Mariinsky’s Swan Lake…What’s the Big Odile?

OK, so you know I have gone a little ga-ga about the live broadcast of the Mariinksy’s Swan Lake.  I was maybe a little (ok a lot) over the top in my excitement.  I have always, always, always, wanted to see the Kirov Mariinsky dance live. I can tell you it was worth it.  It was beautiful, graceful, elegant, and emotional.  I was completely taken by the grandeur and left breathless and with tears in my eyes.

Look!  Dancers can be funny too!

Silly dancers! You don’t need 3D glasses to be in 3D!

But that is the ending of the story….let’s start at the beginning…

I bought my tickets online on May 18th for a theater in a neighboring city since none of my local theaters were showing this.  Well, three days ago I learn that my local theater is going to be showing it. Yay!  I don’t have to drive over an hour away now.  I thought I could simply get a refund for the tickets at the distant location.  NOPE.  I had to go to the actual ticket office of the theater which was over an hour away.  I also had to do it before the showtime.  Say whuuut?  It really peeved me they could take my money electronically but could not do an electronic refund.  I went in dizzying rounds with the theater and I ended up donating those tickets to the city’s local ballet school.  At least, they went to some use.  So the start to my Mariinsky experience was not a pleasant one.  I rarely get peeved but I was really hot about this one.  Glad in the end I was able to turn that lemon into lemonade.  I hope a nice young dancer was able to enjoy the tickets and that seeing them dance made a difference in his/her dancing life.

So, my bestie, Mrs.L and I meet up at the theater.  We got ourselves dolled up for our ballet date and I was quite pleased I fit nicely in a LARGE sized dress shirt…I can’t remember the last time a large fit me. Food poisoning was flattering on me LOL.  Ms. L was pretty in pink in her ballet pink sweater.  We are the first in the theater and settle into our seats…..and by the time the curtain went up only 5 more people joined us in there.  I could NOT believe only 7 people attended this.  I just think the marketing in our area was not well done. When I contacted the ballet school I donated the tickets to, they were surprised to learn of the live broadcast.  They are a BIG metropolitan ballet school.  So this just wasn’t marketed well I think, otherwise I know more would have been attending this.

Now onto what you are really more interested in…the dancing!  Calling it dancing…isn’t really the best way to say what the dancers were doing on the stage.  It was more than that.  It was artistry, grace, strength, and elegance.  I was blown away. If you would like to see the online playbill for the Mariinsky’s Swan Lake it is here.   From the moment the curtain went up…I had tears in my eyes for about 10 minutes watching them.  I wear false eyelashes…and one of them nearly became a casualty to my tears. Haha!

The star in my eyes of Act I  scene 1 was the Joker, danced by Vasily Tkachenko and here is his Mariinsky bio.  He is a member of the Coryphees…wow.  I can’t wait to see where he is going to go. The best way I can describe him was that gravity did not apply to Vasily.  His jumps would just hang in the air for a few moments before floating to the ground.  He had such explosive power but his control made it look light as air.  I am now a HUGE fan of Vasily!  The link to YouTube on his name shows his performance as the Jester from a few months ago but I think what I saw last night was even better.  It was like the dancers were on fire.

Ok, so Act I, scene 2 opens at the lake.  Was anyone else blown away by the swans swimming in the background?  They looked real!  Really masterful prop work done there.  I am practically holding my breath until the swans dance on stage.  I just love how they take the stage.  I have always been in love with the choreography of Swan Lake and at times I could just imagine how it would feel to be dancing those steps with the other swans.  Then she is there…Ekaterina Kondaurova.  I was not very familiar with her before last night’s show but I was beyond impressed with her. Here’s her Mariinsky bio.  How she emoted with her face and eyes, the swan-like mannerisms…just pure artistry.  She was able to pull me in and make me believe she really was the swan queen.  Now in Act II as Odile…WOW she was fantastic!  Her blazing eyes pulled you in and you couldn’t help but be pulled along with her with each fiery step.

black swan

The next dancer, kinda stole the show for me and I am a bit sheepish about it.  You’re not supposed to like the bad guy right?  Well, the dancing of Andrei Yermakov as Von Rothbart  was a force to be reckoned with.  I have nothing but praise for the whole company but he was something stellar.  Here is his Mariinsky Bio.  You read that right, the dude is only a second soloist…say whuuut?  Mariinsky…you need to promote him and promote him now!  His facial expressions and eyes…even how he breathed was all Von Rothbart.  I wished he was able to dance more!

von rothbart

Captioned from YouTube

So I sit here this morning, grateful I was able to see such artistry and grace on the big screen last night and wishing it wasn’t over.  It felt like such a glorious dream I never wanted to wake up from.  It feels good to have done something I always wanted to do and that was to see the Mariinsky dance live.

 Thank you Mariinsky!

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2 thoughts on “Mariinsky’s Swan Lake…What’s the Big Odile?

  1. Totally agree with everything you’ve said! I thought about you for a second when I the show began haha and how awesome it is that we’re in different timezones but still watching the exact same performance 😀

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