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?