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Mariinsky in DC, Jan 2012 - Diaghilev 3ple billnews + reviews, Jan 17-22, 2012


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#31 anin

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 11:46 AM

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.

#32 Natalia

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 11:59 AM

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.

#33 Natalia

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 12:08 PM

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

#34 Natalia

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 05:02 AM

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!

#35 nysusan

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 09:59 AM

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

#36 chiapuris

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 10:25 AM

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!

#37 Natalia

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 10:49 AM

Thanks, friends. Posted Image 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.]

#38 cinnamonswirl

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 12:55 PM

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

#39 Natalia

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 01:02 PM

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.

#40 abatt

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 05:01 AM

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.

#41 SimonA

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 05:57 AM

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 uninterest[font="helvetica, arial, sans-serif"][size=4]ing 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. [/size][/font]

#42 Natalia

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 06:25 AM

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.

#43 SimonA

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 06:46 AM

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.

#44 Natalia

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 06:54 AM

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!!!!

#45 Cygnet

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 08:08 AM

Natalia, thank you for your excellent and vivid reviews! Kondaurova and Dasha ... they just can't put a foot wrongPosted Image .
Kudos to both ladiesPosted Image Posted Image ! 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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