Natalia, on 03 September 2012 - 12:21 PM, said:
Almost every freakin' North American tour since April '08 has had Shirinkina...especially if Schklyarov is also on the roster and even if he is not.
I happen to like Maria Shirinkina very much and consider her to be a lovely lyrical classical ballerina with some of the most beautiful arms in the Mariinsky. She is not a bravura, virtuoso type ballerina, but she has not been cast as one, and I personally found her very effective and loved her performances as Giselle, Syuimbike, Shirin, Masha and others. I think Cinderella will be a very good role for her and wish her every success.
Shirinkina graduated from an 8 year ballet programme in Perm and joined Mariinsky Theatre immediately after her graduation in 2006. At that time, Vaziev was ballet director and many will say that he used the youngsters in good roles, too much, to the detriment of veterans with great experience. However, Shirinkina cannot be blamed for taking her opportunities. In this environment which Shirinkina entered, in her first Mariinsky Festival, during her first season in spring 2007, she danced the role of Amor in Don Quixote, which featured Natalia Osipova, Leonid Sarafanov and Alina Somova. Nowadays, Vaganova graduates cannot dance in their first Mariinsky Festival at such an early age as Shirinkina, since in 2007, Vaganova changed to a 9 year program.
The youth lover, Vaziev, has been replaced by Fateyev, who seems to not comprehend that there are differences in the stage talent of the young dancers.. He seems to think that all dancers need time to develop as professionals, but now they are starting one year older than previously because of Vaganova's 9 year program, replacing the 8 years that always existed since Vaganova died. In addition, because of Vaganova entrance requirements on height, many students now start later meaning that some graduate at as old as 20 or 21, which hardly ever happened before. Marchuk graduated at an older age than Maria Shirinkina and with the exception of Martynyuk, it is not possible to find a more suited dancer for Amor, than Marchuk. Marchuk has never danced Amor and she will now enter her 3rd Mariinsky season, after going through Vaganova's long 9 year programme.
Something must be seriously wrong with Fateyev if he is unable to give a relatively easy role, Amor, to a dancer with such amazing natural gifts for that role. We are not talking about Giselle which requires much more skill and diverse talents than Amor, a role which any good Vaganova student can dance. Don Quixote is scheduled for 19th and 28th October, and would be a wonderful opportunity for Fateyev to give this lovely dancer her chance in the role.