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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 10:41 am 
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Catherine Pawlick wrote:
Just to close the loop, alas Lopatkina won't be in Raymonda. The 24th is Kolegova's performance, with Korsuntsev and Smekalov in his debut in this production.


The next time Lopatkina is in Raymonda MT will be packed--having seen the Ludmila Semenyaka performance on DVD it appears to be an even MORE demanding role than Odette/Odile, especially the Raymonda character rarely leaves the stage through all three Acts!


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 4:17 pm 
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Catherine, the Choreographic Miniatures group, which was associated with Leonid Yakobsen for so many years, had SHURALEH in its repertoire well past 1990 when I saw them perform it in Cairo (of all places). It was still in that company's active rep through the Askold Makarov directorship ('til about 1999/2000, when Makarov died). There is also a 90-minute condensed Russian-TV version of the last Kirov production, starring Tatiana Terekhova (Siumbike), Vadim Budarin (Ali Batir) and Nikolai Ostal'tsov (Shuraleh); bits have made their way to YouTube, I believe. In other words, the 'brain trust' of coaches and former dancers is readily available to put this together fairly quickly.

It's odd how some of the newer Mariinsky soloists -- especially those who came from other Petersburg troupes like the Maly and Eifman -- are treated almost as unofficial guests. I wonder if their contracts are somehow different, with fewer performing opportunities? We saw Smekalov and Mrs. Matvienkov once each at the recent Festival...but where on earth were MR. MATVIENKO, EVSEEVA (a top-top principal at the Maly a year ago) and KOLEGOVA? Even Ivan Kozlov -- brought in from Eifman last year -- was seen only once at the festival. Are there two tracks of Principals and Soloists -- regular and non-regular 'quasi guests'? I am beginning to think that that is the case. Almost a mentality of 'Born and Bred True Soloists' (those who have made their entire careers at the Mariinsky) and 'Guest Soloists' (the outsiders such as the Matvienkos, Evseevas and Smekalovs). Even if they are all listed on the official roster together, there seem to be parallel rosters in place. [Of course, Sarafanov is a huge exception to this theory, perhaps because he had spent only one or two years in Kiev following his graduation.]

p.s. The souvenir programme for the latest Mariinsky Festival does not include a company roster. This is the first time that the roster is omitted from the annual publication. Odd. In years past, this was my way of finding out exactly where matters stood (who's in - who's out), as it was usually more up-to-date than the roster on the Mariinsky website.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 4:33 am 
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Natalia, Anastasia Kolegova is listed for "Swan Lake" in London this summer. It's nice to see some other names there too that weren't at the Festival, like Ekaterina Osmolkina, Olesia Novikova and Anton Korsakov ("Romeo and Juliet").

http://www.victorhochhauser.co.uk/mariinsky_ballet.htm


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 5:24 am 
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Thanks for the reminder, Buddy. Kolegova appeared in a couple of Chopinianas in the April 2008 New York City tour, so they've let her out of the cage before...but not much. I am still miffed by Elena Evseeva's odd position in the company, hardly ever seen, even in St. Petersburg, after performing very often with her old company. Alas, nobody will be seeing Olesya Novikova on the stage for a good while, as she is expecting her first child. The Hochhausers should stop falsely advertising her name for the London season.

At least the casting for the Nov/Dec '08 Japan Tour is correct (no pregnant ballerinas announced). The Japan Tour opens with Somova/Schklyarov's Swan Lake in Yokohama. Also tellingly, it is the Somova/Sarafanov casting that gets the opening Humpbacked Horse -- and the one night conducted by Gergiev, with more expensive tickets -- in Tokyo. Terioshkina/Lobukhin will have the 2nd and final Humpbacked Horse with another conductor. Full tour schedule & casting here, courtesy of Japan Arts website:

http://www.japanarts.co.jp/html/2009/ba ... nglish.htm


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 5:39 am 
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Quote:
It's odd how some of the newer Mariinsky soloists -- especially those who came from other Petersburg troupes like the Maly and Eifman -- are treated almost as unofficial guests. I wonder if their contracts are somehow different, with fewer performing opportunities? We saw Smekalov and Mrs. Matvienkov once each at the recent Festival...but where on earth were MR. MATVIENKO, EVSEEVA (a top-top principal at the Maly a year ago) and KOLEGOVA? Even Ivan Kozlov -- brought in from Eifman last year -- was seen only once at the festival. Are there two tracks of Principals and Soloists -- regular and non-regular 'quasi guests'? I am beginning to think that that is the case. Almost a mentality of 'Born and Bred True Soloists' (those who have made their entire careers at the Mariinsky) and 'Guest Soloists' (the outsiders such as the Matvienkos, Evseevas and Smekalovs). Even if they are all listed on the official roster together, there seem to be parallel rosters in place. [Of course, Sarafanov is a huge exception to this theory, perhaps because he had spent only one or two years in Kiev following his graduation.] .


Evseeva danced tonight in the gala concert -- a stunning, sparkling Don Q Grand Pas with whiz-partner Andrey Batalov. So -- she's here, and she's dancing.

Kozlov has put on some weight. Possibly from dancing less. I'm not saying it's bad or good, but it's a fact. [I just finished a series of interesting interviews with various pedagogues, and the issue of body type and appearance on stage arose in almost every one. The standards are unquestionably higher here. What woudl be allowed in America is not allowed here, period.] And it may play into casting decisions now.

There are also the new casting patterns under Fateev to take into account. So there may be many reasons.

When Kolegova joined the company, she joined during the summer, and was immediately cast at home while the touring team went out and about into the world. So I think they view her that way, for the most part. It could be a personal preference too, who knows. Luckily for audience members, she has been shown on tour as well.

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p.s. The souvenir programme for the latest Mariinsky Festival does not include a company roster. This is the first time that the roster is omitted from the annual publication. Odd. In years past, this was my way of finding out exactly where matters stood (who's in - who's out), as it was usually more up-to-date than the roster on the Mariinsky website.


True. On the other hand, half the time the booklets don't have the latest information either!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 12:34 pm 
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Gala Concert
Mariinsky Theatre
St. Petersburg, Russia

12 April 2009

by Catherine Pawlick

A series of short divertissements completed the mixed bill in Sunday night's Gala Concert at the Mariinsky. Despite the rather bright debuts of Evgenia Dolmatova and Anna Lavrinenko as Fanny Cerrito and Lucille Gran, respectively, in the famous "Pas de Quatre", it was in fact Ekaterina Kondaurova who outshone the other three ballerinas in her role as the proud Maria Taglioni. Each step and gesture of Kondaurova's was perfectly executed and her natural grace remains unquestionable. Daria Vasnetsova danced Carlotta Grisi, and sadly slipped to the floor during her variation. However, overall the lovely four utilised the stylistics of Vaganova épaulement so well that the slight mishap was easily overlooked. This piece remains a symbol of the richness of balletic tradition, and it is a marvel that it is still performed on this stage.

A particular spark came from Tatiana Tkachenko in the "Talisman" pas, along with Alexander Sergeyev. Her work with coach Ninella Kurgapkina was visible in Tkachenko's finely honed delivery, technical tidiness and warm dramatism. Sergeyev's ever upright pirouettes and soaring split jetes drew in the audience; the only regret was the Talisman male costume, whose one-shoulder drape and flowing material distracted from the lines of one of the most cultivated dancers in the company.

The hottest ballerina of the moment, Viktoria Tereshkina, appeared in a fresh magenta tutu with silver dragees to perform the Corsaire Pas de Deux with newcomer Alexei Timofeyev. Coping only slightly better than in his disappointing rendition of the Bronze Idol in Tuesday night's "Bayadere", Timofeyev danced with technical instability and expressive uncertainty in his solo sequences, despite proving a decent partner. Tereshkina, aglow, offered impeccable lines and a light mood that suited the piece well.

The second half of the evening moved at first towards classicism with the Grand Pas from "The Sleeping Beauty." Anastasia Kolegova and Evgeny Ivanchenko, both clothed in pristine white with sparkling silver accents, danced this ode to Petipa with accuracy. Kolegova, whose tendu devant in pointe shoes is characterized by the entire box of her shoe touching the floor, has a body that most gymnasts would envy, but she doesn't overuse her extension as is the fashion of late. Here she etched every line with careful attention. Ivanchenko's variation did not offer the equivalent in polished footwork but his performance was nonetheless pleasing.

A special treat came in Alexei Miroshnichenko's "Tango," a sultry piece of Mediterranean flair that presented Tereshkina again, this time in sheer hose, black heels and a low-cut fringe dress next to the sleek Sergeyev as her partner. As the pair's legs interwove themselves above, over and in between each other, it became clear that both choreographer and performers had met a moment of inspiration in this short mood piece.

Next came a unique pairing: Andrey Batalov and Elena Evseeva in the Grand Pas from "Don Quixote." If ever there was a risk-taking, no-holds-barred couple, this was it. Batalov deemed it prudent to pause in each of the first two overhead lifts for added effect, drawing additional applause from the audience. His turns and jumps seemed a vehicle for his boundless source of centered energy. In complimentary fashion, Evseeva's balances lasted through extra bars of music, and her variation --with fan-- implied a dancer of not just technical but of dramatic mastery as well.

Ekaterina Kondaurova was the picture of serene mournfulness in "The Dying Swan," a role that fits her perhaps even more than she realizes. She ended her interpretation of the famous excerpt in a different pose on the floor than typically seen here. Rather than folded over as usual, instead her head and arms lay prone downstage, her legs upstage, all en diagonale, lending a more natural impression. Kondaurova's status as the next principal dancer in the troupe is already unquestionable, and now just need be recognized.

The Matvienkos -- Denis and Anastasia -- crowned the evening with "Tarantella." Oddly, the finish was anticlimactic after enjoying Leonid Sarafanov's performance in the same role just a few weeks ago. Nonetheless the Matvienko's achieved the proper mood for the finale to what was an evening of true Mariinsky talents.

Mikhail Agrest conducted.


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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 11:13 pm 
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Two belated notes:

1) I reviewed Tkachenko's reprisal of Raymonda for another publication. it was a wonderful display of the virtuosity that she has finely honed under Kurgapkina's careful watch. You can find it in Dance Europe magazine.

2) Placeholder below for Ekaterina Kondaurova's second Swan Lake, which she reprised on Wednesday night this week. The performance was absolutely flawless, I have never seen a ballerina of her age accomplish so much with THE role of all roles. More to come.


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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 6:25 am 
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Thanks, Catherine, for the updates. Great news on Tkachenko's latest triumph. To think that this performance was originally to star Irma Nioradze. Another Tkachenko last-minute surprise, like the Dryad Queen at last month's festival! Good for her!

Thank goodness that the Hochhausers have decided to grant a matinee performance of Swan Lake to Kondaurova during the August London tour. That should be one of the tour's highlights.


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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 10:09 pm 
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It will be VERY interesting to see who will be the next "definite" female ballet dancer for the O/O role at MT now that Ulyana Lopatkina appears to be starting to wind down her career. Both Kondaurova and Viktoria Tereshkina have huge followings among the MT regulars in (arguably) the best-known female soloist role in ballet history. (Mind you, I think the roles of Raymonda in the named ballet and Kitri in Don Quixote are equally demanding, though. I've seen the Bolshoi performance of Raymonda with Ludmila Semenyaka in the lead role on DVD and let's just say once Raymonda appears on-stage she rarely leaves right through three Acts!)

Which does remind me--will we see Tereshkina and Kondaurova as Raymonda in the next few years?


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PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 1:30 am 
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Thanks, Catherine, for the updates. Great news on Tkachenko's latest triumph. To think that this performance was originally to star Irma Nioradze. Another Tkachenko last-minute surprise, like the Dryad Queen at last month's festival! Good for her!


You know, the shift in casting was very last minute, and I wasn't planning to go based on the original billing, but I"m very glad I did. I can see Tkachenko blossoming into an even greater talent. She has quite the stage presence when you watch her carry a full ballet like that. It was just a pure pleasure to watch her. Mind you, she is not Lopatkina in the role, her image -- both emotionally and physically -- is so far removed from what L projects, but it was entirely unique and *hers*, it was lovely.

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Thank goodness that the Hochhausers have decided to grant a matinee performance of Swan Lake to Kondaurova during the August London tour. That should be one of the tour's highlights.


Run, do not walk, to see that performance. I'm not joking. If I were in London that would be first choice above all other castings for SL at this point. It is super news.! My prediction is Clement is going to call out Kondaurova this round, (again -- he has mentioned her before) but just as he did with Tereshkina, and then she came back and made principal. My fingers are crossed for Katya!


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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 11:43 am 
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Big news from the Mariinsky website castings page: It's Viktoria Terioshkina -- not Alina Somova -- who will debut as Juliet on June 6, the final performance of the ballet at the Mariinsky before the Amsterdam/London tour! Now I wonder if Somova will still open the Royal Opera House season as Juliet, never having danced the role? Not that dancers have not debuted major roles while on tour, in the past. This would be a huge gamble, however.


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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 10:08 am 
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NataliaN wrote:
Big news from the Mariinsky website castings page: It's Viktoria Terioshkina -- not Alina Somova -- who will debut as Juliet on June 6, the final performance of the ballet at the Mariinsky before the Amsterdam/London tour!

This is a tremendous opportunity for Tereshkina and congratulations to her! Tereshkina, may also be "Plan B" for August 3. If Mr. Fateev is a wise man, he'll either cast the Juliets in reverse order, or omit the first announced Juliet, adding Golub to the lineup.
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Now I wonder if Somova will still open the Royal Opera House season as Juliet, never having danced the role? Not that dancers have not debuted major roles while on tour, in the past. This would be a huge gamble, however.

Huge gamble? That's putting it mildly. Hopefully not. But know this: In gambling, the odds are always with the House. As far as Somova's manufactured and faux career is concerned, Fateev, is, as they say in poker, "all in." Mr. Fateev went on record in the May 12 edition of the St. Petersburg Times stating the following:
Quote:
Last autumn, Fateyev promoted Alina Somova to a principal. It was a controversial decision, as there has been a lot of criticism of Somova distorting the classical line in her dancing. Fateyev explained, “I thought that by that time Somova had really grown and deserved the status of a principal.”

That's a remarkable statement. Now weigh that statement against the full context of the article.

Source: http://www.sptimes.ru/index.php?action_ ... y_id=28987

Really? He thinks that of all the rank n' file female superior dancers under his authority, she, above all others "deserved" the Principal Dancer position? The warp speed timeline of her fast track promotion has been fully covered on this and other dance fora. If we consider her recent debuts: "Giselle," "Little Humpbacked Horse," and "Theme & Variations," just to name some of the few roles in her study list, one has to seriously question the acting Ballet Director's judgement and rationale.

Fateev contradicts himself and his policies by implying that he wishes to uphold the Maryinsky tradition, yet he pushes Somova who is the anti-thesis of all that he says he stands for. What's worse, the author of the piece fails to confront him on this "controversial" point. Once again, this puts Fateev's and the company's reputation on the edge of the precipice.
Let's think about the gravity of what's pending here. She will be the alpha and omega in London. She will be the flagship of the company. She will open and close at Covent Garden. It seems that they want to make this engagement her "Ulanova Season." Performance history and records have shown that Fateev, (and his predecessor's) hope in her "abilities," (was) and is a mistake. Should it come to pass, their plan to field her as Covent Garden's opening night Juliet is not only a huge gamble, but also a foolish and an unnecessary one. Ballet audiences deserve the best. London deserves the best; and rightfully should expect the best from this company. Even if there's one (1) chance she squeaks through, Fateev
still will not have put his best Juliets' feet forward.


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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 1:17 pm 
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Cygne wrote:
Fateev contradicts himself and his policies by implying that he wishes to uphold the Maryinsky tradition, yet he pushes Somova who is the anti-thesis of all that he says he stands for. What's worse, the author of the piece fails to confront him on this "controversial" point. ...


Author? Confront? Please do not make me laugh, cygne.


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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 3:17 am 
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If Mr. Fateev is a wise man, he'll either cast the Juliets in reverse order, or omit the first announced Juliet, adding Golub to the lineup.


That would be the best case scenario for us Londoners and I wonder if giving Tereshkina the opportunity to dance Juliet prior to the London season means that Fateyev has finally woken up and smelt the coffee. It is also worth bearing in mind that the impresario for this season is Lillian Hochhauser; a women with a finger on the pulse of public opinion. If she has been criticized in the past for her conservative choices of repertoire, knowing full well that back to back Swan Lakes sell, then I am certain that she is aware of the public disquiet concerning Somova and she above all others wouldn't want a Covent Garden first night beginning with the balletic equivalent to a car crash.


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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 7:12 am 
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Cassandra wrote:
... I am certain that she is aware of the public disquiet concerning Somova and she above all others wouldn't want a Covent Garden first night beginning with the balletic equivalent to a car crash.


Common sense may prevail! This sounds very promising although it's still early to throw a party. Nothing is certain with Mariinsky casting until the curtain rises and we truly see who is up on the stage.

On the other hand, I just received my 2009/2010 Kennedy Center Ballet Series subscription brochure and guess who is the 'poster girl' for the Mariinsky's run of Sleeping Beauty-1952s? Yup - Somova. I counted no less than three colour photos of her including one in 190-degree penchee during the Rose Adagio, of all things!? So that is the image of Aurora in 2009? Sad.


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