Buddy

XVII Mariinsky International Ballet Festival 2017

84 posts in this topic

Paquita III

 

A Pure Joy of An Evening !   :)

 

Anastasia Kolegova  :)

 

Xander Parish   :)

 

Everyone Else   :)

 

About halfway home from the Theater a lady in front of me knocked off a few pirouettes. It was that kind of an evening !   :)

 

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5 minutes ago, Buddy said:

Paquita III

 

A Pure Joy of An Evening !   :)

 

Anastasia Kolegova  :)

 

Xander Parish   :)

 

Everyone Else   :)

 

About halfway home from the Theater a lady in front of me knocked off a few pirouettes. It was that kind of an evening !   :)

 

 

Buddy, did you see they were giving all the ladies one red rose individually wrapped with a little Paquita card on the way out?  I have a red rose and it is even scented!  Such a nice touch and I never had that happen before after a ballet!  I completely forgot to write about the Perm Swan Lake, so will do that next, but in particular I LOVED the four friends tonight, and Anastasia Kolegova looked, as always, just SO beautiful!  :)

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Perm ballet performed Swan Lake to enthusiastic applause and deservedly so.  The two leads, Inna Bilash and Nikita Chetverikov, were prize winners in the Russian "Big Ballet" televised competition programme recently, and both danced with style and lyricism.  Chetverikov is a WONDERFUL partner, who made all the high lifts look easy, partnered completely unobtrusively, always making his ballerina look good, and in particular, Bilash's partnered pirouettes in his hands were outstanding - amazingly fast!  In addition, he had high, easy jumps and lovely adagio work, although for my taste, his line in arabesque and attitude was on the old-fashioned low side!  Inna Bilash was secure in all her variations, with also great speed in her diagonals of pirouettes, nice expressions and lines - lovely girl!  

The Perm version contains some nice dancing for Benno, the Prince's friend, and Krill Makurin landed some beautiful double tours, as well as the diagonale and the whole of his variation was excellent - he is a very good boy.  One of the two prince's girl-friends was absolutely outstanding in her variation.  I NEVER saw such a diagonale of entrechat six de vole - for height, precision of the beats and flexibility of her back - she was incredible.  Unfortunately, I don't know which one of the two named in the programme she was! She was EITHER Albina Rangulova or Olga Zagorodnyaya.  I wish I knew which!   I thought the Evil Genius, Sergey Mershin, also had very powerful presence on stage, and thrilling entrelaces.  In this version, he mirrors the prince's movements for some of the time, a little like in the Grigorovich version, which personally I don't like, but there were other sections that I did find very effective, such as where at the end of the first "white" act, he appeared on a balcony at the back of the stage, and literally compelled Odette to leave and then projected his power forward to Siegfried - very effective.

In the black swan act, I thought it was SO effective to have all the national dancers come on as part of Rothbart's retinue, and they even turned on Siegfried at the end of the act, preventing him from going after Odette in a very malicious manner!   The black swan pas de deux was extremely well done, and BIlash produced a fast sequence of pirouettes - all singles, if I remember right, but VERY fast and accurate.  But one of the highlights of the act for me was the gorgeous Russian dance, performed by Albina Rungulova and Ivan Puroshin, to the music commonly danced as a female Russian solo "Russkaya" - just so stylish and ... RUSSIAN  - LOL.  It was exquisite. I never saw this version of the Russian dance before and I loved it!

There was some particularly beautiful choreography in the final act, which in this version, ends with the death of Siegfried, although his and Odette's spirits are seen flying off in the background to an afterlife.  The black swans were used literally as the Evil Genius's tools and were truly malevolent.   I have to say, I was very impressed with the corps de ballet, who danced with wonderful precision and uniformity of style.  They were really outstanding.  I assume many or most are graduates of the Perm school, but whether or not this is the case, they were technically and artistically excellent, and a credit to their coaches. 

It was really a beautiful Swan Lake. 

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The third Paquita had Anastasia Kolegova and Xander Parish in the leading roles, Kolegova replacing at 10 days notice the injured Oksana Skorik.  She is a beautiful woman and played Paquita with much vivacity and sweetness.  Her feet especially are exquisite and she is technically strong. Her series of fouettes in the grand pas was amazing, single single double five times and then singles to the final double.  She also danced a beautiful "gypsy" variation in the grand pas.   She captured the stylised gypsy arms very well throughout and all in all, I thought she was a lovely Paquita.

Xander Parish acted well, particularly in the comedy scene and also in the scene where he accidentally kills one of the officers.  His best attribute is probably his beautiful lines, which were shown off in his sissones and arabesques, and also in his grand jetes.  He also performed a nice sequence of entrechat6 in the pd3 and had easy command of the stage.    

I thought tonight's group of friends was by far the best.  Maria Iliushkina, who danced the first variation, was outstanding.  She has the most exquisite long lines and was faultless - beautiful, lyrical, musical variation.  What a talented girl.  Anastasia Nikitina is woefully underused, yet she was bright, charming and with clearly articulated footwork in the second variation. Really fabulous!  Shamara Guseinova had excellent presence and jumping in the third variation, although not quite matching the superb Ivannikova from the performance before.  Viktoria Krasnokutskaya is another ballerina who is under-utilised, yet she was SO charming and vivacious and had the most gorgeous expressions - so moving to see! - and lovely arms - she was my favourite of the three ballerinas dancing the fourth variation.

Ekaterina Chebykina danced well mostly, and with good expression but could not compete with Nadia Batoeva as Cristina, although she is certainly a good turner.  And Tatiana Tkachenko's acting was excellent as Carducha, although I do find her a little "hard", but that is just personal taste.

The Vaganova children really brought the house down again in the children's mazurka, and it is SUCH a joy to see them.  The little girl who comes on first must surely be a star of the future.  She had neat footwork and lovely epaulement and expressions already at her young age - maybe 10 or 11?  But all the Vaganova children were fabulous!

I think this Paquita is a big success and a great company vehicle, and look forward to seeing other casts in it, although it is a big ask for the two leading roles in particular - as it has a great deal of complex (and tiring!) choreography.   Congratulations to all the company and in particular to Yuri Smekalov! 

After the performance all the ladies were handed a red rose on the way out, which I thought was such a charming touch!    I so much enjoyed this run of Paquitas!

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Posted (edited)

Thanks, MadameP, for your fine Paquita summary which I’ll look at more carefully as well as your Swan Lake one. 

 

Anastasia Kolegova and Xander Parish

 

I totally agree with your praise. She’s so loveable and he’s so likeable. They both overflow with personality. She could just smile and be a success. He could just stand there, he’s so handsome.  But they both have very impressive dance qualities as well. She has extremely fine technique. I didn’t recognise her at first, she so well took on her character. There were instances when I was watching a dancer and I would think, “Gee, she’s good!” Then I would realise that it was her. Xander has great stage presence and great lines in his moves. He also did a series of jumps at the end that took my breath away.

 

You’re sure right about the Children !  They maybe stole the show !  They were more precious than ever !

 

Tatiana Tkachenko did very well.

 

All the variations were just fine.

 

The entire evening just flowed seamlessly. Overall, it may have been the best of the Paquitas. 

 

 

“Don Quixote”

 

Another Wonderful Evening

 

Renata Shakirova

 

She has a lot of everything.  She has very fine dance capability. Her technique was solid, graceful and clear. She had some jumps in the first act that brought Natalia Osipova to mind. Her fouettes were almost all single, single, doubles. I remember on the Bolshoi competition when the judges agreed that they’d never seen a women before do some difficult moves that she accomplished. I also think that she has the ability to be a wonderful Odette or Giselle and I look forward to seeing this. She’s beautifully expressive in character and very loveable.

 

Daniel Kamargo

 

He’s a very solid and secure partner in such things as the one hand overhead lifts. He also has very fine bravura technique.

 

Yekaterina Osmolkina

 

She’s so beautiful !  She dances like a gorgeous cloud no matter where she is. They should just put her in an enchanted bubble and let her float through the entire Mariinsky repertoire. Tonight as the Dryad Mistress she was once again a dream with light, airy jumps as effective as those of Renata Shakirova. 

 

Yana Selina did very well in the final act variation. Great to see !  Nadezhda Gonchar did fine as the Street Dancer.

 

Ivan Oskorbin, as Espada, had amazing backbends.

 

Olga Belik, as Mercedes, had more amazing backbends. She was a firecracker !

 

And on and on I could go.

Edited by Buddy
typo correction

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Last review from me, as I am going home today and so will not see Jewels or the gala.  Hope you enjoy them both, Buddy! 

DonQ was a mixed bag for me.  It's funny how we all see things differently and so I will start with the bad stuff - that, for me, was the guest Basilio, Daniel Camargo.  I had seen photos and was expecting him to be good, but I was very disappointed.  Yes, he's a good looking boy, but his elevation was very poor.  In the grand pas, in particular he was visibly petering out and running out of gas in the manege of barrel turns, but still attempted a (pitifully low) revoltade but you could actually SEE him struggling to launch himself.  Not good.  He did a good grande pirouette though, and his pirouettes in general were good.  He just did not have good elevation, which I think Basilio needs.  He played a good comedy death scene though.

Renata Shakirova was excellent in the first act - nice diagonale of single pirouettes and good acting - she is a saucy and vivacious Kitri.  In the dream scene, she was one of the very select number of ballerinas to be given the honour of dancing the extremely difficult "Dudinskaya" variation, instead of the usual one, and she pulled of the tricky sequence of alternating en dedans and en dehors pirouettes, double one way and single the other, very well.  I only saw Ksenia Zhiganshina do this before, as a student, although she did not do it at the grad performance and Zhiganshina was actually better in the variation than the (To my knowledge), only other current Mariinsky ballerina to perform the variation, Viktoria Tereshkina.   She also danced a lovely variation in the grand pas.  Ekaterina Osmolkina was refined and elegant as the Queen of the Dryads with some beautifully floating grand jetes.  It was a great shame though, that the Vaganova children were missing from the whole of the second act, as it seemed very truncated without them - no puppet show that sets Don Q off to tilt at the windmill, and no children in the dream scene.  That was a real shame.

For me, one of the highlights of the ballet was the amazing Espada of Ivan Oskorbin - as Buddy said, he was sensational in his back flexibility in the renverses, and also had fabulous cabrioles.  He had really outstanding panache throughout - great performance.  I wish he could have danced Andres in Paquita!   Yulia Kobzar also was outstanding in her oriental/Egyptian dance on the carpet, with that amazing undulating body and arms - BEAUTIFUL arms.  

Overall - really enjoyable Don Q!  

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Posted (edited)

Haven't had time to read your latest, MadameP, but I'll do so as soon as possible. It's been a real pleasure reading what you've written and sharing the experience. Have a very pleasant trip home.

 

Emeralds, Rubies and Diamonds

 

I've never seen George Balanchine performed more beautifully !

 

During  the duet from Diamonds, when Yekaterina Chebykina dreamily looked up from the poetically embracing partnering of Xander Parish, I could almost sense George Balanchine looking down at her and gently saying, "Think stars, my dear,  thousands and thousands of sparkling stars."  

Edited by Buddy

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Dear MadameP and Buddy "Spasiba Balshoy" for your posts. As I already wrote I am

envious and sad that I could not go to see this year's Festival but at least I can get a

sense of "being there" thanks to you. Wish I could have come this year, as God knows

what the situation will be this time next year in view of current goings-on !

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Posted (edited)

Thanks, mnacenani.

 

Gala Evening

 

A very fine ending to this year's Festival.

 

I have to start traveling tomorrow, but I'll try to describe some of the things that I haven't posted at another time.

Edited by Buddy

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13 hours ago, Buddy said:

Thanks, mnacenani.

 

Gala Evening

 

A very fine ending to this year's Festival.

 

I have to start traveling tomorrow, but I'll try to describe some of the things that I haven't posted at another time.

Glad you enjoyed the gala, Buddy.  Have a safe trip home!  

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On 7 Apr 2017 at 1:13 PM, MadameP said:

I thought tonight's group of friends was by far the best.  Maria Iliushkina, who danced the first variation, was outstanding.  She has the most exquisite long lines and was faultless - beautiful, lyrical, musical variation.  What a talented girl.  Anastasia Nikitina is woefully underused, yet she was bright, charming and with clearly articulated footwork in the second variation. Really fabulous!  Shamara Guseinova had excellent presence and jumping in the third variation, although not quite matching the superb Ivannikova from the performance before.  Viktoria Krasnokutskaya is another ballerina who is under-utilised, yet she was SO charming and vivacious and had the most gorgeous expressions - so moving to see! - and lovely arms - she was my favourite of the three ballerinas dancing the fourth variation.

 

Backtracking somewhat to the excellent third evening of Paquita, I agree that all the variations were very good and that Maria Iliushkina, who performed the first, was "outstanding." I found her to be absolutely charming. She had the most loveable facial expression and her dancing beautifully echoed this. Except for Anastasia Nikitina, I'm not familiar with any of these names. In fact, there were a lot of new names this year. It's great to be reminded of the depth of talent here and how there are so many ways to be beautiful. 

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I'll first briefly mention that there were two times before the ballet performances when the audience was asked to rise in silence in respect to those who suffered from Monday's tragedy. I read that three days of national morning had been declared, but the only change in the Mariinsky programming, I was told by the lady at the hotel desk, was a cancelation of Wednesday's opera to be replaced by a requiem.

 

For casting of all the performances, please go to the top of page one of this topic and click on the title. 

 

I wrote after Saturday night's presentation of Jewels that I've never seen George Balanchine performed more beautifully. Emeralds and Diamonds would be understandable, but Rubies, well that's sort of a 'rocker,' isn't it?  No, Rubies too.

 

Each of the Acts opened with a silent tableau of Mariinsky dancers. The beauty was breathtaking. The rest just flowed from here. This beauty remained unbroken for the entire evening.

 

The first couple in Emeralds was Anastasia Lukina with Fuad Mamedov and the second was Anastasia Kolegova with Roman Mamedov. Anastasia Lukina was caught up in a dream and Fuad Mamedov, well I don't really know how best to describe him beyond being the idealised escort. Anastasia Kolegova, always loveable, had beautiful arms and floating moves ably assisted by Roman Mamedov.

 

Sofia Ivanova-Skobikova and Alexander Sergeev were the couple in Rubies with Yekaterina Ivannikova being the not-tall, 'tall girl.' It all worked remarkably well. The Balanchine liveliness was strongly felt along with the loveliness at which the Mariinsky excels.

 

In Diamonds, I've never seen Yekaterina Chebykina perform more beautifully !  She was different from anything I've seen of her before. Having been excited about her way of combining expressiveness with refinement, here she had an embracing purity. She was truly a Mariinsky ethereal dream.

 

Xander Parish, her partner, is making remarkable progress as a theatrical phenomenon as well as being a 'paragon' of charm and male elegance. He has an extremely fine stage presence and theatricality that he's able to modulate with wonderful effectiveness so as not to ever overwhelm the delicacy of his female partner. His dancing is as linearly graceful as can be. And once again he breathtakingly performed a critical series of highly impressive jumps, which were described on the internet as being tours à la seconde with a manège de grand jetés. (:)). (Thanks, Haydn, at Dansomanie).  

 

What the Mariinsky artists did that was so special was to embrace George Balanchine by combining his excitement and genius with their own remarkable sense of restraint and dreamlike enchantment.  It worked exceptionally well !  

 

And yet more George Balanchine.

 

The Gala Evening

 

This ended with his Symphony in C, which is always a highlight and has been used at least once before, I believe, to end a Festival Gala. The evening was devided into three parts starting with a new work by the Mariinsky's Anton Pimonov, followed by the Divertissement.  

 

By far the most enthusiastic audience response, among all the fine performances until the arrival of Symphony in C, was for Lucia Luccara, bless her delightful heart, and Marlon Dino, dancing a work by Russel Maliphant during  the Divertissement. Since they had both been recently released from the Bayerisches Staatsballet, where they were stars, this was wonderful to see. It was a complexly difficult effort of statuesque beauty featuring all sorts of finely sculpted overhead lifts.

 

Symphony in C had four couples starting with Yekaterina Osmolkina (once again) with Maxim Zyuzin and Yekaterina Kondaurova (once again) with Yevgeny Ivanchenko. It was a great pleasure to see these two beautiful ballerinas consecutively. Yekaterina Osmolkina danced with lovely effect in her airy, flowing manner while Yekaterina Kondaurova was more linear-statuesque and somewhat more Balanchine 'edgy.' I believe that she even did a Balanchine off-center falling out, which is the first time that I've ever noticed this from a Mariinsky dancer. Both ballerinas contrasted each other beautifully. All in all it was another extremely fine performance by everyone to end another extremely fine Mariinsky Festival.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Dream Nights Festival 

 

 

Waves of Enchantment

 

The Lyrical Flow of The Ballerina Dancers 

 

 

Olga Smirnova — The Dream Act 

 

Following the magical entrance of countless angel-looking dancers, she poetically glided across the stage and set a dream in motion that remained throughout the Festival. Her lyrical, floatingly graceful dancing became spellbinding.

 

Yekaterina Osmolkina 

 

Always a dream, in the work, Celestial, performed a series of high, backward bent-leg sweeps that were as beautiful and compelling as anything that I saw.

 

Yekaterina Chebykina in “Diamonds” embraced us from the stars. 

 

Anastasia Kolegova in “Paquita” and “Emeralds” was love and delight.  

 

Inna Bilash from Perm selflessly took flight with a remarkably lovely “Swan Lake.”

 

The Space In Between — filled magnificently by The Corps de Ballet and The Supporting Dancers

 

As expressionist as some of the Mariinsky dancers can be, they will probably shine brightest because of their lyrical dreaminess. Thus, I can see Renata Shakirova, who performed a vibrant Kitri, someday being an enchanting Odette or Giselle. She is known for her technical prowess, but I also saw beautiful gracefulness and she’s absolutely loveable !  Nadezhda Batoeva, whom I remember as being extremely vibrant several Festivals ago as Kitri, was poetically captivating this year. Other young dancers, such as Sofia Ivanova-Skoblikova and Yekaterina Ivannikova, were often present in the same manner.

 

 

All This Together 

 

One Overall Image of Dreamlike Grace

 

Waves of Flowing Enchantment Across The Artist's Canvas of One’s Mind

 

Edited by Buddy

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I always have feelings and memories that linger long after the Festival. In my last post I tried to express what I feel most about this Festival. It's a feeling of uniform enchantment. It's the landscape of a beautiful dream.

 

Olga Smirnova most strongly launched this sentiment with her Dream Act performance (final Act) from La Bayadere. In addition, what she did was Greatness !  I would predict that she'll be one of the greatest ballerinas ever, if she isn't already. 

 

Yekaterina Osmolkina

 

Yet it was her constant presence throughout the Festival (she appeared five times) that became the essence, the fabric of my appreciation. She seemed to sum up what I love most at the Mariinsky -- the lyrical grace. She floated like a beautiful vision throughout. Other artists, giving remarkable performances mentioned in the last post, contributed greatly. 

 

Yet, it's to her, perhaps more than anyone, that I owe my greatest appreciation for the aura and memory of this Festival that I'll carry with me.

 

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Posted (edited)

Mariinsky Festivals cover a lot of ground, which is why I sometimes feel compelled to write as much as I do. Not only do they present a wide range of works, but they also introduce stars from other countries and everyone tries to excel and usually succeeds. Maybe it’s the aura of the theater or the history of its artistry that makes everyone try so hard, but the result is that I’ve seen some of the best performances, from my viewing experience, that many of the artists have ever given. These have ranged from one by ABT’s Gillian Murphy to another by perhaps the most beautiful ballerina in the world today, the Mariinsky’s own Ulyana Lopatkina. 

 

Olga Smirnova

 

I have to emphasise once more how incredibly talented I think that she is and how brilliantly amazing I thought her La Bayadere performance was. If she had performed throughout the entire Festival, I’m sure without question, that the ten days would have belonged to her. It might have been one of the greatest events in ballet history. Based on the one performance only, I’m certain that many feel that the Festival did indeed belong to her or that she was at least its highlight. It might be wonderful that in the tradition of inviting Alina Cojocaru back year after year (six?), giving some years perhaps the best performance of that Festival, that Olga Smirnova might become a regular guest. She comes from a Mariinsky related background, the Vaganova Academy, and is she’s certainly someone that they should be proud of and embrace.

 

As a quick aside, I’ve been watching a video clip, and one of the things that strikes me about her dance magic is her phrasing or timing of her moves. One thing in a million. I was too entranced at the Festival to notice much in the way of detail, but I certainly noticed and felt the overall beauty. (I’ll say again that as good as videos are they should not be used as the final word. There’s just a lot that a print or copy cannot reproduce. Yet for studying or reviewing each detail they can be extremely helpful.  Also talking about greatness can probably never be the same as actually experiencing it.) My experience was almost overwhelming. I just sat in my chair, almost limp, after each of her Acts, and then walked(?) back to my hotel lost somewhere in the clouds.

 

Yekaterina Osmolkina

 

In my last post I mentioned her wonderful effect. I referred to the dreamlike beauty of her dancing. I felt that she represented the overall aura of this year’s Festival. In the absence of Ulyana Lopatkina and Oxana Skorik, both not appearing, I believe because of injury, it was probably her who carried the Mariinsky banner of ethereal beauty.  

 

What I didn’t mention was her remarkably mature artistry, best seen in her Gamzatti. Last year she ‘was’ Giselle and because of her artistry or portrayal and her absolutely lovely dancing, I considered it to maybe be the best performance of that Festival. I hope we’ll see a lot more of her prominently at future Festivals and although I don’t usually get into this, it wouldn’t bother me at all if she was made the next Mariinsky Principal (and I told her so at the Reception :)).

 

Edited by Buddy
grammar correction(S)

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Posted (edited)

There’s one more general feeling about the Festival that I’d like to emphasise. It’s a feeling of enjoyment. The material, for the most part, was quite pleasant — the Paquitas, Don Quixote, Jewels, A Creative Workshop of Young Choreographers and the Gala, which was highlighted by George Balanchine’s Symphony in C. Even Swan Lake and La Bayadere had an overall uplifting aura. This isn’t to say that the Festival lacked substance. The art and the artistry were of the highest level.

 

One artist, of many, is a personal favorite.

 

Maxim Petrov

 

An exciting part of the Festival was another group effort by this young and very likeable choreographer. He’s done a few works on a smaller scale, but, for me, he really shines when working with large groups. He’s done four of these, that I know of, ranging from about 15 to 20 minutes. One is in the Mariinsky repertoire. His work is both very enjoyable and brilliant. He’s very good at combining the highest level of classical dance with fine and timely entertainment. I would liken this to the more pleasant works of Jerome Robbins. If you go to 1:28:50 and 1:47:20 of the video posted on page two of this topic you will see his work. Starting at 1:36:20 (and 1:44:30) is Yekaterina Kondaurova's very fine contribution to the evening. Also Garret Smith’s work at 43:10 (performed twice) has a somewhat similarly impressive inventiveness in his creating of group shapes and motion. I would hope that Maxim Petrov would have a rewarding future on both sides of the Atlantic as he has a fine feel for both. 

 

The entire presentation, conceived by the highly successful ballet impresario, Sergei Danilan (Ardani Artists) for A Creative Workshop of Young Choreographers, of which Maxim Petrov was perhaps the largest contributor, was high quality and up lifting. It’s titled — 

 

Dreamers

 

which along with it’s closing work maybe sums it all up

 

Lose Yourself to Dance. 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Buddy

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Posted (edited)

In regard to what was probably the highlight of the Festival and perhaps the greatest ballet performance that I’ve ever seen, as performed by

 

Olga Smirnova

 

In The Sense of Earth Conceived Enchantment,

 

Think

 

Angel Wings

 

Combine this with the life giving sunshine of 

 

Little Children at Play in The Park

 

Fairy-Angel Wings

 

and that would sum up much of the magic of my visit. 

Edited by Buddy

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Posted (edited)

As I mentioned a couple posts back, Mariinsky Festivals cover a lot a ground and so I keep writing and writing.

 

The more I watch Garret Smith’s Celestial (performed twice) (at 43:10 of the video posted on page two of this topic) from A Creative Workshop of Young Choreographers the more I'm impressed. The Young Choreographers' evening was probably the best that I've seen taking in a wider scope with some very fine quality.

 

This video contains a brief interview and shows him at work with Yekaterina Osmolkina and Maxim Zyuzin(?), her husband. In it he says that he's been saving this work for something special and I believe it.

 

https://mariinsky.tv/1102

 

Some modern choreography does really work for me and this is becoming one example. There is a great deal of interest and beauty here. The way he combines and shapes the dancers and the flow and rhythms of motion across the stage and in groups are among the things that have brought me back to the video many times. I think that if he continues in this direction with this quality that he'll produce some more very fine work. This and Maxim Petrov's fine contribution in Dreamers seem to almost compliment and play off each other.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Buddy

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HI.  It's not new choreography but a new Chosen One for Le Sacre at Mariinsky.  Tatiana Tkachenko, very young and good, will take a few performances for Pavlenko.  I have permission from Slava to share the photo, more are in This Collection of "Chosen Ones"

I don't know how to insert the photo of her head shot or performance shots but there is the link.  Generously shared by Mariinsky Photographer Viacheslav Khomyakov

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Posted (edited)

In response to your post, Fatova, I’ve liked both Daria Pavlenko and Tatiana Tkachenko very much over the years. I hope that they’re both given as wide and beautiful a repertoire as possible in the coming years.

 

Maybe I could use this occasion to take another quick look at some of the dancers.

 

Yekaterina Osmolkina. (Folks might have noticed that I’ve mentioned her :).)  And Anastasia  Kolegova.

They’re both ‘not tall dancers.’ 

 

When you see Yekaterina Osmolkina alongside the physically towering presence of Olga Smirnova, Yekaterina Kondaurova or Oxana Skorik (all quite tall) you might not even notice her at first. Also Olga Smirnova and Yekaterina Kondaurova can be very expansive in their expressiveness, whereas I find Yekaterina Osmolkina to be more contained, as is Oxana Skorik.

 

Yet, it doesn’t take long to notice that Yekaterina Osmolkina is quite special. She’s very dreamlike. Even in works that are upbeat and outwardly expansive, her quiet dreaminess still shines and she fits in perfectly. Also, her restrained, but compelling ability to portray, just shines through.

 

Anastasia Kolegova radiates with loveability and a more contained, but effervescently embracing manner. Her technical ability is always noteworthy, doing such things as cambres(?), turning backbends, as well as I’ve ever seen them done by a ballerina dancer. Also her arms are not long so she has to use emphasis and expressiveness more than a taller, long limbed dancer. At this year’s Festival she did this as well as I’ve ever seen her do.

 

And a quick mention to Alexander Sergeyev. His adaptability and range are highly noteworthy. This year he introduced real character into his performances, as usual. He can be nobly sensitive or expansively outgoing. He’s also very technically competent and exciting. He’s a real artist.

Edited by Buddy
speling correction(s)

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So if I can cite an aura , a dream beyond the reality

To reflect this Festival and all the others that I’ve seen

 

I’ll once again call upon the lyrics of Jimi Hendrix — “Angel”

 

And she told me a story yesterday

About the sweet love between the moon and the deep blue sea

And then she spread her wings high over me

 

Silver wings silhouetted against the child's sunrise

 

And I said "fly on my sweet angel,

Fly on through the sky,

Fly on my sweet angel,

Forever I will be by your side"

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11 hours ago, Buddy said:

 

Yekaterina Osmolkina. (Folks might have noticed that I’ve mentioned her :).)  And Anastasia  Kolegova.

They’re both ‘not tall dancers.’ 

 

When you see Yekaterina Osmolkina alongside the physically towering presence of Olga Smirnova, Yekaterina Kondaurova or Oxana Skorik (all quite tall) you might not even notice her at first. Also Olga Smirnova and Yekaterina Kondaurova can be very expansive in their expressiveness, whereas I find Yekaterina Osmolkina to be more contained, as is Oxana Skorik.

 

 

With regard to the heights of the ballerinas you mentioned, Buddy, yes, Yekaterina Kondaurova IS very tall - about 5'10", but Olga Smirnova certainly is not.  I have stood next to all these ballerinas, and although I was not getting my tape measure out, Smirnova I would put at no more than 5'5".  She does have very long, thin arms and legs though, which I think makes her look taller than she is.  This also applies to Oxana Skorik, who appears taller than she actually is because of her exceptional thinness.  Anastasia Kolegova though, could certainly never be called short - she's about 5'7", BUT for a ballerina she has comparatively short legs, which might make her appear shorter to you.  Although I love her as a dancer, she doesn't actually have ideal proportions for a ballerina.  

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Posted (edited)

Thanks, MadameP, for your comments. I guess that we'll have to get the tape measure out :).

 

I've also stood next to all the ballerinas that you've mentioned, except for Anastasia Kolegova, and thought them to be tall. But, I'll say that I'm not exactly at my objective best in their presence, it's usually in a crowded reception situation and they do have the remarkable ability to appear the way that they want to, even in public. Heels can throw you too. I never check to see if they're wearing them. So for the sake of this discussion I'll say that there are some ballerinas that at least 'seem tall' to me and some others that don't. 

 

Hope that you had a good trip back and that you'll be able to enjoy next year's Festival and many other fine performances. Let us hear about them if you feel like it.

Edited by Buddy
typo correction

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Posted (edited)

I thought that I might have stopped, but then MadameP got me started again. I’m often trying to refind that place where Olga Smirnova left me after her La Bayadere, somewhere in the heavens. And there I would be happy to linger. Yet, there is so much of beauty and dreams that this Festival has offered and I won’t be seeing another until next year, if I’m fortunate enough to return. So writing is one way to keep it all alive and hopefully share.

 

Yekaterina Kondaurova

 

Most everyone I talk to, inside and out of the Mariinsky, seems to agree that there isn’t anything that she can’t do. Starting at 1:36:20 of the page two posted video is what she can do with modern. I can’t imagine anyone doing it better. As for Swan Lake, when she’s at her dreamiest and most flowingly graceful, she’s very, very special. At the Mariinsky that’s saying a lot !

 

Her acting prowess has amazed me. She once said in an interview that she doesn’t think that she wants to teach when she’s through dancing. How about something like Hollywood or Broadway is my simple answer to that one. 

 

Added thought: 

 

And if she took her husband, Principal Character Artist, Islom Baimuradov  (Acteur Extraordinaire, Danseur Versatile-Extraordinaire), along with her, they could launch a new era of Turner Classic Movies.

 

I’ve spent a lot of time talking about A Creative Workshop of Young Choreographers. One reason is that it’s about the only video coverage of the Festival that I can find. Another is that the Dreamer’s portion and Garret Smith’s Celestial are first rate, in my opinion. The Mariinsky excels in the classics, so when they can shine in contemporary, it’s an added treat.

 

Sofia Ivanova-Skoblikova

 

Born in St Petersburg. Graduated from the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet in 2013 (class of Veronika Ivanova). Joined the Mariinsky Ballet in 2013. (Mariinsky bio)

 

Over the last few years she’s crept into my awareness. No big splashes at all. She’s just always there. Mainly it’s been modern. Maxim Petrov started featuring her (although I really miss seeing his first muse, the radiant Viktoria Brilyova) and then Garret Smith gave her the opening and probably the most important part of his Celestial. Her only significant lead in the classics according to her bio is Effie in La Sylphide, not bad. She does seem to be everywhere in the secondary rolls. I thought that she did a lovely performance in the company’s beautiful take on Rubies. So let’s see where she winds up. It should be somewhere prominent.

 

Yekaterina Chebykina

 

A similar sort of feeling, except she’s already done Odette-Odile ! She’s also quite young. I’ve mentioned her ability to move back and forth from expressiveness to pure refinement. At the end of Dreamer’s she was cute as can be. If I had seen her do that few seconds ‘at the hop’ when I was in high school I would have gone crazy. Her Diamonds this year was perhaps the best thing that she’s ever done. Great to see !

 

Renata Shakirova

 

She’s quite something !

 

The Men 

 

I don’t mention them much, but they’re quite amazing. For me, they often fade into the background because my love is the ballerina. Yet, among many things, they accomplish athletic miracles in letting her shine. They are often the shot of adrenalin that keeps things sailing and they’re pretty darn impressive on their own. 

 

Edited by Buddy
Added thought: Yekaterina Kondaurova

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OMG!  Now I am the Official Buddy Starter Mechanism?  There must be a name for that?  Maybe I won't go there! :D Seriously, yes, it is difficult to stop talking about something one has enjoyed so much, so on this occasion, Buddy, I will allow my name to be taken in vain!  I enjoyed the Mariinsky Festival very much also!   Incidentally, Sofya and Renata are the really small ballerinas, both much shorter than the ballerinas you mentioned earlier!   I like them both, too, but Kondaurova can put both of them in her pockets!  

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