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Everything posted by MadameP

  1. I agree. Of course, technically Guillem "could" dance any role she chose, but whether or not she should have done is another question. Uliana Lopatkina "could" have danced Aurora but never did, having said in an interview that she did not consider herself as the right type or "emploi" for the role. What a tragedy. I think Guillem was far less suited to the role than Lopatkina.
  2. Strebko did officially graduate this year, but since she still has a leg injury, she did not take part in the graduation performances.
  3. I thought the same. Technically she was excellent, and her final attitude balances in particular were wonderful. She also has a lovely warm, charming presence on stage. I enjoyed her Aurora very much.
  4. Yes, Lukina is Kovaleva's student, along with Tskhvitaria. Shakirova and Makarova are Udalenkova's students.
  5. Udalenkova and Kovaleva are the teachers of the two girls' graduating classes.
  6. Just wanted to say - thank you for the reminder! I am really looking forward to this!
  7. I think both Novikova and Lopatkina would be highly insulted at the thought that someone thought they were dancing ultra slowly for the sake of gymnastics and I think that anyone who has watched either of them dance could not possibly think this. Their adagio is full of soul. To say that certain dancers danced "too slowly" is one person's subjective opinion. Novikova does not just "pose" and certainly Lopatkina does not - she is probably the best example of flow of movement at Mariinsky. Yes, some dancers have higher extensions than others, and Lopatkina and Novikova do have high extensions, but they are used at the service of the music and their interpretation - always. Just because the music is slower does not mean that a dancer is purely a gymnast.
  8. I wish Tsiskaridze WOULD take over Mariinsky Ballet - he would make a much better job of it than Yuri Fateyev, who is single handedly destroying it.
  9. I agree with you and him! The three schools/academies of Vaganova, Bolshoi and Paris are the greatest in the world, in that order! Even though my own country's Royal Ballet School is excellent, we simply do not have the training or traditions of the Vaganova or Bolshoi school. Vaganova training is the best in the world in my opinion and Tsiskaridze is rightly proud of it.
  10. MadameP

    Ivan Vasiliev

    Maria Vinogradova is a lovely ballerina - one of the best of Bolshoi young ballerinas. Congratulations to Vinogradova and Vasiliev.
  11. MadameP


    In Oksana SKorik's case, Fateyev has well and truly exercised his "right" to cast whoever he pleases in whatever roles he pleases, and seemingly with no thought to her suitability. There are very few principal roles that she does not now dance, and the major omission at the moment is Aurora. Even this role, she is to dance. She was originally on the playbill to dance Aurora long ago (I will try to research the date, but I think it was right at the start of the season, or maybe even last season) but she was replaced. Recently I sat in the loge next to the stage for her Raymonda and did my best to watch objectively. I still see an inexpressive dancer, although she did smile, but that was her only expression apart from here normal still face. I do see a dancer who has gained very much in confidence and also who is technically much improved, and undoubtedly this is because of the sheer amount of stage exposure she has had. However, I still do not see an artiste, and I am very much surprised by those who claim this for her. Yes, she has beautiful lines, but what good are they when they are not used to illuminate a role? Her roles are interchangeable - she does not characterise - and really I feel that watching her, I am watching a student perform exercises. It's difficult to explain it, and many have said they see no "soul" in her dancing. That's what I feel, too. I wish Yuri Fateyev had championed some other dancer. She is not a Mariinsky dancer, in that she does not reveal the soul and heart of her performance through every movement, and that for me is the great VaganovaMariinsky tradition, which she does not exemplify.
  12. The costumes do make everyone's legs so much stumpier though! :-)
  13. Yes, second Mariinsky ballerina is Yana Selina and the third one is Daria Vasnetsova. First one looks like Elizaveta Cheprasova.
  14. Probably the greatest Giselle performance I have seen is that of Olesya Novikova. Her act 1 portrayal of Giselle was wonderful - innocently in love and happy in her life and trust, and seemed to be foreshadowing the fate that was to befall her, with a really chilling mad scene, where she literally see her "seeing" and "hearing" the wills, and seeming to turn into one as death approached, and then terrified when she realised it, and shaking herself out of it. Her act 2 was really airy, with beautiful light jumps, exquisite batterie, exceptional speed in the "just out of the grave" section. Also, she was the Giselle I saw who MOST showed the INhuman part of Giselle in act 2. So many ballerinas show Giselle in act 2 as being overly emotional, yet she is not supposed to be human at this point. Olesya showed a Giselle who is only retains some humanity, but is not yet truly a Wili, - with emphasised poses in the section where she first circles Albrecht, slightly fixed arm positions, eerie expression but still retaining SOME humanity, and then the most wonderful contrast I have ever seen at the tolling of the bell where she realises Albrecht is saved and the most beautiful, peaceful but joyful smile came over her face. Really a MAGNIFICENT Giselle. So touching and beautiful. Novikova has everything for the part. If only she were a principal...
  15. Maybe she just does not want to go on tour with her young baby?
  16. Yakobsen's Shurale is my favourite ballet and that of my friend. I was lucky enough to see it twice at Mariinsky this month, with Martynyuk and Evseeva as Syuimbike. I have seen Mariinsky many times in St Petersburg but never been there when Shurale was performed, so these performances were so special! I have also seen many films of it. It makes me cry every time, it is so beautiful! It has the most wonderful score and many beautiful moments for the corps of women birds, great spectacle, and, above all, the magical second act of celebration, where it seems literally the whole village comes out to play and everything is right in the world. It is probably unique in being an example of a folk ballet, although it is fiendishly difficult for the ballerina to perform. I love it very much!!! There are clips on YT. I wish the Mariinsky could tour with it so that more people could see it, as I think it is virtually unknown in the west, but maybe it is one of those ballets that, unfortunately, are really best seen in Russia. It has so much of the folk element, and involves dozens of Vaganova school children, and it would not be possible to take all these children abroad. Quite simply, children from any other dance academy, or dancers from any other training, would not be able to recreate this ballet effectively. Yakobsen choreographed a great production of Spartacus, which is currently in the Mariinsky repertoire also and is an amazing piece of theatre to the great Khachaturian score.
  17. I think both male and female interpretations can be good, and agree that Igor Kolb's Carabosse is outstanding. The best Carabosse I have ever seen is Elena Bazhenova of the Mariinsky. She is a very beautiful woman and really makes sense of the Carabosse being an evil woman, but still a beautiful fairy. Her mime and expressions are outstanding - so clear, and she makes total sense of all her interactions with the Lilac Fairy, the Queen and so on. Also, the parts where she is dancing with her attendants, she actually dances and doesn't just caper, as some Carabosses do. She also has outstanding hand and arm movements and amazing stage presence . I have to say that in the performance that I saw of hers she totally dominated the stage and was more impressive an artiste than the Lilac Fairy.
  18. I need to add to this list Anastasia Matvienko and Alina Somova, whose debuts in Raymonda I recently saw in St Petersburg. Matvienko's debut was excellent: technically she was very good, and ,in my opinion, better than Kondaurova, Tereshkina and Skorik in the role Alina Somova in my opinion is the best Raymonda. Every variation was superb, and her sequence of entrechats quatre en pointe perfectly executed. The whole dream scene with its beautiful variation was just exquisite and her expressions and general movement quality throughout just .... amazing. Raymonda is a wonderful ballet! :-)
  19. MadameP

    Anna Lavrinenko

    I forgot to mention she also dances Columbine in Carnaval and have added it to my original post above!
  20. You are right - and Zhiganshina in my opinion danced this variation better than Tereshkina.
  21. MadameP

    Anna Lavrinenko

    I love Anna Lavrinenko's dancing and have seen her dance many times - but sadly, never in big roles, although she certainly deserves them. At the moment she does not have any in her repertoire. She is a lovely, vivacious dancer, with a particularly expressive face, ideal for roles such as Syuimbike in Shurale, or Masha in Nutcracker, or Juliet or Giselle, but she is most usually seen as Flower Seller, Syuimbike's friend, fairy variation, Neapolitan etc. I remember once seeing her as Masha's brother Franz in Nutcracker, where she was a real scene stealer with her great acting, but this is a real tragedy that she performs this role, when she should be dancing Masha. It is a terrible waste of her talent - she is so noticeable on stage, but although she has been in the company for 10 years now I think, she is still only ranked coryphee, and never given any roles that would use her talent to its fullest. EDITED to add that I forgot she does dance Columbine in Carnaval, in which she is wonderful, but this is still only a one act ballet and far from the repertoire she is capable of dancing.
  22. My favourite variation for Raymonda is the one she dances in the Dream scene - just beyond beautiful! Incidentally, I have recently returned from St Petersburg, where I saw three performances in a row of Raymonda - Skorik, Matvienko and Somova - and Alina Somova's debut performance as Raymonda was just amazing. I really felt she was the embodiment of Raymonda and technically she was perfect. In the "blue" variation she was the only one of the three to perform the entrechat quatre en pointe sequence and she got huge bravas from the audience and was called back for many curtain calls at the end of the performance. The Dream variation was just so lyrical and expressive with those long legs making beautiful lines and flowing arms. It was just a privilege to see this. It's a gorgeous ballet! :-)
  23. Yes, I do know that ... but if you look at early films, or even films from a few decades ago, you can see the lack of turnout and stretch and poorer arms in execution even years later.
  24. It's impossible for a ballet to look today the same as it did generations ago even if we use exactly the same choreography. Dancers's physiques are so different today and are we going to say we can only use 5 foot ballerinas and far chunkier looking men so that the choreography "looks" exactly the same? It can never look the same with the longer, leaner bodies of today's dancers. The choreography was written on far different bodies from those of today. Even the speeds used for the music reflects this as of course allegro was possible at even faster speeds for a small, short legged ballerina. An exact reconstruction which took into account technical aspects, such as the far lower extensions, would be a curiosity or a museum piece. Photographs of the time also show men had rudimentary arms, women with unstretched knees, lesser turnout, sloppy feet, etc etc, none of which would be tolerated in any company today. We have to use the dancers of today.
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