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Mariinsky at BAM 2015

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Yermolaev was a fantastic Rothbart, so overpowering and menacing, gave me chills.

Andrey Ermakov. Or Andrei Yermakov,

either will do.

Thanks to all for very interesting reviews and comments.

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The slip at the beginning of the Black Swan pdd can happen to anyone -- I've seen many great dancers take a tumble. What was disappointing was that after that Kondaurova sort of gave up on the performance. In her variation she was often either several steps ahead or behind the music, same with the coda. I gave up trying to figure out where she was supposed to be in as opposed to where she actually was in terms of the steps. She did finish the fouettes -- but several beats ahead of the actual music.

I thought Askerov was really sloppy, and didn't have the lines necessary for Siegfried.

I also thought the fourth act was disappointing -- neither Askerov nor Kondaurova really acted out the apotheosis transformation in any way. Both just walked downstage center and that was that.

It was a bit of a letdown because I know Kondaurova is capable of a lot more than shown last night.

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check post 108 from Abatt - it has the complete program. in a nutshell, intermissions are after the white act and after a black act. The court scene preceeds the white act.

abatt - Posted 13 January 2015 - 03:20 PM

http://www.bam.org/m...gn=WinterSpring

Here is a pdf re all the casting for all roles in Swan Lake.

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Yermolaev was a fantastic Rothbart, so overpowering and menacing, gave me chills.

Andrey Ermakov. Or Andrei Yermakov,

either will do.

Thanks to all for very interesting reviews and comments.

Sorry, it was very late when I typed it last night. Will correct immediately. My apologies again.

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Unfortunately, things came a bit undone during the Black Swan act. In her entrance with Askerov (tonight's Siegfried), Kondaurova lost her balance in the second supported pirouette from a la seconde. Someone who was watching through binoculars said she was pitched a bit forward during the pirouette, then Askerov yanked her back. The result was she fell off pointe, folded over (which is how the sequence begins) and nearly tumbled to the floor. Although unhurt, Kondaurova seemed to lose her confidence at that point. Her Odile did not glitter and was not seductive. Her fouettes travelled a lot, downstage and to the side. To my eye, it looked like the mistake was a result of Askerov's partnering but it's hard to tell. Anyway, other than the national dances, that act did not go especially well.

Kondaurova did recover for the final act as Odette, however. She was just as heartbroken and sorrowful as in the first lakeside scene. There is a lot less dancing for her in this act so any lingering confidence issues were unseen (by me, at least).

As for Askerov, I am not a fan. He might be a better technician (although he's not that great; certainly no Shklyarov) than Ivanchenko but I don't think he's a better partner. His acting is bland and I just don't find him interesting to watch. I'm sad that Kondaurova is seemingly stuck with him as her partner (he's not even a principal). Certainly they don't seem to have great chemistry. And I keep wondering if these blunders were really his fault.

It's really too bad to hear that Ms. K's performance came undone (at least for a while). When she's good, she's really lovely, strong and commanding. I'd like to echo what you say about her partner issues - the Mariinsky just doesn't seem to be able to find someone who really works well with her - either in physical terms, or chemistry.

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Unfortunately, things came a bit undone during the Black Swan act. In her entrance with Askerov (tonight's Siegfried), Kondaurova lost her balance in the second supported pirouette from a la seconde. Someone who was watching through binoculars said she was pitched a bit forward during the pirouette, then Askerov yanked her back. The result was she fell off pointe, folded over (which is how the sequence begins) and nearly tumbled to the floor. Although unhurt, Kondaurova seemed to lose her confidence at that point. Her Odile did not glitter and was not seductive. Her fouettes travelled a lot, downstage and to the side. To my eye, it looked like the mistake was a result of Askerov's partnering but it's hard to tell. Anyway, other than the national dances, that act did not go especially well.

Kondaurova did recover for the final act as Odette, however. She was just as heartbroken and sorrowful as in the first lakeside scene. There is a lot less dancing for her in this act so any lingering confidence issues were unseen (by me, at least).

As for Askerov, I am not a fan. He might be a better technician (although he's not that great; certainly no Shklyarov) than Ivanchenko but I don't think he's a better partner. His acting is bland and I just don't find him interesting to watch. I'm sad that Kondaurova is seemingly stuck with him as her partner (he's not even a principal). Certainly they don't seem to have great chemistry. And I keep wondering if these blunders were really his fault.

It's really too bad to hear that Ms. K's performance came undone (at least for a while). When she's good, she's really lovely, strong and commanding. I'd like to echo what you say about her partner issues - the Mariinsky just doesn't seem to be able to find someone who really works well with her - either in physical terms, or chemistry.

Unfortunately, this is the problem when the Mariinsky trend for ballerinas is ever upwards. No-one short of a giant can partner these extremely tall ballerinas.

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1/21 - Ekaterina Kondaurova and Timur Askerov

Re: Kondaurova on 1/21 - all in all this was a ravishing performance but probably not one up to her highest standards and potential. In Act II, Kondaurova's Odette expressed emotion abstractly through the body - swooning into her prince's arms and unfurling her long arms into infinity. She was more a creature of mystery and somewhat remote but not cold - there was inner life there. Kondaurova has strong attack but in her solos danced everything with a soft touch, very delicately and never breaking the flow. I thought she was ravishing and extremely elegant with a lot of beautiful handling of the arms, neck and hand positions. As for the Black Swan PDD - it was not perfect but I would not call it a disaster - Hee Seo last Spring at ABT that is a disaster. The spill during the pas de deux definitely I would place the blame on Timur Askerov and it only lasted about 2 seconds before she recovered. Perhaps the Odile solo that followed was less poised than usual but she didn't fall out of the pirouettes - I didn't notice she was off the music but I didn't see any lapses in technique. As for the fouettes, they traveled downstage but she completed them and they were fast and high with multiples synched to the music. Again, I have seen Osipova travel on fouettes - these were good. The fourth act was beautiful. Kondaurova has recently resumed dancing classical roles on pointe after taking some time off after a foot injury. She has a better "Swan Lake" in her but this was quite beautiful and showed limitless potential - with Marcelo Gomes as her partner she could do better. Askerov though tall, dark and handsome is a bland actor, not the best possible partner and is a good upper level soloist in technique. The whole production seemed more cohesive - the corps had adjusted to the small stage better, the soloists were more relaxed and confident and everyone seemed to have shaken off the jet lag and thrown together hesitations of last week.

1/22 - Oxana Skorik and Xander Parish

Skorik is a very good dancer with a flexible upper body and strong footwork - despite some of the criticisms on this board, I found her technique within the bounds of good taste and worthy of a leading soloist at the Mariinsky. This definitely is not Somova II. The negatives - yes she can do 180 degree extensions but she limited the ear-whacking developpées to the Odile solo where they weren't really inappropriate. Otherwise she was maybe just above 90 degrees in her arabesques. The bigger problems were in interpretation and phrasing. She is a fairly cold actress and didn't bring a lot of inner life to her Odette, the Odile was generalized schemer-seductress who lacked the confidence and charm of Kondaurova. There wasn't a lot of expression and emotional intensity and barely adequate rapport with her Siegfried in either Act II or III. Skorik is not extremely musical and has a tendency to snap into final positions - sharply finishing in a posed high arabesque balance that gives a staccato beat to her Act II solos. Skorik has the fluid arms and deeply flexible back and the strength to sustain long dance phrases - so this is a choice that could be corrected through coaching. The interpretation is a matter of immaturity and inexperience - the Sergeyev staging eliminates mime and focuses on pure dance - except for the very experienced Lopatkina, every Mariinsky O/O has been on the cool, abstract side. Final note: the audience loved Skorik and she got a huge warm response after each act.

Xander Parish has a beautiful long legs and feet, decent flow in the upper body and handled his solos with some elegance. Here or there a few landings were a bit more luck than control. The big thing is that he wasn't very ardent and was more a nice boy next door than a Prince. The Act I pas de trois was excellently danced by Ivannikova, Batoeva (replacing the injured Nikitina) and the unbilled in the program and program update insert Ernest Latypov (http://www.mariinsky.ru/en/company/ballet_mt_men/latypov/). The printed program indicated that Parish was dancing both the Prince and the pas de trois - shades of Grigorovich!!! Thanks to the informed YID for the identification - she also informed me that he is a recent Vaganova graduate. Latypov who looks about 14 years old added precise feather light batterie to his solo and very airy jumps. Latypov he will eventually dance the Bluebird in "Sleeping Beauty" - he has the ballon. Baybordin was in much better form as the Jester/Joker than last Friday where he had a bunch of bad landings - he was an audience favorite. Batoeva also looked like a rising star and Yana Selina even in the tiny role of one of the Two Swans in Act IV stood out for crystalline footwork and charm. Gergiev was not missed in the pit at all.

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As for tonight, some friends found Tereshkina markedly better than opening night. I didn't notice that much difference but lack of jet lag (and lack of Gergiev; Gavriel Heine conducted) probably accounted for a lot of it. Her interpretation, though, was the same. I find her kind of a cold Odette. Her Odile sparkles and tonight the fouettes ( played at a human speed) only travelled partially downstage. But 2 of her SLs in 1 week were a bit much for me. I'm looking forward to a change tomorrow night with the Chopin program.

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Saw Skorik and Parrish - wow, I knew I wasn't seeing a top pair, but this was rather shocking in its mediocrity. She is a beautiful girl, with gorgeous legs and a uniquely supple upper back. Her beautifully hooked feet are quite lovely at the top of developpe. But she has zero charisma, stretches the music beyond her ability to fill it, and starting with the act 1 solo, which was a contest btw her and the conductor, really lost confidence, She clearly has no idea what to do with Odile, had no relationship with Parrish, and treated every phrase as a requirement to get thru, including the annoyingly Russian habit of making 32 single fouettes look like an Olympian task of will.

Parrish was much worse. He has a beautiful line, legs and feet, but is a very weak partner, coming to grief numerous times in Black Swan, and giving her little support in white swan as well. He seemed incapable of finishing any of his pirouettes without dropping to his heel midstream, and was obviously labored in the overhead lifts. I was wondering how he got out of the corp, much less cast as Siegfried.

Baybordin was open, generous, and fun as the Jester, but the best solo performance of the night, hands down, was the Rothbart - eating up the stage on his jetes, and smoldering for filth everywhere else.

The corp made the performance all about the 1st act dances, the white act, and the very enjoyable, committed act 2 character dances. It's a shame the solo couple were not worthy of them.

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Thanks for posting that video. It is fascinating to see how much work goes into putting something on stage and how many people are involved in setting up. We often forget about all this. The Met has shown back stage crews during intermissions since they started the Live in HD cinemacasts, and I always found that fascinating too, despite many opera fans saying it breaks up the magic. I think intermission and going pee and getting a glass of wine and talking to friends already breaks the spell, so I never understood the dislike of showing the backstage work during intermission. I love it. I find it fascinating.

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Well, Gia Kourlas liked Skorik and Parish. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/24/arts/dance/in-swan-lake-mariinsky-ballet-shows-off-a-new-generation.html?ref=dance&_r=0 Judging by her tweets, Wendy Perron liked them as well.

As for tonight, some friends found Tereshkina markedly better than opening night. I didn't notice that much difference but lack of jet lag (and lack of Gergiev; Gavriel Heine conducted) probably accounted for a lot of it. Her interpretation, though, was the same. I find her kind of a cold Odette. Her Odile sparkles and tonight the fouettes ( played at a human speed) only travelled partially downstage. But 2 of her SLs in 1 week were a bit much for me. I'm looking forward to a change tomorrow night with the Chopin program.

I echo your sentiments about Tereshkina, Amour. I was able to enjoy her performance in pure dance terms -- her wonderfully flexible back, lovely turns, good musicality -- but the interpretation just wasn't there last night. She seemed like a zombie version of Odette. I think iciness and remoteness can sometimes work when a dancer chooses to emphasize Odette's otherworldly, animal qualities, but Tereshkina didn't seem to be going for that. She didn't seem like much of a swan at all. (Her swan arms -- or lack thereof -- were particularly disappointing.) I still found her somewhat more enjoyable than Zakharova, though. When Zakharova danced SL this past summer at Lincoln Center, it seemed like the lights were on in her pretty little head but no one was home.

Tereshkina was very enjoyable as Odile. Both her variation and the coda were very strong.

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I also saw Tershkina last night. I sow Lopatkina and Kondaurova in earlier performances. I found Tereshina's performace the most emotionally satisfying and possessed of beauty. Especially in act one. There is tenderness, yearning and abandon in her portrayal, there is connection with her Shklyarov, as the love story becomes completely credible, she is mesmerizing. Every line is gorgeous and fluid and brings music to a completion - the sum of the parts is more. I kept thinking the music flows through her, this is poetry in motion. I think the proportions of her body may also have something to do with it - after all Gomes in any other body would not be Gomes :-)

I am not an expert just a laik.

Where Odette is languid and tender Odile is dynamic and aggressive - there is constant connection with Rothbart so that she is as if pulled by strings that he holds.

So even with the slightly (maybe 2 -3 feet) travelling fouettes I really loved the performance.

I did not like the black swans - perhaps they served a function when Soviet gov saw enemies of state everywhere and it served a function for the state censors, but they introduce a jarring note.

All jokers were great but Tkachenko was also witty.

If proof is needed that body type requirements are an ideal to strive for in classical ballet - the Marinsky corps is proof, it is a wonder. Both women and men are extremely handsome as well.

Everyone danced beautifully as opposed to the messy 2nd night - maybe they did get over the jet lag and the clearly smaller scene than the one they are used to.

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I think this thread is proof positive that dance-art is in the eye of the beholder. One person's cup of tea is another person's cup of gruel.

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Tonight we got a break from full length ballets and saw a rep program entitled "Chopin". All the ballets in the program were set to Chopin and all played by a pianist with no orchestra. The ballets were Fokine's Chopiniana (known here as Les Sylphides), Benjamine Millepied's Without and Jerome Robbins' In The Night.

Chopiniana was very beautiful. The wonderful corps, with their fluid backs, long necks and undulating arms were always in sync, whether in formations,doing bourrées, or standing still. Yet the ballet seemed dull (which it does not have to be). Some of this may be due to the fact that the ballet was danced to music from a single piano, no orchestration. But fair or not, I'm attributing most of this dullness to the choice of Skorik and Askerov as the leads. She has greatly improved. She dances with confidence, no mistakes, and her lines are right (no 120 degree arabesques or a la secondes up to her ear like Somova).There is also a new maturity to her look (she looks about 25, no longer a teenager). But she dances with no joy. And when near a dancer like Vaganova trained Yana Selina (who was one ojf two soloists) you can see her epaulement is lacking. As for Askerov, I simply don't like him. He is an ok technician but a very bland actor and I fear a bad partner. So a very pretty but boring ballet.

Next up was Benjamin Millepied's Without. I simply don't know how to describe this ballet. It does not really have a contemporary feel, like some of his ballets. I don't especially like how he used the music but I would have to see the ballet again (this was my first time) to articulate why. What we had were 5 color coded couples (Marvienko w/Zverev, Shapran w/Yermakov, Batoeva w/Stepin,Tiliguzova w/Latypov &Frolova w/Parish). They dance, sometimes as couples, sometimes all men or all women. There are also several solos. I enjoyed this work more than Chopiniana but it is far from a masterpiece (what Millepied is?). Instead I focussed on the performances. I loved, loved, loved Kristina Shapran! This dancer graduated 2nd in her Vaganova class 3 years ago. She was unfortunately totally overshadowed by Olga Smirnova as Filin made Olga a star while Kristina hopped from one ballet company to another. Well now that she has come to the Mariinsky I hope she gets her due. She is tall, long legged, slender, beautiful, great turnout and a good stage presence (the last needs a little more work). The very tall and strong Yermakov was her wonderful partner. I thought they lit up the stage. Matvienko and Zverev were also very compelling. I love Stepin but did not think Batoeva was his equal here. And I loved seeing Ernest Latypov. He is a recent Vaganova grad that is very strong technically and that Fateyev seems to be fast tracking (yay!). Unfortunately, we also had Parish. He is a nice dancer but looks NOTHING like a Mariinsky dancer. He dances everything with a very active upper body: head thrown back, arms and chest outstretched, lots of facial expression) I think this is to disguise deficits in his lower body (lack of turnout?). Dancing at one point next to Stepin, he looked like a guest from another company. In fact, all the other Mariinsky men kept their upper bodies still and faces neutral. Parish dances everything as though it were Macmillan. No!! I can kind of see why Monica Mason sidelined him at the RB.

Finally, there was Robbins' In The Night. I have never seen NYCB dance this but took a peek at YT (Tiler & Amar dancing part of the 3rd PDD). Although the Mariinsky may not dance with NYCB's attack, I thought this was very well done (it also helps that it is a good ballet). Matvienko & Stepin were the first couple, dressed in lilac. There is a lot of swooning and elegance in this PDD and they danced it beautifully. But then came Kondaurova & Ivanchenko in burgundy. I was absolutely blinded by the beauty of this couple. Kondaurova is so tall and long limbed, flexible and has a beautiful face and great stage presence. And when given a good partner, she can relax and just dance. Ivanchenko may not be the best Mariinsky technician but I've now seen him several times (also with Lopatkina in London in SL) and he is a GREAT partner. He is understated, always makes the woman look good, can easily lift tall ballerinas like Kondaurova and Lopatkina and obviously makes them feel secure. It was a joy watching Kondaurova radiate confidence today after her SL the other night. Tereshkina and Smekalov as the 3rd couple in black were also good (she more than him). This PDD is somewhat humorous as the lifted woman often shakes her legs (as though stomping) or or her arms. Tereshkina pulled this off very well and with humor but was simply outdanced by Kondaurova. I am eagerly anticipating how Lopatkina will make this role her own.

Well, it's late and that's my not so brief summary of tonight. I love seeing new work (or new to the Mariinsky), and seeing good dancers doing well so the bulk of this program was a joy.

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I would be the first to admit Lopatkina mastery

I wrote that Tereshkina's performance was more emotio ally satisfying for me

Not that it was better. At Lopatkinas performance I sat next to unruly children

And magic was broken so there are also the circumstances under which you watch

She is probably more interesting and in command of her art

I do not know enough about technique and am on a learning curve

As in any art full esthetic experience goes in hand with understanding the art intellectually on many levels - knowledge of the fine points of techinque is more important in ballet than lets say in paintng

Luckily one can enjoy any work of art on many pevels just that it becomes a fuller experience wth knowledge and that elusive quality called connoisseuship

Which amour and fondoffiuettes are possessors of

Kondaurova owned Robbins last night at left competition in the dust

If this is contest

Expectations also have a lot too do with how one reacts with low ones surprise is greater

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Kondaurova owned Robbins last night at left competition in the dust

If this is contest

Good to hear that Kondaurova danced well in "In the Night". The Mariinsky management knows that she dances the "Western" ballets as well as anyone in the company. She seems to have some innate understanding of the neo-classical and modern aesthetics.

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I saw today's (Sunday's) Chopin program at BAM. My short review: I loved it. I'll write up a longer one, but one problem I have is that the program only lists the dancers (less the corps) but not the roles. Can I assume that the first two dancers listed for Chopiniana were the leads? And that the dancers are listed for In the Night in the order they appeared? And what about Without?

If anyone knows who danced what, or where I can find that information online, I'd appreciate it.

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I saw today's (Sunday's) Chopin program at BAM. My short review: I loved it. I'll write up a longer one, but one problem I have is that the program only lists the dancers (less the corps) but not the roles. Can I assume that the first two dancers listed for Chopiniana were the leads? And that the dancers are listed for In the Night in the order they appeared? And what about Without?

If anyone knows who danced what, or where I can find that information online, I'd appreciate it.

For Chopiniana, Oxana Skorik was the lead soloist who danced with Askerov. However, the program simply omitted the name of one of the demi-soloists. Today, it was Viktoria Brileva (or Brilyova on the Mariinsky website; thank you Canbelto for recognizing her). She was the soloist with black hair. The other soloist - Yana Selina -is a bit shorter with slightly reddish hair. Lavrinenko (dark hair) and Marchuk (blond hair) were the 2 corps leads around whom the circular patterns formed. Last night Brileva didn't dance but I figured out it was Xenia Ostreikovskaya (a blond). Viktoria was much better than Xenia. First, she's stunning. Then, with her long neck and open épaulement she is the epitome of a Vaganova ballerina. And she did the Romantic style SO well. Gentle arms, soft landing in fifth. She was great.

Yes, the dancers for In The Night were as they appeared. For Without: Matvienko and Zverev wore red, Shapran (very skinny) and Yermakov wore a kind of blue, Selina and Stepin wore purple, Tiliguzova and Latypov wore orange, and Frolova and Parish wore green. Hope that helps.

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Today, I found Chopiniana and In The Night slightly different due to cast changes and perhaps the dancers being more familiar with the restrictions of the small stage. First, Viktoria Brileva (or Brilyova?)the second soloist in Chopiniana is an absolutely gorgeous dancer. She mastered the Romantic style so well. The limpid arms, tilted head, small jumps from fifth or into fifth were done so gently and softly. It is a crime this girl is still just a coryphee. Selina was also great, again. And I thought Skorik looked more comfortable and less tense today (I was close, center orchestra row J). I still don't see joy in her dancing but I certainly see professionalism and commitment to doing a good job. As for Askerov, up close you can see he never really straightens his legs or fully points his feet. His legs are not especially nice looking so, combined with the lack of stretch, he just doesn't have a nice line. Also, I don't think he can act or partner securely. So, in short, I don't like him and am mystified by his first soloist status. But today I found the ballet far more interesting and not just "pretty".

Today I was able think more about Without. I think it may be a ballet about love and longing, with all the different couples at different stages in their relationships. One couple dances, then another. 3 women will dance with 1 man, or 1color coded couple are dancing, another woman approaches and the man goes off with her. Toward the end 4 of the women seem to be consoling Matvienko. Later 4 of the men carry off her partner Zverev. I don't need a story for a ballet, just beautiful dancing. But this seemed an obvious theme. As for the choreography, today I found the ballet beautiful but a little too long. Still I like the use of the slits in the curtain for individuals to disappear into. There were no casting changes in Without, so I thought it just the same as last night.

Robbins' Into The Night did have cast changes. Shklyarov replaced Stepin as Matvienko's partner in the first couple and the third couple was Lopatkina and Yermakov instead of Tereshkina and Smekalov. I thought Shklyarov was better than Stepin (who I actually like a lot) though this is the most lyrical (and traditional) of the 3 PDDs. Among my friends and I there were differences of opinion on whether Lopatkina was better than Tereshkina. I love Lopatkina but felt she was too grand for the role, which has a lot of comedy in it. But anytime she gets to dance it's always a pleasure to watch her. But I think everyone agreed the star of the piece was Kondaurova. Her part was also partly comic and she understood that. She is also a phenomenal dancer to watch: tall, long limbed, flexible back, legs and feet. She is also stunningly beautiful. So she is a very imposing presence. I also loved long copper dress with its swooshy skirt (the costumes are gorgeous) I truly enjoyed this ballet very much with both casts, just they were slightly different interpretations.

In short, I liked this rep program and having it based on 1 composer was a good (though hardly novel) idea. I do wish there had been orchestration for Chopiniana but I think Gergiev and the orchestra were playing elsewhere last night. I'm very sorry to see the Mariinsky go (though my husband and I are going to DC next weekend to see them). I hope they don't wait another 2 years to come back.

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I have to agree about Ivanchenko. I have seen him dance many times, and for example when he partners Uliana Lopatkina so wonderfully in Diamonds, I can ALmosts forgive him his blandness and sloppiness and lack of expression. He does have beautiful lines when he chooses, but he doesn't always choose! However, he is a magnificent partner to Lopatkina, and, as you say to Kondaurova in In the Night. He presents his ballerinas to perfection, and I respect him for that. Mariinsky needs good partners, as so many of the boys have trouble with lifts. And In the Night is such a beautiful ballet - love it! :-)

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I thought Without was very nice for about the first 15-20 minutes. Unfortunately, the ballet goes on for over twice that length. I thought it ended several times before it ended ... the lights dimmed, the stage cleared ... but then the music would start up again.

Seen at intermission: Mikhail Baryshnikov in the lobby having an animated discussion. He was trying to go incognito with a black trenchcoat and sunglasses but he gave his dancer background away when he danced out a step and he pulled his arms up in a tight fifth position and the proud posture came back. So I can now say that I've seen Baryshnikov dance live. flowers.gif

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Seen at intermission: Mikhail Baryshnikov in the lobby having an animated discussion. He was trying to go incognito with a black trenchcoat and sunglasses but he gave his dancer background away when he danced out a step and he pulled his arms up in a tight fifth position and the proud posture came back. So I can now say that I've seen Baryshnikov dance live. flowers.gif

Interesting tidbit...thank you! It must have been fun for him to see his old company performing the kind of work they never would have done in the 1970s when he defected. (I'm thinking of the Millepied. Were they doing any Robbins back then?)

I remember him saying in an interview a few years ago, when asked if he was going to see a certain production of Swan Lake, that life is too short to sit through any more Swan Lakes. (It would take a lot of googling to find that quote back -- please trust me on this one.)

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I actually saw him after the first intermission and he was commenting on Chopiniana, a work he definitely performed often. And Mikhail Baryshnikov goes to ballets a lot. I've seen him at NYCB, Bolshoi, and Mariinsky when they visit. He keeps a very low profile and definitely exudes an aura of privacy but it seems as if his love for the art form hasn't dimmed.

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