This year because Critical Dance has changed its format I've done most of my Festival posting elsewhere. This is because the ongoing access for new viewer comments and discussion has now been ended. Maybe someday it will be reintroduced.
I do want to say that I've really enjoyed all the years that I've posted at this topic and thank Critical Dance very much for giving me the chance to do.
I would like to post something now that might be of interest. It's reorganised excerpts of what I wrote elsewhere about several of the ballerinas (from so many outstanding artists) who I thought made this year's Festival so wonderful. I hope that it makes it easier to appreciate what each of these wonderful artists accomplished and to share my enthusiasm for what they did.
Dream Nights Festival
The Lyrical Flow of The Ballerina Dancer
Lots of really great stuff tonight, but what I'm compelled to say is....
I was thinking
This is Stuff
Of the Stars
Above the Stage
There were large, large passages where each move looked like history being made.
On the way home I was totally tranquil and at peace, only wishing to write a few words of deepest appreciation and to embrace the memories and feelings of what she had done.
Often each of her moves looked like masterpieces that should be placed in the world's great art museums.
Seamlessly, she looked into your eyes…. as she drew you into her world of soulful enchantment.
In the final act, a dream introduced by a chorus of spirit-like, angel-looking women, she established a spell. All was hushed, a silence not to be broken by loud response, until you were compelled to enthusiastically do so just to let her know that she’d indeed drawn you into a world of magical beauty.
In fact, it may have been the greatest ballet performance that I've ever seen ! In fact, it may have been one of the greatest ballet performances ever ! -- and she's just beginning !
My experience was almost overwhelming. I just sat in my chair, almost limp, after each of her Acts, and then walked(?) back to my hotel lost somewhere in the clouds.
I’ve been watching a video clip, and one of the things that strikes me about her dance magic is her phrasing or timing of her moves. One thing in a million. I was too entranced at the Festival to notice much in the way of detail, but I certainly noticed and felt the overall beauty.
Queen of the Dryads
Symphony in C
They should just put her in an enchanted bubble and let her float through the entire Mariinsky repertoire.
She’s so beautiful ! She dances like a gorgeous cloud no matter where she is….Tonight as the Dryad Mistress she was once again a dream with light, airy jumps as effective as those of Renata Shakirova. (Don Quixote)
In my last post I mentioned her wonderful effect. I referred to the dreamlike beauty of her dancing. I felt that she represented the overall aura of this year’s Festival. In the absence of Ulyana Lopatkina and Oxana Skorik, both not appearing, I believe because of injury, it was probably her who carried the Mariinsky banner of ethereal beauty.
Always a dream, in the work, Symphony in C, performed a series of high, backward bent-leg sweeps that were as beautiful and compelling as anything that I saw.
I hope we’ll see a lot more of her prominently at future Festivals and although I don’t usually get into this, it wouldn’t bother me at all if she was made the next Mariinsky Principal (and I told her so at the Reception
What I didn’t mention was her remarkably mature artistry, best seen in her Gamzatti. Last year she ‘was’ Giselle and because of her artistry or portrayal and her absolutely lovely dancing, I considered it to maybe be the best performance of that Festival.
Her portrayal, for me, was excellent.She held her own very well in response to the expressionistic genius (and I do mean “genius”) of Olga Smirnova. She did indeed create a brilliant and sensitive multi-dimensional character. She was both humanly vulnerable and life demandingly imperious.
During the duet from Diamonds, when Yekaterina Chebykina dreamily looked up from the poetically embracing partnering of Xander Parish, I could almost sense George Balanchine looking down at her and gently saying,
"Think stars, my dear, thousands and thousands of sparkling stars."
In Diamonds, I've never seen Yekaterina Chebykina perform more beautifully ! She was different from anything I've seen of her before. Having been excited about her way of combining expressiveness with refinement, here she had an embracing purity. She was truly a Mariinsky ethereal dream.
Kitri — Don Quixote
Cardusha — Paquita
Thus, I can see Renata Shakirova, who performed a vibrant Kitri, someday being an enchanting Odette or Giselle. She is known for her technical prowess, but I also saw beautiful gracefulness and she’s absolutely loveable !
She has a lot of everything. She has very fine dance capability. Her technique was solid, graceful and clear. She had some jumps in the first act that brought Natalia Osipova to mind. Her fouettes were almost all single, single, doubles. I remember on the Bolshoi competition when the judges agreed that they’d never seen a women before do some difficult moves that she accomplished. I also think that she has the ability to be a wonderful Odette or Giselle and I look forward to seeing this. She’s beautifully expressive in character and very loveable.