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A new prince at the Mariinsky

Published: April 28, 2006 (Issue # 1165)



  • The 21-year-old Vladimir Shklyarov performing in Forsythes Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, one of the two male soloists in the production.
    Photo: Natasha Razina / For The St. Petersburg Times

Last Sunday, the performance of Giselle at the Mariinsky Theater starred two of the most promising up-and-coming Mariinsky Ballet dancers both in their early twenties, in the lead roles. Olesia Novikova, who was prominently cast in the Mariinsky International Ballet Festival last month, danced the title ballerina role. Her lover Albrecht was danced by the talented 21-year-old dancer Vladimir Shklyarov, who was actually making his debut in this role.

Now in his third season with the Mariinsky Ballet, which he joined in 2003 from the Vaganova Academy, Shklyarov has made swift progress. Shklyarov, who celebrated his 21st birthday in February, has danced leading roles in several 19th century classics the Prince in The Sleeping Beauty, the Prince in The Nutcracker and James in Bournonvilles masterpiece La Sylphide.

The dancer has a large repertoire, including works by the 20th century masters Balanchine and Forsythe. This reviewer first saw him in the Mariinsky Theater in August of 2004 when he gave an exciting performance as one of the two male soloists in the William Forsythe ballet Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude. He demonstrated a pure classical line and strong technique.

At present, Shklyarov is rehearsing for Pierre Lacottes ballet Ondine which will receive further performances this coming week, after its premiere last month which opened the Mariinsky International Ballet Festival. He is due to dance the Sicilian sailor Matteo in the performance on May 5 with Olesia Novikova. Besides Ondine, Shklyarov is also rehearsing Balanchines technical showpiece Tchaikovsky Pas De Deux with Alina Somova.

Though Shklyarov didnt dance during the Festival, he was very busy rehearsing The Sleeping Beauty with Evgenia Obraztsova when we met for an interview. Obraztsova is another 21-year-old rising star of the Mariinsky Theater, interviewed on these pages in December of last year. They were rehearsing for a guest engagement in Florida at the end of March with the American company Space Coast Ballet.

Significantly, this was Shklyarovs first ever guest engagement outside the Mariinsky Ballet, although in January he went to Washington DC to represent the Mariinsky in the International Ballet Academy Festival at the Kennedy Center featuring the worlds greatest ballet academies. So how did this invitation come out? Actually, he explained, the Florida company invited Evgenia Obraztsova as a guest, and Evgenia suggested that I dance as her partner.

Not surprising, perhaps, as both have danced together a number of times, forming a wonderful partnership, memorably in La Sylphide last season.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Dec. 25


Make this Christmas a slam-dunk and check out the Zenit St. Petersburg basketball club as they take on Nizhny Novgorod this evening at the Sibur Arena on Krestovsky Ostrov at 8 p.m. Tickets are still available on the clubs website for as little as 200 rubles ($3.30).


Spend your yuletide with Oleg Basilashvili this evening at the Concert Hall at 13/1 Arsenalnaya Naberezhnaya . The legendary film and stage actor will chat with fans, tell stories and share memories of an extensive career that has earned him acclaim throughout Russia.



Friday, Dec. 26


Celebrate Boxing Day by playing various tabletop games during the British Book Centers Board Game Evening tonight at 5 p.m. Spread the Christmas cheer and goodwill by making other people regret their decision to come and try to match their intellectual prowess against yours.



Saturday, Dec. 27


Indulge cultural and material needs simultaneously during the free classical music concert at the Galeria shopping mall in the heart of the city. Starting at 7 p.m., shoppers and mallwalkers will be able to hear the sounds of Tchaikovsky and Strauss softly lilt over the constant buzz of people bustling from store to store, trying to get their shopping done before New Year.



Sunday, Dec. 28


Prepare for the holidays at the Russian Winter New Years Fair on Moskovskaya Ploshchad, which concludes today after starting on Dec. 22. Games and attractions as well as numerous performances will be on offer for those looking to get into the spirit while numerous vendors will help make sure you have something for everyone on your list.



Monday, Dec. 29


Learn how the Swedes observe Christmas, or Jul, in their land of ice and snow, during aSwedish Christmas celebration at the Lermontov Childrens Library this afternoon at 4 p.m. Activities explaining and demonstrating Swedens cultural traditions will be accompanied by traditional dishes and sweets.



Tuesday, Dec. 30


Today is the final day of the Christmas Market at the Europolis shopping center on Polyustrovsky prospekt. Indulge your holiday sweet tooth by tucking into some gingerbread men, or attend one of the master classes that will teach you about how to make beautiful, festive decorations for your tree using only your hands.



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