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Everything posted by MadameP

  1. I thought it was AMAZING. I was absolutely spellbound by the superb performance of Mikhail Lobukhin in the leading role. Dark, brooding, sinister, yet tender in his love scenes with Anastasia, his portrayal was complex and completely magnetic. This ballet is so powerful, a great theatrical spectacle and a wonderful dramatic ballet. The sets are so atmospheric, the scene with the female singers and the spirit of the dead Anastasia hauntingly lovely, the final tableau disturbing - there are just so many wonderful images. Grigorovich is a choreographer of genius. I just LOVED it.
  2. Choreographic Game 3 x 3 and Inside the Lines have both been performed several times as part of the Mariinsky repertoire, outside the Young Choreographers' Workshop. Bambi and In the Jungle were chosen to open the Mariinsky Festival recently. Both the latter ballets in particular clearly utilise the ballet vocabulary and were well received by the audiences. What a shame though that the promised Bronze Horseman never materialised and Stone Flower also. Either of those two ballets would have been greatly preferable.
  3. But ... I don't think it does make the choreography drag. I love it at that speed. And I don't think it is undermining to Olesya because she dances it perfectly at that speed.
  4. I don't see that the choreography has been badly affected - I never said that. I think it looks great at the speed Olesya danced it at. And I don't see that it is undermining the dancer - she and the coach and Vikharev decided on this speed.
  5. I love Olesya Novikova and think she performed the variation beautifully! She has amazing footwork and balances. Actually, in every part of her technique she is wonderful. Undoubtedly, she was following the advice of Vikharev and her coach in dancing the variation at that speed. Actually, it is the speed most Mariinsky ballerinas dance that variation. Times do change! As regards making the choreography much more difficult because it is slower, well, yes, that is true to an extent, but Olesya COULD have danced that variation at any stage equally well. She is one of the greatest ballerinas in the world. That is the speed chosen by Vikharev and her coach.
  6. Novikova can do any role. The fact that she is not a principal is really a disgrace. I have seen her Mariinsky performances in so many roles and think she is far from being a soubrette. (I also saw her in the Duato Romeo and Juliet at Mikhailovsky, where she was one of the best Juliets I have seen.) She was a touching and finely nuanced Maria in Fountain of Bakhchisarai, a witty Rubies, literally the best Giselle interpretation I ever saw, also an exquisite Sylph in La Sylphide, in my opinion the BEST Aurora at Mariinsky today with that wonderful crystalline technique. I will not enumerate all the roles I have seen her dance in that she excels in - but hers is not the repertoire of a mere soubrette ...
  7. MadameP

    Olga Smirnova

    I have to agree. I love Obraztsova in so many roles, but Odette/Odile is just not her role.
  8. Oh no... I am so sad to read this. I used to love reading her reviews in Dancing Times.
  9. It just shows that beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. I watched the whole of this livestream event and honestly could not wait for it to finish. I wanted to watch to see the dancers, who all gave every piece their all. I found most of the works derivative and quite honestly, incomprehensible and often ugly. Personally I detest the trend for "dancing' to no music, electronic sounds, rainfall etc. I just don't like it. I found many of the costumes ugly also. Yes - of course it is good to encourage new choreographers, but watching this succession of horrible pieces made me realise that Pimonov really is their outstanding up and coming choreographer, although I like Smekalov's Parting (I think this shorter piece is much better than the bizarre Orpheus.) I wish instead of this evening, we could have been treated to an evening of rarely danced extracts that have been lost from the repertoire. They are still there in the memories of the coaches and older generation of dancers. The Vaganova students put on many of these in their concerts at the Hermitage, and if it were not for these concerts, often for young students, this repertoire would be totally in oblivion. Why can't the company show off this part of their repertoire, which is wholly neglected at the moment, and which has been part of its tradition instead of veering off at a tangent with all this modern choreography? I actually really enjoyed Pimonov's Bambi, but I do think it was wholly inappropriate as the opening ballet of the Mariinsky Festival, and the promised Stone Flower and Bronze Horseman would have been much preferable. I do fear that all these modern works are going to infiltrate the repertoire more and more as Gergiev is known to love modern music and productions. I respect everyone's right to have their opinions on this modern evening, but I personally HATED it!
  10. Ekaterina Osmolkina performed the "Lezhnina" variation in last night's Paquita.
  11. I wonder if her husband, Konstantin Zaklinsky, will leave his present position at Vaganova Academy, where he teaches duet class, and go with her?
  12. Wow! That ballet must have been quite some spectacle!
  13. 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). There are no casting gods.
  14. Yet she did the entrechat quatre sequence...she danced a lovely blue variation.
  15. 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.
  16. Margarita is noticeable in the corps because she is so beautiful and vivacious as well as having a great technique - her expression is so full of intelligent humour! I too have seen her stepsister and also a number of small - VERY small! - solo roles. I would love to see her given something really GOOD to dance - but we seem to be saying this all the time about so many dancers. It's so sad.
  17. 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! :-)
  18. 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! :-)
  19. 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.
  20. Yes, yet she still often does the same coryphee type roles.
  21. 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.)
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
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