Monthly Archive: May 2024

TV Talent Scouts

“Ազգային պարեր” (National Dances), Shant TV, Armenia
“Большой Балет” (Bolshoi Ballet), Rossiya-Kultura TV, Russia
May 2024

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2024 by Ilona Landgraf

1. S.Matevosyan (host), A.Haxverdyan, L.Hakobyan, M.Mkhitaryan, G.Karapetyan (jury), A.Julhakyan (jury), A.Davtyan (Shant TV), H.Ghukasyan (director and producer), S.Mikayelyan (jury), T.Mnoyan (jury), A.Khangeldyan, S.Margaryan, M.Babayan, S.Barseghyan (host); “Ազգային պարեր” (National Dances), Shant TV, Armenia © Shant TVWhile German TV programs rarely promote the art of dance, dance is part and parcel of media abroad. The sequels of two dance competitions—Ազգային պարեր (Azgayin Parer/National Dances) on Shant TV, Armenia, and Большой Балет (Bolshoi Ballet) on Rossiya-Kultura TV, Russia—were broadcast recently. Both competitions are textbook examples of how to foster talent while simultaneously nourishing and cherishing dance culture.

Folk dance is a pillar of Armenia’s culture, and the Armenian State Barekamutyun Dance Ensemble has presented it professionally since 1987. Its founder and artistic adviser, Norayr Mehrabyan, is the father of Arsen Mehrabyan, who made his career on Western ballet stages. Shant TV’s first run of a folk dance competition reinforces the status of national dance.

3. G.Karapetyan (jury), A.Davtyan (Shant TV), and H.Ghukasyan (director and producer); “Ազգային պարեր” (National Dances), Shant TV, Armenia © Shant TV2. Finalists of the competition: A.Haxverdyan, M.Mkhitaryan, A.Khangeldyan, L.Hakobyan, M.Babayan, S.Margaryan; hosts, S.Barseghyan and S.Matevosyan; “Ազգային պարեր” (National Dances), Shant TV, Armenia © Shant TVAnna Davtyan, when describing the project on Shant TV, explained that the show was a compilation of ten broadcasts featuring Armenian folk dance and modern dances. It was produced and directed by Hrach Ghukasyan. Twenty young Armenian dancers participated in the open competition; ten of them men and ten women.
A jury of four along with intermittent guest jurors assessed their performances. Gagik Karapetyan (principal dancer and artistic director of the Armenian State Dance Ensemble), Arman Julhakyan (dancer, choreographer, and ballet master), Tigran Mnoyan (dancer and artistic director of Prof Art Dance Studio Yerevan), and Susan Mikayelyan (dancer, choreographer, ballet master, and the mother of the Bavarian State Ballet’s former principal, Tigran Mikayelyan) were permanent jurors.
 4. L.Hakobyan and S.Margaryan, “Ազգային պարեր” (National Dances), Shant TV, Armenia © Shant TV 5. Participants and staff, “Ազգային պարեր” (National Dances), Shant TV, Armenia © Shant TV They preselected six finalists from which the viewers chose Lida Hakobyan from Artik, a town around sixty-five miles northwest of Yerevan, and Shavarsh Margaryan from Yerevan as the winners. The project was so successful that a second run is already in the works.

Bolshoi Ballet on Rossiya-Kultura TV is already in its fifth run. The last series of seven broadcasts closed with a gala on April 20th. Sixteen young dancers from Russia along with Cuban, Kirghiz, and Uzbek companies participated, performing solos and pas de deux. Each sequence featured another topic, such as Classical & Soviet Repertory or Choreography of the 20th and 21st Centuries. One edition comprised choreography created exclusively for the competition (among others by Nacho Duato).
7. K.Shamakeev, “Don Quixote” by M.Petipa and A.Gorsky, Chelyabinsk Opera and Ballet Theater © Chelyabinsk Opera and Ballet Theater6. K.Shamakeev, “Diana and Actaeon Pas de Deux” by A.Vaganova, “Большой Балет” (Bolshoi Ballet) on Rossiya-Kultura TV © Chelyabinsk Opera and Ballet Theater Svetlana Zakharova, principal dancer of the Bolshoi Ballet, and Igor Kolb, principal dancer of the Mariinsky Ballet, presented the broadcasts. The jury of four comprised Oleg Vinogradov (former dancer, choreographer, and ballet director), Maria Alexandrova (former principal of the Bolshoi Ballet), Gabriela Komleva (former dancer, coach, and repetiteur), and Farukh Ruzimatov (former dancer and artistic director). Each contestant received feedback from the jurors right after his or her performance. The quality of the performances varied but was often outstanding.

8. K.Ismagilova during a performance, Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Musical Theater © K.Ismagilova9. K.Ismagilova and S.Dangyt, “The Nutcracker” by YPossokhov, Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Musical Theater © K.ZhitkovaThe prize for the best duet was awarded to Maria Ilyushkina and Even Capitaine from the Mariinsky Theatre. Kamilla Ismagilova from the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Musical Theater received the prize for the best female dancer; the best male dancer was Kubanych Shamakeev from the Chelyabinsk Opera and Ballet Theater. The Bolshoi Ballet’s Daniil Potaptsev was declared Discovery of the Year. The prize for acting talent was awarded to Nikita Ksenofontov from the Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre (NOVAT). Ksenofontov also received the Soul Fulfilled Flight prize, which was established by the general media partner of the season: TASS.

12. D.Potaptsev and ensemble, “Coppélia” by M.Petipa and E.Cecchetti, Bolshoi Ballet 2024 © Bolshoi Ballet/D.Yusupov11. D.Potaptsev and ensemble, “Giselle” by Y.Grigorovich, Bolshoi Ballet 2024 © Bolshoi Ballet/D.Yusupov  10. D.Potaptsev and E.Kokoreva, “Jewels” by G.Balanchine, Bolshoi Ballet 2024 © Bolshoi Ballet/D.YusupovThe final gala included a group performance by all contestants as well as performances by previous participants and guests, among them Anna Tikhomirova and Artem Ovcharenko (Bolshoi Ballet), Maria Alexandrova and Vladislav Lantratov (Bolshoi Ballet), Amanda Gomez and Wagner Carvalho (Tartar State Academic Opera and Ballet), and Yulia Lukyanenko and Nikita Tchetverikov (Mikhailovsky Theatre). All episodes of the recent run can be rewatched on smotrim.ru.13. N.Ksenofonotov (Modest Alexeyevich) and ensemble), "Anyuta" by V.Vasiliev, Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre © Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre

Link:
“Ազգային պարեր” (National Dances), Shant TV, Armenia
Photos: 1. Sona Matevosyan (host), Arpi Haxverdyan, Lida Hakobyan, Mari Mkhitaryan, Gagik Karapetyan (jury), Arman Julhakyan (jury), Anna Davtyan (Shant TV), Hrach Ghukasyan (director and producer), Susan Mikayelyan (jury), Tigran Mnoyan (jury), Armen Khangeldyan, Shavarsh Margaryan, Makich Babayan, Senik Barseghyan (host); “Ազգային պարեր” (National Dances), Shant TV, Armenia © Shant TV
2. Finalists of the competition: Arpi Haxverdyan, Maria Mkhitaryan, Armen Khangeldyan, Lida Hakobyan Makich Babayan, Shavarsh Margaryan; hosts, Senik Barseghyan and Sona Matevosyan; “Ազգային պարեր” (National Dances), Shant TV, Armenia © Shant TV
3. Gagik Karapetyan (jury), Anna Davtyan (Shant TV), and Hrach Ghukasyan (director and producer); “Ազգային պարեր” (National Dances), Shant TV, Armenia © Shant TV
4. Lida Hakobyan and Shavarsh Margaryan, “Ազգային պարեր” (National Dances), Shant TV, Armenia © Shant TV
5. Participants and staff, “Ազգային պարեր” (National Dances), Shant TV, Armenia © Shant TV
6. Kubanych Shamakeev, “Diana and Actaeon Pas de Deux” by Agrippina Vaganova, “Большой Балет” (Bolshoi Ballet) on Rossiya-Kultura TV © Chelyabinsk Opera and Ballet Theater
7. Kubanych Shamakeev, “Don Quixote” by Marius Petipa and Alexander Gorsky, Chelyabinsk Opera and Ballet Theater © Chelyabinsk Opera and Ballet Theater
8. Kamilla Ismagilova during a performance, Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Musical Theater © Kamilla Ismagilova
9. Kamilla Ismagilova and Subedey Dangyt, “The Nutcracker” by Yuri Possokhov, Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Musical Theater © Karina Zhitkova
10. Daniil Potaptsev and Elizaveta Kokoreva, “Jewels” by George Balanchine, Bolshoi Ballet 2024 © Bolshoi Ballet/Damir Yusupov
11. Daniil Potaptsev and ensemble, “Giselle” by Yuri Grigorovich, Bolshoi Ballet 2024 © Bolshoi Ballet/Damir Yusupov
12. Daniil Potaptsev and ensemble, “Coppélia” by Marius Petipa and Enrico Cecchetti, Bolshoi Ballet 2024 © Bolshoi Ballet/Damir Yusupov
13. Nikita Ksenofonotov (Modest Alexeyevich) and ensemble), “Anyuta” by Vladimir Vasiliev, Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre © Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre
Editing: Kayla Kauffman

Fifty-Fifty

“Maillot/León & Lightfoot”
Ballet of the State Theater Nuremberg
State Theater
Nuremberg, Germany
May 04, 2024

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2024 by Ilona Landgraf

1. Jean-Christophe Maillot © Felix Dol Maillot 2. Sol León © Tommy Pascal 3. Paul Lightfoot © Elena Lekhova The Ballet of the State Theater Nuremberg’s new double bill combines Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Les Noces (2022 version) with Stop-Motion (2014) by Sol León and Paul Lightfoot. Both pieces have now entered the repertory of a German company for the first time. (more…)

Intense

“Romeo and Juliet”
Bolshoi Ballet
Bolshoi Theatre (Historic Stage)
Moscow, Russia
April 04, 2024 (video)

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2024 by Ilona Landgraf

1. D.Efremov (Montague's Servant), I.Alexeyev (Benvolio), M.Lobukhin (Tybalt), and ensemble; “Romeo and Juliet” by L.Lavrovsky, Bolshoi Ballet 2024 © Bolshoi Ballet / D.YusupovIn early April, the Bolshoi Ballet revived Leonid Lavrovsky’s Romeo and Juliet, which senior balletomanes may remember from the company’s famous tours of London and the Met in the 1950s and ‘60s. Galina Ulanova, Raisa Strutchkova, Vladimir Vasiliev, Maris Liepa, and many others wrote ballet history dancing the leading roles. I couldn’t attend the premiere in Moscow but was finally able to watch a video of the opening night. It made me wonder why the production had been dropped from the schedule. (more…)

Laureates of the XVIII Russian Open Ballet Competition Arabesque 2024

“Gala Concert”
Perm State Tchaikovsky Opera and Ballet Theatre
Perm, Russia
April 27, 2024 (live stream)

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2024 by Ilona Landgraf

1. Awardees, Gala Concert of the Ballet Competition Arabesque 2024 © A.Chuntomov Last weekend, Perm’s ten-day Ballet Competition Arabesque closed with two gala concerts performed by laureates and diploma winners. Many were Russians, but young dancers from Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Armenia, Brazil, Japan, Turkey, South Korea, and Great Britain also won awards. Thanks to many live streams, dance enthusiasts could easily follow the tournament. Saturday’s gala was the last broadcast and again presented by Aleksandra Domracheva. The first half was reserved for the award ceremony; during the second half, twenty-two of the thirty-nine prize winners performed a mixed program of solos and pas de deux. Treasures from the video archive from previous laureates and a well-made backstage video filmed during this year’s contemporary performance were shown during the break. Sunday’s gala had a different program, which included further awardees. (more…)

Retrospects

“To the Point(e)” (“Within the Golden Hour”/“Autodance”/”Vers Un Pays Sage”)
Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo
Salle des Princes, Grimaldi Forum
Monte-Carlo, Monaco
April 27, 2024

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2024 by Ilona Landgraf

1. Ensemble, “Vers un Pays Sage” by J.-C.Maillot, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo 2024 © A.Blangero The new triple bill of Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo spans thirty or so years of ballet history. Its earliest ballet—Vers Un Pays Sage (1995)—is by the company’s artistic director, Jean-Christophe Maillot. Christopher Wheeldon’s Within the Golden Hour premiered in 2008 at the San Francisco Ballet. The most recent piece, Sharon Eyal’s and Gai Behar’s Autodance was created for the GöteborgsOperan in 2018.

Vers Un Pays Sage (“To a Wise Country”) is a tribute to Maillot’s father, Jean, a professor of the fine arts, painter, and set and costume designer who died prematurely. Pays Sage was the title of his last exhibition. He has been described as a workaholic with an excessive zest for life, and I conclude from the ballet that he must have had an upbeat, bright nature, brimming full of spirit. Six men and six women successfully conveyed the energy of this fireball of an artist on stage, driven by the pulse of John Adam’s Fearful Symmetries. (more…)