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Buddy

XVIII Mariinsky International Ballet Festival 2019

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20 minutes ago, MadameP said:

Buddy, Oxana Skorik's instagram account confirms she just had her baby.   

Thank you, MadameP. A baby girl apparently. Lovely news.

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Yekaterina Kondaurova is now listed as Carmen. This performance could sizzle.

I’ve also been looking through the list of some of my favorites — the lighter than air ballerinas. These would include Yekaterina Osmolkina, Maria Shirinkina, Maria Iliushkina and the more imposing Oksana Skorik and Alina Somova.

I sometimes overlook Yekaterina Osmolkina since she can be so unimposing. Yet, besides being as gentle as a breeze, she holds her own in the presence of such dramatic forces as Olga Smirnova. She showed this two years ago as Gamzatti alongside Olga Smirnova’s Nikiya (La Bayadere). Inside this not large physical presence is a great deal of identity and character.

At the Festival she’s scheduled to be Shyrin along with Maria Alexandrova as Mekhmeneh Bahnu. I’m hoping for an exciting performance from the personality plus, Maria Alexandrova. How, once again can the diminutive, lighten than air Yekaterina Osmolkina hold her own ?  She can, believe me.

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A very few seats for George Balanchine’s Jewels have become available at the Mariinsky site so I snagged one. Look forward to seeing this. The young Maria Iliushkina, whom I like very much, will be the second ballerina in Emeralds. Renata Shakirova should be a bundle of sunshine in Rubies.

Here is Lauren Cuthbertson (Royal Ballet) rehearsing her Sleeping Beauty with Xander Parish in St. Petersburg. She looks quite lovely. I wish them both much success.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BurjIXGgD1Z/

(thanks to Marfa at Balletfriends for posting this)

I took out my dancing shoes and should be hitting the runway tomorrow for my one week journey to St. Petersburg. 😊

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13 hours ago, Drew said:

Safe travels.

Thanks, Drew.

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Posted (edited)

 

Serenade -- In The Night -- Push Comes to Shove

A very fine evening and beginning to this year’s Festival with much outstanding beauty and interest.

Somewhat expectedly, but not necessarily as expected because I’m never quite sure what to expect from her, Alina Somova may well have been tonight’s star. Her artistry is remarkable and gets better all the time. She’s perhaps the Mariinsky’s most all around star along with Yekaterina Kondaurova in a different way. Tonight Alina Somova danced in the second couple from Jerome Robbins’ In The Night. She danced the middle ground between Mariinsky refinement and New York City ‘modernism’. The character and style that she created was her own, but highly believable and consistent with Jerome Robbin’s intent. It will be very interesting to see what she does tomorrow as the ballerina in George Balanchine’s Serenade in comparison to what Maria Kowroski did so well and expressively tonight.

Viktoria Tereshkina, whose artistry also is improving constantly, probably got the most enthusiastic response of my favorites. She danced in the third couple from In The Night.

Maria Kowroski gave another one of my favorite performances as the ballerina from George Balanchine’s Serenade. Her style contrasted in many different ways with the Mariinsky’s making for some very interesting comparisons.

All works were very well received. There was much more that I may be able to discuss at another time.

 

 

Edited by Buddy

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So along comes Twyla Tharp’s Push Comes to Shove and much like the Mikhailovsky’s very pleasant surprise the day before

https://balletalert.invisionzone.com/topic/44636-la-bayadere-mikhailovsky/

so was the Mariinsky Corps de Ballet.

Works like this, that are way out of normal Mariinsky waters, usually require a Mariinsky specialist, usually Yekaterina Kondaurova, to succeed. The other dancers, especially the Corps de Ballet, do their best to hang in. Well, what’s going on? The Corps de Ballet is Rocking! Perhaps more than the stars. It seemed to be its youth. The Corp de Ballet dancers looked very much at home with this new kid on the block. These lady dancers, the short skirted group, were a delight to watch.

Kimin Kim in the air was not be bettered. Many of his gyrations were breathtaking. Still, Mikhail Baryshnikov remains the reference point and studying his performance carefully is something all artists attempting this should do. Tatiana Tachenko and Nadezhda Batoeva did quite well as his sidekicks.

Push Comes to Shove is a very clever work — perhaps a brilliant one.

Serenade was enchanting and In The Night was gorgeous. Everyone did fine in both of them.

Maria Kowroski was made to dance Serenade. The comparison of her style and that of the Mariinsky is something that I’d like to attempt further on. Combined, at times it did work very well. Both generally probably stand best on their own. Alina Somova, Admirably!,  and perhaps Viktoria Tereshkina, did make it work for In The Night.

In The Night was beautifully performed. Maria Shrinkina was also lovely. Her husband, Vladimir Shklyarov seems to be working hard and well on his portrayals. Konstantine Zverev does very well at this sort of thing. Danila Korsuntsev was class personified as usual.   

Tonight Alina Somova and Maria Kowroski switch roles. They could be another Festival highlight, as they were last night.

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I wrote awhile ago that the Festivals don’t always play out as we think that they will.

Yekaterina Kondaurova

Remember her ?

In The Night

began with a remarkably lovely performance by Nadezhda Batoeva partner by Xander Parish.

Then Maria Kowroski, partnered by Yevgeny Ivanchenko, gave an equally lovely performance that fit her like a glove.

Then….

Yekaterina Kondaurova, partnered by Andrei Yermakov, gave a performance that was at least

90 Percent Pure Genius !

She made moves that I never saw her do before, in fact that I never saw anyone do before !

Another mega-step taken by this remarkable artist, who once again showed that she’s capable of doing anything.

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Maria Alexandrova announced on her Instagram that due to injury, she and Lantratov will not be performing in the Saturday show of 'The Legend of Love' as Mekhmeneh Banu and Ferkhad. They have been replaced by Ekaterina Kondaurova and Andrei Ermakov. 

 

 

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On this beautiful sunny day, surely the Festival’s most charming and magical event occurred. Although not officially part of the Festival, it is for me. And it’s not because of the performance primarily, but because of the large number of little children in the audience. This year and last year, anyway, The Fairy Doll was scheduled at Festival time and I hope that it becomes a tradition.

As it happened, this Vaganova performance was a particularly good and enjoyable one. Led by Liza Avsadzhanishvili as the Fairy Doll and her two partners, the clowns Aaron Osava-Gorovits and Ivan Poddubnyak, who all gave very fine performances, the entire event was a real pleasure. The little boy shop attendant, whose name I can’t find for the moment in my russian language program was also very entertaining.

The work only lasts an hour and the children in the audience, that I could see, pretty much hung in there and seemed to be having a good time. The two clowns were perhaps the best attention holders. And it’s as nice and appropriate for children a work as I’ve yet seen.

Back to last night briefly. The evening once again belonged to Yekaterina Kondaurova who was brought in at the last minute to replace Maria Alexandrova as Mekhmeneh Banhu in The Legend of Love. Her long, expressive lines and flawless portrayal pretty much dominated everything. I can’t imagine it being performed any better. Yekaterina Osmolkina and Andrei Yermakov (also brought in as a last minute replacement) did very well. And how Alexander Romanchikov, the Vizier, and Yekaterina Kondaurova accomplished some of those extremely difficult overhead lifts is an amazement. The work itself is a choreographic masterpiece.

And back one night earlier, I already mentioned the wonderful performances from In The Night. Preceeding that was Serenade.  Alina Somova, as the lead, did have some sublime and extremely fine passages. Her long and very animated legs, once the topic of much discussion, were highly effective, in a somewhat more restrained manner, as they propelled her flowing gown in magnificent waves. The young Maria Iliushkina, debuting as the third ballerina, the one who accompanies the second male lead, was a very pleasant breath of fresh air. In her typically understated manner, she gave a lovely performance.

Push Comes To Shove was characterized quite believably by Philipp Stepin who gave a very acceptable overall performance.

Tonight Polina Semionova will dance Giselle. It should be very beautiful.        

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Giselle

Yesterday’s was a very fine performance. The audience response was as electric as I’ve felt this year.

Polina Semionova probably excelled most in the second Act. Here she took on a Wagnerian aura that was very effective and very appropriate. At the curtain calls she seemed very appreciative of the warm response — a very well deserved one.

Ah yes, Kimin Kim.

When he moves it resembles pure light. I’ve never seen anyone cover as much space and as fast with so little apparent effort or movement. In the air he’s beyond comment.

His portrayal was extremely good. I think that with some fine tuning and continued development it will be exceptional.

I liked Maria Bylanova as Mirta. She had a very nice sense of feeling in her phrasing. She’s also very wholesome looking, which is nice to see on a ballet stage.

Valeria Martynyuk, I believe has a bit of a following here. I’m not really that familiar with her, but I enjoyed her in the peasant duet. She also had quite a jump as I literally thought she might go off the end of the stage several times.

Yuri Smekalov, Mariinsky in-house choreographer and dancer, always excels as Hans.

And, a becoming more rare appearance by Vladimir Ponomarev, Mariinsky actor-genius, as the nobleman. I still feel that they should have a gala evening in his honor.

And the interesting case of Alexei Timofeyev .He danced in the peasant duet. He always seems to have critical roles at the Festival, perhaps the year’s most important event, and then I never notice his name again. He’s very  good.

The Corps de Ballet. How they can perform a different work each night, so well, is remarkable.

Once again — A very fine evening.

 

Added: According to ElenaK at Dansomanie -- Thank you -- The Young Choreographers' evening will be shown on the internet tomorrow, March 26, Mariinsky tv, at 11:30am EST.

And some brief video news coverage from Russia of the beginning.

https://topspb.tv/news/2019/03/21/v-peterburge-startoval-xviii-mezhdunarodnyj-festival-baleta-mariinskij/

http://www.rtr.spb.ru/vesti_spb/news_detail_v.asp?id=33054

https://tvkultura.ru/article/show/article_id/342828/

(Thanks again to ElenaK at Dansomanie)

 

 

Edited by Buddy

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Overall, certainly the best of the Young Choreographers’ evenings. Totally a world class effort.

I would like to signal out for the moment Xander Parish’s monumental performance in I’m Not Scared and Alina Somova’s enchanting performance in Concerto Bianco.

Then for the moment, I’d like to thank Yuri and Viktoria and Alexander and Daria and Kristina and Yekaterina and Yekaterina and Maria and….and….!

I believe it came on the internet an hour later than I mentioned. I forgot that Europe doesn't change time until Sunday. I'm sure it can be found on the internet somewhere, hopefully permanently.  It's well worth the time to watch.

By the way, Elena Yevseyeva will replace Natalia Osipova in Don Quixote. Hope all is well. But as someone often cited here from another forum implied, what other company could field ten equal or better replacements for a guest celebrity.

And once again, tonight's program, an often highly lovely and completely successful evening.

Edited by Buddy

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Here's the Young Choreographers' broadcast. I hope that it's translates reasonably well on video. I haven't had a chance to watch much.

https://mariinsky.tv

Here's who's doing what.

https://www.mariinsky.ru/en/playbill/playbill/2019/3/26/2_1930

Alina Somova's lovely performance with Andrei Yermakov (Dmitry Pimonov's Concerto Bianco) starts at 1:13:00. It was probably my favorite. Sitting near the front and watching through theater glasses, I think that it came over much more effectively than this video portrays. Still, it's so nice to see again.

Perhaps the great pleasure for me was just watching all these great artists doing these great moves. I would have been happy if it had gone on and on.


 

Edited by Buddy

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There are some nice and explanatory notes in the Young Choreographers’ program booklet.

Yuri Smekalov, whose Concerto For Contrabass opened the evening, says, “Double bass is for maturity….Violin is youth….Conductor is time….Life has meaning while we have control of time. Music is an opportunity to control ageing by  stopping time or accelerating time.” Viktoria Tereshkina, very well performed, is probably maturity. Daria Ionova, keep a future eye on her, is probably youth. Yuri Smekalov is the conductor. The triangle imagery represents these three with the conductor at top controlling time.

About the closing work , I’m Not Scared, Ilya Zhivoi says that this is about a man in a terminal condition, actually the work’s composer, Ezio Bosso….“This is a story about a man of great will and power, who can fight, love, and create regardless of the circumstances.” Xander Parish did a very commendable job with this one.

And from the evening’s probably most ‘weighty’ work, Noise of Thoughts, which was well crafted, well performed and well intentioned, Vladimir Shklyarov says,”My purpose as a dancer, ideologist, and partly as a choreographer is not to create a timeless masterpiece nor to invent a new choreography genre or language. Far from it. This work provides me with the opportunity to remind you, what is most important. And the most important things are non-material, such as having an open heart, a sympathetic gaze, and a helping hand.’

And on a less serious note, for my part today, it’s another beautiful sunshiny afternoon with lots of folks out walking in the parks.

“Just looking for fun and feeling groovy.”

(“The Moika Canal Bridge Song(?)” by Paul Simon)

Edited by Buddy

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Maria Khoreva — Diamonds

My esteem for this young woman has just risen at least several hundred percent !

Her duet was one of the finest Swan Lake/Midsummer Night’s Dream/Diamonds adagio duets that I’ve ever seen. I’ve seen many videos of her and never thought that she was capable of such a thing. If she’s able and allowed to concentrate on this, she might compensate, even greatly, for the loss of Alyona Kovalyova. She’s certainly destined to be one of the Mariinsky’s finest ballerinas.

She was absolutely gorgeous !

Maria Iliushkina — Emeralds

Until the appearance of Maria Khoreva, this young ballerina was the star of the evening for me. Her duet as the second ballerina was a porcelain doll come to life Dream. I’m still not sure how this totally unassuming young artist does it, but she steals the show.

I’ve read here for many years that to appreciate the patterning of dancers in a Balanchine ballet that you should sit up high in the theater. I’ve never done it because I like to be as close to the stage as possible. Today I had to sit in the second balcony because of the very limited choice of seats. The ending to Diamonds was incredible !  In a video documentary, Rudolph Nureyev said the George Balanchine choreographed from back to front, starting with the ending. After what I saw tonight I believe it.

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This is a fairly good representation of what I thought Maria Khoreva (with Xander Parish) did so remarkably beautifully last night. Still, the enchantment and lovely airiness is not totally captured in these two dimensions. Great to be able to see this again, in any case.

(Posted at the Maria Khoreva site) 

Tonight Elena Yevseyeva and Vladimir Shklyarov gave a fine performance in Don Quixote. Together they danced high in the air with fine linear definition and excitement. Elena Yevseyeva had some very good characterization especially in her more comic moments.

Edited by Buddy

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2 hours ago, Buddy said:

This is a fairly good representation of what I thought Maria Khoreva (with Xander Parish) did so remarkably beautifully last night. Still, the enchantment and lovely airiness is not totally captured in these two dimensions. Great to be able to see this again, in any case.

(Posted at the Maria Khoreva site) 

Tonight Elena Yevseyeva and Vladimir Shklyarov gave a fine performance in Don Quixote. Together they danced high in the air with fine linear definition and excitement. Elena Yevseyeva had some very good characterization especially in her more comic moments.

Khoreva is stunning. There are moments that I think could be worked on a little more-- the musicality, drama, etc, but otherwise, wow! She's so young so no doubt, we will continue to see her improve and her artistry flourish. 

Also the tutu she wears looks so much better now that Mariinsky has restored it. In other videos/pictures from her debut it looked so drab. 

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On 3/28/2019 at 5:52 PM, annaewgn said:

Khoreva is stunning. There are moments that I think could be worked on a little more-- the musicality, drama, etc, but otherwise, wow! She's so young so no doubt, we will continue to see her improve and her artistry flourish. 

Also the tutu she wears looks so much better now that Mariinsky has restored it. In other videos/pictures from her debut it looked so drab. 

Wow, indeed, Annaewgn.  😊

Viktoria Tereshkina — Swan Lake

A fine performance.

I’ve mentioned for several months, based on video clips, that her artistry is really developing. Tonight, characterization-wise, she gave one of the most artistically agile performances that I’ve seen on a ballet stage. Remarkably well accomplished !

Last night in Sleeping Beauty Olyesa Novikova also gave a fine performance considering that she apparently didn’t even have time to rehearse because of Lauren Cuthbertson’s last minute, unfortunate illness. Xander Parish, who’s given three major performances in five days, did very well. There were also other very fine ones.

Edited by Buddy

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The Festival ended wonderfully with the Gala evening. The middle section, Divertissement, like the Young Choreographers evening could well have been named — “Moves” — “Very Good Moves”. This ranged from Pimonov to Forsythe to Balanchine. The best performances may have been given by Kimin Kim with Alina Somova (Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux), Viktoria Tereshkina with Jacopo Tissi (meaning that we might be one step closer to seeing Alyona Kovalyova) (Grand Pas Classique) and Yekaterina Kondaurova with Roman Belakov (A Flashback). Lauren Cutherbertson did appear tonight (Marguerite and Armand) also giving one of the finest performances with Xander Parish.

I’m leaving tomorrow, but will try to write more another time.

Each year I wait all year looking forward to the next Festival. I've enjoyed them all, a welcomed world of beautiful dreams, each one being warmly embraceable and artistically wonderful.

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Somova/Kim in Tchaikovsky PD2 sounds fabulous and Tereshkina/Tissi is an ... interesting ... combination!  I like Tissi very much - such a beautiful jump and elegance!  

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The Young Choreographers Evening can now be seen here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvKOV8xuMns

There was a gentle, lyrical flow throughout the entire evening that for me was delightful and entrancing. Again I’ll mention that Alina Somova’s lovely dancing to some equally lovely music can be found at 1:12:30. That highly appreciative, contained bravo as she and Andrei Ermakov walked off the stage was me.

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For the moment there’s really nothing that I would add to the performances that I’ve mentioned. This is a list of the artists with their perhaps finest performances in order of how much I enjoyed them and considered them perhaps the best.

 

Maria Khoreva — Diamonds

 

Alina Somova — In The Night, Concerto Bianco

Yekaterina Kondaurova — In The Night, Legend of Love

 

Polina Semionova — Giselle

Viktoria Tereshkina — Swan Lake

 

Maria Kowroski — Serenade, In The Night

Lauren Cuthbertson — Marguerite and Armand

Maria Iliushkina — Emeralds, Serenade

Nadezhda Batoeva — In The Night

 

Kimin Kim — Giselle, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux

Xander Parish — I’m Not Afraid, Marguerite and Armand

Edited by Buddy
spelling corrections

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Viktoria Tereshkina

This is a quick look at some of her lovely dancing  which I’ll post since it’s on an officially released video.

Start at 10:20

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvKOV8xuMns

She’s dancing in Yuri Smekalov’s Concerto for Contrabass from the Young Choreographers evening. Besides her fine dancing, it shows her very pleasant and more relaxed facial expression, which is one indication of how she’s maturing artistically, which was very noticeable in her Swan Lake, when her facial expression grew more and more agilely brilliant as the evening progressed.

As a result her Swan Lake was perhaps the first one at the Mariinsky that effected me more in the way that the Bolshoi does. At the Mariinsky my interest and appreciation center almost completely around the aura of the White Swan duet. At the Bolshoi, I tend to follow the story more because of the strong emphasis on characterization. Viktoria Tereshkina’s extremely fine and developing ability at this made for a very enjoyable change. I thought that she was brilliant.

Since I’m discussing characterization, I’ll take this chance to mention why I was so impressed with Lauren Cuthbertson (with Xander Parish) in Marguerite and Armand. I couldn’t really judge her dancing in comparison to the Mariinsky’s fineness because of the nature of the work, but her character was outstanding. She was  totally heart touching and absolutely compelling. Xander was also extremely good and I’ll maybe get into how their English background could account for some of this at another time.

From the video I’ll also again mention the young Daria Ionova, who’s dancing alongside Viktoria Tereshkina and Yuri Smekalov. I’d already begun to like her  from video clips because of the lovely flow of her beautiful long lines. This is one of the things that I embrace most in ballet and I would have to think that she’ll develop more and more impressively in this direction.

 

 

 

 

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