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Maria Iliushkina — “ ”Zvezda" (Star) material ?? “


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10 hours ago, Drew said:

I think this is a debut and and to my eyes seemed cautious at the beginning but as the adagio developed less and less so.  It's Mariinsky Balanchine--Illiushkina at her most powerful is less emphatic than exquisite and seems always to dance with a certain gentleness.  Anyway, I was won over--I find her lovely:

 

As I keep saying, for me, she walks this fascinatingly charming line between a loveable, feeling her way, child and an accomplished artist. She's able to find her way back and forth with impressive mastery ('mistressery' 🙂).

As I sense your general sentiments about the Mariinsky doing Balanchine, I'll just say that some days they shine much better than others and when they do it's quite commendable. "Less emphatic than exquisite" seems to work well for me with my favorite ("less emphatic than exquisite") Balanchine. 

"Seems always to dance with a certain gentleness.  Anyway, I was won over--I find her lovely:"

I agree.
 

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I love Illushkina, having seen her several times  in Emeralds nearly two years ago and then talking with her at a reception, but the s--l--o--w  tempo of the Symphony in C clip is excruciating to listen to and makes the choreography laborious.   Compare the tempo with the version we have all probably watched numerous times:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpg-BhbVaiU

Nevertheless, I am overjoyed that she is being given roles and can't wait to see her on stage again. 

 

Edited by Josette
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1 hour ago, Josette said:

I love Illushkina, having seen her several times  in Emeralds nearly two years ago and then talking with her at a reception, but the s--l--o--w  tempo of the Symphony in C clip is excruciating to listen to and makes the choreography laborious.   Compare the tempo with the version we have all probably watched numerous times:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpg-BhbVaiU

Nevertheless, I am overjoyed that she is being given roles and can't wait to see her on stage again. 

 

Thanks, Josette, for this very fine comparison. I feel that Allegra Kent has taken George Balanchine's sometimes higher energy into the realm of high and perhaps sublime poetry, whereas Maria Iliushkina has made it more fairy-like magical, a velvet breeze. Both are very fine interpretations.

For me, if you just abstract the beautiful flow and often elegant sculpture of all the Mariinsky dancers in their video, you have something quite wonderful. Maria Iliushkina accomplishes this as beautifully as I've ever seen her do.

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Volcanohunter, if I could just briefly express something.

We all have what pleases us most and what we believe is right. There are certain things that we value highly over others. You've found them and this is what we all search for. The qualities that we love are what we should cling to, even if we all don't agree on what they are.
 

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Buddy, I like what you wrote. Every single human moves differently. This is why ballet is so subjective. Same with opera. The most feted ballerina or opera singer often divides people completely with half the people disgusted by what they see or hear and the other half in ecstasy. It's actually the ho hum dancers and singers who leave a majority of people with no opinion who do not divide fans/detractors. When a dancer or singer has very little controversy about her artistry often it is a B level singer/dancer. The great ones almost always divide opinions. Take Maria Callas. Her voice is fingernails on a chalkboard to some. To others it is Heaven especially in Norma. Dame Joan Sutherland....same thing.....people still argue that she might as well be singing in Chinese b/c you can't understand anything. Others delight in her amazing technical feats.  To each his own. After the pandemic for me personally,  I think it is healthier to see the glass half full and not half empty. I lost my dad and my dog and may lose my mom at any moment and my best friend is dying of throat cancer. I choose to enjoy ballet and opera. I can't do what they do on stage so I am going to go to shows looking for what's good and not dwelling on what I don't care for. I think it is important to do that for my mental health. 

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1 hour ago, Birdsall said:

The most feted ballerina or opera singer often divides people completely with half the people disgusted by what they see or hear and the other half in ecstasy. It's actually the ho hum dancers and singers who leave a majority of people with no opinion who do not divide fans/detractors.

I think I've been misunderstood. I was not horrified by what I saw in that clip the way I am horrified by Zakharova, Somova or Smirnova. Rather I found it soulless and uninteresting, lacking in phrasing or daring or energy running through the limbs and extending beyond them. I didn't enjoy any aspect of it, not the principals, not the demi-soloists and not the corps. That's what's so dispiriting.

(Although yes, I despise arabesques--and attitudes--that rise above the head, unless they're actually supposed to be penchés.)

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Posted (edited)

And I'll continue to maintain that she was absolutely lovely.  🙂

And the entire cast was also quite fine in many respects.

 

Added: Birdsall, I'm very sorry to hear about your losses, but hope that things will look up as much as possible for your mother, your best friend and yourself.

Edited by Buddy
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6 hours ago, volcanohunter said:

I think I've been misunderstood. I was not horrified by what I saw in that clip the way I am horrified by Zakharova, Somova or Smirnova. Rather I found it soulless and uninteresting, lacking in phrasing or daring or energy running through the limbs and extending beyond them. I didn't enjoy any aspect of it, not the principals, not the demi-soloists and not the corps. That's what's so dispiriting.

(Although yes, I despise arabesques--and attitudes--that rise above the head, unless they're actually supposed to be penchés.)

I read a really thrilling description you gave of a National Ballet of Canada Giselle with Lunkina and McKie--pre-pandemic but not too long ago--I hope there will be many more performances like that in your future...and that I get to read about some of them.

(But I also learn from your criticisms even of dancers and performances I happen to enjoy...)

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 This pandemic and loss of seeing in-person events.....it was harder than we thought. And so I am just choosing to see things as positively as possible even on YouTube from here on out. I don't want to go and nitpick and hate what I love. I don't think I will be blind. I will see things that aren't my taste, but I plan to be positive from now on so I enjoy life as much as possible with all this death and decline around me. 

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Bits from the Swan Lake have turned up on youtube (black swan adagio) as have a whole slew of excerpts from what I infer is a recent Corsaire; I have tremendous rooting interest in this lovely young ballerina but strict honesty compels me to say that I don't exactly relax when she goes into more difficult passages (turns especially) and it doesn't look like she does either. But for the rest I find her very appealing and sometimes something more too, though it's still just glimpses. (It was there in 2019 in D.C. too the one time I saw her in the theater--dancing a varation in Paquita.)

And here among the flowers;

 

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