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Shapran's Giselle variation

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What did Kristina Shapran perform with Polinun in Big Ballet 2012 besides Marguerite and Armand? I assume the pieces were all chosen to emphasis her strengths.

I think she danced Manon too? Remember thinking she was a little green for that kind of role (at that point in time) but anyways I think they were all dramatic and/or contemporary pieces.

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I think she danced Manon too? Remember thinking she was a little green for that kind of role (at that point in time) but anyways I think they were all dramatic and/or contemporary pieces.

She also danced part of the scene from Coppelius's workshop in Petit's Coppelia.

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I think there are great ballerinas graduating every year from Vaganova, but they are not being showcased. Here is a video, and if you look at the variation that starts at 9minutes you see great pointe work. At 9:45minutes Makarova does some circular hops in back attitude hopping on her right leg and then ballonnees on her left leg. This is an example of what we are missing out on at the Mariinsky. She was not hired and went to Novosibirsk. Look at her gorgeous arms also....

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Yes, she can! Thank you, Mme H. Lovely dancer. Not since Obraztsova graduated in '02 have I been so excited about a homegrown future principal ballerina at the MT. Hope that she actually makes Prima at the MT, unlike Obraztsova.

On the other hand...what's up with those new ugly costumes in acid hues, made with unnatural fabrics? El Cheapo sneaks into the Mariinsky?

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But Natasha...this last video also shows the diagonal being modified. She does some sautes, but still interchanges them with off pointe sections...

Exactly! I do think Shapran is the latest ballerina to be favoured by Yuri Fateev and given a boost up the promotion ladder far beyond what she merited. Regardless of her principal status at Mikhailovsky, she clearly does not have a strong enough technique to justify her current first soloist status at Mariinsky Theatre. She does have a very pretty face, but although she can produce lovely lines, she actually has quite a long body with jutting out lower ribs and for me she is TOO thin, so physically I don't find her attractive. I think she has good presence on stage, is a fine actress, but she is not a technician and actually has quite a shaky pointe technique. Coryphee would have been a more appropriate ranking for her - 2nd soloist at a push. It just seems unfair on all he girls lower down the rankings, who are much stronger in technique, but not given the chance, that Shapran, like Skorik before her, is given multiple opportunities with all her shortcomings.

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I think the version she does in the Mikhailovsky version isn't invalid given that I'm pretty sure I have seen other dancers do it too. For example, Nadezhda Gracheva (variation starts at 1:24, hops begin at 2:22). Of course, whether a dancer does it because she simply can't hop or because she feels its adds value artistically might be different things. But if a dancer is all in other respects a fine Giselle than this modification (unlike hopping the whole diagonal on demi-pointe), for me personally, would be acceptable.

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I have read enough books by both Markova and Alonso to know that, back in their days, this was a role reserved only to the capable ones. There were only a very few Giselles in the world, and even some famous ballerinas of the times didn't feel up to it, so they passed. Nowadays everyone dances Giselle...and even choreographic esentials, like the sautes in question, are being chopped off, and this is simply non acceptable.

I always go back to this two legends of ballet, the two Alicias, when I want to refresh how the Pas Seul OUGHT to be danced. About the sautes, let's look how a blind 43 years old takes them in such a slow pace that the strain on that pointe must had been unbearable. The hopes seem to go forever, and Shapran...THAT is how the section must be danced.

Alonso, Moscow, 1958

Alonso, Havana, 1963.

Markova, 1954

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