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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 5:42 am 
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Buddy wrote:
Oxana Skorik


Please let me add the second opinion offered at Dansomanie, this time by EmmaHK, about the Baden-Baden performance.


"Finally came the second act, and Miss Skorik. Beautiful arabesques, very high, balances held, upon entry, and endless arms. I have seen no coldness, but a slight restraint, a vulnerability, which accorded well to my eyes with the role. The variation of white swan and the pas de deux were fluid, always with the contrast between her, attractive, almost timid, and Yevgeny Ivenchenko, very masculine.

"Odile remained to be seen. The variation of the black swan went smoothly, even though the spins in attitude were quickly ended without being held in suspension like Marianela Nuñez would do. The 32 fouettes were simple but impeccably finished and stable. By contrast, Miss Skorik is more an Odette than an Odile, and the seductiveness of the black swan score will undoubtedly be worked on.

"In conclusion, I agree with Neophyte, that the performance of Oksana Skorik, which was able to show delicacy and ensure flawless technique, was a pleasant surprise. She created with Evgeny Ivenchenko a very complementary couple and based on what I saw tonight, I will follow with interest her future evolution."


I'll add once again, that based on the several Odette/Odile (Swan Lake) performances that I saw Oxana Skorik give in October (Costa Mesa), in my opinion, she has both ....

* Greatness and Genius *

Each evening she received an enthusiastic response and two of the evenings the audience gave her instant standing ovations.



This is the actual post in french:

[Enfin est arrivé le second acte, et Melle Skorik. Superbes arabesques, très hautes, équilibres tenus, dès l'entrée, et des bras interminables. Je n’ai perçu nulle froideur, mais une légère retenue, une vulnérabilité, qui s'accordait bien à mes yeux avec le rôle. La variation du cygne blanc, et le pas de deux ont été fluides, avec toujours, ce contraste séduisant entre elle, presque timide, et Evgueny Ivenchenko, très masculin.

Restait à voir Odile. La variation du cygne noir est passée sans encombre, même si les tours attitude étaient vite « atterris », sans être planés à la manière d’une Marianela Nuñez. Les 32 fouettés ont été simples, mais stables et terminés impeccablement. Par contre, Melle Skorik est plus une Odette qu’une Odile, et le cote séducteur du cygne noir devra sans nul doute être travaillé.

En conclusion, et je rejoins Neophyte, la prestation d’Oksana Skorik, qui a su faire montre de délicatesse et assurer un sans fautes technique, a été une bonne surprise. Elle a formé avec Evgueny Ivenchenko un couple très complémentaire, et sur la base de ce que j’ai vu ce soir la, je suivrai avec intérêt son évolution future.]

http://www.forum-dansomanie.net/forum/v ... &start=795

Maybe this is one person's viewpoint and maybe this person does not know a great deal about ballet. I can only judge on the performances I have seen with my own eyes, and I have seen enough ballet performances to know that Oxana Skorik is a heavily promoted, hyped up dancer who, imo, in no way justifies all the lavish praise given her. From what I have witnessed she should not be dancing principal roles at all.


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:32 am 
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I have to say that I agree with Tiara. I saw the full Giselle where she hopped the full length of the stage during the Spessivtseva variation with practically a flat foot instead of on pointe. That moment has to be the worst moment in the entire Mariinsky Theatre history. I can't imagine any other dancer in any company ever doing that let alone the Mariinsky. I read on another forum that Dorothee Gilbert of the Paris Opera Ballet came off pointe once during the same variation when POB danced in NY, and someone backstage reported that she was backstage crying from shame. She fell off pointe and got back up. That is understandable. Things happen. Skorik hopped down the whole stage with her foot almost flat. It was unbelievable for a Mariinsky dancer to do such a thing! You might expect that in a student performance but I don't even think you see that in students.

Since then a friend has shared so many other mistakes she's made unlike any other dancer. I suspect it is a mental thing (extreme nervousness or anxiety or whatever), so part of me feels sorry for her, and I hope she gets better, but when audiences go to the Mariinsky they do expect a certain level of ability, and if a dancer messes up repeatedly due to stage fright or whatever, then that dancer is not ready for prime time, in my opinion. People expect to see the best dancers in the entire world when they go to the Mariinsky. They do not expect to see someone hop on a flat foot during the Spessivtseva variation.

Again, I do not mean to be so hard on someone, but it is not a good thing when people are SCARED to book a flight, a hotel and tickets to the Mariinsky in fear they will get a bad cast. It costs a lot of money to go to Russia just for ballet. Then, add on top of that the FEAR that you will get someone hopping on a flat foot across the stage.....it is really very upsetting.


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:55 am 
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It is sad to hear that some Mariinsky’s dancers are not up to technical requirements of the leading roles. I don’t remember posts like that ever appearing on the forum about Mariinsky.
At the same time it is strange that talented dancers are sometimes underrated by the management and are not given a chance to perform before the audience. One of the most underrated dancers for me is Svetlana Ivanova. She has everything: excellent technique, stylish lines of a true Petersburgian ballerina, elegance and a charming personality. The management kept her mainly in the corps. Whenever she was given a solo part she was a delight to watch. The Londoners might remember her as an absolute gem as the Lady in ‘The Lady & the Hooligan’ with the Mariinsky at the Coliseum a few years ago. Last year she was a lovely Kitty in ‘Anna Karenina’ performed at Covent Garden.

While browsing on youtube yesterday I came across the recording of her recent concert performance of pdd from ‘Giselle’. I hope it is all right to give a link because it was placed on internet by a well-known ballet historian in St.Petersburg - Natalya Zozulina who was full of praises for Svetlana’s performance and wanted people to appreciate and enjoy it. Her partner in this pdd was Xander Parish.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrE5KuAD ... bHu7luslCs

edited for adding the link


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:47 am 
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Soutenu, thank you for posting what you did. I have seen Ivanova as the Girl in Lady and the Hooligan, and she was wonderful! Yes, that is the type of dancer someone expects to see at the Mariinsky! That type of dancer is why the Mariinsky has such an elevated reputation. I have heard it used to be unthinkable to fear any casting at the Mariinsky, because even if you got dancers that were not your favorite or were not famous they were still high level dancers that would not disappoint.

Now you pray to God when you book your flight to St. Petersburg. You pray and pray out of fear you might be wasting your money. This was unthinkable in the past.


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:19 pm 
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I was at the Mariinsky Concert Hall and saw Ivanova's Giselle pas de deux with Parish live. She was so beautiful - a wonderfully expressive, legato ballerina with a magnificent adagio technique, and beautiful Vaganova arms. She lit up the stage and really embodied the otherworldliness of Giselle the wili. It is such a travesty that this wonderful ballerina, who also has great dramatic gifts, has only risen to coryphee, and dances mainly corps roles, with a few coryphee exceptions and minor solos - when she was clearly capable of so much more. In the later part of career finally she gets to dance a full length Giselle that she was ready to dance at the beginning of it, whereas Oxana Skorik and Keenan Kampa get role after role that they are not suited for or even able to dance adequately, and probably never will.


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:08 pm 
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I heard that Svetlana Ivanova who is 38 now was cast as Aurora at the beginning of her career with Mariinsky. Members of the company recalled that her dancing in the run-through of The Sleeping Beauty was unforgettable. Then, for some reason, she was never given a chance to dance Aurora in public. Only Florine.
So very few significant roles are listed in her page on the Mariinsky’s official website.
http://www.mariinsky.ru/en/company/ball ... /ivanovas/
They didn’t even mention her solos in ‘Chopiniana’. And how beautiful those solos were!

She joined the Mariinsky theatre in 1993 and became soloist in 1998. However, if you look at the company’s roll now, she is listed among the bunch of Coryphees (while Skorik is First Soloist :roll: ):
http://www.mariinsky.ru/en/company/ballet/troupe/
I feel that the management robbed Svetlana Ivanova of a remarkable career and robbed me as a ballet lover of seeing this ballerina in the roles her talent deserved.


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:05 pm 
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Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
Soutenu wrote:
I feel that the management robbed Svetlana Ivanova of a remarkable career and robbed me as a ballet lover of seeing this ballerina in the roles her talent deserved.


I wholeheartedly support the positive and endearing comments about Svetlana's talents. I first interviewed her for CD.com here:

http://www.ballet-dance.com/200702/articles/Ivanova2006.html

and have followed her career carefully since. I have seen each of her Petersburg Hooligan performances and they are unsurpassed -- she inhabits that role like no one else and frankly, God forbid the day comes that she must retire, I cannot imagine anyone else filling her shoes, proverbally speaking.

I believe that this latest casting in the Giselle Act II Pas indicates the management's recognition of her talent. Hopefully a trend is beginning where we will see more of her; certainly the audience and fans of the Mariinsky demand it.

There are numerous allusions to her Giselle (full length) but to date it is not on the Mariinsky Schedule anywhere for 2013.

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Author, "Vaganova Today: The Preservation of Pedagogical Tradition" (available on amazon.com)


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:23 pm 
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Thanks for these excellent posts!

I’ve been reading Arthur Haskell’s Balletomania (1934) which opens with the wonderful line, “It is my firm belief that human society is divided into three distinct castes: Russian dancers, dancers, and very ordinary people.” Haskell’s description of Daighilev, whom he knew, reminds me of what is still going on at the Mariinsky (recent posts here have offered depressing examples—poor working conditions, blatant favoritism, and a dismissive attitude regarding the views of the dancers). He wrote:

“Ballet in Russia first took root through nobles having personal troupes [of serf musicians, actors and dancers]. Daighilev was by breeding such a nobleman. His ballet danced for him, for his gratification and his greater glory. . . . Except for his special favorites, where he was blind, it was quite impossible to ask him for roles.” As far as he was concerned his dancers were “servants of art,” who worked for him and could be and were let go or promoted at will.

I too am having second thoughts about making the trip to St Petersburg to see what I once considered the greatest ballet company in the world, which now gives great ballerina roles to dancers who are clearly not yet ballerinas (while those who are, like Olesya Novikova, are denied promotion). It is no favor to Skorik to fast track her into Giselle and Swan Lake, or to give Keenan Kampa Kitri before she has matured as a Mariinsky ballerina.

On a happier (I hope) note, Maria Kochetkova, Bolshoi-trained, much loved principal of the San Francisco Ballet is dancing Giselle at the Mariinsky on January 3. If any of you are in St Petersburg I hope you will catch her performance and let us know what you thought. It is a dream come true for her to dance on the Mariinsky stage. She has earned the role, and she will not embarrass herself or her audience, to say the least.


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:00 am 
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Posts: 42
bcx wrote:
Thanks for these excellent posts!

I’ve been reading Arthur Haskell’s Balletomania (1934) which opens with the wonderful line, “It is my firm belief that human society is divided into three distinct castes: Russian dancers, dancers, and very ordinary people.” Haskell’s description of Daighilev, whom he knew, reminds me of what is still going on at the Mariinsky (recent posts here have offered depressing examples—poor working conditions, blatant favoritism, and a dismissive attitude regarding the views of the dancers). He wrote:

“Ballet in Russia first took root through nobles having personal troupes [of serf musicians, actors and dancers]. Daighilev was by breeding such a nobleman. His ballet danced for him, for his gratification and his greater glory. . . . Except for his special favorites, where he was blind, it was quite impossible to ask him for roles.” As far as he was concerned his dancers were “servants of art,” who worked for him and could be and were let go or promoted at will.

I too am having second thoughts about making the trip to St Petersburg to see what I once considered the greatest ballet company in the world, which now gives great ballerina roles to dancers who are clearly not yet ballerinas (while those who are, like Olesya Novikova, are denied promotion). It is no favor to Skorik to fast track her into Giselle and Swan Lake, or to give Keenan Kampa Kitri before she has matured as a Mariinsky ballerina.

On a happier (I hope) note, Maria Kochetkova, Bolshoi-trained, much loved principal of the San Francisco Ballet is dancing Giselle at the Mariinsky on January 3. If any of you are in St Petersburg I hope you will catch her performance and let us know what you thought. It is a dream come true for her to dance on the Mariinsky stage. She has earned the role, and she will not embarrass herself or her audience, to say the least.


It is still worth going to St Petersburg to see the Mariinsky and you will never regret seeing them in the beautiful Mariinsky Theatre. You will have to look at the corps de ballet and coryphees to see many of the real stars though - Oxana Skorik and Keenan Kampa should be avoided and there is much bizarre/unfair casting, but Mariinsky is still the greatest company in the world with a vast depth of (largely unseen) talent. Book your flight!


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:18 pm 
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Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
Have to agree with Tiara -- even if you go on a "bad" night what you see will far surpass any West Coast American ballet troupes.

And if you go and plan to stay at least 2 weeks then you are bound to see stellar performances.

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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:41 pm 
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Tweets from Laura Cappelle (dance critic for the Financial Times) in Baden-Baden for the Mariinsky. It will be intetesting to see how these fragments work their way into her review:

Laura Cappelle ‏@bellafigural
Good times in Baden-Baden - always a lovely setting to see the @Mariinskyen over Christmas.

Laura Cappelle ‏@bellafigural
Skorik & Korsuntsev led the Shades - a solid performance from Skorik with her Makhalina-like lines but very little to see expression-wise.

Laura Cappelle ‏@bellafigural
Ekaterina Osmolkina outshone them all though - how good to have her back - floating through the Talisman pd2, pure Russian perfection.


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:02 pm 
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"It is still worth going to St Petersburg to see the Mariinsky and you will never regret seeing them in the beautiful Mariinsky Theatre. You will have to look at the corps de ballet and coryphees to see many of the real stars though - Oxana Skorik and Keenan Kampa should be avoided and there is much bizarre/unfair casting, but Mariinsky is still the greatest company in the world with a vast depth of (largely unseen) talent. Book your flight."

Tiara, I know what you mean: I will never forget my ballet nights at the Mariinsky--and I don't know a more perfect theater for watching ballet. I'm more worried about a let-down on future visits. Is the Mariinsky on an irreversible down-hill course? In her insightful interviews with teachers at the Vaganova school in Vaganova Today, Catherine found many shades of opinion--it's a complicated question, certainly. But I agree, the corps is still extraordinary and so are many of its dancers. And the training appears to be as rigorous as ever. When Keenan Kampa returned to the USA after her Vaganova training she could not find in Boston what she experienced in St Petersburg in terms of discipline--and she missed it (based on my memory of Catherine's interview of her in the San Francisco Chronicle).

Thanks for your posts!


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season
PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:03 pm 
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Laura Capelle’s article on Ballet in Moscow, 2012 which originally appeared in Russian translation in Time Out Moskva included this comment on the Mariinsky:


“some shrewd hiring decisions made by Sergei Filin and Igor Zelensky started to pay off. Two exceptional 2011 Vaganova graduates, Olga Smirnova and Kristina Shapran, eschewed the Mariinsky to start their careers in Moscow and proved their mettle as future high-profile ballerinas in lead roles and on TV show “Bolshoi Balet.” They are the Mariinsky’s loss, as is Evgenia Obraztsova, who was denied prima ballerina status in St. Petersburg but got her due at the Bolshoi. .... The repertoire may not have been particularly adventurous, but it was tailored to showcase these dancers: the opening night of Balanchine’s Jewels was the moment the world woke up to Smirnova’s blazing potential....”

Complete article here:
http://www.bellafigura.fr/2012/12/featu ... w-in-2012/


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season
PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:55 am 
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Hi bcx,
Thanks for adding that link and information. As usual Capelle is right on target, it's a nice overview of the year in terms of Moscow's gains and yes, sadly, Petersburg's losses.

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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:02 am 
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“San Francisco Ballet prima ballerina Maria Kochetkova is to dance two performances at the Mariinsky Theatre”

Article on the official Mariinsky website includes an excerpt from an interview with Kochetkova, in which she says (apropos of the discussion here about dancers being offered roles they are not ready for):

“ I was first offered Giselle in London when I was nineteen – I was too young for it. I declined the offer to dance the ballet. I had no idea at all how to enact the tragedy of love and the mad scene. If you have not experienced it in life, it is hard to understand it and convey it to the audience.”

One inaccuracy: In 2007 she was not “immediately made a First Soloist” by San Francisco Ballet; she was made a Principal.


Complete article:
http://www.mariinsky.ru/en/news1/news2/30_230dec/


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