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  1. I saw her when she came over to guest with the RB, Buddy , and I truly lament the fact that she hasn’t been back since. As you say, she is one of those rare performers who immediately light up the stage. Did motherhood have something to do with the reduction in her guesting appearances? I could, however, be totally wrong there.
  2. One would hope that arts organisations don’t adopt the cult of greed shown by the average football club. And don’t forget that the price of football tickets goes towards the exorbitant salaries paid to premier league players.
  3. I absolutely agree, JNC. And having high prices at the lower end somewhat flies in the face of the supposed drive to banish cries of elitism.
  4. I think it’s largely pricing and distance for those of us who work and who don’t have a bottomless purse. These become doubly important when taking along family or friends who are generally in the same position.
  5. I love Song of a Wayfarer too, Mandy. i recall seeing Muntagirov in this piece a few years back with ENB. What a pity it isn’t in the RB repertory
  6. I think that very few, if anyone, posting on this forum would view Vasiliev as the ultimate ballet dancer, far from it, but performance is as much a matter of horses for courses as the exigencies of technique and Don Q, to be honest, is not that dissimilar to a circus act - the flimsiest story line padded out with a series of party tricks and packed to the brim with exhilaration, rollicking fun and an extraordinary feel-good factor. Or, to put it another way, it is hardly best known for its subtlety. Vasiliev? Just the job!
  7. We are in a truly enviable position, jmhopton, when the Russian companies pale by comparison with the home team and genuinely privileged to have seen those unforgettable, unsurpassable performances from the past.
  8. Agreed Capybara. I thought that Hirano fared extremely well by comparison. More riveting by far.
  9. I saw Friday’s Don Q, having originally booked for Krysanova/Lantratov, whose chemistry was so electric last time round in Taming of the Shrew, but was interested nevertheless to see Motta Soares. My views? Well, first of all, I was there for *that* Osipova/Vasiliev performance some years back now, for me the benchmark for this piece, and despite their considerable and, yes, enjoyable efforts, Friday’s cast didn’t match up. Having said that, they far surpassed the woeful Smirnova casting last time round so not the absolute best but far from the worst. Observations generally were that, as expected, the colourful costumes and the added oomph in the orchestration were a notch up on the RB production, as were the stunning backbends of the Spanish dancers, but beyond that the revised RB production more than held its own. Krysanova was a fiery Kitri, her dancing and characterisation hitting the nail throughout but, for me, the partnership with Motta Soares didn’t have the right balance. Yes, he had speed, panache and managed the one handed lifts with aplomb but he was just too nice a Basilio, not enough Jack-the-lad. The sparring was missing, the tit for tat that gives the edge to their relationship. Put simply, this Kitri would have eaten this Basilio for breakfast, spat him out and moved on to the next contender. I hope that doesn’t sound too critical as I do look forward to seeing Motta Soares in the future when he has had a chance to develop and to hone his acting skills, on the topic of which it was interesting to note that the acting of the supporting dancers had moved on from the barely-animated wallpaper of previous years although I wasn’t sure about some of the other choreographic revisions. There was, for instance, what appeared to be a medieval tableau in a gypsy caravan (if it was there before I have obviously missed it). What was all that about? So, to summarise, although I wasn’t blown away I did enjoy this cast and production, I was glad that I attended and happy that this Bolshoi visit ended on a high.
  10. Absolutely, Duck, I only wish that I could afford to travel overseas more often to see these performances.
  11. Does anyone know why the Russians do not consider it expedient to protect the hearing of their musicians? If sound levels are harmful, the enforcement or otherwise of EU regulations should not be the deciding factor. If they are not harmful then EU dictats should not come into play.
  12. Well said everyone who has posted in support of the right to express a broad spectrum of differing views and opinions. This is the definition of a free and tolerant society. To anyone from overseas, a comment such as ‘yawn’ is, perhaps, a peculiarly British response and whilst Fiona E and others may feel that they are being unfairly pilloried I would certainly hope that this is not the case. There are others who post on the forum (they will know who they are and may not wish to be named) who have rallied against worse. I would hope that we can continue to express different views provided that these differences do not descend into personal attacks upon individual posters.
  13. If asked to describe the Bolshoi’s Spartacus I would probably settle for a performance of leaps, lifts and spectacle. I saw the Saturday evening cast of Lobukhin, Sevenard, Ovcharenko and Smirnova from the seats by the side of the stage so instead of my usual perch in the distant amphitheatre I was right in there with the sweat and the dust and the flashing eyes and the emotional angst. Having seen Smirnova massively miscast as Kitri last time round (no soubrette she), I was much more impressed by her Aegina on Saturday. This was a role that really suited her and she brought a diamond-sharp, glittering sexuality to her take on a woman who was not for one second in any doubt as to her power over any and every man who crossed her path. As her consort Crassus, Ovcharenko smouldered dangerously. His was a lascivious Crassus, arrogant and entitled, but beneath the entitlement there was the sense that this Crassus might actually be a bit of a chancer. He and Smirnova cranked up the villainy with obvious relish and quite clearly loved every OTT minute of it. At the other end of the scale, Sevenard looked prettily pained as the long suffering Phrygia. She had the right air of loving constancy and much-abused innocence and there was a youthfulness and freshness to her performance that felt absolutely right but apart from the last act, which was genuinely moving, there was still something missing. Perhaps what I’m trying to say is that she lacked the heart-rending poignancy of the magical Kaptsova. Which leaves Lobukhin’s towering Spartacus. This was a man of conscience and conviction and from where I was sitting Lobukhin was mightily convincing - and not just to me if the thunderous applause was anything to go by. Many in the audience were on their feet for the final bows and deservedly so. Bold, brash and over the top this ballet might be but, my goodness, when the Bolshoi are on this form who could really settle for anything less?
  14. Oh noooooooo LinMM, what terrible luck. On both counts. Best wishes for a full and prompt recovery and remember to spoil yourself while your ankle is mending.
  15. I endorse everything that has been said about this performance of The Bright Stream, and what an enjoyable way to pass an evening! I loved it, my friends loved it, my daughter and her boyfriend thought that it was utterly delightful ... We loved the dancing, the music, the costumes, the sets - and who knew that the Russians had such a keenly developed sense of humour? Krysanova and Skvortsov made a great double act, dancing up a storm and milking the comedy for all it was worth, Khokhlova was winsome, Tsvirko engaging, Savin made it all look so easy whilst Skvortsova (any relation?) caught the eye whenever she was on stage. An all round feast for the eyes and ears, this rollicking romp was exactly what the doctor ordered and sent everyone home with a smile on their face and a spring in their step (apart, it would seem, from Chris G’s disgruntled amphitheatre neighbours who were clearly watching a different performance altogether).
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