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Natalia

Kirov in Detroit (Oct 20/23)

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Thanks to Marc and others for the updates on casting for the Kirov's California performances. Does anyone have updated casting information on the five Detroit performances of 'Sleeping Beauty' (Oct. 20/23)? Thanks, in advance.

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No casting is listed on the Detroit Opera House website. I have tickets for the Sunday matinee performance. I have been checking the Detroit papers, but no stories yet on the Kirov.

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Thanks, Starr. I've e-mailed the theater for updated casting but have received no response. We can be pretty sure that the casting in smaller solo roles in L.A. and Berkeley will hold true in Detroit (see Helene's post with detailed casting on the Berkeley thread):

http://ballettalk.invisionzone.com/index.p...pic=20594&st=15

However, the casting for Aurora - Desire - Lilac Fairy is anyone's guess.

I'm catching the last three performances in Detroit, so the chances are pretty good to overwhelming that I'll be reviewing Ms. Somova's Aurora. :)

Natalia

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:dry: ?????

Your professionalism does you credit Natalia, faced with the prospect of watching Somova as Aurora, I'd be more :)

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I'm attending the three evening performances, and I hope the original Ardani postings of Osmolkina (21st), Sologub (22nd),

and the Lilac Fairy of Lopatkina (20th) stand.

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Alas, Chiapuris, the Sologub Aurora won't happen, as that ballerina is on maternity leave.

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I'll keep my eyes open for anything in the Detroit papers. Thanks to reading this MB, I know Kirov castings are not carved in stone, so I just picked the performance that worked well for me. Though Ardani "says" Diana V and Lopatkina are cast, I am not going to get go nuts if they are not.

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I am planning to come to Detroit for three of the four days when Kirov performs at the Opera House. I've contacted the Press Office at the theatre AND the Ardani representative for casting information. The latter source has the most "current" information and states as follows: 10/20 - Vishneva/Fadeyev; 10/21 - Novikova/Sarafanov; 10/22M - Osmolkina/Schklyarov; 10/22E - Somova/Fadeyev(?); 10/23M - Novikova/Korsakov.

I didn't question the Ardani rep about Vishneva's commitments elsewhere, though

the rest of the information is as sound as it gets at the time of this post.

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This is great info for Detroiters, jabot. Many thanks for your legwork! :) Let's just hope now that it comes off as Ardani told you.

And glad to have you here at BT! Please visit our Welcome Page and tell us a bit about yourself and how you found yourself here.

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I am planning to come to Detroit for three of the four days when Kirov performs at the Opera House. I've contacted the Press Office at the theatre AND the Ardani representative for casting information. The latter source has the most "current" information and states as follows:                                                                  10/20  -  Vishneva/Fadeyev;                                                                          10/21  -  Novikova/Sarafanov;                                                                          10/22M -  Osmolkina/Schklyarov;                                                                        10/22E -  Somova/Fadeyev(?);                                                                            10/23M -  Novikova/Korsakov.

I didn't question the Ardani rep about Vishneva's commitments elsewhere, though

the rest of the information is as sound as it gets at the time of this post.

The casting insert on the Berkeley program last night listed the following changes from the Berkeley website:

Irma Nioradze is being replaced by Novikova (Aurora) and Esina (Lilac Fairy)

Shkliarov is partnering Sonova in place of Fadeev, who is replacing Igor Kolb in another performance

Vostrotina is replacing Pavlenko as Lilac Fairy

Ostreykovskaya replaces Pavlenko as Florina.

It looks like similar casting will make its way to Detroit.

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I am planning to come to Detroit for three of the four days when Kirov performs at the Opera House. I've contacted the Press Office at the theatre AND the Ardani representative for casting information. The latter source has the most "current" information and states as follows:                                                                  10/20   -  Vishneva/Fadeyev;                                                                          10/21   -  Novikova/Sarafanov;                                                                           10/22M -  Osmolkina/Schklyarov;                                                                        10/22E -  Somova/Fadeyev(?);                                                                            10/23M -  Novikova/Korsakov.

I didn't question the Ardani rep about Vishneva's commitments elsewhere, though

the rest of the information is as sound as it gets at the time of this post.

The casting insert on the Berkeley program last night listed the following changes from the Berkeley website:

Irma Nioradze is being replaced by Novikova (Aurora) and Esina (Lilac Fairy)

Shkliarov is partnering Sonova in place of Fadeev, who is replacing Igor Kolb in another performance

Vostrotina is replacing Pavlenko as Lilac Fairy

Ostreykovskaya replaces Pavlenko as Florina.

It looks like similar casting will make its way to Detroit.

I may try to get a Detroit paper today, as the online additions of the Free Press and News just have the usual stories of the history of the ballet and company, plus stories about the local extras. Nothing on casting.

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I attended the Detroit opening night Mariinsky Sleeping Beauty;

Aurora was A. Somova with A. Fadeev, and (YES!) the Lilac Fairy of

U. Lopatkina.

Tonight (at least as listed in the program insert)

O. Novikova with L. Sarafanov and the LF of E. Vostrotina.

Saturday night Somova again.

More later.

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Did they mention who would dance on Saturday afternoon? I was psyched to see Novikova but it seems as if Kirov management has once again overhauled all their casting :wink:

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Did they mention who would dance on Saturday afternoon? I was psyched to see Novikova but it seems as if Kirov management has once again overhauled all their casting  :wink:

Sat M: E. Osmolkina with V. Schkliarov and T. Amosova as LF

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Sleeping Beauty Detroit 10/20/05 and 10/21/05

This was my first view of the 1952 Soviet-era version of the Mariinsky's SB.

I have seen the 1890 reconstruction some years ago in NY and liked it because because there was a lot in it to like.

In some ways this version is like a 100-year survey of Russian ballet - but what doesn't change is that it has one of the greatest musical scores ever written for ballet.

Reduction of mime keeps up with artistic trends but does not necessarily improve aesthetic clarity. 'Improving' the choreography over time is a subject of complexity and disputation..

The principal roles on the 20th were filled by Alina Somova as Aurora,

Andrian Fadeev as Desire and Uliana Lopatkina as the Lilac Fairy.

The fairies are listed in the program (for the 20th and 21st) as

Tenderness D Sukhorukova, Vivacity T Tkachenko, Generosity Y. Kasenkova,

Courage Y Serebriakova, Lightheartedness Y Selina

Diamond I Golub (20) & V Tereshkina (21)

Sapphire T Tkachenko

Gold Y Kasenkova

Silver D Sukhorukova

Florina X Ostreykovskaya (20) & S Gumerova (21)

Bluebird M Chaschegorov (20) & D Semionov (21)

I have little faith in the accuracy of the cast because E Obraztsova is listed as

Red Riding Hood and she definitely did not appear either night.

Management does not bother with such niceties as actually reporting substitutions.

The Prologue both nights was a treat visually and aurally. Serebriakova (in spite of a bad fall on the 21st), Tkachenko, Selina were outstanding. The Diamonds of Golub and Tereshkina in the third act truly sparkled. The orchestra under Polianichko surged energetically.

Somova as Aurora is a puzzling subject. Having gone to the theater after having read appraisals of her dancing on BalletTalk I was especially wary. But considering that it is a barely started enterprise -her role as Aurora-- I believe she should be given a chance to prove herself. Personally, I enjoyed her performance, which was for the most part unmannered, and broadly speaking provided sketches of the role. Aurora, as a role, calls for three fully drawn dance portraits. The first is the sixteenth birthday party.

The second is the vision conjured by the Lilac Fairy to convince Desire of his life choice.

The third is the wedding ceremony which calls for her to become the standard bearer for classicism. All three sections, it seems to me, suggest the presence of different resources.

The birthday party is, I'm guessing, the most challenging. Somova's Rose Adagio was the least successful of the three 'parts' of her role.

She generally substituted a very high leg at the end of a step that calls for three- dimensionality of movement. This is awkwardly phrased but it was my impression throughout the first act. Another way of stating it is to say that the upper torso lacked full plasticity when too much effort was chanelled to the final leg extension as a be-all of dancing.

I found her vision scene more successful, but again as a sketch and not a palpable portrait of longing and mystery.

The partnership of Fadeev with Somova seemed to me very successful, in that they are well matched physically.

Fadeev's solo at the end of the vision scene was ardent and compelling.

The wedding pas de deux was clean and correct, lacking only a sense of serenity that comes with the nonchalance of authoritative readings.

Ms Lopatkina as the Lilac Fairy provided the center for the production with the virtues of

classically pure dancing, unadulterated and plain. She is the dancer of three dimensions, carving and claiming space as her own, all around herself.

Olesia Novikova as Aurora on the 21st, provided much more fully realized 'portraits' in the three sections of the ballet.

Her most successful was the vision scene. Her partnership with Leonid Sarafanov seemed a good match, because of their 'young' faces and physiques. They looked splendid together.

Her birthday party scene had wonderful nuances that I found attractive. One was that in the opening moments she stood still, arms down in front of her, feet together, in front of her mother, giving with her body language the message “I'm here and I don't know what to do”. Her mother's reply with mime gesture was : “Dance”.

Technically her Rose Adagio surpassed the previous evening's. In her supported attitude

Novikova would raise her arms 'en couronne' before giving her hand to the next of the four cavaliers. A very nice start.

For the record, Sarafanov's partnering in the pas de deux was solicitous and attentive, and even the overhead lift was beautifully executed.

The Lilac Fairy of Elena Vostrotina was a fully developed reading of the role; it was a very impressive performance, with luscious lines and a charismatic presence. esp. in the light of following Ms. Lopatkina's Lilac Fairy of the previous evening.

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Thank you, chiapuris, for your wonderful review. I've added Novikova to my list of dancers to watch the next time the Kirov comes to the West Coast.

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Ok, I saw the Saturday matinee performance, and although it was a 250 mile drive to and fro and I'm exhausted, I'll do my best to review the performance.

Where do I start? Yekaterina Osmolkina was the Aurora (it was originally Olesia Novikova). Osmolkina is a very pretty girl, and a good ballerina -- when she's moving. Great jumps (the springy types that only Russian-trained ballerinas have), a good turner, a beautiful arabesque. The issue is when she has to balance on pointe. And there she is in big trouble. The Rose Adagio contained practically NO balances -- she just put her hand on one prince after another, without any pauses. Fine, ok, the Rose Adagio is tough. But even in the Vision Scene she was wobbling and shaking. She's been in the Mariinsky since 1999 -- I honestly dont see her progressing into principal. She doesnt have the personality or charisma of a Diana Vishneva. She's pretty, but also has some pretty obvious technical problems.

The Prince was Vladimir Shkliarov, and he's a young dancer. Still in the corps. Ah, Russians and their turning. He has lovely tour l'en airs, and did a series of them in the Vision Scene. Then he does a double pirouette -- and wildly overrotates, so he ends with his back to the audience. He's promising though, and handsomer than most Russian male danseurs.

I thought the corps was beautiful but tired. On the one hand it;s really great to see a corps where everyone arabesques the same way, and everyone's port

te bras is the same. But they made some mistakes. During the Vision Scene one corps member did a turn and ended flat on her butt. Other than that they were very uniform, but somewhat listless -- I think the exhaustion of touring is getting to them.

The Lilac Fairy was Tatiana Amosova. I didnt think much of her one way or the other but she does have one moment in Act 1 wen she has to turn, kick her leg up, turn once more, kick her leg up again, and repeat this (never putting the free leg down). Amosova did maybe 7 or 8 of these turns and got a lot of applause. I was racking my brain thinking where I've seen this, and then i realized that it's the same trick Balanchine has for the Dewdrop.

By far the biggest disaster of the night was Dmitri Semionov, the Bluebird. He honestly had NO business dancing this role. His jumps had no elevation, and at

the end of his variation he fell. What's worse, at the end of the coda he literally gave up dancing with Florine -- you could see her dancing, and him just sort of faking his steps.

Speaking of mistakes, the "Jewel" fairies TOTALLY messed up their exit in Act 3. And the "Diamond" fairy is too large for a tutu. She stuck out like a sore thumb with the long, leggy fairies.

The Puss-in-Boots and White Cat were absolutely adorable.

But I'm saving the best for last -- Princess Florine. My god she was good. Her name is Yulia Bolshakova, and she is only a corps member but I envision great things

for her. She's tall and leggy, but dances with incredible speed and panache. She also looks like (get this) Altynai Asylmuratova. The same dark hair, almond

eyes, and general gorgeousness. Ok, maybe she's not as gorgeous but watching her was just magical. Like most Mariinsky ballerinas she is very flexible but the flexibility seemed to be a natural movement with her, and not a contrived "look."

The Mariinsky orchestra played beautifully.

There are many things to both like and dislike about the Sergeyev version. First of all, the erasure of the mime in the Prologue meant Carabosse hammed around onstage like a lunatic. And I dislike his choreography for the Act 3 pdd. It seems a bit ... empty, with little more than a lot of supported pirouettes. I miss the fishdives!!! One the other hand, keeping in mind more recent horrors like Kevin McKenzie basically gutting Act 4 of Swan Lake, it's nice to see how much Sergeyev respects the ballet and the music. And it's a very pretty production.

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Detroit Sleeping Beauty 10/22/05

Saturday evening's performance was the third I attended. For some reason I enjoyed it the most- very likely because the previous viewings allowed me to relax and pay more attention to the ancillary micro-events taking place on stage at any one time. The Mariinsky Sleeping Beauty is a rich feast indeed.

The leads were, as on the 20th, Somova and Fadeev [i'm following the program orthography]. Lilac Fairy was the delicate and beautiful Olga Esina who left a light trace of her path through the story, with exquisite line and sure footwork. She and Vostotrina, who was the previous night's Lilac Fairy, are listed as members of the corps de ballet on the Mariinsky website.

It would be interesting to know how much experience they have in the role; maybe Natalia can help. I was very impressed with both, but especially was taken with Vostotrina's authority on stage. (Particularly since she followed Lopatkina in the role the night before). I hope it augurs promotions for both of them.

I thought I would have more 'opinions' on Somova's dancing with the second viewing.

I don't.

While technical challenges were met with equanimity, meeting those challenges still does not spell great or even good dancing. There tends to be a flatness to movements that always end in a hyper developed leg extension. Three-dimensionality is a requisite in classical dance.

When the two are combined, that is, when high extensions are combined with the dimensionality of the classical canon, that's fine. We can say the aesthetic premises have shifted. But take away the space conquering dimensions of the classical ballet, then, we are left with a diminished art form. For what?

OK, off my high horse.

The Vision scene adagio of Somova/Fadeev impressed me with its precision and expressiveness. I really liked the Wedding pdd, even with some of its musical overemphatic moments.

I enjoyed the Prologue with the detailed staging of group dancing and the variations of the fairies. This time I took time to appreciate the lavender-tutu-ed retinue

of the Lilac Fairy. The corps de ballet dancers are truly the company's treasure chest.

After three nights of veritable feasting, I've left out a bothersome question.

What's happened to the Bluebird pdd? Why is it such a shamble of inconsequence and

confusion and unmusicality? The Florines were faultless (X Ostreykovskaya on the 20th and 22nd and S Gumerova on the 21st). The Bluebirds (it's better to leave their names out since I don't know who really danced.) were difficult to comprehend. How were they coached? Only one of the three acknowledged that he was dancing with another person and actually looked at her while doing double work. The others looked like they were in separate universes, smiling to the audience (blithely?)

What were they coached? Only on the third night did the male dancer do assembles battu after the first two simple assembles. Are beats no longer 'required'? Or do they know that Cecchetti /Petipa didn't originally include them?

As Doug Fullington has pointed out, the choreographic addition for Florine, in the 1950s, of the flicked wrists after the shoulder lift makes the pdd ending unmusical - with the final pose after the musical ending. Why does the management perpetuate this unmusical 'improvement'?

And why did only one of the three Bluebirds take the arabesque pose behind the kneeling Florine at the end of the pdd? (The other two just stood behind her).

Without a buoyant male dancer with elevation and plasticity for the entre-chats six and the brises vole and the assembles battu the duet doesn't make much sense. It's hard to believe the company can't fill the role appropriately.

The other Wedding divertissements are so beautifully coached. The standout is the White Cat of Yana Selina. Witty and technically interesting.

The corps de ballet shone all three nights in the Vision scene.

All in all, the visit of the Mariinsky was an artistic treat of first quality for Detroit.

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Chiapuris, Red Riding Hood was danced by corps member Elena Yushkovskaya at each & every Detroit performance. The 'errata sheet' inside the printed programme was a comedy of errors. I fully expected that, by the final Sunday matinee, they would prepare 'Errata on the Errata' but, no. Some audience members probably believed -- as per the errata -- that Anton Korsakov danced *both* Desire and the Bluebird, in the same performance, yesterday.

I also loved the way that the gentleman in charge of the Michigan Opera season spoke to the audience prior to the last two performances, imploring them not to leave the theater after Aurora is awakened by Prince Desire. "The kiss comes at the end of Act II; there is a whole other act ahead of us. If you leave after the kiss, you'll miss some of the best dancing!" he said. This seemed to have worked, as the audience didn't leave en masse after 'the kiss,' as they did at the Saturday matinee.

canbelto - Vostrotina has danced Lilac in this (1952) production a couple of times back home, shortly after the revival of this production in Dec '04. As far as I know, Esina debuted Lilac on this tour, in L.A....unless she stepped-in for Vostrotina or Kondaurova back home (Vostrotina & Kondaurova the usual Lilacs last season). Lopatkina performed more Lilacs on this tour than she has in the whole of her life at the Mariinsky Theater. Remember the broo-ha-ha after her abrupt cancellation last December, at the premiere of this revival? Russians are dumbfounded, in fact, that the long-awaited return of Lopatkina to the role of Lilarc took place in America & not back home. [Correct me if I'm wrong, someone, but Lopatkina backed out of the December '04 Lilac and wasn't listed for any SB performances at the Mariinsky since then. It won't happen anytime soon, either, as the version being presented this season in St.P. is the 1890 one, which Lopatkina does not perform.]

'Sleeping Beauty' -- in either production -- is a rarity at home. There are seasons when only two, maybe one, performance of Beauty will be given. Foreigners may not realize how incredibly fortunate they are to see tours with multiple Beauties, given on simultaneous nights. [The dancers, while grateful for the opportunity to tour, may have a different feeling about dancing four 'Beauties' in the span of 48 hrs!] LA, Berkeley & Detroit were truly blessed to have such a rare string of Beauties performed in their cities. Not just any version but THE version that means the most to today's Russian audiences -- the staging of Konstantin Sergeev.

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This seemed to have worked, as the audience didn't leave en masse after 'the kiss,' as they did at the Saturday matinee.

:jawdrop:

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Yes, believe it, Helene. I can only imagine what the dancers thought, backstage, as they heard this guy over the p.a. system. More great p.r. for American Culture, I fear.

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Natalia,

Thanks for the info about Sleeping Beauty! I had no idea how rare it was for the MT to perform Sleeping Beauty: I always thought it was a war-horse that they'd trot out every year. I thought the Sergeyev version was lovely except for some bits that I would re-do: for instance, in the Vision Scene Aurora kind of pops out of nowhere, and this is where I wish some of the mime would be replaced. As well as in Act 1, with Carabosse. As is, Carabosse kind of runs around like a crazy person but doesnt tell the story of what her evil plans are.

I also think it's time to give the wigs a rest. They look old and ugly. Why is it that only Aurora and Florine are allowed to wear their real hair?

And as I said before, I was tickled pink when I saw Yulia Bolshakova, whom I think has some rough edges but also real talent (energy, charisma, and gutsiness).

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I also think it's time to give the wigs a rest. They look old and ugly. Why is it that only Aurora and Florine are allowed to wear their real hair?

LOL! But, you must realize, those wigs are venerated by the old guard among Russian audiences, much like they adore the cotton-candy pink wigs of the Waltz of the Flowers in the Vainonen 'Nutcracker'! Lenin's Tomb will be closed before those wigs are ever retired!

And what about our Prince Desires' coifs this weekend? I give a Medal of Valor to Andrian Fadeev for having the guts to sport his own hair, rather than succumb to the 'Elvis Pouf' worn by Schklyarov and Korsakov!

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LOL!  But, you must realize, those wigs are venerated by the old guard among Russian audiences, much like they adore the cotton-candy pink wigs of the Waltz of the Flowers in the Vainonen 'Nutcracker'! Lenin's Tomb will be closed before those wigs are ever retired!

And what about our Prince Desires' coifs this weekend?  I give a Medal of Valor to Andrian Fadeev for having the guts to sport his own hair, rather than succumb to the 'Elvis Pouf' worn by Schklyarov and Korsakov!

LOL about the Elvis pouf! What was funny about that was that it was in this totally mousy brown color, which matched Desire's outfit in the Vision Scene. So overall, Desire looked like he'd shot a squirrel that happened to land on his head.

By far the ugliest wigs have to be the Snowflake wigs in Grigorivich's Nutcracker. They look like Norman Bates's "mother's" wig, and are fitted so loosely on the heads of the dancers that you can literally see the crack between the wig and the head.

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re. Grigorovich snowflakes - :jawdrop::yahoo::yahoo:

I felt a bit sorry for the darker-complexioned kids in Detroit's Garland Dance, all having to don the blonde wigs. They did a great job, though, and always garnered big applause when entering, in the middle of the dance. You could see that a lot of the Kirov corps dancers were anticipating the reception for the kids -- the smiles on the main corps ladies in front (Elena Androssova & Tatyana Bazhitova) said it all. Their faces 'registered': "Here come your kids! Time for applause!" Once that applause came, their faces lit up even more than usual.

I think that the Kirov dancers took home a lot of wonderful & unique impressions of this tour. By that I mean: There's a lot more to America than New York City and Washington, DC. In this tour, a lot of the more junior dancers acquainted themselves with the West Coast & even tasted a bit of Middle America.

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