Natalia

Maria Shirinkina promoted to 2nd Soloist

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Updated Mariinsky roster shows this:

http://www.mariinsky.ru/en/company/ballet/troupe/

and this...

http://www.mariinsky.ru/en/company/ballet/second_soloists/dancers3/shirinkina/

Congrats to her...although I could have sworn that it already happened...but it's being announced on Russian boards as a promo. She is one of the soloists who's set to dance in the premiere of Benjamin Millepied's new work for the upcoming festival, titled Without. Shirinkina is paired with Shklyarov....and PAVLENKO with Yermakov!

http://www.mariinsky.ru/en/news1/pressa/reliz_2011_04_09/

I'm wondering if there may be other promotions, later this season?

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It is certainly not commonplace to promote a second soloist into a heavy acting role like Juliet. I can see this with Obratsova because her acting skills have been superior from day one. Having watched Shirinkina the past couple of years I am not sure that's the case, but I cannot comment either way until i see her. She was fabulous in the Millipied piece, but her projection is not as strong as others (like Frolova). She has those delicate frail bird-like limbs though, she's impossibly small-boned, the only other like her physically is perhaps Svetlana Ivanova or Elena Vaskiouvitch. I will attend this Saturday, curious how it will go.

Fateyev is certainly promoting many of the shorter girls -- Martinouk debuted last Wednesday in Don Quixote, Cherpasova continues to get soloist roles (she danced the act III variation). Olesya Novikova, for the record, is much taller than Martinouk and Obratsova, but not as tall as Pavlenko or Lopatkina. I agree that HER O/O is LONG overdue, and am very excited for her.

I have been told here lately by more than one that Fateyev is not keen on taller ballerinas; I am surprised Lopatkina is actually opening the London tour bc am told her treatment is not what it should be here at home. Skorik's debut is more a decision that she should perhaps be the nxt to carry the reigns than utter preparation on her part. (I reviewed both debuts & posted on Cd.com FYI)

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I have been told here lately by more than one that Fateyev is not keen on taller ballerinas; I am surprised Lopatkina is actually opening the London tour bc am told her treatment is not what it should be here at home. Skorik's debut is more a decision that she should perhaps be the nxt to carry the reigns than utter preparation on her part. (I reviewed both debuts & posted on Cd.com FYI)

Catherine, Catherine, thank you for having lifted the veil of mystery over Fateev‘s preferences in dancers' height. This is fascinating indeed. Not sure though why you directed us to go to Cd.com to read your posts. It says: “Bank CD Interest Rates” :unsure:

...Of course there is absolutely nothing wrong in taking interest in Mariinsky AND cd interest rates.

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Congratulations to Maria Shirinkina.

With regards to Fateyev and tall ballerinas, I actually didn't know that. While it's a shame that Lopatkina is being "mistreated", I'm glad that shorter dancers are finally being given bigger roles. Perhaps we'll finally be seeing some long overdue promotions. (-cough- Obraztsova and Martynyuk -cough-)

I hate it that politics seems to be so prevalent with regards to promotions recently. (Edit)

Edited by Pointe Shoes

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It's not to say that *all* tall(er) ballerinas are on his black list. Skorik is not short and she just debuted in Swan Lake. However he has been promoting many shorter dancers lately -- and it could just be to "give them a chance". And then obviously he isn't (won't?) promote Obratsova, and she is also shorter... my interview with her a few years ago she commented that she is short, and now the trend is that only "tall" ballerinas can dance Swan Lake, and the test of making principal is whether or not you can dance Swan Lake (among other roles, but definitely has to be that one), that therefore she will never be a principal in this company. Hence the recent Moscow debut at the Stanislavsky (and again I say bravo to her!)

So -- the height issue could be relative but the recent shift is keenly visible.

"I hate it that politics seems to be so prevalent with regards to promotions recently." Me too, Pointe shoes. I used to think (in another lifetime, maybe an imaginary one!) of the theatre as the one place where politics weren't present. Now, if someone actually gets cast and shows up on stage at the appointed hour, I think it is a massive feat...

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I was told today that it is possible Shirinkina's promotion stems from other political issues (twas ever thus) inside the theatre, ie who she is dating and such. We will see how far she goes...

Interesting. I have seen Maria on stage only briefly and thought she was very graceful, graceful in a very special fluid way that only small dancers tend to be. In fact she reminds me of Obraztsova. If Shirinkina is indeed in favor, then I see the two shorter ladies competing for the same roles as First and Second soloists respectively.

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my interview with her a few years ago she commented that she is short, and now the trend is that only "tall" ballerinas can dance Swan Lake, and the test of making principal is whether or not you can dance Swan Lake (among other roles, but definitely has to be that one), that therefore she will never be a principal in this company. Hence the recent Moscow debut at the Stanislavsky (and again I say bravo to her!)

Diana Vishneva had been made Principal long before she danced O-O with her native Mariinsky, in fact some 9-10 years before. Perhaps not promoting Evgenia to Principal has less to do with how close Obraztova comes to Mariinsky's vision of O-O and more to do with other qualities or lack of, if you will.

Personally I believe in wisdom of Mariinsky’s management, which consists of talented individuals who devoted their lives to the famed theatre and understand specifics of St. Petersburg culture and traditions better than you or I can ever dream to. It is true that promotion policies there are different from that of ROH or ABT. But why should they be similar? Thanks heavens Mariinsky is different!

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Angelique, in any case, Obraztsova is shorter than Vishneva. And Vishneva cannot be compared to anyone else on the staff, in terms of status, for she was the only dancer (in fact the only one in the past 20+ yrs) who was selected while still a student to join the company--whether or not politics was involved in that decision, for she is the exception to the rules, to many rules. So it's apples and oranges in her specific case. If you compare her to Obraztsova, then you must compare her to Shirinkina, and Pavlenko, and Lopatkina and every other dancer on the roster, and draw the same conclusion: they were not asked to join the company while still at the Academy.

Many people in Petersburg do not consider Vishneva an example of the Vaganova Academy (and by extension, an example of what here is known as the "Petersburg school") because she did not complete the full system of training there, because her technique espouses other tenants from the West, and also for the same reason you mention -- if she cannot successfully perform Odette/Odile then that makes her a different kind of ballerina. Here she is not seen as a Kirov dancer, per se, but one of world taste. (guest artist at Bolshoi, in Berlin, and permanently on the guest artist staff at ABT).

I agree -- it is possible that in the near future Obraztsova/Shirinkina would compete for the same roles, however given the unfortunate disfavour towards Obraztsova, I believe we know who will be granted precedence.

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Not sure I can totally agree about Diana. Yes, she was able to embrace other schools and styles of dance, thus becoming a truly global ballet star. When dancing Aurora, however, which along with The Swan Lake constitutes the very core of Mariinsky repertoire, Vishneva was quintessential Imperial ballerina - the proudly set back, those gorgeous arms, the unmistakably Mariinsky port de bras. What is most important, however, it is her profound understanding of the Imperial style, that made her one of, if not the best Mariinsky Auroras. Of course I don’t take into account Malakhov's staging of the ballet, which Diana also performed. It is another animal all together, the one I personally don’t take seriously.

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I agree, Vishneva is a fantastic Aurora. But Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty are very different ballets, requiring different accents and different nuances, a different movement lexicon entirely, in fact.

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I agree, Vishneva is a fantastic Aurora. But Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty are very different ballets, requiring different accents and different nuances, a different movement lexicon entirely, in fact.

You brought up an interesting point, Catherine. Indeed, "Swan Lake" is unlike any other Petipa’s ballet. Perhaps it was the influence of Leo Ivanov (then assistant choreographer to Marius Petipa) that rendered it such, perhaps the legendary choreographer himself was on the way to a more symphonic compositional structure to which "Raymonda" stands a witness. But "Swan Lake" is like no other classical ballet before or after. The closest epithet I can come with is ballet-poem, hence a different movement lexicon

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Maria Shirinkina's debuts in Sleeping Beauty and Giselle recently were with Maxim Zyuzin and Konstantin Zverev respectively, both also Second Soloists.

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