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Everything posted by MadameP

  1. Sofya is the entrechat queen of the company currently - few can do entrechat6, yet she does them with ease, and she has both ballon AND elevation to perform all those little petit allegro steps immaculately. Her sissones are fabulous and yes, she has strong legs, but if they give her that wonderful flight across the stage in jetes, then I am pleased she has them! She is a fabulous Diamond Fairy in Sleeping Beauty also.
  2. "Technically okay" is not good enough when this is the first time many (MOST) of the American audience will have seen Raymonda. This role is one of the most difficult in the ballerina's repertoire, and it should have been entrusted to a ballerina who could deliver technique, style, and true Mariinsky ballerina quality. Yes, Skorik has improved technically to some extent, but still has inherent weaknesses and lack of artistry: it seems she has not improved since I saw her debut in this role. A great shame for the audience and for all Mariinsky fans.
  3. Yes - my point was that neither her nor Somova's Raymonda is to be seen by American audiences, and they, in my opinion, are by FAR the two best Raymondas, whereas Skorik is the worst.
  4. Very sad to read all these reviews. I have to say, I am not surprised. I saw Skorik's debut as Raymonda at Mariinsky Theatre, where I was sitting right next to the stage, and then her air of being a student who had only just managed to learn the steps in time was most noticeable. She should have improved by now, indeed as a principal now, the public DESERVES that she should have, especially since she is entrusted with opening night. As for her (lack of) chemistry with her partner - I have yet to see ANY chemistry with a partner from her. I know that many on this forum do not like SOmova, but I can tell you that I also saw SOmova's debut (ONLY) performance in this role and they are a million miles apart. With Somova I saw the multi-faceted Raymonda variations, with the aristocracy, the intelligence, the beautiful arms, upper body and expression, everything, as it should be seen. It is a travesty that Skorik was entrusted with this opening night Raymonda. Where also was Lopatkina? Her beautiful Raymonda, with her unique floating aristocratic quality, deserves to be seen by America. Kolegova and Matvienko are also lovely Raymondas. We are all ballet fans on this forum, but it is very sad that the best that Mariinsky has to offer just has not been offered to you in America on this tour. These reviews make very sad reading.
  5. I love that little dance. At Bolshoi, it is done by smaller ballerinas, not children, but I do love to see the children!
  6. Maybe you should all wear a red carnation to enable easy BA identification(? Or similar? Or adopt a pose (to be pre-determined, such as Raymonda Hungarian pose?!) Hope you all enjoy Raymonda!
  7. MadameP

    Yulia Stepanova

    Yulia is cast as Bela opposite Rodkin in A Hero of our Time on 23rd March, then as Myrtha in Giselle with Nikulina and Gudanov on 30th March.
  8. MadameP

    Yulia Stepanova

    I have just returned from Moscow, where I was very fortunate to see Yulia in class and rehearsal as well as her scheduled performances as 1st Variation girl on 3rd February, Queen of the Dryads on 4th February matinee and Street Dancer on 6th February. She was also a last minute 1st variation replacement for Tikhomirova on 7th February. As has been noted elsewhere, the theatre has now dropped the Stepanova part of her name, and she is referred to as Yulia Yangurazova. Yulia's grand jetes in her first variation were good the first time round, although not as quick off the ground as Diana Kosyreva, who also danced this variation. They were better second time round, when she stood in at the last minute for Anna Tikhomirova, as she got both more height and more attack. Her coach, Semenyaka, was standing in the wings and shouted encouragement at her and her jumps were certainly flying, especially the final diagonal. Her Queen of the Dryads was beautiful - quite simply she has the real majestic, warm quality for this role and it shows of her wonderful port de bras to great advantage - even the way she presents herself to the audience at the beginning of the variation is just so graceful. She showed lovely lines in attitude and arabesque, including some very high pique arabesques, and easy sissones. Her arms and upper body and whole manner are just so suited for this variation - especially in the lovely section where she stands and circles her hands overhead in the mime for "dance." Street Dancer was full of character - it is not a technically demanding role, but she certainly inhabited the part and had easy command of the stage. Her pointework was excellent. Yulia worked well in class, showing strength, control and extension, especially in the adagio section of the centrework, where her use of upper body and arms is just so musical. The first thing Madame Semenyaka said (in English) when I entered the rehearsal studio was, "She's a wonderful dancer." I wish the wonderful dancer could get more roles!
  9. MadameP

    Yulia Stepanova

    Yu Yulia's partner, Mercuriev, unfortunately was ill and this is why she was unable to dance the leading role, as she was originally cast.
  10. And that Spessivtseva diagonale at the end of the variation is just sensational, especially the speed of Alonso's!
  11. 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.
  12. The Two Pigeons in rehearsal from World Ballet Day 2015
  13. She also danced part of the scene from Coppelius's workshop in Petit's Coppelia.
  14. I think in the "old days", before the advent of GMs, if a dancer had weak feet/ankles, then she just was not cast in repertoire that required particularly strong pointework, but now with the technological advance in the making of pointe shoes, we see many dancers doing repertoire they should not be dancing, and actually too reliant on the strength of the SHOE, rather than the strength of the foot. It's a "cheat", if you like, and in steps such as hops en pointe, this cheat is exposed.
  15. The Fairy's Five Tangoes Impressing the Tsar LOVE IT!!!
  16. S Shapran is EXTREMELY thin in real life. Even thinner than Oxana Skorik, and certainly vastly thinner than Somova. I do wonder if she lacks stamina generally because of her very low weight, because she IS one of the thinnest of the ballerinas I have seen, with very little muscle.
  17. Yes. Completely agree. That's what I said earlier - she didn't do the doubles properly both ways. And agree also that ballonne section was not only abysmally executed, but actually devised to cover up technical inadequacies.
  18. I have seen Shapran dance live at the Mariinsky Theatre on many occasions, and she is one of those dancers who I never feel at ease watching. She does not have strong pointe technique, and, for example, made numerous mistakes in the Lilac Fairy performance of hers I saw most recently. including the relatively straightforward technically end of Act 1, when the court is going to sleep. As Medora at Mikhailovsky she showed similarly weak pointework and Ido not think she has improved since then. I do think she has been given too many roles before her technique is adequate for it. Watching her dance, I am always nervous she is going to fall off pointe, and especially in turns. At this level, technique should be taken for granted. I do think she needs a lot more stamina and strength generally in her work before being entrusted with great roles such as Giselle.
  19. Shapran did not do the double pirouettes perfectly in both directions. To the right, yes, she did do double en dedans followed by double en dehors, but to the left, she only did the double en dedans. The ballonnes truly were terrible as she never really got en pointe at all. However, I do agree that she is a touching actress.
  20. I loved reading this! Thank you for your appreciation of our Great British Royal Ballet Company and style!
  21. Agree also with this. Tsvirko was the better half of his partnership and Khoklova appeared muted in contrast. Tsvirko has great presence on stage and also excellent technique. Regarding Winter Dreams - well, I love this ballet very much and actually more than any other MacMillan ballet, and I know it is unfair to judge this very young couple against great professionals, but I saw Mukhamedov and Bussell dance this on stage, and Mukhamedov just took the breath away with his passion and ardour. It is a wonderful pas de deux, at the heart of this beautiful ballet, and this young Perm couple gave of all their all (and yes, I assume they will dance it in the Perm triple bill as part of the Mariinsky Festival) but they were young and sweet, where I wanted to see PASSION!
  22. I loved Batoeva and Latypov also. Such grace and poetry and yes, exquisite lines! Actually, whether or not it is reminiscent of Robbins choreography, I like the ballet Without anyway, and I thought they did a great job. The lifts were beautiful and Nadia Batoeva is the best female dancer in the competition. I do love Lebedev also - he does just ooze charm and elegance and that cruising, easy quality and refinement. I enjoyed watching all the excerpts very much.
  23. Both these Abderakhams are excellent, in particular Zverev, who really can steal the scene away from any of the current JdBs! He has such presence on stage! But he should be given JdB. He is a wonderful dancer!
  24. Yes, although she's in a spot of bother (!) Raymonda is an aristocrat, not just any girl, and so the quality of aristocratic refinement should be present in each variation, although, as you say, each variation should be "subtly different"!
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