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2012/2013 Mariinsky Ballet Season: General News, etc.


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#181 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 08:58 AM

Keenan Kampa performed as Kitri again today:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SygeQ4OoXm0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iT--Gk7nlgg

Dryad Queen Yulia Stepanova:



Amour, though I can't read her name:



#182 tutu

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 12:16 PM

In Act I:

Edited: turns out I don't know how to embed video here after all. Link here, though.

#183 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 12:21 PM



#184 Buddy

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 02:39 PM

Having seen Keenan Kampa perform live with the Mariinsky and having seen subsequent video clips I have a somewhat positive point of view. She may not be what one expects from a Mariinsky dancer at this point in time, but she does have definite qualities. She is simply different from your average Mariinsky dancer in the same way perhaps that a typical Balanchine dancer, not known for elegant port de bras (arm carriage), etc., would be different.

I see Xander Parish in somewhat the same light. I don't know if he will ever be a typical Mariinsky dancer, but in the last two years he has shown an elegance and nobility of style that, in my mind, is equal to any of the male Mariinsky dancers.

Keenan Kampa can display an outstanding excitement of character among the other Mariinsky artists. I've seen her do it. She also has a technical prowess that can be impressive. She is perhaps a "Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court." She is different and may remain so, but she can offer a contrast of qualities that could blend in beautifully. This is just my point of view and I'm not insistent on it because I haven't seen enough of her, but some well respected folks at the Mariinsky have, and they chose her to join the company and to do what she is now doing. Time will tell. I, for one, am wishing her as much success as possible.




[Added later. In the video, Amour is Elena Chmil.]

#185 Tara

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 05:26 PM

While still not what I am looking for but Kampa looking stronger here in this second go around with Don Q. Good for her! Yulia as Dryad was solid and at times stunning. Didn't care for this cast of Amour and missed the sparkle young student Zhiganshina brought to the role recently.

#186 Tiara

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 03:22 AM

She is simply different from your average Mariinsky dancer in the same way perhaps that a typical Balanchine dancer, not known for elegant port de bras (arm carriage), etc., would be different.
Keenan Kampa can display an outstanding excitement of character among the other Mariinsky artists. I've seen her do it. She also has a technical prowess that can be impressive. She is perhaps a "Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court." She is different and may remain so, but she can offer a contrast of qualities that could blend in beautifully. This is just my point of view and I'm not insistent on it because I haven't seen enough of her, but some well respected folks at the Mariinsky have, and they chose her to join the company and to do what she is now doing.


[Added later. In the video, Amour is Elena Chmil.]

I have seen Keenan dance many times, and recently, and I have not seen any outstanding excitement of character and find her singularly inexpressive and actually most of the time she looks ill at ease on the stage. She is certainly different though and that is where the problem lies - whether as one of the two Wili attendants or one of the jewel variation fairies or one of the swans, she stands out because of her lack of upper body fluidity and stiff arms and this is because she does not have adequate Vaganova training. With regard to why she was chosen to dance with the Mariinsky, consider that at Boston Ballet she was not considered talented enough to dance Kitri or any of the roles she is now given at Mariinsky, the best company in the world, and she is the subject of a tv documentary that is currently being filmed. Whatever the reasons were for bringing her in to dance for Mariinsky, they were not based on her talent alone, because you only have to watch her to see she is vastly inferior to the other Vaganova trained ballerinas.

#187 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 04:14 AM

at Boston Ballet she was not considered talented enough to dance Kitri or any of the roles she is now given at Mariinsky


Regardless of whether I agree or not, I think such a statement should be accompanied by some sort of authoritative reference.

#188 elena

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 06:00 AM

Stepanova as Queen of the Dryads really is a queen, very regal and graceful in her carriage. I am glad she is being given more opportunities. When it comes to Kampa, I just cannot get over her upper body and strange use of hands. Although she appeared to do a bit better this time around, I still think Kitri might have been one of the worst choices for her. I associate Kitri (as perhaps most people do) - with a fiery personality and explosive jumps... I just didn't see any of that (in these clips anyway).

I do wish Kampa well, she certainly is beautiful and it's not as if she is technically deficient, perhaps with time she will fit in more. I just wish they'd given her more time to smooth the edges before they threw her out there. But if it's true they are filming a documentary about her, that could explain why these choices have been made now rather than later.

#189 Helene

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 07:53 AM


at Boston Ballet she was not considered talented enough to dance Kitri or any of the roles she is now given at Mariinsky


Regardless of whether I agree or not, I think such a statement should be accompanied by some sort of authoritative reference.


She was either cast in the role or type of role in Boston, or she wasn't. If she wasn't, then her talent wasn't considered great enough to supercede whatever casting considerations the AD had in making his own choices. If she's cast at the Mariinsky, then one can assume that she compared favorably in Management's mind over the other, healthy dancers who could have been cast, and in a way that was important to them.

AD's have lots of reasons for casting the way the do, and they do it on their own timetables. Dancers respond in their own ways with their own reasons, and, in this case, a more renowned company was willing to give her what she wanted on her own timeline.

#190 Helene

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 08:07 AM

Whatever the reasons were for bringing her in to dance for Mariinsky, they were not based on her talent alone, because you only have to watch her to see she is vastly inferior to the other Vaganova trained ballerinas.

Perhaps she was not brought in solely on talent -- the number of performers who describe getting breaks speak a lot about luck/being in the right place at the right time -- and when speaking of dancers who've made it, teachers and coaches will talk about work ethic, perserverance, a quality thet see that's unusual, etc., but the idea that the Mariinsky would hire and cast a dancer solely because a documentary is being made about her is questionable, even were Spielberg making the documentary. (Maybe if she was playing the main character in the "Black Swan" follow-up.)

She clearly has something Mariinsky Management wants. She's hardly the only Mariinsky dancer whose casting has created controversy when looking at others considered vastly superior dancers in the company, and Vaganova training alone doesn't guarantee that a dancer will not be controversial or that even the dancers considered the epitomes of Vaganova style will choose a classical approach to their extensions in the Petipa ballets, for example.

#191 Birdsall

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 09:59 AM

Casting is up for March (speaking of casting), and I was surprised to see Shirinkina cast as Raymonda on March 28. I think she is a lovely dancer but doesn't seem like she is right for Raymonda. What does everyone think? It seems a bit of a wild card decision (which is now normal). I am not sure she will have the gravitas for the role. I picture her in things like Juliet and Masha. But I am hoping she will surprise me. I am going to the Mariinsky in late March and that is one of the shows I will see.

#192 Buddy

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 10:20 AM

Casting is up for March (speaking of casting), and I was surprised to see Shirinkina cast as Raymonda on March 28. I think she is a lovely dancer but doesn't seem like she is right for Raymonda....But I am hoping she will surprise me.

She probably will. Have a great trip. Posted Image

#193 jsmu

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 11:11 AM

But I am hoping she will surprise me.

She is a lovely dancer who should have a much higher rank in the company. Be grateful you're not seeing Skorik or Somova, since they are given anything and everything-- the more unsuitable the better. :)
Mme. Hermine, thank you for posting the Kampa vids. I agree completely about unfounded and ignorant blanket generalizations, particularly those such as 'the Maryinsky is the greatest company in the world...' LOL!
Kampa certainly is nowhere near the level--technically, artistically, or in any other way--of great Maryinsky dancers such as Kondaurova, Pavlenko, Tereshkina, Novikova, Kolegova, Matvienko, Vishneva (all of whom
except Kondaurova and Pavlenko have danced Kitri, I might add)...it is hard to conceive of any PLAUSIBLE reason that such a young, unfinished, technically unstable dancer would be put in such a huge bravura role
instead of one of the aforementioned ballerinas. Kitri is not a role for a novice to cut her teeth on.

#194 Birdsall

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 11:43 AM


But I am hoping she will surprise me.

She is a lovely dancer who should have a much higher rank in the company. Be grateful you're not seeing Skorik or Somova, since they are given anything and everything-- the more unsuitable the better. Posted Image


I am basically happy with the casting of all the ballets I will see while there, but I have to say that Shirinkina as Raymonda raised my eyebrows. I'm not saying it will not be lovely. It just seems sort of like giving Bellini's Norma to Kathleen Battle or Diana Damrau to sing. Both are lovely singers and sound beautiful but they are all wrong for Norma. But maybe I am viewing Shirinkina in a different light than I should. Just asking for others to tell me what they think.
But I am overall pleased with the casting of Sleeping Beauty (Osmolkina and Sergeyev and Vasnetsova), Carmen Suite (Kondaurova), Symphony in C (Batoeva, Lopatkina, Osmolkina, etc.) and Raymonda. I will have a great time. I will see the opera The Tale of Tsar Saltan also which is rarely ever done in the West but includes the famous Flight of the Bumblebee. That should be fun!!!!

#195 Jayne

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 01:58 PM

I am so jealous of that Symphony in C casting - sounds fantastic.

I reviewed the Kampa videos an she lacks the speed, charm, vim and vigor of a Spanish Kitri. That said, I think her adagio dancing could be pretty terrific - if developed.

Dancers are that rare combination of art and athletics. Just like artists and athletes - some blossom quite young, others come into their own with experience and time. I think she is being pushed too fast and into the wrong genre of ballet.


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