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 Post subject: Re: Kirov: International Ballet Festival 2002
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2002 2:35 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
<B>the return of 'cinderella'</B> <BR>by Gulyara Sadykh-zade for THE ST. PETERSBURG TIMES<P><BR>Ever since Valery Gergiev became the Mariinsky Theater's artistic director and general director five years ago, the company's ballet reportoire has developed on an equal footing with opera, and its dance initiatives have been fittingly promoted and acclaimed, especially its reconstruction of "Sleeping Beauty" and "The Nutcracker."<P>In the midst of the theater's enthusiasm for dance, the young ballet master Alexei Ratmansky appeared and promptly produced a formally rich, but aesthetically spartan, triptych based on music by Igor Stravinsky, Alexander Skryabin and Yury Khanon. Ratmansky's "Middle Duet" - the central part of the triptych - stands out for the premeditated slowing down of the movements and for its rigorous use of the choreographic lexicon, which combined with Khanon's pseudo-Baroque musical cliches to create a mysterious, enchanting geometry.<P><A HREF="http://www.sptimes.ru/archive/times/753/features/a_5946.htm" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A><P>And here's the link to another <A HREF="http://www.sptimes.ru/archive/times/753/features/a_0_1797.htm" TARGET=_blank><B><BR>image from 'cinderella'</B></A>


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov: International Ballet Festival 2002
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2002 11:09 pm 
On Tue. night I saw for the first time the Kirov's new production of Nutcracker (choreographed by Kirill Simonov) which was premiered in the Maryinsky Festival last year. I remember that Emma Pegler reviewed it in length here last year.<P>Whatever the faults of this production, it was redeemed by the marvellous dancing, as usual, of the Kirov company. Daria Pavlenko danced the Snow Queen with grandeur. Natalia Sologub portrayed Masha's teenage innocence with feeling, and in the grand pas de deux in Act 2 her dancing shone with brilliance. She coped well with the many off-centred pirouettes in her solo choreographed by Simonov. And she was lucky in having Andrian Fadeyev as her partner.<P>I have long admired Fadeyev's pure classical style since I first saw him in the Kirov's 1997 London season. Fadeyev was sublime as the Nutcracker Prince. His performance was truly classical, had grace and harmony. His solo, with many quick jumps packed in a sequence in Simonov's choreography, was seemlessly danced as if in one phrase. What musicality! I greatly look forward to his Romeo on Saturday with the Paris Opera Ballet etoile Aurelie Dupont.<P>Manon on Wed. was led by a stellar cast - Diana Vishneva and Manuel Legris. Vishneva was absolutely splendid in the title role. She was totally immersed in the role, and her acting was richly nuanced. Her solo in Madame's salon was finely danced. Vishneva was more moving in the role than Svetlana Zakharova whom I saw in London last summer. Legris's beauty of line in adagio recalled Dowell, the creator of the role of Des Grieux. It was a marvellous partnership.<P>Le Corsaire the night before was grandly danced. Svetlana Zakharova displayed her iron-clad technique as Medora, and Elvira Tarasova danced marvellously as Gulnara. Igor Kolb dazzled as Ali, though slightly lacking in charisma. In the Jardin Anime scene, the corps de ballet was enhanced by 6 pairs of students from the Vaganova Academy, unlike at Covent Garden. And there were three fountains in the Maryinsky Theatre instead of two in London. Irina Golub was delightful as the first odalisque.<P>Kevin Ng,<BR>Hotel Astoria, St. Petersburg<BR><p>[This message has been edited by Kevin Ng (edited March 16, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov: International Ballet Festival 2002
PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2002 12:38 am 
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Many thanks Kevin for letting us know the latest news for St Petersburg. Everyone seems pleased with Sologub, who made such an impression last year at the Royal Opera House.


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov: International Ballet Festival 2002
PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2002 1:48 pm 
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Wow, some evening Kevin! I'm very jealous - especially of seeing Vishneva as Manon. What a perfect dancer for that role! And good to hear that Pavlenko is acquitting herself well. More eye witness reports, pleeeese!


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov: International Ballet Festival 2002
PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2002 10:49 pm 
Nino, will write reports later, as the hotel's business centre is extremely busy.<P>There is at least one change in the casting for the closing Gala tonight. Le Jeune Homme et la Mort will be danced instead by Yulia Makhalina and Andrian Fadeyev.


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov: International Ballet Festival 2002
PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2002 4:53 am 
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Thanks for the reports Kevin, I'm living vicariously through you! <P>Hope you enjoy the gala tonight.


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov: International Ballet Festival 2002
PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2002 11:28 pm 
There were many memorable performances last weekend. Manuel Legris was splendid as the soloist in Rubies partnering Diana Vishneva, who once again confirmed my opinion that she is the finest Rubies ballerina anywhere at present. (Vishneva, incidentally, is on the cover of the latest issue of the Russian magazine "Ballet Art" which was just published last weekend.)<P>Nicolas Le Riche won ovations for his moving performance of The Prodigal Son, and Daria Pavlenko was alluring as the Siren. Vladimir Malakhov danced beautifully as Des Grieux in Manon, and the ending when he cried after Manon's death was truly heart-breaking.<P>Natalia Sologub was dancing at almost every performance - in the two Neumeier ballets yesterday afternooon, in the Waltz in Serenade, and as Lescaut's mistress in Manon. Vasily Sherbakov danced impressively as Lescaut. Irina Golub made two outstanding debuts - as the Russian ballerina in Serenade, and in the Troubador pas de deux in the Lavrovsky Romeo and Juliet.<P>Aurelie Dupont was a lyrical and moving Juliet, well matched with Andrian Fadeyev. Their pas de deux were poetic. Fadeyev's acting was richly nuanced. The tragic ending was heart-rending. Fadeyev also showed his dramatic intensity as the composer Schnitke in Neumeier's Sounds of Empty Pages.<P>Will write about last night's gala after my return to Hong Kong via London. I am leaving St. Petersburg in several hours' time.<P><p>[This message has been edited by Kevin Ng (edited March 20, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov: International Ballet Festival 2002
PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2002 11:40 am 
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Excellent, thanks for the report, Kevin! I can almost (I said almost - not quite) see it for myself...the ice blue and silver of the Mariinka...the sweep of the Neva under iron grey skies...and good to hear that the dancing was good, too!<BR>Seriously, things look good for Solugub if she's getting all these roles. And I'm delighted to hear that Irina Golub continues to carve out a burgeoning career. I thought she was just delightful last year when the Kirov were in London. Russian ballerina in Serenade: key role!


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov: International Ballet Festival 2002
PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2002 11:29 am 
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A very interesting photo gallery of the Mariinsky Festival can be found on Mariinsky website, which has English version. <A HREF="http://www.mariinsky.ru/en" TARGET=_blank>www.mariinsky.ru/en</A> <BR>Find the Festival site on the righthand side and click the arrows.


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov: International Ballet Festival 2002
PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2002 1:02 pm 
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Thank you, Coda, I really enjoyed the pictures. If you click on the pictures they come up much bigger. <P>I studied them very carefully, and none of them looked like me....ha ha Image<P>Seriously, thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov: International Ballet Festival 2002
PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2002 6:42 am 
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Following on from some of the posts above, criticaldance has received this e-mail for publication. Many thanks to Wayne for this information and congratulations on the two new commissions:<P>*****************<P>A few words from Wayne McGregor:<P>Last year, I was invited by the artistic director of the Kirov Ballet to create a work for the New Choreographers programme, scheduled for the Maryinsky in December 2001. Unfortunately, due to Random's USA touring programme and 'Nemesis' rehearsals, I was unable to accept the invitation. <P>Later, a new project surfaced: <P>In June 2002, the Kirov were to present an evening of dance, in honour of Igor Zelensky, at the Maryinsky Theatre during the White Nights Festival. <P>I was asked to choreograph a new 30min work to end this evening - featuring Zelensky (of<BR>course) and Zakharova and a cast of 8 further Kirov dancers.<P>In November 2001, I spent a week with Igor (at the Kirov), watching class,<BR>performances, casting dancers and starting some choreographic sketches.<P>I was to return in March (2002) for rehearsals and then again in June for further rehearsals and then the premiere.<P>However, due to unforeseen circumstances, the proposed evening has had<BR>to be placed on hold until further notice.<P>In the meantime, I have accepted new commissions from Rambert (Oct 2002)<BR>and Stuttgart Ballet (June 2003).<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov: International Ballet Festival 2002
PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2002 6:43 pm 
I attach the following report from a friend of mine in St. Petersburg.<P>>Last Sunday, on the "Culture" television channel here, they showed highlights of ballets performed during the festival, including of Aurelie Dupont's Juliet. The programme also featured an interview with Makhar Vaziev, who said that Dupont had<BR>enjoyed her time in Petersburg (she was here for a month rehearsing Romeo and Juliet) so much that she has asked the Mariinsky to take her as a guest artist for a year. Vaziev said that they are seriously considering her request.<p>[This message has been edited by Kevin Ng (edited March 29, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov: International Ballet Festival 2002
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2002 6:03 pm 
Next year's Maryinsky Festival will be even longer than the 10 days this year. Meanwhile the White Nights Festival will open on 31 May with the new/old production of La Bayadere.<P><p>[This message has been edited by Kevin Ng (edited April 10, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov: International Ballet Festival 2002
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2002 11:15 pm 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Our friend Kevin Ng, who has been keeping us up-to-date with the news from the Festival, has an article published about the event:<P><BR><B>St. Petersburg Shines --- The Russian Ballet Festival's Feast of Riches</B> <BR>By Kevin Ng in The Asian Wall Street Journal <P><BR>For ten days in March, the Russian city of St. Petersburg -- the former capital of the czars -- was the center of the dance world, when the city's illustrious Kirov Ballet hosted the Maryinsky International Ballet Festival for the second year. The program at the legendary Maryinsky Theatre, different every night, comprised a good selection from the company's large and diverse repertory, ranging from "Swan Lake" to a program of ballets by George Balanchine. The aesthetics of Mr. Balanchine, the greatest ballet choreographer of the 20th century who co-founded the New York City Ballet, are fundamental to the Kirov nowadays. <P>This year's guest dancers were mainly etoiles, or stars, from the Paris Opera Ballet -- Aurelie Dupont, Agnes Letestu, Manuel Legris, Nicolas Le Riche and Jose Martinez -- joined by American Ballet Theatre's Russian star Vladimir Malakhov and Bolshoi Ballet star Nikolai Tsiskaridze.<P>*************************************<P>Unfortunately The Wall St. Group is only available to <B>paying subscribers</B>. But if you fall into this group, <A HREF="http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB1018575097993319840.djm,00.html" TARGET=_blank><B>here is the link</B></A>.<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov: International Ballet Festival 2002
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2002 9:49 am 
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Hurrah for the Ng! It's seriously interesting to us all to have this excellent feedback on what the Kirov are up to. Dupont to become a guest artist? Where's my passport? How much does a visa cost?? (Answer: three hours of queueing, 48 hours and £80. But one must expect to pay for excellence!)


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