Natalia

Kirov 'Bayadere' at Kennedy Center, Jan. 2008

40 posts in this topic

I think there has to be a strong distinction made between Zakharova, a dancer I'm not too fond of, and Somova. Zakharova is not to my tastes because I find her rather cold. But she's a real dancer, and, in the right roles, can be very impressive, even if she'll never be a favorite.

The Somova I've seen from YouTube makes me think she shouldn't even be in the corps de ballet. The way her legs flop wildly, without any muscular control, her absolute lack of any elevation, and, most of all, her totally charmless stage persona, make her Rose Adagio just an absolute :blush: nightmare. Then there's the smaller details, like how she can never seem to figure out whether to keep her legs bent or straight, the frantic way she grabs onto the princes' hands, her port-te-bras (or lack thereof), are just yuck yuck yuck. Her hands always seem like they are reaching for her feet.

Knowing what we all feel about Somova (I thought I was the only one that didn't like her, based on what people around me were saying. I'm so glad that others here do have good taste!!!!), I have a question. I'm not familiar, at all, with the Mariinsky ballet save what I have seen of Asylmuratova, Lopatkina, etc...but, let's go back to a time when Asylmuratova, Makhalina, or Lezhina were the main ballerinas (!!!!), would Somova have even been allowed into the corps de ballet, or would she have fit in?

(I still have issues with teh acrylic nails. I didn't even wear those for my high school prom, since I thought they'd be tasteless with my dress, and Prom is the most glorified, over the top bonanza in the US. I'm not sure where fake nails fit into Bayadere, or the Corsaire, but I don't know...perhaps Ancient India had yet to be discovered secrets...)

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name='ngitanjali' date='Nov 5 2007, 10:24 PM' post='215431']

. . . I have a question. I'm not familiar, at all, with the Mariinsky ballet save what I have seen of Asylmuratova, Lopatkina, etc... would Somova have even been allowed into the corps de ballet, or would she have fit in?

Hi ngitanjali. The Maryinsky of say 1992, is totally different from the Maryinsky of 2007.

Personally, I doubt that Somova would have been accepted into the Kirov during the Soviet era.

She most likely would've been counselled to go to a folk dance troupe or the circus.

She got into the Vaganova Academy and passed all of the exams. She did what she needed

to do to get in. However, it seems she's thrown everything she (supposedly)

learned out the window, in favor of her own personal "style," which is not classical

ballet.

(I still have issues with teh acrylic nails. I didn't even wear those for my high school prom, since I thought they'd be tasteless with my dress, and Prom is the most glorified, over the top bonanza in the US. I'm not sure where fake nails fit into Bayadere, or the Corsaire, but I don't know...perhaps Ancient India had yet to be discovered secrets...)

Her nails are a dangerous hazard that apparently hasn't been, (and won't)

be addressed. Once she was asked about the length of her nails, and she shrugged it

off with indifference, saying that they were apart of her costumes. I perceive

that she wouldn't have dared say this without the full weight of the management

behind her.

. . . but, let's go back to a time when Asylmuratova, Makhalina, or Lezhina were the main ballerinas (!!!!)

When these ladies were dancing, Oleg Vinogradov was the Artistic Director. When Makhar Vaziev assumed

power, his agenda and tastes replaced the outgoing AD's agenda and tastes. This happens everywhere.

Today, we see the results of this change in direction. The fact that someone like Somova could be accepted, and worse, promoted, reflects the leadership's agenda, tastes and values. Somova is being "touted" as the prototype of 'the new Russian ballerina' - someone who is 'advancing' (:blush: ? :excl: ) and, pardon the pun, 'extending the classical canon' (:blink:) :cool:.

As for your other question, ballerinas such as Lopatkina, Vishneva, Ayupova, Pavlenko,

Tarasova and Dumchenko, are representatives of the true Vaganova/Petersburg school, the

embodiment of classical purity and artistry. Of Somova's generation, (Classes of 2002 - 2004),

the young soloists who are trying to uphold this tradition are Olesya Novikova, Tatyana Tkachenko,

Yevgenya Obratzova, Victoria Tereshkina and Ekaterina Osmolkina. Of these, IMO Zhenya Obratzova

and Tatyana Tkachenko are the purest and most polished of this group. Classical purity and artistry

aren't in vogue right now; Somova is.

I pray that Lopatkina, Tereshkina and Vishneva stay healthy - especially for New York next April.

Keep this in mind: If one of them doesn't, the title role in Raymonda Act 3 will be a "go" for A. Somova.

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The casting has been posted to the Kennedy Center website:

CASTING

Tue., Jan. 22 at 7:30 p.m.

Nikiya: Diana Vishneva

Solor: Andrian Fadeyev

Gamzatti: Viktoria Tereshkina

Wed., Jan. 23 at 7:30 p.m.

Nikiya: Uliana Lopatkina

Solor: Ivan Kozlov

Gamzatti: Tatyana Tkachenko

Thu., Jan. 24 at 7:30 p.m.

Nikiya: Irma Nioradze

Solor: Andrian Fadeyev

Gamzatti: Irina Golub

Fri., Jan. 25 at 7:30 p.m.

Nikiya: Alina Somova

Solor: Leonid Sarafanov

Gamzatti: Ekaterina Osmolkina

Sat., Jan. 26 at 1:30 p.m.

Nikiya: Uliana Lopatkina

Solor: Ivan Kozlov

Gamzatti: Tatyana Tkachenko

Sat., Jan. 26 at 7:30 p.m.

Nikiya: Viktoria Tereshkina

Solor: Anton Korsakov

Gamzatti: Irina Golub

Sun., Jan. 27 at 1:30 p.m.

Nikiya: Alina Somova

Solor: Leonid Sarafanov

Gamzatti: Ekaterina Osmolkina

It looks like I'm going to miss Tereshkina's Nikiya, but otherwise I'm quite happy - couldn't ask for more really.

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Diana Vishneva has confirmed on her website that she's planning to dance Nikiya with the Kirov in Washington D.C. on Jan. 22.

:(:jawdrop::jawdrop::yahoo:

You just made my day. I bought tickets for this not knowing the casting. I LOVE Diana. I saw her as Nikiya back in May at ABT. I can't wait to see her in DC in January!

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. . . but, let's go back to a time when Asylmuratova, Makhalina, or Lezhina were the main ballerinas (!!!!)

When these ladies were dancing, Oleg Vinogradov was the Artistic Director. When Makhar Vaziev assumed

power, his agenda and tastes replaced the outgoing AD's agenda and tastes. This happens everywhere.

Today, we see the results of this change in direction. The fact that someone like Somova could be accepted, and worse, promoted, reflects the leadership's agenda, tastes and values. Somova is being "touted" as the prototype of 'the new Russian ballerina' - someone who is 'advancing' (:yahoo: ? :bow: ) and, pardon the pun, 'extending the classical canon' (:bow:) :bow:.

I am a member in Japan and recently an interesting documentary film was released in DVD and in theatres.

It was filmed by a French director and entitled Ballerina.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0898897/

It is a documentary about Kirov ballet and features two ballerinas; Evguenya Obraztsova and Alina Somova. Also it contains some footage and interviews of Lopatkina, Vishneva and Zakharova. But the main topic is the coming generation of new ballerinas in Kirov, represented by Somova (and Obraztsova).

The film begins with the graduation performance of Waganova academy, and Somova performs Paquita.

The artistic director Vaziev likes Somova a lot and she was invited to dance in the Kirov, with the director's wife to be her coach. Somova was said to be the new star of Kirov, She was the only newcomer to join the US tour, and at a very early stage she was dancing Odette/Odile. The film show some of the scenes that Somova being coached. At that time Somova was brunette. Asylmuratova and Manuel Legris from POB appears to comment about the Kirov way.

Apart from the fact that Somova was featured the most in the film, this contains very good footage such as R&J and Legend of Love by Obraztsova, Sheherazade and Legend of Love, Jewels by Lopatkina and Manon rehearsal by Vishneva and Legris and Kolb. I think this DVD will be released worldwide to promote Somova as the new star.

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I am a member in Japan and recently an interesting documentary film was released in DVD and in theatres.

It was filmed by a French director and entitled Ballerina.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0898897/

It is a documentary about Kirov ballet and features two ballerinas; Evguenya Obraztsova and Alina Somova. Also it contains some footage and interviews of Lopatkina, Vishneva and Zakharova. But the main topic is the coming generation of new ballerinas in Kirov, represented by Somova (and Obraztsova).

Thnk you, naomikage, for that report. I know that many of us will be looking out for this to be released here. It reminds me of a documentary I saw long ago (British tv, also shown on tv here in the US) about training at the Royal Ballet, featuring the very young Darcy Bussell and Viviana Durante. I'm delighted that the Japanese audiences for this sort of work are large enough to warrant a theatrical release.

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I know that many of us will be looking out for this to be released here. It reminds me of a documentary I saw long ago (British tv, also shown on tv here in the US) about training at the Royal Ballet, featuring a very young Darcy Bussell and Viviana Durante. I'm delighted that the Japanese audiences for this sort of work are large enough to warrant a theatrical release.

I think Japanese audience are very lucky because 2 other DVDs were recently released in Japan. I think these are exclusive for Japan, and they are Variation Lessons by Lopatkina/ Variations Lessons by Vishneva. I think this topic is suitable for the video forum, but in these DVDs, the two great ballerinas show and explain how they dance Nikiya, Paquita, Raymonda (Lopatikina), Giselle, Odette, Kitri, Aurora (Vishneva). Theie reheasals were shot for this DVD, with long interviews and also stage footage.

Back to the topic. In Japan too, Somova is infamous for her lack of musicality and her rough devloppe, extention-focused dancing. There was a gala by Bolshoi and Mariinsky dancers in August here and Somova danced Tchaikovsky Pas de Duex and Sleeping Beauty Act 2 and they were such a disaster. I had never seen such an awful Balanchine in my entire life. In another gala in August she danced Kitri with Sarafanov and her fouettes were so wierd. so wobbling and shakey.

Somova had appeared as a guest in New National Theatre's Nutcracker in 2004 but at that point she was not so bad. Neither so in the previously mentioned Ballerina DVD. Maybe her coaches ruined her.

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Just read the casting and nearly fell to the floor with glee. Unbelievable! Vishneva opener PLUS two Lopatkinas on this tour? And a Nioradze performance to boot! Of course, the two Somova performances were expected. Hopefully these won't turn into three or four Somovas. :yahoo: Glad to read that Vishneva's website now confirms the opening night.

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I know! In my best Dianglish: "To meeting excited in January. Welcome to performances La Bayadere." :yahoo:

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It is a documentary about Kirov ballet and features two ballerinas; Evguenya Obraztsova and Alina Somova. Also it contains some footage and interviews of Lopatkina, Vishneva and Zakharova.

Ballerina was shown on the satelite french channel TV5 about a year and a half ago. What you say of it makes me wonder if a different cut of the video played in Japan. The video I saw was about all five dancers going progressively from the (then) lower rank Somova, to Obraztsova, Zakharova, Vishneva and finally Lopatkina, according to hierarchy. On the whole, the film captures the beauty and joy but also the tremendous difficulties and pain that come with dancing at that high level.

Somova doesn't really register that much in the film - she is too young and the little she says is rather predictable ("my first year was very hard" etc). The ones that make the most vivid impression are Vishneva and Obraztsova. They are both very open and give good interviews. Vishneva, comes across as intense and very intelligent while Obraztsova looks warm and bubbly but capable of great emotional depth on stage. Most of the doc was filmed in 2002-2003 just before Zakharova left for the Bolshoi and around the time when Lopatkina returned from her two year injury hiatus. Lopatkina is the more aloof of all, she does not say a lot to the camera but rather lets others and her dancing speak for her.

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Ballerina was shown on the satelite french channel TV5 about a year and a half ago. What you say of it makes me wonder if a different cut of the video played in Japan. The video I saw was about all five dancers going progressively from the (then) lower rank Somova, to Obraztsova, Zakharova, Vishneva and finally Lopatkina, according to hierarchy. On the whole, the film captures the beauty and joy but also the tremendous difficulties and pain that come with dancing at that high level.

chrisk217,

I think it is the same version that you saw on TV5. The film was a little bit disappointing for me because in Japan it was promoted as Lopatkina and Vishneva, Zakharova was the center subject of the film (especially Lopatkina because Lopatkina is very very popular in Japan but Vishneva is less popular) but in fact Somova appears quite a lot and footage of Lopatkina quite few.

Of cause I was very impressed with the delicate expressions and acting of Obraztsova, and the divine beauty of Lopatkina. The footage of Obraztsova was very, very impressive and touching although so short. Also it captures some of her daily life. So it is a very valuable film, anyway.

As for the interviews, Vishneva was much impressive with the other DVD, Variation Lessons by Vishneva. She speaks so much about her art, what she thinks about when she dances each work such as Giselle, Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake.

Here is a link to the DVD official site (Japanese).

http://cmecr.columbia.co.jp/shop/product/info.asp?gc=XI1374

Anyway, I envy the American audience can see such a wonderful cast in La Bayadere which I truely love. In Japan, Kirov comes every 3 years but every time it is Swan Lake and I am dying to see other work.

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Unfortunately, I will be submitted to Somova's Bayadere. Bayadere is my all time favorite "Petipa" ballet-this should prove to be an interesting experience. At least the corps will be worth the ticket money. I saw an open dress rehearsal of Nutcracker a few years back at the Kennedy Center and have vivid memories of Vasiev yelling over the microphone repeatedly, "Alina! Line! Somova get in line!". I am excited about seeing Sarafanov and Osmolkina.

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Unfortunately, I will be submitted to Somova's Bayadere. Bayadere is my all time favorite "Petipa" ballet-this should prove to be an interesting experience. At least the corps will be worth the ticket money. I saw an open dress rehearsal of Nutcracker a few years back at the Kennedy Center and have vivid memories of Vasiev yelling over the microphone repeatedly, "Alina! Line! Somova get in line!". I am excited about seeing Sarafanov and Osmolkina.

Do you know if they'd have a dress rehearsal this year? it would be so nice ;-))

... and I am happy, I'll be going on Tuesday, Wdn, Thusday, hopeful that they still stick to the announced cast, Vishneva, Lopatkina, Nioradze, and my favorite Fadeev twice....

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Unfortunately, I will be submitted to Somova's Bayadere. Bayadere is my all time favorite "Petipa" ballet-this should prove to be an interesting experience. At least the corps will be worth the ticket money. I saw an open dress rehearsal of Nutcracker a few years back at the Kennedy Center and have vivid memories of Vasiev yelling over the microphone repeatedly, "Alina! Line! Somova get in line!". I am excited about seeing Sarafanov and Osmolkina.

Do you know if they'd have a dress rehearsal this year? it would be so nice ;-))

... and I am happy, I'll be going on Tuesday, Wdn, Thusday, hopeful that they still stick to the announced cast, Vishneva, Lopatkina, Nioradze, and my favorite Fadeev twice....

I haven't heard anything about an open dress rehearsal but perhaps a phone call to the Kennedy Center could rectify that. I really enjoy dress rehearsals more than performance; as a retired dancer, I love the "behind the scenes" aspect. Some of my students are also attending the Somova performance and I'm hoping that they don't start idolizing her. I did check out her youtube Bayadere and it was nowhere near as bad as her Sleeping Beauty. Maybe there is hope!

I'd love to see Lopatkina and Vishneva. Fadeyev was wonderful in "Giselle" a few years back.

Has anyone heard any hints on next years' tour? What production?

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Hi!!! I'm from Saint- Petersburg and I've seen Somova a lot of times...I can say just that she is very good in short roles, but she it too unexperienced to dance first roles...As for me, I can see with pleasure, for example, her variation in pas de trois in 3 act of La Bayadere, but not Nikya!!! She almost doesn' t care about the character, just technique....

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