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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi in London, Summer 2010
PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:31 pm 
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Zoe Anderson reviews the Triple Bill in The Independent.

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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi in London, Summer 2010
PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:43 pm 
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Clement Crisp reviews "Le Corsaire" in The Financial Times.

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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi in London, Summer 2010
PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:09 pm 
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Sarah Frater reviews "Le Corsaire" for the London Evening Standard.

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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi in London, Summer 2010
PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:10 am 
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Judith Mackrell reviews "Le Corsaire" in The Guardian.

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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi in London, Summer 2010
PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:10 pm 
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Neil Norman reviews "Le Corsaire" in the Daily Express.

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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi in London, Summer 2010
PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:15 pm 
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Sarah Crompton reviews "Le Corsaire" in The Telegraph.

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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi in London, Summer 2010
PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 6:52 am 
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I find Sarah Crompton's remarks regarding Nikolai Tsiskaridze highly offensive:

Quote:
On the production’s opening night, the comparative veterans Nikolai Tsiskaridze and Maria Alexandrova took on the parts of Conrad, the roguish corsair, and Medora, his beautiful minx of a girlfriend. He danced effectively, throwing off his one big variation with speed and ease, while rather curiously dressed in a bolero and skirt.


She writes this as if Tsiskaridze had deliberate chosen a costume that looked 'curious': he did not, he wore the standard costume also worn by Denis Matvienko and Sergei Filin when they danced the role in London three years ago, variations of which are worn by the other pirates. It's Greek national costume for goodness sake and the action takes place at the eastern end of the Mediterranean so that's what they wore.

Quote:
But with his long locks falling over his forehead and his pouting ways, he could no more lead a pirate gang than I could climb Mount Everest.


Again the wig is part of the costume, worn by all the others too so why does this critic deliberately try to mislead with these spiteful remarks. The audience didn't seem to have any reservations about this as there was a tremendous response at the end.

Quote:
The following night, the young star Natalia Osipova was dancing in show pony mode. The strength of her technique means that every balance is perfectly held, each turn ferociously fast, each jump light beyond belief. She looks absolutely gorgeous, but seemed oddly self-contained. In contrast, the fabulous Ivan Vasiliev made Conrad the most dynamic character on the stage. His variation – stripped off to tight-fitting scarlet – was predictably sensational, with jetés and tours en air so high you catch your breath.


That Ivan Vasiliev chose to discard part of his costume to me speaks volumes about this dancer's hubris.

I will be going to a third performance of this ballet tonight and will be posting my own thoughts anon.


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 Post subject: Triple bill 30th July Pertushka/Russian Seasons/Paquita
PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:26 am 
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I went to the Friday night performance of the Bolshoi’s triple bill and I have to say it was a lesson in how a varied programme should be constructed (RB take note).

Petrushka now looks very different from the two versions that I am familiar with, those of the Royal Ballet and Paris Opera Ballet, which vary very little from one another in production details. The biggest change is the famous back drop of the St Petersburg sky-line with the spire of the Admiralty Building taking pride of place; this has now been replaced by a far plainer backdrop with only one low building visibly in the otherwise featureless grey vista reminiscent of a snow laden sky. For those sitting on the right hand side of the auditorium the backdrop appears completely bare. To my surprise I have discovered this change is authentic as I checked back through my reference books and found a photo of the Ballet Russe Petrushka taken at the time of its premiere and this new back drop looks to be identical to the one in the original.

The scale of the scenery looked different too making the dancing area more cramped and I have a feeling more bustle of the fair took place before the action in the puppets’ cells than after. Some fairground incidents also looked different such as the two rival dancing girls now made up of one accomplished dancer and one incompetent, more amusing but not what we are accustomed to. The make up on the puppets was far lighter with all three looking more human and less doll like. Historically Petrushka’s face was very crude with thick white make-up plastered on roughly, the doll had bright red cheeks with her eyes looking permanently surprised and the Moor was ‘blacked-up’. Perhaps the Moor’s new look was a nod to the UK’s p.c. attitudes, but although we are uncomfortable with the kiddies in Corsair and Bayadere being black, not so the Moor in Petrushka because he is supposed to be a caricature and is anyway a puppet and not a human.

If I was a bit bemused by the changes I noted, I nevertheless enjoyed the performance with Ivan Vasiliev having the makings of an outstanding Petrushka and I was also very taken by the leading Nurse Maid of Anna Leonova, but it was the ensemble work that impressed me the most with a wealth of memorable and often seedy individuals milling around looking for all the world as if they had stepped out of the pages of Dostoyevsky. Perhaps over time little amendments have taken place and what I saw on Friday really was Fokine’s original intentions, with Sergei Vikharev in charge of the staging I rather think that must be the case.

When NYCB first brought Russian Seasons to London I was mightily impressed but all the same curious as to what a Russian company might make of it. The leading dancer in the New York cast was Wendy Whelan, one of the most individual performers to be seen anywhere and the hardest of acts to follow. Her role on this occasion was danced by Ekaterina Krysanova, a lovely dancer to be sure but perhaps lacking the element of authority that Whelan had. Her partner was Andrei Merkuriev who was able to imbue his part with the requisite light mood of the earlier passages and the gravity required at the end. It is very much an ensemble piece though and I was very impressed by all six couples in a work that has the makings of a modern classic.

The highlight of the evening however was undoubtedly Paquita and when the curtain opened and the audience applauded the sets, I imagine the company sensed they were on to a winner. The set is very lavish with a palatial setting of a baroque mansion in formal gardens and the assembled dancers at the opening look impossibly glamorous in ornate Regency style evening dress. We had to wait half way through this Bolshoi season for a first glimpse of the company’s stars, Maria Alexandrova and Nikolai Tsiskaridze but although they are now the senior couple on this tour they proved they are still comprehensibly the company’s most dazzling adornments with the style and stage craft that comes so easily to Bolshoi dancers apparent in everything they did. Sleek and elegant in the pas de deux and their respective solos executed with ease and precision they were certainly worth waiting for. I have to admit that I felt a bit short changed on discovering the work has eight solos when danced in Moscow as in London we only got four. On the other hand the soloists were Maria Allash, Ekaterina Krysanova, Nina Kaptsova and Natalia Osipova and all four were on top form. Andrei Bolotin led the pas de trios well, but I’ve seen this trio shaper edged in the past. The one small problem was the floor covering as both Alexandrova and Allash slid slightly in the same spot and one unfortunate girl in the corps had an undignified fall onto her backside, such a shame when the ballet was otherwise perfect.


Last edited by Cassandra on Fri Aug 06, 2010 3:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Triple bill 30th July Pertushka/Russian Seasons/Paquita
PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:51 am 
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Cassandra wrote:

When NYCB first brought Russian Seasons to London I was mightily impressed but all the same curious as to what a Russian company might make of it. The leading dancer in the New York cast was Wendy Whelan, one of the most individual performers to be seen anywhere and the hardest of acts to follow. Her role on this occasion was danced by Ekaterina Krysanova, a lovely dancer to be sure but perhaps lacking the element of authority that Whelan had. Her partner was Andrei Merkuriev who was able to imbue his part with the requisite light mood of the earlier passages and the gravity required at the end. Natalia Osipova had the liveliest of the roles as the woman in red and brought her prodigious technique to this work in a way that impressed without upsetting the balance of the ballet as a whole. It is very much an ensemble piece though and I was very impressed by all six couples in a work that has the makings of a modern classic.
.


I was at the same performance on Friday (30 July), and in Russian Seasons the woman in red was listed in the program as Anastasia Meskova, and did not seem to be Natalia Osipova. Osipova appeared later in the evening in Paquita Grand Pas dancing the (Trilby) 'jumping' variation.
I commented on Meskova in a review I wrote on another website, because I had never seen her before and her dancing impressed me.

It's fairly certain we're talking about the same performance because I noticed Alexandrova's slip and the coryphee's fall, although I didn't comment on them in my review because I didn't think they distracted from the truly munificent feast the Bolshoi provided us. John Chiapuris


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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi in London, Summer 2010
PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 3:03 am 
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B****r! You are absolutely right. I actually saw one performance and one rehearsal of Russian Seasons and the rehearsal was unsually danced flat out rather than just marked, so it sticks in my mind like a performance. The dancer in red at that rehearsal was Osipova, I was also very taken with Chinara Alizade (in purple) at the rehearsal and she didn't dance on Friday either but I was careful not to mention her, so how I muddled the two up I don't know.

Thank you so much for pointing out my error, I shall amend my comments forthwith.


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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi in London, Summer 2010
PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 7:13 am 
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Cassandra wrote:
....... I was also very taken with Chinara Alizade.....



Chinara Alizade is another of my favorite Bolshoi dancers; she wasn't in the four performances I saw in London, at least not as a listed soloist.
Another one I missed is Nelli Kobakhidze.
The company is so profusely gifted in extraordinary dancers in all its ranks.


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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi in London, Summer 2010
PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 9:05 am 
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I missed Nelli too! She has been dancing bigger roles in the company so I had high hopes of her making this tour, but I was to be disappointed. A group of Bolshoi dancers are currently working on a collaboration project with Angelin Prelocaj so perhaps she is with them. Yann Godovsky is another fine soloist I missed and I know he is with Prelocaj.

I didn't see Chinara Alizade in any other roles either and count myself very lucky that I went to that rehearsal, she has the most lovely arms and épaulement I do hope she progresses within the company.


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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi in London, Summer 2010
PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 9:22 am 
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Chinara Alizadé - definitely !

But WHATEVER has happened to Anastasia Goriacheva, who has danced just about every lead in the book at Moscow, including very recently, Burlaka's Coppelia, to considerable acclaim? One never sees her on tours to Western Europe. Is she perhaps dancing in Japan or China?


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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi in London, Summer 2010
PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 10:20 am 
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The last time I saw Goriacheva was around ten years ago when she danced Aurora with Nikolai Tsiskaridze in Barcelona and I don't think she has done a European tour since, not sure why, but there is a real 'embarrassment of riches' in that company and I suppose they can't bring everyone though they could start operating some sort of rotation system, it would be fairer to both dancers and audiences.


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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi in London, Summer 2010
PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 3:51 pm 
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Ismene Brown reviews "Le Corsaire" and the Triple Bill for The Arts Desk.

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