Natalia

2012 Vaganova Acad. Graduation Concerts

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This year's Graduation Concerts of the Vaganova Academy (the great school affiliated with the Mariinsky) will honor the 100th birthday anniversary of the beloved prima ballerina and pedagogue, Natalia Dudinskaya. The first act will be...Nacho Duato's 'Madrigal.' dunno.gif Act II consists of a divert of excerpts rom the Mariinsky repertoire. The evening closes with the Jardin Anime scene from Corsaire...although the biggest honor to Dudinskaya would be a staging of Konstantin Sergeyev's version of Corsaire but that's not what they'll be doing here, most likely.

Link: http://www.mariinsky.ru/en/playbill/playbill/2012/6/17/1_1130/

No detailed castings yet. This year has four graduating dancers who have been followed and praised for years, expecially the beautiful Arina Varentseva, who has been almost as highly 'anticipated' as last year's Olga Smirnova (already a STAR at the Bolshoi). Other VIPs among the class are Ksenia Shevtsova, Danil' Lopatin and Ernest Latipov. (I wonder if any of these will actually take jobs at the Mariinsky?) Also sure to be on view is wunderkind Ksenia Zhiganshina, who danced a pdd at last year's graduation and won the Mikhailovsky Prix 2 years ago... but still has two full years to go before she graduates in 2014.

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This year's Graduation Concerts of the Vaganova Academy (the great school affiliated with the Mariinsky) will honor the 100th birthday anniversary of the beloved prima ballerina and pedagogue, Natalia Dudinskaya. The first act will be...Nacho Duato's 'Madrigal.'

Duato's "Madrigal" opens the graduation ceremonies honoring one of A. Vaganova's greatest products and disciples? In what way

does Duato honor Dudinskaya's memory huh.png ? Okay, that may be interpreted as too provocative, so I'll re-phrase: This year's theme

and who is being showcased up front (in Dudinskaya's honor) is a stretch.

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YouTube already has excerpts of the Vaganova Academy graduating-class students performing Duato's Madrigal at the 'Mikhailovsky Prize' gala in StP last December. It seems that that was just a 'warm-up' for the graduation performances 6 months later. Look Ma, No Pointe Shoes!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BSsGY3bDFo

How odd that, at the same gala, the students from the Moscow Academy of Ballet (the school affiliated with the Bolshoi) danced Yuri Burlaka's reconstruction of Petipa's Harlequinade. That says it all.

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This year's Graduation Concerts of the Vaganova Academy (the great school affiliated with the Mariinsky) will honor the 100th birthday anniversary of the beloved prima ballerina and pedagogue, Natalia Dudinskaya. The first act will be...Nacho Duato's 'Madrigal.' dunno.gif Act II consists of a divert of excerpts rom the Mariinsky repertoire. The evening closes with the Jardin Anime scene from Corsaire...although the biggest honor to Dudinskaya would be a staging of Konstantin Sergeyev's version of Corsaire but that's not what they'll be doing here, most likely.

Link to first concert info: http://www.mariinsky...12/6/16/1_1130/

As soon as I see the castings, I'll upload here and translate, as I did last year. This year has four graduating dancers who have been followed and praised for years, expecially the beautiful Arina Varentseva, who has been almost as highly 'anticipated' as last year's Olga Smirnova (already a STAR at the Bolshoi). Other VIPs among the class are Ksenia Shevtsova, Danil' Lopatin and Ernest Latipov. (I wonder if any of these will actually take jobs at the Mariinsky?) Also sure to be on view is wunderkind Ksenia Zhiganshina, who danced a pdd at last year's graduation and won the Mikhailovsky Prix 2 years ago... but still has two full years to go before she graduates in 2014.

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When you think of all the works associated with Dudinskaya (of whom I am not a particular fan) its pretty poor show that you get a Duato contribution to celebrate the centenary of her birth.

Where is the respect for the best side of her and her husbands work.

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Leonid, the Duato that opens the program is not the only offensive part. The 'Jardin Anime' that closes the bill is from the 1980s Vinogradov version of Corsaire (the current one) that replaced Sergeyev's ca-1971 version. A saddened Sergeyev had to take it to Moscow, where he staged it for the Bolshoi shortly before his death; it eventually became the ABT version, restaged via Anna Marie Holmes in the USA.

So it's like rubbing salt twice in the memory of Dudinskaya & Sergeyev...not to mention the 'big finger' being given to Vaganova and pure classicism with the Duato. [Technically, we are breaking BalletAlert! rules by discussing modern dance here...maybe I should move the discussion to the Modern Dance sub-forum? But this is the VAGANOVA we're talking about.]

So maybe the Divertissements section will include an item or two from the Dudinskaya/Sergeyev repertoire?

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The first two concerts happened this past weekend. Films are slowly being uploaded to YouTube, including this one of Ernest Latipov dancing the Ali variation in the Corsaire Suite on Saturday:

There are others from this viewer, 'Roman23540' - just wish he'd learn to use his zoom feature. :)

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As you can see after the turns that finish at 0:40, he...well, I have no words. I just came from the final performance, in which Ernest did the Talisman pas de deux with Arina Varentseva. He stole the show -- not just in that piece but the entire 3-hour performance. He gave us the same centered turns, the same jumps that soar. I was wishing he'd had a stronger partner because while Varentseva is beautiful, when she started to move there was something lacking (and a tendency to heft her shoulder and lift the leg in second from her back muscles, yikes, rather than the leg muscle. Which meant a shortened neck, which cut off the line...need I go on...)

The other real gem was the British intern, Isabella McGuire Mays (her name may be misspelled since I had the Russian program, so i'm transliterating back into what I presume is the English version of her name). Perfect physique, utter control over long limbs, supple high arches, and so much maturity in her presentation and musicality. Very lovely.

Since I'm here, I'll finish off my comments/thoughts:

others to watch -

-Sofia Ivanova-Skoblikova (one year left to go, a student of the much beloved Veronika Ivanova) in the Fairy Doll along with Ilya Boikov and Stanislav Arseniyev (the two boys are Silutsky's graduates this year).

-Also of the short-perky-cute suite was Alina Yasenko (M. Vasilieva pedagogue) and Serik Nakispekov (Silutsky) in the Harlequinade pas de deux. Nakispekov looks of Asian descent, ie darker hair/coloring, so he may be from Southern Russia. I dont know his heritage, but he had more energy than he could contain within himself, and the result was an explosion in his jumps turns that suited his character quite well. It was a pleasure to watch.

-Anton Cheyda, a veritable crowd-pleaser in the initial entrance from the "Girl and the Hooligan"-- one of my all-time favorite ballets, revealed visible dramatic talent in this short excerpt. It is not an easy piece to pull off for someone as young as Cheyda is, for the "tough street guy" mentality is the antithesis of the upbringing inside the halls of the Academy, but he did a fine job, and that music is so infectious…

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p.s. Natalia -- Ksenia Shevtsova was fine in the Briantsev piece (which Smirnova danced 2 yrs ago for graduation) but ... I kept seeing Smirnova there so it was hard to not compare. That was the only piece she appeared in today, sadly. Ksenia Zhiganshina was not listed anywhere in the program either today or on the 17th. Altynai and Konstantin's daughter has one year left, but she appeared in the Duato pieces both dates ....

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Thanks, Catherine! Ernest seems to have truly fulfilled his promise!

Sorry to read about Varentseva's troubled technique, as she was much lauded 4 yrs ago when she danced Amour/DonQ Dream Scene, at another graduation perf. I know that the pedagogues change for the final 2-3 yrs; Varentseva used to have a pure technique.

Very odd about Zhiganshina not being featured. She's perhaps out due to illness, as she is highly regarded (and won the Mikhailovsky Prix' grand prize two yrs ago...while still a student in the Jacobson School, before moving to Vaganova for last 3 yrs of schooling).

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There is an increasing trend for this "last three years of Vaganova" going on now. Keenan Kampa, who is now with the Mariinsky company, is the first American to be invited to join. She trained in Virginia until age 18 and then attended Vaganova for 3 years. After 2 yrs with Boston now she's here in Petersburg (as of June 2012). I just interviewed her for a US publication and she will tour to California with the company this fall.

The current international division student, Isabella McGuire Mays, is also at the Academy. I dont know her age, but am guessing she may also have been around 18 when joining the Academy. These are different cases though, than the Russian-born-and-trained dancers (Zhiganshina) who transfer into Vaganova from Perm, Kiev, or Jacobson's school.

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[Edit function isn't working so I have to finish that comment here]

I rememer seeing Zhiganshina at the Mikhailovsky Grand Prix in November 2010 and she was lovely in the Adolf Adams' Pas de deux. It would have been wonderful to have seen her again this year and compare the progress, so here is to hoping she's just out temporarily.

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p.s. Natalia -- Ksenia Shevtsova was fine in the Briantsev piece (which Smirnova danced 2 yrs ago for graduation) but ... I kept seeing Smirnova there so it was hard to not compare. That was the only piece she appeared in today.

In 2009, Olga Smirnova danced an adagio with music byFranz Liszt.

In 2010, Olga Smirnova danced the Grand Pas Classique pas de deux, music by Daniel Auber.

In 2011, Olga Smrinova danced the adagio from Thais, music by Jules Massenet.

In 2012, Ksenia Shevtsova danced the Briantsev adagio, known as Ghostly Ball, with music by Frederic Chopin.

Olga Smrinova never danced at any graduation ceremony, the Briantsev adagio that Ksenia Shevtsova danced.

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Thanks Alexaa1a! I will check my programs once I'm back at home, but I have a clear vision of her in the adagio onstage; it's possible this visual is instead from the Lizst piece thoughfrom 09. In ANY case, Shevtsova was not quite as fluid and lyrical in the Briantsev as one wanted her to be.

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Thanks Alexaa1a! I will check my programs once I'm back at home base in two months, but I'm fairly certain she did dance that piece at some point (perhaps it wasnt 2010 though). I have a clear vision of her in the adagio onstage. I may have been confusing it with Asaf Messerer’s “Melody” (Antonin Dvorzak) the piece she danced alongside Sergei Strelkov in 2011.

At last yea's graduation performances, Olga Smirnova did not dance Melody, but between the 2nd and 3rd graduation performances, she and Strelkov, performed Melody in the June 23 Diana Vishneva gala, having danced Melody in May's Ulanova gala in London.

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Yes, I know, I speak of the June 23 gala because I was there - I saw it and reviewed it. *sigh*

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p.s. Natalia -- Ksenia Shevtsova was fine in the Briantsev piece (which Smirnova danced 2 yrs ago for graduation) but ... I kept seeing Smirnova there so it was hard to not compare. That was the only piece she appeared in today, sadly. Ksenia Zhiganshina was not listed anywhere in the program either today or on the 17th. Altynai and Konstantin's daughter has one year left, but she appeared in the Duato pieces both dates ....

Ksenia Zhiganshina was rehearsing several pdd which she did not perform at graduation. However, she did actually participate as one of the corps girls in Le Jardin Anime, although she may not have been listed in the programme. She was not injured. Following that she went to Finland on 3rd July to take part in some master classes there for Finnish schools, and will be returning there in August. She received several offers from Russian companies after her examinations but, as has been noted elsewhere, will be studying for another 2 years at Vaganova.

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I have a private film of Smirnova dancing Bryantsev's 'Spirit Ball.' Many of the numbers at the various graduation and mid-term ceremonies are interchanged (2 or 3 dancers sharing roles).

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I have a private film of Smirnova dancing Bryantsev's 'Spirit Ball.' Many of the numbers at the various graduation and mid-term ceremonies are interchanged (2 or 3 dancers sharing roles).

Can you please give the exact date of that private film performance?

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