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Keenan Kampa to join Mariinsky

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If I recall correctly, I saw her in Vaganova Academy in her graduation year of 2010. Her first year in Boston was this 2010-2011 season. The link provided was from 2009 Vaganova Academy production of Nutcracker season, I am assuming since that is the rehearsal I was very fortunate to see.

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Does anyone know the rank into which she'll be taken? I'm assuming Corps de Ballet but the MT has been known to take in young dancers at the Choryphee or even the 2nd Soloist level who've already danced professionally in other companies, e.g., Timur Askerov when he moved from Ukraine last season, after a year or so in the corps in Kyiv. There's also the new "Trainee" category this year; currently, the only "Trainee" is Kim Kimin of Korea.


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According to this article in "Voice of Russia"...


...the announcement of Keenan's joining will be made at the Kennedy Center during the present Diaghilev run, which is a rather unusual way of announcing new corps de ballet...especially one who isn't even due to join the company for several months. (There's always a 'first time' for everything.)


An official announcement to this effect will be made at the John F.Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington...

Another "Voice of Russia" article similarly states that there will be an on-stage announcement of the signing of the next 10-year Agreement between the Kennedy Center and the Mariinsky.

So I'm guessing that Yuri Fateev will be taking to the stage after one of the upcoming shows to make the big announcements??? dunno.gif

All in all, it looks like those of us who were able to nab tickets to the weekend performances of the run are in for a treat. This is almost as good as a Reality Show...or The Oscars! smile.png

p.s. Some of us had been hearing about Mr Fateev preparing to make a "big announcement" on-stage during this run and had thought that it would be the long-awaited promotion of a certain 1st soloist. Ah, well...maybe good news "comes in threes"?

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This news has made it onto the Mariinsky website, with a gorgeous pic of Keenan in front of the Hermitage/Winter Palace!


One error that everybody seems to be making in all the hype: she is not the first American to join the Mariinsky; that honor went to Rasta Thomas, who joined as a Second Soloist in the 2000/2001 timeframe and danced, among other ballets, a memorable Jeune Homme et la Morte opposite Lopatkina. He returned to the US after a year but the fact is that he was an American regular (not 'guest') member of the Mariinsky Ballet.

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That very brief clip gives a hint as to how magnetic Ms. Kampa must be on stage, even when performing something simple. I don't know that I've ever seen (or noticed) that charming youthful gesture of playing with the snow.

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Thanks for the clip. Kampa is fine but - wow! - I love Alisa Sodolyeva, with her lovelier port de bras, longer neck, glamorous 'eastern' face, floating quality. Sodolyeva danced Asaf Messere'r's Melody at the 2010 graduation. She is originally from Belarus (so, like Kampa, one of the 'foreign' interns at the school); taken into the company immediately after her graduation.

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Keenan Kampa was added to the Mariinsky roster this past Tuesday. She joins the Mariinsky corps de ballet - the first American woman to do so. (Rasta Thomas, the first American man, joined as 2nd Soloist in 2000 but left after one season.)

Keenan is among the corps ladies in the current US tour of Costa Mesa, CA, Berkeley, CA, and Washington, DC.


(Yes, it took to MT website a few months to update their roster with all of the corps additions + promos.)

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While searching the current Mariinsky roster for Stepanova (who is gone), I noticed that Keenan Kampa is no longer with the troupe. If memory serves, she was inactive for most of the last Mariinsky season, 2013/14, due to injury but I was hoping to be seeing her back on the boards this year. Hopefully she is with another troupe in the US or Europe.

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I was very much looking forward to her return to the Mariinsky.

I hope that I'm allowed to say here that I met her once at a Mariinsky reception and found her to be one of the loveliest individuals that I've ever spoken to.

I wish her much success and happiness wherever she goes.

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This is somewhat-old news but nobody seems to have posted that Ms Kampa is now also an actress. Her first film, HIGH STRUNG, premiered a couple of months ago. Here's the trailer:


It had a limited run in the DC area (in the Virginia 'burbs) but I caught it. Heavy emphasis on hip hop, so it wasn't my cup of tea, but it's always nice to see some ballet (any ballet) on film.

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