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Posts posted by MadameP

  1. Maps, sorry but it was definitely Asaben, not Marchuk, with costume change in the evening. Confirmed 100% by company member with 'unofficial' record, showing Asaben stepping forward from her position standing with glitter girls, to take solo bow immediately after Marchuk (Marchuk wearing her olive-green soloist tutu from the Amour variation...not a glitter girl).

    I did not attend dress rehearsal, so cannot vouch for that.

    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.

  2. Thanks for the clarifications on Kim, etc. The playbill jibed with the KC web listings for last Tuesday but that doesn't mean that the casting will correspond to who actually appears on stage.

    Now I wonder if they reversed the 3rd and 4th Paquita solo variations on certain days (Marchuk vs Asaben)? On my night (Tuesday), a brunette with 'big smile/teeth' danced 3rd (Amour, DonQ) and a pale light blonde with doe eyes danced the 4th (Pavillon d'Armide). I'm assuming that the toothy brunette is Marchuk and the pale blonde is Asaben.

    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.

  3. Birdsall, I wouldn't care how she hops. Shapran's greatness is all sbout her PERFUME for romanticism, as well as proportions and beauty that recall images of Spessivtseva. No emaciated flexnatic here, while delivering beautiful technique. Best 'Kalkabrino solo' in Paquita I've seen...even tops Kondaurova's fine interpretation...those arms, use of face and neck, divine arched feet. It's all about the aura and perfume. Yes, there are at least TWO great up-and-coming ballerinas on earth: Shapran and the RDB's Ida Praetorius.

    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.

  4. 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! :-)

  5. Unfortunately, things came a bit undone during the Black Swan act. In her entrance with Askerov (tonight's Siegfried), Kondaurova lost her balance in the second supported pirouette from a la seconde. Someone who was watching through binoculars said she was pitched a bit forward during the pirouette, then Askerov yanked her back. The result was she fell off pointe, folded over (which is how the sequence begins) and nearly tumbled to the floor. Although unhurt, Kondaurova seemed to lose her confidence at that point. Her Odile did not glitter and was not seductive. Her fouettes travelled a lot, downstage and to the side. To my eye, it looked like the mistake was a result of Askerov's partnering but it's hard to tell. Anyway, other than the national dances, that act did not go especially well.

    Kondaurova did recover for the final act as Odette, however. She was just as heartbroken and sorrowful as in the first lakeside scene. There is a lot less dancing for her in this act so any lingering confidence issues were unseen (by me, at least).

    As for Askerov, I am not a fan. He might be a better technician (although he's not that great; certainly no Shklyarov) than Ivanchenko but I don't think he's a better partner. His acting is bland and I just don't find him interesting to watch. I'm sad that Kondaurova is seemingly stuck with him as her partner (he's not even a principal). Certainly they don't seem to have great chemistry. And I keep wondering if these blunders were really his fault.

    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.

  6. Amour, (most likely thanks to your tweet), they published a correction under the article.

    I hope i will post more soon, but just a couple of point about Friday's Swan Lake - Ulyana Lopatkina was beyond magical. Such a swan-queen, the best (imho). I expected her to be great, but even i was swept away by her artistry (grounded in solid technique) and absolute musicality and attention to details. BRAVO. Ivanchenko was better than I expected. His line is great, and he acted more human and passionate than what i remember of him before. But again, the night belonged to Lopatkina. Long artistic life and health to her and other members of Mariinsky.

    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.

  7. I hope they try to develop her more than the Mariinsky failed to do. If she gains acclaim there I wonder if they'll ask for her back like they did with Shapran since they seem to not see talent until it thrives and gets popular elsewhere.

    I hope so, too. I love her in everything she does, and I have seen her in all her major roles.

  8. Does anyone have a feedback on Skorik? We have bought tickets to SL with Alina Somova originally cast as O/O; Mariinsky then changed cast in its usual fashion.

    We are not sure whether to sell tickets or attend January 22nd performance as Skorik 's partner (Parish) seems to be a rather plain, unsure Siegfried. Would love to know your opinions.


    Sell, sell, sell!!!

  9. 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.

  10. 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???

  11. 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.

    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.

  12. Well - Russian productions of the classics ARE the best... :-)

    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...yucky.gif

    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! :-) :-)

  13. Well - Russian productions of the classics ARE the best... :-)

    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! :-)

  14. This happened a while back - two or three months ago - when she won the new Taglioni Prix in Berlin. At that time it was thought that she & husband might be joining a German company but now it appears that they've surfaced as colleagues of Joy Womack at the Kremlin! Best of luck to Julia & Kamil in their new home!

    Yulia and Kamil have not signed any contract with the Kremlin Ballet, and do not appear on its roster, although they appeared as guest artistes in Firebird.

  15. Two of my favorite Giselles are Bessmertnova/Lavrovsky and Mezentseva/Zaklinsky. Both are available on DVD from Amazon.com

    The Makarova/Baryshnikov version is also quite impressive, but it's available on VHS only. Still worth getting, methink.

    As an aside: it's a real crime that Lopatkina's Giselle has not been recorded comercially, and now time is about to run out on Vishneva sad.gif

    I could not agree more. Why has Lopatkina been recorded in more roles? This great ballerina, adored by St Petersburg audiences and balletomanes worldwide, is woefully neglected in commercial recordings. I am so happy that at least I saw her perform live in this role on the Mariinsky stage. Of the recordings that exist though, Mezentseva/Zaklinsky with Terekhova as Myrtha was the first ballet video I bought, and I watched it every evening for a year - truly! This is a WONDERFUL Giselle!

  16. Ksenia danced the peasant pas de deux in Giselle a few days ago. I wish we could get more videos of her!

    There is nothing on YT that I can see, but Ksenia herself posted this tiny fragment:


    Unfortunately, it is filmed with an iPhone and there is a 15 seconds time limit, so this is all we have - but it is better than nothing! Well done, Ksenia!

  17. I love the fortune telling scene in La Sylphide! The reactions of the girls to their varying fortunes are so funny! Igor Kolb is doing more and more of these character roles now that he is no longer so young, although he still dances the Prince in Cinderella, and also is performing Albrecht with Novikova as Giselle later in November. I saw his Carabosse recently, which was superbly acted and menacing as well as glamorous. He also was a truly sinister and weird Shurale. This month he is to make his debut as Tybalt, which I think will be perfect for him. I really applaud him for his excellence in all these character, demi character and more "acting" type roles that he is performing as his career progresses. So many male dancers continue dancing princes when they are really not able to do so any longer, yet they have much to give the company in terms of experience and acting and stagecraft. I think he is a great example of this.

  18. Olga's professional debut at the Mariinsky takes place tonight - she dances Swan Lake with Semyon Chudin. The company is putting out a great cast for her, with Ermakov as Rothbart, and Batoeva/Selina/Stepin as Prince's Friends. It's sold out, of course - all St Petersburg must be waiting to see her! Will be interesting to read the reviews!

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