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Nzoia

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Everything posted by Nzoia

  1. Nzoia

    Joy Womack

    I wonder if she has given up the Kremlin, or whether she is a dual principal at the Kremlin and Universal. Does anyone know?
  2. Nzoia

    Joy Womack

    In my view, Joy's problems are self-imposed; and, unless she changes, they will follow her wherever she goes. As I mentioned, I think she has become a dancer to be reckoned with. I have seen some internationally famous principal dancers whose performances of Odette-Odile have not come close to the quality of Joy's performances. Unfortunately, she wears her emotions on her sleeve, publicly airing her dirty laundry and talking badly about partners and co-dancers. When she tells the world that one of her partners is a drunk, he will not relish dancing with her or have any interest in show-casing her. When she continued to film classes and performances at the Kremlin when it was clear the dancers were uncomfortable with it, they won't exactly gravitate towards her. When she publicly blames one of the principal dancers for one of her injuries, that dancer will have no interest in being friendly. When she tells the world others are jealous of her (albeit, some probably are), that will transform jealousy into anger and contempt. She is conflicted, advertising her boredom, as she did on the vlog you mentioned, after having previously complained about having to dance a full-length ballet as soon as she arrived back in Moscow from guest/gala/competition performances, at the same time not understanding that it is surely the responsibility of a dancer to fit her extra-curricular activities into her company's schedule. By the way, that "full-length" performance was Gamzatti, not Nikiya. Sometime ago, she complained about not being cast enough; then when she received more roles, she complained about being too busy. The most dramatic improvement in her dancing took place when her coach insisted she not vlog. Her vlogging splits the focus that all top dancers need. Her indiscretions are preceding her and jeopardizing her chances, let alone creating an unenthusiastic public. She will never find a reputable company that will allow such vlogging or filming. I suspect that many companies now, won't risk hiring her. I hope I am wrong and that they will give her a chance, with strict restraints against negative public disclosures. The majority of her vlog watchers appear to be teen and younger dancers, mothers of dancers, and those who love and admire Joy. The majority of responses reinforce her self-defeating behavior. Hardly the best audience for professional and wise advice about a professional ballet career. I would like to see Joy calm down at the Kremlin (the company that opened its doors to her after an episode that could have been career ending), continue to improve, then move on into a principal or soloist position at a top-tier company. Her dilemma maybe not wanting to accept a soloist position. I expect the Bolshoi''s doors are closed forever. There are corps dancers who are better than her at the Mariinsky. I could see her moving to the Mikhailovsky. They originally offered her a position, but she opted for the Bolshoi, then all hell broke loose. As the Mikhailovsky's principals are some of the best dancers in the world (Leonid Sarafanov, the best male dancer in the world right now, in my view), I am not sure whether that door would still be open. In my view, it would be very sad if she gave Russia up, after all her dreams about Russia, learning the language, enduring the strict and rigorous Russian ballet training away from home, rising from the ashes of the fiasco at the Bolshoi, developing a network of professional and personal Russian friends, becoming a principal at the Kremlin, albeit, a second-tier company in Russia, but larger than most first-tier companies in the West (with impeccably trained dancers as well), and not least, with a beautiful paid-for apartment in down-town Moscow. Since I have been watching her, she has travelled the world. I think she is deluded, if she thinks dancing in America will afford her those same travel opportunities. With a new, professional outlook, I am sure Europe would be an option. I hope Joy finds a professional mentor to guide her in her professional choices and public relations to avoid the pitfalls into which she continually falls. Her coach at the Kremlin is one of the best, which, I am sure, is one of the reasons for the huge improvement in her dancing. Her recent success in top world competitions cannot be discounted or negated. I wish her the best and hope she stops vlogging.
  3. Nzoia

    Joy Womack

    Watched Joy Womack, with her partner, Alexey Lyubimov, a soloist from the Stanislavsky Ballet of Moscow, dancing the Black Swan Pas de Deux at the Asian Grand Prix. Albeit, the video was a la Womack from the wings; however, in my view, anyone who pulls her dancing apart is simply not on. She has become a dancer to be reckoned with. My hope is that she will tone down her vlogging -- preferably end it -- and continue her career, for now, in Moscow at the Kremlin or other ballet company in Russia. She invested so much to obtain that Russian connection. It is why she is where she is today.
  4. Nzoia

    Joy Womack

    Hi Charlie, I agree. I think Joy Womack is a very talented dancer, with much potential. She sometimes speaks unprofessionally about her co-dancers and company in her vlogs, putting herself at risk of jeopardizing her future. That is why many people express their hope that she stop vlogging.
  5. Nzoia

    Joy Womack

    Hi Fraildove. Pretty well agree with all that you say, I understand the fame and high recognition of the POB. Some individual amazing dancers. The corps is good (but as you say not as good as the Mariinsky corps -- the best barre none). POB students look outstanding. However, for me, somehow all that does not translate on stage, especially with the women. I think the men tend to be better. I am still working on figuring out why I am not a fan of POB performances. Most likely the style. I haven't seen enough of Hannah O'Neille to say much. I think it is obvious she trained elsewhere. I think it is important that guests, outsiders fit the brand (aka w/ all the imported principals at the Bolshoi (David Hallberg and lineup of Vaganava/Mariinsky principals). Yet there is another side to fitting the brand. I know one top principal who moved and is being molded into a different and lesser style -- won't mention names. I, too, am biased towards Vaganova/Russian training and the Russian companies. I think the three top Russian companies are the best in the world, without any doubt. Without exception, they always stand out in class. It is their training that results in such excellence. In general, I agree with you about Joy Womack. In I believe her inappropriate vlogging has already most likely jeopardized many chances and will ultimately send her into oblivion. Ironically, once there, her vlog fans will no longer be interested. As far as I can gather they are mainly young girls, teenagers, and student dancers, most of whom will never make it -- so a strange audience from which to be seeking advice about career decisions. I am sorry she never managed to find herself a professional mentor (in addition to her dance coach), because I believe she is talented and could have had potential to be a principal dancer in some of the European companies (but not the top Russian companies). She is talented and the improvement in her dancing has been dramatic. So, I do call people who criticize her talent unmercifully and unfairly. An up and comer I watch closely is Ksenia Zhiganshina (since her Vaganova student days). Now in the corps of the Bolshoi (coryphee, I believe). Has always advertised herself, but so professional and, with her move, supportive of the Bolshoi. She is doing so well. Already dancing significant soloist roles. Joy could take some pointers from her. Thanks for the chat.
  6. Nzoia

    Joy Womack

    Balanchine's Ballet imperial by the Mariinsky. The NYCB could not possible match it, in my view.
  7. Nzoia

    Joy Womack

    The improvement in the quality of the Royal Ballet has, in my view, been dramatic since it opened its doors to outside dancers.
  8. Nzoia

    Joy Womack

    I agree that an attached academy is very important; however, the best companies accept the best from elsewhere (providing, of course, they fit their brand). The POB and NYCB, of course, have been known for having closed shops. In my view, it shows. As I mentioned in a post the other day, ABT actually changed its model to rely on importing principals. Kevin McKenzie's idea was to be able to cast the best in a specific role, rather than an in-house principal who may not be the best in a specific role. I think it is an excellent idea. Even, all the top Russian companies now import talent.
  9. Nzoia

    Joy Womack

    I could be wrong about this. That's why I added "I think." Can't remember where I got the notion. Certainly, the POB has started opening its doors -- albeit, gingerly. A good move I think. I don't think insularity ultimately serves a company well.
  10. Nzoia

    Joy Womack

    Neither one. The ABT has become an interesting variant of a company, with top international principals who are also principals at other companies. Without looking up his specific wording, Kevin McKenzie came up with the great idea of importing principals to dance parts in which they excel, instead of casting a dancer in roles, in which he/she may not excel just because he/she is a principal. I think it is an excellent idea and has certainly catapulted ABT. I have been told, but cannot personally vouch for it, that the corps is not that great. I love to follow dancers I believe are up and comers. One of them is Gisele Bethea in the ABT corps. Stella Abrera (principal) has amazing arabesque extensions. Robert Bolle is very special (but probably reaching his peak now). David Hallberg? Well, what can I say. He is spectacular. He is my favorite in Maro Spada (Bolshoi/Pierre Lacotte, latest version). Think I read the other day that Diana Vishneva has retired fro ABT (recognize her greatness but not a favorite of mine). I love Daniel Ulbright -- his dancing and his spirit. I don't think either Joy Womack or Misty Copeland is at the level of the top principals of ABT. Well that's it. Strayed a little off topic, I'm afraid. Thanks everyone for the chat. Allowed me to avoid a whole bunch of nasty stress today.
  11. Nzoia

    Joy Womack

    You can check the history out right on the Vaganova website.
  12. Nzoia

    Joy Womack

    The Imperial Ballet School and Vaganova Academy are one and the same.
  13. Nzoia

    Joy Womack

    Pretty sure it was the 1949 Sadler's Wells tour to the U.S. (think they went across the country).
  14. Nzoia

    Joy Womack

    I completely agree. A mix is good, and I think all top companies strive for that mix. At one time the NYCB didn't have enough of a mix. As we have discussed, that has changed. I appreciate your love of the NYCB. From my perspective of loving Russian Ballet, it was, after all founded by a former Vaganova Academy graduate and former Mariinsky Ballet dancer. But as I mentioned, I am not a Balanchine fan. I believe the NYCB is beginning to open up to outside dancers now, as is the POB -- a positive move I think. My absolute ballet idol at one time was Suzanne Farrel, but tastes and preferences change with life's experiences. That is good too. If all ballets and companies were exactly the same, the ballet world really would be pretty boring -- and struggling even more for funding.
  15. Nzoia

    Joy Womack

    My comment was strictly relating to me, alone. I don't recall saying I didn't want to read others doing it or that I would not. Just expressed my feelings about my own input. As a dancer, I understand the sensitivity of comparisons for those being compared. About the ballets. Sometimes companies don't put on some of the full length ballets because of the number of dancers in the ballet and problems with licensing. Also, of course cost of staging the particular version of a new ballet to a company: the choreography, commissions, repetiteurs, costumes, scenery, etc. I am a fan of Russian ballet: that includes Vaganova training in the West. It also does not preclude appreciation of great dancers in the West.
  16. Nzoia

    Joy Womack

    Don't agree that Joy is earthbound. Check out her instagram, Gamzatti and Don Quixote. Communication skills are definitely a difference between them, with Misty in the winning seat. Joy is developing her musicality with experience. Don't think she could have done so well in her various competitions without musicality. Misty is more a modern ballet type and definitely earthbound. Joy is more lyrical and classical, with killer turns. There is no comparison on the technique, with Joy the winner. Joy has had problems with turnout, showing up in her attitudes. With her Kremlin Ballet coach that has dramatically improved, although it still shows up. Misty Copeland would never be promoted to soloist, let alone principal, in any of the first- or second-tier companies in Russia. As you can probably gather, I am a fan of Russian Ballet. They are the best, and in my view that is because of their training. They ALWAYS stand out in class. Both artistry and significant performance start in Year One. Love these ballet discussions, but not sure that I am comfortable comparing two dancers on public forums. Each has his/her strengths and weaknesses -- even Lopatkina and Zakharova. Fouettes are not their strengths. I am very mindful of the trials and tribulations, difficulties and hurdles of ballet. Just to make it to the corps of any well established company is a feat in itself, especially, now with dancers in the West who more and more have to compete with dancers trained in Russia.
  17. Nzoia

    Joy Womack

    It was Martins who had to start focusing on the classical ballets to save the company.
  18. Nzoia

    Joy Womack

    Found out about this when researching the financial trials and tribulations of the NYCB. The internet is such an amazing tool. We are so lucky.
  19. Nzoia

    Joy Womack

    Ok. Hear you. I haven't seen the Bolshoi's "Rubies," so can't comment.
  20. Nzoia

    Joy Womack

    That is true. The NYCB was teetering on bankrupty so added the classics. Perhaps I should have said it started focusing more on the classics. Of course, all dancers at any top company are good dancers. Of course, the dancers at NYCB are good dancers. I would never denigrate their talent. I respect the difficulties of ballet and the profession too much for that; however, whether the NYCB dancers of today fit Balanchine's vision is another question. I consider Pierre Lacotte one of the top choreographers today by far -- better than some who are getting all kinds of publicity today. If such a choreographer is not sufficiently experienced to comment on how well a dancer is dancing Balanchine, then the ballet world is in trouble. As I responded to Helene who made a similar comment, I could turn that notion around and question the qualifications of anyone on these posts who question the ability of Russians to dance Balanchine. Ballet is so competitive and so stretched for money that in the main dancers simply cannot take a year off, let alone what that would do to their abilities. You know in ballet, one year off is a thousand years back. David Hallberg recently took two years off, I think it was, to recover from an injury; however, he's in a different category than Joy Womack. I think that privilege is reserved for the cream of the crop. Ballet companies wouldn't be so patient with lesser dancers. I agree. I think social media can do wonders for a dancer, with the right approach -- almost a must in this day and age, actually. Ironically, we all spend time discussing and debating the merits of Joy Womack because of her social media. It all depends on which social media and how it is used. Misty Copeland has benefited immensely (fairly or otherwise) from her PR blitz. Most dancers keep it simple with Instagram. Vlogging, as Joy has done over the years, is extremely time consuming and will ultimately clash with the time needed to be a top dancer, let alone the restrictions against videoing company classes and activities. As we all know, she has also been extremely unwise in some of her comments. In my view, she made a huge, life-changing blunder by going to the press instead of sorting things out with the Bolshoi. She has owned up to burning her bridges there and says she is at peace with it now, but it must at some level grate on her every day. I admire her courage and tenacity to have risen from those ashes. I also think that her dancing has improved beyond an Atlanta Ballet future. Personally, I have been amazed at the improvement. There is no doubt that she is extremely talented. Top tier at the Bolshoi or Mariinsky, no, but certainly good enough to be on the top tier of top companies. Unfortunately her vlogs have probably already prohibited that. Ironically, if she had stayed at the Bolshoi, she would not be a principal and would not have been able to dance the principal roles she has danced with the Kremlin Ballet -- a catch 22 situation. Joy's mother is a doctor, who specializes in many healing treatments, so she doesn't need insurance coverage. Unfortunately, in the reality of the ballet world, if a dancer takes time out, the risk is that it will be permanent.
  21. Nzoia

    Joy Womack

    We'll have to disagree on that one. I could create a similar response negating the opinions of all the commentators on You Tube and ballet sites who negate Russian dancers' ability to perform Balanchine exquisitely. I would certainly put a whole lot more weight on what Pierre Lacotte has to say. Also, the NYCB and its dancers have changed considerably since Balanchine's time at the company.
  22. Nzoia

    Joy Womack

    A two-pronged response vis-a-visa Joy's recent revelations about leaving the Kremlin Ballet and classical versus modern ballet - a little long, I'm afraid. I had a lot to say. Classical vs Modern Ballets / Joy Well-trained classical ballet dancers can perform any modern works. The same does not necessarily stand for well-trained modern ballet dancers performing classical works . Training at the top academies in Russia is impeccable -- the best. In fact, training at top Russian academies probably includes more variety of dance than training in the West. Joy is well trained, a graduate of the Bolshoi Academy. I don't think, as a well-trained dancer, she would have any problems performing more "modern" ballets, versus the classics. Whether she would want to focus on them is another question. Ironically, the NYCB had to re-introduce the classics into its repertoire to prevent it from gong bankrupt. Its dancers are not exquisitely trained classical dancers, in my view. A small troupe, including Joy, recently put on a well-received modern performance. Her extensions and strong turns are excellent for modern pieces. Some of the choreography in the Russian ballets in which she performs is very modern -- and difficult. Fast petit allegro has not been a strength so far. She had difficulty with one of the fairies in Sleeping Beauty. Having said that, turns/fouettes are a huge strength, as is her Kitri in Don Quixote. It is also fair to say that she appears to stand out in any class, including with ABT. Classically trained Russian dancers perform works by the choreographers you mention quite often and with proficiency. Balanchine's alma maters were the Vaganova Academy and the Mariinsky Ballet. His ideal dancer was tall, lithe, with great extensions, great technique and quickness. His success in finding that ideal is a matter of debate. I believe he would have been in his element, had he lived long enough to see the USSR collapse and been able to work with Russian dancers. I am not a Balanchine fan. I think most of his pieces are dated, old fashioned and boring; however, I acknowledge, his legacy of brilliance at combining music and dance into one. Recently I watched Balanchine's Ballet Imperial on You Tube performed by the Mariinsky Ballet, with Viktoria Tereshkina in the main role; Olseya Novikova, in the second role. The performance was exquisite. I was surprised at my reaction, not being a Balanchine fan. It got me thinking about the differences between Russian and American dancers performing his works. I believe the Russians are so impeccably trained in technique that their quick movements have a flow and fluidity that is missing in the West. I often read criticisms of Russians performing Balanchine, so I did a little research and came across Pierre Lacotte's thoughts about Uliana Lopatkina in Balanchine. He described it as "totally amazing." Jean-Guillaume, a former principal with the POB, described how, as he watched Lopatkina's extraordinary performance in Diamonds, he almost forgot that he was her partner. Uliana Lopatkina is probably the most lyrical, classical dancer of our time. It is no surprise that Evgenia Obraztsova is probably Pierre Lacotte's main muse. A reason for that is her proficiency at very fast, difficult petit allegro, together with her classical repertoire. (She's also amazing in modern pieces.) Pierre Lacotte's choreography, in my view, is often much faster and/or much more difficult than Balanchine's choreography. Future for Joy Womack? Joy hinted that she was leaving the Kremlin Ballet. My take is that she has not left but had words with them for not scheduling her extraneous performances around the Kremlin's scheduling and casting. After that vlog, one does wonder whether the Kremlin Ballet's doors will still be open to her. Of course she is not at the level of either Lopatkina or Obraztsova (or other top Russian dancers); however, the improvement in Joy's dancing has been spectacular. I have seen principals not do as well as Joy in Swan Lake. Joy's difficulties in furthering her career are twofold: 1) Her unprofessional indiscretions in her vlogs, impulsive reactions, and apparent inability to negotiate win/win solutions. 2) Having reached principal status, the difficulty in joining another company as a principal. Judging by her personality, she is hardly likely to accept a position as a corps member or perhaps even as a soloist (many corps dancers in Russia are equal or better than she is). Balanchine is not her style or training. (She has talked about that often.) ABT hires only the top world principals now (with a few exceptions). I believe she will completely jeopardize her chances anywhere, if she does not rein in her public discussions. Instagram is pretty popular with professional dancers, but most companies would never allow their dancers to vlog as Joy does. It is very sad that she never managed to find a professional mentor. She has an excellent dance coach who recently won a best-coach award. Joy's recent incredible success in placing in top competitions is in no small measure due to her coach and her wise advice. There is no doubt that Joy has become a dancer who is noticed by top professionals. If she wants to continue on that path, I believe she will need to close down her vlogs and rethink her commitments and loyalties. The irony is that her vlog followers are mostly teenagers, young girls and related fans without ballet training. They may bolster her confidence with almost unanimous overflowing praise (she blocks negative feedback), but in the end they will do absolutely nothing for her career or her chances. They follow her because of her story in Russia. If she ends up in some obscure company or studio, they will highly likely lose interest. Joy has made some huge mistakes, but her tenacity to overcome them has been admirable. Albeit, at a second-tier Russian company (larger than many top-tier companies in the West), she has done exceptionally well, despite tensions with other dancers. She is only 23 years old. What a waste to throw it away to join the sidelines of ballet. I wish her the best; hope she ends her vlogs (keeps her Instagram); spends more time as a principal at the Kremlin; and then moves on as a sought-after principal (with no vlogs). Who knows, maybe her life goal is to be less visible, but somehow I can't imagine that.
  23. Nzoia

    Joy Womack

    She won the gold medal at the Korean International Ballet Competition. The Kremlin Ballet has been a participant in her entering various competitions. Certainly, she received coaching from her Kremlin Ballet coach for the competitions. Without doubt she has proved that she is a talented dancer with huge potential. She posted photos at the Korean competition of herself with the director of the Kremlin Ballet. Unfortunately, she does not have a professional mentor who can guide her in her social media and other publicity; however, I think grace demands credit where credit is due. She has done exceptionally well in these competitions. I watched the lineup at the Moscow International Competition. Truthfully, it wasn't all that impressive. I was impressed by her performances. She could easily have won one of the top prizes/medals. I thought she would. She received a diploma, along with a Mariinsky soloist. (That's pretty good company.) She did refer to her diploma as giving her laureate status. I like to give her the benefit of the doubt. I think she is young and not careful with her words, rather than deviously misleading. The same applies before she was promoted to a prima ballerina at the Kremlin Ballet. She was listed as a soloist but called herself a principal. I believe that is a matter of the Russian vs. English nomenclature. I have no doubt she wold like to show the Bolshoi what she can do. That would be quite understandable under the circumstances. Joy's dancing has improved dramatically. I believe she deserves acknowledgement for that. In the end, no matter what her motivation has been for entering the various competitions, she has done very well in them. That says something about her talent. Top professionals from all over the world are judges. She has also been keeping some impressive company (on tour with Ivan Vasiliev's group/Spain), danced with principal of Royal Ballet in Australia, danced as Gamzati opposite Herman Cornejo as Solar at the Kremlin Ballet Festival, often partners with an amazing Kazan principal dancer, Oleg Ivenko, the lead in Ralph Fiennes movie about Nureyev, both Yulia Makhalina and her Bolshoi teacher highly praised her after a performance. She has gone out of her way to obtain visibility. Nothing wrong with that. Unfortunately, she has no guidance in what is appropriate to say and what is not; and that circles round to jeopardize her chances. It doesn't diminish her talent.
  24. Nzoia

    Joy Womack

    No dancer can take a year off and expect to maintain his/her standing, unless it is someone at the top of his/her game, such as, say, David Hallberg or Uliana Lopatkina who each took considerable time off to attend to injuries.
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