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Mariinsky in DCJanuary '09 at the Kennedy Center


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#16 carbro

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Posted 16 November 2008 - 09:55 PM

And Sheila asked to add her thanks.

I'm sure many other New Yorkers who make future trips to KC are greatly relieved to know there is a late bus/train home!

#17 YID

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 11:22 AM

Hi there -

Just wanted to add that you may also want to try the Megabus service. emi

OMG... thank you EMI...... i might just take a chance and buy $1 or $5 tickets to go to DC - omg, so cheap.... thank you.
.... and sorry for turning the thread into a low-cost bus options - sorry about it...

#18 canbelto

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 04:28 PM

Just a note: I checked the Kennedy Center website and there is some reshuffling in terms of casting. Vishneva/Ivanchenko are now scheduled for opening night and then Friday Jan 16, while Somova/Sarafanov have been moved to the Saturday Jan 17 evening performance.

#19 nysusan

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 06:30 AM

Just a note: I checked the Kennedy Center website and there is some reshuffling in terms of casting. Vishneva/Ivanchenko are now scheduled for opening night and then Friday Jan 16, while Somova/Sarafanov have been moved to the Saturday Jan 17 evening performance.


Damn, I had a feeling that perfect weekend casting wouldn't hold! I'll be happy if they at least keep Obraztsova & Tereshkina on the matinees.

Thanks for the update!
Susan

#20 Waelsung

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 10:42 PM

I hope I am not breaking any rules, but I have one ticket for the Washington D.C. Don Q opening night on January 13th that unfortunately I won't be able to use. It's an excellent seat in the center section of the Orchestra (row L) that was purchased at subscribers' price of $86 before the tickets went on sale to the general public. Diana Vishneva is scheduled to perform one of her most famous roles of Kitri. If interested, please contact me here or by email: clockxxi@aol.com. We can do PayPal for your protection and I'll mail the ticket for free anywhere in the world.

UPD: Ticket sold.

#21 Natalia

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 04:39 AM

KennCen website update:

Olesya Novikova is out and, in her place -- drumroll! -- Alina Somova! That means that, so far, I have pulled Wonka's Golden Ticket twice, not counting appearances as Dryad Queen in additional performances. :D

In other sad news: Leonid Sarafanov is out; instead, Shklyarov -- excellent newcomer -- dances two Basils, including one of the Somovas.

The good news: Obraztsova/Shklyarov are still 'on' for the Saturday matinee (whew!). If Shklyarov now has to partner Somova, then that almost ensures that his wife (Obraztsova) remains on the tour's roster. :)

REVISED CASTING, updated 1/8
Tue., Jan. 13 at 7:30 p.m.
Kitri: Diana Vishneva
Bazil: Evgeny Ivanchenko

Wed., Jan. 14 at 7:30 p.m.
Kitri: Alina Somova (casting updated on 1/8)
Bazil: Vladimir Shklyarov (casting updated on 1/8)

Thu., Jan. 15 at 7:30 p.m.
Kitri: Viktoria Tereshkina
Bazil: Andrian Fadeyev

Fri., Jan. 16 at 7:30 p.m.
Kitri: Diana Vishneva
Bazil: Evgeny Ivanchenko

Sat., Jan. 17 at 1:30 p.m.
Kitri: Evgenya Obraztsova
Bazil: Vladimir Shklyarov

Sat. Jan. 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Kitri: Alina Somova
Bazil: Evgeny Ivanchenko (casting updated on 1/8)

Sun., Jan. 18 at 1:30 p.m.
Kitri: Viktoria Tereshkina
Bazil: Andrian Fadeyev


#22 Hans

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 06:48 PM

It's official--I'll be attending Tuesday night. :wink:

#23 Natalia

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 04:10 AM

Opening Night DON QUIXOTE
Mariinsky Theater Ballet, Yuri Fateev - Acting Director of the Ballet Company (as per Playbill)
January 13, 2009
Kennedy Center Opera House


A fabulous, rousing performance opens the run. However, before the review, here's what everybody wants to know: Which dancers are in town & slated for solos? Fun Hint: They've brought the new sensation of the most recent Vaganova Graduation Class -- Anastasia Nikitina -- for the Act 4 Solo Bridesmaid Variation at two perfs, including the opener.

Corrected Casting, as per insert to the playbill, which has casting for all perfs:

Kitri - Diana Vishneva - Gorgeous! It was a 'Diana is On' night! Overcame an off-balance moment near the start of the 32 fouettes...but Diana is all about the total artist...and she sizzles! How nice to see her maturation in this, her very first role as a 15-yr-old sensation on the stage of the Mariinsky, in Jan 1994.

Basil - Yevgeni Ivanchenko - solid, sleek partner

Flower Seller Girls - Yana Selina and Xenia Dubrovina, the latter replacing N. Gonchar (Selina/Gonchar were scheduled for all performances, so perhaps it will be Selina/Dubrovina for all?)

Espada - Konstantin Sverev *male sensation of the night and one of the troupe's superb up-and-coming guys (class of 05 or thereabouts)! (also on Wed, Fri, Sat eve; role danced by A. Sergeev on Thurs, Ioanissian on Sat mat & Baimuradov on Sun)

Street Dancer - Alexandra Iosifidi replacing Kondaurova, who replaced Somova as Dryad Queen (Iosifidi repeats at all perfs, with exception of Tkachenko at Sat mat and Kondaurova at Sat eve)

Gypsy Lead female - Ryu Ji-Yeon *gorgeous & flexible, replacing Polina Rassadina (Ryu repeats on Thurs & Sat; also danced by Bazhenova & Smirnova-Slivkina)

Gypsy Lead male - Islom Baimuradov... a Human Spark Plug. Huge audience fave! (role also to be danced by Mussin & Murashov, later this week)

Dryad Queen - 'Big Red' Ekaterina Kondaurova, replacing Alina Somova - extraordinarily beautiful, majestic, perfect! What jetes across the stage in the coda! (Kondaurova repeats this role at most perfs, except Somova on Sunday...if Somova shows)

Amour - Valeria Martinyuk - pert, adorable, also impressive in jetes (at most perfs, sharing the role with Elena Yushkovskaya-Vasyukovich)

Mercedes (the tavern girl in red) - Elena Bazhenova, terrific, who knows how to 'milk' this role better than anyone, if not possessing the deepest of backbends we've seen from Bolshoi ladies (scheduled for most perfs, except for Rassadina on Wed, Fri & Sat eve)

Act 4 Fandango Leads - Yulia Smirnova-Slivkina & Karen Ioanissian, both sharp and precise (at all perfs, with exception of Bazhenova on Sat eve)

Act 4 Bridesmaid Variation - Anastasia Nikitina *the new coltish sensation, straight out of the Vaganova Academy. Nice. Soloist possibilities. Bit of a frozen grin...but this was her US debut, so she was understandably nervous. Not as jarring as Somova; a heck of a lot more musical. Again - nice possibilities. (Nikitina repeats this only at the Sat mat; Tatyana Tkachenko will dance this most other perfs (all but Sat mat and Sun); Kondaurova is listed for Sunday)

Don Q - Vladimir Ponomaryev (at all performances)
Sancho - Stanislav Burov (at all perfs.)
Lorenzo, Kitri's father - Igor Petrov (at all perfs)
Gamache - Soslan Kulaev (at all perfs)


Corps de Ballet - not the sharpest in the Kirov-Mariinsky annals, yet the ladies were quite beautiful in the Dream Scene -- and much more poetic than the Bolshoi could ever hope to produce. They've brought a bunch of raw recruits/recent grads, with a sprinkling of vets, such as Androssova, Vasilieva, Luvkovskaya. Interesting that Maria Shirinkina and Daria Vasnetsova -- both of whom have danced leading roles at home and abroad recently...Vasnetsova just debuted as Odette/Odile, in fact -- are here only for corps work.

As expected on tours, the troupe did not perform 100% of its DON Q as it does in St. Petersburg. The Gypsy Camp scene lasted about 10 minutes, without the charming little mime episode of the 'doll theater.' There were no children/Little Cupids at all, altering the patterns of the Dream Scene. No Oriental Dance in the Tavern Scene, even though the Playbill credits Anisimova as the choreographer of that piece. There were only two intermissions, with Act IV-The Wedding immediately following Act III-Tavern, so Kitri and Basil were not able to dance in the group number that closes Act III. All in all, 90 minutes of performance time + two 30-minute intermissions.

Blooper Moment: This being the opening night, there were a few technical kinks with the movement of scenery, e.g., there was a very long pause of about 3-4 minutes between Don Q falling from the windmill and the start of the Dream Scene...with lots of laughter and Russian chattering from the corps, who had to stand in place for a while until the previous scenery was moved, all of this with the curtain up but the lights down.

A Mariinsky conductor -- Pavel Bubelnikov, wearing his famous black pajamas-- led the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, which was sluggish at times. I noticed how Vishneva tried hard to brighten their pace with her castanets, during her Act I solo.

According to the Playbill, Olesya Novikova will dance today, after all...but we may get another 'corrections insert' tonight. So will it be Novikova or Somova as Kitri this evening?

Natalia Nabatova

#24 Hans

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 08:25 AM

Generally, a very good performance. Vishneva is an excellent Kitri, able to pull out all the technical stops but also funny, charming, and spirited, with a big smile that reads right up to the last row of the second tier (where I was sitting). Ivanchenko is not the Basilio 'type', but he has a long, strong, beautiful line, and he complemented Vishneva well. The real highlights of this ballet (Dream Sequence and classical principals aside) are the character dances, and those were all performed excellently. Some of the classical dancing felt a bit perfunctory, for example the Flower Sellers and Street dancer in Act I, and unfortunately, the audience around me did not seem to respond to Vishneva or to the comedy and silliness of this beautifully detailed production. Admittedly, it seems a good 3/4 of the mime has been removed, so the dancers are left only with rather vague gestures at times, which to their credit they perform beautifully.

It was unfortunate that the gypsy camp scene had to be cut short because there were no children--it would have been nice if the synopsis had been edited so that the audience did not expect a play and a giant spider, &c. Instead, Don Quixote just runs to the windmill and attaches a hilariously fake-looking mannequin to it.

In the Dream Sequence, the corps looked pretty rough by Mariinsky standards. Their famous precision was just not there at all, but individually, they all looked beautiful. Amor was light and fleet-footed, although with a very loose quality in the legs and ankles, and Kondaurova as Dryad Queen was lovely and grand, but her plié was extremely brittle, which meant that each jump in her variation landed with a thud. Still, I'm glad to see someone at the Mariinsky can still do entrechat-six de volé; I really miss the beats when Dryad Queen just does assemblé simple. Vishneva grinned out at us at the beginning of this scene, but her variation was delicate and ethereal, with very smooth ballonnés on pointe across the stage (not ronds de jambe for some reason), a light jump, and some lovely balances. However, her grands jetés in the coda were upstaged by those of Kondaurova, who just floated into the air effortlessly (I guess she took a moment to go and get her plié out of her dance bag :thumbsup: ).

The entrée to the grand pas de deux was performed by dancers wearing incredibly huge tutus in clashing colors--it was like nothing else in the production, but it was well danced. Nikitina, in the bridesmaid solo, has nice port de bras and was not overly stretched in this performance, but unfortunately she does not have secure placement, and this caused problems with her pirouettes.

In the pas de deux itself, everything was there. 'Spanish' fire to spare, along with all the expected lifts, jumps, and pirouettes. Vishneva, as Natalia wrote, overcame a slight stumble during her fouettés, and did the last sixteen with her open fan raised over her head--a triumphant finish.

#25 Cygnet

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 08:35 AM

Thanks Natalia and Hans for your wonderful and detailed reports! :thumbsup:

#26 Natalia

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 08:52 AM

Hans, those huge puffy tutus are part of a ca-2002 attempt to revise the 1902 Gosky-after-Petipa production. The ca-1960 short platter-like tutus worn for decades were replaced by the original 1902 Korovin tutus, recontructed. The Korovin/Golobin 1902 sets -- always in use since 1902 -- were refreshed...same designs, only brighter. The word I heard in St. Petersburg in 2002, when these puffy tutus appeared, was that this was going to be Vikharev's next big reconstruction project but it never went beyond those tutus and the refreshing of the sets.

The Act I villager costumes were also changed. If you compare 'Soviet era' videotapes of this production (such as the 1988 Terekhova-Ruzimatov one) with the present, you will notice that all of the corps ladies in Act I now have multi-colored, sleeved Spanish dresses. In the 1988 tape, you see all of the girls in black sleeveless bodices with spaghetti straps and somewhat colorful skirts. Only the two Flower Girls and Kitri now have spaghetti straps. Also, the 'Soviet' men wore flesh-colored tights, which made the darker shorts look silly; the guys now wear black tights. No more silly little shorts.

#27 Hans

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 09:33 AM

I noticed the changes in the men's and women's villager costumes as well--they look very nice, more in keeping with the period. Loved the sets. I appreciate the desire to revive the older costumes, but they are out of scale with the rest of the production. Also, with tutus that wide, are they supposed to be so stiff? I think it would look better if they were allowed to hang down more, thus reducing the 'Victorian flying saucer' effect. Maybe the Mariinsky has caught on to the Steampunk aesthetic. :thumbsup:

#28 nysusan

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 10:13 AM

Thanks for the reports! I'm taking the bus down Saturday morning & starting to get a little nervous about traffic delays due to the cold weather & pre-inauguration festivities. Hopefully I will make it to the matinee on time...

#29 Hans

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 10:25 AM

There is one thing I forgot to mention: in the grand pas de deux, Vishneva did the 'easier' interpolated variation--the one that starts with the harp solo--instead of the longer variation performed by Terekhova on the 1988 tape. I'd be interested in hearing whether other Kitris do the same.

#30 Natalia

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 11:19 AM

There is one thing I forgot to mention: in the grand pas de deux, Vishneva did the 'easier' interpolated variation--the one that starts with the harp solo--instead of the longer variation performed by Terekhova on the 1988 tape. I'd be interested in hearing whether other Kitris do the same.


Good catch, Hans! Vishneva danced to the one-and-only correct music for the Kitri Act 4 Grand pdd solo. Terekhova interpolated her own wish -- the variation of the 1st Bridesmaid from the Bolshoi version of DON Q...never intended to be Kitri's solo. The Kirov-Mariinsky's DON Q normally omits this bridesmaid solo. Terekhova was known as a jete-specialist par excellence, so she selected a variation that would show her off the best. It will be interesting to see if her charge, Somova, will use the same variation.

Speaking of mixing-and-matching Kitri variations....

When Viktoria Tereshkina performs Kitri, she usually dances a very rare 'Dulcinea solo' in the Dream Scene that was created for Natalia Dudinskaya, to music by Drigo, interpolated to the 1895 version of Humpbacked Horse. I've only seen (on film) Dudinskaya, Komleva, Kullik, and - live - Tereshkina perform this incredibly difficult variation, which includes a final diagonal of very 'nasty' double pirouettes performed alternatingly on different feet.


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