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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Kennedy Center Tour: Jan. 28 - Feb. 2
PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:33 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 8:17 am
Posts: 374
Opening Night:

Alina Somova was absolutely amazing - beautiful! - last night. I have not seen her 'live' since her return from maternity leave and, WOW, she has so improved in many fronts: very mature and intelligent Odette. Controling her long limbs so much more than in the past. Highly musical. Highly caring for her Siegfried (a curiously sub-par Schklyarov). Was she really on maternity leave or in Ballet Boot Camp for all of those months? :)

I also loved Yermakov as Von Rothbart...almost more princely than the prince! Audience went crazy for him when he got his solo bow at the end.

ActI Pas de Trois danced by Gonchar, Nikitina and Alexei Popov, who impressed with the high entrechats at the beginning of his solo.

Corps of Swans as delectable as ever. Alexei Repnikov conducted.


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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Kennedy Center Tour: Jan. 28 - Feb. 2
PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:26 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 5:02 pm
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Location: USA-Switzerland
NataliaN wrote:
Opening Night:

Alina Somova was absolutely amazing - beautiful! - last night.


:D

Great to hear !

Thanks for your post, Natalia, and have a wonderful time. There should be six more fine ones !


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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Kennedy Center Tour: Jan. 28 - Feb. 2
PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 5:27 am 
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Buddy wrote:
NataliaN wrote:
Opening Night:

Alina Somova was absolutely amazing - beautiful! - last night.


:D

Great to hear !

Thanks for your post, Natalia, and have a wonderful time. There should be six more fine ones !


Buddy, I'm attending only three performances -- the opening of each cast. Anastasia Kolegova was every bit as beautiful (that face, for starters!) as you and others have written. I found her pairing with her Siegfried (Maxim Zyuzin) to be more felicitous than that of Somova/Schklyarov. Kolegova and Zyuzin both displayed excellent technique - she is a firecracker of an Odile! Nonetheless, I found myself longing for Alina Somova's lyricism and delectable unfurling of long limbs in the 'white acts.'

Tonight comes one of your personal faves, Buddy: Olga Yesina's Odette/Odile, with Timur Askerov. I've never seen Yesina 'live' since she moved to Vienna years ago. This should be a treat.


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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Kennedy Center Tour: Jan. 28 - Feb. 2
PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:29 am 
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Location: USA-Switzerland
Thanks, Natalia, for your good news. I'm glad that you liked Anastasia Kolegova, partnered by Maxim Zyuzin. I see her as someone that you have to love, who is also an extremely fine dancer. She is indeed different from the long-lined 'ethereals' that I appreciate so much at the Mariinsky (Ulyana Lopatkina, Oxana Skorik, Olga Esina, and probably Ekaterina Kondaurova, although she is a slight degree different in my perception, etc.). Anastasia Kolegova is a not tall ballerina, who compensates for not having long lines by being a sweetheart, a subtly sensual bombshell and doing everything beautifully right.

I understand how you feel about longing for the delicate "lyricism" that Alina Somova possesses. This quality has become more apparent to me from my video watching. Although she has many qualities that I like very much, it's this lovely lyrical essence, the "unfurling of long limbs" (as you have written), that has captivated me the most.

Hope that you see another really good one tonight. I think that you'll find a similar long-lined lyrical fineness in Olga Esina combined with an airy vitality and a solidity of performance, an interest and excitement in her nuancing and transitioning….

Added comment:

Thank you also, Natalia, for alerting us elsewhere to Sarah Kaufman's highly interesting and sensitively supportive review in The Washington Post.

"How could he resist Somova’s Odette? Captive to a magician’s spell, she unspooled a magic of her own. Somova is known — and derided, by some — for her extreme flexibility more than her artistry, but it’s time for a reassessment. First of all, she is blessedly free of affectation: no Gothic dramatics, no face-pulling. Secondly, this whisper-thin, leggy creature who looks like a child has upper-balcony star quality. There is something fascinating and watchable about her, the way Joan Crawford was not a classic beauty but she made you focus on her every move, every minute."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertain ... story.html


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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Kennedy Center Tour: Jan. 28 - Feb. 2
PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:17 am 
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Thanks, Buddy! Well, I'm afraid that, in light of last night's particular performance, we do not agree on Olga Esina. Buddy, she had an off night...or maybe she is coming off an injury to her back? She was physically the weakest of the three O/Os this week and, to me, was a little 'over-rehearsed' in her affectations. Even the bows were exactly the same, with the same facial expressions.Ugh...it kills me, as I have only the fondest memories of Esina is small variations in the Petipa rep, such as Dryad Queen or Fairy Violente. I hope to give her another chance in a full-length Petipa rolesome day. She is a gorgeous lady, for sure.

On the other hand, I loved Timur Askerov's Siegfried, especially his dramatic engagement with his Odette. And, boy, has his line & stretch improved!

Vladislav Shumakov - the amazing Jester from Cast 1 -- nearly stole the show last night in the Neapolitan Dance. Alexei Popov greater than ever in the Pas de Trois solo in Act 1 - nearly textbook perfect & delivered with greater ease than on opening night.


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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Kennedy Center Tour: Jan. 28 - Feb. 2
PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:05 pm 
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Olga Esina has been Absolutely Lovely the five times that I've seen her (three Swan Lakes), Natalia.

I also like Timur Askerov very much. He has fine aerial qualities and great entrechats(?) (flickering his feet together in the air). He is also a fine partner for Oxana Skorik.


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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Kennedy Center Tour: Jan. 28 - Feb. 2
PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:54 pm 
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Buddy, I suspect that she is having back problems or some other ailment. Her positions were those of a 40-yr-old ballerina...not someone who is one year younger than Somova. That said, she is physically lovely. I complete agree with you on that. I hope to be able to see her again int he future, when she is at full strength.


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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Kennedy Center Tour: Jan. 28 - Feb. 2
PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 1:29 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Alastair Macaulay reviews "Swan Lake" at the Kennedy Center for the New York Times.

NY Times


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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Kennedy Center Tour: Jan. 28 - Feb. 2
PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 12:35 pm 
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I attended the Saturday matinee on Feb. 1. There was a change in performers. Esina danced Odette and Odile. Askerov danced Siegfried. Willie was saddened.
Now keep in mind, I’m a simple ballet enthusiast. But I have seen the Mariinsky a number of times, and my expectations are very high.
I was not moved by Esina’s performance. Perhaps my thoughts were biased by Natalia’s comments, but she seemed stiff. Askerov was fine.
The corps de ballet, on the other hand, was absolutely fabulous. They moved together with precision. They were one being. The corps de ballet truly danced the way a flock of swans fly – Beautifully!


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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Kennedy Center Tour: Jan. 28 - Feb. 2
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 5:36 am 
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I drove 1200 miles from Canada to Washington D.C. to see Swan Lake by Mariinsky. I was thinking like most of you let there be a change opening night ( Kondaurova please ) Well I was happily surprised Somova was excellent to be honest I fell under her "spell" she connects with you and radiates a warmth , you feel part of Swan brigade rather than a spectator. Alina may not be as technical as the other prima's but she dances beautifully you feel like friends and was so proud of her when she received the flowers. Yes she delivered and I felt the Somova critiques just slide under their seats Lol
P.S Even her Odile were she has received much critism in the past I truly enjoyed I would rate it as "smartly seductive"

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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Kennedy Center Tour: Jan. 28 - Feb. 2
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:53 am 
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Now for part 2
1200 mile round trip Washington/Montreal you have lots of time to review the 1/ 28 performance
Herr Siegfried was inconsistent between professional and amateur
The music was poor you felt as if the conductor was dissecting the motif's very slowly
I was surprised how small the stage was, it was crowded and then skimpy missing cast member
staging felt awkward
I was extremely disappointed with many of the soloists example the Spanish female dancers were horrible they need to learn flexibility the male dancers were excellent. I do not know exact dance names, the 2 and 3 female white swan ballerinas danced heavy by the time we got to 4 dancers the got it right
BTW the dance scenes Black Swan were weak except 1 dance forgot the name (Russian Hungarian etc)
I cannot end in a negative note the jester was great , Rothbard was super the pas du trios was amazing. Oops! my favourite the 4th act ballerina corp 36? of them dancing mazes to the most beautiful melodies of Tchaikovsky. It was my Mariinsky highlight. Is it possible they left behind the best for the Putin Olympics?
Bottom line Somova Gold Medal Mariinsky Bronze Medal

Now for best compliment of all we found the Kennedy Center to be warm and welcoming we felt at home!

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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Kennedy Center Tour: Jan. 28 - Feb. 2
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:46 pm 
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Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
Willie, just a note to say that, as you probably know, Esina left the Mariinsky in 2006 to join the Vienna State Opera Ballet and remained there through last season. She's an official guest with the Mariinsky this year but it's unclear if this is a long time return or not. In any case the past 7 years her performing has been coloured by Vienna, and not Russia, so that must also be taken into account when assessing her performances... I've heard others note the stiffness in any case though, so it's not the first time it has been mentioned.

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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Kennedy Center Tour: Jan. 28 - Feb. 2
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:47 pm 
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JOEDAS, welcome to the forum! I'm curious as you made such a long journey by car, what your previous exposure was to the Mariinsky. Had you seen Somova before? If so, in what role, and how did she compare to last time you saw her?

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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Kennedy Center Tour: Jan. 28 - Feb. 2
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:12 am 
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Catherine, it's elementary my friend. Tchaikovsky most beautiful composition = Swan Lake =
ballet = ballerina = Ekaterina Kondaurova = Mariinsky = Somova it's that simple.
Somova may not be the most technical Prima but she dances beautifully , my ballet endorphins are released I enjoyed my Swan Lake evening
I feel swans are like people and people are not perfect , Odette/Odille do not have to be perfect
While S.Z U.L dance to perfection I really enjoy them, to me they are Robots and I went to see
Swan Lake not Robotic Lake ands that's my take on Somova.
As for Ekaterina Kondaurova I am addicted to the way she dances The Classics. I drove 1200 miles to see Somova/Mariinsky I would drive to the moon to see Konderova dance swan lake.
What's the price of gas today. Lol.

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