Marc Haegeman

Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev promoted

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According to our Russian friends from http://forum.balletfriends.ru/ Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev were promoted to principal dancers after the performance of Don Quixote, May 3 in China.

Congratulations to both.

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:) to Ms. Osipova and Mr. Vasiliev!

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Happy (and, I should think, expected) news...Congratulations to both. If all goes well, I will see them dance this summer....

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Happy (and, I should think, expected) news...Congratulations to both. If all goes well, I will see them dance this summer....

I hope that means they'll buy her some new pointe shoes!

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Congratulations to Osipova and Vasiliev, the Bolshoi's newest Principals :):flowers:!!

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This is one of those times, though, when one's first reaction is, "They weren't principals?"

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Congratulations to Osipova and Vasiliev! :clapping:

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This is one of those times, though, when one's first reaction is, "They weren't principals?"

Oh -- that was exactly my reaction, but I could not quite put it into words!

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This is one of those times, though, when one's first reaction is, "They weren't principals?"

I was thinking the exact same thing!! LOL :clapping:

They are two of the most famous dancers in the world today and have been dancing principals roles like FOREVER. I'm happy for both and it's richly deserved but I can't help but think...What took so long??

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This is one of those times, though, when one's first reaction is, "They weren't principals?"

That's for sure. Could the Bolshoi just have taken advantage of their youth and paid them lesser salaries for as long as possible? An article by Laura Jacobs in The New Criterion last fall perhaps offers another explanation.

While the ABT audience and some of the press were thoroughly wowed by Osipova’s aerodynamics, for me, she frequently bounced right out of the art form. If you were looking for a singing arabesque, a nuance in the shaping of phrases, you looked in vain.

Despite the rush of publicity, Osipova is still an unfinished dancer. She has a sickled right foot. She has scrunchy pointes that have very little power of articulation. More troubling is the lack of expression in her upper body. Though only twenty-three, Osipova has an old face. Please understand, offstage she looks twenty-three. But onstage, so little imaginative energy is resonant in the poitrine, the port de bras, that there’s a lack of affect up there. Her dancing is un-crowned. Perhaps this is why she had to pull faces to show us what Giselle was feeling, and why her mad scene was so disjointed it began to feel static, tedious, mindless in all the wrong ways. I must add, too, that she brought her Bolshoi bag of tricks to the role: bent-legged arabesques that tip the toe up higher; normally straight-legged assemblés that she pulls into pas de chat, knees bent under her skirt to give an illusion of greater height.

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That final sentence hints at prejudice towards Russians in general, could that prejudice be colouring the entire review?

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This is one of those times, though, when one's first reaction is, "They weren't principals?"

That's for sure. Could the Bolshoi just have taken advantage of their youth and paid them lesser salaries for as long as possible? An article by Laura Jacobs in The New Criterion last fall perhaps offers another explanation.

While the ABT audience and some of the press were thoroughly wowed by Osipova’s aerodynamics, for me, she frequently bounced right out of the art form. If you were looking for a singing arabesque, a nuance in the shaping of phrases, you looked in vain.

Despite the rush of publicity, Osipova is still an unfinished dancer. She has a sickled right foot. She has scrunchy pointes that have very little power of articulation. More troubling is the lack of expression in her upper body. Though only twenty-three, Osipova has an old face. Please understand, offstage she looks twenty-three. But onstage, so little imaginative energy is resonant in the poitrine, the port de bras, that there’s a lack of affect up there. Her dancing is un-crowned. Perhaps this is why she had to pull faces to show us what Giselle was feeling, and why her mad scene was so disjointed it began to feel static, tedious, mindless in all the wrong ways. I must add, too, that she brought her Bolshoi bag of tricks to the role: bent-legged arabesques that tip the toe up higher; normally straight-legged assemblés that she pulls into pas de chat, knees bent under her skirt to give an illusion of greater height.

Two years ago I was less impressed with these young dancer than some. I have since heard good reports about them both.

Of course there have been demi-classical dancers who have been leading Bolshoi dancers in the past but none in the last 40 odd years as small as the two dancers in question.

Personally I do not like to see dancers cast outside their emploi. This is nothing to do with prejudice, but simply my adherence to what I see as the aesthetics of academic classical ballet.

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While the ABT audience and some of the press were thoroughly wowed by Osipova’s aerodynamics, for me, she frequently bounced right out of the art form. If you were looking for a singing arabesque, a nuance in the shaping of phrases, you looked in vain.

The above quote by Laura Jacobs says it all for me. I saw Osipova last season in 'Sylphide' and 'Giselle'--both miscasts. She is a great soubrette and I cannot imagine what her Aurora will look like this season. (I have chosen to see Cojocaru's performance. ) She might be more successful as Juliet, although I will be seeing Vishneva.

:)

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That final sentence hints at prejudice towards Russians in general, could that prejudice be colouring the entire review?

Laura Jacobs loves Veronika Part; her husband, James Wolcott, does, too, and he's used his "Vanity Fair" space to promote Part and to snark at Alastair Macaulay, who has not been impressed with her.

I don't think the generalization holds; Jacobs just isn't a proponent of circusy dancing, and is up balanchine's alley in disliking facial expressions in lieu of expressing drama through dance shapes.

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That final sentence hints at prejudice towards Russians in general, could that prejudice be colouring the entire review?

Here's Jacobs a couple of years ago on the Kirov: Vaults and Waters

When I think of the Kirov, I think of vaults. It’s not just the rich history of this company, which reaches back into the eighteenth century and is an inheritance to be reckoned with. It’s the arcing interior spaces that live in company style, the result of a shared technique learned in the Vaganova Academy, and a shared city of imperial raiments. All those golden domes against the moonstone-blue St. Petersburg sky, all those cupolas and colonnades. We see these architectural beauties in the dancing, nowhere more clearly than in Kirov women, in the celestial sphere balanced in their upper bodies, and in the Romanesque windows built into their épaulement. Kirov dancing at its best communicates an intense sensation of line imbued with deep space, a pregnant dimensionality. The company was originally named for a woman, Czar Alexander II’s wife Marie, hence, the Mariinsky Theatre.

The Kirov that came to New York’s City Center this past April was a reduced version of the company we’ve been seeing since the great days of the international tour.

As Helene says, she and her husband love Part, and she has written about her often.

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That final sentence hints at prejudice towards Russians in general, could that prejudice be colouring the entire review?

Laura Jacobs loves Veronika Part; her husband, James Wolcott, does, too, and he's used his "Vanity Fair" space to promote Part and to snark at Alastair Macaulay, who has not been impressed with her.

I don't think the generalization holds; Jacobs just isn't a proponent of circusy dancing, and is upbalanchine's alley in disliking facial expressions in lieu of expressing drama through dance shapes.

I agee, the generalisation doesn't hold.

Reading a Laura Jacobs article on the Bolshoi Ballet written in 2005, she appears to be both thorough and even handed in her criticism although it borders on the extreme at times. It is the sort of review I am really quite happy to read even when I might not agree with everything she states. She does what she gets paid for. What's the problem?

See:- http://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/O...f-the-past-1360

Ps In an era when there are not so many dancers to admire, are Laura Jacobs and James Wolcott truly fans or sincere admirers?

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When I think of the Kirov, I think of vaults. It’s not just the rich history of this company, which reaches back into the eighteenth century and is an inheritance to be reckoned with. It’s the arcing interior spaces that live in company style, the result of a shared technique learned in the Vaganova Academy, and a shared city of imperial raiments. All those golden domes against the moonstone-blue St. Petersburg sky, all those cupolas and colonnades. We see these architectural beauties in the dancing, nowhere more clearly than in Kirov women, in the celestial sphere balanced in their upper bodies, and in the Romanesque windows built into their épaulement. Kirov dancing at its best communicates an intense sensation of line imbued with deep space, a pregnant dimensionality. The company was originally named for a woman, Czar Alexander II’s wife Marie, hence, the Mariinsky Theatre.

When I read tosh like that I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

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When I think of the Kirov, I think of vaults. It’s not just the rich history of this company, which reaches back into the eighteenth century and is an inheritance to be reckoned with. It’s the arcing interior spaces that live in company style, the result of a shared technique learned in the Vaganova Academy, and a shared city of imperial raiments. All those golden domes against the moonstone-blue St. Petersburg sky, all those cupolas and colonnades. We see these architectural beauties in the dancing, nowhere more clearly than in Kirov women, in the celestial sphere balanced in their upper bodies, and in the Romanesque windows built into their épaulement. Kirov dancing at its best communicates an intense sensation of line imbued with deep space, a pregnant dimensionality. The company was originally named for a woman, Czar Alexander II’s wife Marie, hence, the Mariinsky Theatre.

When I read tosh like that I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Is a pregnant dimensionality very different from a barren one?

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Simon, I think it might be more politically correct to refer to an infertile dimensionality.

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Simon, I think it might be more politically correct to refer to an infertile dimensionality.

Sorry, you're quite right. I saw Osipova in Don Quixote and she is really sensational on a technical level, but when I see her dancing she kind of reminds me of that song from Half A Sixpence - "Hold it flashbang wallop what a picture."

Does anyone else know what I mean?

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Simon, I think it might be more politically correct to refer to an infertile dimensionality.

Sorry, you're quite right. I saw Osipova in Don Quixote and she is really sensational on a technical level, but when I see her dancing she kind of reminds me of that song from Half A Sixpence - "Hold it flashbang wallop what a picture."

Does anyone else know what I mean?

Definitely. More so, because my family knew Tommy Steele's (star of Half a Sixpence) family as our back garden abutted theirs.

From my experience, you are right to compare her to, "Hold it flashbang wallop what picture, what a photograph." I suppose its a near relation to the American "Look Ma I'm dancing."

I was recently informed via a pm from another poster that had seen her more recently than I, to expect much more from her when she appears here in London this summer.

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When I read tosh like that I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

It wasn't easy to get through.

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When I think of the Kirov, I think of vaults. It’s not just the rich history of this company, which reaches back into the eighteenth century and is an inheritance to be reckoned with. It’s the arcing interior spaces that live in company style, the result of a shared technique learned in the Vaganova Academy, and a shared city of imperial raiments. All those golden domes against the moonstone-blue St. Petersburg sky, all those cupolas and colonnades. We see these architectural beauties in the dancing, nowhere more clearly than in Kirov women, in the celestial sphere balanced in their upper bodies, and in the Romanesque windows built into their épaulement. Kirov dancing at its best communicates an intense sensation of line imbued with deep space, a pregnant dimensionality. The company was originally named for a woman, Czar Alexander II’s wife Marie, hence, the Mariinsky Theatre.

When I read tosh like that I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

I quite liked the allusions to St. Petersburg architecture created by succesive Imperial Russian families, as having a direct relationship to the creation of the Imperial Ballet. Where else could such a company be formed in the era in question. The size and the grandeur of the capital’s building were reflected in the size and stature of the ballet company, personally sustained by various Czars who set the taste of the company by supporting or rejecting a work. Of course a number of the capitals important theatres were part of the Imperial Household supported by the Imperial purse so there is a of reality in creating parallels as Ms Jacobs does and she is correct in stating a, “shared city of Imperial raiments”, given the often extravagantly high quality of the visual presentation of ballets.

The Mariinski/Kirov style, is (was) of an elegant sophisticated, beautiful style, in which Vaganova somewhat reduced the curvature of line originally inspired in part by Italian sculpture and began to assume a radical mutation of the style paralleling activities in Soviet architecture and painting. She was to use a language of form and line to create a compositional style related, but still somewhat independent from earlier aesthetics.

Vaganova was also no doubt influenced by the role of the political dramaturge appointed to theatres to ensure a separation between Imperial and soviet thought. In the process, was I would suggest that she created a certain new angularity to the curvilinear balletic line, in contrast to the Petipa and Cecchetti’s softer linear expression.

The difference in styles was confirmed when I attended a long series of lectures by Anna Marie Holmes in which she used films of the Vaganova Method made with students of the Academy. I was engrossed firstly by the explanation of the Method but much more engrossed when various elderly Legat (and other teachers) pupils stood up and asserted the correct execution of various steps as performed in Imperial Ballet style. There was a particularly extende discussion on where the accent sould be in "flic flac."

Two separate examples of Vaganova’s mutation of the former Imperial style can be seen in her pupils Alla Osipenko and Irina Kolpakhova.

They confirm in their individual take on the formalism of classical Imperial style, but there is also a certain angularity of Vaganova’s

Soviet aesthetic present.

As to “Tosh”, my take on, “…an intense sensation of line imbued with deep space, a pregnant dimensionality…”, was that it meant having access to an extensive inner spiritual world, formed by the dancers that goes on and on, but tantalisingly, never quite personally experienced by the viewer. She again alludes to the feminine when she reminds us that, “The company was originally named for a woman, Czar Alexander II’s wife Marie, hence, the Mariinsky Theatre.” Is Ms Jacob’s not merely echoing Balanchine’s, “Ballet is woman.”

So I cannot fully agree with “Tosh!” though I have to say, I prefer my prose to be both a lighter shade of purple and perhaps less mannered.

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So I cannot fully agree with “Tosh!” though I have to say, I prefer my prose to be both a lighter shade of purple and perhaps less mannered.

I too like it more when it's a bit less mannered, but I still find much of Jacobs' writing beautiful, this passage included.

my take on, “…an intense sensation of line imbued with deep space, a pregnant dimensionality…”, was that it meant having access to an extensive inner spiritual world, formed by the dancers that goes on and on, but tantalisingly, never quite personally experienced by the viewer.

Interesting. I read "pregnant dimensionality" as an enchanting sense of possibility, as the sort of presence that makes a dancer as riveting to watch at rest as in motion. Better put, as pregnant dimensionality.

To each his own. Style is always easy to mock, as others here have done. Ballet too is easy to mock as mannered and pretentious.

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So I cannot fully agree with “Tosh!” though I have to say, I prefer my prose to be both a lighter shade of purple and perhaps less mannered.

I too like it more when it's a bit less mannered, but I still find much of Jacobs' writing beautiful, this passage included.

my take on, “…an intense sensation of line imbued with deep space, a pregnant dimensionality…”, was that it meant having access to an extensive inner spiritual world, formed by the dancers that goes on and on, but tantalisingly, never quite personally experienced by the viewer.

Interesting. I read "pregnant dimensionality" as an enchanting sense of possibility, as the sort of presence that makes a dancer as riveting to watch at rest as in motion. Better put, as pregnant dimensionality.

To each his own. Style is always easy to mock, as others here have done. Ballet too is easy to mock as mannered and pretentious.

I like your interpretation. I find the imagery in her writing stimulating to read, but, Ms Jacob has a tendency to write for an audience that hardly exists in our brash new world.

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