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 Post subject: Mariinsky 2015-2016 (233rd) season
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 7:24 pm 
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This topic is for the season that opens on 24 September 2015, the Mariinsky's 233rd season.

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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2015-2016 (233rd) season
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 9:05 am 
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The Petersburg season opened here last night with the "Saisons Russes" Fokine program - I am reviewing for another publication so won't review here.

But meanwhile the "touring portion" of the Mariinsky greeted audiences in Costa Mesa, Calif. this week -- that news is under the appropriate thread.

Placing here as well for general company news purposes:

Oksana Skorik was promoted to principal following the Sept. 25 "Raymonda" in Costa Mesa.

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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2015-2016 (233rd) season
PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2015 4:10 am 
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For those interested, my in-depth interview with Uliana Lopatkina (translated into English) is in the October issue of Dance Europe magazine that is now available online:

http://www.danceeurope.net/sites/default/files/magazine_contents/de-en-199.pdf

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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2015-2016 (233rd) season
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 3:37 am 
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Unfortunately, although Kristina Shapran has been cast for her debut in Swan Lake this Thursday for some time, she has bowed out from the performance and Kolegova will replace her on Oct. 22. We still eagerly await Ms Shapran's debut in the near future!

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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2015-2016 (233rd) season
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 10:28 am 
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I hope Shapran is not injured? Thanks

Btw I greatly enjoyed reading Ms Pawlick's interview with Ms Lopatkina especially since there isn't always a ready supply of interviews with her available in English. What an intelligent, beautiful, gracious artist. And, of course, a lovely interview.


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2015-2016 (233rd) season
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 3:56 am 
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Thank you denaa! It was a labor of love ) We writers get little to no feedback for our time or efforts so I appreciate your very kind words!)

I also felt it was very improtant to get that interview into print as, to my knowledge, there are no existing interviews of that extent/depth in English. Lopatkina is very selective about who she grants interviews to, so I feel honored she was willing to meet with me once again. I first interviewed her for my book in 2009.

To your question: No, Shapran is not injured. She opted out of the performance, ie it was a choice but not due to outside circumstances.

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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2015-2016 (233rd) season
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 7:26 am 
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Catherine Pawlick wrote:
Thank you denaa! It was a labor of love ) We writers get little to no feedback for our time or efforts so I appreciate your very kind words!)

I also felt it was very improtant to get that interview into print as, to my knowledge, there are no existing interviews of that extent/depth in English. Lopatkina is very selective about who she grants interviews to, so I feel honored she was willing to meet with me once again. I first interviewed her for my book in 2009.

To your question: No, Shapran is not injured. She opted out of the performance, ie it was a choice but not due to outside circumstances.


I'm sure there are many who appreciate your interviews/reviews. Please continue allowing us that pleasure :D

Thanks for sharing about Shapran. I was hoping to hear reports of her debut but am very glad that she is not injured. I guess if she (for whatever reason) didn't feel ready, it was probably the more intelligent choice )


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2015-2016 (233rd) season
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 8:14 am 
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I agree with you denaa, I think it's rare for a dancer as young as she is to opt out of such a debut, because usually they want their chance as soon as possible... But in her case it's a wise move. Especially in St Petersburg, the audiences are highly critical and a bad debut will be discussed for years, for the entire length of the dancer's career (ie "yes but when she debuted in Swan Lake, I was there, and it was awful" -- 30 years after the fact). I'm not saying she would be awful at all. She's already a polished soloist. Just that given the pressure here, it's good to be absolutely sure you've had adequate time to prepare such a huge role.

But I undertand it's a matter of time and not a matter of "now or never". The administration recognizes her talent so it is only a matter of time as to when we see the debut, and not "if" we will see it. I still am looking forward to it! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2015-2016 (233rd) season
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:23 am 
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The Sleeping Beauty
26 October 2015
Mariinsky Theatre
Saint Petersburg, Russia

by Catherine Pawlick

The Mariinsky Theatre presented a performance of the Petipa/Sergeyev version of "The Sleeping Beauty" in memory of the great dancer Yuri Solovyov on October 26th. While the performance date did not coincide with any milestones in the dancer's life per se, it served as impetus for ballet lovers and connoisseurs alike to fill the theatre for a short film presentation and the performance itself.

A lobby display with numerous historical shots of Solovyov in the studio and on stage greeted patrons prior to the performance. Following film clips that showed Solovyov in Flower Festival, Laurencia, Corsaire, and in his signature role as the Bluebird, the performance began to the skilled baton of Gavriel Heine. It must be said that among the Mariinsky's five or so "ballet" conductors, Mr. Heine has added an increasing number of ballets to his own conducting repertoire in the past year or two. He was the resident conductor for the ballet's recent tours to Los Angeles and Berkeley, and is now a favorite at home in Saint Petersburg as well. The Mariinsky orchestra, while incomparably divine compared to anything in the States, still somehow sounds better at his hands than any other conductor in this theatre. The violin solo that decorates the production midway through --with the orchestra elevated, electronically, to audience level-- made one feel that heaven had temporarily descended to earth.

Bits of that same ethereal glory were found onstage as well, but not as consistently. Unfortunately the leading roles left much to be desired. But the highlight of visual appeal came in the form of a radiant Ekaterina Kondaurova as the Lilac Fairy, whose ability to luxuriate in legato served as an embodiment of the protective goodwill of her character. Using every second of the music to etch her beautiful lines in space, she beamed smiles to the audience with a noble demeanor during the blessing of infant Aurora, and offered impeccable lines in the famous adagio solo in Act I.

In the fairy variations of Act I, Ksenia Ostreikovskaya was aptly gentle, emitting a sense of calm softness befitting of her character as the "Tender" Fairy. Tatiana Tiliguzova presented speed and agility delivering sharp jetés in seconde, thus matching her temperament as the Playful Fairy. Nadezhda Gonchar stood out as the Brave Fairy in orange, taking immediate command of the stage and hitting every position with certainty and attack. Less clear in execution were Anastasia Asaben as the Fairy of Generosity, and Oksana Marchuk as the Carefree Fairy, who seemed to require more rehearsal time.

Kondaurova carried forward the dramatic progression of Act II nearly singlehandedly, which brought us to the remaining fireworks of Act III in the form of the second set of fairies. Here Valeria Martinouk, who has now established her talents as a soloist, displayed razor-sharp brilliance as the Diamond Fairy, emitting the essence of bright light and precision with each step. Tiliguzova,reappearing as the Gold Fairy, danced with equal attack and strength.

The signature role of the evening -- based merely on the occasion -- would of course be the Bluebird pas de deux. Konstantin Ivkin was cast in the role alongside Anastasia Lukina, a Vaganova graduate now in her first season with the company. Lukina is blessed with arches that begin in her ankle joints, making for beautiful lines that would nonetheless be a challenge to properly "tame" but that she manages well. Ivkin, a compact man with beautiful insteps and a seemingly rubber spine, performed the brisée volée sequence with such fluidity and extremes of épaulement in his torso that he seemed extra human. His jumps offer ballon, and his tour jetés have beautiful lines. The hints at Solovyov's talent were there, though no one can compete with the Honored Artist of the USSR.

For their acting roles, Ekaterina Mikhailovtseva and Nikolai Naumov provided animated renditions of the King and Queen, and Soslan Kulayev a noble Catalabutte.

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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2015-2016 (233rd) season
PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2015 12:30 pm 
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Deleted (corrected myself below).


Last edited by DrewToo on Sat Oct 31, 2015 11:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2015-2016 (233rd) season
PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2015 11:57 pm 
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I had to correct my message above--I had asked Catherine about the Aurora and her Prince, but she DID mention them ("left much to be desired") and I had somehow skimmed over that. Apologies, I read too quickly.


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2015-2016 (233rd) season
PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 5:51 am 
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I also had the pleasure of attending the Soloviev tribute Sleeping Beauty at Mariinsky Theatre on 26th October. It was certainly a great occasion, and beautiful indeed was the film of Soloviev at the beginning. For the record, the Aurora was Alina Somova and her Desire, Timur Askerov. Somova was the quintessential fairy princess, with lightness, grace and lovely line in arabesque. Her balances in the Rose Adagio were outstanding, and in the act 1 variation, her en dehors pirouettes were double, triple, triple, triple - actually, her pirouettes were so secure that she could easily have done a quad for the last one. In her act 2 vision scene, she was soulful and poignant. Her acting throughout was natural, unforced and eloquent. Timur Askerov was competent in his execution with high easy jumps, and although in my opinion he has no great presence on stage, his partnering was good and he has princely appearance and manners, at least.


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2015-2016 (233rd) season
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 1:27 pm 
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Could I please comment briefly on a few of the younger Mariinsky ballerinas that continue to enchant and fascinate me.

Of their generation at the Mariinsky I consider Oxana Skorik and Alina Somova to be among the most enchanting and beautiful dancers in the world. Not only that, but they are both capable of 'mind boggling' wonderfulness, when everything comes together.

The praise that you have written about Alina Somova's Sleeping Beauty, Tiara, is very consistent with much of what I've seen her do with this work. Since the birth of her little girl, like some other exceptional ballerinas that I've watched, her sensitivity and focus have grown considerably. The Bolshoi's Svetlana Zakharova (former Vaganova final year student and Mariinsky Principal) is another outstanding example.

One other somewhat related ballerina, Olga Smirnova (Bolshoi, but Vaganova graduate) could turn out to be one of the greatest ballerinas ever. She has the ability. Her style is her own, but you can certainly see her Vaganova/Mariinsky fineness along with a power of expression that might be considered more of a Bolshoi characteristic. It's her power of expression that makes her somewhat different from the finely ethereal and at their best, captivatingly expressive, Alina Somova and Oxana Skorik.

Two more young Mariinsky ballerinas that I like very much are Yekaterina Chebykina and Kristina Shapran. They are also quite different. Yekaterina Chebykina has a remarkable freedom that is underpinned by a refined excellence. Kristina Shapran has a way of moving, most noticeable for me in her arms, that is message and poetry at its finest.

Added comment:

Let me add the name of one of the exceptional Mariinsky men, Kimin Kim. He is an absolute marvel.


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2015-2016 (233rd) season
PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 5:50 am 
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I’d like to thank Catherine very much for her review of “Sleeping Beauty.” Once again I really envy your being able to see all the performances that you do, Catherine, and I hope that you will continue to tell us as much about them as you can.

I’m also very glad to hear that Yekaterina Kondaurova is back and doing so well. She seems to be on a full schedule again, which is great! Hopefully we’ll have similar good news as soon as possible about the Bolshoi’s Vaganova trained Olga Smirnova. She should have a remarkable career if all goes well.

Not being able to see all this, maybe I can muse for a moment.

“Swan Lake” is my reference for classical ballet. At the Mariinsky it’s the *Enchantment* created by the White Swan/Odette duet that is central. More and more, for me, the entire work revolves around the ‘spell’ created here. This is a result of the lyrical and dreamlike magnificence of motion reinforced by the characterisation that creates an overall flow. For me, the challenge of the Black Swan, Odile, is to allow this flow to continue. I know that many feel that the challenge is for the same ballerina to be able to create an exciting contrast, but, for me, it’s maintaining the continuous enchantment established by the White Swan that makes this work so wonderful and magical.

Several performances that I’ve seen by the Bolshoi have presented something slightly different. These are the “Swan Lake”s of Svetlana Zakharova and Olga Smirnova. In these the characters of Odette and Odile become much more defined. Again I don’t feel that a great contrast is created between Odette and Odile, but both do become artistically and poetically compelling statements. I’ve seen enough Bolshoi “Swan Lake”s that I wouldn’t call this a company characteristic except for the fact that this Yuri Grigorovich interpretation has become a Bolshoi classic and this work does have psychological implications.. I like very much what Svetlana Zakharova and Olga Smirnova have done. What becomes of this could be something of much added interest and beauty.


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2015-2016 (233rd) season
PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 2:49 pm 
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If the Bolshoi website (and other internet reports of performances) are accurate then Smirnova has been back on stage since late last summer, and she is scheduled for Swan Lake later this month.

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[ Post made via Mobile Device ] Image


Last edited by DrewToo on Sat Nov 07, 2015 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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