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Mariinsky at the Kennedy Center 2013-2014


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#91 Natalia

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 10:47 AM

I was a bit surprised that the lone American on the company's roster, Keenan Kampa, is not on this tour. Also, no Xander Parish, the British member of the troupe, who often dances the Swan lake pas de trois. Very odd. On the other hand, the playbill lists newcomer Alexandra Somova ("lil' sister") as a member of the corps.

 

I'm guessing that those-not-here went to Copenhagen earlier this month. Fateev is 'spreading the wealth' for touring opportunities, it seems.



#92 canbelto

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 11:17 AM

I'm surprised to hear that the overhead diagonal lifts in Act 2 were omitted. I had read reports of tours from other cities that mentioned the omission of the Act 2 lifts but thought that was a one-off thing. Is it now standard practice to omit the Act 2 lifts? 

 

As for the post-baby Somova, here's a video that shows that indeed, she seems to have gained some weight and also muscle tone in her upper and lower body. 

 



#93 Buddy

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 11:21 AM

….I found some parts of her dancing to be so very exquisite (her Odette, and especially the pas de deux, brought my friend and I to tears)….

I've had the great pleasure of seeing only fine live performances by Alina Somova over the years.

 

Not to ignore the rest of your post, Ashley, but of all her qualities, your choice of words, "so very exquisite", is what keeps me glued to her. I hope that she shines brighter and brighter in this regard. I group her with Ulyana Lopatkina, Oxana Skorik, Olga Esina and others at the Mariinsky because of their long-lined, airy and dreamlike beauty.  I'm so glad that so many enjoyed her performance and there should be very fine ones as well from Anastasia Kolegova and Olga Esina.



#94 kika

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 01:12 PM

I saw last night's performance with Somova and Shklyarov and also the afternoon rehearsal with Kolegova and Zyuzin.

 

Had not seen Somova dance in the last three years.  She's developed artistically.  Her Odette was elegant and emotional, and very detailed.  Many individual moments where she used everything-- arms, head, eyes and tempo--to express Odette.   She has more control of her flexibilty, and made use of it with some exquisitely felt attitudes and a really perfect yearning stretch of upper body.  I don't know if it was always there, but she has a glamorous stage presence and I noticed it last night.  She has that glow about her.

 

Opening night of a tour is difficult.  She had great energy and attack, but sometimes, as Odile, it looked a bit out of control.  The fouettes were fast and became somewhat wild-looking, and with an incompletely stretched working leg after the first few singles and doubles (the Russian a la seconde style can be awkward) and, some of Odile's attitude turns were too fast and "spinny" and instead of clearly stopping, she just took the energy from the fast turn straight into the next moment, so your eye picks up that something is wrong and finessed, rather than mastered.  It broke the integrity of the variation for a moment or two. Maybe by Friday things will settle.  She had a striking balance in a very high split a la seconde developpe in the pas de deux, but a member of the audience emitted an exclamation ("ooooohhhh!") while it was still being held (I think), so perhaps we missed an extra-long balance.  She had some gorgeous gleaming Odile moments, but I did more especially like her Odette.

 

Along with others here, I also notice the turned-in passe in the pique turns.  But in fact many of the Russian dancers in various companies do the same.  It's as if for a moment they stop being classically-trained dancers, and step up on their pointes and spin around on one leg for fun.  It's eccentric, and you get used to it as part of the deal, along with the sometimes thudding landings which last night made the corps at times sound like a herd.

 

Shklyarov is pleasant-looking on stage and has beautiful lines, but he seemed a bit "not quite on" last night.  The jumps were nice, but the turns were forced and his performance seemed a bit vague and far away.  I remember him running a lot, and some elegant arabesques, and some good jumps, but he never really danced.   A wonderful performer having an off night maybe.  In any case, I did muse on what a great partner last night's von Rothbart might be for Somova.  

 

In the Spanish variation both girls were good, particularly the blonde (on right).  I don't know these dancers' names, alas.  As one of the two swans, Gonchar had some beautifully smooth and lyrical moments, especially on the diagonal.  

 

The jester was, for me, a joy to watch.  He has good lines and nice feet, and his dancing had an ease and elasticity to it, with beautiful jumps and no jarring landings nor forced turns.  He also had a perfectly mischievous stage presence.  He was playful and naturally virtuosic, rather than determinedly showy.  I remember some particularly high beautiful tours in cleanly-placed passe.

 

In the afternoon I saw Kolegova and Szusin rehearse.  It always seems slightly unfair to comment much on reheasals, as dancers may be marking and you don't really know how they will look when they actually perform the role.  Kolegova has a pretty face framed with dark hair, like a Disney fairy-tale beauty.  She seemed to have a very solid and attractive technique, soft Odette arms and nice lines.  I really admired her technique and quiet strength and control.  In rehearsal (in performance who knows) she seemed aloof and introverted, but not necessarily in a way that expresses Odette.  But she was nice to just watch for awhile.  After a few minutes my attention strayed to corps members and I noticed some talented young dancers, which is always reassuring.

 

All in all it was a good experience yesterday.  I do wish I had waited until later in the run.  I laugh as I remember that opening night was in past years usually eventful in silly ways, with dropped chalices, small slippery stumbles in variations, and late entrances.  It never really bothered me as long as there was good dancing anyway.  But as Somova seems to have grown so much, I wish I had seen her later in the run, on the chance that after opening night she may settle down and really show the extent of her development.



#95 Buddy

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 01:31 PM

 She has that glow about her.

 

 

I saw Alina Somova at the stage door several years ago in London after performing a long Swan Lake and she was exactly the same in real life (and extremely nice and attentive to those wishing autographs and conversation.)



#96 amiaow

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 02:58 PM

I was a bit surprised that the lone American on the company's roster, Keenan Kampa, is not on this tour. Also, no Xander Parish, the British member of the troupe, who often dances the Swan lake pas de trois. Very odd. On the other hand, the playbill lists newcomer Alexandra Somova ("lil' sister") as a member of the corps.

 

I'm guessing that those-not-here went to Copenhagen earlier this month. Fateev is 'spreading the wealth' for touring opportunities, it seems.

Kampa just had hip surgery- don't know how long she'll be out for but expect it might be a while.



#97 Buddy

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 04:13 PM

I'm surprised to hear that the overhead diagonal lifts in Act 2 were omitted. I had read reports of tours from other cities that mentioned the omission of the Act 2 lifts but thought that was a one-off thing. Is it now standard practice to omit the Act 2 lifts? 

 

 

So sorry to hear about Keenan's hip surgery, amiaow. I hope that she has a speedy and very successful recovery.
 
In regard to the overhead lifts, at the last nine Mariinsky Festivals I believe that they've always been performed by both home and guest artists (including the one Festival when Swan Lake was performed six times!). This is my only knowledge of what might happen on the home stage. 
 
I was at one Chicago string, 2006, and only one of the three ballerinas did them. I got a feeing that they were taking it easy on that tour. Alina Somova did them in London in 2011. As I recall one ballerina did them in one out of three performances while the other two did them both times in Costa Mesa, 2013. In Naples, Italy last autumn, I believe two of the three ballerinas omitted them. My guess is that it's more likely to occur in places that aren't familiar with the Mariinsky. I don't mean to imply that they lower their standards overall, because from what I've seen they don't. This is the only major technical challenge that I've noticed omitted.
 
Is that more than you ever wanted to know about this? Just trying to keep the ball rolling until we start hearing about the next performance. happy.png
 
Added comment:
 
Rock the house, Anastasia !


#98 amckean

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 07:06 PM

Thanks so much for your perspectives on Somova--very helpful since as a first time viewer, you only get a snapshot and not the full picture.  What an exquisite Odette and, yes, with some technical issues as Odile, but it does mean a lot that she has improved so much over the years.  I have had many opportunities to follow NYCB and ABT through the years but have seen very little of the Russian companies and so do not have the same perspective on or knowledge of their style or dancers.  I have to say that I tend to favor the American companies but I think it may be because it is just logistically easier to follow them and become familiar with their individual dancers at all levels in the company.  So I very much appreciate hearing the perspectives of others who love and know the Russian dancers so well.



#99 canbelto

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 08:52 PM

I'm surprised to hear that the overhead diagonal lifts in Act 2 were omitted. I had read reports of tours from other cities that mentioned the omission of the Act 2 lifts but thought that was a one-off thing. Is it now standard practice to omit the Act 2 lifts?

So sorry to hear about Keenan's hip surgery, amiaow. I hope that she has a speedy and very successful recovery.
 
In regard to the overhead lifts, at the last nine Mariinsky Festivals I believe that they've always been performed by both home and guest artists (including the one Festival when Swan Lake was performed six times!). This is my only knowledge of what might happen on the home stage. 
 
I was at one Chicago string, 2006, and only one of the three ballerinas did them. I got a feeing that they were taking it easy on that tour. Alina Somova did them in London in 2011. As I recall one ballerina did them in one out of three performances while the other two did them both times in Costa Mesa, 2013. In Naples, Italy last autumn, I believe two of the three ballerinas omitted them. My guess is that it's more likely to occur in places that aren't familiar with the Mariinsky. I don't mean to imply that they lower their standards overall, because from what I've seen they don't. This is the only major technical challenge that I've noticed omitted.
 
Is that more than you ever wanted to know about this? Just trying to keep the ball rolling until we start hearing about the next performance. :happy:
 
Added comment:
 
Rock the house, Anastasia !

Thanks Buddy! It's interesting that they're always performed at home but seem to be at the dancers' discretion on tour. It's kind of an iconic move too.

#100 YouOverThere

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 09:29 PM

Day 2 (Wednesday): I was much happier with the pair of Anastasia Kolegova and Maxim Zyuzin. None of the off-balance stumbling that plagued the Tuesday pair. Zyuzin made all the movements seem natural, as opposed to Vladimir Shkyarov, who danced like someone who was just learning the part. 



#101 Natalia

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 03:11 AM

I'm surprised to hear that the overhead diagonal lifts in Act 2 were omitted....

 

Canbelto, nobody said that the 'diagonal' lifts were omitted. I wrote that Schklyarov omitted the high (straight-up) lift across the stage (from left to right). The two klunkily-performed diagonal upside-down lifts were indeed performed and must have exhausted Schklyarov because he did not follow them with the high carry-lift that normally follows the diagonal sequence.

 

Quick take on last night: Kolegova and Zyuzin rendered a perfectly acceptable performance last night. She has a face 'to-die-for' and he is most handsome. A better-matched 'petite pair' than Somova/Schklyarov and, besides the size, both were equally fine in their technique and drama. In other words: Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a Siegfried! Yet, I found the 'New Somova' to be much more lyrical and poetic than Kolegova. The pas de trois was even better than on opening night (Latypov, Krasnokutskaya, Ivannikova on Wednesday). Jester not quite as spectacular as at the opening.

 

Editing to add:

Review of the opening night by S. Kaufman, Wash Post:

http://www.washingto...5267_story.html

 

This seems to confirm what many of us saw as 'The Somova Revolution.'



#102 Birdsall

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 06:40 AM

I think Kolegova is the most beautiful ballerina at the Mariinsky, and she is solid from my standpoint. The only thing is, like someone mentioned above, that she is sometimes introverted rather than extroverted in her onstage persona. However, in many things this works wonderfully for me, and she even can muster enough temperament for Odile and when I saw her as Medora her way of protecting Conrad when he has fallen asleep after the flowers, showed that she can be quite powerful in her personality at times. I think her beauty does have an extra effect. I am glad to hear good things about her, because she is one of my favorites, but I could not make the DC tour due to my new job. I hope to see her again this summer when I return to Russia.



#103 abatt

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 07:02 AM

I attended last night's performance.  Kolegova is a beautiful woman with strong technical skills.  However, for me she was too cold.  Her performance lacked drama and I never felt any empathy for her plight.  The only time she displayed any emotion was at the very end after Rothbart dies.   Zyuzin was pretty good, but not remarkable.  The Joker on opening night was better than last's night's performer, who sometimes had sloppy landings and unclear shapes in the air.(My playbill is not immediately available so I don't have his name.) 



#104 cinnamonswirl

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 07:20 AM

For me last night's performance was very bland. I actually preferred the opening night cast. Kolegova, though far securer technically and beautiful to watch, left me cold. Zyuzin was a more ardent suitor than Schklaryov, but very vanilla.

 

How old is Ernest Latipov? His variation was technically impressive, but it looked like he was executing it as a combination in men's jumping class.



#105 Natalia

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 07:43 AM

abatt, last night's jester (or "Joker" as in playbill) was Grigory Popov.

 

Latypov just graduated in 2012 (class of Selyutski) and, indeed, is still very much in "competition mode"! Very young eager beaver (not Bieber, heaven forbid; sorry, could not help myself).

 

Sneak peek, from recent Giselle Peasant PDD:

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=C4wAnyyln9g




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