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Obraztsova - Odette/Odile Debut

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PS. of course, this is only my impression and I hope it is OK to express one (?)

Opinions and impressions are fine, when they are backed up; you described what you saw, even if others of us saw the performance differently.

It's agendas that are not.

I agree with you wholeheartedly, Helene. Agendas, whether they aim to elevate or down trod a dancer, should have no place on a dance forum.

Having said that, I saw what I saw on the video introduced. Perhaps, Evgenia is better as Odette. I am looking forward to her Odette video with untainted opinion and uncorrupted heart.

I apologie once again that my impression doesn’t align with your own.

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I'm with you, Jayne -- i see Kirkland and Hepburn in her -- they all three made me want to protect them, as if they were real to me and I TO THEM.... yes, of course, "that way madness lies,' but that is in fact the way artists affect me, as if they were not only in my world but making my world for me.... Obrasztova is one of those performers that God makes you care about.... I don't really believe in God, but I don't know any other way of saying it...

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Cristian, this looks like Bourmeister's choreography, which the Stanislavsky Ballet has been dancing for quite some time. They brought it here to San Francisco about 10 years ago, and most of us agreed that it is a coherent, powerful version of the ballet, quite different from the classic version the Royal Ballet dances, rather lurid but internally consistent. More recent versions like ABT's clearly owe a LOT to the Stanislavsky version -- especially in their versions of Rothbart ("Swamp thing"), without having the solid deep theatrical structure that Bourmeister's does....

Clips of Roberto Bolle in Swan Lake make it look like La Scala does Bourmeister's version as well. There's a very good first act.

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A

of her Odile has appeared on Youtube! :)

This was fun to watch. I thought Obratsova's tutu made her pirouettes look floppier than they would otherwise look with a smaller, stiffer tutu. Chunin looked like he was flinging his head back to get his hair out of his face. Rather distracting. The set decor and corps look sumptuous in their tudor-esque costumes, especially the headgear.

Did you notice the dropped / flung tambourine?

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Obraztsova is an extraordinarily beautiful Odile, as we rarely see nowadays. I had tears simply watching, she is so exquisite. As if a treasure from the past has been recovered. Thank you, Genya...and her coach, Stanislavsky prima of the 1960s & Pavlova Prize winner, Margarita Drozdova. :flowers:

Obraztsova and Kondaurova - two extraordinary (yet different) -- Odette-Odiles of our time!

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Did you notice the dropped / flung tambourine?

Poor girl :(

Stanislavsky, although not in the same league as Mariinsky or the Bolshoi, has come a long way. Not sure if I would go out of my way if Stanislavsky comes for a visit. For Mikhailovsky, on the other hand, I certainly would.

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I'm with you, Jayne -- i see Kirkland and Hepburn in her -- they all three made me want to protect them, as if they were real to me and I TO THEM.... yes, of course, "that way madness lies,' but that is in fact the way artists affect me, as if they were not only in my world but making my world for me.... Obrasztova is one of those performers that God makes you care about.... I don't really believe in God, but I don't know any other way of saying it...

Well written, Paul.

The truth is the truth, after all.

I just got back from the Mariinsky Festival and I have the exact same feelings -- Big Time !

Maybe, it's Spring.

Cheers.

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How lovely Obraztsova looks in those photos. Thank you, Marc!

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My internet connection is messing with me and I can't see the videos yet. However, the photos made me realize she wears fake arches. I don't know if I knew that. Looking forward to seeing the vids!

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However, the photos made me realize she wears fake arches.
You'll see this briefly but clearly in the first video, just before she inserts her arch-enhanced foot into a pointe shoe. I hope you've been able to view the videos by now.

The carriage of Obraztsova's head is so like Kirkland's, but the eyes, the EYES! Eerily Gelseyesque!

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Well I'm happy that this happened if only because I'm getting tired of the idea that only a certain type of dancer can dance O/O. Tall, incredibly thin, long-limbed, with "queenly" features. I was watching the 1968 video with Yelena Yeteyeva the other day and despite the cheesy special effects and horrific cuts, you could tell that back then at the Mariinsky, one didn't have to look like Uliana Lopatkina to get a shot at O/O. Now that aesthetic is so engrained at the Mariinsky it's depressing.

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The carriage of Obraztsova's head is so like Kirkland's, but the eyes, the EYES! Eerily Gelseyesque!

I knew I was on the right track about the Kirkland's similarities...! :clapping:

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I really wish there were clips of her Odette. :( Beautiful pics cantdance!

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Thank you Marc, not only for your beautiful pics, but for your eyewitness account of Yevgenia's debut summed up in these two sentences:

One of the most remarkable ballerinas of the Mariinsky Ballet, so far Obraztsova has been denied the much coveted role of Odette-Odile by her home company. Seeing her perform at the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Music Theatre on 23 April 2011 made that refusal look utterly pointless.

Indeed. The Mariinsky management's stance is moot now.

However, re this role, things may change for Obraztsova. None other than Olesya Novikova will be making her debut as O/O at the Mariinsky Theatre on June 18, 2011.

http://www.mariinsky.ru/en/playbill/playbill/2011/6/18/1_1900/

Novikova has danced the role in bits and pieces for appreciation galas before, (such as the Odile pdd for the late Kurgapkina's final gala at the Mariinsky), and recently, in full-length with Zelensky's Novosibirsk company last July in Paris at the Théâtre du Châtelet. Novikova is also "short" and essentially a soubrette (like Yevgenia), compared to the Blue House Swan Queen Aesthetic that's currently in favor. Oxana Skoryk (recently promoted coryphee) will be the next exponent of that aesthetic, with her debut coming up on May 14, with a "quick," (well, by the Mariinsky's standards), follow-up performance on June 26.

Novikova's coach is Olga Moiseyeva, who also trained Galina Mezentseva, Altynai Asylmuratova, Yulia Makhalina and at the very beginning of her career, Uliana Lopatkina. However, unlike Yevgenia, Olesya (and the ballerinas just listed) have danced "Raymonda" at the Mariinsky Theatre. Raymonda is also one of the roles which Yevgenia has had to outsource. With Olesya's imminent debut on the home stage, Yevgenia is still 0 for 2 at home for these two ballets. Olesya and Evgenia both graduated in the Class of 2002 in M. Vasilieva's class. Ekaterina Osmolkina and Diana Vishneva each waited a decade for the privilege of a Mariinsky O/O debut. Now, it will be very interesting to see how long they'll take to give Yevgenia Obrastzova permission for her's.

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Olesya Novikova is an exquisite and fine tuned dancer, most deserved of the role. Not sure who Genichka is.

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I guess Novikova dancing O/ O is a move in the right direction. But I had seen her perform live twice and wasn't blown away by her stage presence both times....doesn't mean I don't like her dancing but just that I think she has good, solid technique but no "it"/ star factor IMO. I'd seen the MT perform live numerous times in recent years, I agree that the casting requirement for tall O/ O has gotten out of hand, this seems to be a quaintly new, Russian tradition.

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Not sure who Genichka is.

It might be a demunitive nick name for Evgenia (full name). Genya/Zhenya, then Genechka, Genichka?

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Not sure who Genichka is.

It might be a demunitive nick name for Evgenia (full name). Genya/Zhenya, then Genechka, Genichka?

Thank you, YID. Cygnet took pains to clarify the issue by replacing references to Genechka with Evgenia. Obraztsova is undoubtedly the darling of balletomanes (at least a group of them), while Novikova's exquisite beauty and polished technique immensely appeal to regular theatre goers. She is also well respected and much liked by her peers. From what I have seen of Olesya's Raymonda, I am mostly impressed. O-O, of course, is another animal altogether.

I also don’t see why Evgenia shouldn’t continue her apparently successful engagement with Stanislavky Theatre in Moscow. After all, Mariinsky is not the only professional company in the world, although, granted, very prestigious. If an artist feels that his or her talent is showcased to better advantage in theatre A, why should he or she be compelled to perform a certain role in theatre B? True art is not about prestige after all.

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Novikova has danced the role in bits and pieces for appreciation galas before, (such as the Odile pdd for the late Kurgapkina's final gala at the Mariinsky)

Just short off topic correction - it was Moiseyeva's gala. The dancer who did Odile on Kurgapkina's gala was her pupil Tatiana Tkachenko.

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Just short off topic correction - it was Moiseyeva's gala. The dancer who did Odile on Kurgapkina's gala was her pupil Tatiana Tkachenko.

Thanks for that Bianca, it was Moiseyeva’s Gala, which took place January 26, 2009 :). According to my souvenir program, Novikova and Ivanchenko danced the Odile pdd during Part 1's divertissement.

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Not sure who Genichka is.

It might be a demunitive nick name for Evgenia (full name). Genya/Zhenya, then Genechka, Genichka?

Thank you, YID. Cygnet took pains to clarify the issue by replacing references to Genechka with Evgenia. Obraztsova is undoubtedly the darling of balletomanes (at least a group of them), while Novikova's exquisite beauty and polished technique immensely appeal to regular theatre goers. She is also well respected and much liked by her peers. From what I have seen of Olesya's Raymonda, I am mostly impressed. O-O, of course, is another animal altogether.

I also don’t see why Evgenia shouldn’t continue her apparently successful engagement with Stanislavky Theatre in Moscow. After all, Mariinsky is not the only professional company in the world, although, granted, very prestigious. If an artist feels that his or her talent is showcased to better advantage in theatre A, why should he or she be compelled to perform a certain role in theatre B? True art is not about prestige after all.

I also don't see why Obraztsova should abandon challenging stereotype casting of O/ O at the Mariinsky. It is after all her home theatre, and I'm sure it has a very special place in her heart. True art may not be all about prestige as you say, but it is partly about attaining excellence and the ever elusive perfection. You've previously opined that the Stanislavsky isn't up to par with even the Mikhailovsky, so are you in essence saying that Obraztsova should feel lucky or be complacent that she gets to dance certain roles only at less worthy theatres such as the Stanislavsky?

The true hallmark of a great artist is an unabiding passion for his or her art, all the while challenging the conventions, limitations or boundaries of that very platform itself.

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The true hallmark of a great artist is an unabiding passion for his or her art, all the while challenging the conventions, limitations or boundaries of that very platform itself.

This is something I eagerly agree with. Multi-faceted Alina Somova comes to mind as someone who challenges the boundaries, but also Makarova and Mezentseva who did it in the past.

As for Obraztsova I wish her the very best in her pursuit of illusive perfection and on the stage of her choice :) She is certainly a vey special dancer, although with somewhat limited diapason, my opinion, of course.

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The true hallmark of a great artist is an unabiding passion for his or her art, all the while challenging the conventions, limitations or boundaries of that very platform itself.

This is something I eagerly agree with. Multi-talented Alina Somova comes to mind as someone who challenges the boundaries, but also Makarova and Mezentseva who did it in the past.

As for Obraztsova I wish her the very best in her pursuit of illusive perfection and on the stage of her choice :) She is certainly a vey special dancer, although with somewhat limited diapason, my opinion, of course.

I didn't have Somova in mind when I was thinking of dancers breaking conventions while contributing to the artform. Actually someone like Sylvie Guillem fit my definition more so than Alina Somova, whom I happen to appreciate and really like in certain roles or milieus. Also, I fail to see the salience of comparing Somova to Obraztsova in this regard. To say that Somova is multifaceted while Obraztsova is not, in my opinion, is to overlook some obvious weaknesses on Somova's part. I don't believe Somova can do fast footwork/ petit allegro in La Sylphide or Ondine as well as more agile ballerinas, for example.

My point is, no ballerina is perfect. Obraztsova is not perfect just as Alina Somova is not perfect. They both have their own strengths and weaknesses, but Somova luckily had an easier path as an artist. While not taking away her hard work and diligence to improve as an artist, Somova has been given more wide range of roles to experiment with artistically, based in part to having right physique in the eyes of Mariinsky powers that be. In the same vein, it is Obraztsova who has had a harder time breaking out of molds or challenging conventions imposed by her home theatre. I, as a former dance student of 15+ years and as a ballet fan, can certainly applaud her ongoing efforts to push herself, the audience, and current Mariinsky dicatates in this direction.

Off topic and not directed at you, but one of my pet peeves if when ballet fans pit their favorites against each other, this is especially horrible on Youtube. There, demeaning comments about dancers are regularly posted without regard to tact and also feelings of dancers who might read such comments. I have too much respect for ballet dancers and their dedication to their art AND craft to engage in insults disguised as personal opinions. I hope to upkeep this practice on this forum.

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