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2011 Mariinsky Festival - April 14-24

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I was able to see almost all of the Mariinsky Festival.

(I arrived too late to see Diana Vishneva, but I would imagine that she was excellent.)

I do have a few summary thoughts.

Ekaterina Kondaurova in "Swan Lake" and "Le Parc" and Alina Somova in "Diamonds" still linger in my mind like a Wonderful Vision. They are both such statuesque beauties who take to the stage like breathes of life giving essence.

In the same manner some of the younger dancers, Daria Vasnetsova, Oksana Skorik and Maria Shirinkina were just lovely and brilliant. Among the young men I would also mention Alexei Timofeyev.

Alina Cojocaru may have been the hit of the Festival. No surprise. She has performed four different full length Mariinsky classics at the Festival before. This year for her second Festival appearance as Giselle she was just mind boggling ! Her theatrical and dancing prowess merged magnificently. Do not miss her in NYC this year. Johan Kobborg was excellent as her constantly supportive and highly reliable partner, who has plenty of ability and character of his own.

Ulyana Lopatkina did not do a full length lead, but she was her usual state of the art self in "In The Night" and in a very interesting and beautiful Spanish theme work, "The Fragments From One Biography" by the legendary Vladimir Vasiliev. (I believe that this is the same Vasiliev, but there is at least one other that I've heard of.)

Viktoria Tereshkina was exceptional, as usual in "Sleeping Beauty," Tchaikovsky Pas De Deux" and "Le Parc."

"Le Parc" by Agelin Preljocaj I thought was a Masterpiece of dance juxtapositioning, changing of realities and dream state transcendence in response to the magnificent music of Mozart, as interpreted with wonderful sophistication by the Mariinsky dancers.

Yana Selina was everywhere, doing everything, almost every (maybe every) evening. She has to be one of the gems of the Mariinsky.

Anastasia Kolegova, who I have never seen before, was a beautiful surprise as the Lilac Fairy in "Sleeping Beauty."

Ashley Bouder (NYCB) has to be highly commended for what she was able to do in her debut of "Don Quixote," coming from the quite different dance world of George Balanchine. In Balanchine's "Tarantella" at the Gala, she showed exactly why New York so loves her.

David Hallberg (ABT) was charisma personified and he sailed through the air like a welcome springtime breeze.

Vladimir Ponomarev was his theatrically astounding self as Don Quixote and Capulet.

Anastasia Petushkova, who Natalia loves so much, was more animated and Wow inspiring than I've ever seen her as the Indian dancer in "La Bayadere." An amazing ball of high art fireworks !

The Corps de Ballet dancers were as good as I've ever seen them. They were like an omnipresent 'guardian angel' that kept the entire Festival afloat at all times.

And there was so much more.

All in all this was one of the best Mariinsky Festival that I've attended.

A Festival of Heart Liftingly Beautiful Dreams Brought to Life.

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I saw this program pop up today--it gives a nice showing of the majority of the programs at the Festival. I think Hallberg's performance and Bouder's debut in Don Quixote especially probably interest a lot of people on here.

This video has clips from Le Parc (Vishneva, Kondaurova), Swan Lake (Kondaurova/Hallberg), Carmen (Valdes), Les Sylphide (Osmolkina, back from maternity leave!)

Bayadere (Marquez), Sleeping Beauty (Tereshkina), more Le Parc (Tereshkina), Don Quixote (Bouder, the facials really kill the entire thing)

Giselle (Cojocaru [looking real stiff unfortunately]/Kobborg), In the Night (Lopatkina, Somova), Millepied's thing, and other ballets I will not mention but are danced by Tereshkina, Bouder and Somova

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