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


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#241 Helene

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 12:57 PM

How is she so obviously unprepared? She went to the school for a few years, she danced with Boston for a few years, and she was made an offer. As far as I know, she has a Mariinsky coach. How many people would turn down a dream offer? Should Somova have said, "No, I'm sorry, I know you want to give me Odette as a teenager, but, no thanks, I'll stay in third row of the corps"? It's not like Kampa was given a Principal contract and the first HD broadcast after she joined.

It's the AD's and administration who are responsible for approaching her, making her an acceptable offer, and casting her.

#242 Tiara

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 01:33 PM

How is she so obviously unprepared? She went to the school for a few years, she danced with Boston for a few years, and she was made an offer. As far as I know, she has a Mariinsky coach. How many people would turn down a dream offer? Should Somova have said, "No, I'm sorry, I know you want to give me Odette as a teenager, but, no thanks, I'll stay in third row of the corps"? It's not like Kampa was given a Principal contract and the first HD broadcast after she joined.

It's the AD's and administration who are responsible for approaching her, making her an acceptable offer, and casting her.

Being "prepared" for a role and actually being able to perform it are two different things. As far as I can see, Keenan Kampa could be coached all year for a role and would still not look like a Mariinsky ballerina. She does not have the expressive use of the upper body, the fluidity and beautiful arms that come naturally to a girl who has had the full Vaganova training. Kampa has a thin veneer of Vaganova training, but that is all: put simply, she just does not have what it takes.

#243 Helene

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 01:46 PM

Either Mariinsky management believes she has what it takes -- and it's definition of "It" might differ from yours, mine, different Mariinsky dancers and coaches, etc. -- just as we differ on Somova's and Skorik's virtues, and as I differ from most people's on Lopatkina's -- or it has a reason for setting Kampa up. Occam's Razor suggests the former.

#244 Tiara

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 02:21 PM

Either Mariinsky management believes she has what it takes -- and it's definition of "It" might differ from yours, mine, different Mariinsky dancers and coaches, etc. -- just as we differ on Somova's and Skorik's virtues, and as I differ from most people's on Lopatkina's -- or it has a reason for setting Kampa up. Occam's Razor suggests the former.

I believe Mariinsky does have a reason for giving Kampa so much exposure and this was discussed by Natalia further up the thread. Kampa was brought in "[font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif][size=4]with special sponsors and even a reality-TV project in the works and a documentary reality film. " Clearly any subject of any tv project or documentary reality film would need to be given roles to warrant this type of exposure, regardless of how fit she was or wasn't to dance them, in the same way that any company sponsoring an individual expects that individual to be seen prominently. [/size][/font]

#245 Helene

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 03:00 PM

Why should the Mariinsky care so much about an English-language documentary from foreign-born producers?

Even if they did, they didn't need to give her anything: it's a rare documentary in which everything goes off swimmingly for the hero.

#246 canbelto

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 04:59 PM

All I will say is that the Mariinsky ballerinas have a LONG history of "sponsors" and I doubt Kampa is the only one who is being "sponsored" (as unsavory as these allegations are). This goes back to Mathilde Kschessinskaya's royal "sponsors." There's lots of backstage gossip in any large company but I do find the youtube vendetta posters quite cruel, especially as the videotape that was highlighted is clearly spliced together at 0:19.

Anyway, if anything is responsible for the promotion of Keenan Kampa, it's the fact that the Vaganova in recent years has been accepting more and more foreign students to whom they can charge a hefty tuition.

#247 Helene

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 05:10 PM

They and the Bolshoi, which does the same, haven't invited everyone who's been at the school into the company, though. From what I've read so far, it's also a situation like when women were first introduced into men-only colleges in the early '70's: the first women were transfers and only spent part of their degree studies there. At the Bolshoi school, at least, the MacKay brothers joined quite young, and most of their ballet training has been/will be there.

#248 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 09:24 PM

Should Somova have said, "No, I'm sorry, I know you want to give me Odette as a teenager, but, no thanks, I'll stay in third row of the corps"?


I still believe the artist has also a share on this type of situation. Ballet is permeated with stories of dancers declining high ranking positions in order to learn more or to be fair to themselves and to the audiences. The clip I just recently posted on Alonso's story shows a similar situation when Massine offered the young ballerina a Principal position with the BRMC which she declined in favor of staying back in the ranks at BT, which she eventually escalated. This is one story I remember from the top of my head, but I'm sure there are many others out there, so yes...she should had declined and wait, instead of choosing being hunted for life as the dancer who was infamously being wrongly promoted ahead of time.

#249 Natalia

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 03:41 AM

Why should the Mariinsky care so much about an English-language documentary from foreign-born producers?
.....


$$$$$$$ makes the world go 'round, the world go 'round....(ca-ching!) $ponsor$ pay - dancer gets whatever role the sponsor wants the dancer to have. Whoever gets the ca$h doesn't give a hoot about what happens after the deal is made, doc or no doc.

#250 Birdsall

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 04:02 AM

Back form St. Petersburg where I saw Sleeping Beauty, The Tale of Tsar Saltan (opera), Carmen Suite/Symphony in C, and Raymonda. I also managed to a get a last minute ticket to a ballet gala at the Hermitage Theatre and Viktor Lebedev made that sort of cheesy touristy show worth it!

I will go in more depth, but I literally arrived home late last night and just woke up sick.

Sleeping Beauty: seeing the prologue fairies come out with what I call their "seaweed ocean flowing arms" in person was a dream come true. It was magical. Anastasia Kolegova was terrific! To me her personality has the Lopatkina imperial hauteur without the coldness.

Carmen Suite: I think this might be Kondaurova's best role. She is spicy and bitchy in this role more than others I have seen. I might be in the minority but I think she is better at modern roles.

Symphony in C: wonderful debut by Batoeva.....she is a GREAT dancer. Lopatkina was Lopatkina (cold and regal) which works for the 2nd movement. I like Lopatkina, but I have come to the conclusion she is now The Diva Lopatkina in most everything she does now. Yevseyeva was very good in the third movement. Gonchar danced in the last.

Raymonda: I went thinking Shirinkina was all wrong for the role. She is petite, has a very sweet "Masha in Nutcracker" persona, etc. But she did a lot of extra things like entrechats in the 2nd act variation and during the final act coda she came out and balanced on one leg for quite a while before the music started. I could tell she prepared this role with care and worked very hard and won me over. I think she had a very slight stumble in the first act, but overall she was lovely. I think she lacks the gravitas that the final variation requires (or maybe that I personally like to see), but I actually was won over by her.

The ballet gala at the Hermitage seems like something more for tourists (bits and pieces from famous ballets and mostly unknown dancers....although I was a tourist, so why not?), but Viktor Lebedev astounded me not only with his elevation but I never saw such deep cambres!!! I want to see more of him!

I was an opera lover way before I became a ballet lover, so I could not pass up a chance to see Rimsky Korsakov's The Tale of Tsar Saltan which includes the famous The Flight of the Bumbleebee in it. This is an opera that I would probably never get a chance to see in my lifetime. It was very cute and fun to see, but it confirmed my feelings that the opera at the Mariinsky is not up to international standards for the most part unlike the ballet. Gergiev tries and tries, but for whatever reason the singers are just not singing at an international level. Still mediocre singers work fine in a rare Russian opera for me, so I enjoyed it.

I also saw a thing called the Magical World of Dance which was obviously geared for children at the Concert Hall. It had some nice excerpts from ballets and dancers like Batoeva, Kuznetsov, and others performed. I will try to remember what was performed. I blew all my roubles the first night there (Friday night) on drinks and dancing at gay bars! So I woke up with a hangover and rushed to the Concert Hall to see The Magical World of Dance (my first morning there), and had no roubles to buy a program (which was only in Russian anyway for this event). So if I can remember what I saw I will try to post. There were pieces from Firebird, Nutcracker, Satanella, Bayadere, etc. It was a GREAT program to involve children in ballet. I enjoyed it very much. They even called children on stage to try some moves.

A great time......as for some of the discussion above, there is still the major sense of Imperial Russia when you see the Mariinsky Ballet, in my opinion. It is still worth seeing them. Yes, Kampa was in small roles in every ballet I saw. Vasnetsova's Clemence (which was outstanding) showed up Kampa's Henrietta big time without meaning to).

#251 Birdsall

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 08:22 AM

Oh, by the way, the Mariinsky 2 theatre looked almost finished to me from the outside. It grew on me as I walked by it each day. If the interior is state-of-the-art for backstage, sprung floor, dressing rooms, etc. it will be great. It is also a good idea to locate it behind/beside the original Mariinsky, since I can picture many tourists having tickets for one theatre and arriving at the wrong one, so this way they will only have to rush next door!

Originally, I did not like the look of it, but now it has grown on me.

#252 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 08:38 AM

I'm glad you had a good time in Russia, and that you managed to see SB and Raymonda ! Send me a PM with details on the club scene...Posted Image

#253 Jayne

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 09:01 AM

I thought Russia was legislating homosexuality out of existence. I'm glad to hear you had a different experience.

Well and the ballet sounds like fun, too :)

#254 Drew

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 09:36 AM

Thanks for reports on your visit-- hope you feel better soon.

#255 Birdsall

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 12:06 PM

I thought Russia was legislating homosexuality out of existence. I'm glad to hear you had a different experience.

Well and the ballet sounds like fun, too Posted Image


I think Russians are less apt to be "out" or over the top flamboyant, and you had to buzz to get into one of the bars probably like in 1950s America. You had to know that it was a gay bar and buzz. A guy answered and I asked, "ach crest? Open?" pronouncing the Russian in my mangled Russian and then simply saying it in English, and he said, "This gay bar!" and looked at me with a frown, "You gay?" I said, "Yes!" LOL

The whole trip was an adventure for me. One guy I met spoke no English so I used Google Translator to hold a conversation! I also used hand signals and acting.....I am resourceful when I want to do the things I want to do!

But my own personal opinion of gay life in Russia from my short view of it is that it is not much different from here. They may not be as bold as American gays are at demanding rights, but at one time we were not bold either.

Sorry to stray off topic, but I suspect this subject is very interesting to many.

To put it back on topic sort of I danced up a storm like I was 20 again!

I also saw many of the Mariinsky dancers in street clothes when I went to the backstage entrance just to run an errand for someone. It is interesting to see them. I think I saw Kolegova, Skorik, Gonchar, Martynyuk, Shirinkina, Yevseyeva, Batoeva, Ivannikova, Stepanova, Marchuk, Kuznetsov, Zyuzin, etc. I did not bother any of them, but it was so much fun to simply see them rush past looking like normal everyday people. Some looked even more glamorous in street clothes. Others looked more casual.


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