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  1. Joy Womack

    Watched Joy Womack, with her partner, Alexey Lyubimov, a soloist from the Stanislavsky Ballet of Moscow, dancing the Black Swan Pas de Deux at the Asian Grand Prix. Albeit, the video was a la Womack from the wings; however, in my view, anyone who pulls her dancing apart is simply not on. She has become a dancer to be reckoned with. My hope is that she will tone down her vlogging -- preferably end it -- and continue her career, for now, in Moscow at the Kremlin or other ballet company in Russia. She invested so much to obtain that Russian connection. It is why she is where she is today.
  2. Joy Womack

    Hi Charlie, I agree. I think Joy Womack is a very talented dancer, with much potential. She sometimes speaks unprofessionally about her co-dancers and company in her vlogs, putting herself at risk of jeopardizing her future. That is why many people express their hope that she stop vlogging.
  3. Joy Womack

    Hi Fraildove. Pretty well agree with all that you say, I understand the fame and high recognition of the POB. Some individual amazing dancers. The corps is good (but as you say not as good as the Mariinsky corps -- the best barre none). POB students look outstanding. However, for me, somehow all that does not translate on stage, especially with the women. I think the men tend to be better. I am still working on figuring out why I am not a fan of POB performances. Most likely the style. I haven't seen enough of Hannah O'Neille to say much. I think it is obvious she trained elsewhere. I think it is important that guests, outsiders fit the brand (aka w/ all the imported principals at the Bolshoi (David Hallberg and lineup of Vaganava/Mariinsky principals). Yet there is another side to fitting the brand. I know one top principal who moved and is being molded into a different and lesser style -- won't mention names. I, too, am biased towards Vaganova/Russian training and the Russian companies. I think the three top Russian companies are the best in the world, without any doubt. Without exception, they always stand out in class. It is their training that results in such excellence. In general, I agree with you about Joy Womack. In I believe her inappropriate vlogging has already most likely jeopardized many chances and will ultimately send her into oblivion. Ironically, once there, her vlog fans will no longer be interested. As far as I can gather they are mainly young girls, teenagers, and student dancers, most of whom will never make it -- so a strange audience from which to be seeking advice about career decisions. I am sorry she never managed to find herself a professional mentor (in addition to her dance coach), because I believe she is talented and could have had potential to be a principal dancer in some of the European companies (but not the top Russian companies). She is talented and the improvement in her dancing has been dramatic. So, I do call people who criticize her talent unmercifully and unfairly. An up and comer I watch closely is Ksenia Zhiganshina (since her Vaganova student days). Now in the corps of the Bolshoi (coryphee, I believe). Has always advertised herself, but so professional and, with her move, supportive of the Bolshoi. She is doing so well. Already dancing significant soloist roles. Joy could take some pointers from her. Thanks for the chat.
  4. Joy Womack

    Balanchine's Ballet imperial by the Mariinsky. The NYCB could not possible match it, in my view.
  5. Joy Womack

    The improvement in the quality of the Royal Ballet has, in my view, been dramatic since it opened its doors to outside dancers.
  6. Joy Womack

    I agree that an attached academy is very important; however, the best companies accept the best from elsewhere (providing, of course, they fit their brand). The POB and NYCB, of course, have been known for having closed shops. In my view, it shows. As I mentioned in a post the other day, ABT actually changed its model to rely on importing principals. Kevin McKenzie's idea was to be able to cast the best in a specific role, rather than an in-house principal who may not be the best in a specific role. I think it is an excellent idea. Even, all the top Russian companies now import talent.
  7. Joy Womack

    I could be wrong about this. That's why I added "I think." Can't remember where I got the notion. Certainly, the POB has started opening its doors -- albeit, gingerly. A good move I think. I don't think insularity ultimately serves a company well.
  8. Joy Womack

    Neither one. The ABT has become an interesting variant of a company, with top international principals who are also principals at other companies. Without looking up his specific wording, Kevin McKenzie came up with the great idea of importing principals to dance parts in which they excel, instead of casting a dancer in roles, in which he/she may not excel just because he/she is a principal. I think it is an excellent idea and has certainly catapulted ABT. I have been told, but cannot personally vouch for it, that the corps is not that great. I love to follow dancers I believe are up and comers. One of them is Gisele Bethea in the ABT corps. Stella Abrera (principal) has amazing arabesque extensions. Robert Bolle is very special (but probably reaching his peak now). David Hallberg? Well, what can I say. He is spectacular. He is my favorite in Maro Spada (Bolshoi/Pierre Lacotte, latest version). Think I read the other day that Diana Vishneva has retired fro ABT (recognize her greatness but not a favorite of mine). I love Daniel Ulbright -- his dancing and his spirit. I don't think either Joy Womack or Misty Copeland is at the level of the top principals of ABT. Well that's it. Strayed a little off topic, I'm afraid. Thanks everyone for the chat. Allowed me to avoid a whole bunch of nasty stress today.
  9. Joy Womack

    You can check the history out right on the Vaganova website.
  10. Joy Womack

    The Imperial Ballet School and Vaganova Academy are one and the same.
  11. Joy Womack

    Pretty sure it was the 1949 Sadler's Wells tour to the U.S. (think they went across the country).
  12. Joy Womack

    I completely agree. A mix is good, and I think all top companies strive for that mix. At one time the NYCB didn't have enough of a mix. As we have discussed, that has changed. I appreciate your love of the NYCB. From my perspective of loving Russian Ballet, it was, after all founded by a former Vaganova Academy graduate and former Mariinsky Ballet dancer. But as I mentioned, I am not a Balanchine fan. I believe the NYCB is beginning to open up to outside dancers now, as is the POB -- a positive move I think. My absolute ballet idol at one time was Suzanne Farrel, but tastes and preferences change with life's experiences. That is good too. If all ballets and companies were exactly the same, the ballet world really would be pretty boring -- and struggling even more for funding.
  13. Joy Womack

    My comment was strictly relating to me, alone. I don't recall saying I didn't want to read others doing it or that I would not. Just expressed my feelings about my own input. As a dancer, I understand the sensitivity of comparisons for those being compared. About the ballets. Sometimes companies don't put on some of the full length ballets because of the number of dancers in the ballet and problems with licensing. Also, of course cost of staging the particular version of a new ballet to a company: the choreography, commissions, repetiteurs, costumes, scenery, etc. I am a fan of Russian ballet: that includes Vaganova training in the West. It also does not preclude appreciation of great dancers in the West.
  14. Joy Womack

    Don't agree that Joy is earthbound. Check out her instagram, Gamzatti and Don Quixote. Communication skills are definitely a difference between them, with Misty in the winning seat. Joy is developing her musicality with experience. Don't think she could have done so well in her various competitions without musicality. Misty is more a modern ballet type and definitely earthbound. Joy is more lyrical and classical, with killer turns. There is no comparison on the technique, with Joy the winner. Joy has had problems with turnout, showing up in her attitudes. With her Kremlin Ballet coach that has dramatically improved, although it still shows up. Misty Copeland would never be promoted to soloist, let alone principal, in any of the first- or second-tier companies in Russia. As you can probably gather, I am a fan of Russian Ballet. They are the best, and in my view that is because of their training. They ALWAYS stand out in class. Both artistry and significant performance start in Year One. Love these ballet discussions, but not sure that I am comfortable comparing two dancers on public forums. Each has his/her strengths and weaknesses -- even Lopatkina and Zakharova. Fouettes are not their strengths. I am very mindful of the trials and tribulations, difficulties and hurdles of ballet. Just to make it to the corps of any well established company is a feat in itself, especially, now with dancers in the West who more and more have to compete with dancers trained in Russia.
  15. Joy Womack

    It was Martins who had to start focusing on the classical ballets to save the company.