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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 6:07 pm 
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Posts: 185
Hi Catherine & Natalia!

Thank you both for fleshing out all that I tried to restrain re Somova. I was trying to end my earlier 'rant' on a high note (i.e. diplomatically) :wink:. Know that we three are in complete agreement :D! I've found in the abyss of this Somova Fatigue
that there simply aren't enough adjectives to describe her.

Kudos to Mary Cargill :lol:! Her critique has just as much gravitas as Eric Taub's, who described her as:

" . . . a peroxide blonde with the odd root showing,"

who,

" . . . danced Shades like the whole thing was just a bunch of dull stuff between opportunities to show how high she can kick (I give her points for doing, or rather trying, doubles in both directions while holding the scarf, though.) And those arms. Dear God. And those jetes where she'd kick her front foot up so high it was like the prow of a Viking warship. Truly, truly ugly."

Natalia, in responose to your earlier point, I agree:
Somova is the lone ranger. She goes onstage and does
exactly as she pleases. Apparently, her
attitude shows that she, 1) doesn't care, and 2) has no
respect whatsoever for the authorities
and traditions of the Maryinsky Theatre.

What's mind boggling is that she got past 'GO' in the first place,
and wasn't weeded out in the beginning. Hopefully, this
tragic-comedy won't continue. It's my fervent hope that when
(if), the next Administration assumes power, the Somova Campaign
will be shut down permanently.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 9:23 pm 
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If you are in or near NYC tomorrow (April 5), both scheduled to appear again at *8:00* are Ekaterina Osmolkina in Chopiniana-Les Sylphides----wonderfully, wonderful and Ulyana Lopatkina dancing the Swan----absolutely magnificent !

I have read on the internet that tickets if available can be purchased somewhere in Time Square at half price.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 3:08 am 
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Wow, half price is a deal!

By the way also -- Bolshakova should be dancing in Chopiniana on Sunday. I don't know if that was already published in the States on your casting lists or not, but it listed here. I haven't seen her recently in any soloist roles, so that would be an interesting performance to see.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 9:16 am 
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Catherine, the playbill lists Bolshakova as dancing the Prelude (hand-to-ear solo) at all four weekend performances of Chopiniana. A short report on last night's performance, on another forum, praises Bolshakova's performance last night...so it appears that she really is here for this tour (unlike the DC Bayaderes, when she was listed for the Grand Pas but never showed up...Kutepova replacing her but nothing mentioned in the playbill). Hopefully, it really-truly was Bolshakova who the reviewer saw last night. Just 'cause a name is in the playbill means nothing but I can vouch that this reviewer ("canbelto") knows the faces of the various Mariinsky dancers very well.

Edited to add: The real surprise of tomorrow afternoon's (April 6) bill will be the just-announced appearance of Igor Zelensky, dancing Scheherazade with Vishneva. A rare treat. I recall that Gergiev hinted at this in his now-infamous "2am Monday morning' interview with the NYTimes but back then it was just a hope.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 2:28 pm 
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Sorry for some misinformation. Ulyana Lopatkina is scheduled to dance Scheherazade tonight, not the Dying Swan ( Diana Vishneva tonight). She danced it again this afternoon and is scheduled again for tomorrow at 3:00.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 2:32 pm 
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I haven't seen anyone so far that looks like Daria Vasnetsova or Yulia Bolshakova (up front anyway) and I'm pretty sure I can indentify Yulia Bolshakova and probably Daria Vasnetsova.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 9:54 pm 
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A few very quick comments about tonight.


Ekaterina Osmolkina, once again, and all the performances of Chopiniana-Les Sylphides----A Beautiful Dream.

I'm sure Maria Taglioni would have been beaming. Yana Selina and Igor Kolb--fine, fine, fine.


Both Ulyana Lopatkina this afternoon and Diana Vishneva this evening with their rather different styles and 'intent' (hi, jpc), received equally huge ovations, equally deserved for their magnificent, magnificent Swan performances.


Leonid Sarafanov for a moment looked like pictures I've seen of Nijinsky as he stood beside a seated Yana Selina at the very end of the performance of Le Spectre De La Rose. He wove an enchantment around her. I think that other references to the legend of Nijinsky would be possible as well.


Tomorrow Ulyana Lopatkina is scheduled to dance the Swan again and Leonid Sarafanov is scheduled again to dance Le Spectre De La Rose. If you want to see something very special be there if you at all can.


A half hour walk through Central Park to get there makes it all close to perfect. Interestingly the extreme left hand side of the Chopiniana-Les Syphides landscape backdrop is somewhat filled in. It's not too hard to imagine this to be the span of highrise apartment buildings on Central Park West and it's not too hard to imagine Central Park, itself, being the rest.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 2:03 am 
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Funny, Sarafanov, to the best of my knowledge, and in my time here, has never been cast in Spectre. They cast Kolb or Popov or Korsakov -- but never Sarafanov... I have a hard time picturing him in the role personality-wise although technically he would be superb.

Buddy, Bolshakova has a rounder face and fuller cheeks than Vasnetsova, longer legs and a slightly wider torso. Vasnetsova is very long all around and is taller, I believe, than Bolshakova, at least several inches. She has a more narrow face/head though -- they don't look at all like one another, I can say that much.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 5:13 am 
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Buddy wrote:
...
Ekaterina Osmolkina, once again, and all the performances of Chopiniana-Les Sylphides----A Beautiful Dream.

I'm sure Maria Taglioni would have been beaming. .......


Buddy, Taglioni danced in LA Sylphide -- not LES Sylphides-Chopiniana. By the time that Fokine choreographed the LES, Taglioni had been dead for a 30-40 years.

Vasnetsova has sparkly blue eyes that she uses to great effect. Bolshakova has an exotic Asian face, somewhat akin to Assylmuratova.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 9:13 am 
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Hello all,

I’ve been at the NYCC performances and I believe it is Bolshakova in Les Sylphides. I’m not 100% sure because I only got a really good look at her once, several years ago when she danced Princess Florine with the Kirov in their run of Sleeping Beauties in LA. I thought I saw her again dancing small soloist roles in Swan Lake a couple of years ago (big swans, princess brides) and this is definitely the same dancer. Dark Hair, tallish but not super tall, slight facial resemblance to Assylmuratova but wider face, slightly asian looking. The only difference I’ve noted is that I recall her being super thin the first time I saw her and she looks like she’s put on a few pounds (not in a bad way!). I had reservations about her dancing in Chopaniana. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I didn’t like her, her dancing has great delicacy but I found her head, arm and shoulder movements too emphatic and her whole approach a bit mannered. Osmolkina & Selina, by contrast, made the romantic style look as natural as breathing.

I don’t know what Vasnetsova looks like, and I haven’t seen her in any soloist roles here yet.

Catherine, it’s funny - I love Sarafanov and thought his slight physique and virtuoso skills would be the perfect combination for Spectre. I found him a little underwhelming - thought he didn’t really have the art nouveau tendril arms down and saw too much preparation for his leaps, turns etc. If this was his debut in the role it would go a long way towards explaining those ragged details.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 11:27 am 
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Nysusan, thanks for your post. It sounds like what you saw of Sarafanov is what I imagine his portrayal of that role would be. I think some of the meatier men in the company probably elicit the more Nijinsky-like aura a bit more readily than he does. Who knows, *maybe it was* his debut in the role, but I kind of doubt it (?!) It's quite possible he has danced it in other galas elsewhere though, as I say, I've never seen him do it here. At least not in the last four years.

Yes! Bolshakova *does* resemble Altynai quite a bit in her face! Good call, they do appear very similar. And yes Bolshakova has put on a few pounds but looks better for it, I agree with you on that one.

I dont think Vasnetsova is listed for any soloist roles on this tour. She did the Act III Swan solo during the recent festival here; but that was it.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 8:24 pm 
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Location: USA-Switzerland
Only a few days left in New York and no performances tomorrow. So what is one to do? Walking back through the park late this afternoon I heard some Salsa music far away. So over I went. It came from a huge boom box in the middle of about thirty dancers, all ages, break dancing, hip hopping and----roller skating. Two 40ish men on skates were spinning around, one of them on one foot. A girl with two hoods and a stocking cap was Ginger Rogering away with her not very Fred Astaire but still very supportive partner----both on skates.

So as the old song goes....

" Shame, shame, shame----Shame on you----If you can't Dance through ! "


So speaking of Dancing....

Was anyone there today to see Ulyana Lopatkina's Swan or Leonid Sarafanov's Le Spectre De La Rose? If so please raise your hand and you get an A+ ! It was all that I had hoped for, even better !

Ulyana Lopatkina reached up to the star filled sky and became part of it.

Leonid Sarafanov, seemingly unaware that he's not Nijinsky, charmed his partner, Nadezhda Gonchar, into a reverie. His technical prowess, totally controlled endless spins and perfectly done jumps, was as evident as ever. In addition to his airiness and grace he added an expressiveness that I have never seen from him before. His every move told a story.


Chopiniana-Les Sylphides was more beautiful than ever ! Somehow when I bought my tickets almost a year ago, I got one seat in row B that I forgot about. So up goes the curtain and I am in the middle of a Celestial Happening ! I could almost touch it. Never have I been so close to a stage and never have I been able to look so deeply into a performer's inner being. The Sylph dancers seemed to be in a Dream State. They seemed to be floating above it all, mind and body. Even a dancer I could see practicing a jump in the wings had no effect what so ever on these dancers state of being. I remember Altnai Asylmuratova once being repoted coaching a group of dancers and telling them to 'feel each other' when they moved. So they seemed to this afternoon.


What Makes These Dancers So Special Is The Way That Their Every Move And Their Entire Presence Speaks Of----An Inner Poetry.


Last night at the end during a massive ovation for the corps de ballet Sylphs at least one of these ladies couldn't hold character and burst into a beaming smile ! So well deserved and so beautiful to see !

Another lady replaced replaced Daria Vasnetsova again tonight. I think she might be Valeria Martynyuk, who replaced Irina Golub in the Paquita variations (solos) and appeared prominently in other performances. I can't be positive about this as I am only using my memory of her earlier performances as a guide. She was lovely in Chopiniana with jumps that sailed through the air with her front leg reaching way high to begin with and then going even higher in the usual Kirov manner.

I will go with the name that Natalia provided us, Kutepova, for identifying the dancer who replaced Yulia Bolshakova in both Raymonda and Chopiniana. I saw her perform at the Mariinsky Festival but didn't see her name. She had a wonderfully focussed face in the dreamlike waltz after the Mazurka and held point and leaned forward to touch the ground so gracefully in this dreamiest of dance solos.

During the final waltz the corps de ballet Sylphs formed kneeling circles around several of their group and did absolutely exquisite backbends. One very young looking lady whose face resembles Evgenia Obraztsova and danced at the front of the Sylphs with Svetlana Ivanova has always been catching my eye because of her beautiful dancing and lovely Obraztsova-esque radiance. Does anyone know who she might be, Catherine, Natalia....?

I would really like to mention Yana Selina again. She just seems to become a more expressively graceful and beautiful dancer each time I see her; as the lead corps de ballet Shade, as a soloist in Chopiniana and other parts.

I will try to relate more when I get a chance.


It's been visions of radiant loveliness, one evening after another.

So, So Much Heart Filling Beauty !


P.S. Natalia, I assumed that Maria Taglioni didn't dance in "Les" Sylphides but I believe that Fokine stated that this was to be a ballet in which all the women would become Taglionis. I haven't read the other most recent posts but will try and take them into account as much as possible in my next posting.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 8:51 pm 
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A clarification on my part. I took the name that you gave us, Natalia, Kutepova, as being for this La Bayadere performance. It seems that you were referring to an earlier performance in DC. If the lady listed as Yulia Bolshakova is really Yulia Bolshakova then she has gained a lot of weight and her face really looks different to me. The height and the dark hair though would seem right.

I will also reemphasize how impressed I was with Leonid Sarafanov's Portrayal and Physical Expressiveness. The audience gave him one of their most enthusiastic ovations at each of his performances.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 2:57 am 
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Hi Buddy,

Kutepova danced here on Saturday night. She isn't on the New York tour.

To my mind, no one else in the company resembles Obratsova's face, so again there, I can't offer any suggestions.

To your question about the Paquita dancer, Martiniouk is one of the smallest (shortest) girls in the company, she has a rather fleshy chest and is well, fleshy all around, with a springy jump. You saw her as Cupid in Flora; you also saw her numerous times in the pas de quatre of 4 swans in Swan Lake. The only other girls her height who come to mind are Elena Vaskiokovitch (I just misspelled that); Sveta Ivanova is slightly taller than she is.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 7:02 am 
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Buddy wrote:

Another lady replaced replaced Daria Vasnetsova again tonight. I think she might be Valeria Martynyuk, who replaced Irina Golub in the Paquita variations (solos) and appeared prominently in other performances...



I’d say it was definitely not Valeria Martynyuk in the lead role in Chopiniana Sunday afternoon - this dancer was much taller. She looked a couple of inches taller than the Prelude dancer who I still think was Bolshakova. This lead dancer had a lovely, floaty quality to her dancing and appeared to be caught up in a real reverie during the pas de deux. She is brunette with a rectangular face and it looked like she had very long legs under that tulle skirt

Buddy wrote:

...During the final waltz the corps de ballet Sylphs formed kneeling circles around several of their group and did absolutely exquisite backbends. One very young looking lady whose face resembles Evgenia Obraztsova and danced at the front of the Sylphs with Svetlana Ivanova has always been catching my eye because of her beautiful dancing and lovely Obraztsova-esque radiance. Does anyone know who she might be, Catherine, Natalia....?



Yes, I’ve been noticing that dancer, too - ever since the first night. She & Svetlana Ivanova were the 2 lead corps girls in Chopianiana. She’s brunette, about Ivanova’s height with a very pretty, innocent face that’s positively radiant. She’s also been prominent in the demi roles in Paquita & Raymonda, I’d love to know who she is.


I liked Sarafanov much better in Spectre on Sunday, he seemed more relaxed & more spontaneous. I'm not sure if the difference was in him or me!


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