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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
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  1. I’ve been watching video clips of Anna Pavlova and Galina Ulanova. All I can say is Wow ! What a World Apart they inhabited on the stage. Why mention this here. Because of the several performances that I’ve seen that might come close, almost all happened here. Also, it’s from this place that both these great artists began. And it’s also the place where the following four artists began and in two cases remained. I feel that I’m entering into artistically ‘sacred’ territory, one that only ‘a poet or an observer’ of their magnitude could begin to describe, and I’m not that person. Still it certainly seems worth thinking about and appreciating. If there’s a lineage from Anna Pavlova to Galina Ulanova I would put Anna Pavlova as the Goddess, an Ideal, not necessarily forever, but perhaps for now. Galina Ulanova would be The Celestial Poet. What did both these great artists have that makes them this special. They went beyond themselves and did it with an artistry that has been perhaps unequaled. Probably my two favorite performances would be Ulyana Lopatkina’s “Swan Lake” and Alina Somova’s “Swan” (Fokine). Ulyana Lopatkina essentially finished her career on this stage and it’s where Alina Somova continues her’s. Ulyana Lopatkina may have taken Galina Ulanova’s ’Spirit’ and translated it into pure beauty of motion. This is a realm more characteristic of the current generation of ballet artists. Alina Somova in one brief performance came possibly the closest to ‘This Other Realm.’ (I do have to say that there is a video clip, but to me it only hints at the greatness that I saw, as does one of Ulyana Lopatkina performing “Swan Lake” at another occasion). I would then add Olga Smirnova’s “La Bayadere” from last year. She has both the magnificence of expression and the immense beauty of motion that brings her closer to this world. I would also include one of Veronika Part’s many remarkable “Swan Lake”s. It wasn’t performed here, but she’s another that does come from here. So how to try to describe what made Anna Pavlova and Galina Ulanova so special ? What makes their Artistry a culminating something to strive for ? For the moment I could suggest this. They didn’t see themselves while performing. They didn’t try to convey themselves.They conveyed something wonderfully beautiful, perhaps from beyond, but that came from within. And they did it in a manner so Wonderfully Special that it might define what to strive for in the Art.
  2. The Bolshoi under Vaziev

    I've always felt that the artists should be treated with love and respect. I certainly hope that this is the case (or becomes so) with Alyona Kovalyova and everyone else.
  3. The Bolshoi under Vaziev

    I do too, Laurent. And I share your admiration for Alyona Kovalyova. As you say so well, "Fresh and alluring like a white lily, yet gracious and natural". But....I also consider Olga Smirnova one of the greatest ballerinas ever. A slight difference of opinion. Santé (Cheers)
  4. Is Alyona Kovalyova "Zvezda" material ??

    Quinten, in all fairness from my point of view I think that they are doing well by her, but I might be missing something. I don't follow this that closely. I do favor giving her as much high profile exposure as possible, but at the same time Makhar Vaziev is giving her secondary leads, I believe rightly to broaden her range and experience. And I have to think that many of the things that I believe she does so well have to be the result of good coaching. I do appreciate your kindness in your above quote and hope that you continue to enjoy the art form and contribute to the discussion as much as possible.
  5. Is Alyona Kovalyova "Zvezda" material ??

    Quinten, I'm glad that you mentioned Alina Somova, because she is another that I would put in a possible 'Ulyana Lopatkina pantheon.' The fact that she attempts so many different directions (much to her credit) has perhaps overshadowed her extremely fine 'lyrical' beauty. I would say that we differ in our opinions in that you are probably being more specific and I tend to go for overall effect, although I could single out specifics, and do try to, about Alyona Konvalyova that I find exceptional. Added: I might also say that 'imperfections' don't bother me if they reflect 'attempts' at a broader artistry, which I think applies to Alyona Kovalyova. There's the story about George Balanchine praising the most a dancer who fell because she was the one that really took a chance and went for it.
  6. Is Alyona Kovalyova "Zvezda" material ??

    You're welcome, Drew. You might want to find the most current video of Oksana Skorik doing the same thing. Both these ballerinas have remarkable beauty of motion and I think will be viewed together and compared as the artistic heiresses to Ulyana Lopatkina.
  7. Is Alyona Kovalyova "Zvezda" material ??

    The entire 'White Swan duet' is shown in the video posted above by Canbelto.
  8. Alyona Kovalyova

    Also from her posted Instagrams it seems that she leads about as happy a normal teenager's existence away from the theater as is possible. I think that this is great and hope that it can be a rewarding part of her artistic life as well.
  9. Is Alyona Kovalyova "Zvezda" material ??

    Denis Rodkin seems like an a very good partner for her. From what I've seen on video he's fine himself and gives her very good mental and physical support. Lifts and such are very secure giving her the freedom she needs to really shine.
  10. Alyona Kovalyova

    Mnacenani, I seldom, if ever, post videos from unofficial sources. Just my thing (respect of copyrights, etc.). You'll have to take my word for it, I guess.
  11. Alyona Kovalyova

    Looking around the internet I’ve been able to see the White Swan duet from her second Swan Lake performed two nights ago and it goes well beyond anything that I’ve seen her do. Besides her exceptional beauty of motion, this shows a mature serenity and calm that permeates both her dance and her character. It’s quite remarkable for a young lady of only 19 years. Makhar Vaziev, Artistic Director of the Bolshoi Ballet, has cited her “intelligence”. Here, combined with wonderful sensitivity, it seems very evident. It’s a well thought out, yet totally relaxed and unforced interpretation. It has poetry, depth, expression, loveliness, technical fineness and heart touching beauty. I don’t think that there’s any doubt that she’s remarkable and has an amazing career ahead of her. If you want to read previous and ongoing discussion look here and at several other related Bolshoi topics. http://balletalert.invisionzone.com/topic/42333-is-alyona-kovalyova-zvezda-material/
  12. Is Alyona Kovalyova "Zvezda" material ??

    Someone has posted about a minute of the White Swan duet on an instagram. What it captures is her remarkable flow. I've noticed this on the Diamonds rehearsal video clip. It involves the timing and general transitioning of her elegant positioning, like currents of dancing air. Something very noticeable at intervals is the very subtle positioning of her head. It dominates. The timing is breathtaking. Even the expression on her face and the focus of her eyes are key elements in the overall flow.
  13. I think that it could work very well. She is changing, becoming more subtle, more artistic, more lovely. I think that she's definitely moving in the direction that Cristian has described -- Artist. Added: I also loved her sunshiny, uninhibited, energetic prowess as Kitri (Don Quixote). Still do.
  14. Is Alyona Kovalyova "Zvezda" material ??

    She performed her second Swan Lake last night with Denis Rodkin. All I've found so far is a nice comment and some lovely curtain call photos at another forum. If I can find something that can be posted here I'll try to do so. I would really have liked to have been there and look forward to seeing her somewhere as soon as possible. Added: Her next debut will be as the Lilac Fairy (Sleeping Beauty) February first. (thanks to Sophia at Dansomanie for catching this)
  15. Simone Messmer

    Theo started this topic by writing -- "From time to time I search for dancers that pop off the grid." I was looking for something to fire my imagination and I settled here. What is it about this very creative artist ? Basically it was a performance of Gamzatti (La Bayadere) from when she was still at ABT that came to mind. To state it simply -- she was fascinating ! She created a being, totally her own, that was an artistic masterpiece -- colorful, exciting, technically fine, psychologically enthralling.... and she immersed herself completely. I've seen her in little else, but what I have seen is total commitment and brilliant invention. In addition, I've read comments, by those more focussed on this than myself, highly praising her technical ability. Lourdes Lopez, director of the Miami City Ballet, finally gave her a position as Principal that I think that she really deserves. I'm hoping that she'll also give her as much leeway as possible to do what she does best -- to be an expressive burst of creativity and beauty of her own invention.