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Mikhailovsky Ballet of St. Petersburgex-"Maly" and Mussorgsky


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#1 Natalia

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 05:51 AM

Feb 2009

The Mikahilovsky Ballet (ex-Maly, ex-Mussogsky) of St. Petersburg -- long considered the '2nd great ballet company of the city' -- now has its own new slick website:

http://www.mikhailovsky.ru/en/

Farouk Ruzimatov directs.

Denis Matvienko, Anastasia Matvienko, Vera Arbuzova (of Eifman 'Red Giselle' fame) & Irina Perren are among their stars.

Ex-Kirov (& Maly) luminaries, Alla Osipenko and Nikita Dolgushin, are the head coaches of the troupe.

Their first big season in 'private' hands, 2007/08, featured a new 'flashy' production of Spartacus by Kovtun, to Khachaturian's music + a remake of the children's ballet Chipollino. This season brings a new production of Le Corsaire in March '09, to replace the long-standing Peter Gusev prouction of the 1950s.

Their repertoire no longer includes a bundle of ballets staged by their ex-director of the 1980s/90s/early 00s, Nikolai Boyarchikov. Sadly, this means that the very great full-length 'after-Petipa' Esmeralda no longer exists in the regular rep of any great opera house on earth. [The Stanislavsky Ballet of Moscow still has Bourmesiter's version, which is quite different. I have seen both versions 'live' in performance & the now-defunct Mikhailovsky-Maly version was far-and-away the closest to Petipa and the Imperial Russian spirit.]

#2 leonid17

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 02:08 PM

Feb 2009

The Mikahilovsky Ballet (ex-Maly, ex-Mussogsky) of St. Petersburg -- long considered the '2nd great ballet company of the city' -- now has its own new slick website:

http://www.mikhailovsky.ru/en/

Farouk Ruzimatov directs.

Denis Matvienko, Anastasia Matvienko, Vera Arbuzova (of Eifman 'Red Giselle' fame) & Irina Perren are among their stars.

Ex-Kirov (& Maly) luminaries, Alla Osipenko and Nikita Dolgushin, are the head coaches of the troupe.

Their first big season in 'private' hands, 2007/08, featured a new 'flashy' production of Spartacus by Kovtun, to Khachaturian's music + a remake of the children's ballet Chipollino. This season brings a new production of Le Corsaire in March '09, to replace the long-standing Peter Gusev prouction of the 1950s.

Their repertoire no longer includes a bundle of ballets staged by their ex-director of the 1980s/90s/early 00s, Nikolai Boyarchikov. Sadly, this means that the very great full-length 'after-Petipa' Esmeralda no longer exists in the regular rep of any great opera house on earth. [The Stanislavsky Ballet of Moscow still has Bourmesiter's version, which is quite different. I have seen both versions 'live' in performance & the now-defunct Mikhailovsky-Maly version was far-and-away the closest to Petipa and the Imperial Russian spirit.]


Dennis and Anastasia Matvienko stars of the Mikhailovsky appear to be no longer listed as members of the ballet on the company website. These two dancer had a big success in London last year.

#3 Helene

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 05:21 PM

[Admin Beanie]

Just a reminder that when dancers leave and join companies, when posting the news, official sources must be cited, like leonid's reference to the Mikhailovsky Ballet's official website in the post above, or links to newspaper or magazine articles or official dancer websites (not fan sites), or official company announcements (press releases, stage announcements, etc.)

[/Admin Beanie]

#4 leonid17

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 06:51 AM

[Admin Beanie]

Just a reminder that when dancers leave and join companies, when posting the news, official sources must be cited, like leonid's reference to the Mikhailovsky Ballet's official website in the post above, or links to newspaper or magazine articles or official dancer websites (not fan sites), or official company announcements (press releases, stage announcements, etc.)

[/Admin Beanie]



You can read up to date news of Dennis and Anastasia Matvienko on the Matvienko registered website at:
http://www.matvyenko...n/news_160.html

#5 Helene

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 10:08 AM

According to the link on their official website -- thank you, leonid -- the Matvienkos have confirmed that they have joined the Mariinsky:

Since 1st of March, 2009 Anastasia and Denis have joined to Mariinsky's ballet troupe: Denis as the Principal Dancer, Anastasia as the First Solist


According to the bio section, Denis Matvienko turned 30 a little over a week ago (23 Feb). This is quite a birthday present!

#6 Natalia

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 01:13 PM

FLASH AND FLAGELLANTS: THE MIKHAILOVSKY BALLET DUMBS-DOWN 'LE CORSAIRE'

LE CORSAIRE
Mikhailovsky Ballet of St. Petersburg, Russia
Premiere - 13 March 2009

Cast

Medora - Irina Perren*** EXTRAORDINARY
Gulnara - Sabina Yapparova
Conrad - Artyom Pykhachov
Ali - Viktor Ishuk*
Lankedem - Alexander Omar
Birbanto - Andrey Kasyanenko
Birbanto's Girlfriend - Elena Mostovaya
Algerian Dance lead - Alexander Abdukarimov***** WOW! WOW! WOW!
Seid Pasha - Alexander Bregvadze*
Odalisques:
1. Irina Kosheleva
2. Olga Gromova
3. Viktoria Kutepova***

Conductor: Anatoly Rybalko

Staging/Choreography: "Farouk Ruzimatov after Perrot, Petipa and Gusev; Consultant: Nikita Dolgushin"
Special Choreography: (Palestinian Women Slaves and Algerian Male Flagellants) by George Kovtun
Music: Adam et. al.
Decor (sets/costumes): Valery Leventhal

The Big Picture

This is very dissappointing 'Gusev Lite'; a watered-down, 90-min version of the current Kirov staging. The night runs a little under two hours, counting the 30-min intermission. Bows after variations have been eliminated -a shocker for Russia. The elegant delights of the old Maly-Mikhailovsky Corsaire by Gusev-after-Petipa are now gone forever. Instead, we have overly-busy sets in teal-and-brown, garrish tutus that make the ABT Sleeping Beauty fairies seem conservative, odalisques in white bloomers and colored stockings with matching pointe shoes, some new hokey choreography for the Bazaar Scene -- Palestinian flex-foot gals and Algerian Chippendale Self-Flagellant men -- and an ending that seems to have been quickly dreamt-up this afternoon, e.g., as a toy-ship crosses backstage, the pirates and girlfriends bid adieu to their friends by performing 'The Wave' in two long lines.

If that's not bad enough: What-the-crap has happened to the physical theater of just two or three years ago? The entrance area facing Arts Square has tacky advertising - including new-model cars. Upon entering the auditorium, one is greeted by an ad-magazine placed on one's chair. The auditorium space is glaring with white light, the old painted ceiling with angels is gone, and the old orange and cream muted decor has been brightened (though the orange curtain is there). PLEASE BRING BACK THE OLD, BEAUTIFUL CHARMING MALY, PLEASE-PLEASE! I hope that the Mariinsky is never destroyed like this.

I cannot believe that Nikita Dolgushin and Alla Osipenko are part of this sad enterprise. Did Dolgushin really 'consult' and, if so, did Ruzimatov listen? No wonder Oleg Vinogradov ran away as quickly as he could.

The Details

The ballet -- such a languid, Imperial experience in the recent Bolshoi staging -- is here crammed into two acts. Soloists are not allowed bows; no bows after the adagios of pas de deuxs but, rather, it's zippidee right into the male solo variation! I almost felt as if I were in America dealing with union time-requirements then I remembered - Wait, ABT has a lovely version that goes on for three acts, with bows for soloists.

Synopsis and Decors

This version is about 75% of the Kirov's. The lone intermission comes between the cave and Pasha's-palace scene.

Prologue
Like the Kirov's, this version begins with the storm at sea but in an El Cheapo design, with pirates Ali-Conrad-Birbanto standing on a platform that is moved back-and-forth horizontally, a scrim with a painted ship moving back-and-forth with them.

Act I, sc 1
The scrim goes up to reveal the barren seacoast. After the short entrance of the Greek girls -- wearing knee-length, 3-tiered white skirts and bare midriffs, except for Gulnare in an aqua-blue romantic-cut dress that reminds me of the Mariinsky's nereids in the new-old Beauty -- an entr'acte scrim comes down and we are in the Slave Bazaar.

Act I, sc2
Very 1970s-stylized flat scenery, with patchwork carpets in non-colorful colors and a depiction of little white buildings clinging to a craggy hill; the brightest, nicest color is the aqua-blue of the sea. Seid-Pasha and his eunuchs ask the red-headed, eye-patched slave trader, Lankedem, to show his wares. A mediocre Pas d'Esclave "for Jack Sparrow/Johnny Depp and the Nereid" is followed by the only original choreography of the night: two kitschy 'slave' groups: (1) intertwining Palestinian 'hookers' in red and black with lots of flexed feet and (2) bare-chested 'golden slave men' twirling black pom-poms but, wait!, those are note mere pom-poms, as they're hitting themselves with them! They're self flagellants...which makes the occassional whipping of the group by Lankedem-JohnnyDepp absolutely absurd! After this silly dance, the slave girls are rescued by pirates and, after some scrim business, we're in the cave,...

Act I, sc3
The pirate cave looks a lot like the previous seaside bazaar except that tacky hanging carpets are replaced by rock formations. The famous Forbane Dance led by Birbanto and his gal is immediately followed by the classical Pas de Deux-a-trois for white-loose-garbed Conrad and gold-harem-outfitted Medora and Ali. (She must be Ali's gal, with tall Conrad only supplying the lifts.) After one minute of non-sensical mime (and no Petit Corsar variation) we are into the 'bedroom episode' with no real dancing. Now Medora wears a long, sleeved white jersey dress with more fabric than the golden harem outfit in the previous dance. Lankedem recaptures the ladies. Conrad awakens -- Birbanto killed in fight -- and curtain down.

Act II, sc1
Act II all takes place in Pasha's 1960s/70s 'flower-power-symbol wallpapered' room, in tones of teal and brown. It all happens quickly - a little flirty dance for Gulnare and Pasha, followed by the dance for Three Odalisques in white knee-length zoave bloomer-pants, each with different color hose and matching pointes (blue, pink or mint-geen). Pilgrims enter and Pasha escorts them to another room, so they do not witness Jardin Animee, which suddenly has no meaning.

Act II, sc2 (Jardin Anime)
This Jardin Anime is a smaller-scalled version of Kirov's. At least it is the only opportunity of the night to see classical tutus: Medora in white with yellow pom poms on skirt; Gulnare in cool mint-green; 6 demis in light lilac; and 18 corps ladies in silvery lilac. Six turbaned little boys carrying little pink trees (or cherry-blossom branches?) at times. I miss the pizzicatto duo for two demi-solo girls that used to be a highlight in the old Maly version.

Act II, sc3
After the Jardin, the Pilgrims return to stage and re-rescue Medora & Gulnara. Medora with Conrad, and Gulnara with (I guess) new boyfriend Ali dance off (bit of new choreography). The remaining pirates and girls join hands and perform a Wave to adieu to the two leading couples, as a tiny toy boat crosses backstage.

Dancers

Medora, Irina Perren, definitely saved this mess. She is a true prima. The first two Odalisques had timing problems but #3, Viktoria Kutepova (Mrs. Ruzimatov), did a commendable job with the tough turning variation. Young Vaganova Class of'08 grad, Alexander Abdukarimov, absolutely brought down the house in Act I, as the leader of the Algerian Flagellants, with Chaboukiani-like leaps and power. He is a true star in the making. Victor Ishuk also garnered bravos for his neat, elegant Ali. The corps dancers were finely drilled and in synch. The orchestration was terrible, with over-powering timpani and some odd solo instruments (e.g., Gulnare's Jardin solo featured a clarinet instead of harp and strings).

I hope that tonight's LITTLE HUMPBACKED HORSE at the Mariinsky wipes the bad memories of this CORSAIRE away forever!

Natalia Nabatova
St. Petersburg, Russia

#7 Ostrich

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 08:07 AM

:( Ouch, that hurt! The famous old Maly...
Thanks a lot for the report!

#8 naomikage

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 09:55 AM

According to the official Mariinsky website, former Mikhailovsky Ballet soloists Denis and Anastasia Matvienko have joined the troupe.

http://www.mariinsky.../company/ballet
http://www.mariinsky...denis_matvienko
http://www.mariinsky...cers1/matvienko

#9 Helene

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 04:10 PM

From the National Ballet of Canada September 2009 newsletter,

Principal Dancer Guillaume Côté will dance the role of Prince Siegrfried in a new version of Swan Lake revised by Mikhail Messerer at the Mikhailovsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia on September 16 & 19, 2009.



#10 leonid17

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 09:20 AM

The Mikhailovsky Ballet have recently staged what seems to be yet another new production of an old ballet in new clothes.

http://www.guardian....orse-petersburg

#11 miliosr

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 05:03 PM

Oh G*d -- is Dolgushin staging The Moor's Pavane?

http://www.mikhailov...2-02-09&sh=1001


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