& Critics


“Volodia, Volodia!” By the light of the lantern, Volodia is called. With small steps, somehow mockingly, his big profound eyes, his hair in disorder around his head, like a Capuchin (without the tonsure), Volodia arrives. He is never hasty and his mockery is such that he could have been born on the hills as well on a London quarter. However, he has a name, like everybody, and it’s Wladimir Skouratoff.

Danseur-étoile on the Marquis De Cuevas’ Ballets, Skouratoff is the simplicity but of a humanized kind. A wonderful romantic interpreter, he attacks the main rôle in “Le mandarin merveilleux”with a fury, a dramatic fauvisme, which the usual image of a premier danseur does not reveal.
He has worked fiercely after more than a week with Lazzini, always trying to turn more expressive this fabulous personage for which Bela Bartok composed a fiery sensual music.

A superman with a supernatural power, the Mandarin is seized by desire, invulnerable to wounds and strokes, sublime in its mad passion. To better express this combat between love and death, Skouratoff becomes an acrobat, a comedian, a dislocate puppet, a mimic and of course, a dancer, a dancer above all.

He, who recently masterly incarnated at the television “Les Filles du Feu” de Nerval, is pleased to recognise the team’s astonishing spirit, the faith he has encountered at the Opera de Marseille. “Even on a ballet’ company, I have never so ardently felt a common soul vibrate like that”.

With Catherine Verneuil, étoile with Miskovitch’s Ballets, who has the overwhelming task on being the “fille” in dispute, the Mandarin’s victime and spur, Skouratoff (who we will applaud as well on Romeo and Juliette’s pas de deux) is happy –and proud, on his own words- to be thus fully incorporated whitin the corps de ballet of the Opéra de Marseille.

(extracted from a Marseille’ journal, 1962)