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


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#46 Natalia

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 08:53 AM

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. Posted Image 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!

#47 Natalia

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 07:10 PM

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???? [I did not mention it but last Wednesday's [i]Firebird [/i]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

#48 Natalia

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 02:16 PM

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 [i]Scheherazade [/i]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

#49 Natalia

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 09:03 AM

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! Posted Image 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

#50 Natalia

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 09:06 AM

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

#51 Natalia

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 03:24 PM

p.s. - It was a joy to have seen old acquaintances and meet new BalletAlertnik friends these past days....nysusan, YID, abatt, kim, marie, simon, sheila and other Mariinsky Lovers. I hope that everybody gets back home safely!

#52 abatt

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 08:02 PM

It was nice to meet you too, Natalia, and to catch up with other Ballet Alert friends.

#53 YID

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 03:05 PM

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. Posted Image 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!

Natalia, i just watched it twice, i did NOT hear anyting about ANOTHER 10 years after this run.
edited - However,
http://rus.ruvr.ru/2...9/64137819.html
- the russian text confirms that they extneded a 10-year by another 10-year. however, the English text misinterpetes that the russian seasons will be back in the fall. The correct text should have said "the current tour wrapps up/celebrates a 10-year collaboration between the two organizations. The troupe is performing the famous ......"

#54 Natalia

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 06:27 AM

Thanks and I caught the language flubs in the TV report. However, the 10-yr run AND the return of the Diaghilev 3ple Bill are both mentioned in the in-print Voice of Russia report that I posted elsewhere (a new thread about the return to DC). That is the article with the headline "Mariinsky and MET Extend Contract"...but no mention of the Metropolitan Opera House in the article, which probably says it all: that Voice of Russia isn't the most reliable news service. Posted Image

Link to the separate thread for the discussion of the next Kennedy Center season & 'deal.':
http://balletalert.i...ybe-cinderella/

There's also another thread on the October 2012 Ardani-sponsored USA tour, of which the DC/Kennedy Center stop is just one segment.
http://balletalert.i...us-tour-ardani/

#55 nysusan

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 09:48 AM

It was a pleasure to see everyone in DC! Natalia did such a great job of describing all the performances, I will just put my 2 cents in to say that what I will remember most from this trip is the Sat Matinee Scheherazade with Lopatkina & Korsuntsev (HOT,HOT, HOT) and the Sunday matinee Chopiniana with Shirinkina, Pavlenko, Selina and Zyuzin.

I was great to see Pavlenko, who is a big favorite of mine. She was a great Zobeide and her Chopiniana prelude was wisper soft, a true prayer. Her arms and phrasing were gorgeous. She is a true ballerina but wonderful as she was it was also apparent that she is not back at 100% yet. For me Pavlenko at 80% is still better than most anyone else at 100% but here's hoping that she continues to work towards regaining 100% of her form and reclaiming all off her former roles.

#56 Natalia

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 10:27 AM

I totally agree with your thoughts about Pavlenko, nysusan. The best news about her season at the 'home theater' so far is that she is slowly getting into full-evening pointe-shoe roles, most notably GISELLE on Nov 25, 2011, opposite Alexander Sergeev (her real-life husband). The previous season, one of her very first 'full-evening pointe roles' was Ratmansky's CINDERELLA so...who knows...maybe we'll see her back on these shores sooner than later? [I'm also hoping to see Ekaterina Osmolkina once again here -- and, so far this season, Osmolkina has danced the only CINDERELLA back home, so she is a good candidate to make the DC tour. Other Cinderellas in the past 2 or 3 seasons back home have included Obraztsova, Cheprassova, & Golub; mmmmmaybe Shirinkina too (even if not on her bio). Others? Vishneva created the ballet but hasn't danced it at home in a while, that I recall.]


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