And is this working with the ticket-buyers? I realize that some audiences crave extreme extensions, contortions, and possibly a bit of bizarre arm-waving, etc.. But even these were not done particularly well. It looked like parody. Who IS the audience for this? And how do the traditional audiences respond?
Somova is being pushed down our collective throat by the Kirov mangement because they think she's exactly what we want and what we will pay to see.
I'm sorry for my puzzlement, but I have not seen the Kirov live for quite a while, and I cannot square the images I saw in this clip from Rose Adagio with what I read about the company elsewhere (including Ballet Talk) and have observed on relatively recent dvds.
Are there two Kirovs, operating in parallel but non-connecting universes?
The traditional audiences, (i.e. Lopatkina, Obratzova, Pavlenko and Vishneva's fans), generally avoid the opera house when it's a Somova night. Her nights are usually first nights or mid-week, or weekends when the tourists buy up the most
expensive seats in 'orchestra.' The Czar's Box level and upper tier crowd, aren't as forgiving as the tourists. Also, they aren't as close as the tourists are to the line of fire.
Re: the Youtube tape, I stopped counting mistakes at #15 in the Rose Adage alone. Her "entrance" was !!!!. I mean, we're not talking about technical survival here. She lacks sufficient strength in her right foot for the balances, notice the persistent wobble. She is allowed to insert the Sergeyev penchees into the 1890 notation after the first set of balances, and at the end of the final promenade. Vishneva, Obratzova, Tereshkina, Gumerova, Novikova, Dumchenko - none of them take this liberty in the Reconstruction. She hits 182 degrees with every developpe and every penchee in the Adage. Her tutu hits her tiara during the diagonal balances with the King's Violinists. Mind you, this was not her debut; this was taped in January > two years after her Los Angeles debut in Fall 2005, so there's no excuse for these egregious mistakes, or this 're-dux' of the 'script.' What really bothers me is that audiences worldwide who have never experienced the true Maryinsky/Petersburg style, will see Somova, and erroneously conclude that they've seen & experienced a legitimate exponent and purveyor of the Vaganova/Petersburg School - not so.
For those of you out there who like to live dangerously, the rest of her faux Act 1 can be viewed on Mad-About-Maryinsky and Dropshots. The variation was impossible and painful to watch: Her lack of turnout is most pronounced
here; there's nowhere for her to hide - it's on display for all to see. Picture this: After she pricks her finger, the ensemble onstage is in their proper place, as the choreography dictates. She, on the other hand, realizes that King Papa and Queen Mama are standing stage right by the wings, and she is front and center in the middle of the stage. Imagine her surprise when she raises her right hand to dad - AND HE'S NOT THERE! It dawns ( ) on her that she's in the wrong spot. So, she does a very hasty, and very sloppy "grande jete" to get over to them, then she gets back into position - again (!) and proffers her hand so that his majesty can examine her "boo-boo." And through all of this Tchaikovsky soldiers on leaving her behind. Gaffes like these can't be concealed, OK?
What is the antidote for Somova? I suggest viewing any of the following: The 1983 Kolpakova/Berezhnoi, the 1989 Lezhnina/Ruzimatov, the Asylmuratova/Zaklinsky, the Sizova/Soloviev, or the Semenyaka/Fadeyechev dvds - these helped me through the withdrawals.