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Mariinsky 2020-2021 Season


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4 hours ago, Drew said:

(She mentions how fortunate she has been not to get it before this time.)

She mentions being glad that she was able to dance the premiere of Christian Spuck's Orlando before she became ill. She was forced to withdraw from one of her performances, leading Maria Vinogradova to dance the part three times in two days.

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45 minutes ago, volcanohunter said:

She mentions being glad that she was able to dance the premiere of Christian Spuck's Orlando before she became ill. She was forced to withdraw from one of her performances, leading Maria Vinogradova to dance the part three times in two days.

I saw some video of Vinogradova with Belyakov that I liked better than I expected, though I guess that should be under Bolshoi not Mariinsky...

From the Instagram account--VolcanoHunter doesn't need Googletranslate (!) but for those of us who do (Buddy gave this translation as well):

"Friends, I regret to inform you that my next performances have been canceled due to an illness that overtook me. A special pain is the cancellation of a performance in my native Petersburg. I think that I have withstood resistance in an epidemic for a long time and often went on stage instead of sick colleagues ... but I am grateful to fate, which gave me a recent wonderful premiere in the Orlando ballet staged for me. Be healthy and take care of yourself and your loved ones."

The link comes with a photo I found rather striking...

https://www.instagram.com/p/CM9fnSnAiFs/

 

Edited by Drew
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Today, announced as "an Evening of Contemporary Choreography," with two creations by Mariinsky dancers.

One brief video clip shows Kristina Shapran. Those remarkably articulate hands should be patented. The work is an older and charming one, "At the wrong time," choreography by Alexander Sergeev.  

Also performed, "Russian dead ends–II," with a cast including Renata Shakirova. The work is choreographed by Maxim Petrov, who has produced some delightful 20 minuters. I don't recall this one. It looks a bit more on the serious side. 
 

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Already posted from today's noon performance, Yekaterina Osmolkina (partnered finely by Alexei Timofeyev) in a very beautiful and very heart touching presentation of George Balanchine's magnificent Act II Divertissement Duet from A Midsummer Night's Dream. 

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There've been three Raymondas in a row. A video from yesterday's features Yekaterina Kondaurova (with  Andrei Yermakov) at her statuesque finest. The way that she can switch seamlessly from classical to any other style remains remarkable. Not only is she the Mariinsky's stellar performer of anything different from the classical norm, but she can do the hallmark of classicism, Odette/Odile from Swan Lake, as finely as anyone.

Also interesting, her husband, Islom Baimuradov, will be appearing as Alexei Karenin from   Anna Karenina, which will feature Viktoria Tereshkina. Like Yekaterina Kondaurova, he's an accomplished, multi-talented performer. He's primarily a Character/Actor, probably the  finest after the amazing Vladimir Ponomarev, but also an impressively versatile dancer.    

Alina Somova and Maria Iliushkina were featured in the other two Raymondas, which should have been quite outstanding as well. 

Casting is now available for most of May. It looks quite fine.

Some personal highlights are Alina Somova (with the remarkable Kimin Kim), Oxana Skorik, Renata Shakirova and Maria Khoreva as Giselle, Maria Iliushkina and Maria Bulanova (whom I'm liking very much in just about anything) as Medora in Le Corsaire and Yekaterina Kondaurova in The Four Seasons, which she makes quite special. Alina Somova in The Bronze Horseman also sounds very interesting.

https://www.mariinsky.ru/en/playbill/playbill/?type=ballet&year=2021&month=5

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Posted (edited)

A few more nice video clips can be found.

One is of Giselle with Oxana Skorik and Kimin Kim. Oxana Skorik continues to 'experiment' in her nuancing, mostly by adding expression. In this performance I would say that it's most appreciated in her magnificent sculpture, which in itself conveys wonderful feeling. Kimin Kim continues to exhibit his remarkable dance prowess with a very fine development of character.

Some  more of Maria Iliushkina shows her most recent performance of Raymonda. They highlight her range, which adds insight into why she has progressed as well as she has. Her basic loveliness remains her outstanding feature and it can be seen in an older video from this series of her White Swan Duet (Swan Lake). 

All this, for me, continues to show that ballet is, in a way, a 'soul' of expression.

Edited by Buddy
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@Buddy The videos up of Giselle with Skorik and Kim and indeed beautiful!  I especially love their chemistry in the ACT 1 excerpt.  Kim is such a strong and attentive partner.  The lines that Skorik can achieve are sublime.  

It is such a wonderful thing to be able to see so much ballet on the internet.  Dancers and companies I may or may not ever be able to see in person.  How lucky we are to live in this age on ballet on Youtube!

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Posted (edited)

Count me another who very much enjoyed the footage of the recent Skorik/Kim Giselle. Both of them seem to have grown in their respective roles --with the caveat that I'm basing this on past video footage not actual performances -- and looked beautiful together. (Her neck and arms in Act II...sigh).

Caveats? I have developed a high tolerance for high extensions in Giselle (to me, it seems an old story), but maybe in one or two spots I might have preferred them not quite so very high...

I am very pleased, too, with what I have seen of Illiushkina in Raymonda. Some of her earliest outings in solos, on video and the one time I saw her live, as enchanting as I found them, did not necessarily give me the impression of the consistent stamina or strength needed for successful full length outings. But the company has given her the opportunities and if video is anything to go by, she is rising to the challenge. Loveliness (the word @Buddy) used) Illiushkina surely has.  I would love to see her again in D.C. when the company comes with Jewels.

Edited by Drew
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18 hours ago, Drew said:

Count me another who very much enjoyed the footage of the recent Skorik/Kim Giselle. Both of them seem to have grown in their respective roles --with the caveat that I'm basing this on past video footage not actual performances -- and looked beautiful together. (Her neck and arms in Act II...sigh).

Caveats? I have developed a high tolerance for high extensions in Giselle (to me, it seems an old story), but maybe in one or two spots I might have preferred them not quite so very high...

I am very pleased, too, with what I have seen of Illiushkina in Raymonda. Some of her earliest outings in solos, on video and the one time I saw her live, as enchanting as I found them, did not necessarily give me the impression of the consistent stamina or strength needed for successful full length outings. But the company has given her the opportunities and if video is anything to go by, she is rising to the challenge. Loveliness (the word @Buddy) used) Illiushkina surely has.  I would love to see her again in D.C. when the company comes with Jewels.

I really agree with you, Drew, about Oxana Skorik's and Kimin Kim's very fine performance, especially in Act II.

In regard to Maria Iliushkina, you probably recall a video of her entire first Swan Lake at the Mariinsky that was taken off the internet after a day. I believe that you didn't get a chance to see it, but I watched some and it did show at that time that she had the ability to well accomplish a full performance. Her White Swan Duet was particularly impressive and revealing.

As unassuming as she is, she has persevered. There are early video clips of her performing Giselle and Odette at what seem to be non-Mariinsky galas. When the rest of the company was on vacation she performed the Lilac Fairy with a satellite company at the Mariinsky. She did another gala appearance, maybe as Odette, at what seemed to be a private Mariinsky gala. She's performed a least one extra stand-in evening, a Swan Lake, during this virus laden season.

And of not unessential note she's done all these with very fine ability.

I've also seen, as you have, how well she's held up and shone through the Raymonda performances, one the most demanding works for a ballerina. I believe that there are seven or more solos required. I haven't watched all the segments very carefully, but I've seen in at least one, how she's imparted a noticeably fine and personally styled nuancing that's very impressive.

ECat, I also agree very much with your comment:

"The videos up of Giselle with Skorik and Kim and indeed beautiful!  I especially love their chemistry in the ACT 1 excerpt.  Kim is such a strong and attentive partner.  The lines that Skorik can achieve are sublime."

 

 

 

Edited by Buddy
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@Drew You are in for a very special treat with the Mariinsky performing  Jewels.  They performed that in Los Angeles a couple of years ago and it was fantastic.  I had the pleasure of seeing Maria Iliushkina in the second PDD in Emeralds.  This was my first time ever seeing her and she was truly "lovely" as you say.  She has a delicateness and fragility about her while still being a strong technician.  I was especially taken by her doll-like features.  She really is beautiful.  

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3 hours ago, ECat said:

@Drew You are in for a very special treat with the Mariinsky performing  Jewels.  They performed that in Los Angeles a couple of years ago and it was fantastic.  I had the pleasure of seeing Maria Iliushkina in the second PDD in Emeralds.  This was my first time ever seeing her and she was truly "lovely" as you say.  She has a delicateness and fragility about her while still being a strong technician.  I was especially taken by her doll-like features.  She really is beautiful.  

I think I have to adjust my eye a little when watching the Mariinsky dance Balanchine...But I am certainly very much looking forward to the April Jewels -- assuming no lingering pandemic problems get in the way. And I'm hoping Illiushkina will be on the tour!

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5 hours ago, ECat said:

I had the pleasure of seeing Maria Iliushkina in the second PDD in Emeralds.  This was my first time ever seeing her and she was truly "lovely" as you say.  She has a delicateness and fragility about her while still being a strong technician.  I was especially taken by her doll-like features.  She really is beautiful.  

Agreed once again, ECat.

Drew, when you get into some of the more beautiful adagio Balanchine, the Mariinsky can be pretty impressive.

As a related example, here's what Maria Khoreva (with Vladimir Shklyarov) can do with Christopher Wheeldon's After The Rain.

(Posted at Maria Khoreva's site)

 

And if you turn Yekaterina Kondaurova loose on some of the jazzier stuff you might be in for a very pleasant surprise.
 

 

Edited by Buddy
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In thinking about the beautiful performances that we've just discussed and the many others, I recently discovered this. It somehow feels appropriate.

It's a verse that the famous ballet dancer, Jacques d'Amboise found and sent to the well-known ballet critic Alastair Macaulay. I've already posted it elsewhere, but I'd like to put it here as well.

Let The Beauty
Of What You Love
Be What You Do


 

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Because I brought in Maria Khoreva's performance of Christopher Wheeldon's After The Rain as an example of the Mariinsky's ability to deal with a cross cultural and stylistic different situation, I also watched once again Wendy Whelan's performance. She's been credited at times with actually helping to create this work.

Maria Khoreva is a very distinct artist, but she also shows where the Mariinsky as a whole is exceptional. That would be in -- beauty of motion. As an individual, she's very young but has very fine artistic maturity. In After The Rain, her expressive performance is one of a young woman, but one who has a great deal on emotional understanding. Her youth, for me, adds to the charm. Her Mariinsky fineness of dance, very impressive for her young age, is what sets her performance apart. All considered, I think that it's a very fine compliment to Wendy Whelan's (and Craig Hall's) more maturely felt and heart touching performance.    

Here once more (starting at 14:10) Wendy Whelan and Craig Hall, After The Rain.

 

 

 

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I wish David Zaleev as quick and complete a recovery as is possible.

Yesterday Maria Iliushkina performed another Le Corsaire. From a series of brief video clips you can see once again her ability to sustain a solid, full performance with an almost child-like glee and looseness that makes you wonder how she can do it. But she does with artistic fineness and surety. It also makes you wonder how she can navigate the unchild-like character waters of a Le Corsaire or an Odile from Swan Lake, but once again she does. The only place that she gets upstaged in the friendlier waters is by the children in such scenes as Le Corsaire's Jardin Animé. As for physical stamina she knocks off the fouetté spins with total solidity and preciseness.

Also from Le Corsaire, Kimin Kim, looks as alive, artistically formidable and likeable as ever. For me, he continues to somehow rise above it all this season, with outstanding commitment and character.

Saturday, Alexander Sergeev with Anastasia Matvienko will be performing the ballet Giselle. I've never seen him do this, and as capable and versatile as he is, find it a little hard to imagine, but from a brief display in an old video clip he shows that he can handle these poetic depths with dramatic surety. 
   
 

 

 


 

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David Zaleyev is a gorgeous dancer and I will keep him in my prayers.  May he have a quick and complete recovery and a very long ballet career.

 

Maria Iliushkina continues to impress me.  @Buddy I completely agree with you that she has a wonderful balance of youthfulness and artistic maturity.  There is a regalness about her while still have a since of innocence and purity.  I would LOVE to see her as Giselle and Juliet.  She would also make a lovely La Sylphide.

 

There are videos of Baoteva's Giselle with Sergeev and he is fantastic in them.  His makeup was too heavy, but hopefully that will be fixed this time around.

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Posted (edited)

Like @ECatI was thinking I would be interested in seeing Illiushkina essay Giselle--it seems a temperamental fit.
In an case, I'm pleased to read she continues to be cast in major roles and is getting more than one shot at them. And very much hope she is on next year's tour to D.C.!

Very saddened to read about Zaleev--wishing him a full recovery!

Edited by Drew
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Posted (edited)

June's programming and casting have been posted.

https://www.mariinsky.ru/en/playbill/nextplaybill/?type=ballet

Things start with Nadezhda Batoeva and Timur Askerov scheduled for two Giselles in three days.

Some personal highlights:

Alina Somova, Kimin Kim, Maria Iliushkina and Oxana Skorik, Philipp Stepin, Maria Bulanova in The Sleeping Beauty.

Yekaterina Kondaurova with Timur Askerov and  Alina Somova with Philipp Stepin, featured in A Midsummer Night's Dream with  Nadezhda Batoeva, Victor Caixeta and Renata Shakirova, Kimin Kim (this couple I'd especially like to see) in the poetically lovely Act II Divertissement Duet.

And another dancer that I like, Maria Bulanova, continues along with the Lilac Fairy (Sleeping Beauty, June 9) and Myrta (Giselle, June 22) and recently with Medora (Le Corsaire), and one of four in Parc. Her very slightly 'buxom' appearance (a pleasant change) and her vibrant character both have a very nice healthiness about them.  In addition, for fouetté fans, she does all doubles with two triples in Le Corsaire,

Also The Mariinsky is working on a new production of the Pharaoh's Daughter staged by Alexei Ratmansky.

I always enjoyed Pierre Lacotte's 'interpretation' featuring Svetlana Zakharova and Sergei Filin at the Bolshoi. The costumes, scenery, choreography (most?) and staging, all beautifully done by Pierre Lacotte. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/CPGmt39FBHT/

(thanks to Sophia at Dansomanie)

"Rehearsals of the ballet Pharaoh's Daughter staged by Alexei Ratmansky are underway at the Mariinsky Theater - the premiere is scheduled for December. Together with the artists, the choreographer is working on a new interpretation of the plot about the struggle for the heart of an Egyptian princess in dreams of exotic antiquity.

"Created in 1862 based on the novel by Théophile Gaultier to the music of Caesar Pugni in an extremely short time, it was The Pharaoh's Daughter that became the first full-scale production by Marius Petipa for the Imperial Theaters."

(Google translation)

Edited by Buddy
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Posted (edited)

It's still "a bright sunshiny day" where I am and the vibrant Maria Bylanova once again comes to mind. She'll be performing in the Pas de Trois (Le Corsaire) next Wednesday and The Lilac Fairy (Sleeping Beauty), June 9. I just watched her as the Lilac Fairy from over a year ago and she's charming and vibrant.

Her performance will be during a "Ballet Evening" which will be an assortment of famous solos, duets, etc. It looks like a very fine grouping.

https://www.mariinsky.ru/en/playbill/playbill/2021/6/2/2_1930/

Another vibrant dancer is Viktoria Brilyova. She's being given more this year than I've ever seen. Here's a very brief glimpse of her with Andrey Ermakov from Maxim Petrov's delightful, "Cinema", starting at 1:03:00.


(posted by the Mariinsky) 

Edited by Buddy
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Eight graduates of the Vaganova Academy were admitted to the Mariinsky. This is the result of a "competition," which from the video clip appears to have been held at a Mariinsky II practice studio. This would seem to be a  slightly different procedure than before with the announcement occurring slightly earlier. 

Two foreign students were included.

"Foreign artists will once again come to the troupe - Kian Mangis from the USA, as well as Jasmine Henry, Australia's first representative in the Mariinsky Theater ballet."
 

The other six:

Elena Lyskova, Marina Chernyavskaya, Yeva Nasadovich, Yan Begishev, Nikita Zakharov, Anton Sturgeon

https://www.facebook.com/mariinsky.theatre/posts/10159802319075798

(Thanks to Sophia at Dansomanie for this information and insight)

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This seems to be some good news.

Google translation:

"Ballet soloist of the Mariinsky Theater, 31-year-old David Zaleev regained consciousness after a coma, into which he fell as a result of a fall from a scooter. This was reported to RBC by the press service of the theater.

"The theater clarified that Zaleev's condition has improved, he is now in the hospital, but is conscious and breathing on his own."

https://www.rbc.ru/rbcfreenews/60b4f7b79a7947524c743da8
(Thanks to Sophia at Dansomanie)

Google translator:

https://translate.google.com


 

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