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 Post subject: Bolshoi -- Paris -- May 2011
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 10:44 am 

Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 5:02 pm
Posts: 1625
Location: USA-Switzerland
"Don Quixote" and "Flames of Paris" are scheduled.

For anyone wanting to get tickets, they will go on sale on the internet site of the Opera de Paris, January 3. ... 0501000000

It can be a very involved process trying to get ballet tickets at the Opera so my suggestion is to try to get anything available from this internet site as soon as possible, if possible. Their prices are the best, but availability from day to day is highly variable. Keep trying. Ticket services like "Fnac" might have internet tickets at a markup price along with other internet services. You can usually get tickets from a Paris ticket agent at the last minute, but they can cost several times the normal price.

You can also go to the opera house ticket office about an hour before a performance and stand in line for about an hour for somewhat limited view seats, if they are available. For about $10 they can be a pretty good deal.

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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi -- Paris -- May 2011
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:33 pm 

Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 5:02 pm
Posts: 1625
Location: USA-Switzerland
I was able to get a ticket today for the only date available for "Don Quixote", May 13, for about a 25% markup (quality, categories 1&2) from an internet company. I only mention this because Opera tickets at a reasonable price can be very hard to get, especially for a company like the Bolshoi. I cannot vouch for this ticket company at all, but it is listed on the first page by Google when requesting information about this event. If anyone is interested in the ticket company's name please personal message me.

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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi -- Paris -- May 2011
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 1:08 pm 

Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 5:02 pm
Posts: 1625
Location: USA-Switzerland
I talked to the POB today and they told me that the ticket company is highly reliable and that I was lucky to get a seat. Tickets went on sale in April (probably to subscribers only) and the visit is already almost sold out.

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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi -- Paris -- May 2011
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 4:33 am 

Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 5:02 pm
Posts: 1625
Location: USA-Switzerland
"Don Quixote"

I was very fortunate to be able to see two performances.

May 12
Ekaterina Shipulina -- Kitri
Alexandr Volchkov -- Basilio

May 13
Natalia Osipova -- Kitri
Ivan Vasiliev -- Basilio

Both performances, I thought were excellent !

Ekaterina Shipulina -- She had such Beautiful Linear Refinement and Expression.

Alexandr Volchkov -- A fine and supportive partner.

Natalia Osipova/Ivan Vasiliev -- They almost have to taken as a pair in this one. It's pure Fireworks !

Natalia Osipova -- I'm convinced that this remarkable young woman can do just about anything !

One of the highly published London reviewers wrote several years ago after seeing her perform "Don Quixote,"

' Resistance to Natalia Osipova is Futile ! '

I believe that this is also an accepted Law of Nature.

In "Don Quixote" she was all Vibrancy and Fireworks.

She has developed a very fine sense of theatricality for this character. Also less noticeable in this romping spectacle, but still very much there, is her beautiful airiness and grace. If she ever concentrated on just being a lyrical gem, I'm sure that she could be one of the best.

Ivan Vasiliev -- The Stage Was Almost Big Enough.

In his first series of cross stage jump-jetés he resembled a Rocket Ship more than a human !

Natalia Osipova -- In her turn, one of her cross stage jumps almost went into orbit !

Ivan Vasiliev -- His charm and personality were also a delight.

Ekaterina Shipulina/Alexandr Volchkov Performance

For this evening I was able to get a ticket at the very last moment with almost no visibility for Act I. (I was told by the man at the ticket office that this would be the case, but for $14, I decided to give it a try. I had already purchased a good seat on the internet for the next night.)

From the very little that I could see of Ekaterina Shipulina in Act I she looked absolutely elegant and compelling. Also from occasional glimpses, Anna Okuneva as the Street Dancer, Andrei Merkuriev as Espada and Chinara Alizade and Anna Tikhomirova as Kitri's Friends looked just fine. The four Corps de Ballet Women to the far left of the stage, who I could see fine, were excellent !

Viewing Acts II and III went much better. I had noticed some empty places on the fourth level, so at intermission up I went. I have done this before and for $10 plus or minus with a pair of theater glasses this can actually be a pretty good deal. A nice usherette said that I could have a standing place at the very center with complete visibility if I wanted it. I gratefully took it. It was well worth it !

When the Vision Scene arrived All was once again Paradise !

One thing that I liked very much was the similar Airy Loveliness of Anna Okuneva (Street Dancer), Anna Nikulina (Dryad Queen) and Maria Vinogradova (First Solo "Grand pas," Act III).

Ekaterina Shipulina -- Again I have to say that she had such a Refined and Classically Beautiful Presence. Her linear motion was brilliant and her attitude varied from embracing to exciting. She was totally committed and gave it her all !

Brava, Ekaterina !

I will try to tell you some more about the magnificent Natalia Osipova/Ivan Vasiliev Performance at another time.

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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi -- Paris -- May 2011
PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 6:34 am 

Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 5:02 pm
Posts: 1625
Location: USA-Switzerland
They was a-splishin' and a'splashin'
Reelin' with the feelin'

Bing bang, I saw the whole gang
Dancin' on my living room rug, yeah !

Well how was I to know there was a party going on? (Bobby Darin)

We knew !
We had our tickets months ago !

" Dancing the Night Away ! "

Starring Natalie and Ivan

It's Their Party !
They Was A Dancing and Romancing

"Explode Into Space -- Take The World In A Love Embrace" (Steppenwolf)

Natalie -- "All the Cats wanna dance with Sweet Little Sixteen" (Chuck Berry)
Ivan -- Rocket Man
Denis -- Got the dough but Ivan got the girl.
Andrei and Anastasia M -- He was a wild man until Anastasia M came along -- didn't have a chance.
Victoria and Olga -- "So how could I dance with another, When I saw her standin' there." (The Beatles)
Kristina -- " Good Golly Miss Maaaahly !! "
Ekaterina -- Queen of the Hop !
Anastasia S -- Cupid. Can I say more ?
Ekaterina B -- The White Rose
Anna A -- Reminded me of Yuliana. That Girl was Crazy ! Everyone Loves Her.
Anna B and Anton -- Now that's Soul
Anna T -- "Have you ever seen a dream dance, well I have."
Anna N -- "Dream Angel, Dream Angel wherever you are, I love you."

" Dancing The Night Away ! "

The Cast

Natalie -- Natalia Osipova (Kitri)
Ivan -- Ivan Vasiliev (Basilio)
Denis -- Denis Savin (Gamache)
Andrei -- Andrei Merkeriev (Espada)
Anastasia M -- Anastasia Meskova (Street Dancer)
Victoria and Olga -- Victoria Osipova and Olga Kishneva (Kitri's Friends)
Kristina -- Kristina Karaseva (Mercedes)
Ekaterina -- Ekaterina Shipulina (Dryad Queen)
Anastasia S -- Anastasia Stashkevich (Cupid)
Ekaterina B -- Ekaterina Bayrykina (Spanish Dancer)
Anna A -- Anna Antopova (Gypsy Dancer)
Yuliana -- Yuliana Malkhasyants (Gypsy Dancer), did not appear tonight, but never to be forgotten
Anna B and Anton -- Anna Balukova and Anton Savichev (Bolero)
Anna T -- Anna Tikhomirova (First solo Grand Pas Act III)
Anna N -- Anna Nikulina (Second solo Grand Pas Act III)

Reviews should hit the stands within a week !

There is a Rose in Spanish Harlem

With eyes as black as coal that look down in my soul
And starts a fire there and then I lose control
I have to beg your pardon

(sung by Ben E. King)

[some lines combined]

Last edited by Buddy on Fri May 27, 2011 6:52 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi -- Paris -- May 2011
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 5:01 am 

Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 5:02 pm
Posts: 1625
Location: USA-Switzerland
The Magnificent 'Vibrantly-Colored, Russian-Parisian, Love-Fantasy Landscape,' painted by Marc Chagall, floated overhead.

Within minutes it was to be echoed by an Equally Awesome 'Vibrantly-Colored, Russian-Spanish, Love-Fantasy Landscape' as the characters of Don Quixote and his new found mate, Sancho Panza, exit the stage and the curtain rises on a dancing-partying sea of humanity -- the Bolshoi Corps de Ballet.

The evening became one continuous Block Party.

But the difference between this Block Party, being a Bolshoi Block Party, and a normal one, is that --

This Block Party Never Touched the Ground !

Natalia Osipova

Natalia Osipova, a little bundle of Explosive Lovability, hit the stage like a Burst of Sunshine and the evening was sealed !

She sailed, she floated, she charmed. She spun singles, doubles and ended with a triple. She flew backwards into her partners arms. She descended from the sky into her partners arms.

And on and on. The list of artistic wonder is almost endless.

This version of "Don Quixote," like some other Russian ballet masterpieces, doesn't take a physical risk at the end. As is usual, the final 'spectacular' moment (a lift, a dive, etc.) occurs just before the end. The lead couple then reaches out into space, in some beautifully inspiring pose and it's over.

Well that's what Natalia Osipova, with her partner, Ivan Vasiliev, did, with one difference.

Natalia Osipova finished her final pose to the audience with

A Smile As Bright As All the Lights of Paris !

For the entire evening, this audience was as charged and responsive as I've ever seen at the Opera de Paris.

(The audience response, the evening before, with Ekaterina Shipulina as Kitri, was almost as 'electric.')

There are several other women that I would like to mention. Two of them aren't at the top of a "Don Quixote" who's who list, but they have remained vibrant in my memory. They would almost seem to be polar opposites.

Kristina Karaseva -- Mercedes

( She was " Good Golly Miss Maaaahly ! " as you might remember. Why ? )

This Spanish dancer, a ball of imploding fire, was Bolshoi pyrotechnical wonder to the extreme ! I don't recall how many times she leaned back with her head touching the back of her knees, but it was a lot ! Not only did she do this, she stayed down there at least once, for what seemed like 'hours' ! I'm not sure how you feel about this kind of theatrical prowess. I'm not sure how I do normally, but I simply can't get her out of my mind ! It was more than just stretching your body to its limits. It came with an inner fire and a sense of poetic pacing that was hypnotic.

As the curtain came down on the tavern scene, Kristina Karaseva -- Mercedes -- was dancing, swayingly, in the background on a large table, and for me, in this particular scene, she might have stolen the show !

Anna Nikulina -- Second Soloist, Grand Pas, Act III

( "Dream Angel, Dream Angel, wherever you are, I love you" )

In terms of fireworks, she was seemingly the exact opposite of Kristina Karaseva. She only appeared for several minutes, but those several minutes were pure poetry.

She, as some of you might know, made her debut as Odette-Odile ("Swan Lake") with the Bolshoi at the age of 19 !

So why is she now dancing a short appearance as one of two soloists? I'm not at all sure. Perhaps sometimes folks need time to catch up with themselves. Maybe they were just giving her a rest. I have actually seen her as Giselle and she did dance as the Queen of the Dryads the night before. She had wonderful elements of loveliness and promise in both of these.

In her very short appearance this evening I could see more than ever what she is capable of. She was as airy and graceful as one would hope for, but she also had a wonderful sense of poetic expression. She was almost like some of the last sculptures of Michelangelo, that are famous for their incompleteness. They are these magnificently developing figures still largely encased in their rough marble beginnings, their original essence. In the same way I could see Anna Nikulina, immersed in her basic human essence, making her initial reachings for the heavens.

For me, these lovely several minutes of delicate poetry were as powerful as Kristina Karsavena's outward physicality. Both, I would say, were equally beautiful and compelling. What I saw in Anna Nikulina was a poetic soulfulness, that certainly justifies her debut at the age of 19 as the lead in one of Art's most poetically soulful creations, "Swan Lake."

There was much, much more. There was also this fellow named Ivan Vasiliev, who you might have heard of. (Big smile intended)

I will try to touch on some of it at another time.

[several paragraphs combined]

Last edited by Buddy on Fri May 27, 2011 6:34 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi -- Paris -- May 2011
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 2:37 pm 

Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 5:02 pm
Posts: 1625
Location: USA-Switzerland
Ekaterina Barykina -- The Spanish Dance

( 'The White Rose' )

Actually there were two other dancers listed after her in "The Spanish Dance" (Liudmila Ermakova and Anna Balukova, for both nights that I saw), but I don't recall exactly how this all fit together. I do definitely recall the one dancer in a white Spanish gown, doing the long solo, and I will guess that it was Ekaterina Barykina, first on the list. She did a lovely, gently lyrical performance, while playing the castanets.

As contrasted with much other character dance with a higher 'theatrical' content, this more gentle, lyrical type of dancing is almost a genre in itself. It has the feel of pure poetry. This is the kind of dance that could possibly develop as a middle ground between formal, 'classical' ballet and 'modern' dance. It has the lyrical beauty of formal ballet and also a more natural 'sense of expression' that can be found in 'modern.'

This kind of dancing probably did exist at the transitional beginnings of the 20th century (Isadora Duncan, Ruth St. Denis....) but then essentially moved on to something else.

Some Chinese 'classical' dance, for example, has this sort of thing, but because Chinese 'classical' has had long periods of interruption, it's 'iffy' to even call it true 'classical' at the moment. Also it is not generally at the same level of development as refined ballet because of these interruptions. It has also incorporated ballet and modern into its present form. Still it is another area of 'lyrical' dance that could some day be globally influential.

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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi -- Paris -- May 2011
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 4:54 am 

Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 5:02 pm
Posts: 1625
Location: USA-Switzerland
"Don Quixote"

Elevation with A Great Big Smile !

It's Lot's of Fun
Being Ballet, It's Poetry
Performed by the Bolshoi, It Rocks

Very quick mention of a few more names.

Ekaterina Shipulina -- As the Driad Queen she was just fine. The real excitement was the night before when she had her own show as Kitri. When she is inspired she is someone very special.

Anastasia Stashkevich -- "Cupidon" -- She is not a tall woman, in fact she is shorter than Natalia Osipova. Yet, when I saw her In "Reflections" I thought that she must be '10 feet tall.' This, it appears, is the effect of her wonderful linearity and she added this sense of statuesqueness beautifully to the tinkerbell-like "Cupidon."

Anastasia Meskova -- She was just fine as the Street Dancer.

All the various Spanish dancing ladies had their own special glamour.

Anna Tikhomirova -- She is one more name that I would like to mention briefly. She performed the first solo, Grand pas Act III. She reminded me somewhat of when I first saw the very young Natalia Osipova, who casually sailed through the air like no other else and who's sense of youthful freshness lit up the stage.

Among the men.

Ivan Vasiliev -- He was pure fireworks. In his first across the floor series of jumps the stage almost didn't contain him. His physical prowess and control is amazing ! He charmed and he Wowed !

Andrei Mercuriev -- As the cape twirling virtuoso, he was both that touch of humanness, that is Andrei Mercuriev, and he was excitement.

The Corps de Ballet -- The Women and The Men were as colorful and charged up as you would hope for from the Bolshoi.

(Just a slight reminiscence. I can recall almost seven years ago when Alexei Ratmansky had just become the new director and had made a massive change in the Corps de Ballet by bringing in a large number of younger dancers. I never saw so many bright young faces, especially noticeable among the men. Now they are all mature artists.)

"Don Quixote" is High Art and It's Delightful Innocence.

Both Freshness and Innocence are always wonderful to see and hopefully will always be kept as alive as possible in such works of art as this and in the World of the Performing Arts in general.

"Don Quixote"

It's a Child's Glee
It's Saturday Night at the Hop
It's Excitement and It's Beauty
It Lights Up Your Heart

All in All -- A Pretty Good Combination

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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi -- Paris -- May 2011
PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 2:37 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:14 am
Posts: 4
The Bolshoi (Don Quixote) rocks...

Portable dvd player

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