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 Post subject: Mariinsky to Kennedy Center DC, 2016: Feb 23-27 Raymonda
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 4:59 pm 
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Starting this thread for next month's Kennedy Center Raymonda stopover

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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky to Kennedy Center DC, 2016: Feb 23-27 Raymonda
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 5:11 am 
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So far I saw Skorik and Kondaurova. On Opening night the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra did not sound comfortable with Glazunov's score. Not only were there wrong notes but also the tempo and muted sound did nothing to illuminate the music. This might have contributed to the slight mess ups on stage. However, Skorik started her veil variation way too early and had to set her leg down and start over. Later when she was lifted by Zverev (dancing Abderakhman), she stopped acting altogether and showed intense fear of falling. In contrast, last night Kondaurova acted afraid of Abderakhman at that moment but looked at the audience like most Mariinsky ballerinas to prove she is not worried. At every single moment of the ballet Kondaurova was in character whereas Skorik seemed worried about the steps. I actually thought Kondaurova was mainly an Act 3 Raymonda (strong woman) and didn't think she could pull off the sweetness and delicacy that the first act requires but she won me over.

Kolegova tonight. Her beautiful face and strong technique should make for the best performance of this run.

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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky to Kennedy Center DC, 2016: Feb 23-27 Raymonda
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 12:31 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
In the New York Times, Alastair Macaulay reviews the Tuesday, February 23, 2016 performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

NY Times


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky to Kennedy Center DC, 2016: Feb 23-27 Raymonda
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 12:39 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Sarah Kaufman reviews the Tuesday, February 23, 2016 performance for the Washington Post.

Washington Post


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky to Kennedy Center DC, 2016: Feb 23-27 Raymonda
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 12:06 pm 
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I meant to review as I went and saw each night. I saw all 3 casts and enjoyed myself immensely even if there were near drops, falls off pointe, sour notes from the Kennedy Center Opera Orchestra, etc.

Before going I predicted Anastasia Kolegova would be the best Raymonda, Yekaterina Kondaurova would be second best, and Oksana Skorik would be dead last.

After seeing all three I feel my prediction was correct. Kolegova had musicality, good acting, and excellent technique in the role.

Yekaterina Kondaurova, who strikes me as a Bolshoi style dancer and someone who would look best in the clapping variation as opposed to the more delicate girlish variations, did much better than I thought she would. She was more innocent and delicate than past times I have seen her.

Oksana Skorik had a terrible Opening Night looking like she was coasting through the role counting steps. However, on Friday she had improved to the point where she was not an embarrassment, but then at the Sunday matinee she was dancing tentatively and sluggishly and then cancelled so Kolegova danced Act 2 and 3. My main complaint is that she always looks like she is in deep concentration thinking about what to do next, and she looks afraid. I don't mean to trash her, but I think Mariinsky audiences deserve more.

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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky to Kennedy Center DC, 2016: Feb 23-27 Raymonda
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 7:22 pm 
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Had rather different reactions, so I'll go on record. I liked Skorik very much; I did see the Friday night performance, and for my taste it was much better than 'not an embarassment'--I found it beautiful especially in the vision scene in which she was my very favorite Raymonda, but also in the closing Grand Pas in which she was joyful and playful. I enjoyed Kolegova and Kondaurova very much as well. I saw the first on Sat afternoon, and especially liked her sharp and confident Act II Variation -- the one in the purple tutu. I am not crazy about Kolegova in adagio--I don't think she is a natural adagio dancer, and that prevents me from loving her as much as PenneallaNorma does. But I will add that she looked much better live than I have ever found her on (publicly available) video. Fresher, more charming, more spontaneous. Very glad I saw her and enjoyed the performance. Kondaurova I also found quite beautiful especially in the final Act (her aristocratic bearing seems to me to fit in quite nicely with the Mariinsky).

I think the production overall is very beautiful quite apart from who is dancing. When the curtain went up on the grotto scene in particular, the first night I attended, I was overwhelmed by the dreamy loveliness of the backdrop and the altogether poetic scene. (I have seen several full length Raymondas, but never this production except via the 1980 film.) I also thought the ballet was, for the most part, quite wonderfully danced by the whole company. The major exception being the male leads who were largely disappointing. I especially enjoyed Chebykina as Clemence and Batoeva and Ivanova-Skoblikova in the final act variations. Also Khairnasov in the Panderos -- and, in the other Panderos cast, Petushkova and Kuzmin. (When Khairnasov was on stage I'm afraid I hardly looked at his partner.)


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