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Curious about Muntagirov


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I wondered this as well.  I seem to remember the Bolshoi were after him, but Wayne Eagling managed to persuade him to join ENB, promising him leading roles from very early on.  He graduated the same year as Sergei Polunin, I think - perhaps taking both of them might have been an embarras de richesses:)

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I wondered this as well.  I seem to remember the Bolshoi were after him, but Wayne Eagling managed to persuade him to join ENB, promising him leading roles from very early on.  He graduated the same year as Sergei Polunin, I think - perhaps taking both of them might have been an embarras de richesses:)

We should be that lucky!  It just seems odd that they let him go.

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I wondered this as well.  I seem to remember the Bolshoi were after him, but Wayne Eagling managed to persuade him to join ENB, promising him leading roles from very early on.  He graduated the same year as Sergei Polunin, I think - perhaps taking both of them might have been an embarras de richesses:)

 

He actually graduated two years later than Polunin.  Polunin graduated in 2007, Muntagirov in 2009.

 

2009 was also the year that Shiori Kase graduated from the RBS and I remember Wayne Eagling saying, at a London Ballet Circle meeting that year, that he'd just taken on two potential 'stars'.

Edited by Bluebird
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Polunin and Muntagirov are almost the same age but after Polunin arrived at the RBS he was put up two years and so the two of them were not in the same year. Presumably Polunin joined the RB when he was 17. Muntagirov has never said publicly that he was disappointed not to have been offered a contract with the RB when he graduated but, whether he was or not, it has all worked out very well for him and possibly better than if he had gone straight to the RB. The same can probably be said of Alexander Campbell, although I don't know whether he was offered a contract with the RB when he graduated.

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He actually graduated two years later than Polunin.  Polunin graduated in 2007, Muntagirov in 2009.

 

Two years?!  Gulp.  My apologies.  I must have been getting my graduation performances mixed up.  I was thinking Polunin had been dancing Le Corsaire in the same performance where the RBS were doing The Dream and Vadim had been No. 1 cast but was injured.

 

Edit: aileen's simultaneously-posted post may explain why I was confused.  Thank you, aileen.

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Polunin and Muntagirov are almost the same age but after Polunin arrived at the RBS he was put up two years and so the two of them were not in the same year. Presumably Polunin joined the RB when he was 17. Muntagirov has never said publicly that he was disappointed not to have been offered a contract with the RB when he graduated but, whether he was or not, it has all worked out very well for him and possibly better than if he had gone straight to the RB. The same can probably be said of Alexander Campbell, although I don't know whether he was offered a contract with the RB when he graduated.

What is Campbell's background?  Always think he is great.  There does seem to be a lot of wonderful talent coming through.

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Campbell also trained at the RB Upper School and I believe that he went straight to BRB on graduation.

He did,indeed, go straight to B.R.B.

 

Thank-you for that.  Would he be tipped as a future Principal?

If Janet and I had any say. Sadly we don't!

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Thanks to everyone who is helping me fill in the gaps. I do love to know how things work.

With the existing Principals, I adored Kobborg, I am a huge Watson fan and now a Muntagirov cheerleader.  Also love the Cuthbertson Bonelli partnership.  Macrae masterful in some parts but not, for me, as Romeo, although terrific in Winter's Tale.  Soares and Nunez another great pairing, Acosta peerless but not, I feel, at his best with the Macmillan repertoire.  Polunin - well, what can I say?  Only saw him in Marguerite and Armand but he was electric.

 

I have seen Kish twice and he didn't do it for me and one performance by Golding left me a little cold.  From a knowledgeable perspective, what are the supposed strengths of these two?

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Regarding Muntagirov, it has been rumoured (and this seems to be borne out by what Wayne Eagling has said in interviews) that Monica Mason didn't take him into the Royal Ballet because he was perceived as being too shy. She must have been kicking herself a couple of years later :).

 

Having said that, I agree with the comment above that it worked out far better for him when he joined ENB. Had he been taken into the Royal Ballet, with that "shy" perception hanging over him, chances are he would have been sidelined into the Corps and never given a chance to prove himself. Wayne Eagling really seemed to recognise and nurture his talent, giving him Principal roles early on so that he could develop and prove that he was up to the job - and how!

 

And of course, he had Daria... Incidentally, in her autobiography (a great read), the chapter where she describes how she and Vadim were thrown together is interesting - it certainly wasn't the halcyon ideal partnership from the start that I had imagined! His shyness caused problems until she managed to coax him out of his shell.

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I think Muntagirov was either lucky or very perceptive in going to ENB first.  It's a brilliant proving ground and has often been instrumental in developing potential in dancers who were not quite ready (or perceived to be ready) for a bigger company.  Dancers at ENB (or BRB) get more opportunities to essay principal roles much sooner than they would at the RB and, as others have pointed out before, in London real potential sometimes gets overlooked in favour of more extrovert/precocious dancers (how else could Xander Parrish have been allowed to leave?)

 

I saw Muntagirov in his first Des Grieux and was VERY impressed.  It's not just his technical skill but his emotional involvement in a role that is so remarkable.  He can express vulnerability in a way many young dancers seem afraid to reveal and I thought he captured the character better than anyone I have seen since Jonathan Cope (admittedly he was coached by him, so no surprise there).   I am soo looking forward to his Romeo!

 

Linda

 

Edited for clarity.

Edited by loveclassics
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I think Muntagirov was either lucky or very perceptive in going to ENB first.  It's a brilliant proving ground and has often been instrumental in developing potential in dancers who were not quite ready (or perceived to be ready) for a bigger company.  Dancers at ENB (or BRB) get more opportunities to essay principal roles much sooner than they would at the RB and, as others have pointed out before, in London real potential sometimes gets overlooked in favour of more extrovert/precocious dancers (how else could Xander Parrish have been allowed to leave?)

 

I saw Muntagirov in his first Des Grieux and was VERY impressed.  It's not just his technical skill but his emotional involvement in a role that is so remarkable.  He can express vulnerability in a way many young dancers seem afraid to reveal and I thought he captured the character better than anyone I have seen since Jonathan Cope (admittedly he was coached by him, so no surprise there).   I am soo looking forward to his Romeo!

 

Linda

 

Edited for clarity.

Emotional involvement - yes, that was what touched me.  I thought he was wonderful.  Watson has it and Kobborg, too.

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Regarding Muntagirov, it has been rumoured (and this seems to be borne out by what Wayne Eagling has said in interviews) that Monica Mason didn't take him into the Royal Ballet because he was perceived as being too shy. She must have been kicking herself a couple of years later :).

 

 

 

I assume she meant shy in real life, as opposed to being shy when he performed?  I don't think there was anything in his early performances to suggest he suffered from stage fright, or anything like that?  I am surprised that someone as experienced as Mason could not overlook a young student's off stage demeanor, especially those for whom English is not their first language.  But perhaps students have to sell themselves to potential employers in more ways than simply being a good dancer. 

 

Anyway, it all worked out for the best in the long run. 

Edited by Fonty
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I think Muntagirov was either lucky or very perceptive in going to ENB first.  It's a brilliant proving ground and has often been instrumental in developing potential in dancers who were not quite ready (or perceived to be ready) for a bigger company.  Dancers at ENB (or BRB) get more opportunities to essay principal roles much sooner than they would at the RB and, as others have pointed out before, in London real potential sometimes gets overlooked in favour of more extrovert/precocious dancers (how else could Xander Parrish have been allowed to leave?)

 

 

Under Wayne Eagling ENB was a very democratic company with opportunities given to dancers across the board.  I believe Muntagirov was very much in the right place at the right time.

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He did not have an outgoing personaliy on stage when at RBS because of his shyness.

A DQ pas de deux at the RBS studio theatre showed Eagling and his staff a moment which promised the future. Eagling immediately after offered him a Corps de ballet contract, and promised him that he would dance Gisellle at the Coliseum that season if he joined. I believe he had also been offered a soloist contract at the Bolshoi.

Within the first month after joining ENB he danced the role of the Poet in Les Sylphides in Barcelona on tour, started rehearsing Giselle, showing immediately a natural instinct for acting, with a stagecraft which only needed developing with experience and good coaching...

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Have only recently seen this elegant and muscular dancer and I am in his thrall. 

 

Muscular, really?

 

I am very happy to see that the wonderful Vadim is now getting wider recognition, not least on this forum.

 

Those of us who have been privileged to follow his career from its very earliest stages appreciate his artistry so much and want everyone to see him dance.

Edited by capybara
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As has already been said, I've no doubt that things have worked out well for Mr Muntagirov, and I cannot think that his partnership with Daria Klimentova was anything but a gift from Heaven for both of them.  But permit me a thought on the decision facing Monica Mason as he was due to graduate from the RBS as regards her male dancers.  Having taken Steven McCrae and the Sergei Polunin on board in the previous 4/5 years, she already had two stars making their numbers and progressing rapidly through the male ranks.  I can well imagine that she may have felt that taking on a third might have been unwise at that time.

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But you never know how they will develop, your stars in the making, do you? A ballet director who refrains deliberately from taking on a possible star dancer must be mad, in my opinion. That's his (or her) job, to distribute the roles fairly, to encourage competition among her young stars-in-the-making in a friendly way. Why should the number of star dancers in a company be limited??

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But you never know how they will develop, your stars in the making, do you? A ballet director who refrains deliberately from taking on a possible star dancer must be mad, in my opinion. That's his (or her) job, to distribute the roles fairly, to encourage competition among her young stars-in-the-making in a friendly way. Why should the number of star dancers in a company be limited??

 

Your opinion is close to the ones of several "star dancers" (I'd rather call them "artists" :-) ) who felt the need to leave from that company...

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You're probably right Bill. At the end of the day we will never know what exactly happened unless the people involved choose to tell us, which I doubt! :)

 

I'm just glad that things worked out the way they did and that Vadim gained the success he deserved. And - we might have lost him to the Bolshoi and never had a chance to enjoy his dancing regularly here in the UK!

Edited by Balletfanp
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No doubt some contributors to this board will be going to the In Conversation with Vadim Muntagirov in the Clore at the ROH this coming Tuesday and will hear some explanations from the man himself.

 

Many of us have also, surely, been at the ENB or London Ballet Circle when Vadim has been interviewed alongside Daria. If I recall correctly, his descriptions of events at the very start of his career have always been akin to what is set out by betterankles at post #21 (above).

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