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Mariinsky under Fateyev


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#46 bianca

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 03:36 AM

Sarafanov is married to Novikova now, but he used to be with Gonchar. I don't know if they were married but they were definetely in a relationship, it's even mentioned in early interview with him:
http://www.ballet.co...w_sarafanov.htm

#47 sophia

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 01:59 PM

There's one thing about POB, the Royal and ENB as examples: They do modern in blocks of time, and they do classical in blocks of time. They don't change styles overnight in the course of a week like the Mariinsky does.


It's true, the western system is different from the russian, but as far as POB is concerned, they change styles regularly and dancers, esp. soloists, happen to perform and/or rehearse two different (I mean very different, not only classical to neo-classical) programs during the same period of time. And injuries are common - almost a rule here. Check the change of casts in December or at Easter for example...

#48 bianca

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 11:35 PM

It seems that many people blame Fateyev for Mariinsky situation. I follow Mariinsky videos on youtube and there was interesting comment in this video of adorable Oksana Marchuk (still in corps de ballet! She didn't even dance Amor variation in Don Quixote! This video shows Fateyev's poor casting more than any words said against him):


"She's like Cinderella now (one of many), neglected by stepmother (well, in Mariinsky case it's stepfather). Fairy Godmother should finally come to Mariinsky and hit someone in the bald head before ugly stepsister become primaballerina."

I could only guess that ugly sister heading towards primaballerina is Oksana Skorik.

#49 Tiara

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 02:44 AM

It seems that the the dissatisfaction with Yuri Fateyev is widespread. Oksana Marchuk is a complete delight, with those wonderfully fluid arms and hands and bright presence. Yuri Fateyev is choosing the wrong horse to back with his thrusting up the promotion ladder of Oksana Skorik, who can hardly be said to have pure Vaganova style. Any right minded director would have cast the charming Marchuk as Florine immediately, or, even better, Aurora. Certainly the Bolshoi management show much more enterprise and dynamism and would have leapt at the opportunity to promote this lovely young dancer, as they did with Angelina Vorontseva and are now doing with Olga Smirnova. Yuri Fateyev it seems, is content to waste his opportunities, and cannot see talent when it is under his nose.

#50 Birdsall

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 05:11 AM

My question is why does he ignore such good dancers and promote ones who are less good? I would think all the teachers/coaches would be pleading with him all the time saying, "Come look at this dancer! She is amazing!" or "Skorik is not ready! Putting her in as Queen of the Dryads will not do her any favors because she is unprepared!" I know bosses do not always listen to those under them, but you would think if things are getting this bad all of the teachers would be pleading with him to open his eyes!

#51 Mashinka

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 03:15 AM

Certainly the Bolshoi management show much more enterprise and dynamism and would have leapt at the opportunity to promote this lovely young dancer, as they did with Angelina Vorontseva and are now doing with Olga Smirnova. Yuri Fateyev it seems, is content to waste his opportunities, and cannot see talent when it is under his nose.


I'm not sure that everything is sweetness and light at the Bolshoi either, though audiences haven't spotted any rot ....yet. If Bolshoi casting is so good, why hasn't Chinara Alizade danced a leading role by now?

#52 Tiara

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 06:38 AM


Certainly the Bolshoi management show much more enterprise and dynamism and would have leapt at the opportunity to promote this lovely young dancer, as they did with Angelina Vorontseva and are now doing with Olga Smirnova. Yuri Fateyev it seems, is content to waste his opportunities, and cannot see talent when it is under his nose.


I'm not sure that everything is sweetness and light at the Bolshoi either, though audiences haven't spotted any rot ....yet. If Bolshoi casting is so good, why hasn't Chinara Alizade danced a leading role by now?

With regard to Chinara Alizade, she certainly has danced at least one leading role - I recall in November 2010 she danced Kitri in Don Quixote with Mikhail Lobukhin as her partner. This was not in Moscow however, but elsewhere in Russia, and I cannot remember where, but she definitely danced it. Moreover, Alizade has danced many good roles - for example, she danced peasant pdd in the Bolshoi movie version of Lunkina-Gudanov Giselle that was shown worldwide. Of course, everyone wants to see their own favourite dancers dance more - I too would like to see Alizade dance more roles - but at Mariinsky Theatre there are many supremely talented girls in the corps who deserve to be stars and who are completely overlooked and just stagnating, while others such as Oksana Skorik, are unfairly promoted.

#53 Helene

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 09:02 AM

I know this is often a matter of taste, but despite all of the praise I've read of her, I've seen Alizade in a number of Demi- and Soloist roles where she's been paired with another dancer, and in every one I've preferred her partner.

#54 Tiara

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 12:03 PM

I know this is often a matter of taste, but despite all of the praise I've read of her, I've seen Alizade in a number of Demi- and Soloist roles where she's been paired with another dancer, and in every one I've preferred her partner.

Regardless of the general opinion on Chinara Alizade, the points I have been trying to make are primarily concerned with Mariinsky Theatre and its mismanagement by Yuri Fateyev.

In every ballet company, you can watch act 2 of Giselle and say that you like Moyna better than Zulma or vice-versa. There is always difference of opinion according to personal taste. Similarly, you can say that you prefer one of the 3 shades in Kingdom of the Shades or you can say that you prefer one of the 3 odalisques more than the others.

My point is this: unfortunately, with the bungling casting decisions of Fateyev, you can watch act 2 of Giselle and not only are there better girls in the corps than Moyna or Zulma, but there are better girls in the corps than Myrtha. This is a shameful situation. The same can be said about Kingdom of the Shades. In almost every performance of Bayadere, you can choose at least 3 girls from the corps who will be better than every shade that Fateyev has chosen and since he has no variety in casts, it is almost always the same girls, every time in those roles. What is so tragic about Bayadere, although every Nikiya is talented and worthy of the role of Nikiya, is that there are girls in the corps, better than some of the Nikyas, although all the Nikiyas are good. There is such an amazing depth of talent in the Mariinsky corps and yet Fateyev keeps using the lesser talents and depriving the true artists what they deserve and the world deserves to see. In fact, you can go throughout the whole repertoire and see this in all ballets where the power of Fateyev has made bad casting decisions, lazy decisions and decisions not in the best interests of the majority of his company members.

When it comes to choosing dancers, Yuri Fateyev is at kindergarten level, with no hope of progressing even as far as 1st grade. Unfortunately, Fateyev has corps girls deserving PHD degrees and he keeps them as university first year students.

#55 canbelto

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 04:04 PM

[font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif][size=4]My point is this: unfortunately, with the bungling casting decisions of Fateyev, you can watch act 2 of Giselle and not only are there better girls in the corps than Moyna or Zulma, but there are better girls in the corps than Myrtha. This is a shameful situation. The same can be said about Kingdom of the Shades. In almost every performance of Bayadere, you can choose at least 3 girls from the corps who will be better than every shade that Fateyev has chosen and since he has no variety in casts, it is almost always the same girls, every time in those roles. What is so tragic about Bayadere, although every Nikiya is talented and worthy of the role of Nikiya, is that there are girls in the corps, better than some of the Nikyas, although all the Nikiyas are good. There is such an amazing depth of talent in the Mariinsky corps and yet Fateyev keeps using the lesser talents and depriving the true artists what they deserve and the world deserves to see. In fact, you can go throughout the whole repertoire and see this in all ballets where the power of Fateyev has made bad casting decisions, lazy decisions and decisions not in the best interests of the majority of his company members.[/size][/font]


I think to be fair there's this certain sort of laziness in all major companies where there's a lot of talent but a rather rigid, politics-based casting system (which is basically every major ballet company). For instance the NYCB has arguably one of the most talented, deep pools of females right now, but one of the most major roles (the female solo in Agon) has basically been owned by Wendy Whelan for, I don't know, as long as I've watched the NYCB. I mean I like Wendy as much as the next person, but I'd love to see another ballerina take a crack at the Agon duet. Another example is Megan Fairchild -- she's a competent but rather unexciting dancer who is cast in a lion's share of the Balanchine "petit allegro" roles.

#56 Helene

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 05:01 PM

Occasionally I run through my performance diaries from the '80's (when I started to stockpile programs), during which time I tried to see as many casts of everything that I could manage. My experience was:

In "Push Comes to Shove" in the early '80's, it was regularly cast with Baryshnikov or Radojevic, Tcherkassky or Kudo, and Susan Jaffe. Tcherkassky owned "Flower Festival of Genzano PDD." Merrill Ashley did all but one performance I saw of "Donizetti Variations" from 1982-1990. Suzanne Farrell did "Monumentum"/"Movements" from 1982-1986. Heather Watts or Maria Calegari and Bart Cook or Jock Soto danced 11 performances of the central couple in "Symphony in Three Movements" between 1983-9. Stacey Caddell did every performance I saw of "Steadfast Tin Soldier" from 1983-90. Merill Ashley and Heather Watts split the Diana Adams role in "Concerto Barocco" from 1983-8, and Watts did every "Bugaku" from 1983-92 and eight of ten Aria I's from "Stravinsky Violin Concerto" from 1984-90. (Karin von Aroldingen from the original cast did the first two.) Stephanie Saland did all but one Symphony Op. 21 and Heather Watts did all but one Concerto Op. 24 in "Episodes" from 1983-8. Patricia McBride did all but one "Sonatine" between 1984-9. Kyra Nichols danced all but one "Walpurgisnacht Ballet" from 1984-93. Heather Watts and Mel Tomlinson danced the "Agon" PDD in all but one performance between 1983-7. etc, etc. This doesn't even count roles that were danced by the dancers who created them, like McBride in the Intermezzo from "Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet," Watts in "Calcium Light Night," the entire cast of "Antique Epigraphs," Farrell in "Mozartiana," and so on.

The difference in a company that does primarily mixed rep, as Peter Boal reminds audiences here, is that there are far more Principal roles and opportunities in the average mixed rep program than in full-lengths. That doesn't guarantee that the wealth will be spread very far among the ballets that are performed, not counting periods where injury is the root cause.

#57 alexaa1a

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 05:44 PM

one of the most major roles (the female solo in Agon) has basically been owned by Wendy Whelan for, I don't know, as long as I've watched the NYCB. I mean I like Wendy as much as the next person, but I'd love to see another ballerina take a crack at the Agon duet.

http://en.wikipedia....i/Agon_(ballet)
According to this Wikipedia site, it only gives Agon casts for a fall tour in 2009 in Tokyo. It shows Wendy Whelan as first cast and Maria Kowroski as 2nd cast. So unless only first cast performed, I do not think Whelan had a monopoly. There is also a big difference between a company specializing in short ballets versus the Mariinsky Ballet that performs mainly full length ballets. No major classical company in the entire world, has only one Odette/Odile or only one Aurora or only one Giselle, etc.
Tiara's main complaint was not the lack of chances at principal roles, but lack of chances at soloist roles, which offer the opportunities for principal roles. Your statement on Agon applies to a prinicpal role,although not a full length ballet,and both dancers you named are principals, Whelan and Fairchild...

#58 Tiara

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 04:39 AM

There is no deeper pool of talent than the Mariinsky's - the Mariinsky currently has more corps de ballet members in its ranks than the whole of NYCB, every one of whom could walk into a soloist position anywhere in the world, and yet despite this Yuri Fateyev does not choose to use them. He has enough dancers at his disposal to be able to cast every ballet countless times over and yet his dancers sit demoralized at home waiting for the opportunity to dance. He is not a great choreographer, promoter of talent, or innovator himself, but a former dancer turned coach who should have never gone into ballet administration. He has neither the ability, nor the discernment nor the inclination to preserve the traditions of the Mariinsky, which should have been his primary goal, and which he should be ashamed to have failed in. His recent choice of ballets in which to showcase his dancers shows him to be veering even further from the classical repertoire in which the Mariinsky excels. I suggest that if he wants to work with dancers in a predominantly modern repertoire, instead of turning the Mariinsky into a third rate polyglot company, perhaps he would like to go and work for an overseas company himself, and leave the Mariinsky to recover from the wounds he has inflicted upon it? I hear the Seychelles Ballet Company has a vacancy

#59 Mashinka

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 05:10 AM

There is no deeper pool of talent than the Mariinsky's - the Mariinsky currently has more corps de ballet members in its ranks than the whole of NYCB, every one of whom could walk into a soloist position anywhere in the world, and yet despite this Yuri Fateyev does not choose to use them.


That has more or less happened with certain dancers, for example Anton Lukovkin of ENB who has danced the leads in Giselle, Le Jeune Homme et la Mort, Afternoon of a Faune. Spectre de la Rose etc. And then you have dancers that went to the Vaganova School but weren't deemed good enough for the company e.g. Elena Glurjidze and Irina Kolesnikova.

#60 Birdsall

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 05:31 AM

I saw a YouTube clip of Stepanova in Firebird, although I can't find it now. Just the short clip I saw was amazing. She is a corps member, and needs to be promoted fast. Certain performers are so extraordinary and time is fleeting that I think some should leap frog up the ranks instead of waiting their turn. When you know that there is someone like Stepanova ready and willing but you might have to sit through one of the performances by a dancer who is not ready for prime time it does frustrate people.

I understand that there are politics in casting, but there is at least one dancer that makes your jaw drop in a really bad way at the Mariinsky. You don't even know how it is possible. Then, there are some in the corps that make your jaw drop in a good way. It is one thing to have a situation where dancers are "okay" (decent) and getting ahead due to politics while others who are better get held back. It is another situation when there are dancers rising that are truly not ready even for a provincial company and they get ahead while extraordinary talent is held back. I think that is the frustration being voiced here.


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