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 Post subject: Bolshoi Triple Bill
PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2006 9:35 am 
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Wonders never cease!

Clement Crisp actually enjoyed the Triple Bill

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/03dc25a0-2c79-1 ... e2340.html


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2006 11:07 am 
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The Bright Stream
Bolshoi Ballet
Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
London
10th & 11th August


I’ll start with the bad stuff: there were only two performances of “The Bright Stream” and you’ve missed both them; and there is no DVD available for those miserable wretches among you unfortunate enough not to have seen this balletic treat.

The curtain rises on a front cloth decorated with Soviet propaganda slogans such as: ‘Every home shall have a cow’ and ‘Smash the Trotskyite bastards’, all very tongue in cheek and an air of gentle satire permeates the entire work together with a nod to the memory of social realism with dancers striking the odd heroic pose from Stalinist posters. There is little plot line to speak of, but what there is concerns a group of entertainers arriving at The Bright Stream Collective Farm to join in with the harvest festival. Zina (Svetlana Lunkina), who runs an amateur group on the farm is initially thrilled to discover that the visiting ballerina is her old friend from their days at ballet school; however she is less thrilled when her husband, Pyotr (Yuri Klevtsov), starts to take a keen interest in the beautiful newcomer. The rest of the ballet is about disguises, cross dressing and mistaken identity but everything sorts itself out in the end of course.

This ballet is funny, very funny and by the end of the work when the farm workers cross the stage bent double under oversize cucumbers and gigantic potatoes. I had tears of laughter running down my face.

The ‘Old Dacha-dweller’ and the ‘Old Dacha-dweller’s anxious-to-be-younger-than-she-is Wife’ must be the most cumbersomely named characters on a cast list that I’ve ever come across. Old Dacha-dweller is reed-thin Alexei Loparevich looking like one of those eccentrics from a Chekhov play, a cross between a country bumpkin and an intellectual with his nose permanently stuck in his newspaper, his wife is almost a pantomime dame with her protruding backside and elaborate hair style and they jointly provide much of the humour by becoming attracted to the ballerina and her partner. The two dancers (Alexandrova and Filin) decide to play a trick on the older couple, arranging to meet the pair later they swap clothes with one another, though the male dancer is noticeably less keen to put on a frock than his partner is to don male attire.

Sergei Filin as a sylph is something all balletomanes simply have to see before they die. Swigging vodka from a flask between his inept displays of femininity he lures the old dacha dweller into romantic confusion. He teeters en pointe like a butch Taglioni with a circlet of roses askew on his head and delicately lifts his tutu to reveal his clumsily tied ballet slippers. His ancient admirer is enchanted; the audience is convulsed with laughter. Meanwhile the ballerina struts round the stage like a pantomime principle boy, not actually slapping her thigh, but exuding an aura of fake testosterone that leaves Mrs Dacha-dweller all of a twitter.

Sergei Filin a comedian? Yes: this is a side to this dancer that I never thought existed, he was screamingly funny and should the Trocks ever go on a recruiting drive Filin could well be their man. As the ballerina posing as her partner, Alexandrova amazes in other ways as she launches into a solo of male virtuosity that was step perfect. I always had this girl down as a strong technician, but just how strong I hadn’t realized until now.

Meanwhile two other scenarios are being acted out. In the first Zina has changed into a long dress and mask and is enjoying an illicit tryst with her own husband, he courts her elegantly and presents her with a bouquet of flowers believing her to be the ballerina. Understandably Zina is somewhat upset. The second sub plot has the dancers accompanist, named only as ‘The Accordionist’, having a rendezvous with the precocious Galya, rather worryingly described in the programme as ‘a schoolgirl’. Galya’s pals Gavrilych, an old farmer, and ‘The Tractor Driver’ decide to have some fun with the newcomer. Tractor Driver dresses up as a dog and scares the living daylights out of the Accordionist; Galya meanwhile demonstrates how harmless he is by getting him to roll over to get his tummy tickled. By the time the ‘dog’ exited on Old dacha-dweller’s bicycle I was doubled up with laughter.

A mock duel is played out between the ballerina en travestie and the Old dacha-dweller over the dubious charms of the Sylphide in drag. Old D-d is fooled into thinking he has shot the Sylph and makes a hasty exit with his wife. Pyotr is reconciled with Zina and everyone joins in a dance led by Gavrilych dressed as the Grim Reaper. All the loose ends are tied up and the entire cast gathers to celebrate the harvest led by a procession of dancers weighed down by giant fruit and veg.

I’ve never seen a ballet like the ‘Bright Stream’ before: it completely defies categorization being the only full-length comic ballet in existence. It looks wonderful with a set designed by Boris Messerer of endless fields of ripe corn inter cut with a meadow of flowers and I appreciated the cluster of golden statues that grace the big fountain at the Exhibition of Economic Achievements Park in Moscow being included in the harvest festival scene at the end.

All the dancers were superb and displayed the kind of acting skills that are rarely seen on a ballet stage. Although they weren’t given names, The Tractor Driver and The Accordionist, played by Gennady Yanin and Alexander Petukhov respectively, turned in comic performances of sheer hilarity and in Yanin’s case, dancing of the very highest quality (he actually won a ‘Golden Mask’ award for his performance in this role). From her picture in the programme, Irina Zibrova is a very attractive lady but she was unrecognisable as the Old dacha-Dwellers Wife, clearly a first cousin to Widow Simone, clinging to the memory of her youth and relentlessly pursuing her attractive young man oblivious to the fact that he had actually become a she. Finally there was friendly old git Gavrilych, with his shuffling walk and grey walrus moustache who managed a mean hoe down with his scythe when got up as the Grim Reaper. Only Egor Simachev who played Gavrilych isn’t old at all, just another terrific actor.

The four principals were amazing with Alexandrova and Filin fantastic both in drag and out. Lunkina and Klevtsov as the couple whose relationship came under a bit of strain were the serious element of the ballet, but everything comes right for them at the end. At the second performance Anastasia Yatsenko took on the role of Zina with Ekaterina Shipulina and Ruslan Skvortsov as the two dancers. All three did extremely well with Svortsov in particular milking the humour for all it was worth. On reflection Yatsenko’s Zina worked rather better in one way than Lunkina’s as there was a closer physical resemblance between the second cast girls making it a little more credible that philandering Pyotr would have mistaken one for the other.

I loved this ballet and so did everyone I spoke to, it’s very rare in the opinionated world of the ballet to find a consensus of opinion about a work, but that seems to be the case with “The Bright Stream”. Alexei Ratmansky has managed to produce a work nothing short of a masterpiece and just as “Spartacus” has been the company’s signature work in the past, I would not be surprised if “The Bright Stream” took on that role in the future.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2006 12:07 pm 
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One that I missed earlier.

Quote:
Cinderella/The Bright Stream
by JUDITH MACKRELL for Guardian

But what's dispiriting is that most of these smart ideas remain just that - ideas. Without the anchorage of a sustained choreographic imagination, this Cinderella feels like a puzzle of badly fitting pieces, rattling around a gorgeously performed score.

published: August 12, 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2006 1:09 pm 
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Quote:
They're all ready for their close-ups
by CLIFFORD BISHOP for the Independent

Actually, on the evidence of the current season, the Bolshoi is taking Hollywood in a great, Russian bear-hug, and squeezing it until the tinsel squeaks.

published: August 13, 2006
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Last edited by kurinuku on Wed Aug 23, 2006 7:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2006 5:28 am 
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Location: London
Cinderella
Bolshoi Ballet
Royal Opera House, London
8 & 9 August 2006



As part of their summer season in the capital, the Bolshoi presented Yuri Possokhov’s new version of “Cinderella”, created for the company earlier in the year.

“Cinderella” is not a ballet new to revisions and reworkings. The beauty of Prokofiev’s score has tempted many choreographers in the 20th century, though few have succeeded in marrying the musical richness with equivalent choreographic material. From Ashton’s more classical reading to Nureyev’s more contemporary reworking, the ballet has gone through different styles and concepts and in this light, Possokhov’s version is no novelty to the ballet scene.

Possokhov’s concept departs a little more than any of his predecessors in actually making the Cinderella story a subplot of the main theme, which presents the Storyteller (a metaphorical Prokofiev) and his assistant attempting a revision of the fairy tale. The concept is a bit too overstretched, but even if you miss this idea, the beginning of the ballet still works thanks to the wonderful designs by Hans Dieter Schaal and to the narrative of the choreographic text. Needless to say, great performances by Viktor Barykin as the Storyteller and Ekaterina Shipulina as his assistant really helped in establishing this initial tale within a tale structure.

Not everything worked in this new production of the classic, and yet, there were so many fresh ideas that it really made very interesting watching indeed. The first act flowed quite effortlessly with real characterisations from the main cast. Special mention must go to Gennady Yanin who danced a totally carried away Dancing Master not very far removed from Mark Morris’s mother character in his “Hard Nut”. In fact, there was another reference to Morris’s work in the interpretation of the Love of the Three Oranges music, which I found reminiscent of “Falling Down Stairs”. It may have been a coincidence, but it is worth noting that Morris’s work is very present in San Francisco Ballet, where Possokhov has developed a big part of his career.

Following previous Soviet productions, the Stepmother and Ugly Sisters are played by women and the departure to the Ball is accompanied by the Dragonflies and Grasshoppers. No objections to any of this, as the music is beautiful and the choreography was inventive. Of course, the Fairies did not achieve the masterful touches of Ashton’s characterisation, but they nevertheless sailed through the stage in preparation for Cinderella’s departure for the Ball.

The second act was the weakest from the choreographic point of view. Though still inventive and, thanks to the dancers, still worth watching, the choreographer showed a tendency for overcomplicated lifts and steps that made the dancers look at odds with the choreography and added very little to the overall content of the ballet.

On the 8th August, the character of the Prince was played by Dmitri Belogolovtsev, who really struggled with some of the steps and this made his characterisation unclear. Though the idea of having the Prince sliding down the staircase banister is great, Belogolovtsev could not sustain the humour throughout his choreographic entrance. Dmitri Gudanov in the matinee performance on the following day was much better in this respect and he managed to make sense of the steps and actually perform them in a way that made them much more interesting to watch.

Cinderella’s variation and interpretation fared better on the 8th August performance, with Shipulina really shining throughout. Ekaterina Krysanova was correct and charming, but lacked the special dream quality of longing that Shipulina had. In the variation of the second act, Shipulina performed a series of glides on her point shoes (in demi-point) that were simply gorgeous to watch and gave the character a especial quality of daringness and lightness.

The pas de deux was the most problematic part of this act, as Possokhov decided to cram as many difficult steps and lifts within the music as humanly possible . I simply found this unnecessary and, in fact, quite obtrusive with the musical structure of the piece. Prokofiev’s music allows for long phrases that should be allowed to breathe choreographically, instead of that, the latest offerings of this ballet by choreographers, have totally overcomplicated the choreography to the point where the dancers, far from being able to express their love, have more than enough trouble trying to catch each other up! Maybe it is a metaphor for the times that we are living, but a bit of cleansing of this pas de deux would make it more effective from the dramatic point of view and more enjoyable –no doubt- for the dancers who perform it.

The third act was again visually stunning, and though the trips of the Prince in search of Cinderella were certainly no choreographic masterpieces, they managed to sustain the viewer’s attention. The end of the ballet had some magical moments and I especially loved the one in which both Cinderella and the Prince simply sit at the front of the stage and look ahead. Again, less is more on many occasions, and it pays off in a dramatic work if you allow the dancers to simply express their emotions in uncomplicated ways. Once again, Shipulina was glorious in the last act and Krysanova managed quite well. Belogolovtsev was good, but I much preferred Gudanov for sustaining his characterisation as the Prince thorugh the whole ballet.

It was not a perfect “Cinderella”, but full of detail and new and interesting ideas. More work in the second act would pay off, especially for the dancers. The whole cast seemed to enjoy the piece and for the audience the chance of seeing the Bolshoi dancers excelling in new territory is always welcome!


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2006 8:22 am 
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Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Ana Abad-Carles wrote:
Cinderella
Bolshoi Ballet
Royal Opera House, London
8 & 9 August 2006


Cinderella’s variation and interpretation fared better on the 8th August performance, with Shipulina really shining throughout. Ekaterina Krysanova was correct and charming, but lacked the special dream quality of longing that Shipulina had.


Thank you Ana for your well-thought-out review of the two Cinderellas.
Unfortunately, I only saw the matinee with Krysanova and wrote a review on another website. Shipulina happens to be another of my favorite dancers but time schedule interfered with my wants.

Krysanova has become one of my favorite dancers anywhere, for the
sheer love for dancing she shows on stage, and for the joyful way she commands space on stage. She has this special quality in every variation
I've seen her dance, and as well as, a first for me, a principal in a three-act ballet.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2006 10:21 am 
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Go for Broke, Pique Dame, Symphony in C
Bolshoi Ballet
Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
London
14th & 15th August


“Go for Broke” takes a group of the Bolshoi’s brightest young dancers and presents them in a work that is fast moving, modern in feel, but strictly classical. The music is Stravinsky’s ‘Jeu de cartes’, one of the most dance-worthy scores that composer wrote. For this work choreographer Alexei Ratmansky uses as much of the classical vocabulary as he can cram into twenty-five minutes and the piece is so fast moving it leaves you slightly breathless at the end. Danced by seven girls and eight boys who make up the cream of the company, the ballet is made up of as many different types of groupings and varied exits and entrances that the music’s 25 minutes can provide. There is wit and humour throughout such as the moment when the central girl of a group of dancers raises her leg in a supported penchée arabesque to six o’clock and another girl comes running up from behind to seize her leg and push it down (the times I’ve wanted to do that!). The boys line up for a series of brisé voles, a step I can’t remember seeing in a new work for years and a grande pirouette à la seconde is thrown in for good measure. Ratmansky blends all the elements of classroom steps, modern ideas and comedy like a master chef and we sit back and enjoy the feast. Out of a cast of stars Alexandrova was outstanding with Natalia Ossipova reminding me of a frisky springtime lamb that can’t keep its feet on the ground as she jumped and skittered across the stage. Among the boys Yan Godovsky danced with his usual cool elegance, but it was those two cheeky chaps Denis Medvedev and Morihiro Ivato both darting in and out of the action with show off steps and inexhaustible energy that kept catching my eye. Great fun and everyone seemed to like it.

“Pique Dame” is one of the most popular ballets in the Bolshoi’s repertoire back home in Moscow and it is easy to see why. Russians adore Pushkin and choreographer Roland Petit has created a work much closer to the literary source than Tchaikovsky did with his opera of the same name, but Petit has chosen Tchaikovsky for the music if “Pique Dame”: the Sixth Symphony (Pathetique) with the movements played out of sequence. I’m told purists are affronted by this use of the music, but in fact the rearrangement works extremely well.

The story is about obsession with anti-hero Hermann, danced brilliantly by Nikolai Tsiskaridze, fixated on the idea of winning a fortune at cards. An elderly countess is rumoured to hold the secret of three cards played in succession that always win. Hermann’s aim is to wrench the secret from her by any means. He opportunistically pretends a romantic interest in the countess’s shy young companion and is rewarded by being given the key to her mistress’s bedroom. Hermann uses first charm and then force to persuade her to tell him the secret, but she adamantly refuses him. When all else fails he points a gun at her and the poor woman dies of shock. Back home Hermann broods on his failure and raises to his head the gun with which he terrified the countess to death but is too cowardly to pull the trigger. After collapsing on the floor he has a vision of the countess showing him the three winning cards and confidently heads for the gaming tables. He starts to win big-time but comes to grief when he plays his last card; instead of the card he intended to play, he throws down the Queen of Spades – Pique Dame, and loses everything. He sees the countess again triumphant from beyond the grave and collapses, apparently dead.

A claustrophobic atmosphere permeates the entire work with all the characters caught up in a swirl of avarice. Hermann himself is a fanatic with the one aim in life of winning at the gaming tables. As a brooding isolated loner Nikolai Tsiskaridze pulls out all the stops as Hermann, his eyes glitter with greed as he shrugs off any sense of morality to reach his goal. His treatment of ‘The young girl’ (Svetlana Lunkina), the countess’s companion, is vile. Pretending an interest in the lonely girl he cynically uses her for his own purposes, curtly dismissing her with a nod after achieving his aim of obtaining the key; Lunkina is wonderful at this moment as she realizes her folly and runs off, holding back her tears, towards what will be a lifetime of regret. If his behaviour towards the young girl is despicable, Hermann’s behaviour towards the elderly countess is downright criminal. At their first meeting in the ballroom it’s hard to tell if their encounter is reality or a figment of Hermann’s fevered imagination as he seeks to seduce a feeble old woman. But Ilze Liepa’s imperious Countess is made of stern stuff wiping her hand on her skirts after Hermann has kissed it and staring him down with withering contempt. Only in her bedroom does she become vulnerable, her entire body visibly shaking with fear as she is confronted by the intruder, yet still she refuses to surrender up the secret of the three cards, only the sight of a pistol levelled at her head breaks her iron will. The final scene in the gambling hall where Hermann begins to see his luck change is one of initial triumph with Tsiskaridze strutting across the stage anticipating a new life of wealth and power, but that triumph quickly evaporates into desolation as he throws down the wrong card and condemns himself to damnation.

The three principals turned in searing performances with Tsiskaridze in particular mesmerizing the audience with his relentless energy, and finely honed acting skills making Hermann highly attractive and utterly repugnant at the same time. I’ll let a member of the audience whom I overheard have the last word: “that gave me goose pimples!” I’m not surprised.

“Symphony in C” has been danced by a great many companies in its history, but I would say few could have performed it better than the Bolshoi whose dancers so obviously look as if they were enjoying themselves. The first movement was danced by that stylish classicist Anastasia Yatsenko whose faultless line and musicality is always so satisfying to watch. Her partner was Dmitri Goudanov whose light effortless jumps, soundless landings and courtly partnering complimented her perfectly.

On the first night the second movement failed to impress me as it was played far too slowly. It is marked ‘Andante’ which should indicate a moderate tempo but the music I heard almost ground to a halt, presumably to accommodate the listless dancing of Svetlana Zakharova. I was left wondering what audiences would have made of it in New York: a case for intervention by the Balanchine Trust? On Tuesday, Svetlana Lunkina took the lead in the second movement and elevated it to a different plane. Her gentle frailty gave the movement an air of mystery and romanticism: she was spellbinding and gave the entire work a sense of completion that was absent the night before.

With the third movement the ballet leapt back to life, led by Maria Alexandrova who takes to the stage like the prima she is and dances with such joy and warmth that you don’t want her to stop. Denis Matvienko, her exuberant partner, is new to London and a guest with the company, he was a little rough around the edges for this ballet, with perhaps too vibrant an onstage personality to fit Balanchine’s ideal of self effacing males, but I was very taken by Mr Matvienko and am looking forward to seeing him in other roles. The crescendo of applause that greeted these two at the end left no doubt as to who were the audience favourites.

The final movement was also memorable with hardworking Ekaterina Shipulina (she has appeared in every programme) partnered by Dmitri Belogolovtsev. Shipulina is a cool blonde beauty with a face that is both Slavic and classic at the same time, I thought she is developing well as an artist and was heartened that she no longer throws her leg in the air as much as she did a couple of seasons ago. She danced with an inner radiance matched to an impressive technique and seemed to have a special affinity with Balanchine’s choreography. I would love to see her dance Terpsichore in his “Apollo”.

The finale with almost the entire company assembled onstage was thrilling and exhilarating with that magnificent corps de ballet dancing flat-out and inspiring a sense of elation in the audience. Well done one and all.

This was a very well balanced triple bill with the brightness of the opening and closing works contrasting well with the darkly dramatic “Pique Dame”. In the past triples have been rarely seen on UK Bolshoi tours and I hope that the huge success of this one heralds more of this kind of programming in the future.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 6:40 am 
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Quote:
Don Quixote, Royal Opera House, London
by CLEMENT CRISP for the Financial Times

She is young, but gifted, delightful and, frankly, irresistible. Her most immediate quality is her ballon and elevation, the way in which she takes to the air, places a sequence of dance higher than we expect, smiling all the while, and in the process gives each phrase of movement a clear and lovely shape.

published: August 20, 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 2:53 pm 
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Personally I don't think this is the way to write a dance review.

What Crisp is doing is boosterism.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 3:42 am 
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Herman, did you see the performance to which Crisp is referring?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 4:29 am 
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No, I didn't. I saw her as the Spanish Princess in Swan Lake.

However, the (or rather, my) point is there is a not so fine line between writing about a dancer as a critic / journalist or what have you, and selling a dancer.

Even if you are as excited about Osipova as we all are.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 7:05 am 
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Three reviews I missed earlier.

Quote:
Bolshoi Ballet
by DEBRA CRAINE for the Times

After the triumph of his full-length Shostakovich staging, The Bright Stream, came the London premiere of his one-act Go For Broke, a zippy new creation set to Stravinsky’s Jeu de Cartes. Ratmansky made Go For Broke to sharpen his dancers’ technique, and that it certainly does.

published: August 17, 2006
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***

Quote:
Mind out for the flock of tractors
by CLIFFORD BISHOP for the Independent

Sandwiched between the two was a slice of pure baloney. Roland Petit's Pique Dame, based on The Queen of Spades but danced to Tchaikovsky's Pathetique Symphony, is filled with choreography that looks like it was purchased as a job lot at an Am-Dram society's end-of-season boot sale.

published: August 20, 2006
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***

Quote:
A bright and shiny showcase for a glittering star
by SARAH CROMPTON for the Daily Telegraph

The joy of the Bolshoi's production, faithfully revived by Alexei Fadeyechev to keep it as close as possible to Alexander Gorsky's 1900 version, is that it has no truck whatsoever with new-fangled notions of improvement.

published: August 21, 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:01 am 
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Back-row blogger on ... walking out of a show
by CHARLOTTE HIGGINS for the Guardian

The show was the Bolshoi's ballet Cinderella. It lacked the magic so present in the lavish Prokofiev score. The choreography seemed lame. Prince Charming actually stumbled down the stairs as he made his big entrance; there had been a terrible fall earlier. Leaving felt like an act of mercy.

published: August 24, 2006
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 Post subject: A star is born
PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2006 10:53 am 
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Don Quixote
Bolshoi Ballet
Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
London
17th August 2006


It doesn’t happen very often but every now and then you see something that is just about perfect. On Thursday 17th August the Bolshoi Ballet performed that old warhorse “Don Quixote” with a dancer new to the role in London: Natalia Osipova. Remember the name. I’ve written favourably about her before, lavished praise on her in fact and I went to see her in the role of Kitri filled with expectation for what I imagined would be an enjoyable performance. Enjoyable? No, it was miraculous. It was a confirmation that this troubled old world can still bring forth an artist capable of becoming a legend. I’m told that the performance I saw was Osipova’s third in the role – just her third; and she is only twenty years old and officially listed in the programme as a member of the corps de ballet. I am impatient to see her now in all the classic roles and I’ve a feeling that she will be entrusted with them all very soon.

Has anyone ever cried at a performance of Don Quixote? Probably not, on a good night you’ll laugh certainly, but twice my eyes misted over with tears of joy at what I was watching. Osipova as Kitri flies through the air as if on a wire, she spins effortlessly, her on-the-spot fouettés even included a couple of singles somewhere and she acted the role so well you’d swear she was a Spaniard born and bred. As the Dulcinea of Don Quixote’s dream she was, if possible, even better. Totally at one with the music, she embodied a classical ideal seldom seen on modern stages. Easy to understand why old Don Q. was so captivated by a vision, I felt like pinching myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming too.

As her lover, Denis Matvienko as Basil has a brashness and youthful impetuosity that makes everything he did appear spontaneous, in fact one could be forgiven for believing his aim wasn’t primarily to win Kitri, but to outwit her father and rival suitor Gamache. Matvienko looks very good with Osipova and he partnered her effortlessly, together they were giggly young conspirators forever trying to score points over the older generation and flinging themselves into the action uninhibitedly.

This performance was so unique and so inspirational that Osipova seemed to motivate everyone else on stage with her to greater effort, as if she exuded a wave of energy that swept the entire cast along with it. Street dancers, toreadors, gypsies and the assembled populace of Barcelona all performed with a fire burning within while the Dryads were so classically correct they laid claim to being the finest corps de ballet around. The character dancers were just as outstanding as their classical colleagues with Yulia Malkhasyants as that incredible gypsy woman who tells the story of her love and desertion so graphically through dance, going from elation to desolation to ferocious recovery as she puts the past behind to look forward to future passions: miraculous.

I was happy to note that family traditions remain strong throughout this company as this version of Don Q. is by Alexei Fadeyechev, son of Nikolai Fadeyechev who was Ulanova’s partner when the company first danced in London 50 years ago, and Fadeyechev senior still remains as one of the company’s most respected coaches. Egor Simachev in the role of Kitri’s duped father, Lorenzo, was another representative of a Bolshoi family; the first time I saw the company dance “Don Quixote” some thirty odd years ago his uncle, Anatoli Simachev, danced the Toreador (not called Espada back then) and Yulianna Malkhasyants’s father was also a Bolshoi dancer I seem to remember too. Only Denmark presents us with generations of dancers in the same way.

There was so very much to admire in this performance from start to finish but it was Osipova’s night and an occasion on which I believe a star was born. At the end of the evening my hands were sore with clapping and I left the theatre with a spring in my step. It was a very special night.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2006 12:03 pm 
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Location: Great Britain
Ian Godovsky whom we saw as an excellent Jester in SL and in the Grand Pas in "Pharaoh" opted for an oriental medical treatment after the tour:

http://english.yna.co.kr/Engnews/200608 ... 922EP.html

He was joined there by the Bolshoi's excellent Principal Ballerina Marianna Ryzhkina who, for some reason, is not known to British audience since she hasn't been on 2001, 2004 or 2006 British tours. What a pity! I saw her in Moscow and Turin. She was very good not only in solo variations (Pas de trois, Cupid, Florine, Diamante, Tarantella, Gvadalquivir) but is a lovely Kitri, Giselle, Lisa, Sylphide and Masha in "The Nutcracker". She was the Bolshoi’s first and best Katherine in Cranko’s “The Taming of the Shrew”:
http://bolshoi.ru/ru/theatre/ballet_tro ... fo&id26=65
I think I saw her in Britain only in summer 1989 when as a graduate she was dancing pas de deux from "La fille mal gardee" while traveling all over the country with N.Bessmertnova's group.
Why hasn't she been given a chance to dance on British tours again? The absence of her and some other dancers proves again what a wealth of talents the Bolshoi has if when going on a major tour they can afford to leave dancers like Ryzhkina, Gracheva, Stepanenko and Antonicheva at home.


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