The Born-Again Balletomane's Blog

Just another WordPress.com site about the love of ballet

Well this is sort of cute March 28, 2013

Filed under: ballerina,ballet — theworstat @ 4:54 am

Buzzfeed

It is a very strange life that a ballerina leads, after all.

BTW during my absence there was yet another bleat from a former Bolshoi/Maryinsky ballerina.  She has said the same before when she needed attention: the Bolshoi corps is little better than a brothel for rich corporate types who might be tempted to donate money to the Bolshoi.  I won’t give this ex-ballerina’s name because I vowed not to a while back.  Let’s just say she wears a megaton of makeup and has lousy feet, among other things.

Somehow this was all tied into the acid attack on Filin, but I don’t remember how.

Now, we were talking about strange lives, weren’t we…

 

Another view on Oxana Skorik March 16, 2013

Filed under: ballerina — theworstat @ 1:11 am
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For a different and refreshing view on the dancing of Oxana Skorik, please see this link:

Gene Schiavone

This fine ballet photographer has seen Skorik perform and has photographed her extensively.

 

What I hate about modern choreography March 15, 2013

Filed under: ballet — theworstat @ 6:54 pm

Yes, I did lift this from RBV, and I ask that you ignore the ignorant title he put on this video:

The racist ignorance and stupidity is, for once, not the point of this post.  The choreography (or lack thereof) is.  I really doubt one could find anyone, anywhere who has a kind word to say about this joke of a ballet.

I am a painter, and can tell you that painting in general went into a very long, persistent mode where painters were more designers than purveyors of any kind of visual truth.  There is still a very dominant school of what I call commercial fine artists.  Of course they can do “reality” as we know it, but instead they splash the canvas with color and leave it that way and call it a painting, rather than searching for a reason for anything.  Their paintings make nice decorations and that’s about it.  There is nothing to seek within them. Happily, the art of painting is emerging somewhat from this century-long headache, but it is happening slowly.

No, I am not totally against abstraction, but I do think it leads to a lot of bullshit art (excuse the term but it’s the most accurate I can think of).

Anyway, as painting emerges from its pain, ballet is coming down with the same ailment.  A symptom is bullshit choreography like what you see in the video above.  Totally dependent on props, the ballet says nothing about movement or feeling (other than that someone is sad or dead or something?). The eternal bliss of The Kingdom of the Shades is completely lost on whoever is responsible for this travesty.  It’s utterly materialistic, and completely misses the point.

I’m not against modern dance, but I do think its lack of one specific technique invites this sort of garbage to happen.  And I wonder why there is virtually no one choreographing new classical ballets.  There is still a ton of room there and great challenges.  No need to collapse into an orgy of set design masking the fact that all the dancers are doing is walking.

What trash.  And I’ll leave it at that.

P.S. I noted that the video has been taken down by YouTube.  Suffice it to say that the “ballet” depicted was nothing more than a bunch of dancers wedding-marching single-file through a set prop, to the glorious music of The Kingdom of the Shades.  Total crap.

 

A Second Kitri (you go, girl!)

Filed under: ballerina,ballet — theworstat @ 6:30 pm

RBV threw out some (this time boldly) racist bait again this week, but I don’t want this blog to end up being about RBV.  Nor do I want it to end up being about the attack on Filin.  I’ve been wallowing too much in that stuff recently, so instead I am showing you a video of Keenan Kampa’s second outing as Kitri:

My take: still a bit hesitant and not sharp enough, and she needs to spend less time looking down, but overall it’s a HUGE improvement and very promising.

And there’s this video:

Again, MUCH better.

There was a third video of a first-act pas de deux where her entrance went KERPOW!  Just took your breath away.  Alas, I cannot find it.

And as for our dear friend RBV, all I can say is that his silence on this second performance has been…well…notable.

 

To the extent that I understand this at all… March 7, 2013

Filed under: ballerina,ballet — theworstat @ 6:14 pm

Here’s what I am able to piece together about the Bolshoi scandal and the ensuing arrests:

There has for some time been a rift between the Grigorovich-ites and those who want to modernize the Bolshoi.  One fan on a ballet board recently suggested that the Grigorovich faction should just go off and form the Grigorovich Company and leave the Bolshoi alone.

I guess in a way this is similar (but not the same) as if someone had come into the NYCB after Balanchine’s death and tried to minimize his ballets in favor of something new.  (It is, of course, inevitable that this will happen in the future.)  There was a freak-out over Peter Martins in the beginning, but after many years, people are starting to get used to him.  Certainly the quality of the company hasn’t suffered.  I daresay it’s the same with the Bolshoi post-Grigorovich.

I also now understand what Eric Conrad actually meant when he talked about true Russian ballet being under threat of becoming extinct, and a small group of dancers and insiders being determined to save it.  Okay, now I get it: he’s a Grigorovich-ite.

Let’s not lay aside labor issues.  Obviously these factor into all the backstage histrionics in Russia.

But like everything Russian, it is not that simple.  Of course there also has to be just plain old outright drama on top of everything else: cue the very young and “overweight”** would-be prima ballerina and her rising-star boyfriend, and an aging star who (just happens to be the would-be prima’s teacher, and) really wants to be artistic director of the Bolshoi…etc., etc.  Sources now say that we should not close the case at just the three who have been arrested, that there are far more people involved.  Of course there are.  This is Russia we’re talking about.

We’ve also been told not to factor in said ballerina too much.  It’s said she is an innocent who does what she is told and has no voice in anything, and that she may have complained to her boyfriend privately, but that’s all she’s guilty of doing.  Be that as it may, I don’t believe the Bolshoi will be a comfortable home for her in the future.  And that’s a shame; she has some promise.  I’m guessing she will not be fired outright, but rather left to wither on the vine.

And then there are the accusations that the attack never happened.  There are two ways of looking at this: it may have been invented to get rid of Tsiskaridze’s Grigorovich-ites.  But wouldn’t it have been easier just to fire them all?

Conrad suggested that the attack was invented for publicity’s sake.  That seems too absurd to ponder, much like most everything else he says.  (Time to go home, kiddo; your credibility is shot at this point.)

The other way of looking at it is that the attack did happen, and that it was the end result of too many years of morale-busting management…or maybe just because there is a faction in the company that wants to keep things forever as they were under Grigorovich.  Or maybe it was the combination of the two.  For an outsider, it is impossible to say.

Anyway, the only thing that can be predicted right now is that the three who have been arrested will go to jail for a time, and that Dmitrichenko’s career as a dancer is effectively over.  As for the investigation stretching beyond this, time will tell.

** She has definitely gained weight since her school years, when she was stick-like.  But fat?  Try again, sports fans.  Seems to me this has been done to someone before, and it didn’t stick that time, either — even though that person was, in fact, not a very good dancer, which would have been a more honest excuse to attack her.  In the case of this kid, I think the truth probably is that she’s too obviously still just a baby and has some growing up and strengthening to do before she tackles the really big roles.

 

Some arrests March 6, 2013

Filed under: ballet — theworstat @ 5:39 pm

I’m sure my readers already know this, but here goes:

Arrests in Filin attack

Big LOL (gallows humor) goes out to the U.S. program Good Morning America for closing their story on these arrests with this oh-so-dramatic remark about Filin: “No word on whether he will ever dance again.”

Um…dumbnuts…he retired some time ago.

P.S. to GMA: “Black Swan” had nothing to do with ballet.

P.P.S. to those unfamiliar with GMA: no, it is not a comedy broadcast.  Not intentionally, that is.