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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 2:35 am 
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Andre,
Alina Somova and Vladimir Shklyarov are mercifully out of the corps :-)

http://www.mariinsky.ru/en/ballet/soloist/korif


Last edited by DancingBunny on Mon Oct 17, 2005 6:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 3:36 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
I leave it to other to say whether the Kirov is off a couple of notches compared with 5 or 10 years ago and I know that changes of style of performance upset some. Nevertheless, on the basis of their recent visit to London, it remains my view that in considering the best companies in the world, the Kirov and Paris Opera Ballet are the front-runners.

For a long time, I rated POB the more interesting company, because of their eclectic repertory - anathema to some, I know. However, it seems that the Kirov is catching up in this respect. This is supported by their Forsythe programme, including "Approximate Sonata", a work not performed in its entirity by other ballet companies, as far as I know, plus the commission from David Dawson, the young Netherlands based English choreographer.

I would always be disappointed not to see at least some of the Kirov performances when they come a'calling.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 6:30 am 
Andre, RaHir, Stuart! Thank you for your input. I am going to Detroit tomorrow. Cast is still shrouded in mystery. Will she (Diana) or won’t she…
But a man's got to do what a man's got to do :-D


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 9:26 am 
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Location: NYC
Vishneva will definitely NOT be dancing in Detroit. She is now on her way to Berlin to dance Sleeping Beauty there.


Last edited by ripowam on Mon Oct 17, 2005 12:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 9:28 am 
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Location: NYC
Scherbakov is a second soloist, not a corps member, but the company persists in listing him as corps on tours for political reasons. He has danced Bluebird since at least 1998, but has been rehearsing Prince Desire for the last three years without being given a single performance.

Whereas Dmitri Semionov, who is also a second soloist, also dancing Bluebird onthe tour, is listed as soloist rather than corps -- at least in the Detroit roster.

Samova and Shkylarov both spent less than two years in the corps. I hardly find that purgatorial.


Last edited by ripowam on Mon Oct 17, 2005 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 11:02 am 
Thank you, ripowam:

I called Public Relations department of the Detroit Opera House. They told me that casting is not listed on their web site, because the information that they have is not very reliable. He-he! Like we don't know that by now :-)

The biggest mystery IS...
... Who is going to open the Kirov tour in Detroit: Somova, Osmolkina or Novikova? Whoever it is going to be would find herself in great disadvantage simply because people expect to see Vishneva!

Let’s take bets, huh! :-D


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 12:01 pm 
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I think it will be Osmolkina/Sarafanov, because the administration wanted him to dance all the opening nights.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 5:35 pm 
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ripowam wrote:
After a month in Petersburg, I have to say that the company is sadly not in good shape. The casting is completely politicized; merit is a secondary consideration. And there is a frenzied attempt to replace dancers reaching their creative peak in their late '20s with neophytes.
Even the corps looked incoherent in the Bayadere Shades: extensions were here, there, everywhere, in part because so many green young girls have been slotted in.

Thank you Ripowam for your astute diagnosis. IMO the management is ruining the ballet company. IYO, would you say that the opera is artistically superior to the ballet at this point in time? I don't know what to think about the artistic level of the dancing anymore. Is it that:

(A) The Maestro makes the ballet cast decisions
(B) Vaziev is solely responsible for casting decisions
(C) Vaziev is influenced by the Maestro
(D) Vaziev is influenced by Tchentchikova
(E) The Maestro and Vaziev are influenced by Tchentchikova
(F) The box office determines the decisions
(G) All of the above

What's going on? At this rate, before the decade's end the Maryinsky's coryphee and soloist ranks will be top heavy with inexperienced and artistically immature dancers. How many youngsters can the limited number of Maryinsky coaches nurture at one time? If this trend continues, there will be another lost generation of gifted but neglected dancers such as, Tarasova, Zhelonkina, Amosova, Dumchenko etc. Their waning will be in the same manner as in the early-mid 90s, which saw Lezhnina's, Pankova's and Schapsits' sunset at the MT. I'm especially concerned about Pavlenko's fate. Furthermore, if Ayupova were to return, would she find favor with this regime? I wouldn't bet my house on that possibility. These dancers are the exemplars of the Maryinsky tradition.

I think the management has successfully brainwashed audiences into accepting as authentic, a style that's alien to what's fondly remembered as the true and legendary Maryinsky style. This was the style of Kolpakova, Komleva, Terekhova, Asylmuratova, Sizova, Dudinskaya etc., and the peerless corps ensembles of 20+ years ago. I was going to give the company the benefit of the doubt, because they tour more frequently now than ever but this is no longer an excuse. The main difference between the past and the present is that there never used to be "slack" (as Andrew Yew put it) performances either at home or on tour. With the exception of Vishneva's Aurora, the
company's level of dancing during the Los Angeles engagement was considerably below that of the 1986, 1992, 1989 and 2003 tours. What's the long term solution?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 7:53 pm 
I don’t quite understand what sort of brainwashing Cyngenoir is talking about. I like ballet. I attend as many ballet performances as I can. I enjoy most ballet performances that I see, but Kirov... Kirov is something above and beyond any ballet lover's dream. Nobody brainwashed me.

There is a new generation of dancers that reflects tastes and preferences of their time, while at the same time preserving the great traditions of the past and the purity of style. Style and stale are not synonyms however. Even ballet must move with times.

One might choose of course, to admire old videos of Komleva, Kolpakova and Sizova and remain in the past. But to me they are interesting primarily from the historical perspective. Their art does not speak to me as eloquently as that of Vishneva's, Zakharova's, Pavlenko's and the new generation... not of youngsters, but of bright upcoming dancers - Saravanov, Somova, Obraztsova. They speak *my* language. They speak to *my* generation.

Most certainly Cingenoir is entitled to her opinion, but so am I. From what I have been fortunate to see of the FAB Kirov, this is what I'd say:

… Bravo Maestro
… … Bravo Mr. Vaziev
… … … And Madame Chenchikova... let's say she needs to worry more about helping her talented charges to develop as artists and individuals, and worry about casting less. Full stop :-)

Cheers !


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 2:19 am 
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Wearing a Moderator's hat:

A reminder that under our courtesy rules, gossip about the internal workings of companies is NOT permitted on CriticalDance. A discussion about the relative merits of current performers compared with earlier ones is welcome. However, speculation about internal decision making processes and who is "responsible" for perceived problems is not.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 4:39 am 
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Ripowan and Cyngenoir are very perceptive concerning the current situation at the Kirov.

Just a word regarding Maestro Gergiev: he went public last year by expressing concerns over the ballet troupe in general, but as a musician his priority is the opera company and his knowledge of dance is limited. Nevertheless the Maestro is held in the very highest regard by the dancers in the company, as he is the higher authority that on occasion has been appealed to successfully, but I doubt if he has any influence over casting. Box Offices (and impresarios) have a say in repertoire, but are less likely to influence casting.

The loss of Lezhnina, Pankova and Schapsits was a catastrophe in my opinion and the current neglect of Zhelonkina, in particular, is almost criminal. I wonder also if there will be a place for Ayupova when she returns from maternity leave. I predict that Pavlenko will leave before long and probably surface in London or Paris. Don’t forget that it’s possible for Kirov dancers to flourish elsewhere and I’ve heard that Veronica Part, for example, is very highly regarded in America.

Nurturing young dancers has to be a good thing, but there has to be real talent to nurture in the first place and the trick is to juggle mature artists with young aspirants so that audiences can enjoy the very different qualities of youth and experience. Out of the present crop of youngsters only Tereshkina has potential ballerina quality. One young dancer currently being foisted on audiences has a style so alien to the Kirov she could be from another planet. Alarmingly the company is now shedding it’s former fans too, only last night a friend who follows them everywhere who has just seen the casting for the Paris season next month told me he won’t be bothering, and I myself have decided to give them a miss this time around and to go to see POB instead.

All ballet companies experience highs and lows and as the company hastens towards a nadir the only thread of comfort I can offer is to be reassured that the only direction is up.


To fedora I would like to say that ballet is a timeless art form that should not be limited to a particular generation alone but should transcend the trivial transient ideas that sadly appear to hold sway in the present and hold fast to the ideals of the great artists of the past for whom dance represented something more than just mere entertainment.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 6:02 am 
Quote:
...I would like to say that ballet is a timeless art form that should not be limited to a particular generation alone but should transcend the trivial transient ideas that sadly appear to hold sway in the present and hold fast to the ideals of the great artists of the past for whom dance represented something more than just mere entertainment.


Most certainly, Cassandra! But there is nothing wrong about being entertained, is there? Somewhere another member of this board said that Kirov is constantly being pulled by past and current trends. The past is the sacred traditions that Cassandra is talking about. But ballet can’t help but be somewhat influenced by other art forms and even sports. It can’t live in historical vacuum outside the boundaries of other art forms and trends. There were also two other very strong influences that had a profound effect on the Kirov style: one is the addition of William Forsythe's works to the repertoire and the other is Sylvie Guillem, which is more than a dancer - she was an event.

Perhaps the current trends are now too strong and that worries some long time Kirov watchers. The mere fact that we are debating all this is a proof that we love Kirov and care about it! But I would first consider this shift in style to be in the order of normal sway of the pendulum, before I assume something worse. I'd rather see the glass half full :-)

BTW, Cassandra, POB is very high on my list too. Alas, they don’t spoil us with their visits too often - that leaves us totally at the mercy of Kirov casting policies :-D

Cheers!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 10:01 am 
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Cassandra, would you be so kind as to post the casting for the Kirov tour to Paris next month ? I'd be most glad to have it, as I'll attend a number of performances. Thanks a lot if you can share it.

And thanks everybody for the thoughts, it's very enlightening for those who see the Kirov only from time to time. I feel worried as well about Daria Pavlenko ; I still cannot believe that she wasn't scheduled at first to dance Swan Lake in London in July (and eventually did it because of a young corps dancer's injury, Vostrotina I think). She was so wonderful that I still cherish the memory of her performance. Once again, she's not even scheduled to do Swan Lake in Paris, and it is a great shame.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 10:25 am 
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Location: London UK
Azulynn, the casting is already available on the Chatelet web site

http://www.chatelet-theatre.com/index.php


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 11:28 am 
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I'm sorry, Cassandra, but I can't seem to find it... The casting for Swan Lake has been up for some time, but I'm interested in the casting for the other programs, and it doesn't seem to be up on their website ? ;)


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