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Mariinsky Theatre

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It should be coming any day now, as the casting is normally announced soon after the single tickets go on sale. The Vishneva website is usually accurate, so I would wager some money that DC will NOT be seeing Vishneva, unless some last-minute deals are struck.

Here is my guess as to casting for DON Q. It will be fun to see if I end up being correct or if I bomb:

1. Novikova/Sarafanov (the Mariinsky's Golden Pair in DQ a couple of years ago, when the yet-to-be-released DVD was filmed)

2. Tereshkina/Korsakov (VT is quickly supplanting ON as the Mariisnky's top Kitri, so she may end up getting opening night)

3. Somova/Ivanchenko

I wouldn't be surprised if those three pairings -- or a mix within them -- are all we see in DC, alternating performances.

Obraztsova/Shklyarov would be the most delightful pairing of all but they are presently being ostracized and left out of major tours, for whatever nasty reason, although EO was recently in London (I think), which gives us hope that she will be allowed to come to DC in January.

Wild-Card Kitri: tall, glamorous Anastasia Kolegova is a huge star in Russia & Japan, especially as Kitri; she is one of the recent 'transplants' to the Mariinsky from the Maly Theater

Irma Nioradze made a VERY RARE touring appearance in the recent Ardani Tour of the US. She gets to tour about once every 10 years...so her 'quota' for the decade has been fulfilled. I would be really surprised if she shows up in DC.

Ekaterina Osmolkina used to dance Kitri quite a bit until about 2005/2006. Perhaps she will appear in the Act 4 variation or Dryad Queen?

I fully expect that we will see 'Big Red' Kondaurova as either Street Dancer or Dryad Queen but absolutely not as Kitri.

We might see one of their newest female soloists -- Elena Evseyeva (another Maly Theater transplant) in the A4 variation.

Wild-Card Basils: Igor Kolb...but usually partnering Vishneva and she is not coming, most likely...or Mikahil Lobukhin, who sometimes dances with Tereshkina (including in California, recently)

The Espadas should be either Alexander Sergeev (husband of Pavlenko...wouldn't it be great if she would debut a Kitri in DC?) or new sensation Konstantin Sverev. Ilya Kuznetsov was their greatest Espada until 2006 or so but I don't think he's danced the role in a while. Ditto the fabulous character-dancer Islom Baimuratov, who rarely gets to show-off his Espada outside of Russia.

We SHOULD see the KING of Mariinsky Character Dancer-Actors, Vladimir Ponomaryev, as Don Quixote. He graduated in 1964 and represents the End of an Era. It won't be the Mariinsky Ballet if he ever retires...so let's admire him as long as we can.

Natalia, although the performance has come & gone, I will post some of the soloist billing for the record so we can see how close you came with your guesses:

Tues Evening, Jan 13: Vishneva/Ivanchenko

Wed Evening, Jan 14: Novikova/Sarafanov

Thurs Evening, Jan 15: Tereshkina/Fadeyev

Fri Evening, Jan 16: Somova/Korsakov

Sat Afternoon, Jan 17: Obraztsova/Shklyarov

Sat Evening, Jan 17: Somova/Sarafanov

Sun Afternoon, Jan 18: Tereshkina/Fadeyev

Kondaurova was Street Dancer 1x, Dryad Queen 4x, Variation 1x.

Somova was Dryad Queen 3x.

Iosifidi was Street Dancer 4x.

Konstantin Zverev was Espada 4x, Alexander Sergeev was Espada 1x, Islom Baimuratov was Espada 1x, and Karen Ioannissian was Espada 1x.

Vladimir Ponomarev was Don Quixote.

I attended the Saturday afternoon performance. I really enjoyed the energy of Elena Yushkovskaya as Cupid.

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Just a note that Cyril Beaumont's Book of the Ballets has an elaborate synopsis obviously taken from the St. Petersburg 1871 premiere production of "Don Quixote" with Vergina and Ivanov. It has long, elaborate mime scenes involving Don Quixote and Sancho Panza different from the traditional Kirov production that are taken from Cervantes. When Gorsky redid the ballet in 1900 much of the mime was jettisoned. The version that has come down has a few scenes that are pure Petipa (Don Quixote's dream with the dryads) and many others that are streamlined, realistic Gorsky.

The synopsis in Cyril Beaumont has many scenes that are unfamiliar and hew closely to episodes in Cervantes.

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