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Skorik


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#346 Buddy

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 03:41 AM

A Step Beyond

A Step Beyond is perhaps what we call greatness. I would say that Anna Pavlova (based on 'The Swan' video clip) and Galina Ulanova are two of the finest historic examples. Other ballerinas have this ability, but the degree to which they use it or can accomplish it varies.

There are ballerinas who are basically exceptional. In today's world I would include Ulyana Lopatkina (possibly one of the greatest ballerinas of all time for her basic beauty alone), Veronika Part, Alina Cojocaru and Svetlana Zakharova. Some younger dancers are Oxana Skorik, Ekaterina Kondaurova, Alina Somova and Olga Smirnova.

As for a Step Beyond, I would say that Veronika Part lives there. Alina Cojocaru also. Svetlana Zakharova, in my opinion, in the last two years since the birth of her child, has entered this realm. Ekaterina Kondaurova, at this year's Mariinsky Festival, unveiled a level of exciting acting prowess that I've never seen at the ballet before (except for Alina Cojocaru), possibly rivaling some of the Hollywood and Broadway greats.

Both Oxana Skorik and Alina Somova are very capable of taking a Step Beyond. I've seen them both do it. Olga Smirnova is always pushing her boundaries to the extent that I sometimes don't recognize her in the same role from one performance to the next.

Oxana Skorik and Alina Somova interest me very much. I've seen them carry their performances well beyond their essential loveliness. To what degree they will continue to do this will be very interesting to see. Maybe it's not necessary. Sometimes Basic Beauty is more than enough. I would say that this is the case with Ulyana Lopatkina and perhaps with a younger dancer, Maria Shirinkina. Alina Somova along with the very young Olga Smirnova seem to be 'experimenting' more.

Oxana Skorik for the moment seems to be consolidating her basic beauty. Also as the video clip posted here of her daily life explains, she is now being asked to and taking on the task of mastering a large number of different works.


Oxana Skorik very much captures my imagination, both for her essential Fineness and for her ability to be 'Explosive' in her expression, definitely a Step Beyond. And there is more. She can be equally subtle. As Mariinsky Ballet Artistic Director Yuri Fateev says (as translated here earlier by Catherine), "In addition, she has depth, she has an internal world." So it should be hopefully great to see where she goes and how she charts her course.


[spelling correction made]

#347 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 09:58 AM

. Sometimes Basic Beauty is more than enough.


Poor Vaganova. She kept hearing that over and over...

#348 Natalia

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 10:01 AM

Buddy, did you see that Alina Somova is scheduled to return to the stage on July 31, as Giselle? We wish her a wonderful beginning to Chapter Two of her performing career. It's all about New Beginnings.

http://www.mariinsky...13/7/31/1_1900/ (Somova shown in the headline, even though the page still indicates "cast to be announced")

#349 Helene

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 10:10 AM

Having a baby has done wonders for many dancers.

#350 Buddy

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 01:43 PM

Buddy, did you see that Alina Somova is scheduled to return to the stage on July 31, as Giselle? We wish her a wonderful beginning to Chapter Two of her performing career.


Good news, Natalia. I believe that Svetlana Zakharova said that she was back practicing several weeks after giving birth. She's also said that her daughter's happiness is now what she lives for the most. I saw her perform in London about six months later and was amazed at the great shape that she was in. In addition, as I implied above, I think that her total commitment to character and her performing in general have moved up to another level.


Added comment:

Cristian, by "basic beauty" I wished to imply learning as well, which might be closer to what you value. Also by "basic beauty" I'm referring to admittedly my slight bias. I tend to divide dancers into two broad categories, (1) refined/ethereal and (2) expressive (expressive: Diana Vishneva and Natalia Osipova being fine examples). I appreciate both very much, but my love seems to be somewhat with the refined/ethereals, which I probably am thinking about when I talk of dancers with "basic beauty."

#351 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 09:06 PM

... my love seems to be somewhat with the refined/ethereals,


Oh, I've realized that, Buddy. Just as I'm drown by the strong, "a terre", womanly ballerina.

#352 Helene

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 09:06 PM

Olga Smirnova is always pushing her boundaries to the extent that I sometimes don't recognize her in the same role from one performance to the next.

This is a very unusual quality. It reminded me of something Arlene Croce wrote about Suzanne Farrell,

Her performances are occasions for unique and unrepeatable happenings and have to be spoken of as one-time events: "The Dimaonds of Saturday Night Closing Weekend," "The Great Saratoga Chaconne." Recently I watched her give the minuet in Chaconne with a sly sforzando attack I'd never seen before, brightening each step like sunlight behind a cloud. At the next performance, I don't think I saw any sforzando, but the light was still there.


(Originally published in The New Yorker, July 23, 1979 and republished in Going to the Dance p.203)

#353 Buddy

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 02:35 AM


Olga Smirnova is always pushing her boundaries to the extent that I sometimes don't recognize her in the same role from one performance to the next.

This is a very unusual quality. It reminded me of something Arlene Croce wrote about Suzanne Farrell,

Her performances are occasions for unique and unrepeatable happenings and have to be spoken of as one-time events: "The Dimaonds of Saturday Night Closing Weekend," "The Great Saratoga Chaconne." Recently I watched her give the minuet in Chaconne with a sly sforzando attack I'd never seen before, brightening each step like sunlight behind a cloud. At the next performance, I don't think I saw any sforzando, but the light was still there.


(Originally published in The New Yorker, July 23, 1979 and republished in Going to the Dance p.203)


Clement Crisp:

"I saw superb performances by Suzanne Farrell, for whom a fascinated Balanchine made Diamonds. Smirnova’s radiance, the unaffected nobility of her manner and the charm of her means make the role hers. She creates something magical and it touches the spirit. Not since the earliest performances by Altynai Asylmuratova have I seen so luminous a debut. We have much to hope for."

http://www.ft.com/in...l#axzz2K8RzOIHP


My feeling, Helene, is that Olga Smirnova is very young and incredibly talented. Her learning curve must be amazing. She was an all "A" student, at least before she turned her total attention to ballet. As she gets into and learns her way through a role the results are exactly as exciting as we are describing. Others might be learning. She can create one-of-kind masterpieces within the same work during the process.

This brings up one other thought that I wanted to try to express here. It goes back to comparing Oxana Skorik with Olga Smirnova, a comparison that still interests me greatly because of their somewhat parallel and speed-of-light rising to stardom and because they come from a strong Mariinsky sphere. Olga Smirnova was a Vaganova (Mariinsky) school prodigy and Oxana Skorik may be the next Mariinsky 'flagship.'

My thought 'at this time' (because Olga Smirnova could be a 'different person' tomorrow), is that Olga Smirnova is more articulated. Her moves, her highlights, her characterization -- her amazing depth -- are generally more dramatic and expressive. This is where her 'genius' is the most apparent.

Contained within this is her Mariinsky fineness.

With Oxana Skorik, her Mariinsky fineness is very prominent.

Contrary to how I view Olga Smirnova, Oxana Skorik can then surround or add to her fineness a layer of powerful expression, physical and character wise, which once again I call 'genius'. It can be so powerful and apparent that it knocks you out of your chair. Maybe that's why I call this 'genius', because of the Wow factor, rather then giving similar credit to her equally remarkable refinement. Her other 'genius', which might be the case with Olga Smirnova as well, is what doesn't knock you out of your chair -- subtle 'genius.' This is something that I'm seeing more of. It's the restrained brilliance that might be barely noticeable.

#354 Buddy

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 03:13 AM

Maybe I could add one more comparison, that of Oxana Skorik and Alina Somova, to this discussion because they are both somewhat similar examples of young Mariinsky beauty.

I tend to like Alina Somova very much for the lovely sense of flow in her motion in addition to her many other excellent qualities. She also has the same basic fineness that I love so much in Oxana Skorik -- the beautiful highlighting and positioning as well as the highly graceful motion. I have to clarify my description of Alina Somova by first saying that there are a number of video clips on the internet that do not illustrate the *Consistency* of remarkable beauty that I've seen in *All* of ten or so Live performances. Also she seems to 'experiment' more recently in her Live performances as if not wishing to take the 'easy way' out even if doing so might produce a more remarkable result. Sometimes she's obviously brilliant. Other times she seems to carry things to a certain point and then as if to say, "See, I can do that," she moves onto try something else. As in the case of other artists, such as Svetlana Zakharova and Svetlana Lunkina, both of whom eventually accomplished this, in my opinion, I'm still waiting to experience the 'Ultimate(!)' performance that I know she is capable of. Let's see what her return brings. I know, based on what I've seen, that she is capable of remarkable beauty.

Based partially on video clip watching of recent performances, Oxana Skorik seems to be displaying a more contained beauty. In a spectrum I would say that she is essentially the most subtly refined, Alina Somova being slightly more expressive because of her flow and sometimes emphasis, but also highly refined, and Olga Smirnova (mentioned yesterday) being the most expressive along with her beautiful refinement.

#355 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 12:10 PM

Buddy, I can relate to the fact of shielding a favorite ballerina from the generilized harshness-(I've been doing it for years with Alonso, which is even more complex given her egocentric personality and controversial political persona). One time I even received a PM from a poster asking me if we were related..Posted Image So I can understand someone thinking of you being Fateyev. As for myself, at one point I wonder if you were Skorik herself! Posted Image

#356 Jayne

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 01:13 PM

well, I'll say this: I've never thought Ms Skorik or Ms Somova were egocentric personalities or controversial political personas. Posted Image

#357 amiaow

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 02:06 PM

Performance from Moscow Ballet competition- great to see this variation, it seems to be omitted from most of the Youtube videos that appear of SL. IMO they did really well. I know people whinge about Timur but I love to watch him- he's always so precise, even if his partnering is sometimes a little wobbly.



#358 cinnamonswirl

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 06:46 PM

Skorik looks like a rabbit with those feathers.

They do both have beautiful lines ,and Askerov's variation is very clean, but neither of them has any energy or excitement! They're so calm and subdued as to be lethargic.

Skorik really had to fight for those fouettes (and they don't flow at all), but I'm glad she made it to the end.

#359 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 06:59 PM

I'm glad she made it to the end.

I suspect that if all comes down to just wishing a dancer to "make it to end" then we have a problem.

#360 Mashinka

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 12:45 AM

They're so calm and subdued as to be lethargic.


Lethargic is the perfect word to describe the Kirov's 21st century style.


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