American in Russia - Swan Lake



The Kremlin Ballet has given Joy Womack a chance to perform the most Russian of all classical ballets, Swan Lake.

I wrote about this a few weeks ago when Womack spoke about rumblings in the company.  It carried over a bit into rehearsal with her Siegfried being a little less than enthusiastic.  A lot of fans were wondering at his demeanor and work ethic.  But I still say, I see where the rest of the company are coming from mentally.  As I've said before, Joy is a foreign dancer.  She is perceived as taking opportunities away from home grown dancers.  Perhaps she does, but maybe she doesn't.  It is hard to say since I can't attend regular Kremlin performances.  I didn't want to jump onto the gloom wagon like many because that isn't the mindset Womack needs from her fans.  I think her partner will pull through.  He may do it kicking and screaming but taking rehearsals into account, it doesn't look as if he will drop her or trip her up.  I will say, he is quite handsome (very aware of it too judging by how much he preens in front of the mirrors) and he looks well matched with Womack.  So whatever their clashes, the audience will see two good looking people looking good together.  And that is all that matters, isn't it?

Womack's dancing has greatly improved this season.  And I can tell her coach has worked very hard with her.  This Swan Lake will not only prove Womack's worth but her coach's ability to train dancers.  The tempos are still taken very slow, that seems to be the way the Russians like it.  Although it looks like over kill to me.  The technical challenges are danced with aplomb by Womack but she is still a bit hesitant in the acting department.  I'm wondering if this is due to the friction with her partner.  She needs to look at him more even if she wants to smack him around the stage.  I think she will do well.

I am still absolutely amazed that they gave Womack this ballet.  It says a lot about the Kremlin Ballet's faith in her to dance and to pull in an audience for this most iconic of all Russian Classical ballets.

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