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About Cordelia

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    former dance student, balletgoer,
  • City**
    Los Angeles
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**
  1. We were ready to do our CPRs though and you only kept your eyes out for her but I was on the floor getting ready to do CPR. Whatever.
  2. A very good performance by all, I was impressed with Kondaurova and Korsuntsev. Glad to see them instead of Skorik which I had heard about, mostly bad. I can't believe Kondaurova is so tall! But she was wonderful as both Odette and as Odile. I went to see her mainly because she's my friend's favorite dancer and now I am too a fan.
  3. Cordelia


    Amen. And besides...I'm really sick and tired of the idea of dancers-(rather than Ballerinas)- that are said to be "wonderful" but then they can't deliver proper technique-(yes, 32 fouetes for Odile and Kitri included...sustained balances for Auroras and soaring jumps for Myrthas). Still, they are so lucky to get praised for "artistry", and "lyricism", and "suplessness" and "being willowy" and so on and so forth. Basta! You either get the whole package together or not. And if not, then you're not still a BALLERINA. Remember that distinction that wonderful Mme. karsavina mentioned in Dolin's documentary of Giselle..? "No, I was a soloist...oh, no...yes, I was already a Ballerina!" That differentiation happened in that very imperial stage now Skorik attempts to walk thru... Technique should be a non discussion if the dancer is dancing lead roles in such great companies. If Skorik and other new or greatly promoted new dancers are not up to technique needed in Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, and Giselle for instance, then don't go praising them for artistry and lyricism. That is like saying to a writer, your grammar stinks but your handwriting is gorgeous. What I am saying is this is how puzzling rise of dancers like Skorik came about. So the Mariinsky AD praised Skorik for being perfect because of her physique? So looks before abilities and other qualities at Mariinsky ballet? I am on the tall and skinny side myself and when I studied ballet it was a drawback. Now it seeems being tall is requirement to be prima at certain companies. The Mariinsky especially loves this look at the expense of everything else.
  4. How tall is Skorik? She looks tall in that infamous video on youtube. Are both Shklyarov and Sergeev big enough to partner her?
  5. So very true, Natalia. In my opinion he does not bother to create character or act the role he dances. Seems to just be all about technique and not even beautiful technique. I got the impression watching him dance, that he wishes audiences to appreciate the difficulty of ballet mechanics. Don't get me wrong he is very athletic but I prefer dancers who make ballet seem like the easiest or most natural thing in the world. Vasiliev to me appears to be all mechanics and grits, lacking aesthetics as you pointed out. I hope Simkin gets the message and maybe tries to bulk up a little bit if only to make himself a better option than Vasiliev in certain roles. Vasiliev will be digging into Simkin's roles most likely.
  6. Interesting talk about Marinsky which I had no idea was that bad in terms of management. I didn't know about the young dancers being discussed here, so had to go look them up on youtube. Skorik I knew from that infamous video. But after watching Shirinkina's videos, I think she also needs to work on technique. Her Aurora was technically subpar and seemed ballet schoolish not ballerina with gravitas for the role. Marchuk is charming and if she has the technique would make a better Aurora than Shirinkina. Stepanova I suspect would have to starve herself if she is to get lead roles in Petipa ballets. Too bad because she is the best one out of the ones discussed here.
  7. One may find that the debate here includes a)the nature of racism across different cultures/contexts...What exactly does it mean that Russians don't, as you say, view "black face" as racist? That it isn't? Maybe yes...but (in my opinion) more likely no...and b)What counts as extreme? Excising most or all nineteenth-century norms from (authentic) nineteenth-century ballets would, to my mind, be extreme. But that is not what is being discussed. Pharoah's Daughter--the work of a twentieth/twenty-first-century French choreographer--hardly seems to me an "artistic" event whose vision is based in any kind of authenticity. It's a contemporary tribute/pastiche that has already been adapted to contemporary norms (eg length)... Extreme in that we may instinctively react in a negative way to such displays as black-face in a ballet set in ancient Egypt, all the while denying or lessening the actual, overall context. Russia does not have the large African-American population and history of slavery and discrimination against African-Americans, so I don't consider their use of black-face as offensive or even culturally insensitive. So because our nation has a shameful history of using black-face to make fun of African-Americans, does that mean that other cultures should follow our own, national sensitivities in something as trivial as a ballet? Just because Pharoah's Daughter is a piece of fluff as far as ballets go, it doesn't mean that the set designers, costumers, and others who worked hard to recreate their artistic vision of Egypt, should be considered to be less serious as well. I agree it's a piece of pastiche but I bet it takes a lot of work to create such pastiche.
  8. In Russia they don't view black-face as racist as they haven't that sort of contextual meaning. So I think we Americans should just step back and not try to make others as politically-correct as we are in performing arts with respect to African-Americans. Why is it perfectly fine to wear eye tapes to look Asian in such operas as Turandot and Madame Butterfly? When I saw Turandot, it certainly appeared to me that Caucasian opera singers did just that, along with make-up to help slant their eyes even more. As a person of Asian descent I was not offended, but merely saw it as theatricality. Political-correctness when carried to this sort of extremes should have no place in the arts.
  9. If the current trend continues, future ballerinas will look like the 2012 U.S. Women's gymnastic team. Bulky and muscular with athletic prowess but without an ounce of grace or elegance. Many people even ballet fans today equate ballet with sports or overvalue athleticism in ballet, so it makes sense that future ballerinas will have powerful builds and sportier technique overwhelmingly prized over innate lyricism. Natalia Osipova has jumpstarted this trend IMO.
  10. 1 ticket, section Orchestra J1 for $100. This is for the matinee show at 2pm Saturday, June 9th. 1 ticket, section Orchestra C41 for $125. This is for evening show at 730pm Friday, June 8th. Something came up that I can't make the shows. I think the casts are Krysanova for the Friday show and Nikulina for the Saturday show.
  11. What a fun discussion! For looks only and not for what they do with these body parts, since sometimes extremely gorgeous feet and legs doesn't translate into wonderful footwork and beats. Face-- Aurelie Dupont, Elisabeth Platel, Ekaterina Kondaurova Eyes-- Evgenia Obraztsova, Suzanne Farrell, Gelsey Kirkland Arms-- Nadezhda Gracheva, Aurelie Dupont, Viktoria Tereshkina Hands-- Julie Kent, Uliana Lopatkina, Aurelie Dupont Legs-- Laetitia Pujol, Sylvie Guillem, Ekaterina Maximova Feet-- Sylvie Guillem, Evgenia Obraztsova, Darcey Bussell Neck-- Diana Vishneva, Alina Cojocaru, Uliana Lopatkina Back-- Alina Somova, Elisabeth Platel, Altynai Asylmuratova
  12. This was posted on twitter, Obraztsova doesn't appear until around 2:00 mark.
  13. I haven't been following her career lately. I follow Bolshoi dancers more, as far as Russian dancers go. Bolshoi has been more of a presence touring every year in California lately it seems. I prefer Bolshoi dancers in general because they have more musical dancers and dancers of differing styles and body types. Aside from Zakharova, no one goes for crazy extensions all the time like they do at Mariinsky. But as I go back to youtube to watch her videos, I am impressed by how different she is among the current crop of Mariinsky ballerinas. Not a brilliant technician like Tereshkina but still wonderful technique deserving of principal status plus she has other special qualities besides technique. Shows you don't have to be a Zakharova clone in order to command attention. Such harmony and gorgeous lines in her dancing right down to linking steps and that is a rare quality since many top ballerinas just go from step to step with certain disconnect. I think she could fit in well with Royal Ballet or maybe she likes Bolshoi more because she wishes to stay in Russia? Any company should be grateful to have her.
  14. I saw Obraztsova twice, DonQ in D.C. and Nutcracker in L.A. few years back. I was impressed with her effervescent aura onstage, purity of line and placement. I used to wonder why she is so generally beloved on international ballet boards and among most knowledgeable fans. Then it dawned on me that she's a dancer's dancer, one who is appreciated and loved by those who are in the know. That along with her popularity from Ballerina documentary, makes her more famous than she really should be, considering her non-principal status within the Mariinsky. Good for her, I should say. She definitely deserves to be principal there and I would not fault her should she jump ship for less constrained management. Maybe I will see her a third time when the Bolshoi comes to L.A. this year, hopefully she'll get to do Swan Lake with them.
  15. The bigger issue was that Osipova was against an archaic system which served the needs of a big company and its numerous dancers, not herself and Vasiliev, who are international stars. The crux of the matter resides at this main point. Therefore, no fault should reside on their side nor the Bolshoi's side in their defection to a more flexible company. On that front, isn't the Mikhailovsky also catering to Osipova's and Vasiliev's specific needs? Unless it is a company that doesn't require residency or one which bases its scheduling around principal dancers' own outside touring commitments. But good for them for finding one that's able to be so accommodating. I used Sarah Lane as an example of lack of artistic freedom, possibly on a more frustrating or grander scale than what was experience by Osipova. Of course Lane isn't as marketable as an artistic commodity as Osipova. Actually dancers should be more vocal about being financially well-compensated for their craft, not to mention strive for higher status in society. I don't think it's tacky to mix commerce with art and artists, it's a reality of the world we live in today. Dancers have short careers even if they aren't hampered by injuries, so why not profit from their talents while they're in their prime and get some much deserved upgrade in status and recognition? That's why I was happy for their move when I first read about it. The inference of upgrades in pay has already impugned Osipova and Vasiliev in many fans' minds, judging from some that I've talked to. But dancers shouldn't feel the need to justify leaving companies or other actions by citing artistic freedom only and not favorable arrangements, including financial ones. To do so would be feeding into the notion that dancers should be grateful to be suffering for their art, living in penury. Maybe I'm disappointed in the artistic freedom argument because I'm reading too much into Osipova's interviews and also other articles describing the situation. Overall still believe they are making the right move, I hope they got a lot of money out of Mr. Kekhman!
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