(video clips included)
“It is Filin!”…
…says a source close to the Bolshoi Ballet…
(…and by the time I received the ‘ok’ to publish this, which occured while I was attending ‘Dans Nederlands’ in Berkeley last night, Maria Kochetkova, our favorite SFB Bolshoi-trained Ballerina and Opening Night Coppélia, had already ‘tweeted’ the news while I was awaiting that ‘ok’ from my source; I’ll try not to be disappointed that she beat me to it…and provide some video clips to accompany the news!)
On the heels of purported scandal NOT related to the recent departure of Bolshoi Ballet Artistic Director Yuri Burlaka (clarified in my previous post here), for whom I am sorry that certain reporters incorrectly may have jeopardized his solid reputation (through ignorance or maybe through faulty translation),
I am pleased to inform my readers that the newly appointed Bolshoi Ballet Artistic Director is Sergei Filin.
Sergei Filin was immediately accepted into the Bolshoi Ballet upon his 1988 graduation from the Bolshoi Academy, became a Principal at the early age of 21, has most recently held the position of Artistic Director of the Stanislavsky Theatre for the past 3 years, has a Performing Arts degree from the Moscow State Academy of Choreography, has danced his entire career at the Bolshoi, and has just been appointed successor to Yuri Burlaka as Artistic Director of the Bolshoi Ballet…
…where he was a brilliant Premier Danseur till just a few short years ago, retiring with injury-related issues in 2007-2008. Many of us in the SF Bay Area were greatly impressed with his dancing and showmanship, when he performed with the Bolshoi at Zellerbach a few years back.
I found this lovely clip of Mr. Filin in a scene from the 2003 Bolshoi Ballet’s The Pharoah’s Daughter with Svetlana Zakharova and Maria Alexandrova…and in which he executes a stunning 6-revolution pirouette (at :48 seconds in):
And here in the same role-different scene-4 years later, near the end of his extraordinary career as a Dancer, still showing beautiful technique and charisma, this time paired with Maria Alexandrova at a 2007 Gala:
Mr. Filin was known as a stellar performer and has partnered some of the ‘BBBB’ (Best Bolshoi Ballerinas in the Biz), including Nina Ananiashvili, Nadezhda Grachova, Maria Alexandrova, Svetlana Zakharova, and Natalia Osipova. I am told that he is perceived by both Dancers and Administration as the perfect person for the job-one who knows their classical repertory inside and out, one whom many of the Dancers already know and have performed with, and one whom can be trusted to maintain the Bolshoi Ballet’s brilliant legacy.
Though Mr. Filin’s bio (here) stops in 2006 (anyone have a more current Filin bio?), it is still an amazing synopsis of an even more amazing career that encompasses many of the most coveted roles in Ballet history, with a special emphasis on his comedic skills. Using the Bolshoi system for age calculation (the students usually begin at age 10 and graduate at age 18, he began at age 9…and graduated in 1988), he must be 41 years old.
I am told Mr. Filin’s new contract appears to be for 5 years.
Here he is in a sumptuous pas de deux with Svetlana Zakharova in what is billed, in his bio above, as ‘Cinderella-Yuri Possokhov and Yuri Borisov creation’ (I remember being green with SFB envoy when our Yuri Possokhov gave his Cinderella to the Bolshoi!):
With Maria Alexandrova in Don Quixote:
With Nadezhda Grachova in La Sylphide early in his career (1994):
And finally the best for last, one of his signature roles; at 9:41 (and worth every priceless comedic minute), this video clip starring Sergei Filin and Maria Alexandrova, had me literally ‘laughing out loud’ till my face hurt. It’s a clip from Ratmansky’s huge hit for the Bolshoi’s tour in London The Bright Stream…
…and features one of the funniest and cleverest ballet ‘bits’ I’ve ever seen. Hint: the ballerina in the white ‘Sylphide-esque’ costume dancing on pointe…is Filin. Oh, the disguises a flirtatious husband will don…and Maria has a little gender-bending fun of her own:
Congratulations to both the Bolshoi Ballet and Sergei Filin for their new partnership in bringing ‘new’ classics to the Company, as well as preserving the artistic heritage of one of the finest Ballet Troupes in the world!
…la la la…
Expecting more treats, were you?
How ’bout this…
(pizzicato ‘tic toc’ of suspense please, Martin)
Sergei Filin and Svetlana Lunkina rehearsing Flemming Flindt’s terrifying The Lesson at the Bolshoi Theatre, with Russian narration and marvelous footage of a ballet too long out of SFB’s own rep (Sarah Van Patten and Dores Andre come to mind, not to mention Damian Smith and Pascal Molat):
and one more for good measure-the full pas de deux from The Pharoah’s Daughter performed with Maria Alexandrova:
(Note: For any readers that have trouble with the YouTubes not playing smoothly, go ahead and click on the YouTube icon in the lower right corner of each video screen; it’ll take you to YouTube where all runs smoothly and you can come right back easily, when you close out of YouTube.)
See You at the Ballet!
(Opening Night of Coppélia tonight!)