Kulturkompasset | critics of culture events


Viktor Isciuk and Natalija Domraceva, photo: Ukranian National Ballet, Kiev. Unfortunately not in costumes from Don Quixote in Vilnius, but from Swan Lake in Kiev. Photo Ukranian National Ballet, Kiev.

The Kiev Ballet Company two principal dancers Natalija Domraceva and Viktor Isciuk guested The Lithuanian National Ballet Sunday April 25th, to dance the two leading roles, Kitri and Basilio, in a performance of the companys quite new production af Don Quixote.

This evening became an unforgetable sucesfully evening for the Lithuanian National Ballet.  Together with the prima ballerina of the Lithuanian National Ballet Egle Spokaite as Mercedes and Nerijus Tauskus as Espada, and in great cooperation with some of the other pearls among the dancers in Vilnius, Nailia Adigamove as The Queen of the Dryades and later as one of the two variations in the Pas de deux, where the other variation was brilliantly danced by the other prima ballerina of the National Ballet Olga Konosenko, Julija Turkina as a brilliant  Amor in the Dryades Garden, Valerijus Fadejevas as an unforgetable Gamache, Fadejevas allways get every thing out of his roles, wonderful. Sancho Panza was Jaunias Kasperavicius, Don Quixote Aleksandras Molodovas. Kitris father Vytautas Kudzma and Kitris two friends Zaviinta Cicelyte and Zivile Baikstyte. The leader of the Gipsys Vaidas Steponkus.

Viktor Isciuk and Natalija Domraceva, photo: Ukranian National Ballet, Kiev. Unfortunately not in costumes from Don Quixote in Vilnius, but from Sleeping Beauty in Kiev. Photo Ukranian National Ballet, Kiev.

Viktor Isciuk and Natalija Domraceva, photo: Ukranian National Ballet, Kiev. Unfortunately not in costumes from Don Quixote in Vilnius, but from Sleeping Beauty in Kiev
. Photo Ukranian National Ballet, Kiev.

This new production from 2009 is choreographed by Vladimir Vasiliev based on Petipa, Gorsky, Golezovsky and Vasiliev. Since I am grown up with the Rudolf Noureyev, and have seen his Don Quixote productions in Paris and Oslo very many times since beginning of the 1980s, also with an older Nureyev in the titelrole, and with a young Patrick Dupont many times. Is was refreshing to see this variation of how the originally choreography is being transformed up to the new choreographers wishes. In addition as being used to the John Lanchberry musically arrangements, as also is used in the Don Quixote/Rudolf Nureyev film it is allways interesting to hear this version other version of Ludwig Minkus music, which is good, and which the orchestra leaded by Vytatutas Virzonis played splendid. During the first act I had the feling that, for me, some of the tempis was too fast, but Virzonis knows what he was dealing with according to the cooperation with the soloists, and has an open eye and a wonderful musically feeling in addition to a good voiceless communication with the dancers. It was a great pleasure to enjoy how it functioned well between the conductor and the leading soloists.

The two guesting soloists from Kiev,  Natalija Domraceva and Viktor Isciuk was a big hit for the performance, and the audience was entusiastic and the applause wouldnt stop. If the roof could have been lifting of the operahouse it would have been flying away.

Egle Spokaite was again wonderful as Merzedes, very well followed up by her Espada, Nerijus Tauskus.

Viktor Isciuk in Don Quixote, Photo: Ukranian National Ballet, Kiev.

Viktor Isciuk in Don Quixote, Photo: Ukranian National Ballet, Kiev.

The new program for this produiction is good. Unfortunately, when there are guests, and also about the companys own dancers
. CV and any information about the soloists is completely absent. That is unpolight towards the audience and the dancers on stage.

Unfortunately the ballett and operahouse in Vilnius dont manage to supply international press and international critics visiting with positive following up in form of photos and press information. Therefore we have had to go all the way to Austrailia to find excellent photos of the two guesting soloists, from their tour with the Kiev Ballet in April 2008, where the lovely young journalist Winsome Denyer (ABC Local Radio), has been making an interview with the two Ukrainian dancers with photos from that interview, unfortunately we dont know the photographers name.

Viktor Isciuk and Natalija Domraceva. 2008. Photo: ABC, Australia

Viktor Isciuk and Natalija Domraceva. 2008
. Photo: ABC, Australia

Natalia Domracheva and Viktor Ishchuk

Both dancers are only 26 years old, (they were 24 when this interview was made), and they say it’s the best age to tour as a principal dancer. “You finish school at 18, and then you have time to get experience and so at 24 years old, it’s not too young, not too old,” Viktor says. “24 to 30 is the best age for a dancer.”

Both would love to dance as long as possible; the normal retirement age for ballet dancers is about 40. Afterwards though there are several potential paths to follow. “To teach of course, maybe [perform] in cinema or theatre,” Natalia says. “Maybe to create your own ballet school or theatre, to do choreography,” Viktor says.

Although they are young, both have graduated from the Kiev Ballet School and gone on to win gold medals in the International Ballet Competition, a similar level of competition to the Olympic Games.

Both also started dancing at eight, following their mothers’ encouragement. “It’s a story about my mum and her wish,” Natalia says. “When she was a child she wanted to dance, but she didn’t have a good body. So she took me to the ballet class.”

“I couldn’t imagine being a ballet dancer,” Viktor says. “I was interested in football, boxing, kickboxing, but my mother wanted me to dance so she took me to the ballet school and she said you’re going to be a ballet dancer that’s all! But now I can say thank you because I love it very much, and can’t imagine not being a ballet dancer.”

“We try to preserve the old choreography; try not to change, to make it contemporary or modern,” Viktor says. “People are going to like it because we did it all over the world and had a big success,” Viktor says.

– Thank you to Winsome Denyer, ABC for a good interview, as we here has been using some lines from. 

Thank you to the wonderful guesting soloists Natalija Domraceva and Viktor Isciuk, and Egle Spokaite and the whole ballet company for a wonderful evening with Don Quixote.

tells to Winsome Denyer about keeping in good form: “It’s not so difficult when you are in good shape to dance,” Natalia says. “It’s normal for us to dance too much because we are young, we’re healthy, and we can.”


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