CriticalDance Forum

Yuri Fateev, the new Kirov director
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Author:  Cassandra [ Thu Oct 16, 2008 5:36 am ]
Post subject:  Yuri Fateev, the new Kirov director

An interview with the new director of the Kirov, Yuri Fateev, appeared in The Telegraph earlier this week. ... tdance.xml

For me this made very gloomy reading, notice how Fateev reiterates Gergiev’s views on ballet reconstructions that were made in a recent interview. It sounds suspiciously as if Mr Fateev’s appointment was made simply to rubber-stamp Gergiev’s ideas.

Ms Brown has risen in my estimation for raising the thorny question of the continuing prominence of the Kirov’s hybrid gymnast, Alina Somova, rightly described by Ms Brown as “dismaying purists”. However Fateeyev’s views must surely chill the hearts of all those that regret the near total loss of the renowned ‘Kirov style’

If dancers can do it, they should

The fact that Fateev ‘adores Zakharova’ I interpret as ‘Abandon hope all ye that value classical integrity’ All in all a deeply depressing manifesto for the Kirov’s future.

Author:  LMCtech [ Thu Oct 16, 2008 10:50 am ]
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Can yo give me his history in a nutshell? What is his background?

Author:  Cassandra [ Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:37 am ]
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I remember him as a dancer at the Kirov, short and slight, he got to about soloist level dancing such roles as Bluebird. He was teaching from quite early on, certainly before he quit dancing. He is a popular teacher as far as I'm aware but his appointment as director was a big suprise - at least to me.

Author:  Buddy [ Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:13 pm ]
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Hi Cassandra.

I can understand how you feel. Such a tradition of amazing beauty of style should be treated with the greatest respect and sensitivity possible.

As much as he seems to support a certain 'leeway' in his artists' choice of expression the article also says....

"Fateev is at ease with such variations. His approach appears to be accommodating but not lax, given that he wants (supported strongly by Gergiev) to lure the iconic Kirov classicist Irina Kolpakova back as coach from America to re-establish shapes and lines."

It would seem to me that there is a place for both points of view at the Mariinsky.

So let's see what happens.

[the word "leeway" substituted in second sentence]

Author:  Cygne [ Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:30 am ]
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Fateeyev’s views must surely chill the hearts of all those that regret the near total loss of the renowned ‘Kirov style’

Very disappointing. :(

As long as the Vaganova Academy continues to produce pure dancers, the aristocratic style doesn't have to be lost. But, the old guard faculty is aging and dying off. The unknown vairable for the future is the next generation of faculty and who they'll produce. If the goal is gymnastics, rather than classical ballet, then yes the aristocratic style and the purity of the company will be lost. I fervently hope not! It took former Director Vaziev a little over a decade to achieve the present aesthetic, which is the anti-thesis of Oleg Vinogradov's aesthetic. Fateev is simply continuing Vaziev's policy.

. . . If the dancers can do it, they should, he thinks - as long as it fits the artist's vision and the choreographer's vision.

What of the artist/academics who aren't hyper-extended? Or what
if they are and choose not to flaunt, but temper it, and subject it to the "choreographer's vision?" What is their future in this environment? Fortunately, there are several dancers who "can do this," (two female Gold Medalists come to mind here), but choose to adhere to the academic rules and develop their roles. There are still some dancers who don't continue their stretching warm-ups onstage during a performance, nor try to pass distorted posing off as classical ballet.

Those who have never been fortunate to have seen or experienced displays of the true Vaganova/Petersburg style will mistake these fabricated excesses for the real deal. Increasingly, those who truly seek the real deal have to do their own research. Unlike the fortunate few, they can't compare the 2008 corps with the corps when Vaziev was first appointed. They can't draw on their memories and program books from live performances: They can't draw from that frame of reference. They have to obtain an extensive home DVD library of benchmark performances to have some idea of what it is, (what it was). These souvenir books and DVDs would have names such as Kolpakova, Zaklinsky, Berezhnoi, Ruzimatov, Zelensky, Lezhnina, Mezentseva, Asylmuratova, Terekhova, Sitnikova, Ayupova, Iskanderova, Tchyistyakova, Pankova, Vtorushina, Tchyenchikova, Yevteyeva on the cast lists. These souvenir books and DVDs would have Corps casts with names such as Tamara Mirzhoyan, Natalya Pavlova and Irina Zhelonkina among the ranks. What they achieved is that's "missing" today.

Here's where casting decisions are key: IMHO correct emploi matters. One can't cast dramatically blank, unmusical gymnasts in Petipa's leading roles; conversely it's unwise to cast acadmic purists in say, Forsythe. The reverse makes more sense. Okay, this is an exaggerated illustration of casting policy, but this is what has been going on for the last 13 years. The company's raison d'etre is the preservation of Marius Petipa's legacy. I applaud all of management's efforts to catch up with the West. When effectively cast, coached and prepared, their Balanchine rep, and some of the Forsythe's works have been their best efforts to date. However, the company main issue is the continued lack of a home choreographer, and a Home Choreographer Development Initiative. The company desperately needs a choreographer that can take them to the next level in this new century. Vaziev failed to find one; perhaps Fateev will be more successful with the men mentioned in the article, with the exception of Mr. MacGregor. IMO he would be unsuitable for the company for reasons already covered in CD's Royal Ballet threads.

Author:  NataliaN [ Fri Oct 17, 2008 11:24 am ]
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LMCtech wrote:
Can yo give me his history in a nutshell? What is his background?

Yuri Fateev was, for many years, the Kirov's quintessential Jester in Swan Lake. In the late 1990s, he spent a year in Seattle at Pacific NW Ballet, learning Balanchine rep, then returned to St. Petersburg as the company's #1 coach and exponent of the Balanchine repertoire. It is no surprise that he opened his first Mariinsky season as director with an all-Balanchine program.

Perhaps in the coming years we will see more Balanchine at the Mariinsky, e.g., full-length ballets such as the Balanchine Midsummer Dream and Coppelia...or even Harlequinade?

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Sun Oct 19, 2008 3:28 am ]
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(NN and Cygne, thanks for chiming in. I"ve been travelling and haven't been able to access the forum lately.)

On the Balanchine note, Violin Concerto and Tarantella were originally slated for this season. However that means only late Spring given the company's fall/winter tours.

Author:  Buddy [ Sat Sep 12, 2009 5:01 am ]
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On Dance Channel TV there is an interesting 9 minute video with Yuri Fateyev expressing some of his ideas, etc. ... video_id=9

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Sat Sep 12, 2009 11:16 am ]
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He is expressing the same point of view as Vasiev not much new here. The dancing clips themselves are lovely and quite clear tho. To see those shots of Lopatkina in Giselle, she is stunning as usual.

(Personal note: I was a bit perturbed by the female narrator's voice, she mispronounced each Russian name, putting the emPHAsis where it should not be, and even "Mur-in-sky.")

Author:  Buddy [ Sat Sep 12, 2009 12:16 pm ]
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The best news, Catherine, is that you now have high speed internet access! (I assume that this is the case, since you are able to see the video.)

I believe that Dance Channel TV (internet) is a localized Southern California site, which may account for some of the pronunciations. The Mariinsky was only briefly there on tour.

Agreed! Some of the dance clip moments are lovely.

I was somewhat interested in Yuri Feteyev's statement of admiration for the clarity of the New York City Ballet footwork (Balanchine style, which he teaches) and citing this as a model. Many folks first think of the Paris Opera Ballet as the model for fine and precise ballet footwork. Mikhail Baryshnikov is one.

He does seem to somewhat downplay the importance of the Mariinsky's refined magnificence. Maybe it's because he was in California or maybe it's because he (like myself) just naturally assumes that it is the heart and soul of the Mariinsky and wanted to take a look at the broader scope for a moment.

[typo correction] [and spelling correction]

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Sun Sep 13, 2009 11:43 am ]
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[Temporarily high-speed at least! (Am housesitting). Although oddly, wifi has magically appeared in my building and that is a bit faster than my painful Dark Ages dialup. Slowly the neighborhood is moving into the 17th century, only 4 more centuries to go! :-)]

You could be right, Buddy, that Fateev is taking the very understandable "of course we're the home of tradition" point of view in his statements. Do note that he was the in-house repetiteur of all Balanchine ballets under Vasiev, so his affiliation or appreciation of that style may simply come from his increased exposure to that style.

Author:  NataliaN [ Wed Sep 16, 2009 6:39 am ]
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Casting for the first two Shurales of the season are up, including the season's opening night on Sept 29. So I see that Irina Golub gets the prestigious first night of the season, with the superior dancer (and true ballerina) Evgenia Obraztsova relegated to 2nd night. How could this be? Coaches pulling strings, perhaps?

At least the season opens with a full-evening ballet with sets and costumes, an improvement over last season's Balanchine double-bill (not even a triple bill). And what a 'shock' that the Flexnatic Juliet of Covent Garden is not being featured.

Author:  Cassandra [ Wed Sep 16, 2009 7:00 am ]
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So I see that Irina Golub gets the prestigious first night of the season, with the superior dancer (and true ballerina) Evgenia Obraztsova relegated to 2nd night.

Why quibble? it could be a lot worse you know. :roll:

Author:  NataliaN [ Wed Sep 16, 2009 9:08 am ]
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Cassandra wrote:
So I see that Irina Golub gets the prestigious first night of the season, with the superior dancer (and true ballerina) Evgenia Obraztsova relegated to 2nd night.

Why quibble? it could be a lot worse you know. :roll:

Right. That's what I meant by the 'Flexnatic Juliet.' It's a miracle that they haven't shoe-horned her into Siumbike's feathered costume.

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:30 pm ]
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I see that and although I agree (why quibble), I'm curious to know why Zhenya isn't opening night either -- especially given Golub's disastrous premiere performance in the spring, which was a far cry from Evgenia's calm mastery of the role opening night.

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