Birdsall

Skorik

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I posted this in the tour topic, but I think some people may miss the news if that topic doesn't interest you. Oxsana Skorik is now listed on the Mariinsky web site as a First Soloist.

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Hasn't she already been 1st Soloist for a few months???

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Maybe so, but I didn't know that, and it is just now listed on the website. I don't think it was listed there before. I guess they just updated it, so I thought she was 2nd soloist!

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Maybe you're right and she was just elevated to 1st Soloist because she's about to open the 3-week USA tour as Odette-Odile, which is kinda important. On the positive side, hopefully this will also 'elevate' her technique...she will rise to the title!?

Maybe Shirinkina will be promoted from 2nd to 1st soloist just before she opens the Kennedy Center run as Cinderella?

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Does a First Soloist get extra coaching? I mean, can she get more coaching/training time as opposed to when she was a lower rank? That might be good if so.

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Congratulations Ms Skorik! When she is on she is just glowing. Wishing her all the best!

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VERY sceptical here...but then, I guess I'm the one who got to catch that early, unfortunate performance of hers that still wins the title of "worst Odile ever" in my 25 plus years of ballet watching. Maybe I was in the wrong place at the wrong time...?

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Christian, what was it that you did not like about "the worst Odile ever?" And how was her Odette?

Her many detractors, and her many fans, seem to argye askew from each other. People who post YouTube clips in her DEFENSE put up instances of such bad dancing it's hard to believe the "supporter" isn't really an enemy in disguise.

But anything can be done with edited, compilations to make a dancer look unmusical. I'd like to know what someone who saw a whole performance thought of her ability to BUILD a performance over the whole evening, and would LOVE to know your opinion, since I share your tastes in so many ways.

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Paul, she is both - hot or cold! One never knows 'which Oksana' will show up on a given day. I've seen her live several times, most recently as the lead (pdd and solo) in Chopiniana at the Kennedy Center, where she delivered two very different performances - different like night and day, just two days apart! I'm not just refering to steps and technique; even her FACE (countenance, expression) was different - the first very serious, tight, and nervous, barely aware of her partner; the second relaxed, smiling, joyful, soft, making eyes with her partner. Cristian had the misfortune of seeing 'bad Oksana.'

Here's wishing that California sees 'good Oksana' dance the full Swan Lake this coming week and next.

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This promotion is terrible news. A First Soloist should not be "hot or cold." Any corps dancer is already a finished product of the Vaganova Academy, and by the time a dancer reaches First Soloist category, every aspect of her technique and interpretation should be beyond reproach - every time. This promotion really is an insult to the wonderful ballerinas now sharing the category with her.

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This promotion is terrible news. A First Soloist should not be "hot or cold." Any corps dancer is already a finished product of the Vaganova Academy, and by the time a dancer reaches First Soloist category, every aspect of her technique and interpretation should be beyond reproach - every time. This promotion really is an insult to the wonderful ballerinas now sharing the category with her.

Amen. And besides...I'm really sick and tired of the idea of dancers-(rather than Ballerinas)- that are said to be "wonderful" but then they can't deliver proper technique-(yes, 32 fouetes for Odile and Kitri included...sustained balances for Auroras and soaring jumps for Myrthas). Still, they are so lucky to get praised for "artistry", and "lyricism", and "suplessness" and "being willowy" and so on and so forth. Basta! You either get the whole package together or not. And if not, then you're not still a BALLERINA. Remember that distinction that wonderful Mme. karsavina mentioned in Dolin's documentary of Giselle..? "No, I was a soloist...oh, no...yes, I was already a Ballerina!" That differentiation happened in that very imperial stage now Skorik attempts to walk thru...

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This promotion is terrible news. A First Soloist should not be "hot or cold." Any corps dancer is already a finished product of the Vaganova Academy, and by the time a dancer reaches First Soloist category, every aspect of her technique and interpretation should be beyond reproach - every time. This promotion really is an insult to the wonderful ballerinas now sharing the category with her.

Amen. And besides...I'm really sick and tired of the idea of dancers-(rather than Ballerinas)- that are said to be "wonderful" but then they can't deliver proper technique-(yes, 32 fouetes for Odile and Kitri included...sustained balances for Auroras and soaring jumps for Myrthas). Still, they are so lucky to get praised for "artistry", and "lyricism", and "suplessness" and "being willowy" and so on and so forth. Basta! You either get the whole package together or not. And if not, then you're not still a BALLERINA. Remember that distinction that wonderful Mme. karsavina mentioned in Dolin's documentary of Giselle..? "No, I was a soloist...oh, no...yes, I was already a Ballerina!" That differentiation happened in that very imperial stage now Skorik attempts to walk thru...

Technique should be a non discussion if the dancer is dancing lead roles in such great companies. If Skorik and other new or greatly promoted new dancers are not up to technique needed in Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, and Giselle for instance, then don't go praising them for artistry and lyricism. That is like saying to a writer, your grammar stinks but your handwriting is gorgeous. What I am saying is this is how puzzling rise of dancers like Skorik came about.

So the Mariinsky AD praised Skorik for being perfect because of her physique? So looks before abilities and other qualities at Mariinsky ballet? I am on the tall and skinny side myself and when I studied ballet it was a drawback. Now it seeems being tall is requirement to be prima at certain companies. The Mariinsky especially loves this look at the expense of everything else.

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But we've had this discussion many times before, no? I'm thinking recently of Veronika Part; even as an ardent fan of hers I am aware going to a performance she may have an off night, technically. But the quality of her dancing/movements, her acting and her presence make me not care if she can or cannot do 32 fouettes perfectly every time; that's not what her performance is about to me (and I assume many others who admire her).

I don't think Skorik is in this category (having not seen her perform beyond small clips so far), but I think there will always be exceptions to the rule, of dancers who offer less than technical perfection every time. It's when that magic "something else"/je ne sais quoi is lacking, on top of the problems with technique, that I would begin to have a problem with a dancer.

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But we've had this discussion many times before, no? I'm thinking recently of Veronika Part; even as an ardent fan of hers I am aware going to a performance she may have an off night, technically. But the quality of her dancing/movements, her acting and her presence make me not care if she can or cannot do 32 fouettes perfectly every time; that's not what her performance is about to me (and I assume many others who admire her).

I don't think Skorik is in this category (having not seen her perform beyond small clips so far), but I think there will always be exceptions to the rule, of dancers who offer less than technical perfection every time. It's when that magic "something else"/je ne sais quoi is lacking, on top of the problems with technique, that I would begin to have a problem with a dancer.

It seems we are all in agreement. Yes, on very rare occasions there may come along a dancer who has such outstanding gifts of interpretation that they transcend technique and physical make-up, and then there is a case for exceptions being made for outstanding artistry, because I believe that artistry can overrule technique. Even in these cases though, there still has to be a certain technical standard reached. Here in Oksana Skorik's case there is no such exception: yes, she is tall and skinny, but personally I do not admire her physique, she is weak technically, unmusical, cannot act and her artistry is in question. She does not make me believe in any of the characters she portrays. The only "magic" connected wth Oksana Skorik, is the inexplicable and unseen reason for her promotion - because there is certainly no visible reason for it. I for one would never pay to see her.

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Part, like some other ballerinas in the past, REALLY had to work hard to be where she is. I'm sure she had to deliver countless nights of good stuff besides her "off nights" in order to convince AD's AND the audience tu put her where she is. She completely deserves to be the well liked ballerina that she is today because she has shown a whole career to account for. Personally I would never dare to have an absolute opinion on her whole trajectory based on the couple of "off night" performances I saw of her-(Sugar Plum and Lilac)-because obviously there has been much more than that, for which I can account also based on her Nikiya, which I also saw. But that's not the case of Skorik and her catapulted undeserved promotion in such early stage of her career. I also remember Krassovska's comment on the BR documentary about Danilova and the fact that the fouettes "were not her cup of tea", but then, just as some of these examples of less than perfect technique bearers, by the time Krassovska saw her, Danilova had created a name and a respected position within the ballet world that could justify her lack of certain abilities. Again, that's not the case of Skorik, or before her, Somova for all that matters.

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This promotion is terrible news. A First Soloist should not be "hot or cold." .....

Amen. And besides...I'm really sick and tired of the idea of dancers-(rather than Ballerinas)- that are said to be "wonderful" but then they can't deliver proper technique-(yes, 32 fouetes for Odile and Kitri included...sustained balances for Auroras and soaring jumps for Myrthas). ..... That differentiation happened in that very imperial stage now Skorik attempts to walk thru...

Fateev obviously thinks that the American public will go gah-gah over Skorik's long legs, so she opens the run in LA/OC this week. (Maybe he is counting on the L.A. area not being 'ballet savvy' in is mind? Maybe Fateev thinks that the US public wants Rockettes?) He (& Vaziyev before him) thought the same with Somova before and is banking on the same for Keenan Kampa, although I think that Kampa's technique will prove stronger than Skorik's, from the bits I've seen.

Even before Vaziyev, Vinogradov went through a 'let's find our own Sylvie Guillem' phase. One very great long-legged ballerina came out of that search: Lopatkina. Of course, Lopatkina had/has much more to offer than long lines.

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I've seen Skorik once as Dryad Queen in London and my reaction to her was blind fury that she was actually allowed on stage at all. I will take all measures possible to avoid her performances in future.

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I've seen Skorik once as Dryad Queen in London and my reaction to her was blind fury that she was actually allowed on stage at all. I will take all measures possible to avoid her performances in future.

I love your boldness...happy.png (taking notes on the straight forward technique here and now..tiphat.gif )

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Christian, when I really care about something I rarely mince words and right now I'm pretty angry about how certain Kirov policies are leading to an artistic race to the bottom.

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A new interview of 'acting' AD Yuri Fateev, by reporter Anna Gordeeva, appeared today in the Russian publication 'Colta' (issue of 2 October 2012)-

http://www.colta.ru/docs/6450 A bit of the gist of the interview; my own thoughts in italics.

Among other quotable gems, Fateev describes what were his feelings this August when, one after another, three ballerinas went into his office to announce their respecive pregnancies (Terioshkiva, Matvienka, Somova). The most telling quote, perhaps, comes in the follow-up question, when asked, 'So now, how will you cope with this situation?' At the very beginning of his answer: "More opportunities for Oksana Skorik..." [The very first name out of his mouth!] Others names, who will get to dance more, were cited in this order: Kondaurova, Novikova, Osmolkina and Kolegova. [Pavlenko, Golub, Tkachenko, or recently-promoted Martynyuk not mentioned...nor, interestingly, Shirinkina.]Then Fateev said that he has been in negotiations with Svetlana Zakharova to dance a series of performances in StP [no mention at all of the other Bolshoi principal who HAS SIGNED UP ALREADY to appear as guest Giselle and Juliet: Obraztsova! Somehow this makes me think of an abused wife who keeps going back to abusive husband...]. Finally, he said that he is working on convincing Lopatkina and Vishneva to appear more in Petersburg this season. [Huh???? Since when has Lopatkina not made herself available to dance at home?]

The last Q in the interview is about his perpetual "Acting A.D." title..."Does this make you worried?" the inteviewer asks. "Not in the least...everything is temporal. I remember that I am only 'acting AD' when interviewers ask me about it."

The first half of the interview is mainly about the new rep, i.e., Fateev calls Lifar's Suite en Blanc "...the most important 'ballet blanc of the mid-20thC...." [So topping Symph in C and Etudes?] He also mentioned that he plans to institute a sort of 'choreography lab' with performances of works by Mariinsky dancers who are new to choreography..."...and I am not referring to Yuri Smekalov, who is not a newcomer to choreography..." He also mentioned that several students currently attending the Vaganova Academy have shown great promise as choreographers, most notably a young lad named Fokine, who is no relation to THE Fokine but whose creativity 'brings us full circle in 100 years.' Fateev expressed sadness at not being able to attend the next Vaganova Academy workshop this month, as he must be in the USA with the main troupe.

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Does anyone know why he is "acting AD"? Are they searching for someone else who will be permanent or waiting to see how he does in his position before making him permanent?

I am not sure a "leader" should come right out and single one person out in an interview as the first person who should get more opportunities, unless it was someone everyone is talking about all over the world as the most exciting dancer to ever appear at the Mariinsky. I think he should have simply named some of the names like he did afterward. Why would he name Skorik first of all? He probably knows about all the controversy, and that makes me think he named her first and foremost as a challenge. He seems determined to prove she has what it takes. This sounds like it is all about him, not her. I think it is cruel to put an unprepared dancer on one of the world's stages and let us balletomanes pounce on her like wolves! Maybe he thinks we shouldn't, but we do, and opera lovers pounce on new singers who make mistake after mistake. It is the way of the world. I am starting to believe this is a power trip on his part.

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Birdsall, in this interview he says that's just how it is and it won't change (the 'acting' part of his title). It seemed as if he doesn't care and knows that it won't change. This must be Gergiev's policy, I am guessing, i.e., there is only one Director and all others beneath him are 'acting'?

re. 'Power Trip' - hmmm...you may be onto something. Seems like it now. To me, the exclusion of Lopatkina gives me even greater concern than the elevation of Skorik. Lopatkina does 'the Baltics and Siberia Tour' while others go to California...performing HER signature ballet, no less?

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I guess today is the day, I believe, that we may hear reports (maybe not until tomorrow morning) from California whether Skorik can show her naysayers what she can do. Looking from a human perspective I hope for her sake she has improved. I still think Fateyev is cruel to push her before the public in high profile assignments knowing the controversy that surrounds her. I think he should give her more soloist roles that are not the lead role. Once she proves herself in those roles over and over, then give her Odette, but this is like throwing her to the wolves. Maybe he has a sadistic streak! Or maybe he is determined to prove he is right and everyone else is wrong. Who knows?

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The damage has been done to Skorik anyway, just as it was with Somova earlier by such too early promotions. For Skorik to break the image of the incapable dancer will take wonders. Has Somova succeeded in doing so...? I don't think so.

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