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Posts posted by MadameP

  1. 21 hours ago, Roberta said:

    You're welcome, annaewgn! May was a standout...great in her lines/poses and adagio. She wasn't totally steady on pointe in all moments, as this is a legato variation, but I have the likes of Kunakova, Pavelenko and Kondaurova as earlier dancers who I saw shine in this variation. May is progressing nicely.

    I spent part of last night doing my homework on the provenance of the 2nd variation (the harp variation by Zabel, Le Corsaire), making corrections on my above post. We saw this in the Burlaka-Ratmansky 2007 Corsaire for the Bolshoi - danced by Gulnara within the "Pas des Eventails (Fans)" at the start of A3.

    Iliushkina is also fabulous in this variation.

  2. I read the above reviews with interest, having seen Paquita several times in St Petersburg, with varying casts.  I enjoyed it very much!  Of course, it has Spanish and gypsy flavoured choreography, being set in Spain!    I don't think the opening cast was the best though, Askerov not being renowned for his acting, so maybe that is why sparks did not fly and I like Batoeva best of the Paquitas!  Of course, it's personal, and, personally, I think the choreography by Smekalov IS a success; I like the choreography for the friends, and loved the dramatic role of Carducha, as danced by Shakirova and Bulanova, both fabulous actresses and dancers.  Maria Shirinkina is a lovely Christine.  I also like the pd3 placed in Act 2, as someone mentioned above.  The whole of the grand pas IS spectacular with the opportunity to see many soloists in some rarely seen variations.  I do agree though, that the prison scene does not work - the first time I saw it, it took me a while to realise that the centre of the stage marked a dividing line and I was wondering why the dancers apparently couldn't see each other!  LOL!  Maybe I can tolerate the dancing horse more, being British where we have the tradition of the pantomime cow, but the St Petersburg audiences certainly love that horse also!  

  3. 3 hours ago, Xiaoyi said:

    I want to give a different recommendation on Somova. She is THE best Aurora in Mariinsky IMHO. Super beautiful and sweet with great technique and musicality. Her weakness in arms is not obvious in Sleeping Beauty. She was cast in dvd and online broadcast. I have to agree with Fateev on these decisions although disagreeing on many others. Askerov may not look so handsome as Parish but his technique is no worse.

    You can check out her and Novikova's video online as other fans to find out your own preference.

    Both Somova and Novikova are wonderful Auroras (I've seen both at Mariinsky) so I don't think you can go wrong.  Both ballerinas are fine actresses and I think Somova has wonderful arms.  Personally I still give the edge to Novikova as Aurora, since her interpretation is unique every time, but I love both.  The VIkharev production is a beauty - retaining the whole of the gorgeous Panorama as well as the important scene with the spindle girls.  Askerov is a better partner than Parish, although, as you say, not as handsome.  

  4. On 9/18/2019 at 1:55 AM, annaewgn said:

    Illiushkina debuted Odette in the 2nd Act of 'Swan Lake' at a closed performance of the White Act for a private company at the Mariinsky. Since it wasn't the full performance, nor an open one, I doubt they'll count it as an official debut, but hopefully she gets a shot at the full length sometime this season! 

    Her SIegfried was Emakov - a debut for him also. 

  5. On 8/15/2019 at 6:27 AM, volcanohunter said:

    I don't think this has been mentioned elsewhere, but the souvenir program includes updated ranks. 

    principal dancer - Artemy Belyakov

    leading soloist - Alyona Kovalyova

    first soloist - Olga Marchenkova, David Motta Soares

    soloist - Anastasia Denisova, Eleonora Sevenard

    Other dancers in featured roles (Bochkova, Chapkina, Gerashchenko, Kruteleva, Kryuchkov, Putintsev, Trikoz) remain in the corps de ballet. 

    This has finally made it to the Bolshoi website where the roster has been updated with these dancers in their new ranks!  

  6. Yesterday I saw the matinee performance of Eleonora Sevenard and Artem Belyakov in Don Quixote.  This was a good performance from a ballerina who is only 20 years old and it was her London debut in the role, although she has danced it in Moscow.  She has all the technique necessary for the role and certainly will grow into her characterisation - she has good footwork, high jump and excellent turns.  Not only that, but she had all the aplomb necessary - if she had nerves, I didn't see a sign of them.  Her Dulcinea in particular was warm, gracious and flowing, and her sequence of fouettes in the grand pas was outstanding - all doubles and a triple to finish (she did veer slightly to one side at the end, but still it was a fabulous sequence of turns.)  Her acting was fair - not outstanding, but I think her interpretation will grow!  Belyakov partnered her extremely well - no problems with the one handed lifts, the second of which they held on for what seemed like an eternity, much to the vocal audience's delight.  He also was very funny in the "mock suicide" scene.   His acting throughout was excellent - this role really suits him and he responded to every situation naturally.  It never seemed like acting!   His exceptional height made all his jumps look breathtaking and he combined elegance with virtuosity.   This was a lovely pairing and the audience plainly enjoyed their performance.  Also excellent were sparkling Daria Khokhlova as one of the Friends and Daria Bochkova, who danced the first grand pas variation - beautifully fleeting and light across the stage.    Oxana Sharova's gypsy was powerful too and Maria Mishina very charming as the Amor, and with great elevation on her entrechats.   

  7. On 8/17/2019 at 1:54 AM, Buddy said:

    Doesn't really bother me that much, MadameP. I think that Alyona Kovalyova is absolutely lovely with any of her partners. I do agree about  Jacopo Tissi's fine qualities.

    The problem is one of practicalities!  I've seen Tissi have problems lifting Alyona and from an aesthetic point of view, I do think the lines are better if the ballerina en pointe is shorter than the man!  

  8. On 7/18/2019 at 6:58 PM, Roberta said:

    Didn't Ivanova graduate in 1996, making her about 40/41 now? Not that dancers can't perform beautifully into their 40s, like Lopatkina or Julie Kent. Vishneva is still going strong in modern works, one year older than Ivanova. Zakharova also graduated in 1996, albeit younger than the usual 18, if memory serves.

    Yes, she graduated in 1996.   As well as as being a coryphee at Mariinsky Theatre, she also teaches at Vaganova.  

  9. 8 hours ago, ECat said:

    Thank you for sharing all of these gems of Ivanova.  I especially enjoy her Princess Aurora.  Her epaulment, characterization, and supple back are sublime to watch.  I was fortunate enough to see the Mariinsky perform La Bayadère at the Kennedy Center a couple of years ago and she completely stood out from the corps in the shades section.  She was also one of the pas de quatre dancers in the grand pas.  It is a shame she doesn't get the opportunities for larger roles.

    Yes, those are roles she typically dances.  Ivanova does still dance Juliet's friend occasionally, and the Young Lady in Young Lady and the Hooligan, both of which I have been fortunate to see.  Her Young Lady is THE Young Lady of all for me - pure, refined, gentle and touching.  So moving!  I do not know when MT last performed this ballet outside Russia - certainly not recently - but it is a wonderful dramatic ballet with the most beautiful music.  

  10. Buried Mariinsky treasure...

    Four videos have recently appeared on YouTube, showing a very young Svetlana Ivanova in what I believe was her only performance as Aurora.  What a lovely performance and at her very young age, too.  Ivanova is mostly seen these days as first shade or swan, little bayadere and other coryphee roles.   She is a wonderful example to all corps dancers, but it is so sad that she still is only a coryphee.  She has the most exquisite adagio and beautiful Vaganova technique.  These days she only dances a few roles - notably Juliet's companion, the Young Lady in Young Lady and the Hooligan, and Diana in The Awakening of Flora (where I honestly thought she was the best ballerina on the stage) but she has been woefully underused.   She rehearsed Giselle some years back, and danced the pd2, but injury prevented her from performing the full length role.  She should be dancing Aurora today.   I am so grateful to the uploader for at least this glimpse of her Aurora!


  11. On 7/5/2019 at 6:34 AM, naomikage said:

    Alexandra Khiteeva performed in The Fountain of Bakhchisarai, the first time as a member of Mariinsky Ballet.

    Both lovely girls!  I hope Khiteeva gets fast tracked like some others have been!  She has the most beautiful arms.  What a wonderful Aurora she would be!  

  12. It has been so sad watching the news footage of this - such an extraordinary , historic and iconic building.  I remember so clearly walking around that beautiful interior and then climbing up to the roof to see the gargoyles up close.  I can only imagine how awful it must feel for the Parisians to see it in ruins.  But at least much HAS been saved -  God bless those brave firefighters for that! - and how wonderful that so much money has already been pledged to restore it.  

  13. SLEEPING BEAUTY: 8th February - Tereshkina/Askerov/Shapran/Lukina/Timofeyev

    Sleeping Beauty is always a wonderful ballet to see on the Mariinsky stage, although I do much prefer it on the historic theatre stage, instead of Mariinsky 2, as it was last night.  It seems more fitting.  This is the pinnacle of classical ballet and deserves the beautiful setting of the old theatre.  Anyway, for me Viktoria Tereshkina is not an ideal Aurora, being somewhat "hard" and lacking the softness and fluidity I love in a ballerina.  Usually she is on top form technically, and she did perform all the balances in the Rose Adagio well, raising both arms to 5th in all the attitude balances.  She does not have great extension a la seconde anyway.  What WAS very surprising was that in her variation, where she normally does 4 triple en dehors pirouettes, she failed on every one, falling off pointe.  I never saw her do this before.  However, the rest of her performance went without a hitch, and she was secure and grand in the final grand pas.    Her partner, Timur Askerov, is a reliable prince, in that he is a good partner, but I wish he wasn't so bland.  Technically though, he is excellent, with beautiful soft landings to his double tours, and high easy jumps.  The Lilac Fairy was Kristina Shapran, who performed technically well, but does have a somewhat "frowning" natural facial expression, and lacked some of the serene warmth I like in a Lilac Fairy.  Best among the fairies for me was tiny Valeria Martynyuk as the Canary Fairy, with the crispest technique, speed and charm.   

    Highlights of the performance for me were Princess Florine and Carabosse!  Anastasia Lukina was Florine, and she is a beautiful ballerina with gorgeous feet, lovely face and expressions and glamour on stage.   She has lovely arms and pure Vaganova technique and was an absolute delight.  I wished she had been Aurora this time, as she is an excellent Aurora also.  The other outstanding performance was Elena Bazhenova as Carabosse.  This wonderful artiste is excellent in every role she performs.  It makes total sense for Carabosse to be a beautiful woman, who is an evil fairy, and the mime scenes were so clearly performed.  Every movement made total sense and it was a great acting performance.  I love watching her always!  As usual, the corps were outstanding, and it was a particular pleasure for me to see the most beautiful ballerina in the company, Oksana Marchuk, on stage, although only in the tiny role of Cinderella.  She is woefully underused.  What a wealth of talent Mariinsky possesses - if only it could be utilised to best advantage.  I would LOVE to see Oksana Marchuk as Aurora!  But there are so many dancers underused...  



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