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 Post subject: Re: Kirov Ballet, 2009-2010 Season
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:39 am 
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Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
Xander Parish of the Royal Ballet has just been added to the Mariinsky's list of male corps de ballet members.

This move is unprecedented, for while the company has added "outsiders" in the past, those such as Elena Sheshina and more recently Yuri Smekalov, have all been trained at the Vaganova School and danced in other Petersburg Theatres. To import someone from the Royal Ballet is simply...unheard of.

It will be interesting to see what happens from here on out, if this is a one-time situation or the beginning of more importing from other companies. There are certainly enough gems in the current corps who are not featured enough (Ermakov comes to mind) so I'm not sure the source of this decision. In any case, a great welcome to Mr. Parish, who will have an adventure in the coming years I am sure.

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 Post subject: Re: Kirov Ballet, 2009-2010 Season
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:00 pm 
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Included in recent shifts: Mikhail Lobukhin has joined the Bolshoi as a principal dancer as of January this year. This may open up the male ranks at the Kirov for other up-and-comers, we shall see...

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 Post subject: Re: Kirov Ballet, 2009-2010 Season
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:12 pm 
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Catherine Pawlick wrote:
Xander Parish of the Royal Ballet has just been added to the Mariinsky's list of male corps de ballet members.

This move is unprecedented ... simply...unheard of.

... There are certainly enough gems in the current corps who are not featured enough (Ermakov comes to mind) so I'm not sure the source of this decision. In any case, a great welcome to Mr. Parish, who will have an adventure in the coming years I am sure.

I agree Catherine, this is unprecedented news. There's always been cross pollenization between Russian companies but nothing like this. Usually Russian dancers come to the West, not the reverse. Parish is the first Royal Ballet male dancer of any rank to be hired by the Maryinsky. It will be interesting to discover what the management's plans are for him, (if any), in the future. Like you stated, there are too many names already on the roster who are under-utilized "gems."

Quote:
Included in recent shifts: Mikhail Lobukhin has joined the Bolshoi as a principal dancer as of January this year. This may open up the male ranks at the Kirov for other up-and-comers, we shall see...

Congratulations and kudos to Lobukhin on his initiative, this brilliant move and his promotion :D ! IMO this was a very wise decision on his part and the Bolshoi. Sometimes you have to break the door of opportunity down for yourself before too much time passes by.


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov Ballet, 2009-2010 Season
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:36 pm 
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Parish's first appearance will be in Chopiniana with Daria Pavlenko, Elena Evseeva, and Daria Vasnetsova. So... far from a "corps de ballet" role!

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 Post subject: Re: Kirov Ballet, 2009-2010 Season
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 7:44 pm 
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Location: USA-Switzerland
Alina Somova

I have been watching an Alina Somova video trying to figure out exactly what it is that can make her so especially graceful. This is pretty much what I have come up with.

The appearance of a vertical force that seems to run through her long body, that establishes an equilibrium of grace and lightness, almost an ethereal current, that carries her verticality, almost seeming to connect her with the heavens.

This may be the essential physical element of ballet, this vertical connection.


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov Ballet, 2009-2010 Season
PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:15 am 
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Location: London UK
With respect, I am disinclined to agree with your assessment of Alina Somova. To me, any grace she possesses is that of a gymnast rather than a dancer and the essential element of musicality is quite absent from her dancing. I also find her technique severely lacking in many of her roles and the ugly extensions that form such a large part of her stock in trade are both unnecessary and vulgar. Although I don’t expect all dancers to be great actresses I nevertheless expect some sense of dramatic awareness on stage, something that I find Somova completely lacks. That she is an attractive young woman who can pose prettily on stage, I agree: but for me dancing is far more than that.


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov Ballet, 2009-2010 Season
PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:25 am 
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Hi Cassandra.

In response to some of the things that you have written here about Alina Somova, I would like to say that I continue to be highly impressed with her, more and more each day it would seem, as I am also constantly watching video clips of her. (Some of the earlier ones, I have to say, do not capture her as I have seen her live).

I think that one of the very important things in regard to Alina Somova is that there are really

'So Many Aspects to Her Performing'.

She can also be something of a kaleidoscope at this point of her career. Certain elements of her exceptional range of abilities may appear once and then be replaced by something completely different. Having seen about ten of her live performances, as I have already mentioned, I think that I have had a chance to see a good sampling of her range.

For example, in regard to one thing that you mentioned, her 'acting', I have seen her do an incredibly good job of this, but then she seems to switch her emphasis to something else.

It is a challenge to focus on it all. Where a person focusses can give a completely different picture of her from one viewer to another. Also the variety of style in her performing is wide open to personal preferences.

She is a developing artist. As much as I like to accept her as she is, in whatever direction she is going, I do believe that the underlying 'refined' beauty of her dancing will become more noticeable and even more developed as time goes on.


PS--

I think that what makes her so special is that she can excel in both

Gracefulness and Virtuosity.


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov Ballet, 2009-2010 Season
PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:05 am 
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And one more thought, please.

Alina Somova can also be very human and this is possibly the basis for a lot of the discussion about her. She can be variable and vulnerable. She can go for liveliness, expressiveness and spontaneity in an artistic world that often holds perfection as the ideal.

This is a quote from Suzanne Farrell that I have referred to before.

"As you become experienced and perfect the technique, you have to remain vulnerable and not lose that wonderful innocence, that freshness."

http://www.independent.com/news/2009/oc ... a-barbara/


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov Ballet, 2009-2010 Season
PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:02 am 
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Having been fortunate to have seen Suzanne Farrell dance on a number of occasions with both NYCB and the Bejart company, I think I can state emphatically that Somova's dancing in no way resembles Farrell's. Suzanne Farrell has earned her place in ballet history: Somova never will.


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov Ballet, 2009-2010 Season
PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:09 pm 
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Cassandra wrote:
Having been fortunate to have seen Suzanne Farrell dance on a number of occasions with both NYCB and the Bejart company, I think I can state emphatically that Somova's dancing in no way resembles Farrell's. Suzanne Farrell has earned her place in ballet history: Somova never will.

I totally agree Cassandra. I must also interject that Farrell was not referring to Alina Somova in the linked article in any way, shape or form. Farrell was discussing her own personal philosophy of ballet in general, and life lessons she learned as Balanchine's Muse and as the greatest living authority of his work. Farrell made several excellent points in that piece. The following quote reads like a proverb: "There are many different ways of intuiting life-altering dynamics, and they have nothing to do with how high your leg extends.” Had Farrell been discussing the egregious Somova, that statement alone would best define her. Succinctly.


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov Ballet, 2009-2010 Season
PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:49 pm 
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The Mariinsky will be performing the 1952 Sergeyev version of "The Sleeping Beauty" at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC February 9-14, 2010. Lisa Traiger previews the performance in the Washington Post.

Washington Post


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov Ballet, 2009-2010 Season
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 1:19 pm 
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This probably should be required viewing for Alina everyday:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDeX-HKvd7M

Olga Chenchikova teaches a lesson that artistry should never be confused with a beautiful body. Chenchikova, rather Amazonian in build, nonetheless fools the eye with her unbroken chain of port-de-bras and mirror-even epaulement. You can freeze-frame any second of the video and it will be worthy of a textbook illustration. The secret to her classicism is not bony arms and weightlessness born of having no body weight to begin with. It is a rather her back and forth between tension and release, that goes from one musical arc to next.

Tereshkina is beautiful and proper, but Chenchikova gives more than that . . .Bayaderka is not just adagio lanugor, as there are plenty of moments for grandeur, too.


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov Ballet, 2009-2010 Season
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 6:51 am 
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To change the subject for one moment, I just have to say, Yulia Bolshakova, I miss you.


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 Post subject: Re: Kirov Ballet, 2009-2010 Season
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 6:44 pm 
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Location: USA-Switzerland
And back to "Alina."

If you can find some video clips on the internet of her doing "La Bayadere" (and I think that you can) I believe that you might enjoy them. I find them to be very beautiful.

Thanks, Madigan, for the insight into Olga Chenchikova...."her back and forth between tension and release, that goes from one musical arc to next." I will try to keep this in mind.


[Also the Mariinsky is starting six days of performances of "Sleeping Beauty" tomorrow in Washington DC. I look forward to following this on the internet.]

[post added to]


Last edited by Buddy on Tue Feb 09, 2010 8:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Kirov Ballet, 2009-2010 Season
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:42 am 
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I just found this quote on one of the internet video clips sites about Maria Kochetkova (now San Francisco Ballet). I think that it applies to all the 'ballerinas' that we are discussing here as well and it certainly applies to viewers like myself.

"I'm a grown man, raised on R & B and Rock, but the other night, I cried twice while watching this. Ssssh, don't tell anyone."


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