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 Post subject: Re: Raymonda — Costa Mesa — Sept. 24-27, 2015
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:23 pm 

Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 5:02 pm
Posts: 1625
Location: USA-Switzerland
I just returned from the weekend in Costa Mesa. The weather was clear and the nearby ocean coast, one of nature’s artistic masterpieces, was magnificent in it’s colors and motion, making for a wonderful contrast to the human beauty that could be seen at the Mariinsky ballet performances. Human beauty has ‘soul’, which makes it so dear to us. Sometimes when you see the morning or evening light on the landscape, you might feel that nature does also. Ansel Adams, the great nature photographer seemed to sense this.

I bought tickets to several performances before the casts were announced. They turned out to be two featuring Oxana Skorik and Andrey Ermakov and one featuring Anastasia Matvienko and Timur Askerov. At the curtain call of the first evening Yuri Fateyev, for the first time that I’ve ever seen, appeared on stage. The reason was almost certain. It was all very brief. First he introduced himself. Then he wished that everyone had an enjoyable evening. Then he announced that Oxana Skorik had be made a “Prima Ballerina” of the Mariinsky Theater. This was first reported on the internet, I believe, by Catherine.

Oxana Skorik performed two nights in a row. Quite a feat. What she showed was an artistic beauty of remarkable maturity. Technically, except for one very minor missed step, she was flawless. She combined many of her finest qualities into a delivery that especially the first evening were of the highest level of artistic mastery. It had the ‘emotional high’ at times of seeing some of the world’s greatest artistic treasures come to life. Congratulations to her.

The evening featuring Anastasia Matvienko as the lead ballerina was a nice contrast. It was relaxed, lively and more evenly displayed the entire cast. Her finest display may have been in the dream duet. Her motion was so lovely and graceful.

Perhaps the finest performance that I saw all weekend was the very brief Clemence solo of Kristina Shapran at the same event. Her ability to create such amazing poetry and drama of motion with such total control was absolutely captivating.

The women’s solos were especially lovely. They were those of Ekaterina Chebykina, Nadezhda Batoeva, Renata Shakirova, Yuliana Chereshkevich, Sofia Skoblikova, Diana Smirnova and Ekaterina Ivannikova. Some were choreographed to be technically impressive and others were gracefully refined.

I love trying to find Viktoria Brileva dancing around in the background. She is such a ray of sunshine. She was featured in Maxim Petrov’s “Cinema” from last year’s Festival Young Choreographer’s performance, which I really enjoyed, along with Andrey Ermakov, who was a vey fine partner for Oxana Skorik this weekend. Also very nice to see Svetlana Ivanova alongside her and I hope to see much more of them up front.

Timur Askerov was brilliant in the air as usual. There were other very fine male performances that were noteworthy for their technical prowess.

The Corps de Ballet was outstanding as usual.

It was once again so nice to see the beauty and feel the warmth of this exceptional group of great artists.


Above I've mentioned natural beauty as contrasted to artistic beauty and now I would like to add childrens' beauty. A child's world is one of innocence, total naturalness and totally open honesty. It's another world of beauty completely different from the highly trained and accomplished artists that we discuss here, but one worth prizing dearly.

In any case a group of about ten small children do a brief dance in Raymonda. I believe that they were all cast in California. Yesterday afternoon's group was particularly delightful. Two of the smallest were at the end of each line and they seemed to be having the time of their lives. In addition their dancing was perfect, not that it really mattered. They were absolutely precious !

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