Natalia

Mariinsky in DC, Jan 2012 - Diaghilev 3ple bill

56 posts in this topic

Thanks Natalia for the excellent review! I'm so happy to hear that Kondaurova was outstanding as Firebird clapping.gifflowers.gif .

What a treat for DC! Also, kudos to Shirinkina for a fine performance in "Chopiniana," despite her short

absence from the stage for several measures of her variation dunno.gif .

We all ask, "Where the H**** is Schklyarov?" His 'better half' is here, after all (Maria Shirinkina).

Volodya is partnering Somova at HQ in "Giselle" on January 21; he has to prep for that. Sergeev

isn't cast in any ballets this month. It would've been wonderful for him to be here with his wife.

I think that Fateev cast Korsuntsev as the Slave because he's Lopatkina's main partner, she's

comfortable with him, but most of all he's tall enough to partner her. However, it would have been wonderful to

see Uliana, Dasha and Katya share the honors "Scheherezade"- Korsuntsev and Kolb too.

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This video proves that with the right Golden Slave, Lopatkina CAN be a sizzling Zobeide too:

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Right, canbelto. That was 1998 in Madrid, I believe. Lopatkina definitely sizzled in that performance, which also included Assylmuratova in Firebird and Zhelonkina/Pavlenko/Dumchenko in Chopiniana! That's was a European telecast to treasure.

Cygnet, it's amazing what you're reporting -- that Schlyarov is partnering Somova in GISELLE back home on the 21st, as she is dancing EXCELSIOR opposite Roberto Bolle at La Scala on the 20th and the 22nd. All 3 performances are on those theaters' respective websites, though. Let's make sure that the SpP airport clears the runways! Just so the plane doesn't detour over the Washington, DC No-Fly Zone.

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Although on the whole I had a mixed reaction to the Mariinsky's Symphony in C during their summer NY season, I quite liked Shirinkina in the fourth movement. She made me think of perfectly turning music box ballerinas--not mechanical but just so very, very pretty as well as centered and exact. I would love to have seen her in Les Sylphides...it seems an ideal role for her. Glad to read about it though.

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- edited -

I checked all over the internet and still cannot find substantiated reports of the Russian-TV (RTR) 'rumors' of a possible promo to Principal of one of our most beloved Mariinsky 1st Soloists. Apologies for any 'false hope' but, for sure, I'll stay on top of this one. (wink)

Drew - I share your feelings about Shirinkina. My heart sank a little when she missed her Mazurka entrance but she more than made up for it upon appearance. The show DID go on!

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Shirinkina is Shklyarov's better half? You mean they are a couple off stage?

What happened to Obraztsova? If that's the case I wouldn't be surprised that Filin will invite her to join Bolshoi on a full time basis instead of principal guest artist, especially that he gives her parts at the Bolshoi that Mariinsky dosn't and they still haven't made her a prima.

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Yes, anin, that's what I meant. re Obraztsova, I only know that she is dancing more & more at the Bolshoi and in Moscow theaters, in general.

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Only 4 hrs and 30 minutes before the curtain rises on DARIA PAVLENKO in Chopiniana! Tick-tock, tick-tock...

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Report of Wednesday, January 18, 7:30pm (2nd of 7 shows)

Diaghilev-Fokine Triple Bill

Mariinsky Ballet at the Kennedy Center

Washington, DC

About last night's magnificent evening, the important thing to relay is...Thank Goodness for the Errata Slip!

Imagine the joy that I felt when the little slip of paper tucked into my playbill announced the following changes:

"In this evening's performance of Scheherazade, the role of Zobeide will be danced by Daria Pavlenko and the Golden Slave will be Igor Kolb" (!!!!!)

That extraordinary "flesh and blood" pairing made ALL the difference in Scheherazade. Bravi, Daria & Igor! Passion and drama -- especially by the leading couple -- is what ignites this ballet for me. Sure, La Lopatkina is taller and has a skinnier and more flexible torso than does the shorter and more classically-boned Pavlenko. But of what use are elongated and hyper-extended poses if the face registers "ice"? Pavlenko was PURE HOT-BLOODED WOMAN! And with a leopard-like Golden Slave like the scintillating Igor Kolb...well, you can imagine the magic last night!

Earlier, this same duo sparkled in Chopiniana, which, on the whole, was even more exquisite than the night before. Why? Absolutely-perfect casting in each of the four solo roles, in addition to the always delectable corps de ballet. Last night, in addition to Pavlenko's incomparably sublime Prelude and Kolb's elegant Mazurka as the Poet, we had picture-perfect Solo Waltz from angelic Svetlana Ivanova and a joyous Mazurka Solo and Waltz Pas de Deux by Anastasia Kolegova (who did not miss her solo entrance, as happened the night before with Shirinkina). Kolegova not only has a gorgeous face but the most incredibly beautiful curvy feet, particularly lovely in the famous back-traveling diagonal of releves onto pointe while in arabesque. Then again, Ivanova is famous for her lovely high-arched feet. And let's not forget Pavlenko's amazing stillness in her balances in the Prelude...or Kolb's high arches? It's safe to say that I spent a lot of time last night admiring beautiful feet. Feet aside, it's an exquisite ballet, in every sense. Last night's performance should be 'bottled' as a Chopiniana for the ages.

Kudos last night, too, to the majestic Anastasia Petushkova as Firebird -- not yet quite on Kondaurova's level but mighty fine nonetheless. Petushkova took many bold risks with her jumps and pirouettes a la seconde, faltering once (but covering well)...which, to me, makes her all the more admirable. This lady has GUTS! Think Monique Meunier ca 1998 or Sofyane Sylve more recently in the New York City Ballet; Petushkova is their kindred spirit. Tall strawberry-haired Ivan Sitnikov provided stable partnering for his statuesque Firebird. Vladimir Ponomaryev showed why he is still the King of Character Artists with his one-of-a-kind portrayal of Katschei. The corps of monsters appeared to be a bit more unified than at the opener.

So perhaps the Kennedy Center may have a number of Errata Slips tucked in programs during the coming days?

This was the "final casting" of last night; strike-outs indicate changes noted on the Errata Slip:

Wednesday, January 18, 7:30pm

CHOPINIANA

Female Lead (pdd, mazurka) - Anastasia Kolegova

Poet - Igor Kolb

Solo Valse - Svetlana Ivanova

Prelude - Daria Pavlenko

Two Demi-solo Sylphs: Elena Firsova and Yulia Stepanova

FIREBIRD

Firebird - Anastasia Petushkova

Ivan-Tsarevich - Ivan Sitnikov

Princess of Great Beauty - Ekat. Mikhailovtseva

Kashchei the Immortal - Vladimir Ponomaryev

SCHEHERAZADE

Zobeide - Uliana Lopatkina Daria Pavlenko

Zobeide's Slave (aka Golden Slave) - Danil' Korsuntsev Igor Kolb

Sultan - Soslan Kulaev

His Brother - Andrei Yakovlev

Chief Eunuch - Roman Skripkin

Three Pink Odalisques: Lubov Kozharskaya Ekaterina Mikhailovtseva, Yulia Stepanova & Elena Bazhenova

But, for me, last night belonged to one leading lady: DARIA PAVLENKO. Welcome back to Washington, true ballerina!

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Natalia, thanks so much for the reviews. Fingers crossed for another errata slip this weekend!!!

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Report of Wednesday, January 18, 7:30pm (2nd of 7 shows)

Diaghilev-Fokine Triple Bill

Mariinsky Ballet at the Kennedy Center

Washington, DC

But, for me, last night belonged to one leading lady: DARIA PAVLENKO. Welcome back to Washington, true ballerina!

Natalia, thank you for being there and thank you for your discerning reviews!

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Thanks, friends. smile.png Tonight might bring us the Zobeide of Kondaurova....supposedly opposite Korsuntsev. That's what's in the pre-printed playbill -- the only Zobeide to be danced by anyone but Lopatkina but, of course, we had Pavlenko last night. I am hoping that Kondaurova will indeed be Zobeide tonight. So today & only today, I am hoping for no 'errata' slip about Zobeide. [CLARIFICATION: I honestly wouldn't mind Lopatkina again in one or two other shows...but with a Golden Slave who could take her out of Autopilot Mode.]

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Some nice photos of Kondaurova, Shirinkina, ?? and Fateev visiting the Kirov Academy in DC yesterday: http://www.facebook....=3&l=8124aa3067

Thanks for this, cinnamonswirl! This must have been so exciting for the academy...and for two of the top students, Riho Sakamoto and Tomoha Terada (both of whom I greatly admired at the recent Holiday Concert), to be able to show-off for the guests.

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I don't have much time to write at the moment, but I have to say briefly that Kondaurova was thrilling last night as Zobeide. She exudes sexuality from every cell of her being. Her dancing was superb. Loved the entire evening. The house looked sold out.

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I attended both the Tuesday and Thursday night performances. Natalia's observations from Tuesday are spot-on: Kondaurova was scintillating in the Firebird, while Lopatkina was uninvolved and uninteresting as Zobeide. On Thursday, I thought Chopiniana and Firebird weren't quite up to the level of Tuesday (I missed Igor Kolb in the former and Kondaurova in the latter), but Kondaurova's dancing in Scheherazade was absolutely spellbinding.

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I totally agree with both of you, abatt and Simon!

Report of Thursday, January 19, 7:30pm (3rd of 7 shows)

Diaghilev-Fokine Triple Bill

Mariinsky Ballet at the Kennedy Center

Washington, DC

Kondaurova absolutely SIZZLED as Zobeide last night despite an assigned not-so-Golden Slave, Ivanchenko, who made Lopatkina's dull partner seem like a gift from heaven. Ivanchenko was earthbound, with loud thumps after every landing; he seems to be back to the 'look' of the days when he was partnering Volochkova. Besides, I had a hard time keeping from laughing at Ivanchenko's overly baggy costume -- the 'Hefty Trash Bag' pants....not to mention the Eunuchs in the final movement, still incorrectly flapping their arms like 'Funky Chickens' (although I noticed that one older corps male was correctly keeping his elbows at one level).

The other horrendous disappointment last night was CHOPINIANA, despite a much-improved Selina (softer and with less grin than on Tuesday) in the Valse and the always-heavenly Pavlenko in the Prelude. Maxim Zyuzin was a disengaged shadow of Igor Kolb, lacking clarity in his technique and any poetic expression. Worst transgressor, though, was the dry, brittle, clodhopper-footed and angry-looking Oxana Skorik in the lead. She absolutely killed the magic of this ballet, despite the good work of Pavlenko, Selina and the corps de ballet. Whoever even thought of casting Skorik in this ballet needs a lobotomy...she is absolutely not a sylphie-Romantic 'Giselle' type. Zero warmth and softness. She also seems to not be very musical; for example, during the pas de deux's famous bourrees, her arm waves were oblivious to the beat of the music...ditto the releve diagonal on pointe, which moved to its own beat...very fast, to get them over-and-done!

We saw the weaker of the three FIREBIRDS last night. Although she's a lovely tall lady, Alexandra Iosifidi simply does not have the technique and 'attack' to compete with either Kondaurova or Petushkova. Iosifidi opted for a 'soft touch bird'...at times seeming to wander into SWAN LAKE. She makes a very pretty Firebird. Once again, Alexander Romanchikov proved that he's the top Ivan of the run -- far more engaging and charming than Ivan Sitnikov. Soslan Kulaev was a somewhat lightweight Kaschei, compared to Vladimir Ponomarev on Wednesday.

Actual final casting last night, with strike-outs indicating changes to the printed playbill:

Thurs, Jan 19, 7:30pm

CHOPINIANA

Female Lead (pdd, mazurka) - Oxana Skorik

Poet - Danil' Korsuntsev Maxim Zyuzin

Solo Valse - Yana Selina

Prelude - Daria Pavlenko

Two Demi-solo Sylphs (not listed in playbill): Elena Firsova and Yulia Stepanova

FIREBIRD

Firebird - Alexandra Iosifidi

Ivan-Tsarevich - Alexander Romanchikov

Princess of Great Beauty - Ekat. Mikhailovtseva

Kashchei the Immortal - Soslan Kulaev

SCHEHERAZADE

Zobeide - Ekaterina Kondaurova

Zobeide's Slave (aka Golden Slave) - Danil' Korsuntsev Yevgeni Ivanchenko

Sultan - Soslan Kulaev Vladimir Ponomarev

His Brother - Andrei Yakovlev

Chief Eunuch - Roman Skripkin

Three Pink Odalisques: Lubov Kozharskaya Anastasia Petushkova, Yulia Stepanova & Elena Bazhenova

So it's three down...four to go, with the next one at 7:30pm tonight. Let's hope for a return to the beauty of the first two nights' CHOPINIANA, please.

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Worst transgressor, though, was the dry, brittle, clodhopper-footed and angry-looking Oxana Skorik in the lead. She absolutely killed the magic of this ballet, despite the good work of Pavlenko, Selina and the corps de ballet. Whoever even thought of casting Skorik in this ballet needs a lobotomy...she is absolutely not a sylphie-Romantic 'Giselle' type.

Agreed. I had to keep myself from laughing (derisively) when during her first exit in the Mazurka, Skorik was halfway into the wings, and therefore only half visible, when she struck her epaulement pose.

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OMG, I had almost forgotten that part, Simon! The half-a-second balance...and those poses in arabesque are a big feature of this solo. The other thing was her loud pointe shoes AND the way that she slapped 'em down after every jump. Oxana Skorik certainly put the "CHOP" back in CHOPINIANA!!!!

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Natalia, thank you for your excellent and vivid reviews! Kondaurova and Dasha ... they just can't put a foot wrongyahoo.gif .

Kudos to both ladiesclapping.gifflowers.gif ! Re Dasha, some trivia: It has been 6.5 years since she's danced on American soil.

I'm so excited for her that she and Katya are having such a rewarding engagement!

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Here's the link to an interesting little report on this DC tour, from the Russian TV channel VESTI. It includes the revelation that the Mariinsky will be returning to Washington, DC, next October with "Zolushka" (assume that this is CINDERELLA by Ratmansky?)! The report also shows scenes of Tuesday's KennCen dress rehearsal of CHOPINIANA. Dancers clearly shown include Svetlana Ivanova near the beginning and, later, a ruffled Oxana Skorik, having some words with the conductor about tempo. There's also a 'closeup moment' of Yulia Stepanova at the head of a line of sylphs. The film also contains short interview bits with Ekaterina Kondaurova (about Firebird), Maria Shirinkina and the A.D., Yuri Fateev. Enjoy!

http://www.vesti.ru/...html?vid=391390

p.s. - I've just posted this news separately, in another thread, to discuss next season's tour. The current tour is still under way, after all. smile.png Link to other thread discussing the next season and the next 10-year arrangement with the KC: http://balletalert.i...__fromsearch__1

Several big announcements are going to be made from the Kennedy Center during this Diaghilev run, according to Voice of Russia news. All the more reason for me not to go home early, after the Firebirds!

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Just home from the Kennedy Center...and Scheherazade is still going on. It happened -- I reached my limit & am giving myself a tiny break and long night's sleep so that I can be fresh as a daisy for tomorrow's two performances and Sunday's finale. I trust nysusan, YID and other BalletAlertniks still in the theater to provide the full report, as this marked the season debut of Anton Korsakov as Golden Slave opposite Daria Pavlenko. (I know - that I would miss Pavlenko is the ultimate indicator that my health is at risk if I don't go to sleep!)

Hopefully this is not THE NIGHT when Yuri Fateev will march up to the stage to make all of the Big Announcements.

"Two-thirds Report" of Friday, January 20, 7:30pm (4th of 7 shows)

Diaghilev-Fokine Triple Bill

Mariinsky Ballet at the Kennedy Center

Washington, DC

I thoroughly enjoyed the two works that I witnessed tonight, Chopiniana (with A+ casting all around) & Firebird (with a 2nd look at Petushkova the Magnificent)! In the moonlit reverie of the former, Maxim Zyuzin 'found his technical mojo,' displaying elegant lines, gorgeous feet, easy high jump. Alas, his 'all business-no emotion' style remains a somewhat serious point for me; I much prefer an emotional poet like Igor Kolb on the first two nights but Zyuzin held his own in the performance of steps and partnering. Maria Shirinkina was springtime itself in her happy, easy manner, with floaty jumps in the Solo Mazurka, not missing any entrances tonight (or ever again...Tuesday was a fluke). Once again I admired Ksenia Ostreikovskya's purity in the Prelude and Svetlana Ivanova's sprightly joy in the Solo Valse. As always, the corps ladies were one with the music...and special kudos to the demi-solo "line leaders" Elena Firsova & Yulia Stepanova, both of whom perfectly capture the essence of this great work, night after night.

Tonight saw Petushkova's second Firebird of the run, even more splendid and secure than on Wednesday. Her gnd jetes are extraordinary & she possesses that queenly attitude that makes them zzzzing! She has pure "NYCB-Balanchine Amazon" written all over her. (For sure, the upcoming Mariinsky premiere of Mr. B's Midsummer Dream will most likely see her essaying Hippolita...and she will be a Hippolita for the ages, mark my words.) Back to Firebird. Ivan Sitnikov remains a strong partner in the Prince Ivan role, better tonight, as he seemed more engaged in his acting. Ponomaryev was an amazing and hilarious (when called for) Kaschei. Bravo!

Blooper of the night: Near the end of Firebird, after the 12 stone princes regain their humanity and pair-up with the 12 princesses...and just the Tsar Ivan and His Tsarevna entered the stage to Stravinsky's blaring final trumpet anthem...the Freakin' 'Saisons Russes' front curtain came down...so we missed the final 3-4 minutes of action as the entourage climbed the hill to strike their final pose and the background of 'Mother Russia' unfurls behind them!!!!!! Who the heck is the Stage Director for this???? Firebird was preceded by a similar blooper in which the 'Saisons Russes' front curtain went UP at the start of the long orchestral Prelude, 5 minutes ahead of schedule, startling some dancers who were warming up!!! The 'Backstage Boys' are obviously irked by that front curtain.]

Fri, Jan 20, 7:30pm - actual casting, with strike-outs of names on the printed playbill that were replaced

CHOPINIANA

Female Lead (pdd, mazurka) - Maria Shirinkina

Poet - Maksim Zyuzin

Solo Valse - Svetlana Ivanova

Prelude - Ksenia Ostreikovskaya

Two Demi-solo Sylphs: Elena Firsova and Yulia Stepanova

FIREBIRD

Firebird - Anastasia Petushkova

Ivan-Tsarevich - Ivan Sitnikov

Princess of Great Beauty - Ekat. Mikhailovtseva

Kashchei the Immortal - Vladimir Ponomaryev

SCHEHERAZADE

Zobeide - Uliana Lopatkina Daria Pavlenko

Zobeide's Slave (aka Golden Slave) - Danil' Korsuntsev Anton Korsakov

Sultan - Soslan Kulaev

His Brother - Andrei Yakovlev

Chief Eunuch - Roman Skripkin

Three Pink Odalisques: Lubov Kozharskaya Ekaterina Mikhailovtseva, Yulia Stepanova & Elena Bazhenova

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Report of Saturday, January 21, 1:30pm (5th of 7 shows)

Diaghilev-Fokine Triple Bill

Mariinsky Ballet at the Kennedy Center

Washington, DC

What a difference an 'awakened' Golden Slave makes! Uliana Lopatkina was ON FIRE in this afternoon's Scheherazade, acting and loving 1,000 times more than in Tuesday's opener. The always-gorgeous poses, extensions & backbends were all there...but the lightbulb was turned on this afternoon. Why? Danil' Korsuntsev went 'over the top' with passion as I've never seen him before. WOW!!! What 'happy pill' did this guy take? (Just kiddin'!) But I kept wondering if this was really Korsuntsev, he was such an 'Action Jackson' super-hero out there...and Lopatkina responded. This one needs to be bottled.

The afternoon began with an uneven rendering of Chopiniana, in great measure due to the clunky partnering and inanimate face of Evgeni Ivanchenko as the Poet. I counted at least three lifts that resulted in his ballerina stumbling, during the pdd. On the other hand, his solo was quite competent. [it also helps that his costume in this ballet makes him look sleeker than the 'plastic Hefty trash-bag" harem pants in Scheherazade two days ago!] Anastasia Kolegova (Mazurka & pdd) and Yana Selina (solo Valse) were both charming but, again, it was Daria Pavlenko who stole the limelight with the poetic stillness of her Prelude.

The 'dainty and pretty' Firebird of Alexandra Iosifidi garnered multiple 'bravos' from the very appreciative KennCen audience. Alexander Romanchikov once again did a commendable job as Ivan. And, yes, the 'Saisons Russes' front-curtain was lifted and lowered at the right times, this time, thank goodness!

Actual casting in this show; strike-outs for changes in the printed playbill:

CHOPINIANA

Female Lead (pdd, mazurka) - Anastasia Kolegova

Poet - Yevgeni Ivanchenko

Solo Valse - Yana Selina

Prelude - Daria Pavlenko

Two Demi-solo Sylphs: Elena Firsova and Yulia Stepanova

FIREBIRD

Firebird - Alexandra Iosifidi

Ivan-Tsarevich - Alexander Romanchikov

Princess of Great Beauty - Ekat. Mikhailovtseva

Kashchei the Immortal - Soslan Kulaev

SCHEHERAZADE

Zobeide - Uliana Lopatkina

Zobeide's Slave (aka Golden Slave) - Danil' Korsuntsev

Sultan - Soslan Kulaev Vladimir Ponomerev

His Brother - Andrei Yakovlev

Chief Eunuch - Roman Skripkin

Three Pink Odalisques: Lubov Kozharskaya Ekat. Mikhailovstseva, Yulia Stepanova & Elena Bazhenova

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Report of Saturday, January 21, 7:30pm (6th of 7 shows)

Diaghilev-Fokine Triple Bill

Mariinsky Ballet at the Kennedy Center

Washington, DC

Last night's show was rather uneven although, as is usually the case with the Mariinsky Ballet, the positives outweighed the negatives. I will be brief now (may edit later), as I'll be going to the final show in about 30 minutes. Furthermore, there were very few casting novelties tonight, although one very welcome novelty for me was the opportunity of seeing Anton Korsakov's Golden Slave, opposite 'unannounced' -- not even in the errata slip! -- Daria Pavlenko in Scheherazade. I wonder who many 'ballet novices' in the crowd actually thought that they were watching Lopatkina?

The evening began with one of the less felicitous Chopinianas of the run, although there were many positives to be admired. For starters, the leading female (Mazurka & pdd), Oksana Skorik, got rid of her angry face from an earlier performance and smiled radiantly throughout her solo and in appropriate spots elsewhere. It also helped that she intensified her makeup, including some ruby-red lipstick this time...making her looklike a very young Yulia Makhalina...which is certainly not a bad thing! Alas, she is still wooden in delivery (heavy flat feet!), brittle (spaghetti-like arms!) and sporting a tin ear. The Poet, Maksim Zyuzin, certainly enhanced her in the pdd; he does the best job of all the Poets in lifting his partners (Shirinkina on Friday & Skorik last night) at the beginning of the pdd, making it seem as if he's barely trying, although he seemed to tire a bit in later lifting passages. His solo was very elegant but he still must work on expression (a blank stare throughout). The other two solo ladies had somewhat weaker outings than before; Ivanova faltered in her pirouettes en attitude in the final scene and Ostreikovskaya was a little off on her Prelude solo's balances.

Despite a nasty slip durng the early pdd with Romanchikov, Ekaterina Kondaurova remains the top Firebird of this run. She was commanding, gracious & displaing luscious feathery bourrees to die for! The audience loves the 'in character' bows of Vldimir Ponomaryev as Kaschei & he milks the moments for all their worth! smile.png Question: Does anyone know the name of the 'Purple Monster' who performs an astonishing series of 4 very high Russian Split jumps during the big group dance? I've heard 'bravos' for this guy from people sitting near me at most performances...but due to the masks worn by the purple guys, nobody knows his name. Maybe it's Vasily Scherbakov? Hard to tell.

Scheherazade: Daria Pavlenko was magnificent despite a very weak acting & rather stocky 'look' (awful costume) of her Golden Slave, Anton Korsakov. The weak acting was especially noticeable on the heels of Korsuntsev's 'lights out' acting a few hours earlier at the matinee.That said, Korsakov was extraordinary in his leaps and turns...in tha trespect, the best Slave of the run with the exception of Kolb on Wednesday, who had it ALL -- dancing and passion! Pavlenko was much better served by Kolb. Again, as always, the corps de ballet distinguished itself throughout the run, most notably during the bacchanale of this work.

No big announcements yet. Perhaps 'Voice of Russia' erred in Friday's in-print report that the new 10-year deal with the Kenn Cen and the hiring of Keenan Kampa would be announced before the run is over? Just one show to go...and I'm on my way there now.

Sat, Jan 21, 7:30pm - actual casting; strike-outs indicate changes to printed playbill

CHOPINIANA

Female Lead (pdd, mazurka) - Oksana Skorik

Poet - Maxim Zyuzin

Solo Valse - Svetlana Ivanova

Prelude - Ksenia Ostreikovskaya

Two Demi-solo Sylphs: Elena Firsova and Yulia Stepanova

FIREBIRD

Firebird - Ekaterina Kondaurova

Ivan-Tsarevich - Ivan Sitnikov Alexander Romanchikov

Princess of Great Beauty - Ekat. Mikhailovtseva

Kashchei the Immortal - Vladimir Ponomaryev

SCHEHERAZADE

Zobeide - Uliana Lopatkina Daria Pavlenko...unannounced...not even in errata slip!

Zobeide's Slave (aka Golden Slave) - Danil' Korsuntsev Anton Korsakov ...unannounced...not even in errata slip!

Sultan - Soslan Kulaev...even though errata slip indicated Ponomaryev (!!!)

His Brother - Andrei Yakovlev

Chief Eunuch - Roman Skripkin

Three Pink Odalisques: Lubov Kozharskaya Anastasia Petushkova, Yulia Stepanova & Elena Bazhenova

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Report of Sunday, January 22, 7:30pm (7th of 7 shows)

Diaghilev-Fokine Triple Bill

Mariinsky Ballet at the Kennedy Center

Washington, DC

Just home from the KennCen on a very cold evening.

No, there were no on-stage or any other sorts of announcements about the new 10-year deal, the October 2012 return of the Mariinsky, Ms Kampa's hiring, etc. So the information from Russian media ('Voice of Moscow') was not correct; perhaps the announcements are being made via press releases and other traditional routes?

The final Mariinsky Ballet-KennCen season of the current 10-year 'deal' ended this afternoon with two excellent works (Chopiniana & Firebird) and 3rd ballet that, as originally planned, could have been great. It's a shame that the last one (Scheherazade) was the weakest, as yesterday afternoon's suprisingly spectacular pairing of Lopatkina/Korsuntsev was modified at the last moment to Lopatkina/Ivanchenko (he of the black-plastic-bag harem pants with Kondaurova last Thursday). Despite Lopatkina's ever-radiant dancing, one cannot blame her for turning on her 'autopilot,' as it's been a long time that she's performed with Ivanchenko who 'tried valiantly' but isn't quite up to the role and character of Golden Slave. And his costume didn't help. Vladimir Ponomaryev as the Sultan and Roman Skripkin as the Chief Eunuch were constant highlights, as was the corps de ballet in every work performed on this tour. Bravi!

Much more to my liking was today's Chopiniana. Maksim Zyuzin's 4th and last take on the Poet was brilliant, emotion or no emotion. His solo was spot-on -- soft, elegant, musical. The clincher today was his steadiness in all of the lifting passes, in part due to Shirinkina being a more compact partner to control. All three of the soloist ladies had their most felicitous performances of the week -- Shirinkina, Selina and, especially, Pavlenko, who brought down the house with an ear-splitting volley of bravos (me among them...ha-ha).

And saving "my best" for last...

Anastasia Petushkova's Firebird. This lady -- best known as a passionate character dancer during her 6 years with the Mariinsky -- is my 'Discovery of the Week.' If I remember one performance and one performer from this magical season at the KennCen, it is Anastasia Petushkova in this ballet. We now know that she is versatile enough to bring her already-catalogued talents from the character realm -- passion, amplitude, attack, passion, precision, risk-taking, passion, technique (3ple pirouette and down to the knees at the end of her 'apple tree solo'), charisma...and did I mention 'passion'? Bravissima!!!!! I hope that her talent can now be recognized universally, as well as carefully fostered within the Mariinsky, continuing to give her the classical 'pointe roles' that are appropriate to her physique and personna -- Lilac, Raymonda, mmmmaybe O/O someday, Gamzatti in Baya, Dryad Queen in DQ, Aegina in Spartak, Dying Swan for sure....certainly the great Balanchine 'tall girl' roles. Of course, her character roles should not be set aside; she is the queen of the 'Irina Gensler Repertoire' and it would be a shame if we no longer see her in the Bayadere Indian Drum Dance or Swan Lake Spanish, for example.

'Happy Travels' to the Mariinsky troupe! 'Spasibo' for gracing our stage once again. Our souls are filled, thanks to everyone connected with this marvellous Sold-Out tour. Please come back soon!

Sunday, Jan 22, 1:30pm - actual casting; strike-outs will indicate changes to printed playbill

CHOPINIANA

Female Lead (pdd, mazurka) - Maria Shirinkina

Poet - Anton Korsakov Maksim Zyuzin

Solo Valse - Yana Selina

Prelude - Daria Pavlenko

Two Demi-solo Sylphs: Elena Firsova and Yulia Stepanova

FIREBIRD

Firebird - Anastasia Petushkova

Ivan-Tsarevich - Alexander Romanchikov Ivan Sitnikov

Princess of Great Beauty - Ekat. Mikhailovtseva

Kashchei the Immortal - Soslan Kulaev

SCHEHERAZADE

Zobeide - Uliana Lopatkina

Zobeide's Slave (aka Golden Slave) - Danil' Korsuntsev Yevgeni Ivanchenko

Sultan - Soslan Kulaev Vladimir Ponomaryev

His Brother - Andrei Yakovlev

Chief Eunuch - Roman Skripkin

Three Pink Odalisques: Lubov Kozharskaya Ekat. Mikhailovtseva, Yulia Stepanova & Elena Bazhenova

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