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Fall 2012 Mariinsky U.S Tour (Ardani)Costa Mesa & Berkeley, CA + Wash, DC


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#76 ksk04

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 08:56 AM

Kondaurova was utterly sublime last nightPosted Image . If you do not have a ticket to her other show and you are in the area, RUN to get one immediately. Wow wow wow. Every part of her body was harmonious; she proves how much one can act through the body, that dancers don't need extraneous facial expressions to "act." What's wonderful about her is that her stature/body carriage separates her so much from the rest of the corps, that it becomes impossible to look away from her (why would you want to?) when she arrives onstage. In the third act, she looked like she was having FUN, which is rare to see onstage. Ivanchenko was in good form as well. Siegfried is a thankless role, I think, but he served it well and was an excellent partner to Kondaurova. In the pas de trois, I got a look at the ex-Royal Xander Parish, looking like the Royal should be kicking themselves over losing him (especially considering their male dancer situation). He was much cleaner and more confident than Popov who was on opening night (he looked like he had a bad case of the nerves). Parish does have a tendency to have a bit of a floppy foot though, so hopefully he can tighten that up.

Both nights the corps has been outstanding-truly. I think the cygnets were in better form Wed night (fixed the head issues that slightly marred the opening night run); the big swans both nights were dominated by Yulia Stepanova who has such a distinctly grand way of carrying her upper body, making it easy to single her out in the big scenes. Really beautiful--I'd love to see her get a big break. Shirinkina continues to have multiple roles each night--she has a sweet face and a sweet demeanor.

Natalia - Shkylarov seemed to have the wrong energy, imo--no melancholy or conflict. Plus no chemistry with Skorik. He was a good enough partner though...she sailed through all the supported pirouettes beautifully (they only flubbed one of the shoulder sits in act IV). Technically, I didn't think he was anything special, and he's looked much better to me in various videos. Maybe jet lag?


Both nights have certainly made the unions happy, I'm sure. Opening night we were 25 minutes over the 3 hour mark and last night, 12 minutes. So at least they are tightening it up. The intermissions (and obviously the excessive bowing, which will not be going away) seem to be the culprit.

#77 pherank

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 12:07 PM

Kondaurova was utterly sublime last nightPosted Image . If you do not have a ticket to her other show and you are in the area, RUN to get one immediately. Wow wow wow. Every part of her body was harmonious; she proves how much one can act through the body, that dancers don't need extraneous facial expressions to "act." What's wonderful about her is that her stature/body carriage separates her so much from the rest of the corps, that it becomes impossible to look away from her (why would you want to?) when she arrives onstage. In the third act, she looked like she was having FUN, which is rare to see onstage. Ivanchenko was in good form as well. Siegfried is a thankless role, I think, but he served it well and was an excellent partner to Kondaurova. In the pas de trois, I got a look at the ex-Royal Xander Parish, looking like the Royal should be kicking themselves over losing him (especially considering their male dancer situation). He was much cleaner and more confident than Popov who was on opening night (he looked like he had a bad case of the nerves). Parish does have a tendency to have a bit of a floppy foot though, so hopefully he can tighten that up.


I was able to see Kondaurova as well on her first night and I thought she was very strong. Obviously the Odette-Odile role requires a dancer of strong presence, as well as technical ability, and Kondaurova looked like a star, and a consummate professional. And that surprised me a bit, as she is still young - I expected her dancing to look "young and fresh". But she managed something close to the spellbinding quality of Lopotkina as Odette, and Odile I liked even better as she shows a lot of eye contact with the audience, and Rothbart, and it was hard to take my eyes off of her through much of the performance. Which is what we pay for.

The Corps naturally put on a solid performance (they all look like they're no more than 18 years of age). But of all the ballerinas on stage it was pretty obvious who should be dancing Odette-Odile, Ms. K towers over everyone else in spirit as well as physique.

The low spot for me was Evgeny Ivanchenko as Siegfried: simply dull and plodding, technically uninteresting. He brought no spirit to the role, and his 'acting' was practically non-existent. Fortunately his lifts were competent so there was little impact on Kondaurova. In fact, Siegried's dullness did serve to make Kondaurova look even better. When Siegfried tore off one of Rothbart's wings, he stopped there (and Rothbart collapses anyway). But I thought, "That is so Ivanchenko, doing things half way, half-heartedly." Why not struggle with Rothbart in a realistic manner? I much preferred the dancing of Xander Parish (as well as his stage presence). Parish deserves better roles. Hint, hint.

I also enjoyed the bat that got loose in the performance hall during the break period - fortunately it found its way back into the night sky before ACT III.

Since I was sitting in the 3rd row, I was able to see every detail, and during the encores I was standing against the stage and just missed a fantastic shot of Kondaurova taking her bow in front of the curtain (about 20 feet away). But the darn usher noticed that I and the person standing next to me had our phones out, so she motioned us away from the stage area. I'll always regret not having that extra few seconds to get the picture. ;)

#78 ksk04

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 12:17 PM

I also enjoyed the bat that got loose in the performance hall during the break period - fortunately it found its way back into the night sky before ACT III.


Was it a bat or a bird that found its way in?! It was all anyone in my section could focus on during the intermission. I was worried it would be flitting around stage during the final scene, but it conveniently disappeared. I did notice none of the ushers were making a move to do anything about it...nice work, guys. Posted Image

#79 abatt

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 12:35 PM

Bat/bird removal is probably some other union's job at the theater.Posted Image

#80 pherank

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 12:46 PM

Definitely was a bat, and definitely not Teamsters jurisdiction. The topmost seating section was actually closed to the audience and I did notice some 'personnel' walking about up there trying to think of what to do with a bat. Die Fledermaus passed really close over our heads when I was standing with a few other people by the front of the stage. I thought I was going to get whacked in the head. The main thing is, it was gone before it could ruin the last of the performance. Could you imagine a bat crashing into Kondaurova as she's being held aloft? That would be memorable.

#81 ksk04

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 12:51 PM

Posted Image I don't think we would be seeing much more of Big Red around here if she was attacked by a bat at our theater! I heard several people around me worrying about getting pooped on.


For the record, I have been going to SCFTA regularly for many many years and I've never seen any loose animals in the auditorium (aside from when the Lion King comes around!)

#82 Birdsall

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 12:57 PM

In the ushers' defense, if California ushers are anything like Florida ushers, they are usually total volunteers who are simply trained to show people their seats and tear tickets. They are like you and me but volunteering, so they can see free shows. I would not know how to remove a bat or catch it. So I can't imagine an usher ever doing anything except notify someone in administration (for the theatre or performing arts center). In Florida most are retired and elderly and probably wouldn't be able to catch a bat even if they wanted to! Posted Image

#83 Birdsall

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 12:59 PM

By the way, did everyone see the video of the cat running across the stage as Tereshkina was dancing the Black Swan coda? Someone here posted it! Made me laugh! Whoever posted it should post it again!

#84 pherank

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 01:07 PM

Yes, it was probably dumb luck that the creature escaped, but I can't imagine it found too many tasty bugs flying about the Hall either.

I will just mention that this was my first visit to Segerstrom Hall - sound and seats were good, and the entire Performing Arts Center is impressive, who knew? (outside of LA patrons). The stage was smallish though, and that did have some impact on the visuals. I would not want to see the finale to "Diamonds" on a stage of that size - it would be really cramped.

#85 Natalia

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 01:26 PM

Everyone, thanks for the wonderfully detailed reports thus far, bats and all! Posted Image

#86 nysusan

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 02:08 PM

Yes, thanks for all the reports, can't wait to see Kondaurova tomorrow night! Hope the bat stays away...

#87 Rosa

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 02:11 PM

Thank you everyone for the reports! I've enjoyed reading them.

By the way, did everyone see the video of the cat running across the stage as Tereshkina was dancing the Black Swan coda? Someone here posted it! Made me laugh! Whoever posted it should post it again!


http://youtu.be/qZ8cKRWYODw

#88 Helene

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 02:29 PM

The Bolshoi survived an earthquake in Berkeley that shook the building during one big group dance, so I'm sure the Mariinsky will survive this :)

#89 Birdsall

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 03:53 PM

Rosa,
Thanks for the video! I now bookmarked it, so I can view whenever I want. I love it! So funny! I wonder what Tereshkina was thinking, when she saw it, or maybe she was so busy she didn't notice.
So now someone needs to post video of last night's bat!!!
Bart

#90 ksk04

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 05:03 PM

SCFTA released a promo for Friday evening's show (Kondaurova). Use the code ENCORE and receive 50% off Orchestra/Tier 1 (B or C pricing) tickets. Online or on the phone. Wish I didn't already have plans!


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