CriticalDance Forum

Mariinsky 2013-2014 (231st) season
Page 5 of 9

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Sun Apr 27, 2014 4:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky 2013-2014 (231st) season

As an exciting addition to the end of the 231st season, we will be treated to a Hans Van Manen program in July prior to the season close and presumably prior to the London tour. More details on that as they become available.

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky 2013-2014 (231st) season

And side note, congratulations to Evgenia Obratsova on her marriage today.

Author:  Cygne [ Mon Apr 28, 2014 5:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky 2013-2014 (231st) season

Catherine Pawlick wrote:
And side note, congratulations to Evgenia Obratsova on her marriage today.

Congratulations to Genya & Andrei!

Author:  Buddy [ Tue Apr 29, 2014 8:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky 2013-2014 (231st) season

She's a lovely person and I wish them both much happiness.

Author:  Buddy [ Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky 2013-2014 (231st) season

Apparently Xander and Alisa Sodoleva drifted across the street a night or two ago, probably to the now performing Classical Ballet Gala: World's Best Ballet Stars at the Ballet Theatre of St. Petersburg Conservatoire.
I’ve watched a video clip of them. If anyone can make the much maligned Odile lovable, she’s a friend of mine. Alisa Sodoleva did just that. :)

Based on the quality of this performance and what I've seen her do recently at the Mariinsky Festival, she's doing just fine !

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Thu May 01, 2014 3:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky 2013-2014 (231st) season

Hi Buddy,
Yes, there was a performance in honor of the International Day of Dance on April 29 (Tuesday) at the Conservatory supported by Oleg Vinogradov's Artists' Development Fund as well as the St. Petersburg Cultural Committee.

Uliana Lopatkina opened the performance with partner Danila Korsuntsev in the Paquita grand pas (complete with variations by corps members from the Conservatory's ballet theatre). Act 2 was divertissements and included the following:

Pas de Quatre, choreography by L. Jakobson, music Bellini, danced by Jakobson Ballet Theatre (now run by Andrian Fadeyev) dancers Anna Naumenko, Daria Elmakova, Sevetlana Smirnova and ANna Ignatieva.

Parish/Sodoleva in Black Swan Pas

Sara Essel (note: her name may be spelled otherwise, I only have the Russian transliteration in the program) and Adrian Blake Mitchell (likewise) from Eddie Ellison's school in New York. The program notes that Essel did an internship at the Vaganova Academy and her trip was funded by the "Alliance of Classical Dance" of NY. The two were very polished technically speaking, very promising, talented dancers. It will be interesting with their Russian exposure to see if they wish to find jobs here or in the US.

David Zaleyev in the Flames of Paris pas with a partner (program said it was Oksana Bondareva but it was not).

Yulia Makhalina in the Dying Swan. Her own choreography.

And the Don Q Grand Pas with Elena Evseyeva and Timur Askerov. Nashuya Mironova did the variation. The corps was again dancers from the Rimsky Korsakov Conservatory.

The house was overpacked (more people let in than there were seats for them) as Vinogradov personally gave entry passes to a large number of people. The evening was an incredible ode to ballet and dance in general; a disappointment though, that everyone had to cram into the Soviet-era Conservatory (which will close for 2 years of renovation soon as well). Even Vinogradov apologized for the surroundings in his opening remarks. It would have been ideal to hold this at the Mariinsky, but if Lopatkina et al have to go across the street in order to be given a chance to perform (and, apparently she does) then so be it.

Author:  Buddy [ Sun May 11, 2014 4:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky 2013-2014 (231st) season

Hi, Catherine. Thanks for your descriptions from the Conservatory.

Various titles have been bestowed on various artists at various times.

So can I give it a try ?

Oxana Skorik — * The Poet *

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Mon May 12, 2014 12:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky 2013-2014 (231st) season

This Saturday (May 10) the last performance of the Children's subscription took place at the historical theatre. Valery Gergiev has instituted a series of childrens' programs at the theatre in order to cultivate future audiences and subscribers, and to educate the city's youth in classical art forms.

The "gala concert" included both opera singers and ballet excerpts, including the historical "Fairy Doll" pas de trois, conceived by the brothers Legat to music by Riccardo Drigo that is endlessly endearing. It was danced by Ernest Latipov, Anton Korsakov and Victoria Krasnokutskaya. The two gentleman displayed both dramatic exuberance and technical skill in this intricate pas de trois, and it was a pleasure to see it return to the stage, as it is so rarely performed here. Other highlights included the bright Elena Evseyeva in the Diana and Acteon pas de deux with a sparkling Kimin Kim, who soared effortlessly and received immediate applause.

We also saw Arina Varentseva with Nikita Lyashenko in the darling White Cat/Puss in Boots pas from "The Sleeping Beauty", and the Black Swan pas de deux with Ekaterina Chebykina (from Kiev) and Evgeny Ivanchenko. Chebykina has already performed Swan Lake in her home city but will debut here in it on May 24. (here is her bio:

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Mon May 12, 2014 12:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky 2013-2014 (231st) season

Apparently Oksana Skorik has an injury (foot tendon tear) caused by catching her foot in the holes in the backstage floor outlets at MT2. Wishing her a speedy recovery.

Author:  Buddy [ Mon May 12, 2014 2:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky 2013-2014 (231st) season

Wishing her a speedy recovery, indeed.

Author:  Buddy [ Wed May 14, 2014 5:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky 2013-2014 (231st) season


Some of you might know by now that ‘Swans’ is a name that I’ve given to a group of tall, ‘ethereal’ ballerinas, mainly from the Mariinsky. A few posts ago I suggested that the title ‘The Poet,’ would be a fine one for Oxana Skorik. I also tend to equate her with Alina Somova, because of their, ‘In Essence,’ gracefulness of flow that could be compared to that of Ulyana Lopatkina, who is probably one of the most graceful ballerinas ever.

Oxana Skorik seems to have a Poetry that is evident in everything that she does, but Alina Somova almost knocked me over with the Poetic Magnificence of her recent performance of ‘The Swan’ (Fokine) at the Mariinsky Festival. I said it at that topic and I’ll say it again. I was ‘Absolutely Amazed’ with her performance. It was a shock and a Revelation. Over the years I’ve seen signs of expressive profoundness, but this went Way Beyond All Expectations! So although I’ve referred Oxana Skorik as ’The Poet’ because of her overall poetic essence, I’ll be greatly interested to see how this manifests itself in Alina Somova’s future efforts.

As for Gracefulness of Flow, I would say that Alina Somova’s has an airy loveliness, perhaps closer to Ulyana Lopatkina’s, and Oxana Skorik’s has a more poetic aura. What makes Ulyana Lopatkina so special is a ‘singing of the limbs’ (expression coined by Natalia Markarova) that in my mind is unequaled, perhaps ever.

With Oxana Skorik and Alina Somova, the fascination will be in their constantly evolving fineness and where the emphasis will be placed. Both these remarkable artists are capable of amazingly beautiful revelations.

Other Mariinsky artists that I include in this grouping are Olga Esina and Yekaterina Kondaurova. Olga Esina has a vibrant, airy loveliness that I hope will become all the more apparent. Yekaterina Kondaurova has the outstanding ability of being able to move from the classics to the modern with equal excellence. I recall how totally impressed I was with the graceful wonderfulness and very fine portrayals of her first Swan Lakes, which, for me, made evident her position as one of the company’s most beautifully elegant and graceful classicists.

Interestingly, I somewhat associate Yekaterina Osmolkina, who is not tall, with this grouping, because of her linear grace. I recall two performances of Giselle that were exceptionally beautiful in their airy fineness. Also the young Yulia Stepanova and Alisa Sodoleva, who are both tall, or at least seem so on stage, may well be future members of this grouping, based on their linear loveliness. Anastasia Matvienko and Daria Vasnetsova, whom I wish I could see a lot more of, would also be included.

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Sat May 17, 2014 7:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky 2013-2014 (231st) season

In under 2 hours the gala concert dedicated to Ninel Kurgapkina will begin:

Act 1 is Act 1 of Don Q with Tereshkina as Kitri.

Act 2 will include divertissements from Lopatkina, Anna Polikarpova (one of Kurgapkina's students, for years with Hamburg Ballet) along with partner Lloyd Riggins also of Hamburg, Olga Melnikova from Dresden (Vaganova 1989 graduate); Nadezhda Batoeva, Alexei Timofeyev (in the pdd from Carnavale) and other Mariinsky dancers.

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Sun May 18, 2014 1:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky 2013-2014 (231st) season

The tribute to Kurgapkina last night was highly touching. I won't write a formal review here but I'll try to capture the atmosphere because it was a truly historical moment and I feel honored that I was able to witness it.

Act 1 began with Act 1 of Don Quixote, and as the curtain went up, a screen/scrim covered the crowd scene dancers as they began the dance. When the music signalled Kitri's entrance, the stage went dark, and a black-and-white film was projected onto the screen showing Kurgapkina's own entrance as Kitri many years ago. The live orchestra accompanied her dancing, incredibly, at her tempo, perfectly, and one had the sense that she was there in the house, on the stage, dancing for us. So the video of her dancing on this very stage, projected onto this very stage, it was a collision of time and a reversal of time, all at once. After she finished the first part of the entrance, while greeting other dancers on stage, the orchestra went silent, and the entire house remained silent as they watched her on film, walking through the crowd on the stage, greeting other dancers, bubby as Kitri. Then heading downstage, she took the releve attitude pose for the last diagonal, and the orchestra began to accompany her again. As she started the circle "tapping the floor" with the fan, the audience began to applaud.
Then the screen lifted and Tereshkina and Shklyarov performed the rest of Act 1 for us, until the last 20 seconds of the Act, in which the screen again showed Kurgapkina being carried overhead back and forth across the stage as the curtain came down.

It was difficult to hold back the tears.

Before Act 2 began, Zhanna Ayupova and Nikolai Tsiskaridze came on stage to announce the second half of the evening. Ayupova, as one of Kurgapkina's prize pupils, spoke of her teacher with great affection. Tsiskaridze then introduced two students from the Academy who performed a new number to an onstage piano (Tchaikovsky/choreography by Marat Gaziev). The students, Daria Ustyuzhanina and Ivan Boddubnyak, were perfect "mini" dancers -- her beautifully arched feet, delicate epaulement and wide smile already projecting the image of a future ballerina. And his circle of jumps showed determination and strength. The two have promising careers ahead of them, but probably at least another 6 years before graduation.

The rest of Act 2 was entirely divertissements featuring ballerinas who were in Kurgapkina's final graduating class at the Academy, that of 1989. We witnessed Anna Polikarpova, Olga Melnikova, and Olga Volobueva. We also watched Olesya Novikova with Kimin Kim in a brilliant Corsaire pas, and Nadezhda Batoeva with Aleksei Timofeyev in the pas de deux from Harlequinade. Lopatkina crowned the evening, for she had rehearsed and prepared all of the classical roles in the repertoire with Kurgapkina. She performed Trois Gnossienes with Andrey Ermakov (Hans Van Manen's piece). The curtain closed with a video of Kurgapkina with Bregvadze, which can be found online now, in the Vienna Waltz film, full of flirtation, fun, and life. Kurgapkina's stamp and contributions to this theatre are numerous and invaluable and she is sorely missed.

Author:  Buddy [ Wed May 21, 2014 9:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky 2013-2014 (231st) season

Thanks, Catherine, for this touching review. I’ll try to read it again more carefully and maybe get into some of the videos. From my viewing of a Don Quixote segment, she was extremely vibrant and her moves was wonderfully clear and articulate. Here are a few quotes about her.

“Her [Evgenia Obraztsova] coach during her first season there was Ninel Kurgapkina, one of the Kirov’s most spirited ballerinas of the 1950s and ’60s. She had partnered both Nureyev and Baryshnikov before their defections, and had helped Nureyev to stage La Bayadère in Paris just before he died. She took the young Genia, as she is called, under her experienced wing and started preparing her for future roles—Shyrin (The Legend of Love), Aurora, the Sylph, Giselle, Kitri. That same year, Obraztsova made her debut in Romeo and Juliet….” ... lowing-Gem

“Ninel Alexandrovna Kurgapkina (Russian: Нинель Александровна Кургапкина; 13 February 1929, Leningrad – 8 May 2009, near St. Petersburg) was a Russian dance teacher and former prima ballerina for the Kirov Ballet with over 50 years stage experience. She was named a People's Artist of the USSR in 1974.

Ninel Kurgapkina was one of the last pupils of Agrippina Vaganova. She graduated her ballet school and joined the Kirov Ballet in 1947, where she danced such roles as Aurora (The Sleeping Beauty), Myrtha (Giselle), Odette-Odile (Swan Lake), Kitri (Don Quixote) and Parasha (The Bronze Horseman). She was appointed a director of the Vaganova Academy in 1972.

Despite their age difference, Ninel Kurgapkina was the first female ballet partner to Rudolf Nureyev, and later Mikhail Baryshnikov, both of whom were trained at the Kirov.”

Author:  Cassandra [ Wed May 21, 2014 10:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky 2013-2014 (231st) season

Just shows how little Wikipedia can be trusted. Although Kurgapkina was a regular partner of Nureyev's, everything I've ever read suggests that his first partner was actually Natalia Dudinskaya who he claimed talked him out of joining the Bolshoi by offering herself as his partner: an offer he couldn't refuse.

That may be legend of course but I'd like chapter and verse if it was otherwise.

Page 5 of 9 All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group