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Marc Haegeman

Golden Mask Awards in Russia

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Last Sunday, in Moscow, the prestigious Golden Masks for performing arts have been awarded.

In the category 'Ballet' the prize for the best production went to the Mariinsky's version of Balanchine's "Jewels".

The prize for best female dancer went to Diana Vishneva for her performance in "Jewels".

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Excellent choices by the awards panel! Diana Vishneva well deserves this prestigious award. And the Kirov dances "Jewels" better than the Paris Opera Ballet did last winter. I hope that the Kirov will acquire more Balanchine ballets in future.

[ 04-11-2001: Message edited by: Kevin Ng ]

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I second Kevin's post. Vishneva is indeed a magnificent choice and, as for the Kirov's rendition of JEWELS...well, you may recall that I gave it my 'vote' as THE finest ballet evening for me, in the year 2000 (London tour, first-cast). Washington, DC, is in for a real treat next February, when the U.S. premiere of the Kirov's JEWELS takes place here at the Kennedy Center. [...and it is Vishneva who graces the cover of the subcription series brochure :)]

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It may be interesting to list the nominations once more.

Best ballet production:

Jewels (Maryinsky Theatre)

Manon (Maryinsky Theatre)

Pharaoh's Daughter (Bolshoi Theatre)

Afternoon of a Faun (Bolshoi Theatre)

Faust (Maly Theatre)

Best Male Performance:

Vyacheslav Samodurov (for Rubies, Maryinsky Theatre)

Maksim Khrebtov (for Lescaut in Manon, Maryinsky Theatre)

Dmitri Belogolovtsev (for Afternoon of a Faun, Bolshoi Theatre)

Sergei Filin (for Pharaoh's Daughter, Bolshoi Theatre)

Best Female Performance:

Uliana Lopatkina (for Diamonds, Maryinsky Theatre)

Diana Vishneva (for Rubies, Maryinsky Theatre)

Maria Alexandrova (for Pharaoh's Daughter, Bolshoi Theatre)

The Golden Mask for Best Male dancer was not awarded.

There is also an article about the recent Golden Mask Festival in: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2001.../04/11/014.html

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Funny thing. The official website of the Golden Mask organization (www.goldenmask.ru) list the following ballet nominees on *both* the English and Russian versions of said site. Far fewer nominees than Marc's source. Perhaps there is a "supporting dancer" category? [Alexandrova did not dance the lead role in Pharaoh's Daughter, but the lead slave, Ramseya. Gravtcheva, Ananiashvili and Lunkina were the three ballerinas in that production.]

Best Ballet Production (only three):

Afternoon of a Faun - Bolshoi

Jewels - Mariinsky/Kirov

Faust - Maly (St. P.)

Best Female Ballet Performance (only two):

Vishneva - Rubies in Jewels

Lopatkina - Diamonds in Jewels

Best Male Ballet Performance (again, only two):

Samodurov - Rubies in Jewels

Belogolovtsev - Afternoon of a Faun

Go figure...

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Funny thing indeed. If they go on like that next year they won't have any problem finding the winner. :)

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I would place more credence on the information given in the Golden Mask organisation's official website; it's inconceivable that they could have put down inaccurate information.

Jeannie, I am glad that you have reminded me of the Kirov's "Jewels" in Washington DC next Feb. If I miss the "Jewels" in London this summer, I'll have a perfect reason to revisit Washington DC next winter!

[ 04-14-2001: Message edited by: Kevin Ng ]

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Dear friends, nominations were made when Vassiliev and Fadeechev were still in charge of Bolshoi. The new Artistic director Rogdestvensky took out "Pharaos Daughter" from Bolshoi's repertoire because he doesn't like the music of this ballet. By the rules of this competition all nominated performances have to be brought to Moscow and special jury has to look at it. So, no performance , no winners, even you was nominated before. It's really strange and ridiculus situation ... :)

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Thanks, Andrei. That explains Pharaohs Daughter...but what about the Kirov's Manon? Is that out of repertoire, too? If memory serves me, the Kirov continues to dance 'Manon' and will be presenting it in London this summer. Too bad that Maxim Khrebtov's nomination for best male dancer (Lescaut in Manon) was apparently withdrawn. According to all reports, Khrebtov created quite a sensation as Lescaut.

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For some reason, the Kirov was not able (didn't want?) to present "Manon" before the jury in Moscow, so the ballet fell out of the running. Lopatkina did not dance in "Jewels" due to injury, and thus was no eligible for the award.

All the machinations around "Pharaoh's Daughter" (or "Rozhdestvensky'Stepdaughter" as some people call the ballet now) really put a damper on the Golden Mask this year (may be more for the Moscovites than for anyone else, but still...)

I didn't know Kirov was bringing "Jewels" to D.C. Can't wait to see them :)

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