CriticalDance Forum

Kirov Ballet, 2008-2009 Season
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Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Sat Aug 09, 2008 6:04 am ]
Post subject:  Kirov Ballet, 2008-2009 Season

I'm going to transfer the last post of this season regarding programs here, as its pertain to the new season.

Sacto wrote:


The Mariinsky Theatre web site's English side just posted their first five performances of the 2008-2009 season, probably a tentative schedule:

24 Sep 2008: The Maid of Pskov (opera in three acts)

25 Sep 2008: Serenade, Symphony in C (ballets by George Balanchine)

26 Sep 2008: The Enchanted Wanderer (opera)

27 Sep 2008: Das Rheingold (first opera in the Ring tetralogy)

28 Sep 2008: La Bayadère (ballet in three Acts--definitely not the "restored" version!)

Author:  Sacto7654 [ Sat Aug 09, 2008 12:53 pm ]
Post subject: 

Thanks for the changes. Now, I might be able to find all the information for October 2008 performances soon. :)

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Sun Aug 10, 2008 1:15 am ]
Post subject: 

I have some unofficial news. Word has it that the two Ratmansky pieces -- Humpbacked Horse and Fairy's Kiss -- will be performed in the 08-09 season, and two Balanchine ballets will also make their debut, Tarantella and Violin Concerto. We will see if all four truly happen but that is the current "plan", insofar as the MT has plans...

Author:  Sacto7654 [ Sun Aug 10, 2008 5:51 am ]
Post subject: 

Catherine Pawlick wrote:
I have some unofficial news. Word has it that the two Ratmansky pieces -- Humpbacked Horse and Fairy's Kiss -- will be performed in the 08-09 season...

Are we talking about The Little Humpbacked Horse? I believe two versions premiered at MT, the 1895 version by Petipa and the 1945 version by Feodor Lupukhov in 1945. I'll take a "three day wild guess" that they'll perform the latter. The famous 1960 version from Radunsky-Shchedrin probably won't be used, since it was created for the Bolshoi troupe.

Author:  Sacto7654 [ Sun Aug 10, 2008 10:12 am ]
Post subject: 

By the way, I'm expressing some concern about Irma Nioradze, a principal dancer (who I believe is not currently that active with MT) and a native of Tbilisi, Georgia. Given the very serious situation between Russia and Georgia right now, I hope things are okay for her!

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Mon Aug 11, 2008 7:44 am ]
Post subject: 

I can't say I know where she is at the moment. I do know that she is extremely well off, married to a rich business man and they have plenty of options. Most likely (I'm guessing) she is still in St. P right now, or at a dacha.

Author:  coda [ Mon Aug 11, 2008 2:19 pm ]
Post subject: 

Irma Nioradze is neither in St. P right now nor at a dacha. She is in Riga where “Russian Seasons, 21st century”” will be shown tonight and tomorrow. She is going to dance Tamar in a reconstruction of the Fokine’s ballet. Here is the link to a report with photographs: ... 20923.html
The face of the Russian ambassador at a press conference looks rather gloomy – the journalists were asking him about the political situation in the Caucasus.
Nikolai Tsiskaridze told the press that he could not get through on the phone to his former teacher in Tbilisi because the lines had been disconnected.
It is true that Irma Nioradze is not in an immediate physical danger and that her husband is well off but it does not make them immune to the disastrous events that are developing in their native land at the moment. They have a lot to worry about their extended family back in Georgia. Rich or poor, Georgian or Russian or Ossetian – the war affects people indiscriminately. God save them all.

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:58 am ]
Post subject: 

Thanks, coda, for your detailed news update. As I suspected, she's not in Georgia. Didn't know she was dancing during European Vacation Month (August) though. That is good news for her fans.

Author:  Sacto7654 [ Thu Sep 11, 2008 7:31 pm ]
Post subject:  The Kirov name to be officially dropped.


According to the White Nights Foundation of America Fall 2008 newsletter, the Mariinsky Theatre announced they are officially dropping the Kirov name on all future appearances in the USA. I wonder will they do this to all appearances outside Russia, though.

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Sat Sep 13, 2008 2:17 am ]
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Can I say, "at long last!"? :-)

From the perspective of someone here in Petersburg, the double naming convention has been ridiculous, as you never see "Kirov" here anywhere (anymore). I appreciate the efforts towards consistency! It seems to me, as well, that they could/should make that change across the board. Why not?

Thanks for sharing that news, Sacto.

Edited to add: I will ask our powers that be if maybe this forum can act accordingly ... see what they say.

Author:  Sacto7654 [ Sat Sep 13, 2008 5:25 am ]
Post subject: 

Catherine Pawlick wrote:
From the perspective of someone here in Petersburg, the double naming convention has been ridiculous, as you never see "Kirov" here anywhere (anymore). I appreciate the efforts towards consistency! It seems to me, as well, that they could/should make that change across the board. Why not?

I'm surprised MT didn't do this as far fack as 1992, since the Mariinsky name came from the fact the theatre was named in honor the Empress Maria Alexandrovna in the first place when it opened in 1860. I wonder has MT publicly talked about celebrating the theatre's 150th anniversary in 2010.

Author:  Sacto7654 [ Sun Sep 14, 2008 10:46 pm ]
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By the way, MT has announced (provisionally, of course!) the princial dancers for the 27 September 2008 performance of Bayaderka:

Nikia - Ulyana Lopatkina
Gamzatti - Viktoria Tereshkina
Solor - Danila Korsuntsev

From what I've seen online, Lopatkina is quite good as Nikia and that could be quite a good show. 8)

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Mon Sep 15, 2008 7:39 am ]
Post subject: 

I wonder has MT publicly talked about celebrating the theatre's 150th anniversary in 2010.

Heh. They don't even know their casting for the simultaneous UK vs. California October tours... I've heard no mention of the 150th yet.

And yes, Lopatkina is amazing as Nikiya! Tereshkina fits the bill as a fantastic Gamzatti as well.

Author:  Sacto7654 [ Mon Sep 15, 2008 1:35 pm ]
Post subject: 

Catherine Pawlick wrote:
I've heard no mention of the 150th yet.

Given the way MT does things, we probably won't find out about the 150th anniversary celebration of the Mariinsky Theatre building probably until at least Fall 2009. :roll:

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Fri Sep 26, 2008 7:53 am ]
Post subject: 

2008-2009 Season Opening
Mariinsky Theatre
St. Petersburg, Russia
25 September 2008
By Catherine Pawlick

By all typical measures, the September 25th opening of the ballet season might be considered unremarkable. With two ballets that had last been performed on separate evenings in July – “Serenade”, followed by “Symphony in C” – at first glance, the program, at least, seemed to be repetitive. But anyone who drew that conclusion based on the evening’s playbill would have been greatly mistaken. A new era, a new season, and the Kirov (Mariinsky) looks fresh indeed.

With former director Makharbek Vasiev now departed from the ballet, and rehearsal coach Yuri Fateev in his place, the company launched the new season with verve, diving into two neoclassical Balanchine works and leaving their signature Vaganova mark: tidy, accurate, academic, but still lyrical.

“Serenade” never fails to please. Alexander Sergeev’s pinpoint accuracy in his partnering and execution almost outshone the ever reliable Ekaterina Osmolkina in their double work. Sergeev appears to have matured even more over the short summer break, and Osmolkina’s polish was a nice compliment to his efforts. Yulia Kasenkova might have appeared a good casting choice for the jumping-turning soloist role, however her grand jetes barely left the ground and her fingers, pressed flatly together throughout the dance, seemed awkward. Daria Vasnetsova, meek but graceful in her dancing, did justice to her demi soloist role and also appeared in the Dark Angel sequence with Denis Firsov, an old hand at this part. As Osmolkina was lifted overhead in the final sequence, it seemed as if both death and rebirth were occurring simultaneously: the mystery of “Serenade” is unarguably eternal.

“Symphony in C” crowned the evening with four brilliant movements. Its single eyesore was Alina Somova in the First Movement, and in particular her right hand, which sported hyper-extended spread fingers and a constantly bent wrist. More than one audience member was overheard at intermission discussing this oddity. Poor Maxim Zuizin, left to partner the towering Amazon whose flirtatious gaze into the orchestra distracted from the classicism of the piece. Yana Selina and Maria Shirinkina were the two saving graces as demi soloists in this section, their lines perfectly synchronized and their smiles gleaming throughout. With Alexander Sergeev and Maxim Khrebtov as their gallant cavaliers, they had much to smile about indeed.

Cool smoothness was provided in the form of Ekaterina Kondaurova, partnered by Evgeny Ivanchenko in the Second Movement. As she had done in July, Kondaurova epitomized seamless fluidity in this famous adagio section. The petite Elena Chmil and Elena Vasiokovitch partnered by Dmitry Pikhachev and Alexander Klimov fulfilled the demi soloist roles.

In the Third Movement, Olesya Novikova and Leonid Sarafanov burst on stage with bright energy. Sarafanov was intent to toy with the audience’s attention in his signature manner, a clean double tour to the knee, finished with a grin, “tadah!” Olesya found breath in the pauses between steps, lending a grace to the otherwise vivace nature of this section. Behind them Alexei Nedvega and Vasily Scherbakov partnered Evgenia Dolmatova Elena Androsova (who was mistakenly listed as Ksenia Dubrovina in the program.)

Nadezhda Gonchar appeared in royal purple in the final movement, her dancing consistent and reliable as ever. Anton Korsakov, replete with a strangely fluffed out hairstyle, seemed in a world of his own despite his partner’s presence nearby. They were accompanied by Denis Firsov and Karen Iohanessen who partnered Daria Vasnetsova and Anastasia Petushkova, respectively.

Pavel Bubelnikov led the orchestra admirably this evening. From the song that is “Serenade” through the last notes of “Symphony”, one was reminded once again why the Mariinsky is an oasis of artistic wealth inside Saint Petersburg. The home season is off to a good start.

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