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Buddy

2017 -- 2018 Season

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The return in September of Maria Shirinkina. Brava !  Cinderella, La Sylphide and Giulnara (Le Corsaire).

 

As Yekaterina Osmolkina rises higher and higher in my esteem as perhaps the Mariinsky's most beautiful ballerina (in the company of Oxana Skorik), Maria Shirinkina, with many similar resemblances, has always been a favorite.

 

Vladimir Shklyarov, her husband and favorite of many, will be appearing as Romeo.

 

Always hoping for the best for this Mariinsky Principal Ballerina, Daria Pavlenko gets Myrta (Giselle) opposite Oxana Skorik as Giselle.  I'll say it again. Daria Pavlenko, a few years back, gave two from some of the finest performances I've ever seen as Giselle. 

 

https://www.mariinsky.ru/en/playbill/playbill?type=ballet&year=2017&month=9

 

Added: Yekaterina Kondaurova will appear in The Four Seasons, where she gave an absolutely brilliant performance at its debut, probably seen by many here when posted on the internet by the Mariinsky. It's since disappeared from the internet. If anyone knows where I can find a copy please let me know here or by personal message.
 

Edited by Buddy
"Added" added, additional wording and spelling corrections

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Nice to hear Pavlenko being cast in a nineteenth-century classic...I don't think that has happened much lately. I wish her success.

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1 hour ago, Drew said:

Nice to hear Pavlenko being cast in a nineteenth-century classic...I don't think that has happened much lately. I wish her success.

 

I think that the best that she's been given in the last few years is the lead in Anna Karenina ( and possibly Zarema in  The Fountain of Bakhchisarai ? )  I would certainly like to see much more of her.

 

Here's one of the quotes from the Mariinsky page.

 

"She dances the role of Nikia as a delicate, fragile and deceived child. The statuesque nature and refinement of the ballerina’s poses bring old illustrations and engravings to mind." -- Izvestia

 

https://www.mariinsky.ru/en/company/ballet/principals/baleriny/pavlenko

 

Added: I saw her dance a 'modernish' Divertissement at a Mariinsky Festival a few years ago and she looked as fit as ever.

 

 

Edited by Buddy
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 It looks as if Veronika Part (originally Mariinsky, formerly ABT) may be establishing a presence at London's Royal Ballet. 

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BY0zQ_qjrBn/?taken-by=vpartnyc

http://balletalert.invisionzone.com/topic/42745-veronika-part-leaving-abt/?page=17&tab=comments#comment-387309

(as reported by Fondoffouettes)

 

Wouldn't it be wonderful if the Mariinsky offered her the same chance. I've been dreaming of this possibility for years.

Edited by Buddy

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Buddy, I saw Part as a guest at the MT, in the title role of Giselle. It may have been 2014-ish (?). Unfortunately, she was like a fish out of water. Many of the regulars in the audience wondered why she returned to her home in that role. She would have been much better served by the role of Myrta in that particular ballet. Hopefully that recent sad experience in St. Petersburg will not hurt her chances of returning to her original home troupe.

 

On the other hand, I recall a fantastic ABT Swan Lake at the Kennedy Center, ca 2009, starring Veronika Part. She can be wonderful in the grand Petipa ballerina roles. Nikiya is another great one for her.

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Please delete. Duplicate response.

Edited by Buddy

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1 hour ago, CharlieH said:

Buddy, I saw Part as a guest at the MT, in the title role of Giselle. It may have been 2014-ish (?). Unfortunately, she was like a fish out of water. Many of the regulars in the audience wondered why she returned to her home in that role. She would have been much better served by the role of Myrta in that particular ballet. Hopefully that recent sad experience in St. Petersburg will not hurt her chances of returning to her original home troupe.

 

On the other hand, I recall a fantastic ABT Swan Lake at the Kennedy Center, ca 2009, starring Veronika Part. She can be wonderful in the grand Petipa ballerina roles. Nikiya is another great one for her.

 

I have a funny/not so funny story, Charlie. Before 2014 she returned to the Mariinsky to perform Swan Lake. I was in London at the time and decided that I would do anything to see this. I bought a ticket and reserved a flight as the perfomance was only ten days away. Then things fell through. The consulates in London and Paris said I had to get my visa in the US and Geneva, where I usually could get one with no problem was on vacation. Much of the money was recovered but I was not a happy camper. Fortunately about a week later the Bolshoi was performing Giselle in Lausanne, Switzerland, close to where I live, and I had tickets. They were fantastic. Svetlana Lunkina had a very good night and Nina Kaptsova was an absolute dream.

 

This was a once in a lifetime adventure in impulsive behavior, but that's how strongly I feel about Veronika Part, especially about seeing her do something at the Mariinsky. They did invite her back for a divertissement at their Festival, which I saw, and she did just fine. I spoke to her very briefly at the reception and told her that I thought that she was great and that if she comes back she should insist on doing another Swan Lake. In regard to the one that I couldn't get to, the only review that I could find was by a poster in Russia who said that she was excellent.

 

For me, Charlie, and for many others from what I've read and heard, she has a streak of enchantment running through her, that radiates even in her weakest performances, of which I've seen very few. I'm sorry that her Giselle seemed like a dud, but I'm sure that I would have found something to reassure me of her 'magic.' I always do. And I think that if given the time she could make the Giselle work just fine. It's a role that I don't think that she's had much experience with.

 

Swan Lake seems to be her strong card, but I've also seen her do two remarkable Sleeping Beauties, which many felt wasn't the best role for her. I think that she is an artist that should be tailored to if necessary, because she's that special. I have seen her given some very questionable (for anyone) material.

 

Glad that you liked her ABT Swan Lake. I've seen about six of them, loved them all, and one, after one by Ulyana Lopatkina, was probably the finest that I've ever seen. I think that the Mariinsky, which is loaded with so much talent that it can let the likes of Olga Smirnova, Yevgenia Obraztsova, and Alena Kovaleva seemingly slip away and yet shine like the sun, still would shine all the brighter if it could fine a place for Veronika Part. In my mind she's always been a Mariinsky ballerina, who in addition is a remarkable one of a kind that belongs to the world.

 

 Even if her 'magic' were to show for only a moment (never the case) it's greatly worth seeing. For me, she's that special.

Edited by Buddy

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Thanks for these recollections, Buddy. I just read through the ABT forum's thread on her recent farewell (Mozartiana). Now I understand why her admirers were so rattled.

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For one reason or another for the first time in 18 years there will not be a Mariinsky International Ballet Festival, at least during the usual season. I do hope that they will be continued.

So what does that season contain. If you take the entire month of March with space for more performances still available, we have a very substantial mix of ballet’s greatest classics.

3 Swan Lakes
1 Giselle
2 La Bayaderes
5 Sleeping Beauties
3 Don Quixotes

Quite good for a start.

At the XVIII Mariinsky Festival topic I mentioned the names of Anna Pavlova and Galina Ulanova and tried to relate them to some of our current ballerina stars. The young Olga Smirnova and the very young Alyona Kovalyova are perhaps the most compelling to me. They are both at the Bolshoi, but it should be remembered that they received their training at the Mariinsky’s Vaganova Academy. Alyona Kovalyova, along with the Mariinsky’s Oksana Skorik, perhaps best represent a significant difference between the ‘magic beauty’ of Anna Pavlova and Galina Ulanova and today. These two were might be called ‘Soulful Expressionists’. Alyona Kovalyova and Oksana Skorik are perhaps most noteworthy as being ‘Pure Poetry of Motion.’ Olga Smirnova can do both and it will be very interesting to see which directions she choses.

So what might we hope for this March at the Mariinsky. Alina Somova is a most fascinating prospect. She’s sort of a wild card. I’m never quite sure what will predominate because her range is so broad. She’s appearing less, possibly because of being with her two young children. Yet, in the mix of Expression and Pure Dance she’s perhaps the most likely to shine at both.

Oksana Skorik is also quite interesting in that she has the ability to move into sublime expression when she choses. Physically and stylistically resembling Alyona Kovalyova and Oksana Skorik would be the young Yekaterina Chebykina.

Yekaterina Osmolkina and Maria Shirinkina are very noteworthy for their pure beauty of motion. They are more subtle, although Yekaterina Osmolkina has very fine maturity of expression. Neither of these artists are linear which makes them distinct from the other current ballerinas that I’ve mentioned. Kristina Shapran could also be included. She is just returning to a regular schedule. 

I would also include Yekaterina Kondaurova and Renata Shakirova as being very fine and very interesting. 

These are just some names that I find beautifully exciting and look forward to seeing. I’m sure that everyone has their own list and their own preferences.

Edited by Buddy
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2 performances of the Vikharev reconstruction of Sleeping Beauty are due to perform on March 8th and 9th, with a lovely cast including his student Olesya Novikova.

https://www.mariinsky.ru/en/playbill/playbill/2018/3/8/1_1900

https://www.mariinsky.ru/en/playbill/playbill/2018/3/9/1_1900

(edited to add,)

I recognized this is to commemorate The Petipa Bicentennial (on a different topic above) 

Edited by naomikage

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Oksana Skorik debuted Thursday, alongside Xander Parish, in Yuri Smekalov’s ‘adaptation’ of Paquita. From some very brief internet glances they look fine. As her refined beauty grows it will be important, in my opinion, for her to retain a freshness, as seen in younger dancers such as Nadezhda Batoeva and Renata Shakirova, who are developing in a similar direction.

https://www.mariinsky.ru/en/playbill/playbill/2018/3/29/1_1930

Of particular interest will be a performance of Legend of Love, April 5, featuring different leads in each act. Kristina Shapran as Shyrin in Act III would be new to me and one that I would like to see.

https://www.mariinsky.ru/en/playbill/playbill/2018/4/5/1_1900
(Thanks to Sophia at Dansomanie)

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Posted (edited)

The performance of Legend of Love tomorrow, April 5, with a different lead in each act, except one, can be seen live on the internet at Noon (EST).

 

Distribution : 
Shirine : Olesya Novikova (acte I), Elena Yevseyeva (acte II), Kristina Shapran (acte III) 
Ferkhad : Timur Askerov (actes I, II), Andrei Yermakov (acte III) 
Mekhmeneh Bahnu: Ekaterina Kondaurova (acte I), Viktoria Tereshkina (acte II), Anastasia Matvienko (acte III) 
Vizir : Alexander Romanchikov 
Amis de Ferkhad : Victor Caixeta, Ramanbek Beishenaliev, Yaroslav Pushkov, Vyacheslav Gnedchik 
Or : Renata Shakirova 
Bouffon : David Zaleyev 

(Thanks to Sophia at Dansomanie)

Edited by Buddy

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Posted (edited)

       

                                                                 That's the Mariinsky  :)

 

                                                                   Magically Beautiful !

 

Staged in honor of the 70th Birthday of Ballet Master Radjepmyrat Abdyev.

https://www.mariinsky.ru/en/company/repetiteurs/abdyev

Rerun can be seen now.

Edited by Buddy
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Hope this stays up long enough for me to watch.

A wee bit disappointed/surprised Kim didn't get to dance one of the Acts. Some video of him in the role of Ferkhad is online and rather stunning.

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Posted (edited)

And if you want to see Yekaterina *Garbo* -- I mean Yekaterina Kondaurova, she starts at 15:00. 

Edited by Buddy

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Posted (edited)

"The Legend of Love"

Of all the 'modern classical' works (not 'neoclassical' -- Balanchine, et al) that I've seen this one is most certainly my favorite. The brilliant innovations of choreography, the hands, the positioning, are remarkable. I believe that it's considered Yuri Gregorovich's Masterpiece. I would agree.

I thought that this performance was excellent. One thing that I liked was that some of its 'heaviness' was lifted.

After Yekaterina Kondaurova's wonderful fireworks in Act I, things settled into a  more poetic flow, which I enjoyed very much. This is where the Mariinsky excels.

Act I also featured some very finely articulated dancing by Olesya Novikova and fine airiness of dance and presence by Timur Askerov (Acts I and II). Renata *Sunshine* as "Gold" was Gold indeed.(seen at 18:40)

In Act II, Viktoria Tereshkina and Elena Yevseyeva added their touch of subtle and poetic loveliness that I thought worked extremely well. Viktoria Tereshkina was as lovely as I've seen her, especially in facial expression. Elena Yevseyeva did very well with a beautifully airy agility.

In Act III, Anastasia Matvienko did just fine in maintaining this aura. And....Kristina Shapran is back. Her arms remain her masterpiece. They are so articulately beautiful that you can almost read them. In addition, she had some breathtakingly airy jumps. And....Andrei Yermakov -- great !  His was one of the finest dramatic presentations that I've seen from a male dancer at the Mariinsky.

Everyone else was just as fine. The Corps de Ballet was a Dream. In the last act they just floated wonderfully through and above it all. 

Edited by Buddy
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Posted (edited)

This is a simple poetry, someone's presentation of the reality, that shows some great loveliness.

https://www.rbth.com/arts/328011-backstage-stories-from-mariinsky-theater
(Many thanks to Haydn at Dansomanie)

"Extraordinary things happen behind the curtains. An ordinary ballerina (let’s call her Masha Ivanova) can be speaking with a friend, thinking about her problems and then, taking a step forward, she stops being Ivanova and becomes the Lilac Fairy or another unearthly character. This transformation can clearly be seen in the photographs. I think this is what inspires people to become dancers and artists, this is real magic."

And for a quick smile.

"Sometimes the ballerinas from the corps de ballet, in accordance with the plot of the ballet, must communicate on stage, and photographing them from behind the curtains, I hear how the heroines of Swan Lake, in historical costumes, are discussing their car loans." [Actually, I read once that all the background conversations are done without making sounds. Glad to know that serious business is being taken care of :)]

Edited by Buddy

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ROMEO&JULIET LIVESTREAM FRI 20 APRIL - dear Buddy did you see this ? Could not determine whether anyone had posted a heads-up or the link. Once again leads danced by different dancers in each act : Juliet is Teryoshkina/Matvienko/Novikova, Romeo is Ivanchenko/Yermakov/Kolb. Seems to be a Mariinka "novelty" but actually not bad in terms of getting to know different dancers :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBlFH-07plA

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, mnacenani said:

Seems to be a Mariinka "novelty" but actually not bad in terms of getting to know different dancers :

 

Yes, I agree.

I'll try to take a look. I do like the lovely duets very much.

I've seen or at least heard of this being done once before, but  don't remember what it was.

On the other hand, Yekaterina Kodaurova performed all three leads in Jewels at her Festival gala evening. There's actually two 'leads' in the Rubies  part. She did the second one a night or two later.

Legend can still be seen on the internet as well,  featuring, for me anyway -- Yep -- Yekaterina Kondaurova.

Edited by Buddy
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3 minutes ago, Buddy said:

I've seen or at least heard of this being done once before, but  don't remember what it was.

It was done in Legend of Love livestream earlier this year, again in honour of someone. May be a practical way of different dancers paying their respects, without management getting into the hassle of staging a gala evening !

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I have to say I saw both Legend and Romeo and Juliet, and I dislike extremely having different casting for each act.  The whole development of the characters throughout the course of the ballet is lost.  Yes, I understand it is an opportunity for many dancers to appear, but quite honestly, many would be better not appearing at all.  They would have been better off "paying their respects" by not dancing.  Askerov as Ferkhad?   Wooden in the extreme and cannot act.  Much as I like Evseeva, I think she is miscast as Shyrin.  The ballet itself would have been better served having Novikova and Tereshkina throughout.  As for Romeo and Juliet, Ivanchenko as Romeo  ... REALLY???  He should have retired long ago...   And Tereshkina is too knowing to be an tomboyish young Juliet.   Batoeva is a wonderful Juliet - but she wasn't chosen.  Of course,  Abdiev and Selyutsky were being honoured in these broadcasts, explaining some of the choices, but I think it made for dismal viewing...

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On 4/9/2018 at 9:14 PM, Buddy said:

Sometimes the ballerinas from the corps de ballet, in accordance with the plot of the ballet, must communicate on stage, and photographing them from behind the curtains, I hear how the heroines of Swan Lake, in historical costumes, are discussing their car loans." [Actually, I read once that all the background conversations are done without making sounds. Glad to know that serious business is being taken care of

Just reminded me of Saturday's Coppelia matinee with Hahlova and hubby Belyakov - never witnessed anything like it before : was sitting in 4th row on the left aisle of the New Stage and just behing the proscenium at the right side of the stage, coaches or repetiteurs were running in and out from backstage and jumping up and down directing the CdB and/or the soloists !!  At one time someone was frantically beckoning to Hahlova to come closer to Belyakov, and this action continued on and off till the end of the performance. Could it be due to Coppelia being out of repertory for almost a decade, and Hahlova and maybe some others too being debutantes ?  Or is ballet normally directed like this behind the curtains and one normally doesn't see it ??  Was really akin to a football coach directing his team in a hotly contested match.

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Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, mnacenani said:

Could it be due to Coppelia being out of repertory for almost a decade, and Hahlova and maybe some others too being debutantes ?  

I would guess that this is the case but I can't really help you. Was Makhar Vaziev among them? I know little about his style, except that he apparently can get quite involved. Yuri Fateyev, on the other hand, I've read, just hands out little pieces of paper with comments. 

I try to sit where I only see the stage because that's where the magic is for me. And I really appreciate it when the dancers going off stage keep their stage presence together until well out of sight. From broadcasts when the camera catches the wings I've seen warmups and the like casually going on. The on stage artists have to have considerable focus. What I like the most is when there's a sense of family in the wings. Dancers and their children, especially the children, are just  sitting there enjoying the performance. There's a sense of camaraderie and support from this as well.

Edited by Buddy
speling correction and last sentence and Yuri Fateyev comment added

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The Bolshoi's Coppelia premiered in 2009, so the production is less than a decade old. If memory serves, it had last been performed in December 2013, far too long ago. For the most part Vaziev chose to overlook the dancers who had worked directly with Vikharev and who had prior experience performing their roles. And if the Bolshoi's Etudes disaster is anything to go by, the amount of time set aside for rehearsing the ballet was probably woefully inadequate.

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Maria Iliushkina debuted her Variation Act I in Raymonda's Dream about a week ago. From video clips she looks like someone to keep an eye on. She's quite lovely. 

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