Zachary

Olga Smirnova

166 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

I’ve time at the moment to do video watching and there’s so much of beauty and interest that it’s hard not to keep writing. When I reflect on all the beauty that a day can offer, thinking about and watching (with videos) these amazing artists can be at times a real highpoint because of all the heart touching warmth and appreciation that I feel.

 

A couple years ago when I started noticing Olga Smirnova it was usually in comparison to the Mariinsky’s Oxana Skorik at topics focusing on Oxana Skorik. For the moment the emphasis has shifted but the comparison remains compelling since I see them both as remarkably beautiful artists pursuing parallel carriers.

 

Olga Smirnova, I feel, could be one of history’s greatest ballerinas, perhaps already is. What makes her so special — Dimension.

 

But there’s something else — Pure Beauty of Dance. In this regard I feel that Ulyana Lopatkina may also be one of history’s greatest ballerinas, but the impact and recognition are much different. In the same regard I always return to watch Oxana Skorik and she always manages to hold her own and to excel. Probably not having the consistant intensity, range or impact that Olga Smirnova has, she may not get the same level of recognition, but she has amazing beauty of dance, in certain respects unequaled by anyone. I continue to watch their parallel development with much interest and greatest appreciation.

 

In further regard to Olga Smirnova, there is another area of comparison that I find very embracing.

 

Presence

 

This, for me, is one of her most remarkable qualities. I would like to mention two other ballerinas who effect me greatly in a similar manner.

 

Veronika Part -- She has a definite resemblance in her compelling nature. She’s perhaps more of the air. Her elevated essence seems to permeate everything. 

 

Simone Messmer -- I’ve seen so little of her and now that she’s at a new company, The Miami City Ballet, this may involve more changes. She’s one dancer who simply captivates me the minute she appears on stage. At times her performance seems less important than who she is, whom she’s conveying, her persona and her portrayal. I hope to be able to see much more of her, as her artistry should grow and grow.

 

Other artists such as Alina Cojocaru, whom I’ve not seen in several years, come to mind. I would also include the Mariinsky’s Yekaterina Kondaurova and Alina Somova, although they have so many areas that they excel in that it’s hard to focus on just this. They also tend to emphasise their power of ‘Presence’ and portrayal more selectively.

 

Edited by Buddy
change in spacing of paragraphs and grammar correction(s)

Share this post


Link to post

Buddy,  I was smiling nicely at your posts, and that's because yes, you have been  writing a lot about Smirnova, but, as Natalia says, it is good to see positive comments and enthusiasm about a dancer you clearly love.  I also think Smirnova is a wonderful ballerina, and Uliana Lopatkina too, but I am afraid I just HAVE to pipe up here and say, that where our agreement must end is on the subject of the "other" O.S. who you just mentioned in connection with Smirnova, and who I do not consider worthy of tying the ballet shoes of Smirnova and Lopatkina, let alone being in the same realm of excellence!   I think she is AWFUL.   It was BURNING and I had to say it! and I do not want to start a trashing thread - but well, there it is!    But Smirnova and Lopatkina - yes, love them both!  :)

Share this post


Link to post

Posted (edited)

Hi, MadameP. 

 

I think for one thing that our focus is probably different and this I respect. I would want to say this, though, that I don't think that we'd be discussing any of these artists if a lot of folks didn't think that had something outstanding to offer.

 

Hope you're doing well and best wishes.  :)

Edited by Buddy

Share this post


Link to post

And history is yet again repeated. I cannot help myself commenting as I'm in the middle of re-reading Ivor Guest's bio of Romantic-era ballerina Fanny Cerrito, which so vividly recounts the enthusiasm among Les Cerritoists et les Elsslerists. We need worry only when the enthusiasm wanes for any of our modern dancers...when les Copelandists and Les Abreraists at ABT stop writing about these ladies.

 

This inspires me to begin a new fun thread on "Who would YOU cast as the four ballerinas if, say, Ratmansky would create a modern equivalent of Perrot/Pugni's 1845 Grand Pas de Quatre that starred Taglioni, Elssler, Cerrito and Grahan?" I'll start the thread separately later today. Begin to think of who you consider to be today's four great ballerinas, worthy of casting in a 21st-c Pas de Quatre.

Share this post


Link to post
19 hours ago, Natalia said:

And history is yet again repeated. I cannot help myself commenting as I'm in the middle of re-reading Ivor Guest's bio of Romantic-era ballerina Fanny Cerrito, which so vividly recounts the enthusiasm among Les Cerritoists et les Elsslerists. We need worry only when the enthusiasm wanes for any of our modern dancers...when les Copelandists and Les Abreraists at ABT stop writing about these ladies.

 

This inspires me to begin a new fun thread on "Who would YOU cast as the four ballerinas if, say, Ratmansky would create a modern equivalent of Perrot/Pugni's 1845 Grand Pas de Quatre that starred Taglioni, Elssler, Cerrito and Grahan?" I'll start the thread separately later today. Begin to think of who you consider to be today's four great ballerinas, worthy of casting in a 21st-c Pas de Quatre.

Yes, we need to keep Ratmansky busy, if only to prevent him from inflicting another Little Humpbacked Horse, Anna Karenina or Cinderella on Mariinsky Ballet...  :)

Share this post


Link to post

Ah, the Big Three "El Cheapos"! :D

To be fair, many other Ratmansky narrative ballets have had substantial designs, such as the Bolshoi version of BRIGHT STREAM (Boris Messerer designs) or the Mariinsky's edition of FAIRY's KISS (much prettier than Miami's). The Australian CINDERELLA, too...no ugly cheap scaffolding.

Share this post


Link to post

I love "Little Humpbacked Horse" and think it is brilliant.  However, Ratmansky did not inflict "Anna Karenina" on the Mariinsky:  he made it for the Royal Danish Ballet, and the Mariinsky knew what it was getting.

 

I've never seen "Cinderella."  However, fancy sets and costumes aren't my bar for whether a ballet is effective.

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, Helene said:

I love "Little Humpbacked Horse" and think it is brilliant.  However, Ratmansky did not inflict "Anna Karenina" on the Mariinsky:  he made it for the Royal Danish Ballet, and the Mariinsky knew what it was getting.

 

I've never seen "Cinderella."  However, fancy sets and costumes aren't my bar for whether a ballet is effective.

OK, true, Mariinsky management decided to inflict these ballets on Mariinsky Ballet  I still don't like them, and think they could have made far better choices.  :)

Share this post


Link to post

With new work, you get what you get, although you do get to choose whether to revive it (unless contracted otherwise). 

Share this post


Link to post

The poor (plain) designs of the Ratmansky Cinderella caused a couple to cut off relations with me & my first husband. My husband & I were unable to use our Kennedy Ctr subscription tix, so offered them to the Cultural Attaché of the Hungarian Embassy & her husband, who went to the show. (My late husb was Hungarian.) 

 

Next day, she called my husband to thank us for the tix but made a point of noting, "We thought that the Kirov was classical. This was so ugly, we left after the second act." We never heard from them again...just cordial handshakes at the embassy, if we happened to see her.  This was many years ago...the Attaché long gone. 

The worst was that my husb ( rest his soul) held it against me..."I thought that you knew these ballets. How embarrassing..." but that was another story. Grrr.

Share this post


Link to post

Posted (edited)

To Natalia's credit, she doesn't dislike plain sets if they are appropriate to the staging.  She has written many reviews of Balanchine works that she enjoyed.  

 

I, myself, have written comments criticizing PNB's supernumerary dresses for Sleeping Beauty.  The sillouettes are fine but the material looks like gauche las vegas gold cheap lame from the audience.  A bad dress is a bad dress, and a bad set is a bad set. 

 

Free tickets, OTOH, deserve nothing but gratitude and a proper thank you letter.  Natalia did nothing wrong, Madame Attache lacked courtesy.  If nothing else she could have followed Balanchine's maxim, closed her eyes, and enjoyed the Prokofiev.  

Edited by Jayne

Share this post


Link to post

As far as I can see from clips of the Ratmansky "Cinderella," and from having seen Ratmansky's "Little Humpbacked Horse," and "Anna Karenina," the sets and most of the costumes in each were perfectly appropriate to the stagings, regardless of whether one likes the choreography or the aesthetic.

Share this post


Link to post

Posted (edited)

On 14 May 2017 at 5:24 AM, Natalia said:

 

She and Semyon Chudin did indeed perform Swan Lake twice in Vienna, the 14th and the 17th. Really wish that I could have been there.

 

She’s an artist who seems able to bring inside herself all the beauty that she views and feels, make it part of herself and radiate it back to us through her exceptional artistry and remarkable physical beauty.

 

Here’s a curtain call video clip with a very nice comment from Manuel Legris, the Artistic Director.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BUFs5t2A9W5/

 

Interview with her, January 19, 2017

 

What kind of thoughts and feelings would you wish the audience to take home from “Sleeping Beauty” on Sunday?

 

The fairy tale brings hope for some good things to happen in life, of which love is probably the most important. I’d wish our spectators would leave ensured about this and that their hearts are filled with hope. Hope that beauty, kindness and love would remain the main pillars of our lives or, at least, that they are something to aspire to.

 

https://www.ilona-landgraf.com/2017/01/olga-smirnova-on-the-sleeping-beauty/

 

Edited by Buddy

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks, Buddy. Did you see her leading Etudes in the recent Bolshoi "Contemporary Evening" cinemascast? Aristocratic elegance. To the manor born.  That "Platel vibe"!  Lucky NYC, soon to see her leading Diamonds in JEWELS.

Share this post


Link to post

Posted (edited)

On 19 May 2017 at 6:45 AM, Natalia said:

Thanks, Buddy. Did you see her leading Etudes in the recent Bolshoi "Contemporary Evening" cinemascast? Aristocratic elegance. To the manor born.  That "Platel vibe"!  Lucky NYC, soon to see her leading Diamonds in JEWELS.

 

Natalia, I've only seen a brief video clip of her "Etudes."  She does have an "Aristocratic elegance."

 

The works that I've seen her perform can vary in emphasis. At the moment I tend to like her best in ones where she has really achieved her nuances of character and style. In this respect, I like very much her 'lyrical and poetic classics,' such as "Swan Lake," "Giselle" and "La Bayadere." I also really appreciate such things as her Bianca, partnered by Semyon Chudin, which, for me, is a fine counterpoint to the aggressiveness and by far the best part of as much as I've watched on video of Jean-Christophe Maillot's "The Taming of the Shrew." 

 

 Sometimes I think that she takes large chances in her interpretations and acting highlights. Almost all the time she's very successful. But as she says, 'she never stops.' She never stops evaluating and developing. She has a fine sense of appropriateness and beauty. And whatever she does, she does with exceptional ability.

 

 

Edited by Buddy
a brief thought added

Share this post


Link to post
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.