Unlike most ballet fans in NYC next year, I will be totally ignoring the Mariinsky program for BAM in February.
I'm just not interested in Uliana Lopatkina and Diana Vishneva. I am interested in Vladimir Shklyarov and have been ever since I saw his fabulous dancing and gentleness with our hometown ballerina Stella Abrera. But if it means I have to sit through the over indulged extensions of Lopatkina and the over exposed Diva-ness of Vishneva just to see him, I won't do it.
In my opinion, small programs such as the BAM offering should be an opportunity for soloist, Coryphee and Corps dancers. But that will never be. We have to see the favored starveling waifs. And the non-principal dancers that will be seen will just be more cookie cutter starveling waifs planning a cannibal feast.
And it makes me so sad because we in NY are unable to see this:
Vladimir Shklyarov and Anna Lavrinenko in Leon Trotsky by Yury Smekalov
Photo by Katerina Kravtsova
Photo by Irina Tuminine
It hasn't escaped my notice that superb Russian ballerinas such as Lavrinenko are forced to seek opportunities outside the company and the classical roles in which they are barred because they lack the starvation look. Hell, if only ABT had hired Lavrinenko instead of the totally unnecessary Instagram hound, Kochetkova.
When I think of how much star wattage is going to waste in the Mariinsky, it just makes me sad. Lavrinenko is certainly not a lone case of injustice. There are plenty of wonderful dancers who are withering on the vine because they are not tall and don't look like skeletons. Instead we get dancers like Oksana Skorik, who I saw dance as one of the Sleeping Beauty fairies next to Lavrinenko. She looked as if she was dancing MISERY the ballet. Subsequent clips have shown me that her miserable mug is natural to her face. I guess the look of the depressive is more attractive to Russian dance fans than the charismatic smiles of Lavrinenko.
Anyway, I don't and never will understand. Which makes me refuse to give the company any of my money for victory runs of their favorite dancing stick figures.
Labels: art, ballet, commentary, culture, dance, mariinsky, modern dance