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Alina Somova


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#46 bart

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 05:37 AM

Does anyone know if Carla Fracci (director of the Rome Opera Ballet) was involved in coaching?

#47 mariinskyfan

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 06:10 AM

Okay! We have new Bouder videos. Mind you, this is so far from her usual style, but I think in the adagio, she pretty well gets it. She's quite light, and I don't think I've ever seen a more seamless performance than this. (The first 56 seconds are the Peasant Pas.) The allegros, where her City Ballet roots clearly show, I concede, miss the mark.

Here she is in the Spessivtzeva variation.

You may still prefer Somova, mariinskyfan, but I hope you take into consideration that Bouder is plunging into a role that in many ways is antithetical to the style in which her home company dances.


Thanks for sharing these links! I agree that she looks better here than in the videos I saw of her earlier. I wish the video wasn't shot from so far and high.

#48 Mashinka

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 07:22 AM

If comparisons of this kind are being made it's worth noting that one dancer is new to the role and understandably not yet impressive whilst the other has danced the same role for her entire career and still serves us a dogs dinner.

#49 Azulynn

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 07:52 AM

I was at that Giselle in Rome (or more accurately at this cast's other performance), and Ashley Bouder, seen from the right angle, was in no way lumpish. I'm not sure comparing her to Somova makes any sense, especially in this role (from body type to training and tradition there's no comparison, and I found it hard to even compare Obraztsova and Bouder, both performing in the same production last week). On the other hand, Bouder was particularly extraordinary in the second act in Rome. The Youtube clips are very bad quality, but if someone has seen both Bouder and Somova in the same role live, let's hear it...

#50 leonid17

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 09:30 AM

I was at that Giselle in Rome (or more accurately at this cast's other performance), and Ashley Bouder, seen from the right angle, was in no way lumpish. I'm not sure comparing her to Somova makes any sense, especially in this role (from body type to training and tradition there's no comparison, and I found it hard to even compare Obraztsova and Bouder, both performing in the same production last week). On the other hand, Bouder was particularly extraordinary in the second act in Rome. The Youtube clips are very bad quality, but if someone has seen both Bouder and Somova in the same role live, let's hear it...


You are quite right to ask for a report of live performances and I was wrong to judge Bouder from such a poor quality film.

Film can never, ever capture the experience of a live performance and I do not watch films of significant performances that I saw live.

#51 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 09:52 AM

I VERY MUCH prefer Bouder's rendition of Spessitzeva's Solo, which is Mme. Fracci's after Markova-Dolin to Somova's Russian based one. That, along with her more restrained arabesques, beautiful body type and her whole stylistic take on the ballet makes her, in my eyes, a definitive far way winner over Somova, who fails to convince me.
Here is Somova's Solo. :)


#52 mariinskyfan

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 10:44 AM

While I think Somova is too thin, Bouder seems to be quite bulky and almost masculine in her build, which could contribute to her limited extensions. Somova has the ability to go too far in the other direction. I don't think Bouder is restraining her arabesque; I think that is just the height of her arabesque.

Also, I know wasn't there to see Obraztsova or Bouder live, but I find it impossible to believe that Obraztsova didn't outclass Bouder in every way. Yes, Genia has danced the role before, but her Giselle was something special even from her debut several years ago. I hope someone who was there can report. Sorry to get off the Somova topic.

#53 Helene

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 11:41 AM

I don't think Bouder is restraining her arabesque; I think that is just the height of her arabesque.

I've seen Bouder dance Balanchine, and she is restraining her arabesque, which goes higher when she chooses.

#54 bart

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 11:57 AM

Allowing for the odd camera angle, and for the special nature of the choreography in this section, it does seem a very careful performance, or perhaps that's just her technical strength showing. (The camera angle and the lighting unfortunately convey a sense of solidity -- as in the Act II opaque-looking white skirt.)

I admire her willingness to expand into this repertoire.

Azulynn, you call Bouder's performance in Act II "extraordinary." Please, can you tell us more?

(I know this is off-topic for this particular thread, but there are many Bouder-followers on this Board. I know they would love to hear your impressions.)

#55 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 12:20 PM

While I think Somova is too thin, Bouder seems to be quite bulky and almost masculine in her build...

...the old issue that has been historically applied to a certain number of great ballerinas, from Kschessinska or Lepeshinskaya's times all the way to Bouder, Viengsay Valdes or Hayna Gutierrez. I, for once, would take this physique ANY TIME over all the Lacarras, Zakharovas or Somovas. They USUALLY show more control and strength in they turns and balances. But that's only my opinion.

#56 YID

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 12:23 PM

Azulynn, you call Bouder's performance in Act II "extraordinary." Please, can you tell us more?
(I know this is off-topic for this particular thread, but there are many Bouder-followers on this Board. I know they would love to hear your impressions.)


not to go off-topic too much
that's what i posted about Obraztova in Italy http://ballettalk.in...mp;#entry264556

#57 papeetepatrick

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 01:10 PM

Somova means what, then? all true balletomanes seem to disparage, if not despise her, perhaps rightly so, or not. She does not seem to be going into an autumn decline, so is this just 'ballet dumbing-down' that therefore sells because of cheap gimickry? These discussions about Somova have been going on for some years, and yet she only seems to get promoted and publicized? So what gives here? I've never seen a ballerina so loathed by balletomanes since I started here 4 years ago. Really am curious. Are there other 'tasteless and vulgar' ballerinas who are also deemed worthy of some kind of stardom somehow, and is she somehow just the worst exemplar? Is her 'vulgarity' actually the 'cutting edge' of trends that are selling and are known to excite popular audiences? Becuase there's got to be some sort of huge positive response somewhere in the audience, or she wouldn't still be so constantly 'in evidence'.

#58 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 02:02 PM

Really am curious. Are there other 'tasteless and vulgar' ballerinas who are also deemed worthy of some kind of stardom somehow..?

Yes Patrick. Cuban Viengsay Valdes has also fallen within this category in this same board...

#59 Simon G

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 02:43 PM

Somova means what, then? all true balletomanes seem to disparage, if not despise her, perhaps rightly so, or not. She does not seem to be going into an autumn decline, so is this just 'ballet dumbing-down' that therefore sells because of cheap gimickry? These discussions about Somova have been going on for some years, and yet she only seems to get promoted and publicized? So what gives here? I've never seen a ballerina so loathed by balletomanes since I started here 4 years ago. Really am curious. Are there other 'tasteless and vulgar' ballerinas who are also deemed worthy of some kind of stardom somehow, and is she somehow just the worst exemplar? Is her 'vulgarity' actually the 'cutting edge' of trends that are selling and are known to excite popular audiences? Becuase there's got to be some sort of huge positive response somewhere in the audience, or she wouldn't still be so constantly 'in evidence'.



She appeals because she sells seats to non-balletomanes precisely because she's like an identi-kit assemblage of everything a non-regular ballet goer, imagines a ballerina should be.

She's very thin, very very pretty, takes a lovely photo. She smiles winningly, she has legs which go up to her earholes, round the back of her head and back again. She can stand on pointe, she puts her legs up very high, she's very pretty - and she looks very very good in publicity.

And that's the thing, most people who go to ballet don't care about it very much, the punters who block book those incredibly expensive seats are mainly corporate geezers and their wives/mistresses etc.

They don't go to the ballet to deconstruct technique, to compare choreography, productions, variations. To remember such and such a dancer in such a role x years ago and how that role has progressed in the hands of various ballerinas since.

The people who pay the money to keep theatres running, who can regularly afford to buy those very very expensive seats want thin, pretty, winning, charming, winsome ballerinas with legs that go up to their ears. And can vaguely keep in time to music, which is what they're mostly listening to anyway.

Somova is a ballerina for the corporate block, as opposed to those great Russian ballerinas of the past produced by the Soviet bloc.

#60 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 02:50 PM

Really am curious. Are there other 'tasteless and vulgar' ballerinas who are also deemed worthy of some kind of stardom somehow..?

Yes Patrick. Cuban Viengsay Valdes has also fallen within this category in this same board...


And going back to Somova/Bouder. If digging deeper into technical details, one can see that Bouder definitely outshines Somova. For instance, Bouder's renverses are beautiful and completed...Somova's are barely there. Where Bouder does her two series of triples -(left and right)-Somova has to do a quick change and finishes with the opposite leg the two times. Later on Bouder's diagonal of sautees on pointe makes the count up to 33, whereas Somova decides to stop and pace around a little at merely 27. And yes...Bouder's final Markova's diagonal of pirouettes vs. Somova's Russian piques...(I know it is just an alternative take on the choreography, but still...the complexity level difference between them is easily noticeable )


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