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Mariinsky Ballet in London August 2009Link to Programme and Booking details


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#31 Cygnet

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 06:47 AM

Somova made her debut as Juliet yesterday evening at Covent Garden. The first verdict is in from London's Evening Standard.

http://www.thisislon...viewId=23727804

Je suis d'accord avec vous, Ms. Frater - in absentia Posted Image. Frater isn't one of the old guard like Clement Crisp; she's one of the dance "liberals" in the UK's critical circles. It has come to this. This was an unnecessary and mis-calculated risk that failed spectacularly. If someone took Yuri Fateev aside, one and one, and said "I told you so," my guess is that it still wouldn't compute. Covent Garden is used to excellent Juliets. Unfortunately, for the Maryinsky Ballet and Volodya Shklyarov, "Juliet" just didn't cut it last night. This was a most inauspicious start for the Covent Garden engagement. There will be more reports to follow as they come in.

#32 Natalia

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 08:34 AM

Sounds like a real stinkbomb, Cygnet. Glad that I did not waste my money on this travesty.

#33 bart

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 08:39 AM

Thanks, Cygnet. All I can say about this review is: "OUCH !" Two memorable quotes:

The audience shared the general ennui as the massed Capulets and Montagues twiddled their moustaches and Tybalt (Ilya Kuznetsov) rolled his eyes. It’s impossible to know if they’ve freely chosen pier-end acting, or if they’ve been coached into cartoon baddies. Either way, they convey little of the rivalry and pride at the root of the tragedy.

Alina Somova’s Juliet is a fledgling’s interpretation. The tall blonde is billed as the Mariinsky’s new star, but she shows what happens when you combine runaway technique with undeveloped artistry. With good coaching Somova could tame her freakishly long limbs and almost ghoulish flexibility.

I'm looking forward to hearing from BT'rs who were there. Can it really have been so ... what's the word I'm looking for? ... bizarre?

#34 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 09:06 AM

Thanks, Cygnet. All I can say about this review is: "OUCH !" Two memorable quotes:

The audience shared the general ennui as the massed Capulets and Montagues twiddled their moustaches and Tybalt (Ilya Kuznetsov) rolled his eyes. It’s impossible to know if they’ve freely chosen pier-end acting, or if they’ve been coached into cartoon baddies. Either way, they convey little of the rivalry and pride at the root of the tragedy.

Alina Somova’s Juliet is a fledgling’s interpretation. The tall blonde is billed as the Mariinsky’s new star, but she shows what happens when you combine runaway technique with undeveloped artistry. With good coaching Somova could tame her freakishly long limbs and almost ghoulish flexibility.

I'm looking forward to hearing from BT'rs who were there. Can it really have been so ... what's the word I'm looking for? ... bizarre?


What else is new? When they opened their London season in 1993 with the same ballet (and Ananiashvili was dancing Juliet as guest), they got nothing but bad reviews.

#35 CarmelaSMira

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 02:04 AM

Somova made her debut as Juliet yesterday evening at Covent Garden. The first verdict is in from London's Evening Standard.

http://www.thisislon...viewId=23727804

Je suis d'accord avec vous, Ms. Frater - in abstentia :). Frater isn't one of the old guard like Clement Crisp; she's one of the dance "liberals" in the UK's critical circles. It has come to this. This was an unnecessary and mis-calculated risk that failed spectacularly. If someone took Yuri Fateev aside, one and one, and said "I told you so," my guess is that it still wouldn't compute. Covent Garden is used to excellent Juliets. Unfortunately, for the Maryinsky Ballet and Volodya Shklyarov, "Juliet" just didn't cut it last night. This was a most inauspicious start for the Covent Garden engagement. There will be more reports to follow as they come in.



Indeed - first of all, it's risky to open to the London public with R&J anyway, because ROH audiences generally see the McMillan choreography as the "definitive" version and Lavrovsky's R&J probably never will be a hit for that reason.

Somova, I think, has potential but she is not being paced or given boundaries. I get the feeling that Fate'ev thinks she will be an attractive star to the "masses" - that she has modern appeal, gymnastic technique, and it's going to attract the people who are not necessarily long-time ballet fans. I can't see another reason why she would be promoted ahead of Obraztsova or Osmolkina. But if he thought making the "new star"'s debut on the opening night would make a success, he was very mistaken and he didn't research either London audiences or critics properly!

As you said, London is used to great Juliets - the best from foreign companies on tour, in Lavrovsky, Cranko and McMillan's versions; and the best from the RB both in the past and now. I think Juliet is one of the best danced roles by RB at present. Cojocaru, Benjamin, Galeazzi, Nunez, Cuthbertson, Sarah Lamb are all great Juliets. As a result, the audiences and critics get very exacting about what they expect in this role. London has seen recently some great debuts of Juliet - by Nunez for example, or Sarah Lamb - by really established artists, and the critics still found faults - what chance did poor Alina Somova stand?!

#36 Mashinka

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 03:09 AM

If we could leave Alina Somova aside for a moment, because c'mon guys we all knew she'd be awful, it's worth noting that in this mornings papers the critics are hailing Vladimir Shklyarov as a star.

#37 annamicro

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 03:58 AM

Cojocaru, Benjamin, Galeazzi, Nunez, Cuthbertson, Sarah Lamb are all great Juliets. As a result, the audiences and critics get very exacting about what they expect in this role.


Quite a lot of names, having not seen all of them I cannot guess which one is a mispelled "Rojo"... :)

I'm very happy for Shklyarov success: he is a wonderful dancer and I fell in love :wub: with his dancing (and acting) in a Romeo and Juliet seen a couple of yers ago...
And later I was absolutely charmed by his Alì (with Somova as Medoara and Kozlov - not at ease with the role- as Konrad, the difference of quality was almost disturbing...)

#38 CarmelaSMira

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 05:38 AM

Cojocaru, Benjamin, Galeazzi, Nunez, Cuthbertson, Sarah Lamb are all great Juliets. As a result, the audiences and critics get very exacting about what they expect in this role.


Quite a lot of names, having not seen all of them I cannot guess which one is a mispelled "Rojo"... :wub:


I knew I'd forgotten someone - thanks! :)

Although I don't think Juliet is Rojo's best role to be honest, I prefer her in Petipa and so on (the same with Nunez and Cojocaru - Nunez a bit over dramatic in "dramatic roles" and Cojocaru I prefer in Classics and avant garde..)

The point I tried to make is that in the RB, even some of the dancers who are not Company "stars" (for example, Galeazzi and Cuthbertson) are really, really excellent in this role. For example, I think Juliet is Lauren Cuthbertson's best role to date by far. So when you consider that depth of Juliet talent, London audiences do expect great Juliets!

Incidentally, did anyone see Evgenia Obraztsova last night? I wasn't able to be there, but I've heard she's really special in this role.

#39 CarmelaSMira

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 05:40 AM

If we could leave Alina Somova aside for a moment, because c'mon guys we all knew she'd be awful, it's worth noting that in this mornings papers the critics are hailing Vladimir Shklyarov as a star.


Yes, I'm looking forward to seeing him - I hope he is as good in the classics!

#40 mariinskyfan

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 06:06 AM

I'm also ready for some good news. Any reports from Obraztsova's performance?

#41 Cygnet

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 07:03 AM

If we could leave Alina Somova aside for a moment, because c'mon guys we all knew she'd be awful, it's worth noting that in this mornings papers the critics are hailing Vladimir Shklyarov as a star.

Mashinka, the critics are unanimous on both your points. 2009 Moscow IBC Gold Medalist Shklyarov is the new male star :clapping:. It's too bad he couldn't clone himself and dance Juliet as well - then it would've been a triumph. Hindsight is 20/20. What's done can't be undone.

The Times: http://entertainment...icle6738737.ece

The Independent: http://www.independe...on-1767250.html

Clement Crisp, Financial Times: http://www.ft.com/cm...144feabdc0.html

The Guardian: http://www.guardian....d-juliet-review

The Daily Telegraph: http://www.telegraph...den-review.html

The Stage: http://www.thestage....omeo-and-juliet

What's On Stage: http://www.whatsonst.....& Juliet.html

I'm also ready for some good news. Any reports from Obraztsova's performance?

For real! Will the real Juliet please stand up?! The good news is she did last night: Obratzova took the stage with Denis Matvienko. The bad news is it wasn't opening night, and it should have been. We know opening night is when the media turns out en masse. Hopefully, some of the critics listed above came back last night to recover from their withdrawals.

#42 canbelto

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 07:13 AM

Juliet in the Lavrovsky version is even more of a mime role than the MacMillan version. I think it takes a dancer of either considerable dramatic ability or charisma to pull it off. In other words having Somova make her DEBUT in the role on opening night of a major tour wasn't really fair to anyone, Somova included. :clapping:

#43 Helene

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 07:18 AM

I don't think the way she's been coached (in the past), cast, or promoted has been very fair to Somova. I think she is a talented lyrical soloist, not a classical ballerina, let alone Ballerina.

#44 CarmelaSMira

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 07:23 AM

I don't think the way she's been coached (in the past), cast, or promoted has been very fair to Somova. I think she is a talented lyrical soloist, not a classical ballerina, let alone Ballerina.


I'd agree with that. She could be great as Myrtha for example, or in Balanchine, or Dances at a Gathering. She has talent, no doubt, but she isn't what they are trying to make her be! (I think she's been a victim from the fact that Osipova was such a big hit, and the Mariinsky wanted to have a "teenage ballerina" like the Bolshoi)

#45 annamicro

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 12:36 PM

Dances at a Gathering


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

I suspect that Somova was infesting Kirov-Mariinsky schedules much before Osipova came to the attention of a larger audience (here in Milan we had the opportunity to appreciate Natasha stage presence and communicative dancing already in 2003, when she was really young). Somova danced Odette-Odile at Coven Garden in 2005 (during that tour, I saw her live for the first time, awfully throwing her legs here and there in a minor role of la Bayadére), but, for example, London Osipova’s clamorous success as Kitri (Clement Crisp article on the occasion is to remember as much as the show itself) was in 2006.

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…

Alina Cojocaru’s last Juliet in 2007-2008 has changed a lot from the first I saw in 2003: the former was absolutely lovely, young and fresh, but the last one is one of most interesting thing I’ve ever seen on stage; a clever and original lecture of the character, that loses nothing in poetry but adds to the tragedy of the two young lovers the modernity of a fight for freedom and independence; she is always referring to God as her only hope and at the end she dies with a smile on her face and a gesture of gratefulness to the sky, turning the climax of the tragedy in a moment of relief and hope in a better future, in another world. I found it amazing and loved it immensely. I could also add that she was able in her second show in La Scala to awaken even Bolle: for the first and so far last time I saw him really present on stage (it was just for five minutes and only in the second of the three shows, but nevertheless it was a sort of unbelievable miracle…).


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