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Skorik


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#316 Helene

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 05:39 PM

I think the idea thet Fateev is reading BA! or any message board/forum and making decisions to spite us is way off the mark. Whatever we think about Artistic Directors, they have pretty demanding day jobs and a lot on their minds besides us.

On the other hand, the two-year-old in the row in front of me on the train is crying simply to torture me-me-me, and underneath it all, he's laughing at me-me-me ;)

#317 Jayne

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 08:13 PM

Fortunately I think the Mariinsky will survive Fateyev's management of the ballet artistic side. As Helene has noted, we don't have to watch it. And the Mikhailovsky will not have to look too far to poach wonderful dancers for their stage (especially since Osipova / Vasiliev are now only performing occasionally as guest artists).

I really liked that snippet of Marchyuk dancing DQ, would love to see Messerer get the AD job at the Mik and lure over the neglected classical Vaganova dancers.

#318 Marga

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 09:47 PM

I've just finished reading this thread and watching the videos embedded in it and am very bothered that someone has made such an effort to produce a compilation video of Skorik's flubs.

I think it's just plain cruel, no matter the reason or the impassioned discourse surrounding the post with the video.

#319 Tiara

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 02:51 AM

Fortunately I think the Mariinsky will survive Fateyev's management of the ballet artistic side. As Helene has noted, we don't have to watch it. And the Mikhailovsky will not have to look too far to poach wonderful dancers for their stage (especially since Osipova / Vasiliev are now only performing occasionally as guest artists).

I really liked that snippet of Marchyuk dancing DQ, would love to see Messerer get the AD job at the Mik and lure over the neglected classical Vaganova dancers.

I love watching Oksana Marchuk - she is one of my favourites, and a beautiful classical ballerina with an imcomparable, radiant presence on stage. When I watch Mariinsky I always look out for her, but it is not hard, since her gifts make her very noticeable on stage! I would hate for her to leave Mariinsky though - wahtever problems it may be having, it is still the greatest ballet company in the world, and the greatest stage for the greatest dancers!

#320 Buddy

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 04:50 AM

Awhile back someone asked me if I could be more specific about what it is that I like so much in Oxana Skorik's dancing. It's the way she holds herself, the beautiful motion of her arms and hands, her beautiful motion in general, and on and on. I don't tend to analyze it too closely, preferring just to enjoy it greatly. Also, for me, the beauty is in the totality. If a performance isn't flawless it doesn't detract, for me, if the totality remains so overwhelmingly lovely and the beautiful foundation from which it is derived is made so apparent.

#321 Drew

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 09:14 AM

In my experience, great companies--even at their 'height--have always had some controversial casting and even, from the point of view of fans and critics, occasionally genuinely scandalous casting. That said, some cases are more egregious than others or indeed just plain sadder than others in terms of dancers put forward AND dancers held back. (Ann Jenner anyone?)

I have been trying to refrain from coming to a judgment about Skorik based on youtube, but it's hard not to draw some preliminary conclusions especially with so many reports from fans who do not like her dancing. I confess I was relieved to see she wasn't cast in the performances I have tickets for this year and, now that some last minute, unannounced casting changes have been reported for at least one White Nights performance, I am plenty uneasy I'm going to see her anyway.

I should think Fateyev indifferent to what is being said on social media about his decision making--and, in a way, he should be. On principle, artistic directors should be primarily artistic directors--and leave it to Hollywood to change the ending of movies based on focus groups etc.. Of course, that does NOT make them above criticism by fans/spectators. Nor is there any guarantee of the quality of a particular artistic director. I'm not saying they are always right (!!). Additionally, Fateyev, whatever his own failings, has Gergiev--and god knows who else--to contend with as well.

However, I do wonder if the Mariinsky social media staff read message boards at least occasionally -- I did notice their Facebook page (at least the English language one) recently had a long entry about how the whole Mariinsky complex was being used during one evening, listing all the performances at the different theaters. It could have been exactly a riposte to some discussions on another thread of this forum. And of course, "social media" is their job. But even that may be assuming too much...and I think much of what is said on message boards, Facebook, twitter etc. is also being said in traditional press outlets.

Obviously Fateyev knows that Skorik has raised hackles. For whatever reason (good or bad), he is still casting her prominently.

#322 Helene

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 10:25 AM

If anyone has a problem.with any post, please click the "report" button, and the Moderators will review.

#323 Jayne

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 11:08 AM


I've just finished reading this thread and watching the videos embedded in it and am very bothered that someone has made such an effort to produce a compilation video of Skorik's flubs.

I think it's just plain cruel, no matter the reason or the impassioned discourse surrounding the post with the video.



I think the person was so completely frustrated after seeing mess ups every single time. You might still not agree with it, and that is your right, but if a person has seen her mess up 20 out of 20 performances he has attended and then since the video she has messed up at almost every performance or simplified the choreography in order to get through it (on one of the most important stages in the world), well, that person got upset and is doubly upset since there are more deserving ballerinas who are not getting the chances she is getting.

But as Helene has pointed out, life (and the ballet world) is not fair. There is little we can do about it.

I think youtube is just part of modern life for public figures, and ballet dancers at world class stages are going to have to learn to deal with it. I don't see this any differently than the compilation videos New Yorkers have made on youtube of Tiki Barber's dropped passes, etc.

If Peter Boal repeatedly cast a mediocre dancer in prominent roles, and she stumbled in 20+ performances consistantly - I'd point it out on Ballet Alert as well. I understand there are dancers who "go for broke" and stumble (Patricia Barker did early in her career as well) but she was still brilliant on stage - even in her early 20's.

The link I posted to the Dryads comparison is interesting because all 3 dancers shown are in their 20's when filmed. Makhalina was a complete dancer even then, she was 100% in control, serene and made everything look light and assured. Even if she had made a mistake, the rest of her dancing, "like a Duchess on vacation" to quote the Washington Post, was extraordinary.

#324 Natalia

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 11:37 AM

Back to Skorik: I sure hope that she improves her technique because she is blessed with so many natural attributes.

#325 Birdsall

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 12:23 PM

I think youtube is just part of modern life for public figures, and ballet dancers at world class stages are going to have to learn to deal with it. I don't see this any differently than the compilation videos New Yorkers have made on youtube of Tiki Barber's dropped passes, etc.

If Peter Boal repeatedly cast a mediocre dancer in prominent roles, and she stumbled in 20+ performances consistantly - I'd point it out on Ballet Alert as well. I understand there are dancers who "go for broke" and stumble (Patricia Barker did early in her career as well) but she was still brilliant on stage - even in her early 20's.

The link I posted to the Dryads comparison is interesting because all 3 dancers shown are in their 20's when filmed. Makhalina was a complete dancer even then, she was 100% in control, serene and made everything look light and assured. Even if she had made a mistake, the rest of her dancing, "like a Duchess on vacation" to quote the Washington Post, was extraordinary.


You bring up a really good point. I have seen Tereshkina stumble a couple of times in otherwise amazing performances, so, yes, even great dancers make mistakes. Everyone is human. But a stumble or coming off pointe for a split second once in a while (once out of 20 performances) is totally understandable and excusable. Falls happen too. No big deal when it is an unusual occurrence. For example, if a person made a compilation of mistakes made by Lopatkina who has danced hundreds of performances and given so much satisfaction to people over the years.....well, I think, THAT would really be nitpicking and would require doing a very wide search to come up with just a handful of mistakes. It would require going through hundreds of videos just to "get" her and zap her. That isn't what happened with the video in question. The person did not search wide and far and long for those clips. The clips were plentiful and this person did not use all that were available.

#326 Helene

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 07:22 PM

This has been one of the most challenging threads on Ballet Alert! in a long time, for about 75 reasons. I've already addressed most of them, but here are a couple more:

1. Please do not refer to or discuss unofficial sources. If the NYT or izvetsia publishes an article about ballet video uploaders or posters on other message board, then it's a valid discussion here. Otherwise, do not discuss them or justify what they do.

1a. Please don't speak on behalf of anyone else. This does not mean the occasional mention of a what a friend or family member has told you about a performance, like "My friend was there and told me that [dancer] was named an etoile on stage tonight" or, in response to a question about a ballet or performer, "I haven't seen it yet, but my friends weren't impressed/told me it wasn't for children under 15/thought she was weak," but please don't become a conduit.

2. Responding negatively any time someone says something positive about a dancer, ballet, choreographer, etc. is not only tedious -- we did read it it first, third, and twelfth time -- it is also akin to bullying. The person who speaks last is simply the person who speaks last.

There's also a third issue that came up a while ago on another thread that I want to re-iterate, because this topic runs in shark-infested waters: unless the source is official (from a dancer, company, mainstream critic), if a video has a treatise or screed as part of it, do not post the link. Once there is a message in words, it's in the same category as a post on another message board, regardless of how valuable the video is.

#327 Helene

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 07:54 PM

Now back to the topic.

It's one thing to take a performance in context -- the three-hour version -- and criticize it, but to take a series of mistakes out of context I think is low and cheap. There is enough criticism in several languages that describes how Skorik has erred to discuss how she compares technically to her peers and to historic ballerinas. I don't find her line or extensions classical, but she's hardly the only Mariinsky ballerina to share them: one of my great disappointments was seeing Lopatkina's similar extensions in the Lilac Fairy variation during the Berkeley. Most often, when a dancer has an issue with turns and big extensions combined, they get progressively worse, whereas Skorik in the Lilac Fairy section (~3:33) made a remarkable recovery, which undermined the compiler's case, in my eyes.

#328 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 06:11 AM

Helene, I really appreciate your always polite intervention here. I, being the one who brought up the Skorik video, somehow feel at fault now for sounding too hard on the woman. I remember the times when the Youtube videos were not allowed on this site, and believe me, I feel grateful we can use the fixture to sustain certain point or to share a lovely performance. Then, if the clip in question is felt to be borderline with the non acceptable-(or plainly non acceptable)-, I won't question the assessment and will take it out. Now, having been myself clear enough at several times on what I perceive on the dancer, I'm oficially done assessing her.

Edited:
Will be back here and there to spice things up within the respectful trend...Posted Image

#329 Helene

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 07:09 AM

The error compilation video is valid for discussion here: it's not one that is prefaced by "cue cards" with an editorial; the creator has let his or her point stand on its own. It doesn't even appear to have been doctored, like a video of another dancer that at least was spliced so blatantly we could recognize it and call it for what it was.

My opinion about the video itself is just that: my opinion. I'm rather glad the creator showed Skorik recovering strongly in the Lilac Fairy variation, even if the extensions make me crazy. I'm not sure that was his or her intention.

Just for some history, the reason we originally didn't allow YouTube videos was because some might have violated copyright, and we didn't want to have to judge which did and which didn't, but we decided to make that an issue between the copyright owners and YouTube, and that's worked out a lot better. It is certainly more efficient for copyright holders to nip it at the source rather than try to track down where the links to the video were posted.

#330 Birdsall

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 08:38 AM

Now, having been myself clear enough at several times on what I perceive on the dancer, I officially take my final bow on this thread. Posted Image


I think I will too. I realize I have said all I want to say about her.


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