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4th International Ballet Festival at the MariinskyProgramme


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#1 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 24 November 2003 - 03:40 AM

As released by the Mariinsky press:

4th International Ballet Festival "MARIINSKY"
St Petersburg, March 5-14, 2004

Featuring:
The Mariinsky Ballet Company Stars (Zhanna Ayupova, Diana Vishneva, Uliana Lopatkina, Daria Pavlenko, Leonid Sarafanov, Andrian Fadeyev), Bolshoi Theatre Stars (Maria Alexandrova, Sergei Filin), ABT (Paloma Herrera), Opera de Paris (Agnès Letestu, Jan-Guillaume Bart, Manuel Legris, Nicolas Le Riche, José Martinez), Royal Ballet Covent Garden (Alina Cojocaru, Roberto Bolle, Johan Kobborg)

Programme of the Festival

March, 5 Ballets by William Forsythe (Mariinsky premiere)
March, 6 Swan Lake
March, 7 Ballets by William Forsythe (Mariinsky premiere)
March, 8 Chopiniana, Sounds of Empty Pages, The Rite of Spring
March, 9 Chopiniana, Les Noces, Etudes
March, 10 Manon
March, 11 Sleeping Beauty
March, 12 Don Quixote
March, 13 Bayadere
March, 14 International Stars Gala

#2 bhammatt

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Posted 20 February 2004 - 02:46 AM

Has there been any casting announced for the Festival program?

#3 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 20 February 2004 - 05:17 AM

For what it's worth (no claims at completeness or accuracy) :grinning:

March 6
Swan Lake: Lopatkina, Martinez

March 8
Chopiniana: Zhelonkina, Korsuntsev
The Prodigal Son: Makhalina, Lobukhin
The Rite of Spring: Amosova

March 9
Chopiniana: Ayupova, Kolb
Le Noces: Yosifidi, Popov
Etudes: Fadeyev, Sarafanov

March 10
Manon: Sologub, Bolle, Tkachenko

March 11
Sleeping Beauty: Vishneva, Murru

March 12
Don Quixote: Herrera, Fadeyev

March 13
La Bayadere: Pavlenko, Stiefel, Tarassova

March 14
Gala with International Stars, among others with Etudes: Pujol, Martinez, Paquette.

Pavlenko, Sologub, Gumerova, Kolb, Merkuriev, among others, are rehearsing the Forsythe pieces.
March 8, Prodigal Son is replacing Neumeier.

#4 Cygnet

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Posted 20 February 2004 - 06:30 PM

For what it's worth (no claims at completeness or accuracy)  :grinning:

March 6
Swan Lake: Lopatkina, Martinez

March 8
Chopiniana: Zhelonkina, Korsuntsev
The Prodigal Son: Makhalina, Lobukhin
The Rite of Spring: Amosova

March 9
Chopiniana: Ayupova, Kolb
Le Noces: Yosifidi, Popov
Etudes: Fadeyev, Sarafanov

March 10
Manon: Sologub, Bolle, Tkachenko

March 11
Sleeping Beauty: Vishneva, Murru

March 12
Don Quixote: Herrera, Fadeyev

March 13
La Bayadere: Pavlenko, Stiefel, Tarassova

March 14
Gala with International Stars, among others with Etudes: Pujol, Martinez, Paquette.

Pavlenko, Sologub, Gumerova, Kolb, Merkuriev, among others, are rehearsing the Forsythe pieces.
March 8, Prodigal Son is replacing Neumeier.

I'm very glad that Zhelonkina is getting a performance. The Kirov seems to treat her like an "also ran." She is exceptionally pure - old style Kirov. Also, I'm glad to see that they've taken Ayupova off the shelf. She's also very pure in her style. It would have been great if she was cast as Aurora. Q: Is Diana the only Aurora the Kirov is willing to field in the new/old production? :wink: The last 'Beauty' performance was Jan 15; she danced Aurora in that, last month's sole performance of this production. (I don't know who danced Aurora Jan 21 in the
Sergueyev production). March 11 will be the second performance of this
production this season. Sologub as Manon - with Bolle that should be an interesting evening. :) March 12 should be great too - Herrera is an excellent Kitri. March 13 should be a real occasion for 3 obvious reasons! :D

Edited by Cygnet, 20 February 2004 - 07:13 PM.


#5 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 21 February 2004 - 12:50 AM

Q:  Is Diana the only Aurora the Kirov is willing to field in the new/old production? :wink:   The last 'Beauty' performance was Jan 15; she danced Aurora in that, last month's sole performance of this production.  (I don't know who danced Aurora Jan 21 in the
Sergueyev production). 


Ayupova and Sologub have danced the new/old "Sleeping Beauty" as well.
Nioradze was scheduled to dance the Sergeyev "Beauty" on 21 Jan.

#6 Françoise

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Posted 21 February 2004 - 04:32 AM

José Martinez won't dance Swan Lake with Lopatkina. He has a foot problem and cancel some performance as all the Kylian's performance in Paris and this Lake.

I don't know if he will dance Etudes but it's sure for Swan Lake :shrug:

#7 Thalictum

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Posted 21 February 2004 - 05:17 PM

I don't have any problem with Vishneva as Aurora, and I'm glad too that Ayupova and Zhelonkina are dancing, as well as Amosova, who was also out in the wilderness for a while. But after being told the full casting of the Festival I decided not to go. Aside from the guest stars, the Maryinsky is basically using the Festival to promote a small cadre of home team favorites in every possible role, ones to which they are not suited as well as ones they are right for. This is at the expense of equally or more talented dancers who are not company pets. Don't they realize the world is watching and the prestige of the company is involved? Shouldn't the point of a big festival like this be to show the DEPTH of talent in the company? This restricted casting instead makes the rooster look anemic. I adore the Kirov dancers, but not only the favorites, and I hate to see talent suppressed.

#8 Cygnet

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Posted 21 February 2004 - 07:19 PM

I don't have any problem with Vishneva as Aurora, and I'm glad too that Ayupova and Zhelonkina are dancing, as well as Amosova, who was also out in the wilderness for a while.  But after being told the full casting of the Festival I decided not to go.  Aside from the guest stars, the Maryinsky is basically using the Festival to promote a small cadre of home team favorites in every possible role, ones to which they are not suited as well as ones they are right for.  This is at the expense of equally or more talented dancers who are not company pets.  Don't they realize the world is watching and the prestige of the company is involved? Shouldn't the point of a big festival like this be to show the DEPTH of talent in the company? This restricted casting instead makes the rooster look anemic. I adore the Kirov dancers, but not only the favorites, and I hate to see talent suppressed.

Well said, Thalictum, you are right on! :) This is what I was trying to imply,
(diplomatically), about Diana with 'Beauty' as an example. The Maryinsky should give others the opportunity to come forward in important roles. Training and casting in depth is important. For example, NYCB, in the middle their historic Balanchine 100th Anniversary Celebration season, had to call in a ballerina from Royal Danish Ballet a few weeks ago to make an emergency appearance. Luckily, the dancer was still at Kennedy Center on tour. Point: She was the only one who knew the roles in question well enough to perform them on short notice. Why did this happen? Because of mass injuries with no prepared back-up. Injuries are a fact of life. Therefore, thorough preparation of back-up is necessary. The principals of NYCB dance more performances in shorter seasons with a smaller roster than the Kirov. So, what's the Kirov's excuse?
They share the stage and rehearsal space with the Opera, and time constraints.
But they have +250 dancers total: One half at home and the other touring - way more than NYCB. They have the numbers but the management has their "house pets." So the casting is, as you say, "anemic." I say let's see the new faces and feet. What do you think Marc?

#9 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 21 February 2004 - 08:55 PM

This is off topic, but to be fair to NYCB, they had a situation that is almost impossible to prepare for when Cavallo was asked to do Swan Lake. Somogyi, Sylve and Whelan were injured, Weese was sick, it's too much to ask of Kistler and Nichols at this point, and I think Ansanelli was also hurting. That left among the principal women Borree, Ringer and Kowroski.

#10 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 22 February 2004 - 02:29 AM

Interesting points.

Thalictum, I don’t think they are using the Festival to promote their favourites. They don’t need to promote them anymore; they are established stars, everybody knows them and (like it or not) the fact that Vishneva or Lopatkina will be performing a leading role, is for many people a very good reason to book for the Festival.

Do you really expect them to cast highly talented third-row-in-the-corps-de-ballet-girl to dance the lead in “The Sleeping Beauty” or “La Bayadère” during a Festival of this magnitude? (I agree, if that girl is worth it, why not give her go – and that’s what happens during the season, but not during a festival like this. It sometimes happens during a tour as well, yet the first thing you hear is that people aren't expected to pay all that money to see a corps de ballet dancer tried out in a principal role.)

Just for the record, Thalictum, which "equally or more talented dancers" are you thinking of?

I think it’s quite normal that the management showcases its “best” forces during the festival – of course it’s what they consider the best, not necessarily what you or I consider the best, or the more suitable for this or that role. The visiting companies are doing the same for that matter. It’s limiting, I agree, and it’s always the same people, but that has been the Mariinsky policy for years now. No doubt, a short-sighted, risky policy which is beginning to show its limitations, now that Zakharova has left, Lopatkina has been injured a long time, Vishneva is guesting often abroad etc. Also with the expanding repertory it becomes increasingly difficult for that handful of favourites to cope with it all, but that's another problem.

Finally, let’s not forget that these are only the leading roles. The great classics like “Beauty” or “Bayadère” are a showcase for the whole company, not just the two or three leads. It’s part of tradition that the principals dance the leading roles, but at the same time you will be able to see quite a large part of the company in supporting roles and in the corps de ballet. Simply by performing these ballets, the company shows its depth of talent. (For that matter, the Forsythe pieces are similar, as almost the whole company seems to be involved in them).

#11 Thalictum

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Posted 22 February 2004 - 07:27 AM

Marc, I'm not going to name names, because all the dancers are talented. And I didn't say that they should put a corps de ballet dancer in a leading role, although there ARE going to be corps dancers performing leading roles, because they are favorites. But the cadre of favorites extends beyond the international stars like Vishneva or Lopatkina, and there is a lot of miscasting and overcasting going on at this Festival. Just as you said this has been the policy for a while -- in fact, perhaps throughout the company's history. In fact it's true at every company.
But for me it has reached critical mass at the Kirov, and I'm surprised that after the recent near-shakeup in the administration nobody seems to have learned his or her lesson.

Yes, as you say, Zakharova's departure demonstrated the dangers of this approach -- she had been dancing the opening night of every ballet on the company's tours last year.
At last year's Festival, one dancer had FOUR lead roles and others equally good had nothing. They are deliberately skewing casting on the basis of issues having nothing to do with talent or achievement, and, as you've noted before, that leads to enormous stress on the favorites, and a meager plate for a lot of others, as well as a less than full palette for the audience's enjoyment.

#12 Cygnet

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Posted 22 February 2004 - 05:35 PM

Kirov coaches lobby for perfromances for their charges too. That's also a factor. They do reconnaisance at other dancers' performances. This is all good and its healthy competition. But if your coach is the artistic director's wife (as in Diana's case), it is a decided advantage, no?

Edited by Cygnet, 23 February 2004 - 08:11 AM.


#13 bhammatt

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 11:04 PM

The highlight of last night's performance of Manon was the appearance of La Scala's Roberto Bolle as Des Grieux. His strong presence on the stage captured an appreciative audience (and the hearts of many). Natalia Sologub's Manon while danced to perfection just did not seem to be the role for her. Although she did fit the role better in the last act. Tatiana Tkachenko was wonderful as Lescaut's Mistress. Her free and easy personality made her the bright light in the ballet for me.


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