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  1. Thanks for your thoughts, Quintus. All was attentively quiet and appreciative where I was sitting. I'd like to add to what you've said that there is a definite 'forklorique' element, apparently Greek, but Maliphant's fine sense of movement is very evident. Also, the often highly athletic men (and women) are not necessarily 'macho,' in fact at times quite artistically sensitive, but again this work is a man's world.
  2. I’m still in the process of traveling so I have to make this another quick one. A lot of performances work partially extremely well. The opening fifteen minutes did this for me. The work is actually an hour and a half, nonstop. The opening is hypnotic. This is especially effective on someone who has just completed an overnight transatlantic flight. The setting is dreamlike. The stage is dark and very atmospherically lit. The dancers essentially move in rows and circles. It’s subtly compelling. I particularly notice the patterning of the women’s feet below their long dresses as things speed up. Then it builds and it depends on what ‘your cup of tea’ is as to whether you enjoy it as much. I’ll say right now that I think the entirety is very well crafted and effective. It becomes very masculine even with the cast being equally divided and highlighted by both the men and the women. I being a ballet fan, because I love dreamlike enchantment and the prominence of the women, am less inclined to go in this direction. The men are brilliantly bravura. The women tend to move more to the background or compete with the men and very admirably. The women never lose their feminine aura but this work is a man’s world. Again it’s all a matter of personal preference.
  3. So I’m on a plane to a place called London on my way to St. Petersburg for a ballet Festival. A voice comes on the voice system and says, “This is Captain Ian speaking and you must see Ballet Black.” Because you can get into trouble not telling the truth, the truth is here. I went based on this recommendation. Thank you, Ian. (second comment from the top) http://www.balletcoforum.com/topic/19150-best-performances-of-2018/ I’m still traveling so this is a very limited comment. Maybe I can do better by them at another time. From a ballet point of view, this group is hip, has class, intelligence, soul and message. A young dancer sitting next to me added that they’ve got the whole dance vocabulary covered. Actually I may have just covered everything. I saw Pendulum, Click! and Ingoma and enjoyed them all very much.
  4. This is why it's good to tell the truth even when you're joking. I'll say again that this is certainly no debut for Natalia Osipova. She's probably one of the greatest Kitris ever. Thanks for the broadcasting information, Jmhopton.
  5. Here's a quick glance of Lauren Cuthbertson rehearsing her Friday, March 29 Sleeping Beauty with Xander Parish in St. Petersburg. She looks quite lovely. I hope to see the performance and wish them both much success. https://www.instagram.com/p/BurjIXGgD1Z/ (thanks to Marfa at Balletfriends for posting this)
  6. I thought that Olga Smirnova was exceptional. I usually do. She's probably one of the greatest and she has years ahead of her to become -- another Ulanova !? Artemy Belyakov had a very nice presence and quality of dance.
  7. It's possible. Mostly it's Galas along with special and new works, if I recall correctly. She might perform at the final night Gala. Marguerite and Armand is a possibility.
  8. The first person that I ever heard use the expression ""A Force of Nature" was a member of Balletco in regard to Natalia Osipova. It's now commonly used on the ballet internet. Does anyone remember who this was ? And.... I saw two exceptional performances of her Don Quixote years ago in Washington DC when apparently she had a fever.
  9. I try never to say anything that isn't true, even as a joke, which my above comment about Natalia Osipova was. I know that this would be obvious to anyone who is familiar with her, but there are folks who aren't, so this is a clarification. She's probably one of the best Kitris (the heroine from Don Quixote) ever ! I saw some of her first performances with Ivan Vasiliev and they were outstanding. She sailed unbelievably through the air. They both did. As another joke I referred to the Bolshoi as "The Osipova" during one of these performances. At that time she was the epitome of what I thought that the Bolshoi should be. This was around ten years ago. To maintain that kind of physicality would be quite a feat and I have seen her do some rather impressive things recently. Ballet dancers usually develop their artistry. This is certainly the case with Natalia Osipova. Not only does she radiate, probably more than ever, but she can also accomplish great depth. I definitely look forward to her Kitri at this year's Festival and whatever else she might perform. These Festivals are where I've seen artists really try their best.
  10. Seats are now available. This is probably the best place to get them. Usually there's no rush. https://www.mariinsky.ru/en/playbill/festivals/fest2018_2019/ballet_fest_236 Because the ruble is down, these are the best prices that I've seen. Also, being offseason, hotel prices can be very reasonable. This might be a nice chance for those who've never been to the Festival, or to Russia, to plan a visit.
  11. I forgot to mention another debut from London. Natalia Osipova (with Vladimir Shkylarov) in Don Quixote. Who's going to catch me at this one? 🙂
  12. Thanks, Now Voyager. Apparently you are quite correct. According to the Bolshoi site she debuted this in 2017. Still, it's something that I greatly look forward to seeing.
  13. XVIII Mariinsky International Ballet Festival 2019 https://www.mariinsky.ru/en/playbill/festivals/fest2018_2019/ballet_fest_236 The Sleeping Beauty Lauren Cuthbertson and Xander Parish Second to this in order of universal significance will be Olga Smirnova’s debut as Giselle. 😊
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