Mashinka

Osipova named Principal at Royal B while staying with Mikhailovsky

83 posts in this topic

I wasn't criticizing Ms. Osipova's (or any other dancer) for wanting to make money. More power to them. I merely meant that if Osipova doesn't perform as often with ABT, there are other choices. For me personally, if she's listed on one of my subscriptions, fine. It's not that I don't enjoy her performance. But not seeing her gives me the opportunity to see what some other dancer is capable of. And that also gives me pleasure. I adored Fonteyn, but also relished seeing Nerina, Beriosova, Grey. Sometimes seeing other dancers opens our eyes and minds to new possibilities. In fact, this year I exchanged one of my Osipova "Don Q" performances (I had both) for another dancer's casting in that ballet, just so I could see a "second opinion" of the role. That for me is part of the joy of watching ballet. And like a few other posters, I would be extremely happy if the Royal were to revive a few of the works Ashton did for Fonteyn. And then bring them here. ABT probably would never revive some of them, but the Royal can. That reason alone is a good one for her being at the Royal. So maybe it's just a better fit for her.

What's not to like in London?

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I actually admire Osipova's choices more than Vishneva's. Vishneva has spent a considerable amount of time on modern dance performances, and that has distracted her from classical ballet. She has, in my opinion, wasted some of the prime years of her career on this. IN contrast, Osipova is not running around giving solo performances where she writhes on the floor or twirls around the stage with a lamp shade on her head (yes, I'm referencing the Beauty in Motion shows). Osipova at least is spending her time on seeking out important classical ballet opportunities.

I also don't fault Osipova one bit for seeking to maximize her income while she is a hot ticket. A dancer's career is short, so you have to strike while the iron's hot. As soon on your technique starts to fade, the world has moved on to the next hot young virtuoso.

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who boycotted Nureyev because he could drive a hard bargain and never picked up a dinner tab?

Well he bought me lunch in Vienna. Does that count?

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From the above Kommersant quote:

Osipova in Kommersant: http://bit.ly/Y9LxhP Royal Ballet principal her main job from now on, likes London better than NY

I'm sure she likes our money, though. That's reason enough to book tix to see anybody but Osipova, even if she jetes her way up to the moon. Hee Seo and Isabella Boylston are my choices! I don't think that they complained publicly about Moscow during ABT's own tour to Russia last year, did they?

Here is the translation of the excerpt from Osipova's interview in Kommersant (http://kommersant.ru/doc/2165603) which deals with New York. I don't see where she "complains publicly". On the contrary, she is very nice and diplomatic. It's quite natural that a European city is closer to her culturally than a North American city.

Q: Why London rather than, for instance, ABT in New York where you spend the Spring season?

A: My beloved person and teacher Irina Kolpakova is in New York, and ABT is part of my life; however, I am happy with the relationship that I currently have with them. I arrive, I dance at the Met, and I leave. At this point, I wouldn't be able to live in New York.

Q: In other words, this is related to the city?

A: Yes and no. It seems to me that I wouldn't be able to get americanized. New York is a different world, a different culture. Never say never, but London is closer to me right now.

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From the above Kommersant quote:

Osipova in Kommersant: http://bit.ly/Y9LxhP Royal Ballet principal her main job from now on, likes London better than NY

I'm sure she likes our money, though. That's reason enough to book tix to see anybody but Osipova, even if she jetes her way up to the moon. Hee Seo and Isabella Boylston are my choices! I don't think that they complained publicly about Moscow during ABT's own tour to Russia last year, did they?

Agreed. Also, Semionova is another reason to not book tickets for Osipova. She's lovely. And versatile.

I don't understand the backlashes simply because she prefers London over NY? I mean if she is leaving ABT then I'd understand the resentment.

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"I am happy with the relationship that I currently have with them. I arrive, I dance at the Met, and I leave."

Pardon me for putting it this crudely, but that formulation does sound a little "wham, bam, thank you, ma'am."

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As long as she doesn't phone in her performances, I don't think she owes anything more to anyone except her partners. ABT is full of itinerant dancers, and there have been Principals whose performances have dwindled over the years.

She's taking advantage of opportunities offered, and I don't see an issue with this. If she were to leave ABT after her current contract ends, that's her choice. ABT invested nothing in her training.

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Helene - I'm surprised at myself because I've never read any post by you that I didn't totally agree with. I don't think I can substantiate it, but this one time I don't think I agree with you. While I'm a fan of Ms. Osipova and enjoy her performances very much, there's something about her rabid company-hopping that grates. Maybe it's the "user" quality of it - what else can I get, both artistically and in terms of money. I've never met a dancer who dances for the money. Have you? One also gets a sense of little commitment. This ballet, that company, this city or that one. It makes one wonder what it is she actually cares about. Maybe ultimately it doesn't matter, but there is something about all this that makes me uneasy. A dancer's life is not just about "taking advantage of opportunities offered". That's hedge fund mentality.

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As long as she doesn't phone in her performances, I don't think she owes anything more to anyone except her partners. ABT is full of itinerant dancers, and there have been Principals whose performances have dwindled over the years.

She's taking advantage of opportunities offered, and I don't see an issue with this. If she were to leave ABT after her current contract ends, that's her choice. ABT invested nothing in her training.

I couldn't find the source right now but I read somewhere that Alessandra Ferri coached her when Osipova danced MacMillan's Juliet. That might have been an investment.

Oh, here is the source,

http://www.danceviewtimes.com/2010/07/out-and-about-abt-6197102010.html

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I think Osipova's choices are just part of 21st century ballet star-dom. We may not like it, but if we were in a position where plenty of people were making us job offers, we would try to satisfy both our financial needs, and our intellectual needs in the work place.

I think if the Mik were on stronger financial foundations, she might have stayed with the Mik and only signed a guest contract at RB. If my company's leader and major investor just filed for bankruptcy, I would also look around for a second opportunity, and only remain as a consultant at the first company.

It's not a requirement to love the city where you work. My brother is not "at home" in Chicago, but his company is based there, and he still loves his job. Not every European feels comfortable in NY (most Americans prefer to visit and then leave, just as Miss Osipova is choosing).

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Helene - I'm surprised at myself because I've never read any post by you that I didn't totally agree with. I don't think I can substantiate it, but this one time I don't think I agree with you. While I'm a fan of Ms. Osipova and enjoy her performances very much, there's something about her rabid company-hopping that grates. Maybe it's the "user" quality of it - what else can I get, both artistically and in terms of money. I've never met a dancer who dances for the money. Have you? One also gets a sense of little commitment. This ballet, that company, this city or that one. It makes one wonder what it is she actually cares about. Maybe ultimately it doesn't matter, but there is something about all this that makes me uneasy. A dancer's life is not just about "taking advantage of opportunities offered". That's hedge fund mentality.

I have been fortunate enought to see Osipova dance and every time, with every role (at ABT and Bolshoi) with complete and utter passion. Genuine depth of artistry. Lots of dancers ALSO dance for the money--do you really doubt it? especially those who can really make substantial money doing it (which is not that many)--but I agree that great dancers have other motives. To my eyes and over and over again in every performance, Osipova is obviously one such great dancer.

(Nor do I entirely find Osipova's company shifts to be artistically incomprehensible: for reasons already discussed, the Royal makes a lot of sense for her. As for ABT's investments in her--she is still going to be dancing with them; nothing requires her to be an indentured servant--except maybe, to be a little hyperbolic, that noncompete clause that they enforced to the extent of forcing the cancellation of the Mikhailovsky tour a couple of years ago much to the disappointment of many ballet fans. That wasn't an artistic decision either on ABT's part--and I don't particularly hold it against ABT. But there you have it: they also have an eye on business considerations as indeed they have to do. Disappointment at Osipova dancing less with ABT--at least for those of us who like or love her dancing--I understand. Some of the rest of the criticisms baffle me rather.)

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It's not a requirement to love the city where you work. My brother is not "at home" in Chicago, but his company is based there, and he still loves his job. Not every European feels comfortable in NY (most Americans prefer to visit and then leave, just as Miss Osipova is choosing).

I have no issue with Osipova's choices, but is it necessary to do the NY vs the rest of the US debate here? It's hard not to find some really choice words in return.

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Ah, you're taking offense too easily. The point is that NYC hosts many visitors, but only a limited number actually live there, or wish to live there permanently. Be happy about that, imagine what the rents would be if another 20 million tried to move in!

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I don't know what the relative pay is between ABT and NYCB, only that NYC and London are among the most expensive places to live. Were she guesting at Royal Ballet and living in NYC, the exchange rate would be meaningful, but it's not relevant if she's living in London.

I don't think taking opportunities always mean financial opportunities;I believe opportunities in this case are primarily artistic. I suspect she could go to Japan and do fewer guest performances and make more money. Osipova sells tickets in London as well as NYC, and it would be an intelligent move for the Royal Ballet to revive works for her, especially shorter ballets, since there's an excellent chance she can put people in seats for the triple/mixed bills by being in one of them. If that's a way for the Royal Ballet to reclaim its heritage, I think that's a win/win. She hasn't left ABT, and NY audiences will still see her.

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I think ABT has invested in her training to an extent, and to an extent she has repaid that investment. As noted above, Ferri, at ABT's expense, did train Osipova for the MacMillan Juliet. They also trained her for her first Sleeping Beauty Aurora. While she has appeared numerous times in the R&J at ABT, she has never again appeared in SB at ABT after that initial performance. (Ditto Vishneva - once and then thanks but no thanks to the ABT SB.) ABT is training Osipova for her first appearances as Sylvia this Spring at ABT, so one hopes that she would return to the role when it is revived at ABT in the future. (Vishneva trained for the role a few years ago at ABT and did it one season, but has never returned for any Sylvia performances either.) On balance, I think ABT has provided Osipova with many opportunities and first class coaching and, of course, a significant pay day, and in turn, she is responsible for significant ticket sales at ABT and creating positive buzz about the company in the press. In some ways, I'm more disappointed in Vishneva's conduct vis a vis ABT than Osipova's. Vishneva gives less and less time to ABT, and she apparently will not dance with any partner other than Gomes in a full length ballet. She may be listed as a principal, but she is more like a guest artist.

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Everything for which she was coached at ABT was realized on stage: they got immediate returns on their investment, even if she never appears with the company again, which is not her plan.

I meant her school training, not coaching. The Mariinsky or Bolshoi academies, the RDB school, and POB school choose children at a young age and pay their expenses, as well as teaching them academic subjects, for the sole purpose of creating a crop of dancers from which they can cherry pick. They invest in training: if they choose a dancer for their company, and that dancer leaves voluntarily -- I don't mean reassigned to Moscow because Stalin or Khruschev liked them -- they have a right to be crabby about it.

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I think ABT has invested in her training to an extent, and to an extent she has repaid that investment. As noted above, Ferri, at ABT's expense, did train Osipova for the MacMillan Juliet. They also trained her for her first Sleeping Beauty Aurora. While she has appeared numerous times in the R&J at ABT, she has never again appeared in SB at ABT after that initial performance. (Ditto Vishneva - once and then thanks but no thanks to the ABT SB.) ABT is training Osipova for her first appearances as Sylvia this Spring at ABT, so one hopes that she would return to the role when it is revived at ABT in the future. (Vishneva trained for the role a few years ago at ABT and did it one season, but has never returned for any Sylvia performances either.) On balance, I think ABT has provided Osipova with many opportunities and first class coaching and, of course, a significant pay day, and in turn, she is responsible for significant ticket sales at ABT and creating positive buzz about the company in the press. In some ways, I'm more disappointed in Vishneva's conduct vis a vis ABT than Osipova's. Vishneva gives less and less time to ABT, and she apparently will not dance with any partner other than Gomes in a full length ballet. She may be listed as a principal, but she is more like a guest artist.

Well, Ms. Vishneva is a tad older now and may find it necessary to choose her roles more carefully. Given this year's ABT rep perhaps there's less to choose from for her. And who can blame her for saying nyet to the abominable version of "Sleeping Beauty" that is ABT's ?

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Helene - This ending quote from today's NYT review of Ratmansky's Romeo in London speaks to what I meant about Osipova's company-and-rep hopping.

"By contrast, the crowd scenes — where most versions of “Romeo” lapse into cliché — are entirely fresh. The whole production confirms that Mr. Ratmansky is the most gifted choreographer specializing in classical ballet today. Yet you can’t help wanting him to stay in one spot with one company around the year and mold its dancers fully as expressive instruments."

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Ratmansky would never stay in one spot with one company for monetary reasons and for artistic reasons - the reasons that motivate dancers. Don't forget that NYCB offered Ratmansky a choreographer in residence position, but he turned it down because it was too restrictive and required him to spend too much time at NYCB. (The gobs of money that Ratmansky is making by selling his talent around the globe was never specifically mentioned as a reason for turning down the NYCB job, but it seems obvious that was part of the motive.)

The comment about "molding" the dancers to a particular choreographer's style seems most apt when I look at Paul Taylor's works. When you view Paul Taylor's work performed by his own company of dancers, it looks vastly different than when performed by another company. Ditto Martha Graham works.

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re: Ratmansky and NYCB, just where has it been stated that the reason plans to hire Ratmansky as NYCB resident choreographer fell through from his side?

if memory serves, NYCB did not, finally, extend the offer because it wasn't ready to have him in the position vacated by Wheeldon as he kept commitments to commissions to various other companies for new ballets in the works at that time.

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Ratmansky would never stay in one spot with one company for monetary reasons and for artistic reasons - the reasons that motivate dancers. Don't forget that NYCB offered Ratmansky a choreographer in residence position, but he turned it down because it was too restrictive and required him to spend too much time at NYCB. (The gobs of money that Ratmansky is making by selling his talent around the globe was never specifically mentioned as a reason for turning down the NYCB job, but it seems obvious that was part of the motive.)

The "gobs of money" motivation doesn't seem obvious to me. He could make a lot more by not having a long-term contract with ABT and not having to be based in one of the most expensive cities in the world, where being given prime real estate is not part of the deal.

Ratmansky reminds me much more of Jerome Robbins, with an anchor to one company, in Ratmansky's case ABT, but with enough freedom to take on projects elsewhere. Ratmansky's projects are ballet-focused, unlike all of Robbins', but he gets to work with great artists and decide whether he likes the conditions and the atmosphere before doing more work with them. He gets to experiment and then to cherry pick.

if memory serves, NYCB did not, finally, extend the offer because it wasn't ready to have him in the position vacated by Wheeldon as he kept commitments to commissions to various other companies for new ballets in the works at that time.

I think, though, if both sides wanted to work it out, the appointment could have been delayed for a couple of years so that Ratmansky could have fulfilled his commitments and cleared his calendar.

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I imagine just about every company hankers after a Ratmansky ballet in the rep. His recent work for the Royal was sublime, and although not my favourite version, his R&J that I saw last week was hugely impressive. His situation is very different from Osipova's who I suspect is doing the rounds of several companies until she finds the right fit.

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