Posted 15 August 2011 - 09:43 AM
Mashinka wrote (and quoted) above:
Critic Giannandrea Poesio was very harsh about Somova in particular and the Kirov in general in The Spectator. Here's what he says about Somova
As Odile, the Black Swan, her performance was a compendium of escalating vulgarities...
Oh dear. This isn't going to help the trend of casting her less and less for the big galas and high-prestige tours. It sounds as if another Mariinsky ballerina is being "Makhalinized," although it's a bit jarring to see it happening in someone (a) this young (25/26) and (b) for whom the reason is not motherhood. [Other young principals have gone through this but it would usually be tied to motherhood at first, i.e., Pavlenko or 1st soloists Osmolkina, Dumchenko, etc.] Alas, the facts seem to be lining up:
* off the Feb/Mar 2011 Canada tour (no Bayadere/Ottawa, no Swan Lake/Toronto, with the latter cancelled at the very last moment...and still denied by the Mariinsky Press Office, even after I sent them a scan of my playbill, showing Terioshkina dancing in place of Somova)
* off the Youth America Grand Prix gala in NY, late March 2011
* no classical full lengths at the April 2011 Mariinsky Festival (after 5 straight yrs of being granted the most pretigious full-length Petipa evenings)
* only one full-length work in NYC, July 2011, and it was a 3rd-cast matinee (1 yr ago, would have been 1st-cast evening)
* only 1 SWAN LAKE in London (badly rec'vd, as we've read above), then taken off the BAYADERE matinee (lest we forget that just 2 yrs ago, Somova OPENED the 2009 London tour with her ROLE DEBUT as Juliet)
As YID had pointed out in the NYC tour thread: not so long ago, it was impossible to avoid a performance with Somova, e.g., in DC, she was either Kitri or Dryad Queen at every performance of DQ a couple of yrs ago. It seems to be the ebb and flow of life as a principal.
As for the photographic evidence:
Yes, it is very interesting to see clear-cut examples of alignment side-by-side. "The proof is in the pudding," as they say. However, it's perhaps even more important to critique the "essence" of the artist, i.e., does he/she bring you JOY, is he/she MUSICAL, does he/she convey the proper aristocratic airs in the big Petipa ballets? In all honesty, the technical imperfections of Ms Somova have irked me the least. It's the "big picture" that I've found hard to stomach. She could align herself perfectly but the lack of musicality, big grin, sticking-out of chin, and overall "hee-haw quality" would still be a problem, sorry to say.