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Mariinsky Live 3D Cine-cast of Swan Lake, June 6Rescheduled from Feb. 14


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#91 Birdsall

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 08:55 AM

By the time I saw the announcement of the movie showing at Mariinsky II, the live performance was sold out. I don't know when the announcement about the film showing went up originally, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was only after the tickets for the performance itself were gone. I agree that the best would have been a free showing on the square in front of the theater, but I think they are trying to make this a huge special event and feature the whole 'arts complex.' So they are saying--well you couldn't get into the live showing but you can watch it in a "special" glamorous setting (uh...the New Mariinsky).


You are probably right.
It makes some sense when you put it that way, but in an ideal world they would have had live shows planned for Mariinsky II when they opened. I am getting the sense that they don't have enough staff to put together shows for both houses every night and are still flying by the seat of their pants. I suspect that is probably normal at the beginning. Maybe both houses will be more solidly booked next season.

#92 Natalia

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 04:09 PM

It's bad enough that they'll be presenting nearly a month of the Broadway musical My Fair Lady yet again (as of mid-July). I hate to be a snob but...really? The city is full of 'musical theater'-type stages that specialize in such shows. I find it a sad moment when a grand historic opera-ballet house like THE Mariinsky has to turn to 'pop fare' like musicals and circus acts (as at the Mikhailovsky of late) to fill-out the repertoire.

#93 Birdsall

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 05:25 PM

It's bad enough that they'll be presenting nearly a month of the Broadway musical My Fair Lady yet again (as of mid-July). I hate to be a snob but...really? The city is full of 'musical theater'-type stages that specialize in such shows. I find it a sad moment when a grand historic opera-ballet house like THE Mariinsky has to turn to 'pop fare' like musicals and circus acts (as at the Mikhailovsky of late) to fill-out the repertoire.


I agree with this. So far (notice I say so far) the Metropolitan Opera does not put on musicals, although Lyric Opera of Chicago has (I think they are doing Oklahoma this season). I think La Scala has put on Westside Story during the summer several years ago, if I remember correctly. I hated the thought of La Scala doing that.

I think this is the second summer in a row that they are doing My Fair Lady. It is actually a nice musical, but it does not belong at the Mariinsky.

But many of my friends (when they find out I am an opera lover or past opera lover, now an opera hater b/c everything has gone downhill and I can only complain....LOL) tell me how much they love Phantom of the Opera thinking they are relating to me. They don't realize it isn't an opera.

And I suspect most tourists seeing My Fair Lady at the Mariinsky will tell their friends, "Oh, we saw the opera My Fair Lady at the Mariinsky!"

#94 Natalia

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 05:36 AM

....And I suspect most tourists seeing My Fair Lady at the Mariinsky will tell their friends, "Oh, we saw the opera My Fair Lady at the Mariinsky!"


True. Unfortunately, these are the same sorts who applaud inept ballerinas in Swan Lake. No wonder that Mariinsky Central Casting doesn't give a hoot about quality, even on tour - ESPECIALLY on tour to any place but London, Paris or NY. (Fateev knows that he can't pull the wool over the eyes of the few truly-knowledgeable audiences in balletdom....and when he does -- as in Romeo & Juliet/London a few years ago -- there is hell to pay.)

#95 Drew

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 06:58 AM

I actually doubt many American tourists in St. Petersburg will be particularly thrilled at seeing My Fair Lady--they may not be outraged or they may think it's charming, but I'm skeptical they believe for an instant that the Mariinsky does a better My Fair Lady than they would see at a West End or Broadway revival. Undoubtedly they would rather see Swan Lake than The Little Humpbacked Horse for the most part--but My Fair Lady? I doubt it. Local audiences may feel differently. I hope not, but I don't know.

I also agree that when tourists see inept ballerinas they will often just be vaguely unimpressed even if they applaud. Bart Birdsall wrote something similar above. They may well think 'what's the big fuss about the ballet.'(I only say "they" because we aren't talking about balletomane tourists--I certainly will be a tourist if my visit to St. Petersburg comes off--with most if not all of a tourist's follies.)

It's hard to say over the long term what the damage will be to the "Mariinsky"--especially if the problem remains limited to a bit of bizarre or, at any rate, controversial casting. This June, the casting that has been listed indicates Kondaurova and even Lopatkina and Vishneva are dancing more than Skorik who is scheduled so far for one Bayadere. And if the corps and soloists remain at the overall level of the company's great tradition, then it can probably weather a few ballerina storms, however unpleasant those are for dancers and fans. I agree that the school and its standards are a key issue here.

But certainly My Fair Lady is a depressing sign of the times. Very much so. I would have wept had I planned a trip to St. Petersburg and discovered that was what they were doing.

#96 Birdsall

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 07:50 PM

The new cinema tab on the Mariinsky's website also has a link to the full cast for June 6's Swan Lake. Of course, this casting could change by June 6, but at least it gives us an idea of who we should see.

I guess since this is a special event at the movies they found the time and effort to make the full casting info available. They never provide this much casting info normally on the site. In contrast, the Bolshoi often gives this much casting info on its site.


http://www.mariinsky...s/cast_list.pdf

#97 volcanohunter

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 06:37 AM

[size=4]

‘It takes eight large cameras including three in the stalls and one on a crane above the dancers, as well as on stage and in the orchestra pit.

'It’s not discreet, it will feel more like a Hollywood set than a theatre for the night but it really captures movement in space. With a pirouette, when the dancer’s leg extends it flies immediately at you. It’s just stunning.’

[/size]http://www.dailymail...a-near-you.html

Ah yes, the Mariinsky skycam. Nevertheless, I'm keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best.

#98 Tiara

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 02:57 AM


‘It takes eight large cameras including three in the stalls and one on a crane above the dancers, as well as on stage and in the orchestra pit.

'It’s not discreet, it will feel more like a Hollywood set than a theatre for the night but it really captures movement in space. With a pirouette, when the dancer’s leg extends it flies immediately at you. It’s just stunning.’

http://www.dailymail...a-near-you.html

Ah yes, the Mariinsky skycam. Nevertheless, I'm keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best.

I don't like the skycam. I like to see the film as though I'm viewing from the audience, although I do like close-ups - but the skycam seems an unnatural shot.

#99 Ilya

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 07:25 PM

[size=4][font=Helvetica]Just back from the Mariinsky Swan Lake which I saw in 2D. A perfect all-around disaster. Interminable videos before each of the three acts: Maestro Gergiev talking various nonsense into the camera, Maestro Gergiev conducting bits of Tchaikovsky's Symphony #4, a random ballet dancer doing a pirouette on a staircase in the Winter Palace, the hostess (supermodel Natalia Vodianova) providing inane, cringe-worthy commentary from a poorly memorized script, etc. The hostess actually forgot Kondaurova's name when interviewing her husband Islom Baimuradov before the second act, and kept calling him "Islam". All this caused the actual performance to begin around 7pm instead of the announced start time of 6:30pm, and end after 10pm. Considering that this was a recording, what's the point?[/font][/size]

[font=Helvetica][size=3][size=4]Then there were horrendous camera angles. Close-ups of corps dancers while the entire corps was dancing. Close-ups of dancers sitting or standing next to the wings while somebody else was dancing outside of the camera shot. Distracting cut-aways which broke the continuity of dancing. Poor lighting which made von Rothbart indistinguishable from the background most of the time. (Interestingly, the lighting on Maestro Gergiev in the pit was always very good[/size][/size][/font][font="Helvetica"].)[/font]

[font=Helvetica][size=3][size=4]Then there were problems with the orchestra. Bad notes from multiple sections in the orchestra during the first act, plus lack of coordination between Gergiev and the dancers---on several occasions, the orchestra and a dancer would finish at very different times.[/size][/size][/font]

[font=Helvetica][size=3][size=4]Kondaurova is a great dancer, and Timur Askerov---who I was watching for the first time---is excellent as well, but there was little chemistry between them and not much emotion or expressiveness. It didn't help that Kondaurova had two slips during the "white" adagio.[/size][/size][/font]

#100 Birdsall

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 04:37 AM

By the way, Anastasia Kolegova was the ballerina going up the stairs during the intermission features and looking at the book and doing the pirouettes while Sleeping Beauty music played. She is a great ballerina. Beautiful too. She's not as famous as Kondaurova or Lopatkina, etc., but she should be!

But it was sort of cheesy to add those bits inside the Winter Palace, and I am not quite sure what the point was. But I can't complain whenever I see her. I also enjoyed the shots of St. Petersburg.

Natalia Vodianova is beautiful but should not quit her day job as model! LOL It is obvious her forte is standing and looking pretty, not speaking!!!

A friend in Chicago saw it in 3D (I saw it in 2D), and he said the picture was blurry and 3D did not work well. He thinks the Pace company messed up with the 3D, but isn't sure if it was just his movie theater that had problems or worldwide. Can anyone who saw this in 3D tell their experience?

One of the worst moments of filming the wrong moment was the camera staying on Askerov as he takes flowers on the side as the corps is dancing and many moments that dancing was ignored to show a moment like that. I always expect moments like this, but they still make me shake my head. Why don't the cameramen know we want to see the dancing, not Askerov getting flowers from the Jester or whoever????

Yes, some of the notes coming from the orchestra were amazingly bad!!

I was wondering if the biggest slip was caused by Askerov, because he was finishing turning her when that happened, and then during other supported turns she was leaning a lot and he had to pull her upright. That can be his fault also.

Kondaurova comes alive, in my personal opinion, when she plays strong women (or biyotches in this case). To me her whole personality lights up as the Black Swan, whereas her Odette is good but nothing incredible (this is my own personal opinion, and I am sure some disagree with me). I think her Carmen is also very good. To me she is a very extroverted dancer so her personality simply fits the more extroverted parts. In contrast, Lopatkina seems like an introverted dancer so she does better at Odette than she does at Odile. I think a gala with Lopatkina as Odette and Kondaurova as Odile might be a fun idea. It would sell tickets for sure!!!

I felt Andrei Yermakov as Rothbart demonstrated true Vaganova style with the famous Russian rubber spine that can bend backward so well plus the famous Vaganova arms. I think he showed off the style that the Mariinsky is famous for whereas Askerov was very stiff and I think it is simply his physical make-up. Askerov is very tight and and stiff in the neck and shoulders which is unusual for a Mariinsky dancer. Some people said they would prefer him to Ivanchenko, who was originally cast, but even though Askerov is fresher, younger and maybe bouncier, I think Ivanchenko looks more like a Vaganova trained dancer even though he phones it in all the time and doesn't really excite. He is also a more reliable partner. For last night I think I would have preferred to swap the two main males. Yermakov as Prince Siegfried and Askerov as Rothbart.

In all fairness Skorik did so much better than she usually does as one of the 2 swans. I think her issue must be a stamina or nervousness thing. This is why Fateyev should keep her in smaller roles like this until she is ready to move on.

It was a joy to see up-and-coming dancers like Batoeva (one of the prince's friends), Marchuk (among Little swans), Nikitina (one of the 2 swans), and Stepanova (one of the big swans). It was also nice to catch glimpses of Martynyuk, Ivanova, Vasnetsova, etc.

This was fun to see, but I am not sure it was a performance that needed to be preserved on dvd. I imagine the dvd will use footage from both nights to edit out the minor slips.

#101 abatt

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 05:15 AM

I agree with much of what was written above. The length was interminable because they started late and they added all of these interviews. Vodianova was a disaster as the host. The lighting was horrible. It diminished the entire experience of seeing the ballet.

I thought Kondourova was beautifully fluid and tender as Odette. Her extension is gorgeous. Except for those two slips (she did not fall though!), she gave a marvelous performance. Her nerves seemed to settle down by the time the Black Swan section started. I'm also not sure whether one of those slips could be attributed to parter Askerov. Askerov was slightly stiff, but he danced his own solos very well. Some of the partnering, though, was a little off. (The more ballet I see, the more I am convinced that ABT's Gomes is one of the greatest dance actors of his generation.) Xander Parish is a gorgeous dancer. I've always wanted to see Kondourova do SL, so despite the various negatives of the film, I was happy that I attended.

#102 Amy Reusch

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 08:38 AM

Sounds as badly directed as the Osipova/Sarafanov Giselle. I'm very sorry to hear this and a little less sorry to have missed the performance. I wish they would use the production team that does Britain's Royal Ballet productions as these seem generally well thought out and sensitively shot, but perhaps there are diplomatic issues that would block this? Why on earth isn't there a competent director & crew for shooting the Maryinsky? This is a country famous for its love of ballet!

#103 chiapuris

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 11:48 AM

We just read in yesterday's paper, our cinema was showing Swan Lake Live at the Mariinsky, on June 6 6:30.

The pair was the wondrous Ekaterina Kondaurova and Timur Askerov .
the pddtrois was Xander Parish, N Batoeva, M Shirinkina.

Tha cinematography was amateurish. Gergiev's kept telling us that the photography was 3D and told us we were getting to see the NEW stage.
We didn't. What a disaster. The narrator who was introduced by the conductor as a gorgeous model, was a gorgeous model but had no preparation whatsoever to talk about Tschaikovsky or of ballet. (She forgot Kondaurova's name while the interviewee's husband , Islom, gave her the name.)

Kondaurova, after some slips, brought forth her prodigious virtuosic tachnique to accomplish the Odette/Odile feats.
Askerov seems wooden.

Can't fault the dancers.
Gergiev needs to get first rate technical personnel.

#104 Cygnet

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 02:32 PM

Thanks Chiapuris for this report. I'm surprised and shocked that Academy Award winning "Avatar" director, James Cameron's cinematography was "amateurish." Kondaurova is a superlative Odette/Odile. Timur Askerov is a slight upgrade from Yevgeny Ivanchenko, but really, Kondaurova deserves a Siegfried who has a pulse. Personally, I think that Maestro Gergiev's gimmicky use of his Ballet, and the apparent disdain he has for the company explains the il-informed, il-prepared spokesmodel, the lack of first rate technical personnel to match the much hyped and ballyhooed upgrades of the Mariinsky 2, and his complete misuse of this new opera house as a glorified Rave Cinema.

#105 volcanohunter

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 02:54 PM

Who was listed as director of the broadcast? I suspect the film had two things going against it. One would be James Cameron's team, instead of a crew that specializes in filming live theater performances. I don't blame cameramen who are following instructions. I blame the director for choosing lousy shots, and since there are multiple films of this production available for reference, there's no excuse for not mapping out a good plan.

The other problem was probably Valery Gergiev, who does not specialize in conducting live ballets. I remember a terrible moment in the Mariinsky's 3D Nutcracker at the end of Act 1, when the snowflakes seemed to be totally lost as they made their exit. It was probably the only time I'd ever seen the Mariinsky's corps completely out of sync and off the music. I figured it had to have been Gergiev's fault and that it wouldn't have happened with a journeyman ballet conductor on the podium.


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