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


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#46 Cygnet

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 02:22 PM

Breaking news! Hopefully, there are some UK BT'ers who were eyewitnesses and will post. Until then, what a difference 24 hrs. makes! Let's leave the "anti-ballerina" for the real one; the ridiculous for the sublime. Obratzova and Matvienko triumphed in "Romeo & Juliet" last night! It's criminal that she, with either Matvienko or Shklyarov, didn't open the season Monday night. Well done and congratulations to Obratzova and Matvienko! Here's David Bellan's review in the Oxford Times:

http://www.oxfordtim...__Covent_Gardn/

NOW LET THE GAMES BEGIN! :clapping: :blush: :blink:

#47 annamicro

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 10:33 PM

It's criminal that she, with either Matvienko or Shklyarov, didn't open the season Monday night.


Maybe the choice of the opening cast was done by somebody willing to finally get rid of the “anti-ballerina”.
The awful critics were more than predictable and Somova was sent naked in front of the firing squad. One could say “poor girl”, being piteous… I’m not: at the end of the day she is a strong reason to prevent me to travel to watch the Mariinsky (a friend had her instead of Lopatkina in Swan Lake and is still there crying and screaming…).

The real criminal thing is to waste Shklyarov talent and artistry in such a partnership (my secret dream is to have him leaving from St. Petersburg to be engaged by the Royal Ballet: that would help to resolve another big problem)

#48 Mashinka

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 01:15 AM

at the end of the day she is a strong reason to prevent me to travel to watch the Mariinsky (a friend had her instead of Lopatkina in Swan Lake and is still there crying and screaming…).


I'd like to co-sign that. Let's face it the Kirov is notorious for changing casts at the last minute and last year I backed off from Baden Baden for that reason. To replace Lopatkina with Somova is a real slap in the face, a gratuitous insult to the paying audience.

The real criminal thing is to waste Shklyarov talent and artistry in such a partnership


I agree, but to be fair he dances with the others too and is particularly wonderful with Obratzova and Osmolkina; however any male dancer of quality is wasted opposite Somova. I am a huge fan of Igor Kolb and and consequently went to a Somova performance to see him. Needless to say the best things about the partnership were his solos!

#49 Cygnet

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 08:00 AM

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

That's a plausible conspiracy theory. Do we have the Hochhausers to "thank" for underscoring Fateev's protogee to open and close the season - and lead most of the programs in between? Do we have the producers to thank for this :)? If so, their plan is working. In a perverse way we owe the Hochhausers a debt of gratitude for speeding up the inevitable.

#50 abatt

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 08:25 AM

As noted on the thread related to "Ballerina", Valery Gergiev is also a big Somova fan. That also counts for a lot, I would imagine.

#51 Cygnet

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 09:17 AM

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.r...;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.

#52 leonid17

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 10:23 AM

: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.

#53 Cygnet

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 10:56 AM

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.

#54 CarmelaSMira

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 06:05 AM

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..

#55 annamicro

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 02:14 AM

: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

#56 nysusan

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 06:14 AM

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!!!!

#57 Jane Simpson

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 06:33 AM

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.)

#58 bart

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 08:08 AM

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"?)

#59 Jane Simpson

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 08:13 AM

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.

#60 mariinskyfan

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 02:30 PM

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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