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Subject: "Stars of the White Nights Festival 2003" Archived thread - Read only
 
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NO7

23-05-03, 10:56 AM (GMT)
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"Stars of the White Nights Festival 2003"
 
   The Mariinsky Theatre has joined in the celebration of St.Petersburg's 300th anniversary with a 3 month long festival, showing the splendour of their classics and a pack of international stars.

The merits of the 3rd week of the festival, which I am attending, is a nice line-up of well-known ballets: Giselle, Cinderrella, Le Corsaire, and Swan Lake.

Here are my short comments,

Giselle on May 20: I think Giselle is a demanding role for a ballerina. The most difficult part is to make the audience believe in the unbelievable plot.
My thought may be quite opposite to that of the earlier thread. Svetlana Zakharova was a lovely, playful, yet unnatural Giselle. It seemed she gave too much emphasis on displaying her formidable techniques rather than the dramatic depth of the role.
Every time she finished her solo, there followed by a huge applause and bravo. But would all these great techniques conquer all?

Perhaps not....I didn't notice what went wrong in Act 1, but after an extra long interval, there was an annoucement of replacing Zakharova with Irina Zhelonkina due to a sudden injury.

Zhelonkina, however, did a nice job with the lyrical beauty in her dancing. Giselle that evening would have never been completed without her.

In a tragic moment like the mad scene, Zakharova displayed alternately the emotions of anger and sorrow, while her Albrecht, Evgeny Ivanchenko, looked at her indifferently.
I always have a question in mind...What Albrecht should really react to Giselle's insanity? And it seems Ivanchenko failed to unlock the mystery.

More impressive were Tatiana Amosova as Queen of Wilis and the magnificent corps de ballet.

Cinderella on May 21:

The following evening was Alexei ratmansky's Cinderella, with the debut of Igor Kolb as the Prince.

This production is a story of symbolic and surrealist interpretations, highlighting the combination of fantasy world and reality. It's a narrative and 'grand spectacle' ballet with a comtemporary design.

The sets have both vertical and horizontal dimensions. Instead of a fairytales-like set, I saw a shabby, factory-lkike room with two steel columns and stairs where the dancers played around. Only the scene of the court balls has a glimpse of the Soviet's classical style, with a giant wheel turning from a skeletal clock in Act1 to a grand chandelier.

The ballet focuses attention on the duets between Cinderella and the Prince. No pause after each solo or pas de deux. The music and dance go on and on and the audience kept busy concentrating on every movement and mime.

Natalia Sologub was sensational as Cinderella. She has a special quality that fits very well to neo-classic and more contemporary ballets.

Igor Kolb may be famed for his stately grace and a truly classicist style. But in his debut as the Prince, it has proved that he can splendidly survive in a more modern ballet, with his astounding fluidity and a pleasing modesty.

For the Stepmother and her two daughters, there was no balance between them. Tatiana Serova, with a wig in vulgar orange, made the understated Stepmother, while Victoria Tereshkina, as Khudishka, was glitzy and a bit overreacting.

Yesterday Igor Zelensky danced Ali in Le Corsaire for the first time after his long absence. Will report more later.

NO7
St.Petersburg



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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Stars of the White Nights Festival 2003 Kevin Ngmoderator 23-05-03 1
  RE: Stars of the White Nights Festival 2003 Baletoman 23-05-03 2
  RE: Stars of the White Nights Festival 2003 Naoko S 25-05-03 3
     RE: Stars of the White Nights Festival 2003 NO7 26-05-03 4
         RE: Stars of the White Nights Festival 2003 Kevin Ngmoderator 26-05-03 5
             RE: Stars of the White Nights Festival 2003 NO7 29-05-03 6
                 RE: Stars of the White Nights Festival 2003 Kevin Ngmoderator 29-05-03 7
                     RE: Stars of the White Nights Festival 2003 NO7 01-06-03 8
                         Lopatkina NO7 01-06-03 9
                             RE: Lopatkina Naoko S 01-06-03 10
                             RE: Lopatkina Baletoman 01-06-03 11
                             RE: Lopatkina NO7 02-06-03 12
                             RE: Lopatkina Kevin Ngmoderator 03-06-03 13
                             RE: White Nights Festival Kevin Ngmoderator 07-06-03 14
                             RE: White Nights Festival Kevin Ngmoderator 30-06-03 15

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Kevin Ngmoderator

23-05-03, 12:00 PM (GMT)
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1. "RE: Stars of the White Nights Festival 2003"
In response to message #0
 
   NO7, I do envy you seeing all these different ballets in the White Nights Festival in this special year celebrating St. Petersburg's 300th anniversary. I liked Alexei Ratmansky's choreography for "Cinderella" far more when I saw it the second time in February during this year's Mariinsky Festival. As you said, Natalia Sologub was sensational as Cinderella. She danced so beautifully in the several pas de deux. I am glad to read about Igor Kolb's debut as the Prince. (Sologub's previous partners in this ballet were Denis Matvienko and Andrei Merkuriev.) Look forward to hearing from you about Igor Zelensky in "Le Corsaire" and other Kirov performances in the Festival.


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Baletoman

23-05-03, 05:48 PM (GMT)
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2. "RE: Stars of the White Nights Festival 2003"
In response to message #0
 
   Hello, NO7!

Thank you very much for your posting!

I am looking forward to hearing about Le corsaire! I am going to see it in London in July.

Will you be able to see Gala? It would be great if you could describe your impressions!!! Pleeeese

How is the situation in the city?

Happy birthday! )

I wish you good weather and successful celebration days!


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Naoko S

25-05-03, 10:49 PM (GMT)
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3. "RE: Stars of the White Nights Festival 2003"
In response to message #0
 
   No. 7, I do envy you - how lucky you were to catch Irina Zhelonkina as a lead in Giselle - a treat we Londoners rarely come across! And I'd like to wish Zakharova a speedy recovery - hope it's not the case her commitments to many a theatre around the globe has taken its toll....

Do let us know more about the festival, please!


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NO7

26-05-03, 08:55 AM (GMT)
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4. "RE: Stars of the White Nights Festival 2003"
In response to message #3
 
   LAST EDITED ON 26-05-03 AT 08:56 AM (GMT)

The weather is so gorgeous today, a sunny sky and the temperature hits 25c. Can you believe this?

St.Petersburg has started the celebrations yesterday with a street carnival and it will be in a full swing later this week.

There are articles about Lopatkina and Nioradze in local newspaper. Will post them when I return home.

Now back to the reviews:

Le Corsaire May22:

One of the most spectacular ballet of Petipa's legacy, a great mixture of pantomime scenes, beautiful music, fancy costumes, luxurious dances, and splendid casting. All these made Le Corsaire that evening a memorable performance.

Elvira tarassova was a reserved, nearly emotionless, Medora in act 1, but became more and more lively in the following act. She, surrounded by two Kirov blonde hunks-Ilya Kuznetsov as Conrad and Igor Zelensky as a charming Ali, danced the famous part of the ballet with panache and flaire.

Igor Zelensky, perhaps due to his previous operations, omitted all lifts, but gave us a virtuoso dance, precise and powerful. He handed down lifting to Kuznetsov, who had incredibly forceful jumps.

Tatiana Tkachenko made her debut as Gulnara. So fascinating she was, with the dancing full of energy and confidence.

Indeed, the performance was a real feast for the eyes. The whole cast executed the ballet with truly professional aplomb. Le Corsaire is definitely one of the greatest hits of all time!

Swan Lake May 25:

It was the debut performance at the Mariinsky Theatre of Andrian Fadeyev as Prince Siegfried and Victoria Tereshkina, a corp de ballet, as Odette/Odile. In fact the pair danced the roles for the first time in Manchester last April.

Sad to say, I was not in the least bit touched by Tereshkina's Odette. I wonder why the Kirov has privileged her to dance in this difficult role. There was no depth in her interpretation.

However, she was better as Odile. More agile and expressive. Perhaps, the more suitable roles for her could be Gamzatti, and the likes.

It has been said "the role of Odette/Odile is considered the greatest test for any ballerina" and I think Tereshkina unfortunately failed the test.

Andrian Fadeyev was an intense and reserved Siegfried. He had some difficulties partnering his Odette, who's apparently bigger than him. He displayed nice techniques, but may be a bit underrehearsed.

The most cheerful character was Andrei Ivanov as the Jester. He brought the house down with his extra fast spinning.

My most interesting discovery was Ivan Popov. A tall, slim, and tireless dancer, who danced Hilarion in Giselle, One of the four temperaments in Cinderella, Berbenito on Le Corsaire, and Von Rothbart in Swan Lake. Expressive and powerful, he always played the characters with tremendous concentrations. Truly remarkable.

For all 4 ballets I saw, the orchestra and the corps de ballet must receive special honour. They keep their high level of standard and were on top form every evening.

On May 28, there will be a gala performance at the Palace Square.


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Kevin Ngmoderator

26-05-03, 09:14 AM (GMT)
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5. "RE: Stars of the White Nights Festival 2003"
In response to message #4
 
   I am glad to hear that Ilya Kuznetsov is dancing again back in the Mariinsky Theatre, so soon after his return from the Kirov's Mexican tour. I remember that there were three water fountains in the last act of "Le Corsaire" on the stage of the Mariinsky Theatre, instead of two when the ballet was danced at Covent Garden; and that there were eight Vaganova Academy students augmenting the corps de ballet in the Jardin Anime scene. I didn't know that Elvira Tarasova dances Medora; she danced Gulnara last year.

I saw Viktoria Tereshkina's debut as Odette/Odile in Manchester last month, and felt that she wasn't expressive at all as Odette.


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NO7

29-05-03, 08:12 AM (GMT)
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6. "RE: Stars of the White Nights Festival 2003"
In response to message #5
 
   LAST EDITED ON 29-05-03 AT 08:14 AM (GMT)

Taking a break from the ballets, I also attended two opera performances: Prince Igor on May 26 at the Musorgsky Opera and Ballet Theatre and the Queen of Spades on the birthday of St.Petersburg on May 27. The Queen of Spades, known as Tchaikovsky's most Petersburg opera, was conducted by Valery Gergiev. The opera is majestic, yet mystical and frightening against the black and white graphics of the sets. But if compared with the recent ROH's production, the Kirov's Queen of Spades is less thrilling.

May 28, A Tribute to St.Petersburg at the monumental Palace Square. Amidst the freezing cold weather in late evening and the soft light of the white night, this was a FREE gala concert dedicated to the 300th anniversary of the City.

I'm leaving St.P today, so haven't got enough time to write a review. But will do it later. Promise!

Meanwhile, here is the programme:
1.The Kingdom of the Shades--Daria Pavlenko, Leonid Sarafanov
Three Shades: Serova, Tereshkina, Tkachenko
2.Toledo Song from the opera Carmen
3.Black Swan pas de deux--Sofia Gumerova, Danila Korsuntsev
4.The dance of the four swans from Swan Lake
5.excerpt from Gayane by Khachaturian
6.Arias from Tchaikovsky's opera
7.Serenade--Ostreikovskaya, Osmolkina, Baranov, Gumerova,Firsov
8.Polovtsian Dance, scene from the opera Prince Igor


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Kevin Ngmoderator

29-05-03, 03:15 PM (GMT)
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7. "RE: Stars of the White Nights Festival 2003"
In response to message #6
 
   LAST EDITED ON 29-05-03 AT 03:36 PM (GMT)

NO7, you are very wise to leave St. P today before the closure of the city's airport tomorrow and the day after to accomodate the visiting heads of state. You are lucky to have seen the celebratory Gala on Tue.

I think that the programme for the Tuesday Gala is slightly different from the programme for this Saturday's Gala to be broadcast on BBC 2. I know that the Kingdom of the Shades Act this Saturday will be led by Diana Vishneva and Leonid Sarafanov.


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NO7

01-06-03, 08:40 AM (GMT)
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8. "RE: Stars of the White Nights Festival 2003"
In response to message #7
 
   I know it's a bit late for this report!

May 28: A Tribute to St.Petersburg

It was a breezy and cold evening when Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Theatre presented a free open-air gala concert at the Palace Square, sponsored by BP and Nescafe, to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the City.

The programme featured extracts from operas and ballets. The highlights for me were the Shades from La Bayadere, Black Swan pdd, the Polovtsian Act from Borodin's Prince Igor, and Toledo Song from the opera Carmen.

Last year, the Mariinsky held the gala concert at the Palace Square to launch the 300th anniversary year. More than a ten thousand people had been expected to attend, but only a hundred showed up.

This year things are not the same. About 500 stalls were provided for those who got tickets. Luckily, I was one of them. The area was guarded by Russian policemen and beyond it thousands of art lovers gathering around.

The Mariinsky waited until the sun set behind the Hermitage and the golden glow cast over the historic Palace Square. Then the music began.

It would be hard to imagine a more sublime dance from the Kirov corps than the Shades from La Bayadere. So beautiful as 32 corps de ballet stepped in at a flowing gait. This looked even more like a miracle when Daria Pavlenko, as Nikiya, whirled into her solos. Simply divine.

Perhaps the best performance of all was the Black Swan pas de deux with Sofia Gumerova and Danila Korsuntsev. Gumerova was truly stunning, displaying an amazing technique. She executed 32 turns with ease and Bravo! burst out for the first time from a rather quiet audience.

The Tchaikovsky/Balanchine's Serenade, though showing graceful motion and costumes, may not be the St.Petersburgers' favourite ballet. Some audience left, but the orchestra, under the baton of Valery Gergiev, still went on.

The finale of the programme was a barnstorming Polovtsian Dance. A series of dances by warriors, Persian slave girls, and Polovtsian maidens followed one another in pounding rhythms. The cast may not be the cream of the crop. But all of them were just wonderful.

Thank you St.petersburg and the Mariinsky Theatre for giving me a fabulous time throughout a nine night stay!


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NO7

01-06-03, 08:54 AM (GMT)
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9. "Lopatkina"
In response to message #8
 
   From Neva News(May-June2003):

--Star of the Mariinsky(Kirov) Theatre as of the international world of ballet, Ulyana Lopatkina will dance in the concert, planned for the presidents of Great Eight countries and other VIPs , on 30th May-on the occasion of the city's tercentenary.

Mikhail Baryshnikov enraptured Ulyana's dancing ability in Versailles, and John Neumiere expressed his admiration by the following words: 'You are the personification of Music'.

However, in the spring of 2002, Ulyana packed her suitcase and departed for Austria to enjoy motherhood. Who knows and loves ballet, will call this act--a real feat.

It is a well known fact, that the creative period for ballerinas is rather short--about 20 years--and therefore, majority of them try to devote these years exclusively to their profession. However, Ulyana considers differently.
"From all events of my life, the birth of my daughter, Mashenka, is the most significant one. The emotions and pleasures evoked by this event can not be compared with any of my successes on stage.

After the birth of my daughter, I have experienced the rebirth of my soul and have accumulated much energy and emotions which I want to share with my spectators".


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Naoko S

01-06-03, 03:05 PM (GMT)
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10. "RE: Lopatkina"
In response to message #9
 
   No 7 - cannot thank for more for bringing this up!!

>After the birth of my daughter,
>I have experienced the rebirth
>of my soul and have
>accumulated much energy and emotions
>which I want to share
>with my spectators".

Can this be her declaration to return to stage?? I earnestly hope so.... it's perfectly ok she comes back on stage every now and then in between enjoying her motherhood - if only she would continue to dance! Last night she indeed appeared to have full of "energy & emotions" - so strong and determined were her facial expressions! Let's just hope we'll be able to see more of her in many years to come...

Just curisous, "Neva News" - is this a St. P's local paper?


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Baletoman

01-06-03, 11:48 PM (GMT)
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11. "RE: Lopatkina"
In response to message #10
 
   LAST EDITED ON 01-06-03 AT 11:48 PM (GMT)

About Neva News: I suppose so.


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NO7

02-06-03, 03:43 AM (GMT)
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12. "RE: Lopatkina"
In response to message #11
 
   Yes,Neva News is St.P's local newspaper. There is also 'Pulse' Magazine featuring an article about Irma Nioradze. It's very long, but I will find time to post it, if anyone interested.


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Kevin Ngmoderator

03-06-03, 03:02 AM (GMT)
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13. "RE: Lopatkina"
In response to message #12
 
   According to the Kirov website, the Mariinsky Theatre was awarded last week the Order of Peter the Great.

http://www.mariinsky.ru/en/news


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Kevin Ngmoderator

07-06-03, 03:19 PM (GMT)
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14. "RE: White Nights Festival"
In response to message #13
 
   On Monday the Kirov will premiere "Les Noces" and "Le Sacre du Printemps", which London audiences will be able to see in the third week of their Covent Garden season in early August.

http://www.mariinsky.ru/en/afisha/20030609-2


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Kevin Ngmoderator

30-06-03, 03:20 AM (GMT)
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15. "RE: White Nights Festival"
In response to message #14
 
   The French architect's designs for the annex of the Mariinsky Theatre were chosen among all the designs submitted to the competition.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3029394.stm


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