Russian Ballerina

It is has been a long time since I've posted on Joy Womack.  Since the last time, she has been promoted to lead dancer with the Kremlin Ballet.

It is hard to gauge how much of an impact Womack is making in Russian dance circles.  Her videos are strictly centered on the process she undergoes to prepare for her appearances.  No doubt due to personal preferences and other professional factors, she no longer films her fellow dancers.  Despite a few shots of curtain calls, she cuts away from those for time factor.  So the films are in a sort of vacuum and many times Womack relates her fears that her dancing is not progressing fast enough or she isn't working hard enough.  The one thing I love about her videos is that it shows the kind of work ethic required to be a dancer.  It is never easy and it gets harder as a dancer's body ages.

However I do think the fact that she is now a lead dancer in a big company (on par with the Joffrey Ballet, Houston Ballet, Pacific Northwest etc. here), shows that the Russian ballet circles have accepted her.  She danced a few weeks ago for President Putin himself, and THAT is not small potatoes at all.  Still it is hard to get Russian reviews, so a fan outside of Russia can't judge the reception.  I do see that Womack has improved enormously in the past year.  She has a Russian polish  on her dancing now that was rough last year.  She looked more American then as she powered through the steps.  But now the mix is more settled and her professionalism is a testimony to her hard work and the attentiveness of the Ballet Masters at the Kremlin.

In her last video, Womack's father has visited Russia in order to see her dance Swan Lake.  The film is a bit fuzzy but it shows how good she is and the appreciation of the audience.  When taking her father on a tour of Moscow a few fans stop her for her autograph and picture.  So clearly she is well known.

Eventually I think she wants to move on to a European or American company.  However I'm not sure if she would be entirely happy with that arrangement.  Western companies are no longer truly classical but really modern dance companies with classical elements.  Where would she fit in?  Russia is on the rise and perhaps she should stay to ride the zeitgeist wave.  Unlike Western companies, it is rare for Russian ballet companies to accept foreigners into their ranks.  I'm not sure if Womack fully realizes yet that she achieved something close to the impossible.

Below is a short video of the Kremlin Theater.  It is huge, with a curious mix of classical and modern architectural styles.   A very impressive place to dance!

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