Natalia

Fall 2012 Mariinsky U.S Tour (Ardani)

120 posts in this topic

A quick google search tells me the Met has around 3,800 seats and the Koch 1,900 seats for perspective.

The State Theater had 2800 seats before the renovation and has 2600 seats after.

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Thank you for your review, Cygnet! It sounds like Kondaurova had quite a performance :flowers:

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I completely agree with Cygnet's thoughts about the Friday night performance - Kondaurova was magnificent. Her dancing had a wonderful, sculptural quality to it, her arms seemed to be pushing against the atmosphere, fighting against her fate. Her dancing was flawless and expressive and she was so passionate! The only thing that kept this from being one of the great Swan Lakes for the ages was that she was dancing in a vacuum, saddled with the inert Ivanchenko. This pairing is just as criminal as ABT's constant pairing of Part with Steans, perhaps even worse. I pray that management realizes that they have a great, potentionally legendary O/O in their ranks and pair her up with Korsuntsev. This was not a one time "off" performance for Ivanchenko, it's his typical performance. He's a big, tall guy who can partner the tall ballerinas flawlessly, but he's a cipher.

Sat night was almost the opposite. Schklyarov was a wonderful Siegfried. He showed great elevation, absolutely soaring leaps in the BS Pdd that drew gasps from the crowd. He was fully engaged with his O/O and all the other dancers around him, very invested in the role. He does make a slightly puppyish impression but that's due to his looks. It really can't be helped and I think it works ok in the Mariinsky version.

Skorik was curious. She was not the disaster that Somova's early performances were or that her youtube clips would lead you to expect. She was ok technically most of the time and there were no big, noticable mistakes but she did simplify some of the steps. They didn't do the iconic overhead lifts on the diagonal in the 1st lakeside scene and my friend pointed out that she didn't really do all the beats we're accustomed to seeing in Odette's coda. Her beats sur le cou d'pied (I think thats what they're called) at the end of the WS pdd were very weak. She made it through the BS fouettes with no problem till she fell out of them at the very end. This was not a big flub, it was hardly noticable unless you had seen Kondaurova the night before who ended under perfect control in a beautiful, solid, triumphant 5th position!

What I didn't like about her was her manner of dancing. She is very skinny with very long arms & legs and a long neck. That may sound like I'm describing Lopatkina, but their physiques couldn't be more different. She looked scrawny to me, all elbows and hands and head and her arm motions were distinctive but not fluid. She has an extremely flexible back, which I usually love but with her it looked like her dancing was all about hitting these specific positions, making just this or that impression. Many of her poses were striking but the sum total didn't add up for me, and she didn't seem to have much rapport with her Siegfired or her audience. I did not feel one ounce of tragedy or empathy for her plight - in fact she didn't bring out Odette's plight at all, at least not to me. So, for me she was not "unworthy" of being a Mariinsky O/O, just an unemotional performer whose style of dancing is not to my taste. It is inconcievable to me that they had her open the engagement when Kondaurova is on the tour, she should be given time to develop under less high profile circumstances.

The corps was impeccable and Anna Lavrienko really stood out for her verve in the Neopolitan dance. Xander Parrish cut a very fine figure in the pas de trois and all the women I saw in it were very good (Nikitina,Ivannikova,Gonchar & Shirinkina) but with the exception of Shirinkina I can't help feeling that they weren't quite up to the Golub, Tkchenko, Osmolkina perfomances we used to see.

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It does seem that the consensus on Skorik is that she's not really ready to be a 1st Soloist, and was brought along, or pushed, too fast. It does feel a bit like a 'political' appointment - she's the favorite of someone high up and powerful. How many times has that happened in the ballet world? ;)

I feel sorry for her, actually, as she may be experiencing sheer terror on some nights: that's not what any artist needs to develop their craft. This isn't just bad for the audience, it's bad for the dancer's psyche.

Kondaurova moved through the ranks at a fairly typical pace for a principal dancer (though some think she should have been promoted to principal sooner), and she's proven to have that rare ability that every company director dreams of: a dancer who continues to grow and absorb new techniques and roles without hesitation, year after year.

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Nysusan, yes thanks for reminding me that Skorik/Shkylarov didn't do any of the overhead lifts in the act II pdd. For the diagonal they did a modified arabesque promenade, I think, and for the overhead split lifts immediately before the diagonal they subbed in alternate steps. I wanted to see if Kondaurova or Kolegova did them the same way, but they did them "regularly."

I also saw the Saturday matinee with Kolegova and Korsuntsev. I think I've read a lot of criticisms of Danila's acting before but he was practically Daniel Day Lewis in comparison to Ivanchenko and Shkylarov. Lopatkina has clearly trained him well. I too would have preferred to see him with Kondaurova. He seemed the most engaged of all of the dancers onstage, and thoughtfully responded to all of his partners even those he only partnered in big group numbers. He also tried out this new and interesting acting technique where he MADE EYE CONTACT with his partners. Hope the word spreads around that this is something you can do if you want to attempt to relate to other people on stage. I thought his best moment was after the Act III pdd where he pledges his love to Odile: he looked so dumb and happy at knowing he could have her that I actually teared up a little at his crestfallen face afterward.

Kolegova was the most remote of the O/Os for me, but I think that was purposeful. She is extremely glamorous (looks like an old movie star with her new dark hair and her big eyes). Her performance was more static than Kondaurova's but not quite the pose-a-thon that was Skorik's. She's clearly a capable and beautiful dancer, but it's hard to follow the memories of Kondaurova from the other night. Kondaurova never stopped moving, and I prefer that to turning the Act II pdd into a bunch of static arabesques and attitudes with no quality of movement in between. I think that Danila must have the strength of several bulls as they slightly flubbed a shoulder sit in Act IV and he just carried her in a semi-sitting/semi-extended position at his chest level across the stage to not mess up the counts. My partnering experience tells me that is not the most fun position in which to hold a lift.

Vasily Tkachenko has his best outing as a Jester. He's a great actor and dancer (he didn't have the slight wobbles of the Wed night performance). The audience has loved the Jester at every show.

Each performance has been a battle of wills not to laugh at the floppy fish death of Rothbart. Is there not a more dignified way for him to go? icon8.gif

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Nysusan and ksk04, thanks to both of you for your beautifully descriptive reviews! It sounds as if Skorik, while not a Somova-ish Disaster, is not-quite-ready-for-prime-time. One would hope that this would be a wake-up call to the Mariinsky casting directors; alas, they probably just point to the standing ovations and declare it a triumph.

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Hi Natalia! Thanks for posting that link to the Gene Schiavone photos. I was looking at them yesterday and there's one that sums up my impression of Skorik but I wasn't able to link to it on the hotel's computer. Here it is:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Gene-Schiavone/139401237973?ref=ts#!/photo.php?fbid=10151173864742974&set=a.140674237973.113767.139401237973&type=1&theater

I also saw the Kolegova/Askerov Sunday matinee, and I agree with ksk04 about Kolegova. She is a beautiful woman and she danced well, she was traditional, a very soft Odette. She did all the steps but I found her boring, unemotional and unfocused. Askerov was a much better actor than Ivanchenko but not nearly as good as Schklayarov. His elevation was fine but his upper body was very stiff.

ksk04 - Korsuntsev may be not be a great actor compared to,say, Gomes, but he's been just fine the past few years. In fact I remember when the Mariinsky did Scheherazade at the Kennedy Center (I think it was last year) he and Lopatkina sizzled while the Lopatkina/Ivanchenlo cast was a snooze.

I just looked at the Berkley casting and Korsuntsev is dancing both performances with Kondaurova - those Berkley audiences are in for a treat!

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Each performance has been a battle of wills not to laugh at the floppy fish death of Rothbart. Is there not a more dignified way for him to go? icon8.gif

I'm going to go slightly off%20topic.giffor a moment. IMO I think it's high time that the Mariinsky seriously reconsider this out of date 1950 Soviet ending and change it. Unfortunately, they refuse to toss any of Konstantin Sergeyev's Petipa redactions, out of respect for him and his legacy. The Mariinsky has shunned the Petipa reconstructions, and in the cases of "Bayadere," and "Sleeping Beauty," retired these recon productions. I've always thought that if they added the ultimate bars of the original 1877 finale, (like POB for instance), along with the tragic ending (which is in the 1895 based production that's done at Covent Garden, and other companies), it would be a great improvement. Or, if they insist that Rothbart must die, have him expire offstage in the ruins of his castle and/or have him go up in flames a la " Götterdämmerung." That concept might work. In 2012, playing one on one "grab your wing" doesn't work anymore - not even with the company's most dramatic premier dansuers. Sergeyev's "Raymonda," "Sleeping Beauty," and this production are pure dance. I really think that the Mariinsky's primas such as Lopatkina, Kondaurova, Tereshkina, Vishneva, (and Pavlenko) require a tragic ending in this ballet because their interpretations dictate the need for this, and it was the composer's original intent. Back to topic

-thanks.GIF!

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ksk04 - Korsuntsev may be not be a great actor compared to,say, Gomes, but he's been just fine the past few years. In fact I remember when the Mariinsky did Scheherazade at the Kennedy Center (I think it was last year) he and Lopatkina sizzled while the Lopatkina/Ivanchenlo cast was a snooze.

I just looked at the Berkley casting and Korsuntsev is dancing both performances with Kondaurova - those Berkley audiences are in for a treat!

Lucky Berkeley!!

I think I remember reading the mediocre reviews from last summer's Met engagement re: Korsuntsev. Anyway, I liked his presence the best and if I had to pick a partner to dance with it'd be him.

Thanks for posting the Gene Schiavone pics, Natalia & nysusan (and I agree that the one Skorik pic pretty much sums up my feelings towards her as well); he was snapping away behind me during the Kondaurova show on Wednesday.

Re: the ending. The feather fight is beyond embarrassing. I took a friend to one show and she asked "am I supposed to take this seriously?" But I guess most productions have embarrassing parts (I'm thinking the Purple Pimp/The Swamp Thing/that damn stuffed swan); it just seems that for something like Swan Lake by the Mariinsky we should expect a little more.

edit:

I feel sorry for [skorik], actually, as she may be experiencing sheer terror on some nights: that's not want any artist needs to develop their craft. This isn't just bad for the audience, it's bad for the dancer's psyche.

She looked incredibly nervous on opening night, I thought. I did feel bad for her and that's not what I want to feel while watching a ballet performance.

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I have to say that the picture of Skorik reminds me of Edwin Denby's famous "pouter pigeon" description. The neck, chin, arms, wrists, and legs are held at such an exaggerated angle, and the facial expression is so frozen. It just doesn't look natural at all.

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Skorik's expressions often remind me of Yulia Makhalina, especially in her early years. No offense to Makhalina; I'm referring more to the facial features, especially in theatrical make-up, and the look of 'anger' when concentrating. The pose is fantastic - can't take that away from her. So much beauty here, compared to that awful Segerstrom photo of her Odile with the side develope.

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Each performance has been a battle of wills not to laugh at the floppy fish death of Rothbart. Is there not a more dignified way for him to go? icon8.gif

In the Lopotkina/Korsuntsev version out on DVD, Siegfried whips Rothbart a few times with his own wing, which is equally goofy. But Korsuntsev is able to express a bit better the fact that there is a physical struggle between the two characters. Thanks for the great write-up, Ksk04.

I just looked at the Berkley casting and Korsuntsev is dancing both performances with Kondaurova - those Berkley audiences are in for a treat!

I'm just plain envious now - I was wavering between traveling to Costa Mesa and traveling to Berkeley, but I chose Costa Mesa and I'll be forever stuck with Ivanchenko (in memory, of course). Me thinks the Mariinsky staff reads Ballet Alert forum. ;)

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A reminder: review by critics in newspapers are posted in the daily Links threads, and the company forums are for reviews by our members.

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And another in "Recent Performances" about the OC performances:

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It looks there were postings about California performances under "recent Perfomances" umbrella http://balletalert.i...546#entry309546 http://balletalert.i...-at-costa-mesa/ I rarely go "under that umbrella" to check or ever open the "links" site - just my humble opinion

Here's my review - " went on Friday night (missed 1st Act), then both Saturdays and Sunday (last one to primarily enjoy the PERFECTLY executed formations (lines, arches, "flowers" ect) by the corp from the elevation of 3rd tier). The highest praise (from me) goes to Corps, so synchronized, so graceful, such "swanly" backs and arms WINGS). Different to many, i like the happy ending Soviet version, and i don't find the Act IV as a filler, it has great dancing (imho). I also like the "russian" Act 1, filled with lots of wonderfully executed group dancing, compared to ABT version. I liked Kondaurova, Kolegova & Korzuntsev, Schklyarov, and was curious about Skorik and Askerov (whom i saw at Stage door - they both are equally very tall). To comment on the loud landings - the dancers told me the floor was way too hard and covering way too slippery. What i told my NYC friends at intermissions - Skorik has a terrific body (may be TOO thin). But as my "first-time-ever-to-see-a-ballet" friend commented- she didn't see a swan or a bird - she saw a thin overflexible dancer. Some lifts and steps were skipped, bourree was not present, and I would not blame lack of lift on just Shklyarov, as even Rothbald had difficulty lifting or holding her up. And in black act, if she was seducing anyone it was ironically-Rothbald. She rarely looked at her prince. Kudos would go to Shklyarov for super difficult combinations in his solos (Askerov skipped them). I can't point my most favorite prince on this tour, as i liked Shklyarov technic, but Korzuntsev is the VERY noble prince (and solid technic and great partnering skills). Ivanchenko was not as passionate i remember him in Saint Petersburg this April. Kolegova was a solid (not mind blowing) but a good O/O. I loved Jesters (I missed the missteps of the Jester on Friday). Next-(not liked Ratmansky) Cinderela in DC PS: I was glad to hear the Mariinsky Orchestra" - end of the review ;-))

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We attended 3 performances of the Mariinsky Swan Lake ballet here in Costa Mesa Segerstrom Arts center and found all of them to be absolutely magical experiences that transported us to heaven for a few hours! Truth, beauty and grace all within a package of love and total commitment to the moment and movements. Can't wait for them to return!

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We attended 3 performances of the Mariinsky Swan Lake ballet here in Costa Mesa Segerstrom Arts center and found all of them to be absolutely magical experiences that transported us to heaven for a few hours! Truth, beauty and grace all within a package of love and total commitment to the moment and movements. Can't wait for them to return!

Welcome Kev, 3 performances - that shows real dedication. ;)

I'm glad you enjoyed the performances.

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