Catherine, I just got home and found the program. I started watching immediately and have seen about half. Thank you very much. Maybe we can discuss some of this at another time. Did any of the judges have anything of particular interest to say?
Why couldn't Oxana Skorik be there ?
I generally like it when the camera stays on the performance 100%, but when it did momentarily focus on a judge you could see the rapture in her/his face which was extremely touching.
Based on this, I would think that the average 'grade' should be 9 out of ten, which is as it should be. How do you give such beauty a grade ? And I would think that the 'winner' could be 9.5 and the lowest grade could be 9.1, which is as it should be, since I'm sure that every 'contestant' is pouring her/his heart into this.
Is there a numerical explanation why I almost fell into the computer screen when the ultra-beautiful Diana Visheva, the only female judge, started talking ? Interesting that she is the last to be introduced and the last to speak, but sits in the center chair. There must be a message there someplace.
It's good to see these magnificent artists getting such public exposure. Maybe it'll be catching.
I am guessing they placed Vishneva there since she's the only female on the jury (in the center); I also noticed that she always speaks ("votes") last...
About Skorik, she dropped out due to nerves this summer. I've done a very brief translation here:
In the video, Andrey Ermakov is introduced and the announcer points out he is a strong participant, "But to win this sort of competition, you need a reliable partner." Then Skorik is introduced. ("I'm Oksana Skorik, I work in the Mariinsky Theater and... about this project, well I'm panicked about this project.") Then the announcer explains that "The theatre flatters Andrey's partner Skorik, they say she is has wonderful physical traits and great potential but that is always followed by remarks about unpredictable character."
Then Yuri Fateyev speaks: "it's [hers is a] difficult character, it's possible we haven't found the right approach [with her]."
Announcer: Unusual choreography, new plastique, movements that break the body...
Skorik: "My legs turn out and here you have to turn them in."
Announcer: "[...]Constant capriciousness and complaints about fatigue. Two weeks before the start, she bowed out due to injury."
Fateyev: "she didn't have the internal strength to mobilize herself and to support ... her partner and her theatre."
Ermakov: "I worked (for X mos) with her. She had to step out and at that moment i was alone."
Then they cover how Viktoria came to the rescue in that same section of film.
Sorry it's not more detailed but I don't have time for a complete translation right now. It's too bad she bowed out, as she is talented. There is a lot of Skorik bashing going on, I'm not quite sure why as she didn't ask to be promoted prematurely. Regarding this project, I have heard she worried about the competition; i know she has a sensitive character from her posts on social media. But in any case we have Ermakov's prowess alongside the company's main Virtuoso (Tereshkina). That Corsaire is amazing, even Vishneva gave it a 10!
You asked about comments; to me Vishneva's comments are the most interesting. She points out that she's danced the Lavrovsky pdd so many times and that the couple should use their youth to maximize the message in the dance, and relate to each other more. I think it was that pas de deux in which the host asked if they'd danced this before, and they said yes. She said the goal is to keep it fresh and not MAKE it look like you're doing it for the 150th time. She really liked Polunin's Faun as well. If I recall (moving backwards to Smirnova) Diana commented that it's one of the hardest, if not the hardest in the classical rep (Bayadere) and she admired Olga's performance.
Buddy I agree Shapran is as charming now, if not moreso, than when she was appearing in Academy performances! I thought the Lacotte selection was a perfect vehicle for her.