Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×

Mariinsky 2021-2022 Season


Recommended Posts

Here are some glances at the scenery for the new Ratmansky's Pharaoh's Daughter. I'm a big fan of the Pierre Lacotte production, including the beautiful scenery, so this one has big shoes to fill. Still, this new scenery is very impressive. The Mariinsky seems to have a knack. I've seen more impressive scenery and costumes at other companies, but the Mariinsky seems to get it just right.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CTmESt5tkLi/
https://www.facebook.com/media/set?vanity=mariinsky.theatre&set=a.10160019711745798

(thanks to Sophia at Dansomanie)

Link to comment

There have been some roster changes at the Mariinsky. I'm may have missed a few but here is what I found: Tamara Gimadieva and Camille Mazzi have been promoted to Coryphee.  Congratulations to them! However, Alexandra Khiteeva (Khiteyeva) and Anastasia Petushka have been demoted to the Corps de Ballet. Perhaps this is a common practice with the Mariinsky, but can anyone tell me why? Both of the ladies are very fine dancers who have danced many solo roles successfully. There seem to be other dancers in those coryphee and second soloist ranks who barely perform at all. 

Link to comment
On 9/24/2021 at 7:07 PM, ECat said:

There have been some roster changes at the Mariinsky. I'm may have missed a few but here is what I found: Tamara Gimadieva and Camille Mazzi have been promoted to Coryphee.  Congratulations to them! However, Alexandra Khiteeva (Khiteyeva) and Anastasia Petushka have been demoted to the Corps de Ballet. Perhaps this is a common practice with the Mariinsky, but can anyone tell me why? Both of the ladies are very fine dancers who have danced many solo roles successfully. There seem to be other dancers in those coryphee and second soloist ranks who barely perform at all. 

Khiteeva was never a coryphee (although I think she certainly should be at least this level.). She has always been in the corps.  Petushkova certainly was a coryphee though, and demoted to the corps, as you say.  

Link to comment
2 hours ago, MadameP said:

Khiteeva was never a coryphee (although I think she certainly should be at least this level.). She has always been in the corps.  Petushkova certainly was a coryphee though, and demoted to the corps, as you say.  

Thank you MadameP for clarifying. Perhaps it was wishful thinking on my part to have Khiteeva at the level.

Link to comment

I've had a chance to do some Russian video watching. As usual, the quality that I value perhaps most highly in all of  dance is the 'lyrical' (quiet, gentle) beauty and gracefulness of the women. 

For the moment I still consider Oxana Skorik to be the most beautiful, pure dancer in ballet. Her hands alone remain perhaps the finest that I've ever viewed. I've at times told folks new to ballet that if they don't do anything else, at least watch the hands.

Alina Somova, at her most beautiful, is also quite outstanding. Maria Iliushkina's wonderful gracefulness continues to impress me very much. Yekaterina Osmolkina is also included. I've often felt that she could be made a Principal.

This carries over to the Bolshoi, where many of its finest and most 'lyrically' beautiful  dancers have Mariinsky 'roots.' Svetlana Zakharova started there. Alyona Kovalyova from the Vaganova (the Mariinsky school), will perhaps be the next most beautiful of all ballerinas at this time. Also from the Mariinsky, Evgenia Obraztsova  and Yulia Stepanova would be included. Anna Nikulina is from the Bolshoi, but I consider her to have a gracefulness that I would associate with the Mariinsky.
  
And then there's the interesting case of Olga Smirnova, who did all her training at the Vaganova. She may well emerge as one of the most outstanding ballerinas ever, if she isn't already. She joined the Bolshoi and has become in its tradition one of the finest 'expressionists' in ballet history. Her ability to portray and give character to her performances is the reason. She also has all the Mariinsky fineness to make her dancing alone as fine as can be seen. Awhile ago I read an article in russian stating that "Smirnova" had been taking summer classes at the Mariinsky and might soon rejoin(?) the company. I thought that this was fascinating news. It happened that the article was actually about the young Anastasia Smirnova. I've often thought how gracefully wonderful Olga Smirnova would have become if she had stayed and what a good idea it might have been Then when I read about what I thought might be her possible return to the Mariinsky I began to have second thoughts. What would become of the remarkable expressiveness that she developed at the Bolshoi ? And so I'll continue to wonder what she could be and greatly admire what she is as she seems to experiment more while still having the ability to be one of the most beautifully graceful and classical ballerinas ever. 


 

Edited by Buddy
Link to comment

Nice to hear from you again Buddy--hope you have been well.  Some other video of the Illiushkina/Caixeta Bayadere debut has been floating around on Instagram and youtube. Much of what I saw looked lovely--I'm very much looking forward to seeing these dancers develop. (Or, more likely in my case, reading about their development.)

Link to comment
18 hours ago, Drew said:

Nice to hear from you again Buddy--hope you have been well.  Some other video of the Illiushkina/Caixeta Bayadere debut has been floating around on Instagram and youtube. Much of what I saw looked lovely--I'm very much looking forward to seeing these dancers develop. (Or, more likely in my case, reading about their development.)

Thanks, Drew. Maria Iliushkina does seem to get more graceful and impressive with each new  appearance. Victor Caixeta is also quite fine and adds a colorfully relaxed attraction (which she's also quite capable of expressing) that's quite appealing. Hopefully you may be able to see them if the Washington DC performances do materialise next April.  

Thinking again about the Bolshoi's Vaganova trained, star ballerina, Olga Smirnova, it's probably her ability to master anything that makes her so special. For the moment, it's the element of human drama that she imparts that's so highly impressive.

At the Mariinsky, the young Maria Khoreva has a similar but perhaps more youthfully 'freewheeling' ability. She is rising rapidly. It probably won't be long before she's given Swan Lake and then Principal status. As I've mentioned before, for me, she always delivers more than expected.

In contrast, Maria Iliushkina, will most likely develop as her more airy and graceful counterpart, a more youthful and less intense Oxana Skorik-Olga Smirnova resemblance. Whether Maria Iliushkina will rise to the very top (she remains a Second Soloist while Maria Khoreva is a First Soloist) may depend on her ability with the more 'adaptive' stuff which Maria Khoreva does so well. I think that she can succeed. Between the two, Maria Iliushkina shines the brightest in the area of classical and gentle loveliness. 

Back at the Bolshoi, the young Vaganova transplant, Alyona Kovalyova, should also shine wonderfully in classical beauty and gracefulness making for a fine comparison. 

Edited by Buddy
Link to comment

I wrote yesterday that I considered Victor Caixeta to have a colourfully relaxed appeal. I got this impression from the video clip that I posted which mainly shows him after the performance and my description is probably accurate, but looking at a few other clips of the Shades duets I have to express another opinion. Here he seems much more intensely committed.

Video clips have recently been posted of the same Mariinsky production from 2017 with Olga Smirnova and Semyon Chudin as guest artists. The contrast between these and the recent Maria Iliushkina/Victor Caixeta performance is very interesting. Both are fine. Olga Smirnova and Semyon Chudin already have a much more developed relationship. They seem completely aware of what the other is trying to express at all times and have perfected their responses. They also have a highly dramatic sense of poetry. Semyon Chudin is brilliant at focusing on Olga Smirnova while being a very distinct presence in himself. There's one sequence that I particularly like when he moves alongside her, keeping her constantly the focal point while creating a very embracing image of a man who still believes that he's dancing with a dream.

Maria Iliushkina has a much more airy and poetically lovely approach. Victor Caixeta, on the other hand, compliments her very well, but he also has a highly dramatic presence which deserves more viewing on my part to be able to describe.    
 

Link to comment

My recent video watching has found a lot of very interesting and very fine performances. They range greatly, but if I were to chose a reference point, I would chose the Mariinsky.

Most recently posted is the Mariinsky's Sleeping Beauty with Viktoria Tereshkina as Aurora and Oxana Skorik as The Lilac Fairy. Here they seem to move closer together. Viktoria Tereshkina is as lovely as I've ever seen her along with her more outward expressiveness and bravura. 

Oksana Skorik, who for me is the current epitome of dance refinement, has become more outward. She's been using more expression for several years. I always keep in mind her superior classical beauty when seeing this. In this performance I would say that she's succeeded more than I've seen before in creating an alive and more artistically expanded imagery.

Another Mariinsky artist that I've enjoyed very much as the Lilac Fairy is Maria Bulanova. She makes an interesting comparison with what Oxana Skorik has done. Maria Bulanova represents, for me, Vibrance. Although my love of dance always returns to the lyrically graceful, at which Oxana Skorik excels, Mariinsky artists, such as Maria Bulanova and Renata Shakirova, radiate aliveness and sunshine and are a wonderful compliment to this. Oxana Skorik's recent interpretation is a finely crafted move in this direction.         

My previous post mentions the Bolshoi's Vaganova trained and exceptional artist, Olga Smirnova. I commented on how well she and her partner, Semyon Chudin, relate to each other. I do have to say that Olga Smirnova does seem to focus more on her audience and she does this with great effect. He, in turn, enhances her presence.

Why I mention her again is to comment on the artistic, dance fineness that I feel the Mariinsky so well represents. In this regard I've been viewing from the Bolshoi, her, Alyona Kovalyova (also Vaganova trained) and Yulia Stepanova (formerly Mariinsky). All have remarkable sculpture and motion.

Olga Smirnova, in a recent Swan Lake, again shows how well she can totally inhabit and command a performance. In this case, her shapes and moves are a magnificent display of drama transmitted through the finest of dance artistry.

Alyona Kovalyova, not surprisingly for being at the Bolshoi, is moving more in this direction. In her Swan Lake finale she conserves all her wonderful loveliness while including a new sense of idealised drama and imagery that makes me think somewhat of the epic sculpture that you find throughout a city like Paris. As with Oksana Skorik, I hope that she's able to conserve as much of her lyrical loveliness as possible while reaching for more expression.

A video of Yulia Stepanova has also greatly impressed me because of her wonderfully sculptural motion. I've never noticed anything quite like it before. Her very articulate and expressively detailed use of the arms is remarkably effective. It's also pleasant at the end of the video to see her in a more relaxed and smiling portrayal.       

Did I mention Paris ?

Okay, I'll close with the artist most removed from the Mariinsky. She's the Paris Opera Ballet's Mariam Ould-Braham. Why am I including her here ? I'm not totally certain except that in addition to everything else, for me, she also has some kind of delicate, Mariinsky attraction. And my favorite video clip of her does have her appearing at the Bolshoi.

She's definitely French. Take a look at this painting by Jean Antoine Watteau. That's her as as far as I'm concerned ! But she also has a dance presence and fineness that makes me think "Mariinsky." 
  
https://www.toperfect.com/pic/Oil Painting Styles on Canvas/Classic/Rococo/6-The-Music-Lesson-Jean-Antoine-Watteau-classic-Rococo.jpg
 

Link to comment
Posted (edited)

Something of a New Year’s Day present. An old friend of ours posted a video of Olga Smirnova’s long awaited performance of  the Alexei Ratmansky interpretation* of Giselle that took place December 19. It includes all of her appearance in Act II.

It’s most interesting for what she does and for a view of what Alexei Ratmansky has conceived. It’s as fine a performance as I’ve seen her give. As usual she’s in total command of her dramatic presence and her exceptional dancing. Her theatricality (acting) is as fine as there is on a ballet stage. Her nuancing and her depth of portrayal are exceptional. Within the boundaries set by Alexei Ratmansky (she has stated that he was on top of every detail) she still internalises and makes her character compelling, intricate and personal.

The Ratmansky interpretation is a more dramatic and very animated one. The moves are larger and faster, most noticeable in the Willis who are almost running at times. It’s a definite contrast to the usual Mariinsky dreaminess. I would guess that it’s something that would work very well at the Bolshoi, but would also have a worthwhile place at the Mariinsky, where both versions could be presented. Maria Bulanova, a favorite of mine for her vibrance, does a fine change of direction as a very formidable Myrtha. I didn’t recognise her. I didn’t recognise Igor Kolb either with his fine dramatic approach to Hans.

I, as usual, continue to like the traditional, more dreamlike and lyrical, Mariinsky manner, but the more dramatic one also has a great attraction. This is where the Bolshoi excels. It’s pretty much a matter of personal preference.

One of the artistic elements that I most like is the well defined sculpture.

Vladimir Shklyarov as Albrecht complements Olga Smirnova very well with his physical, yet airy Mariinsky prowess.

* Correction: In response to Drew’s following post, this is probably not the Ratmansky production, but rather a  ‘change of pace’ in the Mariinsky one, perhaps in the ‘spirit’ of the Ratmansky production, which Olga Smirnova is now used to dancing.

 

 

Edited by Buddy
Correction made
Link to comment
23 hours ago, Buddy said:

Something of a New Year’s Day present. An old friend of ours posted a video of Olga Smirnova’s long awaited performance of  the Alexei Ratmansky interpretation of Giselle that took place December 19. It includes all of her appearance in Act II.

It’s most interesting for what she does and for a view of what Alexei Ratmansky has conceived. It’s as fine a performance as I’ve seen her give. As usual she’s in total command of her dramatic presence and her exceptional dancing. Her theatrically (acting) is as fine as there is on a ballet stage. Her nuancing and her depth of portrayal are exceptional. Within the boundaries set by Alexei Ratmansky (she has stated that he was on top of every detail) she still internalises and makes her character compelling, intricate and personal.

The Ratmansky interpretation is a more dramatic and very animated one. The moves are larger and faster, most noticeable in the Willis who are almost running at times. It’s a definite contrast to the usual Mariinsky dreaminess. I would guess that it’s something that would work very well at the Bolshoi, but would also have a worthwhile place at the Mariinsky, where both versions could be presented. Maria Bulanova, a favorite of mine for her vibrance, does a fine change of direction as a very formidable Myrtha. I didn’t recognise her. I didn’t recognise Igor Kolb either with his fine dramatic approach to Hans.

I, as usual, continue to like the traditional, more dreamlike and lyrical, Mariinsky manner, but the more dramatic one also has a great attraction. This is where the Bolshoi excels. It’s pretty much a matter of personal preference.

One of the artistic elements that I most like is the well defined sculpture.

Vladimir Shklyarov as Albrecht complements Olga Smirnova very well with his physical, yet airy Mariinsky prowess.

 

 

I was a little confused by this. Smirnova made a guest appearance with the Mariinsky, dancing with Shklyarov, and a chunk of that performance got posted on youtube dated December 19--if that is the footage you are discussing, then I agree with you that there is some beautiful dancing--but that was the Mariinsky's production, not Ratmansky's "historically informed" production for the Bolshoi...It's possible Smirnova's dancing was still being influenced by her work with Ratmansky, and perhaps that is what you meant (?) -- but it has, for example, a very different ending to the ballet than the Ratmansky production (which was broadcast). 

I did see the broadcast of the Ratmansky production when it was first done and found it very worthwhile and enjoyable viewing. And quite a bit of that has turned up on youtube as well -- her Albrecht for that production/performance was Belyakov.

Edited by Drew
Fixing punctuation...
Link to comment
7 hours ago, Drew said:

I was a little confused by this. Smirnova made a guest appearance with the Mariinsky, dancing with Shklyarov, and a chunk of that performance got posted on youtube dated December 19--if that is the footage you are discussing, then I agree with you that there is some beautiful dancing--but that was the Mariinsky's production, not Ratmansky;s "historically informed" production for the Bolshoi...It's possible Smirnova's dancing was still being influenced by her work with Ratmansky, and perhaps that is what you meant (?) -- but it has, for example, a very different ending to the ballet than the Ratmansky production (which was broadcast). 

I did see the broadcast of the Ratmansky production when it was first done and found it very worthwhile and enjoyable viewing. And quite a bit of that has turned up on youtube as well -- her Albrecht for that production/performance was Belyakov.

Hi Drew and Happy New Year.

I’m in a rush but I would like to say that you are probably right about the production. It’s probably not the Ratmansky one. It’s been awhile since I viewed older footage and the overall uptempo feel of this performance made me think Ratmansky. To my eye there have been definite changes made in the speed and dramatic emphasis that made me think ‘Ratmansky historical take.’ I’m sorry for the misinformation, but the change of pace is worth noting and perhaps discussing.

 

Link to comment

Happy New Year!  I just wanted to thank you for this interesting discussion I've enjoyed reading.  I do love discussing and reading about all things ballet - especially Russian Ballet.  Let me add my love of Miriam Ould Braham as well!

Link to comment
5 hours ago, Buddy said:

Hi Drew and Happy New Year.

[...] the change of pace is worth noting and perhaps discussing.

 

Happy New Year to you too Buddy and to you @ECat.

Pacing...Hmmm...Stepping aside from Giselle, I've noticed Khoreva's turns along the dialgonal are faster than I'm used to seeing at the Mariinsky; I quite like that as long as she looks relaxed and on axis when doing it and ends securely (all of which she usually does in the video I have seen and as best I remember, too, when I saw her live).  I don't think I would mind at all seeing some more speed in turns from the Mariinsky's featured dancers. In an interview given shortly after she joined the Bolshoi, Stepanova said that was one of the first things she worked on with her coach there.

But you were writing about the corps in the December 19th Giselle excerpts.  I actually thought one dancer looked clearly misaligned at a moment when the corps was standing along the sides of stage framing the action (camera angles play a role here and perhaps it was not as clear from most of the audience). Also, the exact positioning of the dancers' hands/fingers wasn't the same when they were posed along the side of the stage. I won't say I've never seen that at the Mariinsky because I have, but not that often or at least not that obviously, so that was my main concern....

Edited by Drew
Link to comment
Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, Drew said:

Happy New Year to you too Buddy and to you @ECat.

Pacing...Hmmm...Stepping aside from Giselle, I've noticed Khoreva's turns along the dialgonal are faster than I'm used to seeing at the Mariinsky; I quite like that as long as she looks relaxed and on axis when doing it and ends securely (all of which she usually does in the video I have seen and as best I remember, too, when I saw her live).  I don't think I would mind at all seeing some more speed in turns from the Mariinsky's featured dancers. In an interview given shortly after she joined the Bolshoi, Stepanova said that was one of the first things she worked on with her coach there.

But you were writing about the corps in the December 19th Giselle excerpts.  I actually thought one dancer looked clearly misaligned at a moment when the corps was standing along the sides of stage framing the action (camera angles play a role here and perhaps it was not as clear from most of the audience). Also, the exact positioning of the dancers' hands/fingers wasn't the same when they were posed along the side of the stage. I won't say I've never seen that at the Mariinsky because I have, but not that often or at least not that obviously, so that was my main concern....

Quick reply, Drew. It was that exact thing that you write about in your last paragraph, that added to my feeling that this was another production, having never seen the Ratmansky one. I felt that the corps members looked like they were trying something new and yet hadn't totally mastered it.

I still feel that the Mariinsky might have been 'tweaking' this performance to add to the 'Ratmansky aura' that Olga Smirnova was bringing. Over the years I've seen very little change in the details of the 'classics' at the Mariinsky, but they do occur. Also I remember three performances of The Sleeping Beauty 'historical reconstruction' and they varied considerably in feel from the first night to the third, finally settling back into the Mariinsky comfort zone. I had the same sentiment with this performance. It really felt like they were trying something different, in fact doing another production, mistaken by me to be the Ratmansky one.

Edited by Buddy
Link to comment

Just as a note, Ratmansky's Giselle (which I can't abide, personally :yucky:) has not yet been performed by the Bolshoi this season. The Grigorovich production has been performed in Moscow and on tour in Chelyabinsk, and that was the version Smirnova had danced most recently. 

Link to comment
39 minutes ago, volcanohunter said:

Just as a note, Ratmansky's Giselle (which I can't abide, personally :yucky:) has not yet been performed by the Bolshoi this season. The Grigorovich production has been performed in Moscow and on tour in Chelyabinsk, and that was the version Smirnova had danced most recently. 

Thanks, Volcanohunter, and Happy New Year.

This is interesting news. I just assumed that Olga Smirnova and the Bolshoi were still performing the Ratmansky Giselle, since Artistic Director Makhar Vaziev seems to like to try new things.

Also, I may have seen all or parts of this on video, but am not sure for the moment. I am in the process of watching excerpts.

Drew, whether the Mariinsky is adding new dynamism overall is an interesting question, but I tend to think that it might just apply to this one performance. I’m quite happy with its traditional and more quiet loveliness.

ECat, Happy New Year. For years I’ve been wanting to see Mariam Ould-Braham at the Mariinsky Festival. I’m still hoping.

 

 

Link to comment

It is a wonderful thing to have these two major Russian ballet companies to compare and contrast.  I love them both for their differences of style, but I believe that the current crop of Vaganova-trained dancers at the Bolshoi have brought something special with them. Yes, they have adopted some of the grand bravura Bolshoi style while maintaining their Mariinsky lines and elegance. Both companies have deep pools of talent at each level- both male and female. 

Link to comment

To get back to Olga Smirnova’s recent Giselle performance at the Mariinsky for a moment, I’ve watched the very beautiful Act II duet (after Albrecht is lead to the side of the stage) from her earlier Ratmansky performance and from her Mariinsky one and I do see a difference. According to Volcanohunter, the Bolshoi is performing the Grigorovich version this season and her Mariinsky performance does seem to have more of a psychological feel, which would be consistent with what I understand about Yuri Grigorovich. What she does is very fine and very effective. Her Ratmansky interpretation seems to have more of an innocent charm, which would be characteristic of the time when the ballet was staged in Russia. I think that her interpretation is lovely.

 

We all have our own criteria for what we value most. In ballet, for me, it’s more the overall effect or aura. For me, Olga Smirnova’s ability to create compelling, enchanting drama and translate it into highly beautiful dance is exceptional.

 

Link to comment

Just rewatched some videos of Smirnova as Giselle in the Ratmansky version and I'm impressed by her acting ability. In my opinion, innately she exudes a womanly sensuality and maturity. She did an excellent job with her characterization of the youthful peasant girl. I agree with you @Buddy about that youthful charm.  Plus, her face is just beautiful. My favorite Giselle of all time is Alessandra Ferri. But it is glorious to be able to see any ballerinas share their interpretations of this iconic role.

Link to comment

Drew, I would guess that you’ll see this one as well. Since you like the Bolshoi’s young Elizaveta Kokoreva as much as you do, you might also enjoy the Mariinsky’s even younger Anastasia Plotnikova who’s still in the Corps de Ballet.

From my limited video viewing, she’s the Mariinsky’s answer to Elizaveta Kokoreva. Whereas Elizaveta Kokoreva is perhaps more technically ‘dazzling,’ as you might expect at the Bolshoi, Anastasia Plotnikova is pure ‘loveliness.’ Why I think of them together, besides their young ages and fine talent, is that they are both ‘Pure Sunshine.’

Added: This is the only ‘official’  video (posted by herself). It's from about two-and-a-half years ago. I would say that she's more graceful now and has put on a little more weight, which is nice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHK8H181cr4

 

Edited by Buddy
added comment
Link to comment
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...