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2014 White Nights Festival at the Mariinsky


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#31 Birdsall

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 11:02 AM

Being half Japanese I can complain about the Japanese in the Alexandrinsky Theatre's audience: lots of talking and picture taking with flashes!!!! At one point in the middle of performers dancing someone who was an administrator of either the ballet company or tour group got up and walked in front of the first row and chastised and shook his finger at a group of women who had been using flash photography! To their credit and professionalism the dancers kept right on dancing through this crazy scene!!!! LOL

#32 Mathilde K

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 01:08 PM

Maria Shirinkina was initially announced and her petite size and fluttery, legato arms would have made her a great Sylph. Despite not being Vaganova trained Shirinkina seems to have the upper body of someone who is Vaganova trained.

Shirinkina is expecting. Yuri Fateev has employed the best Mariinsky pedagogues to develop what she (and his other favorite), were missing.



#33 Birdsall

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 02:27 AM

I like Shirinkina overall, but I think she is very limited in the roles she can play. In my mind she would be great as the Sylph, Masha, and various fairies in Sleeping Beauty but not sure what else I would want to see her in. She's like a delicate little doll and even though she could actually get through big roles, I am not sure anyone longs to see her in those major roles.



#34 Mathilde K

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 03:54 AM

You have a very good eye... I personally like her delicate "doll-like" qualities. This may be one of the reasons why she has been enjoying such a strong support from Yuri Fateev (Vladimir Shklyarov being her husband could be another reason).



#35 Birdsall

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 09:29 PM

Thank you, Mathilde K. for the compliment!

Another ballerina with doll-like qualities is Oksana Marchuk. A friend pointed her out to me a couple of years ago. Her smile lights up the room! You can't help smiling when she comes on stage. She is still in the corps, but I hope she will be promoted to Coryphee soon. Her manu dance was delightful last night! I think unlike Shirinkina she may be able to do more rolls even though she is also doll-like. I suspect you know her. You can't miss her smile!

#36 Birdsall

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 10:13 PM

Last night's Bayadere had a few surprises. Many costumes were different from previous times. For example, Nikiya had legging type pants under her skirt in Act 1 & 2. At first I thought Kolegova had forgotten to take her leggings off, but then I realized it was part of the costume. Also, the children playing African slaves were no where to be found during the Golden Idol dance. Instead girls dressed like the D'jampe dancers in Act 1 (with veils tied to their legs) accompanied the Golden Idol. This has been a source of controversy here on BA so many will be happy about that. Cameras were set up all over because they were taping it. A cameraman was in my box and many chairs had been removed.

Another costume change was in the Manu dance. The sweet Oksana Marchuk wore a red and white striped skirt and a blue top with white at the mid-section of her torso and the white part had a big X....I don't remember this being the costume. It looked almost like an American flag.

I am a huge fan of Anastasia Kolegova because she is such a solid ballerina. The only complaint people have is that she doesn't act much. Last night she put more emotion into Nikiya than I expected. However , sometimes I thought her interpretive choices to be a bit off. For example, she was dripping with haughtiness when she entered as if she had zero respect for the priest and held him in contempt. Maybe she was trying to imply he has been harassing her for a long time. Overall, I thought she was wonderful despite acting issues. She is a ballerina who gets better and better each time she plays a role, and I am pretty sure this was her debut as Nikiya, although the program did not list it as a debut.

Timur Askerov was more "on" than I have ever seen him. Not only have his dancing skills improved but he also had more passion than he usually does. I thought he was boring as Armand but he must love dancing Solor b/c he was more animated. Redzhepmyrat Abdyev applauded and bravo-ed him loudly in the coach's box next to the box I was in.

I was shocked by Yekaterina Chebykina as Gamzatti. She seemed to never dance in time to the music, her arms are stiff which is totally unlike the other Mariinsky dancers, and she just looked like an amateur when compared to the others.

When the two men lift Gamzatti up as she's standing up, as they came downstage with her, Chebykina's pelvis began to totally come forward and for a split second it looked like the men would drop her which caused huge gasps from the coaches' box. I mean they all gasped at the same time. I am sure everyone in the theatre heard them. But luckily the men set her down without dropping her!

Maybe it was seeing it live but I felt everyone dancing the Indian drum dance were on fire! Anastasia Petushkova never impressed me before, but she was great in this energetic dance!

I mentioned above that Oksana Marchuk was sweet in the Manu dance.

Fillip Stepin was a terrific Golden Idol. He has the body for such an almost naked dance like that!

Batoeva, Ivannikova, and Stepanova were the 3 shades, and all did an amazing job!

Gergiev conducted.

The thing I love about the Mariinsky's Bayadere is the Nikiya and Slave dance. I believe it is a Soviet interpolation, but it is so lovely. I also love the 32 shades (instead of 24 at ABT)! The scene is set in the Himalayas.

#37 sasark

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 02:53 AM

Bart and Mathilde,

 

Thanks so much for the reviews! I am just getting caught up on the forum and was excited this morning to stumble across all of your updates from the festival. Great info and analysis!

 

Bart, I am so sorry about your ribs! I hope they're feeling better soon.

 

Sasha



#38 Mathilde K

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 04:16 AM

I was shocked by Yekaterina Chebykina as Gamzatti. She seemed to never dance in time to the music, her arms are stiff which is totally unlike the other Mariinsky dancers, and she just looked like an amateur when compared to the others.

 

Now you are discovering some well guarded secrets of Mariinsky Ballet.... Chebykina is a recent addition to the troupe. She graduated from the Kiev Ballet School. From the moment she arrived last year she has been on the fast track to Soloist despite all her obvious deficiencies. Oksana Marchuk, who is much better in every respect, unfortunately has been buried deep in the corps. Unless Yuri Fateev undergoes some miraculous conversion, her future in the troupe as well as of other Vaganova graduates, I am afraid, looks bleak.

 

Concerning Anastasia Kolegova — yes, this was her debut as Nikiya. She danced Gamzatti many times.



#39 Birdsall

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 05:27 AM

Thanks, Sasark! My ribs are feeling better but I am also resting a lot during the day.

Mathilde K., it was shocking to see Chebykina dancing the way she did. I suspected she was not Vaganova trained. I know everyone asks this, but what is wrong with Fateyev????

#40 naomikage

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 10:09 AM

Anastasia Kolegova did dance Nikiya as a guest to Milhailovsky Ballet's Japan tour a few years ago (opposite to Igor Kolb who was also guesting). But maybe that was her debut at the Mariinsky. 



#41 Birdsall

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 11:13 AM

Naomikage, that might explain why the Mariinsky sometimes lists a new role as a debut and sometimes doesn't. I know some dancers guest and so their debut at the Mariinsky is not actually a debut in the role, just at the Mariinsky.

#42 Birdsall

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 11:32 AM

The cameras were filming tonight again. I told the cameraman in my box to make sure to include legs and arms as much as possible, but I think it went in one ear and out the other!

Tonight Tereshkina was a very good Nikiya even thrilling with some unassisted balances. I am not sure how tall she is but she has a petite look, so I think she is not everyone's ideal Nikiya (I sense most people want tall, long limbs in this role ), but you can always count on her to give a good or even great performance that is solid, and she always has flowing Vaganova arms that I love. When you see Tereshkina on the playbill it usually means you will see a good or great performance with no huge mistakes. And that is what tonight's performance was like. A very good night at the Mariinsky.

Shklyarov reminded me what a great male dancer is like. Yesterday I gave Askerov credit b/c he was better than usual, but then tonight Shklyarov blew Askerov away. His back bending cambres are amazing! You can 't believe he didn't just break his back!!!

Anastasia Matvienko seems really good at turns, and after last night's Chernobyl disaster...I mean Chebykina disaster, it was nice to see a Gamzatti who actually danced to the music!!!

Petushkova was electric again as the Indian girl. I never liked her until I saw her in this role .

Marchuk was sweet as pie in the Manu dance again.

Kimin Kim wowed us with his Golden Idol...such leaps!

Batoeva, Ivannikova , and Stepanova reprised the 3 shades. I think all 3 are on the rise!

#43 Helene

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 12:15 PM

Tonight Tereshkina was a very good Nikiya even thrilling with some unassisted balances. I am not sure how tall she is but she has a petite look, so I think she is not everyone's ideal Nikiya (I sense most people want tall, long limbs in this role ),

 I want a dancer whose movement radiates from her core.  I don't care how long her legs are or how close to her ear she can place her toe shoe.

 

Many thanks for all of your reports, Birdsall!



#44 Birdsall

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 12:29 PM

Tereshkina is always a sure bet that you will get a good performance, and I think she is often partnered with Shklyarov. I think it is a good partnership b/c they are both strong dancers who could overshadow a partner who isn't strong.

#45 Drew

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 12:38 PM

I also am grateful for these reports...




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