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Tereshkina's Raymonda & other recent performances


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My understanding is that Terioshkina is currently coached by Gabriella Komleva. As I've mentioned time & time again, hers is a meteoric rise. It's only a matter of time before she is named Principal. She leap-frogged from Choryphee to First Soloist this year, skipping the Second Soloist category.

Indeed, all reports on the Russian fora are very praiseworthy of last night's Raymonda by Terioshkina [correction: not a debut...2nd performance of the role]. Vladimir Shishov as Jean de Brienne and Ilya Kuznetsov as Abderakhman also made debuts in their respective roles.

Nioradze dances Raymonda today. Back-to-back performances of the ballet. A rarity.

Natalia

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I'm sorry to burst anyone's bubble, but in my opinion, while there were many beautiful and praiseworthy things in Tereshkina's Raymonda, there were a lot of technically insecure passages -- particularly the second half of the dream solo, and a lot of thoughtless poses that were inappropriately rough. She is not yet ready to be principal, and she should not be put on a manic fast forward path. She has a lot of work to do before she is a great Raymonda. Of course the ballet is so rarely performed that that could be said about anyone.

By the way, all the supporting solo parts were performed by the same dancers both nights, which meant they were on their feet all day before the premiere; everyone was better the second night.

We're talking dancers here, not horseflesh and rather than focus on Tereshkina's racing handicap I'd like to remind our readers that her performance was definitely a beginner's effort.

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Tereshkina is trained by Lubov Kunakova as far as we know.

She is a very promising ballerina but maybe she needs to rehearse more or to work with another teacher. Her " Raymonda " was good but with many technical and style mistakes: no nice final poses, no really strong technique, no convincing manner.

We' ll wait for her better performances.

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Sounds similar to what Arlene Croce said about the rushed development of prodigies among American ballerinas (1996 review): "When remarkable young dancers like Kowroski and Paloma Herrera become stars without having been trained up to the level of the roles they will have to carry, it isn't just a damn shame and an abuse of talent; it's an affliction -- it means actual physical hardship."

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Thanks for all of the reports & notes! BalletLovers, I know that Kunakova taught Terioshkina at the Vaganova Academy academy for a while, before Marina Vasilieva took over in the graduation year. In fact, Kunakova has been working as a coach wit the Konstantin Tkatchine troupe since 2001 or thereabouts. Perhaps she's returned to the Mariinsky recently; I have not heard so.

I can't think of a perfect performance of Raymonda at this theater, in recent memory. Vishneva faltered in her one performance. Pavlenko faltered. Heck, even Lopatkina faltered in only Act III, two weeks ago. Now Terioshkina falters. Incredible as it may seem to some, the finest Raymonda at the Mariinsky, in recent memory, was Julia Makhalina, in some of the early-1990s performances. Her technique was impeccable & she had the 'Hungarian Hauteur' mannerisms down pat!

How was Nioradze, in the 2nd of the recent performances?

Also, did anyone catch Evgenia Obratzova's Sylphide?

Natalia

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Hi dear Natalia,

we know that Kunakova is working just only with Tereshkina in the Mariinsky theatre but it seems she is not a great teacher even if she was a very good ballerina.

Besides it seems that now the Mariinsky ballet is more attentive to the "modern" repertory and is forgetting the main classicals. For exemple in "Raymonda" the corps de ballet seems sometimes not really in a good form, with faible legs and feet.

In the past, ballets like " Sleeping Beauty"or "Swan Lake", were represented twice a week so the troupe was always in the best dazzling form. Now, when this ballets are represented twice a month, the most of the dancers seems to be frightened on the stage, not involved with the performance they are dancing. It seems they are not understanding what they dance , even if we are talking about very capable people !

" Raymonda" is one of the most difficult ballet for technique ( 6 variations for the ballerina) and for style so if the Mariinsky ballet dance it so rarely, is impossible to maintain this rules.

Maybe it will be better less Forsythe , Balanchine etc. and more " Swan Lakes" or " Raymondas" to have the company in better form, isn' t it ?

Julia Makhalina was really very nice and convincing in " Raymonda", in both of the versions of Sergeev and Grigorovich, that is why maybe she is not dancing any more this roles: why have a competition for the young, insecure today's ballerinas ?

We think Makhalina could be a really big exemple for all the young generations but it seems the ballet direction doesn't understand it at all. We only hope she will be all right after her last injuries and to see her dance as soon as possible.

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Thank you for the clarifications & thoughts, BalletLovers.

Even when I last saw Makhalina 'live' in this role -- February 2002 -- she danced it beautifully. I realize that she was a bit out of shape at the start of the current season, when she danced Scheherazade. If she's dance more often, she'd be in her usual great shape, I suspect. Not for me to conjecture, though. :blink:

Although I very much enjoyed the recent Mariinsky Festival, I could not help but notice that the emphasis during that period was on the modern ballet, rather than on the treasure-trove of classics, which should be the spine of the repertoire. Even in the Festival, the most widely-praised ballets were the classics: the DON Q starring Cojocaru-Kobborg, Lunkina's GISELLE, Terioshkina's SWAN LAKE, Act III of RAYMONDA on Lopatkina's night.

The Mariinsky management would be wise to focus next year's Festival on the classics. After all, it will be the last such Festival in the theater in a long time. It's great that they've acquired so many modern classics -- the Balanchines, Forsythes & such -- but not at the expense of it's core repertoire, which it performes better than any other troupe on earth, IMO. Other ballet troupes dream about acquiring & performing the classics, in their full-length form (no cuts). How odd that the troupe that best performs the Full Classics, without cuts, is dreaming about modern ballet...in some cases, dreaming about acquiring 'Eurotrash'!

Somebody at the Mariinsky seems to think that we foreign visitors go to the hallowed halls of the Mariinsky to see Bejart, Neumeier & the like. A misguided thought.

The final 'hoorah': The last big premiere of the current season will be another installment of the Chemyakin-Gergiev Nutcracker series (The Magic Nut). I can't help but think that this -- and much of the repertoire -- is being driven (demanded) by certain key benefactors...rather than purely artistic considerations. Just a thought.

Natalia

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The Mariinsky management would be wise to focus next year's Festival on the classics.  After all, it will be the last such Festival in the theater in a long time. It's great that they've acquired so many modern classics -- the Balanchines, Forsythes & such -- but not at the expense of it's core repertoire, which it performes better than any other troupe on earth, IMO. 

Natalia

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the point of these festivals was to showcase new works. Certainly Balanchine's festivals were often devoted to entirely new works. Wouldn't it not really be a dance festival if the billing was Swan Lake, Giselle, and Don Quixote?

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The question is which of the current coaches are proving most effective?

Re the modern works, particularly Balanchine's rep, where's the proper oversight? If some of the coaches can't get the necessary results, where

does that leave the ballets, the company and the audience?

Re classics, there's a trend of too much premature casting of youngsters who aren't adequately prepared. Maybe its a mix of perception and personal opinion. Its the "We think she has talent; therefore she does have talent," mentality of the mangement, when in reality 'she' is not another Vishneva, Lopatkina or Pavlenko. (This goes for some of the men too). Anything can happen to the best of dancers in live performance: Lopatkina may falter for a moment but she's able to recover and come back strong. She can do this because of the years of preparation and the experience of a prima.

There are a few that have been mentioned in the recent festival and this past year who were not yet able to shoulder the responsibility of Odette/Odile, Nikiya, Aurora, Raymonda et al. Therefore, they shouldn't have taken center stage until they were ready. Also, popularity at the box office trumps good casting - such as Nioradze in Manon: (BTW Natalia, I can't imagine that either). Hopefully with the White Nights coming up, the Class of 2005 will give Gergiev the vintage year he's been pining for.

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From Canbelto:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the point of these festivals was to showcase new works. Certainly Balanchine's festivals were often devoted to entirely new works. Wouldn't it not really be a dance festival if the billing was Swan Lake, Giselle, and Don Quixote?

Is it the point of the Mariinsky Festival? I don't think it is. Usually festivals have themes. Balanchine made new work the focus of his festivals. Or rather, he made composers and his response to those composers the point of his festivals. But that doesn't mean every festival has to be the same as Balanchine's. The mission statement of the Mariinsky Festival is supposedly to bring the best ballet to St. Petersburg, hence the guest artists. There seemed to be less guest artists throughout the run of the festival this time than there has been in years past. I would say that this year's festival celebrated the artists of the Mariinsky Ballet, with special nights for Vishneva, Lopatkina, Pavlenko and the corps de ballet.

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I would say that this year's festival celebrated the artists of the Mariinsky Ballet, with special nights for Vishneva, Lopatkina, Pavlenko and the corps de ballet.

You're right, Dale. However, each of the three honored ballerinas got to select the pieces presented in her night &, with the exception of the Act III/Raymonda on Lopatkina's night, all of the selected pieces were modern, Soviet, or neoclassical (non-traditional House of Petipa heritage works). At the eleventh hour, Vishneva realized that it would do her good to include a 'Petipa Heritage' piece, so she added Bayadere 'Shades'. I'm also told that the theater sold-out only after the Bayadere was added to Vishneva's programme.

I've been to at least a part of each Mariinsky Festival &, believe me, there has never been a Festival with such a high degree of non-'Petipa Heritage' works as this one.

p.s. All of the preview articles in St Petersburg newspapers touted the 'modern' theme of this Festival, within & outside the three ballerinas' galas. The final gala was always touted as a Celebration of Contemporary Ballet, although it ended up being even more contemporary than had been originally envisaged (with the substitution of Forsythe for Robbins in part one).

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In my opinion, if the Kirov wants to do right by Petipa it would remove all the post-Petipa corruptions and mannerisms that currently infiltrate their Swan Lake. The lack of mime, the jester, the tacked-on happy ending, these were all added after Petipa and IMO ruin the ballet. Particularly the ending, which for me is unwatchable. Odette needs to die to redeem Siegfried. What's the point of having Rothbart's wing ripped off?

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What's the point of having Rothbart's wing ripped off?

It affords us the chance to see sexy Ilya Kuznetsov wiggling around on the floor!

Seriously, canbelto -- You're right. I'd love to see all of the Petipa/Ivanov 'classics' restored to their pre-1900 versions! Alas, the overwhelming majority of 'local' ballet fans (& many critics who began writing in the Soviet Era) consider "Soviet Era" as synonymous with "Petipa Era"! There's a big blur. To them, time stood still at precisely the moment when Agrippina Vaganova died, ca 1952. Whatever was being danced at the moment that Vaganova died is THE "Petipa Heritage." Don't ask me for the logic in this. You simply must accept it, doggone it, or you'll be reported to the KGB. (wink)

On the other hand, the Soviet Era brought a lot of BEAUTIFUL 20th-C. emendations, such as the Golden Idol solo in Bayaderka, the now-standard solo of Basil in Don Q (Yermolaev-Vasiliev version), the Aurora-Desire adagio during the Nereids Scene of Sleeping Beauty. We have to be careful to not pooh-pooh something just because it is a Soviet-Era addition. Don't call it "Pure Petipa," though!

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In my opinion, if the Kirov wants to do right by Petipa it would remove all the post-Petipa corruptions and mannerisms that currently infiltrate their Swan Lake. The lack of mime, the jester, the tacked-on happy ending, these were all added after Petipa and IMO ruin the ballet. Particularly the ending, which for me is unwatchable. Odette needs to die to redeem Siegfried. What's the point of having Rothbart's wing ripped off?

The Mariinsky has done it by restoring Petipa's La Bayadère and The Sleeping Beauty, and it was anything but a success. The dancers all hated these versions (yes, of course, they too were brought up with those wicked Soviet ways :) ) and many audiences, even here in the West, didn't appreciate the work that went in them. (In Paris many left after the 3rd Act in Bayadère.) And personally I don't believe that as soon as something was added after Petipa, it is necessarily worse.

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I think Swan Lake is a special case though, because the ending was forced to become "happy" via Soviet censors. It's not a case of a new dance being added (i.e. the Giselle solo that was added for Spessivtseva) it's a wholesale change of the entire ballet's story. I really don't mind the post-Petipa changes to Bayadere, etc. but Swan Lake works much better with a tragic ending.

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How was Nioradze, in the 2nd of the recent performances?

Also, did  anyone catch Evgenia Obratzova's Sylphide?

Natalia

As none of our on-site Mariinsky Watchers have reported on the Nioradze Raymonda of April 15 and the Obratzova Sylphide of April 17, I'll share an overview of the reports filed on the www.mariinka.com & other 'local' St.P fora.

Nioradze danced opposite Danil' Korsuntsev, as the heretofore-announced Vladimir Shishov danced with Terioshkina on the previous night. Nioradze didn't fare nearly as well as Terioshkina (who herself suffered from a number of little technical errors in this very difficult role). One reviewer describes Nioradze as "dancing by sheer force...nothing was easy but she pulled it off with marked strain, reflected in her quivering arms & legs." Julia Kassenkova & Irina Zhelonkina both won kudos for their classical variations, in different acts of the performance. The greatest praise, on both 'Raymonda' nights, however, went to the character/national dancers: Rassadina, Zubkovsky, Ioannisian, Yachmennikov, Baimuradov & "...Elena Bazhenova, the main heroine of the evening."

Two reviewers of the Nioradze evening, on the mariinka.com site, commented on the "loud, vulgar shouting of 'bravo!' for Nioradze by her fellow Georgians in the audience...". [Hmmm...I'm not quite sure how 'Irina' & 'Svetlana' could verify who yelled; maybe a show of passports? Regardless, the point is that there were sporadic, loud 'bravos' which some reviewers were questioning. - Natalia]

On a much more positive note, almost everyone agreed on the light, musical, joyful Sylphide of young pixie Elena Obratzova, this past Sunday. The James that day, Vladimir Schklyarov, received equal praise. One reviewer set the tone for the others by stating: "Rarely have I obtained similar pleasure from a ballet as I did from today's 'Sylphide' by Obratzova & Schklyarov!" Obratzova was "technically, almost irreprochable" and danced with a style of "fascinating essence" that mesmerized the audience. Praise also went to Maria Yakovleva's Effie & Pavel Moskvito's Gurn. The only negative note was about Elena Vostrotina, due to both her tall-and-lanky physique (which the reviewer deemed incompatible with that of the other demi-solo sylphs), as well as a "too dry, uncharming manner of dancing."

So that's the latest from the 'local' websites. Actual attendees are more than welcomed to write their original reports & post them here! BalletLovers? Thalictum? No obligation, of course...but if you'd like to.... :)

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I think Swan Lake is a special case though, because the ending was forced to become "happy" via Soviet censors. It's not a case of a new dance being added (i.e. the Giselle solo that was added for Spessivtseva) it's a wholesale change of the entire ballet's story. I really don't mind the post-Petipa changes to Bayadere, etc. but Swan Lake works much better with a tragic ending.

For many people, the Soviet Era was destroying for all the type of arts: many restrictions, many forced changes, many artistic souls " killed".

Sometimes this is true. For example, the Soviet authorities have "destroied" many masterpieces of the great choreographer Leonid Yakobson, that was forcerd to change them everytime for stupid rules. In any case he was so talent that he could give us the most beautiful exemples of great and genious choreography.

Unforgettable his versions of " Spartacus", " Shurale" and all his choreography miniatures. Even now we can't find anything genious on our choreographers ( and even in the West).

When George Balanchine came to America ( where of course there was not any Soviet trend ??? :) ), the ballet art was absolutly not developed but his "genious mind" found the way to create immortal masterpieces. This is the real talent of any choreographer: to be genious indipendently of any political current or any sad artistical situation.

Kostantin Sergheev did a splendid version of "Swan Lake". Maybe the most beautiful in the classical repertory, keeping to the Soviet rules ( the "happy end" of the story). Even now his version is the most beloved independently of his end. Not only from "the end" we can value the choreographer's talent !

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Very true, BalletLovers. I guess I want it all -- both the pre-WWI "Pure Petipas" and the Soviet Era versions. Hopefully, the Mariinsky company will continue to interchange both versions of Beauty & Bayadere, plus add to the Petipa reconstructions (though I'm afraid that we won't see too many of those in the future).

So did you see any of the weekend performances? I'm particularly interested in the Obratzova Sylphide. If I weren't broke, I'd go to Wales next week just to see her Juliet, which is so highly touted....but she should also be dancing the role in London! I've heard some of the 'babushkas' say that Obratzova's Juliet comes closest to Ulanova, in character & 'old-fashioned' restrained & elegant technique. If that's true, then it would be a rare thing to see. I've seen Obratzova in smallish roles in the classics & one-act ballets but never a complete major role, that I recall. [maybe we should start a thread for her, if the interest picks up; we'll see how the Cardiff reviews turn out]

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Natalia,

unfortunately we didn't attend the last " Sylphide " with E.Obrasztova but we have seen her before in this role and we liked her very much. She is very pretty and light like a real "Sylphide".Her "Juliet" was also very sweet and touching.

It is very conforting that the Mariinsky theatre has finally understood that needs also small ballerinas for the repertory and not only that the height is the only main thing in the classical ballet.

Today it is becoming really impossible to watch on the stage "Sylphides", " Auroras", "Mashas" or "Juliets" etc. taller sometimes, than their partners and, in many cases, absolutely clumsy.

We think that Obrastzova, after S. Efremova, Z. Ayupova, I. Badaeva, V. Ivanova, is one of the most nice and "small" ballerinas who could make come back today the right aesthetics and the right conception of lightness, grace and expressiveness that has characterized the great ballerinas in the past in this roles.

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I couldn't disagree more about Skylarov. His acting was an embarrasment, and the tragic dimensions of the role were ludicrously absent. His dancing was good but hardly polished, and don't anyone dare mention, "Oh but he's only 20," because that is the whole point!!!! Besides it wasn't a debut, he dances this role more often than anyone else at the Kirov right now. Obratsova was nice, but I am not drinking the Kool Aid about her and I wish her claque would lay off already.

Vostrontina was fine, as were all the other demi-soloists.

I really at this point question the astuteness of the local Maryinsky audience.

There is something received about their reactions.

Nioradze was professional as Raymonda. Why didn't anyone mention Dmitri Pykachev, who subbed at the last moment for Kutznetsov and was better than Kutznetsov?

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