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Yulia Stepanova

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As a performer myself, all I'm saying is that the more opportunities one has to perform a work, the more possible it is to fully attend to the artistic interpretation and make it your own. This is why I love watching artists mature, and frankly, what draws me to Yulia -- her great potential. Yulia's artistry is obviously already on a very high plane, but even she can, and I'm sure will, reach even greater heights.

I can't wait to read your reviews of her London performances this summer!

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Interesting that Yulia has been given Diamonds rather than the Tall girl role in Rubies which she danced at the Mariinsky. She seems to be being cast in the same roles Smirnova gets.

I am excited about her Diamonds debut since I feel she would excel in that ballet showing off her lyrical arms. She only danced Rubies at the Mariinsky due to Fateyev's bizarre casting. I would put her in the following order if trying to cast her in Jewels. This is my choices from first choice to last: Diamonds, 2nd girl in Emeralds, 1st girl in Emeralds, tall girl in Rubies, and short girl in Rubies.

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I am excited about her Diamonds debut since I feel she would excel in that ballet showing off her lyrical arms. She only danced Rubies at the Mariinsky due to Fateyev's bizarre casting. I would put her in the following order if trying to cast her in Jewels. This is my choices from first choice to last: Diamonds, 2nd girl in Emeralds, 1st girl in Emeralds, tall girl in Rubies, and short girl in Rubies.

Clearly Vaziev has more vision and ability to cast dancers than Fateyev does.

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I don't understand how to post a link to YT, I have tried many times with no success, so, if you put in the YT searcher: Д Родькин и Е Степанова you will get as a first option the video of Le Corsaire's PDD that Yulia and Denis Rodkin danced last week in Belarus. Enjoy!

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I don't understand how to post a link to YT, I have tried many times with no success, so, if you put in the YT searcher: Д Родькин и Е Степанова you will get as a first option the video of Le Corsaire's PDD that Yulia and Denis Rodkin danced last week in Belarus. Enjoy!

THANK you so much for showing the way to this! I found the link as you said, and hope this will work!

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I saw Stepanova's Queen of the Dryads. Technically, she was stronger than some recent You Tube footage of her in the role, but audience reaction was subdued. An astute non-ballet observer had pinpointed the problem for me: Stepanova does not look at the audience. She may look out into the auditorium for a split second, but no longer than that, and immediately her gaze continues downward or sideways. Sometimes this is a sign of introversion, or perhaps she's nearsighted, and what she sees out there is a big blur. But until she learns to really look out into the hall, she will not be able to connect with an audience, because they need to feel that she's dancing for them and not for herself.

No doubt I am not the most perceptive or sensitive of viewers, but I do have a long track record of not being enamored of the most popular dancers of the day, usually preferring other, less starry colleagues for their subtler talents, and I'm almost never impressed by razzle-dazzle, which I find more irritating than anything else. But I have to say I was underwhelmed by Stepanova and have difficulty understanding the devotion of her admirers.

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No doubt opinions of Stepanova are polarized. However, the reviews of Stepanova's Queen of the Dryads in London that I'm aware have been positive.

"In the Dulcinea dream – a ballet blanc reminiscence – the Bolshoi Ballet reminded us of how beautifully versatile the dancers can be. Dryads were as ethereal as swans, picturing an unattainable and idealized fantasy. As Queen of the Dryads, the Bolshoi's latest gem – another Vaganova girl – rivalled Smirnova. A rising soloist, whom Vaziev is increasingly entrusting with roles, Yulia Stepanova is a name to remember. Facing Stepanova's imperial presence and elongated lines, Daria Khokhlova's offered a clever contrast with a vigorous Cupid." https://bachtrack.com/review-bolshoi-ballet-don-quixote-smirnova-rodkin-royal-opera-house-london-july-2016

And another: "In Don Quixote’s dream – a forest-full of dryads in eau-de-nil tutus – Yulia Stepanova flits and shimmies across the stage before landing on point like a dart in a dartboard." https://www.thestage.co.uk/reviews/2016/448914/

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And here I thought contributors to this thread were interested in eyewitness reports from other posters. Good grief. :dry:

Sorry, did not mean to discount your observations but rather to point out differences of opinion which are very common with respect to this dancer. In videos she seems to be looking at the audience and it's hard to judge the audience rapport, but I have read criticisms similar to yours. it seems to bother some people while others don't see it as a problem.

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Since people have expressed an interest in impressions from the performances of Yulia Stepanova's performances in London here are mine, although I'm sure there will be people who saw things quite differently. I watched both of Olga Smirnova Swan Lakes (w Denis Rodkin & Vlad Lantratov) and last night Yulia Stepanova with Denis Rodkin. I also saw YS in the role with the Mariinsky partnered by Xander Parish, here in London 2 years ago.

Firstly, to the Queen of Dryads variation. I agree that the audience response was muted. Possibly this is because the choreography is unfamiliar to the London audience and superficially it looks neither particularly technically challenging nor thrilling - I think this belies its difficulty. Yulia Stepanova certainly looked more comfortable dancing it than did Anna Nikulina.

Last night was a very impressive Odette/Odile debut from YS in the Bolshoi Swan Lake. At the moment to my eyes, YS does not show quite the same fluidity in the arms or complete seamlessness in her execution of the steps as I felt did Olga Smirnova. But YS was a noticeably less remote Odette than OS and this made for a more emotional and involving performance and more connection with her partner, who in her my opinion was also more involved than he was on the opening night, although on his part this may have been down to nerves. YS and DR looked very comfortable together (they are an excellent physical match) and they had very good chemistry; I generally find this production leaves me completely cold but this pair were able to generate and project into the auditorium some real feeling. There no major fluffs, save for the Evil Genius (Tsvirko) not making the very final lift although this may not have been obvious to anyone unfamiliar with the ballet. By contrast, DR was a superb partner, YS is a tall, long limbed dancer and he had no problem with any of the high lifts. There were barely any minor mistakes. By minor I am being super picky and mean a couple of the supported turns were not perfectly smooth - there have been far more in most of the performances in this Bolshoi tour. YS executed all her variations strongly, she finished the fouettes tidily although if you were counting I think you'd have found she fell short of 32 (not a crime in my book). So in summary, it was a very enjoyable and unexpectedly moving performance. Just a footnote to say that DR was a late replacement for the originally scheduled Artem Ovcharenko - no indication as to why the change was made.

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Thanks for these reports on Stepanova and the Bolshoi in London. Looking forward to more (of all the dancers) if/as people are able.

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I watched last night's Swan Lake with some other fans and everyone was so moved by what they've seen. Since I was seating in the front row, I could see her facial expressions quite closely and it was very impressive. In the white adagio I saw the subtle change of her face turning happier, full of hope as though she was convinced by the prince. And her black swan has become bolder and more seducing. I actually hoped her fouetté become more powerful and charismatic, but it was great one with the tempo and the Odile variation was flawless.

I met her at the stage door after the performance. She is a kind and humble person. I told her that I am going to her Le Corsaire performance too, and she looked thankful but I could feel she was a little bit nervous about her debut. Well, I'm sure she will be great.

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I watched last night's Swan Lake with some other fans and everyone was so moved by what they've seen. Since I was seating in the front row, I could see her facial expressions quite closely and it was very impressive. In the white adagio I saw the subtle change of her face turning happier, full of hope as though she was convinced by the prince. And her black swan has become bolder and more seducing. I actually hoped her fouetté become more powerful and charismatic, but it was great one with the tempo and the Odile variation was flawless.

I met her at the stage door after the performance. She is a kind and humble person. I told her that I am going to her Le Corsaire performance too, and she looked thankful but I could feel she was a little bit nervous about her debut. Well, I'm sure she will be great.

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I watched last night's Swan Lake with some other fans and everyone was so moved by what they've seen. Since I was seating in the front row, I could see her facial expressions quite closely and it was very impressive. In the white adagio I saw the subtle change of her face turning happier, full of hope as though she was convinced by the prince. And her black swan has become bolder and more seducing. I actually hoped her fouetté become more powerful and charismatic, but it was great one with the tempo and the Odile variation was flawless.

I met her at the stage door after the performance. She is a kind and humble person. I told her that I am going to her Le Corsaire performance too, and she looked thankful but I could feel she was a little bit nervous about her debut. Well, I'm sure she will be great.

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I personally prefer a ballerina who acts and responds to her partner and other characters more than looking at the audience. I think there are key moments where a ballerina looks at the audience like at the end of a bravura moment that elicits applause and a couple of other pose-type moments, but for the most part I want the ballerina to act and pretend the audience doesn't exist.

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Some ballerinas pull you in to what they are doing even when they seem to be in an entirely different world from the audience--others less so. (Even when pretending the audience doesn't exist a ballerina has to project - and to the last row.)

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I think overall what Drew means is correct, because in opera some singers project better than others somehow......but I often wonder if it is more an ability to command so much attention that they are actually drawing us in as opposed to really projecting. Of course, this is splitting hairs and don't mean to do that.

I can say that when I saw Stepanova's very 2nd Swan Lake in person at the Mariinsky I felt she did that. I was moved by how she moved away from Siegfried near the end of the love duet after they sort of embrace and she does a back bend. This is before some more turns and the iconic ending with the fluttering turns.

She also opened my eyes to the final act. Until I saw her do it I always viewed the final act of the Sergeyev (Mariinsky) Swan Lake as just an act for closure. All the best, most beautiful and exciting choreography is over and Act 3 is just closure, so normally it is sort of boring to me (in the past). But she did specific moves to show Odette's anguish and loss of strength that made the act fascinating, and since then I have enjoyed Act 3 even better, even if a ballerina is not acting as well.

So it is subjective how a dancer moves us. I found Stepanova very moving and almost flew to London to see her in the Bolshoi's Swan Lake, but it was already sold out by the time I thought I might skip a training that was scheduled. So I am being a good boy and actually attending the training this week that I should attend.

I have viewed almost every role she dances in alternative ways and I think she's wonderful and glad that Vaziev apparently agrees.

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