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January 06, 2014


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Do you remember the passage in D`Amboises`memoirs about the comment Balanchine made about that lift in Crankos` "Onegin" ? .....Priceless . That said , I do enjoy "Spring Waters"....which is thankfully short.
And another guilty pleasure is the old Bolshoi "Walpurgisnacht"....has it been revived ? Lets see...Ivan Vasiliev as the lead satyr....the perfect role for him !
It would be nice to see him in all that Soviet era camp...how else can one bear to see that ungainly body on the ballet stage ?



Friedrich, I'll take Balanchine's pokes at rival Cranko's Onegin with a grain of salt. As with most Balanchine sayings, one never knows these days whether they are accurate or not, or the true context in which they were made. Hearsay is hearsay wherever it's offered.

I absolutely love Cranko's Onegin, lifts and all - that is, when E.O. is strong enough to make them look effortless. I understand that the Moscow audiences loved the production last year regardless of what the literary purists thought of it.

The Primorsky's Walpurgis is likely from the old Bolshoi version since the AD was a Bolshoi dancer, but I don't know the last time the ballet was revived in Moscow.


I do not think that Balanchine and Cranko were "rivals". I would not place Cranko on the level of Balanchine and Ashton. That said , I do enjoy many of his ballets , especially "Eugene Onegin" As to the literary purists - one cannot compare verse novels such as OE to a ballet version. How many US-Americans have read it in the original - or in Vladimir Nabokovs`translation ? I saw the ballet in Stuttgart with Alicia Armatriain , Evan McKie and Friedeman Vogel. The Stuttgart performance was superior to that of the Bolshoi - long excerpts of which can be seen onYoutube. It is unfortunate that we do not see such dancers as McKie , Armatriain, and Vogel dancing these roles with ABT....Stearns certainly looks the part...but his dancing was pallid compared to McKie....It is interesting the Neumeier is working on his own version - titled "Onegin" -even though his own company dances the Cranko quite well.....

The clips of Alicia Amatriain and Evan McKie are pretty powerful stuff. They really transport you into their world to the point where you're not really paying attention to the dancing - it's their story.

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