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 Post subject: Bolshoi 2004-05 Season
PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2004 11:55 am 
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In Playbill, Emily Quinn reports that the Bolshoi will premiere John Neumeier's "Midsummer Night's Dream"

http://www.playbillarts.com/news/article/1026.html


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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi 2004-05 Season
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 1:59 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Ludmilla Semenyaka
and the Handing Down of Tradition
By Margaret Willis for Dancing Times

The Bolshoi Ballet’s summer season at the Royal Opera House resulted in much well deserved success for its young dancers many of them new to us. But the public saw only half of the story. With dancers as with swans there is always a lot more going on out of sight and backstage in the studios, the propulsion for that smooth movement is the result of hard work and perseverance.

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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi 2004-05 Season
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 2:56 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
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A message from Marc Haegeman:

Dear friends,

A brand new photo gallery of the Bolshoi Ballet in Swan Lake is now available on For Ballet Lovers Only.
Please check out the Specials page:

http://www.for-ballet-lovers-only.com/Specials.html

Thank you for your interest!

With best wishes,

Marc Haegeman
For Ballet Lovers Only
www.for-ballet-lovers-only.com


Last edited by Stuart Sweeney on Mon Aug 22, 2005 3:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi 2004-05 Season
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2005 5:21 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Buried Ballet
In preparation for Dmitry Shostakovich's 100th birthday, the Bolshoi revives a ballet that has not been staged since 1931.
By Raymond Stults for The Moscow Times

In celebration of next year's 100th anniversary of the birth of Dmitry Shostakovich, the Bolshoi Theater has taken on the daunting task of staging all three ballets that the composer wrote in the 1930s and, with one exception, have lain dormant ever since. The first installment in the series, "The Bright Stream," proved a huge success at its premiere in 2003, eventually bringing four Golden Mask awards to its choreographer and principal dancers. The Bolshoi is now hard at work on the second installment, a ballet with the brief title of "Bolt." Set to make its debut Feb. 25 on the theater's New Stage, "Bolt" is probably the greatest challenge of the three.

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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi 2004-05 Season
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 8:52 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Quote:
Bolshoi's dazzling bolt from the blue

by ISMENE BROWN
the Daily Telegraph

For the first time in 74 years his 1931 score The Bolt rang out from a theatre pit, and its story was told in ballet on the stage above, in a new production by the Bolshoi Ballet. The occasion's official importance was emphasised by the presence a few seats away from me of Shostakovich's widow, Irina, and two dozen Russian TV channels.
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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi 2004-05 Season
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 7:12 am 
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Location: London UK
The Telegraph review struck me as very uninformative; lots about the ballet's history and who was in the audience, even a description of the Moscow streets in February. But nothing about the actual performance, who danced, how they danced, how the work was received - nothing!

Is information about actual performance no longer deemed necessary for a dance review?


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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi 2004-05 Season
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 1:07 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Industrial Revolution
Dancing robots, socialist fantasies and drunken shenanigans are all part of the fun in the Bolshoi's new staging of "Bolt."
By Raymond Stults for The Moscow Times

Two seasons ago, the Bolshoi Theater came up with a real winner in its revival of Dmitry Shostakovich's ballet "The Bright Stream." Now another of the composer's three nearly-forgotten ballets from the 1930s -- this one called "Bolt" -- has made its way to the theater's New Stage. Based on the ballet's second performance last Saturday, the Bolshoi could be well on its way to repeating the success of its earlier effort.

The choreography, sets, costumes and, above all, Shostakovich's masterful score conspire to make "Bolt" one of those theatrical events that can cause even the most jaded viewer to stand up and cheer.

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<small>[ 04 March 2005, 02:10 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi 2004-05 Season
PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2005 8:12 am 
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Location: London
Hello,

I was wondering whether somebody who has seen the new Queen of Spades choreographed by Roland Petit can help me.

Years ago I saw a fragment from this Petit's ballet on video with Baryshnikov, as the ballet was created for him. The music was Tchaykowsky's music for the opera and the choreography was highly impressive and Baryshnikow, as usual, outstanding!

Then I got to know that Petit wanted to revive the ballet, but there was no recording of it available and he couldn't remember the steps...

Next I know of, he has created the piece for the Bolshoi. I got to see a long fragment on a video recording of the piece and the music used in that fragment is Tchayknowsky's 6th Symphony.... so, my question is, is that the only music used? Has he then completely reworked the ballet from scratch?

Thank you to anyone who answers this!!

Ana

<small>[ 24 March 2005, 09:14 AM: Message edited by: Ana Abad-Carles ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi 2004-05 Season
PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2005 9:18 am 
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Location: London UK
It is a different ballet to the one he created for Baryshnikov some years ago. This new Queen of Spades is very much built around the exceptional talents of Nikolai Tsiskaridze.

The music is indeed the Tchaikovsky 6th, though the movements have been rearranged. I wrote about my impressions of the work after seeing a video of it a couple of years ago, here is the link

http://forum.criticaldance.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=33;t=000108


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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi 2004-05 Season
PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 8:45 am 
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Posts: 142
Location: London
Thank you very much for the information. I knew from a friend that Petit was searching for any recordings of the ballet he did for Baryshnikov a few years ago. Apparently he could not find any. That is how I knew he was intending to rework the ballet completely. However, I had not heard about the drastic change of music. That is why I was wondering if he had used the whole symphony or just the last movement which is what I saw on video. The old video fragment with Baryshnikov, using the music for the Opera, is one of those rare short clips that one treasures forever... Pity it was never shown or recorded complete!
Thank you once again for your answer and your review!

Ana


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 12:54 am 
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Leonide Massine - Home Again
Leonide Massine finally has his Russian premiere. By Raymond Stults for The Moscow Times


In 1961, the acclaimed Russian-born choreographer Leonide Massine returned to his native land for the first time in 47 years, his major purpose to propose a staging of his ballets at the Bolshoi Theater. But Soviet cultural authorities turned him down flat. And it was not until last week, with the Bolshoi's premiere of "The Ballets of Leonide Massine," that a Russian audience finally had a chance to view the works of one of the true giants of 20th-century dance.

Born Leonid Myasin 110 years ago in Zvenigorod, not far from Moscow, the man known in the West as Leonide Massine was engaged as a dancer by the Bolshoi at age 16. Two years later, impresario Sergei Diaghilev, with his uncanny knack for talent-spotting, took notice of the strikingly handsome Massine and immediately whisked him off to the West, chiefly to replace the recently departed Vaslav Nijinsky in the troupe of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes.

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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2005 3:13 am 
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Homage to Galina Ulanova, Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow
By Clement Crisp for The Financial Times


I had never supposed that I should sit in the director's box at the Bolshoi Theatre and receive a bouquet from the stage, while that great dancer Vladimir Vasiliev made complimentary remarks. Nor, I am sure, had my distinguished colleagues Mary Clarke and Clive Barnes.

But on Monday night there we were, seated in the front of the loge looking - I trust - surprised and wildly flattered, while Mr Vasiliev thanked us for our many years of support of Russian Ballet. We clutched our bouquets, smiled, bowed, basked in applause and felt faintly unreal.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 12:28 pm 
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Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
Bolshoi Ballet
“Romeo and Juliet”
Mariinsky Theatre
St. Petersburg, Russia
by Catherine Pawlick

As part of the White Nights Festival, the Kirov Ballet performed “La Bayadere”, a mixed program with “Les Noces”, Dawson’s “Reverence” and Lander’s “Etudes”, as well as Balanchine’s “Jewels” May 23-25 at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. St Petersburg residents were treated to the reciprocal visit of the Bolshoi Ballet on July 5 and 6, when the company debuted Declan Donnellan’s “Romeo and Juliet” here in Russia’s Venice of the North.

From his perch in the center of the Tsar’s box, business-suited Alexei Ratmansky, the fresh young director of the Bolshoi Ballet, attentively watched –along with the rest of the full house. The dance project, for it cannot be deemed otherwise, was not Ratmansky’s brainchild. It was conceived before Ratmansky’s three-year contract began, and it premiered in both London and the US last year. Only now, more than 6 months later, has the production made its way to Petersburg. Strangely, based purely on audience reaction, it was received more warmly than the London reports from last year’s premier.

When the curtain rises, one might assume this was a musical theatre production of "West Side Story." Two groups of 20 men and women each, dressed in normal clothes simply dance, in mostly Broadway-esque movements and formations. Think Gap's "Khakis" advertising campaign from the late '90s. But the most immediate and, for classical ballet fans, painful shift in Donnellan's production is in the music: Prokofiev's timeless score has been chopped up and rearranged. The sword fight music is moved to this introductory scene, for example, and nearly every section normally associated with certain passages in the ballet has been shifted and now use other characterizations. Arguments against this are rife. How can a work of such genius be manipulated so vulgarly?

The oddities were unremitting, not only through costuming and score, and the bleak, sparse sets (an 8-foot barrier around the rim of the stage in three sections for the first Act), but through characterization as well. Lady Capulet, here danced by the renowned and lovely Ilze Liepa, is somehow infatuated with Tybalt, danced with appropriate steel and sternness by Denis Medvedev. Tybalt is in love with a transvestite at the ball, who turns out to be Mercutio in a 1930s flappers-style female dress, danced by Yuri Klevtsov. The rest of the men at the ball look like the Chicago mafia from the same time period, clothed in black tuxedos, hair greased back. Juliet, a treat to watch in Maria Alexandrova’s rendition of the role, enters for the first time to the truce music in a purple dress and soft shoes. However, thank god for the dress, for she shifts to pants for most of the production. Alexandrova has been lauded before for her dancing and she deserves the praise. She exuded the idea of a youthful, pre-adolescent girl in the first act, and of a more mature, giving lover in the second; her acting abilities are commendable.

Unlike the ballet, in Donellan’s production Juliet is almost entranced at first by Paris' advances, danced by Alexander Volchkov. Romeo, danced admirably by the youthful Denis Savin for the July 5 performance, pursues “Rosalind”, Xenia Pchelkina in a red dress and red mask until his encounter with Juliet, offering more context for the star-struck quality of the two fated lovers. (Romeo must have dated others before he found Juliet, and this version shows you quite clearly that he did, although Rosalind’s role consists mostly of running on and offstage, and peeking out from her mask at Romeo).

If Donnellan’s “Romeo” doesn’t contain genius, it does contain moments of artistic inspiration. His incorporation of vocal sound into the production solidifies the work as more theatrical than balletic, but adds a dimension of depth at two important points in the plot. When Romeo meets Juliet at the ball, the rest of the cast freezes in motion: the two lovers are in their own world. They tentatively attempt to touch each other out of mutual fascination more than passion, and barely succeed before Juliet lets out an audible giggle and runs between the frozen figures, like a little girl in a playground, leaving Romeo only moments behind.

The second moment occurs in the final scene, when Juliet awakens from her drugged sleep to find Romeo’s body nearby. The sound she emits at first resembles a laugh in disbelief at the “joke’ Romeo must be playing and, seconds later it is a horrified, piercing shriek as reality quite audibly sets in. The sound draws up the horrors of losing a loved one to anyone who has experienced it and aided the tragic nature of Shakespeare’s message.

The balcony scene uses people as props, and throughout Romeo and Juliet never touch each other. A crowd of ballroom guests lift her overhead, symbolizing her balcony. At other points in the scene the guests symbolize the outside world, holding Juliet captive as she pulls her way, step by big, heavy step, towards Romeo, who is in the same predicament on the opposite side of the stage. Later, as he leaves the bedroom scene, he is swallowed by the same nameless, faceless crowd, as if they were a wall of liquid mercury, absorbing him.

Other characterizations stand out in Act One. Following Mercutio’s death, Tybalt is only too happy at the idea of taking on Romeo next. As Lady Capulet, Liepa entered the stage grief stricken in all black, and a chorus of girls in short black fishnet veils enter behind her. This scene ends erotically with Romeo and Juliet, dressed in lighter clothing, kissing in center stage with passion that bordered on vulgarity, surrounded by mourners in all black. The shock effect works.

Unlike the first Act, Act Two begins with a pleasant musical overture. This is the bedroom scene, in which Romeo and Juliet stand, wrapped together in one tight white sheet (more implicit of insane asylum restriction than of a love affair) atop a white box, to the backdrop of a red stripe, the same width of the bed/box, that runs the height of the ceiling and beyond. Upon first view it looks sterile, far from the warmth of human relations that this scene usually transports in successful productions.

Choreographically, an absence of balletic movement pervades Donnellan’s “Romeo” even through the bedroom duet. The constant turned in, parallel feet and bent knees echo Mats Ek or even Boris Eifman with a heavy dose of Broadway’s freedom of motion thrown into the mix.

The entrance of Juliet’s parents following Romeo’s exit from the bedroom adds more spice to the traditional plot than is usually present. Juliet bites Paris’ arm, after he physically accosts her. Lady Capulet is less concerned with the welfare of her daughter than with her own ends. Juliet’s visit to Friar Lawrence involves an interesting mime sequence in which he uses his hand to mime the exit of words from her mouth, and her own measure of time ticking away, exhibited by an outstretched fisted hand moving in five “minute” increments in a circle in the air.

No medicine bottle is present – Juliet’s poison is somehow on her hand. Alexandrova physically licks her own palm to achieve the desired medicinal effect. In the final scene, another small touch is notable: Romeo wraps Juliet’s hand around the dagger when he stabs himself. It’s a joint effort.

For the July 5 performance, the Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra conducted Prokofiev’s score under the guidance of Alexander Vedernikov to clear and melodic release despite its rearranged order. One shouldn’t expect a classical “Romeo” when heading to Donnellan’s production, but it does give ample food for theatrical thought. In a theatre bound by tradition, the departure from convention is often welcome, as long as it’s not a permanent shift. As such, Donnellan’s “Romeo and Juliet” is an interesting endeavor and one that was audibly appreciated by Petersburgians.


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