CriticalDance Forum

Bolshoi Ballet
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Author:  Cassandra [ Fri Oct 28, 2011 4:29 am ]
Post subject:  Tsiskaridze criticizes Bolshoi refit

This morning’s Telegraph included this article about the Bolshoi reopening with scathing comments by Nikolai Tsiskaridze: ... ancer.html

Unfortunately the online version of this story features different pictures to those illustrating the article in the Telegraph. If you look at the pictures in the newspaper you realize Tsiskaridze has a very valid point as the colours of the interior look crude and the vivid turquoise ceiling is very strange. I’m looking forward to reading what the public thinks when they see the auditorium and make comparisons. I know this theatre well and it had a distinctive golden glow inside which appears to be absent now.

It seems the authorities have left Tsiskaridze out of the gala junketings which won’t go down well with the fans as he is a massively popular figure in Russia, still, I suppose he could be in a block of concrete at the bottom of the River Moskva for whistle blowing on corrupt practices, so perhaps he should count his blessings.

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Fri Oct 28, 2011 2:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bolshoi Ballet

Julie Bloom and James Hill write about the Bolshoi's renovation for the New York Times.

NY Times

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bolshoi Ballet

Marina Harss writes about the Bolshoi opening gala shown in HD at the Big Cinemas on East 59th Street in the Faster Times.

Faster Times

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bolshoi Ballet

Jocelyn Noveck profiles David Hallberg for the Associated Press.

Associated Press

Author:  Cassandra [ Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:41 am ]
Post subject:  Apollo's figleaf

This article in The Telegraph is an absolute hoot!!! ... pollo.html

The prudery of 'New Russia' I presume; the pertinent question being asked is this:

why the sculptor would have bothered to sculpt a #### at all if it was designed to always be covered up by a fig leaf.


Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bolshoi Ballet

Just shifting topic slightly...This month's version of Dance Europe magazine has a detailed interview with David Hallberg regarding his move to the Bolshoi. It's very interesting if anyone gets a chance to purchase that issue (a ton of other great reviews in there this month as well).

In the interview, one point stood out, when the interviewer asked David about coaches. He said that "one of the best coaches I've ever worked with was Yuri Fateyev of the Mariinsky ... They have said that they will try to bring him in as and when time allows. At the beginning the one thing I will need is someone who speaks English. But they have just brought in Alexander Vetrov for me and one other dancer to be my coach."

Obviously Fateyev would be ideal for Mr. Hallberg -- he speaks fluid, fluent English, they've worked together a great deal in the past, and have a good working relationship. But I'm wondering if this arrangement is possible, since at least logistically, given Fateyev's higher status as head of the Mariinsky now, I would be surprised if he could in fact take time out to train/fly to Moscow to coach Hallberg. But maybe that sort of arrangement can be made. It's a compliment to Fateyev and a compliment to Hallberg.

Author:  Buddy [ Sat Nov 05, 2011 11:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bolshoi Ballet

This is why, Catherine, I'm so surprised that he didn't go to the Mariinsky. In any case I once again wish him a great success.

The only comment that I've found so far about his recent performance in the Bolshoi's "Giselle" is by Ioulia, a poster at "Ballet Friends," a forum in russian that focuses on the Bolshoi. She seems to have liked him a lot and her sentiments are what I would expect having seen David Hallberg perform at the Mariinsky. The audiences there have been very supportive of performers from other countries, seeming to want to make them feel as comfortable as possible and appreciating, sometimes enthusing over, the chance to see something new.

This is a Google translation, rather rough, but I think that you can get the idea.

"David just conquered [me] yesterday. I saw the show, where he was a guest artist, was very good. But maybe the guys played great, because yesterday was a fantastic rapport. Even when just standing, it was very interesting to look at their silent dialogue, because it did not stop (even for bows). I think after this performance all the accusations of coldness David no longer exist. About technology, how it can evaluate the I-layman, to say nothing, to my mind - full of shine." ... &start=195

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Wed Nov 09, 2011 2:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bolshoi Ballet

In the New York Times, Moscow bureau chief Ellen Barry interviews David Hallberg following his Friday, November 4, 2011 Bolshoi debut as Albrecht in "Giselle."

NY Times

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bolshoi Ballet

Bolshoi Ballet stars Natalia Osipova and Vladimir Vasiliev have both accepted contracts with the Mikhailovsky Ballet and will be leaving the Bolshoi. They begin work with the MIkhailovsky on December 1.

In the Russian press release, Osipova states her reason for leaving is the lack of variety in the Bolshoi repertoire, that she has already danced everything and seeks new challenges.

Vasiliev said,
"We're developing, we want to move forward, and in the Bolshoi it's very difficult to change the emploi in which we've always appeared. We don't want to circle in two or three so-called crowning roles, but to dance as much as possible, especially new choreography. For artists it isnt important the size of the stage, it's important what you can dance on it and how you do it."

Big news for a Monday morning!

Author:  ksneds [ Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bolshoi Ballet

But to go to Duato? Ick! Certainly Duato's choreography seems to be well liked by dancers, but it's hardly the stuff that makes great artists. Isn't Duato the guy who relegated Angel Corella to the back row of the corps?

Interestingly though - and I've never seen Vasiliev dance - my impression of the reviews from the recent 'Romeo and Juliet' in London was that Vasiliev may have the technical skills, but has a ways to go as artist. Granted that was a fairly miserable production (Peter Schaufuss is bad ballet taste defined), but I seem to remember reading that some reviewers found the RDB's Alban Lendorf a more 'complete' dancer, and that Vasiliev was somewhat miscast as Romeo (i.e. he's a demi-caractere dancer, not a romantic one (yet)). And if it's artistry Vasiliev needs to develop, Duato's ranks are not the place he's going to find it.

Comments elsewhere posit that this might be an an attempt at bargaining by Osipova & Vasiliev - threaten seriously to leave in order to get the Bolshoi administration to counterbid with better salaries/conditions. Also, and it's a bit of my feeling - whether this is a slightly impulsive move by young dancers who might need a bit of a reality check regarding what they want and what they need. I can't comment on the Bolshoi's repertoire, but sometimes you need to wait and develop to expand your repertoire - brilliant technique is just one half of the puzzle. David Hallberg spent 3 or 4 years in the ABT corps - and his potential was more than obvious long before he was even promoted to soloist - and it only helped him develop as a dancer. And Vasiliev & Osipova are certainly getting opportunities at ABT and elsewhere, so they're hardly artistically strangled by the Bolshoi.

It's also been mentioned that Osipova's apparent departure might ruffle a few feathers given that one would have expected her to be a frequent partner for David Hallberg. One has to wonder if Vasiliev saw Hallberg's arrival as one more potential limiting factor in terms of his repertory - and competition for dancing opposite Osipova. Thinking of ABT - they're not half bad for new choreography these days and would seem to really need new blood. Is ABT not able to afford V&O or do the couple not want to leave Russia full time or did they not want to work with Ratmansky? Or is the Mikhailovsky a temp job until the ink can dry on a contract with a more high profile company? (For a varied rep or new choreography, the options could range from the Kirov to NYCB to POB to RDB or ABT or ???).

Author:  Cassandra [ Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bolshoi Ballet

Kate makes some interesting points, most of which I agree with; it strikes me as strange that a move to a company led by Nacho Duarto appears attractive – until you look at the almost limitless resources of the company’s backer. Sarafanov was inexplicably lured to the Mikhailovsky from the Kirov very recently, so maybe a pattern is emerging. There are roles within the Mikhailovsky that would suit this couple though, in fact the excellent revival of Laurencia by Mikhail Messerer springs to mind were it not for the fact that Duato is rumoured to have shelved it.

As to the calibre of these two dancers it is Osipova who is the real deal as for my taste the intrinsic refinement that is the bedrock of classical ballet is missing from Ivan Vasiliev’s dancing. I am told his coach in Moscow was Yuri Vladimirov, a dancer never noted for subtlety and as the often overpowering athleticism of I.V.’s dancing is unlikely to be toned down by that particular coach, a change of environment could prove beneficial.

One has to wonder if Vasiliev saw Hallberg's arrival as one more potential limiting factor in terms of his repertory - and competition for dancing opposite Osipova.

That is also likely to be a factor as there was an assumption that Osipova’s partnership with Hallberg at ABT would continue in Moscow. Not having seen that particular pairing I’m not in a position to comment, but I remember many years ago the highly successful pairing of Asylmuratova and Ruzimatov came to an end when Asylmuratova chose to dance with her less talented husband instead, leaving the ballet world considerably poorer by that decision.

Internal Bolshoi politics no doubt play a part too, with first performances inevitably going to the politically powerful but artistically lacking Zakharova, leaving the two genuine luminaries Osipova and Alexandrova looking like also-rans. The Bolshoi has a new directorship as well and all may not be well in that area, as some alarming rumours have already emerged that cast the new director in a less than favourable light.

Do we have some Russian speakers out there able to tell us what the mood is on the Russian websites?

Author:  Cassandra [ Thu Nov 17, 2011 5:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bolshoi Ballet

Terrific piece in today's Independent (try and get hold of the actual paper as there are wonderful pictures of O &V in a double page spread). This article makes no bones about the couple being lured to St Petersburg by the cash and a piece of prime real estate chucked in for good measure. ... 63239.html

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bolshoi Ballet

The cinemacast of David Hallberg's debut in "The Sleeping Beauty" will be Sunday, November 20, 2011 (at 1:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time). Jean Lenihan previews the program for the Los Angeles Times.

LA Times

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bolshoi Ballet

Judith Mackrell weighs in on the Osipova/Vasiliev imbroglio for The Guardian.


Author:  Francis Timlin [ Sat Nov 19, 2011 2:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bolshoi Ballet

Sergei Loiko reports on the Friday, November 18, 2011 opening of "The Sleeping Beauty" with David Hallberg and Svetlana Zakharova for the Los Angeles Times.

LA Times

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