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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:11 pm 
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Buddy wrote:
Courtesy of "Dansomanie" comes word that Makhar Vaziev, former Mariinsky ballet director, will take charge of the Ballet de la Scala de Milan starting January 2009, succeeding Elisabetta Terabust.

I was just watching my Svetlana Zakharova, Roberto Bolle "Swan Lake" video last night and I do like this company for what seems to be its real heart and soul effort to do the very best that it possibly can. With Makhar Vaziev there big things might happen. I wish them all the best!


Wow. This should be good, since I've seen Zakharova's work with this ballet company and it has been quite good (I have the Swan Lake and La Bayadere DVD's). Vaziev has pushed for "historical reconstructions" and it will be very interesting to see if Ballet de la Scala will attempt the four-act version of La Bayadere that Petipa produced in 1900.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 4:09 am 
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Presumably his wife, Chenchikova, goes with him. Won't that leave a couple of dancers coach-less?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 5:03 am 
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Cassandra wrote:
Presumably his wife, Chenchikova, goes with him. Won't that leave a couple of dancers coach-less?


Are you talking the same one that coaches Ekaterina Kondaurova and Alina Samova? :?:


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 12:16 pm 
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Vaziev is to be AD at La Scala? That's a very interesting development.

Quote:
Presumably his wife Chenchikova goes with him. Won't that leave a couple of dancers coach-less?


If Olga goes to Milan, Kondaurova and Somova would probably be assigned to other staff coaches. My questions are, 1. Who would replace Olga (or) absorb her pupils? and 2. Who would dare take on Somova?


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 8:49 am 
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Igor Zelensky's Artistic Evening
12 November, 2008
Mariinsky Theatre
St. Petersburg, Russia
By Catherine Pawlick

Artistic Soirees occur several times a year at the Mariinsky. Mid-November brought one of Igor Zelensky back to this stage from his current hideout in Siberia, where he is director of the Novosibirsk Ballet.

The evening opened with "Apollo", a work in which Zelensky has been lauded repeatedly. Yana Selina, Anastasia Nikitina, and Viktoria Tereshkina danced his three muses. This was Nikitina's debut as Polyhymnia, and she danced the mask-holding variation with bright energy, fitting in nicely with the other two more seasoned dancers, and displaying a minimal of rawness around the edges. Zelensky managed to make the ballet his own once again; his movements include different emphasis and he seemed to enjoy playing with the steps. The pas with Tereshkina’s Terpsichore in particular included a friendly flirtation that set just the right atmosphere.

The second work was a local premiere of Edwaard Liang's "Whisper s in the Dark.” While “Whispers” has already been performed by members of Zelensky's Novosibirsk Ballet Theatre in London, this is the first time they’ve made the trip to Petersburg to perform it on the Mariinsky Stage. The local audience retained an entranced silence throughout, keen to absorb every second of this new Western creation. “Whispers” features three men and three women on a sexily dark stage, with only dim spotlights shown from overhead or the wings. The women work their way through elasticized movements in Navy blue tunic tops and boyshorts with soft slippers; the men danced shirtless with black jazz pants.

Set to Philip Glass's "Aguas da Amazonia", Liang's choreographic lexicon almost evades definition. It seems to include the influences of Forsythe in leg movements with touches of Alonso King's port de bras, and then Liang's own touches sprinkled in. Of note is the interplay of circles rotating both internal and externally –a contraction in the sternum ignites an arm movement that leads to a torso shift, causing a reaction in the hips, and on down the muscular chain. Plenty of swivels and turns are included, and gliding lifts across the stage in grand jete form. But it is difficult to find the theme he notes in the program, that the work's central pas is loosely based on Orpheus's journey to Hades to retrieve Eurydice without opening his eyes. Nonetheless, the local audience was intrigued and their reaction suggested interest in more of Liang’s work.

The electric and sultry “Scheherzade” closed the evening with a special guest appearance by Polina Semionova from the Berlin State Opera and Ballet Theatre. Zelensky’s soundless ballon in each effortless leap and bound matched Semionova’s heated Zobeide . Together they made a steamy pair.

Boris Gruzin conducted.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:42 am 
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Thanks, Catherine!

Why am I not too surprised about Nikitina being the "chosen one" among the most recent female graduates of the Vaganova Academy? I remember what you wrote at the time and I recall her photos. Happy to read that she is progressing with finesse.

The Liang work sounds fascinating. Thanks again.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 12:38 pm 
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She is being pushed forward pretty fast and furious -- she only graduated in June and dancing next to Zelensky on stage in a solo role? Selina is a veteran coryphee, in contrast. I will not be surprised when Nikitina takes Somova's "old" spot (see the other thread, ahem!)


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 3:22 am 
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Placeholder for Sarafanov's debut as Romeo. Review to come next week.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 5:45 am 
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NataliaN wrote:
Why am I not too surprised about Nikitina being the "chosen one" among the most recent female graduates of the Vaganova Academy? I remember what you wrote at the time and I recall her photos. Happy to read that she is progressing with finesse.


(Methinks I've been reading a bit too much Harry Potter lately--for those who don't know, he was called that in the final two volumes of that series. :) )

The way Anastasia Nikitina has been pushed forward reminds me a lot of one Ulyana Lopatkina some 17 years ago. Mind you, Lopatkina--being one of the last pupils of Natalia Dudinskaya's legendary career as pedagogue at the Vaganova Academy--was already profiled in a substantial documentary film even before Lopatkina graduated back in 1991! :o

It will be VERY interesting to see if Tatiana Terekhova can properly coach Somova, though.... (Lots of crossing of fingers on this!)


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 2:00 pm 
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I'm tempted to even create another thread about this topic but for now will just post it here as it relates to Saturday night's performance.

Typically the behavior inside the MT is fairly (fairly) respectful of the performers and fellow spectators. However, lately it happens more and more often (and I note typically this happens more in the summer with the tourists, so it is strange to be saying this on the day of the first snow in Petersburg).

On Saturday (Sarafanov's Debut as Romeo), I was in a baignoire with a bunch of British people -- 6 of them to be precise. Aside from bringing their picnic dinner with them, complete with fast-food blinis in bags, and silver flasks refilled with God-Knows-What from a thermos, they were whispering throughout. "Oh, this is when it gets good..." (during the sword fight). And one of them would gasp outloud so that about 15 people all around would turn to look at her each time someone stabbed or died or fell. The final scene was thus rather noisy bc we had 1) Romeo kill himself (shriek #1), 2) Romeo fall backwards down the stairs to the tomb pedastal with a thud (shriek #2) and 3) Juliet kill herself (shriek #3). That had been preceded by other shrieks when Tybalt and Mercutio were killed, respectively.

Those seats are not cheap for foreigners, I know that much. So why is attending the ballet treated like a baseball game? I felt all that missing were the ushers passing out peanuts instead of programs.

One other incident happened about 2 weeks ago. A woman I see often brought her two year old son to Swan Lake. This was worse as the boy did not have a seat so she set him on the railing near where I was standing. The boy squirmed, and talked, and tapped the wall, and almost hit me a few times the duration of the first act. It became highly distracting as I was reviewing that performance and could barely see what was going on for all his commotion. I was sure she'd have taken him out after that but they stayed for all of Act Two as well. It was unconscionable really...

OK my vent is over.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 7:51 pm 
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Oh brother--you'd think the audience in the Mariinsky Theatre would be a bit more respectful! Who wants to have an experience akin to what you often get in an American movie theater? I'm surprised the ushers didn't do something about this as soon as possible.

(EDIT) By the way, Ulyana Lopatkina performed the second part of Symphony in C on the night of the 16th. I wonder was this her first performance on the MT stage this season....


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:46 am 
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Yes, I've got that review coming to you all as well. (If you want a preview, PM me). Both the 15th and 16th.

As for Lopatkina...hmmm... I was just looking over my review files. You could be right, Sacto, it could be her first time this fall back onstage, although it seems to me there may have been another performance. But I can't think of what it would have been. (I would have likely SEEN it, if that was the case! :-))


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 7:09 am 
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Catherine Pawlick wrote:
Yes, I've got that review coming to you all as well. (If you want a preview, PM me). Both the 15th and 16th.

As for Lopatkina...hmmm... I was just looking over my review files. You could be right, Sacto, it could be her first time this fall back onstage, although it seems to me there may have been another performance. But I can't think of what it would have been. (I would have likely SEEN it, if that was the case! :-))


I believe that Lopatkina has performed three times this season: a special gala performance to celebrate her 35th birthday back on the 27 October in Moscow (I'm surprised that MT didn't do this!), the performances at the Moscow Operetta Theater on 11-12 November, and the back in 16 November in Symphony in C.

I've been noticing that Olesya Novikova is performing a LOT this season. I hope she doesn't experience exhaustion by late January! :roll:


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 7:39 am 
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After Somova's promotion, other changes in the roster as per the MT website : Yana Selina has finally been promoted to Second Soloist (the English page is not clear, but the Russian one confirms it). Many congratulations to her, as it's long overdue.

A lot of new names, too, at Coryphée level, but very strangely - Yulia Bolshakova, who had been listed as Second Soloist for a while, is now back to being a Coryphée. What's going on there ? It seems extremely crual to have someone go down a rank.

December casting is also up, and Ulyana Lopatkina makes a rare appearance as Medora in Corsaire. She also dances a Swan Lake. Yekaterina Kondaurova gets another shot at O/O, and Theme and Variations is presented (hasn't it been a while ?).


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 2:41 pm 
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Azulynn wrote:
.....very strangely - Yulia Bolshakova, who had been listed as Second Soloist for a while, is now back to being a Coryphée. What's going on there ? ........?).


I've come to the conclusion that the Mariinsky website is a comedy of errors and non-truths. They must have a joker or jerk (or both) as webmaster. Case in point: The mysterious 'return' of Ayupova after having 'retired' for six months. Now this mysterious 'demotion' of Bolshakova. A classicist, Amosova, suddenly being plopped into the Character Principals. Ivan Kozlov off the roster, yet on the schedule to dance some ballets next month. Huh?

All of this makes me wonder -- perhaps Alina Somova is truly not yet a principal? Oh, we can dream & wish, can't we? :)

I can imagine Russian balletomane hackers running wild and shifting names, deleting some, adding others.

Nothing is ever quite the truth in that world...


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