Natalia

Mariinsky to DC, Oct 2012: Cinderella

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I see that Daria Pavlenko has received a new assignment back home: Zarema in Fountains of Bakhshiserai on the night of Sunday, Oct 14 (one of her best roles). Hopefully she'll be hopping on a super-fast jet the following morn to make it to DC on time for company rehearsals of Cinderella, which are on Mon/Tues. At least her first Cinderella performance won't be 'til Thursday, so she'll have a little time to rest.

http://www.mariinsky...2/10/14/1_1130/

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I wish we'd see this in DC - Vishneva & Kondaurova in Giselle - Oct 21st, sund. That explains why Kondaurova cuts DC Cinderella short http://www.mariinsky...2/10/21/1_1900/

Thanks. I feel the same way about Osmolkina's Juliet on Oct 10, which explains why she will not be in California, available for Swan Lake:

http://www.mariinsky...2/10/10/1_1900/

I also see why DC will not be getting Skorik/Askerov, as they will dance the leads in Giselle on the 17th:

http://www.mariinsky...2/10/17/1_1900/

I'm not sure why Shklyarov is dancing only the opening of Cinderella. He may be guest-starring elsewhere after the opener & unavailable to partner Shirinkina in her 2nd appearance (affording the big opportunity for Zyuzin). Edited to add: Oops - I see that both are dancing in the 'Stars of the 21st C. Gala' in NYC on the 18th.

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[she's doing much more than duets and trios, as she'll debut as Myrtha in Giselle, as well as Dryad Queen in DQ, one month from now, on consecutive nights. In the article, she also mentions "working on" roles in Carmen, Raymonda, Spartacus and Sylphide.]

The role in Raymonda she's been working on was probably only grand pas. I noticed her in Olesia's Raymonda, unfortunately quality of movement make her easy to recognise. I say "unfortunately" because it was rather low quality comparing to the rest.

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The Kennedy Center is offering 20% off on orchestra seats for October 16 and 17. Info here.

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My husband, Vadim, who is in DC, went to the three casts during the week. He was absolutely gushing with joy late last night after the Thursday (18 October) show with Pavlenko and

Sergeev. "Pavlenko is back and Odette-fit!" Hubby says that Sergeev drew gasps from audience for his enormous leaps and high clear entrechats, as well as sinewy moves, great partnering and (obviously) charisma with his lovely wife, Pavlenko. Best casting by far, he said. He also pointed out a little-known corps dancer, Margarita Frolova, for her expressiveness and beautiful dancing as the skinny stepsister, as well as Maxim Zyuzin as Fairy Autumn.

I am green with envy and upset to be in South American Siberia now.... mad.gif ...but elated about Pavlenko and Sergeev. yahoo.gif

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So far I've seen 2 performances of Cinderella this weekend, Pavlenko/Sergeev and Shirinkina/Zyuzin. I've never actually seen a production of Cinderella that I love, and for me this one is no worse than any other. I think it's actually better than many, especially with trancsendant performances by great dancers who are also great actors (Pavlenko/Sergeev).

It is not pretty -the costumes & scenery are bare bones - grimey in the first act, understated in the ball scene and inexplicable (costumes for the 4 seasons & the male & female groups in the Prince's "seeking" scene), but then this is a very contemporary & adult Cinderella, hardly a fairy tale. In fact I think that's why I like it. One of my big problems with Cinders is that the music is so darkly sardonic, it doesn't really suit the story (except perhaps in the first scene) and it doesn't offer many opportunities for great pas de deux. Ratmansky's choreography really suited the music perfectly and he has given Cinders & the prince an absolutely lovely pas de deux in the 2nd act.

My takeaway - this is a fine and interesting ballet to see once or twice as long as you don't go into it expecting to see some lavish fairy tale production, but its not something I'd want to see over and over.

Shirinkina was a lovely Cinderella, she played it very young and innocent and her lyrical style suited the role perfectly. Maxim Zyuzin is an interesting dancer who I'd like to see more of in the future. He has a very engaging stage personality and all the right moves

Pavlenko/Sergeev - they were breathtaking. I don't think that he is exceptionally tall, but he has the long, lean lines of a danseur noble, great elevation and easy turns. Pavlenko, well, first off let me say that I agree with Natalia's husband - SHE'S BACK! Down to fighting weight with pristine technique hers was Cinderella as everywoman - warm, kind, a triumph of the human soul. Her dancing was technically strong and extremely expressive - those arms can speak volumes, not to mention those eyes. Not surprisingly, she and her husband had great chemistry. From the moment he saw her Sergeev's prince was besotted and you knew he'd do anything to find her.

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My takeaway - this is a fine and interesting ballet to see once or twice as long as you don't go into it expecting to see some lavish fairy tale production, but its not something I'd want to see over and over.

I agree with what you say. It has some nice moments, but some purposely "ugly" moments that are interesting the first time but get old real fast. I am thinking of the step sisters and step mother. Yes, it is funny and sort of fun. It is interesting to have actual ugly dancing moments to underscore how mean they are, but it is only interesting for a few seconds. Then, you are looking for more. Caricatures are not deep. Funny, but not deep or thrilling. After that it starts to be annoying. But Cinderella has some beautiful moments, and I enjoy the Season (Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter) Fairies. Some bravura moments in these male fairy dances. I think this is B-side Mariinsky. Better than nothing but not what people really want when they want to see the Mariinsky Ballet.

I think Ratmansky has some good ideas, but he seems overly concerned with making things "hip" and "cool." I don't think "hip" and "cool" necessarily withstands the test of time. When he throws out the desire to be "hip" he actually can produce some nice choreography that is both pleasing and modern but definitely based on classical ballet.

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I agree with what you say. It has some nice moments, but some purposely "ugly" moments that are interesting the first time but get old real fast. I am thinking of the step sisters and step mother. Yes, it is funny and sort of fun. It is interesting to have actual ugly dancing moments to underscore how mean they are, but it is only interesting for a few seconds. Then, you are looking for more. Caricatures are not deep. Funny, but not deep or thrilling. After that it starts to be annoying.

What Cinderella has a Stepmother and stepsisters that are not caricatures?

Are those characters meant to be deep or thrilling? Are they deep characters as written? Or are they, in fact, quite explicitly the opposite?

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I agree with what you say. It has some nice moments, but some purposely "ugly" moments that are interesting the first time but get old real fast. I am thinking of the step sisters and step mother. Yes, it is funny and sort of fun. It is interesting to have actual ugly dancing moments to underscore how mean they are, but it is only interesting for a few seconds. Then, you are looking for more. Caricatures are not deep. Funny, but not deep or thrilling. After that it starts to be annoying.

What Cinderella has a Stepmother and stepsisters that are not caricatures?

Are those characters meant to be deep or thrilling? Are they deep characters as written? Or are they, in fact, quite explicitly the opposite?

Well, I don't disagree with you. If any characters should be caricatures, I guess they should be. I guess for me personally I would have liked more subtlety in their choreography, but that is just a personal taste. They are supposed to provide comic relief, and at moments it is funny. I am just not a huge comedy fan, so that might be it too.

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I agree with what you say. It has some nice moments, but some purposely "ugly" moments that are interesting the first time but get old real fast. I am thinking of the step sisters and step mother. Yes, it is funny and sort of fun. It is interesting to have actual ugly dancing moments to underscore how mean they are, but it is only interesting for a few seconds. Then, you are looking for more. Caricatures are not deep. Funny, but not deep or thrilling. After that it starts to be annoying.

What Cinderella has a Stepmother and stepsisters that are not caricatures?

Are those characters meant to be deep or thrilling? Are they deep characters as written? Or are they, in fact, quite explicitly the opposite?

Well, I don't disagree with you. If any characters should be caricatures, I guess they should be. I guess for me personally I would have liked more subtlety in their choreography, but that is just a personal taste. They are supposed to provide comic relief, and at moments it is funny. I am just not a huge comedy fan, so that might be it too.

Which is one of the reasons I prefer Bolshoi's Zakharov version with the stepsisters as female dancers on pointe rather than the men in drag from Ashton's...

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Ashton's idea of the two-old-men-on-pointe worked best when two two old men were two famous old men: Ashton and Helpman. It still works somwhat, even with not-so-famous character dancers, if they are played as two very different characters -- one spiteful and the other gentle (Ashton's sister). Furthermore, Ashton did not choreograph a role for a Stepmother, did he? I only remember the 2 stepsisters.

The problem with Ratmansky's 3 Clowns (as I call them) is that they are all nasty and that their hystrionics go on and on and on, in every act, until you just want to SHOOT them off the stage. Especially the Viper Mom with the red wig. This was created in 2002 to give a showy role for soon-to-retire Mariinsky ballerinas, Makhalina and Nioradze (even though neither has retired...even 11 years after the premiere!), so they were given a LOT to do. It's time to do a deep slash-and-burn on big chunks of the 3 Clowns' roles.

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p.s. - Big 'thanks' to nysusan and others for their reports on the DC presentations! Nysusan, thanks for confirming my husb's assessment that Pavlenko is down to fighting weight ("Odette Fit" as he terms it) again. Now it's time to get her cast in the Petipa tutu ballets once again, not to mention her own modern rep from a few years ago, such as the Forsythes that will be making a reappearance at the MT later this season. Also, I can picture Pavlenko and Sergeev as the 'lyrical pair' in Ratmansky's Concerto DSCH, entering Mariinsky rep this spring. (hint-hint) However, if I were a Betting Girl, I'd guess that Fateev will give this role to a long, long, long ballerina, such as Skorik. Will I be right? (I'm taking about the role danced by Wendy Whelan at the NY premiere.)

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I just have a footnote to add to the discussion of the Sat. matinee with Pavlenko. (First time I've seen her. I'm impressed!!) Anyway during the Summer fairy section, the hat of one of the entourage flew off and landed about 10-12 feet from where Cinderella and the Fairy Godmother were sitting on the floor. Staying in character Bazhenova shuffled over and picked up the hat (a deep rose-colored turban with feathers), returned to her seat, modeled the hat, handed it over to Cinderella who held it over her head, but was too shy to put it on and returned it to the fairy who then placed the hat in one of the large bags she was carrying. It was a lovely humorous little bit of business that was done subtly enough that it did not upstage the summer fairy and attendants, but was delightful to watch. flowers.gif

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I just heard that Osmolkina injured herself on stage during the first act of Friday's performance. She "crumpled to the floor" (in my friend's words), the curtain came down and the performance resumed with Shirinkina. Hopefully the injury is not serious!

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I just heard that Osmolkina injured herself on stage during the first act of Friday's performance. She "crumpled to the floor" (in my friend's words), the curtain came down and the performance resumed with Shirinkina. Hopefully the injury is not serious!

Really? I wonder if Osmolkina danced at the Sunday matinee, which was her 3rd and final scheduled performance? I, too, hope that Osmolkina is OK. She is scheduled to return to several major roles at the MT in the months ahead.

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No (Osmolkika didn't dance on Sunday), it was debute hard-core for Maria Shirinkina, She danced openning, then from middle of act 1 on Friday (without a warm-up), then on Saturday and sunday (after a gala in NYC on Thursday). I saw her both on Sat & Sunday, and Kolb was a much more engaging and regal prince, and she danced more relaxed and confident and less tentative. I would say that Cinderella role suits her body and personality very well. promise to write more soon

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Poor Osmolkina....she just got those Swan Lakes too. How depressing. And what a trooper Shirinkina is.

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I just heard that Osmolkina injured herself on stage during the first act of Friday's performance. She "crumpled to the floor" (in my friend's words), the curtain came down and the performance resumed with Shirinkina. Hopefully the injury is not serious!

Poor Osmolkina....she just got those Swan Lakes too. How depressing. And what a trooper Shirinkina is.

Anyone heard more on this subject? Apparently Osmolkina suffered a leg injury back in 2010, which caused her to follow the Lopatkina route, and dropped out of things to have a baby, then returned not long afterwards, apparently 'healed'. But it all depends on the actual type of injury. I wonder if it was the same problem reoccurring.

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