CriticalDance Forum

Kirov in Costa Mesa, CA, Oct. 7-12, 2008
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Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Thu Apr 17, 2008 4:23 am ]
Post subject:  Kirov in Costa Mesa, CA, Oct. 7-12, 2008

Costa Mesa, Segerstrom Hall

October 7, 2008, 7:30PM Don Quixote Novikova-Sarafanov

October 8, 2008, 7:30PM Don Quixote Vishneva-Fadeev

October 9, 2008, 7:30PM Don Quixote Tereshkina-Lobukhin

October 10, 2008, 7:30PM Giselle Vishneva-Fadeev

October 11, 2008, 2:00PM Giselle Osmolkina-Shklyarov

October 11, 2008, 7:30PM Giselle Nioradze-Korsakov

October 12, 2008, 2:00PM Giselle Lopatkina-Ivanchenko

Author:  Buddy [ Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:56 pm ]
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Tickets for the general public went on sale yesterday. ... ?NavID=354

Author:  Buddy [ Sat Oct 04, 2008 10:20 pm ]
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To be in the spirit of the current Mariinsky USA performances of "Giselle" and "Don Quixote" I put on my Tatiana Terekhova-Farouk Ruzimatov "Don Quixote" DVD. It is the only Mariinsky "Don Quixote" that I know of on film and it is a winner! Filmed in 1988(?) it has a faded video quality look that I feel actually adds to its charm.

I flipped around from one scene to another and eventually wound up at one of my favorites, the Dream Scene. I was as usual mesmerized by the loveliness of it all, but something new grabbed my attention this time....

Vladimir Ponomaryov.

If some of you have read some of my old posts you may remember that I am quite an admirer of this amazing Phenomenon of a mime actor-dancer. I am 'Hugely Overwhelmed' by his Don Quixote portrayals. I have seen him do this three or four times on stage.

To support my enthusiasm for Vladimir Ponomaryov one of the internet's leading marketers of DVDs titles the video in this manner.

" Minkus - Don Quixote / Terekhova, Ruzimatov, Ponomaryov, Kirov Ballet ~ Vladimir Ponomaryov, et al. "

So in my rapturous viewing of the wonderful Dream Scene who do I spot cruising around in the background?

He is a Phenomenon! (Did I already say that?)

Hopefully he will be included on this tour. He usually is. If you are fortunate enough to see him, while keeping your Kitri in view at all times, also give this 'absolutely amazing performer' as much of your attention as possible. I think that you will be well rewarded.

For those of you who will not be able to see one of these performances, obtain the DVD as soon as possible and try to give at least one attention-full viewing to this 'absolutely amazing performer'. (Did I already call him that?)

You will also notice Tatiana Terekhova, Farouk Ruzimatov, Altnai Asylmuratova, Yulia Makhalina and everyone else in the foreground. They are incredible!

It looks like some very fine casting and choices of productions for this tour.

Author:  Cygne [ Fri Oct 10, 2008 11:14 am ]
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I attended the Oct 9 "Don Quixote" at OCPAC yesterday evening. Victoria means "VICTORY"! Tereshkina triumphed, I mean ROCKED Kitri last night! This is a milestone role for her. This was just one of those nights at the ballet where everything, and I mean everything cooked: She believed in the story, and she danced like there was no tomorrow. Both she and her ardent Basil - Yuri Ivanchenko displayed spectacular technique and the kind of pyrotechnics we've become accustomed to in this ballet. And now, for something completely different: The fouttees were doubles and triples, but this combo was executed while fluttering her fan in front of her chest, and then above her head. Take that! Tereshkina is truly a Principal Dancer; she deserves every bit of that title. What energy, what technique, what style! From her first entrance I was perched on the edge of my seat. Her authority, elevation and lightness reminded me of Terekhova's precedent setting Kitri of the former generation. From Act 1 to Act 3, Vicky danced as if fire was under her feet.

The Dream sequence was beautifully executed. Tereshkina's Dulcinea was indeed the Don's ideal and unattainable love. Tereshkina successfully conveyed and projected this. She was light and diaphanous, combining superb classical technique with lyricism. Her variation was faultess, exhibiting marvelous physical control and stamina.

The corps de ballet remains a flawless delight to behold. From the espanolada of their character dancing, down to the expert handling of Act 1, and Act 3 Scene 5 props (fans, goblets & castanets - no one dropped anything ), to the passion of the Gypsy Dance in Act 2 Scene 2, and the pure academics of Act 2 Scene 3 and Act 3 Scene 6, everyone was on their 'A' game. As always, Vladimir Ponomarev was oustanding as Don Q; Stanislav Burov was hilarious as Sancho Panza; Nikolai Naumov was a strict but doting Lorenzo; Soslan Kulaev was a "Project Runway" Mr. Gunn of a Gamache; Karen Ioanessian was a magnificent Espada - he also dances a mean Fandango. He was replaced in the Fandango, by an uncredited dancer last night, although he was listed for both parts. I would LOVE to see him step up to Basil. Katya Kondaurova was sleek and seductive as the Street Dancer; Yulia Kasenkova and Yana Selina were perfectly paired as the Flower Sellers - they moved as one; Elena Yushkovskaya was a delicate and fleet Amour; Yulia Slivkina was a spirited Mercedes; Alisa Sokolova and Mikhail Berdichevsky were passionate Gypsies; Elena Bazhenova's arms were graceful and spellbinding in the Oriental Dance; and Katya Osmolkina was bubbly and precise in the Act 3 Variation. A++ EVERYONE - EXCELLENT!

When I read the cast list, and noted the line-up for Act 2 Scene 3, I resolved to have an open mind, hoping, no, - praying for the best. This was a new day; a new opportunity. I pulled Wonka's golden ticket: Somova was assigned Dryad. She's now in her 6th season and a 1st Soloist. I've seen her live (and canned), a number of times in different roles since she was first fast-tracked in 2004. I'll to cut to the chase: In short, . . . our situation has not improved." (Sean Connery to Harrison Ford in " Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade").

Dryad is a soloist role, and the level of difficulty, well, (IMO) is somewhat low compared to the requirements of Petipa's full-length roles. If one commands a strong technique, and sensible artistic temperament, Dryad shouldn't be too difficult - in theory. Having said that, it's problematic when a cameo role devolves into an attempt to try and upstage the ballerina, and becomes a fire-sale, as in the "everything must go" approach to the academic rules. For me, this was a first: A sexually aware Dryad. Somova employed come hither eyes to the errand knight and the audience throughout the scene. Kitri is supposed to be the center of attention in this segment; the Dryad Queen should be authoritative but maintain a subtle presence, and do this without being too conspicuous. Therefore, her interpretation was at best inappropriate in this context.

The Entrée: Her working leg in the supported lifts at the beginning of the segment had a ginormous sway back. The visual effect was the illusion that her right foot might actually touch the man from La Mancha 's helmet. The variation was an ear and nerve whacking experience: "Martha Graham, Martha Graham, Martha Graham, Martha Graham, Madonna, Madonna, Madonna, Madonna!" (Robin Williams to Nathan Lane in "The Birdcage"). The concluding series of Italian fouttees were sur place, but still - there was too much foot to head action. She hit 6:00 p.m. with every developpe, cutting a swath through the air - in half. I heard several people in the hall audibly gasp, (to my ears it sounded like shock rather than awe), and a few said "whoa!" Indeed. And inexplicably, the crowd went wild after her variation, and when she appeared at the Act 2 curtain call.

But why may I ask? Somova didn't mark time, or keep up with Tereshkina, nor did she even try to mirror her in line or execution. Somova was on her own mission. They're supposed to dance together. Tereshkina conscientiously shaped and etched her line with every step. Somova's adjacent arabesques (behind Tereshkina), were on the upbeat, not the downbeat, and they were turned-in penchees - each hitting 1:30 p.m. to Tereshkina's 93 degrees, after Tereshkina had completed the phrase. Tereshkina's grande jetes had wonderful elevation, and reverberated in the hall like three gun shots. Somova's grande jetes followed close behind like Hell follows close behind the 4thd Horseman of the Apocolypse . She had good elevation but distorted (double jointed?) legs. Complete line distortion. There was just no comparison.

Unfortunately, based on this latest viewing, I remain baffled re Somova's position in the company. Of all the female 1st soloists Somova has the least credits in her bio. One would think that by now, she would have at least as many credits as her contemporaries, i.e. Novikova, Obratzova, Golub - not to mention the elder women in that rank. These ladies are competing in, (and for) many roles, demonstrating their versatility in the classical and modern rep, (the latter, such as it is at the Maryinsky). A few of them have logged in over a decade of service in this rank. By comparison, Somova continues to nurse the few roles that she has been given over the past five years, yet she's relentlessly showcased and promoted. My questions are: 1) At this stage of the game, shouldn't she be coming into her own, competing at (or at least), approaching the same technical and artistic level as the other 1st soloists? 2) If not now, then when - (if ever)? and 3) Has anyone in authority noticed this paradox?

The Music Corner & Other Trivia - The Maryinsky Orchestra played Minkus' score with panache: The musicians took us to Spain ! For some strange reason, the Maryinsky conductors on tour aren't credited in the program book. I could see that the maestro for the evening was Mikhail Sinkevich. He gets most honorable mention here for conducting with insight, instinct and finesse. Also, the program book luxuriated in the error of putting the corps de ballet's last names before their first names. They didn't do this with the soloists or Principals. For OCPAC, that's another first. This was a keeper - one to remember for years to come.

>>>>Standing 'O' for Victoria, Yuri and Co. over 6 mins. Brava!!!!

**Next, I'll be seeing Tereshkina as Myrtha to Osmolkina's "Giselle" this
Sunday afternoon. :D

Author:  NataliaN [ Fri Oct 10, 2008 2:40 pm ]
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Brava, Cygne! Enjoy Giselle and do write your impressions.

WARNING: I pulled the Wonka Golden Ticket a couple of years ago at the Kennedy Center when Tereshkina's Myrtha was replaced by Somova, unannounced. I sincerely hope that your own fate is happier and that you will experience Tereshkina's glorious Queen of the Wilis. Good luck!

Author:  Buddy [ Sun Oct 12, 2008 9:44 pm ]
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Magnificence !

I have just returned from seeing several performances and this is a quick summary of some of what I saw.

A wonderful feeling of airy gracefulness, which I guess is what ballet is all about, elevated all four of the beautiful performances that I was able to see. The "Giselles" were especially lovely. I am so glad to have once again been able to experience such a display of artistic splendor.

Costa Mesa, California


Ekaterina Osmolkina--Leonid Sarafanov (October 11 matinee)

Irma Nioradze--Anton Korsakov (October 11 evening)

Ekaterina Osmolkina--Yevgeny Ivanchenko (October 12 matinee)

"Don Quixote"

Viktoria Tereshkina--Yevgeny Ivanchenko (October 9)

Some highlights.

"Giselle"----Irma Nioradze and Ekaterina Osmolkina

Irma Nioradze

The saying that artistry improves with maturity couldn't be more true than with Irma Nioradze's interpretation of "Giselle". She gave a magnificently crafted performance. It was an expansive and poetically rich interpretation with an airy grace that was combined with a freshness of motion, contained within the boundaries of her clearly defined and beautifully refined dancing. Magnificent !

Ekaterina Osmolkina

As Giselle (two performances) she was Visions of Dancing Air--something that you would want to compress and put into a velvet box to have with you always.

Viktoria Tereshkina

She is a lovable presence in any part. Her dancing was both beautifully refined and masterfully exciting. She danced wonderfully as Kitri ("Don Quixote") and twice as Myrtha ("Giselle").

Alina Somova

She is capable of generating wonderful excitement and elegant restrained beauty. This week she did both. As the Driad Queen in "Don Quixote" she began as a vision in lightness and grace. While not losing this she proceeded to wow us all with some amazing and beautiful bravura, such as six(?) single spins each ending on pointe with the other leg straight up in the air. As Myrtha in "Giselle" she was a model of restraint and refinement with a lovely characterization and a total commitment to pure elegance.

Anton Korsakov

He is a dancer of extreme grace who may well have stolen the show with a series of the finest entrechats that I have ever seen! These entrechats (upward jumps with feet 'flickering" together) sixes or eights(?) (feet passing each other three or four times) were performed at the end of "Giselle".

[several spelling corrections made]

Author:  Buddy [ Mon Oct 13, 2008 12:24 pm ]
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It's a new clear day and a fresh breeze breathes new life.

I have vivid, beautiful images this morning of Ekaterina Osmolkina's Giselle rotating-pivoting in space. Her flowing, flowering gown of white air echoes her every marvelous gesture. Her lovely face is surrounded by the loveliness of her every move. With her beautiful dancing and her artistic desire she has caught an ethereal wave that she rides as gracefully as the breeze that carries it.

Our minds and hearts set sail as we watch her.

This image is what romantic poets and artists have always tried to express. This is one of our loveliest of all dreams. She is an image of ideal human beauty and a star-bound being carrying us along on a voyage of the heart.

This is a world that for me Ekaterina Osmolkina created twice this week in her marvelous Giselle performances.

Perhaps this is also what beautiful dance is about. To help set the mind and heart free to be able to ride the breathe of life that each new day offers us.

[a minor word change made]

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Mon Oct 13, 2008 12:57 pm ]
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HI Buddy,

Actually, the Myrtha you saw was not Somova. While she was listed, Tatiana Tkachenko in fact danced the role, and she bears no physical (or artistic, or personal character) resemblance to Somova whatsoever. I just want to make that point, as several people have alerted me to it. Somova was apparently "too tired" to perform her duties. I am happy that Tkachenko made such a great impression.

Author:  Buddy [ Mon Oct 13, 2008 1:27 pm ]
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Catherine, this is most interesting news. Thank you! Yes, the dancer that I saw did have darker hair and I assumed that Alina Somova had changed her hair color for this performance. I have only seen Tatiana Tkachenko once possibly at the last performance of "La Bayadere" in Detroit as Nikia. This was in 2003 and I have never been able to confirm that this was actually her. If anyone could clarify this I would be very grateful for the information.

In my search I have come across several still pictures of Tatiana Tkachenko and, yes, with the best effort that my memory is capable of I can see where this could have been (or 'was' as you say) Tatiana Tkachenko. They do have some similarities, I believe. Their chins are one. Also on stage height can be hard to gage. I believe that Alina Somova is much taller.

In any case it was a wonderful performance and I can now see that it could have been or 'was' a different dancer.

I still would like to say again that Alina Somova showed some amazing gracefulness throughout her Driad Queen ("Don Quixote") performance along with the bravura that I think confirms that it was really her that I was seeing this time.

Author:  Cygne [ Mon Oct 13, 2008 4:02 pm ]
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When "Giselle" is performed with love, care and attention to detail, it's an event. It remains forever new because of what individual dancers bring to the leading roles. Yesterday afternoon's (Oct 12) final matinee performance of "Giselle" at OCPAC found the Maryinsky in excellent form. Ekaterina Osmolkina and Evgeny Ivanchenko were a young couple who were truly in love. Carla Fracci once said that the most important thing about this ballet was, " . . . how you look at one another." Osmolkina's peasant girl was human and trusting, and thankfully without mannerisms. She also projected to the back of the hall such an innocent personality: You believed that her whole existence revolved around that yard, and that she had never in her life been too far away from her cottage. Evgeny Ivanchenko's Albrecht adored this Giselle. Ivanchenko's Albrecht was an aristocrat who really wanted to break free from his royal existence. He wanted escape and he found freedom with this Giselle. He conveyed this by blending in with the villagers, and exhibiting his carefree youthfulness, while masterfully concealing his nobility and true identity.

Osmolkina & Ivanchenko were totally happy and content in one another's presence. Osmolkina's and Ivanchenko's acting in Act 1 was particularly praiseworthy. The acting blended seamlessly into the dancing, and the dancing blended seamlessly into the acting. The action of the mime passages were successfully linked with the dancing, and therefore real and spontaneous. Osmolkina's method was especially effective here: We have no idea she has a heart problem, until she simply stops, and slowly touches her chest, then slowly falters. She backed slowly away, eyes locking with Ivanchenko, then gradually catches up with the corps as the make their round rotation.

I can't find enough superlatives to describe the Maryinsky's corps de ballet! In both Acts, they were simply perfect. Sunday afternoon they dressed their lines, moved as one and executed the choreography in unison and with musicality - marvelous! Technically, Osmolkina was light, airy and precise. She had exemplary Romantic ports de bras. Her feet were very articulate in Act 1's variation. Throughout the ballet, she had wonderful ballon; she just seemed to bounce, then float to silent landings. Ivanchenko was well matched with Osmolkina in this respect: He too has articulate feet and precise ballon and his elevation and technique matched her's. Tatiana Gorunova's Berthe was a concerned and over-protective mother. Maxim Khrebtov was Albrecht's neurotic sword-bearer: He was full of worry and anxiety about his master getting caught in both Acts. Elena Bazhenova's Bathilde is every inch the elite noblewoman; Vladimir Ponomarev's Duke of Courland was as majestic as a king. Valeria Martynuk and Alexei Timofeev performed a correct but juiceless > (?) Peasant pas de deux. These two seemed to be phoning in this segment. It was well danced, yes - but by rote, and that included the fixed smiles. Konstantin Zverev's Hans was a selfish, obsessed and jealous stalker. He wants to prove to Giselle that he has her best interests at heart, and that he is the one who really loves her. He was spiteful and vindictive when he revealed Albrecht's true identity and he did it with a sneer on his face. Zverev's Hans enjoyed this immensely. Here's a Hans who hates the "other man" with a visceral hatred. He really didn't understand the tragic consequences of his actions until the curtain fell. When Albrecht ran off the stage, Zverev fell to his knees at Giselle's feet screamed, his head in his hands, his body contracting with sobs.

Osmolkina's mad scene is a measured descent into insanity. She's already laid the foundation. Then slowly but surely, Osmolkina builds upon it, until her 'tower' comes crashing down. When she's confronted with the truth, she sparingly acknowledges her surroundings, and the people around her. She takes her time, reprising the details of her fateful day. At the conclusion, Osmolkina comes full circle back to the reality of her humiliation, and she flies lifeless into Ivanchenko's arms. Very effective; very believable. One of the best features of her mad scene is the blankness of her large eyes. Osmolkina uses her eyes here to great effect. Ivanchenko realizes what he has done. He runs off in grief.

Act 2 introduced the frightening Myrtha of Victoria Tereshkina. Her entrance was eerie and most effective. The bourrees were seamless, moving steadily towards the center, then towards the pit, then exiting stage right. Each bourree was (seemed) identical, as if she were standing en pointe moving on a slow moving conveyor belt. IMO she's the best Maryinsky Wili Queen of this generation, as Terekhova was in the former generation. Her opening variation gave the illusion of a spirit in the distance, swinging back and forth like a pendulum in slow motion. Her center work was executed as if it were child's play. Tereshkina has large piercing grey/blue eyes. The lighting was very effective here. I noticed that when she first began the act, her eyes were half closed, as if awakening from the dead for another night. As the night wears on, and as she summons the rest of the Wilis, her eyes opened more. Then, when the ballabile begins her eyes are wide open, like a zombie's. This gave her a slightly crazed expression. This gave me the impression that here is a vampiric and vengeful Wili Queen, with a technique that drips blood. Her authority, elevation, batterie and ballon are just unbelievable! And how were the General's lieutenants? By comparison, Yulia Kasenkova's Monna was rather stiff and earthbound compared to the rest of her deceased sisters, and we could hear it too. Maria Shirikina was light and fleet as Zulma. I almost wished that Shirikina could have doubled as Monna.

Osmolkina's spirit was ecstatic to break free from the constraints of her grave: Her variation illustrated this. Her centerwork adagio was traditional and "old school" as in, no 6:00 p.m. penchees or developpes. She let the dance speak eloquently for itself. The pas de deux was the culmination of their love in Act 1. Ivanchenko gave Osmolkina dream quality support. It was a sublime communion of souls. He loved her to the end. Well done!

The Music Corner And Final Trivia
The Maryinsky Orchestra played the Adam score with sympathy and care, paying special attention to all of the dramatic accents. The uncredited maestro was Pavel Bubelnikov, who (apparently) was in complete simpatico with Osmolkina for the highlights. So, thanks to the program book omission, Mikhail Sinkevich and Pasha Bubelnikov were both here but "officially" not here. The pit microphones seemed to be on 'low,' compared with Thursday night's bombastic amplification for "Don Quixote." I noticed that the inverted name errors of OCPAC's program book included not only the corps de ballet, but the Maryinsky musicians as well. There was a 'noises off' moment during Hans' confrontation with Albrecht & Giselle before the royalty arrived. Something quite large was dropped backstage. Fortunately, no one onstage was phased by it. For this performance, Bubelnikov wore his best black silk p.j.'s alá Gergiev. Osmolkina, Tereshkina, Ivanchenko & Co. received a + 7 minute standing ovation. Brava Maryinsky!

Point of clarification: It was indeed Tatiana Tkachenko who replaced the over-promoted Somova as Myrtha - who btw, featured prominently in both pics and print for this engagement. If Somova is unable to fulfill her touring assignments, for any reason other than physical health, (assuming that was the reason), this is something the management seriously needs to address. And that only IF it's not their idea. This is a fact: The company didn't use the P.A. system to announce any cast changes, and there were a few this week.

All told, Somova completed two (2) Dryad performances and was indisposed for her Myrtha assignments this past weekend. Novikova opened the run with her Kitri. And, in Olesya's case, a full-length opening night performance carries much gravitas compared to a less than 2 minute Dryad variation, and a 15 minute scene in "Don Q" Act 2 - which Somova was given. Katya Osmolkina danced two Giselles, and three Act 3 variations during the "Don Q" run. Tkachenko's fellow 2nd Soloist, Katya Kondaurova, danced three Street Dancers, two Myrthas and one Dryad. Of the 1st Soloists occupied with work for this engagement, Somova was on stage the least of them all. Tkachenko is a far superior replacement for Somova. She is an extremely strong Second Soloist of technical excellence and artistry. She has triumphed in roles such as "Raymonda" :arrow: the attainment of this role being a rare feat for someone of her young age and rank - particularly in this company. Unfortunately, Tkachenko suffered the same treatment as the conductors: Her name and bio was also absent in the program book. It's a credit to her professionalism and versatility that she was available to step in on a moment's notice to fill for an individual who to this day has not merited the First Soloist title. :arrow: MO.

Author:  Buddy [ Tue Oct 14, 2008 11:49 am ]
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Thank you, Cygne, for your very fine and detailed review. I was also at this performance and I really agree with you about the outstanding abilities of the dancers and performers that you liked so much. These would include Ekaterina Osmolkina, Viktoria Tereshkina, Maria Shirinkina, Elena Bazhenova....

This is something that I wrote down the night after the "Don Quixote" performance that I saw and would please like to post it now.

"Don Quixote" (October 9)

The Dream Scene--Viktoria Tereshkina and Alina Somova

One of the highlights of the only performance of "Don Quixote" that I was able to attend was to experience Viktoria Tereshkina and Alina Somova dancing in the same scene.

When Alina Somova started her first solo I was really overcome by her lightness and gracefulness. Some posters have said that it is her port de bras ("carriage of the arms"), and I would add movement of the entire upper body, that is so beautiful. I felt this way also, although there was a totality of lightness and gracefulness that I was feeling.

Then she began some of her high extensions (leg lifts). The audience zeroed in like radar, as usual. Increased applause soon followed. I felt that these first extensions were one of her several 'trademarks' by now and she did them very well. They weren't huge and they were very graceful.

Then she started doing the spins, ending each one on pointe with the other leg straight up. The audience loved it. I thought that they were extremely impressive and very nicely done. She must have done about six of these.

So I and much of the audience were enthused both by her technical feats and by the statuesque beauty of her presence and her dancing.

Then it was Viktoria Tereshkina's turn. In a less attention focussing manner her presentation was 'right on'! Not being nearly as tall as Alina Somova her moves were not as big and not as obvious, but they were outstanding. She also had a wonderful lightness and gracefulness. She displayed a lot of this all evening, but it all came together so beautifully in the last sequences of the Dream Scene. Her grand jumps across the stage were so high, so airy, so committed and so finely done. The other parts of her dancing were equally impressive.

Both dancers have a wonderful airy grace. Alina Somova often adds a very exciting bravura element to her performances. Viktoria Tereshkina has an artistic restraint and refinement that is extremely lovely, but she can also let loose with some very impressive technical feats when she choses to.

I would say that both these very fine dancers performed beautifully.

Could I add that there was once again so much fine dancing by so many fine artists throughout all four of the performances that I attended. The auditorium always seemed quite full and by the time that the lead couples appeared for their first ovation much of the audience was on its feet applauding enthusiastically at each of these performances.

[last sentence added later--and some minor word changes]

Author:  NataliaN [ Tue Oct 14, 2008 1:17 pm ]
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Thanks for the reports from Costa Mesa. Does anyone know if any official notice was made to the audience regarding Lopatkina's "no-show" on Sunday?

Are the Berkeley audiences still expecting to see Lopatkina in tonight's gala?

Author:  Buddy [ Tue Oct 14, 2008 3:13 pm ]
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Natalia, the Orange County Performing Arts Schedule on the internet had listed Ekaterina Osmolkina as the last night "Giselle" (Ulyana Lopatkina's scheduled night) for at least two weeks prior to the performance. Also the casting information in the spectator's program, printed only once at the beginning of the performances for all the performances, also listed Ekaterina Osmolkina as dancing the last night. There were no announcements about casting changes after that, verbal or written, that I know about. The casting in the four performances that I saw, from those that I could identify, seemed exactly the same as in the printed program except for the replacement of Alina Somova by Tatiana Tkachenko.

Author:  Buddy [ Wed Oct 15, 2008 2:13 pm ]
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"How Do You Hold A Moonbeam In Your Hand?" (from "The Sound Of Music")

How do you describe a magnificent dance performance ?


That's all.

And so it was. Once with Irma Nioradze and twice with Ekaterina Osmolkina.


Act I
From the moment that Giselle first appears with her first airy, elevated dance steps, for me, she is lifted above the stage and there she remains.

Act II
I would say that Irma Nioradze may have performed an epic poem, an epic journey. Her dance so wonderfully expressed a dramatic adventure.

Ekaterina Osmolkina's dance was a visual voyage, complete in itself. She created her own ideal reality with her dance, perhaps a world beyond the actual story of Giselle.

It was once again A Wave that just carried me along, especially in Ekaterina Osmolkina's second performance. These two wonderful artists created it and it was....

Magnificent !

Some more comments about the Women

Ekaterina Osmolkina
I would like to add one more comment about her first Act I Giselle. When she received the gift of a necklace from Bathilde and when she touched Bathilde's richly, elegant gown a second time entering the house, her facial expression was a profoundly touching display of the most precious state of innocence and gratitude. Absolutely heartwarming !

Viktoria Tereshkina
As a refined and naturally smiling and radiant Kitri in "Don Quixote" she did some very exciting dancing that included the famous lay-back kicks that almost seemed to touch the back of her head, fine single-double fouette turns and very impressive high velocity spins across the stage.

The Women's Corps De Ballet
I always love the 'Sailboats' (the entire corps of Wilis hopping across the stage in arabesque) and it always results in a very warm applause. The Wilis always charm me wonderfully with their beautiful appearance and their beautiful dancing. Other Women's Corps de Ballet loveliness was to be found everywhere.

Yana Selina ( Flower Seller (DQ), Corps de Ballet (G) )
As usual a key to the success of any performance in which she appears.

Ekaterina Kondaurova ( Street Dancer (DQ) )
Along with her fine statuesque dancing she used her lovely suppleness to perform some very impressive positioning with her side and back bends.
Beautiful dancer. Beautiful appearance. Beautiful manner.

Maria Sherenkina ( Zulma (all 4 nights) (G), Classical Duet (1st Act) (G) )
Our young mystery dancer from the recent NYC performances has a loveliness, a capability and an air of sincere dedication that should keep her shining brightly for a long time.

Yulia Kasenkova ( Flower Seller (DQ), Mona (all 4 nights) (G), Classical Duet (1st Act) (G) )
She slightly resembles Zhanna Ayupova in appearance and lovely manner. She did two very fine double turn spins in the DQ Classical Duet that require a tricky catch ending by her partner. She seems to be a very likable and technically sound dancer, who managed the various physical challenges of her performances with a fine sense of grace and human realness.

Valeria Martynyuk ( Classical Duet (1st Act) (G) )
Another fine and vibrant young talent.

I feel a lot of similarities between Maria Sherenkina, Yulia Kasenkova and Valeria Martynyuk because of their youthful, charming auras and their fine, graceful and commendable dancing. We will probably be seeing a lot more of these lovely young dancers.

Elena Bazhenova ( Bathilde (G), Oriental Dancer (DQ) )
Elegance-and-Charm, on top of Elegance-and-Charm, on top of Elegance-and-Charm ! I couldn't believe it when I realized that the miming actress portraying Albrecht's vibrantly aristocratic fiancee in "Giselle" and the refined, sensually dancing apparition, The Oriental Dancer, in "Don Quixote" were in fact the same person!

Yulia Slivkina ( Mercedes (DQ), Fandango (DQ) )
Her Back !

And to all others--Bravi !

A few brief comments about some of the Men

Anton Korsakov
I have already mentioned his spectacular entrechats and his general gracefulness in "Giselle". These entrechats (upward jumps with feet 'flickering" together) are An Absolute Must See (!) if at all possible.

Leonid Sarafanov
Among other things, such as some fine entrechats, he performed one of his brilliant multiple turn spins coming to a perfectly controlled slow motion one foot ending in "Giselle".

Philip Stepen
At least twice he did a series of double spin jump turns, landing each one in a very fine fifth position and then instantly alighting to perform the exact same jump a second time--very impressive! Some of his other dancing in the "Giselle" "classical duet (1st Act)" was also very exciting.

Karen Ioanessian
As Espada and the Fandango Dancer in "Don Quixote" he did some extremely fine and graceful dancing.

Mikhail Berdichevsky
As the Gypsy Dancer in "Don Quixote" he danced with a compelling 'controlled craziness' somewhat in the sometimes style of Angel Corella (ABT).

Alexey Timofeev
In the "classical duet (1st Act)" of "Giselle" I felt that he had some resemblances to Leonid Sarafanov in his gracefully controlled, technically impressive dancing.

Konstantin Zverev
I personally liked his interpretation of Hans, "a woodman", in his two "Giselle" performances. For me he presented himself as a sympathetic person, quite aware of what was going on and quite concerned about Giselle's welfare. It was a convincing, and straightforward portrayal with some very fine and expressive dancing in the Wilis' scene.

Vladimir Ponomaryev
At Costa Mesa he had created the third distinct Don Quixote personality that I have viewed and it was fine.
The interpretation that I will always remember is the first one that I have seen two or three times on stage, starting several years ago, which is somewhat evident on the Tatiana Terekhova--Farouk Ruzimatov "Don Quixote" video. It was the subtlety of his facial expressions that was so remarkable. I make mention of this once again because I feel that on stage this first version was one of the most magnificently nuanced character portrayals that I have ever seen !

There was much more very fine dancing from many of the men and once again I will congratulate all the 'invisible men', who with their fine partnering in the lifts, etc., helped so much to make the women shine.

[several typo corrections--and several more again]

Author:  Buddy [ Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:30 pm ]
Post subject: 

Since we are discussing the Mariinsky currently performing in California and also the new Mariinsky ballet director, Yuri Fateev and his possible Balanchine influences at another Kirov/Mariinsky topic, I would like to briefly call attention to something.

The Miami City Ballet will also be in California the weekend after this and it might be a wonderful chance for those of us in California to see these excellent dancers exhibit what many consider to be a beautiful extension of the Mariinsky tradition and well as one of the finest interpretations of the Balanchine style.

Los Angeles October 24-26, 2008

Symphony in Three Movements (Stravinsky/Balanchine), Liturgy (Pärt/Wheeldon), Tarantella (Gottschalk/Balanchine), NIGHTSPOT (Costello/Tharp)

I hope to be there myself and have already written a very brief comment in the "Ballet in the Americas" topic area.

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