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Mariinsky's Raymonda To the KC in Feb 2016

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Great news. Kennedy Center announced its offerings for next season. The Mariinsky is bringing Raymonda (Feb 23-28, 2016).

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Great news. Kennedy Center announced its offerings for next season. The Mariinsky is bringing Raymonda (Feb 23-28, 2016).

Fantastic news!

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I'm clearing my schedule. Hope they bring worthwhile casts.

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Great news. Kennedy Center announced its offerings for next season. The Mariinsky is bringing Raymonda (Feb 23-28, 2016).

I can't find this on the Kennedy Center site. Do you have a link? (I'm a little annoyed -- I'm a Friend of the Kennedy Center -- albeit at a pretty low level -- and we haven't gotten an e-mail about this yet.)

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Great news. Kennedy Center announced its offerings for next season. The Mariinsky is bringing Raymonda (Feb 23-28, 2016).

I can't find this on the Kennedy Center site. Do you have a link? (I'm a little annoyed -- I'm a Friend of the Kennedy Center -- albeit at a pretty low level -- and we haven't gotten an e-mail about this yet.)

Here it is: http://www.kennedy-center.org/programs/newseason/

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Terrific news! I love Raymonda! Chances are that the casting should be decent most performances, because very few dance it. Lopatkina, Tereshkina, Kondaurova, Kolegova, Novikova, and recently Skorik have been the only ones who have danced it in recent seasons at the Mariinsky. Most of those will be very good in it, although it does depend on your tastes. I am hoping Novikova gets to dance it, because she has danced it the least.

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Terrific news! I love Raymonda! Chances are that the casting should be decent most performances, because very few dance it. Lopatkina, Tereshkina, Kondaurova, Kolegova, Novikova, and recently Skorik have been the only ones who have danced it in recent seasons at the Mariinsky. Most of those will be very good in it, although it does depend on your tastes. I am hoping Novikova gets to dance it, because she has danced it the least.

You forgot Maria Shirinkina, Birdsall, lol.

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So news about extending the KennCen season was just talk, not that I am complaining, still great news that they're bringing Raymonda.

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Woohoo!!! They owe us this one, after seven consecutive performances with SACRE DU PRINTEMPS!

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Great news. Kennedy Center announced its offerings for next season. The Mariinsky is bringing Raymonda (Feb 23-28, 2016).

yahoo.gif

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I'm very very happy. This is the first time during this series of annual visits that I'm seeing a production that's completely new to me.

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Terrific news! I love Raymonda! Chances are that the casting should be decent most performances, because very few dance it. Lopatkina, Tereshkina, Kondaurova, Kolegova, Novikova, and recently Skorik have been the only ones who have danced it in recent seasons at the Mariinsky. Most of those will be very good in it, although it does depend on your tastes. I am hoping Novikova gets to dance it, because she has danced it the least.

You forgot Maria Shirinkina, Birdsall, lol.
Tatyana Tkachenko too, although she hasn't toured to the US in a while. Vishneva danced Ray once, around the year 2000. Not her best role.

Somova does not dance Raymonda, by the way...no-fly zone remains in effect.

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Terrific news! I love Raymonda! Chances are that the casting should be decent most performances, because very few dance it. Lopatkina, Tereshkina, Kondaurova, Kolegova, Novikova, and recently Skorik have been the only ones who have danced it in recent seasons at the Mariinsky. Most of those will be very good in it, although it does depend on your tastes. I am hoping Novikova gets to dance it, because she has danced it the least.

You forgot Maria Shirinkina, Birdsall, lol.
Tatyana Tkachenko too, although she hasn't toured to the US in a while. Vishneva danced Ray once, around the year 2000. Not her best role.

Somova does not dance Raymonda, by the way...no-fly zone remains in effect.

Oh goodness, Somova could never dance Raymonda; it's not an ideal role for her! I thought she'd stopped doing those wretched 180 degree leg extensions, but unfortunately, it looks like they're back...

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Yes, I forgot Shirinkina even though I actually saw her in Raymonda. However, she only danced it that one time, I believe. The ones I named above, in my opinion, are the most likely candidates to dance (although Novikova hasn't been given the role at the Mariinsky very much). Outside of Novikova the others I named have danced it the most in recent seasons. Also, I think that Esina was mentioned in the Mariinsky's press conference as debuting as Raymonda this season (I suspect the May 9 Raymonda scheduled at the Mariinsky will be hers), so she might be on the tour even though she continues to be a guest soloist (she was on the DC Swan Lake tour). So hypothetically we could get three alternating casts of Skorik, Esina, and Kondaurova.....

Personally, I vote for Lopatkina, Novikova, and Kolegova. Tereshkina would be fine too. She always gives her all....strikes me as one of the hardest working dancers at the Mariinsky. She has won me over in roles I did not think she was suited for, because she is totally committed everytime you see her. She is apparently unable to phone anything in and simply coast.

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In what role has Somova done 180 degree extensions recently? I know she used to do that in the past, but in recent times (I suspect due to Terekhova being her coach now) she hasn't done that in classical ballets, so it surprises me that "they're back." What role is she doing 180 degree extensions in currently?

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In what role has Somova done 180 degree extensions recently? I know she used to do that in the past, but in recent times (I suspect due to Terekhova being her coach now) she hasn't done that in classical ballets, so it surprises me that "they're back." What role is she doing 180 degree extensions in currently?

She did them in her recent performances of Giselle and Sleeping Beauty, the clips are on YouTube. And Shirinkina has done Raymonda at least twice.

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I've seen clips of Shirinkina's Raymonda on youtube. She's certainly not as strong technically as the other Raymonda's on the roster. She's a lovely lyrical dancer but terre a terre footwork isn't her strength.

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OK, I will have to chime in here! I do love Raymonda! Actually, the role Raymonda is probably the hardest role in the ballerina's repertoire with all those widely different variations so it is a real judge of a ballerina's quality. Some can bring off the youthful, spontaneous Raymonda but do not have the regal quality for the final grand pas, while others do not succeed in the early parts of the ballet. Some just don't have the lyrical quality for the vision scene. For me, Lopatkina of all dancers has the sheer quality of movement that is just breathtaking in the vision scene and that final grand pas is wonderful. Raymonda is a great role for her. I loved Maria Shirinkina's Raymonda, a great testament to her hard work and that of her coach, Terekhova. She danced the early variations particularly well and especially the blue variation. Not many do the entrechat quatre en pointe sequence, but she did it perfectly. She has exceptionally beautiful arms. Tereshkina personally I do not like in the role of Raymonda. I find her always a hard, bright ballerina, with insufficient lyrical qualities for the role. Kondaurova was miscast as Raymonda in my opinion as she truly does not ever resemble a young, happy girl - I just think it is not her role. I like Kolegova very much in the role, but she would not be my favourite. I don't find her very convincing as a young girl. Oxama Skorik also for me was just not suitable for Raymonda mainly because she cannot act. Novikova is an absolutely wonderful Raymonda - she has that crystalline strength of technique and quality and can dance all the variations equally credibly. I hope she gets to dance Raymonda and that America can see her.

Personally, I think of the dancers currently in Mariinsky who have not danced Raymonda, Somova is a GLARING omission, and I cannot understand why she does not dance it. She would be perfect. She has the great technique, beautiful jump, some of the most beautiful arms in the company and she would be perfect in all the variations. I really hope Mariinsky will choose wisely. We all have different tastes, but if I could choose, I would like to see, in alphabetical order(!) - Lopatkina, Novikova, Shirinkina and Somova.

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I've seen clips of Shirinkina's Raymonda on youtube. She's certainly not as strong technically as the other Raymonda's on the roster. She's a lovely lyrical dancer but terre a terre footwork isn't her strength.

Yet she did the entrechat quatre sequence...she danced a lovely blue variation.

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We all have different tastes, but Iif could choose, I would like to see, in alphabetical order(!) Lopatkins, Novikova, Shirinkina and Somova. ,

Indeed, the role of Raymonda is by far one of the most challenging ballerinas role, primarily it was created by one of the greatest ballerinas ever to have lived - Pierina Legnani. Those entrechats done sur la pointe are hers and really do show just how incredible a ballerina she was!

The ballerinas you've listed, you've definitely given some very good opinions - Kondaurova and Tereshkina; Raymonda's only 16 and in what parallel universe can they ever resemble a 16 year old girl?! They may both be great technicians, but that's not enough for this role and Tereshkina particularly is a really bad actress in these sort of roles.

Skorik and Kolegova - neither are very strong actresses, Skorik is definitely not built for this role and I find Kolegova's flexibility very distracting; it's just too much at times.

Honestly, in my opinion, the best Mariinsky Raymondas are Maria Shirinkina and Olesya Novikova - unfortunately, Novikova has one little flaw that she really could overcome; her musicality. I really hate it when she slows the music down because it ruins her stage presence! She could easily handle faster tempi. Shirinkina may not be the strongest technician, but she has the most enchanting stage presence, great musicality and she's a really good actress. Plus, her petite size is a big advantage because it makes her more capable of all the terre a terre footwork than all the tall girls; her entrechat quatre sequence was excellent! In fact, I congratulate both women for taking them on; they both did a wonderful job!

Raymonda is one of my favourite ballets, but I really don't like the Sergeyev version, especially after seeing the reconstruction, which proves that Petipa's original Raymonda is an absolute masterpiece. It's not difficult to find fault with the Sergeyev version - the costumes and scenery are dreadful, so bland and boring and the fake horses in the finale that Raymonda and Jean de Brienne ride away on... I hate those things!! They're so tacky!!

The worst change that Sergeyev made to the entire ballet has got to be the Visions scene; as someone else pointed out, he downright butchered the whole scene! The Pas de deux performed at the beginning by Raymonda and Jean de Brienne is really nothing spectacular, especially when comparing it to Petipa's original. The whole thing looks like it came out of an advanced pas de deux class, while Petipa's original Grand pas d'action is one of the best pieces I've ever seen in my life.

I love the historical references in Petipa's original and the use of props i.e. Jean offering Raymonda his sword, she takes it, thrusts it into the ground and then places his laurels over the sword's hilt. And there's the use of the palm branch - very appropriate for Jean de Brienne, who is a knight of the 12th century Crusades, because the palm is the Christian symbol that represents Jesus's triumphant procession into Jerusalem. Now of course, the Soviet authorities would never have allowed such references to be used in ballets, but it's such a huge loss to the whole scene.

I'd love to see more Mariinsky dancers dance in the Raymonda reconstruction one of these days.

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It would be a great improvement on the reconstruction if all the roles could be filled with Mariinsky dancers including the corps, since I find the La Scala dancers very stiff especially in arm movements. The only things I like about the reconstruction dvd are the sets and Novikova and the chance to see the original, but other than that, the actual dancing (except for Novikova) for me personally is a total waste of time (for me) to view. Meanwhile I have seen Raymonda live in person at the Mariinsky and many times with all the dancers mentioned on video in the full role (not clips), and I absolutely adore the Sergeyev version and the style of the Vaganova trained dancers in this ballet. For me Shirinkina was impressive in what she accomplished but she seems like a soubrette. To me it is comparable to watching Kathleen Battle sing Bellini's Norma.

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The two great Raymondas on DVD are Bessmertnova and Kolpakova. Both were in their 40's with cameras in their faces when they were filmed, and they were splendid.

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The two great Raymondas on DVD are Bessmertnova and Kolpakova. Both were in their 40's with cameras in their faces when they were filmed, and they were splendid.

True and Semenyaka's DVD had her in her 30s.

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(I suspect the May 9 Raymonda scheduled at the Mariinsky will be hers)

I hope not. I will be attending that performance, and would much prefer to see Lopatkina or Kolegova in the role.

I guess we'll have to wait and see (and pray to the casting gods).

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