Natalia

Maria Kochetkova on Superstars of Dance

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The new NBC dance-competition program, Superstars of Dance, includes a famous ballerina -- Maria Kochetkova of San Fco Ballet -- among the competitors for Team Russia. I missed the opening show two weeks ago but caught her this past Monday (Jan 5) dancing a stunning Kitri variation from Act I of DON Q. She received one of the highest scores among soloists and helped to keep Team Russia alive after a dismal performance in the 'group' division by a US-based Cossack group (who were eliminated). If you go to the "You...." website and type "Kochetkova ballet" and organize the results by the "date added" function, you should see Kochetkova's Kitri in Superstars of Dance at the top.

The clips for next Monday's installment showed a few seconds of Kochetkova performing fouettes in a silvery-white classical tutu...so we know that she will be back.

This is a very rare chance to see a bit of classical ballet on U.S. network television.

Michael "Lord of the Dance" Flatley is the host.

Further details from the NBC site:

http://www.nbc.com/superstars-of-dance/

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I wondered if anyone on the board caught this show. I'm enjoying it very much, and I hope enough people watch so that NBC brings it back for another season. I generally hate reality shows, but this is an exception because the performers are so polished and professional. Moreover, it offers a wide range of dance styles- something for everyone.

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CAUTION: This post may be interpreted as negative, but it's just my reaction.

Is anyone else watching this? I was blown away by the first dance, the Irish team's group dance (Sunday, Jan. 4, not two weeks earlier), and it augured well for the show. But boy, what a drop-off from there! Kochetkova's Kitri (Act I) variation was energetic, but not the cleanest or most musical I've seen. The US soloist, a tap dancer, was indignant at her low scores (which were higher than I would have given) saying that all she's ever done is tap, poured hours and hours into perfecting her art. Well, it's the result, not the effort, that counts.

Generally, I find the performances mediocre. Anyone feel differently? As the lowest scorers are eliminated, maybe the entertainment value will rise, but it's an effort keeping my attention focused.

Also, I've noticed that the camera literally never stops moving. Thank goodness it's not a series of quick cuts, just panning in and out, circling, etc. It can be a little disorienting. I wonder if viewers are experiencing vertigo or motion sickness.

And sometimes I wonder what the judges saw. They, including those from English speaking countries, don't communicate much.

P.S. Here's a link to the show's web page.

Edited by carbro
Just to note, I was posting concurrently with abatt and to add link.

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I thought that most of the performances were professional. The Irish dancers were fantastic. I hate "hip hop" street dancing, so I detested the guy who perfomed "popping". I also disliked the performers who were doing break dancing for the same reason. I liked the Bollywood dancers. The woman tap dancer was good, but not on the same level as someone like Savion Glover. I also liked the various ballroom/'tango performers. I hate martial arts, so I have not been too impressed with the Chinese martial arts experts. It's a mixed bag, but I'm glad this show is on the air.

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.....Generally, I find the performances mediocre. Anyone feel differently? .....

Most are. Part of this is because NBC & Lord Flatley are going 'on the cheap' and using US-based exponents of the native dance forms...so instead of the extraordinary Moiseyev Dancers, we get a mediocre gang of New Jersey-based semi-amateur dancers who do the 'party circuit' on weekends, representing Russia. Kochetkova -- who I happened to like in the Kitri solo -- is hardly the strongest-possible 'Russian' ballerina...why not an Osipova or Obraztsova? Too expensive to fly them across the Atlantic Ocean. Get the clones who are closest to Hollywood.

At least there is some ballet -- ANY ballet -- on one of the three major U.S. networks, which is a bloody miracle in and of itself!

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Hello, i didn't plan but managed to tune in the show. I did see Maria Kochetkova and was pleased but not impressed (and sorry it's hard to be after seeing that variation 5-6 times last April and many many times before (performed by Kirov and Bolshoi). She was very very very nice, but i sensed why she's with San Fran and not Mariinsky for that matter.

And I'd agree with a quote, why not bring Moiseev Dance or Osipova or Obraztsova ;-))

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I have mixed feelings about the show. Some of the performances have been decent such as the solo Indian classical dancer and the group Irish, but some of it has been not so good, even amateurish.

A new host would be a good idea as well. I've got nothing against Flatley as a dancer but as a host he's terrible. His voice and persona are so mellow and sleep inducing. Isn't he from Chicago? Why does he sound like a wee movie leprechaun?

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