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Veronika Part: divided opinions?


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#151 angelica

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 07:29 PM

"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

#152 SanderO

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 08:45 PM

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.

#153 vrsfanatic

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 03:49 AM

...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.

#154 SanderO

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 04:28 AM

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

#155 vrsfanatic

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 04:53 AM

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.

#156 bart

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 06:21 AM

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.)

#157 Rosa

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 03:35 PM

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

#158 aurora

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 04:02 PM

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?!

#159 volcanohunter

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 04:05 PM

Because the promotion takes effect on May 18th.

#160 Rosa

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 04:07 PM

Only sixteen more days... :thumbsup:

#161 vipa

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 04:38 PM

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.

#162 Rosa

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 06:01 PM

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.

#163 carbro

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 07:52 PM

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.

#164 Old Fashioned

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 09:47 AM

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.

#165 bart

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 09:57 AM

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


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