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Kondaurova Wins 2010 Golden Sofit Award


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#1 Cygnet

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 12:14 PM

Ekaterina Kondaurova is the recipient of the 2010 Golden Sofit, category "Best Female Role in Ballet." This is St. Petersburg's most prestigious theatre award. She won for her interpretation of Anna in Ratmansky's "Anna Karenina." Congratulations Katya :clapping: :flowers:!

http://www.mariinsky.../3_november228/

#2 Natalia

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 12:58 PM

Great news, Cygnet...and SO DESERVING. Common sense prevailed.

#3 kahoyo

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 04:32 PM

Good news, but no wonder.

I think Kondaurova dances much more beautifully than Somova does. It was sad she didn't come to Tokyo for Boloshoi-Mariinsky Gala.

#4 bart

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 05:03 PM

Congratulations. It's a real tribute, considering that she was third cast in the role.

Can anyone tell us what a "sofit" actually is? (it can't be the same as an architectural "soffit," can it?) This St. Petersburg Times article goes a little into the history of the prize and has an illustration of the trophy, but does not explain.

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#5 Helene

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 11:16 PM

:flowers: to Ms. Kondaurova!

#6 Cygnet

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 10:03 AM

Congratulations. It's a real tribute, considering that she was third cast in the role. Can anyone tell us what a "sofit" actually is? (it can't be the same as an architectural "soffit," can it?) This St. Petersburg Times article goes a little into the history of the prize and has an illustration of the trophy, but does not explain.


"Sofit" means 'floodlight' or 'spotlight.' Actually, this is Katya's second Golden Sofit in this category. She
won in 2008 for the role of Alma in "Glass Heart." She now has one Benois and to Golden Sofits. She won the 2006 Benois for her Zarema in "Fountain of Bahkshiserai," and was nominated in 2009 for her Odette/Odile. That nomination was in response to her O/O debut. Hopefully, her Anna will be nominated for the 2011 Golden Mask.

Kahoyo wrote:

I think Kondaurova dances much more beautifully than Somova does.

Kondaurova is a ballerina, destined (soon, we hope :huh:), to be a Principal and a notable Prima. Somova is neither; and only by title and internal politics.

It was sad she didn't come to Tokyo for Boloshoi-Mariinsky Gala.

Agreed. It would've been great if Katya had participated along with Tereshkina, Lopatkina and Obrastzova, instead of Somova. Katya and Genichka deserve all the exposure and appearances that they can get.

#7 Natalia

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 08:22 AM

"Sofit" can also mean "shining light" which, of course, describes Kondaurova.

IMO, there are three (3) First Soloist ladies on the current Mariinsky roster who deserve the promotion to Principal: Kondaurova, Obraztsova and Novikova...and far more deserving than You-Know-Who. It appears that the Mariinsky has only so many "slots" for Principals, e.g., glamorous Makhalina remains on the roster after her recent Spartacus appearances, beautiful Pavlenko is way under-used, and the veteran Nioradze hangs on...as the 14-year-old 'Juliet' tomorrow night. :smilie_mondieu:

CORRECTION: Four (4) First Soloists far more deserving of Principal status than You-Know-Who. Add Ekaterina Osmolkina to my original three, although Osmolkina has been indisposed of late.

#8 bianca

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 10:40 AM

I agree that there are three first soloists deserving principal status but Kondaurova and Novikova, though I like them, are not in my list. Osmolkina and Obraztsova are obvious choices but lately I added also Anastasia Kolegova. I've seen her Gamzatti and Odette/Odile and I'm amazed by her performances. But she doesn't seem very popular in Petersburg, I have no idea why.

#9 Natalia

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 12:39 PM

Bianca, a lot of people like Kolegova but, in a company so chock-full of talent, she doesn't quite stand out. I know that she was a full Principal at the Mikhailovsky (Maly), where she spent the first 4-5 years of her career. She is one of several ex-Maly 'stars' who left when the Maly was privatized. Evseeva was another one.

Kolegova was the 'glamour gal' of the Maly but not quite as appreciated in the bigger government theater, where some of the coaches consider her proportions a bit odd (longer torso to shorter legs). Remember that she was not selected with her graduating class to go to the Mariinsky (the class of 2000 that included Tkachenko).

There's a lot of interesting 'politics' going on between those two companies since the smaller one was privatized. Lots of flip-flopping, e.g., 'The Matvienki' who have flipped twice - he from the Mariinsky to the Maly (via Bolshoi), then back to Mariinsky.

#10 kahoyo

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 09:16 AM

It might interest you that the role of MacMillan's Romeo by the New National Theater Ballet (now called "The National Ballet of Japan"), scheduled June-July 2011, is yet to be announced. It was vacant for the foreign guest dancers (= 1 ballerina and 1 male dancer). So I recommend that Ms. Kondaurova talks personally to David Bintley about it. I believe she can bring to the NNT something that Zakharova didn't in the past.

Agreed. It would've been great if Katya had participated along with Tereshkina, Lopatkina and Obrastzova, instead of Somova. Katya and Genichka deserve all the exposure and appearances that they can get.

I watched both programs of the Gala at Ueno. Obrastzova's Giselle was so delicate.., she looked as if she was floating on the stage. And Sarafanov aroused excitement in Tarantella, not just by his technique, but mostly by his inner passion. Also, Miss Osipova's Kitri gave us lots of courage!

#11 Cygnet

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 02:50 PM

Kolegova was the 'glamour gal' of the Maly but not quite as appreciated in the bigger government theater, where some of the coaches consider her proportions a bit odd (longer torso to shorter legs). Remember that she was not selected with her graduating class to go to the Mariinsky (the class of 2000 that included Tkachenko).

Yes; and Tatiana Tkachenko is still a Mariinsky 2nd Soloist moonlighting as a Hermitage Ballet Principal. Over there Tkachenko has danced Aurora, Giselle and O/O but she hasn't at the Mariinsky. This is just one example of how deep the soloist ranks are in the Mariinsky and the depth of talent languishing in those ranks. When Duato becomes the Mik's A.D., I suspect there will be more displacement between both theatres - and other St. P companies.

Kolegova and Matvienko are employed as 'go-to' house soloists. Matvienko's career has been following her husband, and Kolegova joined as a 1st Soloist, with Principal experience from the Mik. Kolegova's and Matvienko's main assignment has been the "Swan Lake" performances in-between the Principals' subscription and benefit performances. It's a rare thing when a ballerina who is considered an "outsider," ie. trained in another academy or from another theatre, becomes a Mariinsky principal. Some notable exceptions are the late Inna Zubhovskaya (Bolshoi transplant), and the ladies from Perm, Olga Tchyentchikova (Mrs. Makhar Vazieva), and Lubov Kunakova. Coryphee Oksana Skoryk is Perm trained and she's seems to be headed for the fast track, having made her debut in Giselle this past July. So, it can happen at the Mariinsky but it's rare.

Natalia, I totally agree with you re the four you mentioned as candidates for Principal. They need to move up. We'll have to :beg: and cross our fingers for all four of them. The question is which ones will become Principals? Like you stated, the slots are taken right now. IMO under the current circumstances, promotion for these ladies may be 50/50 - at best. Katya and Genichka (should) both make it. Olesya may make it because of her coach's influence (Moiseyeva), but it doesn't necessarily follow that anything's a sure thing. That's true everywhere. Also, according to the leadership's standards, Osmolkina may be deemed "too old" now (like Dumchenko and many others). Pavlenko is a Principal - from their generation - but she isn't being utilized at all, even though she's recovered and taking class again. Besides personal preferences, seniority and political gaming, Kondaurova and Osmolkina may have the edge over Genichka and Olesya because they both have Odette/Odile in their reps. The Mariinsky hasn't yet given Obrastzova or Novikova the opportunity to do it. Osipova (another soubrette like Genichka and Olesya), made Principal at the Bolshoi without O/O, Aurora, or Juliet, although she made her debut with ABT in "Beauty" and "R & J" this year. But Osipova is working under a different management structure at the Bolshoi, an environment totally different from the Mariinsky. In this company, the policy has been 'no O/O; no Principal appointment.' Vishneva was the exception until she danced it at home in 2005. That's not a hard and fast rule everywhere of course - but that's how the Mariinsky rolls. Novikova did dance O/O with Sarafanov in Paris this past July during Zelensky's Novosibirsk Ballet engagement. In the Mariinsky Ballet, when a soloist takes the initiative, gets permission and accepts a guest appearance, outsources a role, and succeeds in it with another company, the Mariinsky management's response is 'As far we're concerned, you haven't done it until you've done it here, and if you've done it elsewhere that doesn't count to us.' This is reflected in the dancers' bios under the heading "Repetoire at the Marinsky Theatre includes." *(italic emphasis mine).

The coaches and the management have been stubborn on this point. For example, Vishneva waited a decade before she was granted her Mariinsky debut as O/O; likewise Osmolkina. Obrastzova has already outsourced her Raymonda; and Novikova has danced the role successfully at home. Obrastzova may also need to do the same for O/O - if she wants to dance the role in her home theatre. Even so, that may not be acknowledged either - as she's still waiting for her chance at a Raymonda debut at home. And even if she should succeed as O/O elsewhere, she still may not get the nod to dance either role at home. Novikova danced O/O with Zelensky's company, that doesn't mean she will do it at home.

Preferred aesthetics may also be another factor. Obrastzova and Novikova are both petite ballerinas, and despite their wonderful attributes and outstanding accomplishments they may not be deemed by the powers that be as "Principal material." Those that they deem "P.M." they push, promote and frequently cast as Odette/Odile, and in other leading roles, based on a lb. of Ballet Director's wishes, a dash of foreign box office receipts, and a pinch of audience response. The Mariinsky's current aesthetic for O/O casting is long, lean, tall and loose. To put all of this in perspective, if Komleva, Kurgapkina, or Ayupova (and other notable primas) were starting out in the company today, they wouldn't get a shot at "Swan Lake." So, unless there is regime change at the top of the Mariinsky Ballet it will be status quo.

#12 Natalia

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 08:09 AM

I totally agree with your basic argument, Cygnet. I wouldn't be surprised if there are even more defections from the 'House of Blues' soon, perhaps Novikova following Sarafanov? Novikova, incidentally, has danced the Ballroom Act (Odile) at the Mariinsky during the Kurgapkina Gala a couple of years ago.

Furthermore, I would not be surprised if the upcoming graduate of the Vaganova Class of 2011, OLGA SMIRNOVA -- finally graduating after having been praised all over the world for the past 6 years! - will opt to dance at a theater other than the Mariinsky, come June 2011. She might "Pull a Lebedev" and do as her frequent partner, Victor Lebedev, did upon his own graduation in June 2010: bolt for the Mikhailovsky. [That said, I'd hate to see classically-trained dancers be relegated to Nacho Duato choreography, no matter how handsomely they are paid by Banana Man.]

p.s. Thanks to Kahoyo for the update on the Tokyo NNTB, not the National Ballet of Japan. That is great news. They deserve it. Obraztsova or Vishneva might be better suited for Juliet than Kondaurova, who seems a bit too statuesque for the pas de deux adagio-flinging by MacMillan. Unless the Romeo is a six-foot guy with lots of muscle. Somehow Kondaurova evokes more "stately queen" than "gentle soubrette" to me. But I would love to be proven wrong. :)

#13 Cygnet

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 09:36 AM

I totally agree with your basic argument, Cygnet. I wouldn't be surprised if there are even more defections from the 'House of Blues' soon, perhaps Novikova following Sarafanov? Novikova, incidentally, has danced the Ballroom Act (Odile) at the Mariinsky during the Kurgapkina Gala a couple of years ago.

Furthermore, I would not be surprised if the upcoming graduate of the Vaganova Class of 2011, OLGA SMIRNOVA -- finally graduating after having been praised all over the world for the past 6 years! - will opt to dance at a theater other than the Mariinsky, come June 2011. She might "Pull a Lebedev" and do as her frequent partner, Victor Lebedev, did upon his own graduation in June 2010: bolt for the Mikhailovsky. [That said, I'd hate to see classically-trained dancers be relegated to Nacho Duato choreography, no matter how handsomely they are paid by Banana Man.]

p.s. Thanks to Kahoyo for the update on the Tokyo NNTB, not the National Ballet of Japan. That is great news. They deserve it. Obraztsova or Vishneva might be better suited for Juliet than Kondaurova, who seems a bit too statuesque for the pas de deux adagio-flinging by MacMillan. Unless the Romeo is a six-foot guy with lots of muscle. Somehow Kondaurova evokes more "stately queen" than "gentle soubrette" to me. But I would love to be proven wrong. :)

Thanks Natalia. I agree: It will be very interesting to see if Smirnova and other leading graduates of the Class of 2011 will go to the Mikhailovsky.

Hi Kahoyo. Obraztsova appeared this past July in Pierre Lacotte's Etoile Gala 2010 in Tokyo, with Paris Opera Ballet principals. Among other roles, she created the role of Constance in his new ballet "The Three Muskateers." She also danced MacMillan's Balconey pdd for the first time with Matthieu Ganio, so she may be in contention for an opportunity to make her debut in the complete MacMillan's version in Tokyo and elsewhere.

#14 nysusan

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 08:13 PM


Kolegova was the 'glamour gal' of the Maly but not quite as appreciated in the bigger government theater, where some of the coaches consider her proportions a bit odd (longer torso to shorter legs). Remember that she was not selected with her graduating class to go to the Mariinsky (the class of 2000 that included Tkachenko).

Pavlenko is a Principal - from their generation - but she isn't being utilized at all, even though she's recovered and taking class again.



Agree that Kondaurova, Osmolkina and Genia deserve promotions, but I'm not absolutely convinced about Novikova. And as you've both pointed out - talent within the soloist ranks at the Mariinsky is deep and competition for principal status is fierce.

As to Kolegova, I've only seen her dance once and I'm reluctant to make a judgment based on a single performance but her advance publicity left me predisposed to love her and yet I disliked her intensely in that one performance I saw. It was Sleeping Beauty at the Kenn Center and her proportions did distract me, but I also found her dancing overly correct and cold. I'm not eager to see her O/O.

I also saw Skorik in that same performance and while I saw potential in her, she didn't blow me away. And it's dismaying to hear Daria Vasnetsova's name mentioned as a major contender. I saw her several times when the Mariinsky was at City Center and I am not a fan.

Worst news from the Mariinsky lately (from a NYer's perspective) - that they've canceled their planned stop in NY this summer. I was sooo looking forward to Anna Karenina and The Little Humpbacked Horse.

But Cygnet -the BEST news I've heard lately is that Pavlenko is recovering and back in class. Here's hoping that she'll be foisted on us "rubes" here in North America. I broke down and bought tickets to the Mariinsky's Swan Lake in Toronto this coming March. It would be so very lovely to be blessed with Dasha's magical O/O!

#15 Natalia

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 08:09 AM

Nysusan, Vasnetsova has improved A LOT since that 2008 NY season. The "Somova-isms" are gone. She's become a much more refined artist and has won accolades from those in the know for her Phrygia in Spartacus, for example.


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