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 Post subject: St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre in Paris
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 7:15 am 
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The St Petersburg Ballet Theatre has recently been appearing in Paris at the elegant Theatre des Champs Elysees where I saw Swan Lake on 16th February and Sleeping Beauty on the 17th both with the lovely Irina Kolesnikova in the leading roles. St P.B.T. has an excellent production of Swan Lake though their Sleeping Beauty suffers from production oddities that somewhat devalue the ballet as a whole. Visually however both productions enjoy attractive sets and costumes in contrast to the tacky settings deemed appropriate by too many touring companies.

As Odette/Odile Kolesnikova has few if any equals and has totally mastered the role after many years of performing it worldwide. Technically she is very impressive as for example in her strong black act fouettés taken at speed with a triple thrown in in the middle and another perfectly controlled triple at the end. Her emotion-filled white acts are danced with an awareness of the drama and pathos that are the bedrock of Swan Lake. Kolesnikova is a credit to her mentor, Alla Osipenko, and her style is very much ‘old Kirov’, expansive and ever so slightly mannered with a great emphasis on line and musicality, taking the white acts at a faster musical pace than is usual amongst Russian dancers today. Her partner was the Kirov’s Evgenny Ivanchenko who offered rock solid but uninvolved support in the double work and they were backed up by the ever impressive corps of St P.B.T.


Like many Russian Auroras, Kolesnikova is most impressive in the vision scene of Sleeping Beauty where she manages to portray a remote beguiling ideal of femininity, as with her Swan Lake the years of familiarity with the work has made her very much mistress of the role and the sweetness of character she displays as Aurora is a direct contrast to the soulful sorrow of her Odette the night before. The production needs some alterations though; I see logic in the fact that roses are banned from the Kingdom on account of their thorns, but a carnation adage doesn’t really cut it. Also the homely scene of Carabosse guilelessly playing pat-a-cake with her creatures is so tame as to be upsetting when the Prince arrives to shatter their domestic contentment. As in Swan Lake Kolesnikova was partnered by Ivanchenko, tall and handsome but unexciting.

Both performances were sold out as was the first Swan Lake performed the night before I arrived. The company is currently on tour throughout Europe and if audience reaction in Paris is anything to go by they are earning themselves fans everywhere they go.


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 Post subject: Re: St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:23 pm 
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Jeffery Taylor reviews Saint Petersburg Ballet Theatre's performance of "The Sleeping Beauty" at Le Theatre des Champs-Elysees in Paris for the Sunday Express.

Sunday Express


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 Post subject: Re: St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre
PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:59 pm 
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Irina Kolesnikova

Aurora -- 'The Awoken Beauty'

Geneva -- 25th of March, 2011


lift me up
o fountain of the graces
that i can see more clearly
that its you
who flies even further

like a high sailing wave
one leg touches the ground
the other leg leads
like a far reaching pendulum

motions poetic mistress
of all that is physical

as the child
pirouettes joyously
for her family to see

like the purity and clearness
of the sparkling waters currents
moving weightlessly
and soundlessly
across our horizons

lifting us up

carrying us along


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 Post subject: Re: St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre
PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 3:56 am 
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"The Sleeping Beauty"

Geneva -- 25th of March, 2011

Just a few quick thoughts.


Irina Kolesnikova

She Is An Absolutely Wonderful Performing Artist !

I have never seen her on stage before, but based on several video clips from awhile ago, she has grown beautifully as an artist. She seems to have added an extremely fine maturity of Poetic Expression to her already remarkable Sense of Motion and Technical Prowess.

I Loved Her !

The Company

Also Wonderful !

It has its own very Distinct Identity, making it another extremely fine addition to the multidimensional world of dance expression. It is Youthful and Alive in feeling, yet Very Refined, Together and Technically Exciting.

The Evening

A Wonderful Experience Of And Voyage Through The World Of Art And Human Beauty !


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 Post subject: Re: St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:27 am 
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Touring companies of this type are usually pretty ropey but StPBT is one of the rare exceptions, a very fine company indeed.

Kolesnikova is quite incredible, do try to see her in Giselle and Swan Lake as those are her two best roles, but she is awe inspiring in everything she dances.


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 Post subject: Re: St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:47 pm 
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Irina Kolesnikova

Once again there is so much that I would like to write about this beautiful performance. I would like to mention a few things if I have the chance to. I would want to start with comments about the remarkably wonderful Irina Kolesnikova and this would be one of them.


Irina Kolesnikova has one quality, to begin with, that I think is marvelous, that was an underpinning for all that she did.

When I go to something like a dance performance, there is a sort of wish fulfillment process involved and it can take up a lot of energy. I sometimes joke, half seriously, that a spectator can work harder than the performer -- wishing, hoping, 'holding one's breath,' applauding....

I can be at a performance and hope for something that goes beyond, in a sense transcends. My thought process can be, "Can she do it? There, she's got it! Now can she sustain it?"

I have enjoyed many performances because this has been realized.

With Irina Kolesnikova, and a few other wonderful artists, there has been something different happening.

There is

* An Immediate and Natural Poetry *

that is established.

There is no need to go any further. No need to reach beyond, to float above it all. It's right there in front of us, self sustaining and completely fulfilling in itself.

All the spectator has to do is sit back and love every minute of it.

Irina Kolesnikova -- Made This Happen -- Just Beautifully !


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 Post subject: Re: St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 4:10 am 
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Cassandra wrote:
Touring companies of this type are usually pretty ropey but StPBT is one of the rare exceptions, a very fine company indeed.

Kolesnikova is quite incredible, do try to see her in Giselle and Swan Lake as those are her two best roles, but she is awe inspiring in everything she dances.


I have not yet seen Irina Kolesnikova's "Giselle" or "Swan Lake," but I have to agree completely that she is "awe inspiring." Although I have been fortunate enough to have seen many fine 'Russian' (or 'Russian related') touring companies, I also wholeheartedly agree that the Saint Petersburg Ballet Theatre is "a very fine company indeed."


Irina Kolesnikova

I will just mention a few more, from a very long list, of her wonderful qualities.

An exceptional one is her remarkable, sculptural command of motion. Not only is it
visually magnificent in itself, but it so naturally responds to every desired nuance that her portrayal and her own personality seem compelled to express.

She had a beautifully smiling radiance.

She is extremely accomplished in her technical abilities. For instance she can hold balances for huge amounts of time, purposely not looking at her partner's outreached hand for its eventually necessary final support.

Again on the tips of her toes, she accomplished, seemingly effortless, quadruple pirouette spins.

She performed one series of moves that was an absolute highlight for me. It was the series of 'hops' on the tips of her toes that she does before falling under the spell. She seemed to somehow sail, almost suspended, through the air with these, her front elevated foot floating from beneath her knee like part of an enchanted pendulum.

She had a lovely sensuality, in all honesty, a compelling sensuality, and a very physically attractive and healthy looking presence.

In a way she was the embodiment of the beauty of all womankind.

At times her just being there was all that really mattered.


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 Post subject: Re: St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre
PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:43 am 
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The St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre

"The Sleeping Beauty"

Geneva -- 25th of March, 2011


The company, which I love, is a slightly different animal than its in-resident goddess, Irina Kolesnikova, who I love.

It has a very youthful feel to it. Irina Kolesnikova is more like its guiding-star.

Its moves and attitude seem somewhat crisper and livelier than what I am used to seeing from Saint Petersburg. Perhaps more like some of the videos that I've seen of the Bolshoi. Maybe even somewhat like the ABT via Balanchine.

When the dancers first appeared, I was even thinking Miami City Ballet, but after awhile, not really. This company is very distinct.

(By the way, for anyone based in Europe, if you would like to make your own comparison, the excellent Miami City Ballet will be in Paris this Summer for several weeks in July at the Chatelet.)

Why not Miami City Ballet? Both companies are youthful, exceptionally talented and exciting. One major reason for me is the St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre's 'classically refined' underpinning, as compared to the Miami City Ballet's Balanchine footings.

For those who have been following the company longer than I have (5 days), please feel free to offer other points of view and corrections. I believe that the company is only about ten years old and was originally made up of young Vaganova grads and hopefully still is. It certainly seems that way, based its very high quality.

Superimposed over this remarkable element of refinement is a sense of fun. Maybe it was just in the nature of this production, being "The Sleeping Beauty." Even so, this was the most 'relaxed' version of "The Sleeping Beauty" that I have seen. It's not heavy at all and there's a nice and appropriate lightheartedness throughout. The king's assistant, for instance, is temporarily turned into the donkey from "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by the sorceress while her only assistant struts around the stage like a zeroing-in Archie Bunker.

There is a big step in Russia between the scale and production level of the Mariinsky/Bolshoi and any of the other companies. These two companies, I would guess, have resources to work with that would dwarf any of the other companies and it shows. But the other companies have their gem qualities and I would say that the St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre shines through just beautifully. For those familiar with the American ballet scene it would be somewhat like comparing a scaled down Miami City Ballet with the ABT.

So on to the performers. The program didn't list a cast, just the members of the company. I did confirm from the company lady selling the programs that it was indeed Irina Kolesnikova that we would be seeing. Most of the dancers, it seemed, did at least several characters. One lady did beautifully as both the fourth Fairy (in green) and the Princess Florine (Blue Bird duet). It is even possible that the wonderful dancer who did the Lilac Fairy, was also one of the palace's highlighted work staffers, based on a similarly fine expressiveness, but I can be, and have been, fooled very easily by who's who on a stage. Ballet dancers can be exceptionally good and versatile actresses/actors.

As exemplified by this lady, all the company's dancers have very fine qualities. They are youthful, refined and flawless in their presentation. Their physical control of their dancing also was flawless. Although there can be a youthful abandon at times in these dancers, I don't recall seeing one them out of step or out of phase. And typical of much of the highlight dancing was a pushing of the technical boundaries, but kept within 'refined' limitations. There were hardly any huge, high extensions of the legs, etc. that I noticed. The lady that I referred to above, as the fourth Fairy (in green), did a series of arched back pivots (cambres?), I believe on pointe, the likes of which I've never seen before. And this sort of thing seemed to be happening all over the place.

A few other dancers that caught my eye for similar brilliance were the Lilac Fairy (who may have been way up there with her leg lifts to the side (developes?) on pointe, but beautifully so), The Diamond Fairy(?) (towards the end), Little Red Riding Hood, The Prince, The Blue Bird....

When the curtain came down in front of the members of the royal court, frozen still under the spell, the Lilac Fairy was left alone at the center of the stage, pivoting celestially-gracefully under a single spotlight.

She was Heavenly !

Andrian Fedeyev, when he arrives from the Mariinsky, to be the new Artistic Director, will have Wonderful talent to work with and hopefully a Wonderful time.

[As noted by Cassandra in the next post, Andrian Fedeyev is actually joining another company. I hope that he will find wonderful talent and a wonderful time there as well.]


Added later:

If anyone would like to see an example of the 'hopping' sequence that I thought Irina Kolesknikova did so magnificently, performed by another artist, go here....

http://www.melissahough.com/

and scroll down just slightly to the video and it starts about 15 seconds into the video and runs for about 10 seconds.



[some corrections made above as to what was done by the Lilac Fairy and what was done by the fourth Fairy/Princess Florine]


Last edited by Buddy on Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre
PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:03 am 
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Quote:
Andrian Fedeyev, when he arrives from the Mariinsky, to be the new Artistic Director, will have Wonderful talent to work with and hopefully a Wonderful time.Andrian Fadeyev is joining the Jacobson company, not the Tachkin company.


Andrian Fadeyev is joining the Jacobson company not the Tachkin company.


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 Post subject: Re: St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre
PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:02 am 
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Cassandra wrote:
Quote:
Andrian Fedeyev, when he arrives from the Mariinsky, to be the new Artistic Director, will have Wonderful talent to work with and hopefully a Wonderful time.Andrian Fadeyev is joining the Jacobson company, not the Tachkin company.


Andrian Fadeyev is joining the Jacobson company not the Tachkin company.


Thanks, Cassandra.

I thought that they were the same company. I'll try to do my homework. This could be good news in that there are two companies to enjoy instead instead of just one.

Added comment:

If not made clear by my post above, it is the company's

Sense of Youthfulness

with an underpinning of

Remarkable Technical Ability and Beautiful Refinement

that made it such a Great Pleasure to experience.


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 Post subject: Re: St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre
PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:17 am 
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Buddy I’m very pleased the company has found such an admirer in yourself, perhaps you would like to know that the company has in fact been around now for 17 years, if you read further back on this thread you will see they celebrated their first ten years in 2004. Here is the company web site:

http://www.spbt.ru/main/index.php?lang=eng

You may be interested to know that apart from producing their prima ballerina Irina Kolesnikova, the company has also been home to the following luminaries.

Elena Glurdjidze, principal of English National Ballet
Anastasia Kolegova, soloist of the Kirov Ballet
Sabina Yapporova, soloist of the Mikhailovsky Ballet
Andrei Yakhnyuk, soloist of the Mikhailovsky Ballet
Alexander Zhembrovsky, principal of the Dutch National Ballet.

Also, further back on the thread, there is much discussion regarding companies with almost identical names.


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 Post subject: Re: St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:44 am 
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Thanks, Cassandra, for these added insights. I'm sure that there is a lot of fine information to discover at this topic that I will try to take a look at.

I was never completely aware that this is the company that Anastasia Kolegova is from. I haven't seen her perform, but hope to sometime soon at a Mariinsky performance.


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 Post subject: Re: St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:20 am 
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I'd like to mention one more thing. There is an orchestra of about 20 musicians that is traveling with the company. I thought that it did very well with a lovely, clear quality. The Entr'acte Music, featuring a violin, one of my favorite pieces of music, was Over-The-Top-Beautiful, as usual.


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