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Kirov Ballet: Scenes from "Raymonda", "Paquita", "La Bayadère"

- Onstage with the Dancers

Ardani Artists Management Presents:
Kirov Ballet
And Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre
Valery Gergiev, Artistic & General Director
Mikhail Sinkevich, Conductor
City Center
Media: Helene Davis Public Relations

Program One:
Raymonda (Act III), Paquita (Grand Pas)
La Bayadère (The Kingdom of Shadows)

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
April 3, 2008


Raymonda (Act III): Music by Alexander Glazunov, Libretto by Lidia Pashkova and Marius Petipa, Based on a medieval legend, Choreography by Konstantin Sergeyev after Marius Petipa, choreographic fragments by Fyodor Lopukhov, Pyotr Gusev, Lidia Tiuntina, Georgy Konishchev, Sets and costume design by Simon Virsaladze.

Paquita (Grand Pas): Music by Ludwig Minkus, Choreography by Marius Petipa, Revival consultants: Pyotr Gusev, Lidia Tiuntina, Georgy Konishchev, Set design by Gennady Sotnikov, Costume design by Irina Press.

La Bayadère (The Kingdom of the Shades): Music by Ludwig Minkus, Choreography by Marius Petipa, Costume Design by Yevgeny Ponomarev.

What a wonderful treat for New York balletomanes to have The Kirov in town. The Kirov programs focused on the choreography of Petipa, Balanchine, Fokine, and the modernist, Forsythe. Tonight’s Petipa program was classically infused with poetic lyricism, regal dancers, and an audience packed with local Russian ballet enthusiasts. There was larger-than-life energy onstage and just as much energy in City Center. According to Kirov custom, it seems, dancers took multiple onstage bows, after each solo or duo passage. The mostly Russian audience accommodated this custom with frequent and vocal accolades.

In tonight’s Raymonda, Act III, Victoria Tereshkina as Raymonda danced with fluid and elegant lines, and her Jean de Brienne, Danila Korsuntsev, was refined and persuasive. The wedding scene Variation, by Nadezhda Gonchar, showed the very engaged audience what Kirov dancers could do with high leg lifts. Ksenia Dubrovina and Konstantin Zverev were delightful in the Mazurka. The male dancers showed off en air rapid spins. To open this program with such a grandly proud and upbeat partial ballet was wise, as the Grand Pas introduced the talented corps in this 1948 Sergeyev adaptation of Petipa’s famed ballet.

The Act II Paquita Grand Pas was led by Alina Somova and Anton Korsakov, with Ms. Somova mastering her 32 fouettés with confident aplomb. Mr. Korsakov displayed en air spins and gravity-defying backward leaps. The females were adorned in sumptuous tutus with beads and sequins, and their Variations were nuanced and rapturous. But, it was the Act III Bayadère, “The Kingdom of Shadows”, that most riveted my attention. This is a sequence that New York ballet audiences see again and again, during most ABT and visiting ballet seasons, and the music and imagery are ethereal. It was at this moment that I, as a viewer, was most impressed, as their was no solo grandstanding, no intermittent bowing or applause. This was a seamless and exquisite corps and solo ballet, with Diana Vishneva dancing Nikiya and Yevgeny Ivanchenko dancing Solor. The long white scarf pas de deux illustrated Ms. Vishneva’s pure, silky-smooth interpretation. Olesia Novikova, Nadezhda Gonchar, and Ekaterina Kondaurova danced the lead Shades with intensity.

Tonight’s Conductor, Mikhail Sinkevich, allowed the Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre to bring out the best of Glazunov and Minkus. Kudos to The Kirov.

Uliana Lopatkina and Danila Korsuntsev in "Raymonda"
Courtesy of Mariinsky Theatre

The Kirov Ballet in "La Bayadère"
Courtesy of Mariinsky Theatre

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at