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Yulia Stepanova

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I just signed onto Ballet Alert because I saw no topic on Yulia Stepanova. Being a ballet fan in my 70s, I was introduced to Ballet Alert by a friend, just as I was introduced by a friend to the marvelous Youtube videos which introduced me to an amazing young ballerina, Yulia Stepanova.

I had no ballet training, but before my 20th birthday in 1961, a friend invited me to my first ballet performance. It was the Kirov Ballet dancing Swan Lake in their first visit to the USA. I fell in love with ballet immediately and although I have seen many other ballet companies, for me, there is none to compare with the Kirov Ballet, now known as Mariinsky Ballet.

During Soviet times, I visited Leningrad several times and always watched the Kirov Ballet. However, since the fall of communism, i never returned, but have seen many Kirov tours in recent years with my last visits to Costa Mesa and Berkeley for last October's Swan Lake.

I was first introduced to Youtube in 2009 and I cannot remember if it was 2009 or 2010 when my eyes first saw a video of Yulia Stepanova, but I immediately saw a ballerina unlike any my eyes have ever seen. i am not talking about technique because today's dancers excel in technique, but every little movement from her finger tips to the top of her head, had special meaning, even better than all the great ballerinas who I saw at the Kirov Theatre many years ago.

I initially purchased tickets to the California Swan Lakes, hoping to see Yulia Stepanova dance Odette/Odile. Two of the three Swan Queens were vastly inferior to all the Swan Queens I have seen dancing as a Kirov ballerina and the one who i liked, was the lowest regarded of the three, Anastasia Kolegova. My biggest disappointment and a big shock, was that Yulia Stepanova did dance in every performance, but all she did was one of 4 Big Swans and in the Spanish dance, which is not a classical ballerina role.

I am bewildered. Why is Yulia Stepanova not a big star?

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I am bewildered too. The clips on YouTube show an incredible dancer. I believe some clips have been removed. This is someone born to dance Odette/Odile!

I like many of the Principals at the Mariinsky but Stepanova would probably outclass every single one of them if given a chance. She has authority in roles like Lilac Fairy where she signals Carabosse to scram. Technically great but also an incredible actress!

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Great news! I hope someone in the audience will document and put it up on Youtube... In fact I am sure someone will.

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Long long overdue!!! Congratulations Julia! Wish I could be there to see it in person, but I second that someone will post on YouTube.

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I've seen the video where she dances in the corps during the Kingdom of the Shades. I wouldn't say she outclassed the entire corps, but there just was something special about her.

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That was fast! Thank you for posting.

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Having heard great things about Stepanova I must admit I found the clip disappointing. The unsteadiness of her free leg was surprising, as was the lack of musicality. She seemed to be going from pose to pose without any inner life, and the iconic steps weren't well articulated. In particular, those final beats on the leg in the White Swan pas de deux were hardly done at all. Her jump also seems very weak. But it is a first-night performance and I can only imagine the nerves. I have no doubt she will grow in this role.

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Her Odile. I like it much more. I love the fact that she did the double frappes in the variation:

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I've now watched the famous Odette duet posted above by artsong perhaps 15 times, initially out of admiration for the portrayal by her partner, Xander Parish, and I've come to appreciate her more and more. I think that she is extremely beautiful here. I almost always focus completely on the ballerina in this duet. For the first time in years my attention is shared with both. I think that they have found a very good balance of mutual support and interaction.

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I just noticed that Yulia will dance Odette/Odile in London on Tuesday, August 5. I would so love to be there! Of course, Skoryk is opening - so disappointing as the critics probably won't see Yulia. At least she's getting some good roles now. Thank you to whoever posted the link to the ROB site as you can click through to see who's dancing when. Also, she's dancing Firebird on August 11th. There's a video of that performance with Ilya Kuznetsov on YT. i'll try to post a link.

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Having heard great things about Stepanova I must admit I found the clip disappointing. The unsteadiness of her free leg was surprising, as was the lack of musicality. She seemed to be going from pose to pose without any inner life, and the iconic steps weren't well articulated. In particular, those final beats on the leg in the White Swan pas de deux were hardly done at all. Her jump also seems very weak. But it is a first-night performance and I can only imagine the nerves. I have no doubt she will grow in this role.

I was present at this debut, and rate Stepanova's Odette/Odile as the best I have seen. Her portrayal was truly miraculous - there is no other dancer in Mariinsky who has her expressiveness, her beautiful arms and upper body and the flow of arms. Her Odette was tender, gentle and feminine, flowing through her movement and her Odile was bewitching and glamorous with particularly fine variation and great fouettes. It was an unbelievable performance, and she had great applause from the audience and also an unbelievable amount of flowers. I count myself lucky to have seen what is a historic debut!

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Thanks for the heads up! Since my birthday is on August 4th, I think I might treat myself a trip to London.. smile.png

I also saw Kondaurova's second performance of Swan Lake back in 2009, will be interesting to compare.

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I'm very much hoping (and actually expecting) it will be vastly superior. Kondaurova's Odile was exciting, but Odette was empty.

Now I only hope that casting won't be changed. I would accept (but still be disappointed) to see Somova, Kolegova or Lopatkina; I just would't want to make the trip (and spend the €€) to London for you-know-who.

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I would so love to see Stepanova live in London! I thought that, in addition to her strong technique (esp. her arms/upper body), her acting was fabulous, although I only saw the videos on YT. She makes every step seem fresh and exciting. Her musicality is exceptional. It must have been a great pleasure for Ilya to dance with her at her O/O debut after so many years of waiting. I hope Yulia will be given many more opportunities to dance O/O.

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Since it is now only a month until Stepanova's London Odette/Odile, is anyone able to attend and report back?

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