Jump to content


Joy Womack has left the Bolshoialleges corruption


  • Please log in to reply
274 replies to this topic

#241 canbelto

canbelto

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,842 posts

Posted 25 November 2013 - 07:24 AM

Joy Womack has her own youtube channel:

 

http://www.youtube.c...&view=0&sort=dd

 

You can view her dancing there.



#242 swanchat

swanchat

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 38 posts

Posted 25 November 2013 - 07:41 AM

I can't judge (don't have the expertise or experience of watching either Kampa or Womack live) but there are differences. Keenan is older and had two years of professional experience when she joined the Mariinsky; Womack was fresh out of school.  The AD of Boston Ballet called Kampa a major talent unlike the AD of Bolshoi who called Womack "persistent." In BB's online literature, Kampa is also quoted as understanding the need to "fit in" the corps. Womack says she's been told she doesn't fit in the corps and uses this as an excuse to say she's only fit for solo roles. Kampa's also quoted on the BB site, “I’ve been struggling with only doing corps stuff, freaking myself out a little from not being able to do solo stuff, worried I might lose that part of my artistry and technique,’’ ... “But after class, I sometimes work on my own.’’ Then this, "she is happy the company offers much more room for promotion than she would have had if she had stayed in Russia. In addition to corps work, she’s rehearsing an “Arabian’’ solo that she might perform in “The Nutcracker.’’  I read the last statement as she was covering "Arabian" and hoping to have the opportunity to do it. Keenan was working and under contract with BB when the Mariinsky offered her a contract fulfilling her life-long dream to work at the Mariinsky. If the "Kampa Madness" has tempered, it will be interesting to see if this level-headedness will get her through slugging it out in the corps there. That experience is not unique to Russia.



#243 seniordancer

seniordancer

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 15 posts

Posted 25 November 2013 - 01:30 PM

I cannot imagine that Joy Womack's problems within the Bolshoi Company have ever had to do with her technical skills. As much as the Bolshoi Academy may enjoy to collect tuition from their foreign students, the school's first and foremost priority has always been - and in my opinion, will always be - to produce extraordinary dancers. I can imagine that each and every girl that graduates from this academy would be capable of awing an audience with her brilliant technique, if she were given a chance to do so, as Womack was in the Kennedy Center event. I mean, the Vaganova Academy has this 10-year-old, Lada Sartakova, who is able to do 32 double fouettés en pointe. Certainly awesome (and scary!) but not art. And I think Womack's problems were of artistic nature. On the one hand, a 19-year-old girl cannot be expected to be a ballet artist on stage, but on the other hand, this has to be expected from a 19-year-old who wants to dance solo parts on the Bolshoi stage. And the responsible parties that chose the soloists for available roles don't have much patience and I don't blame them for that. They have seen 1.234 Paquita renditions this year alone and as one of my teachers pointed out to me when I was a young dancer: "Picture a ballet director as an arrogant old gentleman from the High Society, who has seen it all, knows it all, and has all the money, all the experience and all the knowledge a person can have. Thank the gods if he doesn't yawn while you dance." And yet, time and again, it happens. That arrogant fictional person sees Paquita number 1.235 and suddenly, he jumps from his seat and is delirious with delight. Not because of beautifully shaped feet, wonderful extension or perfect port de bras (he has seen that 1.234 times before) but because of something else - IT. And IT is something different, something that moves and touches him, something beyond words.

 

In my opinion, Womack was still lacking this IT factor during her time with the Bolshoi and by asking for solo parts instead of trying to find her place in the corps, she forced people to take a look at her that disappointed them because it was too early for that look.
 



#244 Helene

Helene

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10,995 posts

Posted 25 November 2013 - 02:12 PM

*If* she was hired as a soloist (or a demi-soloist rank that is listed as corps) with the explicit expectation that she'd be doing solo roles and wouldn't be doing corps roles, then I don't think it's arrogant to want to dance what one had been hired to do. If she misinterpreted getting a contract for a great love for her dancing and read something into it that wasn't there, then that is her issue. However, the company was under no obligation to give her what she wanted, and she is hardly the only dancer in the company who is contracted and dances rarely.

From the reaction of one of her colleagues on Facebook, and the comments of a Bolshoi staff member (cited earlier in this thread) she had been given a chance to be in the corps roles, but wasn't an effective corps member. Either she was cast in the corps early, and it didn't work out, and later when she asked for corps roles again, the feedback was based in experience, or she was only recently cast in the corps, and she was told it wasn't working out, and she wouldn't get more corps roles. If the latter, it could have taken a while to make the mental switch to learning a lot of different corps roles after being on the sidelines for a while, in a way it wouldn't be for a more experienced corps member.
 

Womack says she's been told she doesn't fit in the corps and uses this as an excuse to say she's only fit for solo roles.

She said that she was told that she doesn't fit into the corps when she offered to do corps roles.  That doesn't sound to me like someone who is insisting on doing solos only.
 
What I haven't heard her say in any of the interviews to date is, "They're wrong, and it's only an excuse to keep me out." or "After getting this advice, I spent a lot of time to adjust."  Since we have no timeline, she may have left (or not have had her contract extended) before she had a chance, or she may have disagreed.

#245 swanchat

swanchat

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 38 posts

Posted 25 November 2013 - 02:54 PM

Womack says she's been told she doesn't fit in the corps and uses this as an excuse to say she's only fit for solo roles.

She said that she was told that she doesn't fit into the corps when she offered to do corps roles.  That doesn't sound to me like someone who is insisting on doing solos only.

 
Thank you for the clarification. Things are a little blurry in this situation.

#246 Natalia

Natalia

    Rubies Circle

  • Foreign Correspondent
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,388 posts

Posted 25 November 2013 - 03:13 PM

This is very strange, as Joy was very happy doing corps work during her first season at the Bolshoi. (I subscribed to her Twitter and InstaPhoto accounts...always very proud of being in the corps in Emeralds, etc.)  Unless she suddenly became this egomaniatical monster during her 2nd season, it would be totally contrary to the character that she has displayed through the end of the 2012/2013 season, which was her first season as a pro. This excuse that she 'doesn't fit into the corps' is so lame, so ludicrous. Yes, she has a distinctive face with strong features (very beautiful, IMO) but her physique is absolutely of the mold seen in all Russian ballet companies.

 

Keenan Kampa *is* indeed very different from the usual Russian corps mold, as she is rather big-boned, in the back, and quite tall. She is a beautiful tall lady with a huge jump. I am happy to read that she may be performing Arabian in Nutcracker, as this would be an ideal role for a statuesque dancer with long limbs and bold moves.

 

Joy, unlike Keenan, would fit easily, perfectly into a corps de ballet (not that she doesn't have the ability to eventually do solo roles).



#247 vipa

vipa

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,042 posts

Posted 25 November 2013 - 03:23 PM

 

Womack says she's been told she doesn't fit in the corps and uses this as an excuse to say she's only fit for solo roles.

She said that she was told that she doesn't fit into the corps when she offered to do corps roles.  That doesn't sound to me like someone who is insisting on doing solos only.

 
Thank you for the clarification. Things are a little blurry in this situation.

 

It is very confusing I heard her say in an interview that she was a soloist, but she was always listed in corps on the Bolshoi web site.  Also, it's hard to judge a dancer from a few youtube clips, but to me she seem like a strong dancer, but not special.  There are many strong dancers who are in the corps of every ballet company.



#248 Helene

Helene

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10,995 posts

Posted 25 November 2013 - 03:27 PM

It's getting harder and harder to figure out who said what when. I could draw different conclusions from the quotes in the article in "The Australian" and earlier interviews, for example.

Whatever the underlying reason(s) was, it's clear from the casting that Womack was being marginalized during this 6-month contract, compared to her first season.

#249 volcanohunter

volcanohunter

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,856 posts

Posted 30 November 2013 - 10:33 PM

Izvestia has obtained a copy of Joy Womack's contract for September 2013-March 2014, signed by Vladimir Urin in October, and the attorneys who have looked at it said it afforded her very few rights. It's difficult for me to say anything about it; perhaps attorneys on the board would like to put the article through a translator and take a crack at it. But from what I understand she was a contract worker rather than an employee, and the agreement does identify her as a soloist. Basically, the theater was obliged to pay her for services rendered, but was not obliged to give her work. The contract stated that she would be paid 1,400 RUB ($42) per working day, but it did not specify how many working days she would get. The theater also reserved the right to use film of Womack's performances at the Bolshoi indefinitely and without compensation. The article notes that the agreement seems to have been sloppily prepared, with typing and grammatical mistakes.

 

http://izvestia.ru/n...288381481237582



#250 abatt

abatt

    Sapphire Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,528 posts

Posted 02 December 2013 - 07:04 AM

Essentially, she was an independent contractor.  Why would she agree to such a contract rather than the same type of contract other corps memebers receive?  Wasn't anybody advising her?  Was she so desperate to become a affiliated with the Bolshoi that all financial and monetary considerations were thrown to the winds?



#251 Helene

Helene

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10,995 posts

Posted 02 December 2013 - 10:49 AM

Considering how little her contemporaries made, and how the chief battle that Dmitrichenko won was to distribute the lowest-level bonus money to the dancers who hadn't been dancing/cast, one could ask the same question of most of the corps. Womack was living rent free with a friend. She spoke about having a contract that yielded about 500/mo, or about 12 days/month under the terms of this contract, but that might have been under her prior six-month contract; from her descriptions, she was dancing a lot less recently.

She says she left the company. If it's the case as she hadn't been fired, as one report from the Russian movement stated several times, then, yes, she did, until she didn't, but money isn't one of the reasons she gave. Nor was dancing very little or living on someone's couch. She said she left because when she tried to find out how she could dance more, she was told she'd have to buy roles and to get a sponsor to pay for them and try to use his influence.

As far as being advised, she entered into a sham marriage over her parents' objections. I'm not sure whose advice she would have heeded, and it's not as if she had bargaining power within the Bolshoi.

#252 seniordancer

seniordancer

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 15 posts

Posted 02 December 2013 - 02:30 PM

Essentially, she was an independent contractor.  Why would she agree to such a contract rather than the same type of contract other corps memebers receive?  Wasn't anybody advising her?  Was she so desperate to become a affiliated with the Bolshoi that all financial and monetary considerations were thrown to the winds?

 

 

One would think so. It seems as if she was willing to take what she could get, and when she had it, she wanted to fight for more. Which is always a mistake because a contract is a contract, no matter how bad it is. By the way, does anyone know whether the Bolshoi pays for the pointe shoes of their dancers? Because if they do, this adds a tremendous value to the scarce salary considering that a dancer like Womack would need three pairs per week.



#253 Amy Reusch

Amy Reusch

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,742 posts

Posted 02 December 2013 - 07:39 PM

"Was she so desperate to become a affiliated with the Bolshoi that all financial and monetary considerations were thrown to the winds?"

No one goes into ballet for the financial/monetary considerations. I imagIne there are many in New York who would throw caution to the winds for a chance to play for the Yankees/Mets/Giants/Jets/Knicks/Rangers even at partial pay. It was her life's dream to dance for the Bolshoi; she had already thrown all to the wind just to have a shot at it.

It was not, however, a sustainable situation.

#254 Natalia

Natalia

    Rubies Circle

  • Foreign Correspondent
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,388 posts

Posted 03 December 2013 - 03:43 AM

Joy Womack *is* such a gifted and beautiful dancer that I hope that she can renew her dancing soon and bring 'joy' to audiences. [Sorry, but the dancing quality of the Kremlin Ballet is not that of Bolshoi, although they have grand 'production qualities' in luxurious sets and costumes.]

 

 I hope that she can get out of Russia, take her beloved Russian husband along (assuming that's what she wants), and just DANCE. Easier said than done, as the husband must decide if he will leave his family behind. I totally feel for them on this front - I went through this, though I'm not a dancer.

 

I'm wondering if this documentary project about Joy & Nikita is on?

http://searchingperfection.com/

 

It's suddenly become more interesting than ever imagined.



#255 swanchat

swanchat

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 38 posts

Posted 03 December 2013 - 06:05 AM

OK, so I'm confused again... Her beloved Russian husband? Isn't she now divorced? Didn't she marry against the wishes of her family because she was marrying to further (she thought) her career? - not the first time this was ever done, but "beloved" hardly seems to fit if this is the case.....

 

ETA: The link just has a trailer and it looks to me like her usual social media promotion. Under news it says something about the film being admitted to a film festival (Sept). The links to Q&A don't answer a lot of the confusion either. Was she married when this was filmed? It just talks about them being "sweethearts." And although under news, the Asian competition win is there, no mention is made of her career move.

 

Honestly, I'm not sure I really care to know the answers anyway. My impression is that an idealistic, talented teenager who accomplished a great deal at a very young age failed (for whatever reasons) at achieving a very unrealistic dream (to become a principal at the esteemed and very inbred Bolshoi Ballet). Like many child prodigies, things didn't work out as planned. The interesting story is more about what happens next.For a happy ending, she just needs to move on, get back to the daily drudgery of class and hopefully rehearsals in any roles (corps or soloist) and put her life back together and it will be a lot easier to do this without putting herself in under the microscope of social media.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):