tamicute

Yulia Stepanova

313 posts in this topic

I bought a ticket for the August 5th performance, now we only have to hope casting will not change. Unfortunately the past tells us that casting in the Russian companies is unsure until the curtain goes up..

Share this post


Link to post

I just posted a review of her second Swan Lake under the 2014 White Nights thread. I think you will be happy you purchased tickets for her.

Share this post


Link to post

The unsteadiness of her free leg was surprising, as was the lack of musicality.

That must be the effect of a really poor quality of the video. She is one of the more musical dancers I saw. I snatched a really good ticket for her «Swan Lake» in London which means I will be making travel arrangements soon. I saw her many times in «Swan Lake» before, unfortunately in all but one cases as one of the four Big Swans or dancing Spanish Dance.

Share this post


Link to post

Rehearsing «Sylvia» in the middle, and «Swan Lake» with Xander Parish

fs-zzoOyqHg.jpg

Share this post


Link to post

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

Yes, I am going to Yulia's rescheduled performance on 2nd August, and will report back. There is much buzz about her here in the UK, and every poster outside the Royal Opera House is of Yulia as The Firebird, which she is performing on 11th August! Finally, rightfully, this wonderful ballerina is getting some of the attention she deserves.

Share this post


Link to post

Breathlessly awaiting Tiara's report from Stepanova's SL!

Share this post


Link to post

Yulia Stepanova's Swan Lake performance on 2nd August is the best Odette/Odile I ever saw. I am very happy to have been there and only wish she could be filmed in this role, so that everybody could see it. She entered to silence from the audience, but by the end of the White Swan adagio, the audience was applauding and cheering and bravo-ing. I think never on the Covent Garden stage has there been a ballerina who has the totally instinctive and natural flow of movement and suppleness throughout her upper body and arms. Her arms and hands were truly breathtaking and moving seamlessly and gracefully throughout. Her expression was so moving and her natural grace and the dignity in sorrow of a swan queen shone so eloquently. I saw her debut in St Petersburg and told my friend then that she was the greatest Odette/Odile I have seen, and this third Swan Lake of hers was even better. The pas de deux with Xander Parish were even more harmonious. Certainly the high lifts were beautiful, and the partnered pirouettes were better - two 5 and one 6 pirouettes amongst them. Yulia followed Siegfried with her eyes and spoke to him through her eloquent mime so beautifully! She acted and reacted so instinctively with Siegfried, Rothbart, her swan companions. She truly becomes the character on stage. Especially in the final act, the way she looked to Siegfried for protection was so moving. I have never see the section of arabesques where she is faltering through weakness in Rothbart's presence done so well. Her acting was amazing. Yulia's white swan variation was just a miracle of softly flowing arms. Her lines in arabesque were beautiful, her musicality exceptional. All her turns are rock steady and centred. It is impossible to believe looking at her dance that she is not a principal. She clearly should be.

Odile was sensual, haughty, queenly, delighting in her wickedness and sure of her affect on Siegfried. The variation was musical and nuanced and technically she is superb. In the famed fouette sequence she did single single double 6 times, then singles to the end, which was a double. They were perfect! The final diagonale was sharp and incisive. At the end of the act her expression when she threw the flowers straight at the hapless Siegfried was pure gleeful, malicious triumph.

It was a magnificent performance and Yulia's whole demeanour throughout, at her curtain calls and when she greeted her fans backstage with her gentle dignity, was what truly befits a Great Ballerina.

I must also mention the high jumping, glamorous Rothbart of Ermakov and also the absolutely charming and brilliant Prince's Friend of Anastasia Nikitina, who had to do a very quick change to appear as a swan in the next scene. Also, Oksana Marchuk sparkled with her husband, Oleg Demchenko, in the Neapolitan, and Oksana also was one of the four little swans. Anastasia Petushkova smouldered with fiery abandon in the Spanish. Finally, the corps were on impeccable form and they are one of the glories of the Mariinsky troupe, with their uniformity of style and harmonious movements.

I am so honoured and happy to have seen this great Swan Lake.

Share this post


Link to post

Tiara - Thank you for your thorough review. How I wish I had been there! Do you suppose any of the critics heard the buzz about Yulia? It seems that the audience appreciated her performance. I've always been so impressed with her port de bras and the incredible, almost talking suppleness of her back, on top of her marvellous technique. I've never seen anyone inhabit her character so completely that I actually forget she's performing, even though I've only ever seen her on YT.

Perhaps Stepanova will come to NYC one of these days and i might get to see her.The Bolshoi came to Toronto a couple of years ago (not sure that will ever happen again) but I want to see the Mariinsky so badly.

Thanks again!

Share this post


Link to post

...Do you suppose any of the critics heard the buzz about Yulia? It seems that the audience appreciated her performance....

I have found the reviews below (I expect there may be more coming); all of them focus a great deal on Parish --for understandable reasons, but...

http://www.standard.co.uk/goingout/theatre/swan-lakemariinsky-ballet-royal-opera-house--dance-review-9645751.html

http://dancetabs.com/2014/08/mariinsky-ballet-swan-lake-stepanova-parish-cast-london/

http://www.theartsdesk.com/dance/swan-lake-mariinsky-ballet-royal-opera-house-0

Video of curtain calls in London and some footage of Stepanova at the stage door:

My thanks to everyone for posting about Stepanova's performance ... I have seen her in small roles, but look forward to seeing her one day in a major role.

Share this post


Link to post

I haven't seen any nervousness: delicacy of movement is not a sign of 'nervousness', being a Coriphée is not a sign of being 'quite junior for principal roles'.

Share this post


Link to post

After Stepanova's repeat of her «Swan Lake» on July 6, for several days I couldn't find the words for what I witnessed. It finally occurred to me that I saw a preparatory sketch of a future masterpiece and that we were going to see many more such preparatory sketches, which does not detract from the joy and excitement of witnessing how they appear.

Interestingly, Sarah Crompton in a joint review of Lopatkina's and Stepanova's «Swan Lakes» says:

"her performance was full of lovely things but it felt like a sketch not an interpretation."

If by 'interpretation', one understands a finished piece, then I absolutely agree. Seeing preparatory sketches of masters is a privilege.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/theatre/dance/11012697/Swan-Lake-Mariinsky-Ballet-Royal-Opera-House-review-a-delight.html

Crompton, I suppose, hasn't seen Stepanova before. She is not familiar with her unusually delicate manner of dancing, and last Saturday Yulia was ethereally delicate. Seeing a newcomer dancing this way could be construed as 'nerves and a lack of confidence in her own technique'. No signs of nervousness like momentary lapses were discernible to me, however, I was sitting very close and would have caught any one of them. The performance was remarkably free from any lapses. Moreover, Stepanova is renowned for its solid and very reliable technique. Her lowly rank in the Mariinsky ballet hierarchy has nothing to do with her ballerina skills but, of course, busy newspaper critics cannot know about it.

Share this post


Link to post

I can assure you the British do appreciate delicacy, subtlety, gentleness and poetry, it seems you are casting aspersions on London audiences simply because your favourite dancer didn't get the response you hoped for.

Yes - I realize the British CAN appreciate delicacy, subtlety, gentleness and poetry! I am British myself. On this occasion, however, plainly some British critics did not, for whatever reasons.

Share this post


Link to post

Yes, I can confirm that there were certainly many cheers from the audience for Yulia's White Swan and throughout the performance.

Share this post


Link to post

A comparison:

and:

Stepanova barely bothers to articulate the little beats of the leg in the final moments of the adagio (at 13:20), whereas Lopatkina clearly uses her free leg and foot in a beautiful fluttering movement (at 8:05).

Share this post


Link to post

And what is this supposed to prove? That Stepanova is not delicate, refined, or poetic?

Share this post


Link to post

And what is this supposed to prove? That Stepanova is not delicate, refined, or poetic?

No, just saying it's an iconic move in O/O that Stepanova hasn't mastered yet, so maybe criticisms of her performance aren't just out of ignorance or stupidity.

Share this post


Link to post

And what is this supposed to prove? That Stepanova is not delicate, refined, or poetic?

No, just saying it's an iconic move in O/O that Stepanova hasn't mastered yet, so maybe criticisms of her performance aren't just out of ignorance or stupidity.

Actually, I must say here that I have seen all three of Yulia's Swan Lakes - her debut in St Petersburg and the third one in London actually in person, and her second performance on video, and her frappes in London were better than her debut.

Share this post


Link to post

If she didn't do it because she "hasn't mastered yet", I assume this means it was too difficult for her. What if this is a variant in the choreogrophic text you are not aware of?

Share this post


Link to post

If she didn't do it because she "hasn't mastered yet", I assume this means it was too difficult for her. What if this is a variant in the choreogrophic text you are not aware of?

Well she doesn't delete the frappes, she just doesn't articulate them very well. If it's a variant, I must say it's a variant that no O/O I've ever seen has tried to delete from the choreography, so I don't know what you're getting at exactly.

Share this post


Link to post

If she didn't do it because she "hasn't mastered yet", I assume this means it was too difficult for her. What if this is a variant in the choreogrophic text you are not aware of?

Well she doesn't delete the frappes, she just doesn't articulate them very well. If it's a variant, I must say it's a variant that no O/O I've ever seen has tried to delete from the choreography, so I don't know what you're getting at exactly.

Variants are also in 'degrees'.

Share this post


Link to post

Okay this must be the "doing a step very poorly in comparison with other Odettes" variant then.

Here's Asylmuratova at 6:25:

Alina Somova at 11:33:

Very different dancers from different eras, but both clearly take the free leg/foot to create a gentle fluttering effect. Asylmuratova even speeds up the frappes after each supported pirouette, to create the impression of an ever more urgently fluttering heart. Neither of them let the free leg hang close to the ankle the way Stepanova does.

Share this post


Link to post

Just so I understand, a comparison of dancers is now a contest between the way they handle one specific detail of the choreography in one performance?

Share this post


Link to post