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Maria Kochetkova leaving San Francisco Ballet

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Posted (edited)

As far as freelancing, fees paid to artists performing in galas can range. I’ve never performed in a gala for less than $1500, plus travel and per dium, and I’ve ‘no name’ on a who’s who scale so to speak. And that is on the low end. And that was usually for two pas de deuxs. When you have a name established on an international scale like Masha does, the fees she commands can be quite a lot. And it is not the performing that keeps a dancer in top condition. It is class. And again, when you have a big name, finding a company or master to take class with daily is not difficult and is usually free. Not so for most free-lance dancers. When dancers tour with large full-length ballets is when most dancers get out of shape. They cannot train consistently, they loose rest time, they don’t have the conveniences of cooking and being at home etc. Also, it can be very hard to stay relevant as a freelance dancer if you have not already engrained yourself on an international scale. Males that are good partners can usually get freelance jobs by partnering students in school productions of Nutcracker and the like. But again, without being an actual ‘star’ paying for classes to keep yourself in peak condition can often times eat any earnings you make which will necessitate the need for a second job. 

Edited by Fraildove

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11 hours ago, Fraildove said:

As far as freelancing, fees paid to artists performing in galas can range. I’ve never performed in a gala for less than $1500, plus travel and per dium, and I’ve ‘no name’ on a who’s who scale so to speak. And that is on the low end. And that was usually for two pas de deuxs. When you have a name established on an international scale like Masha does, the fees she commands can be quite a lot. And it is not the performing that keeps a dancer in top condition. It is class. And again, when you have a big name, finding a company or master to take class with daily is not difficult and is usually free. Not so for most free-lance dancers. When dancers tour with large full-length ballets is when most dancers get out of shape. They cannot train consistently, they loose rest time, they don’t have the conveniences of cooking and being at home etc. Also, it can be very hard to stay relevant as a freelance dancer if you have not already engrained yourself on an international scale. Males that are good partners can usually get freelance jobs by partnering students in school productions of Nutcracker and the like. But again, without being an actual ‘star’ paying for classes to keep yourself in peak condition can often times eat any earnings you make which will necessitate the need for a second job. 

That is more money than I expected on the pro side and the con side is as bad as I expected. You don't mention how many Galas annually  you did either ,affecting income.  It sounds very hard.  I can't imagine how you endure it.

given attendance and ticket sales can't pay fees are they mostly sponsored?

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Yes, most galas have a sponsor or impresario for the really large galas with big names. I was teaching ballet at the same time so my income was secure in that way. I always did several weeks of Nutcrackers, plus other full length ballets (which usually paid more), and maybe 3 or 4 galas. It was great supplemental income. I had insurance through my teaching, otherwise it would have been much harder. 

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2 hours ago, Fraildove said:

Yes, most galas have a sponsor or impresario for the really large galas with big names. I was teaching ballet at the same time so my income was secure in that way. I always did several weeks of Nutcrackers, plus other full length ballets (which usually paid more), and maybe 3 or 4 galas. It was great supplemental income. I had insurance through my teaching, otherwise it would have been much harder. 

Great information, Fraildove - thanks for these details.

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Posted (edited)

Masha's final SFB performance dates:

"I couldn’t be luckier to have my last two shows with San Francisco Ballet in the creations by @daviddawsonofficial and @arthurpita. Anima Animus May 4th, Bjork Ballet May 5th 8pm. I hope to see you there! "

Edited by pherank

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Posted (edited)

Frances Chung on Maria Kochetkova:

And from Lauren Strongin:

 

Edited by pherank

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From San Francisco Ballet's Twitter: https://twitter.com/sfballet/status/993886783099359232

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Posted (edited)
On 5/1/2018 at 9:13 AM, mnacenani said:

Have never seen Masha and glad to know that I will be seeing her at this Polina & Friends gala

POLINA & FRIENDS GALA - STAATSOPER BERLIN Thursday 17 May :   The evening started off with Polina coming out in front of the curtain mike in hand and delivering a short welcome speech in German, the contents of which I could not make out, got big loooong applause. She was in White Swan tutu which I found a bit odd since the first number was the Medora-Ali PdD which she was going to dance with Daniel Camargo of Dutch Ballet. Anyway this is Berlin not Moscow and I don't think anybody minded the wrong costume - the PdD execution was excellent, Camargo whom I saw live first time was impressive.

From then on we saw "Mopey" (Music CPE Bach/Choreo Goecke) a solo danced by Friedemann Vogel ; Giselle 2.nd Act PdD danced by Danielle Muir and Konstantin Lorenz of Berlin Ballet ; "Intimate Distance" (M. O Bubenicek/C. J Bubenicek) a duet danced by Ksenia Ovsyanick (Berlin) and Dmitry Semionov (Dresden) ; Sleeping Beauty PdD danced by Kochetkova and Di Lanno of SFB, the first half ending with the Manon bedroom PdD danced by Polina and Vogel.

Mopey by Goecke (recently fired house choreo of Stuttgart) I found meaningless and a waste of Vogel's obvious talent, who I also saw live first time. The dancing in Giselle was a bit shaky at times, Berlin has room for improvement. Intimate Distance seemed to be about a couple constantly breaking up then making up, but don't trust the word of someone who watches modern choreo "like a cow watches a passing train" !  Sleeping Beauty PdD execution by Kochetkova and Di Lanno was excellent .... my she is petite isn't she ??  The last number Manon bedroom PdD execution by Semionova and Vogel was ex-cel-lent and got big well-deserved applause, but there was no "chemistry" which is not surprising in a gala.

The second half started with "All Long Dem Day" - another Goecke choreo to Nina Simone's song, danced by students (not kids) of the Berlin Ballet Academy. I can't make fish or fowl out of these pieces so won't say anything - lots of well rehearsed movement, to what end or effect ??

The second number was "Without Words", choreo by Nacho Duato to Schubert's "Lieder ohne Worte", danced beautifully by Polina and Ivan Zaytsev, her frequent partner at Mixailovskiy. The next number was billed as "Elegie aus Schwanensee" danced by Svetlana Gileva and Dmitry Semionov of Dresden Ballet, which I thought was the Black Swan Adagio and didn't read the credits. What came on was something totally strange, and when the lights went up I discovered this was choreo by "Xin Peng Wang" (?) to unrelated music by Chaikovskiy ..... don't remember a thing, neither the music nor the choreo.

The final two numbers were "Degunino" (M. Knaifel/C. Morau) a solo danced by Kochetkova and "Cantata" (C. Bigonzetti to Southern Italian chant by women's quartet Assurd) danced by Polina and Zaytsev. Even my wife who is more tolerant of modern choreo said she was sad to see Kochetkova wasting her talent, time and energy for Degunino. Cantata was somewhat interesting, Polina and Zaytsev animating by excellent execution the chant which resembled Corsican traditional chants in our opinion.

Before the finale, Polina came out and asked the audience to grant her 30 seconds, during which she changed into something like morning class gear and danced a solo as extra, which was very well received, then it was time for the curtain calls to music by Rakhmaninov.

This is the last time I will have seen a gala in Germany - no live orchestra takes away 50 % of the pleasure for me. On top of that, the quality of the recorded music was awful - from sources of wildly varying quality, belted out of a standard theater PA system. The Staatsoper was under renovation for almost a decade, a decent surround system should have been incorporated into the works. I have better surround sound than this at home, and consider this quality of sound at a "gala" totally unacceptable and a disgrace !!

Footnotes :  Dmitry Semionov is Polina's brother and we found him to be quite impressive. And it turned out that they have a sister, Ksenia Semionova, who is a pianist and she was credited with the piano part for the recording of "Lieder ohne Worte". Carlo di Lanno also looked very good to my eye. Was my first viewing of Kochetkova, live or recorded, thought she is a very good dancer but would she be among the top rank at the Bolshoy ..... I am not sure ..... beg forgiveness from her San Franciscan fans.

P.S. -  Many people don't know who Polina is married to :  her husband is the Turkish Berlin CdB dancer Mehmet Yümak. There is a sweet story I picked up somewhere re how they met first time : after Malakhov signed Polina and she was due to arrive in Berlin following her graduation from Moscow Academy someone from Berlin Ballet rang Mehmet and said "Look - there is a Russian girl who is joining us who does not have a place to stay - can she stay in your spare room while we find her lodgings ?" !!  Don't know whether this is 100 % true.

Edited by mnacenani

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10 hours ago, mnacenani said:

Footnotes :  Dmitry Semionov is Polina's brother and we found him to be quite impressive. And it turned out that they have a sister, Ksenia Semionova, who is a pianist and she was credited with the piano part for the recording of "Lieder ohne Worte". Carlo di Lanno also looked very good to my eye. Was my first viewing of Kochetkova, live or recorded, thought she is a very good dancer but would she be among the top rank at the Bolshoy ..... I am not sure ..... beg forgiveness from her San Franciscan fans.

Thank you for this report, Mnacenani! FYI: There is a "Maria Kochetkova" thread in the Dancers section that hopefully people in Europe will continue to update (since we in the U.S. won't likely be seeing her as much):
http://balletalert.invisionzone.com/topic/35390-maria-kochetkova/

Kochetkova seems to enjoy working with choreographers on new pieces, and those tend to be contemporary dance works. And of course, it's not easy to know if a new contemporary ballet will be judged a success, or a trifle. I'm not sure that Masha cares so much about whether the work has lasting value - she just likes the challenge of taking on new choreography, and being created on.

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This is the last time I will have seen a gala in Germany - no live orchestra takes away 50 % of the pleasure for me. On top of that, the quality of the recorded music was awful

Gala are not meant to be artistically rewarding. Even great artists rarely produce in a gala something that is a true measure of their art. I attend gala essentially only when it is my duty, like it will be in two weeks, with Benois de la danse.

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4 hours ago, Laurent said:

Gala are not meant to be artistically rewarding. Even great artists rarely produce in a gala something that is a true measure of their art. I attend gala essentially only when it is my duty, like it will be in two weeks, with Benois de la danse.

I completely agree with you about galas.  ;)

And for better or worse, Kochetkova (with Sebastian Kloborg) will be dancing a new David Dawson work at Benois :

https://www.instagram.com/p/BiufPkYhldA/?taken-by=balletrusse

 

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10 minutes ago, Gnossie said:

What!? How could did this slip under my radar! Dmitry (Polina's talented and handsome older brother -and soloist with the Mariinsky until 2004) has left Berlin for Dresden!? OMG, just when I thought the situation couldn't get worse in Berlin!

Gnossie just checked the Berlin Ballet website and DS is not listed. His write-up on the programme places him jointly at Dortmund Ballet and Dresden. Berlin male principals and soloists leave much to be desired, hoping Simkin will partially fill the void.

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On ‎5‎/‎18‎/‎2018 at 3:46 AM, mnacenani said:

This is the last time I will have seen a gala in Germany - no live orchestra takes away 50 % of the pleasure for me.

Most galas in Germany HAVE an orchestra, Neumeier's Nijinsky Galas at Hamburg, the Terpsichore Galas at Munich, the galas at Stuttgart: they all go out of their minds there to play everything that is possible live (not the electronic or pop music of course). The "Malakhov and Friends" galas at Berlin had an orchestra. I just saw a gala at Karlsruhe, a relatively small ballet company with 30 dancers, where everything was accompanied by the orchestra and an excellent pianist. They even invited a singer.

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7 hours ago, Fosca said:

The "Malakhov and Friends" galas at Berlin had an orchestra.

I certainly don't remember seeing an orchestra at either of the two "Malakhov & Friends" galas I went to at the Admiralspalast on 2-3 September 2016. "Polina & Friends" made it three times in a row, enough is enough.

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The Malakhov galas at the Admiralspalast were not produced by the Staatsballett, but by Malakhov himself, so he would have to hire an orchestra which of course is too expensive for an event like this. His former galas at the opera house (when he was still director) had an orchestra, I'm not sure if all of them, but most of them.

Galas produced by the big ballet companies normally have an orchestra, I don't know why there was none at "Polina and Friends". Try a Nijinsky gala at Hamburg for your money's worth - they last five hours minimum, with lots of guests, lots of Neumeier choreography, an orchestra and Neumeier speeches.

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19 minutes ago, Fosca said:

I don't know why there was none at "Polina and Friends".

Probably same reason why Malakhov didn't have one : too expensive !  (between you and me :  Peterburg Dance Open closing gala is also on my blacklist due to no orchestra)

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