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Natalia

Late-April 2006 Castings; Giselle 'clues'

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Casting for the last two weeks of April performances are up. Some of the more interesting offerings:

April 23 Giselle - Olesya Novikova & Vladimir Shklyrov. Debuts for both, I think, although I seem to recall Shklyrov dancing Albrecht in fall 2004...but that may have been James in Sylphide. [Feel free to chime in, whoever can confirm!] Also interesting news because this gives us a clue as to who may dance in DC. This is the penultimate Giselle at the Mariinsky before the production is packed-up for the Kennedy Center. Since the start of the year, these have been the Giselle-Albrecht pairings:

Golub-Scherbakov

Bolshakova-Ivanchenko

& now Novikova-Shklyarov

After this, only the Giselle of May 7 remains, for which casting has yet to be announced. It is the subject of much speculation among Petersburg balletomanes -- will Lopatkina return to the role of Giselle on that night? The reason for this seemingly-silly speculation is a recent (2nd week of March '06) Kultura-TV news piece on Ninel Kurgapkina, during which she was seen coaching Lopatkina in the Act I Giselle variation. It was obviously recent footage, so now everyone is wondering when Lopatkina's big return to the role will take place.

Other interesting casting in late April -

April 28 Sleeping Beauty-1890 vers. - Sofia Gumerova's debut as Aurora (quite a surprise!), partnered by Andrei Merkuriev

April 30 Bayadere-1941 vers. - Lopatkina, Zelensky, Tkachenko - no debuts here but any major performance by Lopatkina is 'an event' for the local balletomanes

p.s. - If Sarafanov wins the upcoming Benois de la Danse prize for his debut (and lone performance) as Albrecht, in June 2005, then he becomes a strong candidate to dance the role at the Kennedy Center.

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I think you've missed some news, Natalia : the Neumeier's evening scheduled on April 26th has been replaced by yet another Giselle.

The casting (see the Kirov website) is Daria Pavlenko - Ilya Kuznetsov :)

I'm so glad for Daria Pavlenko, who is such a wonderful dancer, and I envy whoever will see the actual performance - I bet this is a cast that is very likely to show up in DC as well !

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I think you've missed some news, Natalia : the Neumeier's evening scheduled on April 26th has been replaced by yet another Giselle.

The casting (see the Kirov website) is Daria Pavlenko - Ilya Kuznetsov :)

I'm so glad for Daria Pavlenko, who is such a wonderful dancer, and I envy whoever will see the actual performance - I bet this is a cast that is very likely to show up in DC as well !

That would make me so happy, Pavlenko really impressed me with her Swan lake a few years ago, and I've never seen Kuznetsov,I'd love to see them in Giselle. Of course, Pavlenko and Loptkina Giselles in DC would be too much to hope for, but wouldn't that be wonderful? Has Obratsova danced Giselle? It's amazing to think about how many wonderful casts the Mariinsky can field even withut Vishneva!

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Unfortunately, nysusan, Evgenia Obraztsova has never danced Giselle. A shame, IMO, because she seems to be a natural for the part...

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I'm delighted about this latest news, Azulynn. Now it won't be an all-junior team of Giselles in DC! :)

Obraztsova dances Peasant pdd & we're likely to see her in that role in DC. Also -- remember that the management likes to overlap, as much as possible, the casting of multiple ballets on the tour. Obraztsova 'owns' first movement of Forsythe's 'Approximate Sonata,' so I'm sure that she'll make the tour & dance in multiple ballets.

Who else dances often in the Forsythes (& thus very likely to dance in the Giselles)?

Pavlenko (both Steptext and In the Middle - either Giselle or Myrtha)

Golub (In the Middle; Giselle)

Tereshkina (Approx Sonata; Myrtha)

Osmolkina (Vertiginous Thrill; Giselle...with Sarafanov)

Novikova (Vertiginous Thrill; Giselle)

Sarafanov (Vertiginous Thrill & Albrecht)

Fadeev (Vertiginous Thrill & Albrecht)

Andrei Ivanov (Approx Sonata, In The Middle; Peasant pdd)

I think that we have our four most-likely Giselles there: Pavlenko, Osmolkina, Novikova, Golub.

Alas - Neither Lopatkina nor Bolshakova dance in the Forsythes (so far)...although Lopatkina once danced 'In the Middle's final pdd at a gala.

p.s. GOOD NEWS: A certain hyper-extended, unmusical blonde, who is highly-favored by Mariinsky management of late, does not dance in the Forsythes & has not danced Giselle...yet. So maybe we'll be spared being 'graced' by her presence in DC? shhhh......

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Just noticed a post on ballet.co (Kirov dancers appearing elsewhere) that says Ayupova & Kolb are guesting in Spain on 4/22 in Giselle. I'd bet that Ayupova doesn't do Forsythe, but still...they better announce the Kirov & Royal Ballet Kennedy Center casting soon - the suspence is killing me

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Hmmm...as much as I'd love for Ayupova to dance Giselle in DC, the Spain tour is something that she & Kolb are doing independently ('on their own time'), rather than through the auspices of the Kirov-Mariinsky, so I would not hold my breath.

If, in fact, Ayupova dances Giselle here, with the Kirov, it would be the miracle of the millenium. Of course, I would love to pleasantly surprised!

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The waiting is over - the Kennedy Center has posted casting for the entire engagement. We all know how drastically the Kirov's casting can chnage, but here it is:

WILLIAM FORSYTHE MASTERWORKS

June 13 at 7:30 p.m.

Steptext: Daria Pavlenko, Igor Kolb, Andrey Merkuriev, Maxim Khrebtov

Approximate Sonata: Elena Sheshina, Andrey Ivanov, Elena Vostrotina, Maxim Tchaschegorov, Ekaterina Petina, Anton Pimonov, Viktoria Tereshkina, Maxim Zyuzin

Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude: Tatyana Tkachenko, Olesya Novikova, Ekaterina Osmolkina, Leonid Sarafanov, Andrian Fadeyev

In the middle, somewhat elevated: Irina Golub, Ekaterina Kondaurova, Sofya Gumerova, Ekaterina Petina, Yana Selina, Ksenia Dubrovina, Andrey Merkuriev, Alexander Sergeev, Mikhail Lobukhin

June 14 at 7:30 p.m.

Steptext: Irina Golub, Igor Kolb, Andrey Merkuriev, Maxim Khrebtov

Approximate Sonata: Evgenya Obraztsova, Alexander Sergeev, Elena Vostrotina, Maxim Tchaschegorov, Ekaterina Petina, Anton Pimonov, Viktoria Tereshkina, Maxim Zyuzin

Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude: Nadejda Gonchar, Olesya Novikova, Ekaterina Osmolkina, Leonid Sarafanov, Andrian Fadeyev

In the middle, somewhat elevated: Irina Golub, Ekaterina Kondaurova, Sofya Gumerova, Yana Serebryakova, Evgenya Obraztsova, Ksenia Dubrovina, Andrey Merkuriev, Anton Pimonov, Mikhail Lobukhin

June 15 at 7:30 p.m.

Steptext: Nadejda Gonchar, Anton Pimonov, Mikhail Lobukhin, Maxim Khrebtov

Approximate Sonata: Elena Sheshina, Andrey Ivanov, Yana Serebryakova, Dmitry Pykhachev, Yana Selina, Anton Pimonov, Ksenia Dubrovina, Alexey Timofeev

Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude: Irina Golub, Evgenya Obraztsova, Ekaterina Osmolkina, Leonid Sarafanov, Vladimir Shklyarov

In the middle, somewhat elevated: Daria Pavlenko, Ekaterina Kondaurova, Sofya Gumerova, Elena Sheshina, Yana Selina, Ketevan Papava, Andrey Merkuriev, Alexander Sergeev

GISELLE

June 16 at 7:30 p.m.

Giselle: Daria Pavlenko - Count Albrecht: Igor Kolb - Berthe: Natalya Sveshnikova - Bathilde: Elena Bazhenova - Hans: Dmitry Pykhachev - Armor Bearer: Maxim Khrebtov - Duke: Vladimir Ponomarev - Myrtha: Viktoria Tereshkina - Two Girls: Nadejda Gonchar, Tatyana Tkachenko - Pas de deux: Ekaterina Osmolkina, Vladimir Shklyarov

June 17 at 1:30 p.m.

Giselle: Irina Golub - Count Albrecht: Andrian Fadeyev - Berthe: Natalya Sveshnikova - Bathilde: Elena Bazhenova - Hans: Dmitry Pykhachev - Armor Bearer: Maxim Khrebtov - Duke: Vladimir Ponomarev - Myrtha: Alina Somova - Two Girls: Nadejda Gonchar, Tatyana Tkachenko - Pas de deux: Ekaterina Osmolkina, Vladimir Shklyarov

June 17 at 7:30 p.m.

Giselle: Olesya Novikova - Count Albrecht: Leonid Sarafanov - Berthe: Natalya Sveshnikova - Bathilde: Elena Bazhenova - Hans: Dmitry Pykhachev - Armor Bearer: Maxim Khrebtov - Duke: Vladimir Ponomarev - Myrtha: Viktoria Tereshkina - Two Girls: Nadejda Gonchar, Tatyana Tkachenko - Pas de deux: Ekaterina Osmolkina, Vladimir Shklyarov

June 18 at 1:30 p.m.

Giselle: Daria Pavlenko - Count Albrecht: Igor Kolb - Berthe: Natalya Sveshnikova - Bathilde: Elena Bazhenova - Hans: Dmitry Pykhachev - Armor Bearer: Maxim Khrebtov - Duke: Vladimir Ponomarev - Myrtha: Alina Somova - Two Girls: Nadejda Gonchar, Tatyana Tkachenko - Pas de deux: Ekaterina Osmolkina, Vladimir Shklyarov

Here's the link:

http://www.kennedy-center.org/calendar/ind...ent&event=BGBSC

It was fun fantasizing about Ayupova & Lopatkina, but I'm pretty happy to see Pavlenko & Golub. It will be great to see Obraztsova in the Forsythe program but it's too bad she isn't cast in Giselle at all. Perhaps that will change!

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Thanks, nysusan!

Well, well... Delighted to see that Obraztsova & Fadeev will be in DC, as they are also premiering the leading roles in a new "Faust" ballet at the Rome Opera during May/June timeframe. Glad that they've been able to work-out that schedule. If I'm not mistaken, this will be Obraztsova's debut in 'Vertiginous Thrill,' which is usually danced by the more neo-classical hyper-extended dancers (the Osmolkinas, Tkachenkos & Svetlana Ivanovas).

Two Pavlenko Giselles & several Forsythes. DC will be able to claim that they saw Pavlenko more often in one week than has the Petersburg public in one year!

My suspicions on Bolshakova not making the final cut of Giselles are confirmed. Her February debut was simply too rusty. She's a dancer of great promise & beauty, so she'll hopefully be able to essay the role again, in the future.

Ms. Somova - not Giselle but...she's cominnnnnngggggg! Hey - at least the role of Myrtha can accept exagerated positions & extra-oomph, so she'll probably do just fine. Let's just hope that all of the scheduled Giselles stay healthy. :clapping: I feel a little better knowing that Osmolkina -- a highly-praised Giselle at her debut a couple of years ago -- is on the tour & would be the most-likely-understudy for the main role, in case a little 'switcheroo' must happen. :grinning-smiley-001:

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Interesting: "In the Middle" on June 15, "Giselle" on June 16 for Pavlenko. Why do they keep on saying they never mix these extremely opposite styles and techniques? I suppose they didn't dare to cast her in both on the same day :(.

When Pavlenko will do Giselle later this month in St. Petersburg it will have been 5 years since she last danced it - and that was her debut.

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Natalia, as a matter of fact, Evgenia Obraztsova has already danced "The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude", last November in Paris. IMHO she did more than well, showing a clarity of line and a speed that not everyone in the cast achieved. Catch her in it if you can ! ;)

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When Pavlenko will do Giselle later this month in St. Petersburg it will have been 5 years since she last danced it - and that was her debut.

Now one understands why, on the one hand, I'm delighted at the prospect of seeing so much of Pavlenko in the span of five days, on the other hand, I'll believe-it-when-I-see-it.:(

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I'll believe-it-when-I-see-it.:flowers:

That's very wise, Natalia! :(

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One would think/hope that Obratsova's Giselle is imminent, because she has all the right qualities. Glad to see Tereshkina dancing Myrtha. She is already so commanding and imperious. She will be great.

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I don't understand why people dislike Alina Somova so much! Her Medora last year in DC was indeed hyper extended, but she had immense stage presence nevertheless and shifted the emphasis on the ballet back onto Medora - which, when you think of it, was where it should be in Corsaire. The other Medoras were comparatively flat and uninteresting, where Somova bounded across the stage like she truly owned it (even if the hyperextensions were annoying). I also found her Sleeping Beauty in Los Angeles to be a remarkably developed performance for a dancer at such a young age... the hyper extensions were thankfully gone, and her dramatic spontenaity was a pleasant surprise. So while she still has quite a bit of development to do, I don't understand all the intense negative energy directed towards her.... is she that much worse in St. Petersburg?

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I....her Sleeping Beauty in Los Angeles to be a remarkably developed performance for a dancer at such a young age... the hyper extensions were thankfully gone, and her dramatic spontenaity was a pleasant surprise.

Maybe we're talking about two different dancers? In Detroit, Somova's hyper-extensions (and crude attack, aggressive/non-elegant airs, lack of musicality, jutting-out chin, insensitivity to male partner, etc., etc.) were all there. If anything, she has become worse, not better, since her 2005 U.S. appearances. Her Aurora and Dryad Queen at the Mariinsky, this past March, were hideous. Luckily, practically nobody else is as poor as she is at the Mariinsky. Yes, others may display hyper-extensions, but they are musically sensitive, elegant, ladylike, etc. Somova's basic problem is not with the extensions but with the 'bullyish' quality of her 'punched' moves, coupled with overall gangliness. To top it off, she comes across as being darn proud of it, smug grin and all!

She is "young," you say? She is professional, plain and simple. She should perform as a professional. Hundreds, even thousands, of "young" ballerinas who have graduated from the top ballet academies on this earth know better than Ms Somova. They know the basics of musicality, carriage, and not wanting to neglect basic artistry for one-upsmanship.

Sorry for my candor but I feel very strongly about this. I'm open to all degrees of flexibility (from Fonteyn to Guillem) in a ballerina but I can't applaud artistic insensitivity.

Somova's 'punches' should serve her well as Myrtha...assuming that she will 'punch' on the beat.

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I'll second everything Natalia has to say on the subject of Somova, but would like to add that I feel the Kirov is beginning to insult it's overseas audiences that expect certain standards from such a previously eminent company. Time and again we have these inexperienced, and in Somova's case frankly vulgar dancers, thrust on us when far more able, artistically mature dancers are continuously being sidelined.

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On a more POSITIVE note about Somova: I can state that 'old timers' in the Kirov audience retain fond memories of Somova from her student days at the Vaganova Academy. One reason why the polite Petersburg audience does not 'boo' her outright is because they have such respect for the traditions and allure of the Vaganova Academy. They especially respect Leningrad-born (pre-1991-born) children who went through the curriculum at Theater Street for their entire eight-year schooling period. Somova is one of these.

I discovered this while talking casually to some of the 'locals' who sat next to me during the March performances. It was obvious that Somova had performed poorly (esp. Dryad Queen, falling off pointes which strufggling to achieve 190-degree extension)...most applauded in muffled manner...polite applause only. When I asked, "Do you like Alina Somova?" to one babushka, she answered "Da - prekrasnaya debushka...Yes - lovely girl. I have been seeing her at the school presentation since she was eight." So there is a lot of respect & 'love' for the Children of Theater Street. So they won't bash her, even if she makes them wince every now & then.

p.s. - The above 'reasoning' may also explain why spectacular ballerinas who do not go through eight full years of schooling at 'Theater Street' may never be able to become #1 favorites with the local crowd.

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As per my other note on the 'May 2006 castings' thread -

Daria Pavlenko has pulled out of an upcoming 'Swan Lake' performance at the Mariinsky, replaced by Sofia Gumerova. On the good-news front, she is still scheduled to dance Giselle in two days' time (April 26). We in DC will keep our fingers and toes crossed to see if Wednesday's Giselle by Pavlenko will truly come to pass. Here's hoping...hoping... :)

On a positive note: Young (age 21) Vladimir Schklyarov triumphed in his debut as Albrecht last night, partnering Novikova. So DC appears to be in for a treat.

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GOOD NEWS for all American fans of Daria Pavlenko! The ballerina *did* dance Giselle last night at the Mariinsky. All Russian reports so far are very positive. Pavlenko was especially good in the Mad Scene of Act I; so-so in the diagonal of the Act I variation; wondrous in Act II. HOWEVER, Ilya Kuznetsov seems to have absolutely "taken the cake" as Albrecht! Now I wonder if Kuznetsov may be added to the Kennedy Center roster? It would be great.

Kudos, too, to:

Kondaurova - Myrtha

Serebriakova & Selina - Moyna & Zulma

Pykhachov - Hans

Kassenkova & G. Popov - Peasant pdd

The bottom line: Pavlenko fans can breathe a sign of relief; she is still on track to dance Giselle in DC.

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