St. Petersburg Trip: 1-9 February in Kirov-Mariinsky Ballet Posted February 2 · Edited February 2 by MadameP I am in St Petersburg from 1st to 9th, mainly because I wanted to take this opportunity of seeing one of my favourite ballets, Shurale, and this block of three might be the only performances this year. It is not often performed. There are also a number of other ballets during the week, ending with Tereshkina in Sleeping Beauty, and my internet is horrible, but I will try to write what I see. It's about -3C incidentally, so not bad for February, but the pavements are just compacted snow and slush over a lovely layer of ice and SO difficult to walk on. Anyway, last nght's performance was good and not quite so good in parts! SHURALE - 1st February - Evseeva/Ermakov/Kolb I have to say - this was a great performance from Ermakov, who I have been guilty in the past of not liking greatly. Last night though, he was fabulous. His partnering throughout all the tricky holds and many overhead lifts was excellent. The fight scene with Shurale (Kolb) realistic, and he has the height, build and strength to make the scenes where he is showing off his strength to the villagers, realistic. He acted well, was jumping out of his skin, and ... must be the first time i have seen him do 5 pirouettes both en dedans and en dehors - bravo Andrei! Kolb as Shurale, was strong, creepy and excellent in all the weird, contorted poses on the floor. Also, funny in his scenes with the drunken villagers. Sadly, I thought Evseeva was the weak wink, for a number of reasons. Technically, of course, she is excellent, and she has a good jump, but she doesn't have any softness in her arms, and generally she is a bright, sparky ballerina, and she was not realistic in the role. She never convinced me she was fragile or gentle, which is what I like to see in a Syuimbike. Truthfully, I felt her interpretation was more like a subdued Kitri. Tricky Final act variation was excellent though The corps of bird maidens and girls were beautiful, although I was sad not to see lovely Oksana Marchuk as one of the four friends. The second act with the village scene is one of my favourites, and so uplifting - the parts where ALi-Batyr is looking for Syuimbike are so moving, but I know Syuimbike is supposed to be a little wistful, wanting her wings back, but Evseeva really did look miserable for most of this act! The Vaganova children as usual were adorable, although the lead girl (sorry no name!) was not outstanding. All the character artists in this act were outstanding. This (with Bayadere) is my favourite ballet, and just hearing the start of the overture makes me feel happy! The audience loved it! Today I will see it two more times - Martynyuk and Shirinkina - and Shirinkina is one of my favourite ballerinas! I am so looking forward to this!