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 Post subject: Galina Ulanova
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:36 pm 
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Not knowing where else to put this after searching CD for a Galina Ulanova topic I would like to put this here. Since the Bolshoi is in London making wonderful news and Galina Ulanova was possibly their greatest star--why not ??

My figure skating teacher, who was a Soviet instructor, made this wonderful statement today. She said that....

Galina Ulanova ' Performed Off-Stage ' (because of 'political' necessity ?) and ' Was Herself On-Stage '.

After watching a video of her performing the Grand Pas De Deux (duet) from Giselle and seeing how she seems to "At Least' live the part, I have to wonder if such a thing is possible--more or less. An incredible possibility or at least a very nice idea.

Would anyone like to comment on this amazing dancer or relate what the Bolshoi is doing in London to the legacy of Galina Ulanova.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 10:29 am 
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Buddy, have you seen the book 'Days with Ulanova' by Albert Khan? It's a book of photographs partly of her performing but also relaxing with friends. I thought it gave a good insight into her world.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 12:04 pm 
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Cassandra wrote:
Buddy, have you seen the book 'Days with Ulanova' by Albert Khan? It's a book of photographs partly of her performing but also relaxing with friends. I thought it gave a good insight into her world.


Thanks, Cassandra. My cousin, Albert Kahn, wrote it.

I'd love to hear some of your thoughts about Ulanova.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 5:52 pm 
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Cassandra, in regard to my cousin's book about Ulanova I read it about two years ago and should probably read it again. I remember my aunt proudly showing it to me when I was a teenager and I couldn't have been less interested. I don't think that I saw my first ballet until about four years ago. The Kirov came to Detroit and performed La Bayadere. I was 'blown away' by the absolute beauty of human motion that I saw and went back the next day. It's been like that ever since.

From my cousin's book it would appear that Ulanova led a very plain life and was an extremely unassuming person. So what happened when she went on stage and became a 'Goddess' ? I have seen this somewhat with Alina Cojocaru and Maya Plisetskaya in her autobiography describes Alla Shelest as being like this as well. I somehow love the romantic notion that the 'real' Ulanova was the Goddess that appeared on stage. To some extent this is true of course, but to what extent ?

As an aside I believe that Ulanova makes one statement in the book about Albrecht in Giselle. She says that Albrecht is a complex character and by no means should be seen simply as a man selfishly chasing after Giselle.

I have a book in french titled "La danse....", which devotes only a few sentences to Ulanova, but they are nice ones. It says that of the first Soviet dancers visiting the West in the fifties trained by Agrippa Vaganova and Leonid Lavrovski the prize goes to Ulanova.

"Her natural use of the technique, fully mastered, her inner expression gave her dance an extreme freedom, within the classical boundaries. These permitted her to transcend...."

"A timid and unassuming person [in Paris, 1958], Ulanova amazed audiences by her way of showing her soul...."

Another description comes from an article by John Percival during the Bolshoi's visit to London last summer. He recalls being at a rehearsal when the Bolshoi first appeared in the West (London) fifty-one years ago. He tells about watching an elderly lady walking on stage who he assumed must be an aged coach. She took off her shawl, became about fifteen ( 15 ! ) years-old and started to dance beautifully. She was Galina Ulanova.

I am attempting to translate a biographical article in russian about Ulanova with the help of my figure skating teacher from the Ukraine. If we find anything interesting I will try and post it here.

In my video watching I am Astounded by the way that Ulanova could change from the innocent then ethereal Giselle to the fiery wife of the king in The Fountain of Bakhchisarai.

Of my video viewing I like very much her Odette pas de deux (duet from Swan Lake) when she was still at the Kirov, probably in her late twenties (The Glory of The Kirov video) and her excerpts from Giselle (Paul Czinner's The Bolshoi Ballet video).

[several typo corrections made later--and corrected above The Glory of The Kirov video was mistakenly called Stars of the Russian Ballet video--and I always wear a helmet when I figure skate (voice of experience)]


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:25 am 
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After watching the magnificent Giselle Grand Pas De Deux again this evening it seems that what is most important from our point of view here is not who she was on the stage, but what she was able to do on the stage. What she was able to do was rather incredible.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:44 pm 
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Buddy wrote:
In my video watching I am Astounded by the way that Ulanova could change from the innocent then ethereal Giselle to the fiery wife of the king in The Fountain of Bakhchisarai.

I was not aware that Ulanova ever danced that role. Which tape is that? Are you sure you're not seeing Ulanova as Maria, the abducted Polish girl? (And maybe Plisetskaya in the role you described?)


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 2:10 pm 
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"In my video watching I am Astounded by the way that Ulanova could change from the innocent then ethereal Giselle to the fiery wife of the king in The Fountain of Bakhchisarai."

Sorry, Buddy, Zarema, "the fiery wife" of Khan Guirei in the Fountain of Bakhchisarai on your video was danced by Maya Plisetskaya.
Ulanova danced Zarema's victim - Maria.

We had some threads about Ulanova on this forum, hopefully you will be able to dig them out.
I would love to continue this conversation about Ulanova after the end of the Bolshoi's season at the Coliseum. Compelled to be there every day and night.

Added later: Sorry, djb, while I was writing my posting the noise from the kitchen side-tracked my attention for a few minutes and as a result I reduplicated your information.


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 Post subject: Galina Ulanova
PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 2:22 pm 
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At last they did it :!:

Commemorating the 10th anniversary of Galina Ulanova's death the Bolshoi unveiled a plaque on the house where she lived for the last four decades of her life. And it looks beautiful:

http://bolshoi.ru/ru/season/press-servi ... p?id26=881


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