Mariinsky Ballet in London August 2009Link to Programme and Booking details
Posted 05 August 2009 - 02:22 PM
NOW LET THE GAMES BEGIN!
Posted 05 August 2009 - 10:33 PM
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)
Posted 06 August 2009 - 01:15 AM
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.
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!
Posted 06 August 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted 06 August 2009 - 08:25 AM
Posted 06 August 2009 - 09:17 AM
That's a remarkable statement. Now weigh that statement against the full context of the article.
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.
Posted 06 August 2009 - 10:23 AM
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.
Posted 06 August 2009 - 10:56 AM
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.
Posted 07 August 2009 - 06:05 AM
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!
I wonder which decision in particular you might be referring to!
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..
Posted 08 August 2009 - 02:14 AM
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 , 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 , 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!!! ), 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. (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
Posted 08 August 2009 - 06:14 AM
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!!!!
Posted 08 August 2009 - 06:33 AM
(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.)
Posted 08 August 2009 - 08:08 AM
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.
Posted 08 August 2009 - 08:13 AM
Posted 08 August 2009 - 02:30 PM
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