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“Stars of the White Nights"
St. Petersburg, Russia
May 27, 2012
In a vibrant rendition of Balanchine’s Jewels, the Maryinsky Ballet brought an unrushed splendor to this famously plotless ballet that has been in its repertoire since 1999. Karinska’s tutus never looked better, and the set by Peter Harvey glinted in the light.
Yekaterina Osmolkina led “Emeralds” with a quiet joy. With a feeling of luxurious space surrounding her head and arms, she gave every shape a sense of continual breath. The elegant Ksander Parish, in his debut as her partner, was a bit static, serving as a contrast to her ever-flowing lyricism. Especially lovely were their lifts that floated into view from behind a row of corps dancers.
Yekaterina Kondaurova thrust boldly forward on Stravinsky’s opening percussive notes in the “tall girl” role of “Rubies.” In the main role, Alina Somova brought a lighter side to this jazzy section. She and her partner, Alexander Sergeyev, struck up a rapport filled with fun and flair. They were not afraid to be silly—despite, or maybe because of, the outsized stamina required. Somova had no problem with the pin-up-girl aspect of the role, or of the broken wing motif that echoes the broken line of Stravinsky’s music. Sergeyev threw himself into the fast leaps and stomps with a playful spirit. He wasn’t as clean and classical as, say, Joaquin De Luz in the role (see my “best of 2011”) but in throwing caution to the winds he injected “Rubies” with a welcome giddiness.
Alina Somova in "Rubies"
Viktoria Tereshkina gave “Diamonds” a luster tinged with a kind of voluptuous yearning. The hint of sadness in her duets with Vladimir Shklyarov eventually evaporated as choreographic patterns took over the stage. Building toward a prolonged climax, the last third of “Diamonds” accumulates into a pageantry reminiscent of Petipa, making it feel right at home in the theater where he developed his great works. Shklyarov’s verve and technical polish kept the energy up.
A nice touch: At the curtain call, when the women dancers received bouquets, each male dancer in “Diamonds” also received flowers (red roses). I’ve never seen men get bouquets before unless it’s a gala.
Viktoria Tereshkina in "Diamonds"
Pictured at top: Yekaterina Osmolkina in "Emeralds"
All photos by N.Razina, Courtesy Maryinsky