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  1. A few thoughts from Thursday and last night. The production is sunny and joyful, after the initial scene with the doddery Don Q & Sancho Panza, the lights go on and the stage is filled to bursting with colourful dancers. I felt as though I smiled all evening on Thursday. The reviews I have read so far may only have been 3 stars but I agree with my friend who said she got more than 3 stars worth of enjoyment out of it. I enjoyed the performances of the leads. Shrainer is good dancer with a nice jump, her fouettes were strong except for the untidy finish and she has a warm smiley presence. Tsvirko has a strong stage presence but for me his acting was slightly too hammy and his dancing slightly underwhelming. Some of the partnering, the lifts particularly ,was wobblier than I would have expected from a dancer of his experience. On Friday evening Basilio was David Mottta Soares, a later addition to the casting. He''s a young (22) Brazilian who finished his training at the Bolshoi Academy and then joined the company. Although he is still only an artist (although surely not for long) he has already danced a number of lead roles in Moscow - Albrecht, Franz, Romeo. From his performance last night it was easy to see why he has been singled out. He is a tall, slender dancer with great elevation, an excellent turner he finishes neatly, he partnered well (no trace of nerves, no problem with those fiendish one handed lifts). His Kitri, the formidable and experienced Ekaterina Krysanova , was clearly delighted with him, warmly embracing him at the curtain calls. Krysanova herself was faultless in dancing and characterisation; I know fouettes aren't the be all and end of a performance but Krysanova's speed and attack was quite astonishing - as my friend said it was all over in 60 seconds. Noteworthy performances over the 2 evenings from Daria Khokhlova (Kitri's friend), Biktimirov (Espada) Vlashinets (Street Dancer) Sharova (Mercedes). I'm not sure that I think all the changes in this 2016 production are for the better. Maybe my memory is faulty but I think that some of the choreography is less spectacular than it used to be.
  2. All the casts are ridiculously tempting but if I could only see one it would have to be Fernanda Oliveira, Aitor Arrieta and Erik Woolhouse. IMO Arrieta has a very special quality; he had great chemistry with Oliveira when he stepped in to replace an injured Fernando Bufala, of real interest too is Erik Woolhouse (winner of YBDY 2014) as Hilarion.
  3. 😂! Autocorrect SkvortsovA Actually I omitted to say that I have also enjoyed the pd3 the choreography is lovely and the friends have danced to a high standard. Last night was Bochkova/Shrainer.
  4. Back for another Swan Lake yesterday evening The leads were Krysanova/Belyakov. Krysanova was technically very good as you would expect but she also expressed vulnerability and showed emotion to her prince. The white and white act pdd were well executed. Krysanova's fouettes were very strong and fast : she did singles and doubles and some pirouettes a la seconde although she travelled slightly; there was plenty of enthusiasm in the audience at her super quick pique turns (?). Overall I found her different to the other Odette/Odiles I've seen rather than superior/inferior. Possibly because she’s smaller in stature she isn’t as striking and she makes slightly less impact., or maybe it's just me. Idk. I was looking forward to seeing Belyakov because his Crassus was terrific (danced with charisma and technically strong) he is clearly the next star man ? In terms of stage presence he did not disappoint, he responded with feeling to Odette . His partnering was generally excellent although it has to be said that Krysanova turns so well all her partner has to do is make sure he doesn't pull her off centre (easier said than done ?) she is also smaller and slighter than some of the other Odettes so the high overhead lifts looked pretty effortless. Belaykov's dancing in Act one was impressive, he has great elevation in his jumps which combined with his height looked pretty spectacular. But his solos in the black act were more effortful, his landings were heavier and, like 2 other Siegfrieds before him, his finishes in the manege of assembles were sloppy - I don't understand all 3 Siegfried's who have chosen this particular variation can't execute it tidily. Why don't they do something different ? Am I misunderstanding the step they're executing ? In his enthusiasm Belyakov ran on too early in the final scene - the swans were not properly in place. I feel there are some mitigating factors : we have to make allowance for the smaller stage, for a tall man like Belaykov there is presumably some adjustment to made so you don't end up in the orchestra pit; the workload here in London is heavy at the end of an already long season, Belyakov has already danced Crassus here a number of times. As a couple I felt Krysanova/Belyakov were better suited than Stepanova/Ovchrenko and I was left wondering whether they might have been better the other way round. As for the corps the dancing was excellent and co-ordinated as it has been on every occasion. I have liked the dancers in the waltz generally the same names every evening ( Severnard, Zhiganshina, Trikoz, Yakusheva, Kromushin, Alexeyev, Motta Soares (looking forward to his Basilio) and Efimov (another to watch). As I said before I love the national dances, I prefer them on pointe even though I know they really shouldn't be. The Russian dance is particularly beautiful in choreography and the solo violin music. Last night was danced by rising star Denisova but I have to say I much preferred Skvortsov the previous evening. Anna Tikhomirova who made such an impression on these boards in the last Bolshoi tour has been present most evenings as either the Spanish or Neapolitan both of which she has danced with joy and vivacity. I liked Marchenkova's Hungarian bride and Severnard's Polish bride. There has been much to enjoy although I have not been at all moved in the performances, maybe I've seen too many Swan Lakes ? I think this production and it's ending is difficult to love.
  5. This is a ballet lovers forum so why do you think it is an appropriate place to make offensive and upsetting comments like this ? It is nothing to do with ballet, is not in the spirit of this site and it spoils the positive and courteous atmosphere that exists here.
  6. I've seen 2 more Swan Lakes both with the principal cast Stepanova/Ovcharenko. She has a curious history: having languished in the Mariinsky corps she made her way to the Bolshoi maybe 4 years ago (via a spell at the Stanislavsky). She joined the Bolshoi as a Soloist and was promoted straight to Principal not long after the last London tour. Anyway, I enjoyed her performances, she is technically strong, her Odette has an attractive soulful quality and her Odile is steely. Unfortunately, she had to emote for two because her handsome partner was mostly rather blank. Maybe it was a conscious decision on Ovcharenko's part to interpret Siegfried as such or maybe he doesn't have much charisma, he certainly did not command the stage in any way yesterday evening. They did not seem well matched to me emotionally and physically was not ideal either as she is too tall for him on pointe. He has a good physique, a reasonably attractive line, he can jump and he lands softly but much of his dancing was actually quite muted, somehow lacking in energy and his black act solo on both occasions was sloppy with clumsy landings. The corps and soloist performances were of a high standard and again I enjoyed all the national dances hugely.
  7. Very sad news. John was a lovely man - a quiet gentleman. He will be much missed.
  8. I went yesterday evening and to the matinee today. I remember really disliking the production last time so I was surprised to feel that, apart from the very dated sets and costumes, I enjoyed it. I agree with Capybara's pluses above but not really about the central performances of the young couple this this afternoon which, unexpectedly, I enjoyed more than I did the first cast evening. IMO Tissi's height, long limbs and looks take him a long way in a ballet like Swan Lake. To me he looked elegant and commanding on stage and although his solos were certainly not executed at the level of say Vadim Muntagirov I thought his dancing was more than respectable, as was his partnering, excepting the high overhead lifts which were heroic (Kovalyova is 5ft 10"). He had a more vivid stage presence than that of Chudin on Friday evening who seemed rather oddly muted. Kovalyova is, I think, only 20 and her youth gives her an appealing vulnerability as Odette but her black act was impressively steely (unlike Smirnova who rather faded in the black act). The final scene was a highlight in Kovalyova's performance, she used her extraordinary body to show us Odette's sorrow & despair. Tissi's entrance at the lakeside was tremendous, reminding me of Bonelli in his prime (and no one ever ran on stage like Bonelli in that final scene). The corps were commendably synchronised although maybe they lack the lyricism of the Mariinsky. I was impressed with Zhiganshina in the pd3 and she, Vinogradova, and Severnard in the character dances. I think Siegfried's choreography in this version requires incredible stamina. The audience seemed very appreciative, the curtain calls were enthusiastic with many in the back part of the stalls standing.
  9. D10 Sat eve spoken for. Still D44 & D45 available.
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