Sunday, 29 July 2007

End of the 2006/2007 Bolshoi Season

Last week, having scored a front row seat from my usual dealer, I watched the fantastic end to the 2006/2007 Bolshoi season: the gala concert "all the stars of the Bolshoi ballet". It was an incredible show and a very high note on which to end a great more Bolshoi Ballet now until October (!) - but they will be on tour in London and, I think, Berlin.

An orgy of YouTube discoveries follows [although, in truth, I am...ahem...unable to make any claims as that the permission of the copyright holders was always obtained, by the people who made these vids...oh well].

In the First Half, Maria Allash wowed us with her Aegina from Spartacus; while the prima ballerina goddess that is Svetlana Zakharova gave us her extraordinary solo piece, 'Revelation'

[taken from Russian TV, I think, sound quality not terribly good]

[choreography by Mitoso Hiroyama; to music by John Williams]

In the Second Half we were treated to a performance of Middle Duet, a fantastic piece choreographed by Bolshoi Artistic Director, Alexei Ratmansky (who I think is really coming into his own now and nudging the Bolshoi to do some really edgy, raw and wonderful pieces):

[piece taken from Kultura TV]

This is an extraordinarily beautiful piece I think (music by Yuri Khanon). The duet is between the sublime Natalia Osipova and Andrei Merkuriev; who is, IMHO, featured as a soloist not nearly enough by the Bolshoi. You can see almost the full Middle Duet here (performed in this version I think in Seoul, by St Petersburg's Mariinsky Ballet). BTW, the staging is supposed to start very dark, very dimly through the shadows...

That gay old trouper, Nikolai Tsiskaridze, and the dramatic Ilze Liepa, gave us their La Dame de Pique which I am coming to like (nothing on YouTube yet, sorry), although I find Tsiskaridze a little too hammy a performer for my taste...

The finale was Zhakharova and Denis Matvienko, and the full company, performing the Grand Pas from Don Quixote:

[an illicit recording of a 2006 performance by Matvienko]

But since I am show-casing ballet on YouTube, I offer these two discoveries.

The first is a piece that captures Carlos Acosta, whom I mentioned recently, as he performed the lead role in Spartacus:

As well as a fantastic segment of Twlya Tharp's In the Upper Room (music by Philip Glass), which I watched again on 14th July, with I think the best cast rotation for this piece (including Denis Savin, Alexander Smoliyaninov, Natalia Osipova and Andrei Merkuriev):

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