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Mikhailovsky Ballet -- Leonid Sarafanov joins company


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#16 kahoyo

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 08:52 AM

Mikhailovsky Ballet looked to be a second rate company to me, as its repertoire and dancers were not as fabulous as Mariinsky's. Why did Sarafanov sign such a contract?

Maybe things are going better ways after Ruzhimatov was sacked?

#17 bart

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 10:24 AM

Belated thanks to Rosa for posting the announcement from the Mikhailovsky website. The following paragraph is interesting. It addresses several of the questions raised earlier in this thread.:

Leonid Sarafanov: ďMy coming to the Mikhailovsky Theatre is my conscious decision. I feel I have some capabilities, which are difficult to enhance in traditional repertory. I expect that at the Mikhailovsky Ballet led by Nacho Duato. Iíll be able to experience some new artistic quality. Iíve always been interested in contemporary choreography, experimenting with new plastique and Iím inspired and encouraged by the perspectives I see at the Mikhailovsky Theatre.Ē



#18 Mashinka

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 01:55 AM

Mikhailovsky Ballet looked to be a second rate company to me, as its repertoire and dancers were not as fabulous as Mariinsky's. Why did Sarafanov sign such a contract?

Maybe things are going better ways after Ruzhimatov was sacked?


Judging by the last two seasons in London, I'd hesitate to call the company 'second rate'. Their leading dancer, Irina Perren is actually very good and stands comparison with most of the featured Kirov girls. Denis Matvienko is undeniably world class and although no longer a regular company member he still guests with the Mikhailovsky. There are by the way, a number of former lower ranking Kirov dancers within the company who also felt they would be happier with St Petersburg's 'second company'. I imagine money was a factor in Sarafanov's decision to move, but he isn't the first to depart and I dare say he won't be the last. Merkuriev and Luboukin do very well at the Bolshoi, proving that jumping ship can be advantageous. The Kirov isn't what it was and had the Mikhailovsky continued down its former classical road, the company could in time have overtaken the Kirov, but the Duato decision probably means a change of direction along a route where classical ballet becomes secondary.

Mikhail Messerer was proving an inspired director at the Mikhailovsky, if Gergiev had any sense he would snap him up to replace the sorry 'acting' incumbent.

#19 bart

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 08:49 AM

The April/May 2011 issue of Pointe Magazine has an article on Duato's plans for the Mikhailovsky.

It's not available online, but here are a few highlights. (Please note the information on a visit to Lincoln Center in 2012, in the bottom quote box.)

"I know the news that I was moving to this company was completely bizarre," says Duato, who was offered the position by the Mikhailovsky's enterprising general director Vladimir Kekhman. " "Everyone thought, Is he mad? Is he crazy," says Duato. "And yes, I am crazy. But if you're not crazy, you don't move forward."

Although he has little classical experience himself, Duato isn't planning to do away with the company's recent focus [on traditional ballets]. "The classics are important, and the company dances them beautifully," he says. "I'll update the lighting and the decor a bit, but I'm going to preserve the current classical repertoire." In fact, he'll add it it: One of Duato's first major products is a new Sleeping Beauty, to premiere in February 2012, which he will stage after Petipa.

My goal is to bring the company into the present by creating a balance between classical and contemporary." He adds that eventually he'd like the Mikhailovsky to be comparable to an American Ballet Theatre or a Paris Opera Ballet -- yet his troupe's repertoire will, unsurprisingly, include a substantial collection of his own pieces. ... Though he will set some of his best-known pieces (Remanso and Jardi Tancat among them) on the company, this July he'll premiere a new ballet whose vocabulary will be significantly more classical. "I have all these beautiful dancers with incredible Russian schooling and technique, so why not take advantage of that?" he says. "The bodies are different, the city is different, so my inspirations are going to be different. My choreography will evolve.

Duato also plans to amp up the company's touring schedule in Europe and America to increase the Mikhailovsky's international presence ... Indeed, though just a year ago most American ballet fans had never heard of the Mikhailovsky, the company is already booked for a run at Lincoln Center in 2012. It will perform Duato's Sleeping Beauty and a program of three new contemporary works.



#20 Natalia

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 09:11 AM

While I'm glad that they're coming in 2012, I sure hope that it won't be "wall-to-wall Nacho"! How about the full-length Laurencia and Cipollino, two Soviet-era rarities that delighted London audiences last summer?


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