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 Post subject: Re: Tsiskaridze criticizes Bolshoi refit
PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 2:09 pm 
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Cassandra wrote:
This morning’s Telegraph included this article about the Bolshoi reopening with scathing comments by Nikolai Tsiskaridze:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/thea ... ancer.html
Unfortunately the online version of this story features different pictures to those illustrating the article in the Telegraph. If you look at the pictures in the newspaper you realize Tsiskaridze has a very valid point as the colours of the interior look crude and the vivid turquoise ceiling is very strange. I’m looking forward to reading what the public thinks when they see the auditorium and make comparisons. I know this theatre well and it had a distinctive golden glow inside which appears to be absent now.


There are also several clips of Tsiskaridze on Youtube speaking in interviews about the reconstruction -- the dressing rooms intended for larger numbers of people now have no windows, (Hair spray? body paint, sweat? hot bodies packed in there?) He has a point this will prove to be a ventilation problem; and he mentions that some ballerinas are jockeying to obtain for themselves two of the men's dressing rooms that *do* have windows. He points out that the studios which were redone inside the theatrre, in several cases have low ceilings so rehearsing lifts is not at all possible (they show him standing with his arm to the ceiling and there isn't much space left); one of the studios is not at the proper rake (it is greater than the requisite 22cm). He also explains that there is no area backstage for dancers to warm up; that they were offerred to go back to the studios, but anyone who has ballet experience knows that is not a viable option in many productions when you do not have time to race between the wings and the studio and back again.

And so forth. His points/critiques do seem valid, and I wonder if these issues will be corrected or if it is just the way of the beast. After living in Russia for six years, I can't say that the construction issues that have arisen surprise me at all --quite par for the course of how things go there. But you would think the Bolshoi itself would avoid such problems (or you would hope!) I retain the same concerns about the eventual "renovation" of the Mariinsky, if it happens. I think to paint over and destroy such historical walls -- well I shudder at the thought. Already the floors that Pavlova danced on at the (now) Vaganova Academy were replaced just last year. Another step away from history...

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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi Ballet
PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 2:24 pm 
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ksneds wrote:
...and that Vasiliev was somewhat miscast as Romeo (i.e. he's a demi-caractere dancer, not a romantic one (yet)). And if it's artistry Vasiliev needs to develop, Duato's ranks are not the place he's going to find it.

That is apparently one of the reasons given for this move: that the Bolshoi has set his emploi as demi-caractere and that he wants to dance the big classical roles. It begs the question about emploi not just in Russia but in the ballet world as a whole. I wonder about the issue of talent and emploi and suitability, no matter what the stage.

Quote:
Comments elsewhere posit that this might be an an attempt at bargaining by Osipova & Vasiliev - threaten seriously to leave in order to get the Bolshoi administration to counterbid with better salaries/conditions.

Initially that would have made the most sense in fact, rather than the current developments, which is that this is not about bargaining at all and from all I have heard, the move is an irrevokable one at this point. In one of the articles, I believe Kekhmann said that until Iksanov apologized, O&V would not ever be guesting again at the Bolshoi. The vast stores of resources at the Mikhailovsky are no secret and have already attracted some top name artists and pedagogues.

Quote:
Vasiliev & Osipova are certainly getting opportunities at ABT and elsewhere, so they're hardly artistically strangled by the Bolshoi.

Indeed.

Quote:
Is ABT not able to afford V&O or do the couple not want to leave Russia full time or did they not want to work with Ratmansky? Or is the Mikhailovsky a temp job until the ink can dry on a contract with a more high profile company? (For a varied rep or new choreography, the options could range from the Kirov to NYCB to POB to RDB or ABT or ???).


Actually the couple is still on the roster at ABT! http://www.abt.org/dancers/detail.asp?Dancer_ID=230
So they are working with Ratmansky, Osipova is scheduled in his Bright Stream several times in Spring 2012. Although mentioned in the press articles, in terms of dance circles, I had not heard that Filin had said "no more guesting" or that there was any big shift in policy. (Though maybe there has been since he took charge). They had guested before, and Danilian is their agent, so I am just not sure if inability to tour was a real reason for the departure. I understand that guesting is an issue at *all big companies* including American ones, not just Russian ballet troupes. I know dancers state-side whose directors have forbidden them to dance in international galas due to rehearsals for some local ballet by a lesser known choreographer in which the dancer may have been third cast. It's the old power/control thing I suppose. In any case, the issue that O&V described is similar to that at the Mariinsky -- because of schedules they don't like company dancers leaving to guest. But O&V have solved the problem -- they can guest as much as they like while with the Mikhailovsky.

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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi Ballet
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 12:36 am 
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Quote:
Actually the couple is still on the roster at ABT!


Yes, but only for a few performances in the Met Season - they are in essence, really just guest performers as opposed to full time principals like (for instance), Marcelo Gomes or Paloma Herrera. I was wondering whether they might have gone 'full time' with ABT, and danced a full Met scheduled, plus City Center and some tours.

Certainly, North American companies have their issues with dancers going off on guest gigs. However, US companies tend to have much shorter (or spaced out) performance seasons, in contrast to European/Russian companies that tend to perform more often and throughout most of the year. As a results, US based dancers often have more of an 'off season' during which they can take on guest gigs.

I have some sympathy for company directors who aren't fond of their dancers dashing off for guest gigs. Certainly you need to give dancers the chance to 'stretch their wings', get a chance to earn some extra $$ and try something different. However, few companies have the luxury of having too many dancers, and having too few casts is far more of an problem than having too many. More than a few times, the 3rd cast has overnight become the 1st cast. Plus, younger dancers sometimes need a reality check about the stresses of travel and extra dancing. And dancers should know full well when they sign their contract what they can and can't do. If you don't want those restrictions, then you go freelance. You have to weigh the restrictions of company life with the lack of pension/benefits that go with the freelance life. Depends on what you value...

I think V&O will make out fine (though I would bet money they won't be with Duato for five years), but too much freedom can be a burden. I often wonder what Rasta Thomas could have become had he settled down with a company for any length of time. Sure, he's making money on his tours and teaching, but I suspect he could have been far more had he stuck somewhere with top quality coaching and repertoire.


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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi Ballet
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 7:24 pm 
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ksneds wrote:
Quote:
Actually the couple is still on the roster at ABT!


Yes, but only for a few performances in the Met Season - they are in essence, really just guest performers as opposed to full time principals like (for instance), Marcelo Gomes or Paloma Herrera. I was wondering whether they might have gone 'full time' with ABT, and danced a full Met scheduled, plus City Center and some tours.


Oh right. I had not considered, and don't know that they considered full-time status at ABT. I wonder if they would want that -- already the roster includes Max & Irina, Veronika Part, and Vishneva, all Russians. Another question is would the company have room on the roster (to this day I dont understand who defines how much "room" there is) to add both of them full-time. In other words, would ABT want them with that frequency.

Quote:
Certainly, North American companies have their issues with dancers going off on guest gigs. However, US companies tend to have much shorter (or spaced out) performance seasons, in contrast to European/Russian companies that tend to perform more often and throughout most of the year. As a results, US based dancers often have more of an 'off season' during which they can take on guest gigs.
I have some sympathy for company directors who aren't fond of their dancers dashing off for guest gigs. Certainly you need to give dancers the chance to 'stretch their wings', get a chance to earn some extra $$ and try something different.


True, but the problem is that if a performing opportunity comes anywhere between September and May in a major US troupe, then there will be a question of the dancer staying in the third cast rehearsals (in a ballet they may not even want to dance, and may not in fact ever dance) vs top billing in an international gala and extra cash.

Quote:
However, few companies have the luxury of having too many dancers, and having too few casts is far more of an problem than having too many. More than a few times, the 3rd cast has overnight become the 1st cast. Plus, younger dancers sometimes need a reality check about the stresses of travel and extra dancing. And dancers should know full well when they sign their contract what they can and can't do. If you don't want those restrictions, then you go freelance. You have to weigh the restrictions of company life with the lack of pension/benefits that go with the freelance life. Depends on what you value...


Yes, although the cases I know of are top level principals and the director keeps them in toe locally -- they end up missing the international gala exposure *and* they dont dance locally. It does happen.
But I agree with you, if the dancer is very young this is perhaps less of a questionable issue.

Quote:
I think V&O will make out fine (though I would bet money they won't be with Duato for five years), but too much freedom can be a burden. I often wonder what Rasta Thomas could have become had he settled down with a company for any length of time. Sure, he's making money on his tours and teaching, but I suspect he could have been far more had he stuck somewhere with top quality coaching and repertoire.


I think that's a question a lot of top level principals grapple with, like any self-employed individual: can you manage to publicize yourself, and keep the gigs coming in order to have constant income, or is it better to be a bit more restricted with a company that ensures the salary? It's always kind of a tradeoff...

Agree w/you regarding five years - i wonder even if Duato will stay that long? I am very curious how it pans out and I wish V&O only the very best!

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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi Ballet
PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 1:30 pm 
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Thanks for the very interesting discussion. In regard to Natalia Osipova, I was very impressed with what she did in the 'Bolshoi-goes-modern' "Reflections" performances. I think that this brilliantly expressive and talented young artist could really create some wonderful new dimensions for herself in exploring other areas. Hopefully this will be an opportunity.

To change the subject for the moment....

* Nina Kaptsova *

(whose Beautiful(!) "Giselle" in Lausanne, Switzerland, along with Svetlana Lunkina's, brightened up the beginning of the year considerably -- I woke up the next morning feeling lighter than air.)

....has been made a

* Principal ! *


http://www.forum-dansomanie.net/forum/v ... 3746#53746
(posted at Dansomanie in french. For some reason the Bolshoi site has only been available in russian the last week or so. Updating the site perhaps.)


Brava, Nina !


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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi Ballet
PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 7:53 pm 
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Thanks for sharing the news about Kaptsova's promotion! Great news indeed and congratulations to Nina. A deserved recognition for sure! :-)

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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi Ballet
PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:11 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Alastair Macaulay reviews the Cinecast of "The Sleeping Beauty" on November 20, 2011 in the New York Times.

NY Times

Margaret Putnam reviews the Cinecast performance for Theater Jones.

Theater Jones


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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi Ballet
PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 3:17 pm 
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Marina Harss reviews "The Sleeping Beauty" cinecast for The Faster Times.

Faster Times

R. Anton Montalban-Anderssen reviews "The Sleeping Beauty" for the Detroit Performing Arts Examiner.

Detroit Performing Arts Examiner


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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi Ballet
PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:00 am 
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In the New York Times, Ellen Barry speaks to David Hallberg following the November 18 and 20, 2011 performances of "The Sleeping Beauty."

NY Times


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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi Ballet
PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:02 am 
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Clement Crisp attended the November 18, 2011 opening of the Bolshoi Theatre and reviews the restoration as well as the performance of "The Sleeping Beauty" for the Financial Times.

Financial Times


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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi Ballet
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 11:48 am 
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Francis Timlin wrote:
In the New York Times, Ellen Barry speaks to David Hallberg following the November 18 and 20, 2011 performances of "The Sleeping Beauty."

NY Times


Thanks for the article, Francis. David seems like a real Trouper among other fine attributes.

It is quite amazing and wonderful that someone from as far away as America opened the ballet at the newly restored Bolshoi. Apparently it was at the request of Svetlana Zakharova, herself. It makes one think of when Edward Villella (New York City Ballet) was applauded into doing an encore performance at the Bolshoi (Mariinsky?) several days into the 'Cuban missile crisis.' The world is magically beautiful sometimes.

What else is David thinking.

http://twitter.com/#!/DavidHallberg

"I am honored to be apart of this art form."


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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi Ballet
PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:29 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA. USA
A Federal Case
The Bolshoi’s Ballet’s “Sleeping Beauty” live at Cinemark Theatres, Federal Way, Washington
Sunday, 20 November 2011

by Dean Speer

Who would have ever, ever thought that the famed Bolshoi Ballet would play in Federal Way, Washington? This is like high art coming to the vast cultural wastelands of middle-mall America. Never the less, come they did in the form of a live HD broadcast streamed from Moscow.

Opulent to a high degree, the production was top drawer from top to bottom in all areas, except for some of Grigorovich’s staging of the original Petipa. For many, Grigorovich’s stagings of the classics equals dumbing down – choreographically and dramatically. [The exception, of course, appear to be his own works, such as “Spartacus” where the action and dramatics are over-the-top.] My main disappointments were some of the choreography/steps and the incomplete nature of the dramatic elements. Specifically: no fish dives in the third act grand pas de deux – instead she did the en de dans pirouettes, concluding in a soutenu and fall into his arms – this is what I’d have young students do who might be no ready for the “real” stuff; no sauté passé after the Bluebird’s assemblé entrance – the second jump is the one that gives him the effect of hovering; only 18 not 24 brisé volé for the Bluebird; no relevé passé during Aurora’s solo in the grand pas de deux – it’s supposed to be three sissonne and one relevé into a passé balance but she did only the two-footed sous-sus; only a single cabriole beat during the prince’s solo – surely David Hallberg is capable of a double; the fairies in the Prologue never gave the baby Aurora any gifts, so how do we know the Lilac Fairy had not yet bestowed hers, and therefore could modify the curse? Also, she never mimed the lifting of the curse and its modification.

From one of the oldest, biggest, and most venerable ballet institutions, I expect better. Particularly in a place that suffers from the embarrassment of riches of talent [the country’s economic issues aside].

My staging, concept/choreographic fusses aside, the execution of the dancing was quite excellent – from Hallberg to his Aurora, Svetlana Zakharova. Hallberg made his much-heralded Bolshoi debut with this broadcast. A current principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre, this was indeed quite the event. A large-screen affair, the HD streaming visuals were crisp and clear, as was the sound. It really felt like we were virtually there.

We also enjoyed the backstage interviews – conducted in English and then translated – by a native Russian speaker – into French.

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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi Ballet
PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 2:30 pm 
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Lightning can strike twice -- Happily !

First Nina Kaptsova.

Now Ekaterina Krysanova ! -- New Principal.

Brava, Brava !


(Posted at Dansomanie today (in french))
http://www.forum-dansomanie.net/forum/v ... 53d1d50d07


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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi Ballet
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 1:17 pm 
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And Once Again !

* Ekaterina Shipulina ! *

" Екатерина Шипулина — прима-балерина Большого театра ! "
" Ekaterina Shipulina nommée Etoile du Bolchoï "

* Ekaterina Shipulina -- Principal ! *

(discovered by radar by Sophia, as usual, at Dansomanie)
http://www.forum-dansomanie.net/forum/v ... 1c84d19084


"It's been a long, long wait, but

Absolutely Wonderful News !

I saw her perform Kitri in "Don Quixote" earlier this year, and she was Heart and Soul Magnificent !


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 Post subject: Re: Bolshoi Ballet
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:22 pm 
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This is a 7 minute video clip from CBS News about David Hallberg, Bolshoi/ABT.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-3445_162-57 ... -of-faith/

Posted at his Twitter site
http://twitter.com/DavidHallberg


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