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Natalia

May 2006 Castings (exciting news!)

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The Mariinsky website has updated castings through May. Lots of surprises here! [Leigh - Take your 'no-doz' tablets & get thee to the theater on the day of your arrival...see below, May 23...Lopatkina! Makhalina! Somova! all in one night!]

Highlights:

May 3 & 5 - ONDINE, each night - first with Obraztsova/Sarafanov, then with Novikova/Shklyarov. This confirms our fears that Vishneva would not be dancing Ondine at all this season...and there goes the possibility of a DVD, this year, at any rate. [The one remaining Ondine of the season is in June, while Vishneva is in NYC.]

7 - Giselle - Vishneva/Kolb (last Giselle before the production travels to DC; so Vishneva is in town & healthy, yet not dancing one of the two Ondines, a couple of days earlier??? Hmmm...)

12 - Swan Lake - Pavlenko/Korsuntsev (Pavlenko is definitely BACK, if she is dancing this role. Great news!)

13 - Shostakovich Evening of three Ballets (of which only the last one will go to London in July):

Overcoat

Lady & the Hooligan (rare starring role for Svetlana Ivanova!)

Leningrad Symphony (Lopatkina, Zelensky)...London, take note!

16 - Swan Lake - Vostrotina/Zelensky...Vostrotina's first starring role in a long time..since she danced Odette/Odile in summer 2004 (when I last saw her?) Take note! She is actually quite good as Odette; lots better than Somova, for ex.

19 - Sleeping Beauty 1890 - Novikova/Fadeev

21 - Swan Lake - Yesina/Ivanchenko...Yesina's debut in the role at home...nominated for Benois Prize for this very role's debut in Germany, so maybe this will be her 'Victory Homecoming Dance'?

23 - Balanchine Evening:

Serenade - Yulia Makhalina et al!!!!

La Valse - Lopatkina/Kuznetsov

Ballet Imperial - Somova/Golub/Ivanchenko

25 - Don Q - Tarasova/Batalov VERY RARE appearance for both dancers. Wish I were there!

26 - Bayadere (Soviet version) - Terioshkina/Golub/RUZIMATOV (perhaps his farewell to the role of Solor?)

27 - Nutcracker (Chemiakin version) - Obraztsova/Shklyarov...the Golden Couple of the moment - fabulous pairing!

28 - Magic Nut - Dumchenko/Kondaurova/Merkuriev

29 - Swan Lake - Somova/Kolb

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Wait! Has the schedule changed AGAIN?

It was Symphony in C on the 25th.

And alas. . .the plane lands at 16:10. I just don't think I can make it through customs, into the city, check into my hotel and get to the theater in less than three hours.

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Yup, it's 'Fortepianii contsert nomer 2' a.k.a. Ballet Imperial.

Well, assuming your plane gets in on time, you could do it. Immigration is usually fast & you can zip through green line ("Nothing to Declare") of customs after you collect your luggage. Driver meets you outside customs at around 16:45. You'll be at your hotel by 17:30 (sometimes sooner). Spend an hour at the hotel...five-minute cab to Mariinsky. Curtain at 19:00/passes handed out about 10-15 minutes before curtain... I see what you mean. But if you're really, REALLY energized... :wub:

One's health is important, of course.

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Interesting. Vishneva not dancing Ondine AGAIN? And Vishneva didn't appear in the Rubies filming. But she is dancing Giselle (but NOT according to her website) and also Romeo and Juliet in April? And she danced Swan Lake in January That is strange ... :wub: I sense a desire to perhaps switch emploi?

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Canbelto - My sister attended last night's 'Romeo & Juliet' by Vishneva/Kuznetsov & said that it was spectacular..."the best" Juliet that she's ever seen from Vishneva. The public went crazy, with curtain calls continuing for 15 minutes after the main curtain had been lowered. She also reported that Vishneva appeared with a brand-new set of costumes, specially designed for this occasion, quite different from those that go with the production. Shades of Mathilde Kchessinskaya, who was fined by the theater for refusing to wear the normal costume in Petipa's 'Camargo' ca 1900. I hope that Vasiyev will not fine Vishneva for wearing her own costumes as Juliet! :wub:

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This confirms our fears that Vishneva would not be dancing Ondine at all this season...and there goes the possibility of a DVD, this year, at any rate. [The one remaining Ondine of the season is in June, while Vishneva is in NYC.

26 - Bayadere (Soviet version) - Terioshkina/Golub/RUZIMATOV (perhaps his farewell to the role of Solor?)

So were there conditions that 'Ondine' would only be filmed is Vishneva was dancing the lead? :wub:

Is Ruzimatov retiring? :blink:

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Canbelto - My sister attended last night's 'Romeo & Juliet' by Vishneva/Kuznetsov & said that it was spectacular..."the best" Juliet that she's ever seen from Vishneva.

Natalia, you know my interest in I. Kuznetsov. I happen to appreciate him in this role. :wub: Any reports on how he performed? Funny, I just cannot imagine them dancing together, but if it works...GREAT!

Thank you in advance for any news!

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So were there conditions that 'Ondine' would only be filmed is Vishneva was dancing the lead? :)

Is Ruzimatov retiring? :(

As I mentioned on another thread (Kirov DVD projects), the DVD revolves around DV. The word I've heard is that the 'Vishneva Ondine DVD project' was part of the 'deal' struck between the Gergiev-Vishneva-Lacotte camp and the Vasiyev-Chenchikova group, so that 'Ondine' be allowed to premiere (be put back on schedule).

Ruzimatov isn't retiring but he has slowly been easing out of his more taxing roles (no longer dances Ali in Corsaire, for ex.). He hasn't danced Solor in ages, so the May 2006 performance looks like one last hurrah for him in the role. Just my speculation.

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vrsfanatic - She just said that Kuznetsov, Lobukhin, Selina and Andrei Ivanov were all fantastic, beside Vishneva. She wrote me mainly about Vishneva & her fashions! If I hear any IK specifics, I'll get back to you. As you see from my 'Ilya Appreciation Thread' elsewhere, he is dancing more & more these days.

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Well I am happy to hear that despite any tensions (???) between Vishneva and Vaziev, that the MT audience still adores her. IMO the management would be foolish not to please Vishneva. Of the principals she is probably the most diverse -- Lopatkina only seems to dance the grand tragedienne roles (except for Jewels), Ayupova, Nioradze, and Makhalina are in the twilights of their career, and Pavlenko doesnt seem to dance much at all.

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Canbelto - Even in Jewels/Diamonds, Lopatkina's role has a certain tragic-melancholic air in the pas de deux section.

Pavlenko has been seen rarely in the last 2-3 years but it appears that she has a spurt of major performances coming up, both at home & in DC.

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And am I right in guessing that Lopatkina dances the 2nd movement of Symphony in C? :)

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Lopatkina dances the 2nd movement of Symphony in C. I remember it being very lovely when she did it in New York in 1999. One of her best roles was as the favorite harem girl in Fountain - she was fun and sexy early on, but devastating when she sees she no longer has the ruler's heart.

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Well I am happy to hear that despite any tensions (???) between Vishneva and Vaziev, that the MT audience still adores her. IMO the management would be foolish not to please Vishneva. Of the principals she is probably the most diverse -- Lopatkina only seems to dance the grand tragedienne roles (except for Jewels), Ayupova, Nioradze, and Makhalina are in the twilights of their career, and Pavlenko doesnt seem to dance much at all.

Just for the record, part of the reason why Pavlenko hasn't been dancing much, and not at all in the last months, is that she has been plagued by a serious knee injury - at least since 2002. Frankly, I don't see why Vishneva is still called a "diverse" ballerina - it's not because one tries a number of diverse styles and emplois that we can speak of a diverse artist.

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Frankly, I don't see why Vishneva is still called a "diverse" ballerina - it's not because one tries a number of diverse styles and emplois that we can speak of a diverse artist.

It's because she has danced a great many ballets, all different styles, and has had successes in all of them. From Balanchine to Forsythe to Petit to most of the classical roles. Aurora, Giselle, Nikya, Romeo and Juliet, now Swan Lake. That's my definition of a diverse ballerina.

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Frankly, I don't see why Vishneva is still called a "diverse" ballerina - it's not because one tries a number of diverse styles and emplois that we can speak of a diverse artist.

It's because she has danced a great many ballets, all different styles, and has had successes in all of them. From Balanchine to Forsythe to Petit to most of the classical roles. Aurora, Giselle, Nikya, Romeo and Juliet, now Swan Lake. That's my definition of a diverse ballerina.

Sure, in my definition you also need to be convincing in all. You can dance the whole repertory but turn it in the same show all over - that's not what I call being diverse.

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Sure, in my definition you also need to be convincing in all. You can dance the whole repertory but turn it in the same show all over - that's not what I call being diverse.

Well I have seen Vishneva both live and on video in many different roles and she has been convincing in all of them. So in my book, she's diverse. I think we're really arguing about Vishneva as a dancer. Obviously you don't find her convincing so you don't find her diverse, while I've found her convincing in all her roles, so I think she's diverse. It's a matter of opinion. But I think Vishneva's invitations from ballet companies all over the world to dance a variety of roles, with both critical and popular success speaks for itself.

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Well I have seen Vishneva both live and on video in many different roles and she has been convincing in all of them. So in my book, she's diverse. I think we're really arguing about Vishneva as a dancer. Obviously you don't find her convincing so you don't find her diverse, while I've found her convincing in all her roles, so I think she's diverse. It's a matter of opinion. But I think Vishneva's invitations from ballet companies all over the world to dance a variety of roles, with both critical and popular success speaks for itself.

Sure, me too. I saw Vishneva in quite a few roles last year in NYC and was impressed with her success in dealing with styles ranging from Petipa to Lavrovsky to Balanchine. But of course we all react to different performers in different ways, and have our favorites. Vishneva is one of mine. And sometimes repeated viewings increase our enthusiasm and other times the reverse happens. I could mention other dancers that the very first time I saw them represented my peak of enthusiam with diminishing rewards afterwards, but why? They are no doubt some one else's favorite and I respect that.

Richard

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I could mention other dancers that the very first time I saw them represented my peak of enthusiam with diminishing rewards afterwards, but why? They are no doubt some one else's favorite and I respect that.

Very true. There's a dancer that was a great favorite of a major company that I've never enjoyed watching, but I'd never insist that she was a ballerina who was unconvincing and unenjoyable in all her roles, because she obviously she convinced a lot of people and brought great joy to lots of people too. Just that she wasn't to my taste, for a variety of reasons.

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Sure, in my definition you also need to be convincing in all. You can dance the whole repertory but turn it in the same show all over - that's not what I call being diverse.

Well I have seen Vishneva both live and on video in many different roles and she has been convincing in all of them. So in my book, she's diverse. I think we're really arguing about Vishneva as a dancer. Obviously you don't find her convincing so you don't find her diverse, while I've found her convincing in all her roles, so I think she's diverse. It's a matter of opinion. But I think Vishneva's invitations from ballet companies all over the world to dance a variety of roles, with both critical and popular success speaks for itself.

That's not my point. Why must the observation that one finds someone not diverse (in the sense of versatile) be interpreted as a negative judgement? It's not. I find Vishneva tremendously convincing in Forsythe and in some of the Balanchine, but a lot less so in many of the great classics she attacks with basically the same uniform treatment. It's more about what you expect to see in a dancer and the role he or she interprets, also in comparison what others do or have done before with these roles. In fact I find her anything but a diverse dancer, as her roles often look very much alike. But she is absolutely fantastic in a few. For the remainder (and no disrespect is meant by this) it seems that she is the representative of a style and manner which easily pleases the crowds of today, although I never believed either that being invited all around is necessarily synonymous for being a great artist. If that would be so then Lopatkina would be one of the worst and least respected dancers in the world, because she hardly ever guests abroad.

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I find Vishneva tremendously convincing in Forsythe and in some of the Balanchine, but a lot less so in many of the great classics she attacks with basically the same uniform treatment. It's more about what you expect to see in a dancer and the role he or she interprets, also in comparison what others do or have done before with these roles. In fact I find her anything but a diverse dancer, as her roles often look very much alike. But she is absolutely fantastic in a few.

Ok well I think she is fantastic in the classical roles too (that I've seen her in). She's been wonderful in all the roles I've seen her do, classical and modern. So therefore I think she's diverse (or versatile). It's just a difference of opinion. To each his own.

ETA: and my original post was not a knock on dancers who don *not* have a very versatile repertoire. Alessandra Ferri for instance nowadays has a rather limited repertoire but I still think she's a wonderful artist.

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I agree, canbelto. Vishneva is exquisite in the classics (Aurora, Nikiya, most definitely Kitri -- her signature role, IMO)! Her graduation performance as Nikiya in May 1995 is still the best Nikiya I've ever seen. Technical perfection, poetic delivery, physical beauty that no other Mariinsky ballerina can match, to state it bluntly. Warmth and charisma that radiates across the footlights to the upper reaches of the balcony. Even Lopatkina cannot claim that quality.

That Vishneva can dance the Forsythes and Balanchines and McMillans is icing on the cake. However, to me she remains, first and foremost, the quintessential Mariinsky classical ballerina of our era.

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CALENDAR CASTING CHANGES (again):

May 12 - Swan Lake - Sofia Gumerova replaces Daria Pavlenko. However, Pavlenko is still scheduled to danced Giselle on Wednesday, April 26, in two days' time. Kennedy Center ballet-goers now wonder if Pavlenko will indeed dance Giselle...which, of course, gives an indication on the certainly of her two scheduled DC Giselles. We will hold our breath & wait.

May 30 - This Shostakovich Evening is now just a concert (no ballets). Similarly, the originally-scheduled June 12 'Shostakovich on the Stage' triple-bill of ballets has now been replaced by a vocal concert. Hopefully this won't be the case in London this July.. :)

THE 'SCARY NEWS' DEPARTMENT:

June 28 premiere of 'The Golden Age' - no word yet on who will be the choreographer of this three-act ballet that is set to premiere about nine weeks from today. The search is under way after the original choreographer, Igor Markov, halted his work one week ago. Maybe the premiere will be delayed? Maybe it will happen in the London Coliseum in July & not at the Mariinsky?

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I agree, canbelto. Vishneva is exquisite in the classics (Aurora, Nikiya, most definitely Kitri -- her signature role, IMO)! Her graduation performance as Nikiya in May 1995 is still the best Nikiya I've ever seen. Technical perfection, poetic delivery, physical beauty that no other Mariinsky ballerina can match, to state it bluntly. Warmth and charisma that radiates across the footlights to the upper reaches of the balcony. Even Lopatkina cannot claim that quality.

That Vishneva can dance the Forsythes and Balanchines and McMillans is icing on the cake. However, to me she remains, first and foremost, the quintessential Mariinsky classical ballerina of our era.

Yes Vishneva IMO blends the best of both worlds. I have a video of her in Nureyev's Sleeping Beauty where she is just perfect: radiant, beautiful, technically flawless. And then she can go all angular and athletic and jazzy in Rubies. I think Vishneva is one of those ballerinas who is always "herself" in whatever she dances: she brings the same charisma, beauty, energy, and joy. It's fitting that Rubies is a trademark, because if I were to characterize Vishneva as a jewel, it'd definitely be a ruby: shiny, eye-catching, flamboyant, charismatic.

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I think Vishneva is one of those ballerinas who is always "herself" in whatever she dances: she brings the same charisma, beauty, energy, and joy.

Right on. I couldn't have expressed it better, canbelto. :grinning-smiley-001:

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