CriticalDance Forum

Mariinsky to Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall: Oct. 10-14, 2012
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Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky to Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall: Oct. 10-14, 2012

"Swan Lake"
Mariinsky Ballet
Zellerbach Hall, Berkeley, CA
10 October 2012
by Catherine Pawlick

The richness of Russian Imperial ballet traditions returned to the Bay Area on this week as the Mariinsky Ballet offered thirsty ballet connoisseurs a long anticipated drink of beauty and magic.

Following on the heels of the Costa Mesa opening, the Berkeley stop offers a meager 6 performances, the briefest of opportunities to behold this visual salve in the purest form of classical tradition. As Mariinsky followers know, no American company can claim the heritage that the Mariinsky-Kirov troupe holds in history, and even Russia's great Bolshoi offers a bolder style to its patrons. Our audiences are educated in Balanchine and contemporary choreography, but few have seen the spectacle of snow white swans depicting Tchaikovsky's every note in perfect unison, and that, stemming from the very source where "Swan Lake" was created.

A full house welcomed the magnificent Mariinsky orchestra on Wednesday as it played the first notes to this famous score with principal dancer Ekaterina Kondaurova at its helm as Odette/Odile. Kondaurova has been with the company for 12 years, and only received a long overdue promotion to principal this June. Blessed with bright blue eyes and auburn hair, she is not only strikingly beautiful, but a technical master of her art (32 fouettés, with the first 16 in a single-single-double pattern, and nary a waver). Seamless flexibility, supple arches, an easy extension allow her to move through classical choreography with ease, but here, her perfect proportions set her apart from many others. Kondaurova's flawless technique has been unquestionable since graduation from the Vaganova Academy, but for the Mariinsky, that is the baseline with which every dancer joins the company, and the standards are high indeed. In Kondaurova's case, it is her manner of expression, the increased maturity and depth which she infuses into roles which has won her accolades. As Odette, she enters the stage as a stunning vision of purity -an endlessly pliant spine, and long, graceful limbs in that pristine white tulle - and one tinged with shyness and vulnerability. Her hesitation and reserve upon encountering the Prince made clear that this Odette was not one to trust a Man too quickly. Throughout the White Swan pas de deux, fluidity - her port de bras are unsurpassed - and impeccable timing created a dreamlike vision: this is the way the role should be performed. In contrast, her conspicuously cunning Odile accented the dance with quick snaps of the head and sly glances, luring Siegfried ever closer into her web, relentless in her goal. A personal touch came in a moment of leaning in to hear advice whispered from Rothbart, before continuing onto her ultimate goal: persuading Siegfried to betray his vow to Odette. In Act III, as if another dancer entirely, Kondaurova's Odette then gained further in tenderness and warmth; or perhaps it only seemed so, given the stark contrast with her darkly shrewd Odile.

Danila Korsuntsev is the requisite prince on the Mariinsky roster these days. A frequent partner to Lopatkina when he is dancing at home in Saint Petersburg, Korsuntsev is in many ways the ideal Siegfried: tall, dark, handsome, with long limbs and upper body strength to lift even the tallest ballerina in the troupe. While some say his expression is lacking, in fairness the role does not offer a great deal of acting meat, and the result tends to land in one of two categories: a bland Prince, or an overly excitable "under-aged" one. In fact Korsuntsev always emanates reserved nobility, fitting for both his position as one of the senior principal dancers in the troupe, and for this role itself. When he unleashes the manège of split jetés in Act II, and those endless limbs cut through space, it becomes apparent why he was chosen for the role.

The Jester in this production serves as glue within the libretto to a certain extent, tying in the various entries and exits of other characters (Siegfried's mother, his friends, and his tutor, among them). On Wednesday, Vasily Tkachenko performed the role with endearing lightness. Tkachenko's beautiful legs enable him to pull off five pirouettes with ease and infuse his airborne movements with plenty of ballon. But it was his lighthearted, teasing manner that gained audience favor.

Questions abounded at the first intermission, requests for the names of certain dancers, discussion of the company's superb upper body épaulement and port de bras, or the challenges of the choreography. More than one critic requested the name of one of the cygnets - Svetlana Ivanova - whose expressive footwork in the very brief pas de quatre nonetheless drew the attention of those who follow the details.

The Pas de Trois casting is not the same that the company offered in Saint Petersburg for the last 5 months of their 2011-2012 season. Alexander Popov, blessed with perfect legs, led this trio alongside Maria Shirinkina and Nadezhda Batoeva. The two girls could not be more opposite in temperament or physique. Shirinkina, often described as a sparrow, is one of the shortest ladies in the company and currently being groomed for principal status. She's at least 6 years into her tenure with the troupe and already dancing leading roles (Juliet among them). Batoeva is taller, about 3 years younger, and a reliable spitfire who can pull off pirouettes seemingly without thinking; her approach is less detailed, and more carefree, but refreshing and no less accurate. The range of temperaments in this Pas de Trois offered an invigorating look at the diapason of talent within the troupe.

Tall and lean Konstantin Zverev, in the past chosen by Lopatkina to be one of her partners, was given the role of Rothbart for this evening. Although stage time is shorter for Rothbart than for other heroes in the libretto, his taxing choreography requires both strength and dramatic presence. Zverev offers both, which places the battle between Odette, Siegfried and the Evil Sorcerer on even ground.

If the standing ovation at the end of the evening was any indication, Bay Area audiences are starved for pure classicism of this kind. It has been four years since the Mariinsky graced our stage, but it was worth the wait.

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky to Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall: Oct. 10-14, 2012

bcx wrote:
Indeed, Catherine, Kondaurova, was extraordinary in her grace and power Wednesday night; I was grateful to have seen her live the first time in such a masterful performance. Of course I was disappointed when Lopatkina and Tereshina had to cancel, and frankly I wasn’t expected too much from this tour to our provincial Berkeley theater—too large for the audience and too small for the dancers (San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House is the only local venue worthy of the Mariinsky. Let’s hope they are at least having company class at SFB’s spacious studios across the Bay.) Instead of my favorite stars from the Mariinsky I’m looking forward to new faces--Kolegova tonight and Skorik on Saturday night (to see for myself what all the fuss is about). I must say the company itself was looking very sharp and the orchestra played splendidly under Mikhail Agrest on Wednesday. Unfortunately, I couldn’t identify Keenan Kampa (I enjoyed your feature article on her in the Chronicle). Where is she in the line of Big Swans? I heard she is dancing Myrtha in St Petersburg four times once the US tour is over—one of the most demanding roles in the repertory.

Looking forward to your review of the entire Berkeley run!

Hi Bcx,
Buddy already answered the question, but for more detail, in Act I she is the second from upstage (or the third from downstage) on the left, during the Adagio. In the Act II princesses (at the end of the dance in the lineup), she's the second from the left.

Buddy, you put it really well "gets the job done without flash" - I like that, perfectly said.

Author:  bcx [ Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky to Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall: Oct. 10-14, 2012

"in Act I [Keenan] is the second from upstage (or the third from downstage) on the left, during the Adagio. In the Act II princesses (at the end of the dance in the lineup), she's the second from the left."

Thanks, Catherine, and Buddy, for your help!

Buddy, sorry you can't be in Berkeley for this part of the tour. Venues do affect performances and I'd have been interested in your impresseions of the company here. You get around more than any balletomane I know. Are you following the company to the Kennedy Center? Would love to see the Mariinsky’s Cinderella there.

Catherine, I don’t think the dance floor at Zellerbach is cement. In spite of its space limitations, many great dance companies come here year after year and I doubt they would tolerate it. Zellerbach was a second home to SFB when the Opera House was being restored after the Loma Prieta earthquake. The floor is small and noisy, that’s for sure. But, like you, I pray for no injuries.

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky to Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall: Oct. 10-14, 2012

I'm relieved if it's not cement!! )) The dancers were complaining it is very hard -- I am sure it is, as they have very well made floors in Russia ("sprung") which have a lot more give. Not to mention the bonus of a raked stage which makes the downstage section of maneges a walk in the park (my point of view).

The company is already squeezing in Cinderella rehearsals now in between their company classes and performances this week in Berkeley. So they hit the ground running once they land in Dulles (or National or whereever they land).

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky to Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall: Oct. 10-14, 2012

Lou Fancher reviews the Wednesday, October 10, 2012 performance for Berkeleyside.


Author:  Buddy [ Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky to Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall: Oct. 10-14, 2012

Thanks, Catherine, for another very fine review. I plan to reread it more carefully and perhaps offer a few thoughts.

In my opinion, that you Personally liked, even loved, what you saw (for whatever reason), is what really matters.

Author:  Buddy [ Sat Oct 13, 2012 10:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky to Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall: Oct. 10-14, 2012

Bcx, as you may have guessed by now, I haven't been to the Berkeley performances. I live at the other end of the state, otherwise I'd be there without question. I hadn't seen any performing arts in over six months so I certainly was looking forward to Costa Mesa. Seven Swan Lakes at over three hours each is a lot, but it was worth every minute !

I won't be going to DC for the Cinderella either. I would have loved to have seen Alina Somova, but she won't be there. I'm sure that Daria Pavlenko, Ekaterina Osmolkina and Maria Shirinkina will make this version of Cinderella a real pleasure to experience. Ekaterina Kondaurova in her one appearance as the Stepmother along with Alexandra Iosifidi (whom I enjoyed very much in the role almost ten years ago) and Sofia Gumerova should also make this somewhat 'wonky' character a treat to see.

I hope that you enjoyed Oxana Skorik (whom I feel, based on my several viewings, is an Artistic Great) and will feel the same about Anastasia Kolegova (whom I'm still Hugely in Love with (from a respectful artistic and generational distance, of course :D )). Ekaterina Kondaurova, whom you already saw, is, we all seem to agree, Magnificent.

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Sat Oct 13, 2012 11:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky to Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall: Oct. 10-14, 2012

"Swan Lake"
Mariinsky Ballet
Zellerbach Hall, Berkeley
12 October 2012

By Catherine Pawlick

Friday night's performance of "Swan Lake" at Zellerbach Hall by the Mariinsky Ballet brought an entirely different range of personalities in the leading roles. Anastasia Kolegova's Odette is sensitive and vulnerable. Upon her first entrance, the eyes are immediately drawn to her almost frantic bourrée, an indication of her flighty, at times even frightened temperament. This movement, accented by a pair of the most lusciously arched feet in the company, continues sporadically throughout Act I, engraining an iconic symbolism that further enunciates her character. Lacking Kondaurova's height, Kolegova compensates with more personalization in the role - an extra flourish of the arm and head here, a soutenue inserted there. Charming and delicate, she transmits the concept of a swan through every movement. It is not Kondaurova's Odette, but with a supple back and innate sense of musicality, she entrances no less for the differences in her portrayal.

Having seen Kolegova perform the Black Swan Pas de Deux (excerpted) numerous times for galas, Act II was less of a surpriseduring this performance. Her strength as a performer makes this challenging section second nature; she delivered fouettes in a single-double sequence for the first 16 counts and her variation was flawless. One does not retain as strong a sense of Odile's wicked nature here as from others, but she nonetheless hits all of the required marks with finesse.

Evgeny Ivanchenko performed Prince Siegfried tonight with neither disaster nor particular spark in the partnering sequences. He seemed more present than in some performances, and his solo work proved adequate.

But it was Alexei Nedviga's heartwarming Jester that assured the audience the evening was meant to be entertainment from the second the curtain rose. Negviga has grown considerably in his dancing over the past several years and his confidence --key to this role-- led to a full bodied characterization of the playful performer. As noted previously, in this production the Jester links the dramatic action during the first act, and his is the only nonstop performance until the start of Act II. He interacts with the Tutor, the Prince, the courtiers, the Queen, and is almost never given an offstage rest. Nedviga seemed to revel in the challenge, emoting constantly, from a disapproving look at the Tutor's small book to his incessant attempts to gain a kiss from one of the ladies. Further, his clean lines and polished jumps offer an alternative from the ultra short casting that is often chosen for this role. Nedviga soars in the Act II saut de basque manège, proving his talents are not just dramatic, but technical as well. He will dance this role again at the last performance, Sunday at 3 p.m.

The Pas de Trois offered us a return of Alexander Popov - warmer and more open tonight, but as technically superb as his Wednesday performance - alongside Nadezhda Gonchar and Anastasia Nikitina. Both ladies are powerhouses of reliable technique, Gonchar's leg and footwork always beautiful to behold and Nikitina attacking her jumps relentlessly.

With nerves calmer two nights following the opening, the national dances in Act II seemed more relaxed and thus more enjoyable to behold. Particularly spicy were Karen Iohannssen and Anastasia Petushkova in the Spanish Dance, even hotter than they had been previously. Olga Belik and Boris Zhurilov presented a carefully polished Hungarian dance. And Irina Prokofieva and Liubov Kozharskaya radiated joy in the mazurka.

Finally, of the corps de ballet, not enough can be said about Viktoria Brileva, who is the first of the court ladies in Act I (downstage) to toss the ring on the hoop, one of the four large swans, and one of the princesses. Brileva stands out from the corps de ballet whenever she dances; something that has been noted since her graduation from the Academy. One is hopeful that her path to soloist roles will be short.

Mikhail Agrest is conducting each performance and it must be said that the orchestra's music alone is enough of a reason to attend.

Author:  bcx [ Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky to Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall: Oct. 10-14, 2012

Great review of last night's performance, Catherine. But you need a wider audience! Sometimes I feel there are only five people reading this forum. I like the way you combine an insider's knowledge, with details about specific dancers local critics don't even know exist, with perceptive remarks about the performance as a whole. I was not expecting much from this visit (last time, the company was listless until Vishneva sent an electrical charge through Zellerbach: everyone woke up including the company!). For this visit, though, I was looking forward to Kondaurova, period. Now I can't even tell who I prefer, Kondaurova or Kolegova and I haven't even seen Skoryk. I was not expecting this visit to demonstrate how deep the Mariinsky "bench" is (pardon the baseball analogy) but that is exactly what's happening. Looking forward to Skoryk tonight (I admit when new casting was announced a few weeks ago, I exchanged my Skoryk ticket for Kolegova; it turned out not to be so easy to get a seat for tonight--the house has been packed every night).

Author:  Buddy [ Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky to Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall: Oct. 10-14, 2012

bcx wrote:
Now I can't even tell who I prefer, Kondaurova or Kolegova and I haven't even seen Skoryk.

I know exactly how you feel, bcx. Overall I tend to value them equally, with Anastasia Kolegova, the biggest unknown, turning out to be the most pleasant surprise. I had high expectations for Oxana Skorik and she exceeded them greatly !

In a quick summary I would list....

Oxana Skorik for her Artistic Brilliance

Anastasia Kolegova for her Lovability

Ekaterina Kondaurova for her Structural 'Magic'

All these ladies are Immensely Talented. They are my dominant memory from a sea of remarkable performers and performances.

I join you in thanking Catherine very much for her continued accounts and hope to hear as much as possible from both of you.

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Sun Oct 14, 2012 11:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky to Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall: Oct. 10-14, 2012

Bcx, Sadly I agree with you. I'd love a wider audience and greater discussion group but where to find it.
The issue of public reviews is another story because while papers want a preview and one review per run, almost no publication is interested in nightly reviews of the same run. That's why we have the forums; although I was thinking last night it would be ideal to have a published online magazine with daily articles/pictures-- but that requires a lot of resources (that i personally dont have).

I was at the theatre all day yesterday and will return today, so I will have to catch up on the posts later. The Saturday matinee was a repeat of Wednesday night's heroine/hero (Kondaurova and Korsuntsev) and they exceeded their initial performance in terms of warmth and expression - both seemed more relaxed. The audience gave them a standing ovation at the matinee. I must write in detail later about the other casting in that particular performance.

One thing I will say here because it's paramount: Xander Parish performed the Pas de Trois at the matinee. I have seen him in that role many times but this was stunning - the degree of refinement in his work, and his attention to detail in the transitions has risen greatly, his incredible legs (split tour jetes) have always drawn beautifully endless lines during his jumps (he is a tall man), but here all of the transitions, shifts, minor details in the head position and arms -- all of it was polished beyond measure. It made one wonder what would happen if he were cast as Siegfried one day.

Zellerbach Hall, Berkeley, CA
13 October 2012, 8 p.m.

The much debated up-and-comer, Oksana Skorik, exceeded expectations on Saturday night in Berkeley. Hailing from the Perm school, and the subject of a poignant film documentary from her school years, Skorik is now well into her career at the Mariinsky Theatre - so much so that she was cast as Odette/Odile for this West Coast tour despite being only 23 years old and not yet a principal dancer. The wisdom of that decision was debated by many critics during the Costa Mesa stop when the company, fresh from Russia, barely had time to gain composure from the 11-hour time difference before their opening night. Mixed reviews flowed in, making further appearances a question mark. Who is this controversial ballerina and how would she fare?

Skorik, it must be said, is of the ethereal breed in terms of physique. To see this creature is to behold the newest generation of the Guillem-Zakharova mould: tall, with endlessly slim limbs, high arches, and ultra flexibility. She's neither athletic or petite; she is wispy and long. She is a 21st century ballerina, an extreme body with the potential for deep dramatic expression.

As Act I began, the image of a snow white swan entered the stage. To her credit, she hit the initial balances in attitude, the signature swan pose, perfectly, with head and arms arching backwards. As the Act continued, one sensed more than the nerves of a cautious Odette; Skorik has the line and the placement, but in this case perhaps nerves lent themselves to a slight disjointedness in some of the transitional phrases.

Things shifted in Act II, when Skorik attacked the choreography with great vengeance, the determination on her face visible as she entered the 32 fouettes. She completed them all and then a smile appeared on her face: triumph. Her Odile was cunning, accented by sharp movements and self assurance. That carried over into the remainder of the performance for, in her return as Odette in Act III, a warmth and confidence arose that offered a glimpse of what this young dancer is capable of. She may be great in this iconic role some day. Until then there are bits of territory still to be covered, but she is well on her way.

The real gift on Saturday was the long awaited appearance of Alexander Sergeyev however, fresh off of the plane, literally flown in to save the day, and save it he did. I recall watching Sergeyev rehearse parts of the Prince in the Mariinsky studios years ago, before he was ever cast in the role, and wondering at that point how long it would take. We are finally here. Aside from being beautiful to behold, with the lean lines that a Prince requires, he was the only Prince to perform the interpolated solo in Act I, a melancholic expression of the Prince's emotional state. This adagio is not often danced, and it is a special addition (these days) to behold: Sergeyev's port de bras were particularly fluid, the pirouettes were smooth and each tomb é -pas-de-bourré that led into a low developpé devant en relevé was done with utter precision and care. This solo imparts the Prince's psychological state, his despair and loneliness, the internal struggle he faces. As Sergeyev danced this section it was utterly poignant. This, for those who understand it, is Vaganova - this is Tchaikovsky. Further, Sergeyev's acting talents extend beyond the given choreography. During the "princess selection" process at the outset of Act II, he relays his decision to the Queen with a cool wave of the arm. When pressed again, he repeats himself with the same reserve - and the message is clear. He understands his station, he isn't growing into the shoes of a future king: he already *is* one.

From there, he served as a very attentive partner for Skorik throughout the evening. They seem well matched proportionally, although no doubt both would have enjoyed more of a chance to rehearse before dancing these roles together. In his Act II coda, Sergeyev tossed off a number of split tour-jetés and pirouettes with grace, and despite the jetlag he must have battled (with less than a day to adjust to an 11-hour time difference), his dancing didn't reveal any inattention. On the contrary, he is one in a line of true onstage Princes who deserves many more performance opportunities. The standing ovation on Saturday night confirmed as much.

Author:  Buddy [ Sun Oct 14, 2012 4:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky to Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall: Oct. 10-14, 2012

Thanks again, Catherine, for a fine review and for keeping these remarkable artists and remarkable performances alive in our minds and in our hearts.

One more quick thought about Oxana Skorik. I feel that once you have seen her at her best or once you have been touched by her Artistic Essence, then everything else falls into place, no matter what.

Glad that you liked Alexander Sergeyev so much. He didn't appear in Costa Mesa so I didn't have the pleasure of seeing him.

Agree with you totally about Xander. He's doing extremely well !

It looks like you are enjoying the Berkeley performances just as much as I did the Costa Mesa ones. This is great !

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Sun Oct 14, 2012 10:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky to Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall: Oct. 10-14, 2012

Thanks Buddy. I just updated the Saturday review above. I will post Sunday next and then go back and add the Saturday matinee. Indeed, it has been a heavenly 5 days here and I know I'm not the only one who feels the tour stops should have been more numerous with longer stays in each city. I'm told that has been suggested to Danilian already so hopefully "next time" we will see more of them, for longer...

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Sun Oct 14, 2012 10:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky to Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall: Oct. 10-14, 2012

Swan Lake
Mariinsky Ballet
Zellerbach Hall, Berkeley
14 October 2012, 3 p.m.

The Mariinsky's all-too-brief West Coast visit concluded on Sunday, with Maxim Zuizin as the final prince in the 6-performance run, accompanying the lovely Anastasia Kolegova as Odette/Odile. The administration's late decision to diversify casting for Siegfried during the Berkeley stop -- both Sergeyev and Zuizin were added subsequent to initial plans -- is commendable, for it not only allows the dancers adequate rest between performances, but the audience a chance to witness different portrayals of the same role.
Maxim Zuizin fits the ideal image of a Prince effortlessly: handsome with a beautiful body, impeccable technique, and insteps that inspire envy in most dancers in the company. His Siegfried however is ultra cool, minimalistic in terms of delivery. As result, he doesn't always reach the back of the house. But his impact can be great when he wishes it to be.

Kolegova, already witnessed in this role on Friday night, appeared even more sensual in the final matinee, offering a sense of warmth, femininity and grace as Odette; hers is a shy and flighty swan queen. Kolegova's Odette trembles, eluding Siegfried repeatedly until he catches her. Unfaltering and reliable in technical terms, on more than one occasion she managed to balance en pointe - a leg held aloft in a la seconde, or simply standing in 5th, primed for the next sequence, her balances were impeccable. In contrast, she whipped through the characterization of Act II with a quicker energy. Kolegova's Odile is crafty, but still beautiful; assured, but nonetheless always just out of reach. (And again we witnessed 32 fouettes, the first 16 sprinkled with doubles.)

In a welcome return to the stage, the audience enjoyed Alexei Nedviga's charming Jester once more. Nedviga repeated his successes this afternoon, teasing the audience through much of the dramatic action, including the outset of the Black Swan Pas. In the White Swan Act, Anna Lavrinenko replaced Maria Shirinkina as one of the four white swans; and in the Pas de Trois we enjoyed Xander Parish's newfound polish just as we had previously.

Sunday's matinee was performed to a packed house, and one that rose to its feet upon the final curtain. The dancers fly to Washington DC on a redeye tonight in order to perform Ratmansky's "Cinderella" at Kennedy Center this week. As they do so, visions of swan maidens and lakeside princes will continue to fill the minds and hearts of Bay Area viewers... at least until the Mariinsky graces our stages again. We hope it will be soon.

Author:  NataliaN [ Mon Oct 15, 2012 5:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky to Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall: Oct. 10-14, 2012

Belated thanks for these wonderful, detailed reports on the Berkeley run, Catherine! I was particularly pleased to read about Alexander Sergeev's progress. Bravo! I am sure that Washington audiences will want to know if Mrs. Sergeev -- Daria Pavlenko -- also arrived in the USA, as both of them are scheduled to dance together in the Washington, DC, run of Cinderellas (which I'll miss but look forward to reports).

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