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XII Mariinsky International Ballet Festival -- 2012

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Since there seems to be at least two parallel topics going strong at the "Bolshoi, Mariinsky, Mikhailovsky" forum, I would like to start a separate one for the Mariinsky Festival itself. If a moderator thinks that one forum is enough, please say so, or move this back to the "Bolshoi, Mariinsky, Mikhailovsky". Anyone interested in viewing the beginning of the Festival discussion can see it almost from the start of the "Bolshoi, Mariinsky, Mikhailovsky" forum.





Svetlana Zakharova


She will perform in the first major work of the Festival, "La Bayadere". Anyone fortunate enough to have seen her in London last May at the Galina Ulanova Gala, would have seen what I thought was a new and even more amazing Svetlana Zakharova. She had just come back from maternity leave and she was as fit as I've ever seen her and seemingly much more focused on her portrayal than in the past. She was as believable as one could ask for. I would have to think that being a new mother had a great deal to do with it.


This year she has received fine comments in the press and on the internet for her performance at the Anna Pavlova Gala.


I greatly look forward to her Festival performance.


Vladimir Ponomarev


I mentioned in my previous post that "Don Quixote" will not be performed this year. This means that we'll miss Vladimir Ponomarev's Theatrical Genius(!) performance as the Don. I've seen it about seven times and could see it another 100. I could easily watch just him, if it weren't for all the other wonderful performing. Most likely he will appear in another of his classic roles, The High Brahman ("La Bayadere") and in another personal favorite, the 'wagnerian' Father in "The Prodigal Son".)



This will be my eighth Festival in a row. I believe that Kevin has been to even more. Lucky us ! It's definitely one of the highlights of my year.


If anyone would like to get a some of the feel of the Aura, there is a video (VHS) that's been around for quite awhile.


"Anna Pavlova"

Starring Galina Belyayeva, Lina Buldakova, Sergey Shakurov, et al. (2000)




This is a romanticized look at Anna Pavlova and the famous individuals in her life. The beginning of the movie is set in Saint Petersburg and gives a very nice depiction of what was beautiful at the time and can still be felt today in many ways. There are lovely areas of the city shown I have yet to discover. One reason is that I'm probably more focused on one thing and one thing only than on any trips that I take -- The Festival. It has been a complete world in itself for me and a wonderful one.

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XII Mariinsky International Ballet Festival -- 2012



March 22


Prodigal Son


The Siren: Teresa Reichlen (New York City Ballet)

The Prodigal Son: Daniel Ulbricht (New York City Ballet)


Le Jeune Homme et la Mort (premiere)


Vladimir Shklyarov (not officially confirmed) 


Ballet Imperial


Viktoria Tereshkina, Olesya Novikova, Yevgeny Ivanchenko



March 23


Swan Lake


Odette-Odile: Alina Somova

Siegfried: Matthew Golding (The Het National Ballet)

Rothbart: Konstantin Zverev

The Prince’s friends: Yana Selina, Olesya Novikova, Filipp Stepin

Joker: Vasily Tkachenko



March 24


La Bayadere


Nikia: Svetlana Zakharova

Gamzatti: Anastasia Matvienko

Solor: Alexander Volchkov



March 25


La Sylphide


Sylphide: Alina Cojocaru (London Royal Ballet)

James: Johan Kobborg (London Royal Ballet)

Effie: Nadezhda Batoeva

Medge: Elena Bazenova

Gurn: Dmitry Pykhachov



March 26


Le Parc


Viktoria Tereshkina, Alexander Sergeyev




March 27 and 28


Béjart Ballet Lausanne

Ce que l’Amour me dit. Cantate 51. Là où sont les oiseaux. Boléro


No official casting announced. My understanding it that this will all be performed by the Béjart Ballet.


Second Night: Bolero

Julien Favreau (according to Kevin's post)



March 29


In the Night


Maria Shirinkina, Viktor Baranov,

Alina Somova, Yevgeny Ivanchenko,

Yekaterina Kondaurova, Danila Korsuntsev




Ulyana Lopatkina, Svetlana Zakharova , Viktoria Tereshkina, Olga Yesina, Yevgenia Obraztsova , Alina Somova, Vera Arbuzova, Igor Kolb, Danila Korsuntsev, Alexei Timofeyev, Alexander Sergeyev, Andrey Kasyanenko, Andrei Yermakov and Béjart Ballet Lausanne’s soloists


Symphony in C


Alina Somova, Alexander Sergeyev,

Yekaterina Kondaurova, Yevgeny Ivanchenko,

Olesya Novikova, Alexei Popov,

Maria Shirinkina, Alexei Timofeyev



March 30


This is essentially Diana Vishneva's evening.


Errand into the Maze


Diana Vishneva and Ilya Kuznetsov


Pierrot Lunaire


Diana Vishneva, Igor Kolb, Alexander Sergeyev, Konstantin Zverev


Subject to Change


Diana Vishneva, Andrei Merkuriev, Alexei Nedviga, Anton Pimonov, Ilya Petrov



March 31


Anna Karenina


Anna Karenina: Ulyana Lopatkina

Alexei Karenin: Islom Baimuradov

Count Vronsky: Andrei Yermakov

Princess Shcherbatskaya (Kitty): Maria Shirinkina

Stepan Oblonsky (Steve): Dmitry Pykhachov

Daria Oblonskaya (Dolly): Xenia Ostreikovskaya

Konstantin Levin: Alexei Timofeyev

Princess Betsy: Sofia Gumerova



April 1


Carmen Suite


Carmen: Diana Vishneva

Jose: tba

Torero: Konstantin Zverev




Ulyana Lopatkina, Yekaterina Kondaurova Viktoria Tereshkina, Irina Golub, Oxana Skorik

Matthew Golding (The Het National Ballet), Timur Askerov, Kim Kimin, Danila Korsuntsev, Vladimir Shklyarov


Symphony in C


Alina Somova, Maxim Zyuzin,

Yekaterina Kondaurova, Yevgeny Ivanchenko,

Olesya Novikova, Filipp Stepin,

Maria Shirinkina, Alexei Timofeyev




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Alina Somova


Alina Somova's "Swan Lake" will be the first major (full length) work of the Festival. It will be one of the performances that I'm most looking forward to seeing and it will be right at the beginning so I won't have to wait. Good news.


(I made a mistake in my initial post by saying that Svetlana Zakharova's "La Baydere" would be the first major work (full length) of the Festival. It will be the second.)


So why do I continue to be so excited about Alina Somova ?


For me, her 'Lyrical' Dancing is some of the most Beautiful that I've ever seen and she is also one of the most 'Interesting' dancers today. And she always seems to be trying to make what is 'Interesting' more Beautiful.


'Lyrical Dancer'


Once again here is what Ismene Brown and Sarah Crompton had to say about her "Giselle" duet Sunday at the Anna Pavlova Gala.


Ismene Brown

"More revealing was that eternal surprise girl, Alina Somova....showed in the silken expressiveness of her upper body and free-moving arms a gladness of movement hauntingly close to that in the Pavlova clips".




Sarah Crompton

"....Alina Somova the incarnation of a Romantic ballerina in an extract from Giselle...."




'Interesting Dancer'


Sometimes when she is dancing, I can almost see her mind at work. I think that she is a very intelligent artist as well as a very dedicated one. And she doesn't necessarily play it safe. She takes artistic chances and in searching for the best possible expression doesn't seem to be afraid of not being perfect at a given moment, although a fine end result is probably what she hopes for.


For instance, like others here, I saw her perform George Balanchine's "Ballet Imperial" and Jerome Robbins' "In the Night" last summer in London. Where I felt that the Mariinsky dancers had succeeded Magnificenty(!) in making the Balanchine and Robbins works 'their own', Alina Somova seemed to be subtly different. She seemed to be trying to find just the right balance between what Balanchine and Robbins had intended and the world of the Mariinsky.


In her performance of "Swan Lake" in London she also seemed to be searching for exactly the right expression and not playing it safe by using what she already knew would work just fine. Remember that this lady was one of the stars of her Vaganova class and probably had her traditional basics pretty well mastered.


So what I always hope for in a performance from her, such as "Swan Lake", is a performance of magnificent lyrical beauty, such as one of Ulyana Lopatkina's. I'm sure that she can do this. But I have to keep in mind that she is also a dancer who can amazingly balance on pointe for seconds while holding her other leg at the side of her head, that she has outstanding expressive capabilities (portraying and dancing) and that she is a searching artist trying to make 'All' her exceptional abilities work together for the best ultimate result possible.

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And from Graham Watts yesterday.


"Alina Somova showed an English audience why she is fast becoming one of the world’s best interpreters of romantic ballet, with its emphasis on beautiful lines, carriage and port de bras, and she was sensitively partnered by David Makhateli in the Giselle pas de deux."



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Alina Cojocaru in La Sylphide with Johan Kobborg AND Swan Lake with Matthew Golding? wow! I'm becoming very envious of the friends going to St Petersburg! :)



Credit where credit is due, annamicro.


It's quite amazing. Of eleven Mariinsky Festivals, Alina Cojocaru has danced leads in full length classics at five of them and will be doing it again this year. No one else from outside the Mariinsky has come close to doing anything like this ! She is in fact (if not in title) a Principal Dancer of the Mariinsky Festival.


Then consider that she worked her way back from a very serious injury, dancing only in two very courageous Gala performances before being invited back to dance another lead last year, "Giselle", which could well have been a performance of a lifetime ! It was possibly the most enthusiastically received performance of the entire Festival !


From my somewhat distant observations of her, she is a lovely, lovely, totally unassuming person, who is also a performing arts Giant !


I remember sitting next to a lady from the UK at one of the Festivals, who expressed some disappointment at having come all the way to Russia to see a dancer that she could have seen back home. I said to her something to the effect that I would climb a mountain to see Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg perform anything, anywhere. The lady was very nice and I believed enjoyed the evening immensely.


This is a quote from the program to the Anna Pavlova Gala in London last Sunday. *


“Pavlova Danced As If She Were Living An Experience"


Of all the Festival dancers that I have seen, Alina Cojocaru fits this description as well as anybody. It is not a matter of just being exciting, it is a matter of touching the heart-and-soul as well.


At the evening that I just mentioned sitting next to the lady from the UK, Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg performed "Romeo and Juliet". Several minutes into the ballet some amazing Burst of Sunshine 'flew' onto the stage from behind Juliet's nurse sitting in a chair. "! Is That Her? !", I exclaimed to the lady. Yes, it was her and I couldn't believe what I had just seen. This is still one of my highlight 'Alina' memories. At the very end of the ballet Johan carried Alina up a flight of stairs holding her on one arm over his head. It was not the Mariinsky ending that I saw at last year's Festival. It was one of those Alina-Johan nearly over the top moments, but it was -- Powerful !! Another Alina-Johan moment that I may never forget.


And there's so much, so much more.


Thanks for the thanks, Kevin, and I hope to see you in about ten days.




* (Arnold Haskell)


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I said in my above post that nobody from outside the Mariinsky has danced nearly as many major leads as Alina Cojocaru at the Festivals. Johan Kobborg, who I believe has partnered her in most of them, would certainly be an exception.

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This is a work that I thought was performed magnificently by the Mariinsky in London last summer.

"Ballet Imperial"

It will be one of the performances from the first evening. It's a work that I love and it's one that I'm most looking forward to seeing.

George Balanchine was the choreographer. It's a mixture of classical beauty with modern excitement, complexity and artistic freedom. Depending on who is performing, the work can be ethereally beautiful (as done by the Mariinsky) or excitingly alive (as performed by the Miami City Ballet). Those who saw it performed by the Mariinsky in London will have seen some of the finest dancing that I've ever seen. I've seen both companies and I've liked both interpretations and presentations equally well.

"Ballet Imperial" was later renamed "Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2" and now once again is appearing as "Ballet Imperial". Typical of the first evening, this is not traditional Mariinsky material.

It is said that one of the things that makes a George Balanchine ballet different from a classical one is that he could compress an entire classical ballet into one Act of pure dance.

These are a few comments from an internet site called "Arts Place", which I think very well describe some of the important characteristics of "Ballet Imperial" as well as other works by George Balanchine.


"What makes it a 20th century ballet....is the speed with which the steps are accomplished, and the rather more intricate way that the dancers weave around one another in their stage patterns. No particular story emerges in the ballet, but we see suggestions of a relationship in the pas de deux.

(Those who were at the London performances might recall some of the following.)

"The dancing occurs in neat lines and circles of corps dancers that surround a principal couple and soloist ballerina.

"There are also opportunities to see spectacular performances in the principal roles."

"The second ballerina [who appears first] in the ballet dances mostly alone; there is one brief section with two supporting cavaliers. This is a mostly flashy role, with lots of jumps and turns. She leads the corps de ballet in several passages leading up to the principal couple.

"The main ballerina role starts out with a devilishly tricky solo filled with quick turns and dramatic pauses. It continues with a pas de deux that must look gentle, though the steps are strung together with fast lifts and sudden changes of direction. In the second movement, there is a melting adage, followed by a third movement loaded [with] jumps."

And this additional comment:

"Indeed, the ballerina’s role is still considered perhaps the most difficult in Balanchine’s repertory. The choreography of the entire piece has been described (by Nancy Reynolds) as “a non-stop outpouring of kinetic exuberance.” "


In London last summer I thought that Viktoria Tereshkina, as the main ballerina, and Evgenia Obraztsova, as the second ballerina, were Outstanding ! This will be the second time that I'll get a chance to see Viktoria Tereshkina dancing this at a Festival. She seems more compelling and wonderful with each performance. In this work the entire company shines !

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Ekaterina Kondaurova


She is a confirmed member of my Pantheon of Mariinsky 'Swans'.


She will be dancing in one of the couples from the two performances of George Balanchine's "Symphony in C" and in a Divertissement appearance at the final night Gala.


Last year she danced two of the finest "Swan Lakes" that I've ever seen !


She danced one at the Festival and the other in London. This was only her second year dancing Odette/Odile. She also danced a beautiful lead in "Le Parc" at last year's Festival.


My only problem with the Enchanting Ekaterina Kondaurova is that when she is in a performance, I can't concentrate on anything else and after the performance I don't remember anything else.



She Is A Wonderfully Beautiful Dancer Who Is Also Brilliantly Versatile !

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Viktoria Tereshkina


She will be dancing the first evening's lead of "Ballet Imperial" and also the lead of "Le Parc" several nights later.


I see her somewhat the same way that I view Yana Selina. She can be 'everywhere-doing-everything', sometimes carrying a large part of an entire series and can always be counted upon for a fine performance. I remember when the Mariinsky was in New York City a few years ago for about two weeks doing a wide variety of works. At the week of performances that I was able to attend, it seemed that Viktoria Tereshkina performed every night and every night was a different lead role. Yana Selina was equally present, as I recall. I've also seen Viktoria Tereshkina do this at the Mariinsky Festivals. She's probably performed as least as many leads as any other dancer.


I would also say that she grows noticeably in her abilities. The first few times that I saw her she was considered to be one the Mariinsky's most 'precise' dancers. I also singled her out as always being right on the music.


After several years she seemed to really develop as a more distinct, versatile and exciting dancer.


A high point for me was her Odette/Odile ("Swan Lake") at the Festival several years ago when she did Everything Right ! Her portrayal was soft and lovely. Every part of her was positioned beautifully at all times. She moved like a dream. Again, another one of the best Odette/Odiles that I've ever seen. I just sat transfixed in my chair when the first intermission arrived.


At last summer's performance of George Balanchine's "Ballet Imperial" in London, for me, she hit another high point. Along with Ekaterina Kondaurova (especially), Alina Somova and more recently Evgenia Obraztsova (now primarily at the Bolshoi) I consider her to be one of the Mariinsky ballerina's most able to adjust to new material and new styles. In "Ballet Imperial" she seemed to have an instinctive understanding, excitingly giving life and personal meaning to what is considered an 'abstract' work (no story or relationships), while wonderfully handling all the complex and difficult technical demands, and she did it compellingly. I greatly look forward to seeing her perform this once again next week.

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Alina Cojocaru in La Sylphide with Johan Kobborg AND Swan Lake with Matthew Golding? wow! I'm becoming very envious of the friends going to St Petersburg! :)


Finally Mariinsky press office amended the press release: Swan Lake is with Alina Somova. A truly embarrassing Freudian slip... :D

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"Ballet Imperial" was later renamed "Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2" and now once again is appearing as "Ballet Imperial". Typical of the first evening, this is not traditional Mariinsky material.


But what they actually dance is TPC No. 2, I think? Certainly, it's the costumes for it.

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But what they actually dance is TPC No. 2, I think? Certainly, it's the costumes for it.


La Scala dances Ballet Imperial with "Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2" costumes. It seems weird to change the name of the ballet if dancers are wearing a tutu or not, it could be confusing.

Which other companies are calling it "Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2"?

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But what they actually dance is TPC No. 2, I think? Certainly, it's the costumes for it.



Hi, alison.


I would have to agree with you although I'm not really that knowledgeable about the specifics of George Balanchine's works. It would seem that the Mariinsky, and the Miami City Ballet for another, have gone back to the old title, "Ballet Imperial" and not essentially changed anything else.


As with all dance, "Ballet Imperial/"Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2" has probably changed over time in many ways. George Balanchine was especially known for reworking things, often to respond to the strengths of his current dancers.


These are some comments from the Pacific Northwest Ballet, which is one of the companies most know for performing the works of George Balanchine.


"Ballet Imperial is one of a surprising number of Balanchine’s masterpieces that were created in the years before the founding of the New York City Ballet. These were years during which Balanchine accepted a diverse array of choreographic assignments, some of them for rather idiosyncratic venues. The 1941 occasion for the creation of Ballet Imperial was a cultural good will tour of Latin America sponsored by the U. S. State Department.


* "Ballet Imperial Has Gone Through A Number Of Metamorphoses Since Its Creation". *


(my *s and capitals)


"One of the most significant is the change of title from Ballet Imperial to Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2, which Balanchine effected for a 1973 production by New York City Ballet. That change was accompanied by the replacement of tutus with simple chiffon dresses and the elimination of all scenery."





annamicro, I posted this before I saw your post. I can't really tell you why some companies have gone back to the original title "Ballet Imperial" without changing anything else.

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Besides "Ballet Imperial" there will be several other works that are not 'traditional' Mariinsky material. George Balanchine's "Symphony in C" and "The Prodigal Son" and Jerome Robbins' "In the Night" will be among them.



"Symphony in C"


Some interesting comments.


"It is said that when Symphony in C premiered in NY, Jerome Robbins was in the audience and immediately wrote to Balanchine asking for a job.


"Suzanne Farrell has mentioned that Symphony in C was the first ballet she ever saw and that it made her determined to become a City Ballet ballerina."


"Go if: You are captivated by the idea of a downsized version of the 3 act classical ballet “take all the mime, settings and narrative away and just leave the difficult steps and the glorious dancing”.


I don't recall seeing this ballet, but the above comments and what looks like a very complete description can be found here....




Ekaterina Konduarova -- will be dancing the adagio (slow dancing). She should be magnificent ! In addition she will dance in Jerome Robbins' "In the Night" and, depending on what her final Gala work is, might get a chance to show her impressive versatility.


Alina Somova -- will be dancing the beginning allegro (fast) and coming off "Swan Lake" will probably show once again how amazingly versatile she really is. She will actually be dancing in all the works that evening (which includes "In the Night" and a "Divertissement" performance) and another "Symphony in C" at the final Gala.



"The Prodigal Son"


Considering how George Balanchine is ever more present at the Mariinsky, the chance for a Saint Petersburg audience to see principal dancers from what was his own New York City company should be quite exciting. Maria Kowrowski and Damian Woetzel ( both NYCB) gave a fine Festival performance of this several years ago.


At that performance a former dancer and ballet enthusiast friend asked me whether I liked it or not. I said that there wasn't anything not to like about it. He asked me if I had noticed that there wasn't a single ballet step in the entire work. I hadn't.


There does seems to be a lot of acting involved. Sublime expression, with the exception of Suzanne Farrell, Wendy Whelan and a few others may not be a Balanchine dancer's (or an American one in general) primary concern. I don't believe that George Balanchine encouraged it, although if you've ever seen the video clip of him coaching Mikhail Baryshnikov in this role, he could get pretty sublime himself.


This year.


Teresa Reichland -- A six foot tall, lively blond beauty. Am looking forward to seeing how she handles this.


Daniel Ulbricht -- Supposed to be very good.




"In the Night"


Is physically demanding, but is also --


Absolutely Beautiful !

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"Yesterday, a child came out to wander....


And the seasons they go 'round and 'round

And the painted ponies go up and down


There'll be new dreams, maybe better dreams and plenty...."


(Joni Mitchell)



Today the Festival topic has moved to "Hot" status and I'm getting the magic carpet out of the closet and dusting it off somewhat. Wednesday is departure day.


I hope to be able to write a few things about what I see. Available time is always a factor and internet access has been also, but at least if something really interesting happens, I will try to write about it, if not during than maybe after.


Last year, the first day that I arrived, it did happen.


"Le Parc"


It was to be performed for several evenings and was a complete unknown for me. I bought a ticket for one night only. Well, it was a dream. I immediately bought a ticket for the next evening, the only remaining performance. All the way back to the hotel, it filled my mind and my imagination as I walked down some of the more beautiful of the ancient streets and along the brightly lit riverfront.


I think that Angelin Preljocaj, its creator, had reworked it somewhat, perhaps softening some of its original 'sensuality' and moving it more into the ethereal. Mozart's dreamlike music was juxtaposed against throbbing techno vibes. Dance styles were juxtaposed. Realities were juxtaposed. The dancing was beautiful. The dancers seemed to love doing it.


There was a dreamlike transcendence to it all.


It will be performed again this year and I'm greatly looking forward to seeing it again.



Last year's Festival was possibly the best that I've been to.


And now it's this year and the magic carpet looks ready to fly again.




I have a dream, a song to sing


If you see the wonder of a fairy tale


I believe in angels


I have a dream



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A lot of changes to the second Thursday evening program. It has become a Gala evening. "In the Night" and "Symphony in C" will not be performed. "Symphony in C" is still scheduled for the final evening.


The most exciting, for me, is the addition of



* Yulia Makhalina *


* A Mariinsky Legend *



I've longed to see her perform. I hope that she is Magnificent !



Here is the new information.


"Marking fifty-five years of Gennady Selyutsky’s stage career


Gala Concert


featuring Ulyana Lopatkina, Yulia Makhalina, Viktoria Teryoshkina, Alina Somova, Yekaterina Kondaurova, Danila Korsuntsev, Igor Kolb, Yevgeny Ivanchenko, Alexander Sergeyev, the Béjart Ballet Lausanne and students of the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet"



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Viktoria Tereshkina


"Ballet Imperial"


She Was Magnificent !


All the Other Dancers did beautifully as well.


If you saw her and the others in London, well, this was probably even better !


There must have been a 'Thousand Curtain Calls' !



Teresa Reichlen


"The Prodigal Son"


Okay, I'll say it. She was one little (actually very tall) sexy apparition !


There are probably a million different ways that her role could be interpreted and she did it her way and it was just fine !



But Viktoria was the Explosion !


And there was much, much more.

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Alina Somova


"Swan Lake"



Remarkable !


She seems to be able to do anything and tonight she did just about everything. I'm not sure how many things she did that, if she had just done just one of them all evening, would have taken your breath away. But as soon as she showed her prowess in one place, she simply moved on to the next.


If I've been hoping for the ultimate ethereal evening, well, she did some of that and then moved on to become expressionist or virtuosa or....


She never left any doubt that she could do any of these all evening and do them marvelously.


Furthermore, she seems more unpredictable, which is fine. When she hopefully comes to the States in about six months with another "Swan Lake" it will probably be completely different again.


I've mentioned in previous posts that she always seems to be looking for the best way to do something. Well, I would say that tonight she showed that she has found some of the best ways and it's just of matter of which ones she choses.



The Corps de Ballet gets better and better. The men are as together as I've ever seen them.



Matthew Golding -- Siegfried


He was just fine, sailing through the air and spinning like a flash of light.


Then Alina would come out and do her spins or single double fouettes with the same excitement.



Konstantin Zverev -- Rothbart


Some folks zeroed in on him awhile ago. He's quite special. He takes off into space and almost stays there ! He's light as air. I have to think that we'll see him doing other important parts.



Alina Somova


She is an Adventure !


A Remarkably Beautiful One !

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Buddy, thanks for your reports. I would have liked to watch Viktoria Tereshkina in Ballet Imperial on the opening night of the festival. I have however seen her dance the role a number of times over the years in St. P, London, and Paris. And who danced the Act 1 pas de trois in Swan Lake last night?

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Olesya Novikova, Yana Selina and Filipp Stepin, Kevin.




Svetlana Zakharova


A Living Masterpiece And A Living Legend !


Ever since the birth of her child, about two years ago, her commitment to her portrayal has been like never before. Just Wonderful ! Her dancing has always been Outstanding !


Tonight She Was Both A Study In Refinement And A Goddess.



"La Bayadère"



It was a beautiful evening in honor of Olga Moiseeva, who sat in the VIP box next to the stage almost hidden behind huge bouquets of flowers. At the curtain call, both Svetlana Zakharova and Alexander Volchkov added their huge bouquets to the others. Anastasia Matvienko already offered hers after the second Act. Svetlana Zakharova gave Olga Moiseeva a deep bow and a huge smile. Olga Moiseeva seemed extremely touched and appreciative.

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Olyesya Novikova ( Sylphide) -- Very Lovely, At Times Excellent


Filipp Stepin (James) -- Very Good


Nadeshda Batoeva (Effie) -- Charming


Kseniya Ostreikovskaya (A Sylphide) -- Very Fine (in her very brief appearance)


"La Sylphide"



Hopefully we will see the return next year of Alina and Johan. They are such a fine part of the Festival.


Here is a quick comment that Galina Stolyarova made about them in the Moscow Times.


"Covent Garden's Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg, who made their debut at the Mariinsky during the ballet festival in 2003, have since become regulars at the festival and have attended it almost every year since then."




It seems to me that she called Alina 'the finest ballerina in the world in certain respects' (I don't recall which) in the printed paper. I'll try to check tomorrow.

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"Le Parc"


Viktoria Tereshkina

Alexandre Sergeyev


Everybody !


Enchanting and Brilliant !




In regard to my mention of Alina Cojocaru in my above post, Galina Stolyarova wrote, in a follow up article in The St. Petersburg Times last week,


"The Bucharest-born ballerina is often described as the world’s most moving dancer, thrilling audiences with her vibrant portrayals of emotionally fragile heroines."



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Probably The Finest Evening Of Individual Ballet Performances That I've Ever Been To !


Everybody Was Great !


There were fifteen performances. The evening lasted about four hours and there wasn't a dull moment !



Yulia Makhalina


It was wonderful to be able to see her. I've only seen her on dvd's at the height of her career. Tonight she was *More Graceful(!)* than on any of those. Andrei Yakovlev was her partner and they got through the lifts and everything just fine.


Alina Somova


She danced beautifully and distinctly different in four of the performances.


Ulyana Lopatkina


Even in an absolutely delightful comedy takeoff on ballet, Christian Spuck's "Grand pas de deux", she still looked like the most beautiful dancer in the world.


The evening was in honor of Gennady Selyutsky's fifty-five year career.



A Wonderful, Wonderful Evening Of Dance !

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Gala Concert -- Gennady Selyutsky



In The Night (Jerome Robbins)


Marina Shirinkina/Vladimir Shklyarov

Alina Somova/Evgeny Ivanchenko

Yekaterina Kondaurova/Danila Korsuntsev



Divertissement I



Pas de deux from the ballet Le Papillon (Maria Taglioni)


Alina Somova/Alexander Sergeyev



Adagio fro the ballet Red Giselle (Boris Eifman)


Vera Arbuzova/Evgeny Ivanchenko



The Bluebird's pas de deux from The Sleeping Beauty (Marius Petipa)


Svetlana Ivanova/Alexei Timofeyev



Pas de deux from the ballet Anna Karenina (Andre Prokovsky)


Yulia Makhalina/Andrei Yakolev



Pas de deux from the ballet Light (Maurice Bejart)


Kateryna Shalkina/Julien Favreau



Pas de deux from the ballet Le Corsaire (Marius Petipa)


Viktoria Teryoshkina/Andrei Yermakov




Divertissement II



Adagio from the ballet The Legend of Love (Yuri Grigorovich)


Alina Somova/Igor Kolb



Look at Me (Vera Arbuzova)


Vera Arbuzova/Andrei Kasianenko



Pas de deux from the ballet The Talisman (Marius Petipa)


Yekaterina Osmolkina/Ernest Latypov



Etude pour une Dame aux camelias (Solo) (Maurice Bejart)


Elisabet Ros



A Country Don Juan (Leonid Yakobson)


Viktoria Teryoshkina/Igor Kolb



Leda and the Swan (Roland Petit)


Olga Yesina/Alexander Sergeyev



Grand pas de deux (Christian Spuck)


Ulyana Lopatkina/Danila Korsuntsev



Finale from the ballet Symphony in C (George Balanchine)


Alina Somova/Alexander Sergeyev

Yekaterina Kondaurova/Yevgeny Ivanchenko

Olesya Novikova/Alexei Popov

Maria Shirinkina/Alexei Timofeyev



La Saboteur from the ballet La Fille mal gardee (Oleg Vinogradov)


Students from the 9th year Vaganova Academy class of Gennady Selyutsky.

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Diana Vishneva


I thought that her evening was quite good. Along with Alina Cojocaru, she is one of the greatest actress/expressionist ballerinas today.


Since she had to dance almost constantly the evening was not long. The highlight for me was her entire performance of Martha Graham's "Labyrinth". The choreography is very good and interesting. She danced it with beautiful poetry and artistry. I also liked a lot of the last work, "Subject to Change". The four male dancers accompanying her and Andrei Merkuriev did some very exciting bravura dancing. The work is performed on or around a huge carpet. There is a segment where the four men make the carpet flutter like waves under the two leads. Diana Vishneva and Andrei Merkuriev's response to the waving carpet was extremely impressive. Also some of the images the two constructed together with lifts and other positionings were very compelling.





Maybe a few more thoughts about last night's magnificent gala. I could go down the entire list and have something to say about how great each one of them was.


"In the Night"


This was the first. Maria Shirinkina was the Butterfly among the Swans, Alina Somova and Ekaterina Kondaurova. It took me a few minutes to get used to her beautifully gentle interpretation after having been knocked over by Evgenia Obraztsova's supercharged performance in London last summer. Eventually it settled in and the more she danced the more I appreciated her gentle poetry as contrasted to Alina Somova and Ekaterina Kondaurova's excellent and more expansive interpretations.



"Le Papillon", choreographed by the legendary Maria Taglioni.


In this lovely work Alina Somova was Absolutely Charming !



Olga Yesina


I was looking forward to seeing her after her lovely performance at the 'Aid to Japan' gala in Paris last summer. She was absolutely lovely again ! I would say that along with Ulyana Lopatkina, doing a comedy, and Yulia Makhalina, who was magnificently graceful, she stood out as one of the most lyrically graceful dancers of the evening.


Ekaterina Osmolkina and Svetlana Ivanova


It was really nice to see these two lovely Butterfly ladies again in such beautiful works.



The modernistic works by Boris Eifman and Maurice Bejart were excellent and excellently performed.


The two comedies, "A Country Don Juan" and "Grand pas de deux" were great fun and very well received.



The Finale from George Balanchine's "Symphony in C"


This was the second to the last work of the evening and, although it was very late and I'm sure that many in the audience were ready to go home, it received one of the most enthusiastic responses.



There were other wonderful happenings that I hope I can touch on at another time.

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Ulyana Lopatkina


Her Dancing Was Magnificent !


As Usual.


Her moves, her timing, her positioning, her presence, her elegance....Everything....


Magnificent !


"Anna Karenina"


The Choreography and the Dancing by Everybody


Extremely Fine.

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Another Exceptional Evening !



"Gala Concert Of World Ballet Stars"



Carmen Suite (Albert Alonso)


Diana Vishneva

Jose Manuel Carreno

Konstantin Zverev







Forgotten History (Emil Faski)


Irina Golub

Timur Askerov



Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux


Evgenia Obraztsova

Matthew Golding



Adagio from the ballet Swan Lake [White Swan Act II] (Lev Ivanov)


Oxana Skorik

Danila Korsuntsev



Pas de deux from the ballet Le Corsaire


Ekaterina Osmolkina

Kim Kimin



The Dying Swan


Ulyana Lopatkina



Pas de deux from the ballet Don Quixote


Viktoria Tereshkina

Vladimir Shklyarov

Elena Yevseyeva (variation)




Symphony In C


Alina Somova/Maxim Zyuzin

Yekaterina Kondaurova/Yevgeny Ivanchenko

Olesya Novikova/Filipp Styopin

Maria Shirinkina/Alexei Timofeyev



In my mind, Ulyana Lopatkina, Diana Vishneva and Oxsana Skorik were Outstanding !

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The Swans


These ladies represented a large part of the Festival highlights for me. A 'Swan' is meant to imply a ballerina who is generally tall, or looks tall because of her statuesque figure and long limbs. She is linear, airy and extremely graceful.


Swans who actually danced Swans.


Alina Somova


Of the many highlight performances, I would chose her "Swan Lake" as one of the finest because it was one of the full length ballets and perhaps the most treasured. Her extensive dance vocabulary and capability, invention, pursuit of possibilities, determination and Basic Beauty made her "Swan Lake" very special.


Among many other works she beautifully danced the pas de deux from the legendary Marie Taglioni's "Le Papillon" ("The Butterfly"). This is a charming work, intepreted today with much of the imagery that we associate with pictures and descriptions of Marie Tagloni.


Ulyana Lopatkina


She brilliantly performed Michel Fokine's "The Swan", Alexei Ratmansky's "Anna Karenina" and Christian Spuck's delightful comedy, "Grand pas de deux". But the beauty of "The Swan" so reminded me of her "Swan Lake" from several years ago at the Festival, perhaps the finest that I've seen. She is perhaps 'The Swan' of the 'Swans'.


Oxsana Skorik


Her performance at Sunday's gala of the White Swan pas de deux (Act II, "Swan Lake"), for me, was also one of the finest of the Festival. If you've seen the internet video clip of her practicing "Swan Lake" then you have a sense of how graceful she is. She was at least that graceful this time and her newly apparent *Poetic Nuancing* is very much her own and and Beautifully Compelling. Her duet was a 'revelation' as to what this young lady is capable of. She should become on the Mariinsky's finest ballerinas and certainly one of its finest Odettes.



Other performances by Swans.


Svetlana Zakharova


Her "La Bayadere" was classic Svetlana. Her portrayal ability has become much more evident and her Basic Gracefulness looks more and more refined and beautiful each time that I see her.


Yulia Makhalina


She was Beautifully Graceful ! For a ballerina Star, who is much retired from active dancing (I believe), she was Remarkable for the Beauty of what she did.


Olga Yesina


She is a Vaganova graduate, danced with the Mariinsky and is now a Principal dancer at the Vienna Opera Ballet. She was just lovely !


Ekaterina Kondaurova


In "Symphony In C" she was the statuesque goddess. She is also a fine actress and versatile dancer.


Teresa Reichlen


She's about six feet tall(?) and she so brought her own, almost playful, interpretation of the Siren in George Balanchine's "Prodigal Son". I just loved her.

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