Buddy

XVII Mariinsky International Ballet Festival 2017

84 posts in this topic

Thanks, Madame P, for your very fine and thorough summary. I hope that you enjoy this Festival as much as I always do. I'm glad that you can explain to me what I'm seeing. :)  I'm still plowing through the explanations of the Grand Pas variations/solos. "What you see is what you get," is my way of handling this one and I'm greatly enjoying it. 

 

Here are some very quick thoughts about tonight.

 

Paquita II

 

Yekaterina Kondaurova

 

"I did it my way."

 

I've covered this ground before, but I'd like to do it again because it's not always evident. There's a streak of the 'Best of Hollywood' running through this queen of the ballet. It emanates from her face and you sometimes have to look carefully, best done with theatre glasses. For instance, tonight when she was pretend conversing at the corner of the stage during another's dancing, she was not to be believed !

 

Her highpoint at this, in my viewing, remains her performance of Emeralds, Rubies and Diamonds several years ago at the Festival. In addition to her remarkable dancing, she was a theatrical triumph.

 

Tonight she was the queen of the gypsies, totally in control of all that was happening. She's always regal. Her dance posturing was statuesque magnificence as usual.

 

 

There are many remarkable young dancers being given well deserved prominence, but you also come to appreciate the mature excellence of ballerinas such as Yekaterina Kondaurova and Viktoria Tereshkina all the more. It just radiates. For the same reason it was really nice to see Yana Selina in one of the variations as it was Nadezda Gonchar yesterday.

 

Andrei Yermakov did his normally fine partnering also having sequences of theatrical brilliance. His solid and impressive dancing is to be counted on.

 

I thought that the other key female roles were done very well by Sophia Ivanova-Skoblikova as Karducha and Nadezhda Batoeva as Kristina. I look forward to her Juliet tomorrow. Almost all the variations were noteworthy.

 

By the way, Vladimir Ponomarov, the theatrical genius of the ballet, was his usual, remarkable self. Paquita is his long lost daughter. His female colleague, Yelena Bazhenova, was excellent last night as Paquita's gypsy 'mother.'   

 

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Posted (edited)

Mariinsky is my favourite company, Buddy, and the reason I am permanently broke!  I love seeing new productions.  I think this Paquita, on these two viewings, is a real success.

 

As a performance, in many ways I preferred Kondaurova's Paquita, but maybe that it is because I am not a particular Tereshkina fan.  I do find her always rather hard and sharp, but I think this is a matter of taste.  Kondaurova is queenly, but she has a warm feminine quality also, and I thought the adagio section of the grand pas was especially beautiful, with lovely legato (and fabulous double pirouettes!)  She does not have Tereshkina 's clarity of footwork though.  I actually thought Andrei Ermakov's partnering was not as assured as it is usually in the grand pas, where he did not have Askerov's beautiful lines or regality.  His double tours (en l'air) were not actually double revolutions in the air, although he landed them in 5th and his working leg in the grande pirouette was very low, but at the end of this taxing ballet, it could have been a stamina issue.  Certainly he acted well in the comedic section  and also in the section where he is in prison.  Also, he relates well to the other dancers on stage, and is popular with the audience.   I loved Batoeva's Cristina - her acting is superb, and she nailed every variation.  There was a serious discrepancy in height evident in the pd3 though, since she was so much shorter than both Kondaurova and Ermakov.  Sofya Ivanova Skoblikova produced an excellent acting performance as Carducha - I really believed she was angry and vengefull, and this carried over through her variation also.  Overall I thought tonight's soloists in the grand pas were better.  The Vaganova children brought the house down again!  It is SUCH a pleasure to see them!  Martynyuk fared much better with the delicate footwork of her variation than Gonchar the night before.  Petushkova, rarely seen in classical variations, showed some good elevation in the variation performed by Ivannikova the night before, and Lukina repeated her lovely flow of movement in the first.  I did think Kondaurova performed her gypsy style variation, to my taste, better than Tereshkina, but she could not compare with Tereshkina's fouettes, as she did merely singles - although well placed and accurate!  Overall, I actually preferred tonight's performance, except I thought Askerov was better in his dancing (not acting.) 

 

I just wanted to mention also about Bazhenova - I totally agree, and I have never seen her give a bad performance.  She is one of the unsung heroines of the company.  She excels in all character acting and dancing roles.  The RANGE of her acting is amazing.  She's a very great artist, and so too is Ponomarev.  How lucky Mariinsky is to have them!

Edited by MadameP

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Is the Grand Pas choreography exactly the same as the Bolshoi's (also by Burlaka)?

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4 hours ago, Lidewij said:

Is the Grand Pas choreography exactly the same as the Bolshoi's (also by Burlaka)?

Not EXACTLY the same, since there are some different variations used and others that were in the Bolshoi version are not in this one.  There are a few differences in the choreography but I think that's inevitable with any new production.  

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Romeo and Juliet was one of the best I have ever seen, with in particular a truly outstanding acting (and dancing) performance from Nadezhda Batoeva.  She truly brought out every emotion in her Juliet, and not just through her acting, in every nuance, but in her dancing - from her wild, impassioned grand jetes of love, to the lifeless bourrees of hopelessness.  THe moment when Romeo lifts her high and she realises her love for him was absolutely heart stopping in its beauty and realism of all the ecstasy of newly discovered love.  And the scene where Juliet takes the poison and falls on her her bed but reaches out in arabesque towards the window where she last saw Romeo was terrifying in its loneliness and so poignant.  What a great performance.  Filipp Stepin physically is very compatible with her and they make a beautiful pair, and his dancing also was magnificent.  He is a very elegant dancer with always correct placing, and he produced some beautiful entrelaces.  The ardour and vigour of his manege of grand jetes and whirlwind flurry of chaines to finish was fabulous.    I will be in danger of repeating myself, but this was an outstanding Romeo and Juliet.  I feel the leading performances were so great that everything else was overshadowed for me, but must mention Alexander Sergeev's witty Mercuto and Alexander Romanchikov's spoilt dangerous brat Tybalt - both fine performances in themselves.  I do like the scenery and costumes in this production very much, and the final tableau of mourners in procession coming to lay Juliet to rest on her stone podium is both beautiful and harrowing, and the final death scene was even more so.  They received many bravos and much applause and deservedly so - truly a magnificent performance.  I was expecting after such an outstanding performance to see Yuri Fateev come on stage to announce Nadia Batoeva's promotion to principal, but unfortunately in the Mariinsky, these things only happen in dreams .... but she certainly deserves it, and Filipp Stepin should also have been principal long ago.  

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Posted (edited)

I wrote this just before your post appeared, MadameP:

 

A rather brief comment about tonight's Romeo and Juliet. The beautiful balcony duet, when Romeo first comes to visit Juliet at her home, was indeed that -- absolutely beautiful. Nadezhda Batoeva was wonderful here with dreamlike articulation and expression in her dancing. Her portrayal had a lovely, youthful sensitivity with a convincing theatrical underpinning. I look forward to seeing her again. She should have a very  fine future at the Mariinsky.

 

Edited by Buddy
first sentence added

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On 1 Apr 2017 at 2:08 PM, Buddy said:

 

 

Quote

Please go to next post. Computer problems here.

 

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Posted (edited)

Lots of really great stuff tonight, but what I'm  compelled to say is....

 

Olga Smirnova

 

I was thinking

 

Anna Pavlova

 

....a lot.

Edited by Buddy

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Posted (edited)

La Bayadere

 

One more thought before MadameP hopeful does justice to all the fine performances that happened.

 

Olga Smirnova

 

This is Stuff

Of the Stars

Above the Stage

 

(William Shakespeare(?) :))

Edited by Buddy

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Please allow me one more.

 

Olga Smirnova

 

There were large, large passages where each move looked like history being made.  

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Not sure if this is the right place to post....but....

 

Just getting the news of the StP Metro blasts & current casualty count (10 dead, 40 injured), at the very busy Sennaya Ploschad station (the one closest to the Mariinsky...15 min walk). My thoughts & prayers to Buddy & others attending or participating in the festival

 

.https://www.yahoo.com/news/least-10-people-may-killed-russia-metro-blast-122241434.html

 

Just getting the news in Finland, where I've been for past week. 

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Mikhailovsky Ballet soloist Julian McKay just interviewed on RT. Julian was a witness to the blast but is apparently ok. Saw this on live TV in my hotel, so there's no link yet.

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Hi Natalia. I'm fine, thank you. The lady at the hotel said that the metro wasn't working but didn't seem to know why. All seems normal on the Nevsky (the main street).

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3 hours ago, Buddy said:

Hi Natalia. I'm fine, thank you. The lady at the hotel said that the metro wasn't working but didn't seem to know why. All seems normal on the Nevsky (the main street).

Yes.  Thank you Natalia.  Buddy - glad you're OK.  I was at Tsarkoei Selo when I got texted with the news, and I OFTEN go in that metro station since I am staying nearby.   So scary.  So awful.  Sennaya Plosched was very busy when I came through it by bus just a few hours ago.  How can people do these things???  So awful.  Prayers to all those suffering and and affected, and to their families.   

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Posted (edited)

La Bayadere had two important guest principals from the Bolshoi - Olga Smirnova and Semyon Chudin. Ekaterina Osmolkina replaced the originally scheduled Olesya Novikova as Gamzatti. Many dancers and coaches were present to watch this Bayadere. In the coaches' box I saw Lyudmila Kovalyova, Tatiana Terekhova, Galina Kekisheva, Ekaterina Kondaurova Viktoria Tereshkina and Nadezhda Gonchar among others. 
Olga Smirnova gave a virtually faultless performance. She had wonderful back flexibility, and her balances in arabesque in the kingdom of the shades were impeccable.  She has amazing speed and lightness. Her meeting scene with Solor was very touching. I saw her uncertainty and disappointment at not seeing Solor and then her joy and happiness when he arrived. Her basket dance so well acted, ending with great speed in the chaines to the front and real panic when she found she had been bitten by the snake. Her speed actually is amazing, especially in the last diagonale of the ballet,where she finished right in the corner,  and I never saw a ballerina cover so much of the stage in her series of backward hops in arabesque. She was for my taste a superb Nikiya with a real spiritual quality to her performance. . Chudin was equally impressive. How elegant he is with those stretched leg extensions and beautiful lines. In his kingdom of the shades variation his series of double assembles en tournamt was impeccable. ALL his jumps were beautiful - he is such an amazing dancer and partner for Smirnova.   
Osmolkina was an excellent Gamzatti.  She was both proud princess and vengeful cold woman. Her fight scene with Nikiya was one of the most convincing I have seen. In the grand pas her variation was faultless and she also pulled off an impressive sequence of Italians and fouettés. 
The whole Bayadere was well cast. Vasily Tkachenko , recently and well deservedly promoted to second soloist, showed the audience strong dynamic dancing with great oriental arms, precisely landed double tour and high jumps. Petushkova set the  auditorium on fire with her wild and abandoned  Indian dance - she too has amazing back flexibility in the back bends and kick to head jumps!  This really is HER role!   Tamara Gimadieva was very charming as Manu. The whole act was superb actually!
In the kingdom of the shades, tiny Valeria MArtynyuk had good footwork in the first variation, Yana Selina pleasing musicality in the second and Anastasia Lukina good control in the a la secondes and pirouettes in the difficult third variation   The corps were as usual exemplary and a big part of what makes the Mariinsky the great company it is. Every time I see them, I think the same thing - To watch them with their unity of movement on the Mariinsky stage Is truly moving. 

This was a GREAT BAyadere - truly great.  
 

Edited by MadameP

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8 hours ago, Buddy said:

La Bayadere

 

One more thought before MadameP hopeful does justice to all the fine performances that happened.

 

Olga Smirnova

 

This is Stuff

Of the Stars

Above the Stage

 

(William Shakespeare(?) :))

Buddy - I don't know about doing justice!  I thought it was a WONDERFUL Bayadere though.  Just A-MA-ZING!!!

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Posted (edited)

I think that we're in agreement, MadameP, about everything here, from yesterday's tragedy to the remarkable La Bayadere performance the night before.

 

Returning to our thoughts about the La Bayadere evening, in addition to Olga Smirnova, I would first single out Yekaterina Osmolkina. Probably not having the time that she would have wanted to prepare for her substitute performance, her dancing was just lovely as usual. Her portrayal, for me, was excellent. She held her own very well in response to the expressionistic genius (and I do mean “genius”) of Olga Smirnova. She did indeed create a brilliant and sensitive multi-dimensional character. She was both humanly vulnerable and life demandingly imperious.

 

Semyon Chudin was the usual perfect partner for Olga Smirnova. He's also highly impressive on his own.

 

The Golden Idol, tonight Vasily Tkachenko, is always a show stopper and Anastasia Petushkova is crazily amazing as the Indian dancer. As on Friday, she's given pure ballet roles from time to time in which she does very well.

 

The entrance of the Shades was magic as usual. As the third Shade, I thought that Anastasia Lukina did very well, perhaps the best she's done at the Festival.

 

There's always more, much more.

 

 

Olga Smirnova

 

But in summation I have to say that the evening almost certainly belonged to her.

 

Visually, she’s a goddess. Often each of her moves looked like masterpieces that should be placed in the world's great art museums. Seamlessly, she looked into your eyes and touched your heart as she drew you into her world of soulful enchantment.

 

In the final act, a dream introduced by a chorus of spirit-like, angel-looking women, she established a spell. All was hushed, a silence not to be broken by loud response, until you were compelled to enthusiastically do so just to let her know that she’d indeed drawn you into a world of magical beauty. 

 

Her's was one of the finest ballet performances that I've ever seen. This puts her in the company of Ulyana Lopatkina, Svetlana Zakharova, Alina Cojocaru (all at previous Festivals), Veronika Part (originally from the Mariinsky) and maybe one or two others.

 

In fact, it may have been the greatest ballet performance that I've ever seen !  In fact, it may have been one of the greatest ballet performances ever ! -- and she's just beginning !

 

On the way home I was totally tranquil and at peace, only wishing to write a few words of deepest appreciation and to embrace the memories and feelings of what she had done. 

  

 

Edited by Buddy
sentence added and grammar corrections

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Aaaaaarrgghhh !  Terribly jealous and green with envy :unsure::unsure: . Next year I will certainly put this on

the front burner, hope it will be as good as this year's festival. Dance Open Gala on the 24th will be

my consolation for this year. Best wishes for any and all members currently there.

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Posted (edited)

I hope that next year will be just as good or even better for you, mnacenani.

 

"A Creative Workshop of Young Choreographers"

 

The evening started with everyone being asked to rise for several minutes, surely as a gesture of sorrow for those caught up in yesterday's tragedy. After that the performances began.

 

 

It can possibly be seen on the internet for several days more.

 

The very cool, large group dancing starting at 1:29:50 to 1:36:20 and then ending the evening -- well that's my Maxim Petrov !   :)

 

So glad to see this and I hope for much more from this young and highly talented young choreographer.

 

High five to Yekaterina Kondaurova as well in the following segment.

 

Also enjoyed Garrett Smith's "Celestial" starting at 42:40.

 

Added comment: Having just viewed the Maxim Petrov section 1:29:50- for the first time, I have to say that it was much better seen live when you could view the entire stage and all the dancers at all times and other visual effects, such as the lighting, were more effective.

Edited by Buddy
Last sentence added and "Added comment" added

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Unlikely as it sounds, Petrov is going to create a new work for the Atlanta Ballet next year; I'm looking forward to it.

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On ‎3‎/‎23‎/‎2017 at 4:23 PM, MadameP said:

Nadia Batoeva and Filipp Stepin will be wonderful in Romeo and Juliet -

 

Batoeva!!! :clapping:

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With regard to the modern choreographic evening, I want to mention only one person: ANDREI ARSENIEV.  This young boy partnered Nelli Smirnova in the third piece, Wordiness, choreographed by Olga Vasilieva.  When I saw he was cast, I was so happy for him, but at the same time I felt very angry on his behalf at what he does NOT get cast in.

 

This HUGELY talented boy is an example of what is wrong at Mariiinsky Theatre, where some immensely talented dancers who should be stars, are completely overlooked.  He graduated in 2013, and I saw him then at his graduation performance, dance the Faun, and it was one of the most mesmerising pieces I have ever seen.  He is a shortish boy, maybe 5'6" or 7", very young looking, with fair (light) hair, but his range of expressions is amazing.  He also possesses what I can only describe as COMPLETE flexibility and fluidity throughout his whole body, to a degree that is rarely seen, and he has complete control over this flexibility and fluidity.  Allied with extreme musicality and great acting skills, and you have a true ARTIST who is capable of portraying every nuance of choreography and interpreting every nuance of music, in such a way that you see every role he performs as fresh and new, and you totally believe in his characters.  This young boy is still only in the corps, yet I never saw such great acting and artistry for a male dancer at Mariinsky.  He does have excellent technique apart from his incredible artistry, but the technique is used solely to serve the choreography.  When I watch him dance I don't really think about technique, although it is fabulous, because I only see whatever ROLE he is portraying.  I think this boy should be a star, and can only think it is his height that holds him back, as well as the complete ineptitude of the management in not casting him.

 

It seems the choreographers within the company recognise his talent, since he was also cast in Pimonov's Inside the Lines, but apart from that date, to date his most important role has been Mercutio, which I have not seen him, but I HAVE seen him in many other roles.  In Romeo and Juliet, Benvolio, in which role his acting was outstanding, and he was truly a sympathetic friend to Romeo.   Also, as the King in Little Humpbacked Horse, which he has performed many times.  This is an acting role, and really his comedic talent and timing are those of a dancer with decades of experience - he just has naturally what it takes many dancers a lifetime to achieve, and most never do.  He dances the Etruscans pd3 in Spartacus,  which is a tiny role, but even in this, the way he uses his body, with every gesture emphasising every nuance of the music is superior to everyone else I ever saw in this role.  I always look out for him and he was one of the funny goats pd2 in Sylvia (PLEASE ... a GOAT for this amazing boy?), the hare in Bambi, which was another Pimonov ballet.... you get the picture, tiny roles, but NOTHING big.  In the wonderful Smirnova/Chudin Bayadere a few days ago, Arseniev was Magdayeva, the chief fakir, and you could see his quality in this role - I saw this character made into a real person for the first time, through every gesture and all the acting directed towards both Solor and the Brahmin. and if you want to hear about technique, some great jumps and overall speed and lightness.  

 

But. as I said, it seems that unless you are favoured by management, or are their perfect physical shape, you will not be cast.  I am just pleased that at least Arseniev was seen and HUGELY applauded by the audience in this festival, and to the choreographer Olga Vasilieva, thank you for this.  You could not have chosen a better dancer for your choreography.  It showed off his mime, acting, expressive face, speed, range of movement.  He deserved all the applause, together with Nelli Smirnova, his partner.    If I were the management, I would give him the role of Petrushka, in which I honestly believe he would be the greatest ever in this role.  I wish he could dance the FAUN that he danced at his graduation in a Mariinsky gala, so that everyone could see it.  He is a truly unique artist, who deserves to have MANY roles and yet he just is not seen....

 

But at least in this modern choreographic evening, he WAS seen, and applauded.... but it is not enough...

 

 

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30 minutes ago, cubanmiamiboy said:

 

Batoeva!!! :clapping:

LOL!  Yes, I wrote that before I saw the actual performance, and when I saw her, Nadia was even better than I had predicted.  I did review it somewhere back, and she was WONDERFUL!  She was :clapping::jawdrop::thumbsup::)

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23 hours ago, Drew said:

Unlikely as it sounds, Petrov is going to create a new work for the Atlanta Ballet next year; I'm looking forward to it.

 

And I just want to talk about Maxim Petrov, MadameP.  :)

 

Doesn't really surprise me, Drew. I only wonder how they knew about him. It seems like a very good fit and a chance to give him much wider exposure.

 

Besides being very comfortable with his own Russian culture and the high art of the Mariinsky he also has a fine vocabulary in Western entertainment, such as the world of Charlie Chaplin. In this respect I sort of see him as a combination of a nice Jerome Robbins and Hollywood's  legendary, film choreographer, Busby Berkeley, among many other things.

 

I'd like to discuss him more at another time.

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Posted (edited)

"Swan Lake" -- The Perm Tchaikovsky Opera and Ballet Theatre

 

Lots of wonderful things this evening. 

 

This was performed by members of The Perm Tchaikovsky Opera and Ballet Theatre only, using its own production, both being firsts at a Mariinsky Festival.

 

The production had many differences from the Mariinsky's or any other that I've seen. One of the most lovely was a long duet in the final act with Odette and Sigfried.

 

The Company is beautiful. It's performing is beautiful.

 

Inna Bilash as Odette/Odile was absolutely lovely. She was an Airy Dream in the famous Odette duet. This would make her part of an unbroken chain of wonderful ballerina performances in the Odette duet over the past 13 years, one of which included six Swan Lakes and another two.

 

Nikita Chetverikov as Sigfried did just fine and was most noteworthy for his very graceful, airy, high jumps. 

 

The Corps de Ballet was excellent, being very rich in grace and character. It was largely aided by very interesting choreographic arrangements and groupings of dancers and by very fine choices in the variety of costumes and the locating of the artists wearing them. 

 

There's a lot more that could be related about the beautiful performing and artistic arranging. Hopefully I can touch on this some other time.

 

 

Edited by Buddy
typo corrections and sentence added

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