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Alina Somova


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#16 ngitanjali

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Posted 16 November 2008 - 07:33 AM

I saw Alina Somova during the City Center run. I was really prepared to give her the benefit of the doubt, thinking she couldn't be as bad as everyone says. Well she wasn't ... she was worse. She has no elevation, so when she goes for a grande jete it looks like her legs are just flopping. She also can't really move, despite her ear-whacking. Her fouettes are very amateurish, her pirouettes insecure, and she also has adopted the Uliana Lopatkina way of holding her head so her chin juts out.



I have watched EVERY video of Alina that I can get my hands on, and I have to agree with you. She is a lovely lovely girl, and the Don Q rehearsals are really nice, however, she's just too uncontrolled.

As for the Uliana Lopatkina way of holding her head--it's like adopting mannerisms and ignoring the rest of the technique, the story. Lopatkina holds her head up high because it fits with her style. Somova seems to do it because, "Oh, it looks good". Never mind that seh looks ridiculous with the talon fingernails and the floppy jetes.

sigh.

Let's hope for a Big Red promotion :o

#17 Cygnet

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 10:30 AM

. . . Yet it is strange that an unfinished artist is promoted before the remarkable pair Obraztsova and "Big Red" Kondaurova. But then, as mentioned many times elsewhere on BT, Part and Reichlen are yet to be principals. It isn't only in Russia.


Reality check time: Somova didn't even make annual as a First Soloist. She was "upgraded" for the April City Center engagement. This "promotion" simply doesn't pass the smell test. Also, if the Maryinsky had considered seniority, (and they didn't), the First Soloist who should have gone forward would've been Ekaterina Osmolkina; then Novikova, then Obratzova, then Kondaurova in that order. Usually, in the MT, (what's supposed to happen - in theory and practice), is that if a Principal retires, (male or female), then those "set" to move up, move up a notch. Of course, this procedure has been subject to
change in extraordinary circumstances - only for unprecedented & exceptionally gifted talents. Somova doesn't live in that zip code.

Compare Osmolkina's study list to Alina's - there's no comparison:

Company trouper for 9 years. Prize-winner at the Vaganova-prix competition (St Petersburg, 1998). Prize-winner at the International Ballet Competition (Seoul, 2004). Repertoire: La Sylphide (Sylphide, The Sylphides); Giselle (Giselle, Monna, Zulma, Pas de deux); Le Corsaire (Gulnara, The three Odalisques); La Bayadère (Gamzatti, Jampo, Grand pas classique), revised version by Vakhtang Chabukiani & the reconstruction; The Sleeping Beauty (Aurora, Generosity Fairy, Silver Fairy, Diamond Fairy), Konstantin Sergeyev, Aurora in the 1890; Le Reveil de Flore (Flore), revival of the 1894 production; Swan Lake (Prince´s friends, Two Swans); Raymonda (Clemans, Henrietta); Don Quixote (Kitri, Flower-sellers, Variation); Pertoushka (the Elegant Lady´s friend); The Fountain of Bakhchisarai (Maria, Young women); Romeo and Juliet (Juliet, Juliet´s companion); The Legend of Love (Shyrin, Shyrin´s Friends, Gold); The Bedbug (Zoya); Serenade; Piano Concerto No 2 (Ballet Imperial); the roles in Apollo, The Four Temperaments; Theme and Variations; Jewels (Emeralds & Diamonds); Etudes; Manon (Lescaut´s Mistress); The Nutcracker, the Vainonen & Chemiakin productions, (Masha, The Nutcracker´s Sisters, The Canteen-girl, China Dance, Waltz of the Flowers), Princess Pirlipat, or worthiness punished (Spanish Rat dance), production by Chemiakin, choreography by Kirill Simonov; Cinderella (Dance Teacher), choreography by Alexei Ratmansky; The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, The Magic Nut (Frog); Ondine(Giannina), choreography by Pierre Lacotte; Aria Suspended (soloist). Moreover, Osmolkina's repertoire is slightly larger than both Novikova's and Obratzova's.

Unlike Somova, these ladies, and many others in the lower ranks don't need a flashlight, microscope, rubber gloves, a seeing eye-dog and tweezers to get through a ballet. Somova continues to nurse the few roles she's been given for the last six years. Her (now legendary) inconsistency is entirely another matter. Compared with the established Principals, Osmolkina, Obratzova, Novikova, including Kondaurova and other Second Soloists, Somova's study list is severely wanting. Not only that, compare the documented critical literature between all of these dancers. Somova's 'critique output' is conservatively 80% negative - 20% positive. That's a landslide of officially negative opinion. So, to describe Somova as "unfinished" is putting it mildly.

I'm sorry everyone, but IMO this situation stinks on ice.

#18 sunday

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 06:58 AM

Surprising interview with Alina Somova in the Daily Telegraph:

http://www.telegraph...ircus-pony.html

I know of the controversial feelings that this dancer raises around here. But, Could it be possible that a new coach put her in a more right track?

#19 Mashinka

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 08:11 AM

It's very sad to see that Somova is being wheeled out for interviews to the exclusion of Obratzova, Tereshkina or Kondaurova: superior dancers all. This is media hype - nothing more.

#20 sunday

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 08:41 AM

It's very sad to see that Somova is being wheeled out for interviews to the exclusion of Obratzova, Tereshkina or Kondaurova: superior dancers all. This is media hype - nothing more.


I was afraid of that. BTW, as you are in London, Are you going to watch Beauty on August, 14th? Looks like a dream cast, with Obraztsova, and Kondaurova.

#21 Natalia

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 10:06 AM

Great headline there, sunday: Somova: Dancer or Trick Pony? So she is the circus side show? The troupe may be hitting rock bottom.

What a shame that the preview articles all focus on her and not the more worthy artists, though Lopatkina receives a mention in one of the stories.

It's now after 7pm, London time. We are rapidly approaching ZERO HOUR.

#22 Cygnet

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 10:22 AM

. . . It's now after 7pm, London time. We are rapidly approaching ZERO HOUR.


Yes. D-Day (debut day) at Covent Garden has begun. Shklyarov will be hand-cuffed to the wrong Juliet.
It will be either one extreme or the other - there will be no gray area. God :helpsmilie: him.

#23 bart

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 10:33 AM

I'm trying to pin down what Brown really thinks about all of this. On the one hand:

Last year I thought Somova 40 per cent intriguing and 60 per cent circus pony. This year as the Princess in Alexei Ratmansky’s new The Little Humpbacked Horse for the Mariinsky, she was a delight, as dewy as a milkmaid. After the show, ballet’s grande dame Maya Plisetskaya plucked her diamond earrings off her ears, handed them to the awestruck girl and told her to go grab herself a brilliant career.

On the other hand:

I try to imagine Shklyarov and Somova vanishing in another life, and somehow it seems unlikely.



#24 Mashinka

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 07:26 AM

Alina Somova now has an entry in the French language section of Wikipedia, but no entry in English. As far as my faulty French allows it briefly includes the views of her dissenters.

http://fr.wikipedia....ki/Alina_Somova

Any views on this from France?

#25 hydraulix

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 03:51 PM

I too wasn't really fond of her in the beginning. But I have to say: I'm part of the youtube-generation and so far I haven't seen her live on stage unfortunately (even when the Kirov performed in Amsterdam last year).
Her technique looked uncontrolled indeed and I didn't like her arms/hands (even too spastic to me). She used her flexibility in the wrong way.
But wow did I change my opinion! I've seen her latest videos and she was a charm! Her Dulcinea was a joy to watch and I just finished watching the New Years Eve performance of Paquita where she was definitely more matured in her style and movements. OK: she still shows her flexibility, but it's more dosed and subtle and I guess working with Tatyana Terekhova proved to be a deciding factor. Terekhova was quite famous for her technique, but she also had that classical Kirov style with sophisticated fluent arm movements. Somova to me really puts a smile on my face when I see her dance; she radiates joy!

#26 Jayne

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 03:59 PM

Instead of watching the Superbowl pre-game nonsense, I sat down with my laptop, and went through clips of Alina Somova to find out what all the fuss is about. My attitude was "everyone on ballet talk must be a snob, she must be really good, or else why would she be a principal?" I was prepared to like her, I wanted to like her, I expected to like her.

I'm going to see The Sleeping Beauty next week at PNB, so I decided to look at Rose Adagios from various companies. Here are the versions I viewed:

Alina Somova at Maryiinsky
Viviana Durante at Royal Ballet (which I thought was fantastic)
Aurelie DuPont at Paris Opera Ballet
Alla Sizova at Kirov
Alina Cojocaru at Paris Opera Ballet (sublime)
Cynthia Gregory at American Ballet Theatre (watch 2:35 - 2:50 for her extraordinary control as she slowly unfolds from attitude) - this was a particularly emotionally involving performance

I am not sure when Somova's was posted, but frankly, her arms looked like tinkertoys attached by rubberbands to her body. Her developpe (sp?) to the back of the ear was distracting and unnecessary, nor called for in Petipa's choreography. What if everyone just changed the choreography because they liked to perform a specific move? What disturbed me most was the lack of musicality in her dancing, particularly the upper body.

I follow figure skating as well, so to make the analogy, Alina reminds me of the skaters who can do the big jumps, but have no artistry for the inbetween skating. Somova shown on YouTube is what Surya Bonoly was to skating for too long. Yes that sounds harsh, but I physically winced during her Rose Adagio. I sincerely do hope that she improves, and developes as an artist. I try not to be a snarky person about ballet. I do understand Miss Samova can perform physical feats that I can only dream of. But I feel she was promoted too early before she developed fully as an artist and learned to use her preternaturally long limbs in a graceful manner.

#27 vipa

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 06:33 PM

Instead of watching the Superbowl pre-game nonsense, I sat down with my laptop, and went through clips of Alina Somova to find out what all the fuss is about. My attitude was "everyone on ballet talk must be a snob, she must be really good, or else why would she be a principal?" I was prepared to like her, I wanted to like her, I expected to like her.

I'm going to see The Sleeping Beauty next week at PNB, so I decided to look at Rose Adagios from various companies. Here are the versions I viewed:

Alina Somova at Maryiinsky
Viviana Durante at Royal Ballet (which I thought was fantastic)
Aurelie DuPont at Paris Opera Ballet
Alla Sizova at Kirov
Alina Cojocaru at Paris Opera Ballet (sublime)
Cynthia Gregory at American Ballet Theatre (watch 2:35 - 2:50 for her extraordinary control as she slowly unfolds from attitude) - this was a particularly emotionally involving performance


Off topic but the Gregory clip is amazing. I read an interview with Tiler Peck in which she mentioned viewing Weese, Cojocaru and Bouder doing the role. I think Gregory would be a wonderful model for anyone (including Bouder) to view and take from it what they can. Again, I know this is off topic. Powers that be, feel free to move or what ever.

#28 aurora

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 07:15 PM

Instead of watching the Superbowl pre-game nonsense, I sat down with my laptop, and went through clips of Alina Somova to find out what all the fuss is about. My attitude was "everyone on ballet talk must be a snob, she must be really good, or else why would she be a principal?" I was prepared to like her, I wanted to like her, I expected to like her.

I'm going to see The Sleeping Beauty next week at PNB, so I decided to look at Rose Adagios from various companies. Here are the versions I viewed:

Alina Somova at Maryiinsky

I am not sure when Somova's was posted, but frankly, her arms looked like tinkertoys attached by rubberbands to her body. Her developpe (sp?) to the back of the ear was distracting and unnecessary, nor called for in Petipa's choreography. What if everyone just changed the choreography because they liked to perform a specific move? What disturbed me most was the lack of musicality in her dancing, particularly the upper body.


According to the stamp on the video that one is from 2007.
One from feb(?) 2009 recently appeared on youtube. it can be found here:

There is certainly improvement, especially in the arms. I found it amazing, however, that she somehow managed to make the balances disappear. They barely exist in her rendition...

There was some debate as to how critical they should be to the success of this adagio in another forum on here, but surely they should seem to be part of the variation, and a climactic part at that.

#29 papeetepatrick

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 07:22 PM

There is certainly improvement, especially in the arms. I found it amazing, however, that she somehow managed to make the balances disappear. They barely exist in her rendition...

There was some debate as to how critical they should be to the success of this adagio in another forum on here, but surely they should seem to be part of the variation, and a climactic part at that.


You are so right. I've never seen the like of that. It looks like a little slap she gives with her hand.

#30 PeggyR

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 07:58 PM

'There was some debate as to how critical they should be to the success of this adagio in another forum on here, but surely they should seem to be part of the variation, and a climactic part at that.

But if the balances are not there, shouldn't it look as if the ballerina chooses not to do them, not that she can't?

And I particularly dislike the way Somova keeps her head turned away from the cavaliers, which just contributes to the coldness of the interpretation in both videos. I realize ballerinas have to spot to keep their balance, but Gregory at least appears to be looking at each of the partners, which has a lot to do with the warmth of her superb performance.


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