In the case of Evgenia Obraztsova, the news is entirely happy (and I kinda suspected it by the vague way she answered a fan’s question on her website; later one of my correspondents here confirmed it): she’s expecting. That’s why she has disappeared from the stage.
In the case of Keenan Kampa, the beautiful soloist/coryphee at the Maryinsky, the news is less happy: Keenan Kampa on High Strung. I had no idea that she’d been having heart problems in addition to the problems with her hip.
It’s a shame; the world has lost a potentially fine prima ballerina. When she began with the Maryinsky, I didn’t see it, but toward the end of her tenure, I did.
With her beauty and presence I’m sure she has much to contribute in Hollywood. And she’s still young enough to have a long career there.
Ballet is such an iffy thing. In decades past, Evgenia, who has hung on through thick and thin (mostly thin during her years at the Maryinsky), would be facing the end of her career due to her pregnancy. Nowadays, however, all kinds of dancers have all kinds of kids. Everything seems to be working in Evgenia’s favor…finally. She waited long enough.
But one never knows when an illness or injury will strike, as in the case of Kampa. Imagine training day in and day out for a decade or more, and then that happens.
Keeping that in mind, off I go to the next subject.
The excuse for paying some professional athletes so much is that they contribute to the bottom line and their careers are short. I wonder why the same is not true, in terms of pay, for dancers.
A lot of it may have to do with the fact that dance tends to be a female sport, and women are notoriously underpaid. Also, in the history of ballet, even the more famous ballerinas tended to also be mistresses of wealthy men, and so forth. But this is a history that no longer applies today.
Another problem may be that ballet is expensive, and most companies not on a government payroll are operating on a shoestring, (nothing so substantial as a pointe shoe ribbon).
But even then, the pay in Russia is said to be so bad that soloists are living in groups in one-bedroom apartments. And no one in the U.S. is getting rich by dancing, either, unless they’re Misty Copeland or someone else who has a side business.
It’s interesting. Ballet companies are, after all, businesses, just as professional sports teams are. So how is it that one can afford the megabucks salaries and the other cannot? Would appreciate thoughts on this.
P.S. if you are commenting on this article, please refer to Kampa as KK. A long while back I was getting trolled by someone who claimed to be her sister, and as a result everyone who used Keenan’s name in a comment got blacklisted. This is why I remain so sensitive about trolls, troublemakers, and general idiots: in the end, everybody suffers for their selfishness.