I just got in. Victoria means "VICTORY"
! Tereshkina triumphed, I mean ROCKED
! This is a milestone role for her. Tonight was just one of those nights at the ballet where everything, and I mean everything
cooked: She believed in the story, and she danced like there was no tomorrow. Both she and her ardent Basil - Yevgeny Ivanchenko displayed spectacular technique and the kind of pyrotechnics we've become accustomed to in this ballet. And now, for something completely different: The fouttees were doubles and triples, but this combo was executed while fluttering her fan in front of her chest, and then above her head. Take that! Tereshkina is truly a Principal Dancer; she deserves every bit
of that title. What energy, what technique, what style! From her first entrance I was perched on the edge of my seat. Her authority, elevation and lightness reminded me of Terekhova's precedent setting Kitri of the former generation. From Act 1 to Act 3, Vicky danced as if fire was under her feet.
The Dream sequence was beautifully executed. Tereshkina's Dulcinea was indeed the Don's ideal and unattainable love. Tereshkina successfully conveyed and projected this. She was light and diaphanous, combining superb classical technique with lyricism. Her variation was faultess, exhibiting marvelous physical control and stamina.
The corps de ballet remains a flawless delight to behold. From the espanolada of their character dancing, down to the expert handling of Act 1, and Act 3 Scene 5 props (fans, goblets & castanets - no one dropped anything
), to the passion of the Gypsy Dance in Act 2 Scene 2, and the pure academics of Act 2 Scene 3 and Act 3 Scene 6, everyone was on their 'A' game tonight. As always, Vladimir Ponomarev was oustanding as Don Q; Stanislav Burov was hilarious as Sancho Panza; Nikolai Naumov was a strict but doting Lorenzo; Soslan Kulaev was a Project Runway Mr. Gunn of a Gamache; Karen Ioanessian was a magnificent Espada - he also dances a mean Fandango. He was replaced in the Fandango, by an uncredited dancer tonight, although he was listed for both parts. I would LOVE to see him step up to Basil. Katya Kondaurova was sleek and seductive as the Street Dancer; Yulia Kasenkova and Yana Selina were perfectly
paired as the Flower Sellers - they moved as one; Elena Yushkovskaya was a delicate and fleet Amour; Yulia Slivkina was a spirited Mercedes; Alisa Sokolova and Mikhail Berdichevsky were passionate Gypsies; Elena Bazhenova's arms were graceful and spellbinding in the Oriental Dance; and Katya Osmolkina was bubbly and precise in the Act 3 Variation.
A++ EVERYONE - EXCELLENT
When I read the cast list, and noted the line-up for Act 2 Scene 3, I resolved to have an open mind, hoping, no, - praying for the best. This was a new day; a new opportunity. I pulled Wonka's golden ticket: Somova was assigned Dryad. She's now in her 6th season and a 1st Soloist. I've seen her live (and canned), a number of times in different roles since she was first fast-tracked in 2004. I'll to cut to the chase: In short, ". . . our situation has not improved." (Sean Connery to Harrison Ford in "Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade").
Dryad is a soloist role, and the level of difficulty, well, (IMO) is somewhat low compared to the requirements of Petipa's full-length roles. If one commands a strong technique, and sensible artistic temperament, Dryad shouldn't be too difficult - in theory. Having said that, it's problematic when a cameo role devolves into an attempt to try and upstage the ballerina, and becomes a fire-sale, as in the "everything must go" approach to the academic rules. For me, this was a first: A sexually aware Dryad. Somova employed come hither eyes to the errand knight and the audience throughout the scene. Kitri is supposed to be the center of attention in this segment; the Dryad Queen should be authoritative but maintain a subtle presence, and do this without being too conspicuous. Therefore, her interpretation was at best inappropriate in this context.
The Entrée: Her working leg in the supported lifts at the beginning of the segment had a ginormous sway back. The visual effect was the illusion that her left foot might actually touch the man from La Mancha's helmet. The variation was an ear and nerve whacking experience: "Martha Graham, Martha Graham, Martha Graham, Martha Graham, Madonna, Madonna, Madonna, Madonna!" (Robin Williams to Nathan Lane in "The Birdcage")
. The concluding series of Italian fouttees were sur place, but still - there was too much foot to head action. She hit 6:00 p.m. with every developpe, cutting a swath through the air - in half. I heard several people in the hall audibly gasp, (to my ears it sounded like shock rather than awe), and a few said "whoa!" Indeed. And inexplicably
, the crowd went wild after her variation, and when she appeared at the Act 2 curtain call.
may I ask? Somova didn't mark time, or keep up with Tereshkina, nor did she even try to mirror her in line or execution. Somova was on her own mission. They're supposed to dance together
. Tereshkina conscientiously shaped and etched her line with every step. Somova's adjacent arabesques (behind Tereshkina), were on the upbeat, not the downbeat, and they were turned-in penchees - each hitting 1:30 p.m. to Tereshkina's 93 degrees, after
Tereshkina had completed the phrase. Tereshkina's grande jetes had wonderful elevation, and reverberated in the hall like three gun shots. Somova's grande jetes followed close behind like Hell follows close behind the 4th Horseman of the Apocolypse
. She had good elevation but distorted (double jointed?) legs. Complete line distortion. There was just no comparison.
Unfortunately, based on this latest viewing, I remain baffled re Somova's position in the company. Of all the female 1st soloists Somova has the least credits in her bio. One would think that by now, she would have at least as many credits as her contemporaries, i.e. Novikova, Obratzova, Golub - not to mention the elder women in that rank. These ladies are competing in, (and for) many roles, demonstrating their versatility in the classical and modern rep, (the latter, such as it is at the Maryinsky). A few of them have logged in over a decade of service in this rank. By comparison, Somova continues to nurse
the few roles that she has been given over the past five years, yet she's relentlessly showcased and promoted. My questions are: 1)
At this stage of the game, shouldn't she be coming into her own, competing at (or at least), approaching the same technical and artistic level as the other 1st soloists? 2)
If not now, then when - (if ever)
? and 3)
Has anyone in authority noticed this paradox?
The Music Corner & Other Trivia
- The Maryinsky Orchestra played Minkus' score with panache: The musicians took us to Spain
! For some strange reason, the Maryinsky conductors on tour aren't credited in the program book. I could see that the maestro for the evening was Mikhail Sinkevich. He gets most honorable mention here for conducting with insight, instinct and finesse. Also, the program book luxuriated in the error of putting the corps de ballet's last names before their first names. They didn't do this with the soloists or Principals. For OCPAC, that's another first. I apologize for the length but I'm still excited by tonight's memorable performance! This was a keeper -
one to remember for years to come.
>>>>Standing 'O' for Victoria, Yevgeny and Co. over 6 mins. Brava!!!!