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Mariinsky at the Kennedy Center 2013-2014


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#106 Buddy

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 10:30 AM

Thanks, Natalia, for your thoughts about last night and for alerting us to this very fine, poetic and sensitively supportive review from Sarah Kaufman that I'd like to reread much more carefully.
 
Birdsall, I share your admiration and 'love' for Anastasia Kolegova. She's a Sweetheart !  In addition, she's an excellently and beautifully competent dancer, who has subtly captured my respect and my heart.
 
Tonight, Olga !   flowers.gif


#107 soubrette_fan

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 10:56 AM

I also attended last night, sitting in the orchestra, row R.  In this day and age of 3D televisions and other over-hyped electronics, it was such a relief to see a fully-packed house! 

 

Although I was impressed with Kolegova overall, for me she particularly came alive during her performance as Odile.  It was as if a light turned on, and heightened every aspect of her personality - she was absolutely beautiful.

 

During one of the ethnic dances in the second act (I'm embarrased to admit, I don't know which one), there were two couples dancing, with one (shorter) male wearing brown tights, and the other (tall male) wearing white tights.  I could not take my eyes off of the one wearing white tights - his footwork and port de bras were impeccable.  I heard the gentleman sitting one seat over from me say the same.



#108 Natalia

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 11:37 AM

.....

Although I was impressed with Kolegova overall, for me she particularly came alive during her performance as Odile.  It was as if a light turned on, and heightened every aspect of her personality - she was absolutely beautiful.

 

During one of the ethnic dances in the second act (I'm embarrased to admit, I don't know which one), there were two couples dancing, with one (shorter) male wearing brown tights, and the other (tall male) wearing white tights.  I could not take my eyes off of the one wearing white tights - his footwork and port de bras were impeccable.  I heard the gentleman sitting one seat over from me say the same.

 

ITA with you, soubrette_fan, about Kolegova. I kept thinking to myself, "What an ideal performance it would be to have Somova as Odette and Kolegova as Odile." One is a cool 'Nordic' lady with ultra-long limbs and the other a petite 'Latina-looking' spitfire. The Ying and the Yang. Any Siegfried would be dumb not to tell them apart - that's the problem is casting a different ballerina for each role.

 

You seem to describe the Spanish Dance (just 2 couples). The guy in the light outfit dances with Anastasia Petushkova...I'm 99% sure that it is/was Kamil Yangurazov, who was a huge hit in DC a few seasons ago as Espada in DON Q.



#109 canbelto

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 11:42 AM

Isn't Somova no longer blonde? Recent photos of her show her with brown hair.

#110 Buddy

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 05:02 PM

I think that these brief thoughts are appropriate and hopefully in the spirit of the wonderful art that is being seen this week in Washington DC.

 

Sarah Kaufman, in her recent review, starts out by citing the current 'real life concerns' in the Russian ballet world and then summarizes by saying:

 

"What a relief that the art prevails."

 

I, on the other hand, recalled what Tamara Rojo said awhile back in regard to being the new artistic director of the English Nation Ballet. She said that she always felt that the art came first but now she feels that 

 

the Welfare of the humans performing the art comes first. 

 

How to reconcile these two perhaps contradictory points of view ?

 

I think that if you see the art as the human expression of a higher ideal, even a personally liberating and perhaps even transcending power, then, in fact, the art and the wellbeing of the humans performing the art can become the same thing, a very good thing.

 

This is not to negate the importance of the basic welfare of the artists. Hopefully the 'Houses' of Bolshoi and Mariinsky-Vaganova will manage to deal with matters that seem to need some necessary attention and come somewhat closer to the ideals expressed in their artistry. The artists, above all, seem to be compelled by a higher ideal. This is for the good of everyone.

 

So I, for one, if I were fortunate enough the be in Washington DC, would want to enjoy these great performances as much as possible. They are what, for many of us, lift us above so many daily concerns, adding joy and value to our lives, hopefully encouraging as healthy and inspiring a real world condition as possible.

 

So once again, thanks, everyone, for passing on your thoughts about these performances which I hope, overall, are a most joyful and inspiring experience. 



#111 amiaow

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 07:42 PM

AFAIK Somova has been her natural brunette for many years.



#112 Natalia

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 03:41 AM

AFAIK Somova has been her natural brunette for many years.

 

Wasn't she blonde in the recent NUTCRACKER DVD - performed just before maternity leave & released Xmas 2012? Somova is one of those ladies who flips her hair color from one day to the next, e.g., brunette for her DC Nikiyas in January 2008, then pale-blonde two months later in NYC (when she danced one act of Bayadere at City Center). She'll probably be back to blonde next week. :)



#113 Natalia

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 03:59 AM

Cast 3 starring Olga Esina and Timur Askerov last night...

 

Oh dear, I was hoping that someone else (abatt? anyone else?) would have beaten me to the punch here. Let's just say that Esina must have had an off day. Nothing 'terrible' but....very little sparkled. Especially when compared to the marvels of Cast 1 and the (mostly) felicitous Cast 2.  Beautiful face, womanly tall figure - Olga Esina is a true beauty. It's a shame that she is so unflexible that her torso tips forward when she tries to achieve a 90-degree first arabesque...and first arabesque is rather important in this ballet. She also has a nasty habbit of hunching her shoulders & neck area, which was quite distracting. Every time she did it, my mind 'replayed' Somova or Kolegova's stick-straight torsos/neck/shoulders. Worst of all - to me, she is the most 'affectated' of the three female leads this week...every bow was exactly the same, every 'face' she made seemed rehearsed to the nth degree. One sees her calculations and effort. Not fresh. Sorry, as I remember Esina as a perfectly lovely Dryad Queen in DON Q or Fairy Violente in BEAUTY.

 

For the record - the 32 fouettes were pulled off, starting with one double, then the rest singles. She did not travel a-la-Somova...and the 'attack' of the fouettes was softer than either of the two previous Odiles.

 

Then the good surprise of the night: Timur Askerov! Yes - Timur Askerov!... showing why he won the Moscow IBC gold medal a year or two ago. Boy, has he improved since I last saw him 'live' at one of the Mariinsky Festivals, partnering Skorik. Not only has he greatly enhanced the presentation of his 'line' -- that neck seems to have stretched to twice its previous length! -- but he is THE most engaging and likeable Siegfried of the run. He pulled me into his world more than did Schlyarov and Zyuzin on previous nights. BRAVO, TIMUR!

 

Most of the other soloists were repeats from Cast 1, except that the Jester/Joker of Cast 1, the amazing Vladislav Shumakov, was the male lead in the A2 Neapolitan Dance...and nearly stole the Ballroom Scene. Alexei Nedviga was a perfectly capable jester last night, without the pizzaz or fireworks of Shumakov at the opener. Alexei Popov popped-off an even more brilliant A1 Pas de Trois variation than he did at the opening night, this time finishing the variation with a longer pirouette and perfectly-timed final pose to the knee. Bravissimo!!!

 

The corps of swans, as wondrous as ever, despite a quick fall by one of the four Big Swans in their 'pas de quartre waltz' in scene 2.

 

So that's it for me and the Mariinsky this time around. I look forward to other reports of Cast 3 and all reviews of the Fri/Sat/Sunday 'repeat casts.'

 

p.s. - Despite the wonderful casts on view in DC, I finish my visit to the KennCenter with a sadness that we were not able to see Lopatkina...or 'Big Red' Kondaurova...or Terioshkina....or Matvienko...or even Vishneva (who at least appears at ABT).... But I'm grateful for what & who I saw. Maybe the 'plan' was to let 'New Somova' shine in all of her glory? smile.png



#114 abatt

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 05:07 AM

I agree that Askerov was the best Siegfried of the Mariinsky run.  He has a beautiful technique, and he also did very well with the acting.  I wasn't quite as turned off as Natalia by Esina.  Popov was fantastic in the pas de trois.  Good to see you last night, Natalia!



#115 maps

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 05:21 AM

Cast 3 starring Olga Esina and Timur Askerov last night...

 

Oh dear, I was hoping that someone else (abatt? anyone else?) would have beaten me to the punch here. Let's just say that Esina must have had an off day. Nothing 'terrible' but....very little sparkled...

Then the good surprise of the night: Timur Askerov! Yes - Timur Askerov!... showing why he won the Moscow IBC gold medal a year or two ago...  Alexei Popov ... Bravissimo!!!

 

The corps of swans, as wondrous as ever, despite a quick fall by one of the four Big Swans in their 'pas de quartre waltz' in scene 2.

 

So that's it for me and the Mariinsky this time around. I look forward to other reports of Cast 3 and all reviews of the Fri/Sat/Sunday 'repeat casts.'

 

p.s. - Despite the wonderful casts on view in DC, I finish my visit to the KennCenter with a sadness that we were not able to see Lopatkina...or 'Big Red' Kondaurova...or Terioshkina....or Matvienko...or even Vishneva (who at least appears at ABT).... But I'm grateful for what & who I saw. Maybe the 'plan' was to let 'New Somova' shine in all of her glory? smile.png

The program lists Kolegeva/Zyuzin for Sat matinee and Esina/Askerov Sat eve.  KC website update

http://www.kennedy-c...ts/?event=BOBSG now shows the principal cast was flipped. 

 

 Perhaps she has a physical issue and there will be a 4rth Swan Queen at the Sat matinee.



#116 Natalia

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 06:38 AM

 ....saw OR and Somova/Shklyarov on Tues.  The program lists Kolegeva/Zyuzin for Sat matinee and Esina/Askerov Sat eve.  KC website update

http://www.kennedy-c...ts/?event=BOBSG now shows the principal cast was flipped. 

 

[Esina]... Perhaps she has a physical issue and there will be a 4rth Swan Queen at the Sat matinee.  Many people are seeing multiple shows for this run. 

 

Maps, that's interesting, as Saturday nights are considered as 'high-prestige' as openings. It was to be Esina/Askerov and now it has flipped? Wow. You mention a "4th swan queen" but I still count three in the KennCen web casting. Who might that be - Vasnetsova, who has danced the role a couple of times back home & is here as a Big Swan? Yulia Stepanova, who should be dancing the role by now? I would do 'standing room' for either of those long-neglected ladies!

 

By the way, I would not mock Esina's back/hunching with the volleyball metaphor...she was not *that* bad, even though the mannerisms bothered me. Fouettes were fine - just singles but she did them steadily, without Somova's 'punching' manner. Somova's big problems on Tuesday came in the 'Black pdd' - the coda &, earlier, the solo, where she went for double pirouette-in-attitude and messed all of the stops (shaky). Esina, on the other hand, opted for single pirouettes-in-attitude in her 'black solo' and had smooth stops/poses.

 

One last note: Who is "OR"?  You mention seeing "OR" on Tuesday.



#117 maps

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 07:20 AM

http://www.kennedy-c...ts/?event=BOBSG

Wed., Jan 29 at 7:30 p.m. & Sat., Feb. 1 at 7:30 p.m.
Anastasia Kolegova, Maxim Zyuzin

Thu., Jan. 30, Sat., Feb. 1 at 1:30 p.m.
Olga Esina, Timur Askerov

 

OR was open rehearsal.  I wasn't mocking Esina just questionning if that imagery was descriptive.  If she is injured what happens?  Hence my speculation on a 4rth and the Sat matinee. 



#118 California

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 08:51 AM

I saw the first three performances plus the rehearsal Tuesday. I was mainly interested in getting a good look in person (something other than DVDs) at the legendary corps and they didn't disappoint. (Was it just me or do these people have the noisiest pointe shoes on the planet? Even just crossing one foot over the other made a loud clunk.)

 

But some of the partnering by the principals seemed odd to me, especially lifts. The Seigfrieds (and Rothbarts) squat deep and lift from the legs, as they should. But then they do what looks like a strenuous push upward to get Odette into position. It felt like "heave-ho" to me again and again and you could see the strain and struggle with the men, especially if they had to promenade.

 

There's another awkward moment near the end of the white swan PdD. He kneels on one knee and she stands on one foot on his forward leg. He then holds her precariously with one hand at the waist. Very impressive. But getting out of that position was akward for all three of the couples. She swung one leg forward and off, like jumping off a ledge. Nobody made it work well.

 

After being spoiled by the likes of Gillian Murphy and Natalia Osipova, the fouettes were all pretty disappointing. Nobody should be throwing in doubles if they can't do the sequence well. Esina was the worst, even though she stayed with singles -- she has a strange way of bending her whipping leg around that just seemed clumsy to me, like her foot was at an odd place.

 

I was disappointed in the management of the rehearsal. No announcement. No hand-out to tell us who was dancing, like they do at both NYCB and ABT. I saw a lot of people with audio sets, but have no idea where those came from or what they were hearing. They weren't handing them out as you walked into the theater. Maybe I need new glasses, but I thought the dark-haired Odette at the rehearsal was Kolegova.



#119 Natalia

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 09:14 AM

http://www.kennedy-c...ts/?event=BOBSG

Wed., Jan 29 at 7:30 p.m. & Sat., Feb. 1 at 7:30 p.m.
Anastasia Kolegova, Maxim Zyuzin

Thu., Jan. 30, Sat., Feb. 1 at 1:30 p.m.
Olga Esina, Timur Askerov

 

OR was open rehearsal.  I wasn't mocking Esina just questionning if that imagery was descriptive.  If she is injured what happens?  Hence my speculation on a 4rth and the Sat matinee. 

 

Got it! So no cast changes - just the 'flip' of the two Saturday casts, I see.

 

Well, the intermission before the last act seemed longer than usual, which had me wondering if someone was indeed ill or injured. When the lights finally went down, I saw coaches and Fateev dashing to their seats in the near-dark...they are usually in just before lights go down. Something was happening backstage during that intermission, although it could have been mechanical or having to do with the set, etc.

 

California - to me, the only Siegfried who lifted with near-ease (no 'heave ho') was Timur Askerov. The worst, to me, was Schklyarov who, during the high part of lifts, created a "C" with his torso...chest way forward and butt out. Zyuzin a little better but still straining. At least Timur maintained a straight torso.



#120 cinnamonswirl

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 09:26 AM

(Was it just me or do these people have the noisiest pointe shoes on the planet? Even just crossing one foot over the other made a loud clunk.)

 

 

The construction of Russian pointe shoes (Grishko and Russian Pointe) is different from Western-made shoes (Freed, Capezio, Bloch etc.) and they ring like a bell when they hit the floor. Banging them before wearing doesn't lessen the noise the way it does Freeds. Russian shoes also tend to last longer.

 

Somova and some of the other ladies were in Gaynor Mindens (which aren't inherently as noisy), but most of the shoes looked like Grishkos to me.




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