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Maryinsky's New Hire & One Departure


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#1 Cygnet

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 01:26 PM

The Maryinsky Ballet has hired former Royal Ballet corps member Xander Parish as a new corps member.

"Xander Parish is about to make history: the first Brit EVER to be recruited by the Mariinsky/Kirov Corps de Ballet in St. Petersburg. Xander had his last performance at the Royal Opera House in London on January 8th and started his new life in Russia at the Mariinsky/Kirov on January 9th."

Source: http://www.facebook....ans/20591072899

Former First Soloist Mikhail Lobhukin has joined the Bolshoi Ballet as a Principal Dancer effective Jan 1, 2010.
Congratulations to him!

The Maryinsky and ROH sites haven't updated this information, but the Bolshoi site has done so.

http://www.bolshoi.r...roupe/soloists/

#2 leonid17

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 02:36 PM

The Maryinsky Ballet has hired former Royal Ballet corps member Xander Parish as a new corps member.

"Xander Parish is about to make history: the first Brit EVER to be recruited by the Mariinsky/Kirov Corps de Ballet in St. Petersburg. Xander had his last performance at the Royal Opera House in London on January 8th and started his new life in Russia at the Mariinsky/Kirov on January 9th."

Source: http://www.facebook....ans/20591072899

Former First Soloist Mikhail Lobhukin has joined the Bolshoi Ballet as a Principal Dancer effective Jan 1, 2010.
Congratulations to him!

The Maryinsky and ROH sites haven't updated this information, but the Bolshoi site has done so.

http://www.bolshoi.r...roupe/soloists/


Hi Cygnet,

I posted yesterday afternoon (In Dancers) about Xander Parish's extraordinary move to the Maryinsky together with a link to photographs of him and brief comments about his arrival in St.Petersburg.

Thanks for the Lobhukin information.

#3 Cygnet

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 11:38 AM

Mr. Parish's first Maryinsky assignment will be the Poet in "Chopiniana," (Les Sylphides), on Feb 11, with Daria Pavlenko, Daria Vazsnetsova and Elena Evseeva. This is what I call a real coup d'etat debut - and it's during the Maslenitsa Festival. Unprecedented. Best wishes to him! I'm also elated to see Dasha Pavlenko back in rotation :) :clapping:!

http://www.mariinsky...10/2/11/1_1900/

#4 leonid17

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 02:10 PM

Mr. Parish's first Maryinsky assignment will be the Poet in "Chopiniana," (Les Sylphides), on Feb 11, with Daria Pavlenko, Daria Vazsnetsova and Elena Evseeva. This is what I call a real coup d'etat debut - and it's during the Maslenitsa Festival. Unprecedented. Best wishes to him! I'm also elated to see Dasha Pavlenko back in rotation :) :clapping:!

http://www.mariinsky...10/2/11/1_1900/



Thank you cygnet.

Amazing news. What have the Royal lost?

#5 Simon G

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 12:47 PM

This story pretty much typifies exactly why the Royal is so artistically bankrupt and it's shameful commitment (or lack thereof) to nurturing and producing English dancers of excellence.

I never saw Parish dance, but then why would I have? He spent the best part of half a decade languishing in the background, carrying spears, floral garlands - doing not much of anything. And sadly his decision while proving already fruitful for him, is so typical of many a dancer graduating into Britain's "flagship" company from the RBS. The gamble of moving half way round the world, into an alien culture at a greatly reduced salary is often the only other option to standing in the background for 15-20 years in the corps for the sake of a salary.

You really do have to ask why is Mason so loathe to actually promote homegrown talent, to suggest that Parish doesn't have what it takes is specious, especially as his move is into the greatest classical ballet company in the World. Moreover, it's a sad indication that the Royal, founded on its superlative corps is no longer a company for corps dancers, neither is its rep. Mason either exports foreign stars and of the few English dancers she has supported, Cuthbertson, Watson & Pennefather, the men's deficiencies as classical soloists let alone principals is painfully clear as they struggle to execute classical enchainements with competency. Indeed Watson has pretty much given up the classical rep altogether.

While I understand the running costs of the Royal are huge and stars do draw in the punters, if that's the Royal's only raison d'etre, if it's so artistically uncommited to developing dancers within the classical rep, from within its own school - then really what is the point of its existence? In the recent visit to Cuba Jonothan Cope had to be drafted in to dance Beliav in Month in the Country after a five year retirement because the two principals it'd been taught to both were ill. Why couldn't third or fourth casts from the corps have been taught the role? Not least as this is the ethos of a classical company's existence, the passing on of the tradition of the company style to younger generations. Parish, tall, young, classically lined and technical would have made a brilliant foyle to Natalia Petrovna's combustible yearnings.

Parish's lack of promotion and support and his vindication of his unutilsed and ignored talent by the Mariinsky is yet another example, perhaps the most poignant one, that something is really wrong within the Royal's admin, with Mason's direction. The development of a homegrown principal of real technical ability and talent would have been such a coup for her administration and her inability to do so is just shocking, not only for the Royal's reputation as the cradle of the British school, but also an indictment that perhaps her eyes aren't on the ball.

#6 Mashinka

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 02:31 AM

I never saw Parish dance, but then why would I have? He spent the best part of half a decade languishing in the background, carrying spears, floral garlands - doing not much of anything. And sadly his decision while proving already fruitful for him, is so typical of many a dancer graduating into Britain's "flagship" company from the RBS. The gamble of moving half way round the world, into an alien culture at a greatly reduced salary is often the only other option to standing in the background for 15-20 years in the corps for the sake of a salary.


I wasn't going to comment on this event because like Simon G. I never saw this dancer in anything significant. I did however see him at an RB schools performance a few years back and don't remember spotting any abilities that would have suggested he was suited to more than "carrying spears, floral garlands". Presumably he has developed a more noticeable talent in the intervening years.

Although I mainly agree with Simon G's post, I was also concerned about the effect this dancer will have on the morale of the Kirov's male dancers as many highly gifted dancers jostle for position within the ranks already. Also foreign dancers are a huge rarity there and I can think of only two dancers in the current ranks born outside of the former Soviet Union. Frankly I find this appointment very strange.

#7 Simon G

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 05:44 AM

There's a video of Parish on youtube from years ago at a Yorkshire Ballet Seminar, doing a series of double tours and pirouettes if not dazzlingly certainly technically efficiently - and this was before he joine the RB. And one can only surmise that since then his technique must have grown, by his own steam and efforts if not company management's support - and that's a killer to know you've come on leaps and bounds, to be able to see the improvement and yet year in and out still not see your hard work supported or acknowledged by management.

The other thing is Parish has a perfect body, a real one in a million genetic fluke, a dance dictionary entry on "danseur noble" could be illustrated with his picture - and one does wonder why management never exploited this. Danseur noble types are rare as hen's teeth. Pennefather is physically the type and Mason does seem to be putting all her efforts into thrusting danseur noble status upon him, it's just sadly everything else that comes with it - clean technique, a plastic quality of movement and acting ability are lacking in Pennefather.

Why isn't Mason looking at her lower ranks for qualities and potential that the Mariinsky management spotted straight off the bat? Mason who herself was a demi caractere virtuoso seems to value these qualities within dancers she fast tracks for principal. McRae & Polunin had the majority of their formative training elsewhere, and seems that the lion's share of the future repertory will be theirs, the other extreme is the bland handsome dope types she imports such as Bonnelli & Samodurov - it's a company of imports.

Another thing I find really irritating is Eric Underwood. The first African American to be imported at lower rank and then promoted to soloist. What I find irritating isn't the fact that he's there, he's a beautiful exciting dancer with a clean, formidable classical technique, but the fact he's given nothing to do - except the standard fayre of pimps, bad-asses and modern work, he's basically type cast into the limited rep a classical company thinks black dancers are appropriate for and what's the point of a classical ballet company hiring and promoting to soloist a dancer of obvious talent and presence with a real feel and ability for classical ballet if you're not going to give him the classical rep to dance? It's made worse by the fact that Underwood is now in his 30s and his time to advance and build himself as a dancer within the classical rep is limited.

How unbalanced and lopsided the company is and how fragile the pack of cards which is the hierarchy within it again can be seen in the Cuban Tour. When several of the leading principals were taken ill and couldn't dance. Three or four dancers' absence sent a company of 100 into a disarray and Mason scrabbling about for replacements at the last minute. All the pieces and ballets presented were foreign-principal showcases. Mason seems to totally ignore the concept of emploi where dancers are marked out as soon as they enter the company as potential inheritors of certain rep and roles and coached from the beginning to succeed in those roles. A corps de ballet is a training ground not a backdrop - and until this is acknowledged dancers such as Parish will continue to develop talents in angry isolation before taking their hard work elsewhere.

#8 Rosa

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 07:16 AM

Parish is now listed as a Coryphée on the Mariinsky website.


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