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  1. Thank you, alexaa1a! Some folks are very disappointed for not being able to catch Alinas Nikiya in London, since they flew across the pond just for that one performance. Now, that you explained the reason why, I am sure they will understand. Although I have never seen Sergey on stage, my heart goes out to his family and friends. All dancers go to heaven.
  2. Individual opinion, yes, but golden! Just like Golden is the Mask Award for The Tsar Maiden.
  3. Personally, I can't speak for "people". I consider myself just a member of the audience, nothing more, nothing less. Back to Bessmertnova. She was certainly technically strong but she was not a virtuoso. Not the way Natalia Dudinskaya or Michail Barishnikov were. This however doesn’t take anything away from Bessmertnova’s greatness. There is a point where technical virtuosity starts to overpower other aspects of a performance and a performer, Osipova being *the* poster child of this phenomenon (Thank God Somova is not Osipova!). “Ulanova, Plisestskaya, Kolpakova, Fonteyn, Seymour, Sibley, Grey, Osipenko, Assylmuratova” - you got me here, Simon. They might be good technicians but out of the bunch only Ulanova, Kolpakova and Assylmuratova come close to moving me the way modern dancers do and yes, the way Somova’s luminous stage persona does. The rest aforementioned artists are certainly some ones to be revered as part of rich balletic heritage, but quietly passed over while searching for an interesting ballet feature on YouTube. PS. Don’t have a clue as to why Somova has been given four and not fourteen appearances in the upcoming London season. I won't be there :-))) Although I personally know people who will fly across the pond for a chance to catch her in "La Bayadere".
  4. Well, I can. Besides, technical virtuoso Bessmertnova was not. I also got carried away a bit in my previous post stating that Kolpakova doesn’t do it for me. She certainly does, but not the other Kirov period dancers mentioned in the same sentence, no matter how highly revered they might be by others.
  5. Ohhhh, Bessmertnova!!!! No, I haven’t seen her dancing live. But what I‘ve seen on video and DVD made me believe that it is Natalia B. who is the greatest dancer of the 20th Century. You might ask “what about Pavlova or Spessivtseva?” Unfortunately there isn’t much film about them that survived the cataclysms of history. On the other hand films about Bessmernova exist and they effect me on many levels, emotional as well as intellectual. Her dancing doesn’t seem to belong to any particular period, but remain contemporary and fresh even now. She is not of this world, rather the one we wish could exist. <Sentimental cap off/> PS. Other dancers you mention along with NB: Dudinskaya, Shelast, Osipenko, Makarova, Kolpakova, Assylmuratova, Kurgapkina just don’t do it for me. Sorry!
  6. Helene, I want to thank you for this most valuable information. While visiting dancers’ threads, I tend to be reluctant to express an opinion unless it is a positive one, at least for the most part. Now I know that it is OK to express an alternate opinion about dancers who are not as well known, or as frequently discussed as Alina Somova.
  7. Oh, that makes me proud. Proud of being able to uphold my very own and heart-felt opinion in spite of the majority or rather a vocal minority. Alina Somova is the Principal of the greatest classical company in the world (author’s opinion) and nothing, but absolutely nothing can change this. She is not Bessmertnova. Not yet. One day! I will give you one, Simon, – the Principal is underdog no longer.
  8. What I am struggling to understand, Simon G. is why you and the like minded people happen to express yourself in the thread of a dancer you don't champion? Wouldn’t it be better for one’s health and enjoyment of life to express oneself in the thread of a dancer that your crowd wants to advance?? Aren't lovers more preferable than haters??? Perhaps you like to trash the beloved by many Somova just for the sake of trashing? Well, I don’t think it works. There is an unwritten rule of fair play and deep-rooted tendency with most Americans to cheer for the underdog. So you see, your “sophisticated” opinion expressed in the thread might be all for nothing.
  9. I don’t believe in skewing casting in favor of any one dancer. In fact a new battalion of Mariinsky graces are now waiting in the wings and it won’t be long before the same passionate debates (at least I hope) would be raging around them. No dancer, no matter how great, should dominate the repertoire. Don't go to see Somova if you do not understand her style. Attend performances with dancers that you happen to like. Ars longa, vita brevis. PS. “snide” as you put it is OK, even if it smacks of self-righteousness. In fact it is the shining example of that strong emotion that sizzles inside you. I can only hope that someone who reads your… evaluation of Somova and happens to adore her, might not be tempted to do the same, i.e. evaluate a dancer that you like and/or admire in a similar fashion.
  10. Personally I would not recommend to anyone to go see a dancer who does appeal to you. Mariinsky has wide spectrum of performers to satisfy just about every taste. I would like to draw my own comparisons. Obraztsova is certainly musical and graceful the way only petite dancers tend to be. But to me she can be boring. Evgenia remains her charming self whether she portrays tragic Giselle or happy Aurora. Somova is infinitely more versatile. One can never predict which side of her artistic self she is going to reveal in a particular performance. Tereshkina possesses perfect technique, but not perfect pitch. Moreover, she doesn’t touch my heart the way Obraztsova and Somova do, each in her own special way. But like yourself, I cannot help but to admire Tereshkina's polished, even chiseled, if I may say so, dancing. I wouldn’t go so far as to call Victoria an ultimate Petipa ballerina, but she comes darn close to being one. In any case, I would much prefer any one of the three young Graces to Diana Vishneva, whose fame nowadays far exceeds the quality of her dancing. Matter of style, although I appreciate the fact that some folks consider that style to be two-dimensional. There are dancers of a step and dancers of a line. Alina is a dancer of a line and air. Comparing performers always provokes heated debates. Perhaps it is not so bad. After all, is it not Art’s purpose to penetrate the deep recesses of our heart, touch our inmost feelings and invoke strong emotions? .
  11. Having watched Somova's breathtaking Nikiya live, I find her to be a powerful classical dancer. But Bessmertnova, no she is not. May be some day...
  12. Apologies. It is Ratmansky, of course. Not “Rot” and certainly not “rotten”. But to be completely honest, I do not favor his ballets, Karenina being the worst of the bunch. Call it a freudian slip ) On the other hand I enjoyed Alonso’s concise choreography of Carmen quite a bit.
  13. Greenwich Time reviews Alina Somova's performance as Tsar Maiden in Rotmansky's "The Little Humpbacked Horse": Mariinsky Ballet loosens up in appealing NY run
  14. Really? I know they are students but I was astounded at how *UN* synchronized they were. The leader very beautifully and elegantly lifts her leg to arabesque in a continuous movement. The lead is Olga Smirnova, star student of the graduation class. She too made some surprising missteps. Regardless, she moves like a dream, combining gymnastics like arabesques and attitudes (personally I don't have a problem with them) with articulate connecting steps, which remain the soul of Petipa’s ingenious choreography. As far as the whole ensemble goes, to periphrases Mm. Assylmuratova - “The Shades” deserve better. They do indeed.
  15. To elaborate further on too narrowly defined technique, it is my believe that high extension has been singled out unjustly as *the* violator of classical dance esthetics. Why, a dancer who can mount a very high but poorly positioned jump with feet turned in and arms stretched out in “Misses Moore!” exclamation is far worse. And what about triple fouete turns that don’t even open a la seconde?
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