Kirov History – VI

16 Dec

Kirov History VI.

35. Gabriela Trofimova Komleva.
The third People’s Artist of the USSR.
Among the Kirov’s ballerinas, considerably past her prime at 47, she still commands an impressive technique and remains a polished, metriculous performer, with many devoted fans among the older Leningraders. Graduated from the Vaganova Institute in 1957, her best roles include Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, Raymonda, Nikiya in La Bayadere, and the Girl in Leningrad Symphony. Created the title role in Vinogradov’s Goryanka, with Panov in the male lead, in 1968.

36. Galina Sergeevna Mezentseva.
People’s Artist of the SSFSR.
In her prime at age 33. An unusual dancer of some rigidity. Graduated from the Vaganova Institute in 1971. Has an unexceptional physique, and can neither jump nor turn with accomplished ease. But she has long, very expressive arms, and she can beautifully extend the length, rake, and spread of a pose. Triumphed in the first several productions of Vingradov’s new ballet Knight in a Tiger Skin in the 1985 season, delightingin meeting the challenge of the more modern, difficult choreographic movements tthat tapped a new potential. In some of the classical roles, here unsteady turns and mundane jumps limit her appeal, and she can look occasionally like a caricature of an overwrought Bolshoi dancer. But in the more exotic, more contemporary roles here artistic maturity shines through. Tends to arouse strong pros and cons among her audience. Had a earlier problem with her left Achilles tendon and didn’t dance for a year: now seems in good shape.

37. Tat’yana Terekhova.
People’s Artist of the RSFSR
Probably the purest Kirov product among the younger established female soloists. In top form at 34. Comes to events in the CG’s residences with her husband, Sergei Berezhnoi. A lively, at times outspoken commentator on the Soviet ballet scene and on the dance world in general. Graduated from the Vaganova Institute in 1970; began dancing solo roles after one year in the corps. Has a marvelously polished technique, although she doesn’t project quite the way Asylmuratova and Chenchikova do. Sometimes criticized for a lack of expressiveness and for being ssomewhaat cold and mechanical, and her arms are less wing-like than some. But what a polished machine! In ballets such as Swan Lake and Don Quixote she will rip off 32 and sometimes 36 rapid fouettes (open turns on one leg), doing most of them in single,singel, double, exactly in time to the music, each turn exquisitely carved, perfectly in line, and stops on a dime.
Has a great range of jumps – tremendous grand jetes and thrilling tours jetes – and is the only ballerina CG has ever seen who can pull off a cleanly turned double assemble – a move normally done only by male dancers. Exciting both on stage and off.

38. Ol’ga Chenchikova.
People’s Artist of the RSFSR.
Age 29. Next to Asylmuratova, probably the most dazzling presence in the Kirov’s company. In adagio pose, in roles such as Odette in Swan Lake and Nikiya in La Bayadere, she is ravishing. She has beautiful legs, gently hyperextended, a towering carriage from her upper torso, and a fine imperial balance. She also has elegantly curved nostrils and slightly slanted eyes, both of which – the white glare of her eyes and the flare of her nostrils – she uses to intensify her posing. (She is stronger as Odette in the Swan Lake lakeside act; Terekhova on the other hand, is stronger as Odile in the Ballroom Act.) A former pupil of Lyudmile Sakharova at the Perm Ballet School, from which she graduated in 1974. Came to the Kirov in 1977. Sakharova’s pupils, including the Bolshoi’s Nadezdha Pavlova, send not to develop the Kirov classica purity, and Chenchikova – something of a wayward spirit – follows that pattern. Married to principal dancer M.F. Daukarov, she took a year off in 1984-85, had a child in the summer of 1985, and resumed dancing last fall, returning to the Kirov stage in November with a triumphant performances in one of her favorite roles – Nikiya in La Bayadere.

39. Lyubov Kunakova.
People’s Artist of the RSFSR.
In her prime at 34. Another product of the Perm Ballet School, she later became the Perm Company’s ballerina before moving to the Kirov. Has a big, healthy body and can turn forever. Has a somewhat bland, unexpressive face. Very well trained, though, and good in a variety of solo roles.

40. Yelena Viktorovna Yevteyeva.
Honored Artist of the RSFSR.
Somewhat past her peak at 39. Bears some resemblance tro the Bolshoi’s Bessmertnova – think, with enormous eyes and beautiful writes. A haunted, fragile look. Yet cool and controlled. A very solid performer, well work watching. Graduated from the Vaganova Institute in 1955.

41. Altunai Asylmuratova
Honored Artist of the RSFSR.
At 25, the Kirov’s brightest youngere star. A sensation of the company’s 1982 tour in Paris. Star of the 1983 film “Backstage at the Kirov,” directed by Derek Hart, which shows her preparing to dance Odette/Odile in Swan Lake for the first time. Over the past two years, she has become a favorite of artistic director Vingradov and has been given a half-dozen of the most challenging lead roles, ranging from purely classical to the most contemporary works done by the company. Since her international Fame began in Paris in 1982, she has quickly become one of the Kirov’s leading “Valutniye” (Hard Currency) dancers, with Western impresarios willing to pay the Soviet Government especially well for tours in which she is included.

42. A late bloomer, and a “difficult child” in the Kirov Ballet family. No great things were expected of her at the Vaganova Institute, and on her graduation in 1983, the prediction was that she could be good-to-excellent corps material, but she would probably not reach the solo rank. After only one year in the corps, however, she burst to stardom. Lacking a pure technique, Asylmuratova strives to put her own stamp on every role. She flashes through on a magiv carpet of extreme confidence and strength, kicking higher and turning faster, and using her exotic, exquisite head and neck to full advantage (Her father’s family origins are central Asian). The line is not always flawless, and a touch of strong headedness shows through on occasion. Sometimes she can be wrong for a role, but she is always a powerful presence on stage. One of her older rivals describes Asylmuratova a bit unkindly as a “typical” beautiful ballerina, meaning a person not best known for mental acuteness. We only know that she certainly can magnetize an audience. We can confidently predict that she will be a sensation on the Kirov’s U.S. tour.
Married to principal dancer Konstatin Zaklinsyiy. Her first name means “Golden Moon.”

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