CriticalDance Forum

Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season
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Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season

This is a new thread for next season, which will be a milestone of sorts, 230 years for the theatre.

An interview with Fateyev today revealed several plans for next year's new ballets, including a return of Forsythe to the repertoire, Ratmansky's Dmitry Shostakovich "DSHM" ballet, and something by Wheeldon.

Of note, there was a commission listed a few months ago for "Pictures at an Exhibition" to be choreographed but that commission has been removed so I am guessing the plans were cancelled.

The new season starts September 18th.

Author:  Buddy [ Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season


Looking forward to the new season this particular grouping, Swans, that shone so beautifully at this year's Festival, once again is in the front of my mind from ongoing internet video watching. I would try to describe Swans as being linearly and statuesquely 'celestial'.

Ulyana Lopatkina -- She probably sets the Standard for this grouping, possibly destined to go down in history as one of its greatest exponents as well as one of the greatest ballerinas ever.

From recent internet video viewing two more members of this grouping make interesting and beautiful comparisons. Each viewing can reveal new nuances and artists can change so much from performance to performance, that a description is sometimes just a moment in time, but still it may add to our enjoyment of the art to try to share these impressions.

Alina Somova -- Her statuesque elegance nows seems to have even more human warmth. I've also been watching video clips of Galina Ulanova and Suzanne Farrell, who in addition to their very distinct and magnificent dancing styles can beautifully integrate a sense of heart and soul. I actually thought of all of them as dancers who could make 'The Celestial Become Human' and this is intended as a very high compliment !

Olga Smirnova -- She is now at the Bolshoi, but she does come from the Vaganova. Catherine, at another topic, quoted Diana Vishneva as saying that Olga Smirnova 'managed to reconcile the eternal debate between the Moscow and Vaganova schools, taking the best from them both'. From video clips I can sense this. She shows Vaganova-Mariinsky refinement as well as Bolshoi expressiveness. Another interesting element emerging from recent performances is the Suzanne Farrell/George Balanchine factor. I've sensed Olga Smirnova as remarkably being able to adapt from an elegantly star-surrounded Lilac Fairy ("Sleeping Beauty") to a warmly embraceable deity in the duet from George Balanchine's "Diamonds". In this sense she wonderfully moves from one end of the spectrum to the other with Suzanne Farrell and Alina Somova being perhaps more in the middle with their beautiful artistry.

So much can be written about this extremely young and so highly talented artist, who is just embarking on a career, of which she is already the accomplished mistress.

Oksana Skorik -- I've not seen any recent videos of her so I'm not including her in the above comparisons, but from what I saw her do in the Mariinsky Festival gala performance of the White Swan duet ( "Swan Lake") and from what Catherine has written about her more recent performances, I have to believe that she will have a brilliant future ! At her Mariinsky Festival performance she combined a marvelous gracefulness, that I was expecting, with a *Sublimeness of Expression*, that was a complete Revelation! Sail on, Sail on.

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Fri Aug 10, 2012 2:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season

Buddy I do agree that Lopatkina sets the standard for Swan Lake these days...
I'd add Kondaurova to the list because the performance just prior to her promotion to principal was unforgettable.

Author:  Buddy [ Mon Aug 13, 2012 3:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season

Catherine Pawlick wrote:
Buddy I do agree that Lopatkina sets the standard for Swan Lake these days...
I'd add Kondaurova to the list because the performance just prior to her promotion to principal was unforgettable.

I also agree with you completely about Ekaterina Kondaurova. I've seen her perform Swan Lake twice and she is breathtaking. I waited outside the stage door in London last summer to congratulate her. This is the only time that I've ever done that.

For those who will be in the US in October there will be a wonderful chance to see the Season begin. The castings have been posted for the Mariinsky visit. There will be Swan Lake performances in Costa Mesa and Berkeley, California and performances of Alexei Ratmansky's Cinderella in Washington DC.

I hope to be able to see as many of the Costa Mesa Swan Lakes as possible. The castings look excellent with Ekaterina Kondaurova, Alina Somova, Viktoria Tereshkina, Oxana Skorik and Anastasia Matvienko dancing the female lead as Odette/Odile. ('Ekaterina, Alina, Viktoria, Oxana and especially Anastasia' -- great first names.)

Of these five, four are exceptional in their linear, statuesque presentations. Viktoria Tereshkina, who is perhaps not as 'linear' is also outstanding. Several years ago, after her Act I Odette, I really didn't want to get out of my chair. I was in such a state of reverie.

Alina Somova has some of the most beautiful lines that I've seen. She is exquisite in her positioning and posing. I've only seen Anastasia Matvienko once in Swan Lake, but I would say the same for her appearance in that performance. Ekaterina Kondaurova is also magnificent in this respect.

Oxana Skorik at the most recent Mariinsky Festival was Remarkable(!) in her Act I Odette duet at the last night's Gala. She danced beautifully and there were moments in her interpretation the were Absolutely Spellbinding ! I certainly look forward to seeing her again.

I was also hoping to see Anastasia Kolegova, but she is no longer listed. Those who will be be fortunate enough to be in Berkeley will have the only chance to see Ulyana Lopatkina.

The DC castings for Alexei Ratmansky's Cinderella also look excellent with Alina Somova, Ekaterina Osmolkina and Maria Shirinkina scheduled to dance the lead. I once saw an entire series and its success, for me, was very much dependent on the lead ballerina. Diana Vishneva danced twice and what she did was a Revelation !

I'm still entranced by Alina Somova's performance that can be seen on five internet video clips. She is handsomely partnered by Alexander Sergeyev. I've watched these video clips at least once a day, almost everyday, for about a month. I could write a book about them. One of the things that most impresses me for the moment is the way that Alina Somova's upper body just floats like a cloud no matter what her feet and legs are performing. I've read that this is an important characteristic in Frederick Aston's choreography. The footwork is very animated, while the upper body remains very 'balletic'. I'll try to pay more attention to this if I can see more of his works. This also seems very true of Alexei Ratmansky's Cinderella. There is a wonderful balance between highly animated (sometimes almost quirky) motion and exceptional gracefulness. I've also noticed how well Alina Somova can do this in other works. In Cinderella she accomplishes it all magnificently with such delightful charm and heartfulness.

(While checking my spelling of my idea of "Heartfulness" I found this definition at Wikipedia and have to share it. Stand back !

"Heartfulness is a calm awareness of one's bodies feelings, the vibration of consciousness,The united sounding of the sacred word[1] or conscious feeling itself.[2] i.e. compassionate mindfulness.
It can be related to the Hindu idea of transcendence, (Not the process of transindental meditation as TM by Brahmananda Saraswati) the process of moving beyond the bodies limitations created by the mind and to connect the body itself directly with the source.)"

Wow ! -- I think that Alina Somova can be great, but this is something ! )

I was also hoping that Daria Pavlenko would appear, but for the moment this is not the case. Interestingly Ekaterina Kondaurova will dance the Stepmother along with Alexandra Iosifidi and Sofia Gumerova. This is a very comical part, as I recall, with probably a lot of technical demand. I remember Alexandra Iosifidi's interpretation (almost ten years ago) and she was delightful. It should be a chance for Ekaterina Kondaurova to spread her wings and show how wonderfully versatile she can be. I'm so used to her now as a 'Statuesque Goddess' that I can forget how great her range is.

Ekaterina Osmolkina and Maria Shirinkina as Cinderella should offer a lovely difference. I tend to think of them as 'Butterflies' along with others like Ekaterina Krysanova (Bolshoi), who in Yuri Posokhov's version of Cinderella set a standard for lighter-than-air, heartwarming expressiveness. They should be a beautifully fairy-like and lovely contrast to Diana Visheva's remarkable and expansive expression from ten years ago and Alina Somova's more statuesque enchantment today.

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season

Yesterday, August 21, here in Petersburg was the 100th anniversary of Natalia Dudinskaya's birth. As many already know, the new season will open with Raymonda in her honor, performed by Viktoria Tereshkina.

(It's not clear why Dudinskaya's own student, Uliana Lopatkina, isn't performing).

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season

Press release for this season includes mention of the spring festival which will be early this year, Feb. 28 - March 10.
It will include Serge Lifar's "Suite in White" and the return of some Forsythe ballets to the repertoire. Vishneva will open the festival in Romeo and Juliet.

Alexei Ratmansky will be setting his Shostakovich ballet (titled by the composer's initials) for the Mariinsky this season as well.

Author:  NataliaN [ Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season

Thanks, Catherine. I just saw that on the MT web's press site.

The Ratmansky must be Concerto DSCH, originally created for the NYCB.

Something else in the press release that caught my eye: The May 2013 'tribute to the 100th anniversary of The Rite of Spring' with yet another version of the ballet, this time by Sasha Waltz! And -- please correct my weak translations -- to be presented as a triple bill with the Nijinsky Rite of Spring and Balanchine's Prodigal Son (???). Didn't Ratmansky also choreograph a version of Rite for the Mariinsky not so long ago? This must be Maestro Gergiev's favorite ballet music.


The slighting of Petipa and classicism is palpable in all this. Very sad developments.

Author:  Cassandra [ Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season

Caught a lengthy interview with Gergiev on RT a couple of weeks ago and in about twenty minutes he managed to mention the Ballet only once and even that was a passing remark.

Gergiev is right to consider Stravinsky's score one of the greats but twice in one evening!!! - no thanks.

Author:  NataliaN [ Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season

Catherine, another item in the press release -- now also available in English -- that caught my eye is that 15 graduates of the Vaganova class of 2012 have been taken into the company. Considering that this was not being touted as one of the stronger classes (as preceded the 2011 graduation with Smirnova, Shapran, etc.), I'm a bit surprised. I had previously guessed that Latipov, Shevtsova and Varentseva might get in but am truly surprised that so many passed through (good for them!).

On the other hand, I hope that this does not mean that many older dancer were 'let go' all at once, as sadly happened a few years ago.

The Russian and English versions of the MT web still show last season's roster, so we cannot yet compare. Kim Kimin still shows as 'trainee.'

On a similar-but-different note, I see that Alina Somova's sister, Sasha Somova (graduate of the Vaganova class of 2011), has just joined the corps of Moscow's Stanislavsky Ballet. Also, Kristina Shapran (also class of 2011) has been promoted to soloist at the Stanislavsky; some may recall that she danced Swanilda opposite Sergei Polunin at the Stanislavsky's premiere of Roland Petit's COPPELIA a couple of months ago. Congratulations to both ladies!

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season

Hi NN,
Yes Shapran is doing very well at the Stanislavsky -- she was the one selected as one of the couples for the Bolshoi Ballet TV project that aired this month in Russian national television. My understanding is she's top of that company right now.

Agreed that this year was not the Academy's strongest graduation year and 15 in such circumstances is not a small number, but with at least 2 main ballerinas out and several injured principals, it necessitates "clean cup move down" or in this case "up" the ladder...

Author:  NataliaN [ Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season

I see that newcomer Keenan Kampa (Vaganova class of '10) will be debuting as Myrtha in Giselle and Dryad Queen in DQ, on consecutinve nights at the end of October. She must be amazingly talented, and seems to have found the right company, after 2 yrs in the corps of Boston Ballet, with no solo opportunities except Arabian in Nutcracker (a role that she prepared; not sure if actually performed). Glad that the Mariinsky is finally making her wishes come true! Hopefully the roster will be updated to show her name & that of the 15 lucky newcomers from the Vaganova class of '12!

Author:  Buddy [ Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season

It looks like she's off to a great start, Natalia. I wish her all the best !

Author:  NataliaN [ Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season

Buddy, I was impressed by the little YouTube slip of Keenan's 'jete solo' from GAYANEH, performed at her 2010 graduation. She had an impressive grand jete then, so it would appear that Myrtha and Dryad Queen would not be a stretch (no pun intended)! I was a little miffed that she didn't progress 'as we all had hoped' during her 2 years in Boston but that's all a moot point now. New company - new page!

Author:  Buddy [ Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season

Based on some past internet viewing, she's a pretty good Hip Hopper as well.

Author:  arthritic ankles [ Wed Sep 26, 2012 1:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season

Just for information, Keenan Kampa performed the role of Mercedes the Street Dancer several times to great effect in act 1 of the Nureyev production of Don Quixotte, staged by Maina Gielgud, during the 2012 Boston Ballet season.

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