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Found 15 results

  1. Just back from seeing Spartacus at my Picturehouse and it was great, despite a technical break-down in act 3- which, thank goodness, sorted itself out eventually. It was delightful to be back in Moscow again and the interviews- with some old footage as well this time- were excellent. Not my favourite ballet but, after such a long hiatus, it somehow suited the mood for me: a bit of over the top, full-on emotional overload.....
  2. On November 27, 2021 I was lucky to see a fierce Shale Wagman debut in Balanchine's Rubies, as second part of the famous Jewels ballet. Shale partnered Carrolina Bastos who performed this for the first time as well. Both were on fire, and had a good chemistry. I loved their witty, sexy flirts, performed with great energy and flexibility. From my point of view, this piece fits like a glove for Shale, since with his experiences in all kinds of dance long before he took lessons at he APG school, he knows how to switch on also "jazzy moves" for Stravinsky's tunes. Again, my first thought was: gosh he OWNS the stage. The jumps, as high as flexible. Twirling like a red flash while turning and crossing the stage. And the looks he gave Carrolina - challenging, enjoying, loving, and flirting, all was there for this witty sexy Rubies couple. I also liked the part where he literally kicks his feet at the other male dancers and chases them across the stage. Thunderous rounds of applause were the reward for this awesome debut. Lots of Bravos, the loudest coming from some rows behind me where Shale's Mother screamed. She had come all the way from Canada to see him finally perform at Bayerisches Staatsballett. I had the feeling everybody gave their best with the applause and trample to spread love, energy and gratitude to these wonderful dancers, actually for all 3 parts of Jewels, since only 25% tickets were sold due to Corona restrictions. I would also like to say some words about Emeralds and Diamonds from this night. Vera Segova debuted in Emeralds alongside Vladislav Dolgikh. She was very delicate, elegant and performed the soft elegiac tone in perfection. Vladislav was a good partner for her. A detail that catched my eyes: he has a wonderful way to point out his feet and to set the foot on the floor so elegant and soft, it made me think of Hallberg's beautiful feet. They were wonderful together. Bianca Teixeira, Antonio Casalinho and M. Fernandez performed the Pas de Trois. A good trio, both in technique and synchronicity, led by by A. Casalinho. Madison Young and Jinhao Zhang were the Diamonds solo couple. Madison Young is just as elegant as soft especially in her port de bras, as you want yo see it. And I want to see her Odette! Soon hopefully. As for Jinhao Zhang: he is a perfect partner for her, presenting his ballerina in the best supporting way, and performed superbe jumps and maneges in his solos. Since I saw the performance on Sunday again I can also report another debut: Elvina Ibraimova debuted as Soloist in Rubies. Her performance was much more energetic and eye-catching than Prisca Zeisel's the night before. Some general remarks: every evening, some 30 anti-vaxxers demonstrate in front of Bayerische Staatsoper since it's a prominent area with a square. They make a lot of noise with speeches and music. They did so while we entered the building. It made me so furious I wanted to scream in their faces. Also on Sunday morning was another demo not far from the Opera House. The performances are still going on, with 25% tickets to be sold. But the dancers are very concerned. It felt awkward to get a test to enter a theatre. To present your vaccination certificate, personal ID and the test to strangers (at entrance). No, I am still not used to it. But I would present them my first tooth I lost as a child if it would get me into the theatre. I was beyond grateful for some beautiful hours, keeping the madness outside. I knock on wood and pray that they can continue to perform. Link to Shale's Instagram post about the debut. Sadly, my own pics and videos are a mess. I was too nervous. https://www.instagram.com/p/CW08rqIsvOM/?utm_medium=copy_link
  3. Well, I'm afraid it wasn't a flawless broadcast of Raymonda today at the cinema I went to: in addition to numerous (and seemingly regular) gaps in the audio (and often video) of about one second, we had two long losses of picture and sound, one in each of the first two acts. One of them resulted in the screen becoming more horribly pixelated than anything I'd seen since the motherboard on my new laptop failed about a decade ago I hope others fared better. Technical issues apart, I'm afraid I found myself nodding off several times during Act I: not sure to what extent that was due to the very dark set. The third act is quite different in many respects from the Raymonda Act III which the Royal Ballet are currently performing, in particular due to the lack of solos for the supporting dancers - presumably these were given earlier in the ballet, perhaps in the bits I was unable to view. Certainly, the only additional solo was for either Clémence or Henriette, which I thought was a bit odd - I did entertain the thought that one of the dancers might have injured herself and so her solo was simply omitted without comment. It has to be said that it looks a lot more expansive on the Bolshoi's far more spacious stage.
  4. I was just in Berlin to see the performance of Jewels on 31st October. Hmm not sure what to make of it. Overall I felt rather disappointed with Emeralds and Rubies. Emeralds was nice but the second lady Weronika Frodyma did not manage the first set of clock movements which was a pity and I sensed that her partnership with Arshak Ghalumyan was not that great. For the clock moves my benchmark is the unforgettable performance I saw of this section by Leanne Benjamin at ROH years ago when they premiered Jewels. The lead couple was Aya Okumura, recently transferred from Dutch NB, with Cameron Hunter (below) and they were very nice. I felt Hunter was a very elegant dancer, so well suited to Emeralds. I enjoyed the pas de trois team of Iana Balova, Danielle Muir and Ulian Topor, whom I really liked watching. However I do wonder if this performance of Emeralds lacked the presence of a principal dancer? Just to raise it up a level? Rubies was a bit flat for me it lacked the excitement and fizz I witnessed when I have seen when McRae/Osipova with tall girls Yanowsky/Lamb dance and when I saw Nancy Osbaldeston and Osiel Guneo in Munich last year. Dinu Tamazlacaru is a favourite dancer of mine and the only principal dancer fielded in this piece, but I felt he needed a bit more speed in places. The 2 ladies were both performing their debuts and I thought Sarah Brodeck did a nice performance of Tall Girl/Solo and Yolanda Correa with Tamazlacaru did well but lacked the sass I have seen displayed by so many other dancers. I also felt the footwork which is quite "square" in Rubies could have been sharper. Correa/Tamazlacaru/Brodbeck I was also disappointed with the Rubies costumes because, as you can see, the pleats on the dresses have no big gems on them and therefore did not make the click clack noise you get with the original Karinska versions as the dresses move. That is somewhat a part of Rubies for me so I missed that. The set was quite striking for Rubies. For me the whole show was saved by Iana Salenko and Marian Walter who gave a good strong performance in Diamonds, and especially the Grand PDD. I thought Salenko looks on great form after her maternity leave and it was so nice to see her on stage again. The costumes worn by the corps and 4 couples did not quite do it for me again either. I did not see Walter kiss Salenko's hand at the very end though, as it usually ends with the lady being surprised by this? However, Salenko always does the most steady en pointe balances and great fouettes and pirouettes so It was lovely to see these and Walter did his circles of jetes really well with very quiet landings! This couple are just very good together and the partnering is spot on in my opinion. As you can see I had a stalls seat so the choreography does not show "quite" as well as when you sit higher up for Balanchine, but it was still OK. The music was very nice and I think played at the correct speed but there was one horn in Diamonds which seemed to totally dominate the whole sound! As I say I was not over enamoured by the overall performance which was a shame given the effort to get there to see it! At least I have now seen Berlin do Jewels, but really I think their Bayadere is much better and perhaps more them.
  5. So the Bolshoi is back in Brisbane, six years after their earlier visit. I have no idea what brings such stellar companies to Brisbane, and nowhere else. La Scala, Royal Ballet, POB, ABT and now Bolshoi again. It is true that Brisbane is a delightful city with a winter not dissimilar to a standard European summer, but is that all? Anyway, the Bolshoi is here, with Spartacus and Jewels. Let's start with Spartacus. I'm sorry, but I did not warm to Spartacus. I did not care one scintilla for Spartacus or his wife; nor did the ever emoting Crassus or his lady do anything for me. My under thirties nephew commented about fillers, all those Roman soldiers marching around illustrating a) how invincible and b) how trully nasty they were. I hadn't seen things this way, but it gave me a useful filter for viewing the bits before and after the astonishing leaps and bounds produced by Mikhail Lobukhin as Spartacus and Artemy Belyakov as Crassus. And the techical level of the dancers, and especially Lobukhin and Belyakov, was extraordinary. The women, Yulia Stepanova (!) as Aegina and Anna Nikulina as Phrygia were also fantastic: it's a pity that the women tend to get forgotten because of those extraordinary leaps. Anyway, I'm glad that I saw Spartacus but also glad that I don't have another ticket. Jewels, but, was a very different kettle of fish. Brilliant. Fantastic. Wonderful. Supply your own adjective. The confidence displayed in Emeralds was breathtaking. Every extension, every lift, supported or unsupported, perfectly placed, perfectly executed. Anastasia Denisova was amazing, but so were others too numerous to mention. Rubies was less successful. Not enough sass. The best way I can think of expressing it is to say that the dancers gave the impression that they would go to a high-class wine bar before taking the train home. What I wanted to see (more sass) was a group that would go to an underground bar and after more cocktails than was generally recommended end up at his place. But technically supperb. Finally, Diamonds. Brought it all together. Capybara suggested I look out for Alena Kovaleva, and she, with Jacopo Tissi, danced the leading couple. What can I say? Beautiful. Such a distillation of classical Russian dance. Diamonds indeed. So now I have to wait with bated breath to see who's coming next year.
  6. I very much enjoyed the live stream tonight. The Munich company gave a very good account of themselves in each piece. Ashley Bouder was fantastic, I thought, in Rubies. Alina Somova danced with cool precision and allure in Diamonds, just about coping with the brisk tempi in the final segment! A special mention for Vladimir Shklyarov who is really dancing on top form at the moment (appearing in The Little Humpbacked Horse last night at the Mariinsky and presumably flying to Munich this morning) - it was a great pleasure to see again his elan and musicality. I look forward to watching the performance all over again tomorrow!
  7. I had the fortune of being in New York to see two of NYCB's programs and I wrote reviews on both of them - Jewels and All Balanchine. I would love to hear your opinions, especially about Symphony in C because it's a ballet that I wanted to like but just didn't. Do I give it another chance?
  8. Anyone fearing withdrawal symptoms when the RB's run of Jewels ends on Friday could pop over to Copenhagen on Saturday and see the Royal Danish Ballet's first night! They haven't danced it before so everyone is new to it - there are some nice photos online and although unfortunately the company seems to have stopped adding captions to identify the dancers, anyone who's caught the recent online Giselle or R&J will recognise at least some of them,. I'm hoping to see a performance later in the run, but if someone sees it before then, please report back!
  9. Paris Opera Ballet and The Bolshoi are to collaborate with New York City Ballet in 5 performances next summer, 20-23 July 2017, to celebrate 50 years of Balanchine's trilogy Jewels. POB will dance Emeralds, NYCB Rubies and the Bolshoi Diamonds. Later in the run NYCB and the Bolshoi will swap. Each company will use it's own costumes, so Lacroix for POB, Karinska for NYCB and Zaitseva for The Bolshoi. Should be a fantastic treat to see this!! http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/30/arts/dance/celebrating-balanchines-jewels-with-an-international-flair.html?smid=tw-nytimesarts&smtyp=cur
  10. We have had the casting discussions elsewhere, but the performances start today so all views to be posted here, please. Do let us know what you think!
  11. My sister is now selling her ticket for this Thursday 6th April. I will be there to hand over ticket in person on the night. ROH Jewels, 7.30pm Upper Amphitheatre P46 £24 PM me if interested.
  12. It has been reported in Paris that the performances already announced for New York of 3 national companies performing the three ballets of Jewels, will be reprised in September, opening the Paris season with Paris Opera Ballet, New York City Ballet and the Bolshoi respectively dancing Emeralds, Rubies and Diamonds
  13. I was very pleased to be able to go to Amsterdam last weekend for 3 performances of Balanchine's wonderful Jewels trilogy and was most definitely NOT disappointed. What a fabulous set of performances I saw. As you know I am not well versed in the technicalities of ballet so it is just a case of what was nice etc... The run had been staged/coached by Elise Bourne and the wonderful Patricia Neary from the Balanchine Trust and by seeing 3 performances I saw an amazing cross section of the dance talent at Dutch National Ballet. Emeralds was beautifully danced each day - the corps were lovely and included Michaela dePrince so it was lovely to see her and then meet her at a post performance signing session on the Sunday (they do these signings at DNB - great idea!). The only principal of the women to dance Emeralds was on Saturday when Jurgita Dronina was the lead in the first couple with the lovely Marijn Rademaker, newly arrived from Stuttgart. In all 3 Emeralds, however, First Soloist Qian Liu partnered by principal Artur Shesterikov impressed me as the second couple. Qian had lovely arms although her clock movements looked like they were hard to perform. Of the 3 pas de trois teams in Emeralds by far the best was Saturday as Young Gyu Choi was just wonderful - much more tidy than the Friday performance. Rubies was good on all 3 nights but I will come to Saturday's in a moment. Friday was danced by First Soloists Susanna Kaic and Sasha Mukhamedov with principal Isaac Hernadez (soon to join ENB) and they were very good. The Sunday Matinee Rubies saw Young Gyu Choi partnering Megan Zimny Kaftira and Samantha Mednick and he got his chance to shine as he did in Emeralds. I really liked his powerful, precise dancing - he is definitely one to watch me thinks. Then there was the Saturday Rubies - OMG Maia Makhateli and Remi Wortmeyer were the lead couple with Ignone de Jongh as Tall Girl and they just blew Rubies out of the water..it was fabulous. Looks like that trio of principals really click together with a fabulous resulting performance. I loved the corps de ballet who were really together and the piece where the male lead is chased by the male corps was fun to watch. Ignone de Jongh performed Tall Girl beautifully and oozed all that pzazz demanded of Rubies. I think of the weekend this Rubies was definitely the stand out performance for me. Remi W was really enjoying himself (much like Steven Mcrae although Steven spins even faster!) and Maia Makhateli was a revelation I can't pinpoint one thing Maia did it was all fabulous and now I am a big fan! Maia had danced Diamonds on the Friday really beautifully with Artur Shesterikov, but I think her ultimate is Rubies! Which brings us to Diamonds...as I said Maia performed on Friday with Artur S and was just lovely and elegant and then on Saturday it was Anna Tsygankova with Josef Varga - after the comments about Anna T at ROH Don Q with Matthew Golding I was really interested to see her. She was a very authoritative dancer, very precise and beautiful, although unfortunately suffered a slip in her solo but she recovered amazingly well with, I hope, no lasting effects! I noted also in the shop that it is her who seems to star in all the DNB DVDs which is a shame as they have so many talented dancers. On Sunday Diamonds was performed by Jurgita Dronina with Isaac Hernandez - again really beautiful. The corps de ballet were great and the finale with 32 dancers on the huge stage was breathtaking. I especially enjoy watching what I call the "mirrored choreography" that Balanchine employs with left and right dancing with opposite lead feet and arms etc and it was very well executed by the dancers. It would be hard to determine which Diamonds was the best. I think DNB is just a quality company! I have to heap praise on the Orchestra - wow what an amazing sound they were wonderful under the baton of Andrea Quinn. And the pianist for Rubies was Michael Mouratch who had a wicked sense of humour, for when he took his bow on stage he topped off his black suit with a pair of bright RED shoes! Needless to say he played Stravinsky very well too! The stage sets were really good with just a plain stage and some subtle lighting with a hanging arrangement of elasticated threads which moved to form shapes like facets of the precious stones, it was really simple but very effective. On Saturday night I was seated just 2 seats away from Wayne McGregor and DNB's Director Ted Brandsen - I took the opportunity to chat to Wayne in the interval - what a nice man! He told me that he is bringing some of Paris Opera's dancers to the Manchester Opera House for the Manchester Festival later this year so I might just have to go to that even though, as I told him, I'm not a huge modern dance fan! Then just when I thought I didn't like modern, I really liked his Qualia in the ROH Gala on Wednesday LOL! With regard to the Het Nationale Theatre, and it being while since I have been there, I was really re-impressed by the theatre itself very bright and spacious with excellent facilities and with lovely catering (not too dear either) the auditorium was extremely comfortable and seats have wonderful views - the Dutch being tall have lots of leg room and seats are steeply raked so no big heads! The ticket prices were very good value IMHO. The DNB shop was great with a fabulous range of goods - related in some cases to the ballet being staged which showed great thought. There were loads of DVDs and great deals on them too! The DNB Friends desk had lots of signed pointe shoes for sale (like NYCB and ABT) they were EUR50 a pair which was nice, not that I bought any, but it is a nice idea and one I wish UK companies would introduce. They also had one of the Emeralds costumes on display which was a lovely touch and so nice to see close up details of the costume. I took lots of photos (pity I can put any up here!) Whilst I have had a hectic ballet week I can honestly say that I feel enriched by what I have seen this week and now have great memories. I am now really looking forward to seeing 2 performances of DNB's La Dame aux Camelias in Amsterdam in April - I reckon go if you can! And I dare say Cinderella in London later this year will be worth the trip too. I am really VERY impressed with DNB.
  14. Just time before I go out to set up a new thread for the run of Jewels starting this evening. Please post your thoughts here.
  15. This thread is to discuss any of the Bolshoi Ballet cinema broadcasts for this season. According to our original list on the "ballet in cinema" thread (http://www.balletcoforum.com/index.php?/topic/3251-ballet-in-the-cinema-2013-14-season/page-0), they are: October 20th Spartacus November 17th le Corsaire (repeat) December 22nd Sleeping Beauty (repeat) January 19th Jewels February 2nd Lost Illusions March 30 Golden Age Marco Spada although I have a feeling this may have changed?
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