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Congratulations Alina Somova! (Maybe)

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I can't believe no one found this, but it's been all over the figure skating boards, where Alexei Yagudin is a huge idol. But ...

Yagudin and Somova marry

Yagudin was one of my favorite skaters, and I wish the couple a happy life together!

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I can't believe no one found this, but it's been all over the figure skating boards, where Alexei Yagudin is a huge idol. But ...

Yagudin and Somova marry

Yagudin was one of my favorite skaters, and I wish the couple a happy life together!

Perhaps, as in America, the reporter is not the headline writer. The article concludes with
Aleksey says that he will propose to Alina as soon as he feels the desire to tie the knot.

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After several interviews in which Yagudin identified his serious girlfriend as Somova, the Russian press has gone wild with the story, and I suspect this won't be the first article that tries to generate a bit of an uproar with a forceful title wrapped around a recap of events to date.

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I fervently hope a retirement into happy domesticity awaits her. :beg:

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This is not the first Russian dancer/skater pairing. Igor Zelensky used to date Katia Gordeeva. I know this because I read quite a few interviews that were posted on the boards in which he talked about Gordeeva. At the time he was dancing with the NYCB.

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A pairing of this stature is likely to be tabloid fodder for months to come. Sadly for the newspaper business, Olympic gold medallist Evgeni Plushenko fell in love young, married his non-newsworthy love, and is about to become a father any day now. The things he doesn't do to stimulate the economy :beg:

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Well, Helene, every country needs its own "Brangelina." :beg:

But Katia Gordeeva's father was a ballet dancer too. He was trained at the Bolshoi academy, and was quite disappointed that his daughter chose skating over ballet. So now we know where she got her grace.

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I fervently hope a retirement into happy domesticity awaits her. :beg:

I'll co-sign that Mashinka! :flowers::flowers:

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I fervently hope a retirement into happy domesticity awaits her. :beg:

I'll co-sign that Mashinka! :speechless-smiley-003::D

Make that three. Oh, would we only be so fortunate! :devil:

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Why is Alina Somova so hated? She is not such a bad ballerina, and anyway she is still quite young. Give her a chance and she could become a better ballerina :flowers: .

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Katia Gordeeva is now married to Ilia Kulik, who although was a skating champion, could perhaps be considered a ballet dancer...Center Stage? No? Ok, nevermind. :flowers:

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Why is Alina Somova so hated? She is not such a bad ballerina, and anyway she is still quite young. Give her a chance and she could become a better ballerina :P .

She's been a professional since 2003. Yes, she graduated Vaganova Academy. I've seen her Corsaire ppd, and her Paquita (variation #1) as well as other roles. For me, the main problem I have with her is that her style and technique of execution is an aberration and deviation from the established and familiar Vaganova style. The foundation of the Maryinsky's repertory is Petipa. Her 'in your face' execution of the steps, and lack of characterization of the old warhorse roles, do not conform to the grace, precision and delicacy that is the basis of Petipa's choreography. For example, she constantly whacks the side of ear when she performs developpes. Her sense timing is erratic and un-musical. I think that she would do very well if coached intensely in Forsythe or some Balanchine, but Petipa is not for her, particularly Odette/Odile and the academicism of Aurora. Basically, Somova is an acquired taste. You either like her, or you don't.

Now, to be fair, and giving her the benefit of the doubt, how she is coached is not her fault. Madame Olga Tchyentchikova (Vazieva) is her coach and benefactor. It's her primary responsibility to correct her pupil. According to reports, on site in St. P and wherever she has appeared abroad, there has been no change in her interpretations, nor has she improved upon them. Yes she is young, and there is still time for her to do a U-turn on the road she's on, but personally, I wouldn't recommend her, nor would I pay to see her again.

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Basically, Somova is an acquired taste. You either like her, or you don't.

Now, to be fair, and giving her the benefit of the doubt, how she is coached is not her fault. Madame Olga Tchyentchikova (Vazieva) is her coach and benefactor. It's her primary responsibility to correct her pupil. According to reports, on site in St. P and wherever she has appeared abroad, there has been no change in her interpretations, nor has she improved upon them. Yes she is young, and there is still time for her to do a U-turn on the road she's on, but personally, I wouldn't recommend her, nor would I pay to see her again.

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I suspect that the Kirov/Mariinsky has been pushing Somova as the "new" or "replacement" Zakharova. Therefore, they have been allowing her to show off her extreme extensions and flamboyance to show the world that they've got more where Zakharova came from. Zakharova (whom I like in the right roles) is a controversial artist and has her detractors as well. Zakharova is a genuine star, like her or not, and is very much her own creation.

If Somova was developed to be a little more herself and less like Zakharova, she might shine or demonstrate better the tradition which she was trained in.

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Madame Olga Tchyentchikova (Vazieva) is her coach and benefactor.
Just as a note, US ballet fans who, because of geography, haven't had a chance to follow the Mariinsky closely, may have seen her Odette/Odile in the PBS Wolf Trap broadcast of a live performance of Swan Lake during the 1986 Kirov tour. Her name is usually transliterated as "Chenchikova" in the US press.

About Ms. Tchyentchikova/Chenchikova, Anna Kisselgoff wrote,

Olga Chenchikova remains a dazzling, straightforward dancer with a refreshing neo-classic style. A tendency to hunch her shoulders detracts from her line, but her no-nonsense technique lets the dancing speak for itself. (She and Mr. Zaklinsky lead the excellent performance of ''Swan Lake,'' to be televised July 16 at 9 P.M. on WNET.)
My impression of her from that performance was that she is a stylistic opposite of Somova, at least in the descriptions I've read. It doesn't surprise me when a teacher tries to force a pupil to look like him or her, but it does seem odd that Chenchikova would encourage Somova in the direction in which she's been described, when it isn't close to her own or the tradition.

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Having seen both Chenchikova and Somova, I can confirm that they are indeed pretty much stylistic opposites. Although Chenchikova did have her flamboyant moments (she could pirouette like a tornado) she confined such things to appropriately bravura moments in the choreography.

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I think that she would do very well if coached intensely in Forsythe or some Balanchine

Forsythe’s style would appear to be ideal for Somova, but correct me if I’m wrong; I don’t think she has appeared in any of his works yet and instead has been cast predominantly in the classics. Balanchine will give her problems as her basic technique looks suspect to me and she doesn’t have the precision needed for most Balanchine works.

Somova isn’t the only dancer to specialize in frightening extensions at the Kirov as they are becoming a dominant feature of the new style that is emerging in St Petersburg, where all penchee arabesques are required to be at least 180 degrees regardless of context. Ms Somova goes well beyond 180 and pushes to the limits most peoples ideas of stylistic acceptability. Not mentioned quite as often is the way she holds her head while dancing, which looks rather odd. She still looks an unfinished article to me, so why is she constantly cast in leading roles?

Although there are few things in dance so disheartening as teachers that simply try to create clones of themselves; how a beautiful dancer like Chenchikova could produce a Somova is beyond my comprehension.

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