Alina Somova's Performances Highlight of 2008?!
Posted 22 December 2008 - 10:00 AM
Did anyone else read this! Were Gia and I watching the same performances!? I might give Somova the acrobat or gymnast of the year award, but her dancing certainly was not a highlight of 2008.
Posted 22 December 2008 - 10:38 AM
i personally heard from a very prominent, former Kirov dancer in the NYC, who made a point of telling me to me that Somova was for him the highlight of the Kirov's recent season in NYC.
i'm not necessarily comparing them at all, but Suzanne Farrell's rise at NYCB had a good dose of negativity surrounding her at the start of her years under Balanchine.
time will tell if Somova's career will carry her to a pinacle that pales the waves of negativity sometimes greeting her earliest years.
Posted 22 December 2008 - 11:59 AM
Posted 22 December 2008 - 12:18 PM
Posted 22 December 2008 - 01:00 PM
LOL! Is there a Hair Style Talk site somewhere? I'm guessing there is.
Posted 22 December 2008 - 01:55 PM
On one thing we can all agree, I think: Love her or hate her, Ms. Somova is a lightning rod for discussion.
Posted 22 December 2008 - 02:05 PM
I think there is plenty to criticize in her dancing without making fun of her hair. I wouldn't exactly call it a halo, but I was much more interested in Kourlas' description of her fouettés:
I found this on youtube but one, they look considerably better than what I saw in NYC, and two the angle obscures her lurch when she comes off pointe. Still I don't see them as model turns
Posted 22 December 2008 - 03:45 PM
Posted 22 December 2008 - 06:41 PM
Arlene Croce wrote memorably sometime back of a male soviet dancer she much admired as 'another one of those soviet men with implausibly colored hair.' this was an aside, as noted, for a dancer whose DANCING she admired.
i'm sure however there were others, in the case of the dancer Croce was writing about - if memory serves it was Vyacheslav Gordeyev - who might have admired his hair color but not his dancing.
as noted above, i think it is important to remember that not every thinks ill of Somova, not by any means.
also, i doubt very much that gia kourlas would say 'platinum' if she didn't think that was the right word for her recollections.
Posted 22 December 2008 - 06:53 PM
Somova's appearances are unique precisely because they're attention getting in all the wrong ways. Likewise, they're "entertaining" for all the wrong reasons. She's the Maryinsky's newest Principal Dancer, and we're discussing technical survival issues and the other "incidentals" that make up her stage persona. And that's the point: These shouldn't be issues in light of her promotion. It's these incidentals and technicalities that are impossible to ignore or overlook, particularly in a performance. You can't miss them; they're so in your face. I agree with Natalia that it's surreal that not only her appearances are controversial, but her stage persona "package" is as well. She's allowed to go onstage without sanction re her appearance with carte blanche, and it's mums the word. Personally, I think we're eyewitnesses to an international classical ballet conspiracy (or) ponzi scam. Draw your own conclusions.
Posted 22 December 2008 - 07:11 PM
THe fouettes described (with the kick) are just the Russian way of doing fouettes - extending side instead of having the stirring motion. I'm surprised Kourlis doesn't know this. Not my preferred way of seeing fouettes but not surprising in a Russian trained dancer.
Posted 22 December 2008 - 08:20 PM
well, yes and no. First I agree it is surprising Kourlas doesn't know this, but to expand upon the subject a bit...
One it seems more typical of the Kirov dancers than the Bolshoi dancers. So perhaps it should be called the Kirov or Maryinsky version, not the Russian.
at 7:30 (sorry I have seen her do better fouettes than these but it was the first I found)
or for a very different example, Ananiashvilli:
which is more kick, but still does have a degree of whipping motion.
furthermore, I do think Somova's lurching is distinctive from others, even within the Kirov. Yes the "Russian method" is more kick than "stir" but look at Tereshkina (who is the best technician of the Kirov dancers I saw in NYC):
at around 8:43. She most definitely does the "stir" variety (and they are lovely, despite the bad video quality)
or watch her in the don q fouettes (the same as I posted earlier for Somova)
big difference, and to me, much better!
Posted 22 December 2008 - 09:08 PM
Posted 23 December 2008 - 02:19 AM
Russian dancers and their hair: Another universe as far as I'm concerned with both sexes constantly surprising me in the frequency and variations in hair colour. At one time having black hair was considered the balletic ideal, with Taglioni, Karsavina, Pavlova, Markova and Fonteyn all being brunettes. How time has changed.
I'm beginning to think so too.
Posted 23 December 2008 - 05:43 AM
Now let's turn to the dancing and the much-commented Somova foutees. I call them the Russian Can-Can, as in "I can! I can! I can! Look at me! Look at me!" My point is that there is a general bombast and crudeness to everything that she does. That's my -- many of us -- our problem with Alina Somova. General crudeness from the top of her rooted hair to her can-can feet.
More power to the esteemed critic, Gia Kourlas, for being able to see through the crudeness at some artistry. Kourlas is a very knowledgeable and esteemed critic. That we cannot deny. I hope to be able to see some of those glimmers this January, when I see Somova's Kitri at the Kennedy Center.
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