Jump to content
tamicute

Yulia Stepanova

Recommended Posts

Response to my email:

"Of course we know about Julia's win and we are glad that our ballet dancers become better from year to year and honored to have those great awards. But according to the fact that Julia have decided to leave Mariinsky ballet troupe in nearest future we can't print this information on our web-site.

I hope Julia will have a lot of awards in future and you will stay an admirer of her talent!

Have a nice day and best regards,

Kate Ordovskaya

Press-office of the Mariinsky theatre

Tel: +7 812 714 4164

Fax: +7 812 314 17 44

http://www.mariinsky.ru

mailto:ordovskaya@mariinsky.ru"

It must be official then. Many of us had heard the rumor. I wonder where she will go now.

Share this post


Link to post

I don't know, but the ABT female Principal roster is going to be lighter by three, with Herrera, Kent, and Reyes leaving ABT this season.

Share this post


Link to post

Video of Stepanova suggests that she is, as her admirers also say, very much a Mariinsky dancer, if anything rather old school. (The teensy bit I have seen her dance live would cohere with that as well...) I may wish that style to be one that translates into an international career but there are no guarantees. As it happens, the MIkhailovsky just lost two leading women dancers to the Mariinsky and may be looking for new principals as well...Anyway, will look forward to hearing what happens.

Share this post


Link to post

Wow, this news makes me sad. The most talented Vaganova graduates simply belong at the Mariinsky in my head, where they are complemented by the very best corps de ballet and supported by the best coaches in the world.

However, I do wish her the best, wherever she may go. I just hope it wasn't the internet campaign about her that made her life inside the Mariinsky theatre so difficult she felt the need to leave.

Edit: after reading Drew's comment, I wanted to add that I agree she is a very traditional Mariinsky dancer. There doesn't seem to be much place for those old school dancers there nowadays, even if they are what makes the Mariinsky ballet troupe so special.

This makes me think of Larissa Lezhnina's story, also a very traditional Vaganova-schooled dancer who left the Mariinsky company. I saw her farewell performance this year, and I have to say she still had that very refined technique and old school Vaganova style, 20 years after leaving Russia. All is not lost. :)

Share this post


Link to post

Wow, this news makes me sad. The most talented Vaganova graduates simply belong at the Mariinsky in my head, where they are complemented by the very best corps de ballet and supported by the best coaches in the world.

However, I do wish her the best, wherever she may go. I just hope it wasn't the internet campaign about her that made her life inside the Mariinsky theatre so difficult she felt the need to leave.

Edit: after reading Drew's comment, I wanted to add that I agree she is a very traditional Mariinsky dancer. There doesn't seem to be much place for those old school dancers there nowadays, even if they are what makes the Mariinsky ballet troupe so special.

This makes me think of Larissa Lezhnina's story, also a very traditional Vaganova-schooled dancer who left the Mariinsky company. I saw her farewell performance this year, and I have to say she still had that very refined technique and old school Vaganova style, 20 years after leaving Russia. All is not lost. smile.png

Although we've mostly seen her in roles that show her old style technique, I think she may be more versatile. Case in point, that photo of her in Rubles on her Facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Yulia-Stepanova/120746278067875

Share this post


Link to post

I am so, so curious to know where she's going. I really didn't expect her to leave Mariinsky, as I had the impression she is quite loyal to the theatre. Yet from that email, it seems her departure is quite imminent, despite the season just starting. Curiouser and curiouser... Hopefully the suspense doesn't continue for too long!

Share this post


Link to post

According to Stepanova's Facebook page, she is still at Mariinsky. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Yulia-Stepanova/120746278067875?fref=nf The Mariinsky website now acknowledges her as a winner of the Taglioni prize. http://www.mariinsky.ru/en/news1/news2/1_232oct/

As perhaps should be clarified: that's a fan page...(and notes only that she is still on the roster). That is, whatever it says is not an announcement from the artist.

(Even if she was/is leaving the company, it would be gracious for the Mariinsky to list her prize and not exactly inappropriate, and I'm glad they did. She did win as a Mariinsky artist.)

Share this post


Link to post

According to Stepanova's Facebook page, she is still at Mariinsky. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Yulia-Stepanova/120746278067875?fref=nf The Mariinsky website now acknowledges her as a winner of the Taglioni prize. http://www.mariinsky.ru/en/news1/news2/1_232oct/

As perhaps should be clarified: that's a fan page...(and notes only that she is still on the roster). That is, whatever it says is not an announcement from the artist.

(Even if she was/is leaving the company, it would be gracious for the Mariinsky to list her prize and not exactly inappropriate, and I'm glad they did. She did win as a Mariinsky artist.)

It seems to me that there is a good number of "fanzine" style responses to videos of Yulia Stepanova of late.

Having only seen videos of her dancing and in matching her performances with live performances those of the 60's,70's, 80's and even into the 90's, I would say that she needs more refinement in those very thin arms and she is not for me so far as I can see on film, some distance from becoming a complete ballerina.

Share this post


Link to post

According to Stepanova's Facebook page, she is still at Mariinsky. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Yulia-Stepanova/120746278067875?fref=nf The Mariinsky website now acknowledges her as a winner of the Taglioni prize. http://www.mariinsky.ru/en/news1/news2/1_232oct/

As perhaps should be clarified: that's a fan page...(and notes only that she is still on the roster). That is, whatever it says is not an announcement from the artist.

(Even if she was/is leaving the company, it would be gracious for the Mariinsky to list her prize and not exactly inappropriate, and I'm glad they did. She did win as a Mariinsky artist.)

It seems to me that there is a good number of "fanzine" style responses to videos of Yulia Stepanova of late.

Having only seen videos of her dancing and in matching her performances with live performances those of the 60's,70's, 80's and even into the 90's, I would say that she needs more refinement in those very thin arms and she is not for me so far as I can see on film, some distance from becoming a complete ballerina.

Ha ha. You are perhaps the only person in the universe to criticize Stepanova's arms! To your other point, she is young still and has not yet had the opportunities she needs to develop her potential. There is a remarkable consensus that she has the potential to become as extraordinary as those great ballerinas of the past, don't you agree? As to the "fanzine" comment, I think both her photogenic quality and Mariinsky's poor treatment of her have excited some interest among those who don't usually follow ballet. I don't see anything wrong with that.

Share this post


Link to post

No, there is no consensus about Stepanova, at least yet, and not everyone has the share the same opinion. We exist to discuss ballet, not each other.

Sometimes it's great to expand to casual fans or people who don't know ballet, but it's s double-edged sword: since the subtleties of ballet aren't the first things that appeal to a broader audience.

The issue on Ballet Alert! is that fan sites and fanzines are not valid sources for new of any kind, just like other discussion boards are not, aside from some summaries by our Foreign Correspondents. Please do not cite or discuss them here.

Share this post


Link to post

No, there is no consensus about Stepanova, at least yet, and not everyone has the share the same opinion. We exist to discuss ballet, not each other.

Sometimes it's great to expand to casual fans or people who don't know ballet, but it's s double-edged sword: since the subtleties of ballet aren't the first things that appeal to a broader audience.

The issue on Ballet Alert! is that fan sites and fanzines are not valid sources for new of any kind, just like other discussion boards are not, aside from some summaries by our Foreign Correspondents. Please do not cite or discuss them here.

I understand and appreciate your requirement that Facebook pages are not to be used as a source of information on your website and will refrain from such citations in the future.

Could you point me to serious opinions, supported by fact, stating that Stepanova does not have the potential of becoming a great dancer? I honestly am not aware of any, hence my statement that there is a general consensus on that point. There have been some discussions comparing her at this stage of her development to the mature Ulanova or Lopatkina or the other greats of the past but that doesn't seem fair, does it?

And lastly, it is of course only my opinion that broadening the audience base for an art form is crucial to the survival of that art form, but perhaps that discussion belongs somewhere else.

Share this post


Link to post

About five years ago there was a thread on this board asking whether there were any universally acclaimed dancers who left us unmoved. I was the first to answer the question and half expected to be pilloried for my mean-spiritedness. But instead what followed was an extraordinary list of confessions in which posters admitted to never having "gotten" dancers such as Margot Fonteyn, Anthony Dowell, Erik Bruhn, Maya Plisetskaya, Rudolf Nureyev, Natalia Makarova, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Irek Mukhamedov, Uliana Lopatkina, Diana Vishneva, Cynthia Gregory, Gelsey Kirkland, Fernando Bujones, Merrill Ashley, Kyra Nichols, Darci Kistler, Darcey Bussell, Carlos Acosta, Tamara Rojo and even Suzanne Farrell (though that was described as a temporary condition). The point is that if we disagreed about some of the most acclaimed dancers of our lifetimes, what chance did mere mortals have for universal agreement? Of course I'm taken aback when someone expresses reservations about or even dislike for something or someone I admire very much. I may then try to provide objective reasons for my position. But ultimately if my interlocutor does not share my view, the most sensible response is to shrug and think, "his loss."

I'll just add that since leonid17 is one of the most experienced ballet-goers on this board, and I can only envy him for some of the things he's had an opportunity to see, I'm certain that he has very good reasons for thinking as he does.

Share this post


Link to post

Facebook is not the issue: there are plenty of official dancer, choreographer, critic, company and ballet-related pages that are public-facing and don't need permissions /to be "friended" to see. Those are legitimate here. What are not are fan pages and other fan sites. Not all purport to have a company affiliation that they don't.

Share this post


Link to post

It seems to me that there is a good number of "fanzine" style responses to videos of Yulia Stepanova of late.

Having only seen videos of her dancing and in matching her performances with live performances those of the 60's,70's, 80's and even into the 90's, I would say that she needs more refinement in those very thin arms and she is not for me so far as I can see on film, some distance from becoming a complete ballerina.

I have never seen the dancers that you saw in the past, but I would like you to see the video above of Stepanova's debut as the Lilac fairy approximately two years ago. I do think her Lilac fairy has improved since this debut, but I would like to know which Lilac fairies you saw, who you felt was better and particularly what traits made their Lilac fairy better? What do you find lacking in Stepanova? I would like to know your opinion, so that I can learn more about where she stands in the pecking order, in your opinion, and I can maybe search on YouTube if any of the dancers you saw have videos. I do have the Sleeping Beauty videos that are available on Amazon like the Soviet movie version and the ones with Kolpakova and Lezhnina as Aurora. I will have to go back and view them and see who was the Lilac Fairy in them.
Thank you very much.

Share this post


Link to post

No, there is no consensus about Stepanova, at least yet, and not everyone has the share the same opinion. We exist to discuss ballet, not each other.

Sometimes it's great to expand to casual fans or people who don't know ballet, but it's s double-edged sword: since the subtleties of ballet aren't the first things that appeal to a broader audience.

The issue on Ballet Alert! is that fan sites and fanzines are not valid sources for new of any kind, just like other discussion boards are not, aside from some summaries by our Foreign Correspondents. Please do not cite or discuss them here.

I understand and appreciate your requirement that Facebook pages are not to be used as a source of information on your website and will refrain from such citations in the future.

Could you point me to serious opinions, supported by fact, stating that Stepanova does not have the potential of becoming a great dancer? I honestly am not aware of any, hence my statement that there is a general consensus on that point. There have been some discussions comparing her at this stage of her development to the mature Ulanova or Lopatkina or the other greats of the past but that doesn't seem fair, does it?

And lastly, it is of course only my opinion that broadening the audience base for an art form is crucial to the survival of that art form, but perhaps that discussion belongs somewhere else.

It pains me to take up the velvet cudgel again but as no one else has undertaken the task here goes.

Dear Vivacegal,

Point I.

“Could you point me to serious opinions, supported by fact, stating that Stepanova does not have the potential of becoming a great dancer? “

As I do not have a either scrying ball or scrying mirror to hand I cannot comment on her potential of becoming a great dancer but one wishes her well.

Point II.

How is it possible I ask myself could I or anyone know anything or everything about any general consensus regarding the dancer in question, when one is so removed from most of her actual performances.

Point III.

Any attempt at a comparison with Ulanova (who I met on several occasions and with whom I spent a whole afternoon with her and my fellow co-curator of the Pavlova Museum in Ivy House London, is I am afraid said with some foolishness and in the case of Lopatkina, she is a million miles away from Ulanova's acknowledged genius.

Point 1V.

What makes you think that Academic Classical Ballet needs, “ a broadening of the audience base for an art form is crucial to the survival of that art” when the art form is flourishing and well supported in the UK, France, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Russia, Latvia, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Bulgaria, Turkey, Armenia, Egypt, South Africa, China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Argentina, CUBA and countless companies in the USA,China et al.

Share this post


Link to post

Well, per Yulia's instagram, she's suited up to dance in LHH today, so maybe she hasn't left the company yet and it's not a done deal.

Share this post


Link to post

Just as it probably doesn't help most young choreographers to be hailed as the next Balanchine or next Ashton before they have reached any kind of maturity, it probably doesn't help most young dancers to be hailed as the next Ulanova or Lopatkina. I'm myself a huge fan/admirer of Lopatkina and do consider her a genius though, from what I can tell not having seen Ulanova dance live, Lopatkina is a genius of a very different kind. (Oh--and as widely admired and hailed as she is, you can tell just by reading this thread that there is no complete agreement about her either.)

One can think of exceptions (people whose careers and accomplishments seem to have been on fire and recognized as such from the beginning)--but as great as those exceptions may be thought there were probably elements of luck in those careers as well. (Kaitlyn Gilliland was being hailed as the next Suzanne Farrell more or less before she left SAB--I saw her in the ensemble of one performance and was quite intrigued; injury seems to have stopped her NYCB career short before it had really begun. Bad luck plays a role as well.)

As I mentioned above, I actually like what I have seen of Stepanova enough (video and a teensy bit live) that I would be happy to see some of her actual performances in major roles--but at this point I sometimes fear it would be hard to "see" her properly through the haze of polemics that have accrued around her. (Fans who spend less time on the internet or youtube than I do are largely spared those polemics, so I guess I have no-one to blame but myself.) Of course, I can hope that the intensity of a live ballet performance would break through any such haze, and in ballet it is live performance that matters the most.

I absolutely wish Stepanova well wherever she dances.

Share this post


Link to post

I happen to have thoroughly enjoyed Stepanova's Odette/Odile when I saw her this summer in St. Petersburg. She included so many details to her Odette that much more experienced Odettes sometimes leave out. One example is how her hands and arms flowed when she lifts her leg and falls backward and Siegfried catches her. Another example was how she showed Odette's exhaustion in the third act, but she then proceeded to do excellent high Russian attitudes so I knew it was not that the dancer was exhausted, but the character's exhaustion and momentary defeat she was showing.

So I find her a young dancer I will love to see again.

But I agree with Volcanohunter. I think there will always be discussion, arguments, etc. about artists. I know opera much more than ballet, and I have to say that the greatest artists divide opinions. I love Maria Callas and Dame Joan Sutherland (two totally different sopranos), but many can not stand the sound of Callas' voice and her sometimes squally high notes and wobbles. I have read on forums so many complaints about Sutherland's diction and how she could be singing in Chinese and nobody would know the difference. All of these complaints are legitimate (you hear it in the recordings), but there is also plenty of evidence in the recordings that they were also amazing. But it is the age old saying, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" and in a way nobody is wrong. All great artists divide opinions.

I have to say I was in shock that all the opera lovers seemed to be raving about Radvanovsky's Norma the other season. I heard it on a bootleg and thought Bellini was rolling in his grave. I would rather go back and listen to Eaglen who was really a mediocre Norma, but after hearing Radvanovsky, I would take Eagen anyday. But the fact I love Norma and could probably sing it off key in my sleep even though I can't speak Italian (I can however probably quote the entire opera Norma or huge chunks of it b/c I used to sing along to it off key in the shower). I consider myself an arm chair expert on Norma, but someone who adored Radvanovsky in Norma is not wrong (although there is a huge part of me that wants to say he or she is totally wrong). Art is always subjective.

Share this post


Link to post

art is like ice cream, we all have our own favorite flavors.

off%20topic.gif This is true when it comes to favorite flavors, yet some ice creams do really have more fat content than others.

That is, judgments of taste are less provable than a mathematical formula but also more than just "what I like"--that's what makes them so debatable. You can't have a debate about what you like--you can share it or even discuss it, but not (rationally) argue about it. (That's why Arendt thought judgments of taste modeled what should happen in politics--or at least that was one of my take-aways though I'm not a scholar of her work.)

Of course, many of us--including myself--colloquially use the word taste just to mean our individual likes/dislikes. And I'm alway happy tor read about or discuss those on this website as well as occasionally get into more 'debate.'

Share this post


Link to post

I'm kind of surprised at how open Russian dancers are with their fans. It's as if they feel comfortable talking about all the company's internal politics with their fans, who then relay it on various social media forums. Stepanova is an extreme case of this. I would never think it's appropriate to share so much sensitive information with fans, but I guess cultures are different.

Share this post


Link to post

Do we know for certain if Stepanova is sanctioning all of this? At present when I hear her name I immediately think of her very vocal fan base rather than her dancing.

Russian dancers tend to have a slightly different relationship with their fans than elsewhere, I've always interpreted it as a greater appreciation for them for following their careers. There is however common or garden gossip as well, but that's pretty universal in the ballet world.

Share this post


Link to post
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×