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Yulia Stepanova

313 posts in this topic

It is unfortunate when a dancer or athlete or other serious performer becomes more associated with his or her fans' behavior rather than accomplishments, especially when that behavior is off-putting and causes a backlash and/or others from taking them seriously. Of course some of that is cultural, and a dancer with a mostly local career and fan base might not care what the rest of us think.

It's a tough position that they're in though: like singers who refuse to pay the claque, they risk having the involved fans turn their energies against them if they protest.

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I think that in the age of social media platforms, a dancer has to be hyper vigilant that he or she is being represented well by her fanbase. Most performers IMO do a great job of this: I have seen inappropriately disparaging remarks about other dancers or singers quickly deleted on social media pages. I'm not saying Stepanova is responsible for the rabid behavior of her fans, maybe just that she sgould have been more vigilant and careful about how she was being represented.

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I don't think any of us should judge a dancer for what fans say or do or what gossip is out there. I also do not think we should accuse a dancer of putting information out there unless we have solid 100% proof that she or he is leaking info. To accuse someone of that seems slanderous to me.

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I had false totally incorrect information published in newspapers and talked about among co-workers when I was fighting against what I felt was a witch hunt at a former employer. I had no control over the misinformation and I can only imagine now with social media it is even harder to control what is said. I never forgot the people who told lies and spread misinformation and accused me wrongly. It was unbelievably hurtful. But there is no time in life to correct every lie that people say about you and you are often adding fuel to the fire if you do. I do not think we should say some dancer is an extreme example of leaking info unless we can cite actual tweets or quotes that can be proven to be from the person.

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I don't think there has been anything much "leaked" at all. To the contrary, the Mariinksy press office gave the information that she was leaving soon. Stepanova does not run that Facebook page, and on her Instagram, she is nothing but gracious.

I agree, all these fans urging each other to pester Mariinsky etc. is very annoying, but in general the story around her is simply "Why isn't she getting better parts? What a disgrace!" Hardly confidential.

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Many of us had heard the rumor.

Perhaps the question is, if these rumors are circulating, what is their source? Why are they circulating at all?

I can certainly sympathize with Mashinka's feeling. I hardly know anything about Stepanova as a dancer, but her fan base is unlike anything I've encountered before. I have difficulty seeing how it could be good for Stepanova or for ballet.

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Maria Callas and Renata Tebaldi had rabid fans (both sides) and many other singers and dancers do. This happens in the arts. People are often very divided on many of the "Greatest" artists.

I actually think it is normal and doesn't hurt the art forms.

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It does sometimes hurt the individual artist however.

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As you have undoubtedly noticed, the tone among ballet fans tends to be more genteel and measured than what you'll find among some opera fans. I can’t go near the opera discussion boards (and as my moniker suggests, I am unafraid of confrontation). Frankly, I wouldn’t want that sort of hysteria to infect ballet discussions.

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Well, my point is that in Russia, it seems more normal to have "professional fans." There was a NYTimes article awhile back on paid claques:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/18/arts/dance/designated-cheering-spectators-thrive-at-the-bolshoi-theater.html?smid=pl-share

With that knowledge in mind, I do think a Russian ballerina is going to get more scrutiny if a particularly rabid fanbase starts overtaking various social media forms.

And to put this in perspective, I once said in a public forum (not here) that I had talked to a certain artist and that he was indeed very sick and had canceled due to genuine indisposition. The next day I got a polite but firm message on Facebook for me not to put any private convos out on public forums, no matter how innocuous it may seem. I heeded that advice and asked the moderator to delete my comment.

My point is, artists are aware of social media and I'm sure they're aware of what's being put out there, and they're aware of the positive or negative effects it can have.

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I agree they are aware of it, but I don't think they can control it, but I think when you say that Yulia Stepanova is an "extreme" example of being close to fans and saying she leaks Mariinsky information, you need to provide proof of where you are getting that. To me it is calling her professionalism up to question, and I had a boss do that exact thing about me very publicly and I fought hard for an apology in a very public way. So for me this is a very sensitive subject. I was devastated that my professionalism was called into question in what I considered a witch hunt. So when I read that earlier today I have to say it shocked me. I am just saying how it could feel to Yulia Stepanova. Fans posting what they know may or may not be the truth. Her Facebook page is run by a fan also, so that is not her giving info out.

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Okay maybe I should reword it. I think she's an extreme example of a dancer where the fans feel comfortable being very aggressive online and leaking Mariinsky information and also disparaging other dancers in the company. Whether or not it comes from her, I don't really know. But some info comes from people who certainly THINK they know all about the daily ins and outs of Mariinsky company life.

I mean, this isn't TMZ or perezhilton. These are her self-identified fans. I guess I have a hard time believing that the fans could be acting all on their own, especially when professional fandom is indeed a business in Russia.

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(Sorry, I'm having trouble with multiple quotes.)

Many of us had heard the rumor.

Perhaps the question is, if these rumors are circulating, what is their source? Why are they circulating at all?

They are circulating among fans. In general, someone will claim to have talked to a person directly and claim that they were told X. Others will hear something second- or third-hand in various versions. Others will put several pieces of information together and think they've come to the right conclusion Sometimes this is discussed among fans through phone, IM, PM, texting, Skype, etc., and sometimes rumors are posted or hinted at on social media, YouTube comments, discussion boards etc.

As to why, sometimes people want to be the first to know or be the Biggest Fan or the most in the know, or to make sure their friends don't buy tickets and be disappointed, etc. etc. Sometimes there are strategic leaks, and not necessarily by the person being spoken about. The usual.

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Well, my point is that in Russia, it seems more normal to have "professional fans." There was a NYTimes article awhile back on paid claques:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/18/arts/dance/designated-cheering-spectators-thrive-at-the-bolshoi-theater.html?smid=pl-share

The article says nothing about Stepanova employing a paid claquer. To insinuate that she has, or that her overzealous fans are paid-for-hire, or that because everyone is doing it means she might, without an official source for it, is against our policy. Do not do it again.

Okay maybe I should reword it. I think she's an extreme example of a dancer where the fans feel comfortable being very aggressive online and leaking Mariinsky information and also disparaging other dancers in the company. Whether or not it comes from her, I don't really know. But some info comes from people who certainly THINK they know all about the daily ins and outs of Mariinsky company life.

I mean, this isn't TMZ or perezhilton. These are her self-identified fans. I guess I have a hard time believing that the fans could be acting all on their own, especially when professional fandom is indeed a business in Russia.

The only thing we know is that she has volatile fans on social media sites, including a Facebook page that tries to make people think it is official. As far as the motivation of her fans on non-official media, or where they get their info, or what they think they know, those are not valid discussion points here. The re-wording is no more acceptable that the initial post.

And to put this in perspective, I once said in a public forum (not here) that I had talked to a certain artist and that he was indeed very sick and had canceled due to genuine indisposition. The next day I got a polite but firm message on Facebook for me not to put any private convos out on public forums, no matter how innocuous it may seem. I heeded that advice and asked the moderator to delete my comment.

This describes the main reason why we have an official news policy.

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In what I have read in English I have never seen anything I would consider evidence that Stepanova sanctions let alone encourages any of the polemizing around her. And indeed she would have to know English to know the stuff I'm reading.

I do think it can only hurt her for the Mariinsky even to suspect she does (and they may), especially since the rhetoric often goes way beyond "why aren't they casting her?"

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art is like ice cream, we all have our own favorite flavors.

off%20topic.gif This is true when it comes to favorite flavors, yet some ice creams do really have more fat content than others.

Was I off topic? Well, perhaps I wasn't as specific as I meant to be. La Stepanova may be the best thing since ice cream was invented, but some may disagree. After all, my mother adores coconut in her ice cream, which sounds like eating sour cardboard to me. But I still respect her love of icecream.

Anyway, I think this concept of rabid fans is not new, but rabid fans on social media is very new and no one knows exactly how to manage it well, or how it could end badly. It would be a shame if an emerging artist gets better known for the bad actions of her rabid fanbase than for the artistry and suspension of disbelief when we see her portraying a character on stage.

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Also with social media, you really don't know how many fans are involved. Anyone who can create a free email account can sign up for a Facebook account, gmail accounts are tied to YouTube accounts, and the number of actual individuals creating and replying to threads can be a lot lower than the number of usernames that are having discussions with themselves.

I would take these with a giant salt-shaker.

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Anyone got wind of official word about Yulia's next move yet? I really hope we'll get to see more of her soon.

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She is also listed as being with Stanislavsky since 2014, because she actually joined in December, and the website was updated yesterday.

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At least they landed in a decent company, albeit one that rarely tours to Western Europe and the Americas.

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I hope they try to develop her more than the Mariinsky failed to do. If she gains acclaim there I wonder if they'll ask for her back like they did with Shapran since they seem to not see talent until it thrives and gets popular elsewhere.

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I hope they try to develop her more than the Mariinsky failed to do. If she gains acclaim there I wonder if they'll ask for her back like they did with Shapran since they seem to not see talent until it thrives and gets popular elsewhere.

I hope so, too. I love her in everything she does, and I have seen her in all her major roles.

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Yulia is no more listed on the roster of Stanislavsky. And neither is her husband. Does anyone know what is happened?

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