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 Post subject: Re: Kirov-Mariinsky Festival 2010 (April 14-24, 2010)
PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:08 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 8:21 am
Posts: 72
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Thanks Catherine, for your report on the first two nights of the Festival!

You are the only person reporting, so far, from the festival on any site,
so your every word is deeply appreciated.

Please keep us informed!


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov-Mariinsky Festival 2010 (April 14-24, 2010)
PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:08 pm 
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Yes, my thanks, too, Catherine. I hope we can read your full review later. Meantime, here's a short clip of the Anna Karenina ballet with the first cast (Vishneva as Anna, and Obratzova, in the white dress, as Kitty.) There is also a short interview with Plisetskaya. Wish I could be there!

http://www.tv100.ru/video/view/29404/


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov-Mariinsky Festival 2010 (April 14-24, 2010)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:13 pm 
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Posts: 186
Thank you so much Catherine for the report, and thanks bcx for posting this link! Excellent :D !


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov-Mariinsky Festival 2010 (April 14-24, 2010)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:26 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 1752
Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
You're most welcome everyone! It's heartwarming when the posts are received by an audience :-)

I've been juggling outside responsibilities with the festival so haven't been able to post as much as I'd like. The festival continues, despite Europe's volcanic ash. Tonight Zakharova joined Uvarov in Swan Lake. Out of curiosity I attended -- I have to say she looked even slimmer than I recall. He had grey hair, which was jarring upon first view. Uvarov is also quite statuesque, but for someone from the Bolshoi, did not look as chiselled as I'd expected. It was a May-December duet throughout. Zakharova continues to be gorgeous of line and uber flexible. But a soulful, emotional, touching rendition I did not sense from her, whereas I have felt the dramatic elements from many of the Mariinsky's leading ladies in the same role, notably Lopatkina. Grigory Popov danced a stellar jester (for those who saw the umpteen Swan Lakes in a prior festival - he was just as great if not better). As the pas de trois in Act I, we had a surprise in the form of Yana Selina, Valeria Martinouk and Maxim Zuizin. Selina danced the allegro variation/Martinouk did the hops en pointe. Zuizin's face was expressionless and as usual one has the sense his perfect form is achieved effortlessly -- meaning with effort it could be absolutely otherworldly.

Tomorrow night is the Lyon Opera Ballet. Bejart was to perform at the Mikhailovsky tehse three evenings but that was cancelled due to the volcanic ash and flight issues. I'm hoping Lyon happens, and there's no reason so far to think it won't.

I will post more as I can...

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 Post subject: Re: Kirov-Mariinsky Festival 2010 (April 14-24, 2010)
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:34 pm 
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Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
Details on Mats Ek's unique and often vulgar take on Giselle later.

For the gala concert on Sunday, to close the festival, so far we have:

Helene Bouchet and Andrian Fadeyev in the Rubies pas;
Irma Nioradze in an excerpt from Carmen
Kondaurova performing Faksi's piece (which she debuts in tomorrow night),
Novikova and Sarafanov in the Ober pas de deux
Alina Cojocaru in Kim Brandish's "Rushes"
Lopatkina in Tango, a piece she also danced in the festival 3 years ago
David Hallberg and Denis Matvienko in the Proust ballet
and the Tchaikovsky pas with Tereshkina and Shklyarov.

Tomorrow is the premiere of the much advertised and even more anticipated evening of new choreographers.

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 Post subject: Re: Kirov-Mariinsky Festival 2010 (April 14-24, 2010)
PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:37 pm 
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Catherine Pawlick wrote:
You're most welcome everyone! It's heartwarming when the posts are received by an audience :-)

He had grey hair, which was jarring upon first view. Uvarov is also quite statuesque, but for someone from the Bolshoi, did not look as chiselled as I'd expected. It was a May-December duet throughout. Zakharova continues to be gorgeous of line and uber flexible. But a soulful, emotional, touching rendition I did not sense from her, whereas I have felt the dramatic elements from many of the Mariinsky's leading ladies in the same role, notably Lopatkina. Grigory Popov danced a stellar jester (for those who saw the umpteen Swan Lakes in a prior festival - he was just as great if not better). As the pas de trois in Act I, we had a surprise in the form of Yana Selina, Valeria Martinouk and Maxim Zuizin. Selina danced the allegro variation/Martinouk did the hops en pointe. Zuizin's face was expressionless and as usual one has the sense his perfect form is achieved effortlessly -- meaning with effort it could be absolutely otherworldly.



Uvarov is near retirement age now. He is really one of the best Siegfrieds I have seen and a most sensitive partner (from Nina Ananiashvili down to the third generation like Anna Nikulina). In his younger days, he danced like Apollo on earth. By comparison Mariinsky danseurs nowadays look like toothpicks and you have to go back to Igor Zelensky's generation to find similar combination of strength and gentility. If I were a ballerina, I want a real man like Andrei (fitting name, too!)

Svetlana should dance less Swan Lake. The swan meme encourages too much narcissism in long-limbed ballerinas.

I am not sure whether Zuizin's expression (or lack thereof) for the pas de trois is even appropriate for a bucolic romp. That seems more a problem in characterization rather than asset.


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov-Mariinsky Festival 2010 (April 14-24, 2010)
PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 4:50 am 
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Posts: 1494
Location: USA-Switzerland
In My Life I Love You More

(The Beatles)


I finally arrived here late Thursday evening.


"Sleeping Beauty" (yesterday evening)

Alina Somova and David Hallberg (ABT)


Six Well-Deserved Curtain Calls !


Alina Somova

An Absolutely Beautiful, Totally Graceful, Hearttouching Performance !


David Hallberg

A Finely Attentive, Airborn Prince !


(I will try to write some more when I get back home next week.)


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov-Mariinsky Festival 2010 (April 14-24, 2010)
PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 5:31 am 
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Posts: 1752
Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
The evening of new choreographers was very entertaining and in some cases stunning. The audience gave a very warm reception to Smekalov's work and to Liang's work as well, with repeat curtain calls. The 3 works shared some common elements but were still widely different. In the interest of avoiding my comments being plagiarized elsewhere, which has occurred before, anyone who would like a personal rundown is free to message me.

Madigan :D - Uvarov definitely has more meat on him, and i'm not used to seeing that on this stage, which isnt to say it isnt welcome! :-) Just different. I did think for the sake of aesthetics, he might have sprayed his hair black for the performance, regardless of the real life coloring, just to give more cohesion to dancing with someone so much (visibly at least) younger. I dont see Zakarova often enough to comment on how often she should dance O/O...

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 Post subject: Re: Kirov-Mariinsky Festival 2010 (April 14-24, 2010)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:28 am 
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Galina Stolyarova reviews the April 15 performance of "Anna Karenina" in the Saint Petersburg Times.

St. Petersburg Times


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov-Mariinsky Festival 2010 (April 14-24, 2010)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:33 am 
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Posts: 1640
Location: London UK
Andrei Uvarov was for me unique in that he had the most sensational elevation of his generation – and no one has matched him since. Personally I don’t see any problem with grey hair; it certainly never did Dmitri Hvorostovsky’s career any harm. There is by the way a keen sense of disappointment among London ballet goers that Uvarov is not included on the summer tour. The stunning performance by Yuri Klevtsov in the recent cinema broadcast of Flames of Paris should serve as a reminder that older dancers have a wealth of stage experience behind them that can make them far more compelling performers than younger colleagues and in many cases technique is barely diminished.

Quote:
Svetlana should dance less Swan Lake. The swan meme encourages too much narcissism in long-limbed ballerinas.


Madigan, I agree entirely.


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov-Mariinsky Festival 2010 (April 14-24, 2010)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 7:35 am 
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Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
Cassandra, I dont see any problem with grey hair per se either. But in the libretto we have a young prince coming of age looking for a bride. It would seem to me purely from a costuming standpoint, you would want him to look in the general age bracket of his prospective bride-swan... Bc to have grey hair when the Queen Mother doesn't... i dont know it just seemed like a minor inconsistency. The color itself though of course doesnt bother me a bit.

Quote:
...serve as a reminder that older dancers have a wealth of stage experience behind them that can make them far more compelling performers than younger colleagues and in many cases technique is barely diminished.


I entirely agree. One has to be careful though for, at least within the ranks of the MT female principals, there are a few that I would argue might consider giving their places to those younger and (at this point) more capable.

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 Post subject: Re: Kirov-Mariinsky Festival 2010 (April 14-24, 2010)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 4:52 pm 
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Location: USA-Switzerland
Some very quick highlight thoughts from Sunday's Gala.

Alina Cojocaru

After several years of an impressive reconstruction she danced with a profondly developed understanding of her art and the very-welcome-to-see-again agility of a young girl.

("Rushes" -- choreography Kim Brandish.* Her partner, Martin Jacobson (Bejart Ballet))


Irma Nioradze

A performer who becomes more and more artistically impressive with age. She created a deep and moving poetic reality with a highly captivating aura.

("Carmen Suite" -- music Bizet and Shedrin, choreography Alberto Alonso. Partner, Ilya Kuznetsov.)


Ekaterina Kondaurova

To music of exceptional beauty and gentleness she danced to a choreography of 'abstract expressiveness' that had a highly dissonant contrast to the lovely music. With what seemed to be all her being, she created a harmonious world within a world, that had incredible power, soul and beauty.

("fragment" from "Simple Things" -- music Arvo Part, choreography Emilia Faski. Solo performance.)



("In the interest of avoiding my comments being plagiarized elsewhere" -- I never seem to have that problem, Catherine. (Big smile intended!))

[last sentence changed for clarity]

* Having just returned home with a chance to take a brief look at the other posts, I see that Catherine has identified Alina Cojocaru's performance as "Kim Brandish's "Rushes" " so I corrected it above.


Last edited by Buddy on Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:03 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Kirov-Mariinsky Festival 2010 (April 14-24, 2010)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:43 pm 
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Re: Uvarov. In a Nureyev production, Uvarov's gray hair would be a meme for Siegfried in midlife crisis. (He used to be dark blond/sandy.) The young-old look of gray hair and his stature might make for a surreal Rothbart, for which current impersonations are simply clownish. I cannot help but break into peals of laughter when Rothbart shows up.

Cassandra, I would like to see Zakharova dancing more Raymonda. The role is the test of a prima: adagio and allegro, character and classical, girl and woman--in four hours, no less. O/O is very black and white: a physically gifted ballerina could get away by making totems of long legs and icons of wings. Raymonda runs more along a gradient: the gaiety of the girl, the curiosity of the young woman, and the mystery of the bride--another facet in another light, but always human and always about the Woman. So, very little room for extreme shapes and characterizations, or ogling at one's foot next to the ear.

Zakharova has one of the all-time great Raymondas at Bolshoi, Semenyaka, to coach her on all that. Indeed, I can single out the great ballerinas of each theater just by checking out who the great Raymondas are. E.g., Mariinsky: UL, Tereshkina, Makhalina; Bolshoi: Gracheva, Alexandrova, etc.; POB: DuPont, Letestu and from earlier on, Platel. And Martine van Hamel for ever. (In contrast, Swan Lake has gone through some kind of casting inflation in the Russian troupes: even young second soloists could be dancing O/O.)

It also would be tailor-made for Olga Chenchikova, but her former pupil, Somova has yet to take on the role despite the fast rise. I think Somova can handle the first two acts, but the last two might become more problematic. The mature Raymonda is quite a different species from the mature Aurora: just compare the music of the clapping variation to that of Aurora's violin solo. For Raymonda, much, much more had happened between sweet sixteen and the nuptials, more than a long slumber. It might also explain why Lopatkina was willing to dance Raymonda but not Aurora. One cannot get away with a perennial grin in the role.


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov-Mariinsky Festival 2010 (April 14-24, 2010)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 7:29 am 
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Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Madigan wrote:
The mature Raymonda is quite a different species from the mature Aurora: just compare the music of the clapping variation to that of Aurora's violin solo. For Raymonda, much, much more had happened between sweet sixteen and the nuptials, more than a long slumber.... One cannot get away with a perennial grin in the role.


Madigan, I think you've explained quite cogently why we're not likely to see Mariinsky's production of Raymonda at an International Ballet Festival. At least not while the theatre directors continue to promote one soloist as the wave of the future.


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov-Mariinsky Festival 2010 (April 14-24, 2010)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:41 pm 
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Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
jpc wrote:
Madigan, I think you've explained quite cogently why we're not likely to see Mariinsky's production of Raymonda at an International Ballet Festival. At least not while the theatre directors continue to promote one soloist as the wave of the future.


On the other hand, we didn't see that soloist as Anna Karenina -- so why keep Raymonda off the charts if other casts are available? When Raymonda reappeared a few years ago, only Tkachenko and Lopatkina danced it. (both stellar interpretations btw). I see no reason not to include that in a festival. Given all the (Western) interest, I think it would be a good move on the part of the theatre directors, a big draw, since they don't ever tour it to the States.

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