Natalia

2012/2013 Mariinsky Ballet Season: General News, etc.

356 posts in this topic

Oh, by the way, the Mariinsky 2 theatre looked almost finished to me from the outside. It grew on me as I walked by it each day. If the interior is state-of-the-art for backstage, sprung floor, dressing rooms, etc. it will be great. It is also a good idea to locate it behind/beside the original Mariinsky, since I can picture many tourists having tickets for one theatre and arriving at the wrong one, so this way they will only have to rush next door!

Originally, I did not like the look of it, but now it has grown on me.

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I'm glad you had a good time in Russia, and that you managed to see SB and Raymonda ! Send me a PM with details on the club scene...wink1.gif

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I thought Russia was legislating homosexuality out of existence. I'm glad to hear you had a different experience.

Well and the ballet sounds like fun, too :)

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Thanks for reports on your visit-- hope you feel better soon.

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I thought Russia was legislating homosexuality out of existence. I'm glad to hear you had a different experience.

Well and the ballet sounds like fun, too smile.png

I think Russians are less apt to be "out" or over the top flamboyant, and you had to buzz to get into one of the bars probably like in 1950s America. You had to know that it was a gay bar and buzz. A guy answered and I asked, "ach crest? Open?" pronouncing the Russian in my mangled Russian and then simply saying it in English, and he said, "This gay bar!" and looked at me with a frown, "You gay?" I said, "Yes!" LOL

The whole trip was an adventure for me. One guy I met spoke no English so I used Google Translator to hold a conversation! I also used hand signals and acting.....I am resourceful when I want to do the things I want to do!

But my own personal opinion of gay life in Russia from my short view of it is that it is not much different from here. They may not be as bold as American gays are at demanding rights, but at one time we were not bold either.

Sorry to stray off topic, but I suspect this subject is very interesting to many.

To put it back on topic sort of I danced up a storm like I was 20 again!

I also saw many of the Mariinsky dancers in street clothes when I went to the backstage entrance just to run an errand for someone. It is interesting to see them. I think I saw Kolegova, Skorik, Gonchar, Martynyuk, Shirinkina, Yevseyeva, Batoeva, Ivannikova, Stepanova, Marchuk, Kuznetsov, Zyuzin, etc. I did not bother any of them, but it was so much fun to simply see them rush past looking like normal everyday people. Some looked even more glamorous in street clothes. Others looked more casual.

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A big debut this Wednesday: beautiful Arina Varentseva -- the female star of the most recent Vaganova Academy Class, 2012 -- debuts in the title role of La Sylphide. She has danced a few smaller solo roles this season but this is the first full-evening major role.

http://www.mariinsky...13/4/10/1_1900/

Edited to add: The debut just happened on the 3rd; Wednesday's performance will be the 2nd outing. Happy that Varentseva is getting her chances early & not made to wait like Batoeva, Stepanova and other 'home grown beauties' of late.

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In fact, she already debuted the role on April 3rd, and bits of it ended up on youtube:

On the channels of these two posters there is more.

(The 4 gorgeous sylphs are Ostreikovskaya, Batoeva, Tiliguzova and Ivannikova, according to the video descriptions)

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Thanks. Wow, she did not have to wait long for her 2nd try at the role. Lovely indeed!

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Hmm... I think we must be seeing her through very different eyes, Natalia - to me she looks quite shockingly unstylish.

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I wondered whether the music track was not in synch with the video track. It didn't look like Bournonville to me.

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She may be a lovely dancer, but Bournonville is a very specific style, and especially the Act 2 solos here are .... something else. I wonder who staged this?

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It's been in the rep since at least the mid 80's so I imagine there's been plenty of time for the Bournonville style to disintegrate regardless of who staged it originally.

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It was staged ages ago (ca 1978) by Elsa M. Von Rosen (sp?). It has definitely disintegrated. I was referring to the beauty of the dancer, not the staging. ITA with everyone about the staging.

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The first video caption says "the tutoring" was by Gabriela Komleva and Andrei Batalov. I assume that means coaching, but who in Russia is in charge of re-staging? In North America, that generally is a Ballet Master, since the personal coaching concept is rare, but is anyone at the Mariinsky in charge of unifying the production after the leads ar coached individually, especially if there isn't an outside stager?

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Back form St. Petersburg where I saw Sleeping Beauty, The Tale of Tsar Saltan (opera), Carmen Suite/Symphony in C, and Raymonda. I also managed to a get a last minute ticket to a ballet gala at the Hermitage Theatre....

Anastasia Kolegova was terrific!

Raymonda:.... I actually was won over by her [Maria Shirinkina].

Bart, I've been doing a bit of traveling myself and I'm just beginning to catch up.

Anastasia Kolegova -- I saw her twice in October performing Swan Lake and I have to agree that she 'is' terrific !

Maria Shirinkina -- She continues to surprise me each performance with her artistic growth. I'm very glad that you enjoyed her as much as you did. She has a wonderful gracefulness that is so her own and so beautiful. She is adaptable and she puts her own lovely stamp on everything that she does. I greatly look forward to seeing as much of her as possible.

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Back form St. Petersburg where I saw Sleeping Beauty, The Tale of Tsar Saltan (opera), Carmen Suite/Symphony in C, and Raymonda. I also managed to a get a last minute ticket to a ballet gala at the Hermitage Theatre....

Anastasia Kolegova was terrific!

Raymonda:.... I actually was won over by her [Maria Shirinkina].

Bart, I've been doing a bit of traveling myself and I'm just beginning to catch up.

Anastasia Kolegova -- I saw her twice in October performing Swan Lake and I have to agree that she 'is' terrific !

Maria Shirinkina -- She continues to surprise me each performance with her artistic growth. I'm very glad that you enjoyed her as much as you did. She has a wonderful gracefulness that is so her own and so beautiful. She is adaptable and she puts her own lovely stamp on everything that she does. I greatly look forward to seeing as much of her as possible.

Thanks for your comments. I hope Kolegova gets a Swan Lake when the Mariinsky tours in DC next season.

I suspect Shirinkina prepared the role of Raymonda long and hard. Her arms are really great.

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Thanks for your review and your subsequent comments, Bart.

A few more quick thoughts about Maria Shirinkina.

I think that some posters here can remember first seeing her in NYC about six years ago. Like myself we all were taken by her lovely manner. For me, she had a beautiful Evgenia Obraztsova resemblance and such a sincere desire to do the best that she possibly could. She was lovable.

In the last two years or so she has become, in my mind, a mature, perfected artist.

I have to stretch my memory for a moment. Several years ago I saw the Mariinsky perform In The Night, probably in London, and Evgenia Obraztsova tore into a high energy and extremely effective interpretation. Maybe a year later, I saw Maria Shirinkina perform the same part. She shared the stage with some of the Mariinsky superstars and her performance was very 'low key' in their presence and in my recollections of Evgenia Obraztsova. Yet the *gentle loveliness* of it remains strongly in my memory.

By the way, she is also quite capable of high energy attack when it's appropriate.

This year at the Mariinsky Festival she performed in two George Balanchine works, Apollo and A Midsummer Night's Dream (the wonderful Act II Divertissement duet) and she was absolutely Beautiful. She was also, without a doubt, a totally mature artist capable of taking on most anything. Thus her apparent success with Raymonda comes as no surprise.

I've been to nine Mariinsky Festivals in a row and I've had the great pleasure of being able to attend the last eight gala receptions. At the last two I've tried to express what I've just written to Maria Shirinkina in my very limited russian. I think that I partially succeeded this year. I know that off stage discussions of the artists are not encouraged here, but in light of some of the current behind the scenes news I would at least like to say that I've had very brief discussions with many of the artists (primarily Mariinsky, but also Bolshoi) and they've invariably shown the artists to be some of the most humble and loveliest individuals that I've ever had the pleasure to speak with.

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Buddy, thanks for your insight into Shirinkina.

My initial hesitation with Shirinkina as Raymonda has nothing to do with her artistry. She does have great artistry. I just originally felt that her body type and youth were not right for Raymonda, since it is usually danced by Lopatkina, Tereshkina, Kolegova, Novikova (who might be closer to Shirinkina's body type) and recently Kondaurova. I don't know what the word in ballet is for this, but if it were opera and Raymonda were an opera, I would think Raymonda is a dramatic soprano role that usually goes to a very experienced soprano who has graduated to the most difficult roles in opera. My impression of Raymonda is that it is one of the hardest and longest roles for a ballerina, so I was just surprised that such a young and not quite experienced (fewer high profile major roles) dancer was getting a debut in Raymonda. I suspected she would dance it technically well, but it would be sort of like a soubrette opera singer like Sumi Jo singing Norma (Don't laugh people, she says Karajan wanted to record Norma with her in the title role) which is an eyebrow raiser. Sumi Jo would be able to sing every note correctly but she does not have the voice type that is right for Norma. Shirinkina's youth and body type made me think of her more like a Masha or possibly Aurora, but Raymonda seemed like a big stretch for her personality and type.

But, like I said, in the end she must have worked long and hard and she won me over and even had exciting moments. I think she was able to portray the first two acts wonderfully b/c Raymonda is an innocent, young princess. I think her final act variation (the famous clapping variation) was great, but if I can find any fault at all, I tend to like Raymonda to seem like a woman who has experienced danger and is now a woman of the world. So almost diva-like in that variation. I think this attitude might come to Shirinkina with time/experience. This was her debut and it was a wonderful debut. I said above that I think Kondaurova has the opposite problem. She is wonderful in the final variation but she is a woman of the world from the minute she makes her entrance. I don't buy Kondaurova as an innocent young girl actually, but I think she is great at the final variation. Kondaurova's Raymonda would have kicked Abderakhman's butt from here to kingdom come the minute he entered. LOL That is my personal take and opinion.

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Some promotions of corps to coryphee happened today. A friend alerted me. I guess the most news-worthy item is that Kampa has been promoted to Coryphee. You can go to the Mariinsky's website and see the promotions.

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Some promotions of corps to coryphee happened today. A friend alerted me. I guess the most news-worthy item is that Kampa has been promoted to Coryphee. You can go to the Mariinsky's website and see the promotions.

Very glad to hear this about Keenan. From recent video clip viewings I've seen some beautiful airy qualities that I've not noticed before. In addition to her other fine potential these might make her much more of a recognizable Mariinsky artist than I previously believed.

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The return of Alina Somova after a one-year maternity leave has been accelerated! Originally announced for the July 31 GISELLE (which she will still essay), the Grand Return will be on July 21 as Medora in CORSAIRE-Jardin Animee as part of a mixed bill at the Mariinsky II.

http://www.mariinsky.ru/en/playbill/playbill/2013/7/21/3_1200/

Also of note is the very fast sudden rise of Viktoria Krasnokutskaya, who'll debut as the lead in Emeralds this July (unless she already did so and I missed it).

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