leonid17

Mariinsky Ballet in London August 2009

77 posts in this topic

True. But "Ballerina" was made five years ago when Somova was still a corps member. It's the Deputy Director of the Ballet's decision who gets promoted in the Ballet. What Fateev has done is continue the policies of the former Director, Makhar Vaziev. Fateev explained the reason why he promoted Somova in the May 12, 2009 edition of the St. Petersburg Times:

"Last autumn, Fateyev promoted Alina Somova to a principal. It was a controversial decision, as there has been a lot of criticism of Somova distorting the classical line in her dancing. Fateyev explained, “I thought that by that time Somova had really grown and deserved the status of a principal.”
:blink::wallbash:

That's a remarkable statement. Now weigh that statement against the full context of the article.

http://www.sptimes.ru/index.php?action_id=...;story_id=28987.

:off topic: Maestro Gergiev has gone on record that he's not a balletomane, but he does have general knowledge of the subject as a Russian and as a layperson. He has the highest respect for the Maryinsky Ballet, but admits he's no "expert." Gergiev's main focus is the music, the orchestra and the Opera - and these in no particular order. Gergiev delegates the administration of the ballet to the Deputy Director, and trusts the judgement of that person until he learns otherwise. There's something else that's in play here: Gergiev pays very close attention to bad reviews, and if necessary he (eventually) intervenes. He takes the reputation of the Maryinsky personally. London is important to him: He's also Principal Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra.

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:off topic: Maestro Gergiev has gone on record that he's not a balletomane, but he does have general knowledge of the subject as a Russian and as a layperson. He has the highest respect for the Maryinsky Ballet, but admits he's no "expert." Gergiev's main focus is the music, the orchestra and the Opera - and these in no particular order. Gergiev delegates the administration of the ballet to the Deputy Director, and trusts the judgement of that person until he learns otherwise. There's something else that's in play here: Gergiev pays very close attention to bad reviews, and if necessary he (eventually) intervenes. He takes the reputation of the Maryinsky personally. London is important to him: He's also Principal Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra.

Still off topic. If he pays that much attention to reviews and his status in London Cygnet, I wonder how he responded to the criticism of his conducting of the Ring last week and the criticism of his singers one of whom got booed? He is the Artistic and General Director of the theatre and curiously Yury Fateev has been given the curious and seemingly lower status compared to the past, of Deputy Director of the Ballet Company of the Mariinsky Theatre not Artistic Director.

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Off topic: Hi Leonid. My thought is that he didn't like it, not even a little bit :off topic:. His Cycle is very non-traditional,

and it has evolved into what its become, since he first mounted it a few years ago. London saw the latest installment. He takes great pride in his Ring Cycle and his singers. When he has a program and he believes in it, he won't be deterred. For example, do you remember the Shostakovich opera and ballet season at the Coliseum a few summers ago? That didn't go well, especially when the Maryinsky companies appeared at the same time as the Bolshoi at Covent Garden. Yet, his questionable choice of programs didn't stop him from pushing it. Call it tenacity or being stubborn, but there it is. As far as the Ballet was concerned, the unanimous critical failure of Gelber's "Golden Age" in London, and the "Swan Lake" marathon at last year's Maryinsky Festival, (no new ballets presented), had alot to do with the Ballet Director change. Gergiev made that change. Additionally, there were other internal issues spanning Vaziev's 15 year tenure, culminating in his ouster. For example, the subsequent departures not only of Zakharova, but Sologub, Dmitri Semionov, Matvienko (who has since returned with his wife) and others.

Back to topic: Fateev was interim Director until the Maestro appointed him Vaziev's successor. Vaziev's title was

Director of the Ballet, not AD. IMO more thought could have gone into the appointment, and a more exhaustive internal search could have been mounted. Fateev was (and is) a company teacher, who also coaches Andrian Fadeyev. The deputy director title appeared shortly after the beginning of the 08/09 season. As an administrator, Fateev's comparable to Vaziev - okay but not outstanding. Compared to them, Oleg Vinogradov was excellent. He was also a noted and credited choreographer. In 1977 Vinogradov was officially appointed to lead the Ballet. At that time, Gergiev was still a staff conductor in the theatre. Vinogradov had already been an AD, first for the Novosibirsk Ballet, then the Maly Ballet, (now the Mikhailovsky); ergo he held the Artistic Director title until his departure. Vaziev (former Principal), and Fateev (ballet master) aren't choreographers, and up until their appointments didn't have AD experience. Fateev's appointment represented continuity for the company after the NY City Center engagement and Vaziev's eventual transition to La Scala last year. Monday night's disgrace doesn't absolve him. The awesome responsibility of leading this company has never changed. Given all that's happened over the past several years, leading up to and including Monday night, were Fateev or Vaziev good judges of potential and talent? In Somova's case, absolutely not.

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Dances at a Gathering

I think she could be lethal in that ballet. :wub: (and as Myrtha too)

Sorry, I should have been more clear with my meaning: Somova, if she was properly coached and if her issues in presentation and technique were addressed could be good in these roles!

Returning to Tamara Rojo’s Juliet, I think that she is great in dramatic roles, giving always a clever, personal and natural portrayal of her characters. She is considered by many people, me included of course, and critics one of the best actresses in ballet nowadays. Her casting in the filmed Romeo and Juliet, that made me happy, could maybe not satisfy everybody, anyway for sure is not as odd as some other more recent decisions of Royal Ballet management…

I wonder which decision in particular you might be referring to! :D

Actually, I would rather have seen the DVD with Cojocaru and Kobborg - Kobborg is quite on a different level than Acosta as an actor and I do like Cojocaru's Juliet very much (although I prefer her in other ballets). But now that I'm thinking about it, Kobborg was injured at that time (hence McRae's debut and the Bayadere fiasco..)

Did anyone see Tereshkina's Juliet? I had a ticket but unfortunately had to miss it. In general, I didn't hear positive reports of it, which I found quite surprising..

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:o

Kobborg is great as Romeo, but having only one possibility I’d have chosen his Des Grieux, which is just fantastic: his first solo is one of the best thing I’ve ever seen. Having two possibilities I’d love to have also his Rudolf filmed: a very subtle and clever portrayal of the Habsburg Crown Prince (I’m not happy with the cast chosen for the programmed film: Galeazzi is good, but Watson’s Rudolf looks just like a disgusting depraved ill-mannered mad, not giving at all the idea of the complexity of the relationships in the court and of the actual historical character –but, I saw him only at his debut, when also the partnering was quite bad, so maybe he has improved since then…)

Kobborg injury happened just few days before Bayadere and R&J, and for sure the cast for the DVD was chosen much in advance.

I don’t know what you mean with “fiasco”. It’s an Italian world and I’d not use it to define the two Bayaderes with Cojocaru: in the first one she wasn’t bad at all and Morera too…yes, they were partnered by Bolle: it’s well known that Solor is beyond his acting and technical skills so you cannot expect that much from him, in addition he was returning from an injury and so he was even below his standard and really fat: the “incident” with his tights, cutting his bottom in the first act and giving him three HUGE cheeks, all of them trembling like jelly :crying: , didn’t help the performance, but, again, the company was in a bad moment with male dancers and they had to use him, already there to lift Yanowsky: what could you expect? In the second Cojocaru was absolutely great (a friend watching her for the first time was totally charmed, even beyond his quite high expectations) and even if Zachary Faruque’s partnering was dreadful in some moments (a part of a couple of “risky” lifts :jawdrop: , he was keeping the veil so low that Alina had her tiara blocked by it… I mean: it happened with the petit Cojocaru, another dancer would have been strangled!!! :blink: ), he wasn’t bad at all in his solos (the manege of double tours assemble was the best I saw in that run, Acosta included) and also his portrayal of the warrior was good: partnering is extremely important, of course, but the overall feeling about his debut was positive for many people. That said, I think that Cojocaru was much better when dancing Nikiya in Barcelona this July, but that’s quite normal with her: no matter how good she was before, she is always better than herself when returning to a role. :clapping: (a months has passed, but maybe I’ll try to write something about that show…)

Returning to the topic, I too hope that somebody will write something about Tereshkina: she is one of my favorite (probably at the moment my favorite at the Mariinky), but unfortunately I’ve never seen her as Juliet

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Maybe the choice of the opening cast was done by somebody willing to finally get rid of the “anti-ballerina”.

The "anti-ballerina" - what a perfect name for Somova. I think that nickname is going to stick, like "Big Red" for Kondaurova. I happen to agree with the poster who said that she's a talented dancer who was pushed too far too soon without the proper coaching. It's up to the coaches to guide her and curb her excesses, and that obviously hasn't happened. Despite the fact that the Mariinsky keeps casting her in everything, I still wish I could be in London for this tour, just to see Obraztzova in R&J and Sleeping Beauty, and I'm also dying to see Kondaurova's Swan Lake. Can't wait to read the reports!!!!

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There's a piece about Somova in the Financial Times today, written by someone who makes no claims to be a ballet specialist - I think he states the problem for both sides quite interestingly.

(On the subject of the RB's R&J video - there was no chance it would star Kobborg, injured or not - it was made as part of Acosta's contract with Decca.)

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Thank you, Jane, for that article. He does indeed give a version of both sides in a very interesting manner.

But I think it is a little more complicated than that: it is the sheen of modernity itself.

The Mariinsky/Kirov tradition was forged in idiosyncratic conditions: its famous choreographer Marius Petipa arrived in St Petersburg in 1847, a full 14 years before the emancipation of Russia’s serfs. The company’s commitment to excellence survived every twist and turn of Russian and Soviet history. But now it must take its place on the global cultural stage: a place that is promiscuous, fast-moving, wilfully superficial, and that offers stellar rewards for little more than a transfixing smile.

Those impeccable company standards will be harder than ever to maintain in such a climate. Modern styles – of dance, of personality – will challenge the steely status quo even more. Experts will become more and more demanding of purity of technique, while increasing numbers of casual punters will be attracted by an art intelligently adapting to contemporary ways. Something will be lost, and something gained.

At this point in the article, I found myself feeling, quite involuntarily, a frisson of real suspense: how WILL this all play out in the end? (Not just Somova, but the larger matter of the tension and incongruities between classical standards of beauty, on the one hand, and the "sheen of modernity itself"?)

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I think the weak link is perhaps that word 'intelligently' in the second paragraph you quote - he hasn't justified that in his preceding argument, unless he's talking about commericial rather than artistic intelligence.

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Has anyone from BT actually attended any of the performances yet? It seems as though only links to newspaper reviews have been posted so far (please correct me if wrong). Thanks to all of those who have posted those links, but I'm dying to hear about Obraztsova's performance from a BT'er, especially considering the rave review from the newspaper! :o

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Has anyone from BT actually attended any of the performances yet? It seems as though only links to newspaper reviews have been posted so far (please correct me if wrong). Thanks to all of those who have posted those links, but I'm dying to hear about Obraztsova's performance from a BT'er, especially considering the rave review from the newspaper! :D

I'm in London and will be going to the "Homage to Balanchine" performance tonight (can't wait!), and "Sleeping Beauty" on Sat. night.

Will report back (as best as I can considering I've only seen this company once or twice).

The performance is sold out tonight. It got rave reviews everywhere.

They are performing:

"Serenade"

"Rubies" (from "Jewels")

"Symphony in C"

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I'm going to keep this brief but I really had a nice evening at the Mariinsky. The Royal Opera House was packed.

The first ballet, "Serenade" didn't get quite the ovation I thought it would. The dancers -- although lovely -- didn't dance off the beat (any of them) and

they don't lift their legs (the woman) as high (the extensions aren't, well, extended). Their upper body is, of course, beautiful.

The lead ballerina (I always think of Kyra Nichols doing this ballet) doesn't take her hair down, and in general did not wow me (although she was quite good). I didn't get the emotional wallop that I always get from NYCB.

I enjoyed it, but I didn't love as I usually do.

I'm sorry I'm not adding the casting, but it's late here and I have an early morning meeting.

"Rubies" was a bit all over the place -- i.e. the jumps/lack of jumps/non-flexed feet etc. The ballerina who does Ashley Bouder's part -- as I think of it now -- doesn't get her leg up very high, nor do the dancers hold the poses for very long.There were quite a few bent legs too (when they should have been straight. This was true for all three ballets). Many of the dancers (women and men) "set up" the spins and turns. I always find that distracting. Some of the women have plastered smiles on their faces too (seemed strange); the men are much more natural. Variations were also cut (which did bother me . This was especially true in "Symphony in C"). It seems like I'm nitpicking, but overall I liked it a lot (although not as much as NYCB's, MCB etc.).

The audience seemed to like this ballet more than "Serenade" (the applause was more generous).

"Symphony in C" was better. The lead male (a corps member) was terrific (although he cut a couple of the harder combinations). And the corps, in general, was excellent the entire evening.

The orchestra was also superb. This ballet simply knocked the audience off their seat. The Mariinsky did a very good job with this one, but it wasn't an A (or even an A plus) for me. That said, the overall impression was excellent. The audience went nuts at the curtain -- they applauded for more than 5 minutes, whistled and more (not very usual for London. At least not at the Royal). The dancers seemed very pleased.

I'll be seeing "Sleeping Beauty" on Sat. night.

I'll try to read up on the individual dancers by then, but I'm sure the program is listed (tonight's) on the Royal Opera Houses website.

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Here's the main casting for "Homage to Balanchine":

"Serenade" -- Ekaterina Kondaurova, Daniil Korsuntsev (excellent!), Ekaterina Ivvanikova, Daria Vasnetsova and Denis Firsov.

** Note: Staged by Karin von Aroldingen and Francia Russell

"Rubies" -- Irina Golub (lovely technique but seemed a bit tense. Had a strange smile throughout too), Denis Matvienko, Yuliana Chereshkevich (she's in the corps; I thought she was quite good) and then

Fedor Murashov, Alexi Nedviga, Anton Pimonov and Maxim Krebtov (all in the corp. Strong dancers).

** Note: Staged by Karin von Aroldingen, Sarah Leland, Elyse Borne and Sean Lavery.

"Symphony in C" -- Alina Somova (the "one" that everyone is talking about. She's their newest "star" principal She's blond and very beautiful. You can't help but watch her), Maxim Zuzin, Ekaterina Kondaurova, Evgeny Ivanchenko, Elena Evseeva, Vladimir Shklyarov (I thought he was terrific),

Evgenia Obraztsova, Kirill Safin.

** Note: Colleen Neary staged this.

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Sorry for all of the posts everyone.

I do want to add that this is only the second time (the first time was years ago at the NY State Theatre, as it was called then)

that I've seen the Mariinsky (Kirov). I don't have a lot of points of reference.

However, overall I was much more impressed than I'd thought I'd be.

And unlike some of the criticism in this thread (earlier), I very much liked Alina Somova.

The corps, in particular, was incredbily impressive. Ditto the orchestra (and the pianist for "Rubies" -- Ludmila Sveshnikova).

Although I do see the Royal Ballet at least once a year here, I just adore the Royal Opera House too.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow night!

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Sorry for all of the posts everyone.

Don't apologize, keep posting! It's good to have first hand reports from BTers. Glad you're enjoying the Mariinsky, they are my favorite company. Blasphemy for a New Yorker, I know. But even though you saw the Balanchine program, their heritage & style are so different from the NYCB that there's hardly any basis for comparison.

That said, take a good look at how they dance the fairy variations in the prologue tonight and then compare it to NYCB's performance style when they revive their SB this winter. Its a perfect illustration of the differences in the style and point of view of the 2 companies.

How did you like Kondaurova? After the Mariinsky's City Center run she and Terishkina were on just about every NYCB fan's "guest artist" wish list. I can just imagine her in the 2nd movement of Bizet.

I'm so jealous that you're in London for this engagement but then, I'll be in Central Park for Morphoses tonight! Enjoy!

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Did you like Kondaurova? After the Mariinsky's City Center run she and Terishkina were on just about every NYCB fan's "guest artist" wish list. I can just imagine her in the 2nd movement of Bizet.

I'm so jealous that you're in London for this engagement but then, I'll be in Central Park for Morphoses tonight! Enjoy!

She was great, Susan! But again, since I only saw this one performance I don't feel educated enough on the Mariinsky to say too much.

I will post again tomorrow night after "Sleeping Beauty." (tonight I head to the National Theatre for "All's Well..."

Clare Higgins is in it and I love her!).

I can't believe I'll be missing Morphoses tonight! You know how much I love them. Oh well, I intend to go to every performance at City Center.

Have fun tonight!!

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A note about Somova. During Mariinsky's City Center season Balanchine program, I barely recognized her as the awkward, unmusical dancer I'd seen in the Petipa. She seemed much more comfortable dancing those roles. I don't wonder that you're having a bit of cognitive dissonance.

Thanks so much for your reports, Deborah! I'll be looking for Susan at Morphoses tonight, but will be thinking of you in London and wishing, like you, that I could be in both places.

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Tonight I saw "The Sleeping Beauty."

Alina Somova was Aurora, Leonid Sarafanov was Prince Desire, Islom Baimuradov was Carabosse (the first male Carabosse that I've seen)

and Ekaterina Kondaurova was The Lilac Fairy.

Once again the Royal Opera House was packed to the rafters (including standing room).

Tonight they didn't seem to be in love with Somova (they certainly were -- and so was I - in "Homage to Balanchine.").

I did think she had a lot of problems in this performance (balance, extensions, some calf shakiness etc.). I kept thinking that Sterling Hyltin (from NYCB) would have been perfect in this role.

However, Somova continued to look beautiful, and perhaps she was having an off night.

Islom Baimuradov (a soloist) was a truly fantastic Carabosse. It was the best performance of this role that I've ever seen (note: I haven't seen that many, but have seen quite a few). Ekaterina Kodaurova was a breathtaking Lilac Fairy. Everything about her performance was brilliant -- her lines, her upper body, her legs, her arms, her presence in general. Unfortunately, the Lilac Fairy is not on stage very much in the 4th act (3 intermissions. Far too long a night). I truly hope she does make some guest artists appearances (as Susan wrote earlier). I want to see more of her!

I'm saving the best for last -- Leonid Sarafanov. He looks about 15 (and resembles D. Simkin from ABT), but is so brilliant that his youth (I have no idea how old he is) is an afterthought. His solos were magnificent (and received the biggest cheers of the night at the Royal Opera House); he is an excellent (truly) partner, and is totally invested in the role. I need to see more of this dancer as well (field trip to St. Petersburg perhaps? Just kidding!). I adore him!

Honorable mention goes to corps members Maria Shirinkina (Princess Florine) and Maxim Zuzin (The Bluebird). They were terrific.

Ksenia Ostreikovskaya (The White Cat) and Fedor Murashov (Puss-in-Boots) -- both in the corps -- were also very good.

I was disappointed with Vladimir Ponomarev (a soloist) as "The King." He looked bored most of the time. His Queen (in the corps), Elena Bazhenova, was better but I kept wishing that Dena Abergel (again from NYCB) would pop in (she does a great Queen).

The ballet started at 7:35 pm and got out at 10:50 pm. There were four acts and three (long) intermissions. In my opinion they could have combined the "Prologue" and "Act I" to cut down these endless intermissions. I have a few other small quibbles (no need to mention) but I will also say that the orchestra was superb, and the sets and costumes were outstanding (truly gorgeous!).

The audience was not as enthusiastic about this ballet as compared to "Homage to Balanchine." But there were exceptions (again, huge and much deserved ovation for Leonid Sarafanov, as well as a very nice reception for Ekaterina Kondaurova, Islom Baimuradov and a few others, including the orchestra!).

I was also extremely impressed with the audience! They actually pay attention! I didn't hear even a hint of a whisper (and certainly

didn't hear any talking). Honestly, this is true when I see the Royal Ballet too. Plus most audience members got dressed up. That was an additional pleasure! Finally, there were plenty of young people there (in their 20's. Most looked like they were on dates) as well as oldsters like me (I'm 52); I saw many snazzy elderly (80's perhaps) couples as well. Not one cell phone went off either! Bravo audience members!

I'm heading back to NYC tomorrow but I'm so glad I was able to see two performances (as well as a bunch of plays) of the wonderful Mariinsky. Next time I'm in London (December), I'll be seeing The Royal do "The Nutcracker." (I've actually never seen their version so it might be fun).

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DeborahB, your notes on the audience made me smile. :( I lived in England for most of my 20s, as a grad student, and spent way too much time doing things related to ballet, much to the dismay of my supervisors! There was a group of us that took advantage of student offers, cheap seats in standing/the back of the amphi, etc....... We went to the ballet because we loved it and we loved the Royal. I admit that if I was standing I'd often dress more 'comfortably' for sure.... but the few times I got nice seats, I most definitely dressed nicely! I get tired of the idea that if young people are at the theater they are going to be rowdy and dismissive. Grrrr!

In any case, regarding Somova and SB -- remember that the RB audience is fairly protective of their version, including the lovely mime... I haven't been able to stomach Somova since I first saw her. I admit I had the same first reaction to both her and Zakharova -- whose face was plastered on the front of Mariinsky programme in London a few years ago: 'Wow, so pretty, can't wait to see them dance'.... after seeing them dance, not so much, for all the reasons that have been hashed out here. That said, I can see Somova's overall approach perhaps being more suited for Balanchine (or Forsythe!), rather than Petipa.

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DeborahB, it sounds like you had a wonderful time in London! Many thanks for your reports, and have a safe trip home.

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I saw the SB matinee yesterday. What struck me was how the whole thing had been unnecessarily truncated. Huge chunks were simply omitted (eg. Act 1 went straight into the Waltz - unforgivable!) and many individual numbers shortened. I felt a bit short-changed at the end of it all. Is this really how they perform "their" Sergeyev version? (or perhaps only when they're on tour?)

Oh and yes, I also missed the lovely mime sequences that we've become accustomed to in the RB versions.

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I saw the SB matinee yesterday. What struck me was how the whole thing had been unnecessarily truncated. Huge chunks were simply omitted (eg. Act 1 went straight into the Waltz - unforgivable!) and many individual numbers shortened. I felt a bit short-changed at the end of it all. Is this really how they perform "their" Sergeyev version? (or perhaps only when they're on tour?)

Oh and yes, I also missed the lovely mime sequences that we've become accustomed to in the RB versions.

It's the touring version. It has always been truncated, more or less. Every time they came they cut something else.

In Amsterdam, last month, we were served a severely mutilated Beauty, nothing to do with the original anymore. Makes it hard to judge the production this way.

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Possibly more truncated than usual, for example Red Riding Hood & the Wolf were listed and named on the programme but didn't actually dance. The third act diverts were just jewels, blue birds and the cats whereas in the past the Kirov used to also give us the ogres & boys plus Cinderella & Prince. These arrived as guests but didn't actually perform this time around.

The ROH endless intervals may be to blame as the Friday night SB finished after 11pm. The matinee and (I presume) the evening performance on Saturday cut the curtain calls between acts to make the programme shorter.

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Possibly more truncated than usual, for example Red Riding Hood & the Wolf were listed and named on the programme but didn't actually dance. The third act diverts were just jewels, blue birds and the cats whereas in the past the Kirov used to also give us the ogres & boys plus Cinderella & Prince. These arrived as guests but didn't actually perform this time around.

The ROH endless intervals may be to blame as the Friday night SB finished after 11pm. The matinee and (I presume) the evening performance on Saturday cut the curtain calls between acts to make the programme shorter.

I thought it was very odd that Red Riding Hood & The Wolf were listed, and did appear on stage (albeit briefly), but then didn't dance (although they did come out at the end as well). But since I'm not very familiar with the Mariinsky (or Petipa's version of SB), I thought this might have been normal.

I went Sat. night and it didn't get out until 10:50-10:55 pm (and started at 7:30pm). That's just nuts!

The intervals seemed endless, and there were too many front of stage bows (not warranted or demanded by the audience either)

during the performance.

However, I was still thrilled to be at the ROH and seeing the Mariinsky.

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Thank you so much DeborahB for your on site reviews! I wish I could have been there. Except for a few outstanding

performances, on the whole, the media & eyewitness reviews for this engagement were mixed at best. IMO, I think the next time the Maryinsky comes to Covent Garden, the management and producers should bring ballets that won't conflict with British tradition or British sensibilities :(. You don't come to the Land of Shakespeare, or the House of MacMillan & Ashton with a "mediocre" "Romeo & Juliet," however its historic value as the original production. If you do, you don't open (or close) the season with an unproven debutante. Moreover, you don't come to Covent Garden with the mimeless Sergeyev "Beauty," after the sumptuous 1890 or Oliver Messel reconstructions. The program was decided before Vaziev's departure. However, there was plenty of time to carefully reconsider the schedule and the casting. Next time, Fateev needs to do some serious homework and research his host audience.

Personally, I highly recommend the full length Sergeyev "Raymonda," "Giselle," Lacotte's version of "Ondine," a Balanchine program and the brand new "Little Humpbacked Horse." I would've booked & travelled for that type of schedule. IMO, these and the Balanchine ballets that were given, would have been far superior to the programs that were presented. "LHH, " and "Ondine" are definitely worth touring. The Maryinsky's "Giselle" always works (theoretically - it depends who is leading the cast and the chemistry with the Albrecht). Plus the "Giselle," "Ondine," Balanchine mixed bill and "LHH," would have ended before the trains stopped service for the night. The ROH tries to end performances around 10:30 p.m.ish, or a little after. "Beauty" & "R & J" run 3.5 hours with the long intervals; "Swan Lake" is only slighty shorter. The Sergeyev "Raymonda" full-length is rarely given at home, let alone abroad, but it would be a novelty for London. London has seen Grigorovich's complete version with the Bolshoi.

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