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Mariinsky's Performances in the Lowry

Guest Baletoman

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Guest Baletoman

Did anyone see the Mariinsky's performances in the Lowry?

It would be very interesting to know about your impressions.

I myself have just seen Zakharova and Zelensky in the Swan Lake. They were brilliant ! I am impressed!

Clear, precise (as it seems always at Mariinsky Ballet, although I am not a professional) and elegant.

Besides I liked their interpretation of love between Prince and Swan very, very much. To my mind, it was exquisite and tender, without unnecessary suffering, but deep. Especially interesting to me was the image of Prince (although at the beginning I had a strange feeling that something is wrong with him) and Svetlana's Odette v. Odille. It was the first time when I'd seen her. I am so excited about her dancing! She is a fabulous dancer! (How nice to see tall dancers with long legs and arms! Although I like Royal Ballet as well ;) )

Many applauds to Jester (Andrey Ivanov) and Rothbart (Ilya Kuznetsov)!

At some moments it seemed to me that the stage was a little bit small and too modern for the performance.

The whole impression is very very good. I am looking forward to seeing the group in Royal Albert Hall in May and in Covent Garden in July (does anyone know the casting for precise performances???)

Best regards

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Guest Baletoman

There is a review in today's Times about the Swan Lake in the Lowry, Manchester on 28 April. You can read it on the website of the Times www.timesonline.co.uk (search for "Swan Lake" in the search window)

Best regards

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They came, they danced, they conquered. Last week, for the visit of the Kirov, the Lowry theatre was a complete sell out and how Manchester loved the company to judge by the wild, enthusiastic receptions they received.

How does one judge the Kirov when in such great form? They seem to have recovered from the fall in performance level of a few years ago The Corps de Ballet were a little ragged on the opening night, nothing to serious by their usual high standards, and the other three performances I saw were back on top form. They danced the Shades to perfection. To see twenty-four pairs of arms and legs moving in perfect alignment was worth the price of the seats alone. I will concentrate on the principle dancers I saw but it must say that the national dancers were excellent in Swan Lake and I was particularly impressed with Irina Zhelonkina dancing as a friend of the Prince.

Monday 28 April, Swan Lake

Odette/Odile - Svetlana Zakharova, Prince - Igor Zelensky, Rothbart - Ilya Kuznetsov

Odette was spoiled with too many extensions to the 12 o’clock position and looked a little strained at times, otherwise great dancing. Odille was danced with great showmanship and thrilling to watch. Her seductive poses, flashing eyes and precision dancing made this the high point of the evening.

The Prince started very carefully, which was expected after his recent surgery, but picked up the longer he danced. He danced with his usual panache and deserved the rousing applause after the final act.

Rothbart danced with great vitality; it is a change to see a handsome Rothbart with a restrained costume after the versions some companies produce.

Thursday 1 May, Swan Lake

Odette/Odile – Natalya Sologub, Prince – Danila Koruntsev, Rothbart – Ilya Kurnetsov

The most interesting thing about this performance was that Soligub outshone Zakharove in the white acts both in the emotion and in the precision of her steps. However, it was the reverse in the ballroom scene when Soligub portrayed none of the emotions necessary to this act and indeed rarely looked at the Prince.

Friday 2 May, La Bayadere

Nikiya – Daria Pavlenko, Gamzatti – Irina Osmokina, Solor – Farukh Ruzimatov, Brahmin – Vladimir Ponomarev

People who know me will realise that I enjoy this ballet above all others, but I do have to say right at the outset that the performance by the whole cast, with the exception of Ruzimatov, was of the highest order. In Daria Pavlenko the Kirov have a ballerina who will rise to the very top of her profession. Her portrayal of Nikiya is as near perfect as one could ask for, her port de bras were exquisite, forming perfect circles and prescribing beautiful arcs and her feet in turnout and in the arch of her instep were pure delight. In her portrayel of all the different emotions she was a joy to watch. In Act one she was truly in love with Solor from the moment she saw him; the range of emotions in her battle with Gamzatti through to the anguish in her scene at the betrayal were just a wonder.

What a difference the acting of Solor was in comparison. He only came alive during his solos dances. He did not look directly at Nikiya or Gamzatti and his partnering left a lot to be desired. One every occasion I have seen him dance he seems so in love with himself that his partner does not seem to matter. That said his solo dancing was excellent, he has lost none of those famed jumps and leaps.

Irina Osmokina is a dancer I have not seen before but I am sure she will become a well-known figure in the Kirov repature. She danced with a light touch and an assurance in the role, the one blemish was in her fouettes when she strayed perilously close to the front edge of the stage.

The Brahmin deserves a special mention for his outstanding portrayal of the obvious deep love he felt for Nikiya and his anguish at his betrayal of her.

Saturday 3 May, La Bayadere

Cast as Friday except Solor – Leonid Sarafanov, Gamzatti – Viktoria Tereshkina

I have not seen Sarfanov previously and when he came on stage with his slight figure and boyish looks my first thought was they had sent a boy to do a man’s job. This was soon dispelled on his initial meeting with Nikiya when he danced with such ease and delightful footwork and portrayed his love for her with such enthusiasm that lasted to the end of the performance. His partnering was excellent and he performed the lifts with ease.

Gamzatti scene with Nikiya was suitably bitchy but unfortunately she slipped and fell heavily early on in the betrothal scene which caused a loss of confidence not helped by a further slide when coming down from being held aloft by the two partners.

Alas I go on too long for a mere ballet fan, but I hope that I have conveyed even a little of the pleasure the Kirov brought to the audience in Manchester.


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Thank you very much, Colwill, no need to fear you're going on for too long with such an enthousiastic report; I'm sure other balletalerters will agree that it was a pleasure to read it :).

Daria Pavlenko danced sort of a personal marathon in this short season, as she danced "Swan Lake" and two "Bayadères" in four days. Incidentally, she had never danced this version of "La Bayadère" before and was rather glad it had 'only' three acts.

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