Clara 76

Favorite Mariinsky Ballet Female Dancer

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I'll start.

Natalia Makarova. For her detailed portrayals down to which part of her arm would be best to initiate the port de bras for each character.

For her musicality. She squeezes every last note out of a piece, nowhere more evident than her Swan Lake pas de deux. When she hits that last penché arabesque, she nails that note regardless of the partner. Unbelievable.

For her balance and control. She rarely wobbles. If ever. I've seen countless Giselles and almost every great ballerina has a bit of a hop on the attitude turns (Act I after Albrecht tells her to dance- the variation with the hops en pointe).

For her ballon- She floats. Her petit allegro is unequaled.

 

Your turn!

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Tatiana Terekhova: an amazingly strong personality on stage, with great technique! I particularly like her as Gamzatti.

My personal favourite of all time, currently at Dutch National Ballet: Larissa Lezhnina, the most perfect Aurora there is. And her portrayal of Giselle is great too..

 

And a little further back in time: obviously Galina Ulanova. She has a softness in her movements that I have not seen in any other dancer. It does make me wonder how she looked in 'less soft' roles like Odile, for example.

 

Edited to add:

- Ninel Kurgapkina: can't really describe her, typical Soviet dancer but very beautiful!

- Irina Kolpakova: probably the greatest star of her generation..

- Yulia Makhalina: she is amazingly musical and has beautiful movement quality

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Makarova for sure! When I think of the epitome of what I believed ballet to be early on, she is who comes to mind. Others were lovely, others were great, but if I had to pick one who symbolized what a ballerina was, it would be her. Clara76 is dead on in my assessment, she squeezes every note and moment in between notes out and becomes whoever or whatever it is she is portraying.

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Ulanova was Bolshoi!

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Makarova. You can feel the anguish and pain of her Dying Swan. Exquisite.

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Kolpakova, especially in Raymonda. Galina Pankova, Altaniy Assemelratova, alla osipenko, mezentseva. Ah the good old days...

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Ulanova started at the Mariinsky, and since Makarova was also included in this thread I thought she belonged in this thread. But you're right that she spent a big part of her career at the Bolshoi.

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Oops! Sorry about that, Lidewij. Forgot my history. :(

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My favourites change all the time, but I think Diana Vishneva is my favourite of the current company. I've also recently fallen in love with Yulia Makhalina. There's a fantastic quote about her on the Mariinsky website which sums her up perfectly for me:

 

 

Yulia Makhalina is almost like a womans love story. She is the embodiment of what women dream of for themselves and what they can empathise with: a victress and a femme fatale who knows how to suffer; a victim of intrigues and circumstances; despairing, vulnerable and yet powerful and stylish.

(Nezavisimaya gazeta)

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Saw Galina Mezentseva after her injury. Would have liked to have seen her live before and in her prime. She still is the Serene Queen.

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Galina's Kitri in Don Q is unmatched.

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