News: Alina Somova

Monday 3 August 2009

As the Mariinsky Ballet open their summer season at the Royal Opera House this week Ismene Brown talks to controversial principle ballerina Alina Somova.

With her extreme flexibility prompting critics to discuss the tipping point that divides the gymnastic from the artistic, Ismene Brown interviews the lady who has sparked the debate;
‘How does she answer the charge that she overeggs the physical side and distorts a glorious tradition? “Hmm,” she pauses, “I think I would like to be thought of as able to dance, to really dance, not just do a combination of gymnastic movements. But we will never dance like they used to in the past.’

Somova has begun to question the whether she needs to start holding back on her high leg extensions,
‘…in a ballet like Sleeping Beauty I agree, I need to control it. My natural flexibility doesn’t suit the artistic demands of that style but at the same time I can use it, développé my leg more slowly and fully, and it could be high but still carefully développéd – not snapped up like in Don Quixote, for example’

Read the full article in, Telegraph, 3 August.09

Zoë Anderson discusses how the style and standard of the Mariinsky Ballet can be defined by its stars
“Advance excitement is less for what they’re dancing than for the company itself.
There’s particular interest in two young dancers, Alina Somova and Vladimir Shklyarov, who dance Juliet and Romeo on opening night. Both are being promoted as rising stars… The season also includes established stars such as Uliana Lopatkina, the Mariinsky’s reigning diva, whose soul-of-Russia demeanour has won her a huge fan base.”
Read the full article in, Independent, 1 August.09

Rupert Christiansen explains what it is about the Mariinsky Ballet that causes his feverish excitement,
“It’s not so much a matter of what they dance, as how they dance it – the Mariinsky embodies the classical style at its purest (though in recent years dancers such as [Diana] Vishneva and the latest sensation, Alina Somova, have been busily stretching the rules). “
Telegraph, 3 Aug.09

The Mariinsky Ballet will be performing at the Royal Opera House from 3-15 August 2009
Box office: 020 7304 4000
Romeo & Juliet: 3 – 6 August, 7.30pm
Swan Lake: 7, 10, 11 August, 7.30pm. 8 August, 2pm & 7.30pm
Homage to Balanchine: 12, 13 August, 7.30pm
The Sleeping Beauty: 14 August, 7.30pm. 15 August, 2pm & 7.30pm
Mariinsky Season at the Royal Opera House

Related links:
Sanjoy Roy provides a guide to George Balanchine’s life and work, read on

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