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Leonid Sarafanov

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Sarafanov is scheduled to dance "Swan Lake" with Pavlenko on February 19. Okay. Sarafanov is an excellent dancer, and still quite young. This match is questionable in terms of artistic temperament, not virtuosity. I know casting is subject to change, but I can't help wondering: How will his Siegfried react to her intense Odette/Odile? Based on the reviews from the Kennedy Center season he was overwhelmed opposite Sologub's Odette/Odile, but opposite her Masha in "Nutcracker" he was fantastic. I picture him as an ideal Desire, Franz or Colas. I saw his Solor vs. Nioradze's Nikiya and that was a weak match. Is he being forced into the wrong emploi? Is he miscast in danseur noble roles? Maybe the concept "emploi" is irrelevant nowadays. I hope he has his airbags ready, and is well prepared for the next installment of Pavlenko's evolving portrayal. Well Marc, like you said, "one never knows."

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Franz or Colas yes; Desire no in my opinion; he hardly has the elegant port de bras needed. In fact, all his gestures look slightly pasted on. That is one department in which the Kirov-trained men are unsurpassed.

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Vive l'emploi!!!

I saw Saravanov's Siegfried in D.C. and one thing that struck me was that he looked impeccably coached, as though the artistic staff was aware of the problems -- that he looks so young, that he's more a classique than a noble (the emploi question). He knew where and how to stand on stage, how to turn, how to walk, how to present a ballerina -- if he can internalize it, and loses the baby face, he might one day make a Siegfried.

Having been watching ABT's blue jeans "classicism" in Raymonda for two nights, my hat's off to the Kirov coaches. But I agree with Thalictum that his "gestures look slightly pasted on."

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Very well said, Alexandra. I think that emploi should be respected except when it becomes needlessly restrictive. We must also remember that emploi is always evolving; in the 1940s, short, relatively squat ballerinas like Olga Jordan and Feya Balabina danced Odette/Odile at the Kirov.

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Emploi is always evolving, or rather the interpretation of it, is. And, one might add, there seems to be a rather 'flexible' interpretation of it at the Mariinsky at this moment.

There is another point to the issue, I think, which is the lack of lasting partnerships. Dancers at the Mariinsky are sometimes complaining that they are continually coupled with another partner, leaving them very little chance to grow accustomed to each other. Do we still need these partnerships, or is that something which (along with emploi) belongs to the past? What do others think?

That said, Sarafanov and Pavlenko have been dancing together before ("Giselle", "La Bayadère" Shades Act), but because of stature and temperament, it didn't really work well.

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Marc raises the issue of stature in the Pavlenko/Sarafanov partnership, and I'd been wondering about this. From what I've seen of them, it appears that Pavlenko is fairly tall, and Sarafanov short. I should think this would be a problem for them in the difficult partnering in Swan Lake.

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Emploi is always evolving, or rather the interpretation of it, is. And, one might add, there seems to be a rather 'flexible' interpretation of it at the Mariinsky at this moment.

There is another point to the issue, I think, which is the lack of lasting partnerships. Dancers at the Mariinsky are sometimes complaining that they are continually coupled with another partner, leaving them very little chance to grow accustomed to each other. Do we still need these partnerships, or is that something which (along with emploi) belongs to the past? What do others think?

That said, Sarafanov and Pavlenko have been dancing together before ("Giselle", "La Bayadère" Shades Act), but because of stature and temperament, it didn't really work well.

If they have multiple partners, I wouldn't think that's good. But if you are

a versatile dancer and flexible, as well as easy to work with (reputation vs. ego), you should be able to dance with anyone. Both dancers have to be on the same level technically. Then they can build a cohesive, narrative, joint interpretation. Great partnerships are like cosmic anomalies: They're rare. Here's my list: Maximova & Vasiliev, Fonteyn & Nureyev, Sibley & Dowell, Kain & Augustyn, Fracci & Bruhn, Farrell & Martins, McBride/Kent & Villela, Kirkland

& Baryshnikov, Makarova & Nagy, Plisetskaya & N. Fadeyachev, Semenyaka &

Mukhamedov/A. Fadeyechev, Asylmuratova & Zaklinsky/Ruzimatov/Mukhamedov, Ulanova/Dudinskaya & Sergueyev.

When I go to see a performance I want to feel it; I want to be moved. IMO I think the audience still wants to see the romance, the passion, two artists growing together. When the audience finds the 'it' couple, it makes a performance real rather than just steps, or a fairy story/fantasy. Its very satisfying. Who

wants to go to see "Romeo & Juliet" or "Giselle" and not be moved? I think the 'it' partnership now is Cojocaru & Kobborg at Covent Garden. But British critics are complaining "where's Rojo's partner?" :rolleyes: Its just a question of being in the right place, at the right time.

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