CriticalDance Forum

9th Mariinsky International Festival, 14-22 March 2009
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Author:  NataliaN [ Sun Mar 01, 2009 10:56 am ]
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I'll be there for the Corsaire, Buddy. Great cast, too! I guessed correctly on Dennis M. though not his wife...but Irina Perren is even better. It's a win-win situation. :)

I am not sure that I would want to see Nina in her present shape. She was better last summer, when you saw her. She has lost the back-flexibility that is so essential to Odette, in particular. The showing in DC was rather sad, despite the Wash Post's kind review.

Wasn't Lacarra sheduled for one of the Swan Lakes at last year's festival, then had to cancel? Perhaps I am mixing this up with one of last year's NYC galas, where she and her husband-partner had to cancel due to injury to one or both of them.

Author:  NataliaN [ Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:17 am ]
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Mystery over. Tereshkina will lead the Swan Lake. Still no Prince, though. ... 18/1_1900/

We also have more complete casting for Bayadere; Anastasia Matvienko will be Gamsatti. ... 20/1_1900/

Author:  Buddy [ Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:24 pm ]
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Thanks for the latest information, Natalia.

I'm not sure about Lucia Lacarra's past performances. She looked fine and agile to me at last year's Gala as did Nina (amazingly so!) in NYC last summer.

Viktoria Tereshkina will be pretty busy at this Festival. In NYC, last April, she was the best that I've seen her. Not only did she seem technically fine, but she showed a great deal of personality and sensitivity in her dancing and her character. As I recall, at the beginning, there was at least one series of nightly excerpts, when she was performing a different lead every night. In Costa Mesa, last summer, she really let loose with the 'fireworks' when she wanted to. I very much look forward to seeing her again this year.

It's nice to see that Anastasia Matvienko will be dancing. She will be Gamsatti in "La Bayadere". I saw her in New York over a year ago and liked her very much. That's also the first time that I saw Lucia Lacarra and I was very impressed.

Irina Golub and Nadezhda Gonchar will be doing a Pas de Trois ("Swan Lake") and Three Shades ( "La Bayadere"). I guess Irina Golub is a rarety at US performances? Daria Vasnetsova (Three Shades, "La Bayadere") can do some lovely dancing. It would be nice to see Yulia Bolshakova ressurected.

[corrected above--Viktoria Tereshkina and the Mariinsky were in NYC last April--and a comment added about her performing different leads]

Author:  jpc [ Mon Mar 02, 2009 9:15 am ]
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Buddy wrote:
PS II--For anyone arriving a day early here is what's happening at the Mikhailovsky Theatre. ... 2009-03-13

Buddy, how did you find out the casting (for Corsaire) on the 13th?
I'm going on the 15th, but can't find the casting on the Mikhailovsky website. (I did send a email with the question to "Friends of the Mikhailovsky"; but no answer yet).

Author:  Buddy [ Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:21 am ]
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jpc wrote:
Buddy, how did you find out the casting (for Corsaire) on the 13th?
I'm going on the 15th, but can't find the casting on the Mikhailovsky website. (I did send a email with the question to "Friends of the Mikhailovsky"; but no answer yet).

Hi jpc,

Apparently they have now removed the "Le Corsaire" castings. The names were at the bottom of each page. They may be doing some rearranging. It wasn't Irina Perren or Anastasia Matvienko as Madora that they 'had' listed for the 15th.

Author:  Buddy [ Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:47 am ]
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PS--I may be adding things to this post as I discover them so look back later if you want. There is a 'wealth' of new information released today at the Mariinksy site.

Kitri("Don Quixote")=Viengsay Valdés--Ballet Nacional de Cuba

PS--There are a lot of new names posted here. Have a look--'Alina', 'Yevgenia O', 'Leonid', 'Vladimir M', 'Angel'.... ... mariinsky/


Music by George Gershvin
Choreography by George Balanchine
Lighting designer – Igor Yakushev
Conductor – Alexander Novikov
Performed by Igor Zelensky, Elena Lytkina, Natalia Yershova, Anna Zharova and artists of the Novosibirsk State Opera and Ballet Theatre

Choreographic miniatures, scenes and pas de deux from the classical ballets
Conductor – Mikhail Agrest
Performed by  Ulyana Lopatkina, Diana Vishneva, Viktoria Tereshkina, Yevgenia Obraztsova, Angel Corella, Marcelo Gomes, Vladimir Malakhov, Leonid Sarafanov, Ivan Kozlov

A classical ballet
Music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky
Choreography by George Balanchine (1947)
Staging by Francia Russel
Costumes by Galina Solovieva
Lighting design by Vladimir Lukasevich
Conductor – Mikhail Agrest
Performed by Alina Somova, Vladimir Shklyarov and artists of the Mariinsky Ballet


"....Zelensky's Novosibirsk Ballet Theatre...."

Catherine wrote about them last November ... wlick.html

Viengsay Valdés--Kitri

"Legendary director Alicia Alonso spotted Valdés' talent, and invited her to join the Ballet Nacional de Cuba. She was 17. A year later, she was promoted to the position of principal dancer.

In July 2001, Alonso promoted Ms Valdés to the category of first dancer (primera bailarina), becoming one of the four top female dancers in the company. She toured to important theatres in Spain and the United States."

"In February 2008, in his first newspaper article after announcing his formal retirement as President of Cuba, Fidel Castro wrote: "A few days ago, someone gave me a filmed version of 'Swan Lake', a subject about which I am far from being an expert, but which in the current circumstances constitutes a very agreeable way of forgetting almost all the time. I observed for almost two hours the incredible performance of the greatest interpreter of this ballet in the world: Viengsay Valdes, daughter of a Cuban diplomatic couple, who gave her the name in honor of a region of Laos where they were representing Cuba. One European critic described it as an unrepeatable performance. I think the same. I never conceived of such amazing elegance and flexibility, with perfect precision."

"Valdes' performances have received outstanding reviews from the world's leading dance critics, including Anna Kisselgoff and Jennifer Dunning of the New York Times, and Lewis Segal of the Los Angeles Times and others."

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia--the "http" below doesn't seem to work from this site, but you can Google the information)és

March 15--"The Little Humpbacked Horse"

Ivanushka – Leonid Sarafanov
Tsar-Maiden – Alina Somova
Little Humpbacked Horse – Alexander Kulikov
Tsar – Roman Skripkin

Valery Gergiev

He will be conducting for both performances of "The Little Humpbacked Horse" (Music: Rodion Shchedrin)

This will be the first time that he has conducted at any of the Festivals that I have attended (the last four) unless I missed something.

Viengsay Valdés as Kitri

"Sarah Crompton wrote in the Daily Telegraph of the same performance: "In Viengsay Valdés and Joel Carreño, the company has two principals of world class, and they sparkle with animation and skill as Kitri and her love. Her balances are endless and triumphantly held; her turns so quicksilver fast you lose track of when they started. The moment when she slowly unfolds an unsupported arabesque in the grand pas de deux at the close is magical; a triumph both of rock-solid technique and a personality that fills the theatre." "

"In April, 2008, Valdes performed in front of the Giza Pyramids, Egypt, in the first ever professional ballet performance on the open-air stage there. As Kitri in Don Quichotte, she danced beneath the gaze of the Sphinx."

and more

"Ismene Brown, in The Daily Telegraph reviewed her 2005 performance....

"The beautiful Valdés takes the celebrated Cuban balancing and turning ability to the highest degree. When she spins, Carreño whips her like a top into a smiling blur. When she strikes an arabesque, arms flamboyantly high, leg at a perfect 90 degrees, head thrown laughingly back, she simply hangs there while time studies its fingernails. In Havana, watchers applaud ecstatically; in London, there was the dead silence of mass incredulity." "

"Mary Ellen Hunt wrote in Dance Magazine: "Cuban ballerina Viengsay Valdes could be justly famous for her rock-solid eternal balances, thrilling multiple turns, and bravura technique. But in an age of superlative technicians,

it's the passion and heart that Valdes brings to her dancing that has captivated audiences from Havana to Paris....

Valdes made an auspicious debut as Kitri in Don Quixote at the age of 19, under the demanding tutelage of Alicia Alonso. Since then, she's polished all international reputation, partnering with such danseurs as Carlos Acosta, Jose Manuel Carreno, and Giuseppe Picone, and winning enthusiastic critical praise." "

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Author:  Buddy [ Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:08 am ]
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"Strike Up the Band," "Sweet and Low Down," "Somebody Loves Me," "Bidin' My Time," "'S Wonderful," "That Certain Feeling," "Do Do Do," "Lady Be Good," "The Man I Love," "Build a Stairway to Paradise," "Embraceable You," "Fascinatin' Rhythm," "Who Cares?," "My One and Only," "Liza,"  and "I Got Rhythm."

Performed by

The Novosibirsk State Opera and Ballet Theatre


Siberia !

See the photo--It Swings ! ... 22/1_1900/

Not as strange as it may seem. Igor Zelensky, one of the world's most famous ballet dancers and the Artistic Director of the Novosibirsk State Opera and Ballet Theatre, lived and danced for 12 years in New York City. He was a Principal dancer at the home of George Balanchine, the New York City Ballet, for 6 years. George Balanchine choreographed "Who Cares?" to the sixteen tunes listed above by George Gershwin.

So on March 22, as part of the Gala evening, we'll be treated to 40 minutes of Siberia socking it to the Classical-Broadway World of New York City at perhaps the most famous Classical Dance Festival in the world in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

I'm guessing that it will be 'darn' good. I, for one, am delighted with the idea !

"Strike Up the Band' and "Build a Stairway to Paradise" !


Author:  Buddy [ Sat Mar 07, 2009 10:09 am ]
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At the evening Gala Dmitri Gudanov (guest from the Bolshoi) will be performing "The Crane" dance from Alexey Ratmansky's "Dreams About Japan". (Posted by Sophia at "Dansomanie" (in French)). ... php?t=4030

I saw "Dreams About Japan" performed by one of Nina Ananiashvili's tour groups several years ago in London. Of the Alexey Ratmansky works that I have seen this is perhaps the most interesting. It is a voyage into the world of classical Japanese 'expression', interpreted in ballet form.

I very much like seeing 'lyrically' beautiful dance from other cultures and seeing how it can be compared to, and even intergrated with, the most common form of 'lyrically' beautiful dance with which we are familiar in the 'West', ballet. From my very limited viewing of Japanese theater, there seems to be a strong element of physical lyricism in such theater forms as No and Kabuki.

In "Dreams About Japan" I believe that Alexey Ratmansky has made a sincere and thoughtful effort to 'internationalize' this 'lyrical' form of expression and translate it into a more "Western' world form of expression.

I feel that Dmitri Gudanov's performance will be a very interesting addition to, and in the spirit of, what is officially tited the "IX International Ballet Festival MARIINSKY."

[several minor grammar corrections]

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:34 pm ]
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Thanks for the news Buddy. This is an exciting addition to the program!

Author:  Buddy [ Thu Mar 12, 2009 7:33 am ]
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You're very welcome, Catherine, and best wishes.

I just noticed at the official Mariinsky site that Viktoria Tereshkina danced in the Forsythe mile-a-minute "In The Middle Someone Elevated" last night. In two nights she will be dancing in "The Little Humpbacked Horse" which once featured Maya Plisetskaya. Four days later she will be dancing "Swan Lake", that once featured Galina Ulyanova on the same stage. Did Anna Pavlova ever dance this at the Mariinsky?

This is a lot of ground to cover, comparatively, physically and stylistically. As I mentioned above, if she does anything like she did in New York City last April, at one point dancing a different excerpted lead each night, she should be quite something.

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Thu Mar 12, 2009 12:21 pm ]
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I have the preliminary program/casting for the gala on the 22nd, for the divertissements:

Pas de Deux from Manon, Tereshkina and Gomes
Tarantella, G. Murphy and Sarafanov
Le Park, Vishneva and Malakhov
Flames of Paris, Golub and Lobukhin
Fanny, Lopatkina and Kolb
Don Q Grand Pas, Obrastsova and Angel Corella

Then, as we know, Theme & Variations, with Somova and Schklyarov.

This is, as always, tentative and highly subject to change.


A brief look at Ratmansky's "Horse" this afternoon revealed a colorful and comical ballet -- it will be very exciting to see all of it just two nights hence!

Author:  NataliaN [ Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:05 pm ]
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Thanks, Catherine. Glad that the LHH rehearsals are progressing.

Tonight is the premiere of Ruzimatov's new CORSAIRE at the Maly-Mikhailovsky starring (heaven help him) Ruzimatov himself! I guess that he had to brush-up the old dancing shoes once Matvienko left?

Edited to add:

The Mikhailovsky site now lists the cast for the premiere. Thankfully NOT Ruzimatov!

Medora – Irina Perren
Gulnara – Sabina Yapparova
Conrad – Artyom Pykhachov
Ali – Aidos Zakan
Lankedem – Alexander Omar
Birbanto – Andrey Kasyanenko

Conductor: Anatoly Rybalko

Author:  Buddy [ Wed Mar 18, 2009 2:42 pm ]
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I have somewhat limited internet access here so I haven't been able to read any other comments. Very briefly of the several performances that I have been able to see at the Mariinsky....

Viktoria Tereskina


Absolutely Magnificent !!!!

Viengsay Valdes--Kitri

Excellent Performance !

She showed all the control and balance for which she is famous and it was done in such a humanly natural manner. She has a Delightfully Radiant stage presence with a Huge Beaming Smile that is 100% genuine.

A Lovely, Lovely Performer !

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Thu Mar 19, 2009 4:35 am ]
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I agree Buddy. We were also treated to a last minute replacement: Tatiana Tkachenko replacing Somova as Queen of the Dryads. Tkachenko was in top form, more lovely than I"ve ever seen her AND the audience roared for her during the reverence. Konstantine Zverev was spicy hot as Espada.

I'm reviewing for another publication so won't post full reviews here, but I will post my impressions as time permits.

About Ratmansky, I was very impressed with his Pierrot Lunaire on Monday night. It received mixed-to-poor reviews in the US on tour, but changes have been made to the costumes and sets that seem to have made a world of difference. Vishneva seemed in her element in this piece like I"ve not seen of her in any classical work to date. She was the mercurial doll, with cutely coiffed hair in two buns below her ears and a center part, clothed in a simple short sleeve black short skirted dress. The men wore black pants and sleek (almost Spanish looking) white long-sleeved shirts. The backdrop had an antique rose-and-cupid Italian painting above a thick swatch of black (the painting beginning just above the dancers' heads, upstage, so their bodies were essentially against a black backdrop as they danced). The intricate choreography, quickly changing moods and the VERY attentive partnering all combined into a unique whole. Ratmansky deserves an award for this very intriguing work.

I agree also that Viengsay was amazing on Tuesday night. I was only dismayed she wasn't able to take more time in her balances. I was treated to her rehearsals and the woman can truly hold a balance forever.

Last night Staatsoper of Berlin and former Stuttgart dancer Dmitry Kaniskin danced with Vika T in SL. I've seen Vika so many times as Odette/Odile now, that there was nothing new or surprising in her performance - she was consistently beautiful and perfect as always. Her partner was quite expressive/emotive as Siegfried and quite reliable.

More to come.

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Thu Mar 19, 2009 4:42 am ]
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Just a note that the gala performers have changed a bit for Sunday. I will post an update later with the new list, but in short, Gillian Murphy is not coming and Sarafanov will dance Tarantella with Gonchar. Details to come.

Tonight is Lopatkina's gala, which begins with Diamonds, and then goes onto various divertissements. It should prove fantastic.

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