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Everything posted by MadameP

  1. I am astonished to read this. I think Mesdames Kovaleva, Udalenkova, all the senior teachers, as well as those just joined as well as their artistic director, Zhanna Ayupova, would be frankly disbelieving and insulted by this comment. Perhaps you could clarify which points of technique you think they with their collective centuries of experience, are lacking in the ability to transmit to their students with their "bad training?"
  2. The proof is in the pudding? Unfortunately, I do not have a full length video of Somova's Raymonda to upload here, as presumably that would be the only proof that anyone would accept. HOWEVER, I WAS present in St Petersburg at Somova's Raymonda debut as I indicated above, and each variation was technically wonderful. Whether or not anyone personally LIKES Somova is a question of their own taste, but to say she could not perform the role of Raymonda to a technically high standard, is patently WRONG. I SAW it. And not just technique, but artistry there was in abundance, a fact that was appreciated by the whole Mariinsky audience, who gave her a huge ovation. Her dream scene was just exquisite in particular, with beautiful floating arms and lyrical upper body. Her "blue" variation was crisply articulated with strong footwork - basically each variation was differentiated, which is one of the hallmarks of a great Raymonda, since it is so difficult for any one ballerina to dance EACH variation to the same level of excellence. I have also seen in person on the Mariinsky stage most of the other ballerinas who currently have the role in their repertoire, and she was certainly the best of them. I say this objectively, as personally I love Novikova's Raymonda also as well as Lopatkina's Raymonda. Kolegova and Matvienko also are lovely Raymondas, both very strong technically and professional. We can all prefer certain ballerinas, but anyone judging Somova's Raymonda objectively could NEVER say it was anything other than excellent, both technically and artistically.
  3. Somova won an award for her Raymonda - Tanz magazine's "Hope" award - so it was recognised for its excellence. Technically and artistically it is superb. I have seen most of those Raymondas on the Mariinsky stage, and she was by far the best.
  4. I know that Evgeny Kuznetsov, who many considered the best male dancer graduating, was not given a contract and ended up at Stanislavsky, along with Tshkvitaria (sp?)
  5. Interesting! I don't know whether Kumiko is related to Rika, but maybe! I agree there are non-Russians on the roster from time to time, at different levels, but at the moment there are actually a lot of new imports in the CORPS from other schools of dance inside the former Soviet Union apart from Vaganova, yet there are many Vaganova graduates who were not given a contract this year. OK, maybe SOME, a few, of them were not as good as others, but some of the girls who were dancing major roles at this year's graduation performances were not given contracts - Tshkvitaria and Skvortsova for example. WHY? It does seem odd, and as Birdsall says, why are the non Vaganova graduates actively promoted as well? I do think Yuri Fateyev is trying to make the company more "international" and it would be so awful it the unique Vaganova style was lost. At the moment though, I will still travel to St Petersburg to see Mariinsky, as I still believe it is the best company in the world, certainly the one I most enjoy watching.
  6. I read this thread with interest - there are many informative interviews and links! - and I have to say I do find some of Yuri Fateyev's management policies mystifying, to say the least. I was looking through the recently updated playbill on the Mariinsky website, and saw in the Don Quixote of 5th December an unknown ballerina danced as Queen of the Dryads - Evgenia Gonzales. She dances the same role again on 24th January and has a few other solo roles already with the company. Her bio says she is a 2015 graduate of the Royal Swedish school I know that two year groups graduated Vaganova this year - years 8 and 9, as this will be the last year there is a year 9 class. All those girls graduating, and many were not even employed by Mariinsky, and yet a girl who was not even at Vaganova is given this coveted role, a role that is danced still by several first soloists, and even principal dancers of the company. I do not understand it.
  7. That certainly wasn't the case for Altynai Asylmuratova. In this interview http://www.for-ballet-lovers-only.com/interviews-asylmuratova.html she says she herself was in the corps de ballet for four years, before moving up through the ranks.
  8. There are SO many I love, and I try to watch them all every year! OK - Jingle all the Way, Elf (both make me laugh so much!), Love Actually, The Holiday, The Snowman, Home Alone, Miracle on 34th Street. I am a sucker for Christmas movies, and not forgetting I have to see The Nutcracker!
  9. "Ballet Shoes" by Noel Streatfeild is a famous children's book based on three sisters, one of whom becomes a ballerina. I loved reading this when I was a child! It was also successful televised. http://www.amazon.com/Ballet-Shoes-Shoe-Books-Streatfeild/dp/0679847596/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1448631473&sr=8-1&keywords=ballet+shoes+by+noel+streatfe
  10. Yes, my Russian friend told me she had seen a programme on TV where those three were interviewed and all said favorable things about Yulia Stepanova. This Gala should be wonderful, with so many great ballerinas taking part and a lovely selection of pieces. Personally, I think all the ballerinas are dancing entirely appropriate roles. It will be an amazing tribute to Maya Plisetskaya and I just hope that if it is shown on Russian TV, some of it will be available somewhere for us to enjoy! I can't wait to see it!
  11. MadameP

    Yulia Stepanova

    Yulia will dance the Hungarian Bride in Swan Lake on 22nd November.
  12. They have made that video private now - strange.
  13. MadameP

    Yulia Stepanova

    Here is the link to the Russian side of the site, that lists Yulia's bio in full, although, as Helene says, the English side does not show it yet. The updating is overdue for several weeks now. http://www.bolshoi.ru/persons/ballet/2881/ Her husband, Kamil Yangurazov, has been employed in the Actors/Extras ensemble of the Bolshoi Opera.
  14. Yes, I forgot to mention Matvienko! I saw her Raymonda debut in St Petersburg, and she is a lovely ballerina with a glorious jump and excellent all-round technique. I completely agree about Osmolkina, who has a beautiful ballerina body, impeccable Vaganova schooling and also is a wonderful actress. I saw her debut in Leningrad Symphony, in the honoured role that is only danced by a few ballerinas, and she bought the audience to tears, as she did also as Juliet and as Maria in Fountain of Bakhchisarai. She is a fabulous actress and a wonderful ballerina. I truly am very sad that she is not a principal.
  15. Awful news - among the first soloists, Novikova, Osmolkina and Kolegova were all by far more deserving of promotion in my opinion.
  16. Thank you! Do you know what her position was there, and what roles she danced?
  17. I enjoyed watching this last year - but if only Mariinsky could be one of the companies taking part!
  18. Who is Asthik Ogannesyan? She is a coryphee, but do you have any information on where she trained or what companies she has danced in before? Also, there is another dancer I do not know - Vera Sabantseva - who dances Gulnare with Lebedev - do have any information on her?
  19. Thank you - I don't know how I have missed seeing this documentary, but I will certainly watch it!
  20. Mariinsky is my favourite company and St Petersburg is my favourite city in the world. I have so many happy memories.
  21. Dear Birdsall, Thank God you are still alive. I cried also for you reading this. I am so sad and sorry for you. This was a truly terrifying experience that no-one deserves and you truly ARE lucky to be alive, judging from what that police officer said. This was clearly an experienced thug crime. Just an appalling end to your trip, and I am so glad that you at last did enjoy all those performances before. Thank you for the reviews. There is nothing like the Mariinsky. I try to be careful, and rarely by myself anyway in St Petersburg, but what you said is also brave of you to write this all down for everyone to read and be warned by. I truly hope those physical and mental wounds heal swiftly. God bless you and I send you my best wishes.
  22. MadameP

    Joy Womack

    I wondered the same - I think she would be better off in an American company.
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