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Mariinsky Nutcracker


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#1 Birdsall

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 04:34 AM

I am visiting my parents in Jupiter, FL and just saw that a local movie theater will show the Mariinsky's Nutcracker today at 2 pm and 7:30 pm. I found it listed as a Fandango event and appears to be the same as the upcoming DVD release that Amazon lists (Dec. 18 release for the DVD) with Somova and Shklyarov. I didn't know that it would be shown at a movie theater so letting people know in case anyone has interest in it and wasn't aware about this (like me). Check your local theater listings.

#2 Birdsall

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 06:59 AM

Correction: it is listed with Fathom Events, not Fandango!

#3 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 08:58 AM

Thanks for the update!

#4 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 08:33 PM

I just came from the 7:30 showtime. What a disaster...the Mariinsky is in desperate need of a XIX century reconstruction...

#5 Birdsall

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 08:53 PM

I just came from the 7:30 showtime. What a disaster...the Mariinsky is in desperate need of a XIX century reconstruction...


LOL You haven't seen anything yet! Wait till you see the Mariinsky's Chemiakin Nutcracker choreographed by Kiril Simonov! You will see black snowflakes and dead children singing! LOL You will long for the Vainonen version after that!!!

I did think today's Nutcracker was less impressive than the 1994 video that has been available. There were some minor changes too. Pink wigs were gone and replaced with white wigs. The wizard appeared less. The boat that you see Masha and the Prince ride in 1994 is nowhere to be found. Also, I thought in 1994 Larissa Lezhnina performed the entire role from the beginning. Maybe I need to re-watch it. Today, a young girl played Masha until the Mouse King was killed. Then the Nutcracker and she were transformed into Shklyarov and Somova. I thought the Arabian dancers were overall weaker than in 1994 also.

#6 sandik

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 09:35 PM

I went to the matinee in Seattle today, and thought the production did have a dated feel to it (those little antennae on the corps in the Waltz of the Flowers!) But I'm not sure that a revival of the original choreography is their only option -- I do wish that they were better stewards of their classical heritage, but if they are bent on something other than Petipa, there are other Nuts in the world that are more dansant than this.

#7 Natalia

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 05:37 AM

ROTFL! Glad that I didn't waste any money on the DVD!!! I saw a quick 'intro clip' on the Fathom website and saw that this was filmed with the same loopy stro-mo cameras used to film the JEWELS DVD. No thanks. I'll stick with the ca-1990 Philips VHS/DVD starring Larissa Lezhnina and the 2001 Vaganova Graduation film of the last act starring then-student Terioshkina in the grand pas de deux/pas de six!

#8 Birdsall

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:50 AM

Maybe the ad has the loopy cameras like Jewels, but I don't think the actual performance did (I think this was supposed to be in 3-D, but the movie theatre I went to did not do it in 3-D, but maybe that is why the ad looked loopy, but I think overall the 1994 version is a better overall performance. When the flowers dance and the men pick up the women in a line just with their forearms as they are clasping hands yesterday's movie had a guy center constantly looking shaky like he was either going to drop the two women on either side as he lifted his forearms or his arms were going to go out of joint. I am not putting him down. I would shake like that also, but in the 1994 video you see no shaking. There were other tiny moments like that throughout.

#9 wallis

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 08:43 AM

I saw the Mariinsky Nutcracker broadcast last night. A few comments (and I am not a dancer):
I immensely disliked the 3D presentation. It seemed to distort bodies and perspective on the stage so that dancers in the background looked bigger than dancers in the foreground. Most of the dancers in the foreground looked like those Baroque paintings of children- adults in shrunken skinny distortion. Was that an effect of the 3D?
The corp were beautifully synchronized as I expect from the Russian companies... though I did notice many women had the hyperextended expression in tendu (am I even framing this correctly?) I expect it from Somova and thought she maintained more control than I've seen of her in the past. My daughters have been studying with Vaganova school-trained teachers and they teach an exquisite port-de-bras that I just did not see last night. Understanding Petipa preceeded Vaganova - were these arms a choice particularly for this choreography, or is this a new thing at the Mariinsky Ballet? If so, I feel like they've lost their heritage.
I loved the staging, the expressiveness of the children, the dolls, the war scene and the costumes. I loved watching Gergiev conduct the orchestra. However, overall, it felt kinda flat. That could be because Nutcracker is our family's life this time of year.

#10 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 09:57 AM

To start with, the very Imperial stage that gave birth to this ballet, doesn't has it. The Mariinsky DOES NOT has a Nutcracker. The libretto is completely gone,the structure of the ballet altered to unprecedent levels. Yes, the big complain of the Nutcracker either in the XIX Century or now is that balletomanes have to wait until the very end to see the Prima perform the formal Pas, but until now, I have seen by both Alonso and Balanchine that this can be fixed without having to alter the story and its characters. Whereas Mr. B chooses to make it more children-inspired and speed up the ballerina variation earlier in the second act, or Alonso decides to have three ballerinas on pointe in the begining, the middle and the end of the ballet-(Clara, Snow Queen and Fee-Dragee)-with their respective partenaires and a formal pas each one, they still preserve the second act as what it was envisioned by their creators: a feast from Dragee to her guests, who are always seen onstage watching the dancing and enjoying the celebrations. In the Mariinsky this is all lost. The second act is merely a set of divertissements with no hostess and no guests from a foreign land. What a mess. Instead we have Masha/Clara/Sugar Plum all in one dancing a pseudo version of the Rose Adagio, even using some men from the previous Waltz of the Flowers. The ballet is weak in its dancing aspect, true, but its main fault is structural.

#11 Cygnet

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 11:30 AM

ROTFL! Glad that I didn't waste any money on the DVD!!! I saw a quick 'intro clip' on the Fathom website and saw that this was filmed with the same loopy stro-mo cameras used to film the JEWELS DVD. No thanks. I'll stick with the ca-1990 Philips VHS/DVD starring Larissa Lezhnina and the 2001 Vaganova Graduation film of the last act starring then-student Terioshkina in the grand pas de deux/pas de six!

This past weekend, Ovation TV showed this intro clip after every commercial during it's annual "Battle of the Nutcrackers" competition. I'm ITA with you Natalia: The roving cameras don't work for me either. It seems that the Mariinsky is the (only?) company that's doing this: "Jewels," Lopatkina/Korsuntsev "Swan Lake," and now this. The 1994 NHK Lezhnina/Baranov dvd is the one to get for the Vainonen production. I was fortunate enough to see Lara Lezhnina and Victor Baranov live in 1992 in that production. That dvd also has the unsurpassed conducting of the late maestro Victor Fedotov.

#12 Natalia

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 11:33 AM

Don't forget that the Mariinsky version has little to do with Petipa/Ivanov, with the exception of music and general scenario.. This is the 1930s Vasily Vainonen version, which became the 'standard' in the Soviet World, inspiring Grigorovich's own version (which also was replicated throughout the Soviet Orbit). You'll notice that NO CHILDREN are employed in the Vainonen version, which may account for the 'children' looking like miniature adults because that's exactly what you saw. Don't blame that on 3D! The only exception is Flutes Pas de Trois, danced by real children. Ditto Grigorovich - no children (but lots of freaky candelabri).

There is more Imperial-Era Nutcracker in the versions staged in the West by Russian emigrees, such as Balanchine (Russian 'hoop dance' is straight from the original) and the Royal Ballet (large portions staged via the Sergeev Harvard notes, including Waltz of the Snowflakes).

#13 Cygnet

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 11:42 AM

Don't forget that the Mariinsky version has little to do with Petipa/Ivanov, with the exception of music and general scenario.. This is the 1930s Vasily Vainonen version, which became the 'standard' in the Soviet World, inspiring Grigorovich's own version (which also was replicated throughout the Soviet Orbit). You'll notice that NO CHILDREN are employed in the Vainonen version, which may account for the 'children' looking like miniature adults because that's exactly what you saw. Don't blame that on 3D! The only exception is Flutes Pas de Trois, danced by real children. Ditto Grigorovich - no children (but lots of freaky candelabri).

There is more Imperial-Era Nutcracker in the versions staged in the West by Russian emigrees, such as Balanchine (Russian 'hoop dance' is straight from the original) and the Royal Ballet (large portions staged via the Sergeev Harvard notes, including Waltz of the Snowflakes).

Grigorovich's version also has the Alfred Hitchcock "Psycho" 'Mother' wigs in the Snowflakes Waltz. I've never gotten used to that. The other "Nutcracker" at the Mariinsky, the Simonov, Chemiankin designed production, is based on
Chemiakin's artistic vision, and the Hoffmann short story moreso than the Vainonen production. The best part is
the Serpent Dance (Arab Dance), with a charismatic ballerina (like Kondaurova or Pavlenko). The role of Masha
is pedestrian; she doesn't dance en pointe until the Act 2 pdd. The music soars but the choreography doesn't.
I like the Royal's version very much - especially the Ivanov pdd in Act 2 where the music soars and the choreography
matches it.

#14 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 11:45 AM

There is more Imperial-Era Nutcracker in the versions staged in the West by Russian emigrees, such as Balanchine (Russian 'hoop dance' is straight from the original) and the Royal Ballet (large portions staged via the Sergeev Harvard notes, including Waltz of the Snowflakes).


Let's not forget all the Fedorova-(an Imperial dancer herself)- continuity too via BRMC and BT, America's first pre 1917 clues on the ballet...mostly preserved in the Grand Pas.

Ditto Grigorovich - no children (but lots of freaky candelabri).


Ah...that damned candelabra..! Posted Image

#15 wallis

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 12:46 PM

Don't forget that the Mariinsky version has little to do with Petipa/Ivanov, with the exception of music and general scenario.. This is the 1930s Vasily Vainonen version, which became the 'standard' in the Soviet World, inspiring Grigorovich's own version (which also was replicated throughout the Soviet Orbit). You'll notice that NO CHILDREN are employed in the Vainonen version, which may account for the 'children' looking like miniature adults because that's exactly what you saw. Don't blame that on 3D! The only exception is Flutes Pas de Trois, danced by real children. Ditto Grigorovich - no children (but lots of freaky candelabri).

There is more Imperial-Era Nutcracker in the versions staged in the West by Russian emigrees, such as Balanchine (Russian 'hoop dance' is straight from the original) and the Royal Ballet (large portions staged via the Sergeev Harvard notes, including Waltz of the Snowflakes).


The dancers playing children in the party scene were clearly students, not adults. Young teens. Long, very slender young teens.

Our school, as a Russian emigree-owned school, puts on a Nutcracker that is Petipa-based, explaining the differences with the show I saw last night.
This is so much fun to learn about, thanks all!


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