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clare stark

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Everything posted by clare stark

  1. Hmm, yes. My friends and I watched the broadcast and they had the opportunity to see Krysanova and Ovcharenko. They found that in terms of acting abilities and technical strengths, Krysanova and Ovcharenko outshine Smirnova and Belyakov in a very obvious way. The latter two are lovely though, they both tried their best. Definitely better than their Raymonda and La Bayadere. But Ekaterina and Artem seem to be the real-life Giselle and Albrecht; both very dramatic, expressive yet their emotions are raw and honest. Their dancing was just tinged with that perfect bit of Bolshoi-ness. Perfect for a tragic, romantic ballet. They said Olga and Artemy dance prettily, but theirs was clearly a performance while the other two seemed like they didn't even have to act. My friends also noted that Smirnova is an adagio dancer through and through, unsuited for Ratmansky's choreography which calls for agility, ease and intricacy and the music which has a faster tempo. She struggled with the tempo and her musicality was not always the best trying to pose longer in arabesques in the Act 1 variation... The music was hard to grasp during that last diagonal turn combination of the variation and it ended up looking messy and rushed. They said there was an older couple sitting behind them at Krysanova/Ovcharenko's Saturday performance, saying it was a shame that they weren't chosen for the broadcast, not only because of how touched they were by the couple but also considering Krysanova is a fish in the water with Ratmansky's choreography. She did dance his ballets a lot, like R&J, Cinderella, Lost Illusions, The Bright Stream, etc. so I guess it makes sense. I haven't heard much about Nikulina and Tissi though.
  2. Honestly, I don't know what Vaziev is thinking. Yes it is clear that he clearly wants to push Smirnova as the new Zakharova of the Bolshoi but in the process, we can't even catch a glimpse of any other principal, not in live broadcasts or on World Ballet Day. I know Krysanova is going to be with David Motta Soares for Ratmansky's Giselle and Smirnova too, with Artemy Belyakov, who finally got to his well deserved rank of principal. Judging by how Vaziev is obsessed with Smirnova, the fact that she got paired with the new principal of the season and the other Giselle/Albrecht pairs are either principal/soloist or both young, inexperienced soloists, it seems Smirnova/Belyakov would be chosen for the broadcast/premiere. It's well known that Krysanova has always been Ratmansky's few Bolshoi favourites though, she was cast in his Cinderella and R&J and they worked closely together more than a decade ago when he was still AD. So it's really going to be a 50/50 chance. Personally, I think Krysanova/Ovcharenko or Krysanova/Belyakov would be the perfect Giselle/Albrecht. She is still underestimated for her versatility and artistic talents to this day and I think she has proved herself enough over the years. I saw Ovcharenko's and her Giselle and it was incomparable, and that's coming from someone who has seen Zakharova, Obraztsova, Cojocaru and Lunkina. Belyakov would also be an interesting Albrecht and he has wonderful chemistry with Krysanova in R&J so that would have been nice. Back to Smirnova, I agree that she's a deserving principal technique-wise but I just do not see any expression or artistry in her performance at all! All I see is that empty, blank wide-eyed face that she always makes, no offense. Giselle is a romantic ballet with a tragic story full of dramaturgy. The character is full of life and vigour, and the mad scene is best executed by actresses who know how to die on stage as humans, not dolls who merely follow choreography stiffly. Smirnova is no Giselle! She is at best a Nikiya that could get away with expressionlessness in some interpretations, and for me, she is best suited for plotless ballets like Diamonds in Balanchine's Jewels. The Bolshoi tradition and spirit are nowhere to be find in most of the dancers Vaziev is promoting and grooming. Shrainer and Sevenard are both considered to be soubrettes to Vaziev, but in the technical aspect or experience they are nowhere near ready to shoulder the responsibilities of the Bolshoi. Yes, they are still quite young but back in the days of Kaptsova, Alexandrova, Shipulina and Krysanova, they were all golden soloists of the Bolshoi who have paid their dues through years of hard work and being in the background. They were no principals a decade ago but everyone knew that they were well on the path of achieving that title. The same cannot be said for Shrainer and Sevenard, unfortunately.
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