12/6/18 O&A NYC 19 DAYS OF NUTCRACKER: DAYS OF NUTCRACKER: Anna Nikulina- Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy ( Bolshoi Ballet 2014)

Bolshoi ballet principal dancer Anna Nikulina performs the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Continue reading

7/25/18 O&A NYC DANCE: The Prodigy- Olga Smirnova (Bolshoi Ballet)

Short profile of Olga Smirnova a rising star in the Bolshoi Ballet, Moscow. Continue reading

5/4/18 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: Maya Plisetskaya Dances Bolero, And The Dying Swan

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Maya Plisetskaya, Prima Ballerina Assoluta of the Bolshoi Ballet, danced Maurice Bejart’s Bolero set to the famous Ravel score in 1975. Plisetskaya created a stunning theatrical experience. What makes the piece so compelling is that although Plisetskaya may be accompanied by dozens of other dancers mirroring her movement, the first and only focus is on the prima ballerina herself.  Continue reading

3/5/18 O&A NYC DANCE- CELEBRATING WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH: The 11 Prima Ballerina Of The Bolshoi Ballet

In celebration of Women’s History Month these are the 11 Prima Ballerinas of the Bolshoi Ballet. Continue reading

12/15/17 O&A NYC 10 DAYS OF NUTCRACKER: Anna Nikulina- Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy ( Bolshoi Ballet 2014)

Bolshoi ballet principal dancer Anna Nikulina performs the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Continue reading

11/28/17 O&A NYC DANCE- ITS TIME FOR THE NUTCRACKER: Waltz of the Snowflakes- Bolshoi Ballet

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From Act One “The Waltz of the Snowflakes” recorded at the Bolshoi Theatre in 1989. Natalya Arkhipova as Clara, Irek Mukhamedov as Nutcracker Prince and Yuri Vetrov as Drosselmeyer. Members of Ballet and Orchestra of Bolshoi Theatre. Aleksandr Kopilov, Conductor. Continue reading

9/24/17 O&A NYC ITS SATURDAY- ANYTHING GOES: Maya Plisetskaya Dances Bolero (Choreography by Maurice Béjart) And The Dying Swan

It is Saturday
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Maya Plisetskaya, Prima Ballerina Assoluta of the Bolshoi Ballet, danced Maurice Bejart’s Bolero set to the famous Ravel score in 1975. Plisetskaya created a stunning theatrical experience. What makes the piece so compelling is that although Plisetskaya may be accompanied by dozens of other dancers mirroring her movement, the first and only focus is on the prima ballerina herself.  Continue reading

11/6/15 O&A NYC Shall We Dance Friday: Le Jeune Homme et la Mort- Rudolf Nureyev or Mikhail Baryshnikov? You decide

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Le Jeune Homme et la Mort (1946) choreography by Roland Petit, set to Bach’s Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor, BWV 582, with a one-act libretto by Jean Cocteau. The story of a young man driven to suicide by his faithless lover. Two of the most memorable interrupters of the male role (both stage and film) have been Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov.  Continue reading

5/4/15 O&A Dance: Un Mémoire Maya Plisetskaya (1925- 2015)

 By Walter Rutledge

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Maya Plisetskaya one of the most acclaimed ballerinas of the 20th Century has died of a heart attack in Germany at the age of 89. Known as both a superlative technical and dramatic performer, Plisetskaya was a mainstay in Russian ballet for more than five decades. Mikhail Chvydkoi, a former Russian culture minister, described Plisetskaya as a dancer who “was anchored in the Russian tradition but always tried to explore new horizons”. Continue reading

3/4/15 O&A Happy Birthday Swan Lake! : Excerpts from Bolshoi Ballet

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Swan Lake premiered by the Bolshoi Ballet on 4 March 1877 at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. The scenario, initially in two acts, was fashioned from Russian folk tales and tells the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer’s curse. The choreographer of the original production was Julius Reisinger and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky composed the music in 1875–76.  

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The première was not well-received, with near unanimous criticism concerning the dancers, orchestra, and stage sets. Unfortunately Tchaikovsky’s masterful score was lost in the debacle of the poor production, and though there were a few critics who recognised its virtues, most considered it to be far too complicated for ballet. Most of the critics were not themselves familiar with ballet or music but rather with spoken melodrama. Critics considered Tchaikovsky’s music “too noisy, too ‘Wagnerian’ and too symphonic.” The critics also found fault with Reisinger’s choreography which they thought was “unimaginative and altogether unmemorable.

Svetlana Zakharova and Denis Rodkin in Act II Grand Pas-de-Deux

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During the late 1880s and early 1890s, Petipa and Vsevolozhsky considered reviving Swan Lake and were in talks with Tchaikovsky about doing so.  Tchaikovsky died on 6 November 1893, just when plans to revive Swan Lake were beginning to come to fruition. Italian composer Riccardo Eugenio Drigo was forced to revise the score himself, but not before receiving approval from Tchaikovsky’s younger brother, Modest.

Svetlana Zakharova and Denis Rodkin in Black Pas de Deux

 The revival premièred Friday, 27 January 1895. Although the Petipa/Ivanov/Drigo version was a success, it was given only sixteen performances between the première and the 1895–1896 season and no performances in the 1897 season.