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 Post subject: Oksana Skorik-Extreme Criticism
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:25 am 
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Hello! I have been lurking here for a while but some things I have seen on youtube recently have made me want to post.

I saw the documentary "A Beautiful Tragedy" a few years back and was intrigued by the young girl featured in the film. I was happy to see that she was hired by the Mariisnky and was being given good roles. She seemed to struggle so much during the film, I was happy to see she had turned out ok. I had also been following posts of members who had seen her perform live, and they gave her glowing reviews. I was relieved to see that she had 'made it'!

I was eager to see if her performances has made it on to youtube, but after searching for her I found some terribly cruel videos criticizing her. It appears that someone (who seems to have extensive knowledge of ballet) has been putting together clips of all her mistakes and pairing them with rather nasty commentary. As mentioned before, I have never seen a live performance and only have experienced the Marrinsky ballet through youtube and dvds. I have no idea whether this is warranted criticism (I hope not!) or if someone is just being nasty and wants to promote their own favorite ballerina.

Is there serious criticism against Oksana or is there some ulterior motive for all of this hate? I am sure all dancers have made mistakes, but no one strung them together all in one video. Can anyone who sees the Mariinsky perform regularly comment on this? I sincerely hope that this isn't true!


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 Post subject: Re: Oksana Skorik-Extreme Criticism
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 2:54 pm 
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In all fairness I have not seen this dancer live, but I have a friend who did see her live in the Black Swan Pas de Deux, and he said it was the worst dancing he had ever seen, in particular her 32 fouettes went out of control to the point where she had to stop them after only 10 or so and then the music was still playing for the fouettes, so she had to do some awkward posing and moving that was embarrassing.

I saw the video you refer to, before it was taken off public viewing, and I have to say that I found the hops on pointe (ballon) across the stage in Giselle a total shock. I don't know how she could do them practically with a flat foot and not get booed off the stage. I don't mean to be cruel to anyone or about anyone, but that is absolutely shocking.

I think she needs help by coaches or teachers on her technique before taking on other major roles and lots of practice. Nobody paying money to see professional ballet should see a Giselle hopping across the stage during the Spessivtseva variation with almost a flat foot! I hope to God that happened during a dress rehearsal and not in front of a paying audience. During the same exact moment I read that Dorothee Gilbert of the Paris Opera Ballet fell off pointe one time and ran backstage crying! Falling off pointe can happen and one time is excusable yet Gilbert being the professional dancer that she is was totally embarrassed by a most human occurrence. Imagine if she had done what Skorik does in that video. Again, I do not mean to be cruel but I think that it is cruel to let someone who is not prepared to be on a major stage in a major role to go on and embarrass herself. Today is an internet world and things are seen worldwide. Someone who is nice would pull Skorik aside and tell her to get some extra coaching to correct some technical problems and to cancel any further leading roles until she corrects these problems. That is my personal opinion. Letting her go onstage and having very seasoned balletomanes judge her worldwide when she is not ready is the cruel part.


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 Post subject: Re: Oksana Skorik-Extreme Criticism
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:46 pm 
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The videos certainly paint her in a negative light. However, I was wondering if the creator of these videos was being dramatic? Are these sorts of growing pains normal for dancers new to roles at the Mariisnky? Surely every principal dancer has made their fair share of mistakes. The video commentary seems hyperbolic and mean spiritied. It seems more like a personal attack than just a critique of performances.

either way, I'm glad she is still fighting! I hope she doesn't get discourage and I hope I can see her live someday!


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 Post subject: Re: Oksana Skorik-Extreme Criticism
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:21 pm 
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I am no expert, but I have never seen the hops on pointe in Giselle done the way that video shows her doing that. To me that is like going to see an Olympic swimmer and he decides to dog paddle.

I think her stumbles and the leg falling forward in that video could be little things that happen occasionally to everyone.....everyone makes minor mistakes.

But the Giselle excerpt made my jaw drop. That is not something you expect from a professional dancer on a major stage. That, in my personal opinion, indicates that there is something wrong...an injury or lack of technique.....either way whether injury or lack of technique someone should have pulled her aside during rehearsals and told her she can not do hops on pointe with an almost flat foot. I have even seen a young student do that variation and she stayed on pointe. To me that one incident itself is beyond shocking....like I said, it is like an Olympic swimmer jumping in the water and doing the dog paddle when you expect him to race! To me it looks like a Candid Camera moment like she is trying to prank everyone. If I were sitting in the audience that night, I would be looking around for the hidden camera and for her to tell me this is all a joke. That is how incredible and shocking her hops on pointe are in that one scene.

I do wish her well and hope she corrects what must be technical problems. I hope that her teachers will work on these issues. I think that the Mariinsky should give her smaller roles for the time being until she improves her technique and can do justice to the choreography. The administration should not send someone out on a major stage without proper preparation. Once she strengthens her technique then let her take on roles like Giselle.


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 Post subject: Re: Oksana Skorik-Extreme Criticism
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 3:57 am 
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I saw the video about Oksana Skorik a while ago on YouTube also, and it did raise some interesting points, and as you have asked for opinions, I would like to offer mine.

I have seen Oksana Skorik perform in many of her roles, and she has clearly been working through some underlying weaknesses in her technique. The ballones performed in the variation in Act 1 of Giselle are an iconic feature of the ballet, and performed correctly by every ballerina in the Mariinsky, as expected by the paying public today. Of course every ballerina makes an occasional mistake, but a whole misperformed diagonale such as this was unprecedented. I saw her Lilac Fairy, Odette-Odile and her Chopiniana also, and there were many technical mistakes apparent here too - notably in Italian fouettes and pirouettes - which showed at the time of performance she also had problems with turns. I did not like her use of her upper body and arms either, whch in my opinion lacked the fluidity and expressiveness of a Vaganova trained ballerina. It is an unfortunate fact that ballet is a tough profession and to turn a blind eye to faults and accept less than the best will only result in a general lowering of standards. Not only that, the paying public is entitled to a certain standard of performance and in my opinion, it was lacking in the performances I saw. Of course, every young ballerina makes mistakes and should be encouraged, but sometimes coaches and management are guilty of pushing a dancer before she is ready to progress. It was unfortunate for Oksana Skorik that she was given roles before she was ready for them and in this respect I am sorry for her: I believe that young ballerinas should remain in the corps until they are able to perform to the standards expected at the Mariinsky. This is only kind to the ballerinas themselves, fair to their peer group and respectful of the audience.

In my opinion the Mariinsky is the greatest ballet company in the world, with a wonderful tradition of Vaganova training behind it and the great ballerina roles in Giselle, Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty, to name just a few, have been performed by a remarkable series of illustrious predecessors. Every ballerina who performs these roles carries the torch and should be worthy, technically and artistically. Every ballerina in the Mariinsky knows that. Every person who loves the Mariinsky ballet knows it also and wants only the best for this great company. It is just unfortunate that sometimes the desire for these high standards to be maintained may result in some apparently severe criticisms.


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 Post subject: Re: Oksana Skorik-Extreme Criticism
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:18 am 
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I admit I was shocked with the Giselle performance too. I know Alina Somova received a lot of flack in the beginning too, and I was wondering how this compares?

Was the movie "A Beautiful Tragedy" very popular in Russia? Enough to make the theater feel that they have to push her into lead roles?


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 Post subject: Re: Oksana Skorik-Extreme Criticism
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:11 am 
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I have no idea. I am not Russian. Maybe she became famous and people wanted to see her, so they rushed her into roles. I have no idea.

I have no idea if her technique can be solidified/improved. I hope so.

People are saying that video is cruel, but I think the cruel ones are the people who knew how unprepared she was and still let her dance in front of an audience without being prepared.


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