Buddy, we are in total agreement about Kondaurova. I stand by my words on another forum, which I believe you read: Kondaurova combines the plasticity and pathos of Veronika Part's Odette with the 'red-headed uber-diva fireworks' of Maya Plisetskaya's Odile. It's an explosive combination and one that I will not forget for the rest of my life. That rainy afternoon in Toronto, I could swear for a moment that I was looking at Maya Plisetskaya but, no, it was Kondaurova - making her own unique magic. And I have no doubt that her Nikiya, Act I and II, will also soften and deepen in character, as she has done with her Odette in the two years that she's been dancing that role. Nikiya is still fairly new to her - less than a year old. She already has Act III (Shades) down pat, though, technically and spiritually. Not to be missed, if you have the chance.
Natalia, I did indeed read your comments, along with others. What a wonderful addition to what you have already stated, these latest comments are. I do hope to see her perform in April.
I think that we will agree about the next artist as well, Natalia.
There is another lady who will probably be prominent at this year's Festival -- she always is.
For me, she finally attained the summits two years ago at the 9th Festival with her performance of Odette-Odile ("Swan Lake").
She has to be considered one of the underpinnings of the performing Mariinsky Theatre. Somewhat like Yana Salina, she is always there setting the highest standard and getting the job done. When the Mariinsky was in New York City in 2008 for several weeks, giving possibly the most consistently fine series of performances that I've ever seen them give, it appeared that Viktoria Tereshkina was there, every night that I was there, doing a different work and doing it brilliantly.
The first times that I ever viewed her, it was her totally precise dancing that most impressed me. For one thing she was absolutely in time with every note of the music.
Several years later I saw her perform "Don Quixote." She was doing her normally fine dancing. Alina Somova was dancing the Dryad Queen and, as is her fashion, she sailed across the stage with a series of jumps that ignited the auditorium. Then it was as if Viktoria Tereshkina said, "Well, watch this!," and came alive with an equally fiery display of virtuosity and expressiveness. It was exciting to see, from both of them, and totally appropriate for the work being performed.
The Gala for the 8th Mariinsky Festival opened with George Balanchine's "Ballet Imperial." For me it was one of the finest performances that I've seen at the Festivals. Everything just sailed through the heavens ! Everyone moved together in a perfect state of enchantment. Viktoria Tereshkina was the lead ballerina, and as brilliant as she was, and she was, it was the totality of everyone's performing that carried me off to another level. Yet, she was the lead dancer and an integral part of this amazing event and my admiration for her rose 'exponentially.'
So this brings me back to where I started -- her Mariinsky Festival IX "Odette-Odile." I had seen her perform Odette-Odile twice before and this was again a 'revelation.' I guess that folks don't normally quote themselves, but please allow me to do it here, because it so captured my feelings at the time. Natalia, if you read these comments, I'm sure that you might remember this and our unanimous agreement about how spectacular this performance was.
"Natalia, I now remember that after 'Viktoria's' Act I Odette, during the intermission that followed, for several minutes I just sat in my chair in a 'State of Reverie'. I never felt quite this way before. I might have stayed there the entire intermission, except that I had some friends in the lobby that I really wanted to get together with.
" I had seen two other of her "Swan Lakes" in the last 2 1/2 years and this one was a culmination ! Everything seemed right. All the elements came together ---- purity of Technique combined with a wonderful feeling of Aliveness ---- Magnificent Imagery !!!! ---- Total Flow ---- Positioning ---- expression, individual moves, beautiful and definitive facial expression, warmth, commitment, musicality....Everything ! "
So, for me, she had Arrived. -- Where she goes from here? -- Well the sky's the limit !
[a quick save! -- corrected above. It was "Don Quixote" (Costa Mesa, 2008) and not "Sleeping Beauty" that Viktoria Tereshkina (Kitri) danced, with Alina Somova as the Dryad Queen]