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KennCen Kirov Seasons & Future Funding

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I could not help but notice that the Kennedy Center's website & the playbill include the following acknowledgements:

The Kirov Ballet's engagement is sponsored by the HRH Foundation.

Additional support provided by Classic Hospitality and Millennium Group.

So has the HRH Foundation taken up the commitment that Mr. Vilar made back in 2001? Is HRH Fdtn (& the other sponsors) commited to funding the four remaining season fo the ten-year stretch? I am wondering if the Kennedy Center has to look for different sponsors for each Kirov tour, since the end of the original Vilar funding.

I believe that we are now into the sixth year of the original 10-year commitment to bring the Kirov Ballet (& opera too?) to DC for ten consecutive years. Someone please correct this if I am wrong, but the offerings thus far have included:

1. Feb 2002 - Sleeping B/Jewels

2. Dec 2003 - Swan Lake/Nutcracker (Tchaikovsky Fest)

3. Mar 2004 - Bayadere 'Shades' (Int'l Ballet Festival)

4. Jan 2005 - Cinderella/Gala Ballet & Opera performance (+ 'bonus' of June 2005 'Corsaires' to substitute cancelled DTHarlem engagement)

5. Jan 2006 - Forsythes/Giselle

6. Jan 2007 - Romeo & Juliet (Shakespeare Fest)

Thoughts on the Kirov ballet seasons so far? Has it been all that you've expected it to be? If we'd have our 'druthers' and money-unlimited, which ballets should the Kirov bring in the four remaining years of this commitment?

My choices would be for classics or new ballets in the classical style, such as 'Ondine,' 'Fountains of Bakhshiserai,' or 'Legend of Love.' The full 'Raymonda' or the new-old 'Bayadere 1900' would be lovely, although the latter has not been performed in ages. Also, I wouldn't mind a Gala Performance of excerpts of old and modern classics by the Vaganova Academy, with a few Kirov stars sprinkled in for good measure. If anything comes of the Kirov's plans to reproduce Petipa/Drigo's 'Flora's Awakening' or the Anisimova/Khachaturian 'Gayne,' then I'd love to see them, too.

Finally - a huge 'thanks' to Alberto Vilar for the initial money & vision to get the Kirov-KennCen partnership started! We should not forget how all of this wonderful dancing came our way, in the first place. :)



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I would love to see Fountains and other works that aren't often performed here.

Of course, what I'd really like, a la "Protegees", is for them to bring the Vaganova Academy graduation performance--yes, the whole thing. Hey, I can dream, right?

That's a great idea, Koshka. Since the next Vaganova Academy graduation won't be until June 2008 -- they're skipping this year due to a change in curricullum adding one year of studies -- it should an extra-special program...worthy of showing-off across the seas!

I forgot to add to my list of possibilities, above, one famous classical ballet that the Kirov has not toured to DC in a long time, Don Quixote. Then again, how many DonQs can the DC public take in the span of five years?

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For me there's no such thing as too much DonQ.

I would also really like it if US audiences would catch on to the idea that DonQ is a great ballet for kids (well, maybe not the Eifman version).

If they were to do a more traditional mixed-bill plus story ballet combo, I'd like to see

-Satanella pdd (or more)

-something Balanchine--maybe Jewels or, for a really different take, Western Symphony (!)

then Fountains for the story ballet.

As for the Protegees idea--does anyone know or remember how well that played here? I personally loved it, but I wonder if it was generally "successful" enough to repeat.

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I realize that I am off topic for Kennedy Center, but I am more interested in their ballet offerings now that my daughter lives in DC, so here goes with a potentially stupid question:

Regarding the "new-old Bayadere 1900" that Natalia refers to, didn't Kirov do this a few years ago (Oct. 2002) in L.A.-- (and a few other places in the US, if I recall correctly), or was it a different version?

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Regarding the "new-old Bayadere 1900" that Natalia refers to, didn't Kirov do this a few years ago (Oct. 2002) in L.A.-- (and a few other places in the US, if I recall correctly), or was it a different version?

You're right, pj! 'Bayadere-1900' was danced at the Met, in Detroit, in LA and a few other places around 2002. It has never made its way to DC, though. Alas, it seems to have been removed from the active repertoire of the company...perhaps as a 'compromise' to 'Sleeping Beauty-1890' remaining in the rep while the Soviet 'Beauty' is in hybernation. In other words, admirers of the Soviet-era K. Sergeev stagings get to keep their Bayadere but no longer see their Beauty; reconstructionists get to see Beauty but not their Bayadere. Sad reality, as both versions of both ballets have their merit; they should rotate within the permanent repertoire, each to be seen at least a couple of times each season.

Americans saw the Soviet Beauty in '05 in California & Detroit, while the Russian public saw the 1890 version. The full company has not performed the Soviet Beauty since those US performances...so those US performances in 2005 were the ONLY time in recent memory that Uliana Lopatkina has performed the Lilac Fairy, as she is not an admirer of the reconstructions. Similarly - once Lopatkina returned in full-force from her long illness/maternity break, only the Soviet Bayadere has been performed at the Mariinsky, as she does not wish to perform in the reconstruction. Perhaps this is due to Lopatkina's understandable loyalty to her mentor & coach, Dudinskaya, who was the wife of Konstantin Sergeev. Ah, the politics of it all...sad.

Back to the original topic...

Would anyone else be interested in seeing 'Bayadere 1900' in DC? What else? We have a couple of votes for 'Raymonda' so far! :lol:

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I was lucky then, I guess, that I was able to see both the Soviet Beauty (w/Lopatkina as Lilac at one of the performances that I attended) and the Bayadere-1900 both when they have been in L.A. I was fortunate to see several performances of both (as a little bird I know was in the cast :wink: ).

Today, my daughter got to see the matinee performance of R&J at Kennedy center (which she loved; of course, who doesn't love Kirov).

And if they did Raymonda in DC, I'd probably have to buy a plane ticket to go see it (and I'd probably let my daughter tag along too!!!). I love the music for this ballet.

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Thanks, pj. You are indeed lucky (as is your daughter)!

Even when talking with friends, it seems that 'Raymonda' and 'Fountains' are high on the wish-list for future KennCen Kirov outings. 'Raymonda' would be an especially huge magnet attracting 'traditionalist' Kirov-lovers from around the USA, especially if the KennCen alone presents it in America, although it would be nice to 'share the wealth' with the West Coast, too. :)

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I'd love to see the Kirov dance Jewels, and an all Balanchine program of maybe Apollo, La Valse, and Symphony in C. Other things I'd like to see:


Chopiniana/Les Sylphides



I had completely forgotten about their Balanchines, canbelto. Thanks for the reminder. I believe that the USA has not seen their most recent Balanchine programme, which was shown in London & paris in 2005 -- Four Ts, Prodigal Son, La Valse, Ballet Imperial. ('La Valse' made a brief appearance at the Jan 2005 gala at the kennCen but that's all that they brought of the program.) Also, the Kirov is about to revive 'Theme & Variations,' which it hasn't performed in ages.

Alas, I don't think we'll ever get their 'Manon,' as their contract-agreement with the MacMillan organization ran out a couple of years ago. 'Manon' is not my favorite ballet but I can appreciate that it is a smashing vehicle for not-too-tall ballerinas who can act passionately (the Ferris, Herreras, Makarovas, Vishnevas, etc.). We can only imagine Obraztsova as Manon, in those high lifts & acting up a storm -- looking very convincing as a 16-yr-old just out of the convent school in Act I!

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Should we assume that the Kirov Ballet is not coming to Washington D.C. this summer? (Otherwise they would have announced it by now.) Are they coming one more time this year? Or does Romeo and Juliet fulfill their 2007 commitment?

And while we're on this subject: is anybody aware of Kirov's plans to come to the U.S. this year at all? Boston? New York? Palookaville, IL?

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Quick note of correction regarding Bayadere from the posts above:

The 2002 tour of Bayadere to LA and Detroit was the Soviet production, not the 1900 'reconstruction' version. The set and costumes used were mostly pieces from that new/old production, but the choreographic text and production were all the Soviet production, ending straight after the Kingdom of the Shades and without all sorts of divertissements that were added to the reconstruction. It was considered too costly from a personnel standpoint to tour the reconstruction, so only the Soviet Chabukiani version was seen in Los Angeles and Detroit. The Met in New York did get the full reconstruction production, though. We in LA were quite happy to see Vishneva as Nikiya though, so we were just fine seeing the Soviet production (even though it played in the Kodak, which is awful for live theatre even if it looks super glamorous on TV for the Oscars!).

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I'd like to see the Kirov bring Raymonda. But with Lopatkina and Pavlenko in the lead.

I think the slight feeling of disappointment most have felt with this deal has not been in the rep. but in the casting. Other than the first season or so, the company has seldom come with its full compliment of stars. I have no problem with a dancer such as Tereshkina or Tklachenko taking on the lead during the week, but lead casting of Gumerova and Somova with no Lopatkina and Pavlenko is not showing the company at its best.

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Regarding 'Raymonda,' I have this totally-unfounded, sneaking suspicion that it is being readied for touring sometime in the not-too-distant future. Lopatkina herself recently returned to the complete ballet (after having danced only Act III in the past two years) and youngsters such as Tkachenko have recently debuted in the title role. Hope? If this happens, though, the troupe seriously needs to replace the now-tatty sets (& some raggedy corps costumes), which have been serving them since the 1970 revival of the 1948 staging by K. Sergeev. That's probably what's been keeping the troupe from touring this ballet.

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