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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 10:21 am 
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Catherine Pawlick wrote:
Mixed Program «The Rite of Spring», «Prodigal Son», and «Symphony in C»
Mariinsky Theatre
St. Petersburg, Russia
25 July 2008
by Catherine Pawlick

That Nijinsky's set design, costumes and most of all, choreography for «The Rite of Spring» reflect perfectly the complex dissonance ....


Catherine, didn't Nicholas Roerich do the original set design for the Rite of Spring?


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 8:58 pm 
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Catherine Pawlick wrote:
That Nijinsky's set design, costumes and most of all, choreography for «The Rite of Spring» reflect perfectly the complex dissonance and uneven measures of Stravinsky's accompanying score was once again visible as the ballet returned to the Mariinsky stage at the close of the 2007-2008 season. The company performs this wild attempt at modern movements rarely, and indeed the piece is disturbing enough to warrant that infrequency. Friday night's performance, as faithful to the original as could be, nonetheless left viewers unsettled, which was no doubt part of the choreographer's original intent.


I think that was what both Igor Stravinsky and Vaslav Nijinsky wanted when the wrote this ballet in the first place--a "ballet" that completely broke with the conventions of all those Marius Petipa-choreographed ballets from the second half of the 19th Century. When it premiered in Paris in 1913, it caused a riot in the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, and even now regardless of which ballet company stages this ballet it's still considered a very unusual show. I'm surprised that even the conservative MT would even do this ballet--I just can't see the more "modern" Bolshoi doing it either because it is such a weird piece.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 11:00 pm 
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Yes, Sacto, Nicholas Roerich did do the sets (with Stravinsky), and the costumes. This is why I should never write when I am behind on sleep!


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 8:59 am 
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Catherine Pawlick wrote:
Yes, Sacto, Nicholas Roerich did do the sets (with Stravinsky), and the costumes. This is why I should never write when I am behind on sleep!


Next time, get a good, strong cup of tea before you write a review--preferably the Darjeeling that the Russians prefer. :)


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 1:57 am 
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Yes the Russians do love their black tea. I'm becoming a fan of green tea however. It really *does* make you more alert! :-)


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 5:42 am 
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Catherine Pawlick wrote:
Yes the Russians do love their black tea. I'm becoming a fan of green tea however. It really *does* make you more alert! :-)


Alas, it's only recently that Russians discovered green teas, mostly because they could actually get it from China! (I have 500 g of top quality "Dragon Well" green tea from the Hangzhou region of China that cost way too much American dollars.... :roll: )

But getting back on topic, Catherine, what do you think was the big highlight of the 2007-2008 season at MT? Was it the six different performances of Swan Lake at the VII International Ballet Festival, the one that had Viktoria Tereshkina's superb performance as Odette/Odile? 8)


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 1:53 pm 
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Catherine,

The Mariinsky Theatre web site's English side just posted their first five performances of the 2008-2009 season, probably a tentative schedule:

24 Sep 2008: The Maid of Pskov (opera in three acts)

25 Sep 2008: Serenade, Symphony in C (ballets by George Balanchine)

26 Sep 2008: The Enchanted Wanderer (opera)

27 Sep 2008: Das Rheingold (first opera in the Ring tetralogy)

28 Sep 2008: La Bayadère (ballet in three Acts--definitely not the "restored" version!)


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 2:06 am 
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Well that is good news and unique, as traditionally "Swan Lake" opens the ballet season, just after an opera. I'm glad to see Symphony in C listed again though, as they can only do that when the full company is here, so I look forward to that performance. I wish they'd post the full year. Wishful thinking as they dont even know it yet themselves!

If you're asking for my personal opinion on the highlight of the season, I would not consider this year's festival to fall into that category, or any of those Lake performances. Keep in mind, I see "Swan Lake" here year round with all the Kirov principal dancers, so for me those performances were kind of "eh".

I would have to say the following were tied in terms of seasonal highlights: Lopatkina in "Giselle" last September 19th; Alexander Sergeev's debut as Albrecht in "Giselle" in April -- he needs to be promoted to principal despite his 22 years -- and Grigory Popov's debut in "Hooligan" also this spring which was one of the most spectacular performances I've ever seen on this stage. That, and his (Popov's) reappearance as James in "La Sylphide", he can do Bournonville footwork like there is no tomorrow. These are the unsung heroes of the Mariinsky IMHO (well, Lopatkina is well sung though!)


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 6:32 am 
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One thing I do want to see MT do this season is at least a couple of performances of La Bayadère in the fully-restored four-Act version, even if we have to pay top Ruble to see it. :D And definitely cut back on the number of performances of Swan Lake (we already have the current MT version on DVD that was just released last year!) and maybe perform a wider repertoire of Marius Petipa-choreographed ballets (after all, Petipa did some 50 different ballets in Russia during his lifetime!).


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 4:02 pm 
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The October schedule has been posted on the Mariinsky website, and amazingly enough, Sacto - you get your wish ! The restored four-arc Bayadère will be back in repertoire on October 27. Now that is something to look forward to !

Also, among other treats, a Chopiniana/Pas de quatre/Dying Swan/Carnaval bill. The November schedule seems on the way - the page is there, but nothing listed yet. In any case, way to go, Mariinsky Theatre.


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