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Somova Alert: Kitri!

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Thanks for the link, alexaa1a, and welcome to BalletTalk!

The photo also suggests that since the Kirov's City Center season last spring, Somova has shed a few pounds. It even shows in her face.

It's Sarafanov who has bulked up and doesn't give the impression of being the elf of years past. Somova looks about the same. She has always had the long bony jaw.

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I've met Sarafanov and he is rather tall, certainly above six foot, I imagine it was his very youthful looks that made people imagine him to be a little chap. I think he's grown a bit over the years too.

I agree Mashinka: Per "alexaa1a,s" link, he has indeed picked up height. Alina has always been long and

lanky. She's an amazon. When I first saw Sarafanov & Somova together in the Le Corsaire pdd in '04,

(one of her first assignments in the corps), she was taller. Corsaire was the first pdd they were assigned

together, then came Don Q pdd, then she was given the first variation in "Paquita," then Odette/Odile.

Another PD, Irma Nioradze was paired with Sarafanov in the full length "Bayadere" in '04. Based on the pic,

he's past her now, because Alina is definitely taller than Irma. When Somova's Kitri debuted last year, my

Petersburg friend confirmed the difficulties Leonid had with the overhead lifts in Don Q Act 1 and other sections

of the ballet. Kitri is a soubrette/virtuosa/comedienne/allegro role. Somova may be a borderline soubrette, (?)

but because of her height and long limbs, "virtuosa" and speed do not come easy for her. Conversely, because

of her long limbs she should be good in adagio. Although her Odette and Nikiya are less coltish, she hasn't

yet delved into nuance, explored dramatic development, nor mastered legato and phrase completion.

When she graduated in '03 she was fuller. Today, she's extremely fragile looking, although I must concede

that her spotting with piourettes and fouttees vis a vis general placement has improved. For example, her

regular fouttees and Italians still bounce but are now sur place. IMO I believe that it's her arms

which are out of proportion to the rest of her body, that and her over-extended knees. Of course,

she can't do anything about that, but great ballerinas find ways and means to conceal physical boondoggles.

However, bent wrists, petrified fingers and long nails which accentuate them do not enhance line. For example,

Mezentseva's arms were also quite long, and she was built almost the same as Somova, albeit her

torso was more compact than Somova's. Of course, (no comparison with Alina), but Galina's

port de bras, epaulement, hands, fingers, placement, technique, artistry, and dramatic skills, in short -

attention to detail, was impeccable. Maybe this is what they see in Somova, and are trying to bring

forth. (?)

I think, if they must cast her in classical roles, obviously she looks best with the tallest men, but with men who

look like grown men (in the face), such as Kozlov, Fadeev, Korsuntsev, Kolb & Ivanchenko. These gentlemen are

danseur nobles. Of these, Somova's been paired frequently with Kolb & Fadeev. Kozlov & Korsuntsev are Lopatkina's

main partners, and Ivanchenko's services are widely used by the female leads in the company. Sarafanov and another frequent partner of Somova's, Anton Korsakov, aren't danseur nobles, but both have been assigned danseur noble roles. Technically Sarafanov and Korsakov can do these roles, but artistically they're unconvincing in them. Of these

two, Sarafanov is the superior technician, MO.

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