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Ekaterina Kondaurova


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Fantastic news, Cygnet. 'BRAVA' to our Big Red Beauty. So when on earth will Kondaurova (and Obraztsova-Bolshoi Guest Principal...and Novikova-La Scala Guest Principal/Raymonda) make Principal? It's now become downright ridiculous for the 'interim' artistic director of the ballet troupe.

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Ladies and Gentlemen, voila Kondaurova's glorious debut as Raymonda, last night (5 December 2012):


This YouTube poster has uploaded several other clips. Just click on the Cyrillic-Russian title of the clip to take you to the poster 'rafzak's' channel and the other clips.

While Kondaurova isn't yet in Novikova's technical league -- notice the simple same-position hops on point instead of entrechats or even changements -- her aristocratic air and large-scaled movements are gorgeous, IMO.


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Koundarova is indeed beautiful, although I must confess I have a weakness for two interpreters here...the F I E R C E offering of ice princess Pointois and the wonderful, tragic-(and soooo R E G A L too)-abandon of QUEEN Mme. Bessmertnova. Those are two "clapping variations" for the history. Eyes, head positions and neck tilts are so different on both, and convey such different aspects of their characterization, which I find really fasinating.


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I wonder if Petita & Glazunov created the ballet Raymonda for this very moment, by this very dancer? Behold the Red Tsarina!

To the Manor Born.

I rather like Big Red's version - it has a different feel from the usual Raymonda approach, and it's nice to seem something different (especially when it works!).

I think what has impressed me most about Big Red is her versatility - unlike many of her fellow Mariinsky compatriots, she dances neo-classical and modern ballet increasingly well, and BELIEVABLY. And I don't think I'm the only one who feels that way:

"Irina Golub and Vladimir Shklyarov are fine dancers, but their tricky, central pas de deux looked under-rehearsed, and they compensated with a cartoonish excess of sluttiness and bounce. Underlying Rubies' sexy Broadway pizazz is a vein of menace, insinuation and mockery; the only dancer to grasp this was Ekaterina Kondaurova, giving one of the performances of her career as a vamp with a hypnotic edge of hauteur."
The Mariinsky: Homage to Balanchine
-- Judith Mackrell

"But still, what sexy, electrifying dancing from both of them – and, yet more so, from Ekaterina Kondaurova as the lofty ice-maiden who appears to vie for his affection. She repeatedly bent her perfect line (that back! that neck!) into the most fantastically provocative shapes, and moved with the speed of a performer half her height."
The Mariinsky Ballet's Homage to Balanchine at Covent Garden
--Mark Monahan

"Later, in Black Swan, Ekaterina Kondaurova sizzled with dramatic fire and her dancing was on the grandest scale; she and Marcelo Gomes (at his most charismatic) had the chemistry going full-blast."
YAGP Makarova Gala 2012
--Oberon's Grove

"Kondaurova made a wonderful Lilac, benevolent and gracious but also very much in control. Its hard to describe her dancing, the extensions were all as smooth as they were high and her upper body was luscious, just one stream of continuous flowing motion. She belongs to my own personal trinity of Lilacs – Lopatkina, Kondaurova and Mearns."
Mariinsky SLEEPING BEAUTY at Covent Garden
--Oberon's Grove

"The centerpiece of the performance was Ekaterina Kondaurova in the title role. Dressed in a bright red tutu, she created one fascinating moment after another. With her beguiling and animated stage presence, Kondaurova was her own spectacular show, dancing with a trademark precision, intensity, and ardor. Watching her darting across the stage was a blissful thrill. She captured the essence of her role – a bold and free spirit, inspiring and energizing the entire cast."
Mariinsky Ballet – Chopiniana, The Firebird, Scheherazade – Washington
--Oksana Khadarina

Kondaurova as Myrtha:

Middle Duet:


Nutcracker Arabian Dance:

Very interesting comment from a video poster:

"Coinciding with Ekaterina Kondaurova's debut as Titania in George Balanchine's Midsummer Night's Dream, the Mariinsky Theatre website disclosed that Kondaurova has been promoted to principal ballerina status, several hours before her debut in one of Balanchine's rare full length ballets. Talking about Balanchine ballets, if not for the New York Gestapo, known as the [you can guess], this video would have shown Kondaurova in Rubies from Jewels, the slow second movement from Symphony in C and the lovely leading role in Serenade."

So far, Big Red is the only Mariinsky dancer who strikes me as 'getting' Balanchine - at least to some degree. Too bad she most likely will never be trained specifically in his techniques.
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Kondaurova brought her trademark ice-queen hauteur to her interpretation of Raymonda; I hope that in time she too will pull off the entrechats quatre en pointe sequence. I love her as a ballerina, and there are some roles in which she is unsurpassed: for me she is the greatest Myrtha today. I also love her in Rubies, Serenade, Anna Karenina and many other roles. She has great versatility, as has been mentioned. I enjoyed and applaud her Raymonda, for me Anastasia Kolegova's was the more outstanding debut, and for my taste both Novikova and Lopatkina are also better Raymondas. But it was still a great debut!

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By the way, Kolegova who danced Raymonda on Dec. 6 after Kondaurova on Dec. 5 did do the entrechats in the diagonal that Natalia and probably everyone loves so much (Natalia pointed out that Novikova did them)! Just wanted to let people know. There is a YouTube video of it. I suspect Kondaurova was a more regal Raymonda, but Kolegova was probably a more girlish and overall more experienced Raymonda. Both are wonderful if you sample the videos!

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An interesting Mariinsky Facebook posting:

Our prima ballerina Yekaterina Kondaurova was a real hero of the 2012/13 season. Congratulations!

In the 2012/13 season, the Mariinsky Ballet prima ballerina Yekaterina Kondaurova appeared in all three parts of George Balanchine’s Jewels, dancing principal roles in Emeralds, Rubies and Diamonds, all in one evening, at the 13th International Ballet Festival Mariinsky. Three days later she appeared in the role of second soloist in Rubies, which she used to dance before. The case, when a ballerina appears in all three parts of Jewels, particularly during one evening, is absolutely unique.

In the 2012/13 season, Yekaterina Kondaurova’s workload and ability to work have exceeded all thinkable limits — she was involved in numerous performances in St Petersburg and almost all performances of the Mariinsky Ballet on tour. She debuted in the title role in Raymonda, a number of times appeared as Nikia in La Bayadère, Odette-Odile in Swan Lake (in particular, she replaced other soloists on tour in Taiwan at a very short notice as well as danced this role during the first ever live 3D broadcast of this ballet). Yekaterina Kondaurova danced roles of Titania and Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Phrygia and Aegina in Spartacus, Zarema in The Fountain of Bakhchisarai, Myrtha in Giselle, Medora in Le Corsaire, the Siren in Prodigal Son, Carmen in Carmen Suite, Death in Le Jeune Homme et la Mort. She also appeared in solo roles in Angelin Preljocaj’s Le Parc and William Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated. Yekaterina Kondaurova performed Fokine’s The Dying Swan in the Grand gala dedicated to the opening of the new Mariinsky Theatre (Mariinsky II) and appeared in the premiere performances of Sasha Waltz’s Le Sacre and Alexei Ratmansky’s Concerto DSCH, in addition to dancing in his other ballets Anna Karenina, Cinderella and The Little Humpbacked Horse.
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Here are some nice images from 2012 when a few representatives of the Mariinsky visited the KIrov Ballet Academy in DC.


Left to right: Yuri Fateev (Mariinsky Ballet), Maria Shirinkina (Mariinsky Ballet), Ekaterina Kondaurova (Mariinsky Ballet), Anastasia Koshkina (American-Russian Cultural Cooperation Foundation), Martin Fredmann (KAB Artistic Director/Executive Director)


Maria Shirinkina, Ekaterina Kondaurova


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