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Kirov Ballet at City Center, New York

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I'd go for the GT, but I always prefer Up in order to see floor patterns. The overhang is very close to the stage. It's ideal, IMO. (I once won a pair of tickets for Row A, GT, so I speak from lucky experience :lightbulb:.) I would not take an orchestra seat much in front of row K-L-M or thereabouts due to the low rake of the seating area. If you are pretty tall, you can probably sit closer more easily.

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Even though it's still very far off & I'm sure we'll see plenty of changes, casting for the Kirov's City Center engagement is now up at Ardani's website. Good news: Lopatkina, Vishneva, and many other wonderful artists are scheduled to appear including Lopatkina's new partner Ivan Kozlov. Bad news: No Pavlenko or Zelensky. More bad news: The Awakening of Flora replaced by Jardin Anime & pdd from Le Corsaire.

Here's the link to the casting:


[Edited by Helene to highlight the casting link.]

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Odd that Serenade only has two principals listed.

I only have tickets for the 17th and 18th. The 17th is Forsythe, and I'm not sure which dancers would be best in those works. The 18th has a Somova/Korsuntsev Serenade -- and Somova's extensions will be dampened by the tulle, and she'll be mitigated by two other principals -- a Vishneva/Fadeev Rubies, and, at least on the schedule, a Lopatkina/Kozlov Ballet Imperial.

Maybe it's not time yet to sell those tickets on ebay...

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So no Flora's Awakening? A Somova-fest? I, too, am selling all except the opening-night tix on Ebay. Must keep the opener, as it's not just me; my family is coming with me to NYC, so won't ruin it for them. But the 5 other 'solo trips' to NYC that I had anticipated making during the run are now off my calendar. Saving my hard-earned annual leave for something else...perhaps a trip to Moscow for the opening of Bolshoi's reconstructed Flames of Paris in July '08? Oh yeah....

p.s. For Obraztsova's admirers, she usually dances the classical solo in A3 of Raymonda. So maybe you'll see her in that.

p.s.s. By the way, Pavlenko was not expected, due to happy personal reasons.

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No Pavlenko, no Obraztsova, but Somova in Serenade, Ballet Imperial, Bayadère, Paquita, Don Quixote and Etudes ? It's getting ridiculous.

Hi Azulynn! I totally agree with you :shake:, but now it's past ridiculous - it's bizarre, like the show "Torchwood."

According my friend in St. Pete, in the last two years, when the company performs Balanchine, it's usually "miscast, under-rehearsed and way below par, as in 'Balanchine' par." OK, that opinion may be unfair because the Vaganova style and Balanchine are diametrically opposed to one another. So, the Maryinsky's approach would be different than what we're used to. But, "miscast," & "under-rehearsed" doesn't sound promising to me. IMO Vaziev had better grab some living Balanchine experts to coach this company before they roll into New York next year.

I'm very happy that Novikova, Tereshkina and Kondaurova will be given central assignments. Lopatkina's 3rd Act Raymonda is not to be missed. The Forsythe would have been genius casting for Somova's hyperextend-nastics. The thought of her in any Balanchine, particularly "Ballet Imperial," or Petipa makes my eyes > :crying: . Fortunately, she isn't cast in the title role for Raymonda Act 3, but it's a long time between now and then :flowers::blink: .

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I seem to be not as unhappy with the announced casts as most of you guys. I was going to see only the first three progrmas anyway, and I think that even with the Somova-galore we're supposed to get enough of Lopatkina and Vishneva to justify keeping my tickets. At least for the moment. I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed until April 2008 and hope that they both can make it to NY.

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Like Waelsung, I see the glass as half full. Especially now that I know that Pavlenko's absence is for her own reasons, though I do agree that Obraztsova's absence and that of many others continues to defy reason.

And sure, there's WAY WAY WAY too much Somova on that schedule but frankly, for me there's also way too much of Osmolkina & Golub in principal roles. But to make up for that we also get either Lopatkina or Vishneva at almost every performance, and there are some nights when we'll see both of them. Plus Tereshkina, Kondaurova, Kolb, Sarafanov, Fadeev, Shklyarov, Korsakov etc. If the casting holds in addition to lots of Lopatkina & Vishneva I'm also excited about getting my first look at Kolegova, seeing Kozlov's Golden Slave and getting to see how Gonchar & Bolshakova are developing. Also, let's not forget that there are lots of major roles in Serenade, Chopiniana,and Paquita that we don't have casting for, so there may still be reason to hope that we'll get to see some as yet uncast favorites. Tkachenko, anyone?

So you can see that I'm not planning on dumping any of my tickets at this point. Now, if Lopatkina or Vishneva cancel I may be joining the crowd at Ebay!

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Tkachenko, anyone?

Yes! I like her a lot as she has a strong personality (getting to be a rarity at the Kirov) and is a hard worker who seems to get better season by season.

What has happened to Sofia Gumerova? She used to be featured a lot, and although a rather reticent dancer in many ways, I admired her lyrical quality. She was exceptionally good in Sylphides and Serenade.

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I hope no one is selling on the strength of a preliminary list. This is casting announced 6 months prior to the event! By the Mariinsky! It is guaranteed to have little relation with whom you will actually see. One shouldn't get neither too happy nor too disappointed.

Having seen on youtube Somova's entrance as Aurora which left me :flowers: (in the reconstruction - of all productions!) I understand the strength of the feeling she arouses but six months is a very long time - she may get injured, sick, fall out of favor, have a divine revelation and see the glory of classicism, whatever :shake:

Wait a few months before you sell or you might go :crying:

btw I was also expecting Somova at two recent performances and was thinking of selling my second night ticket (the rest of the program had slowly disintegrated with each consecutive casting announcement) but was happily surprised to find Osmolkina dancing in her place in both nights and the rest of the program far exceeding my expectations.

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While I think it's wonderful that the younger dancers are making their individual stamps on the Mariinsky, I sometimes wonder about their taste levels. I, too, saw Somova's Aurora and I was wincing each time the leg just flew up there without adding to the story. Still and all, it is exciting when the Mariinsky comes to the US! I probably won't be able to go, but I'll be thinking about all of you enjoying your performances!

Plus, doesn't the Mariinsky change the casts nearly up to the moment of the performance? I seem to recall someone mentioning it on this forum. Perhaps we won't see Somova as frequently. It could all be a business ploy, the M. might be using Somova to sell the tickets (she is very popular with the teenagers who think extension is everything ::winces again::flowers:, and then they might just switch casting around later. Or, am I just a conspiracy theorist?

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ngitanjali, great theory :flowers: Not sure they market at teenagers though. Few teenagers would buy a ticket for an event that takes place a year ahead.

They do seem to promote Somova very much both at home and on tour, giving her new roles, premieres etc. This program seems to be designed with a "let's make Alina Somova a star in the US" objective - she seems inescapable. It's the right of the management of course, perhaps they see something in her that we lowly mortals can't as yet :crying:

But it's a long time ahead and the program may change, even for a management favorite.

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What has happened to Sofia Gumerova? She used to be featured a lot, and although a rather reticent dancer in many ways, I admired her lyrical quality. She was exceptionally good in Sylphides and Serenade.

Glad that you mentioned this, Mashinka. Sofia Gumerova, like Nioradze, is a 'renaissance soloist' who is being cast quite a bit during the current Mariinsky season. In fact, Gumerova is another in-house Nikiya -- though she has not performed the role in 3 or more years, so she did not make my 'likely Nikiyas' list in the DC-tour thread. Now I'm thinking that she may very well essay the role in DC (complete ballet) or NYC (Shades act). The way that she is being featured at home nowadays, I cannot imagine her not being included in both the DC and NYC tours.

As others have mentioned, a lot of changes in casting WILL happen between now and April '08. Sofia Gumerova is very high on the list of 'best bets' to eventually show-up on the stage.

Tkachenko will surely be on both the DC and NYC tours, as a solo shade in both locales.

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I was particularly surprised not to see Somova cast in Forsythe, since, from all descriptions I've read, would be her realm.

Remember, Helene, that the Mariinsky management considers Somova to be the supreme classicist among the younger ballerinas. They don't want to spoil her 'perfect classicism' in modern ballets. Balanchine's Four Ts is about as modern as they'll let her go. :flowers:

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If the management believes that Somova is the "supreme classicist" of her generation,

(Pupil of Prof. L. Safronova, Class of 2003), imagine what they must think of Tanya Tkachenko,

Olesya Novikova, Katya Osmolkina, Vicky Tereshkina and Moscow IBC Gold Medalist,

Yevgenya Obratzova. Their casting policies are crystal clear. It's all about superficial

fluff, flash and dash, literally, over pure classicism, tradition and substance.

:clapping: I'll veer off topic for a second here. Consider this: If Anna Netrebko consistently

hit flat notes throughout a performance, in every performance, do you think opera audiences

in St. P and worldwide would sit still for that? I don't think so. This is what the Maryinsky

managers subject us to with Somova. It's not only the jarring contortions, it's also the lack of

musicality, artistry, and academic technique > feet that grope the floor rather than skim it,

bouncing bourrees & fouttes, slinking across the stage, and lack of turnout.

Add to all of this the management's incapability, (or lack of will - take your pick), of acknowledging

the consensus out there. Also, they show their inability to effectively prepare her before she

takes the stage. And, if she is being effectively prepared, she goes onstage and does

what she chooses. I want to believe that her coach isn't encouraging her to make sure the boxes

of her Gaynor Mindens touch her tiara for every developpe, attitude and arabesque. If Somova

had one millileter of the dance gift that the young Larissa Lezhnina, or Ludmilla Semenyaka,

or Altynai Asylmuratova had at the same age, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

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I cannot believe that the Mariinsky is promoting Somova the same way they promote Lopatkina, Dasha, Diana, etc....I mean, what's next? Extensions can't get any farther past whatever she's doing. I thought Zakharova was extreme, but these new dancers are just ridiculous.

I think I winced most when I saw her Medora with the acrylic nails. The rest of the variation was just...hideous. I watched Altynai's Corsaire right after seeing Somova, just to remind myself that artistry is possible, without the extensions. Of course, I'm sure that Somova is a lovely young woman, but as an artist representing the years and years of tradition at one of the most prestigious theaters in the world, she's severely lacking.

I was just wondering, how do the "elder" ballerinas (and danseurs) feel about this sudden promotion of Somova etc? I mean, she's getting roles at expense to much more experienced dancers. Have they said anything (or done anything)? Or, is it just accepted as the norm there?

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I was just wondering, how do the "elder" ballerinas (and danseurs) feel about this sudden promotion of Somova etc? I mean, she's getting roles at expense to much more experienced dancers. Have they said anything (or done anything)? Or, is it just accepted as the norm there?

If they are, not from any official source.

I don't think it's any different from any other company when a young dancer is promoted. It is usually career suicide to complain.

Balanchine was known for casting whichever dancer he was interested in at the time. One of the few times dancers were vocal at NYCB was when Balanchine cast and focused on Suzanne Farrell at what they felt was their expense. Some made direct statements to the media (then or since), and other made more oblique ones or non-verbal ones (voting with their feet), and Farrell spoke about this in her memoir.

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Today a brochure from the White Nights Foundation of America arrived. It turns out that the Sunday, April 6 performance is to be a Gala. Following the 3 PM performance, there is to be a cocktail reception followed by a seated dinner with the Artists, at the NYCC Atrium. Valery Gergiev is slated to conduct Scheherazade.

According to the brochure, Igor Zelensky and Daria Pavlenko are to be among the dancers during the City Center season, but no specific dancers are mentioned for the Gala performance. The document is not dated, so it might well pre-date Ardani's casting, or may not. In a way, perhaps a cautionary note regarding reliability of Mariinsky casting.

The organization's phone number is 212-757-9632 and they give their website as www.wnfa.org

The event is very expensive; the organization is headed by former Pepsi Chair and Goodwill Ambasador for Presidents Nixon and Bush pere, Donald M. Kendall.

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I bought mine at the box office and was told that the best orchestra seats that were actually available started at row K or (in some instances) L. I found it quite unbelievable that they had sold all the center seats in all the front rows for all the performances in just a couple of days (I went to get mine early last week) and was told by the gentleman in the window that those seats (center, rows A through J) had been reserved by the "house". I understand that this is a common practice everywhere and that not every single goes on sale to the general public. But all of the first 9 rows? I was absolutely stunned.
Actually, Waelsung . . . well, see for yourself: --> Click!

I hope you have verrrrry deep pockets. Also, I wonder how many of these VIP seats will end up at regular prices or just given to friends.

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Exactly. Doesn't look like they're selling very well. :D

One way or another, I don't think that bundling off the first nine rows of the orchestra is anything to get upset about,

I decided a long time a go that they simply are not worth the price, unless they were free and nothing else was available.

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a totally strange (out of box) idea? about "abundance of Somova shows"....

Should we consider sending a forum letter to Ardani Artists to REPLACE Somova with other dancers? I hope they may hear the "VOICE of the paying audience" ;-))

It's not too late - almost 5 months before the tour ;-))

I would not mind contacting Ardani Artists on behalf of the forum ;-)) (but I 'll need the forum's support) ;-))

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