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Mariinsky 2020-2021 Season


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The season begins this weekend with more gala performances, singles and couples. Then a full performance season is scheduled to start September 17.

I was looking at a brief video of segments of some of the performances in July before the theater closed. It was nice to see everyone again and doing well. 

Of personal interest were two performances of Fokine's "The Swan" by Oxana Skorik and Alina Somova. Once again, the absolutely beautiful use of the hands, perhaps the most beautiful in the history of ballet, by Oxana Skorik was very apparent. I saw Alina Somova perform this several years ago and thought that it was one of the finest performances that I've ever seen. This recent glimpse seemed to have the same greatness.

A personal favorite, Maria Iliushkina, is shown for a few moments. Her preciousness and very fine ability continue to really touch me.

Kimin Kim looked great. Xander Parish, Alexander Sergeev and Konstantin Zverev always catch my attention.

Let's wish that this new season progresses as well as can be hoped for.

 
 

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Liza Avsajanishvili (quite a last name, but I can say 'hypophyllocarpodendron" so I should be able to handle this one eventually 😊) , Vaganova Academy graduate whom I enjoyed very much last year as the Fairy Doll in a Vaganova performance at the Mariinsky and who has apparently performed soloist roles at the Mariinsky this year, has officially joined the Mariinsky.

(Thanks to Sophia at Dansomanie) 
 
Google Translation:

OUR GRADUATES [Vaganova Academy]

Lizi Avsadzhanishvili is from Tbilisi, she studied at the Academy since 2017 (teacher - L.V. Kovaleva). Despite the fact that in 2020 there were no graduation performances of the Academy due to the coronavirus pandemic, Lizzie was lucky - she performed the part of the Queen of the Waters in the film "Underwater Kingdom" from the ballet "The Little Humpbacked Horse" in the graduation performances of the past, 2019, year. Her school repertoire also includes the roles of Masha in The Nutcracker and the Fairy of the Dolls in the ballet of the same name. After receiving an honors degree from the vocational education program in the summer of 2020, Lizzie was admitted to the Mariinsky Ballet.

Photo - Elena Pushkina.
 

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The roster has been updated, and several names have disappeared such as Korsuntsev, Baimuradov and Shcheglov (they appear on the coach's section so I guess they now have retired), as well as Gumerova and Kolegova and corps de ballet Chloë Réveillon.

https://www.mariinsky.ru/en/company/ballet/troupe/

https://www.mariinsky.ru/en/company/ballet/coaches/

Nikita Korneyev and Vsevolod Mayevsky seems to be promoted to coryphee. 

 

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1 hour ago, Leah said:

. Is this the first major company to be mounting full-length ballets indoors since Covid? 

naomikage posted on the "Companies/Organizations with Specific Plans for Reopening" thread that National Ballet of Japan will perform Don Quixote with full orchestra to 50% audience capacity (due to distancing rules), and that K-Ballet will stream their Le Corsaire and Nutcracker before releasing the recording in cinemas.

Here's a link to the thread which describes various re-opening plans:

 

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58 minutes ago, Leah said:

Thanks, that's very interesting. It looks like Don Quixote won't happen until October though, while Mariinsky is staging La Sylphide tomorrow. After the Giselle fiasco just weeks ago where several dancers got sick it just seems very soon--especially compared to Japan, which seems to have had one of the better Covid responses thus far. Since Russia apparently has a vaccine now I wonder if Gergiev has made that mandatory for dancers to return to the stage. 

My feeling is give it a chance. If big steps don't work, try smaller ones, but don't shut the whole thing down unless absolutely necessary.

Here's Mariinsky Principal Dancer Xander Parish's opinion and insight from August 19. Of course the opinions are just his own. The entire New York Times article is probably worth reading or rereading.

When the company decided to hold galas, it split 16 soloists into pairs so they could dance together. Those performances, at the start of August, went well, Mr. Parish said, and were met with applause. That seemed to give the company the desire to “put on the accelerator,” he said. The corps de ballet soon joined rehearsals, and the class size jumped to 30 dancers. “Now this has happened,” Mr. Parish said, “and it took, what, two-and-a-half weeks to kick off?” 

"The Mariinsky had received “a lot of flak on social media” for returning too soon, he said. But he did not think that was fair. The ballet had taken every measure it could, he said. “And those same people are saying we should wait two years to get back onstage,” he added. “That’s ridiculous. A dancer’s career is 20 years.”

"Mr. Parish dismissed criticism of Valery Gergiev, the head of the Mariinsky and a vocal supporter of Mr. Putin. “I respect his desire to get back onstage despite the situation,” he said. “It really shows how much he cares about this art form.”"

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/19/arts/dance/mariinsky-ballet-coronavirus-outbreak.html


 

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According to this video, it seems that the Beautiful Svetlana Ivanova has retired.  Svetlana always lit up the stage whenever she was on it.  Each time I have seen the Mariinsky in person, she has always stood out with her delicate beauty, great technique, and gorgeous legs and feet.  Wishing her a wonderful next chapter.  She will certainly be missed.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyQ5qFokTAY&t=0s

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12 hours ago, ECat said:

According to this video, it seems that the Beautiful Svetlana Ivanova has retired.  Svetlana always lit up the stage whenever she was on it.  Each time I have seen the Mariinsky in person, she has always stood out with her delicate beauty, great technique, and gorgeous legs and feet.  Wishing her a wonderful next chapter.  She will certainly be missed.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyQ5qFokTAY&t=0s

I had missed this news. Thank you for passing it along. Ivanova has been an exceptionally lovely presence at the Mariinsky--I join you in wishing her a wonderful next chapter....

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I'll miss Svetlana Ivanova very much as well.  She's no longer listed at the Mariinsky site so I guess that it's official.

Daria Ionova debuted (according to video clip) as Gulnara in Le Corsaire yesterday. Gulnara is posted in her Mariinsky profile today, so if it was a debut they moved fast.  She's quite lovely in the Act I adagio.

Here's the Mariinsky schedule for September with casting. 
https://www.mariinsky.ru/en/playbill/playbill/?type=ballet&year=2020&month=9

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I mentioned in the post above about the recent debut(?) of Daria Ionova as Gulnara in Le Corsaire. Oxana Skorik performed the lead, Medora. As usual from a few video clips she's very lovely. Her coach is Yelena Yevteyeva. After watching one of the clips a very pretty picture of Yelena Yevseyeva, a current First Soloist, came up.(Except for one letter they have the same name) I took a look at the video and it was Yelena Yevteyeva coaching her. Apparently Yelena Yevteyeva isn't Yelena Yevseyeva's regular coach. Are you still with me ? She's also a specific works coach.

In any case Yelena Yevteyeva was a Mariinsky ballerina known for her lovely gracefulness. A perfect coach for Oxana Skorik. In the video for the first time I saw how lovely her motions still are. It was a treat to see and a further insight into why today's ballet dancers do as well as they do.

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Here's a quick video glimpse.

"The autumn rehearsals of the ballet Seven Sonatas took place in unusual conditions: the choreographer Alexei Ratmansky worked with artists from New York via video link.
⠀"Read more about how the St. Petersburg premiere was born in our video. The first show of "Seven Sonatas" today on the historical stage of the theater as part of the Ratmansky ballet evening."   (Google translation)

Sometimes the video works, sometimes not. Keep trying if you're interested, It's about 1 1/2 minutes long.

 https://www.facebook.com/mariinsky.theatre/videos/319048642528739

(Thanks again to Sophia at Dansomanie)

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A four minute glance, starting at 1:30, and an article in russian about an evening of ballets by Alexei Ratmansky last Thursday.  

https://topspb.tv/programs/stories/502166/

(Thanks to ATV at Ballet Friends/Балет и Опера)

Performers and works.

https://www.mariinsky.ru/en/playbill/playbill/2020/9/24/1_1900/

Tomorrow Maria Iliushkina debuts as Medora in Le Corsaire.

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Just saw a video clip of a very young Anastasia Plotnikova (Vaganova, yes, graduate?) doing a variation (solo) from Don Quixote. She’s quite lovely with a delightful resemblance to the lovely and very young Maria Iliushkina, whom you might have heard me mention. 😊

Is she the next generation of Maria Iliushkinas ?  Generations seem to last about 40 seconds in Russian ballet these days.

Could anyone tell us about her ?

 

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1 hour ago, Buddy said:

Just saw a video clip of a very young Anastasia Plotnikova (Vaganova, yes, graduate?) doing a variation (solo) from Don Quixote. She’s quite lovely with a delightful resemblance to the lovely and very young Maria Iliushkina, whom you might have heard me mention. 😊

Is she the next generation of Maria Iliushkinas ?  Generations seem to last about 40 seconds in Russian ballet these days.

Could anyone tell us about her ?

 

Just watched her dancing Princess Aurora Act 3 variation.  Yes indeed she sure looks like Maria Iliushkina!  What a beautiful dancer Anastasia is.   According to her Instagram page, she is a student at Vaganova.  If the Mariinsky hires her, I'm sure they'll give her some soloist or leading roles to see how she does.

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23 hours ago, ECat said:

Just watched her dancing Princess Aurora Act 3 variation.  Yes indeed she sure looks like Maria Iliushkina!  What a beautiful dancer Anastasia is.   According to her Instagram page, she is a student at Vaganova.  If the Mariinsky hires her, I'm sure they'll give her some soloist or leading roles to see how she does.

ECat, Anastasia Plotnikova is actually now in the Mariinsky Corps de Ballet. Congratulations !

https://www.mariinsky.ru/en/company/ballet/troupe/

Graduation profile 2020 -- Senior teacher Tatiana Valerievna Solomyanko's class:

Ayupova Renata, Versotskaya Sophia, Gorbacheva Anastasia (diploma with honors), Hoffman Yana, Drygina Karina

* Plotnikova Anastasia (honors degree) *

Selivanova Yesenia, Timanova Varvara, Urakova Alexandra (From official graduation video, Google translation) (Thanks to Jeannette at BalletcoForum)

 

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1 hour ago, Leah said:

Odd—wasn’t Elizaveta Avsajanishvili accepted into the Mariinsky as well? Her name isn’t on the site.

As far as I know she was, Leah. See my September 4 post above. Maybe it's an oversight in the Mariinsky listing or maybe they haven't decided what level to start her at.

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Some video clips have be available for about a week.

Oxana Skorik has been the most noticeable. She performed two classics, Le Corsaire and Don Quixote. Her dancing has all its refined loveliness. She performed some exceptional balances in Don Quixote and she normally has a technical surprise or two that are quite impressive. She also is seen in a brief, modernish work where she shows adaptability and sensitivity.

Nadezhda Batoeva appears in Don Quixote with the ever amazing Kimin Kim, who miraculously seems to stay suspended in air as never before. Nadezhda Batoeva I’m developing a great affection for. She’s lovely, vibrant and highly talented. Her Swan Lake, which I saw at the Mariinsky Festival just before it closed was a burst of sunshine. She again looks as vibrant as possible. Many of these dancers have at times performed under quite demanding conditions over the years that I’ve watched them and I can only wish the best for them now.

The Iliushkinas. There’s actually only one, Maria Iliushkina, and she looked just fine in the ‘dream scene’ adagio from Le Corsaire. She will be performing her second Swan Lake in about a week. As young as she is, there are already two younger artists with similar delightfulness. One is Anastasia Plotnikova, who just joined the company from the Vaganova and the other, Elizaveta Kokoreva, is actually at the Bolshoi but so Iliushkinish that I have to include her. Keep an eye on all of them.

 

 

 

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If there’s anything that I appreciate from the performing arts at the moment it’s a burst of sunshine. Looking through the video clips of recent Mariinsky performances I found Nadezhda Batoeva’s Don Quixote which I’ve already mentioned. From two days ago, I just discovered Renata Shakirova in Concerto DSCH. Both these fine artists fall into my Sunshine category. They are vibrant on stage and were exactly the same in real life when I had a chance to chat with them very briefly a few years ago at a reception. I’ve seen Alexei Ratmansky’s Concerto DSCH at least once, and what I recall most is his sense of humor or whimsey. It’s similar to what I like very much in some of George Balanchine’s and Jerome Robbins’ works. Renata Shirkirova handles this in Concerto DSCH — delightfully.

Elena Yevseyeva performed Gulnare (Le Corsaire) about a week ago and I just discovered that clip as well. I like her, but I’ve not seen her featured often nor really focused on her. Here’s she’s very solid and embracing in her dramatic prowess. This feeling of confidence is very good to see (also evident recently in Nadezhda Batoeva and Renata Shakirova) considering the challenging conditions that the dancers are working with. After this video another came up automatically of her Gamzatti (La Bayadere) from five years ago and she already had the same dramatic maturity. I look forward to seeing her more.

 

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6 hours ago, Buddy said:

If there’s anything that I appreciate from the performing arts at the moment it’s a burst of sunshine. Looking through the video clips of recent Mariinsky performances I found Nadezhda Batoeva’s Don Quixote which I’ve already mentioned. From two days ago, I just discovered Renata Shakirova in Concerto DSCH. Both these fine artists fall into my Sunshine category. They are vibrant on stage and were exactly the same in real life when I had a chance to chat with them very briefly a few years ago at a reception. I’ve seen Alexei Ratmansky’s Concerto DSCH at least once, and what I recall most is his sense of humor or whimsey. It’s similar to what I like very much in some of George Balanchine’s and Jerome Robbins’ works. Renata Shirkirova handles this in Concerto DSCH — delightfully.

 

 

I couldn't agree more!  Those three ballerinas are absolutely the epitome of sunshine.  It seems that every major ballet company has a few "sunny" dancers on their roster and these three definitely represent the Mariinsky.  Twice I have had to good fortune to see Nadezhda Batoeva perform live.  She was Gamzatti and absolutely dazzled with her steely technique and powerful fouettés.  She was also the lead couple in Rubies.  WOW!  She has so much charisma and sass!

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Before Elena Evseeva joined Mariinsky, she was a soloist at Mikhailovsky and danced leading roles there as well, touring Japan very often. Her nickname was actually Sunny because of her character and also her bright hair color, and that nickname was well known to the Japanese audience.  She is a natural Kitri and fine Gamzatti, but I was particularly impressed when I saw her in The Bronze Horseman with her dramatic quality.

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There’s a rather lengthy video of Olesya Novikova, with Timur Askerov, performing Romeo and Juliet from last Thursday. I’ve only watched the first ten minutes but I’m extremely impressed with the dramatic maturity of her portrayal. I saw her perform this several years ago and she really put her heart into it, but this, for me, in on another level.

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Last Wednesday Viktoria Tereshkina, with Kimin Kim, performed Swan Lake. At this moment Maria Iliushkina is performing her second. I wish her much success.

From a video clip of the ‘White Swan Duet’ I’ve never seen Viktoria Tereshkina lovelier.

* Kimin Kim * 

It seems that he’s in almost every Mariinsky video clip that I’ve seen in the last few weeks. He’s quite something !  His dance prowess is always amazing. His partnering and portrayals are at their finest. For me, he’s become a hero of the Perseverance of the Arts. I first noticed him when he gave a long, upbeat video interview before the new season started. Since then he seems more alive, supportive and uplifting than I’ve ever seen him. For me, he’s become a wonderful symbol for the desire to push through and shine brighter than ever before. Bravo !

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No videos yet of Maria Iliushkina's second Swan Lake yesterday, so I’m watching her first. How beautiful she is.

What an honor it is to be given such a lead from so many talented artists. The entire company is of such high quality. Any one of the female artists, including the Corps de Ballet, could probably do a commendable Odette-Odile. In my mind, everyone is a star. And with the support and wonderful talent of the others, the deserving principals and soloists  for a moment in time are given the chance to stand in front, represent everyone and shine the brightest.

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