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Volochkova Pickets Bolshoi


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#16 Hans

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Posted 11 September 2003 - 07:16 AM

The tutu was gaudy, but I'm sure it looks much better on the Bolshoi stage surrounded by a glittery crowd of people. A lot of things would look gaudy on the small, bare Eisenhower stage.

#17 carbro

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Posted 11 September 2003 - 08:55 AM

The soap opera continues. :nopity:

The thought crossed my mind that maybe Ms. Volochkova has a valid point. Do the Bolshoi men undertake the same kind of conditioning that American men do? If Ivanchenko is truly injured, is it the "fault" of his ballerina, himself, or perhaps his coach? :shrug: Or is the real issue Ms. Volochkova's personality? :wink: American ballet has many female dancers who are taller and heavier do very well problems having/keeping partners. Kyra Nichols is just one example.

As for La Gregory, I rode the crosstown bus with her once, where both of us were holding onto a bar considerably higher than waist-level. I am 5'6", and I will second Mel's estimate of 5'8".

#18 Amy Reusch

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Posted 11 September 2003 - 06:39 PM

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".


I've never met her in person, but I saw her height printed once as 5'6" & 3/4. I remember it very clearly because I was shocked that it was such a fuss. (being 5'10" myself). (BTW, I also didn't think Suzanne Farrell seemed as tall as she looked in photos when I met her in person.) Mel, am I right in guessing that you were plenty tall for a dancer? I remember Royes Fernandez telling me that at 5'8" he was considered the "tall man" at ABT. Times have changed, haven't they... now we hear more complaints of young dancers being told they're too short to have a career. But you know, just as men tend to add an inch to their height, women tend to cut one off... so perhaps it was taken from some publicity material.

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."


I don't know, if a tall woman with long legs wearing high heels is perverse, then merely wearing high heels for other than "corrective" purposes is perverse.

She's right. God gave her gorgeous legs, she shouldn't insult the gift by making them look ugly in flats. Tall women often are encouraged by society to feel that there's something wrong with being a tall woman and so avoid anything that might make them look taller. They should be disabused of this notion! Tall women tend to have great looking legs, and should be encouraged to not to hide them. [Yes, I am over compensating for being a gawky teenager; it took Jacques d'Amboise & the milieu of tall dancers he chose to finally disabuse me of the "flats" notion].

You'd think at the "Bolshoi", they'd want them "big" for heavens sake!

#19 Mel Johnson

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Posted 11 September 2003 - 07:24 PM

Mel, am I right in guessing that you were plenty tall for a dancer?  I remember Royes Fernandez telling me that at 5'8" he was considered the "tall man" at ABT.  Times have changed, haven't they...

Nope, I was considered "uncorpsable" at 5'7". I came up in the Balanchine-Frenzy era, when tall was de rigeur. Royes was always an optimist.

#20 ina

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Posted 12 September 2003 - 03:21 AM

I think that Volochkova is not worth all the fuss raised about her these days in the press and television and really regret the fact . (It also seems to me that western journalists dramatize this situation, since they are less informed than ours and seem to believe all the crap she tells them. Sorry. :shrug: ) Volochkova was never considered here in Moscow (at least by balletomanes and critics) to be the first rank ballerina, the “pride of the Bolshoi” etc., etc. Her publicity was created by numerous glamour magazines and yellow news-papers (mostly heavily paid), supported by TV-shows, bill-boards of her personal concerts, which may be described by single word “kitch”. And this publicity had nothing to do with her “art”. All serious, sometimes even harsh, critics (and there was a lot!) Volochkova explained by jealousy to her glamorous international career (where – do you know that planet?) and unearthly beauty. (Well, she is a beautiful woman, but it is some other profession). Unfortunately, she had one, but weighty argument against critic – she was chosen by Grigorovich himself (!) to dance the opening night of his old-new “Swan Lake”and on these grounds resumed her contract with the Bolshoi, terminated during Fadeechev times (he was the only one to have the guts to stand against the pushy ballerina and her “sponsors”).Well, I do not want to sound harsh, but I am sure that considerable money was involved to make this choice, as well as to be honored later the “Benois de la Dance” Prize. This scandal - when the audience in the Bolshoi whistled and wooed during the ceremony, protesting to such decision, – was covered by many papers in the spring 2002 . I have never seen before such an obstruction. These past years Volochkova had nothing to complain, since she had more performances than any of our prima-ballerinas. And there were situations when she demanded (and got!) the performances scheduled for others. It’s also true that our male-dancers didn’t want to dance with her. For example Uvarov (the tallest in the company) was injured after dancing with her in Italy. Ivanchenko managed for a while, risking his health and reputation not only for legal honoraria ( sorry to sound gossipy, but c’est la vie in today’s Russia).
Now, if we speak of Volochkova as a dancer, here’s my personal opinion. Her main problem is not the height or the weight (she certainly put on considerable amount in the past year or two) and as a result the loss of required dancing abilities. The problem is that she does not understand what she is dancing about, all her emotions being utterly artificial. The only sincere feeling she manages to demonstrate is self- admiring. I’ve seen her Giselle. That was, I think, 6 years ago, when she was still a promising young dancer. The ghost of the poor deceived peasant girl was so aggressive and arrogant that it seemed, that Mirtha with the whole stock of willis will be simply trampled.
I am sure that she was fully aware of the fact, that Ivanchenko decided to leave Bolshoi ( we, balletomanes, knew that in July). But for the moment she gains more from this scandal than looses. She is supported by two pro- governmental political parties, which had intentions to use her in the coming election company. After that I won’t be surprised if she gets money and facilities to open, for example, her own dance theatre, or something of the sort :wink: . And last, but not the least: as a rule Russian people are very pitiful towards those who are “unfairly chased”. And some people manage to take advantage of that :dry: .

#21 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 12 September 2003 - 06:16 AM

Thank you, Ina, I was on the verge of begging someone from the informed Moscow balletomanes to post something which puts the record about this ridiculous farce straight :wink:

#22 Inga

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Posted 12 September 2003 - 07:50 AM

Pop show dancing and classical ballet – it’s different things. Ms. Volochkova is beautiful woman who may be good as a model or pop dancer, but as a classical ballerina in last times she is awful. Volochkova’s technique is very weak, her Raymonda last May was a disaster because she cannot cope with the demanding choreography. She still can turn but she have weak jump, she cannot do movements that need speed and quick change of direction. Her stage behavior is cold and monochrome, without any acting abilities. Her only good stage quality is her good look. Bolshoi Ballet is serious company that cannot give principal roles to such a weak dancer.
Volochkova have her fans but they usually dont mix with the fans of ballet. I hear that Volochkova’s own galas in different consert halls usually sold well, but the tickets for her performances in the Bolshoi solds badly. Year ago, on the Benois de la Danse ceremony in the Bolshoi, Ms. Volochkova was booed by the audience. Bolshoi apparently dont need her. Madonna is a good pop singer but nobody expect her to sing Traviata with Metropolitan Opera, so why Volochkova must dance with the Bolshoi?

#23 carbro

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Posted 12 September 2003 - 10:39 AM

Madonna is a good pop singer but nobody expect her to sing Traviata with Metropolitan Opera, so why Volochkova must dance with the Bolshoi?

Inga, you have made your point very vividly and with terrific wit! :wink: :dry:

#24 Marga

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Posted 12 September 2003 - 06:21 PM

Thank you, Inga, for your very entertaining post! You tread where I feared to, not wanting to report second-hand gossip, which is how I get my Russian information. And you really gave a thorough picture! Thanks, too, for describing her Giselle, for I was the one who wondered about that. I can tell from the pictures of her in Act II that she is probably the most aggressive Giselle there ever was!

#25 Mel Johnson

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Posted 12 September 2003 - 06:33 PM

as a rule Russian people are very pitiful towards those who are “unfairly chased”. And some people manage to take advantage of that :( .

At least that's a little better than someone who's "unfairly chaste". :P

"You, poor but honest Ivan, feh! But YOU, Mr. Oil Tycoon, come up and see me sometime." :grinning:

#26 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 12 September 2003 - 07:21 PM

I haven't worn my moderator beanie in a while, but I'd like to ask people to refrain from "ad feminam" gossip.

I'm glad for the Russians to fill us in on some of the background circumstances on Volochkova, but it's probably best that we don't report someone else's character assessment of her.

#27 Amy Reusch

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Posted 12 September 2003 - 07:48 PM

Marga, Ina & Inga, it sounds as she no longer looks like the photos (linked to earlier in this thread) at http://www.volochkov...tml/a_2_e.shtml
Is it true? Are they likely old photos?

#28 Alexandra

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Posted 12 September 2003 - 07:53 PM

Thanks for intervening, Leigh. I deleted one of the posts (the second hand "character assessments," as you so delicately put it :P

#29 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 13 September 2003 - 09:57 AM

Sorry friends, but it's time to close this topic. It doesn't go anywhere. As was suggested by some posters Anastasia Volochkova's problem has nothing to do with her bodily features and there is no reason to go on about this. I regret that this seems to be the only way the Bolshoi Ballet can get in the news today.


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