nikolai Tsiskaridze as Golden Slave in Fokin's "Sheherazade". At the time when you were writing that posting I saw him dancing this role during "Serata Fokin-Nijinsky" at Teatro dell'Opera in Rome. What can I add to what was described by you? He was flying up, pirouetting, prostrating himself before Zobeide, falling into raptures or despair, - everything worked brilliantly although he had to fit his soaring jetes into the modest size of the stage and to avoid catching on other slaves and odalisques. Not a bronze, not a silver but the very Golden Slave. And this role of his is pure gold, the most masculine of all his roles in my opinion. He was the only dancer who was met with applause and got applause while dancing on those two evenings that I saw. A friend of mine who works for ballet companies said after the first performance the same thing that I heard from other people before: "I never thought about how Nijinsky danced and only while watching Tsiskaridze I was haunted by the thought: this is how it could be then." I like the fact that nobody compares Tsiskaridze to those whom they have seen and remember (he is unlike anyone else) but only to a legend which lives in our imagination.
At the end of the opening night all the dancers came together to the stage to take curtain calls. Nikolai had already changed into a black shirt, black trousers and a light-grey jacket. His prominent mop of raven-black hair, which earlier was covered with a headscarf, made the audience guess who he is. They did it quite soon. He gave the enormous bouquet of dark red roses presented to him by his Californian admirers to Carla Fracci and kissed her hand. The audience loved it.


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 Post subject: Re: Nikolai Tsiskaridze
PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2002 12:56 pm 
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Posts: 717
Location: California
I just spent money(that I don't have) on a ticket to see this NT dance in Berkeley in November. I know casting can change at a moments notice and I certainly hope that doesn't happen, as I'm not that interested in seeing the Bolshoi Swan Lake. My point, at last,is anyone familiar with Tsiskaridze's injury history, does he cancel rampantly? I bought a ticket to see him based on all that I read and saw here. I'm lucky enough to see SF Ballet on a regualar basis, and the male dancers are pretty exemplary. But NT looks rather unique and I'm thrilled to be seeing him live(cross your fingers!)

Best,
D

<small>[ 10-12-2002, 23:10: Message edited by: DavidH ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Nikolai Tsiskaridze
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2002 8:28 pm 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Giselle, 1998, with Svetlana Lunkina/Giselle and Maria Alexandrova/Myrtha, Tsiskaridze/Albrecht. It's amazing how many times one can watch Giselle, and still learn something.

The ovation for this ballet from the Bolshoi audience lasted at least fifteen minutes, non-stop. Flowers galore - several bouquets for Nikolai. Sitting in the box just off the stage was Ekaterina Maximova, and it was to her that he walked over and gave his flowers. Vassilyev was brought on stage, as the director, to share in the ovation. Unlike the conductor who looked a bit lost on the stage (as most conductors do), this dancer of yesteryear was still at home and a picture of grace.

Speaking of grace, the slightly longer tutus of the wilis, to just below the swell of the calf, leant an additional otherworldly aura to the entire picture of the second act. The swirl of the full skirts at that length made the pointed feet and beats seems to come from 'no where.' The corps de ballet was entirely cohesive. Myrtha was a merciless beauty.

Lunkina, upon first seeing Albrecht in the second act, did the slowest penché I have ever seen. From a tendu derriére, to arabesque and then into a sublime penché, slowly, slowly she painted that picture.

And what of Tsiskarisde? Well, if I were Giselle I, too, would have fallen for him in the first act then tried to save him in the second act. Giselle is no fool. His traveling brié volés, cabriole, cabriole were impeccable. Everything is writ in large clean letters. Yet, there are shadings too. At the end when Giselle descends again into her grave, most Albrechts kneel, weep, sweep around their cloaks, rend their hands in despair. Not this Albrecht he danced his despair - again writ large.

The Bolshoi audience are no fools - ovation was well deserved.


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 Post subject: Re: Nikolai Tsiskaridze
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2002 9:13 pm 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
This evenings performance was excerpts from La Fille Du Pharaon (2002) with Tsiskaridze, Gracheva and Alexandrova, Pierre Lacotte appears for curtain calls.

I usually very much enjoy the costume designs for most Russian productions, but tutus at Pharoah's court demands a bit more of suspended belief than I am prepared to give. However, that didn't affect the dancing one iota.

Gracheva is fine, but has a bit of a problem fully pointing her foot quickly enough in some steps that are initiated by a degagé or a battement. Not all the time, but some of the time. Oh, I know, picky picky me.

In this ballet there are a number of sequences in which the two principals dance side by side in a series of very fast petit allegro enchainements; almost Bournonville-esque. Tsiskaridze's feet actually sparkled and were cleaner than the ballerina - and she was very good.

The next part of the tape was not marked on the menu I had been sent, and so was a surprise - a very, very pleasant surprise, indeed. The Vision Scene and Act III Grand Pas de Deux from Sleeping Beauty. Since it was not marked on the menu, I don't, unfortunately, know who the ballerinas were who danced either Lilac Fairy or Aurora.

Shall I repeat my constant refrain of how impressive Nikolai is? How he eats space? How light and effortless everything is made to seem? No, I won't bore you again (assuming anyone is reading this :) )

But I will mention two more things I noticed about him. He never hurries. Whether it is in a blazing petit allegro, a superman series of tour de force turns, or simply getting to where he needs to be....it's all done with never a rush or hurry. He is just is there. On the music, in time, with no thought of hurry.

The second thing - he doesn't finish anything and then adjust. You know, turn, turn, turn, stop - adjust. Nope. He just finishes, and that's it. No adjustment necessary, thank you very much. The other place he doesn't adjust is when he is about to take off, like in a triple tour en l'air. He doesn't start in fifth and then just a mite before taking off, loosen up that fifth. Nope, he goes right from that tight fifth. And then he lands in that tight fifth. And stays there. Simple. He makes it look so simple.

There was another huge and well deserved ovation after the Sleeping Beauty too. Oh, yes, the Bolshoi audience joined me and my husband in the ovation. :)


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