CriticalDance Forum

Kirov-Mariinsky Festival 2011
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Author:  Buddy [ Tue May 03, 2011 3:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kirov-Mariinsky Festival 2011

I really hope that she doesn't mind, but at 'you know where' Ekaterina Kondaurova is dancing the black swan. I've been watching it all day. Take a glimpse and see what all the fuss is about.

Author:  Buddy [ Thu May 05, 2011 10:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Kirov-Mariinsky Festival 2011

Some Personal Musings

(see "Festival")


Author:  Buddy [ Fri May 06, 2011 4:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Kirov-Mariinsky Festival 2011

Alina Somova -- "Diamonds"

She will continue, I'm sure, to be one of my outstanding memories from the Festival. Her performance of "Diamonds," for me, was just absolutely beautiful !

It was a very refined interpretation -- very highly crafted. It was not really a Suzanne Farrell sort of thing, although she seems to have been aware of how a Suzanne Farrell would have done it because at times she definitely made reference to what Suzanne Farrell would have done. For instance there were some Suzanne Farrell type backbends included but very selectively.

I would call Alina Somova's interpretation, definitely a Mariinsky interpretation. There was "Swan Lake" gracefulness, refinement and sensitivity throughout.

Yet the way that she composed her moves was definitely of her choosing and this is what made it so compelling. Again it was one of those things that you would have to see for yourself to really relate to.

The way that she superimposed her Mariinsky refinement and grace onto the George Balanchine format of freer expression was done with such beauty of imagery and poetry of motion. She just filled up the space around her with gorgeously articulate motion, with sculpturally compelling definition, reaching out, designing herself and the space that she moved through and so poetically tying it all together.

Just Beautiful !

Author:  Buddy [ Sun May 08, 2011 4:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kirov-Mariinsky Festival 2011

As I've briefly written already there was such a uniform 'highest' quality to this Festival. The 'stars' varied from night to night, but there was such a sense of fineness always going on in the background. The Corps de Ballet was consistently wonderful. Considering that these dancers performed six of the companies full length classics, plus "Diamonds," plus some of them were probably appearing in the three performances of "Le Parc," all in 11 days, it's almost amazing !

Also adding a remarkable sense of fineness were the soloists, pairs, etc., who were there every night.

I would like to mention again the three young ladies, who for me, were right up there with the best of the company. They were Oksana Skorik, Daria Vasnetsova and Maria Shirinkina and they were everywhere !

What did they do ?

I'm glad that you asked.

Oksana Skorik

One of the Two Swans Dancers -- Act II, "Swan Lake."
** The Dryad Queen -- "Don Quixote." ** ( Hooray !! )
* Princess Florine in the Bluebird Duet -- "Sleeping Beauty." * ( Brava ! )

Daria Vasnetsova

In Group of Seven Dancers at the Palace -- Act II, "La Bayadere."
In One of the Two Pairs of Dancers at the Wedding -- Act III, "La Bayadere."
One of the Four Big Swans -- Act II, "Swan Lake."
* Street Dancer -- "Don Quixote." * (Brava ! )
** Myrta -- "Giselle." ** ( Hooray !! )

Maria Shirinkina

One of the Four Bayaderes -- Act I, "La Bayadere."
One of the Prince's Friends in The Dance for Three -- Act I, "Swan Lake."
One of the Four Little Swans (with famous arm in arm dance) -- Act II, "Swan Lake."
* In the First Couple -- "In the Night." * (Brava ! )
Duet -- Act I, "Giselle."

This Is Part Of The Next Generation And It Is Exciting !!

While going through my programs to find these names, another name seemed to appear at least once on every page.

Yep !

Yana Selina

If there is a backbone to the Mariinsky, it has to be her ! I don't even want to start listing the number of parts that she danced.

And in Close Second

Valeria Martynyuk

I'm used to seeing her as Manu (the water jug on her head dancer) in "La Bayadere" and Amour in "Don Quixote," but this year she was also a Swan and Fairies and who knows what else. I believe that Natalia mentioned somewhere that she is an incredible jumper. This is something that I never noticed before -- but somewhere -- she was sailing ! ( It might have been as one of the Fairies (she did two of them -- do "Sleeping Beauty" Fairies jump? -- I can't recall.), or was it a Swan (I believe that some of them do (?)), or.... )

This reminded me of Ekaterina Osmolkina several years ago in New York City. It might have been in "Diana and Acteon"(?) where the amazing air-born wonder, Mikhail Lobukhin (where is he now?) had just completed a series of cloud piercing jumps and was taking in the ovations, when out of nowhere came Ekaterina Osmolkina, seeming to sail over his head and blowing me away ! Two nights in a row. I didn't know that she could do that !

So that's some of what went on in the ' background.'

The only time that I would lose sight of all this wonder was when someone like Ekaterina Kondaurova was dancing and then I would lose sight of everything except her. Same for Alina Somova, who mainly danced wonderful duets, so fortunately I could keep my eye on everyone else as well.

A song to all those in front from all those in back.


if you're lost you can look--and you will find me
time after time
if you fall I will catch you--I'll be waiting
time after time

(Cyndi Lauper)

Author:  Buddy [ Mon May 09, 2011 3:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Kirov-Mariinsky Festival 2011

Viktoria Tereshkina

What would the Mariinsky be without her !

As I wrote earlier there is nothing more that I can really say about her Aurora ("Sleeping Beauty") than it was Excellent(!) in every way !

Victory indeed !

Also in "Le Parc" and "Tchaikovsky Pas De Deux" she was Right On Marvelous !

I Love Her !

There are a couple asides that I would like to mention.

Some of the artists really find themselves totally immersed in their character even during the final ovations. Natalia Makarova in her interview at the Mariinksy site said that she would spend as much as two weeks immersing herself into her character. As totally committed and convincing as Viktoria Tereshkina is on stage, the minute that the curtain comes down and the applause begin -- She Is A Sunburst -- All Smiles !

There's no getting lost in the character for this beautiful performer. She reminds me somewhat of Svetlana Lunkina (Bolshoi) and Alina Cojocaru (Royal Ballet) in this respect. The minute that the curtain is down and the applause begins they are as naturally lovable and appreciative as can be.

Also she is everywhere off stage, like an Ambassador for the Mariinsky. In Chicago, a few years ago, during a "Swan Lake" series, it was her and Igor Kolb, who came out on stage almost immediately after their performance along with Artistic Director Makhar Vasiev to discuss the performance with the audience.

Of all the Mariinsky artists that I have noticed over the years, she and Ekaterina Kondaurova, often together, are the most seen in the audiences. They really seem to care about what the other artists are doing and their presence always seems to be a sign of respect and appreciation. In addition they have both been at almost every one of the Festival receptions that I've attended. On or off stage, as much as anyone, they seem to represent the 'soul' of the Mariinsky .

Author:  Buddy [ Tue May 10, 2011 1:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Kirov-Mariinsky Festival 2011

Believe it or not, I think that I have sort of covered it.

There are a few more things that I would like to mention.

"Le Parc" -- This work by Agelin Preljocaj I thought was a Masterpiece of dance juxtapositioning, changing of realities and dream state transcendence in response to the magnificent music of Mozart, as interpreted with wonderful sophistication by the Mariinsky dancers.

Ulyana Lopatkina -- She didn't dance a full length ballet, but in the not totally 'classical' works, "In The Night" and "The Fragments From One Biography," she still showed that she is probably one of the finest 'classical' dancers ever !

Anastasia Petushkova, 'character dancer,' who Natalia loves so much, was more animated and Wow inspiring than I've ever seen her as the Indian dancer in "La Bayadere." An amazing ball of high art fireworks !

All the Mariinsky 'Stars,' that were present, were consistently outstanding as usual, with some of them, such as Alina Somova and Ekaterina Kondaurova, noticably extending their artistic horizons with magnificent substance and marvelous beauty.

"Tarantella" -- Ashley Bouder and Denis Matvienko.

Of the many exceptional Gala performances, this one, along with "Diamonds" and "Tchaikovsky Pas De Deux" and "The Fragments From One Biography" and "Grand Pas Classique" and....(oh well)....was one of the ones that I enjoyed the most.

Ashley Bouder -- This time she was completely in her element and it was a delight. In an article that she just wrote, she says the following, that so well describes herself and probably many other performing artists.

"I am always trying to perfect my technique. I don’t think this is unusual. In fact, I think it is the most boring answer a dancer can give when asked what they strive for. But nonetheless, it is absolutely true and a constant thought and force in my life."

"I am a ball of energy when I get onstage, usually. I can’t help it. Something happens to me in that space between the wing and the stage and I come alive. Something lights up and there is no stopping it. I’m the first to admit that I get carried away. And by carried away, I mean CARRIED AWAY. I know that leads to an overexertion and certain ‘punchiness’ to my dancing. But in my defense, it comes from a good place. I truly love what I do. I love dancing and performing, which is why I’ve made it my life."

Denis Matvienko -- Although Ashley Bouder, coming from the world of Balanchine, may have best captured the speed of light frenzy of this Balanchine explosion, Denis Matvienko admirably hung in there. He gave it his own personal touch of spectacularity at the beginning, when he sailed so gracefully and magnificently into the air, that it seemed as if he might actually get caught in the rafters.

The Guys -- I have to admit once again that I don't really focus on them. I guess I leave that mainly up to the women. All I can say, in sincere appreciation, is where would the women, that I love so much on stage, possibly be without them !

If anyone has some questions or would like to know more about who did what, I will try my best to respond.

I will probably find something else that I 'need' to mention, but for now I think that this does it.

The Heavenly Dancer

with the beauty of a sunny day
and the easiness of a gentle wave
echoes the hearts swirling currents
to bring life to some of the most beautiful of our fondest dreams

From the interview cited above with Yuri Fateyev, Artistic Director of the Mariinsky Ballet.

Question - " What is the festival of the Mariinsky for the audience - the concept? And what does it mean for the theater? "

Yuri Fateyev - " Festival - a concentrated cluster of performances, when the company shows its capacity to two hundred percent. "

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