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Dec. 4 (Thurs.) 18:30
Kitri:Natalia Osipova
Basilio:Ivan Vasiliev
Espada: Artem Shpilevsky
Lucia(Street Dancer):Anastasia Meskova
Mercedes: Maria Isplatovskaya
Queen of the Dryads:Ekaterina Shipulina
Cupid:Anastasia Stashkevich
Gypsy Anna Antropova
Ist Variation: Yekaterina Krysanova
2nd Variation:Nelli Kobahidze
Gamache: Denis Savin

So far, I have seen 5 performances. Osipova-Vasiliev DON Q, Antonicheva-Gudanov Swan Lake, Alexandrova- Shpilevsky SL, and Zakharova-Uvarov-Belegolovtsev SL.

Belegolovtsev's Evil Genius (Rothbart) was really great! I must tell all the people worried about his injury that he is fine by now.

Osipova-Vasiliev DON Q certainly did make the audience go crazy. This is the fist time the Japanese audience experiencing a full DQ with the two. Osipova's leaps were so large that she was like a superball, so bouncy. her fouettes were all double in the first half, and after one triple continued with single-double combination, finishing with a quad! The music by the Bolshoi Orchestra was so quick that I thought it was impossible to catch up with the speed in fouettes, but Osipova did it!
She was so technically strong on stage, but for the dream scence her arms seem to look too tense and stiff. But her jetees were so large!

Vasiliev was also super, everyone gasped when he showed his first great leap. At the one-hand lift in act1, he even lifted his leg to arabesque position which was jaw-dropping. He did a small miss at the Act3 variation- he landed on his knee but that was the only flaw.

But some of the audience had the opinion that was it really a ballet? They insist that too much acrobatic tecniques shown and doesn't look like art. But I myself enjoyed the flashy techniques and positive power of the two young dancers.

The Queen of the Driads was danced by Ekaterina Shipilna and was very elegant. Espada was Shpilevsky but he had no musicality and it was almost a disaster. The act 3 first variation was by Ekaterina Krysanova, 2nd variation was Nelli Kobahidze and although they had different character, they danced very well. Krysanova's crisp and clean jettes, Kobahidze's musical, eloquent arms were beautiful. These two dancers are the bright future of the Bolshoi, I think.

Bolshoi Ballet Don Quixote in Tokyo

Bolshoi Ballet has started their Japan Tour on November 22nd beginning in Mie Prefecture then Nagoya, Biwako, Fukuoka, Oita and Sapporo, and the Tokyo Performance (Don Q, Swan Lake and The Bright Stream) will start on December 3rd. The tour continues till December 14th.

Here is a link to the Official site in English

Also, there is an official weblog reporting about the news and beautiful behind the scene photos which are very curious but all in Japanese.

A lecture was held by Alexei Ratmansky yesterday which I attended and was very very interesting. He said he has a premire of a Prokoviev new work on January 1st 2009.

And a documentary about the Japanese soloist Morihiro Iwata will be
broadcasted on December 9th, NHK which expects many stage footage of the
Japan tour.

Dec. 3 (Wed.) 18:30
Kitri:Maria Alexandrova
Basilio:Dmitry Belogolovtsev
Espada:Andrei Merkuriev
Lucia(Street Dancer):Anastasia Meskova
Mercedes: Maria Isplatovskaya
Queen of the Dryads:Anna Nikulina
Cupid:Anastasia Stashkevich
Gypsy Anna Antropova
Ist Variation: Yekaterina Krysanova
2nd Variation:Chinara Alizade
Gamache: Denis Savin

Maria Alexandrova's Kitri was excellent. Very glorious, powerful and charming. She has already established her Kitri charater, a sassy girl but very independent and lively, sparkling with joy. The music by the Bolshoi Orchestra were very, very fast but she had good musicality and her fouettes in act 3 were are singles but matched so much to the music..very fast and precise. Her pas de bourrees were very clean. She did not show too long balances, but as a whole her balances were exellent. She made everyone in the venue smile with her charms.
Also she was very elegant and had the class to make a look like a real princess in the dream scene of Act 2. Although her jetees were high and floating, no pointe noise was there and all the Dryads were very beautiful.

Dmitry Belogolovtsev was a replacement for Denis Matvienko. He does not seem to recovered fully from his injury and sometimes he was saving his energy, but his leaps were very clean and light. He looked very youthful and slim, tall. He had to walk during the single hand lift in act 1, but generally his supports and lifts were very good. And the acting of Kitri and Basilio at act 1 and 2 were very funny, especially at the fake suicide scene.

All of the soloists were good, including an elegant and attractive, stylish Espada by Merkuriev and the Gypsy woman Anna Antropova's powerful, emotionally touching solo. Also the corps were great, especially the male corps in the gypsy scene and the matadors. The music by the Bolshoi Orchestra was maybe too fast but added livelyness to the stage, well played.

As a whole, this performance had so much fun made everyone smile. It was a big success. Today I am going to see the Osipova / Vasiliev Don.Q.