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Mariinsky's Raymonda To the KC in Feb 2016

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(I suspect the May 9 Raymonda scheduled at the Mariinsky will be hers)

I hope not. I will be attending that performance, and would much prefer to see Lopatkina or Kolegova in the role.

I guess we'll have to wait and see (and pray to the casting gods).

There are no casting gods.

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Bessmertnova was pathetically weak when her RAYMONDA was filmed but the filming itself was sharper (early HD) than the one with Semenyaka a year earlier. Kolpakova very strong but showed age in her face. Pontois one of the most beautiful faces and strong technique in the 1983/84 POB telecast with already-weak Nureyev. To me, the finest on commercially-available film is, no doubt, Olesya Novikova in that glorious La Scala recon by the undisputed master of Stepanov notes staging, Sergei Vikharev.

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Sales for tickets to the Royal June 9-14 at the Kennedy Center are a good guide for any engagement. Kennedy Center members could buy Monday, March 23. All others, starting Wednesday, April 1. The membership eligible for early purchase is only $60 and gets you discounts at the restaurants and bookstore, as well as first crack at open rehearsal sales.


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Here's a link to the Kennedy Center's virtual tour. If your computer or device supports Flash you can get a view of the sightlines from different seating areas. Each tier has only seven rows. The usual rule applies that if you want to see facial expressions and a front focused view get the orchestra tickets, if you want to see the whole stage, choreographic patterns and all the dancers go for the tiers. My personal preference is to sit towards the center from left to right. You start losing the view of the edge of the stage for the side you are sitting on about two thirds of the way towards the outside walls in the side sections.


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Tickets to RAYMONDA at the KennCen go on sale on Dec 2. Casting should be up by then. Hoping for Skorik opening night, if not Lopatkina.

I AM hoping for Lopatkina but decidedly not on opening night, not even the night after. (On those nights I have NO chance of getting to D.C. to see her.) Please save Lopatkina -- even if she 'deserves' an opening -- for later in the week!

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While the casts for DC have yet to be named, we now know the leads for the "tour trial" RAYMONDAs to be performed at the Mariinsky Theater, Dec 10-11:

Dec 10: Kolegova, Ivanchenko

Dec 11: Shirinkina, Schklyarov

They'll most likely be headlining the tour to DC, along with one or two other couples. Skorik & Yermakov? Matvienko? Tereshkina? Kondaurova...if back to active duty?

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On another thread, someone pointed out that Lopatkina & Vishneva will be in NY on Feb 25-28, 2016, for the Mariinsky Orchestra tour's "Tribute to Plisetskaya" program (4 shows). So Lopatkina will be in the Eastern US at the time of the DC tour of Raymondas! Hopefully this gives us hope that Lopatkina may be continuing her old pattern of opening the Kennedy Center runs...could it be that well get to see Lopatkina's RAYMONDA for one night only?

Opening night RAYMONDA is not to be missed. It may be the only chance to see a complete Lopatkina Ray in the US...unless Lopatkina is traveling back to the US just for the brief ballets at BAM, dancing on a small space in front of an orchestra.

Vishneva danced RAYMONDA only once in her career, about 15 years ago, so I wouldn't place much stock in seeing her in that role in DC. She'll already be in NYC because that's her home.

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I am hannging on to my admitedly now fading hope that Lopatkina will perfrom late in the week, perhaps even over the weekend.

I suspect Natalia's prediction is more likely. If Lopatkina goes to DC I suspect she will do Opening Night before she goes to NY for those Plisetskaya programs in NY. Last DC tour she did only Opening Night right after the NY tour and nothing else. I guess anything is possible. But I suspect Natalia is probably right.

I am guessing that Lopatkina gets Opening Night. Then the rest of the 6 shows will alternate between Skorik, Kolegova, and Shirinkina. That is a total guess but what I think might happen.

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I think Bessmertnova was wonderful in "Raymonda," and I was shocked when I found out how old she was.

As far as undisputed goes, we'll have to agree to disagree on that.

I'll chime in with Helen here about Bessmertnova. I absolutely ADORE the atmospheric,almost tragic aura to which she dances the role. If there's a doubt on how to really portray a princess in ballet, go see Bessmertnova's Raymonda.

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Am I mistaken or is there still no cast information about Raymonda with tickets going on sale to the general public in less than a week? I know the Mariinsky may not care, but surely Kennedy center has some interest in showing respect for the people it sells tickets to...

Everyone understands that casts are 'subject to change'--with the Mariinsky perhaps all too subject--but if the company can announce Vishneva and Lopatkina for concerts in NY, then I think they can announce who is dancing Raymonda...

It's perhaps a forlorn hope that Kennedy center media people may check this thread from time to time, but if they do, please be assured that If I have to buy tickets "blind," then I will buy fewer and cheaper...if at all. Waiting until later? A solution with many pitfalls since I have to plan a trip, arrange time off work etc.

The big draw is Raymonda itself--thank you Kennedy Center for that!--but not to the exclusion of all casting considerations.

If casting has been announced and I somehow missed it--then :flowers: to all involved. But please do let me know where to find it...

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Mariinsky casting, when it does come out, is notorious for changing, When I went to London in August 2014 they kept changing the casting until the day of performance, But at a minimum, it would be nice to know what dancers are coming on the tour.

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There is no casting yet, and last year I think casting came out on Dec. 1 and the shows were in late January. This year the shows are in late February, so casting might not come out until January in that case.

Kennedy Center members are allowed to buy tickets already, so they are buying blindly also.

I bet anything the Mariinsky knows who they are probably sending. What is strange is that I feel casting does not change at home at the Mariinsky in SP quite as much as it seems to change on tours. Every trip I took had very few changes, but, of course, maybe I lucked out. But it does seem like the DC tour always has changes after initial casting is announced.

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As far as the orchestra is concerned, if you want to see feet, then you should be no closer than the 4th row. If you're not a tall person, then I would suggest attempting to grab an aisle seat. Otherwise you could be squirming around tall heads to try to get a view. Just to the left or right of orchestra center is okay too. You still get a near center view from the 3rd or 4th seat in on the side rows. Kennedy Center also offers a 'virtual' tour of the theater. You can access the tour from the "Visit" tab on the homepage. You can also get an idea of the view from a particular section if you access the seating chart when attempting to buy a ticket. If you access the “let us chose for you” link you’ll see a view of the Opera House with the seating chart next to it. Hovering over a particular section gives you an idea of the view.

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Sightlines: I am a fan of the front row even though sometimes feet disappear. Theo is right that for feet you should go for the 4th row or further back. Note that with orchestra the front row is typically row G, so fourth row would be J or higher.

My second-favorite place is around rows R-T--just behind the break between the front and rear orchestra. I find the tiers to be too far away, but YMMV.

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