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Mariinsky La Bayadère | Zellerbach, Berkeley Oct 30 - Nov 3

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Great news, Thank you for sharing. however, for me personally a lot depends on the casting. I can't stand another iteration of "girlish" portrayals of M.Khoreva and/or M.Nagahisa. Brought they “mature” ballerinas for the role, then it’s totally justifiable to hop on a cross-country flight.

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2 hours ago, YID said:

Great news, Thank you for sharing. however, for me personally a lot depends on the casting. I can't stand another iteration of "girlish" portrayals of M.Khoreva and/or M.Nagahisa. Brought they “mature” ballerinas for the role, then it’s totally justifiable to hop on a cross-country flight.

Agreed. I would much rather see one of their seasoned, mature principals (Tereshkina, Kondaurova) or Leading Soloists (Novikova, Osmolkina) than any of the newbies who are getting all of these soloist roles. Though I can be certain that the KenCen October tour with 'Paquita' will be another Khoreva-Nuykina-Ionova-Nagahisa event. Which is sad, there are so many other dancers I'd rather see. 

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I found Nagahisa’s performances as the third odalisque and as Manu (in D.C. over a year ago) well worth seeing though Kennedy Center was, I suppose, fortunate is getting three experienced dancers in all the main leading roles in all casts.

(She may not be ready for it NOW —and unlike Nuikina/Khoreva has not, to my knowledge, ever been cast in any Bayadere lead—but one day I imagine Bulanova might make quite a striking Gamzatti. Certainly I can easily imagine the Rajah removing her veil and Solor having a moment of weakness.)

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1 hour ago, Drew said:

I found Nagahisa’s performances as the third odalisque and as Manu (in D.C. over a year ago) well worth seeing though Kennedy Center was, I suppose, fortunate is getting three experienced dancers in all the main leading roles in all casts.

(She may not be ready for it NOW —and unlike Nuikina/Khoreva has not, to my knowledge, ever been cast in any Bayadere lead—but one day I imagine Bulanova might make quite a striking Gamzatti. Certainly I can easily imagine the Rajah removing her veil and Solor having a moment of weakness.)

I saw her 3rd Shade that tour too, she is quite lovely though in videos I’ve seen as well she has no presence. She seems quite nervous and shy all the time.   

 

I agree with Bulanova. She and Khoreva will be utterly stunning in a few years, and with a few more years of experience behind them I have no doubt I’ll love them. But right now I can’t stand seeing them in all of these roles. 

Khoreva and Nuykina have been cast to do leads in “La Bayadère” this summer. Not overly thrilled about that. 

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Oh wow - I've never seen Mariinsky ballet's production of La Bayadere!  What a treat, and in my hometown at that :)

Do we know when casting usually gets announced?

I'd love to see Khoreva, she seems so promising, but I also want to see some of the more seasoned principals (not sure they'll be back in the bay area before they retire!).

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7 hours ago, Phrenchphry11 said:

Oh wow - I've never seen Mariinsky ballet's production of La Bayadere!  What a treat, and in my hometown at that :)

Do we know when casting usually gets announced?

I'd love to see Khoreva, she seems so promising, but I also want to see some of the more seasoned principals (not sure they'll be back in the bay area before they retire!).

Since it’s tour casting, it tends to be released about a month or two in advance, but it’s always subject to change, so take it with a grain of salt. 

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A link to the Berkeley casting was posted on the Ken Center thread but adding here in case folks aren't following other threads:

CASTING

October 30
Nikia: Ekaterina Kondaurova
Solor: Andrei Ermakov
Gamzatti: Ekaterina Chebykina
October 31
Nikia: Maria Khoreva
Solor: Vladimir Shklyarov
Gamzatti: Anastasia Nuikina
November 1
Nikia: Olesia Novikova
Solor: Kimin Kim
Gamzatti: Nadezhda Batoeva
November 2 (matinee)
Nikia: Ekaterina Kondaurova
Solor: Andrei Ermakov
Gamzatti: Ekaterina Chebykina
November 2 (evening)
Nikia: Maria Khoreva
Solor: Vladimir Shklyarov
Gamzatti: Anastasia Nuikina
November 3
Nikia: Olesia Novikova
Solor: Kimin Kim
Gamzatti: Nadezhda Batoeva
invisible.gif

Casting subject to change

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San Francisco Chronicle Review.

https://balletalert.invisionzone.com/topic/45139-review-mariinsky-la-bayadere-berkeley-2019/?tab=comments#comment-420313

Added:

Apparently Alina Somova, as Nikia, is not appearing in Berkeley. I'm so glad that I got to see her in Costa Mesa, where she was Outstanding (as were Yekaterina Kondaurova and Maria Khoreva). 

Would like to hear about Olesia Novikova.

Yekaterina Kondaurova is appearing again ( as is Maria Khoreva).   😊

Edited by Buddy

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I had the great privilege of seeing the Mariinsky perform La Bayadère at Zellerbach 4 times this past weekend. I was only supposed to go three times to see each cast but ended up seeing the Khoreva/Shklyarov cast twice. The program can be downloaded here (some of the casting changed and was unannounced) https://calperformances.org/learn/program_notes/2019-20/pn_mariinsky_official.pdf 

October 31
Nikia: Maria Khoreva
Solor: Vladimir Shklyarov
Gamzatti: Anastasia Nuikina

 

November 2 (matinee)
Nikia: Ekaterina Kondaurova
Solor: Andrei Yermakov
Gamzatti: Yekaterina Chebykina

 

November 2 (evening)
Nikia: Maria Khoreva
Solor: Vladimir Shklyarov
Gamzatti: Anastasia Nuikina

 

November 3
Nikia: Olesya Novikova
Solor: Kimin Kim
Gamzatti: Nadezhda Batoeva

The current Mariinsky is still my favorite company although it’s different than the Golden Era of years past. Here are some random thoughts:

I’m glad they brought their own orchestra which, for the most part, sounded great (they seemed to be tired Saturday evening and there were a few false notes that show). The music is just perfect.

The casts were basically the same, which was nice as I got know the dancers and see if they were consistent or not, but I also wish I could have seen different soloists…

Although I know it’s the thing these days, I prefer when female dancers are correctly placed vs having their legs super high up. I know there’s a certain pressure to get one’s leg up there even if it’s not one’s body’s natural tendency. For example, it’s much easier for Khoreva than Novikova and I found the latter’s distorted à la seconde rather sad and it took me out of the moment. I was glad Khoreva mostly kept her flexibility tasteful. In fact, during the Thursday show, I only noticed it during the lifts toward the end of the Shades when she so effortlessly went into oversplit… She was a bit more whacky throughout her second show.

The company as a whole looks good. The corps is still fantastic when it comes to lines and matching each other which is so difficult and lacking in American companies. Even the soldiers’ demeanors and walking in step with each other and the music from the very beginning of Act I was wonderful. Most of them seem very young.

I hate that 90%+ of the dancers wear Gaynor Mindens! They are not flattering! Only a couple corps girls wore Russian Pointe and Grishkos. Novikova wore Grishkos which she could balance nicely on but could not roll down from. Khoreva wore Bloch Balance in a hard shank which were super loud and did not bend to her foot. She needs to be fit by someone better! I can recommend a great fitter 😛 Also, they all need to sew their shoes better!

Every dancer (aside from a couple of the fakirs who upon watching with binoculars were having a bit too much fun hehe) was fully invested in their character and the story. I love noticing all the details and it was fun to see them doing it a bit differently every show.

One of my favorites was Maxim Izmestiev as Magedaveya, the lead fakir. He did every show, did so beautifully and slightly differently every time. I liked him more and more each time. I’d be curious to see him in a more classical role but really enjoyed this and thought he was perfect for it.

The character dances were awesome as always. So much energy! They are not easy… In the Indian Dance, I preferred Andrei Arseniev to Oleg Demchenko and Alina Krasovskaya to Anastasia Petushkova. I don’t believe Roman Malyshev performed 10/2 as scheduled so I only saw Nail Yenikeyev all 4 shows.

Soslan Kulaev as the High Brahmin grew on me. I didn’t love him the first show but I think I was just expecting something different from previous experiences. For one, he was much younger than I’m used to. He was pretty creepy and dramatic. By the third show, he had won me over.

Svetlana Ivanova is still lovely and it was nice to see her up there after all these years. I first saw her in London in the early 2000s… Her arabesque is incredible and it was nice to have her lead the Shades out. She did one of the kneeling poses funny every time with her front leg bent instead of straight so I wish I could have given her that note ha

In the Act II Grand Pas, Alexander Beloborodov and Roman Belyakov were so tall, princely and paid lovely attention to their ladies. The latter (Bulanova, Yaromenko [as per Dreamer's post below, in for Guseinova unannounced], Chereshkevich, Iliushkina) were not great every time.

The four short girls (Tychina, Ivanova, Mikheikina, Fernandez) were more consistent. 

Both Manus, Anastasia Asaben and Tamara Gimadieva, were cute. One went over her shoe funny and I was worried she might have injured herself but she seemed OK for the rest of the dance.

 The Golden Idols, Philipp Stepin and David Zaveleyev, both left something to be desired. It was a bit disappointing…

The Shades were amazing. As previously mentioned, they matched each other so well and adjusted when needed.  Sadly, the développé à la seconde was wobbly for several each time. Arabesques were a bit more solid though not very clean (standings legs turned in, leg not behind). Otherwise, just lovely. It was too bad they could not fit the ramp as they were all obscured by the boulder on the scrim for their second arabesque.

 The Three Shades were OK. Somehow, I didn’t get the same feeling as in years past where the variations were a bit more exciting and varied more greatly from each other in mood.

 1st Variation:

Vlada Borodulina was fine, not too memorable.

I’m generally not a Renata Shakirova fan but her second section was definitely the best I’ve seen the pirouettes. And it is tough!

2nd Variation:

I saw Yana Selina all 4 times as Maria Shirinkina did not perform on Saturday as planned which was a bummer. It was unannounced and judging from people’s Instagram stories, unnoticed. Yana was not as impressive as in years passed (I’ve always thought she stood out nicely in the past) and looked, perhaps, a bit out of shape. Has she been injured or on maternity leave? Thursday, especially, she really struggled.

3rd Variation:

 Anastasia Lukina, again, fine, not too memorable.

May Nagahisa was definitely better! Solid technique for sure. The audience loved her.

And now, for the principals.

I was SUPER DISAPPOINTED by the GAMZATTIs!

Of the three casts, only Nadezhda Batoeva should have been dancing Gamzatti. She was technically solid along with very good character development. I recommend that she get/make better fake arches as hers were noticeable and not very good 😂

Anastasia Nuikina whom I saw my first show was disappointing. Technically all over the place and artistically much too young for the role. The Thursday show was worse than Saturday and she began her fouettés with one and half pirouettes and found herself facing backward and had to get back around to the front. It was messy and she generally looked quite nervous during the dancing parts though more assured during the mime scenes.

Yekaterina Chebykina was better when on her own, her variation and coda were pretty good, but also messy when being partnered. And also too young for the role.

I felt badly for their partners... I hope they will grow into the role as obviously the company sees something in them.

SOLOR:

I LOVED Vladimir Shklyarov, especially on Saturday night. His acting and technique were both wonderful and he seemed to really lose himself in it. He made the shows for me!

Kimin Kim was very charismatic, his acting well thought out but natural, and his technique, of course, amazing. I really enjoyed him and he had the audience in the palm of his hand from his first jump on!

I was not into Andrei Yermakov. His technique was not clean, shockingly bad actually, and I did not like the way he portrayed the character either.

NIKIYA:

My first show was Maria Khoreva. I found her too young to be dancing Nikiya already: I don't think she's artistically ready yet. Nikiya is dear to my heart as Bayadère has always been one of my favorite ballets, and she needs to have such soul and divine power pouring out of her. She is a being in constant communication with God in her job after all 😉 Khoreva's technique was great as I knew it would be based on all the videos available. She was better technically on Thursday, a tiny bit less so on Saturday when I found her to be more artistic. She got tangled in the scarf at one point during the beginning of her Shades variation but kept her cool. Her Act III on Thursday was my favorite. I’m sure she’ll be wonderful in a few years! And she does seem lovely and down to earth and certainly grateful for all her opportunities which is a plus. 

Olesya Novikova was better. I can’t believe she has 3 kids! I’ve never been a big fan but I enjoyed the show though I was not wowed… And this may seem silly, but I didn’t like her makeup or her shoes (as previously mentioned). Technically, she was good. Her arabesque turns with the scarf were impressive on both sides- 1.5 to start makes it easier to ensure you get all the way around before the pull in! I thought her first act was my favorite. I didn’t like her Act II.

Ekaterina Kondaurova was easily my favorite. She is a true artist. I remember when she was newer to soloist roles when the company toured to NYC and she earned the nickname Big Red. Her hair wasn’t very red this time around ha I wish she had more makeup on. Maybe she thought it would be too much for the smaller Zellerbach Hall… I don’t like her Act II costume as much. I wonder why she uses that one… In the third section of that variation, she stayed on pointe the whole time when opening to arabesque and came down only to go into the pas de bourrée suivis. Anyway, she was just beautiful- technically solid and she *was* Nikiya. I loved her and wish 1. she had a better partner and 2. that I could have seen her again.

I think my favorite part of the whole ballet is the beginning of the Nikiya Act II variation when the music is so quiet and you can feel the intensity of the entire audience focused on Nikiya. I also love watching Solor, the High Brahmin and Magedaveya during it! 

So, even though I enjoyed the company as a whole, I found my first show (Thursday) disappointing due to the principal women being too young and inexperienced. However, once I was more prepared, the other shows were much more enjoyable! All in all, I’m so happy I saw so many and can’t wait for them to come back!!! :)

Edited by FireDancer
Formatting. Clarification.

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2 hours ago, FireDancer said:
I hate that 90%+ of the dancers wear Gaynor Mindens! They are not flattering! Only a couple corps girls wore Russian Pointe and Grishkos. Novikova wore Grishkos which she could balance nicely on but could not roll down from. Khoreva wore Bloch Balance in a hard shank which were super loud and did not bend to her foot. She needs to be fit by someone better! I can recommend a great fitter 😛

 

It's funny that you should mention their pointe shoes as a week prior I had seen them do Jewels in Los Angeles and noticed the same thing.  Hopefully  Gaynor can find a way to keep their shoe more comfortable and durable while making them more aesthetically pleasing.

 

A few years ago I was fortunate enough to see them do La Bayadere in DC. Kondaurova was Nikiya and Batoeva was Gamzatti.  It was heavenly.

 

Thank you for your detailed review!

 

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4 hours ago, FireDancer said:
I had the great privilege of seeing the Mariinsky perform La Bayadère at Zellerbach 4 times this past weekend. I was only supposed to go three times to see each cast but ended up seeing the Khoreva/Shklyarov cast twice.

 

 Thanks so much for your fine and detailed review, FireDancer.

Did you applaud when “In the third section of that variation, she [Yekaterina Kondaurova] stayed on pointe the whole time when opening to arabesque [very, very slowly] and came down only to go into the pas de bourrée suivis.”?  After her doing this twice in a row during her second performance, I didn’t get there in time, but gave her a huge applause at the end of this upbeat section when she took the quick break. I don’t usually get overly excited about this sort of thing, but this was extra special !

And speaking about Maria Khoreva and applause, I saw both her Costa Mesa performances up close and using theatre glasses mainly for her face. I do have to say that, for me, in her second performance, she went beyond applause.

Maybe I can get back to all this another time. Thanks again for your very fine review and I’m glad that

" All in all, I’m so happy I saw so many and can’t wait for them to come back!!!   😊 "

Me too !

Edited by Buddy

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2 hours ago, ECat said:

Hopefully  Gaynor can find a way to keep their shoe more comfortable and durable while making them more aesthetically pleasing.

 

 

Hi,

I think part of it is that:

1. Gaynors are not for every foot.

2. They need to be fit right.

3. So many of the girls sewed their shoes terribly 😩

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8 minutes ago, Buddy said:

 Thanks so much for your fine and detailed review, FireDancer.

Did you applaud when “In the third section of that variation, she [Yekaterina Kondaurova] stayed on pointe the whole time when opening to arabesque [very, very slowly] and came down only to go into the pas de bourrée suivis.”?  After her doing this twice in a row during her second performance, I didn’t get there in time, but gave her a huge applause at the end of this upbeat section when she took the quick break. I don’t usually get overly excited about this sort of thing, but this was extra special !

 

You're very welcome! It took a while to write my thoughts out 😂

Hmmm I'm not sure if we're talking about the same part as it's in the variation and not conducive to any applause... You can see it here at 2:35 (she did it both times like the second one in this video) 

 

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1 hour ago, Dreamer said:

Just for the sake of accuracy:  Shamala Guseinova did not perform in Berkeley. In Act 2 Grand Pas she was replaced by Anastasia Yaromenko. The Playbill still listed Guseinova as it obviously had to be printed awhile back and no announcement was made before the performance, likely because this was not a major role. 

Oh that's too bad- I wish they'd announced it along with the Shades Trio change... I wonder if there were any other changes! I'm not as familiar with the dancers now as I once was, ironic since now I can watch them on YouTube any time I want 😂

I edited my post to reflect the cast change. Thanks!

Edited by FireDancer

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11 minutes ago, FireDancer said:

You're very welcome! It took a while to write my thoughts out 😂

Hmmm I'm not sure if we're talking about the same part as it's in the variation and not conducive to any applause... You can see it here at 2:35 (she did it both times like the second one in this video) 

 

Yes, it was the same thing. The break comes at 5:28.

I'm not sure if she did it her first perfomance as well, because I had forgotten about it from seeing this same video clip and wasn't paying attention.

I can believe how long this took you to write. Again, thank you very much.

Edited by Buddy

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On 11/4/2019 at 7:08 PM, Buddy said:

 

Edited by Dreamer

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On 11/4/2019 at 7:07 PM, FireDancer said:

 

Edited by Dreamer

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34 minutes ago, Dreamer said:

I always thought that Tereshkina was the only ballerina who could do that arabesque on pointe so  it made me very excited to see Kondaurova execute it, especially because she didn’t do it in Costa Mesa. 
 

 ETA:  I didn’t see the opening night performance at Berkeley with Kondaurova so can’t answer Buddy’s question. 

She did do it Sunday afternoon at Costa Mesa, Dreamer. I forgot to watch for it the first night.

Feats on pointe (pun discovered) don't usually excite me. I'm for keeping full pointe work as limited as possible, especially the tougher on the feet stuff, but as I say, this was very special.  

Didn't know that Viktoria Tereshkina could do this also. At the same slow speed? If so, congratulations! I've seen Oxana Skorik recently on video do a quicker version quite well.

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7 minutes ago, Buddy said:

I'm for keeping full pointe work as limited as possible, especially the tougher on the feet stuff, but as I say, this was very special.  

I'm not sure what this means?

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