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


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#226 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 04:09 AM

Where does the medium lie though? I'm pretty sure that the person who posted the entire video but redacted the fall was trying to be fair. I have previously posted video of a televised performance in which Nina A fell on her hands and knees but also cut that part in the middle because I thought it would be mean-spirited to include it. If you're going to judge a performance, you'd do it on the rest of it, or else it all becomes about the fall

And I don't think (again!) that KK should be doing Kitri, but she still deserved to be judged on more than whether or not she fell down. I saw Makarova fall during fouettes in Swan Lake, and before getting up and continuing, she looked at the audience and shrugged her shoulders. I saw Nina A fall during Raymonda and Swan Lake. I saw Eleanor d'Antuono fall during Etudes. I saw Susan Jaffe fall in Ballet Imperial. So is it about the fall or the rest?

#227 Tiara

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 05:40 AM

Where does the medium lie though? I'm pretty sure that the person who posted the entire video but redacted the fall was trying to be fair. I have previously posted video of a televised performance in which Nina A fell on her hands and knees but also cut that part in the middle because I thought it would be mean-spirited to include it. If you're going to judge a performance, you'd do it on the rest of it, or else it all becomes about the fall

And I don't think (again!) that KK should be doing Kitri, but she still deserved to be judged on more than whether or not she fell down. I saw Makarova fall during fouettes in Swan Lake, and before getting up and continuing, she looked at the audience and shrugged her shoulders. I saw Nina A fall during Raymonda and Swan Lake. I saw Eleanor d'Antuono fall during Etudes. I saw Susan Jaffe fall in Ballet Imperial. So is it about the fall or the rest?

In answer to your question, this is why I wrote above, [font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif][size=4]This disastrous slip-up is bad enough, but when one allies it with Kampa's other shortfalls - her lack of fluidity, her stiff arms and upper body, her lack of exp[/size][/font][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif][size=4]ression and indeed air of ill-ease every time she steps on the stage, any ballet lover must surely say "Enough! Where are the true Mariinsky ballerinas?" [/size][/font]

#228 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 07:02 AM

But my question still has to be, judge her not because of the fall, because falling is not in itself an indicator of any shortcoming. If she has faults or virtues, the falling is not the indicator of them because if it were, ballerinas of the first caliber would not do it. In other words it's not properly allied to her other shortcomings in this case, whatever they may be. And she deserves respect regardless, just as anyone does.

#229 YID

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 07:03 AM

In answer to your question, this is why I wrote above, [font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif][size=4]This disastrous slip-up is bad enough, but when one allies it with Kampa's other shortfalls - her lack of fluidity, her stiff arms and upper body, her lack of exp[/size][/font][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif][size=4]ression and indeed air of ill-ease every time she steps on the stage, any ballet lover must surely say "Enough! Where are the true Mariinsky ballerinas?" [/size][/font]

agree 100%. It was not about JUST a slip, it's a slip ALONG WITH OTHER non-Mariinsky ballerina exhibits ("her lack of fluidity, her stiff arms and upper body, her lack of expression and indeed air of ill-ease every time") while there are PLENTY talented balerinas "on the ignored bench".

#230 Helene

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 07:46 AM

If it were about the rest of it, there would be no need to post a doctored video of the fall to YouTube. The rest of the performance on its own would suffice to show her virtues or lack of them. If the point of posting the fall on the fouettes was to say, "In case you were blind and couldn't see how bad she is from the whole video, here's what was cut to make her look good," there would have been this comment on the video, and the undoctored version of the fall would have been enough. A response to that comment could be similar to Mme. Hermine's: the fall was edited out of respect, and there's a whole performance to judge.

Instead, the video is a crude attempt to reduce a dancer to the lowest common denominator, but that's what desperation will bring. As it turns out, comment is necessary.

#231 Cygnet

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 08:00 AM


In answer to your question, this is why I wrote above, [font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif][size=4]This disastrous slip-up is bad enough, but when one allies it with Kampa's other shortfalls - her lack of fluidity, her stiff arms and upper body, her lack of exp[/size][/font][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif][size=4]ression and indeed air of ill-ease every time she steps on the stage, any ballet lover must surely say "Enough! Where are the true Mariinsky ballerinas?" [/size][/font]

agree 100%. It was not about JUST a slip, it's a slip ALONG WITH OTHER non-Mariinsky ballerina exhibits ("[color=#000000]her lack of fluidity, her stiff arms and upper body, her lack of expression and indeed air of ill-ease every time") while there are PLENTY talented balerinas "on the ignored bench".


[size=4][font=Arial', 'sans-serif]If Kenan's overall technique isn't reliable, and if she can't deliver a coherent and competent performance in a leading role she need not be on the Mariinsky stage. Period. That's harsh but that's the truth. Consider this, when she takes that stage, she takes the U.S.A. onstage with her. This is how the Russians and her Mariinsky colleagues look at her. That's also harsh but that's the truth as well. I have seen her IRL in the Mariinsky's ensemble and in demi solo work. Her dancing hasn't really been representative, nor is she representative of the very best that American ballet has to offer. She may have been Fateev's "answer" to Hallberg being hired at the Bolshoi, but David (using him as an example) is an established Principal and international star. [/font][/size]

[font=Arial', 'sans-serif][size=2][size=4]IMO[/size][/size][/font][font=Arial', 'sans-serif][size=2][size=4][font=Arial', 'sans-serif] the Mariinsky Ballet is in just as much bad shape as the Bolshoi, but it is the lack of competent artistic direction that's the issue at the Mariinsky, not felonious activites. Several people mentioned cruelty. Let's think about that for a moment, and put that in context with what's been going on in the Mariinsky to date. It's cruel to reduce and subject superior [/font][font=Arial', 'sans-serif](and lower) ranked dancers to schlepping behind this kind of il-preparedness and lack of development. [/font][font=Arial', 'sans-serif][font=Arial', 'sans-serif]It was cruel to throw Kampa (and others who have been thoroughly scrutinized and discussed over the years on this site) to the lions in the first place. [/font][/font][/size][/size][/font][font=Arial', 'sans-serif][size=2][size=4][font=Arial', 'sans-serif][font=Arial', 'sans-serif]Perhaps youtube clips should be banned on BT since one person's nectar is another person's poison. That's just a suggestion, but I don't think that would be considered PC. [/font][/font][/size][/size][/font]

#232 Natalia

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 08:10 AM

Right on, Tiara, YID, and Cygnet! Here is the true 'doctored' video - the one that eliminates the 'oopsie' at about the 9.56 mark, then fades from her initial fouettes into Ermakov's pirouettes a la seconde:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FAk0or122k

As you see, Kampa is seriously lacking in the style, finesse and everything else that is not as obvious as 'The Big Flop.' (Furthermore, Ermakov deserves a prize for partnering such a tall, big-boned gal.) As Tiara states above, "lack of fluidity, her stiff arms and upper body, her lack of exp[font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif][size=4]ression and indeed air of ill-ease every time she steps on the stage[/size][/font]..." is seen in every YouTube clip of KK during the past 10 months, demi-solo or solo role...even as one of 10 behind a Raymonda. Such weak qualities are unacceptable for any professional ballet company, let alone the grand Mariinsky! And if not she...then Skorik? Who else?

Also, don't forget how she arrived at the Mariinsky company, via a special contract, with special sponsors and even a reality-TV project in the works and a documentary reality film. Heck, she even gets a special 'bio page' on the Mariinsky website, with a Schiavone Glamour-Pose Shot instead of the normal head shot that all other dancers post! 'Reality' should be that - Reality....especially when marketeers try to gloss-over reality.

#233 Helene

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 08:26 AM

The PC thing would be to ban YouTube videos, but it's not going to happen.

As far as Kampa, Skorik, Somova, etc. are concerned, they are dancers who are poison to some and ambrosia to others. We exist to have discussion about classical ballet, and these dancers are cast and ranked by an institution that puts them forth for public discussion. The value of the discussion is diminished when the same bludgeons are used repeatedly, because, it's not as if everyone didn't hear it the first, second, or third time, and opinions differ.

The Russian audience might think Kampa is representative of dancing in the US, and if that makes them feel better, there's no law against being insular. It might be comforting and provide a distraction from what is happening with the vast majority of the company. From an insular Western perspective, what I find interesting is how the second companies are getting respect and prominence for what they're doing on their own terms, partly from the perception that the Mariinsky isn't what it used to be.

As far as Kampa having a special contract, legally, all foreign dancers have to, and it's a given. The Mariinsky had every right and opportunity to Just Say No.

#234 Natalia

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 08:33 AM

Here is a link referencing the reality docum in the works (try not to gag too much!):

http://washingtonwes...nan-kampa-story


Corps members' bios are shown only when they appear in soloist roles, shown in the playbill section. So here is Kampa's bio, with Glam Shot:
http://www.mariinsky..._mt_women/kampa


Compare with the normal bio that everybody else in the company has, in this case another corps member who occasionally performs solo roles, Alisa Sodoleva, we see the normal portrait:
http://www.mariinsky...women/sodoleva/

#235 aurora

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 08:48 AM

Here is a link referencing the reality docum in the works (try not to gag too much!):

http://washingtonwes...nan-kampa-story


Corps members' bios are shown only when they appear in soloist roles, shown in the playbill section. So here is Kampa's bio, with Glam Shot:
http://www.mariinsky..._mt_women/kampa


Compare with the normal bio that everybody else in the company has, in this case another corps member who occasionally performs solo roles, Alisa Sodoleva, we see the normal portrait:
http://www.mariinsky...women/sodoleva/


Damning indeed!!!!!!!!

#236 Helene

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 09:00 AM

The documentary description is rather tame as these things go, and I think the shot of Sodoleva is pretty glamourous. It's not as if Sodoleva were given a grainy 2x1 black and white photo, while Kampa was given a full page spread.

#237 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 09:04 AM

I will reiterate, though; her fall is not the grave business it's being made out to be. She did the same fouettes at least twice before on the Mariinsky stage pretty darned well. But I would never call that fall the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back, because in and of itself, that's not what it is. I'm not saying she hasn't got faults, and I don't think too much of the publicity method(s) the maker of the film referred to above used. But I still think she deserves a considered amount of respect even if I don't think she should have had the part(s) she has had. And it hasn't got anything to do, IMO, with falling down or not falling down.

#238 Natalia

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 09:23 AM

Consider these publicity antics in comparison to all of the FAR MORE DESERVING corps ladies in the company. Sodoleva's sweet pic is nothing in the realm of a Schiavone Glamour-puss shot as Fateev allowed for KK's bio....one of several Schiavone sexed-up shots of Kampa out on the internet, reminiscent of glam posters of Anastasia Volochkova a few years ago - YUK. We're talking about art here.

Mme Hermine - You're right, the Big Flop alone shouldn't represent KK's career...but, oh, how long-time Mariinsky watchers have been waiting for this one, in the light of the way she's been cast all season.

BRAVO to Sergei Filin at the Bolshoi, who accepted another American, Joy Womack, as a true corps de ballet member, with no ulterior motive to push her into top classical roles within her first year in the troupe! (Joy, IMO, is the superior talent among the two Americans.) That's how it should have been done by Fateev with Kampa at the Mariinsky.

#239 Helene

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 09:52 AM

I think the Kampa shot is rather benign.

I think that there's lots that Fadeev could and should have done differently.

#240 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 12:47 PM

I think that there's lots that Fadeev could and should have done differently.


...and kampa too. Why insisting so much when one is obviously unprepared...? Why agreeing to be the poster child for the deterioration of such a venerable institution...? Why keep rubbing in people's faces the obvious, unfair reality...?


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