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Tereshkina's Raymonda & other recent performances


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Yes, Ballet Lovers, the Kirov needs short ballerinas as well as the Amazons. But can't we have short ballerinas with long legs, like Svetlana Ivanova and Maya Dumchenko? Obratsova is short with short legs and feet as well. Her neck is long, however, and that improves her line.

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Yes, Ballet Lovers, the Kirov needs short ballerinas as well as the Amazons. But can't we have short ballerinas with long legs, like Svetlana Ivanova and Maya Dumchenko?  Obratsova is short with short legs and feet as well.  Her neck is long, however, and that improves her line.

You are true Thalictum, the "small" ballerinas have to be proportioned ,with nice long arms and legs, that is why we have mentioned nice and gracefull dancers like Efremova, Ayupova, Badaeva or Ivanova.

You are true about Obrastzova but we think that is very pretty and nice to watch in any case. The main thing for her , is never to be overweight to seems everytime proportioned .

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I'm watching Dumchenko's graduation tape and she is quite petite next to Dmitri Pykhachev, who is, say 5'11. I think she looks taller than she is because of her proportions, but yes she is certainly taller than Obratsova or Novikova!

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I'm watching Dumchenko's graduation tape and she is quite petite next to Dmitri Pykhachev, who is, say 5'11. I think she looks taller than she is because of her proportions, but yes she is certainly taller than Obratsova or Novikova!

Thalictum, Maya Dumchenko is 1,72 m (just as Gumerova), not exactly petite I would say.

I understand your concern. Yet there is nothing new under the sun in the Mariinsky which has been revering the cult of youth for a long time now. The great classics have been "under-danced" because of that for years. In the early nineties it was Yulia Makhalina pushing twenty who got everything, often at the expense of the older generation; later came Volochkova and Lopatkina; in the mid-nineties we got Vishneva, Zakharova, Part, etc hardly twenty who were dancing principal roles, first nights, and who were showcased as the face of the Kirov before they were properly suited for it and while mature artists were on the bench doing nothing; now it's another generation again who seems to get everything.

The only thing one can say is that their time is very short.

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Thanks for all of the insights. Sorry, I've been away.

re. the shorter ballerinas: It's a shame that Margarita Kullik's career coincided with the beginning of the 'craze' for the tall Glamazons. One of the 'purest' students of Dudinskaya, she was very much appreciated at home but was never included on official tours of the Kirov Ballet to the West. We did see her on one or two independent-soloist tours, towards the end of her career. What a shame & waste.

Thus, I am delighted to see that today's shorter ballerinas -- the Elena Sheshinas and the Evgenia Obratsovas -- are being given substantial touring opportunities.

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Kullik was also considered "overweight" in some quarters.

Marc and Natalia: I think we may have to consider the unthinkable: the Kirov is perhaps now morphing irrevocably into a demi-caractere/modern company.

The subtleties of classicism, requiring patience and rehearsal time and artistic maturity, are so little understood by the nouveau audience as well as the administration that unless a course correction is made we are not going to see definitive performances in the classical repertory. Compared to what we see elsewhere, however, I'd have to say that the Kirov remains the most classical company.

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The subtleties of classicism, requiring patience and rehearsal time and artistic maturity, are so little understood by the nouveau audience ...

Maybe the 'nouveau' audience but I can assure you that the 'vieux' audience -- the knowledgeable one that can barely afford to attend Mariinsky performances nowadays-- doesn't care for the modernistic trend or anything that smacks of 'New Russian' or foreign businessmen. Alas, they don't support the Balanchines either, with rare exception ("Diamonds" seems to be liked by most). I'm trying hard not to generalize!

This is correct: The Kirov should not neglect it's bread-and-butter repertoire. The school is 'safe' -- still many fine teachers teaching the classics -- but the theater seems to be sliding into the globalization mode.

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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!

Sorry to hear you're financially embarrassed right now, as the theatre in Cardiff is superb and you would have seen the Kirov in a far superior (and cheaper) setting than in London where the seat prices are sky high and sight lines in the Royal Opera House are atrocious.

Well done the Welsh!!!

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Thanks for all of the insights. Sorry, I've been away.

re. the shorter ballerinas:  It's a shame that Margarita Kullik's career coincided with the beginning of the 'craze' for the tall Glamazons.  One of the 'purest' students of Dudinskaya, she was very much appreciated at home but was never included on official tours of the Kirov Ballet to the West.  We did see her on one or two independent-soloist tours, towards the end of her career. What a shame & waste.

Thus, I am delighted to see that today's shorter ballerinas -- the Elena Sheshinas and the Evgenia Obratsovas -- are being given substantial touring opportunities.

Natalia, I totally agree. Kullik definitely got lost in the shuffle. She was

was one of Dudinskaya's best products. She did however participate in the Kirov's 1988 UK tour. She danced the first shade in Bayadere's Act 3 pdt at the London Design Center. At that performance, Makarova danced for the first time in (then) 18 years with her original company in the SL Act 2 pdd. Kullik's shade had such speed in that solo . . . and the elevation of her grand jete!

Fedotov slowed the music down at that second for maximum effect :yahoo: ! As for Margarita being considered overweight - (what?!) no way!! Her legs may have been big boned with broad hips, but they were chiseled muscles with no fat, and she had feet that were both strong and powerful. The MT's ideal standard has changed so much that I daresay dancers like Kolpakova, Sizova or Komleva wouldn't even be accepted into the company today.

I may be wrong, but IMHO the flash point of the "Glamazon" Age, (and what some of us in this thread have lamented, currently passes as 'acceptable artistry' at the MT), had its genesis during the final decade of the Vinogradov Regime. Besides Rita Kullik, other petite "pure ones" who were mistreated and/or sidelined during his reign were Lezhnina, Zhelonkina and Tchistyakova - (the latter two in particular, never really getting "lift off" in their careers, going no further except to be used primarily as reliable variationists). Irina Sitnikova was another petite and exceptionally pure dancer who also experienced Z & T's fate. Lara, left for DNB and has done very well in Amsterdam. The three Irinas chose to stay and languished. Others from that missing-link generation (late 80s early 90s): Polikarpova, Pankova and Schapsits, decided to go to greener pastures in Germany and Finland, and they freelanced. Promising men such as Alexander Lunev, (Soloviev risen from the dead), and Vitaly Tsvetkov were left on the shelf too, in favor of guys such as Ruzimatov, Daukayev and Neff. Of that transitional generation, the only women who stayed and became principals were Ayupova and Makhalina. Furthermore, other less favored principals were sidelined too. Asylmuratova and some others didn't fare well at the end of Vinogradov's tenure either. Too bad.

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Are even the cheapest tickets out of reach for the vieux audience?

Yes, thal. 300 R may be $9 to we Americans but it represents a week or two of a policeman or schoolteacher or health-professional's wages.

Most of the average-wage-earning Russians who I saw at the recent Festival were there on special Govt/Administrative 'comp' passes or were somehow let into friends' boxes, sitting on other peoples' laps or standing in the boxes. Wake up & notice this. :yahoo:

Nobody dares complain because most of those 'lap sitters' are connoisseurs of the arts who simply cannot buy tickets.

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Irina Sitnikova was another petite and  exceptionally pure dancer who also experienced Z & T's fate.

Sitnikova was a beautiful dancer. She was included in the company's 1989 New York season and was one of the most memorable dancers, for me. I heard she had a baby a couple of years later and always assumed that she was older and/or more interested in a balanced life of career and family, which was why we didn't hear more of her. How sad that her talent wasn't recognized as it should have been.

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Sitnikova was a beautiful dancer.  She was included in the company's 1989 New York season and was one of the most memorable dancers, for me.  I heard she had a baby a couple of years later and always assumed that she was older and/or more interested in a balanced life of career and family, which was why we didn't hear more of her.  How sad that her talent wasn't recognized as it should have been.

Sitnikova has been working as a teacher in the Vaganova Academy since her retirement sometime in the late nineties.

Dancers like her were not necessarily "mistreated" I think; they were extremely gifted soloists and that's how they were used. A company like the Mariinsky needs them more than anything: they are the fairies, the odalisques and the countless friends of the leads, but they are not principals. It seems that today even that artistic distinction has disappeared (along with the notion of emploi and a few other 'details') and dancers of any level or calibre are expected to carry principal roles, and on top of that, much too soon in their careers.

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The dancer I always wondered about--in terms of a career that did not seem to be favored by the company's leadership--was Veronika Ivanova. I've posted about her before (and received helpful responses about her later career from Natalia), but one brief appearance made such an impression on me I can't help posting again.

The appearance was in an excerpt from Giselle that was part of an otherwise less than top drawer "highlights" evening in Chicago in the early nineties. She and Lunev held the largely NOT "dance educated" audience under a spell while exemplifying the kind of purity for which "Kirov" had, at that time, long been a synonym. They were not playing to the crowd!

I don't remember if she was/is tall or short, but I guess she can't have been too tall if she was dancing with Lunev and certainly she was not a "glamor" type of any kind. Years later, I saw the Kirov in a Swan Lake at the Met, and was delighted by her dancing in the pas de trois, but a little melancholy that she was not dancing any 'big' roles in New York that time.

I definitely thought she was more than soloist material...though I didn't see enough of her to speculate on what her repertory 'might have been' on tours that, admitedly, had rather limited repertory.

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I want to chime in my admiration of Sitnikova. She stood out for her musicality and the sense of her dancing coming from a very deep, inner impulse. She may have been a soloist, but I was seeing her when Pankova (certainly not my idea of a ballerina) was getting a lot of leads, and not making anything much of them. I can't imagine I.S. would have been any worse than E.P.

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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!

Sorry to hear you're financially embarrassed right now, as the theatre in Cardiff is superb and you would have seen the Kirov in a far superior (and cheaper) setting than in London where the seat prices are sky high and sight lines in the Royal Opera House are atrocious.

Well done the Welsh!!!

I'm surprised you think that the Kirov seats is Cardiff are cheap. Most of them (even in the second circle) seem to be 55 pounds. As a result a number of performances have not sold well at all. I hope this doesn't put the Kirov off from returning to the UK in future.

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I'm surprised you think that the Kirov seats is Cardiff are cheap. Most of them (even in the second circle) seem to be 55 pounds. 

For Don Quixote, always a difficult work to sell, even in London (at Covent Garden they had to 'paper the house' for the first night of the Bolshoi Don Q. last year), there was a special offer of £20 for all seats - I call that cheap.

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Natalia, please, Obratsova is a soubrette, albeit a tasteful one. One could hardly say the same of Ulanova. The Babushkas have made an idol of Obratsova, but their effusion needs to be recognized for what it is.

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Natalia, please, Obratsova is a soubrette, albeit a tasteful one.

The same used to said of Vera Trefilova when she was stuck dancing cutesy roles like Manu & Fairy Canari, early on in her career. When she was finally given her chance to dance Aurora, she was seen as a true classical leading ballerina &, later, THE definitive Aurora of the Diaghilev ballet!

Just because a dancer is shortish, cute of face & possessing a wide smile (when warranted) does not mean that she doesn't have the makings of a great ballerina in the great lyrical roles...and many feel that Evgenia Obratsova does. Unlike Sheshina & Kullik, Obratsova is proportionally long-limbed (as were Trefilova & Makarova).

It's sometimes good to think outside the box.

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Natalia, please, Obratsova is a soubrette, albeit a tasteful one.

The same used to said of Vera Trefilova when she was stuck dancing cutesy roles like Manu & Fairy Canari, early on in her career. When she was finally given her chance to dance Aurora, she was seen as a true classical leading ballerina &, later, THE definitive Aurora of the Diaghilev ballet!

Just because a dancer is shortish, cute of face & possessing a wide smile (when warranted) does not mean that she doesn't have the makings of a great ballerina in the great lyrical roles...and many feel that Evgenia Obratsova does. Unlike Sheshina & Kullik, Obratsova is proportionally long-limbed (as were Trefilova & Makarova).

It's sometimes good to think outside the box.

:D

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