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mnacenani

XVIII Mariinsky International Ballet Festival 2018-Reviews Discussion

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, mnacenani said:

My friend Katya Baeva's Osmolkina-Gomes Giselle review for "No Fixed Points". I consider it my privilege that Katya accepted me as a friend : as knowledgeable about A&R and execution as anyone can hope to become : http://nofixedpoints.com/gomes-mariinsky-albrecht

Thanks for link...A&R??....It's wonderful to have a serious dance going friend, but I admit I am not so "knowledgeable" that I know what that stands for...though, if it is artistry and refinement, then I think you'll find that even experts can disagree about that.

What I love when talking with people about ballet (however virtually) Is sharing something I love and being shared with by others who love it--and yes, know something about it. I also love learning about it and reading about performances too....And I like to hear from all  people and perspectives that are honest. Someone who has just started attending may have something insightful to say that maybe an old timer might miss.

I've also found that people who are bona fide highly knowledgeable experts disagree wildly all the time. Even people who share the same stylistic "national"  tastes or backgrounds will disagree about particular performances etc.

So knowledgeable is truly valuable, and I'm grateful for it. At the same time, thank god no-one at the ballet is required to have an imprimatur.  (No-one here either--I think it's great that BalletAlert welcomes everyone who seriously wants to "talk" ... )

Edited by Drew

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2 hours ago, mnacenani said:

A&R = Artists & Repertory

My guess was completely wrong--good thing I asked. Thanks!

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I wonder how people who are novices in areas that demand years of study to be "knowledgeable" can say that somebody is "knowledgeable" or isn't. It is possible in all such areas to talk nonsense and still sound to a novice as "knowledgeable". Lots of so called dance critics today cannot even be certain whether a given performance is really good or bad. To be a dance critic became easier than ever, internet made it happen.

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7 hours ago, Laurent said:

I wonder how people who are novices in areas that demand years of study to be "knowledgeable" can say that somebody is "knowledgeable" or isn't.

I posted the superlative deliberately to a) flatter Katya, and b) provoke response from certain quarters - seems I succeeded  :D On the other hand, even novices can identify talent at first sight and can tell if someone is "knowledgeable" - depends on the novice :D:D

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A novice with lots of self-confidence can certainly believe so...  :D

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I read the review, and assume it was aimed at a general audience, since there is no technical evaluation in it whatsoever, apart from saying that Osmokina has great Vaganova technique!  

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15 minutes ago, MadameP said:

I read the review, and assume it was aimed at a general audience, since there is no technical evaluation in it whatsoever, apart from saying that Osmokina has great Vaganova technique!  

Laurent would say it was aimed at the likes of myself !  :D  I may not be so "knowledgeable" about classic ballet (yet) but I sure have loads of motivation and self-confidence  ....... especially when people like Laura Cappelle and Clement Crisp support my take on certain performances  :D:D

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16 hours ago, Drew said:

I've also found that people who are bona fide highly knowledgeable experts disagree wildly all the time. 

Absolutely.

 

9 hours ago, Laurent said:

Lots of so called dance critics today cannot even be certain whether a given performance is really good or bad. To be a dance critic became easier than ever, internet made it happen.

There is a difference between critics and reviewers, in theory the internet should provide a platform for in depth analysis denied to press critics due to other demands for page space, but too often people write with an agenda of some sort.

Press critics as paid professionals are regarded as naturally superior to amateurs, yet time and again you can spot glaring errors of fact e.g. assuming a ballet is by one choreographer when it is actually by another.  I hate to name drop but many years ago I had an interesting conversation with Anton Dolin about critics which perhaps influenced my views on them as a whole, he didn't think much of them at all.   The best reviewers are those that can relate with as much detail as possible what they have seen on stage, they are invaluable when watching revivals by the way.

As for technique, how many in the audience can actually distinguish an arabesque from an attitude, indeed, how many will have even heard those terms?  Who is the critic writing for?  General audience or dyed in the wool balletomanes?    Not so easy. is it?

 

 

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Mashinka said:

There is a difference between critics and reviewers, in theory the internet should provide a platform for in depth analysis denied to press critics due to other demands for page space, but too often people write with an agenda of some sort.

Press critics as paid professionals are regarded as naturally superior to amateurs, yet time and again you can spot glaring errors of fact e.g. assuming a ballet is by one choreographer when it is actually by another.  I hate to name drop but many years ago I had an interesting conversation with Anton Dolin about critics which perhaps influenced my views on them as a whole, he didn't think much of them at all.   The best reviewers are those that can relate with as much detail as possible what they have seen on stage, they are invaluable when watching revivals by the way.

As for technique, how many in the audience can actually distinguish an arabesque from an attitude, indeed, how many will have even heard those terms?  Who is the critic writing for?  General audience or dyed in the wool balletomanes?    Not so easy. is it?

Raising my hand for my critic colleagues. 

While many of the dance writers I know alternate regularly between reviews and critical essays, I'll stick with your division for right now.  In part because both of those forms of examination and commentary are losing ground rapidly -- there are fewer places for any of these writers to publish their work in a way that will help it be seen by an interested readership.

We've already discussed the lack of dance reviews in general readership publications in other threads on this site, but what is less discussed is the matching decrease in spaces for long form critical work -- journals are cutting back or being eliminated, while the few that are left are often sharply raising their subscription fees, which cuts down on their readership.   Even in the academic world, horizons are shrinking -- the Society for Dance History Scholars and the Congress on Research in Dance, two scholarly organizations with long histories and substantial support for research and writing, have recently merged in the face of dwindling support from their university constituents.  

Your comment, "in theory the internet should provide a platform for in depth analysis," puts a finger right on a big problem -- the internet does indeed offer the space for lengthy examination, but doesn't support the research that is required to do that kind of work.  Very few online venues offer any payment to their writers -- while most print publications do pay writers, that pay is often very small and the author's rights to their work is frequently very limited.  [When I was writing for a paper in the Village Voice chain, I signed their standard agreement.  They paid me once, but could reprint anything whenever they wanted to, could print anything in any of their other publications or sell anything to anyone (without letting me know where it was going) -- I retained no rights to my work.  I can post my work on my own website, as a kind of online clip file, but they retain the right to pull it if they see fit.]

The kind of thoughtful, well-researched commentary that you are hoping to read about the works that interest you is time-consuming to generate. You need knowledge and the resources to gain more, you need time to think and write, and you need a way to find readers.  Online publishing is not the same as print, but the challenges are there -- it needs time and energy to support it. 

Ask any of the webmasters here, ask anyone who runs a website -- it can be just as frustrating and just as time consuming as any print publication.

Anton Dolin toured the world, and came into contact with all kinds of audiences and all kinds of press people during his long career.  In some cases, his work was reviewed by general interest writers in smaller communities that didn't have much expertise, but I sincerely doubt that he was speaking about any of the main writers who we read now to get a sense of what that world might have been like.

Stepping off my soapbox -- thanks for your patience.

Edited by sandik

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Posted (edited)

Here are some reviews by Catherine Pawlick. I've only had a chance to glance at them.

Nadezhda Batoeva and Xander Parish -- Swan Lake

http://www.vaganovatoday.com/nadezhda-batoeva-debuts-in-swan-lake

She mentions that Renata Shakirova (not noted in the program), alongside Anastasia Lukina* and David Zaleyev, replaced Sofia Ivanova-Skoblikova in the Act I pas de trois. This got by me completely, although I put question marks next to their names in my program after seeing them. One of these ladies did some very fine leg positioning. As I like Renata Shakirova very much and would hope to see her as Giselle and Odette/Odile someday, any dancing that moves her in this direction is of great interest to me. I'll try to test my recall.  

Ekaterina Osmolkina and Marcelo Gomes -- Giselle 
 http://www.vaganovatoday.com/marcelo-gomes-giselle


Maria Alexandrova and Vladislav Lantratov -- Don Quixote

http://www.vaganovatoday.com/mariinsky-petipa-festival-2018-alexandrova-and-lantratov

(Thanks once again to Sophia at Dansomanie for finding these)

* This might be a good place to mention that Anastasia Lukina danced the Rose Adagio (Sleeping Beauty) March 18 at the Gala "Masterpieces of XX century' choreography," Alexandrinsky Theatre, St Petersburg. A video clip can be seen on the internet. 

Edited by Buddy
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