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


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#331 Helene

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 10:08 AM

How would it have been any better for Novikova, Osmolkina, or Kolegova if Fateev had hired a famous Guest Principal instead?

#332 Birdsall

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 01:04 PM

How would it have been any better for Novikova, Osmolkina, or Kolegova if Fateev had hired a famous Guest Principal instead?

 

This is my own personal opinion, but if I were a hardworking dancer and jumped in and saved performances due to cancellation and slowly worked my way up the ranks and the Mariinsky decided to hire Svetlana Zakharova or Natalia Osipova or Cojocaru as "Guest Principal," I really couldn't complain. Big names bring publicity, ticket sales, money, etc. That is life. I might think, "Shoot....." but I would understand WHY some outside world famous ballerina would be hired by the company and my wait to rise will just be longer. 

 

But if some Ms. Nobody gets hired as a "Guest Principal," I honestly would feel like that is a slap in the face. 

 

But that is me. 

 

It is one thing for someone who is a big name (and has tons of experience and lots of fans and maybe has paid her dues) to cut to the front of the line. It is another thing for a fairly unknown (at least worldwide) ballerina to cut the line and treated like a star above more talented dancers. 

 

Like I said, I have nothing against Esina, and she is a beautiful woman judging from pictures, and her dancing is nice in the DQ variation, but I personally think it would annoy me much more to see her hired in contrast to Zakharova (even if Esina is better than Zakharova). We know that Name brands sell. It is like that in opera even. When Renee Fleming (a big star) was starring in Il Pirata at the Met people rushed to buy tickets. Then, when Olga Makarina jumped in for 2 performances people were like, "Who is that?" and no one wanted tickets to those performances and tried to switch. 

 

Makarina supposedly did a credible job in the role, but nobody really wanted to see her. They wanted to see the star soprano! And everyone knows this happens. 

 

So when Zakharova is hired, people might be frustrated, but they understand. "Well, I am being bumped or held back because the company wants a star! I can sort of understand it! She's going to sell more tickets and create more publicity!" is what my thought would be. 

 

But if a Mary Lou Smith is hired as "Guest Principal" taking up a slot and bringing very little if any publicity or starry name to the mix, that would really make me mad! 

 

But that is me. Maybe others do not feel that way. 



#333 Helene

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 02:31 PM

I'm not sure that Esina is "Miss Nobody."  We in North America don't pay much attention to European ballet stars any more than we believe that opera singers who are stars in Europe and have made their careers there are important until they sing at the Met (or, possibly San Francisco or Chicago), nor do we take companies like Wienerstaatsballet very seriously.  We asked, "Why did Nureyev and Bruhn choose to dance with this Sonia Arova person when they could have had [fill in the blank of someone better known] as partner?" I don't know Esina's dancing, but perhaps it's a similar situation.



#334 naomikage

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 04:48 AM

I think it is quite not polite to call Olga Esina Miss Nobody as at least she has guested as Odette/Odile in both Bolshoi and Mariinsky. At least she is the biggest star in Vienna, and the company level has risen dramatically high since Manuel Legris has taken over the directorship. The company has successfully completed their 3 week long Paris tour and Esina was praised much. 

 

I do think Osmolkina, Kolegova and Novikova are brilliant dancers seen all of them in a leading role. Novikova is currently on maternity leave. But although Mariinsky and Vienna are much different in status and size, you get a kind of star appeal if you are the top principal of a company.



#335 Birdsall

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 08:49 AM

Maybe Olga Esina is held in high esteem in Europe. I have no idea. And, Naomikage, I didn't really mean to insult Esina. I meant the Miss Nobody comment to refer to the fact that she doesn't seem to bring the same star power that the Guest Principals at the Mikhailovsky (Marcelo Gomes and Polina Semionova) bring to the table. 

 

For me Olga Esina's name (star power) is about equal to Kolegova and Osmolkina probably in Europe. I could be wrong. Now Novikova, because she stars in two commercial videos (Don Quixote at the Mariinsky and Raymonda at La Scala) probably has much more name recognition than Esina. Maybe I am wrong. It just seems very odd to hire a Guest Principal who is not world famous. Hiring Gomes and Semionova as Guest Principals makes sense to me. Hiring Esina as Guest Principal does not. That is a personal opinion. 

 

That's because if you have tons of talent already in the company, why even go outside? Going outside should mean that you are getting someone world famous who is going to bring lots of attention, publicity and star power. That is all I am saying. It just seems to make better business sense to hire huge stars as Guest Principals. I'm not even a Business person and hate Business. It is the last thing I would ever major in if I were to go back to college. For me if I had my life to do over it would always be to study more meaningless subjects that get you no jobs like languages, literature, etc. Business is actually totally foreign to my make-up and foreign to my interests in life, yet even my non-business personality thinks it is better to hire STARS if you go outside of the company. 

 

For example, many little opera companies hire one big star like Deborah Voigt to sing Tosca or Lady Macbeth and surround her with nobodies (often local singers). They know her name will help to sell tickets. I do not mean that the "nobodies" can't sing (although often they can't......just a joke.....), but less people want to see Mary Jane Smith debut her Tosca. Many more (including the international press) are going to be interested in Voigt's first Tosca (which actually did happen in Florida several years ago). 

 

I hope Olga Esina is an amazing dancer and does wonderfully at the Mariinsky and gets applause. I wish her no ill will at all. I just find the whole concept of hiring her unusual. But I am probably viewing it from a very Western background. 



#336 naomikage

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 09:02 AM

Birdsall, I understand your point as I also think it is strange that Novikova is still not a principal at Mariinsky yet. She does deserve promotion as soon as she will be back from maternity leave. 

 

There are some clips of Esina's debut performance in Le Corsaire at Mariinsky.



#337 Buddy

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 10:22 AM

Thanks very much, naomikage, for the video clip. I've only viewed the beginning of the 'dance for three' (the part highlighting the ballerina) once, which sets the ballerina standard for me in this work, and can only offer a first impression, although first impressions are sometimes the most meaningful. I would say that this gives a hint as to what Olga Esina is about. Videos, as welcome and invaluable as they are, sometimes don't tell the entire story. I've often seen videos that just didn't seem to capture what I'd just seen live. This video, I would say, gives a sense of how extremely good Olga Esina is. I'll probably watch it much more and find a lot more to love in it. I maintain that she is *Remarkable!*.
 
Birdsall, all I can really say to your questions, is that the Mariinsky is top heavy with incredible talent. Not such a bad thing.  To do justice to it all would be a task for the 'gods'. I think that the answer is to make *Everyone* a Principal.  flowers.gif 
 
Added comment:
 
Several minutes and several viewings (of the beginning) later, I'm *Loving* it more already. 
 
[some additional wording and clarification made]


#338 Buddy

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 12:41 PM

I suppose that we'll still be talking about Principals for awhile in this world, so I'll add my guess to the list. Next in line (and well deservedly so, not to the detraction of anyone else) -- Oxana Skorik.


#339 Buddy

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 04:45 PM

Why?

 

Because she's that good.

 

And she seems to have the full recognition and backing of the ballet's Artistic Director, Yuri Fateyev.



#340 Birdsall

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 03:58 AM

Why?

 

Because she's that good.

 

And she seems to have the full recognition and backing of the ballet's Artistic Director, Yuri Fateyev.

 

 

In my personal opinion, Fateyev has the worst taste in dancers. Kolegova, Novikova, and Osmolkina should be Principals way before Skorik, in my opinion. 



#341 Buddy

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 08:26 AM

I agree absolutely with you about how good Anastasia Kolegova, Olesya Novikova and  Yekaterina Osmolkina are. Anastasia Kolegova, I Adore !  Olesya Novikova, based on a Giselle video clip that I saw a few months ago, is dancing with a dreamlike beauty that's  the most lovely that I've ever seen her perform. Ekaterina Osmolkina is on my not overly tall list of "Butterflies", not tall dancers that I think are great (along with Anastasia Kolegova). She also performed one of the most beautiful Giselles that I've ever seen. Like I said, I'd make them all Principals.

 

I do think that Acting Director Yuri Fateyev has a very good eye for dancers that he has encouraged. I also feel that Olga Smirnova should have been grabbed up and directed to Stardom immediately (which is now the case at the Bolshoi) and all efforts should have been made to keep and advance Evgenia Obraztsova, but I don't know all that was involved. That he made Alina Somova a Principal as soon as he  arrived and seems to now be championing Oxana Skorik and has just added Olga Esina to the Principal list, says a great deal for him in my opinion.

 

Also the way that the Balanchine rep has become so impressive in the last few years, I would guess, largely has to be credited to him.

 

 

Added:

 

I also feel that Yuri Fateyev's bringing Xander Parish and Kim Kimin into the company has already shown that his stepping outside the box somewhat has been very rewarding. In addition, I think that Keenan Kampa will prove to be a fine choice. Sometimes it takes a while for things to fall into place and become apparent.



#342 Helene

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 10:13 AM

Why?
 
Because she's that good.
 
And she seems to have the full recognition and backing of the ballet's Artistic Director, Yuri Fateyev.

 
 
In my personal opinion, Fateyev has the worst taste in dancers. Kolegova, Novikova, and Osmolkina should be Principals way before Skorik, in my opinion.
We've seen plenty of dancers who've had the full recognition of their Artistic Director; that simply speaks to their career opportunities. Some of them have been that good, some of them have been that good, but others are better, and some are not that good. Particularly in this forum, that's the bulk of the conversation.

I've seen Novikova live in non-classical rep, and I thought she was fine, but not a dancer I would get on a plane to see. I though she was lovely in the La Scala "Raymonda" reconstruction, but not on the same level as Tereshkina, for example, and far less interesting than Kondaurova and Osmolkina. (I don't know Kolegova's dancing.)

Skorik strikes me as another dancer who has talent and has been pushed too fast and inappropriately for the results, but she wouldn't be the first dancer to be done an artistic wrong in that way by an AD who wants to make a mark by having produced "his" dancer or would-be star, nor would she be the first dancer whose career was helped greatly by a partial vacuum, in this case at least by happy news, the births of children.

#343 Buddy

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 10:41 AM

Helene, I think that by giving Oxana Skorik as many chances as possible, as soon as possible, will fire her drive and her amazing abilities, as is the case with Olga Smirnova at the Bolshoi. So far I think that this is proving to be true.

 

Added:

 

My reference is having seen her maybe seven times or more on stage in the last several years and the most recent video clips that I've been able to find.



#344 Helene

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 10:57 AM

I think by pushing an admittedly nervous dancer as hard and prominently as he has Skorik, without giving her a chance to grow into the rep and to feel confident at each stage, but, instead, asking her to carry the company, Fateev has not only done as disservice to her, but also to the other dancers whom he could have grown concurrently by giving them similar opportunities.

#345 elianam

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 02:45 PM

Yes, I now remember that she danced Swan Lake at this past festival. 

 

I guess a lot of the Mariinsky dancers who can't get promoted need to follow her lead and go dance in Vienna or Budapest or elsewhere and then come back as a guest principal. It might be the only way to get ahead at the Mariinsky nowadays. 

I agree. And I think the problem is not whether Esina is good or bad, but that the problem with the MT is that talented Vaganova graduates from 05 on are not getting enough opportunities to develop and are left to rot. Even if they do get opportunities eventually, after years of fighting among the corps, so many years of lack of proper training (as in school) deteriorate their talents and abilities - as a result they are not able to be at their best, spiritually and physically, when they are needed in bigger roles.

 

Personally I think Esina is good, both as a Vaganova graduate and as a principal in a decent company, but she was not the biggest star among the 04 grads (Yulia Bolshakova was, followed by Valeria Martynyuk), but Vaganova grads from 2000-2004 were getting big opportunities from the start, whereas none of the biggest stars among 05 to 12 grads, some better than Esina as an out of school student, are getting the opportunities she used to get. If Esina did not left MT in 2006 to join Vienna, she might not be able to advance to principal by now, because Osmolkina, Novikova and many others were all sharing her opportunities. If she is hired as a guest principal for only a limited period, it is not good for the development of the company in general, because young non-principal ballerinas would have less opportunities to dance big roles, and would not stand out when the company needs them. If she is hired permanently as a principal, that is too unfair for the others, who are equally good and hardworking, but never allowed to show their ability because a lucky 04 grad got in their way.




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