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MadameP

Retirement of Daria Pavlenko

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I felt I should make a separate thread as some might not see my post in the current season thread, and I know many like Pavlenko.  Last night's performance of Anna Karenina was Daria Pavlenko's last performance on the Mariinsky stage after 22 years in the theatre.    She is an Honoured Artist of Russia and had danced most of the classical roles in the repertoire during her long career.  I wish her a long and happy retirement.  Here is a video of her final bows:

 

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Pavlenko was the most beautiful dancer.   I remember her particularly in Vikharev's Bayaderka, she had all the qualities of a true ballerina, but it seemed to me her performances were extremely rationed.  Do we have any explanation as to why she never toured?  The last time I saw her was several years ago when she accompanied her husband to London but never actually danced.   We endured far lesser 'talents on that particular tour I remember, but were denied the joy of seeing a true artist.

I wish her all the best for the future but hope she hasn't retired from dancing completely, if the Kirov wasn't prepared to acknowledge her talents, might she not be more appreciated elsewhere?

 

It has occurred to me that there is a vacancy now in the top rank, should be filled by either Novikova or Osmolkina.

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I’ve written about Daria Pavlenko from time to time. The first time that I met her at a reception I thought her to be one of the most beautiful women that I’ve ever seen. She was always lovely, as well, which showed in her performances.

The two Giselles that she performed in Washington DC over ten years ago were perhaps among the top ten best ballet performances that I’ve ever seen. I was always hoping that she would be given more.

Her very talented and nice husband, Alexander Sergeev, is still going strong as far as I know. Always wanted to see more of him as well.

They have a daughter, I believe. Maybe she’d like to spend more time with her now. I wish her all the best.

Edited by Buddy

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Thanks Madame P. for passing this news along. I saw Pavlenko once or twice very early in her career and then, quite by chance, in a beautiful performance of the Ratmansky Cinderella in 2013—she was a replacement for Shirinkina (who had been scheduled) and her Prince was Sergeyev. She made a moving, radiant, beautiful heroine. Very grateful I got to see her in that performance and wishing her the best.

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Daria Pavlenko danced here at Zellerbach in 2003 – in Diamonds with Danila Korsuntsev. It was one of the best performances of Diamonds I had seen – perfect phrasing. 

From a 2003 interview with the young Pavlenko in the San Francisco Chronicle with Catherine Pawlick, who was comparing the different generations of Kirov dancers.

Quote

"It’s hard to please anyone from the old school because you could be technically perfect, and they’ll say you’re empty. And if the dancer is emoting, they might say she can’t move."

 

Edited by Quiggin

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Lovely dancer. She will be missed. She’s a contemporary of Part and Ivanova - 1996 graduate. Some of the last exponents of the old Kirov style. Sigh.

Pavlenko was on the Autumn 2012 “Cinderella” tour to the Kennedy Center, performing brilliantly opposite Sergeev (her husband). DC also saw her in Chopiniana, Scheherazade and Giselle. We also saw her O/O in Swan Lake in Boston, around 2004/05...so she toured a bit to the US. 

I’ll especially cherish memories of her Nikiya in Vikharev's recon of Bayadere, opposite Kolb. 

Edited by CharlieH

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On 7/29/2018 at 7:43 AM, Mashinka said:

...

It has occurred to me that there is a vacancy now in the top rank, should be filled by either Novikova or Osmolkina.

“Should” is the operative word. 

Most likely it will be Renata Shakirova.

 

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Thank you, Madame P,  for sharing this news. It breaks my heart to think that I'll never see her dance again. I was hoping the "powers that be" at the Mariinsky would let her dance the tutu roles again, and let her tour again, but I guess it is not to be.

I fell in love with her the first time I saw her - dancing in Swan Lake at the Kennedy Center. I was lucky enough to see her O/O again in another KC tour, as well as her Giselle, her Cinderella (and Cindy's mother), her Zobeide, Chopiniana, and in Forsythe. Her combination of great technique, musicality and beautiful epaulment was wonderful, but what I loved most about her was that whatever role she was dancing, she always let her humanity shine through. She will be missed.

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Madame Pavlenko was (is) my favorite ballerina, not only she was a true product of the Vaganova style, just like her coach Elena Yevteyeva, what set Pavlenko above her colleagues were her God-given acting skills and her versatility, not only she remains my definitive Nikiya, Raymonda, Odette/Odile and Lilac Fairy, there has never been a dancer in Russia able to tackle Balanchine the way Pavlenko did, Her Diamonds, Siren in Prodigal Son and her delightful La Valse will alwas remain in my memory. That was Pavlenko, a perfect Nikiya and at the same time a perfect Chosen One in The Rite of Spring.

Her Zarema remains the golden standar for me. And it was precisely her Zarema in january this year (opposite Novikova's Maria) demostrated how Pavlenko was still in -and I want to be very emphatic about this-: In absolute top shape. Her technique, after having two babies, was stronger than that of most "Principals" in the company, and artistically her performance was enough to bring tears to ones eyes. Artistry like you can no longer see around.

That's why her retirement came as a surprise, because she was stronger than ever, but after a decade of humilliations under the directorship of Yuri Fateyev she probably was fed up with it.

 

I personally think that she will continue to dance, as her very talented husband is very involved with the organization of dance galas in Saint Petersburg. But, anyway it's good to see dancers have a decent farewell in Russia, something rarely seen there, things seem to be changing, first Makhalina and now a true Artist like Pavlenko.


Here are two post from Pavlenko's Official Instagram account.

 

 


Some videos:


Bayaderka

 

 

Raymonda

 

The Rite of Spring

 

Lilac Fairy

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Colette

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I almost forgot one of Pavlenko’s greatest roles but little known: the lead in La Valse! To me, she topped even Lopatkina in the role...Pavlenko more natural, totally embodying the role.  She is still my favorite La Valse ballerina, even with NYCB in mind. What a shame that she was not (officially) filmed in that.

Also, Pavlenko was perfection in the Chopiniana Prelude solo (hand to ear pose). Sigh. 

Doesnt Pavlenko have family (sibling?) in the USA? Would it be too much to hope for a move here, if she & her husband may not be so appreciated in Russia?

Edited by CharlieH

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It was one of her signature roles before Fateyev took over, she was more the Happy Girl at the ball than the stereotypical "Diva" and that made it all the more heartbraking. She was oficially recorded for Kultura TV in it.


Two short clips:

 


 

Edited by Colette

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Fantastic! Thank you, Colette. I remembered seeing clips on Kultura but I did not realize that the complete ballet was recorded. I saw Pavlenko live in this during one of the Mariinsky Festivals and was bowled over. It may have been during her special tribute night at the 2006 festival or soon after. 

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It was the 2005 Mariinsky Festival, when in the last "Artistic Evening" she was given (what an insult!) she danced the most remarkable La Valse with Merkuriev. (and Yanna Selina in the first Solo Couple and Obraztsova in the second! Amazing cast!)

Edited by Colette

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47 minutes ago, Colette said:

It was the 2005 Mariinsky Festival, when in the last "Artistic Evening" she was given (what an insult!) she danced the most remarkable La Valse with Merkuriev. (and Yanna Selina in the first Solo Couple and Obraztsova in the second! Amazing cast!)

Yes! Sorry, I mixed my Festivals...women’s tributes in 2005 and men in 2006. Great cast...all who you mentioned and my discovery of Olga Yesina in the 3rd couple of La Valse. That night opened with the premiere (and last?) performance of Simonov’s dopey Daphnis et Chloe-Beach edition. Second ballet was Forsythe’s Steptext, which put much of the audience to sleep, despite great dancing. The pay-off for those of us who stayed past the intermission was that glorious La Valse.

A TV special that I saw while living in Russia was a documentary-style tribute to Karsavina, with Pavlenko playing the great Diaghilev ballerina. I wish that it would appear on Youtube!

Edited by CharlieH

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