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7 hours ago, assoluta said:

The custom that you find disturbing has been common to most places with a developed balletomane audience. Long ago you could witness it in London. Unfortunately no more. You can witness it still at Bolshoi but, curiously, not at Mariinsky where the audience degenerated to the level of meeting and, frequently, parting with the dancers in near total silence, irrespective of the quality of their dancing.

 

 

I beg to differ: whatever the origins of this audience behaviour,  as far as the Bolshoi are concerned  we are talking about  claques. I cannot see that they are evidence of a "developed balletomane audience"  but rather they are entirely partisan in respect of the dancer they choose or -  some say -  are paid to support.  Watching Sunday's  performance in a cinema  I found the applause breaking out after a jump or a single lift intrusive and at worst irritating. I am pleased they have moved on from this behaviour at the Mariinsky, and I am sure their dancers enjoy a fulsome response from their audience - that is certainly what comes over from the comments  on the Russian Ballet Friends forum and video clips.  

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On 22/01/2019 at 08:17, Geoff said:

 

Dead parrots? After being nailed to poles and stuck on wrists? They were just resting.

 

 

She was also given the interval interview, so is certainly being pushed by management. I rather liked the acting.

 

I unfortunately missed the interval interview, but the first viewing of Olga Marchenkova was an added bonus and one of the highlights of the evening. Management will do well to push such a talent.

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14 hours ago, assoluta said:

All classical ballet is, for some, "very old-fasioned".

 

The custom that you find disturbing has been common to most places with a developed balletomane audience. Long ago you could witness it in London. Unfortunately no more. You can witness it still at Bolshoi but, curiously, not at Mariinsky where the audience degenerated to the level of meeting and, frequently, parting with the dancers in near total silence, irrespective of the quality of their dancing.

 

I meant that I found aspects of the production design were old-fashioned, not the style of the dancing. I was particularly thinking of the group of dancers appearing in blackface.

 

I said I found it disconcerting, not disturbing i.e. it's not something I've heard before (as I stated, this is the first Bolshoi livestream I've watched) so I was suprised to hear it. However I did also find it disturbing in as far as it interrupted the music. I'm glad that it went out of fashion in London, presumably at some point before the early 90s when I first saw ballet. I am likewise glad that the habit of opera singers bowing after arias had largely died out in this country before I started operagoing.

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I just hope that the Bolshoi's London audience restricts their applause to the first entry by any leading dancer and doesn't clap them every time they return to the stage or execute a difficult or flashy move.

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18 hours ago, BeauxArts said:

I beg to differ: whatever the origins of this audience behaviour,  as far as the Bolshoi are concerned  we are talking about  claques. I cannot see that they are evidence of a "developed balletomane audience"  but rather they are entirely partisan in respect of the dancer they choose or -  some say -  are paid to support.  Watching Sunday's  performance in a cinema  I found the applause breaking out after a jump or a single lift intrusive and at worst irritating. I am pleased they have moved on from this behaviour at the Mariinsky, and I am sure their dancers enjoy a fulsome response from their audience - that is certainly what comes over from the comments  on the Russian Ballet Friends forum and video clips.  

 

There is a huge difference between a claque and a "developed balletomane audience" and I was most certainly talking not about claques. I am not pleased at all, neither my professional colleagues, with dead silence greeting the dancers and near total silence when they finish, this is what I recently witnessed at the Mariinsky. For us it a shocking barbarity. Re. your "I am sure their dancers enjoy a fulsome response from their audience" this remains, unfortunately, a wishful thinking. The persons you are referring to on that infamous forum are as partisan as one can be.

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Apologies, in advance, for trivialising what is clearly a serious issue to the posters on this topic but am I the only one who reads the words 'developed balletomane audience' as a phrase that the ROH marketers might wave about in its campaign to exile all cash-strapped, ageing, multi-attendees?

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On 21/01/2019 at 19:16, Dawnstar said:

 

Knowing the Bolshoi's reputation I thought the dancing would be brilliant and I thought it was indeed extremely good, but no better than the RB's. The corps in the Kingdom of the Shades were not immune to the occasional slight wobble in all those arabesques (I lost count somewhere about 45) so even the Russians evidently can't manage to produce absolute perfection!

 

I was lucky enough to be in a box right next to the stage courtesy of DS whom I was visiting and having never seen Bayadere before (as I've said before I'm a total ballet newbie) I was actually blown away by the shades- found it hard to believe they could be bettered as they were so perfectly in time and elegant. After reading Dawnstars comment I looked at some YT clips of RB and have to say (I'm going to be controversial) thought RB corps were infinitely less impressive - certainly in terms of being in time with legs and arms at the same angles etc. Also didn't like their excessive bending over compared to the Bolshoi dancers who were more contained (and seemed to me therefore almost more ethereal).

 

But perhaps its the difference between seeing live and seeing a recording or maybe just that difference in style (I honestly haven't seen much of RB and have really only seen ENB or mostly the Russian companies live so Russian style is my kind of benchmark).

 

I agree there wasn't all that much chemistry between the leads, the children capering around in blackface were quite appalling, and I was particularly unimpressed with the bronze idol (maybe he was having an off day). Loved the 3 shades especially Shrainer though the conductor seemed to be rattling along too fast for her liquid movement (she has the same quality I noticed in Sarafanov when I was lucky enough to see him in the Madrid gala), and also really liked the soloist who danced with the little girls with flowers in her hair. Overall it was a great spectacle (and I had a very famous principal dancer and the conductors mother sitting behind me so felt in exalted company and therefore inclined to be easily please :) )...

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When our Dance group went  to St Petersburg two years ago a few of the group flew to Moscow first and then did the train thing.

Whilst in Moscow they went to the Bolshoi ( the object of going out earlier) and saw Bayadere.

Well it wasn't the performance being reviewed here of course ....but they were completely moved to tears by the Shades scene and said it was really beautiful one of the best things they had ever seen at the Ballet. 

Well it was their first time at the Bolshoi which can be a big overwhelming in itself I guess but I think any corps at the standard of the Royal Bolshoi and Mariinsky can be a total knock out on an especially good night! 

 

I dont mind mind applause at certain points but not if it breaks up the mood of certain ballets or every time a dancer does more than two turns etc etc. 

I think it's nice to have lots of applause at the end and therefore perhaps lengthier curtain calls to show ones appreciation of the dancing and I like the ROH for allowing this. The Coli is not so good however!! 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, CeliB said:

After reading Dawnstars comment I looked at some YT clips of RB and have to say (I'm going to be controversial) thought RB corps were infinitely less impressive - certainly in terms of being in time with legs and arms at the same angles etc. 

 

I tend to agree, CeliB.

Was your DS on stage on Sunday?

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2 hours ago, LinMM said:

I dont mind mind applause at certain points but not if it breaks up the mood of certain ballets or every time a dancer does more than two turns etc etc.

 

During the golden era of Classical Ballet it was not uncommon for the audience to request an encore of a pas that was particularly moving or brilliant.

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2 hours ago, capybara said:

 

I tend to agree, CeliB.

Was your DS on stage on Sunday?

 

No he was perched on the balcony wall next to me (we had a joint ticket with a seat for me and a 'let this one in he's an honoured artist of the Bolshoi' designation for him- which wasn't quite honourable enough for a chair! but then the kind people in the next box ushered him into a spare seat with them, so all good :)

It was nice for him to watch as an audience member (he doesn't often do this) and he says it does feel very different and makes him remember all over again just why he wants to be a dancer. Which is odd because you'd think being on stage would do that more - but perhaps when you are so young all you think about is not stuffing it up!!!

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6 hours ago, CeliB said:

I was lucky enough to be in a box right next to the stage courtesy of DS whom I was visiting and having never seen Bayadere before (as I've said before I'm a total ballet newbie) I was actually blown away by the shades- found it hard to believe they could be bettered as they were so perfectly in time and elegant. After reading Dawnstars comment I looked at some YT clips of RB and have to say (I'm going to be controversial) thought RB corps were infinitely less impressive - certainly in terms of being in time with legs and arms at the same angles etc. Also didn't like their excessive bending over compared to the Bolshoi dancers who were more contained (and seemed to me therefore almost more ethereal).

 

I have zero technical knowledge of ballet so I was going entirely by any visible wobbles as I don't know what the correct arm & leg angles should be. Perhaps the close-ups weren't flattering in that respect or my expectations of perfection were unrealistic. I was actually surprised there were so many close-up shots as it differentiated the dancers rather than having them appear as an identical group, which I thought was the point of the scene.

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I would agree with you there Dawnstar ....maybe the odd closeup ....but the point of the shades is to see the group in unison ....exactly how it comes across from a theatre seat! 

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A real spectacle, from the introduction taking us through the Director's box- into a grand production,  with sumptuous sets- I loved the beautiful floor- and costumes.  Smirnova- perhaps projecting a rather over-confident character for Aurora but so beautiful-  and Stepanova  technically  very fine, and best of all  Semyon Chudin who combines romantic yearning of the most lyrical kind with sensational variations in the grand pas.

 

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I was quite intrigued by the performance of Edward Clug's Petrushka in the live relay today: completely modern, totally different from the original - and yet also pretty much the same in a number of respects.  Did anyone else see it?  I'd be interested to hear thoughts (will it be on the Bolshoi website for the next 24 hours or so?).  Did I understand from Katya Novikova that today was the world premiere?

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I think Miss Novikova actually said “premiere run” as, if you look on the Bolshoi website this was actually the last performance in the run and the premiere was on 20th November last year. I found it interesting and I liked the women’s costumes but missed the bustle of the fair and the individual characters you get in the Fokine version and why were men in fur coats being dragged across the floor to the music when the bear comes on? I think seeing this just emphasises how clever Diaghilev was at combining all the elements of a ballet to form a complete whole. Parts of this worked and parts didn’t for me. I was interested to see it and although I wouldn’t avoid seeing it again I wouldn’t be seeking it out either.

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My recollection is that in Russia they use the term “premiere” as we would “new production”, with the label indicating a new staging (not necessarily a new work) and applying to all performances in its first season.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this programme and with the added bonus of archived footage of Maya Plisetskaya's original Carmen. I had argued with a friend that Carmen was not Latin American, but when I realised it was Cuban Choreography I had to accept his tenuous link.

I think there were about five curtain calls for Miss Zakharova and co, did anyone count them.

Like others I did like the earlier versions of Petrushka, including the Kirov version which I have on DVD. In this new version however, I found that I had much greater focus and appreciation of the musical score, I don't know why, perhaps it wasn't as 'busy' as the others.

Edited by Stevie
typo

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It was on the Bolshoi website but now seems to have gone. I managed to get through it before it vanished. I mostly enjoyed Carmen Suite, though I was somewhat confused by some parts of it. Why were the ensemble costumes half black & half coloured? Why no Micaela? How did Don Jose kill Carmen when he had no weapon but she acted like he'd stabbed her? Why did anyone think a pink polkadot shirt, bouffant hair & almost as much eye make-up as Carmen was a good look for Don Jose? Why did the cast look so unenthusiastic at the curtain calls? There didn't appear to be a smile between them!

 

I was expecing Petrushka to be a traditional production. It wasn't. I really disliked it & was counting the minutes until it ended.

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I really enjoyed both ballets. In Carmen, I loved the treatment of Bizet's music and the striking set. The only thing I wasn't keen on was the background of broken fence panels- it kept distracting me by reminding me of my back garden! Really liked the high chairs with the onlookers-for me, this production was about constriction in a surveillance-based society in which no one was free, whether male or female. For me, and this is why I liked the pairing of ballets in the programme, Petrushka continued with this theme of lack of autonomy and being conscious of viewing and being viewed.  I loved the use of the mannequin doll models. I didn't like the men in the bear coats either and wasn't sure what point was being made, but did love the Russian dolls and this whole idea of the piece being pared down. One I'd definitely like to see again. With the lack of the fairground crowd, however, I did miss a sense of a reaction to the puppets and that felt slightly disjointed with the magician and his creations being somehow seperate and apart from everything else going on.

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1 hour ago, Dawnstar said:

It was on the Bolshoi website but now seems to have gone. I managed to get through it before it vanished. I mostly enjoyed Carmen Suite, though I was somewhat confused by some parts of it. Why were the ensemble costumes half black & half coloured? Why no Micaela? How did Don Jose kill Carmen when he had no weapon but she acted like he'd stabbed her? Why did anyone think a pink polkadot shirt, bouffant hair & almost as much eye make-up as Carmen was a good look for Don Jose? Why did the cast look so unenthusiastic at the curtain calls? There didn't appear to be a smile between them!

 

I was expecing Petrushka to be a traditional production. It wasn't. I really disliked it & was counting the minutes until it ended.

Some of the questions need a little effort, but let me try. Costumes are often coloured, but on this occasion, left to right and not top to bottom. Michaela  is a character in Bizet's Carmen Opera, which varies from between 2.5 to 3 hours. She does not feature in the ballet suite however, because it is only circa 50 minutes, so some things have to go. Since her function is to deliver a letter, a kiss, a duet and an area (albeit a good one), her role was one of the things sacrificed.  I avoid comment on hair, since I am a member of the hair loss brigade.  See Etsy for polka dot shirt statements. Since the acid incident, there is a sensitivity at the Bolshoi about weapons and the staff refuse to stab with real knifes, they prefer to act the part. In truth, she looked like she had been stabbed because she was acting instead of being really stabbed. The initial curtain call appeared to be a very emotional affair, ( having just being stabbed), but by the last curtain call, I think the fifth, performers were very happy and laughing with plenty of bouquets handed over.

Petrushka was indeed a new production as you rightly observe. You can. no doubt advise us of the exact duration so that we can be assured that we weren't short changed.

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The fence panels unfortunately made it a bit difficult to see the dancers' legs in some cases.

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Thanks for the suggestions about Carmen @Stevie. I don't understand your last comment about Petrushka though. I've never seen it before so I have no idea how long it usually runs.

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I think he meant because you'd said you were counting the minutes ;) 

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20 hours ago, alison said:

I think he meant because you'd said you were counting the minutes ;) 

 

I was counting down though so I'm not actually sure how long it was, except that it was longer than I wanted to be looking at that production!

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