CriticalDance Forum

"Swan Lake" -- Naples, Italy -- September 17-22, 2013
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Author:  Buddy [ Sun Sep 01, 2013 6:18 pm ]
Post subject:  "Swan Lake" -- Naples, Italy -- September 17-22, 2013

Just been watching Olga Esina's recent "Le Corsaire" pas de trois (dance for three). What the Mariinsky has going on at the top these days is, yes -- Mind Boggling !

Of the other 'Swans' (what I like to call the tall or tall looking ballerinas) there's….

Ulyana Lopatkina
Oxana Skorik
Ekaterina Kondaurova
Alina Somova
Anastasia Matvienko

and one not tall Phenomenon

Diana Vishneva

and not to forget two 'Butterflies' (not tall ballerinas)

Anastasia Kolegova
Ekaterina Osmolkina

and one exceptionally fine artist

Daria Pavlenko

Any of these women could be launched in two weeks when the Mariinsky does five "Swan Lakes" in Naples, Italy. (Perhaps Alina Somova, having just returned from maternity leave is less likely and Daria Pavlenko who I've sadly been missing recently, but saw do two wonderful "Swan Lakes" a few years ago).

(And as an aside, never forget two 'Swans' that left the 'Mariinsky' for the Bolshoi -- Svetlana Zakharova and Olga Smirnova and one 'Butterfly' -- Evgenia Obraztsova )

** Added **

Ok, here are Artists who are scheduled to appear at the Mariinsky around that time.

Anastasia Kolegova -- Fountain of Bakhchisarai, Sept. 15

Yekaterina Osmolkina -- Cinderella, Sept 16

Viktoria Tereshkina (Welcome back!) Carmen Suite, Sept 17

Anastasia Kolegova , Ekaterina Kondaurova and Anastasia Matvienko -- Humped Back Horse, Sept. 22

Diana Vishneva's site doesn't list her performing anywhere at that time.

My guess for -- Most Likely Contenders

Ulyana Lopatkina

Oxana Skorik

(both are not scheduled for anything at the Mariinsky at that time)

Ekaterina Kondaurova (before her Sept. 22 Mariinsky performance -- She has the ability to do anything!)

And Possibly

Anastasia Matvienko (before her Sept. 22 Mariinsky performance)

Olga Esina ( "Wouldn't That Be Lovely" ! )

**My Wild Guess**

Ulyana Lopatkina Tues 17

Ekaterina Kondaurova Weds 18

Oxana Skorik Fri 20

Ulyana Lopatkina (or Olga Esina) Sat 21

Oxana Skorik Sun 22

[ As for my 'wild guess' for the "Swan Lake" lineup, I do possibly see Oxana Skorik dancing two performances with only a one day break, something that I wouldn't wish on her, although it could happen. I've seen her do it before, three "Swan Lakes" in six days, when the Mariinsky was in Costa Mesa, California about a year ago. Also correction made at beginning. Olga Esina performs in 'a dance for three', her and two men, although she does almost all the initial dancing.]

Author:  Buddy [ Mon Sep 02, 2013 4:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Swan Lake" -- Naples, Italy -- September 17-22, 2013

I've been looking at some of what I wrote about the seven Mariinsky "Swan Lake" performances last October in Costa Mesa, California. These featured Oxana Skorik (3 times), Ekaterina Kondaurova and Anastasia Kolegeva (twice each).

Of these ladies, Oxana Skorik seems the most likely to appear in Naples and to have more than one performance. Looking at what I wrote about a year ago, I already sense a large difference. At that time I was in Awe of the amazing feeling of Drama in what she was doing. It was not just theatrical, it was in her motion and in the also refined essence of her being.

Having seen her once more on stage and continually on the internet, I now notice something different that I've referred to in my posts. She has become much more Subtle. Her Drama of mental and physical expression are now used to highlight her Refined Beauty, rather than to 'propel' her presentation. It's a real pleasure to see and it's very 'Mariinsky' in its Loveliness.

Ekaterina Kondaurova could make an early appearance based on her home schedule. In Costa Mesa it was her Statuesque beauty that I liked most. Her expression seemed to be in a state of experimentation. At this year's Mariinsky Festival I couldn't believe the difference. Her theatrical Expression (most noticeably -- Facial Expression) had become Mind Blowing ! This was most apparent the one evening when she performed the leads in all of George Balanchine's Emeralds, Rubies and Diamonds, possibly a feat never attempted before. I thought that she could hold her own with any of the theatrical greats of stage or cinema ! Is there anything that this lady can't do ?!

Anastasia Kolegova was such a delightful and talented Sweetheart that I probably fell hopelessly in love. She also was the first non linear ballerina that I can recall doing "Swan Lake" live. It ended any thoughts that "Swan Lake" has to be done by a taller looking lady. For the moment it doesn't seem that she will appear in Naples because she has two St. Petersburg performances listed, one before and one the last day of the Naples' dates, but who knows ?

Author:  Buddy [ Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Swan Lake" -- Naples, Italy -- September 17-22, 2013

I've been traveling and off the internet for awhile, but here's the official casting and Olga Esina will be there. Brava !! Also to Ulyana Lopatkina and Oksana Skorik -- of course -- Brava !!

Odette-Odille: Oksana Skorik (17 e 21 settembre) / Ul’jana Lopatkina (18 settembre) / Ol’ga Esina (20 e 22 settembre)

Principe Siegfried: Vladimir Škljarov  (17 e 21 settembre)  / Evgenij  Ivančenko (18 settembre)/ Timur Askerov (20 e 22 settembre)

Rothbart: Ivan Sitnikov / Konstantin Zverev  (20, 21 e 22 settembre)

La regina Madre: Ekaterina Mihajlovceva, Il precettore del Principe: Soslan Kulaev ... -dei-cigni 

When you dance down the street with a cloud at your feet
You're in love
When you walk down in a dream but you know you're not
Dreaming signore

Scuzza me, but you see, back in old

** Napoli **

That's Amore !

(Sung by Dean Martin)

Author:  Tiara [ Sat Sep 14, 2013 2:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Swan Lake" -- Naples, Italy -- September 17-22, 2013

Why is Uliana Lopatkina second cast and Oxana Skorik is opening the Swan Lake performances? This is a real insult to Uliana Lopatkina, who is the company's prima ballerina, and who has been long been world renowned and an audience favourite. Italian audiences will think that Oxana Skorik is the most important ballerina at MT since she has been given the honoured opening cast. This is NOT the case. With so many talented ballerinas at MT who are never even given a debut as Odette-Odile, Oxana Skorik should not be dancing at all. The fact that she is first cast over Lopatkina shows complete disregard for this great ballerina and this is an absolute disgrace that Yuri Fateyev has done this.

Author:  Cassandra [ Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Swan Lake" -- Naples, Italy -- September 17-22, 2013

I would like to second what Tiara has written, I no longer go abroad to see this company because of the bizarre casting and now consider the Kirov to be a tainted brand,

Author:  Buddy [ Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Swan Lake" -- Naples, Italy -- September 17-22, 2013

Naples is like some Beautifully crazy ballet or opera or something. If you love anything you have to love Italy !

Oxana Skorik was lovely last night. She was especially soft and flowing in the Odile solo just before the fouette spins. The fouette spins were very respectable single-double-singles, ending with singles. Vladimir Škljarov (in Italiano) sailed up into the rafters during his 'black swan' solo. Not bad considering that this beautiful Theatre, the oldest opera house in the world, is about eight stories high. Across from this eight story Theatre is the 19th century, eight story high, glass roofed shopping Gallery. Walking through the Gallery to the Theatre at the other end rivals any stage setting that I've ever seen.

It was good to see Grigorij Popov (in Italiano) again as the Jester. It's been awhile. Some of the things that I've seen him do are mind-boggling.

Along with the classical and scenic beauty of this country you get the feeling that life is not to be taken too seriously.

Last night the entire Company looked * Molta Bellissima ! *

Author:  Buddy [ Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Swan Lake" -- Naples, Italy -- September 17-22, 2013

A Great Evening From Ulyana Lopatkina !

She Is Probably One Of The Greatest Ballerinas Ever.

I won't try to second guess why the Mariinsky didn't give her the opening night, but as much as I love Oxana Skorik, I was surprised, like others here.

In any case it was A Wonderful Evening from the Entire Company.

Author:  Buddy [ Fri Sep 20, 2013 5:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Swan Lake" -- Naples, Italy -- September 17-22, 2013

Olga Esina

:D :D :D :D

My hands are shaky and my knees are weak
I can't seem to stand on my own two feet
Who do you thank when you have such luck?
I'm in love
I'm all shook up


I can't find a way to describe her that really says it. I can sort of say that she seems in part a dancer within a dancer. Within her Gracefully Uniform Flow appears to be perhaps another person of Fineness and Detail. But no one part is really distinct from the rest. It all just blends together into a Remarkable Totality.

I'll try to talk about this more at another time.

'Have You Ever Seen A Dream [Dancing] -- Well I Have'

She's Quite Something !

Author:  Buddy [ Sat Sep 21, 2013 3:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Swan Lake" -- Naples, Italy -- September 17-22, 2013

An Ongoing Dialogue to "An Unchained Melody"

The greatest thing in this world is to love
And be loved in return

(not sure which song these lyrics come from)

A Great and Beautiful Artist like Olga Esina inspires feelings such as this. She let's you dream.

Author:  Buddy [ Sat Sep 21, 2013 5:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Swan Lake" -- Naples, Italy -- September 17-22, 2013

Oxana Skorik

* Sta Sera -- Una Dea *
* Sta Sera -- Eleganza Sublime *

(This Evening -- A Goddess -- This Evening -- Sublime Elegance)

Author:  Buddy [ Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Swan Lake" -- Naples, Italy -- September 17-22, 2013

For Oxana Skorik -- Una Poesia -- A Poem



Con un sogno ("sogno" pronounced "soh' nyoh")

Dal fuoco del profondo dell'anima

Con la bellezza nel cuore

E Volare

To Speak

To Dance

With a dream

From a fire deep within your soul

With the beauty within your heart

Is To Fly

Author:  Buddy [ Sun Sep 22, 2013 3:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Swan Lake" -- Naples, Italy -- September 17-22, 2013

Olga Esina

Another Wonderful Evening !

It's her *Elegance* at the moment that makes her special, for me.

Also tonight I noticed something that brought back my first very pleasant memories from several years ago. Starting with the Odile duet and continuing through the Odette finale was a Lightness -- an Airy Linearity, a Freshness and a Sense of Charming Agility. It was great to see and feel this again.

I also looked at my comments from her Mariinsky Festival Swan Lake performance earlier this year, a performance that I considered to be perhaps the loveliest of the entire Festival. Tonight there were so many fine similarities. If you want to read my brief comments, please look here at the top of the page.


One of the things that I mentioned was her way of reaching out for definition. I called it "highlighting," but I think that I would now call it 'punctuating.' It moves along within a contained softness and overall flow to give an uninterrupting effect. It also takes many forms, from actually extending her limbs, to the very careful placement of her head. Even the focus of her eyes has the effect of extending herself, of carrying her lines beyond herself.

Her hands were also very lovely and beautifully designed. They again punctuate the uniformness of her graceful flow, giving it character and interest.

What she also does when she is using a looseness of style is to add one of these elements to reinforce her sense of elegance and her fineness. It may be the use of her hands, a straightening of her back, etc. It spells "Fineness" and reminds us why the Mariinsky chose her to be a Guest Principal Dancer. She has something special. She can carry her beauty a step beyond.

In addition she has a sensitivity, a warmth, a humanness.

As I've said before, one thing that makes this all so exceptional is the way that it all blends so seamlessly together. Individual effects can be almost unnoticed and always uninterrupting.

She received a very enthusiastic audience response tonight as did Oxana Skorik last night.

One thing that I really enjoyed during her Friday performance was the way that the rest of the company fused so well into the mood that she created. The Act II White Swan duet is always the highlight for me. If the enchantment of it can somehow carry through the rest of the evening, it all, for me, becomes something wonderful. This is not easy, having to introduce an opposite personality, Odile, a set of character dances, etc. Yet somehow it all came together as well as I've ever seen.

There were so many fine performances this week and there is so much more that could be mentioned. I just have to say for now that the company looked great and the Neapolitan audience that has only seen one other Mariinsky Swan Lake series (1988) was very enthusiastic and very warmly appreciative.

** Bellissima ! -- Bellissima ! **

Author:  Buddy [ Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Swan Lake" -- Naples, Italy -- September 17-22, 2013

Oxana Skorik

This is from the only press review (GBOPERA Magazine) that I've seen of the performances.

"An Odette / Odile technically flawless, beautiful long lines, sustained, even more deserving of praise for having been danced with delicate lyricism suited to the role, especially in the "White" Pas de deux, the end of which unleashed a veritable ovation, supported even by the members of the orchestra! The most difficult parts were carried out smoothly and with poetic ease, thanks to the fine use of the arms, real swan wings. Refined and sober, she appeared perfect in the role of Odette…."

(translated from italian. thanks to NEOPHYTE at Dansomanie for posting this) ... di-napoli/

" ….[an ovation] supported even by the members of the orchestra! "

If this is true than I'm indeed impressed.

I saw both of her performances and they were outstanding. I agree with what this reviewer has written. I do have to add one fact. In neither performance of the Act II White Swan duet were the two overhead lifts performed. This possibly was a partnering issue. Oxana Skorik, at least on point, is taller than Vladimir Shklyarov (her partner in both performances), and someone may have chosen not to include them, because of difficulty. (I did once see an entire series of Mariinsky Swan Lakes where almost everyone omitted these lifts, although this is not usually done) In an internet video of Swan Lake, danced with Timur Askerov, she performs all the lifts in the entire ballet with confidence and immense beauty. These two lifts were the only elements in both performances that she omitted that I noticed. Although there was at times a sign of tenseness, all the other technical challenges were handled flawlessly.

I continue to feel that she has the ability to be one of the finest ballerinas of our times. Perhaps she already is.

Author:  Cassandra [ Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Swan Lake" -- Naples, Italy -- September 17-22, 2013

No, she isn't.

Author:  Cassandra [ Wed Oct 02, 2013 6:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Swan Lake" -- Naples, Italy -- September 17-22, 2013

That song by the way, is Nature Boy, made famous by Nat King cole

There was a boy
A very wise and gentle boy.
They say he wandered very far, very far,
Over land and sea.
A little sad
And tired of eyes,
But very wise was he...

Until one day,
That magic day he passed my way,
And while we talked of many things
Fools and kings,
This he said to me:
"The greatest thing
That you will ever learn
Is just to love
And be loved
In return."

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