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 Post subject: "Ballet" Magazine -- "Soul of the Dance"
PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 4:46 pm 
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Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
The "Ballet" magazine, published in Russia for Russians, has an annual award that it gives to various members of the world of ballet. This year's awards include:

"Master of Dance" - to Ludmila Semenyaka, Coach at the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow; and to Alla Osipenko, ballerina and coach, St. Petersburg

"Teacher" - to Ludmila Kovaleva, coach, Vaganova Academy, St. Petersburg; Evgeny Balukin, head of the choreographic faculty, Russian Academy of Theatre Arts (Moscow)

"Tsar of Ballet" - Alexander Vasilievsky, director of the Novosibirsk School of Ballet; and Georgy Isaakyan, artistic director, Perm State Opera and Ballet Theatre; and Sergey Bobrov, artistic director, Krasnoyarsk Theatre of Opera and Ballet

"Star"- to Denis Matvienko, Mikhailovsky Theatre, St. Petersburg

"Inspired Star" - to Ekaterina Krisanova, Bolshoi Ballet, Moscow; and to Vladimir Schklyarov, Mariinsky Ballet, St. Petersburg


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 8:56 pm 
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I've heard that Vladimir Schklyarov is married to Evgenia Obraztsova, one of the fastest-rising stars in Mariinsky troupe. I've seen videos of their performances together (especially in Romeo and Juliet) and they really remind me a bit of the early careers of Vladimir Vasiliev and Ekaterina Maximova, perhaps the most famous husband-and-wife dancing partnership in Russian ballet in the 20th Century. 8)


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:21 am 
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Yes they were married sometime last year I believe (?). They are not the only married ballet couple in Russia at present time though. And I can't say they remind me at all of Maximova and Vasiliev.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 7:28 am 
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Catherine Pawlick wrote:
Yes they were married sometime last year I believe (?). They are not the only married ballet couple in Russia at present time though. And I can't say they remind me at all of Maximova and Vasiliev.


Well, Schklyarov and Obraztsova are still very young, so anything can happen. :) Remember, it took a number of years before people realized what a great combination Vasiliev and Maximova became (both were already working together when they joined the Bolshoi troupe in the early 1960's and by the 1970's at their artistic peak everybody knew they were probably among the very best dancers in the Bolshoi troupe, period).


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 Post subject: Alla Osipenko
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 9:03 am 
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I'm delighted that Alla Osipenko has been recognized with an award. She is currently working as a coach with the Mikhailovsky Ballet in St Pete's and remains as beautiful and as dynamic in her 70's as she ever was. I saw her former protégée Irina Kolesnikova at the weekend and was once again astonished by her artistry; she is a true credit to her teacher.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:52 pm 
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Quote:
Quote "Sacto7654" Well, Schklyarov and Obraztsova are still very young, so anything can happen. :) Remember, it took a number of years before people realized what a great combination Vasiliev and Maximova became (both were already working together when they joined the Bolshoi troupe in the early 1960's and by the 1970's at their artistic peak everybody knew they were probably among the very best dancers in the Bolshoi troupe, period).


Schklyarov and Obratzova are a very different couple from Maximova and Vasiliev: The latter couple were a once in a century pair. Their partnership rivaled Fonteyn & Nureyev. But IMHO, Maximova & Vasiliev truly moved as one flesh as no other pair - and that includes F & N. It didn't take a number of years for Maximova and Vasiliev's greatness to be recognized. In 1959 at the Vienna World Youth Festival, (when they first joined the Bolshoi), they won a three way tie for the Gold Medal with Sizova & Nureyev and Markarova & Soloviev. In 1964 both he and Maximova won the Grand Prix Gold at Varna. By 1968 they were already considered living legends in Russia and the West, having received the first of many top Soviet honors which eventually included Orders of Lenin, Lenin Prizes etc. as well as countless international theatrical and dance awards. In 1960, Fyodor Luphukov pronounced Vasiliev, " . . . an unprecedented phenomenon with whom no one can be compared - including Nijinsky." Valery Panov and Baryshnikov both worshipped Vasiliev as a unique artist at the beginning of their careers: They followed and studied him extensively. Baryshnikov in particular, studied Vasiliev's then innovative Basil in "Don Q' - an interpretation that became the canon of performance virtuosity for all other male virtuosos to follow. Maximova also made Kitri her self portrait - also breaking major innovative ground in this role, via execution and interpretation such as executing the 32 fouttees with hands on hips - at that time, a major feat. In fact, she held her own in this role vs. the reigning Bolshoi Kitri of that time - Maya Plisetskaya. Schklyarov is very good, but not a dancer without category as Vasiliev was. He's not as charismatic, versatile or as prolific as Vasiliev. Both Katya & Volodya proved themselves immediately - right out of Bolshoi Academy. They've set an extremely high standard as their duo versatility was unprecedented, and to date un-matched. At the conclusion of their Bolshoi performances, the Bolshoi stage usually became an ocean of flowers and tributes: Today, we just don't see that kind of adulation or adoration anymore in ballet theatres - even for today's stars (or couples for that matter).

Obratzova is excellent, but nothing like Maximova in appearance, style or approach, although both are the same type of ballerina: Soubrette ingenue. With Galina Ulanova as her mentor, the latter transcended and exceeded that emploi and became a great artist and actress. Also, at the beginning of Maximova and Vasiliev's careers, they had the support of their theatre, and the (then) powers that were - pride of place among the Bolshoi greats. They were both superstars - each in their own right. No comparison here. Obratzova & Shklyarov haven't (yet) reached that kind of unique star status. By contrast, Obratzova is somewhat "ahead" of her husband at this point. Vasiliev further developed into a noted and credited choreographer and film director as well as AD of the Bolshoi. Moreover, Maximova & Vasiliev, whenever they appeared, wherever they appeared, did so as artistic equals - going higher and higher, from strength to strength, even with the many experimental roles they took on in the latter years of their careers.

Like Maximova & Vasiliev, Obratzova & Shklyarov are already well travelled. But unlike the former, the latter couple have guested abroad in order to get valuable experience and opportunities that IMO, haven't been granted nearly as liberally to them as to other active dancers at the Maryinsky. M & V were always among the best promoted and best featured (the 'A' Team) of the stars in the historic Bolshoi tours of 60s & 70s. Obratzova & Shklyarov have the potential for greatness, as you say, given time, with no breaks in their coaching, and with minimal to zero adverse managerial "politicking," they have an excellent shot.


Last edited by Cygne on Wed Dec 17, 2008 3:20 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:23 pm 
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Thanks Cygne. Those were the thoughts behind my comment as well :-)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 7:01 pm 
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I do agree that Vasiliev and Maximova set such a ridiculously high standard that it would be essentially impossible for any comparisons with other similar pairings nowadays. We've extremely lucky that both of them were seen by Western audiences at their artistic peak, and as such these two are very fondly remembered by balletomanes on both sides of the Iron Curtain during the Cold War days. 8) These two, along with Maya Plisetskaya, helped define what was so great about the Bolshoi troupe.

But I still contend that Schklyarov and Obraztsova have the potential to be really good in the coming years--both have yet to reach their artistic peaks, given both are under 25 years old! Given the luck and the parameters Cygne described, I would love to see them head that way, especially now that the age of the Mariinsky Ballet being dominated by Ulyana Lopatkina will start to wane over the next 4-5 years. (Gee, haven't we seen this before? Remember Plisetskaya's artistic peak overlapped the rise of Vasiliev and Maximova by some eight years in the 1960's, just like Lopatkina is overlapping the rise of Schklyarov and Obraztsova now.)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 5:30 am 
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Reality check: Obraztsova and Schklyarov are not an established onstage couple and their marital status won't make any difference to the Kirov management who will continue to allocate partners as they see fit.

In the past year I've seen them dance together twice, both times in pas de deux, whereas I've seen Schklyarov with Tereshkina and Osmolkina in full length works; the one full length I saw Obraztsova dance was with Anton Korsakov. As has been mentioned here before Obraztsova does get a bit side-lined within the company and competition is tight with several others of the same age and type being more favoured by management. I predict Schklyarov will get the lions share of the roles in the future as there is already some evidence for this.

I agree totally with Cygne's post regarding comparisons to Maximova and Vasiliev.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 7:04 am 
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Despite all the serious competition, I still think Evgenia Obraztsova is already headed for superstar status within the Mariinsky troupe.

I mean, think about what she has achieved with the past four years:

1) Was one of the dancers profiled in the French documentary Ballerina.
2) Had a very prominent role in the movie Les Poupées russes.
3) Won the Moscow International Ballet Competition in 2005.
4) Won the prestigious Golden Mask award for her role in the revival of Ondine in 2007.

That's why she's one of the most popular female ballet dancers in the Mariinsky troupe, period. And she's only one promotion level from making Principal dancer status. :)


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