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Joy Womack

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I must say, though, without having a filly in this race myself, that under the circumstances, I thought it was a more than adequate performance.

Ditto.

I've only watched the first half, but she looks just fine.

Added:

That the Bolshoi hired her says a lot.

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I must say, though, without having a filly in this race myself, that under the circumstances, I thought it was a more than adequate performance.

Like Buddy above, I had much the same reaction.

(I have never seen her video blog.)

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I like how vagansmom described Joy's dancing as "artistically vacant". That nails how I feel. Joy always appears to be dancing the same thing. Take away the costumes and music to tell you what role she's dancing, and it all looks the same. Yes, she has great technical proficiency. But I have seen 15 year olds with greater artistry. She also seems to lack the lovely ballerina "lightness" that other stars have. That ethereal, magic quality when she moves. She seems more earthbound.

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In one of her videos from the winter, Womack said she has signed on for another season with the Kremlin Ballet and she's being promoted to Ballerina. So we have that taken care of

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What I missed most in her performance was a lack of a beautiful port de bras.......sadly lacking...

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I'd like to contribute to this post because I have been following for a long time. Before I go on to anything critical, I have to say I watch Joy Womack's vlogs every day and am highly appreciative of the window into her life. Whether or not we all agree on her choices, she is sharing something unique and is making her dreams come true before our very eyes.

I have actually followed her story since I came across the New York Times coverage on youtube when she was fifteen. Back then she was so fascinating and just absorbed everything the Russian school was giving her. Now she is older and more experienced, we are perhaps more inclined to think negatively about her given the past few years' events; an adult no longer a child.

I enjoy watching her dance, though I do see inconsistencies in her performances, depending on her state of mind. I find her technique solid and highly classical, very clean alignment and placing. I feel her weakness is tension she carries in her shoulders at at times has a strained port de bras. Other times, however, her port de bras seems very lovely, so hopefully she can continue to work on this. She does seem to concentrate more on the technique than the interpretation at this stage in her career. And while she is very bright I think she has room for development of her emotional intelligence with regards to dancing roles. She wants it all, but I wonder whether she really understands why it takes time for dancers to develop themselves before they are given such roles.

She has something that makes you want to watch her, that's for sure. She does have our attention. Maybe because of her unique place in the Kremlin ballet after what happened to her at Bolshoi (whatever that was) or maybe because she is a highly intelligent and compelling person, or maybe we just want to see what she does next.

Joy's decision to make a youtube channel probably stemmed from being of the generation she is in, and we can't fault her for that. She does seem to make some questionable choices with exactly how much she shares, things that might jeopardize her professionalism, but nothing seems to have impacted her negatively yet. It does give us something to talk about though, that we wouldn't otherwise know.

I am a bit dubious about her exhaustive self-promotion. Most dancers do not share this desire, but I like to think it is part of her creative side sharing her art with the world, as opposed to anything else.

I would also remind her prima friends how in control she is of what she actually shares with us. She doesn't edit out falls or slips but there are times she cuts footage abruptly mid movement; the only reason I can think is because of something she doesn't want us to see. I can't blame a dancer for wanting us to see them at their best, but you can't have it both ways. You have to either share everything or don't claim to. She also seems all over the place with her attitude to her company.

Having said this, I do wish her all the best. Her commitment to her work is admirable and inspiring. Ballet is no easy feat and she has already defied odds working against her. In ten years from now, I hope she has reached the heights she desires.

(Edited for clarification and spelling mistake.)

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Just watched the wings-angle vlog Joy put up of her Gamzatti in the versus Nikiya scene and I was very impressed. I loved her interpretation of the character, I thought her dramatic skills were absolutely spot on for the first time ever when I've seen her and I'd pay good money to see her in that role. If I got to see her perform it in its entirety, I think there's a good chance she would become one of my favourite Gamzattis.

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Joy's decision to make a youtube channel probably stemmed from being of the generation she is in, and we can't fault her for that. She does seem to make some questionable choices with exactly how much she shares, things that might jeopardize her professionalism, but nothing seems to have impacted her negatively yet. It does give us something to talk about though, that we wouldn't otherwise know.

It doesn't seem to be impacting her career at the Kremlin ballet, but we'll see if it impacts her ability to get a position somewhere else. I seriously doubt she wants to spend the rest of her career dancing in places like Astrakhan on stages that are the size of a closet.

I wonder if she would be willing to move to another company anyway. She gets to dance big roles with the Kremlin and has a high position with them, but if she tried to move to a big company, I doubt it would be as a leading soloist. Especially, if she has a reputation for being difficult.

I think her problem is a problem I see with many people her age, particularly from privileged backgrounds - she lacks perspective. She graduated at the top of her class and thought it was a fast track to stardom, without realizing everyone in the Bolshoi was a top graduate from the academy and prize winners at competitions. She whines about her paycheck while living in a nice apartment in a nice area of Moscow while her peers live in cramped apartments or are still living with their parents. she can't understand why people aren't comfortable being part of her blogs. Her complaints are basically those of a newly minted Ivy League grad who moves to New York City for her first job at big company X and is shocked to find that everybody else also came from an Ivy, she is doing menial tasks, and her salary can't pay for a fancy Upper East Side apartment and she has no time to live the Carrie Bradshaw lifestyle.

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It doesn't seem to be impacting her career at the Kremlin ballet, but we'll see if it impacts her ability to get a position somewhere else. I seriously doubt she wants to spend the rest of her career dancing in places like Astrakhan on stages that are the size of a closet.

I wonder if she would be willing to move to another company anyway. She gets to dance big roles with the Kremlin and has a high position with them, but if she tried to move to a big company, I doubt it would be as a leading soloist. Especially, if she has a reputation for being difficult.

I think her problem is a problem I see with many people her age, particularly from privileged backgrounds - she lacks perspective. She graduated at the top of her class and thought it was a fast track to stardom, without realizing everyone in the Bolshoi was a top graduate from the academy and prize winners at competitions. She whines about her paycheck while living in a nice apartment in a nice area of Moscow while her peers live in cramped apartments or are still living with their parents. she can't understand why people aren't comfortable being part of her blogs. Her complaints are basically those of a newly minted Ivy League grad who moves to New York City for her first job at big company X and is shocked to find that everybody else also came from an Ivy, she is doing menial tasks, and her salary can't pay for a fancy Upper East Side apartment and she has no time to live the Carrie Bradshaw lifestyle.

Hopefully she will get a raise now due to her promotion.

Maybe her vlogs are even helping her as opposed to hindering, maybe she draws in a new crowd?

At times she does seem to display a lack of perspective, that is a very appropriate observation, but I don't think she is naive about the talents around her. She knows her strengths and her weaknesses and that she is not 'the best of the best'. She works hard for a reason, and I think she's already improved a lot. She's an interesting person.

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Hopefully she will get a raise now due to her promotion.

Maybe her vlogs are even helping her as opposed to hindering, maybe she draws in a new crowd?

Her audience seems to be Americans, rather than Russians so I'm not sure how that helps, unless she is hoping to join the ABT or NYCB in the near future. But even then, I doubt it will get her an offer for a principal rank position which she seems to feel is the only position worth her talent. I mean, Yulia Stepanova has talent, a very passionate following, support from many within the ballet world, and good reviews abroad and it's only now her career is finally progressing.

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Her audience seems to be Americans, rather than Russians so I'm not sure how that helps

I think it helps in the sense that the vlog helps her sell more Prima bars (and others seem to be paying for extra shoes for her - apparently the Kremlin Ballet doesn't provide adequate shoes???). I think if she were to return to the US, she might be a soloist at a smaller-to-mid company - such as MET Columbus, Milwaukee, Charlotte, Colorado, etc. And she would then get better pay, improved health insurance, and workers compensation and employment rights.

Her pay would be higher if she was still in Russia pre-2014. The combination of sanctions and OPEC issues has depressed the Ruble to lows not seen since the mid 1990's. I won't go into the politics, but any economy that is heavily dependent on state owned petro and gas companies is going to be affected by the wide swings in pricing of the commodities markets for energy exports.

I'm not sure she has the economics savvy to understand that. Can she wait it out for a reverse swing? Maybe, if she sells enough Prima bars and develops enough generosity among her vlog fans. But it will be a long term struggle. I mean, there is a *reason* so many Russian dancers leave Russia to earn better incomes in the West.

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Smaller-to-mid size ballet companies in the US do not necessarily provide a more stable employment or a better pay. The recently folded Silicon Valley (former San Jose ballet) is just one of the examples. Its shutdown had a devastating effect on company's dancers. They were left with no severance pay or health insurance.

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Smaller-to-mid size ballet companies in the US do not necessarily provide a more stable employment or a better pay. The recently folded Silicon Valley (former San Jose ballet) is just one of the examples. Its shutdown had a devastating effect on company's dancers. They were left with no severance pay or health insurance.

Pretty much like any job anywhere else, sadly.

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Joy is in Amsterdam to "take class" with the Dutch National ballet... I assume she is actually auditioning. Didn't she sign another contract with the Kremlin? And even then, she really shouldn't even raise suspicions she is looking somewhere else!

On the other hand, it does seem like the company has a retention problem, (two soloists have left recently) which may be why Joy is given some leeway with her vlogs.

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Plenty of professional dancers take company class with other companies if they're traveling, and it doesn't mean they're auditioning. It's a courtesy some companies extend to other professional dancers (though it's frequently due to a connection), but that doesn't mean it's an open-door policy whereby any dancer can just show up. Maybe she is auditioning, but it's very possible she isn't.

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She may have friends there,is or she may be interested in guesting. Europe has a lot of galas, and maybe this is good networking to earn some euros down the road for a weekend gig? I have a hard time imagining her full time at Dutch National because they stray so far from the Petipa / Ivanov classics. But who knows?

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It is good for Joy to see what lies beyond Russia's borders. She has a good position with lots of performing opportunity, but she wants to make enough money to get by and the best facilities to remain at her peak. She is growing now and I really hope she has more opportunities coming her way from European companies.

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Joy is competing at the Moscow Ballet Competition—one of the rare chances to see a professionally filmed performance of her:

 

http://www.medici.tv/en/others/moscowballetcompetition-seniors-round2-1/

 

In round two, she danced the pas de deux from Sleeping Beauty as well as her standard modern piece to Purcell. (If on a desktop, you can select individual performances from the sidebar.)

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love the stone faces on the jury closeups...:dry:

 

small note - wardrobe at the kremlin could have fiddled a bit in order to keep the flounces on her arms from covering her face when she raised them in some positions?

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