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“Who is to dance at Mariinsky?”(Merged with general discussion of the subject)


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#16 elianam

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 08:44 AM

Here is a biography of the author from the Vaganova Academy's official website:

 

www.vaganova.ru/files/Zozulina_SV(1).doc



#17 Natalia

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 09:02 AM

I agree with Canbelto that the blog-article sounds like another of those fan diatribes, regardless of one-time affiliation with the Vaganova Acad. Sorry to say it but to be taken with a grain of salt.



#18 Mathilde K

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 09:21 AM

I agree with you that everything one reads should be always taken "with a grain of salt". How much "salt" — depends on the credentials of the source.

 

This article has been published in a respectable journal devoted to the cultural issues, not a blog. Its author, a senior Petersburg balletologist, is a current professor at the Vaganova Academy. More information you will find on the previous page.

 

The article mentions some verifiable facts. If I were a reader who never heard of any of these facts, my first steps would be to try to verify them. I have defended Fateev on various grounds in the past. His personnel policies within the troupe, however, are totally indefensible however one looks at it.



#19 elianam

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 09:29 AM

I agree with Canbelto that the blog-article sounds like another of those fan diatribes, regardless of one-time affiliation with the Vaganova Acad. Sorry to say it but to be taken with a grain of salt.

I don't agree. 

 

That was what I was afraid of when first seeing this article, for it put Yulia Stepanova, a modest, humble, dedicated, hard-working, and above all, a talented ballerina, in the spotlight.

 

The article is talking about a reality on the way Vaganova top grads are treated in the theatre, and Yulia is singled out only because she is exceptional as a dancer and as a person, and bears the tradition created in the Vaganova that makes the Mariinsky ballet unique for so long. If there is no Yulia, it is equally easy to write in the same way about many other Vaganova top grads buries in the corp-de-ballet at the Mariinsky for so long (In fact, every top graduate from the Vaganova since 2004), to address to the same situation discussed in the article.

 

Every true ballet lover should speak with respect when talking about dancers like Yulia Stepanova, or Daria Vasnetsova, or every Vaganova top-graduate fighting among the corps, and every sympathetic articles written about them. Even if one is a fan of Skorik or Chebykina, one should recognize the efforts hidden in those excellent ballerinas who at least deserve equal opportunities on an artistic level, unless one likes this or that ballerina for a reason that has nothing to do with ballet. And if I am a fan of any of them, I would blame the administration equally for bringing them into the center of controversy.



#20 Mathilde K

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 09:52 AM

To dispell confusion about why Stepanova's case is the focus of the article: I learned by contacting the author that the article is an expanded version of the article commissioned by the professional German journal «Tanz» to serve as a presentation of Yulia Stepanova as a "new face" on the world stage. The «Tanz» article about Stepanova already appeared in print. The same author was commissioned last year by the same journal to write a presentation of Olga Smirnova.



#21 elianam

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 10:22 AM

Thank you for the clarification!

 

Talking about art, journalism, politics, and market together is always risky to a certain extent, especially considering the change of artistic atmosphere in Russia after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. And the involvement of a professional German journal, a US journal, or a Russian journal often have different meanings and results.

 

I don't want Stepanova's case to be taken blindly as a simple marketing strategy or a propaganda commisioned by some rich god-fathers, for art is not a simple commodity and a Russian ballerina is not the same as a ballerina in the US or in Western Europe. Of professional opinions, I will leave them to the scholars, which the author seems to be one.

 

Personally, it seems to me that if Stepanova is a ballerina who priviledges stardom, money and fame over artistic values, there are easier pathes to follow. And also personally, I take Skorik's case as a failure of an involvement of western media. For excellent Vaganova graduates all deserve bigger roles in Mariinsky, and excellent graduates from other schools also deserve chances in the theatre, as long as developed and pushed properly. And a serious ballerina's career should not be "joked with" or trivialized for purposes other than ballet.



#22 elianam

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 10:32 AM

Mathilde, is this the part of the project you were referring to?

 

http://www.kultivers...oenlich-14.html



#23 Mathilde K

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 10:36 AM

Yes, this is the site of «Tanz».



#24 YID

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 11:12 AM

Hello Mathilde K, sorry for getting off topic, looks like Ms. Zozulina may be not with Vaganova Academy any more, if you search for her name http://www.vaganova.ru/search.php it come up only among thesus papers. And the bio within the link is self-written



#25 canbelto

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 12:01 PM

 

 

Finally, particularly troubling is the constant neglect by the management of artistic capabilities of Yulia Stepanova, likely the most notable and talented among the young dancers of the passed five years. Her difficult, constantly obstructed climbing up the career ladder eloquently speaks that ‘something is rotten in the state of Denmark’.

 

This is where the article loses me. Stepanova has been given Odette/Odile and is headed to London where her performance is highly anticipated. Also set to dance the Firebird. Seems like her career is exactly where it should be. 

 

As I said, from what I've seen Stepanova is a wonderful artist and she doesn't need to be dragged into this kind of yellow journalism. 



#26 Mathilde K

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 12:26 PM

 

 

 

Finally, particularly troubling is the constant neglect by the management of artistic capabilities of Yulia Stepanova, likely the most notable and talented among the young dancers of the passed five years. Her difficult, constantly obstructed climbing up the career ladder eloquently speaks that ‘something is rotten in the state of Denmark’.

 

This is where the article loses me. Stepanova has been given Odette/Odile and is headed to London where her performance is highly anticipated. Also set to dance the Firebird. Seems like her career is exactly where it should be. 

 

As I said, from what I've seen Stepanova is a wonderful artist and she doesn't need to be dragged into this kind of yellow journalism. 

 

 

She is "not "given" anything. Her roles are in most cases "stop-gaps". I hope you understand what that means in a theater. Fateev has been recently in a desperate need for soloists. Mariinsky's repertoire is massive. A ballet nearly every night every week, sometimes twice a day. It generates the revenue for Gergiev. Whatever his motives for promoting mediocrity, he knows who can dance in the company well, who cannot. He knows Stepanova is capable to do well any part, no matter how demanding, and this is why he uses her as an "insurance policy" in case there is some urgent need. I can only suggest you read the article again, more carefully.

 

The situation at the Mariinsky Ballet has been such an anomaly that you are entitled to think that all the described facts are not true, just don't call it "yellow journalism". It is neither "journalism", nor "yellow." The person who wrote that has proper credentials. Not less than Yuri Fateev himself.



#27 canbelto

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 01:24 PM

She is "not "given" anything. Her roles are in most cases "stop-gaps". I hope you understand what that means in a theater. Fateev has been recently in a desperate need for soloists. Mariinsky's repertoire is massive. A ballet nearly every night every week, sometimes twice a day. It generates the revenue for Gergiev. He is not an idiot, he knows who can dance well, who cannot. I can only suggest you read the article again, more carefully.

 

The situation at the Mariinsky Ballet has been such an anomaly that you are entitled to think that all the described facts are not true, just don't call it "yellow journalism". It is neither "journalism", nor "yellow." The person who wrote that has proper credentials. Not less than Yuri Fateev himself.

 

 

I understand what a stopgap means. But I don't see how this applies to Stepanova. Fact is O/O is a role usually given to dancers on the principal track. There are so many dancers that have been stubbornly denied O/O. "Stopgap" would be asking Stepanova to jump into the third shade variation because Dancer X got injured. 

 

I'm not saying the facts aren't "true," but I've also read enough of these Russian diatribes bemoaning the lack of opportunities for their favorite dancer to take them with heavy shovelfuls of salt. There's plenty of heartbreak among the Mariinsky but Stepanova's story is not a sob story. She's young, she's getting opportunities, her career is going places.

 

Now talk about Daria Pavlenko or Ekaterina Osmolkina and we might have a real story of dancers who got dropped like lepers in the Fateev administration.



#28 sandik

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 02:25 PM

 

Here is a biography of the author from the Vaganova Academy's official website:

 

www.vaganova.ru/files/Zozulina_SV(1).doc

 

I found that too. Unfortunately this must be some random old file that was never updated.

 

 

 

 

I'm sorry, but I don't read Russian and don't have a Cyrilic translator at hand -- could someone here please give this poor woman a name?



#29 amiaow

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 02:35 PM

The woman is Natalia Zozulina.



#30 Mathilde K

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 02:37 PM

I added to the translation the information about the author.




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