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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2011-2012 Season (229th season)
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:33 am 
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NataliaN wrote:

Even though this role [Cinderella] was created for Vishneva in 2001, Somova in 2012 makes it look as if this has been her ballet all along.


More viewings of these video clips -- More total agreement !!

Just Enchanting !!


Still, Diana Vishneva's performance was an equal masterpiece.

Daria Pavlenko's may prove to be the same. There's such a refined elegance and clarity to her dancing. And such a warmth of presence and smiling loveliness.


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2011-2012 Season (229th season)
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 4:28 pm 
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And by the way....

Let's never forget, like I sometimes do, that these dancers can probably hold their own, in certain respects, with some of the finest gymnasts around. It's just that they do it with such grace and apparent ease.

Diana Vishneva's Cinderella performances from about seven years had some unbelievable aerial maneuvering in a stunning series of lifts with Igor Kolb, the likes of which I've never seen since !

Daria Pavlenko, an epitome of refinement, in Cinderella is lifted vertically overhead by Alexander Sergeyev and spun completely around. It's a show stopper ! -- but the show just carries on without an instant's pause.


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2011-2012 Season (229th season)
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 6:06 am 
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And here we go again.

Another Alina Somova thought.

As brilliant and beautiful as I think that her performances have been, in the last year or so I've sensed that there is often much more going on in her mind that what we're seeing on stage. It's as if she's watching herself very carefully. I have a sense at times that -- she just doesn't want to take the easy way out -- even if she's already capable of a very effective and perfected delivery -- that she's always looking for more.

The range of what she can do is wonderfully beautiful, extensive and remarkable. The range of what she seems to want to do and the essence that it contains is even more promising and -- remarkable.

I would hope that what she does is bringing her as much joy as it does accomplishment, that her Cinderella does indeed live happily ever after.


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2011-2012 Season (229th season)
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 10:33 am 
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Buddy, you are on a roll. I'll just leave it at that. (ha-ha)

On another subject, see your PM box for my best-guesstimates on some of the demi-solo and corps dancers in the JEWELS DVD.


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2011-2012 Season (229th season)
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 2:03 pm 
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NataliaN wrote:
Buddy, you are on a roll. I'll just leave it at that. (ha-ha)

On another subject, see your PM box for my best-guesstimates on some of the demi-solo and corps dancers in the JEWELS DVD.


A good one, I hope, Natalia.

What a list ! I don't believe that you missed anyone.

It was so nice of you to do this. Thanks so much !


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2011-2012 Season (229th season)
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:07 am 
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Just wanted to post comments on the Vaganova graduates from this year. Favorites:

1) Ernest Latipov
In the final performance, he performed the Talisman pas de deux with Arina Varentseva. He stole the show -- not just in that piece but the entire 3-hour performance. He gave us the same centered turns, the same jumps that soar. I was wishing he'd had a stronger partner because while Varentseva is beautiful, when she started to move there was something lacking (and a tendency to heft her shoulder and lift the leg in second from her back muscles, yikes, rather than the leg muscle. Which meant a shortened neck, which cut off the line...need I go on...)

2) British intern, Isabella McGuire Mays (her name may be misspelled since I had the Russian program, so i'm transliterating back into what I presume is the English version of her name). Perfect physique, utter control over long limbs, supple high arches, and so much maturity in her presentation and musicality. Very lovely. I'm curious where she will go, company-wise, after finishing her stint at the Academy.

Others
-Anton Cheyda, a veritable crowd-pleaser in the initial entrance from the "Girl and the Hooligan"-- one of my all-time favorite ballets, revealed visible dramatic talent in this short excerpt. It is not an easy piece to pull off for someone as young as Cheyda is, for the "tough street guy" mentality is the antithesis of the upbringing inside the halls of the Academy, but he did a fine job, and that music is so infectious…
-Sofia Ivanova-Skoblikova (one year left to go, a student of the much beloved Veronika Ivanova) in the Fairy Doll along with Ilya Boikov and Stanislav Arseniyev (the two boys are Silutsky's graduates this year).
-Also of the short-perky-cute suite was Alina Yasenko (M. Vasilieva pedagogue) and Serik Nakispekov (Silutsky) in the Harlequinade pas de deux. Nakispekov looks of Asian descent, ie darker hair/coloring, so he may be from Southern Russia. I dont know his heritage, but he had more energy than he could contain within himself, and the result was an explosion in his jumps turns that suited his character quite well. It was a pleasure to watch.

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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2011-2012 Season (229th season)
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 4:46 am 
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Thanks, Catherine. Did Cheyda graduate this year?

Also, I was wondering if Vasilieva and Selyutsky prepared all of the graduates this year or if, as in some years past, the graduating class was divided into two groups per sex? A couple of years ago, Sitnikova and Ermolenkov were listed as also preparing this class for the final 3 years...but, of course, there is a weeding out process & perhaps there is a smaller-than-usual number of graduates this year. (Was it 3 or 4 years ago when only one classical male made it to his graduation year, so he had to take his daily classes with boys of other ages?)

Interesting about Veronika Ivanova's life coming full circle. Next year's graduating class will be her first senior group to finish, yes?


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2011-2012 Season (229th season)
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:08 pm 
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And back to the video for a moment. Yes, for me, it's that compelling. 'Thank heavens' (big smile) we have Catherine here to tell us what's happening live and of the moment in Saint Petersburg as an alternative to video watching and holding our breathe until the day when the Mariinsky might come to town again.

Of the five internet video clips that I've been watching of Alina Somova and Alexander Sergeyev performing "Cinderella" I've somewhat avoided the fifth because it seemed a little sad, perhaps fatalistic in it's message. It appears to be the final duet when the prince reunites with Cinderella.

On watching it further the loveliness of it takes over and in fact as I look more carefully at Alina Somova's expression the more a state of resolution and reverie seems to be the overall message.

In any case, it might be the loveliest dancing and expression in all the five videos. Furthermore, if I've recently felt that Alina Somova is searching beyond what she is actually performing, in this instance I would say that she is completely immersed -- she really seems to be living it. It's so subtle yet powerful, so poetic and intensely beautiful.

As for Alexander Sergeyev, so much of this seems to be allowed to happen as a result of his very sensitive and very competent partnering. I would have to commend him highly for this.


Added comment:

I've mentioned before and anyone who's seen her Odile has probably seen her amazing feat of balancing unassisted on pointe while keeping her other leg to the side of her head for several seconds. In this fifth video clip she does the same thing after being assisted in a graceful rising from a plié, that went all the way to the floor in fifth (the most difficult foot position), and although it's only held for a long second before Alexander Sergeyev takes her hand again, it seems certain that she could hold it there for much longer. This is a continuing example of her being to take her exceptional 'expansiveness', if she indeed chooses to use it, which she seems to do more selectively these days, and rather than having it be a show-stopper it becomes an integral part of a much more delicate totality. In this case instead of being a mega show-stopper it simply floats by, almost unnoticed, as just another part of the dreamscape.


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2011-2012 Season (229th season)
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:07 am 
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Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
NataliaN wrote:
Thanks, Catherine. Did Cheyda graduate this year?

Also, I was wondering if Vasilieva and Selyutsky prepared all of the graduates this year or if, as in some years past, the graduating class was divided into two groups per sex? A couple of years ago, Sitnikova and Ermolenkov were listed as also preparing this class for the final 3 years...but, of course, there is a weeding out process & perhaps there is a smaller-than-usual number of graduates this year. (Was it 3 or 4 years ago when only one classical male made it to his graduation year, so he had to take his daily classes with boys of other ages?)

Interesting about Veronika Ivanova's life coming full circle. Next year's graduating class will be her first senior group to finish, yes?


Hi NN,

More than just Vasilieva and Selyutsky prepared graduates this year -- Sitnikova and Ermolenkov also had graduates. I think the issue is that each of those doesn't have a full 8 students graduating, so yes, the numbers dwindle at the top...

Yes, Cheyda graduated this year --he's also a graduate of Selutsky. Ermolenkova's graduates this year include Iskander Murasov, who performed in the Frederic Chopin piece "Quartet," (choreographed by Dima Pimonov, who is the brother of Mariinsky dancer Anton Pimonov). And Sitnikova had several too (Roman Beylakov, who partnered Shevtsova in the Briantsev piece also to Chopin; Arina Varentseva is also a student of Sitnikova).

Yes, it's still strange to me to see Veronika Ivanova around the Academy with her husband Sheglov, they are still so young (!) but already creating talented students of their own.

Buddy, in my opinion Sergeyev was made for princely roles -- he was made for the stage, for that matter, and it's always a treat to see him. He will be partnering Olesya Novikova on the 30th in Anna Karenina as the dashing Count Vronsky, it should be stunning (as usual).

Of note: This Friday, Shirinkina with Zverev in Giselle. I'd never have guessed at this pairing and haven't seen either of them in these roles yet, respectively...

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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2011-2012 Season (229th season)
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:11 am 
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Thanks, Catherine. This is really helpful. :)

The detailed July 2012 casting of ballets at the MT is now up and I see that the long-rumored filming (for DVD) of the Mariinsky staging of Lavrovsky's R&J is happening on consecutive nights (July 10/11) with the following cast:

Juliet - Vishneva
Romeo - Ivanchenko
Tybalt - Kuznetsov
Mercutio - A. Sergeev (...who would be more appropriate as Romeo, IMO)

Conductor - Gergiev


Interesting, too, to see Stepanova's debut in Firebird (July 14).


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2011-2012 Season (229th season)
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:51 am 
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Catherine Pawlick wrote:

Buddy, in my opinion Sergeyev was made for princely roles -- he was made for the stage....


From my recent video clip watching of his performances with Alina Somova and Daria Pavlenko (his wife) in Alexei Ratmansky's "Cinderella," I would have to agree with you completely.

Alina Somova's dancing is as free and flowing as the delicate white gown that's she's wearing. Her statuesque imagery just compliments this all the more. To the extent that he may be giving her the freedom and support to do this in the partnered sequences, I would have to commend his partnering as being exceptional.

In ongoing reference to Alina Somova, the way that she brings Alexei Ratmansky's choreography to life, for me, is breathtaking. I suggested briefly at the ABT topic, that if Alexei Ratmansky is looking for a Muse, such as the one that George Balanchine found in Suzanne Farrell, I would think that he need look no further. I wonder if he had any input into this actual performance ?

Thanks also, Catherine, for your insights into the graduation performances and for your very welcomed suggestions for performances that we should look forward to. Maria Shirinkina's, for one, should be just lovely in "Giselle."


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2011-2012 Season (229th season)
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 3:33 am 
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NN, totally agree about Sasha S as Romeo -- they repeatedly cast him as Mercutio, and he's great at that role, but I would love to see him in Romeo, he has a lot of unbridled passion when given the chance to let it out.

Tonight: Lopatkina!

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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2011-2012 Season (229th season)
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 5:12 am 
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The first video clip of Alina Somova as the stay-at-home stepsister has disappeared from the internet.

It was Precious !

This might mean that I'll have to fly across the country to see this in DC if she performs there.

"I've grown accustomed to her face.
She almost makes the day begin.
I've grown accustomed to the tune that
She whistles night and noon.
Her smiles, her frowns,
Her ups, her downs
Are second nature to me now;
Like breathing out and breathing in.
I was serenely independent and content before we met;
Surely I could always be that way again-
And yet
I've grown accustomed to her look;
Accustomed to her voice;
Accustomed to her face."

("My Fair Lady")

Over the top ?

If Art doesn't do this to us sometimes, well....


Added comment the next day:

The video clip is back !


Last edited by Buddy on Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2011-2012 Season (229th season)
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:32 pm 
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Lopatkina debuted here in Petersburg in the Firebird last night, after a lovely Paquita.

I truly wish they would take Paquita to the West...

__

For those curious who some of the daily teachers are, Dumchenko, Abdiev, Vikarev and Petrov are giving company classes this week...

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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2011-2012 Season (229th season)
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 12:48 am 
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Last night, five debuts in "Giselle":

Maria Shirinkina as Giselle, Konstantin Zverev as Albrecht, Alexei Nedvega (finally!) in the First Act Peasant Pas, Keenan Kampa as Moyna and Alisa Sodoleva as Zulma!!

It was a lovely performance. Shirinkina's delicate nature is well suited for Giselle, and she did a fantastic job in the second act. Perhaps because she is so petite, the weightless factor seemed a given -- her entrechat quatre passe jumps would have hung in the air even longer if the tempo had been slower... The American sitting next to me called out Nedvega's dancing in Act One, she liked him the most -- and I have to admit his dancing is so clean and pure, this was a debut that was long awaited. He danced with Elena Evseyeva who was all joy, promise and enthusiasm; Evseyeva is one of those dependable dancers, she always hits the mark, it's always done with grace. She finished each section in perfect time with the music -- that is to say a millisecond ahead of time, which allowed her a fluid curl of the arms and a bright smile on the final note.

Keenan Kampa, the first American to join the troupe, (she has only been here since June 7th!) debuted in Act Two -- Kampa has gorgeous arches and great musicality. She blends in ideally with the rest of the company, so those three years of Vaganova training are visible.

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