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Mariinsky Little Humpbacked Horse Kennedy Center 1/31 - 2/5/17

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Little Humpbacked Horse? Seriously? Mariinsky thinks this is worthy of showing to American audiences for a whole run of performances ? I despair. Really I do.

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I might be the only one, but I'm excited about this. I've never seen it.

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I enjoyed Little Humpbacked Horse when I saw it in New York--and a number of the Mariinsky's best dancers have appeared in it in the past. I wouldn't come to D.C. for a week of it, even if I could, and don't plan to come up even for the weekend to see it next year. But if I had never seen it and it were an easy trip then I would try to catch a performance or two for sure.

It's an unfortunate limitation that goes with the wonderful policy of Mariinsky for a week every year in D.C.--just one program is on show. I try to be philosophical but ...

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Although I hate the sets I actually like Ratmansky's Little Humpbacked Horse. I "like" it.....I don't "love" it.

Personally I think it is the most successful Ratmansky ballet at the Mariinsky. I find his Cinderella and Anna Karenina boring for the most part, but his Little Humpbacked Horse choreography keeps me entertained. But Natalia is correct about the sets. However, I am so used to crazy opera productions, so it bothers me less than other people probably. The Tsar Maiden is quite a nice role for a ballerina and there are some interesting corps moments. Ivan the Fool is a decent role for a male. I have seen this a couple of times in St. Petersburg (Osmolkina and Kolegova) and have really enjoyed it.

However, it is not "swoon worthy" the way Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, and Raymonda are.

I will probably only fly up for 2-3 shows (weekend trip). Madame P. is correct that it is not a ballet that deserves a whole, long run. It really should be alternated with one other ballet on tour. However, Ratmansky is a draw for many people, so it may do well (ticket sales). No idea.

If Baden-Baden's schedule looks good I might skip DC and go to Baden-Baden. I lived in Germany and speak the language and have friends not too far away from Baden-Baden that I could also visit. I am having to think up alternatives, because I foolishly promised my partner to take a break from Russia for a "few years" and already regretting I said those words! Ugh!

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I saw LHH when it played at the Metropolitan Opera House a few seasons ago. They ran it for about 4 performances, and the casts were very "A" list - Shkylarov and Tereshkina in particular stand out in my mind. Definitely not a ballet I will clear my schedule to see, but if the casting is strong I might come for one or two shows. After all, how often do we get to see top level Mariinsky dancers in the US? Now that ABT is no longer hiring guest artists, the opportunities must be savored, even if the ballets in which they are appearing are less than ideal.

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Although I hate the sets I actually like Ratmansky's Little Humpbacked Horse. I "like" it.....I don't "love" it.

Personally I think it is the most successful Ratmansky ballet at the Mariinsky. I find his Cinderella and Anna Karenina boring for the most part, but his Little Humpbacked Horse choreography keeps me entertained. But Natalia is correct about the sets. However, I am so used to crazy opera productions, so it bothers me less than other people probably. The Tsar Maiden is quite a nice role for a ballerina and there are some interesting corps moments. Ivan the Fool is a decent role for a male. I have seen this a couple of times in St. Petersburg (Osmolkina and Kolegova) and have really enjoyed it.

However, it is not "swoon worthy" the way Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, and Raymonda are.

I will probably only fly up for 2-3 shows (weekend trip). Madame P. is correct that it is not a ballet that deserves a whole, long run. It really should be alternated with one other ballet on tour. However, Ratmansky is a draw for many people, so it may do well (ticket sales). No idea.

If Baden-Baden's schedule looks good I might skip DC and go to Baden-Baden. I lived in Germany and speak the language and have friends not too far away from Baden-Baden that I could also visit. I am having to think up alternatives, because I foolishly promised my partner to take a break from Russia for a "few years" and already regretting I said those words! Ugh!

I saw Uliana Lopatkina's debut as Tsar Maiden in LHBH at MT2. Strange role for her, but actually she was excellent and very funny, but still it is a DIRE ballet in my opinion! The sets are terrible, and so is much of the music. I wish MT would DUMP all their Ratmansky, although, to be fair, at least LHBH is not as awful as Anna Karenina...

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I agree that LHH is the best of the Mariinsky Ratmansky works, despite dopey costumes & El Cheapo "sets" that can fold into a duffle bag.(Can't wait for the comments a year from now!)

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Uliana Lopatkina danced an excerpt from it with Vladimir Shklyarov at BAM on 2/28/16. I liked that piece. Bring her to Kennedy Center please

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LHBH is not danced by either Korsuntsev or Ivanchenko so at least it means you will get the chance to see some of the younger, more virtuoso male dancers.

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I have a question. Sadly, I've never seen LHBB and people speak of the goofy sets and sparse costumes. Could this be a ballet the Mariinsky markets to families and children? I know they generally don't but maybe if even just one performance gave a slight discount to families, it would be a great way to get them while they are young so to speak!

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I have a question. Sadly, I've never seen LHBB and people speak of the goofy sets and sparse costumes. Could this be a ballet the Mariinsky markets to families and children? I know they generally don't but maybe if even just one performance gave a slight discount to families, it would be a great way to get them while they are young so to speak!

The Mariinsky and ABT [narrative works] are packed houses at the Kennedy Center. At matinees kids ages range from tots on up. Practically a Nutcracker. NYCB doesn't sell out.

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I have a question. Sadly, I've never seen LHBB and people speak of the goofy sets and sparse costumes. Could this be a ballet the Mariinsky markets to families and children? I know they generally don't but maybe if even just one performance gave a slight discount to families, it would be a great way to get them while they are young so to speak!

The original fairy tale The Little Humpbacked Horse is definitely a children's story that probably all Russians know, and the original ballet version was by Saint Leon with music by Pugni and then a version by Petipa......Ratmansky's is obviously much newer with music by Rodion Shchedrin and, unlike his Cinderella, I do think that his version is aimed at both children and adults.

The reason most people dislike the sets is that they are very sparse and very modern....hardly can call them sets and they are more like shapes and not at all realistic. Most of the costumes are also very modern and not attractive although I do not mind the Tsar Maiden's costume. I think the sets and costumes were trying to evoke an almost comic book atmosphere. Bright colors, attempt at being whimsical.....but unfortunately it comes off as unattractive. The story and the dancing make up for what the sets lack.

My impression is that the Mariinsky does try to introduce children to ballet. They have shows about ballet geared to teach children about ballet. I saw one on one trip to St. Petersburg. I forget what they call them. Also, I saw their recent Bambi ballet which I think they have embraced fully because its story appeals very much to children. When I saw Bambi this past summer I think I saw more children at that ballet than I ever see at any Nutcracker both here in the US or in Russia.

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I would go in a blink of an eye if this was a recon of Petipa's LHBH. But is not, so no.

And if I could manage to go see the Ratmansky, I'd be there. Both of us are making choices about a work neither of us have seen.

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Hopefully we will get the full Mariinsky crew next year, instead of half in NYC, half in DC.

And hopefully Somova comes on this tour, as I'd like the chance to finally see her live.

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Somova did LHH at the Metropolitan Opera House, so the role is certainly part of her rep.

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I may be in the minority here but I think the sets for LHH are pretty neat. Same goes for costumes (especially the one for the Tsar Maiden). I've only seen it on video with Somova and I liked her a lot, which surprised me because she's not the ballerina type I tend to like and I've never liked her in other videos.

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As I've written elsewhere, I thought Somova was very good in Little Humpbacked Horse when I saw her dance it at the Met. She exactly caught the goofy, playful tone of the work without becoming too sacharine or coyly adorable--and still managed to look like a fairy tale princess at the same time. (She won a prize in Russia for her performance in this ballet.) I rather think Washington would be cheated if she didn't come on the tour -- and, of course, Shklyarov. But I expect they will. He was really fabulous in the little excerpt presented as part of the final BAM Mariinsky tribute to Plisetskaya program.

The ballet also offers a feast of Mariinsky character dancers in mime roles. Overall, I remember thinking the ballet did often look very much like a children's illustrated book come to life.

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As I've written elsewhere, I thought Somova was very good in Little Humpbacked Horse when I saw her dance it at the Met. She exactly caught the goofy, playful tone of the work without becoming too sacharine or coyly adorable--and still managed to look like a fairy tale princess at the same time. (She won a prize in Russia for her performance in this ballet.) I rather think Washington would be cheated if she didn't come on the tour -- and, of course, Shklyarov. But I expect they will. He was really fabulous in the little excerpt presented as part of the final BAM Mariinsky tribute to Plisetskaya program.

The ballet also offers a feast of Mariinsky character dancers in mime roles. Overall, I remember thinking the ballet did often look very much like a children's illustrated book come to life.

Somova gets a bad rap. The biggest complaint seems to be her past high extensions, but she no longer does 6 o'clock from what I have seen. I think she has tempered what most people used to view as her extreme quirks. I know there are some who disagree, and they will always see the glass half empty, but I personally think they are missing out. Her greatest asset is her acting. I actually love her acting. To me she always seems to be living each emotion the character is going through as if she is really experiencing those emotions. Her Tsar Maiden is very nice and I have seen a video of her one and only Raymonda and her acting when Jean de Brienne and Abderakhman are fighting is terrific. This is a moment when most people will be focused on the fight, so many would be ignoring Raymonda at that moment, yet she gives her all to "living" the moment despite attention not really on her.

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Somova gets a bad rap. The biggest complaint seems to be her past high extensions, but she no longer does 6 o'clock from what I have seen. I think she has tempered what most people used to view as her extreme quirks. I know there are some who disagree, and they will always see the glass half empty, but I personally think they are missing out. Her greatest asset is her acting. I actually love her acting. To me she always seems to be living each emotion the character is going through as if she is really experiencing those emotions. Her Tsar Maiden is very nice and I have seen a video of her one and only Raymonda and her acting when Jean de Brienne and Abderakhman are fighting is terrific. This is a moment when most people will be focused on the fight, so many would be ignoring Raymonda at that moment, yet she gives her all to "living" the moment despite attention not really on her.

I agree with everything you say about Somova. She rarely does those extreme extensions now, but uses her flexibility entirely appropriately to each role, but that flexibility gives her such an ease of movement - especially in her glorious grands jetes. Her acting is always unforced and natural and I saw that Raymonda debut, and she was a wonderful Raymonda. It's really a crime that America could not see this great Raymonda. Beautiful arms too! Even though I really do not like this version of LHBH, it does have a few nice moments, notably the PDD. I think she is the best Tsar Maiden so I do hope she will open the LHBH run next year!

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I'm extremely disappointed with the casting.  Maybe Somova just doesn't want to tour?  Where are all the principal dancers?  I'm going to the matinee on the 4th, so I'll see Shakirova.  I'm sure she'll be lovely (I've never seen her before) but I was hoping to nab tickets to finally see Somova.    Part of me wants to switch my tickets to so I at least get to see Shyklarov. 

 

Tue., Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m.
Ivan the Fool: Vladimir Shklyarov
The Tsar-Maiden: Anastasia Matvienko
The Little Humpbacked Horse: Yaroslav Baibordin
Gentleman of the Bedchamber: Yuri Smekalov
The Tsar: Dmitry Pykhachov
The Young Mare: Zlata Yalinich
Horses: Alexander Romanchikov, Alexander Beloborodov

Wed., Feb. 1 at 7:30 p.m.

Ivan the Fool: Ernest Latypov
The Tsar-Maiden: Renata Shakirova
The Little Humpbacked Horse: Grigory Popov
Gentleman of the Bedchamber: Konstantin Zverev
The Tsar: Vasily Shcherbakov
The Young Mare: Viktoria Brilyova
Horses: Andrei Solovyov, Yevgeny Deryabin

Thu., Feb. 2 at 7:30 p.m.

Ivan the Fool: Maxim Zyuzin
The Tsar-Maiden: Anastasia Kolegova
The Little Humpbacked Horse: Vladislav Shumakov
Gentleman of the Bedchamber: Yuri Smekalov
The Tsar: Dmitry Pykhachov
The Young Mare: Zlata Yalinich
Horses: Alexander Romanchikov, Alexander Beloborodov

Fri., Feb. 3 at 7:30 p.m.

Ivan the Fool: Vladimir Shklyarov
The Tsar-Maiden: Anastasia Matvienko
The Little Humpbacked Horse: Yaroslav Baibordin
Gentleman of the Bedchamber: Konstantin Zverev
The Tsar: Vasily Shcherbakov
The Young Mare: Viktoria Brilyova
Horses: Andrei Solovyov, Yevgeny Deryabin

Sat., Feb. 4 at 1:30 p.m.

Ivan the Fool: Ernest Latypov
The Tsar-Maiden: Renata Shakirova
The Little Humpbacked Horse: Grigory Popov
Gentleman of the Bedchamber: Yuri Smekalov
The Tsar: Dmitry Pykhachov
The Young Mare: Zlata Yalinich
Horses: Alexander Romanchikov, Alexander Beloborodov

Sat., Feb. 4 at 7:30 p.m.

Ivan the Fool: Maxim Zyuzin
The Tsar-Maiden: Anastasia Kolegova
The Little Humpbacked Horse: Vladislav Shumakov
Gentleman of the Bedchamber: Konstantin Zverev
The Tsar: Vasily Shcherbakov
The Young Mare: Viktoria Brilyova
Horses: Andrei Solovyov, Yevgeny Deryabin

Sun., Feb. 5 at 1:30 p.m.

Ivan the Fool: Ernest Latypov
The Tsar-Maiden: Renata Shakirova
The Little Humpbacked Horse: Yaroslav Baibordin
Gentleman of the Bedchamber: Yuri Smekalov
The Tsar: Dmitry Pykhachov
The Young Mare: Zlata Yalinich
Horses: Alexander Romanchikov, Alexander Beloborodov 

 

 

Edited by Kaysta

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I have written in a different thread but Somova is on maternity leave so that must be the reason for her absence.

I had seen Viktoria Tereshkina as the Tsar Maiden and she was wonderful in the role so that is a pity. 

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Thanks, naomikage, I didn't realize Somova was pregnant.

 

I'm sure I'll love Shakirova, but it sometimes feels like the KC gets the short end of the stick when it comes to KC casting.

 

Both last year and this year.

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