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 Post subject: Mariinsky 2014-2015 (232nd) season
PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2014 1:18 pm 
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Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
Prior to the season opening performance of "Swan Lake" tonight, a press conference was held with Maestro Gergiev. Although it started 30 minutes late, the basics were covered and highlights include the following news for the ballet:

Planned productions for the season include Wheeldon's "Alice in Wonderland", Grigorovich's "Stone Flower", the famous and long-lost "Bronze Horseman", as well as a return of Scotch Symphony.

Debuts will include Shapran in Giselle, Le Parc, Romeo & Juliet and Bayadere.
Skorik will debut in Sleeping Beauty and Anna Karenina.
Parish will debut in Sleeping Beauty.
Shkylarov will debut in Shourale.
Askerov and Ermakov will debut in Romeo as Romeo.
Kimin will debut as the prince in Cinderella.

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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2014-2015 (232nd) season
PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2014 4:50 pm 
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I am very thrilled to see that the Stone Flower and The Bronze Horseman will return!


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2014-2015 (232nd) season
PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:45 am 
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Hi PeneallaNorma,

Me too! Apparently the dancers in the company have mixed feelings about Stone Flower. But Bronze Horseman, as you probably know is based on Pushkin's 1833 poem about the statue of Peter the Great (which those who have been to or lived in St Petersburg know well) and very much a "Petersburg" ballet. Music by Reinhold Glière. Choreography by Rostislav Zakharov.

Although work began years prior, its official premiere was March 14, 1949. Konstantin Sergeyev himself starred along with Dudinskaya and Shelest in the leading roles of Evgeny, Parasha, and the Queen of the Ball, respectively.

I think there are very few clips of it online as it just hasn't been kept up in the repertoire.

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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2014-2015 (232nd) season
PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:40 am 
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I am thrilled to see Stone Flower shall return to the Mariinsky stage, thus all three Prokofiev ballets (and Prodigal Son) are in the theater's current repertoire, how wonderful! (if only they could rid of Ratmansky's Cinderella, but that's a different issue).

Why the dancers in the company have mixed feelings about Stone Flower? I can already imagine Lopatkina (she danced a pdd recently, didn't she?), Kondaurova, and Tereshkina in it!

I am also curious about Bronze Horseman. Searched my whole ballet hard drive (mostly Mariinsky) but could not find a single clip of the ballet. The composer, Gliere, by the way, was Prokofiev's childhood music teacher.


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2014-2015 (232nd) season
PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:54 am 
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Hi Sandpoint and welcome to the forum!

The reason for the contention is that aside from a lot of posing in Stone Flower for the Mistress of the Copper Mountain, there's not a ton of real dancing to be had (ie it's no Petipa ballet) ...so it's considered overly long with not enough meat, by some.

There are some clips of Bronze Horseman on youtube but maybe only in Russian. I will see if I can find or direct you to them.

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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2014-2015 (232nd) season
PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:57 am 
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Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
Swan Lake
Mariinsky Ballet
2014-2015 Season Opening - 232nd Season
Mariinsky Theatre
Saint Petersburg, Russia
26 September 2014

by Catherine Pawlick

Although in years past the decades old tradition of opening the theatre season with "Swan Lake" has been sprinkled with variations -- a "Romeo" here or a "Raymonda" there -- this year's opening held true to that tradition with three Lakes in a row. Reappearing on the historical stage to the baton of Boris Gruzin leading the energetic orchestra, the ballet troupe looked reinvigorated after a 5-week annual break.

Oksana Skorik had the honour of dancing opening night alongside Evgeny Ivanchenko in the two leading roles. Skorik has come a long way since her series of Odette/Odile appearances on the California tour several years ago. Now more refined in her delivery, more self-assured and cleaner in technique, her manner of transitioning through steps has gained a maturity and depth. The speed of her port de bras when arching into the signature swan pose have now acquired a personalisation that allows her to embellish delivery without straying from or altering the choreographic text. Her Odette is a sprightly, frightened bird. Her Odile emanates sly seduction, those quick turns of head intent on manipulating Siegfried to the very end. Ivanchenko, the ever reliable prince managed an ending to his Act II variation with a multiple pirouette that ended in two rotations with his arms pulled up overhead, and a triumphant smile to punctuate the step.

As Rothbart, Andrey Ermakov danced the first two performances, both with strong dramatic delivery and verve. Fully disguised in the silver face paint, Ermakov creates a stunning image of the evil, all-knowing sorcerer, his head tossed back as he runs off stage, seemingly victorious in the first act, and encrypted in the second as he plots along with Odile.

In a pleasant surprise, Grigory Popov was cast once again as the Jester. No dancer in the company can carry this role as well as Popov to date, although others such as Tkachenko offer strong renditions in their own right. Popov was tasked with performing this role in the series of back-to-back "Swan Lakes" years ago in one of the Mariinsky Ballet festivals and even today he adds a light-hearted charm to a role that, on the wrong dancer, can fade into the background.

More delights came in the Act I Pas de trois with Ernest Latypov offering double tours to a perfect fifth position, and sissone-ouvertes that hung in the air, his ever-growing legs etching fine lines on stage. Nadezhda Batoeva sizzled through triple beats in each of her assemblés, ruler-straight chainé turns and a radiant smile throughout. We saw her again as one of the two swans in Act III, hopefully portending her own chance at Odette/Odile in the future.

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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2014-2015 (232nd) season
PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 10:53 pm 
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Thank you Catherine, and thanks for the tip! I did a search in Russian on YouTube and found two performances:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bR6buqSmi0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EoJ5spQtI4Y

Maybe it's Vaganova's student version?

I started reading this forum in 2004, when I first saw live ballets. Learned a lot from the discussions here, and also from your book.


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2014-2015 (232nd) season
PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 10:00 am 
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Hi Sandpoint, Am thrilled if my book opened up a new world to you! :-)

Those clips are fantastic, thanks for posting them. The first is at the Hermitage Theatre, the second inside the Vaganova Academy at their in-house hall.
The first clip reminds me of the ballet Carnavale a great deal, the costumes are nearly the same (esp for the man, minus the mask on his face). And the girl looks like Columbine, even the choreography is similar in their pas de deux with the flirtations and kisses and so forth.

The second clip, I'm not sure if it has been adapted for student performances or not (having never seen the original version since it's never danced). I am very curious to see this full length on stage in the spring!

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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2014-2015 (232nd) season
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 5:26 pm 
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Sandpoint,
Thank you for posting those two videos. I loved the second one. It is always wonderful to see a young girl dancing with the Vaganova style (flowing seaweed in ocean current arms....my term).
I am glad they are reviving this ballet just from that one clip alone. Makes me want to know more about the ballet!


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2014-2015 (232nd) season
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 11:49 pm 
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PenneallaNorma,

You are welcome, just two links.

But someone posted a new video of Bronze Horseman on YouTube today (together with some political statement):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HS8wyYy6f0w

Looks to me like another R&J.

BTW, I don't see it's been mentioned here. According to the theater's playbill, Mariinsky is going to stage Matvienko's The Great Gatsby on February 13, 2015. The new ballet has a web site:

http://gatsbyballet.com/eng/


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2014-2015 (232nd) season
PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 2:13 am 
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Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
Yes Gatsby is Denis Matvienko's brainchild project. He funded/designed it. It's not a Mariinsky project -- just like Vishneva's projects are not the Mariinsky's, they are hers. So this is an independent production presentation with outside funding -- it just will be performed on the Mariinsky stage. The "troupe" shows that with a select cast (ie Pavlenko, Sergeyev, and the Matvienko couple). ie the Mariinsky Ballet itself is not performing it, just members from the Mariinsky. Usually this sort of project is done on other stages in the city, but more and more the classics are being pushed aside for modern "projects" such as this.

About the Bronze Horseman, (by way of translation for those who wish it), the entry titles there in the clip states that the ballet takes its story from the great flood of 1824 in St. Petersburg. About 5 minutes from where I live, near where Dostoyevsky wrote Crime & Punishment, there's a mark on the building and a plaque noting where the water level was in that year. It's about the level of my shoulders (I'm over 172 cm).

The film clip that RussianballetVideos posted is probably in response to this new announcement :-). It shows the famous and sweet Sergey Berezhnoi in the main role of Evgeny. He loses his beloved Papasha (Kolpakova) to death, and blames the statue of Peter the Great. He is then haunted by the statue and thinks it follows him everywhere.

There's a cut in the recording at 9:15. But I have to say i really like Zakharov's choreography here. It's very lyrical and the Gliere score is gorgeous. It's a wonder they have not renewed it before now as it doesn't seem to require complicated sets, and the choreography is all very clear in the recording. I can easily see Kondaurova/Lopatkina and others in the leading roles. It's interesting too that they did this in the 1960s style of the "film ballet" like the film version of Sleeping Beauty circa '66 (with Dudinskaya and Soloviev) ...with the interpolated shots of Berezhnoi doing chaine turns and the pictures of the statue... I'm curious how those sections play out on stage in the full length.

My guess is Horseman will debut during the festival and then re-debut at the start of the White Nights. That's usually what they do. I just pray the project is not scrapped in favor of others before the spring. I hope it stays in the season plans.

(the subtitle mentioning insane asylum must be what you meant by political statement, sandpoint :wink: )

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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2014-2015 (232nd) season
PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2014 4:25 am 
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Location: USA-Switzerland
I mentioned awhile ago that I really didn’t see too much difference between today’s performing style of the Mariinsky and the Bolshoi. If anything I felt that the Bolshoi had moved closer to the dreamlike flow of the Mariinsky.

Last July in NYC I saw two performances each of the Bolshoi’s Swan Lake with Svetlana Zakharova and Olga Smirnova. For the first time I felt something really different. It’s always been the dreamy spell cast by the Act I Odette duet that has defined Swan Lake for me and is what I most love about it and ballet in general.

Svetlana Zakharova and Olga Smirnova left me with an overall impression of theater and of strong character identity with their Odette/Odiles. I believe that this is what the Bolshoi is more known for, but it’s the first time that I truly felt it. I still attribute it more to the extremely fine performances of these two great artists than the company style.

Just recently I’ve watched video clips of the Bolshoi’s young Anna Tikhomirova in Coppelia and the richness of theater and character is again very evident. (I liked her brief NYC appearances very much). Also Kristina Kretova, a somewhat recent arrival at the Bolshoi, can show vibrant personality, as seen in the Blue Bird duet (Sleeping Beauty) video clip. I’ve seen similar qualities in Maria Alexandrova and Yekaterina Krysanova, but not to this extent. I’ll be very interested to see if this becomes more prevalent and in fact changes my perception and perhaps others’ of today's Bolshoi in contrast to the Mariinsky.


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