Jump to content


This site uses cookies. By using this site, you agree to accept cookies, unless you've opted out. (US government web page with instructions to opt out: http://www.usa.gov/optout-instructions.shtml)

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


  • Please log in to reply
355 replies to this topic

#346 Helene

Helene

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,405 posts

Posted 10 August 2013 - 02:59 PM

Leaving the Mariinsky doesn't mean Esina was any better or worse than her fellow classmates:  it means that she took a chance -- there was no guarantee Mariinsky management would ever let her back in -- got a ton of experience working with stagers and choreographers and dancing leading roles in the rep that the Mariinsky is trying to produce now, worked with dancers with wide range of schooling and technique, experienced life in another country and cultural center, probably learned another two languages (at least), was recognized by Legris, who had been recognized by Nureyev in his early 20's and was an etoile at Paris Opera Ballet for two decades, and was a recognizable star in Vienna.

 

If any of her classmates didn't feel they were recognized at the Mariinsky and didn't want to leave their careers in the hands of Mariinsky AD's, chances are great they could have found a similar opportunity, as top graduates of the Vaganova Academy are still prized in a lot of the world's companies.



#347 elianam

elianam

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 37 posts

Posted 10 August 2013 - 03:18 PM

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.

 

Exactly, and as a result more pressure is given to Skorik because one gets the impression that she is being promoted at the expense of everyone else in the company, therefore she's not allowed not to be extremely amazing.

 

Regarding Esina, another problem is the roles she's dancing. Le Corsaire does not seem to be a role she's famous for, nor is it a frequent ballet in Western Europe. One would say she is bring western style back to MT if she's allowed to dance all the great modern choreographies she's excellent in, or Swan Lake and some others. Her recent performance as Medora, which is also the closing performance of the season, received many controversial comments, and personally I would rank it average, but again, why isn't she given the roles she's good at? That also does not seem a role Manuel Legris is specialized and could teach her. And when Manuel Legris came there, she was already principal for quite a while.

 

I don't think "chances are great" other talented ballerinas could find similar opportunities. Esina was offered directly Principal status in Vienna when that company was emerging. Any other MT talented ballerina would take such a chance if there is any. But how many ballet companies are there altogether? How many of them are in need of principals? How many of them are willing to take corps-de-ballet directly as principals? And how many MT ballerinas are allowed roles like O/O in their first two seasons now? I think Esina is facing similar pressure as Skorik is facing, many people both in and out of the theater would not excuse them not being extremely exceptional. It's not that the ballerinas are guilty for this, but they are the ones to be easily blamed, because they are "not accomplishing their duty" as expected. 

 

Personally I loved both Skorik and Esina as young dancers, but not so much now since Skorik "has to make" so many mistakes before giving a good performance, and Esina is appearing not in a role best suited role for her (I even liked her very much in her recent O/O guest performance, but not so after her Medora). I am willing to accept them, but just cannot when seeing them not so good, taking into consideration that others might be better if allowed to perform.



#348 Helene

Helene

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,405 posts

Posted 10 August 2013 - 03:32 PM

Carla Korbes was hired out of NYCB as a Soloist at PNB, not a Principal -- she had just been promoted to Soloist at NYCB around the time she decided to make the switch -- and she quickly became a Principal.  Not every new graduate or second-year corps dancer would be made a Principal dancer immediately, like Esina, but each had the opportunity to find a company outside the Mariinsky where he or she could have been a big fish in a small pond.  The others chose to stay home in the big pond, just as many SAB graduates could have moved up the ranks quickly at a smaller company but chose to stay with NYCB and languish in the corps.  It's not that I don't understand wanting the dream of joining the prestigious home company or even dismissing other companies as inferior, but Esina made a different choice, and now she's bearing the fruit of it.  She's a guest artist, the best of all possible worlds, because if she finds the Mariinsky an inhospitable place, she doesn't have to stay.

 

Esina was guaranteed nothing when Legris took over Wienerstaatsballett.  Plenty of new AD's take the reigning stars and sideline them, if not completely, then by focusing on other dancers.



#349 elianam

elianam

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 37 posts

Posted 10 August 2013 - 04:14 PM

It's not that I don't understand wanting the dream of joining the prestigious home company or even dismissing other companies as inferior, but Esina made a different choice, and now she's bearing the fruit of it.  She's a guest artist, the best of all possible worlds, because if she finds the Mariinsky an inhospitable place, she doesn't have to stay.

 

Esina was guaranteed nothing when Legris took over Wienerstaatsballett.  Plenty of new AD's take the reigning stars and sideline them, if not completely, then by focusing on other dancers.

The fact that she is not sidelined is exactly the sign that she is lucky, so is her getting O/O in her first or second season at the MT. I understand that any ballerina would want to get as much big opportunities to dance as possible, and possibly every unlucky ballerina would do exactly the same, take exactly the same amount of risk, if they were the ones offered an opportunity they regard as propitious, or if they were granted the luck. But those in luck has to take more responsibilities than the others and have a sense of giving back. Especially in regard to art, if they are not really competent, whether they are pushed into the role or they asked for it themselves, they should know to be unselfish once in a while. If they choose to go on stage without being their best, or being the best, they should also bear the pressure the audience and other fellow dancers give them.

 

Presently the quality of the company itself is at stake, but what the audience want is money well spent and seeing competent, amazing ballerinas doing excellent jobs on stage. They are prepared to be amazed, but they are not. Some would blame the management, others would blame the dancers, because after all, something is not working well. Zakharova, Smirnova, Vishneva, and many other great ballerinas are all very lucky, but they are capable of giving "astounding" performances without causing much controversies. Every star is lucky in their own way, and being competent, bearing the additional pressure associated with their big name, sacrificing for it, is their responsibility as well as their way of being unselfish. Negative comments are also part of the responsibility and risk associated with their luckiness. Because every ballet lover would naturally expect the best from the "big names" or the "principals", and suspect their legitimacy when they do not get a satisfactory experience. So are some of their more talented colleagues, who expect to learn from those in big roles, but find nothing worthy.



#350 elianam

elianam

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 37 posts

Posted 10 August 2013 - 05:24 PM

Added to my previous comment: I just remembered two other examples of "unluckiness" - Oksana Kiyanenko was a promising 06 Vaganova graduate, like Esina, she was also not the biggest star of that year but she was strong enough for MT and praised by some for some of her qualities. Instead of MT, she chose to join Wienerstaatsballett, as a corps de ballet. My personal guess would be that she saw Esina and Yakovleva's move and thought she might get more opportunities there, but 7 years passed and she was still among the corps, without much chance to show her talent. One of the biggest stars of the 06 grads is Maria Chugai, who joined the Dutch National Ballet as a coryphee after she was made a coryphee at Mariinsky, but 4 years passed and she never moved up. Their choice were possibly similar to Esina's choice and bore the same risk at the time, but they never became star in the less known company and were allowed to develop as Esina, and because of this, they don't bear the expectations and pressures Esina is bearing.



#351 Helene

Helene

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,405 posts

Posted 10 August 2013 - 06:24 PM

The opportunity was there to take a risk, a big one, and Esina's choice worked out well.  There are no guarantees, either at the Mariinsky or elsewhere.

 

I think it's a bit early to write Esina off after a single "Corsaire."

 

I haven't heard that people are not buying tickets to Somova's or Skorik's performances, to note two of the most recent lightening-rod dancers, which suggests that some people are being "wowwed," regardless of what any of us might think, some people don't expect to be "wowwed," or they are not "wowwed" but continue to go to see the same dancers expecting a different result from the same behavior.  I know how I would vote if I were in St. Petersburg, i.e., with my feet if I saw some dancers cast, but that and $4 will get me a latte at Starbucks.

 

If Fateev is unhappy with Esina, he won't continue to invite her as a guest artist.

 



#352 Buddy

Buddy

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 590 posts

Posted 10 August 2013 - 07:37 PM

Back to our discussion of Oxana Skorik for a moment, please.
 
Mariinsky Ballet Acting Director, Yuri Fateyev, quite awhile ago said something to the effect that 'we really don't know how to handle her yet.'
 
With Love, I would hope.


#353 Birdsall

Birdsall

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,339 posts

Posted 10 August 2013 - 09:17 PM

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.

 

I think a lot of people feel this way. Skorik has become the bete noire for many people, and so Fateyev's actions seem almost sadistic and cruel. 

 

Just yesterday I saw a clip of Ivanchenko's Ali. Before I ever saw the clip and read on the Mariinsky website that he was listed for Ali I thought it must be a misprint and that he was going to dance Conrad (like he did in one of the Corsaires I saw recently), not Ali. I thought it had to be a cast listing mistake on the site. I thought Ali was all wrong for him. It plays to his weaknesses, not his strengths. I actually like Ivanchenko more than the majority of people on this forum, because I see the Vaganova style in his dancing, although I admit that I do think he needs to guzzle 10 espressos before going on stage. So I am more apt to give Ivanchenko credit than most. I think he partners well. But he is totally miscast as Ali, and only his enemy would have given him that role. I am still fairly new to all this, and even I could tell he was not right for Ali. How can Fateyev with all his experience in ballet give that role to him? 



#354 Buddy

Buddy

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 590 posts

Posted 11 August 2013 - 07:46 AM

I've mentioned Oxana Skorik's facial expression in Act IV of a Swan Lake video clip at the Dancer topic. It shows that she seems to enter an inner world where she's totally in charge and totally comfortable. She seems to have a powerful 'resource' there that is one the reasons that I think that she can handle any of the challenges that she's being offered. Also she seems more settled in, more confident and is displaying a beautiful subtlety.

 

Added:

 

It seems to be a poetically beautiful inner world as well. 



#355 elianam

elianam

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 37 posts

Posted 11 August 2013 - 12:48 PM

I haven't heard that people are not buying tickets to Somova's or Skorik's performances, to note two of the most recent lightening-rod dancers, which suggests that some people are being "wowwed," regardless of what any of us might think, some people don't expect to be "wowwed," or they are not "wowwed" but continue to go to see the same dancers expecting a different result from the same behavior.  I know how I would vote if I were in St. Petersburg, i.e., with my feet if I saw some dancers cast, but that and $4 will get me a latte at Starbucks.

 

I believe I'm more of the third type, but apart from expecting more from those "in the center", I expect to see excellent dancers cast in minor roles, which is the only way to see and appreciate them because they are not the ones the management promotes. And I tend to appreciate them more when the highly promoted few do not meet my expectation.

 

The way the current management promotes the dancers leaves the audience few choice: either to leave ballet completely, or to watch the stars they promote and the some other excellent dancers in minor roles. And the sense of unfairness easily come when many of the "minor" dancers are doing well whereas those in center not quite so.

 

I wish the management could cast the dancers more properly and promote them more calmly, so that those in big roles could consistently give excellent and convincing performances, proving their superior quality polished by their luckiness. But of course, I'm also biased by my own taste and my experience.



#356 Buddy

Buddy

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 590 posts

Posted 11 August 2013 - 03:42 PM

"....those in big roles could consistently give excellent and convincing performances, proving their superior quality polished by their luckiness."

 

 

Their "luckiness", elianam, is perhaps that they were born able to do something slightly better than the rest of us. We all have something special to contribute and their's is balletic beauty. Still they are just extensions of all of us. I would love to see the name of every member of the company somehow displayed in bright lights on top of the theater.

 

Added: (for a change) happy.png

 

I do tend to find that 'Principal' dancers are 'Principals' for a good reason and they usually command all my attention during a performance. I wouldn't mind seeing more works where the entire cast is more prominent. This is possibly more of a Balanchine point of view.

 

Added added:

 

"Paquita" or "Etudes" come to mind immediately. 

 

[major spelling correction made]




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):