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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:18 pm 
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NataliaN wrote:
Azulynn wrote:
.....very strangely - Yulia Bolshakova, who had been listed as Second Soloist for a while, is now back to being a Coryphée. What's going on there ? ........?).


I've come to the conclusion that the Mariinsky website is a comedy of errors and non-truths. They must have a joker or jerk (or both) as webmaster. Case in point: The mysterious 'return' of Ayupova after having 'retired' for six months. . .


Egads, Natalia, you add 2+2 and get 15. Indeed: This would be amusing if weren't so bizarre and incompetent. This is like a never-ending episode of the 60's Rocky and Bullwinkle Show sub-cartoon "Fractured Fairy Tales." Perhaps Ayupova never "left." :arrow: (:roll:). With these managers, who knows who will take the stage at the last minute. "TBA" is another frequent phrase on the website too. The Maryinsky Ballet management is " . . . a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma." (Sir Winston Churchill)

Catherine, I co-sign your rant. 'Doggy-bagging' one's dinner in the opera house? During a performance? If the Maryinsky Theatre were an ampitheatre like the Hollywood Bowl, then that would be acceptable. But this (?!) - that's too much. My pet peeves are: 1) Those who can't be punctual and arrive before curtain - including intermissions, 2) children who (like your description), aren't 'ready for the public,' and my all time favorite irritant, 3) those who like to hum the entire score during the performance.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 6:57 pm 
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Azulynn wrote:
December casting is also up, and Ulyana Lopatkina makes a rare appearance as Medora in Corsaire. She also dances a Swan Lake. Yekaterina Kondaurova gets another shot at O/O, and Theme and Variations is presented (hasn't it been a while ?).


I really have to ask this question: if Lopatkina continues to dance the O/O role will she drop doing the 32 fouettes in the Odile role in a few years? That is a very demanding thing to do physically and now that Lopatkina is 35, I just can't see her continue doing this. (By the way, I'll almost bet Lopatkina's next O/O performance will be sold out in no time flat, along with Kondaurova's next O/O performance, too. :) )


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 2:56 pm 
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Quote:
I believe that Lopatkina has performed three times this season: a special gala performance to celebrate her 35th birthday back on the 27 October in Moscow (I'm surprised that MT didn't do this!), the performances at the Moscow Operetta Theater on 11-12 November, and the back in 16 November in Symphony in C.


Yes, that's what I had been thinking of (vaguely). The lack of any MT gala for her 35th also strikes me as odd...but what can you do.

Quote:
Oh, we can dream & wish, can't we?


Indeed! :-)


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 8:09 pm 
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Catherine Pawlick wrote:
The lack of any MT gala for her 35th also strikes me as odd...but what can you do.


That is unless there was a substantial audience in Moscow (where Lopatkina is also quite beloved!) to see her for the 35th birthday gala. From what I saw on that gala, there was a substantial number of Bolshoi dancers performing there, too. I know she was also in Moscow to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the marriage of Rodion Schchedrin and Maya Plisetskaya, too.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 5:14 pm 
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Quote:
Catherine Pawlick wrote:
The lack of any MT gala for her 35th also strikes me as odd...but what can you do.


Sacto7654 wrote:
That is unless there was a substantial audience in Moscow (where Lopatkina is also quite beloved!) to see her for the 35th birthday gala. From what I saw on that gala, there was a substantial number of Bolshoi dancers performing there, too. I know she was also in Moscow to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the marriage of Rodion Schchedrin and Maya Plisetskaya, too.


But whether or not there is a substantial audience in Moscow for Lopatkina (and there is, many of whom often commute north to see her) that still doesnt explain why she didnt celebrate the birthday here in St. P at some point, either before or after Moscow.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 11:39 am 
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Speaking of ballet, the Bolshoi just one week ago premiered Alexei Ratmansky's last work as Artistic Director, namely a new performance of the "Grand Pas Classique" from the ballet Paquita. The Bolshoi website (on the English side) lists the information on this performance:

http://www.bolshoi.ru/en/season/ballet/ ... 26=art#dyn

While we do know that MT has performed the "Grand Pas Classique" many times recently, has MT considered doing the full ballet performance of Paquita again? I'd love to see them do it again, if not later this season maybe in the 2009-2010 season. :)


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 4:52 pm 
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Sacto, a full Paquita can already be seen in Paris, in the Lacotte 'recontruction' of the Mazilier original with Petipa Pas de Trois and Grand Pas. IMO, one version is enough for this earth.

The Harvard notes DO include the full 3-act Paquita in the ca-1900 St Petersburg restaging, so it could be done. However, I would rather have Vikharev and others use their precious time reconstructing something totally "new" that cannot be seen today in any other major ballet company, from among the ballets that exist in the Harvard notes. Here is my wish-list in order of priority:

1. the complete St Leon/Pugni Little Humpbacked Horse (4 acts), including Ivanov's Hungarian Czardas from 1902

2. Petipa/Pugni ca 1895 version of Esmeralda (3 acts)

3. King Candaule (4 acts)

4. Fille Mal Gardee (Petipa 3-act version)

5. Petipa/Glazunov Russes d'Amour(1-act)

6. Ivanov/Drigo Enchanted Forest (1 act)

7. Caprices of the Butterfly (1 act...Preobrazhenska's signature ballet...imagine an Obraztsova in this!)

Of course, we cannot complain. Who among us would have guessed, 15 years ago, that we would eventually be seeing a full-length Pharaoh's Daughter, Paquita, Ondine, Flora's Awakening, the 1900 Bayadere, the original 1890 Sleeping Beauty, Petipa-Ceccheti's Coppelia, the 1900 Corsaire, etc.? Or be seeing more recent full-length works from the Soviet legacy: Laurencia (in Tiblisi), Gayane (in Yerevan), Flames of Paris (Moscow), Bright Stream (Moscow), The Bolt (Moscow)??? If anything, the Mariinsky should be thinking about reconstructing it's Soviet-era treasures like Bronze Horseman or Shurale. I see Paquita as low on the priority-list for Mariinsky because they already have the very best Grand Pas.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 11:25 pm 
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NataliaN,

I don't know--the performance of the "reconstructed" version of The Awakening of Flora at MT in 2007 wasn't exactly a grand success--I've seen a couple of online videos of the performances and frankly, I nearly nodded off.... :roll:

(Methinks the biggest problem with those performances was that this ballet was designed around Mathilde Kschessinskaya's ability to improvise dance moves, according to what I've read about this ballet. When Eugenia Obratzova danced the role of Flora in the 2007 reconstruction, the ballet looked stilted and a bit old-fashioned....)

I still think either the Mariinsky or Bolshoi should attempt a full version of Paquita one of these days. While the "Grand Pas Classique" is well-known to everyone, the full ballet is known to almost no one outside of the Paris Opera Ballet....

I would love to see the Bolshoi attempt a revival of The Bronze Horseman. There's good reason for this: the Bolshoi version of this ballet is the version that really old-time Soviet balletomanes know the best (it'll be a good choice for the official re-opening of the Bolshoi Theater in late fall 2009).


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 3:19 am 
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There a number of major drawbacks to reviving these old ballets.

The first is that there is FAR too much dancing for the woman, and not enough for the man.

Unacceptable in modern times, and boring OUT OF MIND for the gentlemen in the company.

Who know how to dance, these days.

Secondly, the libretti are, in the main, so lightweight, that the eponymous butterfly could blow them over.

Again, to modern times, irrelevant. Gives the ballet a bad name.

How often can you stand see little Obratsova or anyone else for that matter, flitting about like a weewittlefwutterby?

My tolerance threshhold for this sort of thing, personally, is low.

About five minutes, at the outset.

Now, The Bronze Horseman - have never seen the Soviet version, is this commercially available? - has a libretto taken from Pushkin. Excellent libretto. Definitely NOT irrelevant.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 5:58 am 
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I think it's worth pointing out that the reconstructions by Lacotte are very different to those by Vikharev. Broadly speaking Lacotte's productions are primarily his own choreography whereas Vikharev attempts to reconstruct by referring to the original notations and only choreographs to fill in any gaps: very different approaches. Pharaoh's Daughter for example had so little of the original that it raised quite a few eyebrows at the Bolshoi during rehearsals and I'm told that Marina Semenova, who danced in the original in the 1920's wasn't consulted about the original choreography. In an interview for this web site a few years back Sergei Vikharev told me that the notations for Pharaoh's Daughter exist in almost complete form and he would very much like to stage the work with the original choreography.

How enjoyable these reconstructions are is down to a question of taste, personally I had reservations about the reconstructed Sleeping Beauty but not about the Bayaderka. I adored The Awakening of Flora but was lucky enough to see Osmolkina in the leading role, an artist far superior to Obratzova in every way.

Kanter is quite right that the biggest drawback to these works is the lack of dance opportunities for the males; but on the other hand the Prince gets little to do in the second act of Swan Lake but few would deny that the choreography is nevertheless touched by genius. How much more choreography of that calibre might be waiting to be discovered in the Harvard archives?

As the years roll past and classical chorographers appear to be almost extinct, more and more companies look increasingly to modern dance linking up with the likes of Wayne MacGregor and filling their reps with the 'gems' of William Forsythe. If it is a straight choice between reviving the past or wall to wall Forsythe, I know which I prefer.

The Bronze Horseman? Well, the Gliere score is only a notch above Minkus and Pugni, pleasant enough but nothing special. Personally if we go back to the Soviet rep I'd prefer to see a revival of Gayane, the music alone would make it a hit with the public.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 6:34 am 
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Sacto7654 wrote:
......When Eugenia Obratzova danced the role of Flora in the 2007 reconstruction, the ballet looked stilted and a bit old-fashioned....).....


Sorry, Sacto - I adore FLORA. It's my favorite DVD, which I watch over & over. Obraztsova Schklyarov, et al are fabulous. That cast-of-1,000s bacchanale, the props, the kids, the luxe decor & costumes. Fit for a Tsar!!! Sorry but FLORA is, to me, Pure Mariinsky and everything that I would ever wish to see in Imperial Russian ballet. :)

Didn't the 2nd-cast Flora, lovely Ekaterina Osmolkina, win the Golden Mask for her performance in Flora? She was great, too.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 6:37 am 
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[quote="Sacto7654"].....The Bronze Horseman. There's good reason for this: the Bolshoi version of this ballet .......quote]

Oh but Bronze Horseman is set in Petersburg and is practically the city's very special ballet - Peter the Great, the flooding of the Neva, etc. The music of the city's official anthem -- "Hymn to a Great City" -- comes from this ballet. Bronze is 100% Pure Leningrad-Petersburg. No other city could do it justice.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 6:46 am 
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Cassandra wrote:
I.....I'd prefer to see a revival of Gayane, the music alone would make it a hit with the public.


It was revived 4-5 years ago by the National Ballet of Armenia, which has toured it. I saw it in Cairo - extraordinary! So it exists at present. let's see something that is 100% new for modern eyes!

Osmolkina is lovely technician but Obraztsova is THE CHARMER among all of today's ballerinas. Fit for a Tsar! Osmolkina's face is lovely but a tad too 'snooty-snoot' to truly warm an audience. Obraztsova makes all of us want to HUG her, she is pure delight. Just like Fonteyn or Ulanova.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 7:00 am 
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KANTER and Cassandra,

I think you have to remember that reviving those old Petipa-choreographed ballets in "historical reconstructions" or doing a Petipa-era ballet with modern choreography means the female dancing roles will become far more important in the ballet--that's the way Petipa created it in the first place! :) Why do you think of the Mariinsky Ballet troupe we remember names of current dancers like Ulyana Lopatkina, Viktoria Tereshkina, Diana Vishneva, Olesya Novikova, Yevgenia Obraztsova, and even Alina Somova (love her or not :wink: ) far more than names like Igor Kolb, Danila Korsuntsev, Igor Zelensky, and Ilya Kuznetsov?

I have my doubts that the Mariinsky Ballet would revive a ballet like The Bronze Horseman, though. The Bolshoi Ballet troupe--which has a more "modern" sensibility in terms of choreography--would be perfect to revive this Soviet-era ballet. (Sorry, Natalia, but it was the Bolshoi version that really old-time Russian balletomanes remember the most, based on a PhD thesis I read online.) Gayene could be done by the Mariinsky troupe, since it was this troupe that premiered the ballet and made it famous. Question is, who's going to play the Gayene in the ballet? By the way, Obraztsova is a charmer, based on her fairly significant role in the movie The Russian Dolls (Les Poupée Russes), which I just saw on DVD.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 7:57 am 
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Quote:
Osmolkina is lovely technician but Obraztsova is THE CHARMER among all of today's ballerinas. Fit for a Tsar! Osmolkina's face is lovely but a tad too 'snooty-snoot' to truly warm an audience. Obraztsova makes all of us want to HUG her, she is pure delight. Just like Fonteyn or Ulanova.


As someone who saw almost every performance Fonteyn ever danced in London from about the mid 60's to the end of her career, and indeed had the honour of knowing her off stage too, I think I can categorically state that Obratzova so far displays none of the qualities I associate with Fonteyn whereas the faultless line and perfect musicality that were Fonteyn's hallmark are exactly replicated in the dancing of Osmolkina. Personally I find charm a rather ambiguous quality, too often a studied posture rather than an expression of genuine warmth.


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