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Buddy

XVIII Mariinsky International Ballet Festival 2019

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15 minutes ago, Buddy said:

XVIII Mariinsky International Ballet Festival 2019

 

https://www.mariinsky.ru/en/playbill/festivals/fest2018_2019/

 

Second to this in order of universal significance will be Olga Smirnova‚Äôs debut as Giselle. ¬†¬†ūüėä

Smirnova’s debut in the Mariinsky production of Giselle, perhaps, but certainly not in the role! She’s danced it in Moscow a few times and, if memory serves, in Vienna once or twice.

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27 minutes ago, now voyager said:

Smirnova’s debut in the Mariinsky production of Giselle, perhaps, but certainly not in the role! She’s danced it in Moscow a few times and, if memory serves, in Vienna once or twice.

 

Thanks, Now Voyager. Apparently you are quite correct. According to the Bolshoi site she debuted this in 2017. Still, it's something that I greatly look forward to seeing.

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I forgot to mention another debut from London.  Natalia Osipova  (with Vladimir Shkylarov) in Don Quixote.

 

Who's going to catch me at this¬†one? ¬† ūüôā¬†¬†

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Seats are now available. This is probably the best place to get them. Usually there's no rush.

https://www.mariinsky.ru/en/playbill/festivals/fest2018_2019/ballet_fest_236

 

Because the ruble is down, these are the best prices that I've seen. Also, being offseason, hotel prices can be very reasonable. This might be a nice chance for those who've never been to the Festival, or to Russia, to plan a visit.

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Posted (edited)

I try never to say anything that isn't true, even as a joke, which my above comment about Natalia Osipova was. I know that this would be obvious to anyone who is familiar with her, but there are folks who aren't, so this is a clarification.

 

She's probably one of the best Kitris (the heroine from Don Quixote) ever !  I saw some of her first performances with Ivan Vasiliev and they were outstanding. She sailed unbelievably through the air. They both did. As another joke I referred to the Bolshoi as "The Osipova" during one of these performances. At that time she was the epitome of what I thought that the Bolshoi should be. 

 

This was around ten years ago. To maintain that kind of physicality would be quite a feat and I have seen her do some rather impressive things recently. 

 

Ballet dancers usually develop their artistry. This is certainly the case with Natalia Osipova. Not only does she radiate, probably more than ever, but she can also accomplish great depth. I definitely look forward to her Kitri at this year's Festival and whatever else she might perform. These Festivals are where I've seen artists really try their best.

Edited by Buddy
grammar corrections
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Posted (edited)

The first person that I ever heard use the expression ""A Force of Nature" was  a member of Balletco in regard to Natalia Osipova. It's now  commonly used on the ballet internet. Does anyone remember who this was ?

 

And....

 

I saw two exceptional performances of her Don Quixote years ago in Washington DC when apparently she had a fever.

Edited by Buddy
"And" added

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No chance this might be streamed internationally, I suppose?

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, Geoff said:

No chance this might be streamed internationally, I suppose?

 

It's possible. Mostly it's Galas along with special and new works, if I recall correctly. She might perform at the final night Gala. Marguerite and Armand is a possibility.

Edited by Buddy

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7 hours ago, Geoff said:

No chance this might be streamed internationally, I suppose?

 

7 hours ago, Buddy said:

 

It's possible. Mostly it's Galas along with special and new works, if I recall correctly. She might perform at the final night Gala. Marguerite and Armand is a possibility.

 

I was just asking about the Festival in general terms. Sometimes shows are streamed,, sometimes not, and perhaps someone knows if there are any plans. It would be good to be forewarned. 

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Here's a quick glance of Lauren Cuthbertson rehearsing her Friday, March 29 Sleeping Beauty with Xander Parish in St. Petersburg. She looks quite lovely. I hope to see the performance and wish them both much success.

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BurjIXGgD1Z/

(thanks to Marfa at Balletfriends for posting this)

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On ‚Äé02‚Äé/‚Äé01‚Äé/‚Äé2019 at 21:13, Buddy said:

I forgot to mention another debut from London.¬†¬†Natalia Osipova ¬†(with¬†Vladimir Shkylarov) in¬†Don QuixoteÔĽŅ. ÔĽŅ

 

  

 

I see this performance is the only one sold out on their website. The tv URL where their streaming is often available is here https://mariinsky.tv/ve5 though there may be other places they would stream from.

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2 hours ago, jmhopton said:

 

 

I see this performance is the only one sold out on their website. The tv URL where their streaming is often available is here https://mariinsky.tv/ve5 though there may be other places they would stream from.

 

This is why it's good to tell the truth even when you're joking. I'll say again that this is certainly no debut for Natalia Osipova. She's probably one of the greatest Kitris ever.

 

Thanks for the broadcasting information, Jmhopton.

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Posted (edited)

The Workshop of Young Choreographers at Mariinsky Theatre was yesterday.

Among performers: Tereshkina, Somova, Khoreva, Osmolkina, Yevseyeva, Yermakov, Kaisheta, Chebykina, Tkachenko, Parish, Belyakov, etc.
You can watch it NOW ONLINE: https://mariinsky.tv

 

Edited by Amelia
Cast added.

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Posted (edited)
On 27/03/2019 at 07:38, Amelia said:

The Workshop of Young Choreographers at Mariinsky Theatre was yesterday.

Among performers: Tereshkina, Somova, Khoreva, Osmolkina, Yevseyeva, Yermakov, Kaisheta, Chebykina, Tkachenko, Parish, Belyakov, etc.
You can watch it NOW ONLINE: https://mariinsky.tv

 

I've seen all of these Workshops except one, and this one, overall, was by far the best. I've viewed some of the video and don't think that Alina Somova's excellent performance (at 1:13:00), probably my favorite, comes across nearly as well on video, but still worth watching. Xander, by the way, was outstanding !  He's in the final work.

 

The young Maria Khoreva's duet in George Balanchine's Diamonds last night was one the finest and most beautiful of all duets that I've ever seen.

 

Edited by Buddy
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According to a poster on Balletalert, confirmed on the Mariinsky site, Lauren Cuthbertson is ill and will not dance Aurora tonight.

 

She is due to dance Marguerite at the closing gala on Sunday, so let's hope it's something veryshort term.

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Posted (edited)

Sad for Lauren but terrific for Novikova. 

Edited by Shade
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What a shame: all that effort for nothing.

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7 hours ago, alison said:

What a shame: all that effort for nothing.

 

The real pity for Lauren is that she has missed the opportunity (for the moment) to dance Aurora on the Mariinsky stage in the context of a high profile Festival. Fortunately, she did dance Silvia!

All this guesting that the RB dancers are doing must put them under a huge strain.

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On 28/03/2019 at 11:25, Buddy said:

I've seen all of these Workshops except one, and this one, overall, was by far the best. I've viewed some of the video and don't think that Alina Somova's excellent performance (at 1:13:00), probably my favorite, comes across nearly as well on video, but still worth watching. Xander, by the way, was outstanding !  He's in the final work.

 

The young Maria Khoreva's duet in George Balanchine's Diamonds last night was one the finest and most beautiful of all duets that I've ever seen.

 

I have the great good fortune to be in St Petersburg with friends for 4 performances at the Festival and 2 at the Mikhailovsky. I hope to write in more detail later but In response to Buddy’s post about Khoreva’s performance in Diamonds I must beg to differ. There is no question that she is a beautifully trained young dancer with huge promise. But - and it is a big but - I felt she was seriously miscast. For me she looked like a child dancing a woman’s role: she simply does not have at this stage the poise and gravitas that the role demands. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks BeauxArts for your thoughts, but I continue to maintain that she did -- Wonderfully !

 

(posted at Maria Khoreva's website) 

 

Lauren Cuthbertson did appear tonight and gave an extremely beautiful performance, after suffering what I was told by someone at the company was a very legitimate, but fortunately short illness. Xander appeared with her and gave an equally fine performance. Actually he's only made five major appearances in the last five days, two tonight, two being quite long and one being The Sleeping Beauty. ¬†ūüėä

Edited by Buddy

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29/03/19 Olesya Novikova and Xander Parish variations Act III

 

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I went for the latter part of the Mariinsky festival and I also caught a couple of performances at the smaller Mikhailovsky Theatre.

 

Peter Martins was in St Petersburg to coach this performance of Jewels which was danced on the vast stage of the vast auditorium that is Mariinsky 2. Emeralds felt slightly flat, as indeed it often does, but it was interesting to see some of the newer, younger dancers with whom I’m less familiar. I’ve found Rubies the ballet that sits most awkwardly on Russian companies but Philipp Stepin and Nadezhda Batoeva were superbly playful and technically exciting. I agree with Beaux Arts above about Maria Khoreva in Diamonds, I’d say this performance did not come close to those I’ve seen from the Bolshoi’s more experienced Smirnova and Chudin both live and on screen. Unfortunately I also thought the corps de ballet looked scrappy although my impression here may have been influenced negatively by being quite close to the stage. The use of mobile phones during the performance was extraordinary - recording and constant flash photography. A couple sitting close to us couldn’t have watched more than 5 minutes of the entire performance and even made a phone call.

 

The following evening Don Quixote played to a full house in the historic theatre. From the off Vladimir Shklyarov and Elena Yevseyeva were determined to have a ball and their sensational performances deservedly brought the house down. It was the highlight of the week. Shklyarov has more charisma than the rest of the Mariinsky male principal roster put together and he danced as well as I’ve ever seen him do.  He and Yevseyeva, a delightful, petite and elegant First Soloist, were ideally matched and no one who held on to their ticket after Osipova’s withdrawal could have reasonably felt short changed. Although Yevseyeva began her fouettes with a minor loss of control she quickly retrieved them and went on to finish with incredible insouciance holding the border of her tutu with one hand as if to issue a challenge to the detractors on the Russian forums. Alexander Sergeev was a remarkable Espada, he’s such a refined classical dancer I wish we’d seen more of him. The Mariinsky production is one of the best and I’m afraid for me it really served to highlight the shortcomings of the RB version, in particular the over cluttered stage and the Act 3 pdd.

 

The following evening was the performance of Sleeping Beauty that Lauren Cuthbertson was sadly unable to dance due to illness. Her last minute replacement, Olesya Novikova, a quietly elegant dancer, inexplicably not a principal, turned in a beautiful performance. The story of Xander Parish’s ascent at the Mariinsky is a remarkable and well known one and he gave a good account of the Prince’s solos, his tours were well executed and well landed. May Nagahisa another non-vaganova trained, non-Russian seemingly destined for stardom (she has already made her debut in the title role in Giselle) danced Princess Florine with great delicacy although to my eye she looks even younger than her young years. The divine Ekaterina Kondaurova is a true Mariinsky jewel; the most supremely luxurious dancer with beautiful epaulement and a stunning back. Her Lilac fairy glowed warmly and the tricky Prologue solo was executed with outstanding control. This huge Sergeyev production looked splendid on the Mariinsky 2 stage. At just under 4 hours it’s a marathon of an evening and it is a testament to the dancers that it didn’t  feel like an endurance test.

 

The next evening was back again to Mariinsky 2 this time for Swan Lake. The guest Prince Siegfried was Daniel Camargo whom I had recently seen in London at the RB and I had enjoyed his warm stage presence as Fumi Kaneko’s Basil.  In St Petersburg he was sharing the stage with the current queen of the Mariinsky, Viktoria Tereshkina, and he looked far less comfortable. There were no major problems in the partnering and he delivered a reasonable black act solo but it was a chilly performance with not a shred of chemistry between them. I couldn’t help feeling that Vadim Muntagirov would have been a more suitable partner for the refined and technically superb Tereshkina.

 

On Sunday we were lucky that there were 2 performances at the small gem of a theatre that is the Mikhailovsky. We bought tickets not knowing the casting so we were thrilled to see Leonid Sarafanov dancing James in La Syphide. He follows in a long line of outstanding Russian male dancers and at 36 his fabulous technique is as fine as ever - IMO the Mariinsky have not filled the gaping hole created by his departure 10 years ago. The production which was lovingly and carefully danced by the entire company is as authentic and charming as the theatre itself which feels like the most appropriate venue. His Sylphide, Angelina Vorontsova, danced with such allure no wonder James fell for her.

Our final performance in the evening was Giselle. The lead couple were the charming husband and wife team of Viktor Lebedev and Anastasia Soboleva. He has a quiet stage presence but is a gorgeously plush dancer with a beautiful line, the most incredible backbends and enormous, soaring jumps. He was the star male graduate of his year (2010) at Vaganova so it is somewhat puzzling that he isn’t at the Mariinsky where the larger stage would have given the space his excellent technique demands and he would surely have enhanced the principal ranks.

 

The orchestras at the Mariinsky and Mikhailovsky were of the very high standard you would expect and the acoustics at Mariinsky 2 were excellent.

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Yevseyeva's name always brings to mind the Queen of Dying Swans, Mademoiselle Ida Nevasayneva...

 

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Thank you, Ann, for your report. I was invited to the Mariinsky Festival, unfortunately, I couldn't go. I am surprised to hear about the "very high standard" of the Mariinsky (ballet) orchestra. On many occasions when I was in the audience, those standards were embarrassingly low. Concerning Khoreva, I admit, she has not much stage presence, unlike Smirnova you mentioned, and she doesn't bring much depth to the stage either (who, by the way, does nowadays?); on the other hand she is equipped with incomparably superior physique, and her technique at the beginning of her career is vastly better.

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Maria Khoreva ‚ÄĒ Diamonds

 

I would like to say that her often childlike aura is one of the things that made her so compelling for me. I was sitting close and also using theatre glasses and I feel that this video doesn’t completely capture this or the highly lovely, airiness of her motion. Still it’s a fairly good representation of what she did, which I’m extremely happy to watch time and time again.

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No doubt  there are certain roles where a "child-like aura" can work well. I do not think that Diamonds is one of them for the reasons I alluded to above. I don''t think opera glasses would have caused me to change my opinion. My personal opinion is that Khoreva is being pushed too far and too fast: she makes her debuts in Bayadere and Paquita in the summer. I think she would do better to be allowed to consolidate her performances in a few carefully chosen roles, rather than being pushed constantly into very demanding lead roles. Her body makes beautiful shapes and she is technically accomplished, BUT she is no where near finding the inner life in her role in Diamonds, and I somehow doubt she will find it in NIkiya either. Not at this stage, in any event.

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The inner depth of a dancer is there or there isn't. Stepanova in her first year after graduating from the Vaganova Academy produced a fascinating Aegina at Mariinsky. Anybody who saw it retains vivid memories. As to Khoreva, she is not pushed too far or too fast. She did all the required preliminary work earlier, and did it very thoroughly. The life of a dancer is short. Very talented ones are very rare. One cannot afford wasting any one of them. Mariinsky over the last ten years did this on all too many occasions. Khoreva is already an accomplished dancer, whether she will also become a great artist, the time will tell. If you do not wish to watch a juvenile dancing mature roles, just do not watch. Even accounting for the last minute cast changes, we are still generally free to chose who we want to watch.

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