Graham Watts braved 21 hours of flights and missed connections just to spend a night at the Yekaterinburg Opera House followed by a meeting with its new(ish) Director of Ballet, Slava Samodurov, a former Principal at The Royal Ballet…
A delightful production, on this occasion, there was the added excitement that the two principals, Maria Shirinkina and Vladimir Shklyarov, husband and wife, were performing the ballet together for the first time.
The season began with a high-energy mixed bill which showed the company on sparkling form.
What one does not see much of, at least at first glance, is nostalgia for the motherland. “I never had nostalgia about anything,” Baryshnikov says.
The Mariinsky Ballet’s annual Baden-Baden tour is something of a balletomane’s winter retreat and, with mild weather to boot over Christmas, provided yet another opportunity this season to catch up with the St. Petersburg company.
27 pictures by Sunkyung Jang
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So far as I know, no major company has ever before attempted a time-shifted Bayadère, so Hübbe had the whole of history to pick from. He chose the later years of the British Raj…
That said, the company is still on top form. The corps de ballet is flawlessly unified technically, stylistically and musically down to their eyelashes.
Ratmansky’s vision of Cinderella is bracingly fresh, and the ballet’s harsh, urban setting and grotesque choreography seem suitably attuned to Prokofiev’s darkly sardonic score. His concept, however, does not succeed completely.
“I think for me the high point is that I don’t see Boston audiences as having any limitations. When I got here everybody was telling me what I couldn’t do and people warned me to play it safe. But I have found people extremely open and willing to explore and I’m really thrilled about that.”
With its exquisite staging, and most importantly with its understanding and respect of the Romantic ballet style, and whole-hearted dedication of the dancers to their roles, the Paris Opera Ballet demonstrated just how Giselle should be produced and performed.
The Bolshoi’s new Coppelia was heavenly fun. Vikharev’s production brought to the fore the Russian ballet tradition of expressive pantomime and spirited ensemble dances.
I think it’s safe to say that neither of the new works knocked the planet off its axis…
Kochetkova and Domitro, together and separately, dance extraordinarily well. They don’t have the elusive chemistry that she has with Boada, but they still are very much in tune with each other, both musically and artistically, and make a very satisfying partnership.
A highlight of the Mariinsky Festival this year was a performance dedicated to the Mariinsky prima ballerina, Diana Vishneva…