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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 7:55 am 
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Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
Sacto just an update, Lopatkina isn't dancing Saturday as originally planned. I'm not sure how far back this was originally posted, but at least one week ago she was replaced by Tereshkina (Nikiya) and Osmolkina (Gamzatti) for tomorrow night.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 5:41 pm 
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I saw that on the MT English-side web page. Can you check your sources inside MT and find out if she is ill or injured?


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 6:45 am 
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Thank you, Catherine, for the opening-night report. Very, very odd program to open the ballet season -- a mixed bill (only two ballets) instead of a 'big' full-evening ballet. Not so long ago, it used to be SWAN LAKE as the opener, year after year. Then we were shocked when ROMEO & JULIET opened a season instead. On the positive side, Balanchine finally opens a Mariinsky season! This is definitely the hand of Fateev, who is one of the top champions of the Balanchine repertoire at the Mariinsky. Oooo...the Old Guard must be boiling.

On another subject, I am wondering if you know who among the 2008 Vaganova Academy graduates, may have been taken-on by the company....Yulia Tikka or Yulia Chereskevich, perhaps? Any of the men, such as Sergei Umanets or Igor Petrov?

One other question: I am wondering if Uliana Lopatkina is well enough to be included on the big tour of the USA that commences this coming Wednesday in Chicago? Some of us on these shores are a bit worried that she cancelled her first BAYADERE in St. Petersburg. Perhaps she is just saving herself for the tour?

Thanks, as ever, for all of your insights, Catherine!


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 4:26 pm 
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NataliaN wrote:
Thank you, Catherine, for the opening-night report. Very, very odd program to open the ballet season -- a mixed bill (only two ballets) instead of a 'big' full-evening ballet. Not so long ago, it used to be SWAN LAKE as the opener, year after year. Then we were shocked when ROMEO & JULIET opened a season instead. On the positive side, Balanchine finally opens a Mariinsky season! This is definitely the hand of Fateev, who is one of the top champions of the Balanchine repertoire at the Mariinsky. Oooo...the Old Guard must be boiling.

One other question: I am wondering if Uliana Lopatkina is well enough to be included on the big tour of the USA that commences this coming Wednesday in Chicago? Some of us on these shores are a bit worried that she cancelled her first BAYADERE in St. Petersburg. Perhaps she is just saving herself for the tour?


In a way, I'm actually happy that MT has decided NOT to open the ballet season with another performance of Lebedinoye Ozero--even the old-time balletomanes in Saint Petersburg are probably tiring of this ballet by now to open the MT season. Besides, Balanchine is revered inside the Vaganova Academy, since he was a student at that school when it was called the Imperial Ballet Academy.

As for Lopatkina, I do agree she may be saving herself for the US tour next month--the role of Nikiya in La Bayadere is a pretty demanding role and she needs all the rest for what could be a exhausting tour for a full month.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 1:50 pm 
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Alas, the regular local patrons do not share the Vaganova Academy's feelings for Balanchine...especially not Serenade. I have never quite understood it. And the locals would rather have yet another Swan Lake any day, over a Balanchine mixed bill. That I can guarantee. Just count the empty seats on a Balanchine night vs any night with a Petipa-era full-length ballet.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 8:14 pm 
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The only problem is that there are only a very small number of Petipa-era ballets being performed at MT right now--especially given the fact Petipa wrote nearly 50 ballets (original and revived) while working in Russia. I'd love to see MT go through as many of these ballets as possible.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 4:01 am 
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Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
Natalia is right. I was kind of shocked too, as Serenade is utterly dreamily beautiful especially as done by this troupe. This time, the house was almost full on opening night, but aside from the rude latecomers, there were STILL a few extra seats scattered about. If it were Lopatkina in Swan Lake (any night, not just season opening), there would not only be no free seats, but people would be trying to stand near the exits and in the baignoires, crowding the bona fide ticket holders as usual.

As for Lopatkina, I haven't any official news, but things are not looking promising for the US tour. Unfortunately I don't expect any announcements by Ardani to be made if she does cancel all her US performances. I think people should prepare for that outcome...

As for Yulia Tikka, Yulia Chereskevich, Sergei Umanets and Igor Petrov -- none of them were spotted in Serenade or in the corps of Symphony in C. I did look for both Yulias but they were conspicuously absent. I always visually note who the cavaliers in the corps were, and none were the new crop. That is to be expected though, as in past years, esp opening night, they tend to rely on the "old hands" and then weave the newbies in slowly during the fall season here. I am fairly certain they're all with the troupe, just were not there on opening night.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 6:52 am 
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Just a quick postscript. I see dancers all the time so this is not a unique comment but since it pertains to this thread, I just walked by Teatro and saw Anastasia Nikitina with her mother sitting at a window table. There was never any doubt that she'd join the MT as she was billed as the star of her graduating year, but thought to mention it, speaking of the 2008 class. That's one "down" as it were, but again, her membership in said club was never debated!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 1:45 pm 
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By the way, according to what I've read online, Ulyana Lopatkina's first scheduled performance in the USA for the Mariinsky Ballet fall tour is in Giselle on October 12, 2008. It's possible she's still in Russia and may join the tour probably around the 9th or 10th in preparation for her first performance at Costa Mesa, California.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 3:11 pm 
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Catherine Pawlick wrote:
.....Anastasia Nikitina....There was never any doubt that she'd join the MT as she was billed as the star of her graduating year, but thought to mention it, speaking of the 2008 class. ....


Thanks, Catherine. Ah yes, Nikitina -- the young lady with 'Somova Legs' among the graduates. I wish them all the best. Let's see how they develop!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 11:40 am 
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Major news : Ekaterina Kondaurova is scheduled to debut as Odette/Odile on October 30, with Korsuntsev as her partner. Good luck to her ; I hope Catherine will be there to report !


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 12:48 pm 
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Azulynn wrote:
Major news : Ekaterina Kondaurova is scheduled to debut as Odette/Odile on October 30, with Korsuntsev as her partner. Good luck to her ; I hope Catherine will be there to report !


THIS I got to see in terms of pictures from the performance. I'd like to know will MT allow her to keep her natural red hair for this? :?:


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 2:08 am 
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Yes, I was there :-).

She debuted last night in "Swan Lake". Unlike Vishneva's rather late and very disastrous debut in the same ballet here on the Mariinsky stage, Kondaurova was an essay in control and refinement. I can't provide a full review here as I am reviewing for another publication, but just wanted to say that she is now, CLEARLY, the Mariinsky's next ballerina.

Red hair and all :-). She was stunning. Quite frankly I believe the red hair is a perfect contrast to the snow white tutus. She was absolutely gorgeous.

Clement Crisp called her out in the Financial Times after their London tour a few weeks ago (it's a shame you in the US didnt see her this October)... but I met her in 2005, and interviewed her in 2006 here for Critical Dance

http://www.ballet-dance.com/200702/arti ... a2007.html

and she has only become increasingly beautiful with time.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 4:03 am 
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I don't think red hair should be a handicap, after all Moira Shearer also had red hair and it became her trade mark.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 7:40 am 
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Location: USA
Thank you Catherine for the glowing reports of Mariinsky as well as the link to the Kondaurova interview. It is always a joy to be brought back to my memories of going to Mariinsky night after night. :D

Just a quick question though. The school to which Kondaurova refers to in the interview, is it not Mikhail Lavrovsky's school rather than that of his late great father or his namesake grandson (who does not dance)?

Quote:
Determined, she enrolled in Leonid Lavrovsky’s school, studying under Lyudmila Sorokina, and was there advised to try the Vaganova Academy. At the age of 12, later than most, she moved to Leningrad, entered the Academy and remained until graduation.


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