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Opening of new Mariinsky II Opera House in St. PetersburgMay 2-4, 2013


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#106 Helene

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 06:01 PM

Of course, a performance of Kitri can be quite different than a performance of "Diamonds."

#107 Buddy

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 01:03 AM

My only comment on Oxana Skorik for the moment is that I can't wait until I get a chance to see her again. Posted Image


[font=Helvetica][size=4]Added later:[/size][/font]

[font=Helvetica][size=4]A few whys.[/size][/font]

[font=Helvetica][size=4]Based on what I've seen her do live, her Expression, both in her dance and in her facial interpretation, can be mind-boggling.[/size][/font]

[font="Helvetica"]Her lyrically refined Essence is remarkable. More recently I've noticed a basic perfection of moves that brings Mozart to mind. Like each distinct note of Mozart's music there is Beauty, Refinement and Clarity. (This was most noticeable in her "La Bayadere" at this year's Mariinsky Festival and can be seen in much of her Mariinsky II "Diamonds" performance on the video that many of us are currently watching. I would say that of all the performances on this video that I've been rewatching, I've returned to hers the most.) [/font]

#108 Natalia

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 03:49 AM


Thanks to all who identified the correct dancers/singers/others. I've now seen the 'replay' on the ARTE web, incuding Skorik and Schklyarov in the Diamonds excerpt that was cut from the live transmission. I must admit a new-found admiration for Oksana Skorik. So gorgeous; Balanchine would have loved her! (Skorik and Askerov are also seen rehearsing a bit of the Diamonds PDD in the recent RT documentary. Also lovely.)


Have you seen Skorik's Kitri debut recently? She was truely awful with no musicality, no gracefulness, no expressing upper body, no acting skills, etc...


Fififi, ITA with you. Skorik (or other tall & hyper-thin adagio dancers) should never have been cast as Kitri. I truly admire Skorik's line, including use of arms and fingers. When she slowly unfolds her limbs in an adagio, she is ravishing. She is not a zippy allegro dancer. I don't know why Mariinsky casts her (or Kampa) in such roles.

#109 Tiara

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 11:45 AM



Thanks to all who identified the correct dancers/singers/others. I've now seen the 'replay' on the ARTE web, incuding Skorik and Schklyarov in the Diamonds excerpt that was cut from the live transmission. I must admit a new-found admiration for Oksana Skorik. So gorgeous; Balanchine would have loved her! (Skorik and Askerov are also seen rehearsing a bit of the Diamonds PDD in the recent RT documentary. Also lovely.)


Have you seen Skorik's Kitri debut recently? She was truely awful with no musicality, no gracefulness, no expressing upper body, no acting skills, etc...


Fififi, ITA with you. Skorik (or other tall & hyper-thin adagio dancers) should never have been cast as Kitri. I truly admire Skorik's line, including use of arms and fingers. When she slowly unfolds her limbs in an adagio, she is ravishing. She is not a zippy allegro dancer. I don't know why Mariinsky casts her (or Kampa) in such roles.

Natalia, LOL! I agree with the first part of your post - and Skorik's Kitri was "truely awful with no musicality, no gracefulness, no expressing upper body, no acting skills, etc.." but I am sorry, and I just cannot agree with you that she is ravishing in adagio. Please tell me where you have seen her be ravishing in adagio?! I do find her far too thin, especially those very angular arms, to be beautiful in adagio work. Yes, she can make good lines in isolated poses, but I do not see any wonderful flow of movement. The lines have to be there for a meaning - they have to be part of the expression of a character, or an inner meaning but with Skorik, the movements are just empty. Her lines in poses convey nothing. To me she just goes from position to position, often at the expense of the musical phrase, with little feeling. I do not see her soul in her dancing, and so for me, she can never be ravishing.

#110 Helene

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 11:50 AM

Different criteria. Different strokes.

#111 Buddy

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 12:53 PM

Different criteria. Different strokes.

Helene, although, in my mind, Oxana Skorik has *The Big Picture* covered beautifully, I think that you are absolutely right.

#112 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 12:59 PM

Skorik is the tipe of dancer that conciously exploits the stillness of infinite beautiful poses thru performances, which doesn't necessarily equals movement quality.

#113 Buddy

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 01:26 PM

Cristian, I have to say that I think that she has great quality of motion as well.

Also, having seen Oxana Skorik carry things right to the edge and succeed assuredly and magnificently, I'm inclined to give her a lot of leeway and a lot of credit.

#114 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 06:38 AM

Cristian, I have to say that I think that she has great quality of motion as well.

Also, having seen Oxana Skorik carry things right to the edge and succeed assuredly and magnificently, I'm inclined to give her a lot of leeway and a lot of credit.


And I'm glad she has proper and promptly defenders besides us the detractors. Something that everybody is definitely entitled to...Posted Image

#115 Buddy

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 07:50 AM

Cristian, I tend to take her rather seriously, but I try not to take myself too seriously. All the remarkable artists that we discuss here are entitled to our good will and respect. Good will comments such as yours are always appreciated.

#116 Buddy

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 09:34 AM

Since Valery Gergiev is at the center of all we've been discussing this might be a good place for a thought. When I listened to the orchestra without the video I was enchanted.

I'm not that familiar with classical music and when I go to the ballet I generally pay total attention to the dancing. Today I downloaded the music to "Swan Lake" by the Mariinsky Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev (no dance, dated 2007). It's a rearrangement of the music from what we hear at the ballet today. I've read various comments on Valery Gergiev and how he conducts for dance. After listening to the famous lakeside duet music several times I listened to the same music conducted by Valery Gergiev for the Ulyana Lopatkina performance on dvd.

The main difference that I noticed was that the non ballet version is so much more nuanced. It's not only tempo, but also feeling, a highly poetic interaction. When I listen to him conducting for the ballet dvd it is also beautifully felt but contained within a much more uniform context. It definitely has established its own musical identity, but it is one that seems much more at home with the dancing.

I find both interpretations to be extremely beautiful. Based on what we've seen and discussed at this topic, could these two worlds come closer together? Would the dancers ever want to relate more closely to the musical possibilities? And, of course, would Valery Gergiev want to explore the music's potential for expanding the richness of the dance? Maybe some others here would like to comment on this?

#117 Birdsall

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 12:23 PM

Buddy,
This is my opinion (not necessarily the truth):

Conducting a score, I believe, without the dancing enables a conductor to do exactly what he wants as far as making choices to follow the markings exactly, etc. He can also find things in the score he personally wants to highlight. However, when he is collaborating with dancers, he has to take into consideration that he might have to slow down a passage so that even a good dancer can keep up or he may have to speed up if a dancer can not hold a balance or a singer can not hold a note as long as he wishes. This was probably done since ballet and opera began. Staging an opera or ballet has always been a sort of collaboration. Some singers do exactly what the conductor tells them, but if they have star power, they can at times tell a conductor that it is too fast, they can't sing it like that, etc. and then a compromise (or a collaboration might be how they see it) takes place. Kathleen Battle reportedly stopped John Nelson and tapped out the tempo he should have to accompany her arias. THIS is rarely done and was shocking to the other singers to treat a conductor like nothing more than an accompaniment, especially in the 20th century when conductors usually had more power than singers did. Maybe in the era of the castrati and even bel canto period a singer was more important but not today. It is not normal for a singer to basically set the tempo and the conductor goes along with her wants. More often it is the other way around. I have no idea how it is for ballet dancers, but I suspect the dancers try to do what Gergiev wants, but there might be some amount of give and take since he has no choice since he is working with humans, not machines.

When conducting live theatre with dancers or singers to keep in mind you sort of all have to work together. One person can not have his way completely. But Gergiev conducting a score just for an audio recording can do exactly what he envisions the score to be (whether he is right or wrong about how to conduct). Even then orchestra members can have problems with tempo, etc. and I suspect he can not always get 100% what he hears in his mind. His job is probably to coax them or convince them to do it his way and try to get the sound he wants from them. I would think he would have much more of his way with just an orchestral reading of Swan Lake than a live performance of the ballet.

With a performance with dancers he has no choice but to have some give and take to how he conducts, although Gergiev can be very heavy handed and do what he wants (it seems at least). I thought he ruined his recent recording of Die Walküre! I thought, "Nina Stemme and Jonas Kaufmann!!!! How can I lose buying this new Walküre?" I have not listened to it much despite LOVING Stemme and Kaufmann.

#118 Buddy

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 01:38 PM

Thanks very much, Birdsall, for your knowledgeable and thoughtful response. I tend to see the reality of the situation much as you do. What I'm perhaps alluding to, rather than "give and take", is a real interest and desire for all parties to enter 'heartfully' into the world where the others 'lovingly' live.

#119 angelica

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 01:41 PM

I am reminded of the remarks exchanged in "The Red Shoes" (IMO the greatest ballet movie ever made, although it can get "old" when you've seen it more than 50 times), when Victoria Page is arguing with the newly-hired conductor, Julian Craster, about the tempo of a passage in Craster's new score for Grisha's new ballet "The Red Shoes." "It's too fast!"insists Vicki. He replies to the contrary, shouting "Tia, tia!" as he bangs his baton on the conductor's stand, to indicate the tempo he wants. "Oumph," she stomps off. Then later, at the premiere of the new ballet, when everyone is nervous and excited and Vicki says she can't even remember her first entrance, Julian says to her "Vicki, dance it any tempo you like. I'll follow you."
Swoon...........

#120 Buddy

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 01:50 PM

Great timing, angelica !

"Swoon..........." Posted Image


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