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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 1:38 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 1:59 pm 
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No, Moisseyeva wasn't her repetiteur.
Ulyana is always with Kurgapkina and loves her very much.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 2:05 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 2:57 pm 
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coda wrote:
No, Moisseyeva wasn't her repetiteur.
Ulyana is always with Kurgapkina and loves her very much.


At the very beginning of Ulyana's career (early 1990s), Moiseyeva was
her coach. Obviously she switched to Ninelka Kurgapkina in the interim.
:D They are both magnificent pedagogues :!: .


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 8:26 am 
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Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
Wow, I step away for a few days and see what I missed!

Catching up, then.

First of all, I heartily disagree with the suggestion that Lopatkina and Somova are similar in arm movement. I will agree that they (the administration, and her personal pedagog) are trying to groom her to be another Lopatkina, but such beings are born, not made.

And, fedora, Somova’s petit pas are not the only steps during which she has trouble keeping up with the music! Regular steps, a pique arabesque here and there, because she insists on such a high leg, are also not performed musically. (at least, the times I have seen her perform) This was overly evident in Etudes and bothered me. After all this is a Kirov (Mariinsky) dancer we are speaking of, trained by the best. She should have some sense of constraint, and if not, then her studies should have instilled a sense of timing. If you're not musical, you can at least count music and prepare to be on time. I have to agree with ripowam’s suggestion that if her leg-whacking is simply of her own doing, she should be refrained from these larger roles until she has earned them.

(btw I have seen her only in Swan Lake and Etudes – not in Aurora)

NataliaN – to your question, I was writing that somewhat tongue in cheek, as I personally don’t believe you can teach soulfulness. Well, you can, a great actor can pull it off and make you believe it comes from inside. But most artists can’t, not for the long haul.

I agree with you, Natalia, that the latest pet projects make no sense. It is too bad what happened in DC with Vasnetsova, not the least of which bc the Mariinsky didn’t really play by the rules by sending company members. I sometimes have the feeling there is an underlying sense of panic among the older repititeurs and administration, that they’re thinking “what if another (Pavlova, Kolpakova, Vishneva, Lopatkina, fill in the blank for the dancer you revere the most) doesn’t come along? We better try to turn X into something.” I would prefer, however, to think that they are simply trying to make the best of what they’re given to work with.

Cassandra – the half full house? I can only guess. It was a Sunday night. Or, no one wants to see Somova. Or people don’t like Balanchine. Or the program was too long. The possibilities are endless. I can say though, if Lopatkina was dancing on a Sunday night, the house would be full no matter how long the ballets ran for and even if it was Balanchine.

I am working on getting out a review of Wednesday night's Bayadere. The house was full. I thought it was because of Sarafanov but in fact, it was not he who drew the applause... I'll post that as soon as I can.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 9:30 am 
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Last edited by fedora on Wed Sep 13, 2006 1:57 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Sprirituality... what about it?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 11:11 am 
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Location: London UK
Quote:
My take on it is that the Russians have never really warmed up neither to Balanchine, nor to Forsythe. To them, these remain “foreign” ballets. They want to preserve their own traditions and this makes sense. When I want to see Symphony in C - I go to NY. But La Bayadere - yes, it’s KIROV!


Balanchine is hardly a foreigner in that respect as he began his career at the Maryinsky Theatre and his works seem to fascinate the regular ballet audiences in Russia. A percentage of Balanchine's work is very clearly inspired by the Imperial Russian style that he danced himself in his youth, though the Kirov company has an uneven record of dancing his ballets as they can hit the heights in "Jewels" and plumb the depths in "The Four Temperaments".

Forsythe is another matter of course - appealing only to a specialized dance audience and not to ballet goers in general. The music/soundtracks he uses are probably uncomfortable listening experiences for the conservative Russians.

I'm not sure I agree with your assertion that certain ballets are best performed by the companies they were created for; of the two works you give as an example, I'm assured by an American balletomane of mature years that the Bolshoi dances "Symphony in C" better than NYCB and a classic such as "Bayaderka" has been finely danced by many other dancers and companies. Repertoires have to have diversity but at the same time they should be tailored to match the strengths of each individual company.

Catherine may have a point about Somova though.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 4:05 pm 
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Location: Great Britain
Cygne wrote:

“At the very beginning of Ulyana's career (early 1990s), Moiseyeva was her coach. Obviously she switched to Ninelka Kurgapkina in the interim.”

Switched quite early. True that Uliana Lopatkina worked with Olga Moisseyeva at the very beginning of her career and even prepared "Giselle" with her but danced this role only once. Then followed a period in the corps de ballet. All major roles, which we associate with Lopatkina, were prepared with Ninel Kurgapkina.

“They are both magnificent pedagogues.”

I absolutely agree with this. It is enough to look at the list of their celebrated charges.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 4:10 pm 
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Last edited by fedora on Wed Sep 13, 2006 1:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 9:20 am 
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Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
As promised:

La Bayadere
Kirov Ballet
Mariinsky Theatre
St. Petersburg, Russia

February 1, 2006 -- By Catherine Pawlick

Sophistication. Refinement. Royalty. These are the terms that come to mind when the subject is Victoria Tereshkina, especially for her role in this week’s ‘La Bayadere’. Already extolled by well-known dance critic Clement Crisp, Tereshkina continues to inspire the highest praises for a dancing style marked by purity of line and phrasing, and virtuosic technique that is noteworthy, but without the flash and fanfare that can so quickly cheapen a beautiful dancer’s interpretation.

It was indeed Tereshkina for whom the audience gathered, filling the house to the brim on an increasingly cold Wednesday night. Surprisingly, Leonid Sarafanov’s initial entrance to the stage as Solor was not met by its usual applause. He would need to perform his signature manege of split jetes to attract their attention with a ballerina of her caliber on the stage.

Long of leg, and unbelievably thin, Tereshkina began her interpretation of Nikiya with strength of character and self-certainty, but without losing the feminine element. Her refusal of the Great Brahmin’s advances showed pride in her position as temple dancer, head held high and gestures mighty. But self-doubt in her hung head immediately followed, revealing a young girl whose Fate is about to become even more complicated.

Whereas Lopatkina’s Nikiya is more innocently in love, and more mournful immediately following the snake bite, Tereshkina’s Nikiya is more matter-of-fact but no less emotional. One receives the impression of Solor as her lover and life mate, that their connection has been decided before they even meet in the garden. This makes Solor’s declaration of love at their first on stage meeting slightly less of a surprise than an expected, but nonetheless an appreciated element in the dance. Following the snake bite, Tereshkina displayed the antidote in her open palm to Solor, who turned away from her. Having her reply – he answers to duty, no longer to her – she tossed the antidote aside and fell to her death. Solor raced to her limp frame as the curtain closed.

As far as technical high points go, there were many in Tereshkina’s favor. Aside from her lovely lines and accurate emotional portrayal (no stray smiles or inappropriate gestures were to be found), not a step was amiss throughout the ballet. The sole complaint is several moments of faulty partnering that occurred on Sarafanov’s part, so much so that Tereshkina came down from pointe of her own accord in the attitude pose following the Act III pas de deux. Not willing to have that happen a second time, in the pose before the final curtain, she waited for Sarafanov to decide where she would be steady before finishing her own movement. Luckily these instances only slightly dampened a very high caliber performance.

Other enjoyments included Daria Sukhorokova as one of the four tutu-ed girls in the Act II pas de deux between Solor and Gamzatti. Her flirtatious eyes added a charming element to the high legs of four of the Kirov’s tallest ballerinas. Before her, both Yana Selina and Valeria Martiniouk on opposite sides of the initial four dancers (their bodices tinged in deep orange, as opposed to the baby blue of the taller set) offered wide smiles and grace in a warm opening to the pas de deux.

For her role as Gamzatti, Ekaterina Osmolkina deserves more than praise. Her acting has become masterful in this role. It is easy to hate Osmolkina’s Gamzatti, as she oozes manipulation, greed, fear and haughtiness simultaneously. Her pas de deux with Sarafanov was also polished in all respects. The two pair well together for their size differential and her ballon: in their synchronized split jetes downstage, her front leg whipped up even higher than his. Maybe for this reason, Sarafanov seemed to pay apt attention to her during the partnered pirouettes. His own variation was stunning, as usual, his cabrioles as sharp as scissors, the triple beat audible each time.

In the Indian Dance, Ekaterina Petina and Islam Baimuradov burned up the stage with fiery native chemistry.

A treat came in the way of Grigori Popov’s debut as the Golden Idol in this performance. Popov, often cast as the Jester in ‘Swan Lake’, here dazzled with jumps that appeared frozen in mid-air. His well-defined musculature matches the casting for this role quite well. His finish at the end of the variation was almost early, but compensated with a saving port de bras.

‘Bayadere’ cannot be reviewed without mention of the Shades scene. Here the Kirov corps de ballet shimmered, like mirror images of the feminine ideal they are meant to portray. Olesya Novikova, Ksenia Ostreikovskaya and Daria Sukhoroukova danced the three solo variations. Novikova came first, with the hops on pointe in arabesque. Although her talents are best portrayed in roles with more character, such as Kitri or Aurora, here she met the challenge with flawless technique. Sukhoroukova danced the second variation, the double cabriole with chasse, but her inner tempo was different from that the conductor chose, making for visual confusion – it was difficult to determine who was on time. Ostreikovskaya closed the trio with the adagio sissone variation, reinforcing her image as one of the Kirov’s more traditional, classic ballerinas. Ostreikovskaya has an extension and flexibility that marvel, but where others would exploit them, she uses grace, taste and restraint, and the result is never less than lovely.

Mikhail Sinkevich conducted.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 9:31 am 
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Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
fedora - are those your videos?? were you at the Lopatkina gala here last year??

because my connection is slow, I cant see more than a few seconds at a time. Kondaurova looks gorgeous though!

Can anyone comment on this. Elena Vasjukovich's variation is actually Amour's variation from Don Q's dream. Why has it been inserted as a Paquita variation (??)


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 9:43 am 
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Last edited by fedora on Wed Sep 13, 2006 1:59 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 9:48 am 
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Many thanks for the review, Catherine, it met my own impressions from Viktoria Tereshkina and Ekaterina Osmolkina in the same roles in London. Tereshkina's royal bearing and soulfulness were quite impressive, despite some unappropriate extensions at the beginning, but it seems to have become the rule !

I had a question as well : is Evgenia Obratzsova officially listed as a second soloist in St-Petersburg now ? I was wondering because she was for the Paris tour, but there had been no changes on the Kirov's website. As far as I'm concerned, she's one of the true princesses of the Mariinsky right now... ;)


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 11:18 am 
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 12:33 pm 
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Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
Azulynn - I haven't heard anything about Obratsova being promoted ... the playbills at daily performances dont list any dancer rankings within the company (I always buy the Russian version, lest there be differences in information) and the big glossy programs are not up to date (although there is a new cover on one of them and I dont have that in my possession yet). I will inquire with the press office, as the only dancer levels i'm aware of are also listed on the Mariinsky web site -- which may well not be up to date yet.

One note to everyone, is that they are in the process of acquiring headshots for *all* dancers to put on the web site (i assume with some amount of biographical information as well). No idea on the up time for that though, it may be only this summer by the time they collect them all.

Fedora - thanks, I am going to take a look!


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