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Alina Somova


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#211 Helene

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 01:33 PM

Catherine Pawlick argued in her book about Vaganova that after the breakup of the Soviet Union, Mariinsky management deliberately went for a change in aesthetic to "Western," (-influenced) which in my opinion was a superficial and distorted view of the aesthetic from a culture with limited exposure to what it was trying to emulate.

Somova was at least partially trained and later encouraged and coached to look a certain way by her coach and management. People who bought that misguided aesthetic don't believe that Obraztsova deserved to be promoted ahead of her. In the movie "Ballerina" Somova is chastised for the very things in which she was encouraged to do or at least that were ignored. Is a stage rehearsal really the place to decide that there was a serious aesthetic or technical issue?


Somova did a lovely job in the lyrical second movement pas de deux in "Ballet Imperial.". While she wouldn't be my first choice for the Midsummer PDD -- I think she'd be fine as Titania -- with respectful coaching and some time, I think she could do it. Imagine her being coached by Verdy.

#212 George Ou

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 02:43 AM

Catherine Pawlick argued in her book about Vaganova that after the breakup of the Soviet Union, Mariinsky management deliberately went for a change in aesthetic to "Western," (-influenced) which in my opinion was a superficial and distorted view of the aesthetic from a culture with limited exposure to what it was trying to emulate.

Somova was at least partially trained and later encouraged and coached to look a certain way by her coach and management. People who bought that misguided aesthetic don't believe that Obraztsova deserved to be promoted ahead of her. In the movie "Ballerina" Somova is chastised for the very things in which she was encouraged to do or at least that were ignored. Is a stage rehearsal really the place to decide that there was a serious aesthetic or technical issue?


When you say "western", do you mean Balanchine? The French, Brits, Canadians, Americans (like ABT), and Latin American classical dancers all work very pure classical lines (even if it's the more athletic evolution) at the elite levels.

I think it has to do with the "arms race" for longer looking dancers who look like runway models (both body and face). Obraztsova is obviously a superb dancer and a pretty girl, but she's no runway model like Somova and I think that's the primary reason they passed her over. Moreover, there might have been some political pressure for a prototypical Russian (non ethnic type) ballerina after the success of all the Ukrainian male and female superstars. When they found Somova, they jumped the gun.

Looking back at that ballerina documentary, Somova came across as a very good student with excellent potential and natural beauty but nowhere close to mature enough to be a principle. Then they took her natural eyebrow and butchered, over-plucked, and painted it like a drag queen. They took her naturally beautiful hair and painted it like a cheap wig. They really need to check the fashion magazine cover girls for a clue on how to do a good natural look.

That scene where the director berated her back attitude aesthetics - the signature pose of the white swan - made me feel like he was almost subtly rebuking his political pressure to promote this girl.

#213 Jayne

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 08:12 PM

I suppose lots of people have bad days at the office, and when you can find videotape on youtube of mistakes, and edit them together, it looks far worse.

#214 Tiara

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 03:26 AM

I suppose lots of people have bad days at the office, and when you can find videotape on youtube of mistakes, and edit them together, it looks far worse.


Hello! I am new here but had to respond to this! I saw the YouTube video on Oksana Skorik and was very glad to see it, because actually on YouTube the general quality of videos is low, largely consisting of short, poor quality extracts which are very badly filmed, and often virtually indistinguishable. To see such beautifully filmed, quality extracts was a true delight. However, I saw Oksana Skorik's Swan Lake, and have to agree with the opinions stated in the video - her Odette/Odile was actually a catalogue of disasters and any Vaganova trained corps de ballet member could have done better. Her pointe technique seems particularly weak and she shows little elevation: in particular, she lacks expressiveness and musicality. It is a matter of concern to all who love the Mariinsky that this ballerina is being promoted over other Vaganova-trained ballerinas who are most unfairly being denied the opportunities given to Oksana Skorik.

#215 Helene

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 10:31 AM

[Admin Beanie On]

We've had to remove statements that discuss other posters and have unofficial news. I explain the difference between official and unofficial news here. As for the rest, discuss posts, not posters.

Somova and Skorik are contentious topics. This is a thread about Somova. If you want to discuss Skorik in depth, please start a thread about her.

We're also not a fan board.

I'm not taking the beanie off until I see this happening.

#216 George Ou

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 02:44 PM

[Admin Beanie On]

We've had to remove statements that discuss other posters and have unofficial news. I explain the difference between official and unofficial news here. As for the rest, discuss posts, not posters.

Somova and Skorik are contentious topics. This is a thread about Somova. If you want to discuss Skorik in depth, please start a thread about her.

We're also not a fan board.

I'm not taking the beanie off until I see this happening.


I'm not sure I can start a new thread yet. But if you want to move my Skorik posts, please do as you wish.

#217 Helene

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 03:32 PM

If there's a block on your ability to post a new message, please let me know, because only new threads in the "Links" should be restricted to logged-in, active members.

However, in-depth analysis of videos is not part of our mission, which is to discuss classical ballet. In fact, the "Dancers" forum was created to discuss career retrospectives, not to hash out the merits/demerits of active dancers, although we've allowed threads that are mostly news about active dancers.

YouTube (or the hosting video forum) is the proper place to make these points and have these discussions. I'm closing this thread.


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