Thanks for your post. I don't have that information but will see if I can get it from the press office. I'll keep you posted.
And, in honor of the new combined forum, here are two reviews from this week:
All-Forsythe Program and
St. Petersburg, Russia
1 and 3 November 2005
by Catherine Pawlick
1 November All-Forsythe Program
‘Steptext’, ‘Approximate Sonata’, ‘The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude’, ‘In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated’
It would not matter so much, what order the ballets on the Kirov’s all-Forsythe program were presented, for after leaving the theatre, the overall impression is the same: one of powerful, abstract, classically based movement on tot he streamlined bodies of ballet’s thoroughbreds: the Kirov.
As it stands, the piece opens with an apt audience-warmer, ‘Steptext’, which never fails to throw audience members for a loop with its opening: house lights on, curtain already up and Bach’s Partita Number 2 screeching between moments of silence as the first man on stage plods through his arm movements. That man, for the November 1st performance, was Andrei Mercuriev, who offered a fluid port de bras while his legs remained glued in place. Later, Andrei Ivanov and Maxim Krebtov accompanied him and Daria Pavlenko, her ultra lean body clothed only in a flash of red unitard. Pavlenko’s flawless lines were mesmerizing and her arm sign-language done in a manner of pertinent communication. Like Sologub, she makes Forsythe’s choreography her own. Ivanov and Krebtov were attentive partners, and in fact all four dancers demonstrated mastery of both Forsythe’s style and his intention.
The ever mind-boggling opening for ‘Approximate Sonata’ was performed by Alexander Sergeev in his debut in the “lion” role. The mind will always seek meaning among chaos, and this ballet demonstrates that more than others. The offstage voice telling him to raise one arm higher than the other, to “go”, and to “return”, Sergeev following the instructions, the “Da” sign upstage, the suggestions of contact improvisation at points in the choreography, the piano chords echoing – it is all seemingly connected in a very disconnected way.
Beyond the opening sequence Sergeev too presented himself as fluent in Forsythe. He approached the entire ballet with high energy and full movements, partnering agile Elena Sheshina in the introductory and closing sections. Yana Serebriakova, clothed in the fluorescent green pants, danced with Maxim Chashegorov, displaying lean lines and quick transitions. Ksenia Dubrovina and Maxim Ziuzin were smooth and accurate. But it was Ekaterina Petina and Anton Pimenov who stole the show with their professionalism and intricate partnering work, perhaps deemable the true Forsythe disciples within the Kirov.
The third ballet on the bill, ‘The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude’, is the closest to a balletic work on this program, offering the dancers a vehicle for cannons, duets and synchronized dancing, with intricate footwork more classically-based than the movements in his other ballets. Olesya Novikova, Tatiana Tkachenko and Ekaterina Osmolkina, in green flat tutus, danced with, between and around Alexander Kulikov and Vladimir Shlyarov, clothed in boyshort leotards to the sounds of Schubert’s 9th Symphony in D major. Tkachenko’s fluidity and Novikova’s curved lines were as noteworthy as the men’s seemingly endless jumps and turns. As a group the dancers suggested a royal court of times past, heads held high, energy to match, not stopping until the final chords, the final curtain and the final pose – in fifth position.
The audience-shocker is always saved for last on this bill. “In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated” emits its club-like electronic music into the far reaches of the theatre halls and, with matching extremism, the dancer’s extensions and flexibility are strained seemingly to the limit by various stretches, pulls and tosses. Slow is merged into abrupt, complex movement that then becomes slow once again. Irina Golub’s name topped the cast list, and she was partnered at times by Andrei Mercuriev with precision, but for this piece the leading soloist could be any of the women onstage. Indeed both Ekaterina Petina and Ekaterina Kondaurova, in their respective solos, drew more reverence for their long, lean lines and accurately accented movements. Alexander Sergeev appeared here again, sturdy and reliable as he partnered Petina. Mikhail Lobukhin also deserved praise for his work with Ksenia Dubrovina, who alone seemed more new to the work than the other dancers.
This performance of Forsythe further attests to the accomplishments of the Kirov dancers in their adaptation to the choreographer’s abstract style, which, if not in direct opposition to the basis of classical training, at least bends it in new directions. It is to the dancers’ credit that they follow that direction so easily and with such energy.
3 November 2005
All Balanchine Program
‘Four Temperaments’, ‘Prodigal Son’, ‘La Valse’, ‘Ballet Imperial’
The All-Balanchine program continues to grow on the Kirov dancers, and if some of the choreographer’s more modern movement at times challenges them, his more classically-based ballets are close to being an accomplished part of their repertoire.
‘Four Temperaments’ had a stumble here or there, and a lack of abandon overall, but nonetheless presented some of ballet’s cleanest lines in its black-and-white display of Kirov physiques.
Aside from Olga Esina’s stumble off-pointe in the en pointe, plie-ed promenade in the opening Theme, her partnering with a man billed as Sergei Popov (but who was not Popov) went rather smoothly. Olesya Novikova was partnered by Alexei Nedviga as the second couple, and both executed their sequences without difficulty.
Ekaterina Kondaurova’s grace and certainty shown in her short pas de deux with Maxim Zuizin, performing the ‘spider leg’ walk offstage. Kondaurova’s flawless lines are heavenly to regard, especially in a spare leotard ballet such as this one. Among the first three couples in the theme, she drew the most attention for her polished line and appropriate expression. Of all the women in the ballet, she most resembles the Balanchine ballerina.
Anton Korsakov, listed in the program to dance the Melancholic variation, was replaced by Maxim Zuizin in a laudable expression of the temperament’s traits. Zuizin’s arched feet and well-proportioned body complimented his expression. From his dancing one receives the impression of timidity, but through that moments of serious drama manage to peek through.
Ekaterina Osmolkina, appearing rail thin, danced the Sanguinic variation with Alexander Sergeev. Her altered frame detracted from what is usually a beautiful display of line, while his accuracy and reliability was commendable.
Andrei Mercuriev was quite dramatic in the Phlegmatic variation. Sturdy in his delivery and balances, his arm gestures were suggestive of Petrouchka in their momentary floppiness before being flanked by the four longest-limbed dancers –Daria Sukhorukova, Yana Serebriakova, Elena Vostrotina and Ksenia Doubrovina.
Ekaterina Petina as Choleric was powerful, assured and strong in both temperament and technique in between air tosses performed by Alexander Sergeev.
In ‘The Prodigal Son’, Mikhail Lobukhin exhibited all the impatience of an immature young boy determined to make it on his own before the harsh reality of the real world strips him of all his belongings. Lobukhin’s strength – dramatically and physically – were visible. Daria Pavlenko, as the unfeeling, seductive Siren, was a coldly beautiful temptation for Lobukhin’s naive character. In the last moments of the ballet, the strain of the Son’s venture into the outer world was visible through Lobukhin’s acting – his pained face and sobbing motion a testament to his acting talents.
Lest one have been starved for something more traditionally-oriented, ‘La Valse’, the third ballet on the bill, made up for in classicism what the former two pieces were lacking, at least from the point of view of stereotypical balletic elegance. Ekaterina Kondaurova, the epitomy of beautiful sophistication, reigned supreme in the main role, honoring it with cool reserve and classical chic. She was easily the belle of the ball, while partner Vladimir Shishov seemed only too taken with the lovely girl. When Death seized her hand, her steps quickened, and she looked at her foot movements as if they weren’t her own. Given Kondaurova’s red hair, the moment was strongly reminiscent of Moira Shearer in “The Red Shoes”. Before falling lifeless in the center of the floor, she tossed her bouquet offstage and performed the series of partnered tour-jete/kicks with rebellion. Shishov’s disbelief at the turn of events was visible in his searching glances. When the curtain fell, one wanted to see it all over again.
‘Ballet Imperial’ crowned the evening with more classicism, if not as mysteriously as “La Valse’, then more lightheartedly and idyllically. Tatiana Tkachenko in the leading role bore more softness than previous performances, which, combined with her ever-present surety and attack made for a true ballerina. Igor Zelensky, her adoring partner, was princely perfect in every way, dismayed at her evasiveness, and entranced at her presence. Irina Golub danced the second soloist’s role in blue, but her performance was, unexpectedly, dimmed by Tkachenko’s stronger stage presence and polished delivery.
Mikhail Sinkevich conducted the nearly four-hour evening admirably.