Natalia

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

356 posts in this topic

There's a large outcry on 2 russian ballet forums i read. where Kampa's debute as Mirtha was compared to the "queen of jelly fish" vs. Queen of willies. Unfortunately MT is run but corrupt and scrupulous gang that has been killing Mariinsky's ballet. sad sad sad

added later, Yulia Stepanova however was praised for her debute as Lilac Fairy in SB this month. that's a good news.

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Maybe some of the things listed were done in Boston? Like you, Tara, I am surprised. I am just trying to find an explanation. I don't remember her being cast in any of the items you mention at the Mariinsky but have only been reading their site regularly in recent times. But I think she danced in Boston before joining the Mariinsky. Maybe you are right, and they are counting student performances.

Kitri does seem like a big move for someone who just joined even if she did do some training at the Vaganova. It is almost like setting her up for huge criticism. You would think at this point she would be cast as the street dancer first and eventually let her try out a Kitri after lots of coaching.

I'd have to double check but I think the site actually says her rep with Mariinsky included those roles. But my goodness, she has only been under contract but a few months so....???

If they want to feature Kampa more prominently and insist on doing it in classics Kitri is so not the part for her, imho. She was much better suited for Dryad, Big Swans and even Mytha. Heck, Lilac would have been a better fit too if they absolutely must treat her as a leading ballerina of the company. I can not think of a full length classic she is ready for... yet. She is talented and surely has a bright future in the ballet world but I'd have her over at Het National if it were up to me. Or at the very least give her that type of rep as her showcase pieces.

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Maybe some of the things listed were done in Boston? Like you, Tara, I am surprised. I am just trying to find an explanation. I don't remember her being cast in any of the items you mention at the Mariinsky but have only been reading their site regularly in recent times. But I think she danced in Boston before joining the Mariinsky. Maybe you are right, and they are counting student performances.

Kitri does seem like a big move for someone who just joined even if she did do some training at the Vaganova. It is almost like setting her up for huge criticism. You would think at this point she would be cast as the street dancer first and eventually let her try out a Kitri after lots of coaching.

I'd have to double check but I think the site actually says her rep with Mariinsky included those roles. But my goodness, she has only been under contract but a few months so....???

If they want to feature Kampa more prominently and insist on doing it in classics Kitri is so not the part for her, imho. She was much better suited for Dryad, Big Swans and even Mytha. Heck, Lilac would have been a better fit too if they absolutely must treat her as a leading ballerina of the company. I can not think of a full length classic she is ready for... yet. She is talented and surely has a bright future in the ballet world but I'd have her over at Het National if it were up to me. Or at the very least give her that type of rep as her showcase pieces.

Yes, I agree. I think everyone is dumbfounded at the direction the Mariinsky administration is taking. It is a recurring issue that is discussed. I think there is a desire to be "international" but that means it will lose its special style. It is probably inevitable, but it is sad.

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I am further confused at reading her Mariinsky site bio. When did she dance either the Raymonda or Bayadere grand pas? Any videos of these? And she danced lead in the full production of Slyphide too? I have neither heard nor seen a peep about of any of these performances and while I know Mariinsky Ballet is onstage practically everyday during main season is it even possible that in addition to the Swan Lake tour she has danced all of the roles as a company member ( or are they counting student performances that were done at the theater too ) in such short of a time? Something seems amiss :-/

Back to clarify this question of Tara's -- I know Kampa performed one of the four couples in the Grand Pas in Bayadere two or more times this June/July just after she flew to St. Petersburg, but she was not Gamzatti. This is either a misprint or purposely misleading. Since the Grand Pas includes Solor/Gamzatti and then the four soloist couples, yes, she was part of the Grand Pas but she was not in the leading role. The phrasing however implies (to Western readers) that she was Gamzatti which isn't the case. She did not perform Kitri in Boston, but she was the Street Dancer.

I agree w/the comments about the other role possibilities. In my view, if one were to go sheerly based on typical Russian emploi, she seems better suited to Myrtha, Dryad Queen, Lilac Fairy etc. She is a tall girl and those lyrical roles seem more her style than the soubrette characterisation required of Kitri - but who knows. She is not much shorter than Lopatkina (who has never, to my knowledge, been cast as Kitri, just to make note of that) and also about the same height as Pavlenko (same comments here) and neither of them gravitate to soubrette type roles, although Pavlenko can be VERY spicy as Mercedes/Street Dancer, so I'd not put Kitri past her. So in addition to the debate about "ready/not ready" I think a bigger question is one of appropriate casting in roles suited to a particular physiology. After all, there's a reason that is done esp at the Mariinsky.

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There are some beautiful clips available of the recent Mariinsky Sleeping Beauties......Kolegova is breath-taking! On the other night Stepanova was a terrific Lilac Fairy!!! We are so lucky to live in a time when things performed so far away end up on the internet days later sometimes hours later!!!! These are the types of dancers that make the Mariinsky Ballet so famous!

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I am further confused at reading her Mariinsky site bio. When did she dance either the Raymonda or Bayadere grand pas? Any videos of these? And she danced lead in the full production of Slyphide too? I have neither heard nor seen a peep about of any of these performances and while I know Mariinsky Ballet is onstage practically everyday during main season is it even possible that in addition to the Swan Lake tour she has danced all of the roles as a company member ( or are they counting student performances that were done at the theater too ) in such short of a time? Something seems amiss :-/

Back to clarify this question of Tara's -- I know Kampa performed one of the four couples in the Grand Pas in Bayadere two or more times this June/July just after she flew to St. Petersburg, but she was not Gamzatti. This is either a misprint or purposely misleading. Since the Grand Pas includes Solor/Gamzatti and then the four soloist couples, yes, she was part of the Grand Pas but she was not in the leading role. The phrasing however implies (to Western readers) that she was Gamzatti which isn't the case. She did not perform Kitri in Boston, but she was the Street Dancer.

I agree w/the comments about the other role possibilities. In my view, if one were to go sheerly based on typical Russian emploi, she seems better suited to Myrtha, Dryad Queen, Lilac Fairy etc. She is a tall girl and those lyrical roles seem more her style than the soubrette characterisation required of Kitri - but who knows. She is not much shorter than Lopatkina (who has never, to my knowledge, been cast as Kitri, just to make note of that) and also about the same height as Pavlenko (same comments here) and neither of them gravitate to soubrette type roles, although Pavlenko can be VERY spicy as Mercedes/Street Dancer, so I'd not put Kitri past her. So in addition to the debate about "ready/not ready" I think a bigger question is one of appropriate casting in roles suited to a particular physiology. After all, there's a reason that is done esp at the Mariinsky.

Thank you for the clarification! And yes I agree about the physiology question. I feel it is rather important- particularly to a younger ballerina. More experienced dancers can sometimes work effectively against type but not always.

Am I correct at noting the pattern in casting being similar to what was done with both Somova and now Skorik? It appears that Fateyev has almost a set in stone almost cookie cutter concept of how to create a "star" and it is a rather strange one, imho.

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Tara, my personal response is that Somova's case is exceptional and incomparable to anyone else -- but yes, there are similarities in the casting issues. Keep in mind Somova was cultivated almost entirely under Vasiev's reign, so that alone is a big difference. I don't remember her being cast initially against type (although her Dryad Queen behind Osipova's Kitri was an issue at one year's festival) -- the issue was that she wasn't ready for what she was cast in, and that Western audiences loved her despite that, which began a chicken/egg issue re: foreign tour billing. I think everyone else falls under a different set of standards and challenges but Somova is different from the rest both in how she has been treated in the theatre and outside of it, given her physiology and talents/deficiencies.

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I remain a little puzzled by the claim that Western audiences loved Somova on those early tours as I never saw much evidence of that..

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Tara, my personal response is that Somova's case is exceptional and incomparable to anyone else -- but yes, there are similarities in the casting issues. Keep in mind Somova was cultivated almost entirely under Vasiev's reign, so that alone is a big difference. I don't remember her being cast initially against type (although her Dryad Queen behind Osipova's Kitri was an issue at one year's festival) -- the issue was that she wasn't ready for what she was cast in, and that Western audiences loved her despite that, which began a chicken/egg issue re: foreign tour billing. I think everyone else falls under a different set of standards and challenges but Somova is different from the rest both in how she has been treated in the theatre and outside of it, given her physiology and talents/deficiencies.

Good point about her time under Vasiev's. I've warmed to Somova as she has herself developed but still have no desire to see her do a full Kitri again. It is my least favorite of her roles to date.

Mariinsky website only shows Kampa dancing one the Kitri. I do hope that some of the fabulous Russian posters on Youtube will be able to share it with the rest of us.

On another note, it was about time that Stepanova got some proper time in the spotlight! She was wonderful and commanded her stage beautifully as Lilac.

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There's a large outcry on 2 russian ballet forums i read. where Kampa's debute as Mirtha was compared to the "queen of jelly fish" vs. Queen of willies. Unfortunately MT is run but corrupt and scrupulous gang that has been killing Mariinsky's ballet. sad sad sad

added later, Yulia Stepanova however was praised for her debute as Lilac Fairy in SB this month. that's a good news.

Why was she called Queen of the Jelly Fish? What did she do that was so bad? I am just asking b/c I have never seen her dance.

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Any performance can raise an outcry, especially when fans already despise the Director doing the casting and thus have no trust he knows what he's doing when casting a young untested dancer (in this case, too, an "outsider") in a major role. Anyway, here is one bit of Kampa's performance (a debut) posted on youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iYYDFkcwUU

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January is a good month for new talents: Marchuk and Baoteva will dance Columbine, Viktoria Krasnokutskaya will dance The Yong Lady, and Arina Varentseva (the new darling of Fateev) will dance Petrouchka.

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January is a good month for new talents: Marchuk and Baoteva will dance Columbine, Viktoria Krasnokutskaya will dance The Yong Lady, and Arina Varentseva (the new darling of Fateev) will dance Petrouchka.

I saw Oksana Marchuk in two Nutcrackers recently. She played the sister of Masha to both Osmolkina and Evseeva. Both ballerinas were good, and Evseeva for me wonderful and so poignant, but whenever Marchuk was onstage she completely outshone every ballerina and I could not stop watching her. She has unique presence and personality, some of the best arms in the company, and I could not stop wishing she was dancing Masha. Columbine is a great role for her, but she should be dancing Masha, Aurora, Syuimbike - and many, many other roles that she would be superb in. The same can be said for Nadia Batoeva, who is a great dramatic ballerina, with superb technique - she is a gorgeous Columbine, but she too should be dancing principal roles - Aurora, Kitri, Nikiya ... Krasnokutskaya too I like - she has a sparky personality and always stands out on stage - and think she could be a fabulous Kitri. And Varentseva is still very young and I saw her Florine debut in Sleeping Beauty. Technically she is accomplished, but of course she needs time to mature and I hope Fateyev will not push her into too many new roles before she is ready. She needs time to develop as an artist although she is certainly promising and I enjoyed her Florine.

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January is a good month for new talents: Marchuk and Baoteva will dance Columbine, Viktoria Krasnokutskaya will dance The Yong Lady, and Arina Varentseva (the new darling of Fateev) will dance Petrouchka.

I saw Oksana Marchuk in two Nutcrackers recently. She played the sister of Masha to both Osmolkina and Evseeva. Both ballerinas were good, and Evseeva for me wonderful and so poignant, but whenever Marchuk was onstage she completely outshone every ballerina and I could not stop watching her. She has unique presence and personality, some of the best arms in the company, and I could not stop wishing she was dancing Masha. Columbine is a great role for her, but she should be dancing Masha, Aurora, Syuimbike - and many, many other roles that she would be superb in. The same can be said for Nadia Batoeva, who is a great dramatic ballerina, with superb technique - she is a gorgeous Columbine, but she too should be dancing principal roles - Aurora, Kitri, Nikiya ... Krasnokutskaya too I like - she has a sparky personality and always stands out on stage - and think she could be a fabulous Kitri. And Varentseva is still very young and I saw her Florine debut in Sleeping Beauty. Technically she is accomplished, but of course she needs time to mature and I hope Fateyev will not push her into too many new roles before she is ready. She needs time to develop as an artist although she is certainly promising and I enjoyed her Florine.

Tiara,

I agree with all that you say! Marchuk is truly like when the sun comes out on a cloudy day. I've never seen anyone have such a sunny personality that she/he literally seems to light up a stage! It is truly amazing and uncanny. I think Marchuk could probably cure people's depression! LOL

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Keenan don't dance no solo in Boston. The most she did was one of three dryads.

Here is your henrietta:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vP1IaMzOAE

Renata, please tell me that this clip is just a joke and comes from the old TV show Amateur Hour! The port de bras alone...wow. What on earth is going on with this company?

As for the announcement of Ms Kampa's latest debut as Kitri on January 16, words fail me. They really do.

Maybe all of the recent odd casting decisions, on tour and at home, relate to marketing moves, i.e., in Kampa's case, her contract 'deal' may be linked to getting footage of her in starring roles for the bio-documentary on her story that is currently in the works? The Skorik Revolution may be trying to fill a marketing void (?) also.

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Keenan don't dance no solo in Boston. The most she did was one of three dryads.

Here is your henrietta:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vP1IaMzOAE

Renata, please tell me that this clip is just a joke and comes from the old TV show Amateur Hour! The port de bras alone...wow. What on earth is going on with this company?

As for the announcement of Ms Kampa's latest debut as Kitri on January 16, words fail me. They really do.

Maybe all of the recent odd casting decisions, on tour and at home, relate to marketing moves, i.e., in Kampa's case, her contract 'deal' may be linked to getting footage of her in starring roles for the bio-documentary on her story that is currently in the works? The Skorik Revolution may be trying to fill a marketing void (?) also.

Fortunately, words rarely fail me, and so I will say that I find this DQ casting a complete joke and actually a disgrace. But hopefully the joke will be on Fateyev when his appalling casting decision is well and truly ridiculed by ballet public and press alike. Keenan Kampa does not have the technique, style or personality for this role. It is ludicrous. Where is the crystalline purity required for the Dryad scene? Where is the spitfire footwork and great jump? Where are the expressive port de bras? Where is the sparkling personality for Kitri? Kampa looks terrified every time she steps on stage and not surprisingly - she must know she simply is not up to dancing on it. The Mariinsky has so many wonderful ballerinas who could and should be given a chance to dance this exacting role. What about Stepanova and Batoeva, both newly promoted to coryphee and as yet without a full length ballet role to their name? Krasnokutskaya also would be great in the role. And both Novikova and Martynyuk have already proved themselves wonderful Kitris. If only the true reasons for this oddest of odd casting decision could be brought out into the open, whether marketing or sponsorship related, because at the moment Mariinsky audiences are just being cheated.

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Unfortunately no joke, Natalia. If you think this is bad, check this out:

....Sleeping Beauty Jewels clip....

What makes me most sad about Don Quixote on the 16th is to see talented girls like Nadia Batoeva and Daria Vanestsova as adjuncts.

Renata, I know that you meant well but I got full-metal indigestion, after seeing the rough-cut sapphire between sterling silver and 24-karat gold. In addition to the flapping port de bras, Kampa's big weakness seems to be the huff-n'-puff facial expression with open mouth, gasping for air. Lavrinenko & Chereskevich are cool, calm & collected - every inch the aristocrats, flanking the huff-n'-puff gal. THEN the piece de resistance: Valeria Martinyuk's Diamond/Fairy Brilliant enters the stage and WOW! My indigestion totally cured.

As for Batoeva, she was BORN to be a Kitri, a 100% natural Latina-looking spitfire, with the technique, proportions and schooling to shine in the role. She should be Kitri and not just one of the 2 friends here. (She and Frolova were the super-surprises of the recent Kennedy Center Cinderellas.) Vasnetsova is truly beautiful, elegant and properly schooled; at least she gets a decent solo in her role on the 16th. It will be interesting to see Kitri and Dryad dancing in the Dream Scene, side by side.

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Unfortunately no joke, Natalia. If you think this is bad, check this out:

....Sleeping Beauty Jewels clip....

What makes me most sad about Don Quixote on the 16th is to see talented girls like Nadia Batoeva and Daria Vanestsova as adjuncts.

Renata, I know that you meant well but I got full-metal indigestion, after seeing the rough-cut sapphire between sterling silver and 24-karat gold. In addition to the flapping port de bras, Kampa's big weakness seems to be the huff-n'-puff facial expression with open mouth, gasping for air. Lavrinenko & Nikitina are cool, calm & collected - every inch the aristocrats, flanking the huff-n'-puff gal. THEN the piece de resistance: Valeria Martinyuk's Diamond/Fairy Brilliant enters the stage and WOW! My indigestion totally cured.

As for Batoeva, she was BORN to be a Kitri, a 100% natural Latina-looking spitfire, with the technique, proportions and schooling to shine in the role. She should be Kitri and not just one of the 2 friends here. (She and Frolova were the super-surprises of the recent Kennedy Center Cinderellas.) Vasnetsova is truly beautiful, elegant and properly schooled; at least she gets a decent solo in her role on the 16th. It will be interesting to see Kitri and Dryad dancing in the Dream Scene, side by side.

Agree about Vasnetsova - she is a wonderful classical ballerina and a great dramatic ballerina too. She was simply amazing in all her expressions as Phrygia in Ilya Kuznetsov's Spartacus debut last month, and she was also a superb Florine. She should be dancing principal roles and not wasted on solos. Btw, that is Chereshkevich, not Nikitina, as Silver Fairy in the clip above!

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Thank you for the correction, Tiara! I've edited the original post.

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Well today is the day. Kampa as Kitri. Any news on this premiere yet?

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