public forum
home forum magazine gallery links about faq courtesy
It is currently Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:27 am

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 127 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 ... 9  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Kirov Ballet: 2004-2005 Season
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 9:24 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 1738
Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
That's certainly an interesting thought. I haven't heard anyone (yet) comment on Sarafanov's partnering, but I've also never asked specifically about him. Come to think of it, two Kirov ballerinas, when asked about their "favorite" partners didn't mention him in their respective lists, so.. you may have something there, I don't know.

As for this performance, I still can't quite understand what went wrong. You know that *he* knows where each prop is. But it was as if he didn't know, or didn't realize the fireplace was as far downstage as it was...it was one of those slow-motion disaster sequences, where you know what's going to happen and you can't do anything to stop it. That's how it felt at least. And right after the ribbons... it was really a bit much for one performance. I've never seen those things happen anywhere else -- in the same night that is.

_________________
Author, "Vaganova Today: The Preservation of Pedagogical Tradition" (available on amazon.com)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Kirov Ballet: 2004-2005 Season
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 9:40 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2003 11:01 pm
Posts: 94
Location: NYC
Catherine I suggest you read the many posts about Sarafanov's partnering at balletalert.com


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Kirov Ballet: 2004-2005 Season
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 11:39 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 1738
Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
I'll take a look...

_________________
Author, "Vaganova Today: The Preservation of Pedagogical Tradition" (available on amazon.com)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Kirov Ballet: 2004-2005 Season
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 3:14 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 943
Location: Santa Barbara, CA USA
I've commented on Sarafanov's partnering here as well when the Mariinsky visited Southern California a couple of years ago, and performed La Bayadere. It was white-knuckle stuff, and not in a good way: things always looked shakey and unsure. As an individual dancer, he's beautiful, but his partnering needs work. His partner was Diana Vishneva.

--Andre


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Kirov Ballet: 2004-2005 Season
PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 6:16 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 1639
Location: London UK
Poor Sarafanov is getting quite a tough time over on Ballet Alert, but I think it's important to bear in mind that he is a very young dancer who will gain in stature as he acquires more experience. I agree that his partnering sometimes looks unstable and certainly he is being pushed beyond his present capabilities, but his fresh-faced boyish looks are not unpleasant. It seems a bit unkind to single him out as an example of Kirov mis-casting when there are so many other examples to choose from: a situation that has been apparent for a long time now.

More worrying to me is the erratic quality of the company as a whole. Yes: they can still scale the heights and deliver a performance of pure perfection, but in recent years I have seen certain ballets performed in a manner that can only be described as shameful. For me the company's lowest point came in London a couple of years ago with an almost unbelievably inept performance of "Les Noces" and just a couple of months ago I watched a performance of "The Four Temperaments" in Germany that had me cringing. One expects more of the Kirov.

Constant touring is a new venture for them really I suppose, but they have it easy compared with some of the Russian dedicated touring companies now doing the rounds with schedules that are so cramped you wonder how they cope. The year before last the company was due to dance in Basel in Switzerland and cancelled the engagement at the last moment. I remember it well as I was stuck with the airline tickets I had bought. Some months later I discovered that that particular cancellation came about to free up some time for extra rehearsals for other programmes. What a shocking and unprofessional thing for a major company to do! Certainly I can't remember a precedent for something like that.

Understandably certain pieces of information that are common knowledge in Russian ballet circles but that are not in the public domain must remain as "inadmissible evidence" on Criticaldance. But the very disquieting allegations about how the company is currently being run seem to be borne out by the highly inconsistent quality of the Kirov's performances.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Kirov Ballet: 2004-2005 Season
PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 6:37 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
One aspect of mismanagement is clear - from the reports of a number of those directly involved, the introduction of new works such as "Les Noces" into the rep has not been well-managed, perhaps because it is a new experience for the company. This extends to lack of consistency of casts at rehearsals and discussion of tempi. Hence the problems with "Les Noces" and other works.

Hopefully, the company has learnt from these experiences and will do better in future or perhaps some of those invited to set works must dig their heels in for acceptable standards.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Kirov Ballet: 2004-2005 Season
PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 7:37 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2003 11:01 pm
Posts: 94
Location: NYC
Perhaps Sarafanov is being singled out excessively for criticism by the posters but that is because the prominence he is given is so inordinate, so dreadfully unfair to the careers of many other men there who are experienced and ready to move ahead but cannot because everything is being subjugated to boost Sarafanov and a cadre of very green company darlings.

Yes, you are right Cassandra, the Kirov is in deep crisis mode. Their Four Temperaments is a travesty, in part because the leads were cast primarily because of company political considerations rather than artistic ones. The dancers who could do the leads properly have only been allowed to rehearse, not to perform them. While in the latest Balanchine mixed-bill: 4Ts, La Valse and Ballet Imperial, some of the darlings get to perform two and sometimes no less than three leading roles in a single evening!!!
How can the Balanchine Trust tolerate this any longer?

And by the way, before you start to fret too much about "poor Sarafanov," we need to remember that the Kirov demonstratably has no compunction about organizing and lobbying critical opinion pro and con to benefit the favored few. I have seen how this works. Indeed there are Kirov dancers who really are being undermined by their own company. The sources you've been in touch with will undoubtedly confirm this.

<small>[ 10 February 2005, 10:28 PM: Message edited by: ripowam ]</small>


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Kirov Ballet: 2004-2005 Season
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2005 3:37 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 1738
Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
All-Balanchine Program
The Kirov Ballet
Mariinsky Theatre
St. Petersburg, Russia
11 February 2005
by Catherine Pawlick

On Friday night, the Mariinsky offered its monthly run of the all-Balanchine program that first joined its repertoire one year ago April. “The Four Temperaments”, “La Valse”, and “Ballet Imperiale” were danced with the coolness of a Russian winter and an equally-Russian accent, with but with unevenness, and very few moments of inspiration sprinkled throughout. It is possible that last minute replacements contributed to the unevenness, but how last-minute those decisions were, is hard to tell.

In “Four Temperaments”, Olga Esina was partnered by Artyem Yachemnnikov in the Theme, alongside Svetlana Ivanova and Alexei Nedviga, and Ekaterina Konadurova with Maxim Chashegorov, this last dancer a new addition to the ballet. Of the three couples, Kondaurova seemed most at home in the Balanchine choreography, and Chashegorov kept pace with her. Likewise, Nedviga and Ivanova matched each other well in their sequences. Esina was once again an essay in flexibility, which can almost be acceptable in a Balanchine work, when one isn’t concerned with emotion or the refinements of classical technique. With time and a stern eye kept on her, she could become a favorite, but for now she continues untamed gymnastics that seem to please the casting directors.

As Melancholic, Anton Korsakov offered an emotionless but powerful variation. Were it not for the music and the program notes, it would be difficult to determine which of the four temperaments he was portraying. In contrast, Aleksandr Sergeev, debuting in the Sanguinic variation with Ekaterina Osmolkina, offered a heart-felt rendition of their temperament. Sergeev is a handsome dancer, suited well to Osmolkina’s own grace, and the two moved in expansive gestures. Andrei Mercuriev danced a believable Phlegmatic, his emotions changing with the music, and the four mysterious girls who enter later influencing his mood. Ekaterina Petina darted around the stage with energy and verve as Choleric, offering pride and strength and not much gloom or sullenness. Repeat viewings of this ballet bring to light the genius in Balanchine’s choreography. His musicality is transparent through the steps and patterns seen onstage, always reflecting both the base rhythm and surface notes.

Whereas Uliana Lopatkina was advertised online as the lead in “La Valse” up until performance time, in fact Daria Pavlenko danced the role, partnered admirably by Vladimir Shishov. Their entrance appears as two sides of the same coin: parallel steps danced facing away from each other until the combre back, and voila—they turn to each other as if seeing someone in the mirror, a dancing partner, their second half. Pavlenko dances this role with mystery, beauty and cool aloofness, but abandon in her steps. Shishov was colorful as well, and reliable in his partnering.

Among the three curtain-openers, Kondaurova, Alexandra Iosifidi and Daria Sukhorukova, only Sukhorukova seemed frail, much thinner than last year, but not in an appealing manner. Kondaurova was the most fitted to this ballet as well – her facility lends itself to neoclassical works just as well as to classical ones.

Otherwise, the introductory section included some moments of brightness: Andrei Mercuriev reappeared in this ballet as well, his partnering of Yana Selina velvety smooth. Maxim Ziuzin seemed at home surrounded by waltzing beauties in the opening sequence. Selina, next to Kondaurova and Olga Esina all danced elegantly.

“Ballet Imperial”’s casting also went through some changes at curtain time, or sometime after the postings first went up. Irina Golub, originally cast as the second soloist in blue, was replaced by Ekaterina Osmolkina. And Victoria Tereshkina, originally to dance the first soloist role, was replaced by Tatiana Tkachenko. This last substitution was an odd choice. There are other ballerinas with as much skill but more femininity. Tkachenko danced well technically and even with grace and emotion in her delivery, but her presence and physicality don’t lend themselves well to soft ballerina roles, even one as regal and strong as this one. Her partner, Andrian Fadeev, adapted well to the shift in casting, but Tkachenko seemed larger than he is on stage, making his partnering efforts seem at times heroic, which alters the entire feeling of the piece. Fadeev was valiant throughout, running here and there to support the various girls, but never losing his own composure.

Osmolkina was, on the other hand, a fine replacement for Golub. The two share not only similar physical characteristics but similar emotional capabilities as well. Aside from a spill when rounding the corner at her first entrance, Osmolkina danced with her eyes as well as her arms and legs throughout the ballet.

Yana Selina and Evgenia Obratsova both displayed polish and precocite in their demi soloist roles. Selina’s refinement of technique in fact makes her a candidate for Tkachenko’s spot, or at least some meater casting.

The last minute casting changes for this program and their sometimes odd replacements point to an ongoing theme in the company administration: the choices that determine who dances what, and when. It is unclear on whom this responsibility lies, but many say it is not Ballet Director Makharbek Vasiev’s choice. That leaves one to ponder who is controlling the puppet strings, and why many of the talented dancers in the company aren’t given the opportunities they can to perform certain roles. While many of those who performed this evening did a fine job, they tend to be cast repeatedly, while others in the more than 100-member company remain someplace behind the stage. For this performance, Mikhail Agrest conducted.

_________________
Author, "Vaganova Today: The Preservation of Pedagogical Tradition" (available on amazon.com)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Kirov Ballet: 2004-2005 Season
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2005 8:21 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2003 11:01 pm
Posts: 94
Location: NYC
If whomever at the Kirov is casting the Balanchine thinks that these works deserve to be treated in this manner, it is certainly time for the Balanchine Trust to step in and threaten to pull the ballets.

<small>[ 13 February 2005, 11:45 AM: Message edited by: ripowam ]</small>


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Kirov Ballet: 2004-2005 Season
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 8:14 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2003 11:01 pm
Posts: 94
Location: NYC
There is more this AM on balletalert.com about the lastest casting sadism.

Let me get this straight, Catherine: in the February 11th Balanchine performance, Osmolkina, Kondaurova, and Merkuriev each had solo roles in two of the three ballets, while Selina danced a solo role in La Valse and a demi-soloist in Ballet Imperial. . . Now, Merkuriev and Selina danced the first duet in La Valse. Who danced the second? Was it Scherbakov with Obratsova or Kasenkova as usual or was there a new couple here? And who was Zuzin's partner in the third duet? Was it again 18-year-old Smirnova, as in Washington?

Also, who were the two boys in the Ballet Imperial pas de trois?

Please let me know. Thanks.

<small>[ 14 February 2005, 08:14 PM: Message edited by: ripowam ]</small>


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Kirov Ballet: 2004-2005 Season
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2005 2:11 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
CriticalDance contacted David Dawson's manager for information on the International Ballet Festival:

On March 24, 25 the Mariinsky will see the world premiere of a new work by David Dawson, not "The Grey Area", as discussed above. The new work is untitled at present.

So, is this the first time that an overseas choreographer has created a work on the Mariinsky?


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Kirov Ballet: 2004-2005 Season
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2005 4:41 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 1639
Location: London UK
Yes and no actually. Pierre Lacotte worked with the company on a version of "Undine" which was supposed to be premiered in 2003, but for reasons that appear confused it didn't happen. I hope David Dawson's work doesn't meet a similar fate.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Kirov Ballet: 2004-2005 Season
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2005 6:50 am 
John Neumeier created a new ballet in 2001 for the Kirov entitled "Sounds of Empty Pages" based on the life of the composer Schnitke who was danced by Andrian Fadeyev. Fadeyev told me in an interview how much he values his experience working with Neumeier.

<small>[ 16 February 2005, 07:51 AM: Message edited by: Kevin Ng ]</small>


Top
  
 
 Post subject: Re: Kirov Ballet: 2004-2005 Season
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2005 6:59 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2003 11:01 pm
Posts: 94
Location: NYC
Yes, and there were foreign choregraphers who contributed to the Choreographers Evening in December 2001.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Kirov Ballet: 2004-2005 Season
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2005 5:18 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 1738
Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
Ripowam, you have it correct as far as Selina goes. I'm going on memory here, because that evening was a lot of repeat casting, so I'll have to double check in the program.

Scherbakov with Obratsova, I believe so.

I have to check the program for Zuizin's partner, but I don't think it was Smirnova.

One of the Ballet Imperiale men, if I'm not mixing visual memories here, was the resident James for just about every performance of "La Sylphide" done here, Vladimir Shklyapov. I have to check on the other one, as I don't recall off the top.

<small>[ 17 February 2005, 06:24 AM: Message edited by: Catherine Pawlick ]</small>

_________________
Author, "Vaganova Today: The Preservation of Pedagogical Tradition" (available on amazon.com)


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 127 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 ... 9  Next

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
The messages in this forum are posted by members of the general public and do not reflect the opinions or beliefs of CriticalDance or its staff.
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group