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About Elizaveta

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    dancer, fan, balletgoer
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  1. I totally agree about the quality of the corps on Thursday! I was simply blown away! I also, unfortunately, noticed, not just at the Mariinsky performances, but at the past few ballets companies I've seen, the lightning speed at which the orchestra clears out of the pit. Ms. Tereshkina similarly acknowledged the all-but-empty pit in her bows on Thursday. It was embarrassing! Perhaps they don't realize that they aren't hidden from view, especially to the tiers. Or perhaps they're trying to beat the traffic rush? It is strange, because we as the audience are applauding the musicians and the dancers...
  2. I was wondering the same about the curtain calls--especially since I have seen enough ballets in Europe and Russia to know that the leads get AT LEAST a few curtain calls (I think there were 7 or so for one Swan Lake at Mariinsky in St. Pete in 2002). Hope the dancers didn't think American audiences aren't appreciative (and totally blown away). I always get frustrated at the people who try to jet the moment the music stops.
  3. Thanks nysusan, alexa1aa, and Ilya for your thoughts! It is wonderful to hear positive reviews of Alina Somova. Forgive me for using the words "stuck" but I have encountered such an overwhelmingly negative appraisal of her dancing here. Until I see her perform live, I'll refrain from passing judgment. Next time I will also sit closer, so I can better appreciate the acting necessary to Giselle Alexa1aa, how did you mean Skorik is not beautiful? I certainly could not make out faces from the back balcony, but from their photos, both girls look extraordinarily lovely, and I must say the same for their dancing. I could make out the lighter skin tone of the two, so now I know which is which (thanks nysusan!). Good to hear everyone's thoughts!
  4. I just wanted to share a few thoughts about the Feb 10 Thursday evening (Tereshkina/Shklyarov/Kondaurova) performance, because it was so incredibly exciting to see! I left the theater feeling absolutely blown away, especially by the second act. I'll caveat by saying the last time I saw Mariinsky (then Kirov) was when I was in St. Petersburg in 2002, and this is a company I haven't kept up much, so this was the first time I saw any of these dancers live. And I am by no means a professional or experienced reviewer--just a former ballet dancer and an avid ballet fan! Act I From the second balcony, Tereshkina's looks reminded me of Snow White--so pale with striking dark hair. When she began to dance, as lovely as her feet and legs were, I was mesmerized by her upper body, which is the most impressive I've ever seen in a live performance, hands down! Shklyarov was really impressive, both as a dancer and actor (although it's kind of hard to see the acting details from where I was sitting!). I very much enjoyed his 2nd variation, discussed earlier in this topic--but for me this ballet belonged to the women, that is what my eyes and memories have fixated on. The Peasant pas was danced by Valeria Martinyuk and Alexei Timofeev. I really enjoyed Martinyuk's precise, razor sharp style, and her beautifully supple and well-used feet. Her shoes were much much quieter than most of the others', leading me to suspect that she wears Gaynor Mindens--they looked suspiciously as such, even from 2nd balcony, but her beautiful feet made up for this! She seems to be a very solid, petite dancer, and there was never a wobbly moment in her performance. Timofeev did a fine job as her partner, but I can't recall any particular details about his dancing. I thought Tereshkina's looks served her particularly well in the mad scene, as she did look, well, a bit scary! Here's a question--I haven't seen Giselle performed live in a long while--does she usually tear her hair out while running around? In this version, when she first faints, Bathilda is tending to her, and seemed to remove some clips from her hair, so that when Giselle gets up again, her hair is suddenly down. I wouldn't have noticed this except for an unfortunately distracting moment when Bathilda slid the hair clips to the side of the stage. Why couldn’t she have snuck them into the pocket of her costume instead? At any rate, the acting in this scene was quite good. I got really caught up in the drama, intensity, and well-timed nature of how it was performed. Act II As excellent as the first act was, this was the act that really blew me (and the rest of the audience, based on their comments and the uptick in applause) away! Kondaurova’s bourrees, were of course, minuscule, silent, and breathtaking—they alone were worth the price of a ticket. To contrast, her jumps were grand, huge, and solid. But for me, Tereshkina stole this act: Wili-Tereshkina was a revelation, an inhuman, ethereal creature, just incredible! Her arms and upper body really got to do their work in this act—again, they are the most expressive and achingly lovely I’ve ever seen, and like Kondaurova’s bourrees, they alone were also worth the price of the most expensive ticket! This is to say nothing of her supple feet, her rock solid control, and the strength of her jumps. Simply put, I could not believe what an incredible dancer I had the privilege of seeing. Daria Vasnetsova and Oksana Skorik danced the two lead Wilis, and I was wishing I could tell one from the other, since I saw the documentary featuring Skorik and would have loved to know which one she was. Anyone know if she was mainly on stage right or left? Perhaps if I had read this post before attending, I could have noted that the one with the higher leg was Skorik They did a fine job, along with the corps, which was exquisitely disciplined and precise throughout. Clearly I only have good things to say about this performance, but would be interested to read a more critiques by experienced writers. Especially interested to hear about the other castings, and if anyone got stuck with Somova, how did that turn out?
  5. Elizaveta

    Alina Somova

    Woohoo! Kennedy Center has announced changed casting for the upcoming Mariinsky tour. Now my ticket is for the Tereshkina/Shklyarov/Kondaurova performance! Glad I wasn't too quick to change the ticket. I might have accidentally ended up with a Somova ticket-again! Review (albeit amateur) to come in February!
  6. Elizaveta

    Obraztsova - Odette/Odile Debut

    Huzzah! She is simply a joy to watch! It's too bad she's not on the roster for Giselle at Kennedy Center next month (me being selfish).
  7. Elizaveta

    Alina Somova

    I have been reading this topic with great interest. I don't really follow the Russian companies as well as I do NYCB, but I remembered seeing Somova in "Ballerina" and not being very impressed. The variation she performed for the student performance looked very unfinished and sloppy indeed--of course, back then she was a student. On the other hand, I couldn't get enough of Obraztsova! Well, a few months ago, I purchased a series of tickets for the Kennedy Center ballet performances--and to my great disappointment, my ticket is for one of two Somova performances. (For casting see: http://www.kennedy-center.org/calendar/index.cfm?fuseaction=showEvent&event=BLBSF#details) What should I do? Try to sell my ticket and see another performance? Should I see Somova (since I have not seen her before live) and give her a fair shot? The overwhelming consensus of this message board seems to be NO NO NO!!!
  8. Elizaveta

    Galina Ulanova's move to the Bolshoi

    Ah, I clearly have much to learn! Thanks for pointing this out. My research doesn't extend to the late 1970s, so therein lies my ignorance!
  9. Elizaveta

    Galina Ulanova's move to the Bolshoi

    Thank you all for these insights and especially for the sources Having done a lot of research in "Thaw"-era Soviet ballet, it seems -- at least from the official sources I have access to -- that the Bolshoi was incredibly dominant for the reasons already listed; but I suspect that the Mariinsky-Kirov retained its pride as being the original, oldest Russian ballet school/company and retainer of "pure" Vaganova technique. It is also very interesting that most (if not all?) of the ballet defectors came from the Kirov.
  10. Elizaveta


    Perhaps Alexei Ratmansky will revive Laurencia for us, having already done so with Bright Stream and Flames of Paris, two other sotsrealist ballets The Chabukiani version would be worth a trip to Georgia to see, though... There is a clip of Plisetskaya performing a variation from Laurencia here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ay_QWV2lv1Y It is quite possibly one of my favorite clips EVER!
  11. Elizaveta

    Romeo + Juliet on Live From Lincoln Center

    Ah yes, I was extremely disappointed when my affiliate decided to show 'This Old House' instead! That being said, it almost doesn't matter, as the quality of digital TV is so choppy and horrendous (for those without cable) that I can no longer watch PBS. I'm grateful for all the comments and insight, since I have never been able to see this production. I'm hoping it will be available on DVD at some point.
  12. Elizaveta

    No more "Front Row"

    I am very sad to see the feature go! I have been following it for six or seven years, and it always was a bright spot in my week. Darn!
  13. Elizaveta

    What is ballet dramaturgy?

    Many thanks for this great info!
  14. Elizaveta

    Books on *Soviet* Ballets (Works and Companies)

    I also really like Natalia Roslavleva's "Era of the Russian Ballet," which, despite its title, covers a good deal of the Soviet era. Published 1966 Mary Grace Swift wrote "The Art of the Dance in the USSR" in 1968, which is also good, although written from an American point of view. Alexander Demidov's "Russian Ballet: Past and Present" (1977) covers a lot of Soviet stuff, but it is more of an overview, like you will find with Slonimsky. Finally, Maya Plisetskaya's memoirs, which have been translated into English ("I, Maya Plisetskaya") are really great to read, as are Valery Panov's ("To Dance").
  15. To quote wikipedia: "In 1944, when her [ulanova's] fame reached Stalin, he had her transferred to the Bolshoi Theatre, where she would be the prima ballerina assoluta for 16 years" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galina_Ulanova). Of course, there is no source listed. I've been unable to verify that Ulanova's move from the Kirov to the Bolshoi was Stalin's doing, as most of my sources are official and Soviet. Is there a known, documented reason for her transfer? Thanks in advance!