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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky International Ballet Festival: April 3-13, 2014
PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:30 am 
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MAXIM SEVAGIN IS THE NEXT PETIPA!

His work is the first classical composition to classical music that was in line with Petipa and other classical traditions while still being "new". Set to Liszt with a Raymonda-type theme (white tutus with feathered caps for the girls) it was utterly polished in terms of musicality and composition. BRAVO Maxim!

This young man should be commended and given more room to work and play. In the post-performance discussion in the upper foyer, which was taped for Mariinsky TV and can be replayed (at least short term) on their web page, Sevagin mentioned that the work he set is restrained by the limits of his courses at the Vaganova Academy, not in terms of time constraints but that he's in the First Course (of Three) and they have certain requirements that he must meet. Meaning his product is restricted to those requirements even though his choreographic fantasy may be far more expansive.

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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky International Ballet Festival: April 3-13, 2014
PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:58 pm 
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Catherine Pawlick wrote:
MAXIM SEVAGIN IS THE NEXT PETIPA!

His work is the first classical composition to classical music that was in line with Petipa and other classical traditions while still being "new". Set to Liszt with a Raymonda-type theme (white tutus with feathered caps for the girls) it was utterly polished in terms of musicality and composition. BRAVO Maxim!

This young man should be commended and given more room to work and play. In the post-performance discussion in the upper foyer, which was taped for Mariinsky TV and can be replayed (at least short term) on their web page, Sevagin mentioned that the work he set is restrained by the limits of his courses at the Vaganova Academy, not in terms of time constraints but that he's in the First Course (of Three) and they have certain requirements that he must meet. Meaning his product is restricted to those requirements even though his choreographic fantasy may be far more expansive.

This is the best news of this nature I've heard coming out of the Mariinsky in a long time. It's very exciting to learn of a young choreographer who has apparently, already found his voice. If there's one thing that this company needs its an inspiring choreographer/ (potential leader?), that respects the company's history and traditions and can make ballets. If he can do this while still a student, he needs all the support and encouragement from the Management that he can get. May he come into his own and be allowed to fulfill his promise.


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky International Ballet Festival: April 3-13, 2014
PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 4:12 pm 
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Just some very quick comments because I have to catch a plane tomorrow. There is so much to write about this evening's Gala that I’ll try to do as soon as I have a chance.

Tonight Was Excellent !

This I do want to say.


Alina Somova

She danced The Dying Swan And It Was

Certainly One Of The Greatest Ballet Performances That I’ve Ever Seen !

I’ve never seen it done quite like this and I never thought that this side of her existed.

She Was Remarkable !


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky International Ballet Festival: April 3-13, 2014
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:29 pm 
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Catherine Pawlick wrote:
MAXIM SEVAGIN IS THE NEXT PETIPA!

His work is the first classical composition to classical music that was in line with Petipa and other classical traditions while still being "new". Set to Liszt with a Raymonda-type theme (white tutus with feathered caps for the girls) it was utterly polished in terms of musicality and composition. BRAVO Maxim!

This young man should be commended and given more room to work and play. In the post-performance discussion in the upper foyer, which was taped for Mariinsky TV and can be replayed (at least short term) on their web page, Sevagin mentioned that the work he set is restrained by the limits of his courses at the Vaganova Academy, not in terms of time constraints but that he's in the First Course (of Three) and they have certain requirements that he must meet. Meaning his product is restricted to those requirements even though his choreographic fantasy may be far more expansive.

I agree! I saw Mariinsky TV's coverage and Sevagin's piece was just SO good! Wonderful to see this young boy honouring the traditions of Russian ballet and yes, so polished and great to see the young dancers enjoying performing it. This was the piece I enjoyed the most of all those shown! What a great prospect he is!
Catherine, have you heard anything about when details of the White Nights Festivals are going to be available online? Actually, have you heard ANY details at ALL? The website says details will be published at a later date ... but this is no use to anyone who wants to plan a trip. Do you or anyone know anything about when the playbill or casting will be available? What about the cashiers? Do they know when they will have tickets available to sell at the box office? I would be grateful for any information you have!


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky International Ballet Festival: April 3-13, 2014
PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 1:44 am 
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Hi Tiara,
I think the only one who *may* know about tentative White Nights casting is Fateyev. It is not posted on the boards internally yet. Right now they only have posted through the end of April -- and that only went up during the festival! So no, unfortunately there is no news...

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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky International Ballet Festival: April 3-13, 2014
PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 4:44 am 
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I’ve been traveling so I haven’t had a chance to post much. This was the Gala program. I’ll try to discuss it in more detail at another time.


Ballet Gala

Part I

Inside The Lines
(Choreographer: Anton Pimonov)

Yekaterina Kondaurova, Nadezhda Batoeva, Alexander Sergeyev, Alexei Timofeyev….


Part II

Tchaikovsky Pas De Deux
(George Balanchine)

J’Aime Crandall and Alban Lendorf (RDB)


Seven Sonatas
(Alexei Ratmansky)

Veronika Part and Jared Mathews (ABT)


Adagio of the Mistress of the Copper Mountain and Danila from the ballet The Stone Flower
(Leonid Lavrovsky) (Yuri Gregorovich)

Ulyana Lopatkina and Marat Shemiunov (Mikhailovsky Theatre)


The Dying Swan
(Michel Fokine)

Alina Somova


Grand Pas Classique
(Victor Gzovsky)

Viktoria Tereshina and Timur Askerov



Part III

Symphony In C
(George Balanchine)

I. Allegro vivo
Anastasia Matvienko and Alexander Sergeyev

II. Adagio
Oxana Skorik and Yevgeny Ivanchenko

III. Allegro vivace
Nadezhda Batoeva and Kimin Kim

IV. Allegro vivace
Nadezhda Gonchar and Alexei Timofeyev

***************



Part I, Inside The Lines, was a modernist work.

Yekaterina Kondaurova

She is probably the best modern dancer at the Mariinsky, one of its finest classicists and one of its loveliest individuals.

Also very fine were the other lead dancers listed above.


Part II

The Divertissements have always been extremely fine over the years.

Alina Somova — As I mentioned before, she may have performed the masterpiece of her career.

Veronika Part — Great ! So good to finally see her at the Festival. Hopefully she will make many more appearances.


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky International Ballet Festival: April 3-13, 2014
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 9:42 am 
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Alina Somova

At the Gala she danced ’The Swan,’ made famous by Anna Pavlova. In my viewing this has generally been a study in long lines, exceptional grace and a variety of expression. Ulyana Lopatkina’s has been perhaps the most beautiful of this type since Anna Pavlova. Alina Somova’s may have achieved the same greatness, but with subtle differences.

I’ve always associated Alina Somova with the qualities listed above. Her long lined gracefulness can be among the best. And this is what I was expecting and hoping for. But, her ‘Swan’ was somewhat different from any that I’ve seen before and Totally Unexpected. All artists have probably tried to put their own interpretation on this.

What made it so different from anything else that I’ve seen her do, was her total and remarkable commitment to

**** Her Expression ****

I’ve seen instances when her ability to do this has shown brilliance, but this was way beyond in her commitment. Possibly much more important, I never thought that she was capable of such *Original* and Compelling Expressiveness.

When she entered her arms were fluttering slightly as in Odette’s Act I exit from Swan Lake. It was more subtle and I don’t recall ever seeing anything quite like it.

While expecting to see her reaching out and floating with her dance and expression, in effect, she reigned it in. Her moves were slightly ‘clipped,’ held back. It was not expansive but it still projected. It was also a matter of exceptionally effective dramatic articulation in her timing and positioning. And it was lovely. The sculpturing of her hands was equally outstanding. Facially, she was right on. She created her own vocabulary, again quite different from all that I’ve seen before, and it had message and impact. She was telling the story her way in her own language.

To try to describe it is one thing. To experience it is quite another.

The key to this remarkable performance was not only in its originality, but that it worked and it worked as well as anything that I’ve ever seen on the ballet stage.


It Was Probably The Best That I’ve Ever Seen Her Do And Was Indeed One Of The Greatest Ballet Performances That I’ve Ever Seen.


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky International Ballet Festival: April 3-13, 2014
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 4:47 am 
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vrsfanatic wrote:
I look forward to your post on Boylston and Kimm. Yes, Bella was a student in our school, The HARID Conservatory. She is indeed a lovely person. We have now had two alumni perform with The Mariinsky. Thank you for your posts.

vrsfanatic, I haven’t forgotten about you. Before I get more into the exceptional Gala evening, let’s take a quick look back at La Bayadere. I’ve already mentioned Alina Somova’s outstanding lead performance as Nikia.


Isabella Boylston

Gamzatti — La Bayadere

Gamzatti is a very interesting part. She has two appearances, one being in a large segment at the end of Act I, where she does’t dance at all, and the second being in the entirety of Act II where she does several major dances. Two elements have always caught my attention. One is the Portrayal and the other a lovely dance segment that I’ve always appreciated somewhat independently from the overall story.

I’m very sensitive to portrayals and in this work I think that this has as much significance as in any ballet, again remembering that in Act I Gamzatti doesn’t dance at all. I’ve seen different takes on this, one of most interesting being at the Paris Opera Ballet (I don’t have the artist’s name at hand), where she is represented as a multidimensional and not unsympathetic character who definitely holds her own in importance and significance with the heroine, Nikia.

I’ve seen Isabella Boylston perform Gamzatti twice and have been equally captivated by her interpretation. If you read this, vrsfanatic, is this something you pay a lot of attention to at your school, where Isabella studied for two(?) years. She is extremely focussed and her presence has an intriguing power. She is youthfully vulnerable (as she probably is in reality), but she is also in command of her world. She knows that she’s a rajah’s daughter. In the presence of Nikia, portrayed in a very compelling way with goddess-like beauty by Alina Somova, she holds your attention with equal power. I could go on with moment by moment descriptions, but prefer to conclude by saying that she performed this as well as anyone that I’ve seen. This is an area that I hope she continues to grow in, because it’s not something I usually associate with ABT, or American ballet in general, and I think that she could be one of the best. I think that it's also worth mentioning that Isabella is the only non Principal, featured dancer that I can recall the Mariinsky ever inviting to the Festival. This is quite an honor.

In this particular performance I would say that the most noteworthy part of her dancing, which was very fine, was in her highlights. They were contained within the overall structure, rather than dominating it, and were often very impressive. In a series of lifts, for instance, she added some very exciting and dramatic backbends. Her spins, her balance, her positioning, her technical prowess, as seen in her fouette spins, were all extremely well performed.

I will mention once again that I saw her dance Swan Lake last Spring with ABT and in this work, which I consider to be perhaps the standard for ballet, her lovely dancing was extremely fine.


Kimin Kim

He also performed that evening as the hero, Solor, and there is little more that I can say except that

He Is One Of The Very Best !

He is indeed in the “force of nature” category in his physical prowess and is also a poetic and artistic phenomenon. By himself, he can be mind boggling in speed, jumps, spins, consistency — you name it. As a presence, he is noble, compelling, often fascinating and highly likable. As a partner, he’s rock solid, supportive and always one step ahead of the action in focussing the attention on his ballerina partner. He can also switch from modern to classical, from one form of imagery to another, with brilliance and equal mastery of each.



Corp de Ballet

I would also like to call attention to the lovely blonde artist, who has taken over from Yana Selina (not yet back from maternity leave (?) and highly appreciated) for the last few years as the first Shade in the grand entrance. I once read a quote from a Mariinsky dancer, saying that Yana Selina was given this because she has the best arabesque in the company. The new young lady, whose name I don’t know, has always impressed me with her outstanding and lovely command of this critical and focally dominant position. The entire Corp de Ballet, by the way, can never be praised enough. This La Bayadere may have been its best so far !


Last edited by Buddy on Tue Apr 22, 2014 5:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky International Ballet Festival: April 3-13, 2014
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 5:11 am 
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Thank you Buddy for your review of Isabella Boylston. I really do appreciate it. I had seen her first Gamzatti in DC.

Isabella came to the HARID Conservatory from the School of the Colorado Ballet (at the time, a very pro-Russian school, with teachers who had graduated as students, from Vaganova Academy) when she was in 10th grade. She studied in our program for levels I, II and half of III. She was invited to join ABT Studio Company after the summer of her junior year (age 16/17), but declined the offer in order to finish her academic studies and the dance curriculum at HARID. The offer was made again 6 months later, as Studio Company must have been in need. She finished her academic courses through correspondence, as that was the option at the time and did receive a HARID diploma and a certificate of having completed the required dance courses. She happily returned for her graduation ceremonies and continues to remain grateful for her education at HARID.

As for the development of a character, I would have to say yes to your question. Bella was a very focused student, as all of our students must be or they loose their scholarship. Our curriculum is vast and intense. I choose not to go into the particulars of a student as it seems a bit too personal for the student and for myself to do so in a public forum. I do however thank you for your review as I enjoy reading about the development of dancers over a long period of time.


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky International Ballet Festival: April 3-13, 2014
PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 6:34 am 
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Thanks, vrsfanatic.


The Divertissements

In addition to Alina Somova’s great rendering of ‘The Swan,’ I enjoyed all these final night Gala performances very much.


Veronika Part

As some of you may know, I’ve been waiting for years to see her at the Festival. She was a Mariinsky artist before she joined the ABT. Well, she didn’t get Swan Lake (maybe next year, my dream), but at least she was there. She performed Alexei Ratmanksy’s Seven Sonatas with ABT’s Jared Mathews, who was a fine partner. She perhaps shines brightest and can be appreciated the most in what might be ballet’s greatest work, Swan Lake. I’ve seen her dance it around seven times and each performance has been one of the best. I’ve also seen her dance Sleeping Beauty twice and was very impressed. Other works that I’ve seen her in, from La Bayadere to simple walk-ons have shown, at least, her remarkable stage presence. Her actual dancing always seems to be extremely fine in its expression and beauty of motion.

What her relatively brief performance of Seven Sonatas (not one of the historic classics, but still sharing some of the same waters) once again brought home was how totally she immerses herself. She seems to live the performance, in fact at times, taking over the entire work, almost making it her own creation, yet totally within its structure and intent. I felt this most strongly at her NYC presentation of Swan Lake with Roberto Bolle five years ago.

This performance was beautifully done overall and hopefully appreciated enough, especially in its wonderful subtleties, that the Mariinsky will invite her back again as often as possible.

She Is One Of A Kind. One Of The Very Best.


Ulyana Lopatkina

She was extremely fine in her only and brief appearance this year, The Stone Flower. Her audience recognition was immediate, profound and electric. In the pulse of today’s ballet she is The Acknowledged Queen.

What perhaps impressed me most was, at 40, her agility was that of a teenager. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her more capable. In some of the lifts she wrapped herself around and sculptured herself with mind boggling effect.

Her artistic greatness almost demands that she be seen and appreciated as much as is possible.


Viktoria Tereshkina with Timur Askerov (Grand Pas Classique), Olesya Novika (embraceably lovely) with Vladimir Shklyarov (Le Parc) and J’Aime Crandall with Alban Lendorf (both RDB) (Tchaikovsky Pas De Deux) all did very well.


Symphony In C (George Balanchine)

The evening ended with this famous work. Mariinsky appearances have often been very successfully highlighted and concluded with grand classics by George Balanchine in the last few years.

Not only does the company put its own stamp of excellence on these interpretations, but this year it took on a very personal charm. From the moment that the curtain came up with Women's Corps de Ballet beautifully positioned, the Aura was that of

* Something Precious *

Oxana Skorik with Yevgeny Ivanchenko once again created her own artistic magic in the Adagio.

Anastasia Matvienko and Alexander Sergeyev opened with a very fine Allegro. Alexander Sergeyev was especially noteworthy for his finely articulated and very impressive dancing.

Nadezhda Batoeva and Kimin Kim did great with another Allegro. It was also a chance to briefly enjoy Yulia Stepanova and Alisa Sodoleva, along with Nadezhda Batoeva, all potential Mariinsky stars, at the same time.

Nadezhda Gonchar (dancing a lot this Festival and with a special fineness) and Alexei Timofeyev did the ending Allegro very well.


All in all, another very fine conclusion to another exceptionally fine Mariinsky Festival.


As I sat by a window, the second to last night, with a near full moon above and the surrounding historic center of Saint Petersburg beautifully lit, this song started playing.


Moon river wider than a mile
I'm crossing you in style someday
You dream maker, you heartbreaker
Wherever you're going I'm going your way
Two drifters off to see the world

There's such a lot of world to see
We're after the same rainbows end
Waiting round the bend
My huckleberry friend, moon river
And me


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky International Ballet Festival: April 3-13, 2014
PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:31 pm 
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Catherine’s review of the Festival for Dance Europe magazine can be purchased on line here.

http://www.danceeurope.net/store/issue-184

18 Ashton’s Sylvia

CATHERINE PAWLICK reviews Ashton, McGregor and more at the Mariinsky.
(Also there’s an interview with Yuri Fateyev)

http://www.danceeurope.net/sites/defaul ... en_184.pdf

I haven’t had a chance to purchase it yet, but will try to as soon as possible.


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky International Ballet Festival: April 3-13, 2014
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:23 am 
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Swans

I’ve been watching the video clip over and over of Oxana Skorik’s Adagio from Symphony In C, possibly the finest video from the Festival that I’ve found. I’m sure that I’ll also settle into the ones of her Swan Lake, although the White Swan duet is not included, which was surely one of the finest moments of the Festival.


“Swans”

This is the name that I’ve given to a group of statuesque (usually tall) and ethereal ballerinas that continues to fascinate and enchant me. This list is made up of younger ballerinas, such as Alina Somova, Oxana Skorik, Olga Esina, Ekaterina Kondaurova and also Olga Smirnova. Olga Smirnova after graduating from the Vaganova is now at the Bolshoi, but I still associate her strongly with her Mariinsky ’sisters.’ Ulyana Lopatkina probably sets the artistic standard for this group, and others outside the company, such as Svetlana Zakharova, have strong association.

Alina Somova

Before the Festival began I mentioned that Alina Somova was capable of producing the most pleasant surprises this year. She did that indeed ! Her La Bayadere was exactly what I was hoping for, but her ’Swan’ (Fokine) went way beyond what I was hoping for or could even imagine. In my mind, it was Greatness !

Oxana Skorik

She just gets better and better. Different from what Alina Somova accomplished, Oxana Skorik’s greatness seems to be, more and more, a quiet, subtle one. Thus, it might not be quite as apparent. It’s not a matter of highlights as much as of Depth and Essence. It’s not always obvious, but it leaves a profound feeling of heartfelt enchantment.

Olga Esina

She was scheduled to perform Giselle, but because of injury, she was replaced by Hee Seo, who, in all honesty, completely surprised me with the wonderfulness of her performance. Based on what I’ve seen her do, Olga Esina has the ability to be one of the lyrical gems of the Mariinsky and I greatly look forward to seeing her again.

Ekaterina Kondaurova

Not only is she one of the company’s finest lyricists, she is perhaps its finest modernist and ‘portrayalist.’ Her Statuesque Elegance is possibly the finest on the ballet stage today. Her ongoing artistic development should just make her even more remarkable.

Olga Smirnova (Bolshoi, Vaganova graduate)

I’ve not had a chance to see much new on video but I’m very hopeful of being able to see her for the second time on stage performing Swan Lake in NYC this summer. Her greatness is already apparent, both in fineness and power of expression, and she may well turn out to be one the all-time greatest.


In summary, artists such as Alina Somova and Olga Smirnova are immediately compelling. Olga Esina and Ekaterina Kondaurova are also outstanding in their lyrical fineness. Olga Esina may be most noteworthy for her airy loveliness and Ekaterina Kondaurova for her lyrical beauty as well as for her remarkable range and brilliance of expression.

Oxana Skorik — As an artist, she is perhaps the most fascinating because of her understated, yet almost magical, enchantment.

All these artists are a source of beauty and fascination both in their currently remarkable display and in their potential to create new and magnificently beautiful surprises.


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky International Ballet Festival: April 3-13, 2014
PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 4:25 am 
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Just a few more words about what Alina Somova and Oxana Skorik accomplished.

Both artists presented deeply Poetic renderings with Alina Somova’s ‘Swan’ being perfectly thought out and presented in every detail and Oxana Skorik being more of a dramatic flow. I might compare what Alina Somova did to the art of Leonardo da Vinci (brilliant in every detail) and Oxana Skorik, somewhat like a Michelangelo, highly Sensitive, yet also artistically magnificent.

Sensitivity might be the best word to describe Oxana Skorik’s current ‘magic.’ She appears to live in an enchanted garden from where she can project her heart full emotion and at her most precious moments, her pure love, out to the stars.

Alina Somova’s ‘Swan’ was very carefully structured, but no less poetically powerful than Oxana Skorik’s perhaps more natural expression. Yet Alina Somova, based on video clips of her Cinderella (Ratmansky version) from several years ago, is totally capable of Spontaneous naturalness and enchanting abandon. Actually, this is probably what she’s most known for, which is one of the reasons that her extremely focused and masterfully detailed ‘Swan’ came as such a surprise and revelation.


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky International Ballet Festival: April 3-13, 2014
PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 7:09 am 
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Quite honestly, the Festivals, like much else in ballet, for me, are — An Enchantment.

This year, possibly more than before, my visit to Saint Petersburg was about the Festival. I wasn’t out seeing the sights like I usually do when I’m traveling. I was thinking about the Festival, daydreaming about it, writing about it and trying to maintain the aura of it as much as possible — and I still am.

The setting for the Festival and perhaps its ‘soul’ is the city of Saint Petersburg and those who live there. ‘Soul’ is a word that’s often used in regard to Russia. Ballet may be its most beautiful artistic manifestation. The folks seen on the street, the children playing in the park (and in the Mariinsky balconies), the folks in the audience and the artists on the stage — they all are, somehow, part of this fabric. They're also just like you and me.

Oxana Skorik, as an artist, for me this year, embodied this as much as anyone, although, believe me, other artists, other individuals and other events touched me deeply, at times profoundly.

I’ve talked about Oxana Skorik's aura a lot, but I also have to emphasize the Loveliness and Pure Beauty of her Dance.

I’ve also often said that my focus is almost completely on the ballerina, but that the ‘often invisible’ involvement of the men makes so much of the ballerina’s enchantment possible. Some of the men do demand my immediate attention, either for their obvious brilliance or because they hit a particular chord in my sensitivity.

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been watching the video clip of Oxana Skorik’s Adagio from Symphony In C. One of the advantages of videos is that you can see things that you didn’t notice before. A part of this performance near the end, that highly moves me, is when she settles to the ground, her feet fluttering with delicate airiness, like some sort of nymph-angel. After many viewings I took a good look at what Yevgeny Ivanchenko, her partner, was doing. If it weren’t for the total control and sensitivity of his lowering her to the ground, this absolutely beautiful effect could never have been accomplished.

Again it was the total fabric that helped make the Festival an Enchantment, from day to day happenings, to the physical beauty of the city and the magnificent settings of the theaters, to the audiences that were there to be taken on a wonderful voyage, responding with love and deepest appreciation, to the amazing stars and to everyone on the stage giving all that they could of themselves.


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