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 Post subject: International Mariinsky Festival, 13-23 March 2008
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 1:40 am 
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For those brave souls willing to endure the middle of Russian winter by attending the Mariinsky Festival this March, (March 13-23), a few pieces of news.

In the coming months as part of a separate project, two American choreographers will be among those creating individual works for part of Diana Vishneva's personal tour (stops in Orange County, LA, NY and finally Petersburg during the festival). Tentative plans have been made for this evening to be presented during the Mariinsky festival. At present Ratmansky is creating his work on Vishneva in the MT studios. I believe there are five choreographers in all but will have to confirm.

Additionally, Fokine's "Carnaval" is being revived (reconstructed?) by Vikarev -- and we expect that may also be performed during the festival just as "Flora" was last year.

As a brief bit of background, "Carnaval" uses the four Commedia del Arte characters --Pierrot, Harlequin, Columbine and Pantalone -- in a series of lighthearted interactions. Other characters include Florestan, representing the impulsive side of Schumann's nature, Eusebius, the thoughtful solitary side,[1] Estrella, Chiarina, and Papillon (the fluttering lady or female butterfly) and four Philistines.


Last edited by Catherine Pawlick on Sat Nov 17, 2007 8:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: International Mariinsky Festival, 13-23 March 2007
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 9:50 am 
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Catherine Pawlick wrote:
Additionally, Fokine's "Carnaval" is being revived (reconstructed?) by Vikarev -- .


Fokine's Carnaval is exciting stuff for the Festival! Hope it comes to pass.
I've already got the air transportration booked for the festival.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2007 8:13 am 
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JPC, I will look forward to seeing you here in March!

(meanwhile I have to try to change that 2007 to 2008 in the topic title -- whoops)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 11:23 am 
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Some Rather Fascinating New !

The Mariinsky posted part of it's schedule today for the 10 day VIII International Ballet Festival, in March,

and....

* Six Of The Ten Performances Will Be....Swan Lake ! *

http://www.mariinsky.ru/en/playbill?pbmy=200803

There will be Different Principal Dancers (some from different companies) Each Night according to the Mariinksy Trust office in London that I just talked to on the phone.

It will be the same version each night with the Mariinsky dancers doing all the backup dancing. This is quite a departure from the usual format of presenting a different work each night.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 12:57 pm 
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Thanks for posting this , Buddy. Now this is ridiculous, IMO. The beauty of past Mariinsky Festivals was in the variety of dance offerings...something new and exciting every day, for 10-11 straight days. If one wants to see the same ballet night after night, then travel to virtually any 'ballet city' outside Russia, where companies usually dance a string of the same ballet(s) over the course of a week or two.

I'm so happy that I'm foregoing the festival this year. I'll see more variety by attending the Kirov's run at City Center/New York in April.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 2:09 pm 
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Thanks for the early warning, Buddy!

We were planning to go but now I may have to seriously consider what my losses would be if we canceled.

Three or four Odettes/Odiles/Princes could be an interesting experience as a comparative exercise, but SIX?

I'm thinking of a tasting menu of ten courses in a three-star French restaurant. Now imagine six of the ten courses being filet mignon. NO, NO, NO.

And what if there were last minutes cast substitutions and repeat casts?
The Mariinsky would never do that, right?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 2:35 pm 
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I just got tickets for four of them and my air flight ticket also, jpc. I already had a hotel and a visa so I'm going for it. I hope to see you there.

P.S.--Natalia, jpc, it's just my personal opinion, but the idea seems rather interesting to me. You will be seeing different 'World' famous principal dancers each night, that you might never see under the same roof at the same time otherwise, and the Mariinsky corps should be pretty good by the end of the week. The corps was certainly constantly wonderful in Chicago last year.

And there will be four different nights as well.


["P.S." slightly elaborated later]


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 3:56 pm 
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NataliaN wrote:
Thanks for posting this , Buddy. Now this is ridiculous, IMO. The beauty of past Mariinsky Festivals was in the variety of dance offerings...something new and exciting every day, for 10-11 straight days. If one wants to see the same ballet night after night, then travel to virtually any 'ballet city' outside Russia, where companies usually dance a string of the same ballet(s) over the course of a week or two.

I'm so happy that I'm foregoing the festival this year. I'll see more variety by attending the Kirov's run at City Center/New York in April.


Natalia I totally agree with you. Webster's Dictionary defiines "Festival" as " 2. An often regularly, recurring program of performances, exhibitions or competitions. Some notable ballet festivals are: RDB's Bournonville Festival, Balanchine's Stravinsky Festival (1972), Ravel Festival (1975) and Tchaikovsky Festival (1981), and the Maryinsky International Ballet Festival. The difference between the first four and the last one listed, is that the last festival is an annual event. None of these were noted for being programs of performances of one ballet with different casts. Not until now.

This wins the prize for OTT lack of vision, planning and direction. Wouldn't it have been easier not to have the Festival this year? Or, have the performances without guests and fanfare? Or, undertake yet another week long tour, and do that instead of this? Isn't it the management's responsibility (charge) to maintain tradition, and produce the 'new and exciting' works that might be premiered during an annual international festival? If the management doesn't have the skills to do this, shouldn't they vigorously seek, cultivate and engage those choreographers who do have the skills to create the 'new and exciting?' If the management is unwilling, (unable?) to present, "something new and exciting every day, for 10 - 11 straight days," for what they know is an annual international event, then perhaps it's time they surrendered the keys to the office. A string of "Swan Lake" performances with different casts is not a 'festival' by any stretch of the imagination.


Last edited by Cygne on Fri Jan 25, 2008 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 4:19 pm 
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Cygne, thanks for your thoughts and I can understand how you feel. Still it seems like a very interesting idea to me. Take some of the best artists in the world and have the chance to compare them and their style using the same vehicle. If you are going to chose a vehicle, why not use one of the best that there is--Swan Lake.

Depending on the choice of artists, there is A Chance For Great Diversity in each night's performance.

The Mariinsky is planning something different this year. It's a change. The Festival is supposed to be somewhat experimental--so why not give this a try ?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 6:27 pm 
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It's funny, right before that was posted, I saw the listing on the MT site and I thought to contact the press office to see if it was an error(!). Then, remembering that everything in Russia works out if you wait long enough, I thought to just sit tight. But JPC and Cygne, I share your concerns.

The key will be in fact succeeding in importing those other international ballerinas and cavaliers. If they don't do that, I think there will be a lot of people not in attendance who otherwise would have been. As usual it is another case of "wait and see" ...

I do hope the Carnaval is one or both of the TBD dates (13th and 14th) on the current schedule...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 5:56 am 
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Catherine Pawlick wrote:
.....I do hope the Carnaval is one or both of the TBD dates (13th and 14th) on the current schedule...


Right, Catherine. But Carnaval is but one 25-minute ballet and not really a novelty, as it's been in the K-M repertoire for ages. A late-1980s telecast starring Vikharev/Zavialova has just been released on DVD.

I wonder what will be programmed for the closing-night's gala? In years past, this gala included -- beside the usual potpourri of gala pdds and such -- 'the best' of what transpired during the festival, e.g., Flora's Awakening was repeated last year. So perhaps this year's gala will include an act of Swan Lake? One more for the road!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 5:28 pm 
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Hi Natalia,

Yes, it may be in the repertoire -- just as Sergeev's "Cinderella" is-- but they still haven't danced it in years -- at least not since 2004 when I moved to St. P, and I"m guessing not at all in the past decade or so (??) -- and the "reconstruction" speaks to its languishing nature. I think it's good they're ressurrecting it.

Even if the DVD depicts the dancers from the late 80s, I think seeing the current crop in (the new/revised version of) this ballet will be entertaining -- and will break up the monotony of six Swan Lakes (!!) :-)

About the closing night gala (ha ha, point taken) -- I've actually been disappointed in the past because if you attend more than, say, four performances, the "recap" during the gala isn't a surprise. I think it would be more exciting to have a sequence of grand pas de deux, for example. But then, for those who only attend 1 performance or only the gala, obviously they'd not get a taste for what the festival was about. It's a tough call, but in this case yet another Swan Lake might be a bit much... in any event it will be interesting to see what they come up with!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 9:19 am 
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Catherine Pawlick wrote:

Even if the DVD depicts the dancers from the late 80s, I think seeing the current crop in (the new/revised version of) this ballet will be entertaining -- and will break up the monotony of six Swan Lakes (!!) :-)


Absolutely, Catherine!

It will be interesting to see if Vikharev is staging the Dudinskaya-Sergeyev version that was being performed in the 80s/early 90s (at the time of that videotaping) or if he is attempting a more faithful Ballets-Russes version. For example, the original B-R version is set indoors, in a large salon, with striped wallpaper and two large setees. The Kirov/Dudinskaya-Sergeev takes place at an outdoor garden party (but with the same Bakst costumes of the original). Also, the first movement of the Kirov/Dudinskaya-Sergeev introduces all of the major characters (Harlequin/Colombine/Papillon, etc.), something not in the B-R/Fokine. However, almost all of the choreography after the opening movement is the same in both versions.

I wonder how the K-M Theater will cast this ballet? I can imagine dancers like Sarafanov or Ivanov as Harlequin, Osmolkina or Obraztsova as Colombine. They wouldn't dare cast "the coltish gymnast" as Colombine, would they? (ha-ha)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:57 pm 
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Oh, I think they would dare. :wink: But I hope they don't!

I remember seeing initial cast lists back in the fall, now I'm trying to conjure up photographic memory... I dont want to even say what I think I remember as it may be wrong or may have changed since then, but I do recall being surprised that smaller (less famous) names were on the initial lists. I believe Martinouk, Vasnetsova were on there... it wasn't the Osmolkina/Sarafanov "level". But again, that may have changed since. I agree, NN, that the dancers you mention would be ideal for these roles. If they're reconstructing (and my guess is they are, ie not the Sergeev version), then why not use the absolute best they have?

In favor of the Sergeev revival though, is the argument that it is more "theirs" than the Ballet-Russes version. I'm actually in California right now posting this, and I wish i was in St. P -- I'd run over to the theatre and check for you! :-)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 2:09 pm 
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To change the subject for a moment, something that might be interesting regarding the Swan Lake performances.

Maybe one or two of the Swan Lake performances could feature a different Odette and Odile the same night (maybe even two Odettes one night, one for each Odette scene). Maybe a few lesser known dancers such as Marina Rzhannikova (Moscow Classical Ballet) could be slotted in here.

Maybe a principal or two from other companies could bring some extra swans along for a few of the backup solos, etc.

Among many dancers that I would love to see perform Swan Lake would be Veronika Part.


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