Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×

Yulia Stepanova


tamicute

Recommended Posts

But life at the Bolshoi is a fickle thing. A year ago one of the award's recipients was Maria Alexandrova. Before the season was out, she had resigned, then was sort of re-instated, and then "demoted" but left on the roster, although without any performances schueduled so far this season.

 

Recipients of the award from the ballet company over the past decade:

2017 - Yulia Stepanova, Vyacheslav Lopatin, Daria Lovtsova
2016 - Maria Alexandrova, Igor Tsvirko, Margarita Shrainer
2015 - Ekaterina Krysanova, Vladislav Lantratov, Egor Sharkov
2014 - Olga Smirnova, Mikhail Lobukhin, Anastasia Kazakova
2013 - Anastasia Stashkevich, Semyon Chudin, Yan Godovsky, Alexander Vetrov
2012 - Ekaterina Krysanova, Ruslan Skvortsov, Anna Nikulina, Artem Ovcharenko
2011 - Nina Kaptsova, Vladislav Lantratov, Vladimir Nikonov
2010 - Marianna Ryzhkina, Ivan Vasiliev, Marina Kondratieva
2009 - Nadezhda Gracheva, Ekaterina Shipulina
2008 - Anna Antonicheva, Alexander Volchkov, Nikolai Fadeyechev
2007 - Galina Stepanenko, Inna Petrova, Yuri Klevtsov, Alexander Petukhov, Tatiana Krasina

Link to post

Allash turned 41 in March and Kaptsova will be 39 in a few short weeks. If anybody can feel disappointed it is Obraztsova, not the stars on the threshold of retirement. I think Alexandrova is also around that age and has other projects. I understand people's disappointment at their favorites getting fewer opportunities to dance, but ballet strikes me as a cruel art in that respect...once you are no longer in your prime you can be discarded like you don't matter. Some dancers are able to keep dancing longer.

Link to post

Ballet is cruel...For me as an audience member it is especially disturbing, though, to see dancers phased out when they are still giving extraordinary performances.  Many ballerinas dance remarkably into their early forties even in major classics. Sometimes they are at their peak at 38/39.  Lopatkina was 39 when I saw her dance a Swan Lake that was one of the greatest performances I have ever seen. My sister saw her dance it at forty and had the same reaction.  Video of her performances the next couple of years did not suggest decline and many fans who saw her dance in those years reported growth. When I saw her live again at 44 she was STILL perfection, but I allow that that was a carefully selected program of excerpts and Lopatkina herself has seemingly made her choice now to exit the ballet stage. What I saw would have been one of her last performances before surgery (as I have read)  and then retirement.

 

I also think different directors just have different tastes and, perhaps even seperately from questions of taste, want to cultivate THEIR dancers and show that a company is their company. That is I don't think the cruelty is always purely in the service of art. Filin hired Stepanova, but Vaziev promoted her to principal. He can't take credit for Alexandrova in the same way.

 

However, the two times I have seen Allash (both years ago--Queen of the Dryads and Aegina) she was interesting and pleasingly sensual but still noticeably weaker technically than any of the other leads in those performances. In that context, her sneering at dancers hired by Filin, as she did in the Bolshoi Babylon documentary, was especially distasteful to me, and I confess most of my sympathies are reserved for Alexandrova and Kaptsova, though I know that's just based on my very limited personal experience. I am glad to read Kaptsova is still getting cast quite a bit.

 

But none of this is on Stepanova's shoulders ( I'm tempted to add --no more than Stepanova's woes at the Mariinsky were on Skorik's). Of course companies have a finite number of performances--but still I suspect directors can find at least partial solutions when companies are dancing and touring as much as the top Russian companies do. 

 

Unfortunately, I  have seen Stepanova practically not at all live, but she is a dancer I would love to see in any number of major roles. Legend of Love is one of them. I am happy she has a chance for an exciting career at the Bolshoi, though honestly her whole way of dancing seems more 'Mariinsky' to me. (I know Vaziev and others have been minimizing the difference in interviews.) She sort of reminds me of a Kirov ballerina named Lubov Kunakova...but my memories of Kunakova are a touch fragmentary, so I may be wrong about that...

Edited by Drew
Link to post
2 hours ago, Birdsall said:

I understand people's disappointment at their favorites getting fewer opportunities to dance, but ballet strikes me as a cruel art in that respect...

 

Why assume personal sympathies are in play here? I, for one, don't really have a horse in this ballerina sweepstakes. I finally saw Kaptsova live for the first time this past May and found her to be extraordinary. I don't especially like the dancing of Alexandrova, but I have a great deal of respect for it. I last saw Allash in 2014, and while I didn't especially care for her performances, I had to admit that technically they were very strong.

 

I'm completely neutral on Stepanova. I don't see what her fans see, but neither do I find her objectionable. (Unlike Smirnova, for whose dancing I feel a powerful, visceral dislike, so maybe I do have an anti-horse in this race, and her prominence bothers me.) 

 

My objections stem from a sense of offended justice, considering what these senior ballerinas have given to the Bolshoi (something, that Obraztsova cannot claim, so her predicament is of a different sort), and comparing that with Vaziev's, which at this point seems highly dubious. I also don't think ADs should have carte blanche to remake companies in their own image, particularly not in the case of great institutions like the POB or the Bolshoi. Where a choreographer-director, whether it be Balanchine, Neumeier or Maillot, is a company's driving aesthetic force, then I will give that person a lot of leeway, but otherwise, I think the institution vastly more important than the director, and the dancers are more important, too. People may come to the Bolshoi to see the ballets, or to see the dancers, but certainly not because Vaziev is in charge at the moment. I'm offended that Vaziev, who was a mediocre dancer at best, wields this sort of control over the careers of artists who are vastly more talented than he ever was. And while he may downplay the differences between the Bolshoi and post-Kirov styles because it suits his interests, I weep for the (not-so-gradual) brushing aside of the Moscow style for Vaziev's aesthetic preferences (which I find grotesque).

Link to post
On ‎22‎/‎09‎/‎2017 at 3:34 PM, mnacenani said:

 

Forgive my ignorance (no longer tracking London except for Osipova) - where and what did they dance ??

 

It was an evening given by a ballet school with Russian connections at the London Palladium.  Chudin and Krysanova both performed contemporary solos,  Alexandrova and Lantratov danced Raymonda pas de deux and variations and bits of Carmen Suite, Krysanova and Chudin ended the evening with Don Q pdd.

Link to post
57 minutes ago, Drew said:

  She sort of reminds me of a Kirov ballerina named Lubov Kunakova...but my memories of Kunakova are a touch fragmentary, so I may be wrong about that...

 

I was lucky enough to have seen Lyubov Kunakova dance on a number of occasions, indeed she appeared in a mime role with the Mariinsky in Anna Karenina in London last month.  Apart from a rock solid technique she had great charm and a genuine warmth that radiated beyond the footlights, Stepanova has none of those attributes and I'm at a total loss to understand her appeal

Link to post
32 minutes ago, volcanohunter said:

My objections stem from a sense of offended justice, considering what these senior ballerinas have given to the Bolshoi (something, that Obraztsova cannot claim, so her predicament is of a different sort), and comparing that with Vaziev's, which at this point seems highly dubious. I also don't think ADs should have carte blanche to remake companies in their own image, particularly not in the case of great institutions like the POB or the Bolshoi. Where a choreographer-director, whether it be Balanchine, Neumeier or Maillot, is a company's driving aesthetic force, then I will give that person a lot of leeway, but otherwise, I think the institution vastly more important than the director, and the dancers are more important, too.

 

That is sadly par for the course with a number of companies, English National Ballet springs immediately to mind, even though it isn't on a level with the Bolshoi.  It will be interesting to see what effect these changes will have on company morale.

 

Of those currently listed as female principals, only one, Krysanova, would I be prepared to see in everything and a second, Obraztsova, I would see in most things, though a couple of ladies further down the rankings interest me greatly too.  

 

I would be devastated if the unique Bolshoi style were lost or even diluted and it's looking as if there may be a danger of that.

Link to post
12 hours ago, volcanohunter said:

I'm completely neutral on Stepanova. I don't see what her fans see, but neither do I find her objectionable. (Unlike Smirnova, for whose dancing I feel a powerful, visceral dislike, so maybe I do have an anti-horse in this race, and her prominence bothers me.

 

Had sort of written Stepanova off after seeing her botch the Medora fouttees on two consecutive nights at Malakhov&Friends

galas last year. It was also reported that she was not able to execute a perfect fouettee at her Medora debut at the Bolshoy

earlier this year. But she does have a following among our senior members and I have been persuaded that Stepanova merits

a closer look, as I have not yet seen her in a full classic. I saw Smirnova live three times last season as Nikiya, Aurora and Ode/Odi

and have no doubt she is a great dancer. Now, everything going according to plan, I will see both Stepanova and Smirnova as

Medora on 18-19 October which will give me the chance to compare and size up Stepanova. Hope to post my takes in due time.

Link to post
15 hours ago, volcanohunter said:

 

Why assume personal sympathies are in play here? I, for one, don't really have a horse in this ballerina sweepstakes. I finally saw Kaptsova live for the first time this past May and found her to be extraordinary. I don't especially like the dancing of Alexandrova, but I have a great deal of respect for it. I last saw Allash in 2014, and while I didn't especially care for her performances, I had to admit that technically they were very strong.

 

I'm completely neutral on Stepanova. I don't see what her fans see, but neither do I find her objectionable. (Unlike Smirnova, for whose dancing I feel a powerful, visceral dislike, so maybe I do have an anti-horse in this race, and her prominence bothers me.) 

 

My objections stem from a sense of offended justice, considering what these senior ballerinas have given to the Bolshoi (something, that Obraztsova cannot claim, so her predicament is of a different sort), and comparing that with Vaziev's, which at this point seems highly dubious. I also don't think ADs should have carte blanche to remake companies in their own image, particularly not in the case of great institutions like the POB or the Bolshoi. Where a choreographer-director, whether it be Balanchine, Neumeier or Maillot, is a company's driving aesthetic force, then I will give that person a lot of leeway, but otherwise, I think the institution vastly more important than the director, and the dancers are more important, too. People may come to the Bolshoi to see the ballets, or to see the dancers, but certainly not because Vaziev is in charge at the moment. I'm offended that Vaziev, who was a mediocre dancer at best, wields this sort of control over the careers of artists who are vastly more talented than he ever was. And while he may downplay the differences between the Bolshoi and post-Kirov styles because it suits his interests, I weep for the (not-so-gradual) brushing aside of the Moscow style for Vaziev's aesthetic preferences (which I find grotesque).

 

Thanks for correcting me that you have no personal sympathies. I was actually speaking in general and thought people reading would wonder why these other ballerinas are being put to pasture (I think it is because of age). I think you can understand how someone could accidentally assume personal sympathies when on a Stepanova thread and mention of her award we are now talking about many others and it seemed like it was implied that she did not deserve it when there are so many others. But apparently, my mistake. Personally, if I am neutral on a dancer I never read that dancer's thread. No time. Dealing with aging parents, getting their house ready to sell, back to work after many months of just taking care of parents, etc. Limited time means I only read threads that I have personal sympathies for....

 

I do have to agree with you on Alexandrova. I think she dances fine technically, but I personally think she has an angry looking face even when she's smiling. I am not sure I want to see her in anything besides Gamzatti or Odile or maybe in the future Carabosse.

 

 

Link to post
4 hours ago, mnacenani said:

 

Had sort of written Stepanova off after seeing her botch the Medora fouttees on two consecutive nights at Malakhov&Friends

galas last year. It was also reported that she was not able to execute a perfect fouettee at her Medora debut at the Bolshoy

earlier this year. But she does have a following among our senior members and I have been persuaded that Stepanova merits

a closer look, as I have not yet seen her in a full classic. I saw Smirnova live three times last season as Nikiya, Aurora and Ode/Odi

and have no doubt she is a great dancer. Now, everything going according to plan, I will see both Stepanova and Smirnova as

Medora on 18-19 October which will give me the chance to compare and size up Stepanova. Hope to post my takes in due time.

 

I seem to be saying the same thing over and over - but I have seen Stepanova in almost every role she dances, live in Russia and in the UK, and many times executing perfect fouettes, and given the award she has just won, her technical and artistic excellence is seen by others at Bolshoi also.  

Link to post
18 hours ago, volcanohunter said:

 

.... I'm offended that Vaziev, who was a mediocre dancer at best, wields this sort of control over the careers of artists who are vastly more talented than he ever was. And while he may downplay the differences between the Bolshoi and post-Kirov styles because it suits his interests, I weep for the (not-so-gradual) brushing aside of the Moscow style for Vaziev's aesthetic preferences (which I find grotesque).

 

I too am sad to see the Moscow style diluted, and understand your point about "mediocre" Vaziev wielding great control over careers of dancers more talented than him, BUT ... in comparison with the completely non-existent dance talent and career of Yuri Fateev at Mariinsky, Vaziev would quality as a genius of dance ... 

Link to post
17 minutes ago, MadameP said:

I have seen Stepanova in almost every role she dances, live in Russia and in the UK, and many times executing perfect fouettes, and given the award she has just won, her technical and artistic excellence is seen by others at Bolshoi also.  

 

Мы увидим !   :D:D

Link to post
3 hours ago, Birdsall said:

I think you can understand how someone could accidentally assume personal sympathies when on a Stepanova thread and mention of her award we are now talking about many others and it seemed like it was implied that she did not deserve it when there are so many others.

 

I don't think anyone was suggesting any such thing, although it's true that the award tends to go to dancers who are currently in favor with the management. (Not always, as in the case of Alexandrova last year, whose relationship with Vaziev is clearly not very good, and who described her relationship with Filin as "non-existent.") It is worth noting, though, that most of the current principals have received it at some point, so perhaps it isn't such an extraordinary distinction. For the corps members who have received it, it would be more of a distinction.

 

52 minutes ago, MadameP said:

in comparison with the completely non-existent dance talent and career of Yuri Fateev at Mariinsky, Vaziev would quality as a genius of dance ... 

 

Not exactly a ringing endorsement. :lol:

Link to post
On 9/24/2017 at 5:24 PM, MadameP said:

 

I too am sad to see the Moscow style diluted, and understand your point about "mediocre" Vaziev wielding great control over careers of dancers more talented than him, BUT ... in comparison with the completely non-existent dance talent and career of Yuri Fateev at Mariinsky, Vaziev would quality as a genius of dance ... 

 

Not to worry. The Moscow style will be coming back in with the Vaganova newbies from now on, courtesy of Professor Tsiskaridze.

Link to post
6 hours ago, Fleurdelis said:

 

Not to worry. The Moscow style will be coming back in with the Vaganova newbies from now on, courtesy of Professor Tsiskaridze.

 

???  But ... Vaganova newbies do not represent the Moscow style.

Link to post
1 minute ago, Fleurdelis said:

 

They do now :-P

 

Yes, I understand what you are saying, but all the same, the Vaganova graduates do NOT represent what is what most people perceive as being the Bolshoi style.  Bolshoi style is dead in that case. It's very sad.   

Link to post
8 hours ago, Mashinka said:

Off topic, but the "completely non-existence dance talent" of Serge Diaghilev didn't stop him from being the greatest AD in ballet's history.

 

Diaghilev had superb taste. Nuff said.

Edited by volcanohunter
Link to post
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...