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Everything posted by MadameP

  1. nysusan, I saw that same program. Wow, it was a showdown between most of the Mariinsky (who were very hostile) and Isabelle Fokine. I thought Isabelle made it clear she simply wouldn't let the Fokine works be performed if she didn't approve of how they were being danced. And there is a huge difference between Makhalina's Swan and Lopatkina's. Maybe Isabelle gave up the fight (also you can't be everywhere to monitor everything). I prefer Makhalina's version to Lopatkina's About Lopatkina, I think she is a life altering ballerina but she doesn't do everything well. Balanchine, for example. She dances the Diamonds PDD from Jewels as if it were Swan Lake. Blech, no. But generally, I think she chooses her roles carefully, ones that suit her. You don't really see her doing contemporary work, as Kondaurova does. But that's fine. No dancer is good at everything, and everyone has things they excel at. I will only say the Odette she did at BAM was SO wonderful, IMO. Much better than the already excellent SL she did in London in August. And I love how she makes every role so unique. I'm just sorry that unless I go to StP I may never see her dance live again:( GO! :-) You should go to St Petersburg - to see Lopatkina dance there is to see her where she truly belongs. And regarding contemporary ballets, I suppose it depends on what exactly we call a contemporary ballet, but she was wonderful in Hans Van Manen's Trois Gnossienes (with Andrei Ermakov) and also Five Tangos and Variations for Two Couples. She has also danced Forsythe's In the Middle Somewhat Elevated. Other choreographers might be considered more neo-classical than modern or contemporary and I am never sure where to draw the line, but she has certainly danced in many ballets choreographed ... more recently! :-)
  2. Yes! I wish I could find the quote, but now I can't, but Lopatkina herself is on record as saying she would not dance Aurora, because she considered it a role not suitable for her. If I remember correctly, she was referring to her height, as she considered it was a role for shorter dancers than she is, and dancers of a different physical type. I always felt it was a shame, as she has such a pure technique. Anyway, I wish some other dancers would refrain from dancing roles not suitable for them! :-)
  3. Thank you for saying perfectly the way I also feel about Uliana Lopatkina. I have been fortunate to see her live in a number of performances at Mariinsky Theatre and truly felt I was honoured to see this great artiste at the pinnacle of her interpretative abilities. I doubt I ever again will see a ballerina who has her unique, light, floating graceful quality, with those beautiful lines and arms. She is a VERY great Mariinsky ballerina. Of course she is not perfect in EVERY role - no ballerina is.
  4. Yes, yet she still often does the same coryphee type roles.
  5. Currently: Lopatkina, Tereshkina, Kondaurova, Skorik, Kolegova. Also, Novikova has danced it, but I cannot remember how recently. (Shirinkina also dances it, but she is on maternity leave.)
  6. You are talking about Oksana Marchuk, not Asaben! You are right that Oksana is a beautiful Balanchine dancer - I have seen her in Emeralds pdt and also as chief fairy (can't remember exact name of role!) in Midsummer Night's Dream, and she has softness, lightness and speed. Her musicality and use of arms are some of the best in the company in my opinion.
  7. Oksana Marchuk danced the variation that Lezhnina danced (4th variation) and can be seen clearly in the curtain calls. So, she did not fall out of her pique turns, since the Lezhnina variation (the one with the pas de cheval and delicate pointe work) does not contain any. Since I last posted, someone has put up a video of these curtain calls, and Marchuk can be seen clearly. Moreover, a friend who attended, confirmed that Marchuk did dance the "Lezhnina" variation, and indeed, will dance it at all performances.
  8. If anyone can supply some photographs from the performances then that would settle it! :-)
  9. Marchuk has blonde hair and is short - about 5 foot 3 or 4 nches tall. Asaben is shorter than her if I remember correctly and has darker hair.
  10. I am glad that Kristina Shapran delivered a technically proficient variation when you saw her, but I think she has deficiencies in several areas. I saw her Medora when she was still with Mikhailovsky, and she fell out of several of her turns in her variation, and also came off pointe. I also saw her Lilac Fairy at Mariinsky Theatre, where she was still having problems with her turns, and in particular, her Italian fouettes. Yes, she has an aura and charisma onstage and is a good actress, but she does need to strengthen her technique. If she can do this, then she will deserve her first soloist status, but at the moment, it is a mystery to me why she was brought in as a first soloist, when there are many ranked below her whose technique is better, and who also have allure on stage. Having said that, I do like her as a ballerina, but I think coryphee or maybe second soloist would have been a more appropriate rank for her until she has improved her technique.
  11. I have to agree about Ivanchenko. I have seen him dance many times, and for example when he partners Uliana Lopatkina so wonderfully in Diamonds, I can ALmosts forgive him his blandness and sloppiness and lack of expression. He does have beautiful lines when he chooses, but he doesn't always choose! However, he is a magnificent partner to Lopatkina, and, as you say to Kondaurova in In the Night. He presents his ballerinas to perfection, and I respect him for that. Mariinsky needs good partners, as so many of the boys have trouble with lifts. And In the Night is such a beautiful ballet - love it! :-)
  12. It's really too bad to hear that Ms. K's performance came undone (at least for a while). When she's good, she's really lovely, strong and commanding. I'd like to echo what you say about her partner issues - the Mariinsky just doesn't seem to be able to find someone who really works well with her - either in physical terms, or chemistry. Unfortunately, this is the problem when the Mariinsky trend for ballerinas is ever upwards. No-one short of a giant can partner these extremely tall ballerinas.
  13. Long artistic life and health indeed to Lopatkina! I love that sentiment! I feel honoured every time I see a performance by this great ballerina, at the peak of her artistic and interpretative powers. I look forward to reading your review.
  14. MadameP

    Yulia Stepanova

    I hope so, too. I love her in everything she does, and I have seen her in all her major roles.
  15. I wish the Mariinsky could have had this Vikharev reconstruction.
  16. As stated further up this thread, apparently certain Vaganova students were considered worthy of dancing soloist roles with the company until quite recently (Zhiganshina, Shakirova, Tsvitaria.) In the statement issued on the website at the start of the season, it actually says: he ballet company will also be engaged in a key activity for the Mariinsky Theatre – the training of the next generation; there will be debuts by talented students of the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet in repertoire productions alongside members of the company in addition to the academy’s traditional graduation performances. What happened indeed? Mdnagement/Yuri Fateyev says in one breath they are going to use talented students in productions, and then says in the next that they are only fit for the corps? I would like to know what some of the Mariinsky coaches think about all this - they are the ones who see and coach these supposedly feeble graduates in their roles.
  17. It could even be a much nicer place to work? Yes, it could be. I just think it must be awful to be one of those Vaganova graduates doing the same corps roles over and over and knowing that is all their Artistic Director thinks they are worth. What kind of an atmosphere must that be? It is really wrong of him to denigrate those Vaganova graduates so publicly. The facts speak for themselves, particularly when one remembers all the great graduates who are not in Mariinsky for one reason or another. And, incidentally, it might be old news about "the ballerinas who fled", but I think it's worth bringing up here again just to show how erroneous Fateyev's comments are. In the past 5 years, these talented dancers have left, going by year they graduated (I have included male as well as female dancers): Sarafanov (not Vaganova graduate, but what a talent to lose) 2001 Elena Sheshina 2002 Obraztsova, Lobukhin 2003? Sisoeva 2005 Vasnetsova, Dolmatova 2006 - Chugai, Cheprasova 2007 there was no graduation class due to 9th year change 2008 - Spilatova, Lischuk 2009 - Stepanova 2010 - Zapasnikova an exceptional ballerina did not join MT. Outstanding Viktor Lebedev did not join 2011 - Smirnova, Shapran, Strelkov did not join MT 2014 - Zhiganhsina did not join I forgot to mention Kirill Safin (coryphee)! That is a pretty staggering list of dancers who left or did not join Mariinsky Theatre. That is a lot of IMMENSE TALENT for a ballet academy that apparently only produces corps worthy graduates ... Who is he kidding???
  18. What happened to Vorontsova? Does anybody know? I love her - she is a beautiful dancer! Is she injured, or is she following in the footsteps of Shapran and Bondareva and going to dance for the Mariinsky?
  19. That is exactly how I interpreted his answer to the question. I wanted to know if others felt he said that. Well, it certainly sounds like it. In any case, it was an irresponsible thing to say in a public place - i.e., The Dancing Times. Maybe he thinks that, but how must all those students and teachers at Vaganova feel now? And what about all the Vaganova graduates in the Mariinsky corps? He just blighted all their hopes for roles. Maybe this is political positioning, but I just think it's an awful thing to read. I think the Vaganova graduates are wonderful - as someone said further up this thread, they just need the opportunities to develop through the roles they are given. So, isn't he going to let them do this? I do think that he has failed in his leadership in saying that in the Dancing Times.
  20. So - is he saying that no Vaganova student is good enough for soloist/principal status and that all they are good for is the corps? That is a terrible thing to say.
  21. Not really. Russian SL, Bayadere and Nutcracker do not honor the original libretto, and this is in both Mariinsky and Bolshoi. Well, that is my opinion! My opinion is that Russia productions of the classics are the best ... Odette and Siegfried don't commit suicide, and instead she's turned into human form forever and ever. Solor doesn't die and instead ends up embracing a ghost. Clara becomes Fee Dragee and...oh well... You did not read the whole of my answer to you further up this thread, so I will copy it: Taking into account the quality of the dancing (actually, especially the quality of the dancing,) the staging, the choreography, the libretto, costumes, scenery, orchestra - the whole package, if you like, Russian productions are the best! For me there is no contest! :-) :-)
  22. Not really. Russian SL, Bayadere and Nutcracker do not honor the original libretto, and this is in both Mariinsky and Bolshoi. Well, that is my opinion! My opinion is that Russia productions of the classics are the best - and I have seen countless Mariinsky productions, in particular, on the Mariinsky stage, as well as Bolshoi, Mikhailovsky, Paris Opera, Royal Ballet , and many other companies - as no doubt many here have! - but more Russian productions than any other. -Taking into account the quality of the dancing (actually, especially the quality of the dancing,) the staging, the choreography, the libretto, costumes, scenery, orchestra - the whole package, if you like, Russian productions are the best! For me there is no contest! :-)
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