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Russian State Ballet of Siberia query (in Oxford and elsewhere)


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So the RSB is coming to Belfast and Mommy got me and her tickets to go see them in January, seeing La Fille mal Gardee. I see there Giselle and it was pretty good, they are a small company so it wasn't going to be mind blowing but their Swan Lake is one of the best I've seen. It blew me away. Tatianna (Bolotova??) was an amazing Giselle.

 

Anyway, does anyone know how I can find out who is dancing in La Fille? As I would simply love to meet the company. The Grand Opera house have told me to send in a request through them and they'll see what they can do but does anyone else have any other ideas or suggestions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi, CharlieChuck!

I would have liked to help you but the casts for the Russian State Ballet of Siberia’s tour of UK are not displayed anywhere at the moment. However, I can give you the names of the company’s dancers:

Female soloists: Vera Surovtseva, Alla Yukhimchuk, Olesya Aldonina, Maria Kuimova;

Male soloists: Alexandr Kuimov, Igor Klimin, Alexandr Zinov, Ivan Karnaukhov, Vyacheslav Kapustin, Kyrill Litvinenko.
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CharlieChuck, if you don't hear from the theatre you could always try emailing the PR person at RSB. Or, you can wait at the stage door after the show! Best of luck, and do let us know how it goes, and what you thought of the performance.

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Have to say I saw their Swan Lake about 3 years ago and it wasn't great (though quite how anyone would stage it in the Ipswich Regent is a moot point).  The lead ballerina was pretty good but the rest of the cast looked about 17 and frankly under-rehearsed; more like a dance school production than a professional company. However it was cheap.

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I also saw their Swan Lake about 3 years ago, two things stuck in my mind 1. the plastic sheet they used to symbolise water in the finale and 2. Witnessing a poor corps dancer badly injure her knee in Act 4 after crashing straight down onto it.

 

I thought the production was okay but remember the two principals were rather good. I cannot remember who danced Siegfried but he was very young and according to his bio had won a lot of gold medals at competitions. He was a fantastic dancer and I wish I could remember his name!

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yeah it is one of the smallest corps, I think it barely has even 60 dancers. For a ballet such as swan lake the Royal ballet tops it every time for me. As I said I've seen Tatianna dance a few times and she is amazing and there was another lower level dancer that stuck out for me as well but I can't remember her name either.

 

http://www.russballet.ru/lang1/company.html dunno if that will be of any use to anyone. 

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  • 2 months later...

The RSB are performing Swan Lake and La Fille Mal Gardee in Oxford, in March. I'm curious. Can anyone tell me anything about them? Will they have their own orchestra ? Is it a good venue? It could be interesting for me.....

Thank you

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I saw the Russian State Ballet a couple of years ago and was led to believe by the literature that there would be an orchestra. There wasnt!

 

The lead dancer was worth the ticket money alone!She was divine and I am only sorry I dont recall her name.( it was a while back.)

 

Sadly the rest of the company wasnt and I learnt later that many are actually students.

 

However I do think it is good to support touring companies, better some Ballet than none! However some Theatres have hosted this company at the expense of instead of as well as British companies because they believe Ballet has to be Russian. Which I find frustrating.

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Me too :(

 

I'm sure they had an orchestra when I last saw them in Wimbledon for Swan Lake a few years ago: I seem to remember thinking that it was a rather sparse one, but it was an orchestra of sorts. The production of Swan Lake is a bit different, and is certainly not one of my favourites: IIRC correctly, it ended with Siegfried committing suicide and Odette grieving by the lake, I think to a repeat of the Act II "White Swan" adagio. I also remember a lot of "courtiers" during Act I who looked rather ungainly and unballetic. I think I was going to write it up for the site, but have mislaid my notes.

 

I enjoyed their production of Fille on the whole, once I'd got used to the fact that it wasn't the Hérold music for the most part, and that Widow Simone was somewhat draggy. It has a very nice pas de deux in the second act. Again, I did take some notes, but don't know where they are at present.

 

BTW, there's a £5 off selected ticket prices offer for Oxford if you book before 7th Feb - quote "New Year Offer" at the box office, or "NEWYEAR" online.

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There may be some confusion over ballet companies here. The Russian State Ballet and the Russian State Ballet of Siberia are two totally different companies. The former comes from Moscow, and the latter (which is currently touring in the UK) is from the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk.

 

I have seen the Siberians a number of times over recent years, and they have always had an orchestra (20-ish musicians?) with them.

 

Their Swan Lake is, as Alison says, a bit different. Unusually for Russian productions there is no jester (a big bonus in my view) and the character of Benno has been restored. The ending is much as Alison has described, Siegfried drowns in the lake after a fatal struggle with Rothbart. The choreographer Sergei Bobrov (the company's artistic director and former Bolshoi dancer) has clearly been influenced by Grigorovich's version for the Bolshoi in making Rothbart an incarnation of Siegfried's dark side.  Trouble is, this psychological interpretation makes a bit of a nonsense of the story of Odette's plight. Another plus, though, is the inclusion of the Russian Dance (a great violin solo) in the ballroom scene, danced here by one of the aspiring brides. The sets definitely looked as if they needed a re-vamp the last time I saw it. Raymond Gubbay, please take note!

 

The company's former prima, Anna Ol (sometimes transliterated as Aulle) was an excellent Odette-Odile, but she's now a principal with the Stanislavsky Ballet in Moscow  - dancing recently as Mary Vetsera opposite Sergei Polunin in Mayerling and as Nikita with a guesting Ivan Vasilev.

 

Maria Kuimova is also a fine O-O, and I believe she is on the current tour. Unfortunately, casting isn't announced in advance but she's worth catching if you can.

 

I can't say I particularly enjoyed their Fille, although it was quite jolly - perhaps I've got too used to the Herold score. Giselle suits the company best, in my view, as, to be honest, the male corps are not in the same league as the ladies, but I'm not sure if it's in this year's rep.

 

James

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  • 4 weeks later...

The Russian State Ballet OF SIBERIA, based in Krasnoyarsk, is the troupe which has been and is still touring here now. They have just had three days (and four performances) in Basingstoke, the nearest equivalent to Siberia hereabouts, perhaps, and I saw them three times - well, it would be rude not to, as it's only 20 minutes away.

 

La Fille, with Hertel's music, was exceedingly jolly - the three dancers who stood out were Natalia Bobrova, great as Lise, Denis Pogorely an Alain to be proud of, and Alexander Kuimov a not-too-camp Widow Simone. I had never seen a non-Ashton version of this and it was pretty interesting to hear the different music.

 

Coppelia was in a production that I hadn't seen either, with a lovely variation for the Coppelia Doll (Yana Tugaeva) that would be a great exam piece, I think. Kuimov was Dr Coppelius, much camper for some reason; Elena Pogorelaya and Daniil Kostylev a very engaging Swanhilda and Franz.

 

And Swan Lake ... well Bobrova again as Odette/Odile, and she was quite something - composed and steady, with beautiful arms and legs which are - well I almost want to say 'rounded" - that are not that but certainly not the sticks and gristle which one sometimes sees. Egor Osokin as Siegfried was lovely looking (something of the Ovcharenko about him) but seemed very tentative, somehow. It's a small stage, and he has long legs - he seemed not to want to stretch out and leap. A lot of dancing, with some interesting choreography too, for Benno (Ivan Karnaukhov). And Kuimov - obviously a sine qua non of the company - was a daffy tutor. There was indeed a sheet at the end to "drown" Rothbart and Siegfried - not plastic, but tending to the silky. Effective, I thought, but maybe I'm too easily pleased.

 

The orchestra was small but gallant, and played well enough. Good acoustics helped, and the leader did some fine solos on her violin. 

 

I have to say I don't know how they do it - a three month tour all over the country with few "days off" (and when there are they are likely to be somewhere like Basingstoke ...). They did not seem tired or disenchanted, the corps were always alert, the humour was funny, the pathos moving. And the Anvil theatre was healthily full for all three shows that I saw and the audiences were very engaged indeed. They are heading now for Reading, Wimbledon, Leicester, Oxford, Ipswich and Canterbury - well worth catching them if they are near you!

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I thought their Fille was nicely done. I was impressed with the leading lady as Lise, and her partner. I liked the costumes in Coppelia, and the second Act was better than the first in my eyes. I had wanted to see their Swan Lake, but with necessary train travel, tickets a bit too expensive.

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Sadly the rest of the company wasnt and I learnt later that many are actually students.

That might explain why some of them looked so young. I did think there was some promise in the male corps, though.

 

Well, that was a very ... unusual ... production of Coppelia. It's about as different from most "traditional" Coppelias that I've seen as their La Fille Mal Gardée is from the Ashton version. Shorn of its social context, lacking coherent dramatic logic, and for the most part lacking recognisable choreography. Does anyone know whose version it is? Has Bobrov made a version of his own, or does it have some relationship to Gorsky, or something?

 

When the curtain first went up, to reveal some dancers who wouldn't have looked out of place in the original 1789 production of Fille, it was immediately apparent that the production wasn't going to run quite along the normal lines. We had Acts I and II (more or less) run together, then an interval before the final act. Franz clearly wasn't the only one smitten with Coppelia - every male in the village apart from Coppelius seemed to be. Coppelius was a rather odd sort of character: forget any mime about him being mad, this Dr. was more Gamache than what we're used to seeing in this ballet. He appeared to have some sort of magical powers, which came and went as the rather flimsy narrative required. Act II was distinctly shortened: no solos for Swanilda here. Instead of hiding in a cupboard and changing into Coppelia's clothes, she just sits in Coppelia's chair and puts on her wig (fortunately they were wearing similar-looking clothes anyway). Franz is caught by Coppelius, but there's no attempt to drug him - indeed, he takes part in much of the choreography - and I wasn't really quite sure what was supposed to be happening: there was an attempt to transfer Franz's life force or something into the "doll". Franz recognises that the "doll" is actually his girlfriend, and is contrite. Coppelius ends up left with the doll and looking distressed, although it wasn't terribly clear quite why.

 

Act III is some not very clearly specified celebration: I assume it was probably supposed to be Franz and Swanilda's wedding, but it could just have been their engagement. It was a bit of a musical hodge-podge: we had the mazurka for the townspeople, then Coppelia (yes, I do mean her) is escorted in by Coppelius and does a doll dance to what is usually one of Swanilda's Act II solos. We then had "Work", "Dawn" and "Prayer" - I put them in inverted commas because there was no indication of what any of them were supposed to signify. Prayer was actually danced as a duet, which I thought worked quite well, and managed to get rid of all those pesky difficult penché arabesques. The pas de deux was, I think, somewhat abbreviated, and had an incursion by another dancer in a tutu (a bridesmaid?) in the manner of Don Quixote. (There were quite a few tutu-clad dancers who did a brief turn in this final act) Swanilda was very impressive here, reeling off multiple fouettés (had they actually been invented when the ballet first began, in 1870, I think it may have been? If not, that's indicative of a later version, I assume) and changing her spotting for virtually every one.

 

I was unable to find a cast sheet, so can't credit the dancers, but the ballerina who danced Swanilda so delightfully was everything this production needed her to be.

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Just got back from seeing the company's Swan Lake at DeMontfort Hall in Leicester- it was absolutely phenomenal!!! (Review to follow as soon as I have time!)

How do I find out who played Odette-Odile? In the programme there were five dancers who share the role, I couldn't quite work out who it was on that occasion?

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Swanprincess - there would have been a cast list sellotaped up somewhere in the foyer ... maybe if you ring the theatre they'll still have a copy or could look it up for you .... Actually, if you bought a programme, there SHOULD have been one inside that!

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Just got back from seeing the company's Swan Lake at DeMontfort Hall in Leicester- it was absolutely phenomenal!!! (Review to follow as soon as I have time!)

How do I find out who played Odette-Odile? In the programme there were five dancers who share the role, I couldn't quite work out who it was on that occasion?

Swan Princess

 

I am going to see a couple of the performances in Ipswich this week. There is sometimes a company rep around and I will see if I can find out who danced Odette-Odile at the performance you saw last Saturday. What is the matinee you went to?

 

James

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There wasn't at Wimbledon that I could see.  And as I mentioned, the programme sellers I spoke to didn't appear to have any either.

 

I attended the RSBS's performance of "Swan Lake" at Wimbledon on 25 February.

 

The programme I bought had a cast list for the performance inside - with the warning - in capital letters - "PLEASE NOTE THAT NAMES IN CAST LIST ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE".

 

Although my seat was some way back, I had my pair of 8x binoculars. With these I could get a better view of the faces of the dancers. It seemed to me that the ballerina dancing Odette/Odile wasn't the one in the cast list - Ekaterina Bulgutova - but possibly was Natalia Bobrova, judging from their photos in the programme. But is the programme entirely accurate on the photos? - it seems to be produced by the tour promoter, Raymond Gubbay, and not by the company itself. (The programmes for the Moscow City Ballet seem similarly to be produced by their tour promoter, PMB Presentations). Even if the photos are accurate, make-up can radically alter the appearance of the dancer. However, if I had to make a judgment, then I would suggest that Bobrova was the ballerina in the Wimbledon performance  of "Swan Lake". The advertised Siegfried, Yury Kudryavtsev, did look like the photo in the programme.

 

As for the performance itself, it was entertaining, and I certainly don't begrudge spending money to see the RSBS. This was the third "Swan Lake" performance I've seen "live" this winter, the other two being performances by the Moscow City Ballet at two different venues. As with the MCB, I felt that the RSBS were enthusiastic and competent dancers. Again, these are not people merely going through the motions to earn money. In any case it seems clear to me that anyone who is involved professionally as a ballet dancer, must have tremendous determination and dedication to carry on in this most demanding of artistic professions, with mostly meagre financial reward.

 

Of the two touring Russian companies I have seen live, I preferred the MCB, but then I have seen them 6 times, and the RSBS only once. Of the two versions of "Swan Lake", I certainly preferred the MCB's. The choreographers of both companies seem to have made their own imaginative variations of the ballet - again showing that they are not merely going through the motions, but applying real artistic imagination to their performances. I just felt that the variations made by the MCB worked better. For instance, I didn't really like the RSBS Swan Lake's ending, which is "low key", omitting the evocative switch to the major key transformation of the main theme which closes the ballet in most versions. This alters the feeling of the ending. While a "happy" ending is abhorrent, the traditional major-key ending gives a "redemptive" feel to the ballet, which is surely appropriate - signifying the triumph of love over death and evil.

 

I have seen what I suppose is the current Royal Ballet version of "Swan Lake" on their DVD - and have booked to watch the live filmed transmission on March 17 at my local Curzon cinema. From what I saw on the DVD, I don't prefer the RB's version to either of the touring Russian companies' ones. I would put it at the same level as the RSBS, and both well behind the MCB. For a start the MCB does not have that annoying "DrunkenTutor" which appears in the Royal Ballet version - I feel very sorry for the poor dancer who has to play that embarrassing role.

 

Looking at the extremely strenuous tour schedules of both the MCB and the RSBS, makes me even more appreciative of their bringing ballet at a reasonable price to various venues, who might otherwise rarely if ever put on live ballet.

Edited by FrankH
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Thankyou so much James, that's kind of you- it was the matinee at DeMontfort Hall in Leicester

Swanprincess

 

I am told that Odette/Odile at the performance you saw was Ekaterina Bulgutova. The Prince was Vyacheslav Kapustin.

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