CriticalDance Forum

Kirov in the USA, 2005 - The Sleeping Beauty
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Author:  Andre Yew [ Mon Apr 25, 2005 5:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Kirov in the USA, 2005 - The Sleeping Beauty

Art posted this info on another forum: the Kirov's US schedule and casting list are on their US promoter's website:

They're performing only The Sleeping Beauty, and the tour kicks off in Los Angeles's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on October 5, and runs through October 9.

Next up is Berkeley at Zellerbach from October 12 through 16, and then Detroit's Opera House from October 20 through 23.

Opening night casts in all 3 cities sound spectacular: Diana Vishneva, Igor Zelensky, and Uliana Lopatkina. Current conjecture is that this will be the Soviet Sleeping Beauty.


Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Tue Apr 26, 2005 1:55 pm ]
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I agree Andre; with a three city tour, my betting is certainly on the shorter version from the Soviet era, but maybe with the 1900 version costumes.

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Fri Jul 22, 2005 6:20 am ]
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I spoke with Vasiev just before the London tour. yes --mostly for reasons of the production/sets, this will be the old Soviet version, not the reconstruction. (they may do the reconstruction in a subsequent tour though ;-))

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Thu Oct 06, 2005 10:14 am ]
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DancingBunny Posted: 06 Oct 2005 03:53 pm

This time Kirov brings only one ballet - "The Sleeping Beauty" (Sergeev version). I ran across this article in Los Angeles Times talking about the three new Kirov stars: Somova, Osmolkina and Novikova. Out of the three I've seen Somova and Novikova. They are both WONDERFUL in their own way: Somova is striking and has rare stage presence while Osmolkina is lyrical and soft. I was shocked to find out that they are only 19 and 24 respectively. ... e-channels

Does anyone has casting for Detroit? It's nowhere to be found.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Thu Oct 06, 2005 10:18 am ]
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Hi Dancing Bunny. I've moved your post above to this forum and as you can see we do have some details of the Detroit performances.

Will you be going? If so I hope you will share your thoughts with us.

Anyone going to the San Francisco performances?

Author:  DancingBunny [ Thu Oct 06, 2005 10:20 am ]
Post subject:  Kirov Casting In Detroit.

Kirov Casting In Detroit.

Thank you, Stuart. So sorry I haven't noticed that there was one already.

I hope to be in Detroit later in the month, but it's kinda frustrating not to know the cast. I hope to see Leonid Saravanov as Desire and Uliana Lopatkina as Lilac Fairy. As for the Auroras, any one of the young dancers mentioned in LA Times will do this role justice, but only one in my opinion has potential to become next Kirov star... that is if she doesn't get injured, or if she looses her form or if she lets fame get to her head. Somova is the girl to watch!

Author:  Andre Yew [ Thu Oct 06, 2005 12:51 pm ]
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Wednesday, Oct 5, 2005
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles

The Kirov opened their Sleeping Beauty run in SoCal last night, and in spite of some slight opening night jitters, it was a magnificent performance. Either I have not seen a good corps de ballet in a while, or the Kirov's really improved a lot since I last saw them a couple of years ago. What can you say about their corps that hasn't been said already? The unity of motion, style, and effect is amazing --- seeing all those gorgeous shoulders, arms, and backs moving as they do in this company has got to be one of the wonders of the dance world.

Uliana Lopatkina gave us an imposing, deep, don't-mess-with-me Lilac Fairy, for which I don't think the crowd was initially too sympathetic. It was almost a dancer's dancer performance, with lots of subtle detail and style. Her slow, adagio pirouettes during her solo which stretched and dominated the music almost to the breaking point is a great example of her performance quality --- this was one Lilac Fairy that was in charge.

Diana Vishneva gave us a radiant Aurora with lots of energy. The stage almost literally lit up whenever she walked on. Her partnering with the very solid Igor Zelensky was a bit shaky, but with the exception of one turn at the end, they saved all of the anxious moments. It certainly made for exciting theater, as they seemed to be near the edge several times.

The local kids recruited were surprisingly good as well, looking especially stylistically idiomatic in their Act I garland dance. Well done to whomever prepared them!

The Act III dances were winningly danced, earning well-deserved audience appreciation. Puss-in-boots, and his partner the white cat (Anton Lukovkin and Yana Selina) were especially good. Slightly disappointing were Florina and Bluebird. Yulia Bolshakova was visible weak and shaky as Florina --- hopefully as she gets acclimated, her reprise of the role on Friday will be something to look for. Anton Korsakov gave a solid performance of Bluebird, but I wish the completion of his steps and some transitions were a bit cleaner. These are minor nits, which are more than made up for by Bolshakova's beautiful line, and the otherwise high quality of their dancing.

The sets and costumes were fantastic and lavish (there was even a working fountain), but Carrabosse's party was a bit weak and undercharacterized. Her evil henchmen don't look very scary, especially the white rabbit/bat hybrid things.

Speaking of Carrabosse, the mime sequences from this company are also something else to behold --- it's so rare to see well-trained, articulated, projected mime performances.

For those keeping score, there were 180-degree penches all over the place, legs up to ears, etc.


edit: I've been told that Florina was not danced by Pavlenko, but instead Yulia Bolshakova
edit 2: fix wrong date

Author:  DancingBunny [ Thu Oct 06, 2005 1:16 pm ]
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Andre, thanks so much for the report! Well done to YOU. I'd die to see Uliana dance Lilac Fairy. She is a dancer's dancer indeed - so much detail, so many nuisances! Wow!
Daria Pavlenko was visible weak and shaky as Florina ---

Daria is a no show on this tour. So perhaps, it was another dancer who hasn't lived up to your expectations. Wonder who it was.

For those keeping score, there were 180-degree penches all over the place, legs up to ears, etc.

Ha-ha-ha! That's the way they dance nowadays. If you can't beat them - JOIN them :-)

PS. Thank you for the correction, Andre. I believe it's only Julia's 2nd season with the Kirov. So that explains it :-)

Author:  Andre Yew [ Thu Oct 06, 2005 1:59 pm ]
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Uliana is dancing Lilac Fairy again this coming Saturday (Oct. 8 ), so no need to die --- you only need a plane ticket. :)


Author:  Andre Yew [ Fri Oct 07, 2005 9:42 am ]
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The LA Times review of the opening night. The main complaint seems to be that we didn't get the full reconstruction.

'Beauty' with a hollow center
Lewis Segal, LA Times

Midway through Marius Petipa's 1890 ballet classic, "The Sleeping Beauty," there's a pantomime passage in which the Prince sadly confesses to the Lilac Fairy that there's no one he loves — and she shows him a vision of what he's been waiting for all his life: the enchanted, enchanting Princess Aurora.

You won't find that passage in Konstantin Sergeyev's 1952 revision of "The Sleeping Beauty," which Russia's Kirov Ballet performed Wednesday at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on the opening night of a five-performance engagement. Instead, you'll see the Prince and the Lilac Fairy dancing together so long that it's reasonable to assume he's in love with her — after which Aurora makes an anticlimactic entrance.


Author:  Andre Yew [ Fri Oct 07, 2005 9:45 am ]
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'Sleeping Beauty' refreshed
Laura Bleiberg, The Orange County Register

The Kirov Ballet's 1952 staging of "The Sleeping Beauty" is a choreographically lush, if scenically shopworn, fairytale ballet with the proverbial cast of thousands waltzing, promenading and hopping on pointes for more than 3-1/2 hours.

Wednesday night at the Los Angeles Music Center, where the company performs the Marius Petipa-Pyotor Tchaikovsky ballet through Sunday, it was ballerina Diana Vishneva as Aurora who owned the spotlight - and well-deservedly.


Author:  fedora [ Fri Oct 07, 2005 10:09 am ]
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Thank you, Andre!

I am also very interested in Detroit performances. On ballettalk some Russians are very critical of the present cast. I will also be disappointed if Diana Vishneva doesn't dance in Detroit :cry: but I won’t panic just yet :-) I really liked Somova last time I've seen her in Washington DC (

Novikova, I haven’t seen, but a buddy of mine in Saint Petersburg praises her very highly, so I won't mind to see her either.

I wonder how long they make us wait before they announce the cast :x

Author:  Andre Yew [ Fri Oct 07, 2005 10:10 am ]
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Thursday, Oct 6, 2005
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles

Performers are often told that the audience remembers most the last thing they saw. By that measure, Thursday night's performance of Sleeping Beauty by the Kirov Ballet was a success. It didn't start out promisingly, with newcomer Ekaterina Osmolkina looking raw in her dancing and acting as Aurora, partnered by Leonid Sarafanov, who, despite his beautiful solo technique, has caused audience anxiety in the past with his shakey, unreliable-looking partnering. Further complicating matters was a Carrabosse (Roman Skripkin) who was more mad scientist in drag than evil fairy, and a Lilac Fairy (Irma Nioradze) who was more the local friendly handyman, ready to fix all your problems from plumbing to evil curses, than a powerful entity that can overcome evil with a wave of her wand.

There were indeed anxious moments: Osmolkina fell off her pointe during the Rose Adagio, and Sarafanov's partnering during Act II was sometimes unmusical (he started and completed a lift after the music finished in total silence, for example), sometimes unreliable in finding Osmolkina's balance, and at other times overdone as if to prove he can really partner well --- his one-armed lift was actually very impressive.

But it didn't matter when Act III came around. With the wonderful corps tiding us over well until then, we got a good performance. Osmolkina and Sarafanov looked far more comfortable and polished in their grand pas de deux, and Sarafanov's partnering was superb. Osmolkina shone in her solo sections with jumping, turning, and energy which shows so much promise. Sarafanov, as usual, was fabulous in his parts, with clean, easy virtuosic technique to spare.

But saving the best for last, we had a definitive performance of Bluebird by Vasily Scherbakov. Clean, musical, in character, and really flying, Scherbakov was the hit of last night, and probably the week. Irina Golub kept up with him as Princess Florina, and gave us a quicksilver, all-lines Florina who looked as if she was really learning how to fly from the Bluebird.

Yana Selina and Anton Lukovin improved their already excellent White Cat and Puss-in-Boots routine, bringing out more humor than before.

I was disappointed in Tatiana Tkachenko's diamond fairy who looked fairly rushed in her solo, and didn't have time to articulate her legs as much as she could have.


Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Fri Oct 07, 2005 10:44 am ]
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Changes to Kirov casting can be a nightmare and ballet fans exchange information by phone or in foyers, sotto voce. However a bulletin board like this one is akin to standing in a foyer with a megaphone.

Under our courtesy rule, posters can only use official information and must not repeat rumours about casting or injury. Please make sure you are familiar with our policies:

Author:  Andre Yew [ Sat Oct 08, 2005 10:08 am ]
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Friday, Oct 7, 2005
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles

Saying that last night's pairing of Alina Somova and Andrian Fadeev was probably the most balanced couple of the series so far would be strong praise already, but it's made more remarkable by the fact that last night was Somova's debut as Aurora. Somova is a coltish, long-limbed Aurora, unlike the more compact dancers that usually dance the role, and fairly burst out in her Act 1 intro full of nervous energy before settling down and showing us remarkably composed dancing in Act 2. Her partner Fadeev was the most believable and sympathetic prince we've seen so far, and shared great chemistry with Somova. Indeed, they brought out the dramatic aspects of their roles the most, making one believe that the stage was more than just a space for them to dance on, and that they were real people. A particular highlight for me was her awakening scene, where both seemed to be filled with wonder and a bit of anxiety: how could you feel anything but those feelings if you've just been awakened from a 100-year sleep by a complete stranger kissing you?

Fadeev was also a very sympathetic partner, and provided solid support of Somova throughout. She could not ask for a better partner for her debut. Technically, they were both very fine. Both are especially fine turners.

Further adding to the generally high level of last night's dancing was Uliana Lopatkina's dancing as the Lilac Fairy. I don't know if I can say any more that hasn't been said already about her amazing Lilac Fairy. It was just sheer pleasure to be able to see it once more.

Yulia Bolshakova reprised her role as Princess Florina, and really nailed it this time. Unlike Wednesday night, where she seemed a bit unprepared, her Florina was very well-danced. I did not like her Bluebird, Dmitry Semionov, however: although very tall and handsome, his dancing did not have the requisite ease or precision this admittedly very difficult role requires.

The children continue to show their good training. I hadn't noticed before until last night that the violin players used their feet remarkably well. And whomever the first girl in the Act 1 garland dance is, she has and uses her feet very well.

I sat in the Founder's Circle this time, and found that the acoustics were much better than the floor: there was more bloom and envelopment to the sound, making the whole experience more musical. The patterns of the dancing were also more apparent and made things that much more interesting.


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