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LordCirque
12-19-2010, 05:56 PM
Gelsey Kirkland

nubka
12-20-2010, 01:06 AM
Gelsey Kirkland

Oh, that Nutcracker! I don't think Gelsey looks too old at all...

When you mentioned ABT, I thought you meant the current ABT.

LordCirque
12-20-2010, 05:35 AM
Gennadi Saveliev (http://www.abt.org/dancers/detail.asp?Dancer_ID=45), a soloist from ABT, is Cavalier for the Nutcracker I'm performing some minor roles in with California Ballet, I only had availability to do small character roles this year. I loved getting to watch him during the Pas de Deux tonight. His Double Tours finish still in the air and completely rotate, a rarity in Ballet these days unless you're in a bit company, and even then... :cheer2:

rudi
12-23-2010, 04:21 PM
I just caught this for the first time tonight (Bolshoi), so I won't get to see them all. Casse Noisette is on tonight (I'll watch that one), and then the winner is announced on 12/24.

I prefer a traditional Nutcracker, so I think Bolshoi would have ended up being my favorite. The girl who plays the role of Clara is an incredible dancer, although my daughter and I both thought that she looked way too old for the role. Also, I know this one was filmed a few years back. (The Nutcracker Prince's hair is scary!) I wish they would film and show a more recent version of the Bolshoi's Nutcracker.

LordCirque
12-23-2010, 07:09 PM
I liked the Bolshoi's take on Clara becoming The Sugarplum Fairy, I've never watched Bolshoi beginning to end, only the Variations and the Battle, but I watched Act II all the way through last night, including Waltz and Pas de Deux. Waltz of The Flowers is usually my least favorite part of the entire production but I liked what they did quite a bit. The only thing I missed here was a Dew Drop soloist, but the rest was strong enough without one.

I'm very much in a traditional Nutcracker mood right now, maybe because I just finished performing/watching one quite a bit and really enjoyed watching it.

danceronice
12-23-2010, 09:58 PM
I think Royal is my favorite because they really make as much use as they can of the framing story from the book (and up Clara/Marie's age to suit, even though that's NOT in keeping with the book, it does make it substantially less creepy.)

It's always interesting to see what they do with Drosselmeyer in different productions. (I wish I could find a full-length, non-internet version of NYCB with Balanchine himself in the role--I've seen one very early TV clip of it.) Royal Ballet is probably closest to what Hoffmann was going for, while I still have no idea whatsoever is going on in Berlin's rendition.

barbk
12-24-2010, 12:03 AM
Drosselmeyer in our local production is played by Peter Davidson, a very talented juggler/dancer who used to be in the group AirJazz. He really made Drosselmeyer more magical than any I've seen in other productions:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4MTZaKfItc

LadyNit
12-24-2010, 02:15 AM
I stumbled across the Bolshoi's second act. Good lord, Mr. 'cracker/Handsome Prince was a chunk and a half. I imagine the NY Times critic would be revolted by his size if forced to watch. :P

Was unimpressed with the lead ballerina. She was precise and robotic, without an ounce of soul. I don't like to watch a lesson in ballet mechanics. :scream:

The clack leading the ovations after each variation was interesting. Do they do that at many performances, or was this particularly prolonged because the show was being filmed?

LordCirque
12-24-2010, 04:48 AM
Russia is known for having cult followings for their dancers. Some of them are very famous, and this was recorded in 1989, so it was Soviet era Ballet, and the Ballet schools and company are 100% government funded. I remember watching a documentary where some of the Russian/Soviet dancers were interviewed about how obsessive some of their fans got, it sounds akin to what happens to movie/pop stars here.

But yes, it's always been my understanding that it's very common place for Russian audiences to get very involved in performances.

rudi
12-24-2010, 05:53 PM
Casse Noisette was a hard sell even for me...I had a hard time following the storyline and what was going on...I have to say Casse wins the award for weirdest Nutcracker I've ever seen, and perhaps some of the weird choreography I've ever seen.

I caught the beginning of this last night and I totally agree. I don't think I could get past the appearance of the nutcracker with those teeth and his "thing" hanging out. I was kind of like :huh: and found it kind of distracting...LOL. I recorded it, so I'll watch the rest tonight.

rudi
12-24-2010, 06:03 PM
Was unimpressed with the lead ballerina. She was precise and robotic, without an ounce of soul.

I couldn't put my finger on it at the time, but I think you are right. Aside from looking too old for the part, I got this too. She was an amazing dancer, but the part of Clara involves some acting as well.

On another note, watching this ballet with girls cast as boys in the party scene reminded me of a child memory. I was in a local production of The Nutcracker as a kid and auditioned for the solo parts in the party scene (the doll and the soldier). I ended up being cast as one of the boys, since there weren't enough boys to play boys. That was a bummer. :(
:lol:

skatemommy
12-25-2010, 12:13 AM
I stumbled across the Bolshoi's second act. Good lord, Mr. 'cracker/Handsome Prince was a chunk and a half. I imagine the NY Times critic would be revolted by his size if forced to watch. :P

Was unimpressed with the lead ballerina. She was precise and robotic, without an ounce of soul. I don't like to watch a lesson in ballet mechanics. :scream:

The clack leading the ovations after each variation was interesting. Do they do that at many performances, or was this particularly prolonged because the show was being filmed?

Hubby was watching with me and he was like :huh: at the clack...I told him it must be "Bravo" in Russian :confused:

Rob
12-25-2010, 01:05 AM
I stumbled across the Bolshoi's second act. Good lord, Mr. 'cracker/Handsome Prince was a chunk and a half. I imagine the NY Times critic would be revolted by his size if forced to watch. :P

Was unimpressed with the lead ballerina. She was precise and robotic, without an ounce of soul. I don't like to watch a lesson in ballet mechanics. :scream:

The clack leading the ovations after each variation was interesting. Do they do that at many performances, or was this particularly prolonged because the show was being filmed?

Was it Arkhipova and Mukhamedov? I have seen that version before. She tied with my friend Amanda for a gold medal at the Moscow Ballet Competition and he won the Grand Prix that year - 1981. He spent some time at ABT, but he was what I call a stomp stomp trick dancer back then. He did jumps I had never seen before, but he stomped around a lot in between. I found her a bit robotic even then with huge jumps. She was second best Russian junior then - Ananiashvili was in her class and won the prize of the Ministry of Culture - sort of a junior grand prix. The audiences did the clacking and show stopping ovations when I was there.

LordCirque
12-25-2010, 10:39 PM
Royal Ballet won this year. Bolshoi 2nd, followed by Berlin, Casse, and Bejart last.

Looks like the Hard Nut won 3 years running, in 07, 08, and 09, so I'm guessing it's been retired, at least temporarily, from the competition.

And yes it's the Arkhipova and Mukhamedov version for Bolshoi.

Holley Calmes
12-26-2010, 04:22 AM
I loved the Bolshoi version, and I love Mukhamedov. I've always loved him. I hated when he defected to London. I always thought they put a tiger in a jewel box. But I am a Spartacus junkie.

Is this Grigorovitch choreo? I think so. Even in the first act, it looked like the "boys" corps were doing character steps-which is fine. I did enjoy the richness of this version's visuals-the costumes, the makeup, the characterizations. I particularly loved the 2nd act dance that is typically Arabian or "exotic" being Indian. Loved it, gorgeous. It was most definitely the most athletically challenging version I saw all day. But-perhaps my more experienced fsu ballet friends can set me straight there.

But my husband did have a good comment about the Bolsoi version..he said that the stage is so large, it makes the dancers so remote, no matter how "big" they dance.

I hated the Berlin version. It was so SLOW. The Waltz of the Flowers sounded like a funeral dirge.