CriticalDance Forum

Mariinsky International Ballet Festival: 12 - 22 March, 2015
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Author:  NataliaN [ Fri Mar 27, 2015 6:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky International Ballet Festival: 12 - 22 March, 2015

Lucky you, Buddy! I'm sorry to have missed it but hopefully there will be many more Odette/Odiles in Obraztsova's future. For example, she would be fantastic and very true to Tsarist Era looks in any of the upcoming productions around the world that will be resurrecting the 1895 Stepanov notations, such as Washington DC or Zurich? Come to think of it, the current Royal version includes some portions of the 1895 original, so I bet she looked grand as our new Pierina Legnani - petite and adorably feminine.

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Author:  Buddy [ Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky International Ballet Festival: 12 - 22 March, 2015

Natalia, there is so much that I could say about her Swan Lake. I think that you would have loved it. Because I've seen her develop over the years at the Festivals and because, for me, it was almost part of this year's Festival in its timing and its nature, I would like to mention it once more here. Catherine, if you feel otherwise as moderator, please feel free to redirect it.

Evgenia Obraztsova's presence, her character, her dance, her entire performance radiated from deep within. Nothing was really expansive or outward. Her containment was like a powerful compression of immense and loving energy.

Her dancing reinforced this completely. She didn’t try to be highly lyrical in motion, which would be a Mariinsky characteristic, or expansive. Both of these would normally help a non tall and non linear dancer to be beautifully apparent. With restraint she managed to convey an inner magnificence. Her only physical expansiveness was in the tilting back of her head with a strong outward gaze. She didn’t try to project or “sing” with her arms. Rather, she carefully and poetically used her hands for the most subtle and lovely expression.

Her *Lovable Essence* was completely personal. She was neither the ethereally refined muse from the Mariinsky nor the heartfully expressive goddess from the Bolshoi. She was heart touching and embraceable. I watched her face constantly through my theater glasses. It was theatrically perfect yet so totally natural. There wasn’t an unbelievable, inappropriate or unfelt moment.

Her Odette was *Precious*. Even her Odile was seductively precious.

Having watched her for years and having read things that she’s said I could see her nurtured softness and artistic maturity. So much seemed so carefully thought out and so beautifully and precisely developed. Yet every aspect seemed so natural and heartfelt.

It was a one of a kind, totally personal, artistically fine and heart touchingly beautiful performance.

She was magnificent poetry at its loveliest.

Author:  Buddy [ Sun Mar 29, 2015 6:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky International Ballet Festival: 12 - 22 March, 2015

I’d like to take this just a little further. Once again it regards Evgenia Obraztsova’s Swan Lake in London several days after the Mariinsky Festival. The reason for doing this is that it was a continuation of my Festival viewing experience and I would rate it as one of the finest performances, possibly the finest, of that experience. Two others would have been Alina Somova’s Giselle with Yekaterina Chebykina as Myrtha and Ulyana Lopatkina and Xander Parish's Marguerite and Armand.

This is a video clip of Evgenia Obraztsova rehearsing Swan Lake in March, 2011. It was posted by her so I’m sure that it’s okay to post here.

Not only does it show clearly her Mariinsky beauty at the time, but, for me, it contains much of the beginnings and essence of what I saw her do several days ago. I would say that in the recent London Swan Lake her Mariinsky-Vaganova fineness seen in this video was slightly less apparent, perhaps because of a change in emphasis influenced by her now being at the Bolshoi, but not completely. This performance was distinctly individual, neither Mariinsky nor Bolshoi. A wonderful artistic maturity and emotional content was evident in London. It any case, for me, it makes for a fine study in progression from her Mariinsky and Festival roots.

Catherine, once again, if you feel that this post should be redirected, please do so. I will indeed try to do a Festival wrap-up by mentioning the other Gala performances.

Added comment: You might want to view two internet video clips of her duets in Romeo and Juliet with Igor Kolb from the Mariinsky days to also see her at her finest.

Author:  Buddy [ Mon Mar 30, 2015 9:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky International Ballet Festival: 12 - 22 March, 2015

I didn’t get over to see “A Creative Workshop of Young Choreographers” this year, but there were two choreographers that I would have liked to have seen from last year. One is the 18 year old Vaganova student, Maxim Sevagin, whom both Catherine and I liked very much. I believe that he did something this year. Last year he presented “Hungarian Rhapsody” -- music by Franz Liszt. This is a video clip that he posted in June 2012. The last minute, starting at 10:50, looks like it might be from “Hungarian Rhapsody.”

The other choreographer is Maxim Petrov who presented his “Ballet No 2” to A. Tsfasman's score. It can also be seen on the internet. Last year he did “Cinéma.” His works have a delightful Jerome Robbins feel that I enjoy very much.

I hope we’ll being seeing much more of these two young choreographers.

Author:  Buddy [ Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mariinsky International Ballet Festival: 12 - 22 March, 2015

In addition to the modern works at the Gala that I’ve already mentioned by Hans van Manen and Benjamin Millepied there was also The Murmur by Edward Clug danced by Anastasia and Denis Matvienko. All these works had a similar fineness, were world class, inventive in motion and structure and were nicely performed.

Yekaterina Kondaurova was partnered very well in William Forsythe’s In The Middle, Somewhat Elevated by Alexander Sergeyev. I wish we could see more of him and his wife Daria Pavlenko. They are both so likable and so talented. Yekaterina Kondaurova’s performance was slightly more lyrical than the usual ‘rock n roll’ take on this work and I rather enjoyed this nuancing. As much as I very much like the all out abandon of this work and Yekaterina Kondaurova’s ability to dance anything well, I love very much her lyrical beauty as was seen in her Swan Lake. Any chance to see more of this delicate loveliness is always welcome.

Along with the two works by Benjamin Millepied, already mentioned and danced by Leonore Baulac/Jeremy-Loup Quer and Marie-Agnes Gillot/Hugo Marchand there was a duet from Romeo and Juliet that was well performed by Leonore Baulac and Josua Hoffalt, also from the Paris Opera Ballet. It was a more animated approach, possibly tweaked by Rudolf Nureyev. I still very much love the poetically lovely Mariinsky approach to the remarkably beautiful Romeo and Juliet duets, perhaps immortalized in our generation by Evgenia Obraztsova.

Alina Somova and Kimin Kim danced George Balanchine’s Tchaikovsky’s Pas De Deux which starts out as Balanchine at his symphonic best and then progresses into a series of fireworks that Kimin Kim, as usual, magnificently took into outer space. Alina Somova showed her exciting loveliness and also did very well. Again, as with Yekaterina Kondaurova, it’s always great to see her graceful wonderfulness and we did with her extremely beautiful Giselle.

The evening ended with the Pas De Deux From The Ballet Le Corsaire danced by Viktoria Tereshkina and Vladimir Shklyarov. It was a fine effort by both of them. They both were highlights of this Festival with Viktoria Tereshkina doing as well as I’ve ever seen her do.

This year's Festival program was very nicely balanced by not highly emphasizing a particular artist or style. Among the women I missed seeing Anastasia Kolegova and Olga Esina and apparently Alisa Sodoleva is now at the Mikhailovsky. Folks were treated to Diana Vishneva two days after the Festival. On the other hand, we were able to see more of Yekaterina Osmolkina, Olesya Novikova, Kristina Shapran, Yekaterina Chebykina, Elena Yevseyeva and Nadezhda Batoeva. There is so much great talent at the Mariinsky that we can’t see everyone but did come close this year.

All in all it was another exceptionally fine Mariinsky Festival.

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