Birdsall

Skorik

477 posts in this topic

Fateyev gave an interview to the German dance magazine "tanz" in December 2012 (only in print, not online), permit me to cite one of his answers, just to contradict the impression that he forces his dancers to do Forsythe:

"Question: Are you afraid that your dancers might lose their pure, academic style when they dance Forsythe or other modern works?

Fateyev: No. The balance is important. When we first staged our Forsythe ballets in 2004, it was like fresh air for the dancers. It was good for them to control their own bodies in a totally different way. Everybody absolutely wanted to dance it. It's not a coincidence that we will put that evening back on the programme. I also think it's interesting what Forsythe is doing today, that's why his own company will guest at the Mariinsky festival in March. Thus we can show the contrast in his oeuvre until today - here his classical pieces, there his recent performance art."

And by the way: I loved the Mariinsky dancers in Forsythe, they did it in a very different, special style. Sorry, I'm European, I know we think different.

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Yes, I lived in Germany, and so tradition has been rammed down Europeans' throats, so most Europeans do love new and modern things. I guess Americans have mostly modern art/pop culture, so many of us like to finally get some traditional stuff sometimes! LOL

I am also half Japanese, and for some reason classical arts appeal to us a lot.

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Many thanks for the interview quote, Fosca!

Many dancers like to do things out of their fach or at least appreciate the challenge. What they like isn't always of the greatest quality -- something that feels good isn't necessarily something that looks good -- but it mixes things up for them, both in terms of vocabulary and movement styles and getting to work with choreographers and stagers outside their daily experience and sometimes out of their comfort zones. For neoclassically trained dancers, at least, I've often seen how their experience in works that I don't think highly of informs and energizes the works I do think highly of.

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I only found this and put a partial translation using google:

http://vppress.ru/st...-ne-verte-16311

"- Actually, Oksana scold ...

- And who scold? Oksana, like any dancer can like and do not like it. But it has a unique texture, and do not use it would be a crime. These legs like hers, it is difficult to find. In addition, it has depth, there is an inner peace. She just needs time to open up. She is a born Odetta - not going anywhere."

I just wanted to offer a more accurate translation of that here bc (as a professional translator) I cannot stand Google Translate, and also I think the actual words will be more easy to understand:

"Actually people criticize Oksana..."

-"Who criticizes her? You may or may not like Oksana, just like any ballerina. But her appearance is unique, and to not use her would be a crime. Legs like hers are hard to find. In addition, she has depth, she has an internal world. We have to just give her time to develop. She is a born Odette - you can't escape that."

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Catherine, thanks very much. It is very interesting. I did not know that Skorik has been criticised in Russia to the extent that a news paper journalist mentioned in an interview.

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Legs? Appearance? Pluses certainly but not essentials.

Solid technique, stamina, personality, sensitivity and the ability to dance rather than just pose all matter far more. The more quotes I read from Fateev, the more I consider him a complete idiot.

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Legs? Appearance? Pluses certainly but not essentials.

Solid technique, stamina, personality, sensitivity and the ability to dance rather than just pose all matter far more. The more quotes I read from Fateev, the more I consider him a complete idiot.

I agree with you, Mashinka! I think Pawlick's book and other sources say that normally Vaganova trained dancers can be hired as principals anywhere around the world usually. They are considered "finished" artists when they graduate. Of course, I think Skorik graduated from Perm, but to be hired for the Mariinsky stage means someone thought she was as good as a Vaganova graduate.....when so many are "finished artists" and so many can hit the ground running, so to speak, it is crazy to "give someone time" to grow and push that person over and over onto the public (and maybe push her too much since she said in Russia Today that she goes ahead and dances on injuries). With so many ballerinas who are ready and willing to hit the ground running with no extra coaching, why keep trying to fit a square peg into a round hole???

I do think administration is to blame. The whole thing seems reckless on Fateyev's part. He's going to cause injuries to dancers and make the Mariinsky look bad. A friend told me that in the past someone studied a role at the Kirov for 2 years sometimes and they did not dance it until they were 100% ready for the role. So when they debuted in the role you got a stupendous performance.

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This is ridiculous. I can imagine the inner talking among the true ballerinas of the Mariinsky about this woman...

I wonder also about what the coaches are thinking. I mean, they must be used to dancers coming to them with a certain level of technical ability. It is like the teachers I used to work with in middle school. They would be in total shock that you have incoming 6th graders who do not know their multiplication tables yet! And the Math teachers are told they MUST cover up to chapter 6 by October or something like that, so there is really no time to go back and teach 3rd grade material in 6th grade, but there is no choice if you want your students to succeed. If they can't do 3rd grade material they certainly can't move through 6th grade material at a rapid pace. And the teacher is to blame for low test scores!

I am going off on a tangent, but I wonder if it applies here. What do these Mariinsky coaches think when they are used to (in the past) getting dancers who are pretty much "finished" artists and they just have to rehearse and teach roles and remind and adjust slight issues? Instead they are hypothetically getting some dancers who they have to do a lot of extra teaching. I wonder if some of the Mariinsky coaches are thinking, "OMG! WTF???"

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Money would explain a lot of the blindness. Any other reason is inexplicable. But some sort of financial reasons for crazy decisions would explain a lot. But how sad. I guess that is the world.....

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Money and power have always been the way of the ballet world. They don't influence every decision and decision-maker equally, and there have been many favored dancers with extraordinary talent and training, too, but it's not as as if ballet was pure through Soviet times and only since glasnost has it become sullied. It has changed to an extent, but there has been plenty of time to discover that an empty aesthetic and substandard training for dancers in a misguided attempt to deliver a blatant misunderstanding of what appeals to "Western" taste will not translate into any more tour dollars than presenting well-trained dancers who embody a more traditional aesthetic.

If the ballet is a slave to opera, what would have been left of the school and ballet without Gergiev's efforts? Might it have gone more towards the way of figure skating, as a generation was lost?

Some of the coaches have had their say in Catherine Pawlick's book, but Pawlick also describes a time where even Vaganova embraced an aesthetic that was new for the time that sounded pretty vulgar to me, and it went pretty far before Vaganova decided it had crossed the line into circus.

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Regarding aesthetics, I remember watching a video where Natalia Makarova was coaching Uliana Lopatkina in the White Swan pdd. At one point Lopatkina unhurled her legs in a rather stretched attitude, and Makarova asked her why she was doing that, when the choreography calls for an arabesque. Lopatkina got rather defensive and said, "Aesthetics." Makarova asked her to try the other approach and Lopatkina got even more defensive and said "I don't LIKE it!!!!" My impression is that at the Mariinsky, aesthetics (in particular, a long, stretched look) is more important than ever.

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Legs? Appearance? Pluses certainly but not essentials.

Solid technique, stamina, personality, sensitivity and the ability to dance rather than just pose all matter far more. The more quotes I read from Fateev, the more I consider him a complete idiot.

...I do think administration is to blame...

ITA with what Mashinka and Birdsall have posted; with these additional thoughts: Fateev reigns supreme over the Ballet; his mere whim is "law" as it pertains to the Ballet. The coaches may pronounce their displeasure, they may request roles for their charges, but the ultimate decision is his. He decides who, what, when, where and (as he did with Skoryk's predecessor, and in the cited link above), why a dancer is frequently cast. He wills it to be so, and d*mmit, all of us are going to like it. It's all about his gut instincts and his belief about what a dancer can (and "eventually" will -> wallbash.gif) accomplish, given umpteen chances, and his personal taste. It's hard not to be facetious here, but he believes that we should all trust his judgement because it's his judgement.

Since Fateev is in charge as the interim ballet director, there's nothing that can be done about this because, as with all A.D.s, all of these matters - casting, development (or the lack thereof), everything that happens onstage - are his prerogative as the Head. What's key here is that Maestro Gergiev allows this because he's concentrating on the Opera and the Orchestra and he approves of Fateev and his leadership. Why? Because ballet is an art that Maestro Gergiev doesn't understand or care about.

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As long as Putin is in power - Gergiev is in power. And as long as Gergiev is in power, he will choose a ballet director who will not challenge Gergiev. Futher, he will only designate him "acting" ballet director, in order to maintain control. I assume the term "acting" prevents certain labor laws from going into effect that might protect Fateyev.

Fortunately for Fateyev, his boss doesn't really understand ballet technique. I know Fateyev is a fan of Balanchine. There is nothing wrong with this appreciation, and I do think Mariinsky has chosen some great Balanchine pieces to add to their rep. However, he has latched onto a specific idea of the "ideal" ballerina, based on Mr B's bone-skinny ideal. I know he spent a year teaching at PNB in 1999 and how to better stage Balanchine technique. But I wonder if he saw the aesthetic of the bone-thin ballerina, and missed the musical qualities altogether???

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Fateev certainly didn't get the idea of a bone-thin ballerina from PNB in 1999. Patricia Barker had been Kent Stowell's muse and first cast for quite a while by then, and she had well-defined muscles and wasn't a waif by any means. Carrie Imler was on the rise, and neither she nor Lisa Apple, Julie Tobi!sson nor even Kaori Nakamura are the uber thin, all~legs types. Linette Hitchen and Louise Nadeau were probably closest in type to a Somova or Skorik, but they were never as prominently cast.

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Regarding aesthetics, I remember watching a video where Natalia Makarova was coaching Uliana Lopatkina in the White Swan pdd. At one point Lopatkina unhurled her legs in a rather stretched attitude, and Makarova asked her why she was doing that, when the choreography calls for an arabesque. Lopatkina got rather defensive and said, "Aesthetics." Makarova asked her to try the other approach and Lopatkina got even more defensive and said "I don't LIKE it!!!!" My impression is that at the Mariinsky, aesthetics (in particular, a long, stretched look) is more important than ever.

Slightly off topic, but back in the 80's I was doing some work for a contemporary group that rehearsed at Pineapple Dance Studios, I would often arrive early to watch the ballet class given by Eileen Ward that attracted some RB dancers. On one occasion I saw a small slender woman take her place at the back just before the class began: it was Makarova. I won't have to tell anyone reading this what supreme pleasure it was just to watch her in class.

Many years later I watched a company class of the Kirov in Baden Baden. Several minutes after the class began a tall woman trailing more scarves than Isadora Duncan made her entrance disrupting the class as she chose the most advantageous spot and displacing other dancers that had arrived on time: this was Lopatkina.

One was a servant of the Dance, whereas the other.................

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As long as Putin is in power - Gergiev is in power. And as long as Gergiev is in power, he will choose a ballet director who will not challenge Gergiev. Futher, he will only designate him "acting" ballet director, in order to maintain control. I assume the term "acting" prevents certain labor laws from going into effect that might protect Fateyev.

This is precisely what's going on. This arrangement is totally beneficial to Maestro Gergiev. Mr. Putin isn't a Renaissance Man: He's into daredevil sports and would rather wrestle bears or hanglide with eagles than attend

the opera or ballet. So, as Gergiev trusts Fateev, Putin trusts Gergiev because he's not into high culture.

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Fateev certainly didn't get the idea of a bone-thin ballerina from PNB in 1999. Patricia Barker had been Kent Stowell's muse and first cast for quite a while by then, and she had well-defined muscles and wasn't a waif by any means. Carrie Imler was on the rise, and neither she nor Lisa Apple, Julie Tobi!sson nor even Kaori Nakamura are the uber thin, all~legs types. Linette Hitchen and Louise Nadeau were probably closest in type to a Somova or Skorik, but they were never as prominently cast.

I'm not implying that he learned this aesthetic while at PNB - I think he is trying to match Balanchine's ideal of the bone-thin girl that became normative in the 1960's. Balanchine works have received more favorable reviews at Mariinsky after Fateyev returned from a year at PNB. So he must have learned something.

I have no idea what he thought of rising Carrie Imler, but she definitely looks more like an old school Kirov ballerina than Skorik's modern match stick look.

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Regarding aesthetics, I remember watching a video where Natalia Makarova was coaching Uliana Lopatkina in the White Swan pdd. At one point Lopatkina unhurled her legs in a rather stretched attitude, and Makarova asked her why she was doing that, when the choreography calls for an arabesque. Lopatkina got rather defensive and said, "Aesthetics." Makarova asked her to try the other approach and Lopatkina got even more defensive and said "I don't LIKE it!!!!" My impression is that at the Mariinsky, aesthetics (in particular, a long, stretched look) is more important than ever.

How funny...canbelto. You reminded me a conversation that I had maaaaaany years ago with a friend of mine, a ballet lover. I was still living in Cuba, and my mother, who was here, had send me a video of a Russian SL. We watched the VHS at my place, and at one point my friend commented "Oh, look...just like all the Russian ballerinas, doing attitudes instead of arabesques". Wow...and that was a zillion years ago...happy.png

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Here is a link from RT apr30 27min long dubbed to english. Has both Skorik, Fateyev, and Vishneva. Coaching and backstage life at the Mariinsky. From Oksana point of view. http://rt.com/shows/...-mariinsky-628/

Thank you for linking to this, cantdance. Certainly offers a very interesting perspective.

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I've seen this video clip also and I think that it gives a very nice and sympathetic view of Oxana Skorik and Timur Askerov.

When I think about Oxana Skorik at this point in time I tend to focus on a quality that is so essential in my enjoyment of lyrically beautiful dance. This quality is the refined and dreamlike flow of motion. I think that this is the essence of what makes Oxana Skorik so special for me.

She also has other exceptional qualities that make her equatable to two other young dancers that I like very much, Alina Somova and the youngest, Olga Smirnova. In this respect, I consider them to be among the most 'interesting' 'classical' dancers today. But for the moment I'm thinking a lot about lyrical flow.

In a recently viewed internet video clip I've noticed something else that I've not strongly felt before in Oxana Skorik, a 'Natural' and gentle overall expression that so compliments the essential loveliness of her motion. In at least parts of Alexei Ratmansky's Cinderella (internet video excerpts) Alina Somova shows very similar beauty.

It makes them both -- lovable as well as ethereal.

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The only interesting fact about Oxana Skorik to me is the fact that she is cast at all despite her inadequacies. Far from having a "gentle overall expression" she is one of the least expressive dancers I have seen, having a very still face that does not communicate emotion to the audience. The number of mistakes that she makes renders her completely unfit to be a Mariinsky soloist in my opinion, and far from having wonderful flow of movement, I see a dancer who merely moves between poses. I completely fail to understand how anyone can enjoy her dancing and I have seen her dance on Mariinsky stage many times.

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The only interesting fact about Oxana Skorik to me is the fact that she is cast at all despite her inadequacies. Far from having a "gentle overall expression" she is one of the least expressive dancers I have seen, having a very still face that does not communicate emotion to the audience. The number of mistakes that she makes renders her completely unfit to be a Mariinsky soloist in my opinion, and far from having wonderful flow of movement, I see a dancer who merely moves between poses. I completely fail to understand how anyone can enjoy her dancing and I have seen her dance on Mariinsky stage many times.

I have to admit that I agree with Tiara. Before I went in March I was praying and praying that I would not get a Skorik debut in Raymonda or Aurora. I didn't think she would get Aurora, because even her body type is wrong for that, but I thought anything is possible under Fateyev. I just find it sad that someone has to pray that he will not be stuck with someone who messes up all the time when thinking of traveling to go to the Mariinsky. That is truly sad. Old timers tell me that was NEVER the case with the Mariinsky (Kirov) back in the day. We are talking about the company that has the reputation of being Point North on the compass of ballet. And these mess ups are not isolated moments. Even if the latest mess up does not end up on YouTube it is circulated privately via private YouTube videos, and Cristian asked if there was ever a performance of hers without a mess up, and so far it doesn't appear to be the case. This is not what we expect from the North point of Ballet. We don't want someone learning her craft before our eyes. We want finished artists on the stage. A mess up here and there is not a big deal. Mess ups every performance is a big deal. And when you add on top of the mess ups the fact that there are so many dancers who rarely get solo roles who deserve them and could dance them right this minute without messing up, it just boggles the mind. Kolegova, Novikova, Osmolkina, and many in the corps can dance better. This is where people's frustration comes from. I don't think anyone really wants to beat up on anyone, but when we know there are better dancers not getting chances while someone keeps getting chance after chance and messing up, it upsets many people.

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I've seen this video clip also and I think that it gives a very nice and sympathetic view of Oxana Skorik and Timur Askerov.

When I think about Oxana Skorik at this point in time I tend to focus on a quality that is so essential in my enjoyment of lyrically beautiful dance. This quality is the refined and dreamlike flow of motion. I think that this is the essence of what makes Oxana Skorik so special for me.

She also has other exceptional qualities that make her equatable to two other young dancers that I like very much, Alina Somova and the youngest, Olga Smirnova. In this respect, I consider them to be among the most 'interesting' 'classical' dancers today. But for the moment I'm thinking a lot about lyrical flow.

In a recently viewed internet video clip I've noticed something else that I've not strongly felt before in Oxana Skorik, a 'Natural' and gentle overall expression that so compliments the essential loveliness of her motion. In at least parts of Alexei Ratmansky's Cinderella (internet video excerpts) Alina Somova shows very similar beauty.

It makes them both -- lovable as well as ethereal.

I already responded to your post and Tiara's, as you will read, but I want to say that I wish I could see the glass half full the way you do. One thing that is good about you is that you are always positive. Maybe if I ever get some meds I will start to be more positive! LOL

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I already responded to your post and Tiara's, as you will read, but I want to say that I wish I could see the glass half full the way you do. One thing that is good about you is that you are always positive. Maybe if I ever get some meds I will start to be more positive! LOL

It is good to be positive, but I think some of the problem is there are too many people who have given Oxana Skorik the benefit of the doubt too many times. There is a difference between hoping someone will improve and giving her a chance, and knowing when to quit because this is not going to happen. The Mariinsky audience suffers because it does not see a truly Great Mariinsky Ballerina, and other dancers suffer because they are denied chances to dance. Mariinsky management is completely at fault for all this.

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