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Veronika Part: divided opinions?

213 posts in this topic

"the fact that I even noticed her eyes was an astonishment--you almost never notice dancers' eyes, they're so doll-like and disciplined."

Talking about eyes... Have you seen the DVD of Swan Lake danced by Nina Ananiashvili with the State Ballet of Perm when she was 29 years old? Her eyes are as expressive as her arms and legs. And on the DVD they show her face up close so you really see her eyes.

In her recent performance of Don Q Nina's eyes were alive as can be. My impression is that in Vaganova technique, emphasis is placed on using the eyes, along with epaulement, the head, arms and upper body. I haven't noticed that very much in American-trained dancers, who, in my experience, tend to focus on footwork and extensions. Angelica

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I think Angelica is on to something about the emphasis of the training here and in Russia. The Russians all seem to have a lot more happening above the waist so to speak, especially in the arms and hands while American trained seem to be more statue like. This is really subtle but Michelle Wiles is an example of American style and Diana Vishneva the Russian. You don't act with your legs so the upper body becomes very important for story ballet.

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...This is really subtle but Michelle Wiles is an example of American style and Diana Vishneva the Russian.

Actually Wiles and Vishneva both have Vaganova training. Wiles was schooled at Kirov Academy in DC from childhood to graduation and Vishneva at the Vaganova Academy. They were/are very different people from one another. Personality also has very much to do with the results of what is seen onstage. :dry:

The Vaganova/Russian expressivity and fluidity of the upper body is world reknown. One can teach the coordination, the mechanical aspects of ballet including the eyes, head, fingers, hands and musicality in school, but after schooling it is left to the company and dancer to continue the growth. Company class is a very different thing from the academic world of ballet. Wiles came to ABT as a youngster working her way up where as Vishneva graduated from school already a star and then came to ABT as an international star :dry: The differences are vast, but not really in the training.

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But they seem to dance very differently... is that not from training?

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I did not mean to hijack this thread... :dry:

Just my experience as a teacher and having "known/watched" Wiles, Part and Vishneva as students for years (not my students), they all had different excellent teachers, but the same Vaganova training. Wiles in the US and Part and Vishneva in Russia. Culture does make a difference. My teacher of methodology in Russia would always remind me that the training is the training but that each country should maintain its' cultural identity. Basically she was telling me that my goal to train dancers to look like dancers in Russia was not realistic. It has taken me years to understand her wise words, but they are very true.

One can have a class of 12 beautiful students with the same training or teachers but they will not all dance in the same way. Dancers/students are people. The differences in dancers are many, even in Mariinsky. All of the dancers do not look like Vishneva and Part, but they all came from the same schooling. The same can be said about Baryshnikov and others of his generation from Vaganova Academy. The schooling has principles that are obvious, but how it is taught, where it is taught, to whom it is taught and the teacher/student relationship can produce varying results.

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I did not mean to hijack this thread... :dry:

Not at all! I really appreciate your comments, vrsfanatic. They are among the most helpful I've read on Ballet Talk, especially in elucidating the various elements that come together to produce the performance we see on stage. Thank you.

I hope that others will join you in developing this aspect of the discussion. (It's certainly a tribute to something about Part that her thread has led us onto so many fascinating pathways.)

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There is a beautiful new photo of Veronika at her bio on the ABT website!

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There is a beautiful new photo of Veronika at her bio on the ABT website!

it is! But why is it (for me) still showing up in the soloist section?!

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Only sixteen more days... :thumbsup:

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Only sixteen more days... :thumbsup:

I see by the more complete casting at the ABT site she's 1st cast principal for On the Dnieper. Seo is second cast lead.

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I see by the more complete casting at the ABT site she's 1st cast principal for On the Dnieper.

Good for her. I'm looking forward to reports of her in On the Dnieper.

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There is a beautiful new photo of Veronika at her bio on the ABT website!
It's hard to imagine a picture of Part that isn't beautiful. After all, consider the subject! But this portrait, IMO, does as much as possible to make her look ordinary.

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It's hard to imagine a picture of Part that isn't beautiful. After all, consider the subject! But this portrait, IMO, does as much as possible to make her look ordinary.

She looks youthful and pretty in the new photo. The previous one, with the cropped 'do, was more glam.

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Q: why is Part still listed -- with a photograph -- under "Soloists" on the ABT website?

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Q: why is Part still listed -- with a photograph -- under "Soloists" on the ABT website?

Volcanohunter answered that a few posts back. It is frustrating to see that though, isn't it? She's been languishing there long enough...and if they could bother with changing her photo, why not just go ahead and put it under Principals?

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The timing seems dumb, but contractual, and she'll be moved if the webmaster has his/her act together when her contract kicks in.

Bad timing is what happened to former Colorado Ballet dancer Crystal Hartford, from today's lead Links:

"They let me know February 17th -- I'll never forget that day," said Hartford, 24. (According to Artistic Director Gil Boggs, attendance and ticket sales were up this season, but a drop in contributions led him to lay off four dancers.) Her first thought: "My career's over, especially given the way the economy is right now." To make matters worse, the timing of the bad news meant that she had already missed out on many of the annual open auditions typically held by ballet troupes in January and February.

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The timing seems dumb, but contractual, and she'll be moved if the webmaster has his/her act together when her contract kicks in.

Bad timing is what happened to former Colorado Ballet dancer Crystal Hartford, from today's lead Links:

"They let me know February 17th -- I'll never forget that day," said Hartford, 24. (According to Artistic Director Gil Boggs, attendance and ticket sales were up this season, but a drop in contributions led him to lay off four dancers.) Her first thought: "My career's over, especially given the way the economy is right now." To make matters worse, the timing of the bad news meant that she had already missed out on many of the annual open auditions typically held by ballet troupes in January and February.

That seems par for the course. Most dancers find out the horrible news towards the end of the audition season when they have to scramble.

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I think Veronika looks more youthful and happy in her new photo. The one with the cropped 'do I didn't like (I don't think she looks good with short hair). She's really smiling in this photo, and I think it's fitting because I imagine she must be happy that after a long and sometimes frustrating career she's finally been appointed to principal. It reminds me of her Bayadere last season with Marcelo. Afterwards she looked radiantly happy, as if she knew she had given a great performance, and the audience knew it. I had a feeling good things were going to happen afterward and I was right. :wallbash:

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Q: why is Part still listed -- with a photograph -- under "Soloists" on the ABT website?

Volcanohunter answered that a few posts back. It is frustrating to see that though, isn't it? She's been languishing there long enough...and if they could bother with changing her photo, why not just go ahead and put it under Principals?

Veronika's picture and bio is,finally, listed in the Principal dancers section of the ABT website. :):clapping:

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Veronika's picture and bio is,finally, listed in the Principal dancers section of the ABT website. :):clapping:

:yahoo:

And hopefully they will fix this on her bio:

"She was promoted to soloist in 1998 and to Principal Dancer in 2009."

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Veronika's picture and bio is,finally, listed in the Principal dancers section of the ABT website. :):clapping:

:yahoo:

And hopefully they will fix this on her bio:

"She was promoted to soloist in 1998 and to Principal Dancer in 2009."

Good luck. I've notified ABT of several mistakes I've seen in their principal dancer bios--missing roles, wrong dates, typos whatever--and I've waited two years now, and still not seen any of them fixed. Makes me wonder if there is anyone left there to notice or care.

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It was also reprinted in the June 7 Arts Section. :)

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You're very welcome, bart. :(

atm711, what's been happening recently with NYT Sunday pieces is that they don't show up electronically until Sunday or close to it, but when they are posted the date given with the article is usually two or three days earlier. So a link that appears in the Sunday print edition can sometimes be found online by Saturday, but the article itself can be dated as early as Thursday or Wednesday. It's kind of a pain. (The M.O. with the Links is to go by the date with the article itself, to make it easier to determine if an article has already been posted and for the sake of uniformity, in so far as uniformity is possible.....)

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