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Mariinsky in DCJanuary '09 at the Kennedy Center


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#46 aurora

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 02:20 PM

Can anyone explain to me who saw the performance, what Alistair MaCaulay meant in his review when he wrote, " In Act II the Cleopatra-like Ekaterina Kondaurova (Queen of the Dryads) was, as an artist, more nearly stale than I have ever seen her. "

Is it a typo? If not what does he mean?


I think he was saying he is bored by this particular ballet and intimating she was as well.
The prior line read: "But the ballet palls. It is not my mind alone that glazes over in such fare."

#47 bluejay

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 06:06 PM

Opening night - overall, a sub-par evening at the ballet. For the most part, I blame the production. Don Q is a difficult full-length ballet to pull off. The Russians certainly know how to go over the top with the exotic plot lines for many of the story ballets, and somehow, this production needed more exotica, heat and fun. I definitely prefer the Bolshoi production which is defintely zany and very exciting.

And I just don't get Vishneva. I've seen her live twice now, and I'm not taken with her, as much as I want to be. She did a nice job and added some fun, however, I thought she was "acting" her way through the role, and not really enjoying it. It was a a very studied, star performance, and I don't quite buy it. Her foutte sequence was painful to watch. I don't think I care for her technique for these turns-- very jarring-- and while it is impressive that she was able to hold one hand up with the fan for many turns, it was not a pretty picture. I'd rather go for less and make it look better.

Her partner didn't help matters. There was no real repoire between them. He is miscast in this ballet. He is tall and has nice lines, and his turns in second were very nice, but I see him much more as a prince type. Not fiery enough. The grand pas partnering made me nervous and that's a bad sign. They almost lost it a couple of times, and it wasn't pretty.

Kondourova was fine, but lacked warmth and any connection to her fellow dancers or the audience. Amour was pleasant.

The stand outs were the third soloist (I don't know who it was), and one of the soloists during the dream sequence. I think it is this new girl, Nikitina?? Wow, she has a bright future-- lush movement, nice physique, strong technique, and a pleasing way with the audience.

I guess what I find so disheartening in the recent performances by the Russians, especially the Kirov, is the lack of spontaneity and joy in the dancing. It all looks a bit too perfect, and it doesn't all add up at the end of the day.

#48 sz

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 07:43 PM

Can anyone explain to me who saw the performance, what Alistair MaCaulay meant in his review when he wrote, " In Act II the Cleopatra-like Ekaterina Kondaurova (Queen of the Dryads) was, as an artist, more nearly stale than I have ever seen her. " Is it a typo? If not what does he mean?


Kondaurova is an exotic beauty, "Cleopatra-like" with red hair and a cat-like, mysterious, sensual face, but sometimes she does not exude the strongest overall presence/personality with her dancing. I found her to be more mysterious and beautiful to look at, than commanding on stage this past season at City Center, except when she became a fun, sassy, bold, sensuously sexy woman in Rubies.

As to why the Mariinsky would put Somova into a part like Kitri... although it is most definitely not her natural role?.... Well, Balanchine often put dancers into parts, and created parts for dancers he wanted to improve by the choreography. Classes and rehearsals aren't often enough, and certainly not as much fun as dancing, and gaining performance strengths, while on stage.

Kitri is one of the most difficult female roles (in the full-length version), technically. It's all powerhouse stuff with a bold personality required on top. Kitri should make Somova stonger in her jumps, and turns, if she dances enough of them. Personality is another story... needing lots of coaching for sure.... I'm reminded of Mimi Paul who was a poor jumper until Balanchine created Valse Fantasie for her.

#49 Amy Reusch

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 08:10 PM

Can anyone explain to me why anyone would want to do a jeté like this? http://www.washingto...hpid=artsliving

Is it just an example of the "more must be better" school? Or could some poet here illuminate the aesthetic value of it enough for me to appreciate the line?

#50 carbro

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 08:36 PM

That is so frightening, I have to hide. I may not come out for a while.

#51 Natalia

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 08:43 PM

DON QUIXOTE - 3 of 7
Mariinsky Theater Ballet
January 15, 2009
Kennedy Center Opera House


The Casting, as per 'corrections insert' to the printed Playbill:

Kitri - Viktoria Tereshkina

Basil - Andrian Fadeev

Flower Seller Girls - Yana Selina and Xenia Dubrovina
Espada - Karen Ioanissian
Street Dancer - Alexandra Iosifidi
Gypsy Lead female - Ryu Ji-Yeon
Gypsy Lead male - Islom Baimuradov
Dryad Queen - Ekaterina Kondaurova
Amour - Valeria Martinyuk
Mercedes (tavern lady in red) - Elena Bazhenova
Act 4 Fandango Leads - Yulia Smirnova-Slivkina & "Karen Ioanissian"...but it was a very big tall, blonde guy [later identified as Sergei Popov, who is not on the tour roster]
Act 4 Bridesmaid Variation - Tatyana Tkachenko

Don Q - Vladimir Ponomaryev
Sancho - Stanislav Burov
Lorenzo, Kitri's father - Igor Petrov
Gamache - Soslan Kulaev

The Review

Viktoria Tereshkina became Principal Ballerina with the troupe just a few months ago. Tonight we saw why. Tereshkina was EXTRAORDINARY in style, musicality, & technique -- final fouete had SIX creamy turns...the Act I 'castanet solo' ended with a triple then a rock-steady pose. She danced the ultra-difficult and rare 'Dudinskaya Variation' in the Dream Scene perfectly with no hesitations, perfect positions, all in time to the music. Aristocratically tasteful. A true ballerina, like the Kirov-Mariinsky used to 'make 'em' consistently until recently. Compared to Diana Vishneva, I still give 'the edge' to Vishneva, as she has a more natural 'espanola charm' as a Kitri & 'total package,' but Tereshkina is still extraordinary in technique and musicality.

Handsome blonde Andrian Fadeev absolutely held his own as Basil. He delighted with comic acting -- the best 'death' mime scene so far -- with dashing leaps and 'endless' Cuban-style pirouettes.

The Character Hit of the night: 'The Energizer Gypsy King' Islom Baimuratov. He danced 'gypsy' like a LOCO POSSESSED. Ryu Ji-Yeon was right with him as a spirited Gypsy Queen.

Alexander Sergeev was a no-show as Espada but, in his place, we got another elegant newcomer: Karen Ioanisian, who drew many 'bravos' especially for his Tavern Scene solo.

Tatiana Tkachenko spot-on as the Act 4 Bridesmaid, even better than last night; that girl is finally getting it together and should be wearing the tutu of Kitri very soon.

The corps was exquisitely united. The troupe has peppered its ranks with some notable ladies who, in some cases, have already danced major leading roles back home, such as Daria Vasnetsova, who essayed Odette/Odile last fall and led Chopiniana and Serenade at City Center/NYC last April. Would you like to spot this lovely tall brunette with the flashing eyes when you come to the Kennedy Center this weekend? She dances with the cluster of "Four Tall Dryads" in lightest-blue tutus -- second from the left when they stand in a line, during the coda of the Dream...her cluster also includes dark-blonde Elena Androsova, light-blonde Evgenia Dolmatova and (I think) reddish-hair Maria Shevyakova, who was also in Vishneva's 'Beauty in Motion' tour. [Vasnetsova is also the 'bridesmaid' in the salmon-peach satin/black trim tutu in the intro to the Wedding PDD.]

The important lilac-tutued cluster of "Three Little Dryads" are also exceptional young dancers. They do a little 'pas de trois' at the beginning of the Dream Coda; left to right, they are Maria Shirinkina, Ekaterina Ivannikova (also in Vishneva's 'Beauty in Motion') and Anna Lavrichenko (exotic almond-shaped eyes; ya can't miss her!). ALL three have danced solo roles back home.

Some credit for corps gents, too: the two demi-solo matadors who partner the two Flower Girls & take curtain calls after the tavern scene are -- I think -- Rafael Musin & Fedor Murashov. [Hey, it ain't easy to tell when they wear wide-brimmed hats!]

Pavel Bubelnikov led the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra.

Next up: Diana Vishneva's 2nd and final performance in the run, tonight.


Natalia Nabatova

#52 Natalia

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 08:50 PM

....Kondourova was fine, but lacked warmth and any connection to her fellow dancers or the audience. ......


Bluejay, you are not alone in thinking this..read McCaulay's review, above, where he terms her a sphinx or Cleopatra. Kondaurova *is* aloof...but on purpose. That is her 'on stage' style - sexy, snooty model type. Think her 'Tall girl' in In the Middle Somewhat Elevated. In Don Q, she is supposed to be a Queen - the Queen of the Dryads. Queens aren't supposed to be smiley-smiley.

Sorry that you don't get Vishneva but that's OK. Again, you are not alone. However, Vishneva is at the absolute peakof her powers right now -- at age 30/31, still strong on technique but now fully developed as an actress. Let's delight in it while we can. And still that RAVISHING face that had everybody in St Petersburg gah-gah when she burst onto the scene in 1994, with an entire year left of studies at the Vaganova! 'Beauty in Motion' for sure! Some try to 'paint on' a face; Vishneva has it! :(

#53 aurora

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 09:15 PM

Can anyone explain to me why anyone would want to do a jeté like this? http://www.washingto...hpid=artsliving

Is it just an example of the "more must be better" school? Or could some poet here illuminate the aesthetic value of it enough for me to appreciate the line?


It is absolutely disgusting.
Sorry, i try to be measured on here, but that is just hideous!

#54 richard53dog

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 06:15 AM

That is so frightening, I have to hide. I may not come out for a while.



I know, I know. I shuddered when I saw that photo yesterday. Her legs look they are following a shallow "U" shaped line. Ugh, ugh, ugh.

#55 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 07:02 AM

She danced the ultra-difficult and rare 'Dudinskaya Variation' in the Dream Scene - perfectly - no hesitations, no ugly angles, all in time to the music.


In the dream scene?

No comment on the newspaper photo. :wub:

#56 Natalia

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 07:35 AM

....

In the dream scene?

....


Yes, Mme. Hermine. You may have seen the Russian-TV/commercial video ca 1988 about Natalia Dudinskaya, Dialogue on the Stage. In it, she tells how this rare Drigo music came to light in her younger days. It was interpolated into DON Q then (1930s or 40s). The Mariinsky orchestral scores of this piece are still titled with hand-written "Variation for Dudinskaya" on the cover. That 1988 documentary features Kullik dancing the piece, by the way...."moya lubimaya uchilistsa, Margarita Kullik...my dear favorite student..." Dudinskaya introduces the piece, in that sweet little voice of hers. :wub:

You can imagine my sheer JOY when, during the 1st intermission at the Kennedy Center, I could hear the xylophone player in the pit practicing the initial tinkling, bell-like tones of the music...I said to myself "Yessss!!!!" So far, on this tour, only Tereshkina has attempted this gem of a variation. I wonder if Obrazsova will perform it tomorrow?

#57 Mashinka

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 08:19 AM

That is certainly a hideous picture, but the caption describing her as a 'technical marvel' made me feel even more uneasy. Acrobat: yes. Technically proficient classical dance? Absolutely not.

#58 YID

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 12:01 PM

Hello, i am all for meeting up during intermission on saturday matinee.
I went to Wednesday and Thursday - totally agree about Thursday - WHAT a delight, shouted BRAVO numerous times. What a show.
I actually found Somova much more tamed this time. Yes, she's not musical at all (and for that i still have this memory of Tereshkina "playing music" with her feet in releves in last scene, as if it were HER and not musicians who punched the cords. And technically she was MUCH more solid and stronger.
And coming back to Wednesday night - I guess Shklyarov STOLE the show, i could not keep my eyes off him, so much more polished and precise, and what fire and artistry, and balloon in jumps.
A cute detail. His wife Evgenia waited for him after performance and they went to the hotel together. She looked like the sweetest purest kindest and so light of a child in her fur-trimmed hood. Such a sweet person.
Back to Somova, at least she tamed her elevations, and her arm and hands got softer, and no pointedly elevated chin (in most of the parts). there were slipped, but much better than under "tutorship" of Mrs. Vasiev ;_))
hope to see you all on Saturday (god clear the road to and in DC ;-))

#59 Natalia

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 12:22 PM

Thanks, YID! Glad to hear that there was an 'Evgenia sighting' - whew!!!! No nasty surprises at tomorrow's matinee. :innocent:

#60 richard53dog

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 03:33 PM

Let's delight in it while we can. And still that RAVISHING face that had everybody in St Petersburg gah-gah when she burst onto the scene in 1994, with an entire year left of studies at the Vaganova! 'Beauty in Motion' for sure! Some try to 'paint on' a face; Vishneva has it! :innocent:


That's a wonderful comment about Vishneva's face and so true. Her features are larger than life, particularly her eyes and this is terribly effective on stage.
I don't think she's a classical beauty off stage but once she's on stage, her face lights up the whole theater. She's lucky, you have to be born with that.


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