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Skorik


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#391 Helene

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 06:50 PM

Kolpakova, aside from being a goddess of dance, had a couple of decades of experience on Skorik when that film was made, but the striking thing between her dancing and just about every ballerina dance the role now is that she occasionally flirted with 98 degrees in her arabesque and extensions to second.  Everything she did came as an extension of a sublime center/torso. The emphasis now is on extending the limbs and making the dance phrases about extending the limbs, and on top of that, all of those extensions slow things down.

 

Oh, those fluttery beats while hopping en pointe...



#392 tamicute

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 07:08 AM

. The emphasis now is on extending the limbs and making the dance phrases about extending the limbs, and on top of that, all of those extensions slow things down.

Natalia Makarova was known for a very slow Odette adagio and it was not her 210 degree extension slowing her down. Makarova's taste was to dance the Odette adagio to an extremely slow pace and to the delight of all the Makarova fans. Musicality deals with being in tune to the music and has nothing to do wit the speed, as long as you are in tune with that speed. Plisetskaya and Makrova danced Odette adagio to very different speeds, but nobody would dare accuse Makarova of being unmusical because she slowed down the music. A ballerina, who uses her big extension to lift her leg higher, does not hinder her musicality by lifting her legs higher. If that requires her slowing the music to allow her to be in tune with the music, she still is musical. It priamrily si the moments when the ballerina is traveling that define musicality and not when she is standing, lifting her legs. The flow of movements define musicality. when the music is playing and the ballerina is moving, si she moving to the music, or as in Skorik's case, is she totally unaware of the music.

I happen to have a Russian violinist friend in St Petersburg, who happens to love ballet and she recently saw Alina Somova rehearse Aurora in Sleeping Beauty. Alina Somova has been wrongly accused on this forum for sacrificing musicality by using her superior extension. My violinist friend told me that she was amazed at the rehearsal with Somova and Terekhova, at the amazing musicality of Alina Somova. My friend plays violin professionally at the ST Petersburg Conservatory, across the street from the Mariinsky, and she would know if someone is musical or not.

#393 abatt

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 07:22 AM

I don't think the critics of Somova are complaining about issues of musicality.  They are complaining that her hyper extensions distort her classical line and seem more appropriate to gynastics than to ballet.  She was not the originator of hyperextension, but she is certainly a good example of it.



#394 tamicute

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 07:50 AM

I don't think the critics of Somova are complaining about issues of musicality.  They are complaining that her hyper extensions distort her classical line and seem more appropriate to gynastics than to ballet.  She was not the originator of hyperextension, but she is certainly a good example of it.

I have seen criticism on her musicality, but the extension topic is analogous to "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder". For some, high extension is a big negative and considered ugly. For others, they feel that if you have it, flaunt it, and for them, high extension is beautiful. The biggest obstacle is that ballet directors and most ballet audience members, no longer accept 90 degree extension. Then the question about how high is appropriate, depends on the individual.

As you said, some feel that what is appropriate in gymnastics, is not appropriate in ballet.

#395 Helene

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 10:23 AM

. The emphasis now is on extending the limbs and making the dance phrases about extending the limbs, and on top of that, all of those extensions slow things down.

Natalia Makarova was known for a very slow Odette adagio and it was not her 210 degree extension slowing her down.
While Makarova may have insisted on slower tempos, I don't remember her overextending to faster tempi and appearing unmusical at the pace she was dancing when I saw her with ABT in the '70's; the issue of distorting the tempos in the first place for effect is a different story.

I don't know who would characterize Makarova as a dancer from "these days," though. "The good old days" is more like it.

I do not consider it musical when a dancer takes a faster pace, but is behind a hair during those moves with big extensions, when the phrasing is distorted by flicking up an extension in the middle of a phrase that is either bulding slowly or where it would be like putting an exclamation point in the middle of a sentence, or where the strength of the center is lost temporarily to accomodate an extension.

#396 vipa

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 07:07 PM

 

. The emphasis now is on extending the limbs and making the dance phrases about extending the limbs, and on top of that, all of those extensions slow things down.

Natalia Makarova was known for a very slow Odette adagio and it was not her 210 degree extension slowing her down. Makarova's taste was to dance the Odette adagio to an extremely slow pace and to the delight of all the Makarova fans. Musicality deals with being in tune to the music and has nothing to do wit the speed, as long as you are in tune with that speed. Plisetskaya and Makrova danced Odette adagio to very different speeds, but nobody would dare accuse Makarova of being unmusical because she slowed down the music. A ballerina, who uses her big extension to lift her leg higher, does not hinder her musicality by lifting her legs higher. If that requires her slowing the music to allow her to be in tune with the music, she still is musical. It priamrily si the moments when the ballerina is traveling that define musicality and not when she is standing, lifting her legs. The flow of movements define musicality. when the music is playing and the ballerina is moving, si she moving to the music, or as in Skorik's case, is she totally unaware of the music.

I happen to have a Russian violinist friend in St Petersburg, who happens to love ballet and she recently saw Alina Somova rehearse Aurora in Sleeping Beauty. Alina Somova has been wrongly accused on this forum for sacrificing musicality by using her superior extension. My violinist friend told me that she was amazed at the rehearsal with Somova and Terekhova, at the amazing musicality of Alina Somova. My friend plays violin professionally at the ST Petersburg Conservatory, across the street from the Mariinsky, and she would know if someone is musical or not.

 

Actually  I did think of Makarova as unmusical.  To me being musical is responding musically, being inside the music and phrasing within the framework.  It is not IMO musical to slow down or speed up music to suit  your technical limitations or how high you wish your leg to go. 



#397 tamicute

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 09:35 PM

 

 

 

 

Actually  I did think of Makarova as unmusical.  To me being musical is responding musically, being inside the music and phrasing within the framework.  It is not IMO musical to slow down or speed up music to suit  your technical limitations or how high you wish your leg to go. 

Based on what you are saying, then you would consider Margot Fonteyn's rose adagio as being unmusical because she did slow down the music, particularly to allow her to balance with her arms over her head in attitude. Then among current ballerinas, Ulyana Lopatkina, primarily due to her size, dances slower than other Mariinsky ballerinas, so due to what you would describe as her technical limitations, brought on by her height, she is unmusical.

 

This thread is titled "Skorik" and I will bring up one ballet role, where what you say, would apply precisely to her. Kitri is a role full of life and energy, all technical limitations with Skorik. so when she danced Kitri, she danced it much slower than normal and I am talking about allegro work, not adagio work. Her being unmusical at all times, made her Kitri even worse.

However, the role of Kitri is in my opinion,a  perfect example of allegro work, that can be danced at different speeds and still be musical, within limitations, such as with Skorik, who is totally out of character in energy, interpretation and speed. However, I will discuss the act 1 variation which Maya Plisetskaya made famous with her back leg kick to the head. This is a fast variation and is often danced at varying speeds, particularly which country and ballet company is performing. In Russia, it is always fast, but some dancers have exceptional speed and dance it super fast. I think that the normal fast dancer is as musical as the super fast dancer. The final act grand pas de deux Kitri variation is a similar situation, where even the choreography is not always the same and the use of the fan is often present or non-existent. However, a tiny dancer by the name of Malika Sabirova, 1969 Moscow Competition gold medalist, had phenomenal speed in her variation and in my opinion, her speed did not alter her musicality. However, there are some dancers that try to emphasize their balancing ability and that drastically alters the speed and in my opinion, i am used to this variation, not emphasizing balancing ability and I would consider the balancing variation as unmusical, but some will disagree.



#398 NATinCPH

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 08:16 AM

Hello Everyone,

 

I am quite a fresh fan/ballet goer (in the middle of my second season) and I am only learning what to appreciate in ballet dancing except for the overall feeling of awe I get to experience quite often. My two favourites so far, Alban Lendorf and Susanne Grinder in Neumeiers lady of the Camellias and NYCB with their Balanchine guest performance (4 April cast) both left me mesmerised and speechless. Having only general knowledge about Mariinsky I was very much looking forward to the performance and the first Swan Lake in my life -especially the Odette/Odile part. 

 

Boy, was I in for disappointment. Miss Skorik was dancing the part and I actually started googling her name during the entr'acte because I was so confused. This was the worst performance I have seen so far and I was not sure if me and my lack of more ballet experience are making me miss something or if something was really wrong on the stage. Her moves were so mechanical, she danced as if she was in a gymnastics contest, showed no emotion and no tune with the music. It looked forced and out of sync. I saw no difference in her dancing Odette and her dancing Odile. It was, to put it mildly, weird. Thank the ballet gods for the beautiful, amazing corps de ballet!

 

That's how I found your forum and I just had to post and share my experience. I feel quite cheated to be honest - good thing I had tickets for Mariinsky's Fokine as well and this time I got to see some amazing dancers: Xenia Ostreykovskaya, who was a complete opposite of Skorik on stage - delicate, supple, uniting with the music and the mood. Yulia Stepanova who WAS The Firebird: fierce, passionate, exuberant. And it was that night indeed, where we did not accept the curtain going down and gave a long standing ovation to the performers (no standing ovation for Skorik's Swan Lake). 

 

Watching Lopatkina's Odette on youtube gave me more pleasure than seeing it live with Skorik in Copenhagen. It is just an unfair situation all around - both for Oksana and for the ballet goers.



#399 tamicute

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 01:29 PM

If the acid attack on Sergei Filin, is the greatest crime in ballet history, the 2nd greatest crime is the insane casting of Skorik in major roles. Skorik has been highly criticized by many ballet lovers for her incompetent ballet technique, her horrible Mariinsky style arms and upper body, her total lack of any stage presence, no acting ability, no flow of movements,  a complete impostor of a ballerina , a true disgrace to the Mariinsky name and an insult to all ballet lovers, who should be seeing great ballerinas, like Stepanova and constantly get Miserable Skorik shoved down their throat, and she constantly dances opening nights when the best should perform, not ballerinas who are worse than the worst corps de ballet girl.



#400 Helene

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 01:49 PM

As you can see, NATinCPH, Skorik's career and dancing has a polarizing effect on the ballet community.  Some agree with you; others find virtues in her dancing.  She's a ballet dancer whose management has cast her prominently in the greatest roles.  She is not responsible for global warming or the demise of the art form.



#401 NATinCPH

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 02:32 PM

If the acid attack on Sergei Filin, is the greatest crime in ballet history, the 2nd greatest crime is the insane casting of Skorik in major roles. Skorik has been highly criticized by many ballet lovers for her incompetent ballet technique, her horrible Mariinsky style arms and upper body, her total lack of any stage presence, no acting ability, no flow of movements,  a complete impostor of a ballerina , a true disgrace to the Mariinsky name and an insult to all ballet lovers, who should be seeing great ballerinas, like Stepanova and constantly get Miserable Skorik shoved down their throat, and she constantly dances opening nights when the best should perform, not ballerinas who are worse than the worst corps de ballet girl.

 

Sounds like you are very passionate about this topic - I can understand that! Especially having seen Stepanova right after Skorik. This experience will definitely make me follow the casting announcements much more closely and do more research before booking any tickets - especially that I was planning a trip to Moscow to catch a few Bolshoi performances. I have a lot of reading and learning to do...



#402 NATinCPH

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 02:36 PM

As you can see, NATinCPH, Skorik's career and dancing has a polarizing effect on the ballet community.  Some agree with you; others find virtues in her dancing.  She's a ballet dancer whose management has cast her prominently in the greatest roles.  She is not responsible for global warming or the demise of the art form.

Absolutely. I was just describing my impressions and disappointment from a personal point of view, not trying to demonise her or assign blame. I hope I did not come across this way and/or go against forum rules (?).



#403 tamicute

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 03:05 PM

 

If the acid attack on Sergei Filin, is the greatest crime in ballet history, the 2nd greatest crime is the insane casting of Skorik in major roles. Skorik has been highly criticized by many ballet lovers for her incompetent ballet technique, her horrible Mariinsky style arms and upper body, her total lack of any stage presence, no acting ability, no flow of movements,  a complete impostor of a ballerina , a true disgrace to the Mariinsky name and an insult to all ballet lovers, who should be seeing great ballerinas, like Stepanova and constantly get Miserable Skorik shoved down their throat, and she constantly dances opening nights when the best should perform, not ballerinas who are worse than the worst corps de ballet girl.

 

Sounds like you are very passionate about this topic - I can understand that! Especially having seen Stepanova right after Skorik. This experience will definitely make me follow the casting announcements much more closely and do more research before booking any tickets - especially that I was planning a trip to Moscow to catch a few Bolshoi performances. I have a lot of reading and learning to do...

 

Everyone has different tastes, but I have very strong opinions on what I look for in dancers and particularly with the Mariinsky, I am familiar with all their dancers and would gladly give you my opinion on every Mariinsky dancer. I am familiar with some of the Bolshoi dancers, but most of my knowledge applies to their stars with some knowledge on lesser dancers.. Anyway, I would be happy to give my recommendations and why, plus you can research on your own, various dancers.

Casting is very important because some dancers do not deserve their roles and others are more suited for certain roles, while some are great in every role.



#404 Helene

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 05:41 PM

 

As you can see, NATinCPH, Skorik's career and dancing has a polarizing effect on the ballet community.  Some agree with you; others find virtues in her dancing.  She's a ballet dancer whose management has cast her prominently in the greatest roles.  She is not responsible for global warming or the demise of the art form.

Absolutely. I was just describing my impressions and disappointment from a personal point of view, not trying to demonise her or assign blame. I hope I did not come across this way and/or go against forum rules (?).

 

 

You did not at all.  You expressed your opinion, and your disappointment about that performance is completely valid to express here.  It's always a privilege when a major company visits, but in return for the respect we give the companies, we expect a minimum standard, and, to an extent, to not have to worry about who is cast.  Sadly, our expectations aren't always met, especially when a dancer proves to be polarizing (or, at the other end of the spectrum, relatively dull).

 

I hope you will tell us about what you see in Moscow.  (If you're an opera fan, too, and get to see one while you are there, we'd love to hear about it in our "Other Performing Arts" forum.



#405 NATinCPH

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 04:55 AM


I have been devouring threads here and I cannot stop myself from logging in even at work biggrin.png. So much knowledge, amazing info and resources. I am going to read up on Bolshoi before I make any bookings and I would love to hear your recommendations as well :-).


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