CriticalDance Forum

Bolshoi Ballet
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Author:  Francis Timlin [ Fri May 11, 2012 1:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bolshoi Ballet

Raymond Stults reviews "Jewels" for the Moscow Times.

Moscow Times

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bolshoi Ballet

Lewis Segal was in Moscow for the premiere of "Jewels" and spoke with Sergei Filin and Nikolai Tsiskaridze about the Bolshoi for the Los Angeles Times.

LA Times

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Mon Jul 02, 2012 11:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bolshoi Ballet

Reuters reports that Jean-Christophe Maillot, artistic director of Les Ballets de Monte Carlo, has been commissioned to produce a full-length dramatic ballet for the Bolshoi.


Author:  Francis Timlin [ Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bolshoi Ballet

Valentina Bonelli interviews Svetlana Zakharova for Russia Beyond the Headlines.

Russia Beyond the Headlines

Author:  Buddy [ Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bolshoi Ballet

Thanks for the Svetlana Zakharova interview, Francis. I'll try to read it as soon as possible.

I've been watching an internet video clip a lot of Sleeping Beauty with Evgenia Obraztsova (Princess Aurora), Olga Smirnova (Lilac Fairy) and Rouslan Skvortsov (Prince Désiré) -- from the 'dream sequence' and it's absolutely beautiful !

I've never seen Evgenia Obraztsova dance more beautifully !

Also her face is so natural in this scene. I remember from awhile ago at a Paris benefit to aid Japan when she came out at about midnight and did a vibrantly uplifting duet from Don Quixote. It lit up the evening. Her face was as radiant as The Midnight Sun and another instance of being so wonderfully natural. I was watching through theater glasses and could see every expressive detail. This is an Aura that I hope we have the great fortune of experiencing again and again as she pursues all the wonderful possibilities now being offered to her at the Bolshoi.

To put Evgenia Obraztsova and Olga Smirnova on a stage together is, well, it's something to think about. As much as they complement each other in this scene, can they possibly get the attention that they individually deserve? Not a complaint, just an expression of admiration.

Author:  Buddy [ Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bolshoi Ballet

Thanks again, Francis, for the Svetlana Zakharova interview mentioned above. She alludes to and discusses some interesting happenings in her life. This is one of the most important.

RBTH: How has your life changed since you became a mother?
S.Z.: Anna's birth was the most important event in my life, which has changed a lot since then. Even my thoughts are different – it’s surprising that things that used to get my undivided attention are not at all important now. Of course I continue to work, and much more than before, but everything revolves around my little girl: The purpose of my life now is for her to be happy. If it wasn't for my mother, who takes care of Anna full time and even comes with us when I am on tour, I wouldn't have gone back on stage so soon, just three months after giving birth.

I was at the London Gala in honor of Galina Ulanova, which must have been one of Svetlana Zakharova's first performances after giving birth to her daughter. I was absolutely amazed, along with others who posted on the internet, at how fit she was and how beautifully she performed. Just as impressive were her commitment to her portrayals and her depth of character that I thought could well be attributed to her being a new mother. She was a new and even more capable and beautiful Svetlana Zakharova.

Author:  Buddy [ Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bolshoi Ballet

I've been watching the internet video clip quite often of Olga Smirnova dancing the duet from George Balanchine's "Diamonds". Today I also watched the dvd of Ulyana Lopatkina dancing the same duet as well as the dvd of the great Galina Ulanova dancing the second Act of "Giselle."

Olga Smirnova, who graduated the Vaganova Academy only a year ago(!), holds her own remarkably well.

She has so many qualities that are already exceptional. One that I like especially in this performance is the softness of her dancing. It's again different from the her outstanding interpretations of Nikiya ("La Bayadere") and the Lilac Fairy ("Sleeping Beauty") that can be seen on other internet video clips. Each is so distinct and so finely done. In her "Diamonds" there seems to be so much of Suzanne Farrell's inner softness or 'soul', to be admired. There are also other touching resemblances to Suzanne Farrell. In addition, there is her beautiful Refinement. This Refinement is one of the things that I like so much in her and Ulyana Lopatkina's interpretations.

From her range of expression to her lovely quality of dance, for me, this remarkable young lady already shows qualities that are absolutely as fine as one could hope for.

Author:  Buddy [ Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bolshoi Ballet

Clement Crisp:

"A young ballerina, Olga Smirnova, is casting a spell over Moscow audiences with her transfixing talent and her authoritative stage manner." ... z27b4EsJP6

He also writes:

"I expected something fascinating, but instead was dazzled by a presence and a manner uniquely lovely and obviously entirely natural.

"I saw superb performances by Suzannne Farrell, for whom a fascinated Balanchine made Diamonds. Smirnova’s radiance, the unaffected nobility of her manner and the charm of her means make the role hers. She creates something magical and it touches the spirit. Not since the earliest performances by Altynai Asylmuratova have I seen so luminous a debut. We have much to hope for."

One wonderful quality that I've noticed from internet viewing in addition to the many cited by Clement Crisp is Olga Smirnova's ability to create captivating highlight poses at the end of a sequence of moves.

(thanks to sophia at Dansomanie for posting this article)

Author:  Buddy [ Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bolshoi Ballet

Olga Smirnova

I've read and reread Clement Crisp's enthusiastic article and would really recommend it. ... z27b4EsJP6

I mentioned above that one of Olga Smirnova's many remarkable qualities is her captivating 'posing'. This comment from Clement Crisp might explain part of it.

"In ballet, épaulement denotes the dancer’s ability to turn, bend and shape the placing of the trunk, shoulders, arms, neck and head to produce the subtlest contrasts and oppositions. In Italian art it is contrapposto, and this is what gives life, veracity and power to a drawn or sculpted position. In classical ballet it turns the academic pose into the beautiful, the fascinating."

She is so multitalented. Her ability to take on the persona of each character and dance situation is outstanding. Her maturity in this regard is exceptional....and so much more. She was also an all 'A' student before starting ballet, which seems very believable.

If she does become a Principal in the next year or so she would join the ranks of Diana Vishneva and Svetlana Zakharova who I believe became Principals within a year or so of their graduation from the Vaganova Academy.

Merrill Ashley (former Balanchine Star) to Clement Crisp:

“You must see my ballerina in Diamonds. She’s prodigious – 19 years old, just graduated from the Vaganova School in Petersburg, and just recruited for the Bolshoi. She has the most exquisite upper-body, and a magical presence.”

Author:  Buddy [ Sat Sep 29, 2012 2:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bolshoi Ballet

I've also been watching the internet video clip of Olga Smirnova performing Diamonds continuously. A few more ideas come to mind. Here she has such a beautifully contained manner. Maybe this is part of the reason why Everybody(!) seems to love her.

In this performance I can see shades of that youthful belief and precious abandon that can be found in both Suzanne Farrell's interpretation (or maybe I should say creation) and in the general character of other artists, such as Alina Cojocaru in addition to the 'beyond refinement' otherworldly genius of a Galina Ulanova. She is still so young that the youthfulness almost has to show itself. In other instances like some of the walking and running-like moves that George Balanchine innovated, a slightly coltish manner just adds to the charm.

There is so much to love about this 19 year old heart-touching, beautifully magnificent and perhaps genius of an artist.

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bolshoi Ballet

In the Arts Desk, Ismene Brown talks to Pierre Lacotte about his restored version of "The Pharaoh's Daughter" a film version of which will be released in theatres on November 25, 2012.

Arts Desk

Author:  Buddy [ Sun Dec 23, 2012 2:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bolshoi Ballet

During this holiday season the Bolshoi has introduced a new ballet for children, called "Moidodyr" ("Wash’em Clean") with choreography by Yuri Smekalov. It seems to be charming. Dansomanie has posted some very nice photos. ... start=1680

This is a description (translated from her french) by sophia at Dansomanie.

"The ballet is in fact inspired by a children's story of Cornelius Chukovsky (adapted as a cartoon in the Soviet era by Ivan Ivanov-Vano), a nice story and fine moral message that encourages children to be clean. The story takes place in St. Petersburg, starting in the Tauride Gardens. The young hero of the tale, Zamarachka, interpreted by Semyon Chudin, at first is so dirty that his toys, clothes, and finally all his affairs fled in panic at the sight of him. An army of brushes, sponges and soaps, led by the magic sink, Moidodyr, then leaves in pursuit. Needless to say, all ends well.

Efrem Podgaits, the composer, won the competition launched by the Bolshoi, that wanted to bring to its repertoire a new ballet for children (like Cipollino)."

Author:  annr [ Wed Dec 26, 2012 10:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bolshoi Ballet

Bolshoi London visit It seems Osipova & Vasiliev are back with Bolshoi

Author:  Soutenu [ Wed Dec 26, 2012 4:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bolshoi Ballet

annr wrote:
Bolshoi London visit It seems Osipova & Vasiliev are back with Bolshoi

Not exactly. According to the interview given by the Bolshoi's bosses, Osipova & Vasiliev will dance in the "Flames of Paris" during the Bolshoi's tour of London.
Neither other ballets for them in London have been mentioned nor their future performances on the Bolshoi's stage.

Author:  annr [ Wed Dec 26, 2012 5:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bolshoi Ballet

Will they really stay with Mikhailovsky if their director is bankrupt and brings the company name into disrepute and would he be able to make good his financial offer to them?

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