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Kirov in DCSleeping Beauty casting


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#61 mariinskyfan

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 06:19 PM

I just returned from a wonderful Sunday matinee with Anastasia Matvienko and Maksim Zyuzin. Matvienko really won me over with her confident and crystalline technique. She did fully raise her arms in between each suitor in the Rose Adagio, FYI. I thought she danced with great clarity throughout the performance (although, she could have had more articulate Rond de Jambe Sautes in the first act coda). She certainly has beautiful extensions as well as nice pirouettes. She was just slightly lacking in the acting department. If she can improve in that area of her performance, she would really have the complete package.

Alexandra Iosifidi substituted as Lilac Fairy. Her dancing was unfortunately forgettable. I would have much preferred Kondaurova, Skoryk, or Kolegova in this role.

Now, for the stars of the performance: Yana Selina and Valeria Martynyuk!!!!!!!! They BOTH stood out in their prologue fairy's variations, which made me all the more excited to see them again in the third act. As noted by others, Yana Selina's White Cat is very very special. So entertaining, funny, musical and expressive. Wow! And Valeria Martynyuk's Diamond Fairy was AMAZING! She just looked like she was having the time of her life. She is so petite but takes command of the whole stage. I really want to see her in a leading role now.

The corps was fabulous, too! My favorite moment was in the vision scene when they do all the Ballonnés in perfect synchronization in crossing lines. It was stunning. I wish I could have attended more SB's this week, but I have many memories to hold me over until next year.

#62 Hans

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 06:25 PM

Also, regarding the arms in the last set of balances, I noticed that neither Kirov Aurora I saw brought the arm to overhead fifth position in this series of balances (I saw Kolegova & Tereshkina yesterday). They both went directly from one suitor to the next until the last suitor took them into a supported penchee after which they came back up and held the final balance.


That is funny...I remembered Kolegova raising her arm on both sets of balances. I recall thinking she didn't do it very well--it was a very abrupt, fast movement giving the impression that she was having trouble staying on balance.

#63 nysusan

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 05:35 AM

Also, regarding the arms in the last set of balances, I noticed that neither Kirov Aurora I saw brought the arm to overhead fifth position in this series of balances (I saw Kolegova & Tereshkina yesterday). They both went directly from one suitor to the next until the last suitor took them into a supported penchee after which they came back up and held the final balance.


That is funny...I remembered Kolegova raising her arm on both sets of balances. I recall thinking she didn't do it very well--it was a very abrupt, fast movement giving the impression that she was having trouble staying on balance.



Very funny! I agree that she didn't do it very well but my recollection was that she went very abruptly from one suitor to the next without raising the arm above her shoulders and I anticipated that Tereshkina would raise the arm (as I'm used to) at the evening performance. So I was surprised when Tereshkina didn't raise it either however she performed the balances very well, she was very secure and appeared to be completely relaxed.

#64 b1

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 01:08 PM

I forgot to add something. Did anyone else notice, or was it just me, that their shoes were incredibly loud? I was in the 2nd tier and both my colleague and myself thought the shoes (for ALL female dancers, including Tereshkina) were incredibly loud. And, it looked like everyone had new shoes. Was anyone else distracted by this or was it just us? :blink: :dunno:

#65 cinnamonswirl

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 01:22 PM

I forgot to add something. Did anyone else notice, or was it just me, that their shoes were incredibly loud? I was in the 2nd tier and both my colleague and myself thought the shoes (for ALL female dancers, including Tereshkina) were incredibly loud. And, it looked like everyone had new shoes. Was anyone else distracted by this or was it just us? :blink: :dunno:


Russian pointe shoes (Grishko, Russian Pointes) are constructed differently from Western ones. They "ring like a bell" when struck. Western shoes make more of a muffled thump. Grishkos in particular are, generally speaking, harder and longer-lasting than a lot of other brands. There really isn't anything you can do to make them more quiet that won't affect the integrity of the shoe. (If you're curious, there are lots of threads on Ballet Talk for Dancers about this.)

Most of the Mariinsky/Bolshoi dancers wear Grishko, although a large minority now wear Gaynor Minden, which is a "high tech" shoe and relatively quiet. Kondaurova and Obratzsova wear Gaynors.

#66 leonid17

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 01:23 PM

I forgot to add something. Did anyone else notice, or was it just me, that their shoes were incredibly loud? I was in the 2nd tier and both my colleague and myself thought the shoes (for ALL female dancers, including Tereshkina) were incredibly loud. And, it looked like everyone had new shoes. Was anyone else distracted by this or was it just us? :blink: :dunno:



Didn't a dancer a long time ago ,"That a noisy shoe is a sin."

#67 b1

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 01:32 PM

Russian pointe shoes (Grishko, Russian Pointes) are constructed differently from Western ones. They "ring like a bell" when struck. Western shoes make more of a muffled thump. Grishkos in particular are, generally speaking, harder and longer-lasting than a lot of other brands. There really isn't anything you can do to make them more quiet that won't affect the integrity of the shoe. (If you're curious, there are lots of threads on Ballet Talk for Dancers about this.)

Most of the Mariinsky/Bolshoi dancers wear Grishko, although a large minority now wear Gaynor Minden, which is a "high tech" shoe and relatively quiet. Kondaurova and Obratzsova wear Gaynors.


Yes, Kondaurova was the least noisy and it was lovely. :blink: While I am well versed in pointe shoes (and on how to make them quieter), I was still very distracted by how loud they were at such an elite level. And, yes, I think a noisy shoe is a sin :o :dunno:

#68 Hans

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 01:55 PM

I wonder if part of it has to do with the acoustics of the Kennedy Center opera house. Whenever I sit in the second tier, the shoes always sound loud, but the times I've been in the orchestra they've seemed quieter. I've seen both the Mariinsky and ABT in both locations, and the effect has been the same.

#69 b1

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 02:13 PM

I wonder if part of it has to do with the acoustics of the Kennedy Center opera house. Whenever I sit in the second tier, the shoes always sound loud, but the times I've been in the orchestra they've seemed quieter. I've seen both the Mariinsky and ABT in both locations, and the effect has been the same.



Very interesting. Hmmm.....

#70 YID

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 06:31 PM

I just returned from a wonderful Sunday matinee with Anastasia Matvienko and Maksim Zyuzin. Matvienko really won me over with her confident and crystalline technique. She did fully raise her arms in between each suitor in the Rose Adagio, FYI. I thought she danced with great clarity throughout the performance (although, she could have had more articulate Rond de Jambe Sautes in the first act coda). She certainly has beautiful extensions as well as nice pirouettes. She was just slightly lacking in the acting department. If she can improve in that area of her performance, she would really have the complete package..

Hello all, i will write more once i am back in NYC, and hopefully over my cold.
BUT some quick notes. I had managed to see ALL 5 casting sets. And to Mariinskyfan - Did you skip watching act 2? Matvienko was constantly falling off turns and balancies (once totally jamming into Zuzin). I found it to be her fall, but the older experts told me that it takes "two to tango". After Tereshkina, Vishneva, Somova (yes Terehova IMPROVED her a lot), i would place Kolegova with Matvienko (listed in order of my fondness). Matvienko style of hyperextensions reminded me Somova (pre-Terehova), and as Somova - some steps were off music.
Noise of point shoes- only one of perrormances i watched from Tier 1 and DID notice a much LOUDER points, i guess it's the sound resonating in the hall.
more later - bravo to Tereshkina & Shklyarov - they reminded me what ballet & love should be. PS; Terehkina and Vishneva did raise their (2nd) hand slowly in balances between suitors in Act 1.

#71 nysusan

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 06:53 PM

I saw the Saturday matinee and evening performances. I was not particularly impressed with Kolegova’s Aurora or Iosofidi’s Lilac, they were both good but neither was exceptional. Anastasia Kolegova has been given lots of opportunities in her first few years with the Mariinsky. She is a big, tall brunette with a very pretty face, a long torso and sky high extensions. I wouldn’t really call her carriage stiff, but it was very upright with little flow. Her very first entrance as Aurora was marred by a little slip; she practically skidded into the queen at the end of that first entrance. Her supported pirouettes were a tiny bit wobbly and her Rose Adagio balances weren’t overly impressive but her dancing overall was of a very high caliber, in particular, her bourrees were very beautiful. I just found her cold and charmless, especially in the first act. The vision scene was a better fit for her remote demeanor; I think it was her best act. She seemed most comfortable in the 3rd act but there was little character differentiation, if anything she seemed more girlish here than in the first act. If you like Aurora as Ice Princess then Kolegova is the one for you. Alexandra Iosifidi’s Lilac Fairy was lovely, joyful and gracious with clean technique and musicality but was certainly not in the same league as the best Lilacs I’ve seen. Anton Korsakov was Prince Desire. He looked much, much better than he did at City Center last year. His beats were clean, turns fast, jumps high and everything was landed with a soft, cushy plie.

The evening cast of Viktoria Tereshkina, Vladimir Shklyarov and Ekatarina Kondaurova was wonderful. With Tereshkina’s first entrance we saw a princess who was elegant and refined but also girlish & dewy. She was excited at the prospect of marriage and ready to embrace her future. Her dancing was grace personified, with beautiful line, strong technique, balance and turns. There was wonderful spring to her sissonnes (which this production has in the last act and also in her first act entrance instead of the series of pas d’chat). In her Rose Adagio she paused beautifully at the top of each of the first series of balances as she took a rose from each suitor and swung around in that pirouette that turns into a developpe. As discussed in previous posts, my recollection is that neither she nor Kolegova raised her arm into overhead 5th position between the climactic promenade balances in attitude. Tereshkina was a technical marvel and I also found her to be totally convincing in all 3 acts. There was nothing showy or pushed too far in any of her dancing; everything was executed with ease and joy. Her vision scene had an aura of veiled mystery and she was truly regal during the wedding celebration of the final act. In place of the fish dives that we are so used to this Aurora does multiple pirouettes and then “swoons” into her prince’s arms. Tereshkina’s pirouettes were flawless, and they ended the variation with a fish dive as the final pose (which I don’t recall from the Kolegova/Korakov cast). This was great, but there were a few nervous seconds as Shklyarov struggled to secure his footing and hold her in the pose. But thankfully all ended well and they managed to hold onto the pose for a very pretty picture ending to the variation.

Shklyarov was a handsome, ardent prince. With beautiful line, high, clean jumps and really fast turns in the air his dancing was wonderful and his dramatic and partnering skills were impressive. He and Tereshkina had great chemistry, he seemed totally enthralled with his Aurora in a very Gomes – like way.

Kondaurova made a wonderful Lilac – benevolent and gracious but also very much in control. Its hard to describe her dancing, the extensions were all as smooth as they were high and her upper body was luscious, just one stream of continuous flowing motion. For me she belongs in my own personal trinity of Lilacs – Lopatkina, Kondaurova and Mearns.

Off topic – after the performance it was my great pleasure to meet one of the most iconic Lilacs of all time, the incomparable Lubov Kunakova who is Tereshkina’s coach. She is a charming and lovely lady and I felt privileged to have a chance to chat with her (through my friends translation, thanks Y!)

I love watching the Mariinsky’s corps and soloists and there were plenty of opportunities to see old and new favorites as prologue and jewel fairies and in the 3rd act variations during both the matinee and evening performances. Even though the Diamond Fairy is the only one of the Jewel fairies with a solo variation all of the other gem fairies distinguished themselves and it was nice to see Anna Lavrinenko as Gold. She was lovely here, so was Yana Selina as a glowing Sapphire at the matinee. Nadezhda Gonchar was a fine Diamond at the matinee but I preferred the fire of Tatyana Tkachenko at the evening performance. My favorite of the prologue fairy variations are the Fairies of Tenderness and Generosity. Tenderness was danced to perfection by the lovely Maria Shirinkina at the matinee and by Maya Dumchenko at the evening performance. Yulia Kasenkova did a wonderful job with Generosity at both performances. I also really enjoyed both Tkachenko (matinee) and Selina (Evening) as the Courage/Bravery fairy. The Mariinsky’s version of the White Cat pas is a little racier than the NYCB version and while Valerya Martinyuk did a very fine job at the matinee as far as I’m concerned Selina owns this role. She danced it at the evening performance and managed to be totally charming, sexy and alluring, both flirtatious and playfully contentious at the same time while continuously embodying the essential feline essence. Both Grygory Popov and Vasily (brother of Tatyana) Tkachenko were high flying and frisky Puss in Boots.

The Bluebird/Florina pas de deux is one of my favorites. At the matinee it was danced by Vassily Scherbakov and Maya Dumchenko. Scherbakov was a wonderful Bluebird – the best I’ve seen in years. He had great elevation with high soaring jumps and perfectly clear beats. His dancing was very fluid and graceful and his landings were absolutely silent. Dumchenko was an enchanting Florina – she displayed very pure, pristine technique and beautiful line and was a delicate, shimmering feminine beauty displaying little to none of the arm waiving motions familiar from many western versions. Andrey Solovyov and Oksana Skoryk danced the roles at the evening performance. Solovyov was good, but not as impressive or graceful as Scherbakov. Skoryk is a very interesting dancer. She looks tall and is another very pliable dancer who appears to be on the Mariinsky fast track. She was a little wobbly at the beginning and has a bit of that Somova Gumby quality (maybe it’s due to a really loose hip joint?) but nowhere near as extreme as Somova and with much better control of her limbs. She also seemed to be a very musical dancer. During the coda she really kicked her rear attitude leg up which I found rather jarring, but overall I enjoyed her performance and I look forward to seeing how she develops over the next few years.

#72 nysusan

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 06:59 PM

I wonder if part of it has to do with the acoustics of the Kennedy Center opera house. Whenever I sit in the second tier, the shoes always sound loud, but the times I've been in the orchestra they've seemed quieter. I've seen both the Mariinsky and ABT in both locations, and the effect has been the same.


I was in the orchestra and the pointe shoes didn't seem particularly loud to me. What I noticed was that the men were very quiet in their landings ( as opposed to the NYCB & ABT men I'm used to, and also compared to what the Kirov men sounded like at City Center last year).

#73 mariinskyfan

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 07:45 PM

I just returned from a wonderful Sunday matinee with Anastasia Matvienko and Maksim Zyuzin. Matvienko really won me over with her confident and crystalline technique. She did fully raise her arms in between each suitor in the Rose Adagio, FYI. I thought she danced with great clarity throughout the performance (although, she could have had more articulate Rond de Jambe Sautes in the first act coda). She certainly has beautiful extensions as well as nice pirouettes. She was just slightly lacking in the acting department. If she can improve in that area of her performance, she would really have the complete package..

Hello all, i will write more once i am back in NYC, and hopefully over my cold.
BUT some quick notes. I had managed to see ALL 5 casting sets. And to Mariinskyfan - Did you skip watching act 2? Matvienko was constantly falling off turns and balancies (once totally jamming into Zuzin). I found it to be her fall, but the older experts told me that it takes "two to tango". After Tereshkina, Vishneva, Somova (yes Terehova IMPROVED her a lot), i would place Kolegova with Matvienko (listed in order of my fondness). Matvienko style of hyperextensions reminded me Somova (pre-Terehova), and as Somova - some steps were off music.
Noise of point shoes- only one of perrormances i watched from Tier 1 and DID notice a much LOUDER points, i guess it's the sound resonating in the hall.
more later - bravo to Tereshkina & Shklyarov - they reminded me what ballet & love should be. PS; Terehkina and Vishneva did raise their (2nd) hand slowly in balances between suitors in Act 1.

I did see the near fall in act 2. I assumed it was Zuzin to blame. She seemed more balanced during the Rose Adagio. I wish I could have seen all 5 casts to compare. Lucky you!

#74 DeborahB

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 08:10 AM

Thank you all for the wonderful and detailed reviews of the Mariinsky. I saw them in London last year for the first time and was pretty thrilled!

#75 AG

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 10:17 AM

I forgot to add something. Did anyone else notice, or was it just me, that their shoes were incredibly loud? I was in the 2nd tier and both my colleague and myself thought the shoes (for ALL female dancers, including Tereshkina) were incredibly loud. And, it looked like everyone had new shoes. Was anyone else distracted by this or was it just us? :blink: :dunno:


The stage floor itself probably exacerbated the noise; it appeared to be built up about three or four inches, no doubt to create a kinder surface for jumps, etc.


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