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Mariinsky at the Kennedy Center 2013-2014

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You warm my heart with your report, nysusan...especially the part about "NO WIG" on Schklyarov & his return to high form. He has the most gorgeous head of youthful, full hair. No need for a teased Bubble Wig. Sorry to miss seeing you. It was great seeing Abatt earlier! Have fun, y'all.

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Schklyarov was back to his usual wonderful high level of dancing on Friday night. I also thought Somova's Act III (black swan act) was much better performed on Friday than Tuesday. So glad that the KC brings this troupe to the East Coast every year.

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This is ancient. This is absolutely NOT his hair in 2014 Swan Lake. That is how I wish he would wear his hair now.

If someone has a photo of the 2nd picture that accompanied Sarah Kaufman's review of last Tuesday'sopener -- the photo in one of the inside pages of thePost's Style section -- THAT is the Bubble 'Do. You could also look at photos of Anton Korsakov in past tours, with this 'do. For a couple of minutes. I had to ZOOM my binoculars to see that the guy dancing at the KC was indeed Schklyarov and not Korsakov, 'he' so looked like Korsakov in hair and slightly -rounded figure.

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Just to clarify, I didn't see the bubble wig, I just have seen V.S. wear what might be called hair extensions. I follow him on Instagram and he posts performance pics where sometimes for the more romantic roles he wears extrensions to give his hair the poof of Korsuntsev, Hallberg, or in the past, Ruzimatov. And then in more neoclassical stuff he wears his shorter, flatter non-poofy hair (more attractive, IMO). Seems as in Russia, ''poof" is de riguer for males in romantic roles, whereas in the US male danseurs prefer a slicked back look.

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I enjoyed both performances on Saturday but neither was great. I liked Esina more than most. Her plastique is totally different from the current fashion at the Mariinsky. She doesn't have that super stretched looked and doesn't carry her rib cage far forward like most ballerinas do when they're used to dancing on raked stages. She used her upper body in a softer, more sculptural way. Askerov was much improved from his performance in California last year and I thought they made a good couple.

I also enjoyed Kolegova more than last year. Her dancing was never the problem, but last time I found her interpretation unfocused. This time I felt more of her Odette's story and found her to be more expressive (though she is still very much on the remote side). I didn't like Zuyzin at all. His dancing was mediocre and his characterization was totally bland. At least as bad as Ivanchenko.

All of the soloists were great and I really can't pick a favorite of the 3 jesters I've seen. But I think the most outstanding male soloist has been Ernest Latypev. Wow, what gorgeous line and great elevation. I've also really been enjoying old favorite Nadia Gonchar and new favorite Nadezhda Batoeva and I even caught Anna Lavrienko in 1 performance of the Neopolitan dance on Friday night.

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This is pretty much exactly what his hair looked like on Friday night, so no bubble wig!

Then he pitched the wig, which was combed back (no bangs) and even showed receding hairline in the temples. He looked so much older onTuesday. Happy that Schklyarov is back to looking young.

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She [Olga Esina] used her upper body in a softer, more sculptural way.

Thanks, nysusan, for your review. The Odette that I saw Olga Esina perform at last year's Mariinsky Festival was slightly different from her two last autumn in Naples, Italy. I would say her Naples performances were somewhat more animated, expressively vibrant and vey secure. Her Festival performance, which I really liked, was very 'artistic' and lovely. As for using "her upper body in a softer, more sculptural way," at the Festival I wouldn't necessarily say "more" than the others, but differently. She was indeed soft and sculptural. In the slower passages, she had a way of slowing things down almost to a suspension, yet compacting so much feeling and interest into this. Also she would punctuate this with dramatic reaches and positioning, that made a very effective contrast. Whenever this seemed liked it might get too loose, she would return it to a beautifully controlled and refined 'softness.' I've probably discussed this more completely under her name in the "Dancers" topic.
Also glad that you liked Anastasia Kolegova. Like Birdsall, I personally prize her 'understatement,' because it allows her delightful and lovable natural self to shine through.
I like Timur Askerov. Among other things he seems to be a very secure and sympathetic partner.
Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.
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Bravo to the Mariinsky corps de ballet. I enjoyed watching it tremendously. The dancers were as if a mere refelction in a mirror, such alignment of every limb, every angle, heads tilted and as if they breathed as a one body. Bravo, A+++. As for soloists, i didn't like O.Esina, neither she has the flexibility, powerful expression of upper body (she does bend in lower back) that deprives volume and air from her movements, now can she spin. (come one- 27,5 single fouettes? for a Lead in Swan Lake with Mariinsky? - i even had to second guess myself about 32 fouetes). Me- disappointed with her (but i had the ticket for Matinee, and seeing Ernest Latipov was a bonus. T. Askerov was good, much improved from before and I could see his neck ;- )) -right track. Kolegova was better (imho) compared to Orange county engagement, she was right on music. and I was glad that A. Somova performance was much softer, without edginess and acrobatics, very right on music*. Sklyarov was (as expected) trying to out-do himself. I liked his "frazing" certain well thought jestures that conveyed the story line. To round-up, i would much prefer to see a cast different to Esina and Kolegova, however, BRAVO to the company itself and its GORGEOUS SPLENDID corps de ballet. It was nice to see forum friends in DC

* orchestra was not as good as before, the solo violin had problems at times, the tempo was wrong at times, and wind instruments were wrong many times....

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Thanks to all who posted - have enjoyed reading all the reviews. I attended on Friday night - dazzled by the overall quality of the corps, the costumes and sets - VERY disappointed by the orchestra. I found Somova lovely, but lacking in that ability to make me experience ballet nirvana. She had zero rapport with Shklyarov, though his lackluster dancing in the 1st act might have been responsible. I found the loud rustling noise of the swan’s tutus hitting one another very distracting.

Once we reached the black Swan section, Shklyarov displayed grand jetes with totally unexpected ballon and Somova became an Odile that spoke to the audience. The woman sitting in the row ahead of me spoke with a Russian accent. When Somova completed her black swan fouettes, the woman gave a “thumbs up” signal to someone across the aisle. At the intermission, the woman across the aisle came over to her and said “you’ve done WONDERS with her.” So perhaps excellent coaching explains the transformation of Somova that has been discussed here.

Standouts were the joker, Vladislav Shumakov, displaying that Angel Corella style pure joy of dancing that so few have. Viktoria Krasnokutskaya was dazzling in the first act pas de trois. Would love to have seen Rothbart, Ivan Sitnikov, dance Siegfried.

Wonderful QUIET audience – are ALL the coughers, hummers and candy wrapper rustlers in Palm Beach?

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Tatiana Terehova coaches Alina Somova, and I saw her in DC in the audience. She's said to have significantly improved Alina's style.

When I first saw the Mariinsky -- then Kirov -- Terekhova was the stand-out for me. A lot of balletomane attention and admiration was focused on Assylmuratova, especially in the wake of a Croce piece about her -- and not wrongly of course -- but for whatever reason Terekhova's (as it seemed to me) crystalline, yet free dancing spoke to me much more immediately. I was quite pleased when I learned that she was working with Somova.

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I attended on Friday night... Would love to have seen Rothbart, Ivan Sitnikov, dance Siegfried.

Sorry for interfering, but actually that Friday night Andrei Yermakov was dancing Rothbart. He appeared as Rothbart four times: January 28, 30, 31

and February 2.

Thanks for sharing your impressions.

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