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Volochkova Pickets Bolshoi


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#1 Alexandra

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 07:52 AM

This is also posted on Links:

Anastasia Volochkova picketed the Bolshoi Theater before a performance of Swan Lake in which she was supposed to have appeared. She claims the company has fired her.

Miss Volochkova claimed that she had been subjected to a months-long campaign by shadowy enemies who broke into her dressing room and detained her dancing partner in hospital to try to prevent her appearing.

In one interview with the radio station Ekho Moskvy, she said: "I was simply blown away by the way they treated me."

The Bolshoi claims that Miss Volchkova has not been sacked but flew into a rage and stormed out when she was offered only a three-month contract. It says all the theatre's ballet dancers were offered the same deal, a claim Miss Volochkova has fiercely denied.



#2 Daron

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 09:46 AM

The whole thing is so pathetic!
People in the West might think that something really serious is going on at the Bolshoi.
She needs just a good psychiatrist.

Edited by Daron, 09 September 2003 - 09:47 AM.


#3 koshka

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 09:55 AM

From what I observed at her performance style at the Kennedy Center last season (very gaudy, very "new Russian"--ridiculously glittery tutu, lots of jewelry (!!!!)...), and from comments from one of my friends in Moscow, I'd be inclined to believe the theater's version of events more than Volochkova's.

#4 Marga

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 10:38 AM

Volochkova is not your typical ballerina.

She would thrive in Hollywood, thoroughly partaking and enjoying the celebrity stunts that keep one's name in the news, including plastic surgery, which she knows a little about.

She wants more out of life than the usual Bolshoi (or any) ballerina strives for and is busy going about getting it. Ballet is but a stepping-stone for her. A life in ballet is not her goal.

#5 Amy Reusch

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Posted 10 September 2003 - 08:13 PM

All right... I'll ask the question... Just how tall is she and just how much does she weigh?

#6 Alexandra

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Posted 10 September 2003 - 08:34 PM

can't answer that one, but here's a link to some photos.

http://www.volochkov...tml/a_2_e.shtml


The last time I saw her was last spring, and while she's certainly not underweight, she's also not, to my eyes, either heavy nor especially tall -- she's considerably shorter than the partner under discussion. Whether or not she's easy to dance with is another matter of course! (My guess on height is 5'6; I'm terrible at guessing weights.)

#7 carbro

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Posted 10 September 2003 - 09:09 PM

Alexandra, my companion and I saw her then after the performance, in a restaurant in the Watergate. She may be 5'6," but I doubt that she's a millimeter taller than that. And I agree that while she was no willow, she did not look beefy by any means.

She was dining alone, chatting away in English on her cell phone. :shhh: :)

#8 Marga

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Posted 10 September 2003 - 09:35 PM

Here's an interesting article from 2 years ago that gives insight into Volochkova's persona:

Anastasia Volochkova's privately produced ballet evenings are as close to vanity publishing as dance gets....

Volochkova 2001 article

And another tabloid-type story from 3 years ago:

In pre-season headlines too lurid to have been manufactured by even the most desperate publicity department, the lofty Russian ballerina has been accused of using her bewitching powers to break up the marriage of a London lawyer, Anthony ("Andy") Kerman, vice-chairman of the ENB's school.

Volochkova 2000 article

The article above also alludes to her height:

She is exceptionally tall. Perversely for a ballerina, she accentuates her height by wearing high heels. "If God gave me height, I want to stress it, to show it. I don't want to hide it."


In the "Review and Commentary by Jeannie Szoradi" of the BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) performances of the Vaganova Academy/Kirov on Feb. 28, 1998, 7:30 p.m., there is another height reference:

Anastasia Volochkova - a tall and drop-dead gorgeous "Las Vegas Showgirl" ballerina, very much in the style of Yulia Makhalina


In the article linked to in Alexandra's thread-opener, this line appears:

Almost all of Russia's leading male dancers have refused to partner her, complaining that, at 6ft tall, she is too big and heavy.

Is that 6 feet on or off pointe? Her frequent partner Ivanchenko is a very tall dancer, so it's hard to tell.

And, if you will allow me one more reference:

The excellent Volochkova more than made up for any lack of sparks among her colleagues. Some ballerinas are beautiful, some are refined and enchanting, but this one has that most unusual quality: sex appeal. Ladies, if you want your husbands to stop complaining about going to the ballet, bring them this week. (She dances every performance.)

Broad-shouldered and tall, with striking features, Volochkova is more Amazon than artist, but her technical strength is undeniable. (Was that a triple lutz thrown in somewhere?) Evgeny Ivanchenko, also tall and brandishing an equally superior air, was the perfect match for her. He is the biggest man I have ever seen to have such a broad, silent and easy jump.

This is from a performance of half a year ago in Washington, reviewed by Sarah Kaufman in the Washington Post. Here's the URL:

Volochkova 2003 article

I have a hard time picturing her as Giselle, especially given the more than dozen photos of her in the role! :)

#9 Alexandra

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Posted 10 September 2003 - 09:41 PM

Yes, carbro, that's my take on the height/weight aspect as well.

#10 Marga

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Posted 10 September 2003 - 09:44 PM

From what I observed at her performance style at the Kennedy Center last season (very gaudy, very "new Russian"--ridiculously glittery tutu, lots of jewelry (!!!!)...)

Sarah Kaufman in the Washington Post explains what happened at the Kennedy Center with the costumes:

Why did Volochkova wear fairy-princess yellow in a role that calls for blood red? I am told that her red tutu got lost en route from Moscow. Urgent appeals went out to anyone nearby with a tutu to spare, and both ABT and the Washington Ballet offered up alternatives. None was quite right, however, so a Bolshoi corps dancer's costume was altered to fit the star (perhaps this explains the rather heavily applied sparkles), and the corps was dressed in hastily spruced-up practice tutus.

It takes a lot for a ballerina to step onstage in the wrong frock, but Volochkova proved that her will, her heart and her ego are just as strong as her technique.



#11 carbro

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Posted 10 September 2003 - 10:13 PM

Love the caption on this photo! :)

#12 Amy Reusch

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Posted 10 September 2003 - 11:05 PM

Well, judging from the photos, she's certainly not as chunky as most of the ballerinas originating the roles she's dancing... but if she's close to 6 feet on pointe then she probably does weigh more (most ballerinas were pretty short prior to 1950 as far as I can tell). I don't know, they always made a big deal of how tall Cynthia Gregory was and how hard it was to get her a partner, and I think she's not 5'7"... times have changed. I think she looks beautiful... very much like a person and not like a waif... I think people who have a hard time relating to ballet because the women don't look like "real women" would find her appealing. She looks like a woman dancing, not a dancer dancing, if you know what I mean.

#13 Mel Johnson

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Posted 11 September 2003 - 02:55 AM

they always made a big deal of how tall Cynthia Gregory was and how hard it was to get her a partner, and I think she's not 5'7"...

She's at least 5'8". I stood between her and Eddie Villella once in class, so I know she's taller than I am, and I'm 5'7".

#14 Alexandra

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Posted 11 September 2003 - 05:30 AM

There's another story about this today in The Guardian:

Top dancer a heavy burden for the Bolshoi

Anastasia Volochkova, Russia's most loved and loathed ballerina, has sparked a bitter row with the prestigious Bolshoi theatre following the reported hospitalisation of her male dancing partner, whom industry sources have said was injured lifting her "overweight" frame.

...

Volochkova, whose lithe figure has adorned many style magazines and billboards as well as theatre stages, is a taller and heavier ballerina than traditionalists allow. Petite male dancers can be damaged by propelling her frame through ballet's demanding dance moves, they say.



Amy, I thought of Gregory, too, although she wasn't at all flamboyant and the stories about her search for a partner were much more sympathetic, casting her as a forelorn Princess searching for the perfect Prince. I saw her off-stage several times and thought she looked like a fashion model -- tall, striking and quite thin. But onstage, especially in a tutu, she looked like a giant -- basically because everybody else on stage, sometimes including her partner, was 3 to 5 inches shorter!

#15 koshka

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Posted 11 September 2003 - 05:38 AM

About the tutus: yes, there were some yellow ones (and they were dreadfully worn and dirty), but for DonQ on the last day of the run, she definitely wore a red and black one that was very likely custom-made (seems to be common in Russia) and incredibly gaudy.


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