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Bolshoi, Mariinsky, Mikhailovsky


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I too am disappointed with the ballets announced in the Dancing Times. For the last several visits the Bolshoi have been a Tchaikovksy free zone and still seem to attract good audiences. Perhaps they think without Osipova and Vasiliev they need the 'old warhorses' to attract good audiences but it seems a lost opportunity to regular balletgoers who would like to see Esmerelda which they haven't performed here and hasn't been released on dvd. Also, Bright Stream and Pharoah's daugher haven't been performed here for ages. I know there has to be a balance between more established ballets and not so well known works but even so I think they could give Swan lake at least a miss.I seem to remember when they used to bring Swan lake it always got panned by the critics.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Hochhausers don't try to get Osipova and Vasiliev to 'guest' for certain ballets such as Flames and Bayadere. I'm sure in a 3 week season they will be performing more than 4 ballets. They could very well be finalising a triple bill and hopefully deciding what other full length ballet/s to bring. My vote goes for any of the above and also Don Q if they could get Osipova and Vasiliev.

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I saw their Swan Lake live here in Toronto (after seeing it at the cinema) and found it pretty dreadful actually. Horrible sets and costumes, uninventive and unmusical choreography. I wouldn't recommend springing big bucks (or whatever the British equivalent of that phrase is) to go and see it.

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I don't know if it's the same one I saw in the late 1980s. If it is, I agree with Katherine because I just found it a technical exercise with no emotion (although someone exceptional could apparently transcend the awfulness of the production according to reviews).

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I don't know if it's the same one I saw in the late 1980s. If it is, I agree with Katherine because I just found it a technical exercise with no emotion (although someone exceptional could apparently transcend the awfulness of the production according to reviews).

That pretty much describes it. The Mariinsky's is a different matter. Their swans are so amazing that you are mesmerized by them even to the point of not watching the soloists. When they all turn from one "stand" to another, you just think "Oh my God that's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen! Those ARMS!!!!"

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toursenlair, I'm shocked to read your opinion of the Bolshoi's Swan Lake. I'd always assumed that they would have a top-notch production.

I've found often that the Russian productions don't measure up to Western companies'. They seem almost to be coasting on their reputation. I took a group to see the Mariinsky Sleeping Beauty in Washington and then another to London where we saw BRB's, and the people who were in both groups unanimously preferred BRB's!

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As O & V left the Bolshoi acrimoniously, I think the chance of their returning as guests are just about zero. They will almost certainly dance with the Mikhailovsky earlier in the year though.

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I long ago gave up seeing the Bolshoi in Swan Lake. Among other aberations I find their propensity for taking calls at the drop of hat - even after Odile's fouettes - to be insensitive if not downright infuriating. While they have made such tremendous advances in repertoire and design in other ballets,they appear to be resolutely mired in atrophied old fashioned mustiness when it comes to Swan Lake so I stay away.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I see in the calendar section of this month's dancing Times the Bolshoi visit is listed. They still give the ballets being performed as mentioned above unfortunately. (I keep hoping for a change of heart at least for Swan lake!) However, it does say booking opens in April so a bit longer to save up. Joan

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I too keep wondering about this. I check ENO and the Mikhailovsky websites fairly regularly but nothing yet. I did ask Osipova when she was guesting in Swan lake if she was coming with the Mikhailovsky and she said 'yes' so I'm still hoping though I didn't think to ask about dates.

Also, I see in this months Dancing Times that the Bolshoi have acquired Cranko's Onegin and are premiering it this July. I suppose it's asking too much for them to bring it when they come. I'd love to see what a Russian company make of it. I know the Royal are doing it in January but then they're also doing Bayadere in April/May and the Bolshoi still seem to be bringing that. Joan

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In their joint interview to "Rossiiskaya gazeta" today: http://www.rg.ru/2012/12/26/teatr.html the Bolshoi’s Director A.Iksanov and Artistic Director of the ballet company Sergei Filin spoke, among other things, of the company’s tour of London this summer.

 

Iksanov: We have agreed now that Natasha & Vanya (Osipova & Vasiliev) will join us on our London tour this summer.

 

Filin: For this purpose I went to New York and had a discussion about it. They will dance in “The Flames of Paris”. We will also bring to London “Swan Lake”, “La Bayadere”, “The Sleeping Beauty”, “The Rite of Spring” by McGregor, “ The Classical Symphony” by Possokhov, and “The Diamonds” by Balanchine. Mr. Iksanov set forward one condition to Osipova & Vasiliev: we are ready to cooperate but not through an agent.

 

Iksanov: We have no intention to pay any agents, especially American ones, for our dancers whom we raised. There should be only direct contracts with Vanya & Natasha. They agreed to it. I shall be delighted that they will appear in London…

 

P.S. It can be added that coincidentally with this new development the website of the agent in question - Ardani Artists Russian Ballet Company, who were representing Osipova & Vasiliev in the West, became unavailable. :rolleyes:

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That is FANTASTIC news ... Even if the Mikhailovsky do not come - we have seen Vasiliev and Osipova in Don Q many times .... Well, more than anything esle. How exciting then that they will be appearing in Flames (in a production that they created) and possibly other works which we have not seen them in here. A Happy New Year INDEED!!! A VERY happy one.

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Oh dear what a mess Mikhailovsky seem to be in I was so looking forward to seeing them as I have missed them. I am not fussed on anything the Bolshoi are bringing this year such a lost opportunity - I was very disappointed with FoP (Osipova/Vasiliev) when I saw it in Paris so won't be bothering with that whoever "dances" it. There are plenty of other offerings in July as well - ENB, Carlos Acosta and Boston Ballet etc... so we won't go short whatever happens.

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Well, within reason, I don't really care so much what rep the Bolshoi bring or about all the funny ways they have with taking calls, I'm just SO excited to see the company & their incredible dancers again ! I hope Olga Smirnova is cast in Diamonds: she looks fabulous in the clips on YT and Clement Crisp's review of her debut in Moscow was lavish with praise. It would be a dream to see her Nikiya with Lantratov as Solor. I'm only singling out these two because they're less established "stars" I'm looking forward to Alexandrova, Obraztsova, Zakharova, Chudin to name but a few and presumably David Hallberg ?

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Brilliant news that Osipova and Vasiliev are coming with the Bolshoi. I knew the Hochhausers would do everything to get them as they are so popular and, in London especially, so associated with the Bolshoi. With the slight debacle with their change of dates for dancing Don Q in 2011 the box office actually had notices up saying 'Mr Vasiliev will not be dancing Don Q tonight', something I've never seen before at the ROH. I wonder if that was what happened if Nureyev had to cancel?

However, I'm still not very happy with the rep. Even in these straightened circumstances it seems rather conservative. It would have been great to see Bright Stream or Pharoah's Daughter, ballets we don't get the chance to see over here (except possibly at the cinema). So, I won't be going as often as I'd hoped but still it will be great to see them again. Joan

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I saw the Bolshoi in the UK about 6 or 7 years ago and was left very unimpressed. Lots of high leg extensions but no real emotion or passion was conveyed. The sets and costumes were very old and dusty looking. Felt like a bygone era. RB/BRB are luminous and passionate by comparison and I would rather spend my money on them.

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Well, the Mikhailovsky's patron / owner, Vladimir Kekhman, has just filed for bankruptcy, in London. I don't know whether this will affect the company's tour to London.

I expect no reputable promoter or agents will want to be involved with them now

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Oh well, I'll be giving Laurencia a miss this time around: once was enough. I liked their Giselle last time around, though.

 

Edit: oops, just looked at your dates again, Beryl: do you mean 25th March to 7th April? :)

 

 

Yes, all these dates are starting to confuse me, there's an awful lot on at the Coliseum next year :)

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Yes, all these dates are starting to confuse me, there's an awful lot on at the Coliseum next year :)

 

Yes and in the ENO leaflet it said Mikhailovsky would be doing Swan Lake so that has been cancelled but Laurencia which is at bit like Don Q was good last time ...but once was enough ....maybe wait and see if they and O/V really come...or perhaps I will just book for Bolshoi in summer and see O/V with them as it is a better company. With Midnight Express perhaps more interesting than Duarto and with BRB ,Boston Ballet etc there is a lot on and I for one will have to be selective.

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“… Laurencia which is a bit like Don Q was good last time ...but once was enough .…”

 

The only thing that ‘Laurencia’ and ‘Don Q.’ have in common is their Spanish background.

Unlike the light-hearted comedy ‘Don Q.’ ‘Laurencia’ has a poignant dramatic plot and had excellent performers in Russia in the past: Dudinskaya, Plisetskaya as Laurencia and Alla Shelest as Jasinta.

 

Unfortunately,during Mikhailovsky’s last visit Laurencia was danced by a ballerina whose placid acting did not match her competent technique. This character must be created by a ballerina of fiery temperament and capable of rising to tragic heights. I cannot wait to see Osipova in this role.

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