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Future of the Mariinsky Ballet at the Kennedy Center


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#1 Angelique

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 06:40 AM

[Admin note: this topic was originally raised in the "Giselle" at the Kennedy Center thread. Thanks to Angelique for raising it!]

2012 will mark last of the ten year contract between Mariinsky and The Kennedy Center. Their absence in years to come is bound to create void in cultural life of the capital as the Kennedy Center audiences came to regard Mariinsky as their own. Having attended their performances for the last five years, I will miss them greatly.

#2 Helene

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 03:53 PM

2012 will mark last of the ten year contract between Mariinsky and The Kennedy Center. Their absence in years to come is bound to create void in cultural life of the capital as the Kennedy Center audiences came to regard Mariinsky as their own. Having attended their performances for the last five years, I will miss them greatly.

Oh, ouch for the necessary reminder.

I haven't been able to see them, living on the West Coast, but I've lived vicariously through our DC area posters and those who've been able to travel to see them at the Kennedy Center, and will miss them, if at one remove.

#3 Angelique

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 12:10 PM

TI wonder what will be shown next and the final year of Mariinsky’s contract with the Kennedy Center. Swan Lake, perhaps? It is possible of course, that the contract is renewed but with all budget cuts effecting education and culture, I am not very optimistic.

#4 Natalia

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 12:26 PM

Angelique, the KennCenter's new season will be announced very soon (next week)? For economic reasons, I am guessing that it will be something that tours easily, with simple designs. Hence, I am guessing Little Humpbacked Horse, a full-evening ballet with simple-but-colorful costumes and practically non-existent stage set (by my 'less-is-more' favorite design team that works with Ratmansky, who created the 'plain beige' Latvian/ABT version of Bright Stream). If that comes, then we are virtually guaranteed casts led by Terioshkina, Somova and Obraztsova + Schklyarov as one of the Ivanushkas. (The other Ivanushkas I've seen -- Sarafanov and Lobukhin -- have since left the company.)

The other recent Ratmansky full-evening ballet for the troupe, Anna Karenina, is a less likely possibility, due to the more 'luxe' stage settings and costumes but you never know. If that comes, we're almost guaranteed Lopatkina and Vishneva. :)

Another possibility would be an all-Balanchine mixed bill, since the settings are economical to tour and the local Balanchine-Farrell connection may make a push in that direction. I would not mind that at all, as mixed bills usually allow us to see many soloists in one evening. Maybe by then the Mariinsky will have added Agon to their rep!

Swan Lake (last seen in DC during the Dec '03 Tchaikovsky Fest, I think) would be a great farewell to DC but it's an expensive production to mount. The KennCen probably has less $$$ than Ardani, which is funding next week's Canada tour, consisting of the luxe productions of Bayadere in Ottawa and Swan Lake in Toronto.

For me, the worst-case-scenario would be to end this glorious 10-year cycle with....the Soviet Nutcracker in December. Sorry, that would be a real downer but it might be the 'easy out' for cash-strapped programers. We've seen the Chemiakin version but not the Soviet-Vainonen Nutcracker here (at least not by the Mariinsky); it was performed at the KennCen by Moscow's Stanislavsky Ballet in the 1990s and more-or-less by ABT during the Baryshnikov years, as Baryshnikov's was 90% Vainonen. [Vainonen's has the 'adults as kids' party scene that Americans do not love.]

Fokine Triple Bill would also be boring as heck.

p.s. What I'd REALLY love to see come here -- Czarist-era grand ballets with elaborate designs, like Raymonda or Ondine or Flora's Awakening ... or elaborate Leonid Yakobsen treasures, such as Shuraleh or Spartak -- are virtually guaranteed to NOT come...but I'd love to be proven dead-wrong on that.

#5 bart

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 05:05 PM

[Mod Note: I moved the following question from the other thread. So far, no one has addressed it. Thanks. Bart.]

Sorry if I missed a prior post about this: but is it definite that the end of this particular contract means the end of future Kirov seasons at the Kennedy Center after next year?

[In other words, is this assumption, posted by Angelique and accepted by other posters, supported by real evidence provided by the company, the Kennedy Center, or other official source? If so, can someone cite or link to the source?]

#6 Angelique

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 05:42 PM

In other words, is this assumption, stated by Angelique and accepted by other posters, supported by real evidence provided by the company, the Kennedy Center, or other official source? If so, can someone cite or link to the source?

:)

It is the ninth visit of the Mariinsky Ballet in a ten-year partnership with the Kennedy Center.

RE: Russia's Mariinsky Ballet to perform in Washington D.C.

I certainly hope this doesn't mean "the end of future Kirov seasons at the Kennedy Center after next year". Do you have information that there will definitely be regular appearances of Mariinsky at the Kennedy Center after next year?

#7 bart

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 06:09 AM

Sorry, but unless I am really missing something, that brief article has nothing to do with the long-term future of the Mariinsky at the Kennedy.

I do get the fact that this is the ninth year of a ten year contractual commitment and that next year will be the last year of this commitment.

What I am querying, however, is the assumption -- stated specifically in several posts here -- that this means they will not be returning to the Kennedy Center after this particular contract is up.

Please, someone, provide supporting official evidence or revise or retract the statement. Thank you.

#8 Angelique

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 06:36 AM

2012 will mark last of the ten year contract between Mariinsky and The Kennedy Center. Their absence in years to come is bound to create void in cultural life of the capital as the Kennedy Center audiences came to regard Mariinsky as their own. Having attended their performances for the last five years, I will miss them greatly.

What I am querying, however, is the assumption -- stated specifically in several posts here -- that this means they will not be returning to the Kennedy Center after this particular contract is up.

Please, someone, provide supporting official evidence or revise or retract the statement. Thank you.

:)

Retraction: while the first statement written by me is factually supported, the rest of the quoted text reflects personal feeling of sadness and concern if the end of ten year contract would mean the end of Mariinsky's regular appearances on stage of The Kennedy Center.

#9 Natalia

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 06:44 AM

Bart, how can we comment on the unknown? By the same logic, The Stuttgart Ballet has not performed at the KennCen for a long time but will it ever be back? Ah...I guess so, eventually. With regard to the Kirov-Mariinsky, we can only go by the known facts, which are (1) there is a 10-year commitment of the Kirov-Mariinsky Ballet at the KennCen and (b) nine of those ten years have elapsed, meaning (c ) one year to go.

I personally hope that they will be back for an 11th, or 12th or 13th straight year and beyond. But how many expensive-to-tour, grand ballet companies have such long commitments to tour in foreign cities? I suspect that the KennCen will revert to 'normal mode,' meaning perhaps a visit every 3-4 summers, in tandem with visits to the Met in NY.

The miracle is that the original 10-yr commitment was funded by a then-millionaire arts patron(Mr. Vilar) who lost his money -- way before the Fall 2008 int'l economic collapse -- and could not keep the pledge, yet other funders stepped in to complete the 10-yr commitment! So are the 'new angels' ready to open the checkbooks again and fund another 10-year round (or whatever)? I'm not sure that will happen. I also believe that the 10th (final) round of the current commitment will likely be a 'cheapy' due to economic concerns...something not requiring elaborate sets and costumes and 100+ performers. That's why my bet is on Little Humpbacked Horse and/or Balanchine Mixed-Bill Evening, to include Scotch Symphony (recently revived starring Somova but originally staged on the K-M by none other than Suzanne Farrell, who heads today's KennCen ballet programming...and Somova happens to be coached by Terekhova, who happens to be one of the two ballerinas of Farrell's original revival of Scotch). Friendly relations.

#10 Angelique

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 07:05 AM

That's why my bet is on Little Humpbacked Horse and/or Balanchine Mixed-Bill Evening, to include Scotch Symphony (recently revived starring Somova but originally staged on the K-M by none other than Suzanne Farrell, who heads today's KennCen ballet programming...and Somova happens to be coached by Terekhova, who happens to be one of the two ballerinas of Farrell's original revival of Scotch). Friendly relations.

One would think that Balanchine is well represented by NYCB, Farrell's very own company too, at least as far as Kennedy Center appearances are concerned. I hope they bring Petipa classics to end the ten year run in grad fashion! But then again, this has nothing to do with any official information. I just “ballet-talk” here :wink:

#11 bart

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 07:08 AM

Bart, how can we comment on the unknown?

Precisely my point, Natalia.

I am not referring to hypothetical discussions of repertoire, which is the kind of thing that makes Ballet Alert discussions so interesting. However, the comment I am addressing was a flat out assertion that next year was the end of the Mariinsky's relationship with the Kennedy Center.

Thank you, Angelique, for adding that word "IF" to your statement. "What MIGHT happen IF something happens" is a wonderful topic for discussion, as this fascinating thread shows..

This may seem a small distinction, but it's a good reminder the way unsubstantiated and quite possibly incorrect "information" can insinuate itself into long, complex discussions, even when one does not intend to do this. That is why, when it comes to "news"we have an "official news only" policy on Ballet Alert. It keeps us "on our toes," as it were.

#12 Natalia

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 07:36 AM

Bart, how can we comment on the unknown?

Precisely my point.

.... the comment I am addressing was a flat out assertion that next year was the end of the Mariinsky's relationship with the Kennedy Center. ..... Which is why, when it comes to "news" -- as opposed to individual critical opinion -- we have an "official news only" policy on Ballet Alert.


Oh but it is. I can't quickly whip-out links to Washington Post articles from 2001 but it was a 10-year commitment,

Sorry that the only official news can be reported; I'm sure that the KennCen will be announcing the new season any day now (usually late Feb/early March). I thought that posts such as mine 'guessing' on what the Kirov-Mariinsky would bring to the KennCen in the 10th and last year of the CURRENT financial commitment were valid and allowed. I was speculating for the sake of fun and to answer Angelique's original query on the Giselle thread.

#13 bart

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 07:53 AM

The original statement is here. I have put parts of it in bold.

2012 will mark last of the ten year contract between Mariinsky and The Kennedy Center. Their absence in years to come is bound to create void in cultural life of the capital as the Kennedy Center audiences came to regard Mariinsky as their own. Having attended their performances for the last five years, I will miss them greatly.


Sorry to be such a bore about this distinction, which doesn't take away from the fascinating nature of the rest of this thread and the original Giselle thread from which it was spun off..

#14 Natalia

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 08:07 AM

OK, bart. Hopefully it won't be an "absence of years to come." Angelique was probably going by what is 'business as usual' in other cities in the US/Paris/London/Tokyo that do not have 10-yr commitments, but get them every 2-3 years. I just hope that it won't be 5 or 6 years' wait (or longer).

#15 Natalia

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 12:29 PM

I don't remember the board policy on tweets from official company Twitter accounts. I just got this one from the Mariinsky Theater:

http://www.formsprin...ign=shareanswer

They are working on preparing a week in NYC, this July. I thought that might bring a smile to our New Yorkers.

Once this is confirmed with a full Press Release, naming dates and specific ballets, perhaps we could open a distinct thread for the NY engagement.


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