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VI Int'l Ballet Festival-Mariinsky

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#61 chiapuris


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Posted 29 March 2006 - 03:19 PM

I agree with Natalia's report on the Gala program of 26-03-06.

She covered the negatives and the positives, I think, very accurately.

My personal disappointment was greatest with Ayupova's non-appearance.

Also, I viewed Pavlenko's gala performance in Diamonds much more positively. She seemed to me stronger in the Gala of the 26th, than in the Zelensky Gala (which I liked a lot and found thrilling moments in it). But I had not seen her in pre-injury performances of Diamonds; so Natalia may be perfectly right that she is not up to her pre-injury performance levels.

I did speak with Pavlenko to congratulate her at a party, after the Gala, and she did mention the long road of recuperation and its costs.

The Mariinsky building may undergo some cosmetic changes and essentially stay open for its regular future schedule. Nothing seems definite or definitive.

#62 Buddy


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Posted 04 April 2006 - 06:51 PM

I have just returned from Europe and have had a chance to read some of the postings. I add my thanks to chiapuris for his fine and detailed reports and for his dedication. I also thank Natalia for her continued excellent and informative comments.

I too attended the Mariinsky Festival as well as performances of the Bolshoi Ballet's "Swan Lake" in Birmingham, England.

My only real feeling about these two sets of performances is WWW!

Wonderful! Wonderful! Wonderful!

#63 Buddy


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Posted 05 April 2006 - 02:44 PM

A Few Memories

I have to begin by saying that there probably wasn't a performer that I couldn't find deserving of a heart-felt compliment as all these performances were beautiful in one way or another. The stars could never shine as brightly if it weren't for the support and talent of all the others.

Uliana Lopatkina leaves me speechless. She is in her own universe. One of the things most noticeable to me this time is her great physical control. Her poetic presence and amazing abilities are generally described in superlatives and deservedly so.

Diana Vishneva's name I tend to hyphenate with Uliana Lopatkina's because of her contrasting exceptional abilities, perhaps the Taglioni-Essler comparison.

Natalia has refered to her as "the queen of plasticity". I would try to put is more poetically and glowingly, but it does express the idea.

Alina Cojocaru I sat next to on the plane from London to St. Petersburg. She is an extremely modest and lovely person whose transformation to a performing goddess is almost unfathomable. I would actually describe her as being 'fairylike' on stage in the most positive sense.

Yet it is her real-life modesty that seems to produce her wonderfully loveable stage presence that combined with almost bravura capabilities, makes her one of today's most popular ballerinas.

Daria Pavlenko I also find loveable. Her facial presence as the Lilac Fairy was captivating. In "Diamonds" I watched her wonderful face almost exclusively through theater glasses, checking the rest of her dancing occasionally to be reassured by her poetically beautiful moves.

I watched her and chatted with her most briefly at the Mariinsky party that chiapuris mentioned. (I bought a ticket to get in.)

She was radiantly beautiful, unassuming and very nice. All the dancers there seemed quite nice.

My main concern there was to keep my mouth from hanging wide open in awe.

Leonid Sarafanov is simply an aerial wonder! Amazing in his ability and captivating in his airy gracefulness.

A slight and perhaps startling digression here.

One of the most impressive male performers to me was Vladimir Ponomarev, the character acter. I am generally impressed by his acting, but his Don Quixote portrayal is something that I feel could hold it's own on any of the world's great dramatic stages. He never stopped the entire evening and I wish I could have just watched him. He is definitley deserving of some sort of Gala evening of his very own.

While we're on the subject, Faruk Ruzimatov's deeply moving characterization at the end of "The Moors Pavane" was intensely powerful, showing a perhaps strong newly developing ability from this physically maturing dancer. Hopefully there will be a place for this display of talent well into the future.

The apparent inclusion, according to chiapuris, of Noah Gelber's newly premiered " 'Overcoat' After Gogol" in future Kirov performances I believe will give the Kirov a huge presence in the world of significant modern dance. This is an excellent presentation of a piece packed with dramatically powerful and meaningful modern choreography ( New York City meets St. Petersburg, Russia). May this collaboration long continue and hopefully bear marvelous results.

Another digression regarding drama.The 'acting capabilities' of the Bolshoi lead dancers in their Swan Lake, Birmingham, performances are a wonder to behold. Maria Alexandrova's Odile comes to mind immediately.

With Svetlana Zakharova already at the Bolshoi, Diana Vishneva newly announcing her presence there and Svetlana Lunkina's beautiful Kirovian resemblances the comparisons of these two companies becomes more fascinating and interwoven. I hope to be able to make a few comments about the Bolshoi Swan Lake in a Bolshoi topic, but interest in this company should not be overlooked by even the staunchest of Kirov purists these days and visa-versa. The Kirov's Jester Andrei Ivanov with his rock solid speed-of-light spinning among other things would illuminate a traditional Bolshoi stage.

For all the wonderful performers that I leave unmentioned, it is simply a matter of not having the time and space, my limited expertise and the inability to begin to take in all the amazing and multitudinous activity of any one of these magnificent presentations.

#64 Natalia


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Posted 17 April 2006 - 06:56 AM

For those with 'connections' in Russia - Remind your friends to set their VCRs for April 20 (next Thursday) at 18:20, when Kultura will broadcast its annual "Tsars Box: Mariinsky Festival" show. The announcement on the Kultura website promises us clips of 'Ondine,' the 'New Names' triple bill & Alina Cojocaru's Aurora. :lightbulb:

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