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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky to Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall: Oct. 10-14, 2012
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:07 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
In the San Francisco Chronicle, Catherine Pawlick interviews American Mariinsky dancer Keenan Kampa as a preview of the company's performances of "Swan Lake" at Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall, October 10-14, 2012.

SF Chronicle


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky to Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall: Oct. 10-14, 2012
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:29 am 
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Read your article, Catherine. It was very good reading and very informative. Congratulations for being published in San Francisco's major newspaper ! Hopefully this will only be the beginning.


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky to Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall: Oct. 10-14, 2012
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:48 am 
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Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
Thanks Buddy. Actually it's not the first time. I first wrote for them in 2003, with the Kirov's first tour to SF in more than 10 yrs at that point. An interview with Vasiev and Pavlenko. Followed by (subsequent) interviews with Eifman and Ratmansky for the Bolshoi... but it has been a while, it's true, since I've written for them, mostly bc I haven't been in SF and also bc the Mariinsky had not toured there for a long spell.

But now they're back! :-)

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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky to Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall: Oct. 10-14, 2012
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:12 am 
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Catherine Pawlick wrote:

But now they're back! :-)


Back they are ! Again I greatly look forward to reading your comments here and maybe also in the SF Chronicle, but more important I hope that you love what you see.

Keenan Kampa (USA) danced in all the four tall swans and the six would-be brides in Costa Mesa, Catherine. She still looks slightly 'American' among the other ladies, many of whom may have been trained in Vaganova magic since the age of five, but in the final performance she really came alive as one of the six hopefuls. Here she reminded me of one of the many faces of the Spellbinding Simone Messmer over at ABT. It's when she solos that she will probably make the greatest impression and the Mariinsky seems to be grooming her for that.

Although she trained for awhile at the Vaganova, this must be quite a change for her from the Boston Ballet. I give her a lot of credit for hanging in there. In fact I give all the Mariinsky dancers a lot of credit. I think that she will have a very promising future with the Mariinsky.


Last edited by Buddy on Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky to Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall: Oct. 10-14, 2012
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:24 am 
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Thanks Buddy. The SF staff critic is covering the performance reviews for this run (I would have loved to have done it but that is their policy); but I'll be covering for CD here, so will post as soon as I can.

I am very much hoping that Berkeley's tiny, non-raked stage wont prove an issue, I think it is far from the upscale conditions they experienced in Costa Mesa. They deserve the War Memorial Opera House but local politics prevent them from performing there.

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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky to Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall: Oct. 10-14, 2012
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:01 pm 
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It looks like Anastasia Kolegova will get an evening as well as an afternoon this time. And it's a Friday evening. Bravo for this ! Catherine, you called her "Adorable" in one of your reviews. I would certainly agree and add....

*Precious*

Best wishes to Everyone for a great series !


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky to Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall: Oct. 10-14, 2012
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:04 pm 
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In the San Francisco Chronicle, Allan Ulrich reviews the Wednesday, October 10, 2012 performance of Swan Lake with Ekaterina Kondaurova as Odette/Odile and Danilav Korsuntsev as Prince Siegfried.

SF Chronicle

Lauren Gallagher reviews the same performance for the San Francisco Examiner.

SF Examiner


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky to Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall: Oct. 10-14, 2012
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:21 pm 
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Wow, that was fast !

Thanks, Francis.

From the Chronicle:

"When in living memory has the Mariinsky (known as the Kirov in the Soviet era) looked so spectacularly good on an American tour?"

From the Examiner:

Ekaterina Kondaurova

"Her musicality was almost supernatural, her body responding to Tchaikovsky’s score with heartfelt precision, her back arching into a seemingly infinite curve."


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky to Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall: Oct. 10-14, 2012
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:27 pm 
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Ann Murphy reviews the Wednesday, October 10, 2012 performance for the San Jose Mercury News.

SJ Mercury News


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky to Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall: Oct. 10-14, 2012
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:50 pm 
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SJ Mercury News

Generally less enthusiastic than the Chronicle (The Chronicle being possibly the finest Bay Area paper, because of its Enthusiastic review and its fine judgement in publishing anything by Catherine :D )

but still....

"....populated by gorgeously ordered swans, peasants, royals, and visiting nationals. They comport themselves with aplomb, even when they look squished onto the Zellerbach stage, and we marvel at their accuracy and technical finesse, which few contemporary ballet companies quite polish to the same sheen."


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky to Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall: Oct. 10-14, 2012
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:39 am 
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One wonders how much prior knowledge of ballet and the Mariinsky some dance reporters, such as the SJ Mercury/Contra-Costa Times' writer, have before going to a performance. I've never before thought of Danila Korsuntsev as 'boyish' (!). Not enough "snap" from Kondaurova? Really?

The Chronicle and Examiner's reviews seem much more in tune with what I heard from my 'spies' who attended the opener on Wednesday. Kondaurova was extraordinarily grand that night, from all accounts by those in-the-know.


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky to Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall: Oct. 10-14, 2012
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:25 am 
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Agree Natalia. I attended Wed night and will attend tonight as well. I haven't finalized a formal review yet but will post it later. Briefly: yes Kondaurova was at the top of her game. Those who saw in fact agree that her Odile was stronger than Act I (ie the epitomy of "snappy"), but Act III was a stronger Odette. Say what you will about Korsuntsev, he is a noble prince, reliable partner, and plays the role better than so many others. Also, there's just not alot to work with in acting terms for Siegfried. I've seen DK dance hundreds of times - not once would I categorize him as "boyish", an adjective that fits Schklyarov (Thurs night's Siegfried) much better. My only concern is what happens when we lose Korsuntsev to age or retirement because there are not many who could fill the (height) of his shoes, and his ability to partner just about any ballerina in terms of temperament or physique. As my friend said, "You just enjoy watching him."

Wednesday night was truly heavenly.

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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky to Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall: Oct. 10-14, 2012
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:19 pm 
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Indeed, Catherine, Kondaurova, was extraordinary in her grace and power Wednesday night; I was grateful to have seen her live the first time in such a masterful performance. Of course I was disappointed when Lopatkina and Tereshinka had to cancel, and frankly I wasn’t expecting too much from this tour to our provincial Berkeley theater—too large for the audience and too small for the dancers (San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House is the only local venue worthy of the Mariinsky. Let’s hope they are at least having company class at SFB’s spacious studios across the Bay.) Instead of my favorite stars from the Mariinsky I’m looking forward to new faces--Kolegova tonight and Skorik on Saturday night (to see for myself what all the fuss is about). I must say the company itself was looking very sharp and the orchestra played splendidly under Mikhail Agrest on Wednesday. Unfortunately, I couldn’t identify Keenan Kampa (I enjoyed your feature article on her in the Chronicle). Where is she in the line of Big Swans? I heard she is dancing Myrtha in St Petersburg four times once the US tour is over—one of the most demanding roles in the repertory.

Looking forward to your review of the entire Berkeley run!


Last edited by bcx on Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky to Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall: Oct. 10-14, 2012
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:04 pm 
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Hi, Gang. It's good to hear from all of you.

bcx, Keenan Kampa has slightly lighter colored hair than the other ladies that I saw her dance with, both in the four tall swans and the six potential brides. That you couldn't tell her from the other women is good news. The main difference that I noticed was in the hands. She seems to be trying very hard to blend in. I would imagine she is put with the other corps ladies to give her a real intensive in the Mariinsky style. It's like being dropped into the deep end of the swimming pool, since many of these dancers have probably been schooled in this style from the cradle. She will probably shine in solos and duets, as casting her for Myrtha indicates.

In the same way, I'm not sure that I can visualize Xander Parish (UK) blending unnoticed into the corps. His style seems slightly different. Yet in the group of three Prince's Friends, I thought that he looked great, definitely distinct, but great.

In regard to Danila Korsuntsev, it seems that I see him on the internet supporting the Mariinsky superstars. Ulyana Lopatkina comes to mind. I have to assume that he is solid as can be. I like what I've seen, because he seems to get the job done without a lot of extra flash.

A thought that I always have in the back of my mind, is what a thankless job being a male partner can be. They often have to make the ballerina look incredible while fading invisible into the background. I hardly ever notice them while they're partnering. What I do notice is how beautiful the ballerina is in the Odette White Swan duet. Also I've noticed the *Amazingly Beautiful Poses* that Oxana Skorik has composed while being lifted into the air. Also the wonderful flow that all three of these ladies have while being moved through the air. Because of this the beauty of the ballerina invariably shines greater for me in the Odette duet than in her solo that follows. And guess who makes this possible?

The main chance that I've noticed in Swan Lake for the male to shine as a soloist is in the Odile act. Here both Vladimir Schklyarov and Timur Askerov took off like space ships and the audience was wowed.


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky to Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall: Oct. 10-14, 2012
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:27 pm 
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Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
one point I left out of the review:

I was informed they had to cut swans at some points in the choreography, because the Berkeley stage is too small. There's also almost no wing space. I find this very sad.

And the stage floor was far too slippery and hard. Lots of rosin was on use (and the squeaks related to it) and thankfully no slips.

I'm praying no one gets injured -- and also praying, but not certain, that they are not dancing on cement.

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