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'The Butterflies' -- Evgenia Obraztsova, Alina Cojocaru....
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Author:  Buddy [ Fri Jun 10, 2011 6:53 am ]
Post subject:  'The Butterflies' -- Evgenia Obraztsova, Alina Cojocaru....

From recent performances, primarily in Europe, there is a group of remarkable and famous, essentially 'Russian sphere,' dancers that have one thing in common that has endeared them to me -- A "Butterfly" Essence.

Evgenia Obraztsova
Alina Cojocaru
Ekaterina Krysanova
Maria Kochetkova
and many others

Delicately Expressive, Graceful, Childlike, Sunshiny -- Fairylike !

These are some of the things that they often have in common that I love so much about them. They are almost 'fairylike,' both in size and in expression. Artistically they can fit equally well into....

The Garden of a Child's Imagination --or-- Among the Stars.

For the moment there are two dancers that live prominently in my mind as being "Butterflies."

Evgenia Obraztsova -- (Mariinsky)

I've just seen her recently in two performances. In the first she was Radiantly Youthful, Alive with Loving Innocence. In the second she was a Burst of Sunshine ! The first was the 'Balcony Duet' from Romeo and Juliet at the Galina Ulanova Gala in London and the second was the last act Duet from Don Quixote at the Gala to aid Japan in Paris. Because of these two recent performances she shines brilliantly and embraceably in my memory.

Maria Kochetkova -- (San Francisco Ballet)

She began the list of famous dancers at the Paris Gala. On a huge stage in a huge hall she was like a delicate Moonbeam. When I looked for a word to describe her that evening "Butterfly" came to mind immediately.

All four dancers listed above fit easily into this grouping, but are very noticeable for other extremely fine qualities as well.

Ekaterina Krysanova -- (Bolshoi)

I have often written, that the first time that I ever saw her was in a version of Cinderella and she was Enchanting in her Childlike Fragility and Airy Artistry. After seeing her in other performances, where her virtuosity and delightfully agile personality have made her shine, it is still her Childlike Cinderella that I love to recall as much as anything.

Ekaterina Osmolkina -- (Mariinsky)

She is another one of many, not listed above, who affectionately could be included here.

Two more ladies that could also be described as Phenomena.

Alina Cojocaru -- (Royal Ballet)

She is the first dancer that I ever heard referred to as a "Butterfly." She also can exhibit outstanding virtuosity and possesses Incredible Stage Presence and Theatrical Expression. She is a multitalented stage Wonder and she is also -- a "Butterfly."

Natalia Osipova -- (Bolshoi)

I really have to add her here. She is as much a bundle of artistic fireworks as she is a rose in a garden. She also has a depth of expression and range of artistry that might be called "Genius." But, she is also the first dancer that I ever thought of as a dancer who, during her footwork, didn't seem to touch the ground. In so many ways, she is so embraceably a part of this group.

As much as all these dancers have so many fine qualities and can be described in so many different ways, it is often a *Butterfly Essence* that I love so much in all of them and look forward to experiencing as much as possible whenever I'm fortunate enough to be able to see them perform.

I hope to be able to refer to them in this light in future posts. Maybe others would like to add their thoughts here as well.

Author:  Buddy [ Sat Jun 11, 2011 1:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Butterflies

Generally when I've 'raved' about a group of dancers, it's been about the dancers that I've thought of as the 'ethereals' or the 'celestials' and more often than not they have also been the 'statuesques,' the 'talls.' These would include Ulyana Lopatkina, Svetlana Zakharova, Alina Somova, Ekaterina Kondaurova....

Although I've loved what All of them have done, of the 'not talls,' Alina Cojocaru, for almost everything that she's done and all that she promises to do, and Ekaterina Krysanova, for her "Cinderella" and her shades of "Cinderella" revisited, have been essentially the two 'non talls' that have remained up front in my fondest recollections.

Maybe it's as George Balanchine said. He liked the 'talls' because you could see more of them.

In any case my 'preference' groupings got shook up a bit at the Paris Gala last week. First by Maria Kochetkova and then by Evgenia Obraztsova. I've seen both of them before, especially Evgenia Obraztsova. Last week it was different.

Maria Kochetkova was the first of the 'Stars' to dance and she was almost dwarfed by the immense size of the hall and the stage. Also she was the first out in an evening of the "Stars" and that's a lot of weight to carry. She got a very good applause, but not the show of appreciation that I thought that she deserved. I saw things in her that I thought that the general audience might have missed, but I also knew what to expect and what I hoped to see, based on this. I loved the beauty an intricacy of her 'non massive' performance.

But at the end of the evening came the thunder clap ! Evgenia Obraztsova hit the stage like I've never seen her do before. She was a lightening bolt of energy and radiance. At just about midnight her face was as natural as could be and as bright as the sun ! There was nothing forced about it, except for perhaps a few brief moments in the most difficult maneuvers, which were captured by at least one well known cameraman. They were not representative of what I saw. I was looking through theater glass binoculars the entire performance.

The sum of all this is that the 'non talls' or the 'Butterflies' entered my mind as a group like never before. I love the 'talls' as much as ever, but my love for the 'Butterflies' has grown considerably since last week. There has been a lot written about the 'talls' being 'preferred,' in certain high profile works, especially "Swan Lake." There seems to be a slight change in the air these days, possibly at the Mariinsky, for one, and the 'non talls' may be given more exposure, as they were in the past. Galina Ulanova was, and Natalia Makarova is -- 'not tall.'

Maria Kochetkova

I found this going through my notes. It was posted by someone at the major internet video site. It was in response to a video clip of Maria Kochetkova. The poster's self description could almost have been one of myself as well.

"I'm a grown man, raised on R & B and Rock, but the other night, I cried twice while watching this. Ssssh, don't tell anyone."

Author:  Buddy [ Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Butterflies

Maria Kochetkova

I've just been watching an internet video clip of her performing a contemporary dance from Japan, "Stranger," at a dance competition in 2005. It's a fairly athletic work. At about 2 minutes into the video, for about 30 seconds, her physically fluid motion connects beautifully with the accelerated pace of the music. It requires some fairly demanding body motion that rides the music with a wonderful sense of expression.

This is an example of the versatility of this lovely dancer, both in her ability to perform and in her desire to explore various dance possibilities, as she is currently doing with other Bolshoi 'related' artists in "Reflections."

Also her gentle loveliness shines through and she remains in my mind -- A Butterfly.

Alina Cojocaru

This is from a review of her "Don Quixote" performance in NYC by Leigh Witchel at "danceviewtimes."

"The last thing you’d expect to remember about “Don Quixote” is the Act II vision scene. But Alina Cojocaru isn’t a typical virtuoso, and the ballet blanc is her métier.

"One of Cojocaru’s greatest roles is Aurora, and she imported it into “Don Quixote,”....

"She treated the Don with respect and without ridicule. She was more hurt than incensed when Basilio flirted with her friends .... She’s witty, sometimes silly and often mischievous,

but sweetly moral." ... kitri.html

Author:  Buddy [ Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 'The Butterflies' -- Evgenia Obraztsova, Alina Cojocaru....

Ekaterina Krysanova

Why She's A Butterfly

I've done this once before and may do it again. I keep referring to Ekaterina Krysanova and her performance of "Cinderella" as being a part of her that I never want to lose sight of. This is my description of it in Washington DC, February 2007. I only reprint it again now because that performance had So Much Meaning To Me in regard to this wonderful artist and because my thoughts at the time caught all my immediate enthusiasm and it was written about as well as I'm capable of expressing it all.

Ekaterina Krysanova----An Absolute Delight !

More about children--because it does fit so beautifully here. And this is "Cinderella" after all. The stage couldn't have been better set than by four little sisters who arrived in the row in front of me. I would guess that they were four to ten years old. Each one wore an identical silver and lace evening gown and these were not costumes, they were lovely designed gowns. "These are our Cinderella dresses ! Mother got them especially for us to wear tonight." (A more or less accurate quote from one of the little girls.)

Ekaterina Krysanova could have literally been their older sister.

From the moment that she appeared on stage with her childlike effervescence and look of wonderment the enchantment remained constant for the entire evening.

How to describe her dancing ? Somewhere beyond the delicate side of Alina Cojocaru if you can believe that. Alina Cojocaru has a virtuoso aspect along with her delicacy. Ekaterina Krysanova just floated along like a gentle dream. She was both totally real and a fairytail princess.

I've never seen moves quite like hers. They just effervesced, dreamily bubbled and touched the surface like a dancing cloud. She did one hop over a bit of stage scenery with a flutter of fairylike grace that I have never seen before. In her Act II solo she did a series of jumps where her head airily arched backwards in a beautifully done finishing gesture. (She did similar lovely jumps in the Act III variation from Don Quixote.)

Coming out of demanding bits of choreographed gymnastics she flowed into dream perfect conclusions like an inverted waterfall. Her posturing during the more grounded choreography was done with wondrously delicate grace and poetic command.

All this was performed with the wide eyed innocense of a little child and speaking of little children the four little sisters seemed to be wide-awake and enjoying the entire evening.

It was a most enjoyable evening !

( Little children moving about kept the wonder and magic alive during the intermissions and reminded me afterwards where all this magic and delight really comes from. )

Author:  Buddy [ Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 'The Butterflies' -- Evgenia Obraztsova, Alina Cojocaru....

Maria Kochetkova

Very nice 4 1/2 minute video documentary.

(referred to from her own twitter site)!/Balletrusse

Author:  Buddy [ Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 'The Butterflies' -- Evgenia Obraztsova, Alina Cojocaru....

"And Marie's The Name of His Latest Flame"

(sung by Elvis Presley)

(Shows how old I am -- 68, but never grew up at all after the age of five.)

I've been watching Myriam Ould Braham on the internet and I'm in love !

She's adorable ! ... refRes.jpg
(Painting by Jean-Honoré Fragonard. That's me on the right and left in my favorite dreams.)

I'm adding her to my list of *Butterflies*.

She doesn't seem to be too tall next to Nikolai Tsiskaridze and the Bolshoi ballerinas, all who seem to tower above her. Thus she qualifies.

She dances well, too ! *

Also do *Butterflies* smile more ? They certainly seem to.

* Added comment: She dances remarkably well. The work is "Paquita."

Author:  Cassandra [ Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 'The Butterflies' -- Evgenia Obraztsova, Alina Cojocaru....

Myriam Ould Braham is a gem, even within a company like POB with so many, many fine dancers she still manages to stand out: a real enchantress.

Author:  Buddy [ Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 'The Butterflies' -- Evgenia Obraztsova, Alina Cojocaru....

Thanks, Cassandra, for your thoughts. I don't know the Paris Opera Ballet Dancers very well and appreciation can be very personal sometimes, so I'm glad to know that you share my feelings about Myriam Ould-Braham. The more I watch the video, the more I realize the enchantment qualities that she possesses.

I have to admit to loving a sort of 'silly looking' expression that I think that I am sometimes seeing on her face. Maybe it's just me. I remember a Cary Grant movie, where he says to his wife, "But I love those silly hats that you wear!"

Along with the 'enchantment' and the undefinable 'lovability,' I also see a very serious artist who has perfected her statement of exceptional beauty. It's all part of the equation, I guess.

Since we're at the POB for the moment, another possible *Butterfly* that I love very much is Delphine Moussin. She is near retirement, but her artistic expression knocks me over every time that I have had the great pleasure of seeing her perform.

I didn't mean to crowd your post, Cassandra, but I just found this at Maria Kochetkova's (confirmed *Butterfly* (see above)) twitter site and had to post it.!/Balletrusse

"Covent Garden station emergency stairs instead of rehearsals this week."

(with picture of sign reading)

"Emergency Stairs. This stairway has a 193 steps."

I guess that *Butterflies* can have pretty good senses of humor as well.

Author:  Buddy [ Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 'The Butterflies' -- Evgenia Obraztsova, Alina Cojocaru....

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