The Born-Again Balletomane's Blog

Just another site about the love of ballet

So much for WordPress… July 26, 2016

Filed under: ballerina,ballet,Varna — theworstat @ 7:09 pm

I suppose I could hang around and try to figure out “the new” WordPress, but since I’ve been away they’ve changed things quite a bit and it’s become almost impossible to use.  I am coming back, finally — but I will take a few days to decide whether or not it will be on WordPress.  This new format…well, everything’s a secret.  You have to hunt a million years just to find a way to make a post.

Meantime, I note that Joy Womack has made the third round at Varna.

Ah, Varna…I’m never sure why they hold that competition.  Awards are often not given at all, which is either good or bad depending on what you think a competition is for.  I’m of two minds on this: (1) no awards — okay, you’re telling everyone that the quality of dance sucks; (2) why are you wasting your time and your competitors’ time if you won’t give out any awards.  If your noses are so high up in the air, why not give a booby prize to the worst dancer?

Plus, the competition has only given out ONE Grand Prix in its entire existence.  This was to a male dancer, which makes me think that no female will ever win the GP.  Standards are much higher for women in ballet, after all.

I don’t expect that Womack will come close to winning any kind of Grand Prix, but I’ll be watching to see if she medals.  Although she’s a prima ballerina, she is very, very young and has a lot to learn.  I feel she may have been better off leaving Varna for a future date.

Her dancing nowadays is lovely (albeit with continuing turnout struggles), and her technique apparently strong; both are huge improvements from the last time I posted about about her.

For instance, her entry in the warhorse Le Corsair pas de deux is breathtaking.  Most ballerinas — even the international superstar variety — look like bouncy little ponies when trying to quickly bouree over the immense space between the stage-entry point and the partner; Womack, on the other hand, positively floated in the one video she posted.

However she pauses between phrases rather than dancing through them, kind of like a gymnast starting a tumbling run.  She doesn’t sing or flow. That’s not to say she can’t, but right now she doesn’t.  I’d call it a youthful error; the legato style usually comes later.

That’s what I’m picking up from her videos.  To me, that’s a major problem…but maybe it isn’t so evident in real life.  Varna may be a good way to tell.  But again, is she doing herself any favors by entering now?

Anyway, I’ll be trying to find my way around WordPress in the coming days and if I can’t, will move this blog elsewhere.




6 Responses to “So much for WordPress…”

  1. Kat Says:

    Good to see a new post! I really enjoy following this blog 🙂
    I’ve also been following the events at Varna – Womack placed silver which I think is a huge achievement! Personally, I don’t think much of competitions any more – I’m a classical musician and I’ve participated and followed my fair share of competitions and it’s very hard to judge any art form. I’m very much in two minds about Womack – she has really improved over the last year and appears to be dancing most major roles at the Kremlin. I’m still not a huge fan of her arms, in particular her hands. In some videos I’ve seen they’re lovely but I felt in the Varna videos that perhaps wanting to perform bigger or simply due to stress her hands and arms felt a bit on the stiff side. I’m also not part of the generation that feels the need to document my every move with Vlogging etc., and I sometimes think she should maybe re-think how much she posts in her vlogs. It’s commendable that she wants to be honest,but I think there are limits to how much you can expose about other people that maybe don’t want tobe exposed like that. (In a few vlogs she was clearly upset with her work situation and some of her colleagues, or when a performance had to be cancelled and it comes across as entitled – but she is still very young and she’ll hopefully learn to deal which such situations a bit more gracefully)

    In other news – Skorik is now principal – also in two minds about her. I adore her lines and I don’t understand the criticisms that she doesn’t have the pure Mariinsky/Vaganova technique. I was taught by renowned teachers from the Vaganova school and my russian-trained ballet heart melts at her lins and adagios. Her expression and security on stage has really improved and I hope she continues to develop positively.

    Our lovely favorite Evgenia Obraztsova posted a picture on instagram that shows a rather prominent baby belly, thrilled for her! She posted that she will get the lead role of her life being a mother. Congratulations to her!

    • theworstat Says:

      LOL somehow I thought that was the case with Obraztsova, blessings to her and her husband.

      My only beef with Skorik has been her basic technique, and of course a lack of acting skills. But I’ve seen recent videos of her (funny how few there are now that her technique has improved enough for her not to be the butt of jokes, isn’t it?) I saw the moment she was promoted to principal and it was very touching.

      As for our girl Womack…more later. I totally agree with you about learning to play better with others. But congrats to her on her silver medal.

      And thanks for being here!

    • Lev Says:

      Agree with you about Varna. I don’t want to belittle any of the dancers (especially since now Hannah O’Neill was a recent prize winner and she just won the Benoit de la danse) but the prestige seems to have fallen to the point that only POB can be counted to send a dancer.

      As for Joy’s problems, I’m beginning to wonder if she brings this upon herself. The tutu slashing is the latest example. I would have thought after the glass in shoe incident,she’d have learned her lesson and made sure her stuff was watched by someone she trusted. I’m reminded of a famous skater who said her coaches from a very early age taught her to always watch her things, never drink from a bottle that’s already opened, and that if you have to pee, take your skates with you. You’d think this applied to ballet as well.

      • theworstat Says:

        Former Olympic skater David Santee also mentioned that he never took his eyes off his skates until he was wearing them. I have no doubt that ballet is the same…didn’t hear about the tutu slashing but will be looking for articles. Sad.

  2. Lev Says:

    Joy won second prize. Amanda Gomes from Brazil won first prize. There were no grand Prixs awarded this year and haven’t been awarded for a while. Heck, in the previous event, they didn’t even think anyone was worthy of a gold medal. Of course, not getting first prize certainly hasn’t hurt Hannah O’Neill’s career.

    • theworstat Says:

      Great news, thanks. I was convinced that Joy had sold herself short by not waiting a few years.

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