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Premiere of Balanchine's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" a


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#1 Cygnet

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 10:33 AM

The Mariinsky Ballet has announced the opening night and second casts for their premiere
of Balanchine's wonderful ballet. Victoria Tereshkina will be the Mariinsky's first Titania
and will alternate the role with Ekaterina Kondaurova. Kondaurova will also dance Hippolyta
and alternate with Alexandra Iosifidi. There will only be two performances during the current
White Nights Festival.
http://www.mariinsky...012/6/6/1_1900/
http://www.mariinsky...012/6/7/1_1900/

#2 Helene

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 10:38 AM

That sounds like superb casting!

#3 Natalia

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 03:52 PM

Hmmmm, not so quickly...although I agree 100% with the two Titanias, the two Pucks (I. Petrov and V. Tkachenko), and one of the Oberons (Zverev).

Something very important is missing from the cast lists: the leading couple dancing the gorgeous and difficult classical pas de deux in Act II.

Nice start with two potentially great Titanias, though.

#4 carbro

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 07:16 PM

My fave Mariinsky ballerinas as Titania! And Kondaurova is doubling as Hippolyta, too!

I, too, am curious about the pivotal casting of the Act II Divert.

#5 Paul Parish

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 10:48 PM

Natalia is SO right -- that is a ballerina role of the first importance. That is the most beautiful classical choreography in the whole ballet. Nothing of Titania's is so purely beautiful, though much is delightful [like the pdd with the donkey]

#6 Helene

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 11:11 PM

I think that the Midsummer Act II Pas de deux is second to none in the Balanchine rep, on par with Symphony in C second movement.

It's also a far more difficult role to get right than Titania, in my opinion.

#7 Paul Parish

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 11:47 PM

It also has to be a small ballerina with a big danseur -- or at least , that helps. Kent was not tall, and d'Amboise was a VERY large man -- which created overtones of protection on his part, and heavenly delicacy on hers. Ayupova would have been ideal....

#8 Helene

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 11:57 PM

It was originally Verdy/Ludlow.

I disagree that the ballerina has to be small. Kyra Nichols, for example, was quite stunning and Darci Kistler was luminous in it, although Heather Watts gave my favorite performance of it. Watts wasn't that small either: she just looked shorter by comparison to the very tall dancers in the company.

#9 Natalia

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 04:07 AM

NYCB's Jennifer Ringer was very beautiful in the A2 pdd lead. She infused the seemingly-technical role with romantic soul, as I would have imagined Violette Verdy did at the premiere.

As the Mariinsky's leading man 'in his prime' right now is Vladimir Schklyarov, and as he has not been assigned Oberon, I am guessing that he is the likely opening-night A2 PDD male. His recent partner (in life and on stage), Maria Shirinkina, would be a good contender for the female A2 PDD lead. It better NOT be "Ms X."(guess who); I don't think that the Balanchine Trust would allow it.

#10 Kathleen O'Connell

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 08:18 AM

Heather Watts gave my favorite performance of it. Watts wasn't that small either: she just looked shorter by comparison to the very tall dancers in the company.


Mine too! I wasn't a huge Watts fan but she was absolutely beautiful to watch in that pas de deux. (She was a great Dewdrop, too.) Watts described herself as a "medium" in an interview somewhere.

ETA: When I'm purchasing a ticket based on casting alone (vs one driven by the calendar) I always base my decision on who's dancing in the Divertissement. Unlike more traditional story ballets, Balanchine's Midsummer doesn't hand the final pas de deux -- the one that crystallizes a ballet's "moral tone" (for lack of a better word) or its picture of ideal love -- to the lead couple. A less-than-optimal Divertissement ballerina can therefore undermine Midsummer just as much as a less-than-optimal Aurora can undermine Sleeping Beauty. And I don't think I've ever seen a "bad" Titania in that sense.

#11 sandik

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 12:27 PM

Olivier Wevers made his farewell to Pacific Northwest Ballet in that pas de deux, dancing with Kaori Nakamura. It was a stellar performance of a wonderful duet.

#12 Helene

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 01:16 PM

Adam Luders did as well, partnering
Nichols.

#13 Natalia

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 06:26 AM

Well, five days to go and still no mention on the MT website of the dancers of the A2 PDD...not even a mention of the roles and a 'tbd' next to it.

I am now wondering if perhaps the Balanchine Trust has approved a 'doubling up' of roles...i.e., Titania and Oberon will dance the PDD? Balanchine was very much against it but, according to Nancy Goldner (in Balanchine Variations), somebody told her that this once occured in Switzerland in the early 1970s because, apparently, Balanchine adored the dancer cast as Titania and wanted to see more of her. (!)

It would be very much "the Mariinsky Way" to push for this. How can the Prima Ballerina barely appear in A2 and concede the biggest classical dance of the night to another ballerina?

#14 Helene

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 06:32 AM

If the Act II pas de deux is the biggest neoclassical role of the night and is recognized as such, the Prima can dance that (and the rest of the divertissement) instead of Titania. Doubling up makes little sense dramatically because of the stark contrast in the relationships.

.

#15 Natalia

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 06:34 AM

But Viktoria Terioshkina would be perfect for the PDD...and Titania. (Kondaurova also, perhaps, but she is quite tall for the PDD, IMO.) I am thinking that this is what Fateev is cooking up. Oh, would Petersburg be so lucky and not have to see "Ms X" making a travesty of the sublime PDD!


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