Natalia

Vaganova Academy Graduation Concerts 2013

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News? I've heard very little, except that this year's edition features yet another Nacho Duato work, Na Floresta, as well as Gayane Suite and the usual Divertissements. No 19th-C classical scene, as in most years past? Not to take away from certain fine graduates but the general feeling has been that the Class of 2013 is not at the high level seen during the last couple of years. Still, Fateev needs many new corps de ballet members, so I'm guessing that Zaklinskaya, Ivanova-Skoblikova and a few others may make it into the MT company.

The much-touted Zhiganshina doesn't graduate for another year (or two). They're making us suffer year and year, as they did with Olga Smirnova and Kristina Shapran, who were the belles of the graduation concerts for many years before they actually graduated in 2011.

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Thanks, canbelto. That's Lacotte's Le Papillon pdd, performed last month during a special concert at the Hermitage Theater, featuring non-graduating students. I believe that Zhiganshina will dance only in the final concert of the graduation classes, on the 22nd.

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Thanks, canbelto. That's Lacotte's Le Papillon pdd, performed last month during a special concert at the Hermitage Theater, featuring non-graduating students. I believe that Zhiganshina will dance only in the final concert of the graduation classes, on the 22nd.

Zhiganshina graduates next year, along with the equally talented Svetlana Strebko, and she dances Le Papillon pdd at the 22nd June Vaganova graduation performance.

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Thanks, canbelto. That's Lacotte's Le Papillon pdd, performed last month during a special concert at the Hermitage Theater, featuring non-graduating students. I believe that Zhiganshina will dance only in the final concert of the graduation classes, on the 22nd.

plus she is dancing on August 4 Mariinsky Swan Lake in pas de trois with Ivannikova and Zyuzin.

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As a brief update, I attended the first two graduation performances and will attend the last one tomorrow. Initially there was a fourth planned for Sunday the 23rd but that has been cancelled.
Surprisingly, Zaklinskaya is not quite following in her mothers' footsteps in terms of classical ballet. She was featured only in a character role in Gayane, and the soft-slippered Scheherezade pas de deux. No pointe work. It is clear she is character material...should she choose to have a performing career.

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As a brief update, I attended the first two graduation performances and will attend the last one tomorrow. Initially there was a fourth planned for Sunday the 23rd but that has been cancelled.

Surprisingly, Zaklinskaya is not quite following in her mothers' footsteps in terms of classical ballet. She was featured only in a character role in Gayane, and the soft-slippered Scheherezade pas de deux. No pointe work. It is clear she is character material...should she choose to have a performing career.

Thank you for the update. Whatever a young woman's abilities, I can easily understand why a daughter might not want to follow exactly in the footsteps of such a very accomplished and celebrated Mom-probably easier to make one's mark following at least a somewhat different path. (Though of course we don't know what's going to happen in future...)

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plus she is dancing on August 4 Mariinsky Swan Lake in pas de trois with Ivannikova and Zyuzin.

Is this correct - a yet-to-graduate Vaganova student will dance the pas de trois with the Mariinsky? She seems like a very nice girl who actually responds in person to comments on the (many) videos her dad posts. I hope she goes on to have a glittering career.

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A bit more news:

According to the following Russian news article (from Kutura TV web), 14 of this year's 27 Vaganova Academy (ARB) graduates will be taken into the company. Some of the standout graduates who will enter the company include Anastasia Zaklinskaya, who danced Scheherazade pdd in the recent concerts with Roman Belyakov; Sofia Ivanova-Skoblikova and Andrei Arsenyev (both danced a great 'Carnival in Venice pdd' at the first concert; we see him above with 2014 class member Zhiganshina); and -- hold onto your socks when you read this name -- one Yuri Baryshnikov! So a 'Baryshnikov' will soon be 'back' on the roster of the Kirov/Mariinsky.

Article: http://tvkultura.ru/article/show/article_id/94265

Link to video clip....for a small look at Zaklinskaya in Scheherazade, go to the 1:50 mark:

http://tvkultura.ru/article/show/article_id/94313

p.s. The above article also quotes Gergiev about the need to hire unprecedented number of dancers because of the new Mariinsky II. In addition to the 14 from this year's Vaganova class, new corps members have been hired from the 2013 classes of the ballet academies in Perm, Novossibirsk and Kiev, but exact numbers and names not cited.

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A bit more news:

p.s. The above article also quotes Gergiev about the need to hire unprecedented number of dancers because of the new Mariinsky II. In addition to the 14 from this year's Vaganova class, new corps members have been hired from the 2013 classes of the ballet academies in Perm, Novossibirsk and Kiev, but exact numbers and names not cited.

I hope they don't destroy their treasure in the rush to augment it. It would be genuinely tragic--a crime against art. That's comically high-minded and melodramatic language I know...But, under the current Mariinsky leadership, I have come to believe the stakes are that high. And I feel it all the more strongly having seen the company at last (as many readers of this forum had done long ago and much more often) at their home theater.

One tour guide in St. Petersburg claimed locals had a saying about Nevsky Prospect--the historic avenue that cuts through the city: 70 years of communism and not a single building was destroyed on Nevsky; a decade of capitalism, 6 buildings have been destroyed on Nevsky. It is possible to destroy one's own traditions--or dilute them to the point of destruction.

P.S. The above should not be construed as a defense of the Gulag...just saying I hope the Mariinsky can absorb what's coming, modernize where it must, and remain itself. And that what happens there still matters to ballet.

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Some videos of this year's performances have popped up. Here's Anastasia Zaklinskaya in Sheherazade:

More videos are on this channel, including the performance by Ksenia Zhiganshina and the 'Venice Carnival' pdd mentioned by Natalia.

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Zhiganshina graduates next year, along with the equally talented Svetlana Strebko, and she dances Le Papillon pdd at the 22nd June Vaganova graduation performance.

Are they in the same class? I don't recall seeing Strebko in any of the class videos with Zhiganshina.

I'm somewhat confused about what the graduating class consists of.

My understanding is that at Vaganova you can leave after 7 years or 9 years.

Are these both considered the graduating class or just the latter?

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There's a video of Strebko in her 7th year; at that time at least they were in a different class, I don't know if that is still the case.

Part 1 and part 2

(She's the blonde girl in front with the pretty feet)

Was Strebko featured in any of the performances?

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I haven't heard yet about Strebko's participation in this year's concerts but here are two other YouTubes showing her talents. First, a 2011 'Valse Bluette pdd' at the Hermitage Theater:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7yAS0CbLPc

Then Nutcracker pdd with MT pro Alexei Popov, at a recent competition in Moscow (2013):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLys2P1NZgk

IMO, she is even lovelier (neater) than classmate Zhiganshina, even though the latter bested her at that competition in March.

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Yes I saw that Nutcracker video; it's beautiful.

I like Zhiganishina a lot too, although I'm still too inexperienced a viewer to be able to judge their relative merits.

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IMO, she is even lovelier (neater) than classmate Zhiganshina, even though the latter bested her at that competition in March.

But Zhiganshina always seems to be enjoying herself - she can't stop smiling, even when trying to play a dramatic role. Her facial expression when she messed up her landing at the end of the PDD is priceless.

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Saturday June 15:
Fresco from Little Humpbacked Horse (LHH)
Rufina Afanasenkova
Alina Krasovskaya
Isii Kumiko (Japan)
Marina Teterina
(pedagogues Ludmila Kovaleva and Veronika Ivanova)

Duet from Illusive/Ghostly Ball (D. Briantsev) to Chopin
Elizaveta Antonova (Ludmila Kovaleva)
Artenii Ibryanov (pedagogue Aleksey Ilin)

The trio of the Ocean and Two Pearls from LHH
Renata Shakirova
Olga Makarova (both girls in 7th year)
Kirill Simonenkov
(pedagogues Tatiana Udalenkova and A. Ilin)

The Faun (Goleizovsky to music by Debussy)
Andrey Arseniev
(pedagogue A. Ilin)

Duet from Scheherezade
Anastasia Zaklinskaya
Roman Belyakov
(Ludmila Kovaleva and A. Ilin, respectively, pedagogues)

The Dying Swan (Dolgushin's version)
Evgenia Artunian
(pedagogue L. Kovaleva)

Pas de deux from Viennese Carnaval
Sofia Ivanova-Skoblikova and Daler Zaparov
(V. Ivanova and A. Ilin)

Vivat Academia! (video presentation followed by large ensemble work using students from all other levels - about a 10 minute piece)

--NA FLORESTA--

Suite from Gayane
Nune - Alina Krasovskaya
Gayane - Renata Shakirova (7th year)
male dance - Ramanbek Beishenaliev (8th class - Sheglov)
Aisha - A. Zaklinskaya
Armen - Takaya Ryo
Izmael - Nail Enikeyev
____________________________

Of all of those the highlights were Kumiko, the Japanese girl in the Fresco; Zhenya Artyunian who has a beautiful fluidity and physique, and Takaya Ryo in Gayane (he repeated it on June 22 to audience cheers).
In Scheherezade, Roman Beliyakov was very seductive, pantherlike and sultry - rather a mature presentation given his age.

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A note to say Strebko didin't do the Babochka pas; Zhiganshina repeated her Hermitage performance of it instead.
the June 22 performance included:

Fresco from Little Humpbacked Horse (LHH)
Evgeniya Artunian
Adema Omarova
Alina Krasovskaya
Elizaveta Antonova
(pedagogues Ludmila Kovaleva and Veronika Ivanova)

Solace (K. Goleizovsky to music by Liszt)
Nelli Smirnova
Vitaly Amelishko (8th class)
(pedagogues V. Ivanova and Sheglov)

Duet from Scheherezade
Anastasia Zaklinskaya
Roman Belyakov
(Ludmila Kovaleva and A. Ilin, respectively, pedagogues)

Pas de deux from Babochka (the "Butterfly")
Ksenia Zhiganshina
Andrey Arseniev
(Marina Vasilieva and A. Ilin)

Variation from the ballet "Poultry Yard"
Choreography Dima Pimonov to music by L. Bernstein
Evgenia Artunian

Adagio (Igor Chernishov)
Alexandra Romanova (Kovaleva)
Yuri Baryshnikov (Ilin)

Diana and Acteon pdd
Miko Naosuki
Takaya Ryo (both from Japan)
(pedagogues L. Kovaleva and A. Ilin)

Vivat Academia! (video presentation followed by large ensemble work using students from all other levels - about a 10 minute piece)

--NA FLORESTA--

Suite from Gayane
Nune - Yulia Karimova
Gayane - Renata Shakirova (7th year)
male dance - (seems to be a typo?)
Aisha - Ekaterina Yalinskaya
Armen - Takaya Ryo
Izmael - Nail Enikeyev
________

Of Saturday's performance the Adagio by Igor Chernishov was a modern-looking piece done in unitards - Romashova is a wisp of a tiny skinny girl with beautiful lines. She was stunning, the piece was highly emotive, ranging from grief to control to passion. It was on the longer side and left a strong impression.
Evgeniya Artunian stood out in the Fresco, as we'd seen her previously in the Dying Swan.
Of course Zhiganshaya but everyone has already commented on her.

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plus she is dancing on August 4 Mariinsky Swan Lake in pas de trois with Ivannikova and Zyuzin.

Is this correct - a yet-to-graduate Vaganova student will dance the pas de trois with the Mariinsky? She seems like a very nice girl who actually responds in person to comments on the (many) videos her dad posts. I hope she goes on to have a glittering career.

I concur completely. She does seem really lovely off stage as well. I am also heartwarmed by what seems to be a beautiful parental relationship between she and her Father. With the combo of her dancing and what bits have been seen of her personality I am already a major fan of this young lady.

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IMO, she is even lovelier (neater) than classmate Zhiganshina, even though the latter bested her at that competition in March.

Neater in her technical presentation yes indeed and quite beautiful in her own right but not nearly as exciting nor as musical. What Zhiganshina has can't be taught ...only refined.

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