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July - Aug 2014 at the Royal Opera House


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#136 Helene

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 11:54 PM

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#137 Tiara

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 03:51 AM

 

I also had really good glasses and a view from the stalls circle. Anyway, if the Mariinsky said it was Kamil then the photo of him on the Mariinsky website can't be right for sure that wasn't the guy doing those jumps.....


You're right. The photo in the programme and on the website absolutely does not look like the photo I took. But who am I to argue with the Mariinsky.

 

I also saw DSCH, and also have seen Kamil Yangurazov dancing many times.  He is tall, dark haired with distinctive facial features.  He was in that performance but it was definitely not him doing those high jumps.  From the photograph I would say it is Boris Zhurilov, who is in the corps and more usually seen in character roles.  What a shame when he is such a good jumper.  



#138 Amour

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 07:04 PM

I've left London and didn't get to see Cinderella. Would love to hear about it as well as the last 2 Swan Lakes.

#139 l'oiseaubleu

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 06:16 AM

Tiara, Shakirova is not the only Vaganova student to be given solo role with the Mariinsky ballet. Ksenia Ziganshina danced Amor in her 7th grade and danced the principal role of Masha in Nutcracker in her 9th grade (with the company - not with the school). Even though I agree that it is not a lot compared to Shakirova.



#140 Tiara

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 10:12 AM

Tiara, Shakirova is not the only Vaganova student to be given solo role with the Mariinsky ballet. Ksenia Ziganshina danced Amor in her 7th grade and danced the principal role of Masha in Nutcracker in her 9th grade (with the company - not with the school). Even though I agree that it is not a lot compared to Shakirova.

OH - you are right!  I completely forgot about Zhiganshina doing Amor and Masha!   And also there is Nika Tshvitaria who danced Florine.  I suppose what I mean is - she has danced far MORE roles than any other student has done before, because this is a huge amount of roles that she already has - not just one or two - and she also was taken on tour to dance in a solo role, which I think no Vaganova student has done before.    She has already got a very impressive resume, as I said, that all corps dancers and many coryphees, must envy.



#141 Amy

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 02:11 PM

Hi everybody!

 

I've just come back from a weekend trip to London where I saw the Mariinsky performing in Ratmansky's Cinderella last night (7:30pm on 16th August) and I thought it only fitting that I give my own review of that performance. So, let's roll!

 

Well I have to admit, I went to this performance thinking I was going to absolutely HATE this modernist production of the ballet version of one of my favourite fairy tales, but amazingly - and I'm really surprised to be saying this - I actually had a really good time! smile.png

 

Did I enjoy the performance? I certainly did! Everybody was absolutely wonderful!

Did I like the production? No, this production is ugly and I really do prefer a traditional version of Cinderella.

Would I go and see it again? Maybe, but depending solely on who's dancing the lead roles.

Do I think the Mariinsky should keep this version in their repertoire? Probably not. They need another traditional version like they had in the past.

 

I actually found Alexei Ratmanksy's choreography very interesting - it was a good blend of traditional classical and modern ballet, so yeah, it certainly wasn't as bad as I thought or as I had been led to believe. Though while I do think it's very interesting, I just don't feel that these sort of modernist approaches are appropriate for fairy tale ballets. In fact, this production makes it look like Ratmansky was using crack-cocaine or something when he staged it! Good effort Ratmansky, but it would've been better if you had stuck to a more traditional version.

 

So, what made me enjoy myself? The dancers of course! Even in very weird ballet productions, they still shine, but I was particularly lucky because of the cast that were performing that night. The cast list was the following:

 

Cinderella - Nadezhda Batoeva (Batoeva was replacing Maria Shirinkina, who is currently on maternity leave)

The Prince - Vladimir Shklyarov

The Stepmother - Anastasia Petushkova

Khudishka - Margarita Frolova

Kubishka - Ekaterina Ivannikova

The Fairy-Tramp - Elena Bazhenova

Cinderella's Mother - Maria Shevyakova

Cinderella's Father - Andrei Yakovlev

Spring - Vasily Tkachenko

Summer - Anton Pimonov

Autumn - Konstantin Ivkin

Winter - Kamil Yangurazov

Dance teachers - Viktoria Brilyova and Yuri Smekalov

Hairdressers/Searchers - Denis Zainetdinov, Grigory Popov and Fydor Murashov

Female dancer - Zlata Yalinich

Male dancer - Alexei Tyutyunnik

 

All the dancers did a brilliant job, I was really impressed! Nadezhda Batoeva was delightful as Cinderella, but I couldn't help missing Maria Shirinkina; this was supposed my first time seeing her dance live and I was gutted when that didn't happen, but nature made its call lol. I have seen footage of Shirinkina and I think she's wonderful; she always has such a lovely presence on stage that you can't help, but like her. I've seen footage of her in this Cinderella and I thought she did a great job, so I was looking forward to seeing her in this role. Batoeva, however, was very charming in her performance and I enjoyed her, though I do feel from what I've seen that Shirinkina is better in this role; I think she both dances and acts it better. But it was still a pleasure to see Batoeva performing and as I said, I really liked her.

 

The big highlight of the evening for me, however, was Vladimir Shklyarov as the Prince; in fact, I was so happy to be seeing him perform live that I actually applauded him when he made his entrance in Act 2 lol! He is a brilliant dancer and actor; such a strong performer and he was just fantastic in this performance! Nothing negative to be said about him, nothing at all. Although, having said that, the only thing I can comment on negatively regarding his performance was the partnership between him and Batoeva; as far as partnerships go, I didn't feel this was a very strong one. In fact, I think Shklyarov very nearly dropped Batoeva during their first pas de deux, but luckily, nobody had any accident of any kind. So yeah, this wasn't a very good pairing here; maybe Shklyarov was missing dancing with his wife as originally planned or maybe it was just one of those things where the pairing just didn't quite click, but despite that, it didn't spoil the performance. smile.png

 

Of course, Anastasia Petushkova, Ekaterina Ivannikova and Margarita Frolova as the Stepmother and Stepsisters earned the most laughter from the audience, even I was laughing; they were so funny! The comedy in this production was very enjoyable; it reminded me of the comedy brought to the Ashton version by the Ugly Stepsisters lol! In fact, this made me want to see more comedy in the Mariinsky repertoire so, maybe it's time they bring in La Fille mal Gardee...!

 

Viktoria Brilyova and Yuri Smekalov (who I very briefly met earlier that day) were delightfully entertaining as the dance teachers and one very clever gentleman sitting in my row pointed out that Smekalov was donning the Patrick Swayze look in Act 1, which is very true! Lol!

 

Now the one thing I did NOT like about the libretto of this version was the portrayal of the Fairy Godmother and the Four Season Fairies. Instead of a beautiful, elegant Fairy Godmother, we've got a Fairy-Tramp, danced wonderfully by Elena Bazhenova, but not an impressive option to replace the Fairy Godmother with! And then we've got the Four Seasons... I did NOT like them being danced by men instead of women, although all four guys did marvellous jobs. The whole point of the Four Season Fairies is that they're supposed to help Cinderella get ready for the ball, but nope instead of four beautiful fairies of the seasons, in this version, we've got the Four Season Weirdos and I really didn't get what they were supposed to be doing...! And DON'T get me started on those atrocious things they and their girls have to wear that people actually call "costumes"!

 

Overall, I had a really good time. I had only booked my ticket so I could see Shirinkina and Shklyarov dancing together; it wasn't the production I was interested in and then when Shirinkina fell pregnant, I actually decided that I didn't want to go any more, but I'm glad I still went in the end. Hopefully, I'll get to see Shirinkina perform live sometime in the future after she's had her baby.

 

But no, I was really taken by surprise; Ratmansky's Cinderella really isn't as bad as I thought it was or as people have made it out to be and I can definitely say that the rest of the audience really enjoyed themselves. Although unfortunately, the evening didn't end so well for some people, including myself, because it's not very nice when you're left waiting for ages at the stage door for certain dancers and they never even come out! Bloody hell, that was awful! Well, maybe next time...

 

In conclusion, it was certainly a pleasure and an honour to see the Mariinsky perform live for the first time and hopefully one day soon, I'll get to see them perform in St Petersburg. smile.png



#142 Helene

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 02:22 PM

Prokofiev's score is more attuned to the Grimm version of the fairy tale, where Cinderella's stepsisters cut off various part of their feet to fit into the slipper and are discovered when blood fills their stockings. It sounds like Ratmansky wasn't trying to reconcile the tough parts of the score by trying to reconcile them to tiaras.



#143 Amy

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 02:45 PM

Prokofiev's score is more attuned to the Grimm version of the fairy tale, where Cinderella's stepsisters cut off various part of their feet to fit into the slipper and are discovered when blood fills their stockings. It sounds like Ratmansky wasn't trying to reconcile the tough parts of the score by trying to reconcile them to tiaras.

Oh I know about the Brothers Grimm version, which is very gruesome in places, but Prokofiev's score follows the original Charles Perrault version, which is the version of the fairy tale I prefer.



#144 Birdsall

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 02:54 PM

I think Batoeva is a terrific dancer but she is relegated to small roles. Cinderella is the only lead role she has done, I believe. I could be wrong.

I do not like Ratmansky's Cinderella overall, but there are some interesting moments and someone like Batoeva makes a huge difference, I suspect. You saw one of the best young dancers!

The worst part of Conderella is that Ratmansky fails to utilize the famous and glorious Mariinsky corps de ballet (he just gives them silly dancing).

I have seen Batoeva as a Big Swan, and she danced the mini-variation that does a lot of Odette-like poses. I think she will one day be a gorgeous Odette.

You saw one of the Mariinsky's best dancers, in my opinion. That is the problem at the Mariinsky. The most incredible ones are usually in small roles. Sometimes they take your breath away while the principals cause you to fall asleep.

#145 Amy

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 03:03 PM

You saw one of the Mariinsky's best dancers, in my opinion. That is the problem at the Mariinsky. The most incredible ones are usually in small roles. Sometimes they take your breath away while the principals cause you to fall asleep.

Oh yes Bart, thanks for reminding me! I hated the dancing for the corps de ballet in Act 2, especially that bloody conga line; I can't believe I even forgot about that! Maybe that's why because I didn't want to remember it! Lol!

 

I also wasn't too keen on the Spanish brothel and the gay bar; now that was just going too far!

 

And yes like I said, I really liked Batoeva; she was really terrific. smile.png

 

And you're right, I did see some of the Mariinsky's best dancers because they were all fantastic and well, we did have brilliants dancers in the principal roles in this performance.



#146 Birdsall

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 03:15 PM

The prostitutes (female and male ) or whatever they were are unnecessary. However, the female prostitutes are finally a chance to see the famous Mariinsky upper bodies (several dancers dancing with the famous style ). Cinderella has a lot of upper body dancing too, but it is always nice to see multiple dancers dancing that way together.

Ratmansky dropped the ball on this ballet!

#147 Amy

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 03:23 PM

The prostitutes (female and male ) or whatever they were are unnecessary. However, the female prostitutes are finally a chance to see the famous Mariinsky upper bodies (several dancers dancing with the famous style ). Cinderella has a lot of upper body dancing too, but it is always nice to see multiple dancers dancing that way together.

Ratmansky dropped the ball on this ballet!

He did indeed, didn't he? With all the adult touches he put in, why didn't he just have Cinderella lose her virginity to the Prince at the ball for heaven's sake?!



#148 Amy

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 03:29 PM

But luckily, the dancers made up for the bad parts and weirdness of this production and that was good enough for me.



#149 Helene

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 03:57 PM

Oh I know about the Brothers Grimm version, which is very gruesome in places, but Prokofiev's score follows the original Charles Perrault version, which is the version of the fairy tale I prefer.

 

 

Perhaps Prokofiev follows the Perreault storyline, but the character of the score is alternately lyrical and bitter, unlike Tchaikovsky's "Sleeping Beauty":  it was written during WWII after Prokofiev returned to the USSR in the mid-1930's, and by then he realized a warm embrace by Soviet authorities was not what he was going to get, regardless of what he was told before he moved back home.



#150 Amy

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 04:01 PM

Oh dear, I actually don't know anything about Prokofiev's life; the only thing I know about him is that he died of a brain haemorrhage on the same day as Stalin, aged 64.




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