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Mariinsky — La Bayadere — Costa Mesa Oct. 16-20, 2019

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No, the "Silent Angel" is Yekaterina Kondaurova, not me, MadameP.  😊

Still overwhelmed by Yekaterina Kondaurova, as I will continue to be….

Alina Somova

As a ‘dramatist’ she can be sublime. Wednesday, I would have called her a ‘dramatist.’ But she can also be one of the Mariinsky’s most lyrically, gracefully beautiful ballerinas. This afternoon she was just that. Her Shades Act dancing was as lovely as I’ve ever seen her. She was Swan Lake breathtakingly beautiful.

Absolutely Lovely !  I will probably always remember this.

Kimin Kim continues to be amazing with his incredible aerial dancing. He portrayals have also been excellent.

Yesterday the three Shades were Renata Shakirova, Maria Shirinkina and May Nagahisa. Today they were Vlada Borodulina, Yana Selina and Anastasia Lukina. They were all lovely.

Since the mention of Svetlana Ivanova as the lead Shade during the entrance, I’ve been focussing on her more and more. She’s sublimely beautiful. She also has been appearing each performance as one of the four Bayadere dancers in Act II. Maria Iliushkina has also appeared each performance as one of the Act II “Grand pas classique” dancers.

The company, overall, get better and better each performance.


Edited by Buddy
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Maria Khoreva

She’s really quite special.

You know that she’s exceptional the minute that she does something. Then she goes and does even better.

Shklyarov was great !

Anastasia Nuikina, in what I gather is her debut as Gamzatti, is first class. Her dancing is just fine. I believe that she’s noted for her aerial ability which looks very good. Her portrayal is right on solid with a fine mix of imperiousness and vulnerability. The same for Nadezhda Batoeva and Yekaterina Chebykina.

A lot of highly talented young artists are featured this visit and they are wonderful.

The just graduated Alexandra Khiteeva dances alongside the finely articulated Yana Selina in the “Dance De Jambes” and, like Maria Iliushkina in the same part, does remarkable attitudes that almost seem to touch the back of her head.

Also when I look around the edges I always find something new and compelling. This High Brahmin, portrayed by Soslom Kulaev, for instance, seems to be genuinely and heart touchingly, at times, in love with Nikia. Also Solor's second in command, when the rest of the stage is glued to the central action, which is almost demanded in ballet, has his gaze firmly fixed on the the totally bewildered Solor, lost in the opposite corner of the stage. It's almost Shakespearian in dimension.

I’ll quickly mention Anastasia Petushkova who goes crazily wonderful as the lead of the “Drum Dancers.” The rest of them are ‘wackily’ great as well. The production is over three hours long and performances like their’s and the fakirs’ and the Golden Idol’s give a jolt of energy at just the right time. Then the real magic of ballet occurs when the women reappear on stage and with their dreamlike beauty take everything to another level.

Especially, my deepest affection goes out to Yekaterina Kondaurova, Alina Somova, Svetlana Ivanova, Yana Selina….who’ve been around awhile, but still get better and better and have a quality of maturity that can reach deep down and embrace your heart.




Edited by Buddy
changed "arabesque" to "attitude"
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Yekaterina Kondaurora

She gave, yesterday, what was probably the finest performance that I’ve seen her give. It’s certainly one of the finest that I’ve seen anyone give.

Every element that I prize in dance — beauty of motion, beauty of expression, sculptural positioning, portrayal, …. she did wonderfully. She also included virtuosity and dance prowess of the highest order. There was something for everyone to appreciate and enjoy. Lyrical, graceful, dreamlike motion is probably what I value most along with an expressiveness that complements this. Yesterday she did this as beautifully as I can recall her ever doing.

The entire company was beautiful, highly enjoyable and enchanting throughout.

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Of all the performers that I noticed, Alina Somova seemed the most overwhelmed with appreciation for the warm response that she received at the end of her second evening. It was probably most prompted by her absolutely lovely Shades Act dancing. This, along with Yekaterina Kondaurova’s entire second performance, especially touching for me because of her Shades Act beautiful dancing, were two instances of what I’ll probably remember the most warmly.

The dreamlike Shades dancing by the entire Corps de Ballet, along with selected soloists, is something else that I’ll recall with great fondness.

There were many performers and performances that I haven’t mentioned, that also made this all such a great pleasure for myself and, as far as I could see, for each event's highly responsive audience.

Added: If anyone is interested in a particular performer or cast list I'll try to locate them for you in my programs.


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This is a review that I liked well enough to make a printout as soon as I was able. I share all of its enthusiasm and hope that it also applied to the recent Berkeley performances. I read several other reviews, but was unable to read the Los Angeles Times review because it’s only available to subscribers. This one was written about Sunday’s performance which featured Yekaterina Kondaurova along with Andrei Yermakov. As I wrote before, it was perhaps the best performance that I’ve seen her give and perhaps the finest of this series.


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