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Congratulations, Xander !

 

At this year's Marinsky Festival his performance of Diamonds with Yekaterina Chebykina (the best I'd ever seen her) was one of the very best. At 2015's Festival his Marguerite and Armand with Ulyana Lopatkina was perhaps 'The' best. 

 

 

 

 

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On 7/28/2017 at 14:32, Jan McNulty said:

Reading various articles, while Mr Fateyev was very astute in announcing the promotion in London, there is a delicious irony that an ex-RB spear carrier was promoted to principal dancer of the Mariinsky Ballet on the RB stage.

 

The irony is double-edged, Janet.

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10 minutes ago, assoluta said:

 

The irony is double-edged, Janet.

 

How do you mean?

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41 minutes ago, Lizbie1 said:

 

How do you mean?

 

i think it's reference to the fact that XP is not that well regarded in St Petersburg. On the Russian equivalent of these forums, ballet watchers don't consider him to be of a high enough standard for a Mariinsky principal dancer and others were thought more deserving of promotion: Yermakov, Stepin, Zverev ..... 

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22 minutes ago, annamk said:

 

i think it's reference to the fact that XP is not that well regarded in St Petersburg. On the Russian equivalent of these forums, ballet watchers don't consider him to be of a high enough standard for a Mariinsky principal dancer and others were thought more deserving of promotion: Yermakov, Stepin, Zverev ..... 

 

Thank you for explaining.

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My life in Russia: The Mariinsky Theater's principal dancer, Xander Parish


 

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6 hours ago, betterankles said:

Is it possible to share this gorgeous documentary on Xander on Facebook?

At the bottom of this link there should be a YT symbol when you start playing the film.  If you click on that it should take you to the film on YouTube.  You can copy the URL from there and use it on FB.  (It looks as though Amelia's link was embedded from FB.  Interestingly enough I watched it on my phone this morning successfully but when I have just pressed play on Amelia's link from my laptop it won't play).

 

Thanks for the link Amelia, it's a lovely film.

 

 

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To be honest there are always principal dancers who attract negative comments by people who think they aren't good enough and shouldn't have been promoted. I don't consider myself sufficiently qualified to judge but on the basis of his lovely character alone Xander deserves all the promotion he gets IMO. In his interactions with my DS he has been unfailingly warm, encouraging and kind - a true gentleman (in every sense of the phrase). He is a fabulous spokesperson for the art of ballet and his story is also a real success story to inspire those who may be struggling...

 

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An enjoyable film- thanks.

 

He doesn't need any drawing out does he! How nice to see a young man overflowing with enthusiasm for his work and life in general.

 

It is a lovely insight into the theatre too.

 

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What an interesting film. Can anyone say where the music used as background in the first couple of minutes is from? I recognise it but can't place it.

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2 hours ago, Dawnstar said:

What an interesting film. Can anyone say where the music used as background in the first couple of minutes is from? I recognise it but can't place it.

 

Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini (though the first 40 seconds is his 3rd piano concerto).

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This was wonderful to watch, thank you!

It is so important for young ones to see this.  Getting into a great school and company does not mean that you live happily ever after.  

Xander backed himself and took a big risk in order to grow and continue developing as a dancer..

 

Also loved hearing about and seeing the massive stage behind the stage at Marinsky and the contrast between the new and old theaters - sigh.

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3 hours ago, Dawnstar said:

What an interesting film. Can anyone say where the music used as background in the first couple of minutes is from? I recognise it but can't place it.

And a chunk.if the 2nd Symphony. Slightly discovered to watch a rehearsal of Apollo being danced to Rachmaninov! But good film for all that. 

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54 minutes ago, bangorballetboy said:

 

Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini (though the first 40 seconds is his 3rd piano concerto).

 

Thank you. I knew it was something I should have been able to recognise!

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59 minutes ago, bangorballetboy said:

 

Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini (though the first 40 seconds is his 3rd piano concerto).

The 2nd actually

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I greatly admire Xander Parish for all he has achieved: from his courage to leave The Royal Ballet after four years of not having been given much opportunity, to work and live in Russia, learning a new style of dancing and a new language. He is an example of what can be achieved through sheer determination and hard work. Nothing came handed on a plate to him (unlike a certain Mr Polunin who had it oh all so damn easy at the RB, so much so he was a Principal at the age of 19. What he received he took for granted and ended up where we all know he is nowadays :(.

 

That is the difference between someone who has to work so hard in order to achieve success, who is intelligent, who behaves as a gentleman, and someone who does not...

 

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Yes and that goes for Vadim Muntagirov too. They are exactly the same age and I look at one with admiration and see how the other has thrown it all away. Incidentally some charmless individual on YouTube had the nerve to call Alexander “a plank”. I had watched the video posted by Amelia sometime ago and was squawking with indignation. He’s lovely! Keyboard warriors really annoy me. They are so bad mannered and hide safely behind their anonymity. Ugh!

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But Polunin also came to a strange country and had to learn a new language, didn't he? (And he was 20 when he was made a principal.)

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Xandra you make it sound as if Polunin was given opportunities which he did not deserve. He was by far the most gifted dancer that I think anyone had seen in decades. He seemed to have it all in terms of physique, technical ability and artistry. The only other male dancer I can think of who was made a Principal so early in his career was David Wall. Wall was also given  a swathe of leading roles early in his career but the essential difference between them is that Wall's relationship  with the artform was a committed one, once he had decided it was what he wanted to do, whereas Polunin's relationship with it, is to say the  least, an ambivalent one. Wall had great talent, did not have to travel abroad to train, and embraced ballet as his career. Polunin was possibly even more naturally gifted but found himself tied to something which he clearly did not enjoy and resented for all sorts of reasons including having to leave his family and the break up of his parents' marriage. When comparing the careers of Polunin and Parish we have the benefit of hindsight which those making decisions ten and more years ago did not have. It is easy to forget that an opera house based company of the size of the Royal Ballet does not have the luxury of being a company of stars and no stars particularly when its senior dancers are well established and they and their loyal followers will expect them to be given the lion's share of performance opportunities. In those circumstances those with obvious talent are likely to be given opportunities while those whose talents are not so obvious are likely to be overlooked. Although I have to admit that I thought that Parish's height was something which would lead to his career taking off at some point. Ballet whether we like it or not is a competitive world, even where the competitiveness is masked by good manners and behaviour . It is above all a world in which career progression is based on personal taste and opinions.

 

 I think that it is always difficult for a dancer to get on who does not obviously stand out as having something special about him or her, be it technical ability; partnering skills; stage presence which enables them to make a mark through their artistry in a minor role; being the right height as a partner for a more senior dancer or catching the eye of a choreographer who brings out something in the dancer which no one had noticed previously. It helps if you have some sort of support or sponsorship from decision makers inside a company. I suspect that obvious technical aptitude and strength are essential assets today as artistic directors and audiences now seem more interested in technical skills than may once have been the case. So much so that it is almost certainly the case that a man of average height can no longer expect to have much of a career if his technique is merely average while one who is taller than average has to have something more than height to offer management . The days of casting roles on the basis of a dancer having just enough technique for a role while having the right looks, absolutely the right stage personality and artistic aptitude are over for both sexes.

 

I am not going to indulge in the "Mason made a mistake" line of argument  because Parish's career did not develop under her directorship as it seems a pointless exercise. I will simply suggest that the way in which a number of male dancers have come to the fore with the company suggests that it is often a matter of chance and being in the right place at the right time which counts  although it is possible to make your own luck. Donald MacLeary who turned out to be an extraordinary partner got his break because of his height. Beriosova who was considered tall needed a  partner and chose him. David Wall was recognised as a great talent from the outset whereas Dowell does not appear to have been. Wall was sent off to the Touring Company to learn his trade and given a wide range of leading roles  before returning to Covent Garden as a Principal. As far as Dowell is concerned he does not seem to have been marked out in the same way. Possibly because he was not in the established danseur mould. Sibley said their partnership came about by accident. She wanted to practice a supported step, he was nearby and that she realised almost immediately that everything felt so easy with him because they were the right height for each other. Soon afterwards they discovered that they heard the  music in the same way. Of course it helped that Ashton cast them together in the Dream and in doing so  created a new expressive style of choreography for the male dancer. Some thirty years later Pennefather said in interview that he had worked hard on partnering and eventually plucked up enough courage to ask Guillem if he could dance Paris with her. She had agreed and he had developed the reputation among the other female Principals of being a safe pair of hands.  I think that Parish has been very fortunate to be discovered and nurtured as he has been and that given the talent coming up behind him there is no guarantee that O'Hare would have seen things any differently. 

Edited by FLOSS
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2 hours ago, Jane S said:

But Polunin also came to a strange country and had to learn a new language, didn't he? (And he was 20 when he was made a principal.)

So did Alexander Parrish. He was a little older though.

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So did Vadim Muntagirov when he went to ENB. Why is everyone so keen to offer mitagation for what Sergei Polunin does all the time? 

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2 hours ago, Fiz said:

So did Vadim Muntagirov when he went to ENB. Why is everyone so keen to offer mitagation for what Sergei Polunin does all the time? 

 

I don't think that's the case Fiz.

 

Xander Parish was an adult with work experience behind him when he made the decision to go to pastures new.  That is very different from Vadim Muntagirov and Sergei Polunin who moved country as young teenagers to study in the UK.

 

I do not believe, as Xandra Newman states above, that he "had it oh all so damn easy at the RB".  From everything I have seen, and this is my personal opinion, Sergei Polunin has enormous talent but was perhaps persuaded into this learning and career by his mother and perhaps was not able to cope as well as others who are driven to dance in a way that he may not have been.  Also he was "hot-housed" in the Royal Ballet and perhaps could not cope with that either.

 

Vadim Muntagirov had a much gentler career introduction in ENB.

 

I do not condone any of Polunin's recent behaviour.  I have no desire to see him dance again.  

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Great little film! He always comes across as a really nice person and so lovely to be reminded of St Petersburg too!  We saw Cinderella at the "new" theatre ...an amazing building. Two great theatres next door to each other! 

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What an uplifting film. Xander Parish has my utmost respect and admiration for the way he has worked for his success. 

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I think that we are at risk of making some assumptions here about Xander, Vadim and Sergei without being in full possession of the facts. There are one or two statements above which I do not believe to be strictly true.

But "all hail" to the wonderful Xander Parish , who is, after all, the subject of this thread (and also, but in parenthesis) to the marvellous Vadim Muntagirov.

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21 hours ago, FLOSS said:

The only other male dancer I can think of who was made a Principal so early in his career was David Wall.

 

Mr Wall was 21 when promoted Principal, but I do hope, Floss, you were only thinking of the Royal Ballet when you said that 😉

 

For example, Mr Muntagirov was 20-21 (not sure when his birthday is) when promoted Principal at ENB. 😇

 

The Paris Opéra étoile Mathieu Ganio 🌟 was promoted to that rank two months after his 20th birthday. At 34 he's one of my favourite dancers.

 

Also in Paris, at their promotion to étoile Manuel Legris was 21, as were Nicolas Le Riche and Mathias Heymann, while Laurent Hilaire was 22, and Hugo Marchand and Germain Louvet both 23.

 

From older generations, Jean-Pierre Bonnefous was also 20 and Patrick Dupond 21.

 

And for those unaware, the ranks in Paris are climbed by an annual competition, with the top level being premier danseur. Étoile is an awarded title, held for life. A person can whizz through the competitions in three years and remain premier danseur until retirement, there is no guarantee they will be awarded the title of étoile.

 

Regardless of all that trivia-I-love-to-share, Mr Parish is a pleasure to watch and seems like a genuinely nice person. Good luck to him, I say.

Edited by Sophoife
Add emojis because why not. And comment to drag back towards topic.
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