Natalia

Promotions, Nov 2008 - Somova is Principal Ballerina

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Here we go. The moment that many of us have been dreading. Somova has just been named Principal Ballerina of the Kirov! :D

http://www.mariinsky.ru/en/company/ballet/

I am sorta hoping that this was done to get her out and off to La Scala as a principal. Not that I wish any evil to La Scala, mind you.

On the positive side, I see that Ayupova is back on the roster. Hopefully, she will get a proper Farewell once she decides to truly retire. In the meantime, it is great to have her back at the Mariinsky, where she belongs.

Later, I'll check the rest of the roster to see who else has been promoted in other categories. I quickly glanced at the choryphees and saw that Selina is still languishing in that category, despite years of dancing featured roles and solos...not even 2nd Soloist for her? Ridiculous.

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Here we go. The moment that many of us have been dreading. Somova has just been named Principal Ballerina of the Kirov! :D

http://www.mariinsky.ru/en/company/ballet/

I am sorta hoping that this was done to get her out and off to La Scala as a principal. Not that I wish any evil to La Scala, mind you.

On the positive side, I see that Ayupova is back on the roster. Hopefully, she will get a proper Farewell once she decides to truly retire. In the meantime, it is great to have her back at the Mariinsky, where she belongs.

Later, I'll check the rest of the roster to see who else has been promoted in other categories. I quickly glanced at the choryphees and saw that Selina is still languishing in that category, despite years of dancing featured roles and solos...not even 2nd Soloist for her? Ridiculous.

Thanks for the update, Natalia. These promotions are indeed surreal.... Somova on the same level as Lopatkina, Ayupova, Vishneva, Pavlenko...

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Thanks for the update, Natalia. These promotions are indeed surreal.... Somova on the same level as Lopatkina, Ayupova, Vishneva, Pavlenko...

...Not to forget, the legacy of Pavlova, Karsavina, Trefilova, Dudinskaya, Kolpakova, Makarova, Shellest, Osipenko. Sorry - Is this some sort of joke?

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OMG (Insert exclamation points to infinity here) :D . The Vazievs leave for Milan, and The Accidental "Ballerina" is elevated to Principal Dancer? >> A position she is neither (a) worthy of or (b) QUALIFIED FOR?! And before Kondaurova, Obratzova and Novikova?!

I am sorta hoping that this was done to get her out and off to La Scala as a principal. Not that I wish any evil to La Scala, mind you.

Vous pensez 'quid pro quo?' Je pense, oui. I guarantee that Somova will follow them to La Scala as a frequent guest "artist."

She will headline La Scala's "Swan Lake" and "Bayadere." DVDs are next. Zakharova should start getting worried - uh, NOT.

" . . . a day that will live in infamy."
(F.D.R.)

"

It's the end of the world as we know it."
(REM)

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" . . . a day that will live in infamy."
(F.D.R.)

"

It's the end of the world as we know it."
(REM)

:D

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Dear Mariinsky Ballet,

Please bring Ayupova to the Kennedy Center before she retires for good!

That is all,

Hans

P.S. Yes, I am aware of the futility of this request....

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" . . . a day that will live in infamy."
(F.D.R.)

:lol::lol::lol:

Solniska - Good catch about poor Amosova. I guess that she's been deemed too matronly for a tutu. I noticed that Alexander Sergeev is 2nd soloist (hoorah!) and that a couple of recent-graduates are now choryphees - Vasnetsova (recent Swan Lake debut), Chugai, Petushkova. VERY recent graduate, Anastasia Nikitina, already danced a muse in Apollo at Zelensky's recent gala (thanks to a fellow board for reporting this)...but she remains in the corps; by spring '09 she will be choryphee, most likely.

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I KNEW a riot would break out when Alina Somova was promoted to Principal status. :lol: Now, when will we see Ekaterina Kondaurova get the same status, given her artistic success within the last two years (especially the triumphant Swan Lake performance around two weeks ago). :lol: (Mind you, I think Kondaurova could be the next to get Principal status, though.)

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" . . . a day that will live in infamy."
(F.D.R.)
As long as we're quoting presidents, allow me to invoke the ever-quotable Mr. Lincoln:

If you call a sheep's tail a leg, how many legs does it have"

Five.

No, four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it one.

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This just in - breaking news from Petersburg. The Management has just announced Somova's debut Dec 7 in . . . (wait for it),

Fokine's "The Dying Swan." :)

Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either.

Albert Einstein

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Do you think that in the Somova version the dying swan will touch her knee to her ear one last time before expiring?

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Based on just a few videos, I do understand the responses that have been posted here so far.

But ... there must be those at the Mariinsky and elsewhere who DO see this promotion as deserved. It always helps to understand the way the other side thinks.

For the purposes of discussion: How would a supporter of Somova's promotion justify it -- aesthetically or in other relevant terms?

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Here we go. The moment that many of us have been dreading. Somova has just been named Principal Ballerina of the Kirov! :)

http://www.mariinsky.ru/en/company/ballet/

I am sorta hoping that this was done to get her out and off to La Scala as a principal. Not that I wish any evil to La Scala, mind you.

On the positive side, I see that Ayupova is back on the roster. Hopefully, she will get a proper Farewell once she decides to truly retire. In the meantime, it is great to have her back at the Mariinsky, where she belongs.

Later, I'll check the rest of the roster to see who else has been promoted in other categories. I quickly glanced at the choryphees and saw that Selina is still languishing in that category, despite years of dancing featured roles and solos...not even 2nd Soloist for her? Ridiculous.

It is often internal or external politics not art that runs the ballet world.

As Marc points out, how do you place this young lady on the same plain as Vishneva and Ayupova.

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For the purposes of discussion: How would a supporter of Somova's promotion justify it -- aesthetically or in other relevant terms?

Well, the Somova supporters (Kirov management?) seem to be flooding You Tube with clips of her dancing and the comments posted underneath are very revealing, as they seem to come in the main from pre-teen ballet school pupils that have it in their heads that the height of balletic attainment is a 180 degree extension. The dissenters are shouted down extremely rudely by posters with an imperfect knowledge of English. That says it all as far as I'm concerned.

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Do you think that in the Somova version the dying swan will touch her knee to her ear one last time before expiring?

And after. :P

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A while ago I asked the following:

For the purposes of discussion: How would a supporter of Somova's promotion justify it -- aesthetically or in other relevant terms?

Mashinka replied:

Well, the Somova supporters (Kirov management?) seem to be flooding You Tube with clips of her dancing and the comments posted underneath are very revealing, as they seem to come in the main from pre-teen ballet school pupils that have it in their heads that the height of balletic attainment is a 180 degree extension. The dissenters are shouted down extremely rudely by posters with an imperfect knowledge of English. That says it all as far as I'm concerned.

I also have received an extremelyi interesting, exremely convincing p.m. from one of Members who has had extensive experience observing the Kirov/Mariinsky. This Member, who preferred not to post online, tried hard but could only come up with a couple of arguments in supporting the promotion.

You're looking for a devil's advocate [ ... ]?

[ ... ]

Tourist audience's and audiences abroad "like her."

[ and ... ]

"connections."

That really does appears to be it. The silence in defense of this promotion -- even when our Members are trying -- speaks loud indeed.

I've seen Somova only on video, but I must admit that I agree with everyone else here. The most amazing aspect of this is the way she looks on video and the effect this has on the ballet and on those dancing around her. Somova in these videos seems to have been imported from another company, another aesthetic, possibly another planet for all I know. Her dancing, whatever one thinks of it, destroys any illusion of stylistic unity. It does not fit. It jars. As my correspondent writes, it "stands out like a sore thumb."

It's all very strange -- but so is a lot of the economic and political news coming from Putin's and Medvedev's Russia in recent years.

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As Marc points out, how do you place this young lady on the same plain as Vishneva and Ayupova.

This is not news. From what I've heard, there is a LOT of politicking going on "behind the scenes" over getting the level of promotion for each dancer inside the Mariinsky troupe. I believe most of that politicking is coming from the coaches of each dancer, too. In my opinion, unless you're naturally very talented like these four female dancers from the 2001 and 2002 Vaganova Academy graduating classes (e.g., Ekaterina Kondaurova, Olesia Novikova, Evgenia Obraztsova and Viktoria Tereshkina), you need a coach that can strongly influence the Mariinsky management to promote the dancer. Given that Alina Somova's former coach was the wife of Makhar Vaziev (who was the Deputy Director of the Ballet Company of the Mariinsky Theatre), I'm not surprised Somova got promoted so fast. If I read correctly, there are still detractors about Diana Vishneva becoming Principal dancer, especially those who express concern that Vishneva is spending too much time as guest artist of other ballet companies. It's very rare for a dancer to get promoted to Principal status in a few years with the Mariinsky troupe just because his or her skills are so superior to all others--Ulyana Lopatkina is one of the few I can remember in recent years.

(By the way, in my personal opinion I can see Kondaurova, Novikova and Obraztsova become Principal dancers within the next 4-5 years--these three are favorites with both Russian and Western audiences. :o )

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As Marc points out, how do you place this young lady on the same plain as Vishneva and Ayupova.

This is not news. From what I've heard, there is a LOT of politicking going on "behind the scenes" over getting the level of promotion for each dancer inside the Mariinsky troupe. I believe most of that politicking is coming from the coaches of each dancer, too. In my opinion, unless you're naturally very talented like these four female dancers from the 2001 and 2002 Vaganova Academy graduating classes (e.g., Ekaterina Kondaurova, Olesia Novikova, Evgenia Obraztsova and Viktoria Tereshkina), you need a coach that can strongly influence the Mariinsky management to promote the dancer. Given that Alina Somova's former coach was the wife of Makhar Vaziev (who was the Deputy Director of the Ballet Company of the Mariinsky Theatre), I'm not surprised Somova got promoted so fast. If I read correctly, there are still detractors about Diana Vishneva becoming Principal dancer, especially those who express concern that Vishneva is spending too much time as guest artist of other ballet companies. It's very rare for a dancer to get promoted to Principal status in a few years with the Mariinsky troupe just because his or her skills are so superior to all others--Ulyana Lopatkina is one of the few I can remember in recent years.

(By the way, in my personal opinion I can see Kondaurova, Novikova and Obraztsova become Principal dancers within the next 4-5 years--these three are favorites with both Russian and Western audiences. :) )

FYI, Diana Vishneva has been a principal dancer since 1996. Both she and Svetlana Zakharova made it to principal within a year after they joined the Mariinsky. It took Lopatkina 4 or 5 years before getting the big prize. That coaches lobby for their pupils is no secret, but how much and in which cases it worked, is purely speculation. Chenchikova had many dancers under her care. Some did make it to principal, others just didn't.

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The recent controversy over Vishneva was whether the Mariinsky should allow her to remain with the company while spending so much time away from it, guesting.

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[Admin Beanie On]

Somova's promotion is a polarizing topic, but please avoid speculation about it.

[/Admin Beanie Off]

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Remember when we all thought Svetlana Zakharova was tacky? Now she seems almost tasteful.

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Remember when we all thought Svetlana Zakharova was tacky? Now she seems almost tasteful.

Scary but true. :clapping:

At least Zakharova is musical and performs with a certain degree of refinement. Somova is a 100% hopeless mess....even with Terekhova's current coaching sessions...even if Enrico Ceccheti would emerge from the grave to impart special lessons. One either has a basic sense of artistry or one does not. End of story.

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Remember when we all thought Svetlana Zakharova was tacky?

I still do.

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Remember when we all thought Svetlana Zakharova was tacky?

I still do.

So do I. The first time I saw a clip of her Giselle I was momentarily tempted to put my eyes out (but thought better of it and turned the video off instead).

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