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MadameP

Promotion of May Nagahisa

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Today May Nagahisa has been promoted to Second Soloist.  She jumped from the Trainee position straight to Second Soloist, bypassing corps and coryphee categories.   

Edited by MadameP

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This is wonderful news, obviously an impressive achievement. I can't wait to see her on the Bolshoi Ballet TV show, I'm dying to know what she is about.

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I saw her as one of the shades in La Bayadere, and she took my breath away.  I'm so glad to hear this, and I hope they bring her to NY the next time they tour.  I would love to see her again.

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I have seen her also as a shade and as Florine.   I don't want to slap down a young girl at the start of her career, but I can't help wishing both her roles and her promotion had been given to a Vaganova graduate.  Really her promotion is a slap in the face to all of them.    

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4 hours ago, minervaave said:

I saw her as one of the shades in La Bayadere, and she took my breath away.  I'm so glad to hear this, and I hope they bring her to NY the next time they tour.  I would love to see her again.

I also remember her dancing exceptionally as the third shade in one of the October Mariinsky Bayaderes in D.C.; the audience started to applaud spontaneously after the very first first few phrases.  (She was also very good, but--I thought--less remarkable the next night I saw her dance it -- and there was no spontaneous applause early in the variation that time, though warm applause at the end.) She also danced a very charming Manu during that same tour.

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18 hours ago, MadameP said:

I have seen her also as a shade and as Florine.   I don't want to slap down a young girl at the start of her career, but I can't help wishing both her roles and her promotion had been given to a Vaganova graduate.  Really her promotion is a slap in the face to all of them.    

Could you tell us the reason why do you think so?

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22 hours ago, MadameP said:

I have seen her also as a shade and as Florine.   I don't want to slap down a young girl at the start of her career, but I can't help wishing both her roles and her promotion had been given to a Vaganova graduate.  Really her promotion is a slap in the face to all of them.    

Whatever one thinks of the system of "sponsorship" which means that some dancers at Mariinsky are given roles and promotion because a wealthy sponsor pays money to Gergiev, in this case the sponsored dancer is truly exceptional.

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1 hour ago, Laurent said:

Whatever one thinks of the system of "sponsorship" which means that some dancers at Mariinsky are given roles and promotion because a wealthy sponsor pays money to Gergiev, in this case the sponsored dancer is truly exceptional.

Agreed. So is Kimin Kim, who arrived in Russia with hefty sponsorship. But it’s still a form of corruption and unfair. Who among home-grown talent was passed for promotion because she didnt have a rich sponsor greasing the wheels?

Edited by CharlieH

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2 hours ago, Laurent said:

Whatever one thinks of the system of "sponsorship" which means that some dancers at Mariinsky are given roles and promotion because a wealthy sponsor pays money to Gergiev....

In all fairness, Laurent, statements like this should be substantiated here. 

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3 hours ago, CharlieH said:

Agreed. So is Kimin Kim, who arrived in Russia with hefty sponsorship. But it’s still a form of corruption and unfair. Who among home-grown talent was passed for promotion because she didnt have a rich sponsor greasing the wheels?

Yes.  This is my point, CharlieH, and, as I said, I do not want to slap down a young dancer - but no matter how good she might or might not be,  nevertheless it IS corruption and there ARE so many young and not so young dancers who have been completely overlooked because they did not have a sponsor.

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9 hours ago, naomikage said:

Could you tell us the reason why do you think so?

There are  dancers still in the corps, such as Marchuk and Frolova,, and dancers who are still coryphees - Nikitina, Ivanova, Krasnokutskaya - MANY! - who never had roles at the age of 18 or promotion out of the corps at that young age.  Where are the opportunities for these products of the Vaganova training system?   

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3 hours ago, Buddy said:

In all fairness, Laurent, statements like this should be substantiated here. 

Buddy, I haven’t been at the Mariinsky since May arrived last fall but, in the case of Kimin Kim’s trainee period, the Mariinsky website and printed playbills stated something to the effect of...”Kim Kimin’s participation is through the auspices of Mr. xxx (name of Japanese sponsor)...”  So it wasn’t a secret. I’m guessing that May came through a similar arrangement. Did all dancers in the troupe have a chance to “compete” for that sponsorship money? Of course not. Hence, it comes across as somebody bullying his/her way up the ranks. That shouldn’t be applauded, no matter the abilities of the sponsored dancer.

Then again, this is not new, is it? In Imperial Times, ballerinas had their Grand Dukes calling the casting shots and promotions...in Communist Times, the Commissars...but was it fair?

Edited by CharlieH

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48 minutes ago, MadameP said:

There are  dancers still in the corps, such as Marchuk and Frolova,, and dancers who are still coryphees - Nikitina, Ivanova, Krasnokutskaya - MANY! - who never had roles at the age of 18 or promotion out of the corps at that young age.  Where are the opportunities for these products of the Vaganova training system?   

Ivanova, an outstanding talent, was given by Vaziev La Sylphide and Aurore parts in her first and second years. A colleague of mine in her review spoke about Ivanova's Aurore in glowing terms.

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1 hour ago, CharlieH said:

Buddy, I haven’t been at the Mariinsky since May arrived last fall but, in the case of Kimin Kim’s trainee period, the Mariinsky website and printed playbills stated something to the effect of...”Kim Kimin’s participation is through the auspices of Mr. xxx (name of Japanese sponsor)...”  So it wasn’t a secret. I’m guessing that May came through a similar arrangement. Did all dancers in the troupe have a chance to “compete” for that sponsorship money? Of course not. Hence, it comes across as somebody bullying his/her way up the ranks. That shouldn’t be applauded, no matter the abilities of the sponsored dancer.

Then again, this is not new, is it? In Imperial Times, ballerinas had their Grand Dukes calling the casting shots and promotions...in Communist Times, the Commissars...but was it fair?

Thanks, Charlie, for your response. I would think in current instances that "sponsorship" could vary from paying some of a dancer's or student's expenses, to making donations to fund certain parts of the company, or to things less acceptable. I'm not saying that what you and Laurent feel isn't true, just that saying that "a wealthy sponsor pays money to Gergiev" is something that really should be backed up by some 'responsible sources,' within the guidelines of this forum and 'responsible' discussion. Maybe a moderator would like to comment on this. 

 

Added: Maybe I should have said "responsible and *quotable* sources."

Edited by Buddy

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32 minutes ago, Quinten said:

ABT sponsors are corporations, not individuals.  From the website:

There are private sponsors as well. Their names can be found in dancers’ bio.  

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I find it offensive to call sponsorship 'corruption'.   In the UK there are both corporations and individuals (and I know a couple of the latter) that are prepared to sponsor across the board in the arts world,  whether it's productions or individuals.   Greasing the wheels isn't the same as greasing the palms.

May Nagahisa is a lovely dancer and deserves to flourish and without Kimin Kim, almost wholly trained by ex Kirov dancers in Korea,  the company's male ranks would look as dull as ditch water.

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10 hours ago, Laurent said:

Ivanova, an outstanding talent, was given by Vaziev La Sylphide and Aurore parts in her first and second years. A colleague of mine in her review spoke about Ivanova's Aurore in glowing terms.

I had forgotten she had some early opportunities, and also rehearsed Giselle, but unfortunately did not dance because of injury.  She is an outstanding adagio dancer in particular, the best Lady in Young Lady and the Hooligan I saw, and in Awakening of Flora, for me she was the outstanding dancer, notwithstanding Osmolkina was dancing as Flora!

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27 minutes ago, Mashinka said:

I find it offensive to call sponsorship 'corruption'.   In the UK there are both corporations and individuals (and I know a couple of the latter) that are prepared to sponsor across the board in the arts world,  whether it's productions or individuals.   Greasing the wheels isn't the same as greasing the palms.

May Nagahisa is a lovely dancer and deserves to flourish and without Kimin Kim, almost wholly trained by ex Kirov dancers in Korea,  the company's male ranks would look as dull as ditch water.

I have said nothing about May Nagahisa's capabilities as a dancer.  My point is that she is not a Vaganova trained dancer, and there are Vaganova graduates who never could get her opportunities or early promotion.  And re the dire male principal ranks, I agree, and the fact that Ermakov, Zverev and Stepin have not LONG been principals is just ridiculous and tragic. 

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9 hours ago, MadameP said:

I have said nothing about May Nagahisa's capabilities as a dancer.  My point is that she is not a Vaganova trained dancer, and there are Vaganova graduates who never could get her opportunities or early promotion.  And re the dire male principal ranks, I agree, and the fact that Ermakov, Zverev and Stepin have not LONG been principals is just ridiculous and tragic. 

If you're going to use "not a Vaganova grad" then you can apply the same standard to Timur Askerov, Maria Shirinkina, and a number of Mariinsky dancers who are not Vaganova grads. As well as the number of Bolshoi dancers who are not from the Moscow school. 

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27 minutes ago, canbelto said:

If you're going to use "not a Vaganova grad" then you can apply the same standard to Timur Askerov, Maria Shirinkina, and a number of Mariinsky dancers who are not Vaganova grads. As well as the number of Bolshoi dancers who are not from the Moscow school. 

Well, I do. I rail constantly against the dilution of ballet's few remaining distinctive styles.

As far as I'm concerned, the only Vaganova grad who really fits in at the Bolshoi is Mikhail Lobukhin, who is more Grigorovich-Bolshoi than any recent graduate of the Moscow Academy.

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49 minutes ago, canbelto said:

If you're going to use "not a Vaganova grad" then you can apply the same standard to Timur Askerov, Maria Shirinkina, and a number of Mariinsky dancers who are not Vaganova grads. As well as the number of Bolshoi dancers who are not from the Moscow school. 

You are missing my point.  I am talking about young dancers who were never corps and were immediately brought in at second soloist level, despite having no Vaganova training.  At only 18 this very young ballerina was first a trainee and then brought in as a soloist.  Shirinkina (Perm) was certainly a coryphee before she was promoted to second soloist and I think corps also, but her  promotion to second soloist was after she had been in the company for many years.  Skorik was certainly coryphee.  Ostreikovskaya was corps and now still soryphee.   I know of no Bolshoi dancers presently in Mariinsky  who were brought in at second soloist level while in their teens.   Are you talking about Bolshoi theatre here?  With regard to Timur Askerov and a few others, again, none were 18 and brought in as a second soloist; they already had experience dancing solo roles for other companies.    I wish that some Vaganova graduates could be given the opportunities and promotion of May Nagahisa.  

Edited by MadameP

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On 7/20/2018 at 1:24 AM, Quinten said:

ABT sponsors are corporations, not individuals. 

I have seen ABT dancers names being attached to little notes of "sponsored by Mr or Mrs So and So". Not sure when-(I would say in playbills)- but I am certain I have seen it.

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9 hours ago, cubanmiamiboy said:

I have seen ABT dancers names being attached to little notes of "sponsored by Mr or Mrs So and So". Not sure when-(I would say in playbills)- but I am certain I have seen it.

Yes. Look in Playbill for the Principal Dancers listings. All are "sponsored by..." Most are individual names as sponsors. The ABT Playbills also typically include an advertisement urging people to sponsor a dancer and this pitch is made at the annual Golden Circle luncheon. I see the same thing at regional companies.  I don't begrudge companies using any angle they've got to raise money. Still, it's a little creepy to my mind, as it hints at the 19th century practice of dancers who were essentially mistresses to wealthy sponsors (or at least, that's the legend).

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