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Mariinsky under Fateyev


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#61 Tiara

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 08:46 AM

I too have seen Yulia Stepanova perform, and her Firebird was absolutely outstanding by any standard, showing superb technique and, in particular, her fabulous jump. She does have a unique fluidity to her movement, and is an instinctive actress, with extraordinarily beautiful arms and upper body. She dances mainly in the corps, although she has had a few solo roles, but she has such wonderful ports de bras and presence that she stands out on stage no matter what she does. I remember seeing her as Aegina in the Yacobson production of Spartacus back in 2010, where she set the stage on fire with her glamour and sensuality, and danced with an inborn musicality. I thought then that her beauty alone would be enough to guarantee full houses, and expected to see her given more leading roles straightaway, but this did not happen. I do not understand how Yuri Fateyev can have such a wonderfully giited ballerina in his corps de ballet and not be casting her right now in every one of the principal roles in the repertoire. It really is the final proof of his complete ineptitude that apparently he does not even recognize a future star when he sees one.

#62 Helene

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 09:20 AM

Historically speaking, weren't the vast majority of dancers at the Mariinsky career corps members, just like at the Bolshoi, POB, RDB, with few if no chances for solo roles, regardless of their talent? The break-up of the Soviet Union was the first driver that gave all but dancers at the highest level leverage to move.

#63 ksk04

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 12:23 PM

Bart, here is the Stepanova video I think you are talking about. She's fascinating to watch. Her section starts at 7 minutes-ish (after Vishneva and Kondourova)



#64 Tiara

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 01:23 PM

Historically speaking, weren't the vast majority of dancers at the Mariinsky career corps members, just like at the Bolshoi, POB, RDB, with few if no chances for solo roles, regardless of their talent? The break-up of the Soviet Union was the first driver that gave all but dancers at the highest level leverage to move.

In fact, dancers like Komleva, Sizova, Maximova, Bessmertnova, Sorokina were dancing principal roles in the 1950s and early 1960s as teenagers and early 20 year olds, both at the Bolshoi and the Kirov. In the 60s, Vaganova student, Valentina Semyukova, danced Lilac Fairy at the Kirov with Asylmuratova's teacher, Zubkovsakaya dancing Kitri/Dulcinea, so during Soviet times, talented dancers were not trapped in the corps and were given opportunities for soloist and principal roles. Just ask Nina Ananiashvili, who graduated around 1981 in Soviet times. Also, more recently, Yulia Makhalina danced principal roles in the late 80s as a teenager and Larissa Lezhnina at age 19 or 20 was filmed in 1989 for the commercial video Sleeping Beauty.

Young dancers in the Soviet Union certainly were given principal roles, but under Fateyev, this does not happen - unless your name is Oksana Skorik.

#65 Helene

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 01:59 PM

That wasn't my question, which was, weren't the majority of corps members career corps members, dancing third swan from the back, with no chance for solos after their graduation performances? In Soviet times, they couldn't leave and take those soloist and principal positions in other companies.

#66 Tiara

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 02:13 PM

Here is Yulia Stepanova's Aegina variation from Act 3 of Spartacus, 16th January 2011.



After this performance she did not dance a principal role again until her Firebird debut on July 14th, 2012. Stepanova is scheduled to dance Big Swan and Spanish Dance in Swan Lake in America in October, plainly an insult to a ballerina with so much talent, artistry and beauty, who is worthy of the principal role of Odette/Odile.

#67 bianca

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 11:42 PM

I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who appreciate Stepanova. I'm her great fan since her graduation in 2009 and it pains me that three years later she's still in corps de ballet, having only two principal roles in her repertoire. Probably it would be better for her career if she was first American or any other foreigner in Mariinsky or a star of overly dramatised ballet school documentary because it's clear that great talent, acting skills, solid technique etc. is not enough for Yuri Fateyev.

#68 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 05:10 AM

Bart, here is the Stepanova video I think you are talking about. She's fascinating to watch. Her section starts at 7 minutes-ish (after Vishneva and Kondourova)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nD9CYXnl1KM


It is Big Red who does it best for me here...Posted Image

#69 Tiara

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 04:58 AM

I saw the Mariinsky's Cinderella in Edinburgh yesterday, and here was another perfect example of Yuri Fateyev wasting opportunities. Oksana Marchuk, discussed earlier in this thread, featured twice - as one of the autumn season fairy attendants, and as one of the dancers in red and black two piece costume in the final act. She is one of those dancers who you just notice instantly every time they come on stage - she has such a wonderful radiant quality, exquisite flowing arms and is so beautiful: her smile lights up the whole stage. Every time I see her dance I think the same thing - why is she not being given principal roles? She should be dancing Aurora, Giselle and Juliet. Good though Osmolkina was as Cinderella - and she was only good - in my opinion Oksana Marchuk would have been outstanding and was just made for this ballet. She certainly has all the expressive qualities and beauty. She also has a light, clean technique, as seen in her lovely Effie in Sylphide, and wonderful lyricism - Cinderella would be such a perfect role for her. If only Yuri Fateyev could understand that the public wants to see new, young ballerinas such as Marchuk given opportunities to show off their star quality. Apparently he does like the name Oksana though, but he is choosing the wrong one to pitchfork up the company promotion ladder.

#70 Natalia

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 06:10 AM

Stepanova is indeed lovely but might be considered a bit 'large-ish in the torso' by 'Mariinsky Central Casting.' It's a shame, as she has a wonderful port-de-bras and projection. I agree about Marchuk but, again, she doesn't seem to have the look that 'Mariinsky Central Casting' seems to love (spindly and double jointed like rhythmic gymnasts). The fact that Marchuk projects and dances a lot like Obraztsova doesn't help her...she is too charismatic and competent. To cast her (or Stepanova) in major roles would make 'certain favored ones' look even more incompetent than they already are!

By the way, I totally agree with the thrust of this discussion...but y'all already knew that, didn't you? (wink) The casting policies of the current Mariinsky ballet administration are beyond belief. The absurdity of Shirinkina debuting a major ballerina role (Cinderella) at the opening night of the upcoming Kennedy Center run is just the latest madness; not that she doesn't have the ability to succeed but that is not the point.

#71 Drew

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 09:47 AM

It seems rather unfair to Shirinkina to have her debut during an opening night--a kind of favoritism that could effectively hurt her if she needs some seasoning in the role. I hope she does do really well, as she definitely caught my eye the one time I saw her and she seems a natural 'Cinderella.' But yes, it's a bit odd.

#72 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 11:25 AM

It is amazing that I got to be horrified by a certain Russian ballerina's Black Swan as I have never ever been before-(closing my eyes and lowering my head in disbelief)-way before knowing that she was the much talked about Skorik. There's definitely something wrong here.

#73 Rosa

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 07:38 AM



And here is another video of her in Firebird:



#74 Helene

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 09:00 AM

Stepanova is clearly talented, but bravissima to Kondaurova: what mesmerizing authority.

It seems rather unfair to Shirinkina to have her debut during an opening night--a kind of favoritism that could effectively hurt her if she needs some seasoning in the role. I hope she does do really well, as she definitely caught my eye the one time I saw her and she seems a natural 'Cinderella.' But yes, it's a bit odd.

They always need to sell tickets early in the week. People who want to see the Mariinsky on the weekend will go no matter whom is cast.

Shrinkina is an interesting choice for the opening night reviewers, since she's a dancer who has generated interest and isn't a dancer they've seen every tour, plus there's the distraction of "What do we think of Ratmansky?" and how has this production changed since the last time. If she gets middling reviews, I suspect they will also have a caveat about the production and the "sour" score.



#75 Birdsall

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 09:11 AM

I can't quite put my finger on it, but Firebird is one of my least favorite ballets, and I have Vishneva's and Kondaurova's commercial recordings of the role and like them in it. But these clips of Stepanova's Firebird (thanks to those who posted them here) make me think I might finally understand why people like this ballet, if I see her in the complete ballet.


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