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Keeping Up With SFB Veterans

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Dance Magazine has posted a good piece about Maria Kochetkova, and how she's re-approached how a dancer can operate in the ballet world:

Why Maria Kochetkova Has Said Goodbye to Company Life

'For the moment, Kochetkova is a one-woman show, managing all of her bookings, staying on top of calls and emails, negotiating contracts and maintaining her body. And performing. "It is a lot of work, and not just physical," she says. Without an artistic director or staff to manage her time, she is realizing that she has to be careful with how many shows she agrees to do.'

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On 3/4/2019 at 8:40 PM, Dreamer said:

It appears that Carlos Quenedit has quit , not on a good term, Houston Ballet and is now heading to Florida.


I've come back to this post (and Quenedit's postings), and I'm still wondering what went wrong - personality clashes? Was he consistently passed over for roles?

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Yesterday's post by Vanessa Zahorian, (for "throwback Thursday") talks about her time as a Kirov apprentice. And there's a great photo of her rehearsing with Andris Liepa.


"#tbt to my apprenticeship at the Kirov Ballet where I learned so much about pure classical Ballet! Watching the Russian Ballet stars everynight in full length Ballets from the czars box at the Mariinsky Theater, and taking class w the principal dancers everyday, being coached my Ninel Kurgapkina, Andris Liepa, dancing with Andrei Batalov and Andrian Fadeyev rehearsing classical full length Ballets like Giselle, corsaire pas de deux, and don quixote pas de deux, contemporary pas de deux of Andris Liepa and Nina Ananiashvili, going to and experiencing Ballet competitions, living in St Petersburg Russia where nothing is taken for granted, minimal food, money, clothing, respect for teachers and coaches with discipline and admiration for their wisdom and knowledge and expertise, history and the artform, living in a country not able to speak the language... What a pivotal time period in my life. I am so thankful for that experience which helped shape me as a dancer/teacher/coach/director today. Everyday loving what you do and not taking it for granted. I love teaching and passing on my knowledge of what I learned to the next generation. Being open to newness, change and the unknown is some of the most essential ingredients!"

Edited by pherank
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Not surprisingly, Lorena Feijóo is now listed with the Feijóo Ballet School (founded by her sister Lorna) as Ballet Mistress and Director of the Pre-Professional Program:


"Ms. Feijóo is thrilled to join her sister Lorna as Ballet Mistress and Director of the Pre-Professional Ballet Program at Feijóo Ballet School. Lorena resides with her adorable daughter Luciana in League City, Texas near her sister and their mom."

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Former SFB Corps member Quinn B Wharton continues to focus on a career in photography and videography. SFB dancers are often featured in his work…

"I watched a small kid this morning break it down on a stage in front of 500 people with absolutely no fear. I won’t claim to know what he was feeling, but he certainly didn’t seem to be holding back. It’s funny to me that as a kid that same age I would have hated to do the same thing. I had already started training in dance, was already performing, and still would avoid the spotlight. I had to have the construct of a routine, or direction to wear as armor to perform in front of others. I had to be invited up and needed permission to perform. Currently working on trying to get rid of that mindset. We spend a lot of time and energy making sure we don’t make others uncomfortable. We follow the appropriate rules for the appropriate spaces. As I look around me and see who has really made an impact and who seems genuinely content they all seem to not bother so deeply with the status quo. I don’t mean to claim they’re all rebels and free spirits. Instead I think they just waste less time thinking about how they affect others and instead just let them know how they feel and move on. Less deliberating and more action taking."

Dores Andre


Lizzy Powell


Isabella Walsh

WanTing Zhao

Wharton's personal website/online gallery:

QW's Instagram page:

Edited by pherank
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18 minutes ago, Dreamer said:

Interesting. Apparently, her partner and a former SFB corps dancer Nicolai Gorodiskii joined the company as well (according to his Instagram). I wish I could travel that far to see Scheller; the snippets of her Swan Lake rehearsal look lovely.

It's good that Gorodiskii was able to find another company.  ;)

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55 minutes ago, Dreamer said:

According to Goridiskii’s Instagram, he  joined National Ballet of Ukraine as a principal dancer.  Wow, that is quite a leap! From being a corps member at SFB for only one year to becoming a principal dancer in the country’s major ballet company!  And this is a country with rich history of ballet traditions and great schools where Denis Matvienko, Sergei Polunin, Leonid Sarafanov, to name a few, were trained. I am not sure how to feel about it. Surely, he is a talented dancer but not a principal level material. I wonder how other dancers in the company may have reacted to the news. 

Goridiskii did not distinguish himself at SFB, imo. I can't imagine quality suffering at SFB performances due to his absence.  ;)
I think this has a lot more to do with Scheller's needs, and clout, than it has to do with Goridiskii.

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6 hours ago, pherank said:

Goridiskii did not distinguish himself at SFB, imo. I can't imagine quality suffering at SFB performances due to his absence.  😉
I think this has a lot more to do with Scheller's needs, and clout, than it has to do with Goridiskii.

Yes, I agree with you completely. I attended the Swan Lake in question, and the audience was not enthralled with Gorodiskii. The National Ballet of Ukraine is home to an large number of very tall, handsome and elegant male principals, and Gorodiskii is none of these things. The list now also includes Alexis Tutunnique (Tiutiunnyk), most recently a principal in Novosibirsk, who has returned home. (The men's corps, on the other hand, is pretty abysmal.)

I have no idea how other dancers feel about Gorodiskii's presence, but it is a repertory company that averages 3 or 4 performances per week 10 months out of the year. There are tours to Japan pretty much annually, and this season the company is taking Swan Lake to the Theatre des Champs-Elysees. There is a lot of work to go around, and if Gorodiskii is going to be assigned to Scheller, I don't really think he'll be in anyone's way. Principals seem to average about 2 performances each month at home.

Performances by guest artists are also very common. Going through the calendar, last season they included Scheller, Artur Shesterikov, Young Gyu Choi (twice), Francois Alu (twice), Katja Khaniukova (3 times), Natalya Kusch, Erik Murzagaliyev, Vladimir Malakhov (several times, mostly with the school in a production of Coppelia he staged and in which he plays Coppelius), Ksenia Ovsyanick, Dinu Tamazlacaru (twice), Laetitia Pujol, Alessio Carbone, Matthew Golding, Malina Basbaeva, Jeffrey Cirio, Laurretta Summerscales, Leonid Sarafanov, Zhile Yu, Leonore Baulac, Paul Marque, Jeremy-Loup Quer, Tatiana Melnik, Petra Conti, Olesia Shaytanova and Ievgen Lagunov. Safe to say the local dancers are used to all sorts of people passing through the theater. On Saturday night it will be Claudio Coviello from La Scala.

Scheller was unimpeachable in Swan Lake. I was a little surprised to find her Odette more effective than her Odile, although she nailed that also. She has a performance as Aurora scheduled, and I would be happy to see her, but honestly, not with Gorodiskii. Perhaps as Basilio or Ali, but he is no prince.

Edited by volcanohunter
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9 hours ago, volcanohunter said:

Scheller was unimpeachable in Swan Lake. I was a little surprised to find her Odette more effective than her Odile, although she nailed that also. She has a performance as Aurora scheduled, and I would be happy to see her, but honestly, not with Gorodiskii. Perhaps as Basilio or Ali, but he is no prince.

Love is blind.  ;)
And apparently determines casting.

If Scheller's acting skills have improved then she has the total package. So good for her.

Maybe you know - where does NB of U list their current season and tour plans? Their website is quite out-of-date.

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Repertoire for October and November is posted. It's a repertory theater, so I doubt the repertoire is ever posted more than two months in advance. 



The Swan Lakes in Paris are over the Christmas holidays.


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1 hour ago, pherank said:

This video is worth watching. Lind discusses the move from SF to the Netherlands, and some of the differences between Dutch National Ballet and SFB (she is now in Munich at Bayerische Staatsballett).

A Ballerina Abroad: Kristina Lind

Thank you so much for sharing this!  Big congrats to Kristina on her promotion!  Very well deserved.


Her leg and feet...divine!


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I'm thrilled to hear of Kristina Lind's promotion. She was dancing with such beauty in her last season wih San Francisco Ballet several years ago - I remember her lyricism  in the Nutcracker Snow pas de deux and as one of the Serenade leads - and she was able to find her right place and continue to progress. 

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Vanessa Zahorian and Davit Karapetyan's Pennsylvania Ballet Academy is having a fund raising gala on Oct. 12.
One of the guest performers will be Taras Domitro (ex-SFB, partnering Adiarys Almeida), along with Ilaria Guerra of Alonzo King Lines Ballet. There may be more performer announcments…


Edited by pherank
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