Catherine Pawlick wrote:
I'm reviewing the festival for another publication so won't go into detail here but if anyone wishes feedback on certain performers, am happy to share my impressions.
I'll greatly look forward to reading this, Catherine. Anything that you can add here to describe what I consider to be one of the best Mariinsky Festivals yet, will always be highly welcomed. Can you maybe briefly comment on a few of your personal highlights ?
The Gala Evening
Apollo (George Balanchine)
Nice to get a close-to-the-source (NYC) take on Balanchine at the Mariinsky with Chase Finlay (NYCB). He had a noble Balanchine presence that worked perfectly. All the complex patterning and dancing was clearly illustrated by everyone. Maria Shirinkina, as Terpsicord, was a lyrical treasure.
All in all, it was a beautifully poetic interpretation by everyone.
The Sleeping Beauty -- Pas de deux (Marius Petipa)
Yekaterina Osmolkina gave us another of the most beautiful performances to be seen this year. Absolutely Lovely ! Vadim Muntagirov (English National Ballet) did just fine and once again was an extremely sympathetic partner.
Marguerite and Armand -- Pas de deux (Frederick Ashton)
Ulyana Lopatkina performed this with Andrei Yermakov. She was artistic beauty personified, as usual. Her characterization was as fine as I've see. She was the real thing, so once again, Hollywood, take note.
Ballet 101 (Eric Gautier)
Vladimir Shklyarov did a very fine run through of 101 ballet positions and then rearranged and accelerated them into a display of artistry, virtuosity and bravura. It had fine humor and a lot of enjoyment.
Die Fledermaus -- Pas de deux (Roland Petit)
Olga Esina (Vaganova graduate, now Vienna Statsballet).
** One Of The Most Beautiful Dancers That I've Ever Seen ! **
Once again, she took my breathe away. Vladimir Shishov (Vienna Statsballet) was a fine and secure partner.
Tous les jours (Marcelo Gomes)
Chase Finlay (NYCB) did a fine job with this very inventive adventures in dance, by the one and only - "Let's give a great hand to !" -- the most entertaining man in ballet ! -- Marcelo Gomes !!
Grand pas classique (Victor Gzovsky)
Oxana Skorik was technically right-on in this very demanding, but highly enjoyable work. Of particular excellence were her flawless single, single with leg straight out to the side, double, fouette spins. Her basic lyrical beauty was just as evident, as usual. Timor Askerov, a great lyrical and exciting dancer, was an excellent partner.
Etudes (Harold Lander)
If you think that these little angel 'ballerinas' and their dancing guys are not world class athletes, then think again ! There wasn't much of the stage left after Olesya Novikova and Kim Kimin were through with it.
It started out with ballet exercises and ended in a whirlwind. It was admittedly a crowd pleaser of a Festival finale, but it showed great artistry and was great fun.
It featured a cast of 'thousands'. One thing that it did beautifully was to call attention to the immense talent of *All* the Mariinsky dancers and it was a fine tribute. Wonderful to be reminded of this.