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Ekaterina Osmolkina guests in RB Swan Lake


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#1 Jane Simpson

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 05:08 AM

The Royal Ballet has announced that Mariinsky soloist Ekaterina Osmolkina will dance two performances of Swan Lake with Ivan Putrov next month.

Putrov was originally scheduled to dance with Roberta Marquez but she has been switched to partner Johan Kobborg in Cojocaru's absence. A similar chain of events led to Stuttgart principal Silvia Azzoni being brought in to dance Bayadere with Putrov.

#2 Mashinka

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 05:29 AM

This is a dream come true for me. The only dancer on earth with the same qualities as Margot Fonteyn is to dance in what is surely her spiritual home.

#3 Cygnet

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 09:19 AM

This is fabulous news for Katya Osmolkina (and) the Royal Ballet. It's great that she received
this invitation. This recognition is quite significant, because it's less than a month after her Maryinsky
debut which, btw, was a decade overdue. :toot: :) :D :yahoo:

#4 Natalia

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 10:57 AM

Here - here! I am very happy for Osmolkina. A most deserving ballerina.

It will be interesting for her to learn the original Ivanov mime and blocking, which are now absent at the Mariinsky.

#5 Jane Simpson

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 01:29 PM

Although Osmolkina will of course be very welcome in herself, it does seem that the RB is having problems finding partners for Ivan Putrov - let's hope they will be able to sort something out when all the 11 female principals are fit again.

#6 Rosa

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 06:55 PM

Congratulations Osmolkina! :thanks:

Although Osmolkina will of course be very welcome in herself, it does seem that the RB is having problems finding partners for Ivan Putrov - let's hope they will be able to sort something out when all the 11 female principals are fit again.


Who did Putrov partner regularly in the past?

#7 annamicro

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 09:07 AM

Although Osmolkina will of course be very welcome in herself, it does seem that the RB is having problems finding partners for Ivan Putrov - let's hope they will be able to sort something out when all the 11 female principals are fit again.


Waiting to have Alina Cojocaru back, also a musical partner for Johan Kobborg would be really appreciated. At least by myself. :wink:

#8 Jane Simpson

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 03:32 AM

Putrov has been dancing with Roberta Marquez for the past few seasons but they haven't appeared together recently. Marquez has been switched to dance with Kobborg quite often (she's very small - about 5' I'd guess).

#9 leonid17

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 03:39 PM

Yekaterina Osmolkina appeared with the Royal Ballet tonight in their vulgarly trashy, "Swan Lake". As it must have been a culture shock for her I am not going to write about her performance, of which there was much to be admired, until I have seen her again on the 26th.

#10 leonid17

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 04:15 AM

Yekaterina Osmolkina may not be a principal of the Mariinsky Ballet but last night she gave a true ballerina performance of Odette/Odile in what might have been a culture shock of coming face to face with the Royal Ballet's disgraceful production of “Swan Lake”. It was only three days earlier, that she made her absolute debut in this ballet..

On Monday it seemed to me that she was a stranger in a new land, without her usual coach to guide her or a former Royal Ballet Odette/Odilel to assist her. Fortunately she had Jonathon Cope to coach her in what after all was a very different approach to the ballet compared to the prevailing Kirov manner of presentation. She appeared tentative at times and perhaps the lack of a rake played a part in some technical unevenness. But brave she was and even made an appealing foray into an exhibition of the highly unfamiliar mime scenes of the white acts. It was more than a rehearsal and I felt instinctively that there was much more to come from this appealing dancer.

Last night she was as in clear command of the mime as one has seen on this stage for a long time. The clean and clear articulation of the choreography was absolutely present and it seemed as if the orchestra played and sounded better than at her first performance.

There was no need for any adjustment in watching Osmolkina perform, here was no exaggeration of technique or thrusting arabesques, instead there was a constant flow of elegant movement that comes from a sensitive understanding of a role. As Odette, was she moving? No, she was inspiring. Osmolkina danced Odette in a manner of her own, but with an interpretation that resonated with historical performances of the past. A subtle Odette, expressing her Mother's tears, her desperate plight and the intense desire to overcome her the power of Rothbart seemingly to be resolved in meeting Siegfried to whom she responded with an intensity that was at first tentative in expression then subtly passionate. I have heard of dancers who are a quick study, but a Kirov dancer in two performances becoming an eloquent exponent of mime in a ballet which Soviet ballet productions traditionally expunged is an extraordinary achievement.

Where there were for me only moments to admire in the lake scene on Monday, she flowed expressively throughout the scene on Thursday.

I was merely expecting the traditional transformation of Odette to take place in the next act as the role demands, but here was a dancer who although still inexperienced, had grown into this demanding role in three days distilling every class she had ever taken and coaching she had received into a complete performance, to conquer her audience and the Opera House audience submitted and resoundedly responded to her. This was a significantly important performance in the making.

Was her Odile different, well it was staggeringly different from Monday. Her first entrance was so commanding that in seconds she had convinced that although she looked like Odette here was and entirely different character. Thrustingly confident, brilliant in technique and yet controlling her line and execution in a way that was somehow menacing. If there was a flaw it was when she appeared to slip slightly in the fouettes which affected her balance somewhat but she never stopped and with a brilliant cover up ended at thirty /thirty one and not thirty two. Never did the confidence on her face slip as did her foot and a triumph with the audience was assured. On Monday, despite travelling forward, Osmolkina was more technically effective in the fouettes with interspersed double pirouettes, but last night she triumphed in the characterisation and we were convinced of the impersonation.

In the last act, she rose to the high emotional drama being fought out between heaven and hell dancing with passion and eloquence and the silent, rapt audience response was palpable. Osmolkina has the ability to articulate the choreography of Odette technically, musically and dramatically. In the last act, her arabesques had a sense of yearning as if to both unite with Siegfried and escape the thraldom of Rothbart.

Anguish, it was there, yearning it was there, and her body sang and swooped as Tchaikovsky’s musically dramatic personification of torment sang out in tumultuous frenzy as the opposing forces struggle for ascendancy. Love overcomes and prevails through death and the dark force has become impotent. It is the ending we seek and it was a full bloodedly drama performed by the protagonists and the audience responded noisily and with flowers.

A great performance by Osmolkina? If not, it was one that showed her personal greatness in commitment and an extraordinary ability to assume a role in a foreign land, on a foreign stage and with a foreign company with a different aesthetic. I loved it.

Osmolkina was partnered by Ivan Putrov more effectively and with more vigour at the second performance than the first. As Siegfried it was a small performance. His hair on Monday was such an extraordinary untamed mess I was shocked that the Director or other authority of the company allowed him to go on stage looking as he did. Last night it was tamed and his performance was better, though I do not think one should draw a correlation with these two events. Putrov has some very good qualities as a dancer. A light jump, which gives the allusion of flight, clean double-tours en lair and almost always excellent beats. His face is small but pleasantly featured but his dramatic expression does not convince me. The connection between face and body when high emotion is expected to be conveyed did not reach me and I was not far from the stage. He was at one time a dancer of great promise and perhaps I was seeing him in a role less suited to his abilities.
The Royal Ballet is cursed in my opinion with the worst production of "Swan Lake" I have ever seen. I do not care about claims of choreographic authenticity (which I might dispute), the designs for both the costumes and settings have nothing to do with the presentation of academic classical ballet. Vulgarly gaudy? Yes! Inappropriate? Undoubtedly! Empathetic for to a highly stylised 19th century ballet? No and yet again, no!

I had upon hearing reports from the original rehearsals of this product, decided to avoid it for all these years. I had after all seen a several hundred plus performances of Swan Lake in my time as many of them memorable and I did not want to have my sensibilities offended. I believe I was right in avoiding this product and it would take a lot to make me see it again even though last night's performance completely surmounted the generally appalling visual nightmare.

#11 Natalia

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 06:25 AM

.....the Royal Ballet disgraceful production of “Swan Lake"......


Disgraceful? Kindly read your history, Leonid. The RB is the only troupe on this earth that performs the original Ivanov/Petipa choreography. True, the sets and costumes are absurd. Perhaps you meant to write 'disgraceful design' and not 'disgraceful production'? I, for one, am delighted to have read elsewhere that this production has been filmed for DVD release later this year, on the Opus Arte label, starring Nunez/Soares. Hip-hip, hooray!

#12 Hans

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 07:49 AM

What a gorgeous description of Osmolkina's performance. I hope to see her dance this role one day.

I'm not surprised she conquered the mime--the Mariinsky dancers have excellent training in mime at the Vaganova Academy, and they all mime beautifully when a production calls for it. The Mariinsky Ballet has, in its various incarnations, been performing mime for over a hundred years, after all.

A question: does the Royal Ballet really perform the Petipa/Ivanov choreography? They might use more of it than other companies, but I was under the impression that their production had been altered by Ashton, among others. They also don't seem to have enough dancers to perform it, as it requires a very large corps de ballet.

#13 Mashinka

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 07:53 AM

I'd like to second what Leonid wrote about Osmolkina, she was gorgeous from beginning to end and all the more astonishing as she was battling with an injury. Iwould love to see her return to the RB as her very pure style and convincing acting would make her suitable for a great deal of the RB's rep.

And this girl isn't even a principal at the Kirov? Time to take the Kirov staff to visit the men in white coats I think.

#14 Natalia

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 08:02 AM

.....
A question: does the Royal Ballet really perform the Petipa/Ivanov choreography? ......


They do, Hans, for about 95% of the production - certainly for all of the lakeside parts. It DOES take a larger corps than in modern productions because of the inclusion of 8 or 10 pre-teen or early-teenaged student girls in the first lakeside scene. There also seemed to be more corps dancers than usual for the Danse des Coupes that ends Act I -- here properly performed with a maypole (a nice touch maintained at ABT, by the way).

Most of Ashton's emendations seen in the ca-1980 Makarova-Dowell Royal Ballet video have been excised here. The only remaining bit of Ashton, that I recall, is the Neapolitan Dance in Act III.

Mashinka - I have a very long 'laundry list' of reasons why the Kirov staff should be taken on the paddy-wagon to visit the Men in White, e.g., Daria Pavlenko being recently assigned the role of the Mare in Little Humpbacked Horse (rather than the leading Tsar-Maiden)...also, Street Dancer to Alina Somova's Kitri! We can just add Osmolkina's non-advancement to Principal to the pile of absurdities at the Mariinsky.

#15 Mashinka

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 08:14 AM

here properly performed with a maypole


The problem for me is that the set with the elaborate gates already takes up too much stage space so that by the time the maypole comes on it gets very overcrowded. But the idea of setting the ballet in 19th century Russia is ill conceived and every Russian I've taken to this production complains about the inauthentic look of the costumes.


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