Kirov-Mariinsky Ballet in London
Posted 26 June 2003 - 09:03 AM
Nothing to surprise us, but still a slightly bizarre line-up. Absent from this tour seem to be Zhanna Ayupova, Irma Nioradze, Yulia Makhalina, and of course Uliana Lopatkina and Maya Dumchenko. Diana Vishneva is now listed for one performance only, "Le Corsaire" in the beginning of the season. For the remainder the performances are more or less "divided" among Svetlana Zakharova, Daria Pavlenko, and Sofia Gumerova. While Xenia Ostreikovskaya, Natalia Sologub, and the new faces for London Ekaterina Kondaurova, Viktoria Tereshkina, and Daria Sukhorukova dance some principal roles as well.
There will be a strong contingent of men with Farukh Ruzimatov, Igor Zelensky, Danila Korsuntsev, Igor Kolb, Andrian Fadeyev, Ilya Kuznetsov, Anton Korsakov, while Leonid Sarafanov and Vladimir Shishov also seem to get more prominence.
The company will present its three recently acquired ballets: "Rite of Spring", "Les noces", and "Etudes".
Posted 26 June 2003 - 09:44 AM
Posted 27 June 2003 - 12:37 AM
Posted 27 June 2003 - 01:10 AM
Next time I guess......
Have fun, let us know what it's like.
Posted 29 June 2003 - 11:46 AM
About casting info. - it's very odd indeed; even 'reinstated' Vishneva (I'd say so as in Japan she officially pulled off the scheduled performances for the very reason of joining Kirov's London tour!) will not be dancing on the first night. Makhalina's absence now is rather dissapointing although she's not my particular favourite, to be replaced in Scherazade by another promising (?) Coryphee, Tkachenko (who's she?). With this line-up all my expectations are on Pavlenko; as long as she's coming there's something to look forward to.....
Posted 30 June 2003 - 03:30 AM
Posted 30 June 2003 - 07:43 AM
Posted 21 July 2003 - 12:43 AM
Posted 21 July 2003 - 05:16 AM
Daria Pavlenko is indisposed and there is only a small chance she will dance at all on this tour. For her scheduled Swan Lake on July 25 she is replaced by Sofia Gumerova.
Posted 25 July 2003 - 05:45 AM
It was precisely the leading lady who left much to be desired. Sofia Gumerova was a lacklustre Medora. She had some moments of grace in the final act, but most of what came before was painfully insignificant. The effort it took her to get through the pas de trois was far too obvious, the steps were delivered without any authority, let alone imagination, while in the market scene she got completely drowned by the surroundings. Most of all her character is totally uninteresting and I kept wondering why on earth these guys ever came back to save her from the harem.
Veteran Elvira Tarassova cut a much more interesting Gulnara, danced strongly, even though, there were moments she simplified the choreography in the pas d'Esclave.
The men were on the whole satisfying: Shishov made a solid, well-danced Conrad and if only he could create a rapport with his Medora, his character could become interesting. Igor Kolb may lack the exotic quality for Ali, but he danced with panache, commitment, and joy. Andrian Fadeyev was an excellent Lankedem, and even if he cannot dispell memories of Zaklinsky or Zavialov in the role, his character was alive and witty. Above all he danced superbly in the pas d'Esclave. Islom Baimuradov was by far the best Birbanto I have ever seen.
There was a time when the three odaliques in the 3rd Act were girls of exactly the same heighth, yet now this doesn't seem to matter anymore, with Sukhorukova towering over Gonchar and Tkachenko. None of them was really interesting, but Sukhorukova hurling herself about was properly appalling. They all seemed to dance pretty much on their own, attacking the variations as competition numbers and talking while they were performing.
There were fine supporting roles from Ponomarev as the lusty pasha, from Rassadina and Rakhmanova in the character dances. Corps de ballet dancing was fair and maestro Boris Gruzin provided excellent support.
Posted 27 July 2003 - 02:44 AM
I haven't seen that many Swan Lakes from the Kirov where the prince has the edge over his Odette-Odile, but in this case I felt he had. Igor Zelensky, slimmer and with a much more attractive haircut, in one of his most inspired moments, made the most ravishing of princes, beautifully danced and above all moving with a great feel for dramatic detail, disproving the often heard criticism that prince Siegfried in K. Sergeyev's version is nothing but a cardboard character. He might be in the hands of many dancers, but not this night with Zelensky. He partnered with loving care and attentiveness, and that he skipped the lifts really seemed unimportant when there was so much else happening.
Zelensky definitely sparked Zakharova off and the duets had a sincerity and warmth not often seen with her. It wasn't the emotionalism we had with Pavlenko and Kolb (Zakharova's dramatic range is far too limited for that), but on the whole it was a highly satisfying partnership.
On her own there was the usual weird phrasing and accentuation, with a tendency to over-emphasize positions instead of showing the flow of the movement, particularly noticeable in the variations. Although in a lesser degree than in some of her other roles (like Le Corsaire) Zakharova's dancing has far too many of the "Wow!" moments of technical bravura, and an overall view seems to be absent. Dramatic or emotional climaxes are only tentative, and even look shy, as in the final scene of the White act, where in spite that Zelensky's pulled out all the stops, she slipped into the wings without much fuss.
The second night's Swan Lake was by comparison a non-event, because of the leading couple Sofia Gumerova and Danila Korsuntsev, adequate, but utterly dull.
Posted 27 July 2003 - 06:11 AM
Posted 27 July 2003 - 07:06 AM
Londoners or traveling Kirov watchers? What did you think?
Posted 27 July 2003 - 12:59 PM
I much enjoyed the final Swan Lake (of the first run) led by Natalia Sologub and Igor Kolb. Sologub was especially interesting as Odile, with a superbly danced variation, in fact very classical, happily avoiding all tricks and excesses found with other dancers. I found her Odette dramatically more uneven and at times there was some hardness in her delivery, but she is definitely a Swan to look out for in the future.
The magic of the Pavlenko-Kolb partnership wasn't repeated, but let's say there were a lot of interesting ideas, as in the final scene of the White Act (something which couldn't be said of the previous night with Gumerova and Korsuntsev) and with some more rehearsing the adages can turn out a lot better than they did last night. Kolb was excellent again, even though his character was less complete and consistent than with Pavlenko.
It's funny that they really didn't succeed all that well in Corsaire this time. It used to be one of their most entertaining night's out - not so long ago.
Posted 27 July 2003 - 08:43 PM
I just read Clement Crisp's review of Le Corsaire by the Kirov in London. About Svetlana Zakharova, "so compelling in other ballets, tears into the role like an arrow, and kills it stone dead". The 2 male leads get better reviews though - "As the hero, Conrad, we had the unexepected debut of Vladimir Shishov, dancing handsomely and looking handsome, with the young and very gifted Leonid Sarafanov as his side-kick, Ali." This is the very same cast that will be doing the closing.
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